Friday, December 28, 2007

Theme for the New Year

Each year, my friends and I plan a ‘Theme’ around which we will try to live our year. Dana was the one who started it all! This year just ending was Hospitality. The year yet to come is

My aim is to make life simpler, and incorporate more beauty into it, without compromising the simple!

To start me off, I have devised some ideas around which I will build my theme.

"simplify through planning"

--There are so many things I want to do, and I never remember. I was most successful when I planned, but having a planner doesn't work for me. So instead I am going to use my calendar. I am seriously considering buying a really nice one to use. I loved my calendar, because it sat right next to my computer and did the job. I think I can make it work . There I will plan some fun stuff I will probably steal from blogs like Dawn's and Serendipity and others. I need to learn to do just ONE AT A TIME though. This is the simplify part

"use themes"

--Dawn used a theme for Christmas... woodland Christmas. It was really cute. I figure with themes, you can make a seasonal celebration, much like at Serendipity, come together. This definitely speaks to the beautiful part too

"create good habits".

--This speaks for itself. Some things I need to learn to do at appropriate times, like fold the laundry RIGHT AWAY so I don't end up with a huge basket of it to fold -my least favourite chore. Again this is to be a ONE AT A TIME thing. One at a time is to be my new motto. I always want to do so many things!

“Live Seasonally”

--Each month is part of a season… and each season has it high points. I was astonished to see Dawn had a list of events for each month posted on her blog. I really like this idea. Last night, I tried to make up my OWN list for January. I used hers as an outline ;)

“Add Beauty”

--It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That is very true! But the little touches are the ones that mean the most. Donna Marie had a beautiful post over at the 4 Real Forums last year. This year, I printed it out and put it in my ‘to do’ pile! I added a bunch of homemaking blogs to my blogroll for inspiration, as well as some blogs by artists. I won’t be always able to visit these blogs, but when I need the inspiration, they will be there!

Sarah, over at Plainsong, had a lovely list of things she was doing for her Home Sweet Home Challenge.

Strive for these Goals

1. Invite the Blessed Mother to my home. . .daily, with a Memorare for the intention of asking her to visit me as she did her cousin, and to help me keep my eyes toward heaven.

2. Begin my day with a Morning Offering-to offer my all to God

3. Follow a simple organizational routine

4. Take on little things to help our household stay beautiful and joyful.

5. Write about household topics and link others' blogs who are motivational

The Rules:

1. Remember People are more important than things

2. Remember that messes look bigger than they are

3. Small things done in the home can add beauty

4. Stay real: we will never be perfect, especially with children around us

5. Keep a sense of humor

6. Forgive myself for imperfection and limitations, focusing on those things I do accomplish

7. Persevere

I think it goes without saying, that these things are something I shall be putting into my own plans!

Elizabeth has a lovely post about incorporating aspects of the Liturgy of the Hours into her day. While I do not own a book, my newly received iPod, does allow me to listen to the many daily prayer podcasts, as well as read the hours from Universalis anywhere in the house!

Dawn has a post about planning. O.K. She has SEVERAL recent posts about planning! I will NOT be following her into making a calendar ;)

I WILL however, be looking again at my Home Companion and redoing it. I did like Elizabeth’s idea of multiple smaller ones… but I also need to assess what it is I want from it :) I know that somewhere there is a post about it, but since it was on the Homeschool Blogger blog, and I have yet to move it to the wordpress one, it’ll have to wait ;)


I do hope you all had a nice Christmas Day. For much of the world, it is back to normal… for those who are Catholic, Christmas doesn’t end until January 13th (the baptism of the Lord)!

My family had a wonderful time. Our Christmas had been somewhat bothered by the fact that an elderly family friend got sick and died, but the day itself was a little oasis of peace :)

Some photos of the day:

She was happy to get her doll :)

He was happy to get his legos!

The doll, made from a Magic Cabin kit.

