Sunday, January 27, 2008

My Stapler has a home....

...and I am all kinds of happy!!! Yeah, I know, that may just permanently define me as totally not normal, but really, normal is over-rated.

I might need to elaborate. Every year I go through this crazy, paperwork-obsessed time. It always happens in January and February. You know, it is tax filing season, so I go through every pile of papers in my home to find all of the stuff I need. Now, don't get me wrong, several years ago I adopted this really great filing system. It is based on a 3 drawer system to keep track of all the important stuff. The system is great. The problem is that I only had one drawer. So, for the past 7 years I have been cramming all that stuff into one drawer, and lots of piles. Now, add to that great filing system my current adoption process. I am learning the hard way that there is more paperwork associated with adoption than taxes. So, now it is tax season, and adoption season, and I am purging and sorting paperwork like a crazy woman.

So, here is where I get excited. Last week, I was discussing the need for a new filing cabinet with my husband. It doesn't have to be glamorous and elaborate, but I wanted something in oak that would look nice and be functional at the same time. See, we don't really have an office, per se. Our computer desk is in this little nook between the laundry room and two bedrooms... I use the term "nook" generously... the hallway is just wide enough to accommodate the desk, and still walk to the rooms comfortably.... and it will be visible from the living room and dining room areas. I was lamenting that I was having a hard time justifying the expense on something like a filing cabinet when I have all these other ways to spend the money. He told me to forget about it for this once, and to go that day to get a filing cabinet. We got online to check basic prices at one of the local furniture mega-warehouse stores, and decided on a budget. I was really only needing a 2 drawer cabinet to better accommodate my 3 drawer system. We discovered that there wasn't much price difference to get a 4 drawer cabinet, and it was still within what I could budget.

So, my "frivolous," spur of the moment, but really, really needed filing cabinet came home with me that very same day, and I have two extra drawers to fill up. What a wonderful hubby I have. (This is where my single and or childless friends have determined that I am nuts) My new filing cabinet is one of my favorite purchases!!! I have spent the last week sorting paperwork, and putting things together where I can find them at a moment's notice. I even splurged on a new set of post-it note pads, paper clips, file folders, and hanging files to complete my little system. One of these days I may get one of those fancy little office supply sorter things to put the little stuff in. For now, I have my pencils and supplies sorted in coffee cups on top of file cabinet. And, to top it off, I found my stapler, and gave it it's very own spot, so I can find it when I need it, instead of searching every child's room.

I have this little fantasy that one day I will be one of those really organized people where everything in the house has a place, and everything gets returned to it's place after each use. For now, I am just happy that I can sort my paperwork and find my stapler and paper clips when I need to. I'll deal with the rest of the stuff later.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Blur that Was December

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve sat down with all of you for a visit. December came and went before I could catch my breath. Here’s what I’ve been doing with Stuart and the kids:

…celebrating the birthday of our very first teenager. (I just want to stop time!)
...setting phone limits for said teenager.
…celebrating the first lost tooth of child number four.
…teaching child number five to put on his own pants and underwear. He can do it. Yeah!
...teaching said half naked child that demonstrating this new found dressing skill for the neighbors is not such a great idea. They might not cheer as vigorously for him as the six of us do.
…going on a beekeeper field trip.
…taking stuff to the Salvation Army and returning home with some great bargains.
…learning to make pasta and hanging it from hangers hung from the ceiling fan above our bed on Christmas Day.
…making coffee ice-cream, and homemade waffles with new Christmas equipment.
…researching the health benefits of kefir, parsley, lemons, apple cider vinegar, dandelions...
…making kefir and encouraging the children to drink it. “Try it. You’re just not used to the taste. In a few days, it won’t be so bad because it will be familiar to you.” (They’re not buying it. "Blech! You're trying to kill us, Mom!")
…traveling to Virginia to visit cousins. This brings our travel time up to sixty hours in the last month.
…stringing popcorn and cranberries and sewing stuffed birds and apples for the Christmas tree.
...chasing the dog out of the house for eating the popcorn off the tree.
…adding yoga to my workouts. Ouch!
…putting together a thousand piece puzzle of the Wild West.
...discovering that bifocals may be in my near future while putting together said puzzle.
…reading a book on pigeons a few pages at a time and wondering a.) how someone could write a whole book devoted entirely to the humble pigeon and b.)what kind of nerd I must be to enjoy it.
…hanging out with the kids in the living room with a fire in the fireplace and books and lighted candles. Cozy.
…playing hand bells with my husband and children in public. Luckily it was a small audience. It was not pretty!

