Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wordless Wednesday -- First Taste of Summer


Dear Papa,
Thank you for letting Mommy bring home the first ripe tomato from your garden.
Love, Lauren


Monday, June 25, 2012

Goal Planning Monday -- June 25

One of these days I'm going to write my Goal Planning Monday post on Sunday instead of starting it late Monday night.

Last week's goals:

1. Basics: I'm up to date on my Bible reading. My kitchen counter was clean when I went to bed about 50% of the time. I didn't do great on going to bed at a reasonable time, though.

2. More reading. I think we had family reading time each afternoon, and it was relatively quiet for a few of those days. I finished the Robin Cook book I was reading, and I've moved on to school books for next year.

3. More moving goals: Brennan measured all of the furniture for me. I started to clean the mess in the sunroom, but I think I just made it worse.

4. Exercise: Eh. I used the resistance bands for my leg exercises a few times, but I didn't do any push-ups or crunches.

5. Blog: I still need to share about some of our recent activities.

This week's goals reflect a major change -- lots of new moving goals. We had found a house in Arizona, and we were prepared to move directly into it. Unfortunately, due to a number of unexpected happenings with the landlord and the current tenant, that house will not be ready for us in July. 

We don't know yet what we're going to do. The original house will hopefully be available at the beginning of October. We may just find temporary housing until then. Or, we may find something even better to rent.

With these recent changes, my moving to-do list has quadrupled (at least). It's a whole lot different to pack a few suitcases to have while we travel. It's a whole different prospect to think about living out of suitcases for more than two months.

This week's goals:

1. Basics: I don't want to get behind on my Bible reading. Keeping the dishes and the counters clean will greatly reduce my stress level. Bedtime? I'm pretty sure that one won't be happening, but I'll try to be more conscious of whether I'm staying up doing things that need to be done or if I'm just goofing off online.

2. Reading time: Lauren's really fighting me about reading time, and I can't afford to give up now. Plus, I know I'll be better able to tackle the rest of my jobs if I take a rest break in the middle of the day.

3. Finish gifts for Lauren's therapists. Thankfully I have an idea in mind, and it's not too complicated.

4. Gather the school materials that we'll need to have with us so that we can start back to school even if we aren't in a permanent location.

5. Start packing lists including clothes, toys, and kitchen necessities.

6. Gather all of the relevant medical records and therapy evaluations for everybody.

7. Work on my cookbook full of favorites so that I can take it with me.

8. Pedicure: For weeks, I've just been putting an additional coat of nail polish on my toes instead of starting from scratch. This week, I'm going to take a bit of time to pamper myself and do a good job.

9. Blog: It might not be fancy, but I'll share the pictures of the baby butterflies and the story of our geocaching steeple chase.

10. Pictures: Send my Dad new pictures of my kids so that he can update the ones in the frames at their house.

I'm linking my Goal Planning Monday post with others at Real Life Unscripted. Feel free to click below to join us!



Thursday, June 21, 2012

IXL.com (Homeschool Crew Review)

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Many times I look at homeschool math products with an eye towards both homeschool parents and parents of children attending a brick-and-mortar school. I actually first heard of IXL when a friend told me that her children's private school recommended it for practice. After using the program for several weeks, I think it would be great practice for any student.

Pros:
* IXL is a very thorough math curriculum. It covers every math concept that I can think of and then some. Lauren's kindergarten topics included skip counting, money, graphs, measurement, comparisons, geometry, and much more.

Brennan primarily worked in the fifth grade materials, and he was sometimes practicing math concepts that he hasn't done previously. I don't know if I should be embarrassed that there are topics on his list that I don't recognize or happy that he'll be introduced to more than I remember from my math classes.


Addison looked at the 258 topics in the algebra section and declared that it covered at least as much as she learned in Algebra 1. It also included a lot of material from her High School Geometry course.

* In some cases, it took a skill that we had already covered and made my child apply it in a more difficult situation. For instance, Brennan has studied fractions and has solved for unknown variables in an equation. I'm not sure he had previously combined the two concepts into a problem as difficult as this one.

* The text and answers can be read to younger students (PK through 1st grade) so that their math skills can develop independently from their reading skills. This feature allowed Lauren to work independently on many of the problems. I did need to be nearby to offer occasional assistance, especially when she needed me to read one of the explanations.

* IXL offers great record keeping for a parent. When I was traveling a few weeks ago and the kids were working on IXL at their grandparents' house, I received email updates like the one below:



I can also log onto my account and see exactly what each of my children has been working and if they have logged on for the amount of time I assigned. I can see which specific skills each child has worked on, and if I want to, I can see specific problems that they missed (including what wrong answer they submitted).



