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Monday, December 31, 2018

2019 Goals - January Breakdown and End of Year Rewards

Happy 2019!
Photo by Sumit Rai from Pexels

Hope you had an amazing start to the new year!

Last week, I posted my new action plan of 9 goals for 2019.

My goals were extremely large and non-specific. I intentionally wanted them that way so that I had room to make baby steps and switch things up if something did not work the first time. However, I wanted specific enough goals that I could actually complete them. These are my detailed goals with rewards for 2019.

First, my rewards for meeting the goals:

If I meet my business goals of making $500 a month, completing two courses and maintain a regular online presence that increases professional networks, I will buy a new laptop for myself.

If I complete 90% of the decluttering plan for the year, improve my health, lose at least 15% of my current weight and use my bullet journal at least 300 days during 2019, I will plan a night away with my husband and hire a caregiver for my children.

If I listen to the entire Bible during the year, do my Morning with God time daily, complete extra Bible Study and Prayer time, which includes completing each of my weekly Bible Study Fellowship lessons and take a personal retreat time at least 2 times a month, I will (do something, but I'm not sure yet).

Each month, I'm going to report in on my successes or failures and state my new baby goals for the next month. I hope you will do the same with me.

January Baby Goals
I will spend 2 hours a week studying courses to increase my knowledge of blogging and/or social media. I will post 6 times during the month. I will share things on my personal social media accounts daily and set up business accounts.

I will declutter my kitchen for 15 minutes each day. Yes, it needs a whole month. I will make all the doctor appointments for myself (and the family) for the year. I will use my bullet journal consistently so that I can figure out what works for me and what doesn't, and start to change up what needs changed.

I will get in the habit of listening to the assigned Scripture each day, complete my lesson for BSF each week, and do something that will help me in my Bible study time twice during the month.


Share with me your rewards for meeting your goals at the end of 2019. What are your plans for January?

Friday, December 28, 2018

The 9 in 2019

Are you like me?

Always planning more goals than can get accomplished in a year? Knowing that this is the year that is going to be the "miracle" year where all these things that have been a battle for too many years just fall into place? The year that will be perfect... the perfect start, the perfect to-dos, the perfect accomplishments, the perfect 365 days.

The reality is that there is no perfect. As a recovering perfectionist, I am always disappointed because things don't go as planned. Things don't get cleaned up perfectly, travels don't happen and money doesn't get saved.

I am changing my action plan for 2019

Photo by Edgar on Unsplash

This picture shows all the craziness of life. In the midst of all the chaos, the 9 is my focal point. In the new year, with the right focus, things can be successful.

9 goals sound achievable. 9 goals allow for the ability to switch the focus as necessary and still make progress. 9 goals sound promising. I can "succeed simply" with the number 9.

My 9 Goal Challenge for the Year

  • Complete at least two blogging/social media courses to help in building my business. (I've got several started)
  • Communicate online with people regularly minus Sundays, holidays and any "technology breaks" I take. (To build professional networks and personal connections with readers)
  • Earn $500 a month from my online presence by the end of the year. (I really want to earn $1000 a month, but I'm starting smaller to make it achievable.)

  • Do a complete round of Declutter 365 Missions in my home (Heading towards minimalism.)
  • Start and maintain a healthy eating, exercising and self-care routine. (Because I need to be fit.)
  • Use my bullet journal/planner for an entire year. (Will organize my entire life if I use it the way it's meant to be used.)

  • Listen to the entire Bible in a year in addition to my current daily devotions. (I always start and never finish.)
  • Use my War Binder 3-4 times a week. (Prayer and Bible Study are the keys to winning the war.)
  • Do a Personal Retreat time weekly. (I did this a couple years ago and it was inspiring.)

*Yes! These are big goals. I plan on doing baby goals each month. Check back in January for them.*

My 9 Goal Challenge for the Day

There are days that are great and productive with a ton of things getting done. These are amazing, fantastic, energizing days.

There are other days that are tough with physical or mental issues that cause the couch to be extra appealing. Unfortunately, these days are the ones that seem to be abundant. These are the days were the number 9 will be the saving grace. These days may be a 9 hour day of driving my children around, or it might be doing 2 loads of laundry, 2 loads of dishes, preparing 3 meals, homeschool and the decluttering challenge. It could also include a day of 9 office tasks or 9 phone calls/emails from the couch, because sometimes that is simply all that can get done.

