Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Creative Inspiration

So we have a little over a month left here in Africa, and I am already thinking ahead. We arrive back just as the events of fall are swinging into full gear, so we will hit the ground running when we arrive. We will get home on a Saturday night, and then Toria will jump into her preschool class on Monday. She will attending preschool 4 afternoons a week, Monday through Thursday. Weird.

I am still tossing the homeschool thing around, toying with it here and there, just haven't fully committed to it yet. There are many reasons why it is a yes to me, and just a few (quite honestly selfish) reasons that it is a no. Toria has a scholarship to do the preschool thing for one more year, though, so we will take them up on it and bless her to go. But truth be told, there are many things that she is ready to start doing and learning that they will not be covering in preschool. They are kindergarten types of things, but she misses the cut-off to start kindergarten by a couple of months, so has to sit it out another year.

Her little mind is like a sponge, though, anxious and eager to start reading and learning more. And so we are doing that at home and working through book after book after book. She has completed level one of Hooked on Phonics and is quite anxious to get back home to start level 2.

A precious friend of mine just started the homeschool journey using My Father's World curriculum and is really enjoying it thus far. I am excited to learn more for her and her experiences.

And so as I am looking forward to fall activities, there is much that I am tossing around in an attempt to be organized (which is a strong desire, yet not necessarily a strength in and of itself) and not take on too much. There are some personal desires that I am tossing around and really praying about, as I do not want to bite off more than I can chew simply because I got a little overly ambitious, which I tend to do.

I have been working on some menu plans, which is actually #64 on my 101 Goals. I tend to fail at keeping the lunch plan, as it is just so much fun to meet girlfriends out for lunch and hangout. But afternoon preschool in place, and a strong desire to tighten up the budget (once more) I need to have some sort of lunch in place that the girls will eat, even if we make it picnic style so we can still meet with friends briefly before preschool. So, I have found some great lunch ideas that seem like they will work great, so I am excited about that. Once I have them put together, I will share them on here.

Meal planning is such a hassle to me. I dread it. It seems like such a loooong process of having to pull out the cookbooks and thumb through, with the looming question of, not only "what will we eat this week?" but also, "what will I cook this week?"I love the crockpot and if I can get my act together in the morning to get food cooking, the crockpot is the way to go for me! So, the menu plans are coming together, and if I can get a rotation of about 4 weeks or so with different meals, then maybe meal planning, and the carrying out of the meal plans, wouldn't be such a big deal.

I love the idea of schedules and routines throughout the days of the week. In my mind, a schedule would ensure that all desired activities are covered, there is a time and a space slotted for each said activity, so nothing is forgotten. It turns out that I am pretty easily distracted and fairly forgetful, so there may be things that I want to do or get done in a week, and yet can't seem to stay focused enough to get it done. So the idea of a schedule to keep me on track seems ideal.

But it also turns out that I lack discipline, which is really disappointing to me. Did I mention that I am easily distracted? I tend to have great ideas, but the follow is sadly lacking. Or my perfectionism leads me to do all sorts of research on a topic so that I can get it just right, and then, again, the follow through is sadly lacking.

BUT, I do have some great ideas and am feeling very inspired these days. Sooooo, if I can work out a schedule where I can pockets of time here and there to teach my girls throughout the day AND get some of my great ideas done, then I will have a plan that excites me!

Some of my great ideas include, yet are not limited to:

I really want to start sewing again. I used to sew quite a bit before my married days, long before children occupied my every moment. But I have been looking at some AMAZING creative blogs lately, and am just really wondering if I couldn't get my skills back up again and start creating things for my family and friends (and myself!) and maybe even get to a point where I could sell a thing or two. Well, that's looking pretty far ahead, but it's ok to dream.

A few things that I would like to try sewing, just for starters, is an apron, and maybe some skirts for my girls. I have also seen some great projects using needle felting, crocheting, and knitting, and also this super cute princess crown and needle felted wand for my princesses.

I would also like to start doing journaling with my girls. I saw a great idea of doing a drawing journal with them before they can start writing, allowing them to draw out what they remember for the day and being able to talk with them about it. I love that and would love to be able to start that with them. I've never really considered myself to be a crafty person, so this is all new and interesting, but, like I said, I've been inspired.

I am looking forward to getting back to exercising. I have long held the goal of doing the Couch to 5K plan, to completion. Last year I started it, and my precious friend committed to doing it with me. Long story short, she completed it and ran a 5K. I did not. Sniffle. I think I mentioned something about my follow through lacking. And discipline.

Sooo, I am resolved to finish it this time, and am even now looking for a 5K race to sign up for, to keep myself committed and encouraged to finish. That will cross off one more goal on my list of 101 goals.

But we still have a month or so left here in Africa, so maybe I can just get some planning done here where I still have the time and space to plan things out. Hopefully that will help with the implementation and keeping me from taking on too much. These are my random thoughts of creative inspiration for today. Hopefully there will be more in the future, especially once we return to the states and I can actually do some of them!


  1. Ahhhh organization and routines are things I also strive for. I pray that God helps you develop the discipline and follow through you need to carry out these goals and honor the Father. I just found, literally last night, a website that helps with meal planning. It even prints out a shopping list for your dinners for the week. Maybe it's something that would help you. Good Luck friend.

  2. My friend with whom we share the love of the golden arches I have to say that I have not been there that often (well maybe for the occasional Coke but not food). I know you are gonna rock and with the new body it is going to be even sweeter. Did I tell you I had a dream that when you came back from Africa we got together and were both rockin hot bodies, maybe a prophecy (I sure hope so).

    I loved running the U of A campus for the cause that Lute Olsen does for his wife. It was nice and not too much uphill. Can't wait to hear what you end up doing! I know you can do it!

    As for your organization I would say your strength and determination will allow you to do anything! Hope to chat soon!! Love you and give the girls our love!

  3. This has me thinking about community.
    Because when you mention a goal or a plan or an activity you want to do, I immediately think "well, I can get tomato and squash plants for you when I get mine" or "Let's make that felt crown and some skirts together" or "Do you have a sewing machine, because I am now in possession of two."

  4. BTW...the Small Things blog is fabulous! and addictive.


Thoughts? Feel welcome to share...