Cons:
* IXL is intended to provide math practice, not necessarily math instruction. If the student does not know what they are doing for a problem, they can click on an explanation after answering the question wrong. The explanation was enough to help my children remember what they may have forgotten, but I'm not sure it was detailed enough to help them grasp concepts that were new to them. Thankfully, I'm fairly confident in my own math ability and could step in to help with the explanation if needed.

* The online format encourages my older children to try to work all the problems in their head instead of using scratch paper, even when the problem is clearly to difficult to be done without writing down some of the intermediate steps. I try very hard to get Brennan to show his work when he does his regular math assignments, but the computer practice seems to reinforce his idea that the only thing that matters is getting the final answer.

Overall, IXL is a great addition to our regular math program and really, to any math program. I like the way that it provides practice for concepts that we've already covered, fills in the gaps when we haven't covered a specific skill well enough, and stretches my children to apply their math skills in challenging ways.

A subscription to IXL.com costs $9.95 per month or $79 per year for a single student. Additional students are $2 per month or $20 per year.

Disclaimer: I received a six month subscription to IXL as a member of the 2012 TOS Homeschool Review Crew, and I received no other compensation. In return, I agreed to give an honest review of the materials and how they worked for my homeschool family.


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Monday, June 18, 2012

Goal Planning Update in Pictures -- June 18


Instead of typing a lot tonight, I thought it would be fund to post a lot of pictures.

Last week's goals:

1. Basics: Bible reading, dishes, clean kitchen counters, laundry, etc.

Caught up (ahead a day, actually):

Don't they look great?

2. School reading for next year.

A new favorite (from Sonlight Core 100):

A book for me:

3. Moving notebook and planning: 
A start on meal plans for the week we move in (a few meal ideas scribbled on an index card):

4. Move the Goodwill pile to Goodwill, and sort through more of our closets and things to see what we don't need anymore.
The pile (plus a bit more) made it into bags and into my van. Maybe this week it'll make it to Goodwill:

5. Finish tweaking my blog header.
Or, just decide that "good enough" is indeed good enough for now:

6. Write down goals for next week's list!


This week's goals:

1. Basics: I need to pay more attention to going to bed at a reasonable time. Our flexible schedules mean that I'm not always on top of things (including Lauren's late night tube-feeding schedule). Lauren's summer schedule still includes waking up at the crack of dawn, though.


2. More reading. We've been having about a half-hour of family reading time each afternoon, and I'm enjoying getting that time to read more.

3. More moving goals: Furniture measurements. I also need to get the sunroom organized enough that packers can walk in there. Right now, it looks like all of our school materials exploded.


4. Exercise:  I'm struggling to find a good time to run these days, but there's no excuse for not doing my leg lifts. I'd like to add some crunches and push-ups so that I'll have at a mini-workout.

5. Blog: I need to share about our temporary houseguests (caterpillars) and our new pastime (geocaching).

I'm linking my Goal Planning Monday post with others at Real Life Unscripted. Feel free to click below to join us!



Sunday, June 17, 2012

Creation Illustrated (Schoolhouse Crew Review)

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I'm a big fan of magazines, and I almost always have an issue or two tucked into a tote bag that I grab on the way out the door. I recently received four gorgeous issues of Creation Illustrated magazine to tuck into my bag and enjoy while I waited at doctors' appointments or therapy sessions in the gym.

Creation Illustration is a gorgeous publication that glorifies God on every page. Their ministry is "dedicated to the eternal impact of sharing Biblical truth through the blessings of God's creation."

When I first saw the magazines, I was immediately impressed with the quality of the photography. Whether it was a snapshot of a baby gazelle nursing from its mother, a portrait of a canoe gliding through the waters at sunset, or a close-up of a gila woodpecker resting on a cactus, all were stunning. Many could be framed for display.

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Each issue contains a variety of articles that appeal to quite a large audience. Nature lovers will appreciate an article detailing the many birds that live in Arizona's Saguaro National Park. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the tale of a park ranger that sang to a group of Muslim campers when they started to threaten her. Children can read the story in each issue aimed specifically for a younger audience or participate in the ongoing photography contest open to children ages 5 to 15.

Throughout all the articles, one theme resonates time and time again -- the beauty and majesty of God's creation. We have so many reasons to praise God, and Creation Illustrated offers beautiful reminders of God's glory.

