Tuesday, January 17, 2017

17 Goals for 2017

January is always a time of reflection for me.  It is a great time to think about what went well last year and what I want to change for this year.  It is a great time to set up some goals that I want to accomplish for this year.  I have done a lot of thinking about this and I have come up with 17 things that I want to accomplish this year.
  1. Keep Up on Scripture Writing and Devotions -  It is easy to find excuses not to get these done, but I don't want to do that anymore.  I want to spend time with God every day.
  2. Get Healthy - For me this means losing pounds, drinking more water, exercising regularly,and eating healthy.  
  3. Read 100 Books - I love to read and I would love to tell you that I would only count the books I read by myself, but then I probably wouldn't make it to 100.  I usually count the books the kids and I read for school (not our text books, but our readers for language arts) in my count too.  We usually do something fun when we hit our goal of 100 books for the year and I am not sure what that will be this year, but I do look forward to it.  If you wonder where I keep track of the books I read, you can find me over on Goodreads.
  4. Teach Little Miss to Sew - This has been on my list for awhile now.  Starting this spring we are going to add in a sewing class to our school day so that I can start teaching her how to sew.
  5. Complete 2 Cross Stitch projects - I finally finished the wolves I was working on last year for Buddy.  Now I have the bug to start 4 different cross stitch projects, but don't worry I only started 1.  I already know what the other 3 projects will be, but I really just want to start out finishing 2 projects for the year, if I get further that is fantastic.
  6. Declutter, Declutter, Declutter - We started this at the end of last year, but with every area I clean out I feel better about our house and keeping it clean and organized.
  7. Blog Better - I know this one only makes sense to me, but there are tons of things I want to share with you guys.  I want to find things to share with you regularly and consistently, but I don't want it to become stale so I am sure it will be a learning process this year.
  8. Stop Just Pinning....and start doing.  You know I have a Pinterest addiction and this year I want to start creating.
  9. Spend more time with Family and Friends - In the past couple of years we have been so busy that we haven't been able to make regular time to hang out with extended family and many friends.  This year that is definitely going to change.
  10. Try More Freezer Meals - Last year through a review product I got to try out freezer meals.  I loved how easy it was to make dinner once I had the meals in my freezer.  They came in very handy during some very busy times for us.  I would love to do more of this and have meals ready to go whenever we need them.
  11. Be Outdoors More - My family loves the outdoors, but I can't always say I am a huge fan of outside.  So this year I will try to be more intentional about being outdoors more.
  12. Be More Adventurous - The older I get, the more set in my ways I get.  So this year I just need to be willing to take more risks and just go for it. 
  13. Learn to Knit - I knit a scarf once but that was a long time ago and I have no clue how I did it so I think it is time to actually learn how to knit.
  14. Get Organized - I do really good on some things, but others I fall way short.  I want to finally get it together and get myself organized.
  15. Decorate More - I spend much of my Pinterest time looking at decorations for my house this will be the year I actually use some of those ideas, along with various other ideas I have found.
  16. Bake More - I know this may sound like it goes against getting healthy, but just because I bake it doesn't mean I have to eat it.  I love baking, it is therapy for me and I just need to do more of it.
  17. Be a Better Friend - I am blessed with amazing friends and I want to bless them like they bless me.
So these are the things I am going to work on this year.  What are your goals for 2017?  

This week I am linking up my post with my friends on the Homeschool Review Crew.  Click the picture below to read more posts about the goals we all have for 2017.  
Homeschool Review Crew Goals for the Year Ahead {Link Up}

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A Review of the Yearly Membership from SchoolhouseTeachers.com

