Holiday Grand Plan Week Four.

September 16, 2008 § 1 Comment

The Official Holiday Grand Plan started on August 31.  In order to accommodate the Advent season I have started earlier, and I hope to have everything in order and ready for a calm and spiritual Advent season.

This week is the post for week four, delayed but not forgotten.

This week the Master Bedroom is getting a good cleaning.   

Week Two follow up: The past two weeks have been a bit “up in the air” for me with us starting schooling and with Kyle being gone.  So far so good though.  The cleaning schedule is going well and the planning is starting to really take shape.

Week Three: Cleaning:  The Master bedroom.  Since the children aren’t allowed to play in our room it is the cleanest and most organised room in our home.   Easy week this week.

Preparing for the Holidays:  If you are going to order Christmas cards this is a good time to starting thinking about that.  We are looking at getting family pictures made later this month.  It is a good time to get a photo sitting, it takes time to get photos back and near the holidays appointments are at a premium.

Planning:  The Offical Grand Plan has recomendations for this week.  My list is a little different since we started a couple weeks earlier.

Gifts: I have a list and am checking it twice.  I want to sew pajamas this year.  The fabric stores are getting in their holiday fabrics and the craft stores are stocking up as well.  I will start the purchasing for gifts to buy in two weeks. 
Cards: This week I start working on my cross stitch cards.
Parties: No planning for parties this week.
Menus: No Holiday menu planning this week.
Decorating: No decorating this week.
Baking: I have my cookie and candy lists and I am starting to watch for sales for thing I will need. 
Devotionals: We are considering a Jesse Tree this year – I have a couple websites that I have been looking at for this.  I want to have an Advent Calendar, an Advent Wreath and an Advent Chain – I purchased a calendar last year that will be useable this year.  We have the items for the wreaths and the chain.  I would like to print out prayer books for the Advent Season – I am keeping my eyes open for art work for these.
Traditions: Nothing really planned for this week.

Things keep moving along. Next week I will start adding in some of the fall plans (whoopee).

Holiday Grand Plan Week Three.

September 4, 2008 § 3 Comments

The Official Holiday Grand Plan starts on August 31.  In order to accommodate the Advent season I have started earlier, and I hope to have everything in order and ready for a calm and spiritual Advent season.

We had a fantastic trip last weekend and we have started schooling again.  This is the third week for the Grand Plan, The Entry/Foyer week.  Since my house is a little different than the Grand Plan I am also adding my laundry room to the list. 

Week Two follow up: My time away gave me a chance to think about the Questions from last week.   I made notes in my planner to help me keep our goals in mind.  We want to be sure that this year we emphasise the spiritual and play down the material, focusing on “special times” not “special things”. 

Week Three: Cleaning:  The entry/foyer/laundry room is my focus this week. 

Preparing for the Holidays:  Check out the holiday prep items.  This week I am making plans for the holiday baking.  Each year I like to make six types of cookies and three candies.  By deciding what we will make this week I can keep my eyes open for sales and stock up on the good stuff when it goes on sale.  I also need to check my craft supplies to see if there is anything I have on hand that should be used so I am not buying what I own.

Planning:  The lists continue to get fleshed out as I work on them.

Gifts:  I am starting to think of specific gifts for the people on my lists. 
Cards: I need to get patterns for the cross stitch cards and then start looking into cards for the rest of my list.
Parties: We will be doing our Christmas eve party.  I am still thinking about how we want to do this.
Menus: I want to have some freezer meals made for when things get a little nutty near the holidays.
Decorating: Everything seems to be in good shape from last year.  I haven’t checked the lights, but I will do that once they go on sale again.
Baking: I need the cookie and candy list finished. 
Devotionals: We are considering a Jesse Tree this year.  I want to have an Advent Calendar, an Advent Wreath and an Advent Chain.  I would like to print out prayer books for the Advent Season.
Traditions: Are we going to need tickets for special events? When do they go on sale? which things do we definitely want to do?  Still working on this.  Zoo lights and maybe the Nutcracker with my mom.

Again I have to keep reminding myself that the goal isn’t to blow Chritmas bigger it is to make the planning easier.  Hope everyone has a great week.

Holiday Grand Plan Week Two.

August 27, 2008 § 1 Comment

The Official Holiday Grand Plan starts on August 31.  In order to accommodate the Advent season I have started earlier, last week, and I hope to have everything in order and ready for a calm and spiritual Advent season.

The weather has been cooler this week and I have been busy so far.  Getting things ready for Back to school(ing) and getting ready for the end of summer cabin trip has taken up a bit of time.  This week is Question Week, one of my favorite aspects of planning.   

Week One follow up: The children and I did a good scrub-a-dub on the porch and Kyle helped with re organising the area.  I have a list of outdoor maintenance items that need attended to next month and my lists have been created. 

Week Two: Cleaning:  This week we come indoors.  Here is where my cleaning list departs from the Official Grand Plan list.  And really, that is ok.  My house is laid out differently than the person who made the list.  I don’t have a guest room, master bath or family room.  I do have a home office and if I tried to fit both children’s rooms into one week I would go more than a little batty.  So we switch it up a bit.  This week I am actually NOT doing a room.  Basically because I am going to be gone most of the week.  If you are doing this along with me you might want to take a look at the cleaning schedule that the grand plan uses and think through how to make it work for you home.  We all have different houses and no one list is going to work for everyone.