Unfortunately, my family wasn't excited about reading these magazines. The pictures and the topics were interesting, but it wasn't exactly what we expected, and the liberal Scripture references were a little overdone for our taste. This magazine is a refreshing break from the busy modern lifestyle my family lives, but at the same time, we struggled to connect with it.

Please don't just take my word for it; plenty of families love this magazine. You can click on the Review Crew link below to read other reviews. Better yet, request a free introductory issue to find out what your family thinks of the magazine. You can cancel after the first issue if you aren't pleased with what you see and read. Subscriptions cost $19.95 for a year (4 issues), $37.95 for two years, and $54.95 for three years.

Disclaimer: I received 4 issues of Creation Illustrated as a member of the 2012 TOS Homeschool Review Crew, and I received no other compensation. In return, I agreed to give an honest review of the materials and how they worked for my homeschool family.

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Pearson Homeschool (Schoolhouse Crew Review)

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I was wrong. When I started homeschooling years ago, I decided not to use reading textbooks. I chose a packaged curriculum that used regular full-length books (novels, biographies, historical fiction) to teach Addison all sorts of language arts skills. I loved that we used great books, and I wasn't interested in a textbook approach.

PhotobucketI recently tried Pearson Homeschool's Reading Street program and changed my mind about textbooks. I was wrong. A textbook approach to language arts is exactly what Brennan and I need right now.

The Reading Street Homeschool Package includes the Student Editions (2 gorgeous hardcover books), a Teacher Resource DVD, a Guide on the Side handbook, and an Exam View Assessment CD. 

I found so much that I liked about this set that I struggle to limit my review to a reasonable number of awesome features. I'll try to hit the highlights.

Great Story Selection
All of the books were high-interest stories, and most would be especially appealing to boys. The first story in the student book was about a young boy taking part in a search and rescue mission on a river. Brennan was so interested in hearing the ending that he read the whole thing in a single setting. As I glanced through the rest of the units, I found a biography of Satchel Paige, an article about special effects for TV and movies, and a historical account of the Hindenburg disaster.

Even though appealing stories is important to me, I also want quality stories when teach my children. Great classics are introduced -- books like Island of the Blue Dolphins, famous poems like the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, and traditional tales like King Midas and the Golden Touch. In addition to the many fiction selections, the Reading Street curriculum also includes texts that tie-in with science and social studies materials. Late elementary school is a key time for student to work on applying their reading skills to all subjects, and these selections help strengthen that connection.

Complete Language Arts Curriculum
At first I was overwhelmed with the amount of materials (worksheets, assignments, etc) that was included in this bundle. I then realized that this program is intended to address all language arts skills -- reading comprehension and literary analysis skills, spelling, vocabulary, grammar, and composition.

The Student book contains all of the materials that I use to teach my child. Each week long unit begins with a page that focuses on a specific comprehension skill or strategy. For instance, our most recent unit talked about Facts versus Opinions as a comprehension skill and Questioning as a comprehension strategy. These are illustrated by using a short passage. The vocabulary is introduced next, often with a specific strategy that shows a student ways to figure out an unfamiliar word in context. Again, this strategy is  reinforced with a short passage. The week's primary reading selection comes next and is roughly 12-16 pages long. The type is large enough to be easily read and the pages are colorfully illustrated. The passage is followed by several critical thinking questions and some information about the author and illustrator. The rest of the unit includes information about a specific type of writing, a writing prompt, and a student model for a completed assignment. Each unit also targets a specific grammar rule -- compound and complex sentences, irregular plural nouns, contractions, adverbs, etc. In addition to the primary reading passage for each unit, there is a shorter reading selection that reinforces the concepts taught earlier.

Plenty of Reinforcement
The Teacher Resource DVD is an awesome treasure trove of reinforcement exercises. There was a time when I didn't want to use worksheets. I was wrong about that, too. Brennan needs to practice reading comprehension skills and strategies. Sometimes he gets practice when he reads a story and then we discuss it together. Other times, he gets the practice he needs by completing a worksheet that focuses on specific skill.

In addition to the reading comprehension practice, the Resource DVD includes vocabulary work, grammar practice, and spelling lessons. There's more work provided for each unit than I'll probably ever assign, but I like having plenty to choose from.


I realize that textbook based language arts programs have often gotten a bad reputation in homeschool circles. For years, I didn't even look at reading textbooks, and I was wrong. The Reading Street curriculum is far more valuable than I would have ever imagined. I was very, very impressed with the materials and how they have helped me teach my student.