As a homeschool family we are always on the lookout for resources that work for both of our children and offer a wide variety of classes and materials to use.  This is exactly we we found when we received a Yearly Membership from SchoolhouseTeachers.com to review.  This is a site that is full of courses, encouragement, resources, and more that we truly love in our family.
High-quality, Self-paced, Online Homeschool Resources {SchoolhouseTeachers.com}, SchoolhouseTeachers.com, Online Classes, Online Electives, Elementary Homeschool Courses, Middle School Homeschool Courses, High School Homeschool Courses, Homeschool Parent Support, Rightnow Media, Homeschool Planners
Let me tell you why this is one of my favorite sites for homeschooling.  It is packed full of courses, ideas, activities, help, and even videos for EVERYONE in your homeschooling family.  This site is useful for parents, students, teachers, and the entire family.  There are so many good things on this site that it can be a little overwhelming, but as you start exploring you will find things that your family can really use.  Their "New Members Hub" is fantastic and ir really explains how to use this website effectively.  It took me through what I would find on their site, how to use what I found, and areas I would find of interest among other things.
High-quality, Self-paced, Online Homeschool Resources {SchoolhouseTeachers.com}
We are not new to SchoolhouseTeachers.com since this is our second year on the Homeschool Review Crew, but I find new things to use on this website all the time.  I love their selection of  courses offered.  I am always blown away by the amount and variety of the courses offered.  They have just recently added a ton of new courses.  One of the new courses we can't wait to work through is "Drive Thru History."  I have these scheduled in for us to use in February.  We currently use their Schoolhouse Spelling for both of the kids.  Little Miss does the Phonics Based Spelling and Buddy does the Topic Based Spelling.  Both kids are doing great at it and I am seeing their spelling improve.  We have also done some of the Geography lessons on the website.  If Buddy had his way, he would do every single Geography lesson offered as this is his favorite subject.  He does has really enjoyed the lessons we have done on this subject.  We also use the various Language Arts lessons from time to time to reinforce concepts or to just change up what we have been working on.
There are many other perks of the Yearly Membership at SchoolhouseTeachers.com.  They have many resources for members that include planners, resources for teaching, current and back issues of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, monthly menus and the list goes on.  The site also has a media library that is AWESOME!!!  I love the women's study videos on their site.  They are very encouraging to me.  Buddy is also going to start using some of the Bible Study videos for teens for his Bible time each day.
Schoolhouse Teachers Half Price Discount
We have found that the Yearly Membership from SchoolhouseTeachers.com is invaluable to our family.  It fills in gaps, gives us curriculum, provides encouragement, and so much more.  This is definitely a membership that is worth every penny you pay for it in my opinion.  Please go and check it out for yourself and see if it meets your families needs.  You can find SchoolhouseTeachers.com on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.  You can also check out what my friends on the Homeschool Review Crew think of this website by clicking the banner below.
High-quality, Self-paced, Online Homeschool Resources {SchoolhouseTeachers.com}
*Please note affiliate links are included in this post.  This means if you use my links I will earn a commission if you decide to purchase anything.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

One Word for 2017

For many years in January I have read blogs that my friends write about their word of the year.  I have always thought it was pretty cool that they were able to pick a word and focus on it, reflect on it, and try to live it out through the year.  This year starting at the beginning of January, I started seeing these word posts pop up and I started thinking about picking my own word.  God has laid a word in my heart and He actually started working with me on this word quite awhile ago, but it was just recently that I started to really, really get it.  My word for 2017 that I am choosing to focus on is:  FAITH.
One Word, A Glimpse of Normal, Faith

One definition of faith is belief and trust in and loyalty to God.  This is definition I am focusing on this year.  I fully believe that God currently has our family on a faith journey and I can't wait to share it with you very soon.  I know, I know I keep teasing you guys with telling you about what is going on with our lives, but I really do have to wait for the right timing and then I will completely tell you all about it.  Anyway, like I said I fully believe God has our family on a faith journey right now.  We have been specifically praying about some situations for a couple of years now and God is finally opening doors for us.  Instead of just rushing through those doors, we keep praying and asking God to lead our feet.  We step each step we take in full FAITH that God will show us the way and the part that just blows us away is that God is doing it.  Every time we respond with prayer and faith, God responds with opening and closing the appropriate doors.  He gives us clear answers and He is providing in so many ways.  Now I totally believe that He was doing this before too, but the difference is I wasn't looking for it every single day like I am now.  I am relying on my FAITH and God is answering and He is answering in BIG ways.

So my word for this year is FAITH.  I will continue to look for it every day.  I will continue to pray and wait for God to answer because He will in His time.  I will have faith and not rush to do what I think I should do, but instead be patient and wait for God to open or close the right doors.  I will have FAITH and let God lead.