Bonus Challenge: The 9 Book Challenge

After talking to my oldest daughter about her new year's goals, I challenged her to read 9 specific books. She reads a lot of stuff during the year, but those things are books her siblings want to her to read, magazines, text books, study books for groups, or quick simple reads in between her important tasks. She hasn't read much to supplement her needs, growth and interests

3 Business
3 Spiritual
3 Just for Fun
9 Books

It's Your Turn

What 9 goals are you going to set? What 9 books are you going to read? Or do you have a different number for the year? Throughout the year, I will post updates on my progress. Share your goals in the comments of the posts and we can keep each other accountable. Make 9 your number!

Here's to an amazing 2019!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas!

Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels

Just a quick post to wish you all a Merry Christmas! Hope your day is blessed no matter what it is you are doing. Remember the reason we celebrate and be sure to praise Him!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

7 Tips to Hide Presents from Nosy Children

I believe my children are the nosiest children in the world. Since we don't do Santa, every year when they were younger, they would start clawing through the house looking for presents. Every year, somebody would find something...


We started hiding all the presents in my husband's closet so they could look in there all they wanted. 

The trick: the labels were in some kind of "foreign" language that they didn't know, or wrapped in paper that would not make any sense.


1. Wrap all the girls' presents in boy paper and the boys' presents in girl paper. Then, put the boys' names on the boy paper and the girls' names on the girl paper. When it's time to unwrap, tell them they have to look for a sibling's name instead of their own.

2. Let each child pick out their own roll of wrapping paper that they want to be used. Then wrap other children's gifts in their siblings paper. Give each child a number and use that on the gift tags. They think they know which are their gifts based on the paper and they think the numbers are the order to open them. 

3. Write symbols on all the name tags with each symbol representing a child.

4. Put super hero names on all of the labels. Either a name can equal a child, or to really confuse them, use 2 super hero names per child so there are more names than family members.

5. If you are Star Wars fans like we are, do the same as #2, but with obsolete Star Wars characters. Tell them they must figure out who the character is before they can open the gifts.

6. Use the planets from Star Wars on the labels. We tried to match the child to the planet and then made them figure out why we picked that one.

7. Put only the small gifts like underwear, socks and school supplies under the tree. They will be somewhat frustrated at this point. For the last gift that they open, start a scavenger hunt to the larger gifts and make it as easy or hard as desired.

After a few years of these, they got bored trying to snoop and now the little ones have learned to not even bother.

Most important tip ever:

However you mark the gifts, make notes so you don't forget which gift is which! Hide the notes in a place you know the children can not find. I promise you it can make unwrapping rather interesting if you forget to write things down. Our children can vouch for that.


Have you ever tricked your children on Christmas morning? If so, please share in the comments. I would love to hear your story.

New Year, New Reading Challenges (Homeschool Style)

In our homeschool this year, we admittedly have not read often enough. The littles are still trying to get comfortable reading or learning to read so they don't have the interest that I desire for them. This year, we have been running the olders around a lot during the day to college classes, work or after school activities. We have tried to listen to some books and podcasts, but with people getting in and out frequently, that's a challenge. I really need to learn to "carschool" better, but that's for another post.

We are very definitely relaxed, eclectic homeschoolers, therefore, our goal is to try to learn without anyone really knowing they are learning. Reading rich literature is one of the best ways to do that since books cover everything, so for 2019, to encourage us to read more as a family, and to learn in a more relaxed manner, we are going to do a few challenges.


Picture Book Challenge by Becky's Book Reviews combined with 2019 Caldecott Award Challenge by Smiling Shelves

Becky wants to encourage adults (and families) to read more picture books during 2019. She has several categories in which to choose.

We are going to do a twist on Becky's challenge by reading all Caldecott medal and honor books this year. Our guidelines are as follows "something old" are books that won between 1938 and 1978 and "something new" are books that won between 1979 and 2019. The other two categories should be self-explanatory.

With the Newbery/Caldecott challenge, that Julie is doing, we earn a point for each Caldecott book. We are aiming to get to the Spinelli level, that is 30-44 points, for the year. 