Pearson Homeschool sells Reading Street Homeschool Package (Grade 5) for $124.99. The Reading Street line of Language Arts materials is available for grades 1-6. They also offer materials for Science, Social Studies, and Math.

Disclaimer: I received the Reading Street Homeschool Package (Grade 5) as a member of the 2012 TOS Homeschool Review Crew, and I received no other compensation. In return, I agreed to give an honest review of the materials and how they worked for my homeschool family.


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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Baseball Star (Think-Back-Thursday)

Maybe I've spent a few too many nights sitting on the metal bleachers at Brennan's baseball games lately. I can't think of outdoor games and think of anything but baseball.

In the spirit of Think Back Thursday, I hunted back through my digital files to find some pictures from Brennan's first ball season -- 2004. It was a program put on by the local recreation league for three- and four-year-olds. They'd practice for about half an hour, and then they'd have a thirty-minute scrimmage against another team.



Fast forward to 2010, and his team won the championship. Go Yankees!


In Arkansas, he had two more great seasons -- this time as a Ranger.





A special thank you to Addison for letting me use some of the photos she took recently. (Actually, perhaps I should just thank her for going to church camp and leaving the pictures on my computer.)

I've gathered these pictures to share so that I can link up with the Think-Back-Thursday meme on Debbie's Digest. Please stop by to see her pictures and find some other bloggers sharing memories from their past.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

StoryBuilder App (Schoolhouse Crew review)

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Brennan and Lauren love playing iPod games, Brennan on his own iPod and Lauren when she gets a chance to borrow mine. I love that the iPod is easy entertainment when we're stuck at a doctor's appointment for the better part of a morning.

I've been searching for ways to use my iPod for educational purposes as well as entertainment purposes. Mobile Education Tools has developed some educational apps that work on language skills, and I'm pleased to see how useful they could be for my two younger children.

StoryBuilder is simple for children (and parents) to use. The child is shown a cartoon picture and then asked a series of questions. When the child is ready to answer, they push a button to record their sentence. At the end of the questions, the separate recordings are played one after another to create a story.



Lauren (age 6) worked on Level 1. Four questions were asked about the picture, and most related directly to it. Here's her story:
"The man fell in the water because the horse knocked him in.  He feels angry. The horse is laughing because he thinks it is funny. 'Hee. Hee. Haw.' The man will get out and then get on the horse."
Brennan (age 11) used Level 2. The app asked seven question, some of which required him to make inferences in regards to what happened both before and after the scene shown.
"The polo player galloped across the field. But then he fell in the lake. The horse is laughing because his rider is soaked. The man feels upset. He feels that way because he fell in the lake. He will get dry clothes from his car. After he gets dry clothes, he will continue playing polo."
In both of the levels that they were playing, the app gives a suggested first few words for the answer. For instance, in the picture above, Lauren's first question was "How did the man get in the water?" and the suggested sentence opener read, "The man fell in the water when..." The sentence prompt is not read to the child, though. I usually worked alongside Lauren so it was not a big deal to help her if we wanted to use the suggested opener.

The impressive part for me is how many language arts skills can be practiced using this simple, fun program. Right off the bat, I realized that Lauren and sometimes Brennan needed practice with speaking in complete sentences. The questions themselves worked on essential language skills such as making inferences, predicting the outcome of a story, and putting events into a logical sequence. Nearly all of the pictures also asked the student to think about how the characters in the cartoon felt, either to identify an emotion or to tell why the character felt that way.

As we worked on more stories, I found that I could incorporate some of the lessons from our regular writing program. I asked Brennan if he could use strong verbs or adverbs in some of the sentences. With time, we'll also work on adding in details so that his stories are more interesting.

Part of the educational value of this app comes from the way that I worked with Lauren to answer the sentences and create a story. The app is easy enough for her to use on her own, though. Brennan often recorded his stories on his own. After listening to the complete story, he opted to email a recording of the story to me so that I could hear that he had finished it.

I counted at least 40-50 pictures in the app so we should be able to continue practicing for a long time to come.

StoryBuilder by Mobile Education tools is available from iTunes for $5.99 and can be used on either an iPhone or an iPod touch. It does require a microphone; on my older iPod, that means that we need the earbuds with the built-in microphone in order to use it.

Mobile Education Tools also created several other Apps designed to build language skills, including Sentence Builder and Question Builder for iPhone/iTouch and plenty of other choices for an iPad. Some of the other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew have been using Rainbow Sentences (for iPad) during this review period.