She tastes REAL tea from her 'Silver' teapot on her new Tea Trolley. She LOVES this thing!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Book Meme

Cristina over at Homespun Juggling tagged me for this Book meme. I, being the lazy sort, do hereby tag anyone not yet tagged… but I think especially GraceatHome and TheRoadLessTravelled :)

1. One book that changed your life:

Ooh… I am not sure. Perhaps a recipe book ;) I can't think of a good one :/

2. One book that you have read more than once:

Oh I have to agree with Cristina, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is one of my favourites. But I would gleefully add any one of the entire Chronicles of Narnia series here :)

3. One book that you'd want on a desert island:

Depends. If I were there for entertainment… I’d want something nice and long to read. Like Don Quixote. I have never managed to read that.

On the other hand, if I were stranded there… I’d want one of those survival books. You know the ones that tell you how to make a lean-to, how to make fishing rods, how to find food… what plants are safe to eat. If there is such a book!

4. One book that made you laugh:

Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books. My favourite would be Lords and Ladies in which, my absolute favourite quote of all time (which I still laugh at) appears:

The sum of all knowledge can be summarized thus;

In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.

I thought that was the best Big Bang Theory description I had ever read :)

5. One book that made you cry:

I don’t like books that make me cry. If someone dies in a book, I cry. There are so many, that I lose count.

6. One book that you wish had been written:

I am still waiting for Dawn to write one. She has some good ideas. Between her and Alice, I think there is a really great liturgical year book, which I’d love!

7. One book that you wish had never been written:

Thomas Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge. I had to read that in school, and it still ranks as the single MOST BORING book I have ever read.

8. One book you are currently reading:

Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor

9. One book you've been meaning to read:

Well after Cristina’s approbation, I want to read The Alchemist!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Some Things are Cool...

My Friend Molly shared this link with me... and it was a hit with our Addams Family loving family :)


The Homeschool Family

Are you a Scrooge?

You Are a Traditional Christmas Tree

For a good Christmas, you don't have to re-invent the wheel.
You already have traditions, foods, and special things you bring out every year.
What Christmas Tree Are You?

HT To Drew over at Running River Latin School

It's been a busy week or two around here, and I have more to do, so posting will be sporadic, but in the meantime:


Monday, December 10, 2007

Well that didn’t last long!

I am sitting here with the window open, enjoying the balmy temperatures. Yes, here in VA it is in the mid 70’s (hovering around 23 degrees C) and I am loving it! I guess that means soup is out for dinner though... :o The snow lasted about 10 minutes on the ground after it started falling, which was not even long enough to go play in it!

And the water… argh! I fell off of that wagon fast! In my defense, my regular routine got all messed up, and I just ended up forgetting to drink. So I will restart that this week.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The First Snow and Fit in 40.

Today we are having our first snow of the season. It is pretty, but very wet… not the sort to settle much.

I am thinking I might emulate Dawn and make a special treat to celebrate the first snow. Snowy cookie/biscuits, hot carob (DS is allergic to chocolate),

I have hopes that we’ll actually get some real snow this year… the kids would love to play in it :)

Fit in 40 Update:

Well so far so good. I have managed to drink enough water each day, AND of course I had other drinks. This time of year just MAKES people eat drink eggnog right? And I have to have something other than water for dinner… after all I have to use UP all those cans of coke right?

The side effects have been minor so far. My hands feel really dry. I am not sure whether that is the weather and the annoying fact that I wash my hands more in winter because of the germs. I have a germ-o-phobic husband, which is a good thing because we’d be sick more often if he were not ;)

The more water I drink, the more I seem to want, which is annoying :) And of course, the bathroom breaks are more frequent. Annoying, but something I can deal with :)

Now, I actually managed to get my targeted number of drinks in both yesterday and the day before… so lets hope I manage today too :)

Monday, December 03, 2007

Fit in 40 week 1

Nissa has posted the first week of the Fit in 40 Challenge over at her blog (the link is in the sidebar under the Fit in 40 icon :))

So my challenge this week is to drink about 9 or 10 cups of water every day. Wow. This is a habit I have been trying to adopt for a long time, and I have never yet managed to get it to the habit stage ;) Oh well. No time like the present to try. So here I go. I wonder if coffee and coke count (I was not so successful at cutting those out yet :D)