I'm just trying to figure out how to fit everything in. It's a good place to be. Happy New Year!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

I love the beginning of a new year.

Last years slate has been wiped clean and the new year is full of hope and wonderful possibilities.

I am a list maker and planner (something my Dh teases me about constantly) so at this time of the year I like to think about what I would like to achieve during the year. There is nothing better than opening a clean fresh note book and writing down your goals. I do this every year and it's good to look back over the goals of last year and see what I achieved and what I still need to work on. It has also been interesting to see how my goals changed during the year. For example, one of my goals at the beginning of last year was to work in my vegetable garden more and plan it better, however after having my 5th baby in April, I soon discovered that it was difficult to give the garden the time that it needed and I let it go and it was no longer important to me.

Many of my goals for this year are the same as my goals for last year, looking back on them I can see that I had good intentions but I didn't really give them the time and effort that they needed for me to achieve them so this year I am going to do something a little different. Each month I am going to focus on one goal, that way I will be able to form some new habits that will help me to achieve my goals. Here is a list of my goals for 2008:

Money Goals -
Use less energy (save money and the environment)
Save for kids education
Budget better
Reduce debt
Save for a house
Build my eBay business
Enter more competitions
Buy a house
Buy a bigger car

Household Goals -
Follow Flylady's routines
Help the kids to build routines
Continue to plan meals

Personal Goals -
Continue with Wiccan course
Eat Healthier
Exercise more
Lose weight
More 'me time'
More quality time for Dh and me
Reconnect with old friends
Continue blogging
Write more

Family Goals -
Establish set homework times for girls
Eat healthier
Eat meals at the dining table
Have a family holiday

My motto for this year is:

Things will be great in 2008!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A Christmas Like No Other...

This Christmas was like none other I can think of. Two weeks before Christmas, we were told that my father was very ill, and there was a possibility that he would not survive until Easter. My husband and I decided to spend my father's last Christmas with my family, so we packed at the last minute, and drove half way across the country to be here in time. We arrived on Sat Dec 22nd, and he was at home, tired but smiling. The next morning he went into the hospital and he passed on to be with the LORD on Dec 28th.

This year, I sobbed on Christmas day as my father was taken into the ICU. I grieved for my children when they came to the hospital to tell him "Merry Christmas" and "We love you, Grandpa" even though he could not respond.

My New Year's Eve was a memorial service for my father. We celebrated his life and his service to God as a life long career minister. It was humbling to see the collection of amazing Christian leaders gather to celebrate how my father's ministry touched their lives and helped to develop their own ministries.

This year, I begin a New Year grieving my loss, but rejoicing for his gain. This year, my mother will learn how to be a widow in stead of a wife. This year, we will learn a new kind of "normal."

This year, I am cherishing the gift of my family. Here's to a year of no regrets.

Busy time of the year

I have failed miserably this Christmas. Of course, they all had presents and they are all happy with what they have received. Unfortunately, I have failed them as a Catholic mother in teaching them that this time of year is about so much more.

Dh losts his job in October. It has been well over 2 months and the two places he was interviewing with have declined to make an offer. This has played into our Christmas plans ALOT. I have been busy babysitting for extra money and I even sat with an elderly couple on Christmas Day because it paid well. My kids had a busy last week of school with plays and parties and of course I was volunteering all over the place and had the Christmas Store at the school I am in charge of.

So, this year, my kids partook of the commercialistic holiday of Christmas with mom and dad. Luckily for us, my parents are also struggling financially. I say luckily, because they had the time and energy to sit all 8 grandchildren down and read the Christmas story from the bible and let the 2 youngest children place the baby Jesus in 2 mangers they had put up. Of course, we remembered to take our children to mass and my 2 oldest children sang in the choir. It was beautiful.

I pray that next year, I remember this year and take the time to celebrate Christ's coming to us. I also hope that I can take this enthusiasm and celebrate Lent with my family. As far as a New Years resolution, I think faith and passing it on is tops on my list. The other thing is not really a resolution, but a hope and wish. I really am ready to have another baby. I know in God's time and I know it isn't the best of times financially, but when is it the best time to have a baby?

I hope that everyone reading this has had a blessed Christmas and wish everyone a HAPPY new year.