Disclaimer: I received the Storybuilder App for my iPod as a member of the 2012 TOS Homeschool Review Crew, and I received no other compensation. In return, I agreed to give an honest review of the materials and how they worked for my homeschool family.


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Monday, June 11, 2012

Goal Planning Monday -- June 11th

Last week's goals:
1. Basics: I'm caught up with my Bible reading. I need to do better on finishing the after dinner kitchen clean-up; I left random stuff on the counter much of last week. It was clean earlier tonight, though. I'm mid laundry cycle tonight, but last week's got put away.

2. More reading: I've read a few short ebooks for myself, but I haven't picked up any school books. I just put a couple in my tote bag so that I'll have them in the therapy waiting room the rest of the week.

3. Make a moving notebook: I have the first few pieces of paper in our moving notebook, including an update calendar and a copy of the floor plans.

4. Add to the Goodwill pile. It looks like it's about the same as it did last week, and it's still sitting in my bedroom floor.

5. Finish an overdue book review. Completed (including the book giveaway). I also redid my blog header. What do you think?

6. Post next week's Goal Planning Monday list! I'm halfway done with it now. :)


This week's goals:
1. Basics: Bible reading, dishes, clean kitchen counters, laundry, etc.

2. School reading for next year.

3. Moving notebook: I need to measure our current furniture (or probably get a child to measure everything) so that I can start sketching in furniture arrangements. I also want to work on a week's worth of easy meals and a basic grocery list so that I won't have to think about that in the midst of unpacking on the other end.

4. Move the Goodwill pile to Goodwill, and sort through more of our closets and things to see what we don't need anymore.

5. Finish tweaking my blog header.

6. Write down goals for next week's list!

I'm linking my Goal Planning Monday post with others at Real Life Unscripted. Feel free to click below to join us!



A Family That Reads Together

Some of the other bloggers on the Schoolhouse Crew have been talking about Summer Reading Program lately and planning what they'll share for this week's Blog Cruise. At first, I didn't think I had much to offer to their discussion.

Two of our local libraries have Summer Reading Programs, but I haven't taken the kids to sign up for either one yet. I picked up Summer Reading sheets when I was at Barnes and Noble a week or so ago, but I don't think I've shown them to any of the kids.

Official reading programs don't really seem to motivate my children to read more than they already would. For a  somewhat disorganized mom like me, Summer Reading Programs have sometimes been just one more piece of paperwork to try to keep up with.

What I've decided to do this summer is to simply press on with the reading plan that I came up with a few months ago -- family reading time. Sometimes it isn't a matter of not wanting to read, it's a matter of finding time to read. I've found it works best if I set aside about an hour in the afternoons where we're all reading.

I want my kids to see me reading, not just hear me telling them how important it is to read.

Here's how reading time looked at our house this afternoon.

Brennan took a picture of me reading a book on my nook while crocheting a baby gift.


Addison picked her  traditional cozy spot in the corner of the living room. Brennan was originally on the other couch, but he moved over to this one when Lauren decided she needed to share it.


Lauren started on the floor looking at American Girl catalogs and then moved up onto the couch with a chapter book for a little while. Towards the end, she just sprawled out on the floor watching the timer on my iPod. Some days she reads more than other days.


Many families set reading goals for the summer. I've set a goal to not let Reading Time fall by the wayside when we move into our relaxed summer schedule. At the end of the summer, I won't necessarily have a list of how many books each child read. I do hope that I have precious memories of all of us snuggled up with something good to read.


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The Schoolhouse Review Crew posts a Blog Cruise topic every two weeks. We are be talking about Summer Reading Programs this week, and you can find a list of participating blogs here starting Tuesday morning. In the meantime, the button above will take you to the main Blog Cruise page on the Review Crew website.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

5 Love Languages of Children Winner


Since I didn't use rafflecopter for this giveaway, I had to do things the old fashioned way -- random.org. Note: I added one number (#9) to the original eight comments to include a FB friend that posted that she tried to enter.

Congratulations Nikki! I'll send you a message so that you can get your book right away.

Thank you everyone that entered!





Thursday, June 7, 2012

Think Back Thursday: Animals

My friend Debbie recently encouraged me to join her "Think Back Thursday" meme at Debbie's Digest. It took me a few weeks, but I've finally made the time to find an old picture to share. (Note: I like her definition of thinking back -- even yesterday is thinking back.

 This week's theme is animals, and I suspect she thought people would be posting zoo pictures or pet pictures or something similarly cute. I couldn't decide on just one cute picture, though.

