1. What books and/or magazines did I read this month?
I really didn't get to read much. In my quest for finding Delight in my life, I picked out 2 books to read. The first was The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.
I chose this book mainly because of the subtitle - "Or Why I spent a year trying to sing in the morning, clean my closets, fight right, read Aristotle, and generally have more fun." The premise of the book is that the author was generally pleased with her life, but was not happy. So she spent the year doing studying happiness and what researchers found that made people feel happy, and she set small daily and monthly goals for herself to change the things in her life that needed to be changed in order to produce more happiness in her life.
Well, I got through April, and then I had to return it to the library...I couldn't renew the book because someone else had requested it. I looked at buying it for my ipad, and the cheapest I could find it was $13. I guess I'm just cheap, but I didn't buy it. I thought the book was good, and I want to finish reading it....I guess inside I'm a bit skeptical that a person can increase their happiness by sheer will to do it on their own. There's no mention in the book anywhere so far about a spiritual connection. Which is why I chose to read my second book for the month...
The subtitle of this book is "Talk to Him. Hear from Him. Really." I heard the author of this book - John Eldredge - speak at a conference once on this topic, and at first I thought he was really "far out." At first, he came across as a far-out, hippie, Jesus movement kinda guy. But the more he spoke, the more I heard that he really had an honest, daily walk with Jesus like David, Moses, Noah, and Elijah in the Bible, and it wasn't like God expected him to live like a hermit or in a convent. John Eldredge is living in a community in suburbia, and he's living a "normal" life following Jesus. This book covers his year of discovery as he took steps to live by faith as it is laid out in the Bible. I read the Prelude of this book and I was hooked. I actually told several friends about it, and we are reading it together and meeting monthly to talk about it. It will probably take us 4 months to finish it. I've always wanted to be in a book club :o)
The kids have been reading up a storm too. I'm so impressed to see how well#1 reads. I bought them the app "The monster at the end of this book."
Yep, I love this book, and the kids do too, but in this app, Grover reads the book to you. The kids poke down the brick wall, untie his knots, and do all they can to get to the end of the book! So cute!!!
2. What movies, television shows, plays, etc. did I watch this month?
The kids had a movie campout night (more about that in question 3), and we watched Toy Story 3 and Despicable Me. I can't believe we hadn't watched Despicable Me earlier. It was so funny!! My favorite part was when the little girl got her new unicorn stuffed animal, and she said "its...so...FLUFFYYYYYY!!!!" It cracks me up.
We took the kids to see Gulliver's Travels in 3D. I didn't love the movie, but the kids liked the 3D stuff. They also loved the fully choreographed version of "WAR" (what is it good for? absolutely nothing) at the end. They sang it for days on end....#1 would yell, "WAR!"
Then everyone would say, "HUH!"
Then #2 would sing, "What is it good for?"
Then #3 would chime in, "Absolutely nothing!"
And that's how it went down every time we were in the car for about 2 weeks....
We also took #1 and #2 to Winter Jam. It's one of the best Christian music concerts. We go every year. 10 bands for 10 bucks at the door. It was packed. Our kids are really starting to love music. #2 was singing along to all the songs she knew, and she definitely had an opinion on the ones she liked and didn't like. #1 was screaming/singing at the top of his lungs. It was hilarious. The people around us kept looking back at him and giggling. I asked him why he was singing so loud, and he said, "So I can hear myself." It was logical....and humorous.
3. What fun things did I do with my family and/or friends?
The kids had a couple days off school in January. We had planned to go to Disney, but the weather was cold and yukky, so we decided to stay home instead and have an inside campout. We pitched the tent in the living room, rented movies, ate popcorn and candy, slept in the tent and on the couch, and just generally bummed around the house. Delightful!
For Love Squad night, we went to the Food Bank and helped them organize the bins and bins and bins of canned goods. It was hard work but we all had fun working together. Our kids really jumped in and LOVED it.
4. What gifts did I give and/or receive?
One of the students from our former youth group in Ocala got married and invited us to the wedding, so I got them a candle set for their house. It was really nice to be at their wedding. This family meant so much to us when we lived in Ocala, and it was refreshing to see students living for Jesus and doing well.
I also bought my sister a sweater for her birthday. I got it 90% off at a going out of business sale, so I got a matching one for myself :o)
5. What special or unusual purchases did I make?
#1 is into football cards, so Dad purchased him a binder and sleeves to start collecting cards. We are in search of the elusive Tim Tebow rookie card......
6. What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
Amazingly....we were all pretty healthy this month!!!
My Main Squeeze's knee is still giving him fits. It's hurting more than it's not, and he knows if he goes to the doctor that surgery is on the horizon, and he just doesn't have time for it.
7. What were my accomplishments this month?
I was able to connect with some scrappers who were willing to participate in a blog feature about creativity for next month. I was able to recruit some new families for my Kindermusik classes, and we started them.
I started coaching #2's Upward basketball team. No, I'm not an athlete. I played basketball for 2 years in middle school - that's it. But when the league decided to split the divisions, it meant that #1 and #2 would be on 2 different teams, and my Main Squeeze volunteered to coach both teams. That's a lot. So in a moment of being out of my mind, I volunteered to coach, and I immediately started freaking out. I am way out of my comfort zone here. Fortunately, we have our practices laid out so that Main Squeeze can be at the last half of my practice to help, and so far it's working. It's a whole different world coaching 4 and 5 year olds...
I also painted the quote in the foyer!!! I've been wanting to do this for forever! Seriously, almost 2 years this idea has been stewing in my head.
My main squeeze also added a border of paver stones around our back patio. It adds so much. This was a brand new DIY project for him. Next is a fire pit!
8. What were my disappointments this month?
No, not any huge ones....
9. How did I do on my goals for the month? (Or any current short or long term goals)
I put some goals for the year here. I talked about wanting to get up a little earlier and going to bed a little earlier too. Basically by the time 11 pm rolled around, I tried to go to bed, and I did it for about 2 weeks, and I was still very tired every day. I haven't tried getting up any earlier. I also tried to do something enjoyable after the kids went to bed. Sometimes I'd play guitar or read a book or play a game or just enjoy TV. That was nice.
10. Anything else noteworthy to include?
While I was tracing the letters out for our foyer painting before I painted it, I had to stop and take a potty break. My son, #3 ran into the bathroom and said "Mom, you've gotta see what I did!!" proud as can be! I was thinking maybe he picked up his toys or built something with his blocks, then I saw he was pointing to the wall where I was working.......
He said, "It's picture of you and me. It looks pretty with your letters!"
Here's the layout I made for this roundup. Honestly, this is what has been keeping me from getting this post posted. I had a hard time getting all the journaling on the page. I actually only included 5 of the questions and shortened them up a lot! I still like it. This is more of the "every day life" than I've ever included in my scrapbooks.
(credits - inspired by Katie the Scrapbook Lady. Kit - Snow Day, a Pretty Scrappy designers collab kit. Template by Simply Yin - rearranged a bit by me.)