This week I am linking up to a Blog Hop with my friends on the Homeschool Review Crew.  Be sure to click the picture below and hop on over to the other blogs and check out their word of the year.
Homeschool Review Crew Reflecting on 2016

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

January Menu Plan

I am so sorry this post is late.  Somewhere between having the flu over Christmas and being on Christmas break for school I lost a few days.  Now it is already January and we are going back to school tomorrow.  I can't believe how quickly the time passed between Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years.  Of course we have a few other things going on that I can't quite share with you yet that is making the time pass even quicker, but it just means I need menu plan more than ever.  So without further ado, here is our menu for January:
  1. Finger foods at a New Year's Day party
  2. Meatballs
  3. Black-eyed peas and collard greens
  4. Chili
  5. Crunchy Taco Cups
  6. Dutch Oven Pizza
  7. Baked Penne
  8. Cheesy Sausage and Broccoli Rice Cups
  9. Vegetable Beef Soup
  10. Baked Pork Steaks
  11. Slow Cooker Chicken and Quinoa Chili
  12. Sour Cream Beef Enchiladas
  13. Fooled Ya Pizza
  14. Pasta Fagoli Soup
  15. Chicken, Black Rice, & Pinto Bean Casserole
  16. Sausage, Pepper, & Onion Pizza Hoagies
  17. Burgers
  18. Italian Meatball Soup
  19. Fajitas
  20. Chicken Fajita Pizza
  21. Black Bean Tostadas with Cilantro Lime Sauce
  22. Burrito Bowls
  23. French Dip Sandwiches
  24. Texas Lasagna
  25. Spaghetti
  26. Quinoa Taco Bowls
  27. Pizza Soup
  28. Parmesan Meatloaf
  29. Bacon Parmesan Penne
  30. Taco Soup
  31. Stir Fry
As always you can find the recipes on my January Menu Plan board on Pinterest.  There are extra recipes on there as this is the start of my second full year menu planning and I figured you might want some options.  I would love to hear if you try any of these recipes.  Also do you menu plan?  What is on your menu this month?

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year!!!

We have been extremely blessed this year and we are looking forward to what God has in store for us in 2017.  So this evening as you enjoy time with friends and family while reflecting on this past year, please know that I am grateful for everyone who reads my little blog, comments, and shares.  I am thankful you have shared the past years with me and my family and we look forward to sharing the New Year with you too!  From my family to yours - Happy New Year!!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

December Check-in

At the end of November I posted about Rebooting.  I needed to get back on track with my eating and exercising.  This was something I was really struggling with and I knew I needed to just jump in and start.  December is always a tough month to do this, but I also knew if I had accountability it would make turning down the treats easier.  In my post from November I committed to restarting Trim Healthy Mama eating, exercising regularly, getting my steps in,  So how have I done?
A Glimpse of Normal Blog, Rebooting
  • Restarting Trim Healthy Mama - I am about 1/2 way there.  I started off December very strong and eating very well.  Then we've had a few things come up that I hope to be able to share with you soon, but they are pretty stressful so that lead to some stress eating.  I did much better than I have done in the past, but I knew I wasn't making great choices.  I was able to turn down many treats this month.  I had a goal of losing 5 pounds this month and I am just about there thanks to a nasty flu bug I got on Christmas Eve.  On the bright side, the flu bug helped finish resetting my taste buds and there are some foods I will not touch for a long time.
  • Exercising - Again I started off great with this and then we got C-R-A-Z-Y busy so my routine exercising went out the window.  I was still moving just due to being busy, but not officially exercising.
  • Getting My Steps In - Most days this month I did get my steps in, but some days I must admit I fell short.  Some times I missed my step goal by just a couple hundred steps and a couple of days I missed it big time.  The last few days I haven't even looked due to being sick, but I am definitely committing to doing better in January.
  • Water - I have definitely started drinking more water, but I could still get in even more.  I have drastically cut back on the soda and focused more on water.  I am getting there and water is not tasting as boring as it usually does so I guess that is good.
For January I am going to continue focusing on these 4 things because I know that I can do better on each of these goals.  I am happy to have lost 4.5 pounds as of today.  I am hoping to sneak in that last half pound before January 1, but even if I don't I am happy with my progress.  Slow and steady wins the race, right?

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas

A glimpse of Normal Blog

God has blessed us greatly this year and we pray He did the same for you.  May you enjoy your family as you celebrate this Christmas.  Merry Christmas and God Bless You!!!

Cassandra, Jason, Buddy, and Little Miss