In terms of a real animal, this is the cutest one I found in my iPhoto library. We saw the baby camel when we were in Cincinnati about a month ago.


I can't resist also sharing this picture of one of the zoo animals that actually lives at my house. I think it was taken about a year and a half ago.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The 5 Love Language of Children, Review and Giveaway

About a month ago, I shared about the book A Perfect Pet for Peyton. When I received that book for my kids, I also received The 5 Love Languages of Children for me to review.

About 5 Love Languages of Children (from the publisher):

To be their best, children need to feel loved. But if you and your child speak different love languages, your affection might get lost in translation, affecting the child’s attitude, behavior, and development. Dr. Gary Chapman’s groundbreaking Five Love Languages series has helped millions of couples communicate love more clearly, and Dr. Ross Campbell M.D. has applied the innovative system to children as well. The 5 Love Languages of Children gives practical suggestions for learning how your children interpret love and creating a sense of security in which they can thrive.

What I thought:
I've heard about the five love languages before, and I was very impressed with the way the authors applied the general love languages concepts to parents and children. Each language received a chapter explaining what that specific language means to a child and how to speak to your child in that language. I particularly liked the two page spread at the end of each of these chapters that gave specific examples of ways that a parent could love their child in that particular way.

If this book only taught how to better love your child, it would be worth reading. Those lessons are in the first half of the book, and there is so much more to learn. The second half deals with even more practical applications of the love languages -- parenting, disciplining, and learning. I keep thinking back to the question that I learned to ask in this book, "What does my child need when she misbehaves?" Often, misbehavior is a cry for love. I'm still trying to figure out how I can apply this question and all the lessons in this book to my family, but it has given me a good place to start.

I'd highly recommend reading this book for any parent or anyone who works with children. The book is fairly easy to understand, but it will challenge you to look at more closely at yourself and your relationship with the children that count on you to give them love.

Giveaway:
In addition to a copy of the book to review, I also received a copy to give away to a reader. I'm going to make this giveaway an easy one to enter. Simply leave a comment below, and I'll draw a random number to be the winner. Contest ends Saturday night, June 9th.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Goal Planning Monday -- Catch Up (June 4)

Ugh! Another week went by without posting a Goal Planning Monday entry. My life would run so much more smoothly if I just took a few minutes to plan for my week instead of just trying to get along.

In my defense, I was out of town last Monday. I had set my goals for the days prior to the trip, and now I'm trying to get back on track.

From my last list:

1. Rally the troops: The house was relatively clean when we left. Now is a different story.

2. Return all the laundry to its home: I got the first round of laundry put away. The second round (the day before we left) didn't get put away, though.

3. Respond to a few emails: The emails have moved from my inbox to open windows.

4. Reviews:  I can't remember if I did one or two. I do remember finishing one on the road.

5. Ready to go: I got out the door without leaving behind anything important. As far as I know, I also remembered to send most everything the kids needed for their week at Papa and Nana's house.

6. Run: I didn't make another chance to run before we left, and I didn't even take running shoes on our trip. I'm struggling with determining if this is a priority that may have to slide a bit for the next few months.

Goals from when I was gone:
1. Find a House: Accomplished.

2. Explore our new home town: In between appointments to see rental houses, we were able to explore quite a bit of our new community. I'm definitely happy that I'll be able to move in and already know where a good Target is, what products I can count on finding at the Commissary, and where the library is. We may have even found a new church home.

3. Read: Accomplished. I took a totebag full of some of Addison's books for next school year so that I could get a jump on reading. I finished one book, and read five others. I'll consider it a good start.

This week's goals:
1. Basics: Bible reading, cleaning the kitchen, prepping dinner before the last minute, putting away the laundry, etc.

2. More reading: There's a few things that I'd like to read for myself, but I also want to keep making progress with reading school books.

3. Make a moving notebook: I'm going to find a three-ring-binder and gather all of the important and useful things that I'll need to keep track of while we move. Perhaps the most important thing I need to do is to print a calendar that goes from now until the move (mid-July); my current calendar stops in June and I have July dates starting to pile up in my head.

4. Add to the Goodwill pile. It would be awesome if the Goodwill piles made it to Goodwill this week, too.

5. Finish an overdue book review. I'd love to finish the new blog button and header that I have floating around as an idea in my head, but that may not be a realistic goal for this week.

6. Post next week's Goal Planning Monday list!

I'm linking my Goal Planning Monday post with others at Real Life Unscripted. Feel free to click below to join us!



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