We will document the books read on the following list: 

_ Something Old
_ Something New
_ Something Borrowed
_ Something True (nonfiction)

_ Something Old
_ Something New
_ Something Borrowed
_ Something True (nonfiction)

_ Something Old
_ Something New
_ Something Borrowed
_ Something True (nonfiction)

_ Something Old
_ Something New
_ Something Borrowed
_ Something True (nonfiction)

_ Something Old
_ Something New
_ Something Borrowed
_ Something True (nonfiction)

_ Something Old
_ Something New
_ Something Borrowed
_ Something True (nonfiction)

_ Something Old
_ Something New
_ Something Borrowed
_ Something True (nonfiction)

_ Something Old
_ Something New
_ Something Borrowed
_ Something True (nonfiction)

_ Something Old
_ Something New
_ Something Borrowed
_ Something True (nonfiction)

_ Something Old
_ Something New
_ Something Borrowed
_ Something True (nonfiction)

_ Something Old
_ Something New
_ Something Borrowed
_ Something True (nonfiction)

_ Something Old
_ Something New
_ Something Borrowed
_ Something True (nonfiction)

I do need to include a variety of chapter books as read-alouds, also. I think I will start with a goal of two a month and just log them as we complete them. We have a ton of books on our shelves that need to be read, so this should be an easy task if I just make a note of it. We will earn family prizes if we meet our goal of 6 books each quarter of the year.


Amazing Authors - A to Z by Primary Themepark

This challenge is actually from a teacher so it is a little different than all the rest. It comes with worksheets that can be completed as they read their books. There are also some Author Study sheets that can be filled out periodically. All the printables are free for this unit. The boys will read a variety of books that they, mostly, will select. We might even include a few audiobooks if we travel. The books can be physical books or e-books. They will earn prizes at certain levels.

As we complete this challenge, the letters with the book and author will appear below:

What are you doing for literature next year? Challenges, unit studies, curriculum, or something else? Let's chat in the comments below. I love hearing what others are doing.

Friday, December 14, 2018

New Year, New Reading Challenges (Personal Style)

As I stated in my previous post, I am huge into challenges. In past years, I have halfheartedly tried reading challenges, with little success. I say I'm going to do it, but I don't take the time I need to read. For this new year, I am making it a priority in both personal and home school life. I'm posting them publicly so I can share my accomplishments and failures, throughout the year, with all of you. I plan to post results periodically so you can see what we are reading.

My Past Failures:

4. I didn't set aside a quiet reading time each day for my children and myself.
3. I didn't visit the library enough to get the books I wanted to read. 
2. I always tried to read too many books in each challenge.
and the top reason:
1. I didn't make it a priority in my life.

Changing Them to Successes:

I must succeed so I will plan a trip to the library ever 2 weeks, schedule a reading time 3-4 days out of the week and I will make it a priority to complete at one book a week. For the most part, I have limited the challenges to ones that will overlap slightly or only require a small number of books read to successfully complete them. There are a couple that are truly important to me and I feel I need to stretch myself even if they are hard. 
***My first goals for 2019!***


1. Learn Something New 2019 by SMS Nonfiction Book Reviews

2. Creativity Reading Challenge by Whatever I Think Of!

3. Royal Reading Challenge by She's Got Books on Her Mind

4. Library Love Challenge by Angel's Guilty Pleasures

5. For the Love of E-books Challenge by As Told by Tina

BONUS: The Ragdoll Reading Challenge (Light Edition) by Ragdoll Reads


1. Cloud of Witnesses by Operation Actually Read Bible

2. The 2019 Christian Reading Challenge by Visual Theology

3. 2019 Reading Challenge for Women by Young Wife's Guide

I will be linking more details about each challenge and my progress during the year, so be sure to check in on me to make sure I'm reading.

What are your personal reading challenges and goals for 2019? Share in the comments so we can encourage each other.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Another Year, Another Dead Blog

Go ahead... Check out my blog... It will only take you about 30 seconds... Another year has passed and it's still stalemate. It's time to do something different to put some life into this..

CHALLENGES. I love challenges. I fail attempt to complete a lot of them. I love them nonetheless. So for 2019, it's Challenge Year for my blog.

I found this challenge by herding cats $ burning soup that will hopefully get me to post at least once a month. That alone would be a huge stepping stone.

It's the 2019 Blog All About It challenge. To sign up and read more about it, click here.

The challenge lists a word a month. I write a post about that word. Sounds pretty simple. Right?

Jan- First
Feb- Pink
Mar- Luck
April- Sweet
May- Bloom
June- Risk
July- Heat
Aug- Sky
Sept- Crunch
Oct- Shiver
Nov- Thankful
Dec- Twinkle

I know I can do this! Do you know of any other blogger challenges I can do? If so, please post in the comments and I will add it to this post and try it.