Preparing for the Holidays:  Taking stock.  Every year I go out after the Holiday’s and snag a few rolls of paper, a bag or two of ribbons and maybe some cute tags and gift bags.  I also try to hit the art supply store and catch their clearance racks in late November and then again after Christmas.  But all of that won’t do me a bit of good if I don’t take the time to figure out what I have and where it is.  So my big thing for preparing for the holidays this week is checking out what I’ve already got on hand for Christmas and Advent.

Planning:  Last week I made up my basic lists this week I am fleshing them out and adding to them.  We also have some questions to think about.

Gifts:  What are we buying and how much are we spending and how important is the whole “gift thing” anyhow?   (insert anti-consumerism rant here).  What gifts am I making? 
Cards: How many cards do I need?  Which cards am I cross stitching?
Parties: We will be doing our Christmas eve party.  Is there anything we want to do differently?
Menus: What can I do ahead?  What are the menus for the feast days? If there are any new recipes I want to try for the big Holiday meals I want to make them at least once before hand.
Decorating: Do I know where my decorating stuff from last year is?  Do I need to replace anything?  Is there anything new I would like?
Baking: I need the cookie and candy list finished.  What gifts am I baking?
Devotionals: What worked in years past?  What didn’t? How can we focus more fully on Christ during the Advent season?  When I get home I am goingto be looking around online for some new ideas.  Are there any books I want to look through?
Traditions: Are we going to need tickets for special events? When do they go on sale? which things do we definitely want to do?

The goal for this week is to get the “theme” of Christmas set.  Note, this isn’t some marathon planning session where I decide in nitty gritty detail what each moment of each day will be.  Nor is the idea to blow Christmas into the focus of the next 12 weeks.  The goal is to set aside a small amount of time for Christmas/Advent planning early enough that I am not stressed and rushing around during Advent.  The other thing I like about the “Grand Plan” is that I will be able to hit each area of my home for a deep clean/organization session.   In theory I would do this anyway, but in practice it doesn’t get done unless I plan for it.

Holiday Grand Plan Week One.

August 20, 2008 § 8 Comments

The Official Holiday Grand Plan starts on August 31.  In order to accommodate the Advent season I am starting earlier, this week, and I hope to have everything in order and ready for a calm and spiritual Advent season.

Week One
It is the middle of August and December Holidays and the cold and snow of winter seem a million miles away, but we all know that they are right around the corner.  It is also a busy time for moms.  School is starting, the summer is ended, there are peaches to preserve and weeds to pull and all those small projects that need doing in between squeezing in a last bit of summer fun or beating off the late summer heat. 

Cleaning:  The front porch is the space on the agenda this week.    While I am outside looking at my front porch I am also looking around the outside of the house and making some notes for the fall maintenance.  The cleaning list linked above is a good place to start. 

Planning:  I use my family planning notebook instead of a separate holiday planner.  This is called “List week” because you are setting up your lists.  I have the following that I am making:

Gift list – who we are shopping for
Card list – collect and update addresses
Parties – which parties we will host
Menus – menus for the holiday meals we will be hosting and rough menus for the Holiday season.
Decorating – plan for decorating for Advent and Christmas
Baking – plan for the baking needs for gifts and goodies
Devotionals – what devotionals will we be doing during Advent/Christmas and what supplies we will need
Traditions – things we enjoy doing as a family or things we might want to experience this year for the first time.

The main goals of the lists at this point are to decide a rough budget and space out the shopping for the Holidays, make sure that we have things we need ready (no shopping for Advent Candles the day after Thanksgiving), and to just get a handle on things.

I am not printing out additional calendar pages, because my master planner has the calendar in it already.   Most lists I make on the computer and then print out lists that I need for my dayrunner or my family planning notebook as needed.

Christmas and Advent 2008

August 5, 2008 § 1 Comment

I walked into Fred Meyer’s the other day and tucked away near the cards and the books was the first Christmas display, the American Greetings ornaments I believe.   Normally I am rather perturbed by the consumer driven tendency to market Christmas earlier and earlier each year, but this year I looked at it and thought about how dizzying the Advent/Christmas season is.  Every year I hope to be more organised and for the last few years I have note of “The Holiday Grand Plan” which starts holiday planning in the last week of August and finishes it in the main planning endeavors by the middle of December. 

Normally I forget all about the “Grand Plan” until mid October.  This year I actually remembered about it early enough to bump it back two weeks so I can use it for Advent and Christmas.  I plan to bump the Grand Plan back to August 17 and “Tweak” it so that I can focus on Advent too.

$100 a week for groceries

July 30, 2008 § 4 Comments

I found this article over at Old Fashioned Girl and read the original MSN article

A family of four eating on $100 a week for a month I believe.   I agree with a lot of what Amandasaid.  The woman in the story is spoiled and it shows.  She also knows this is an “experiment” not a way of life.  I  had to wonder what their normal diet is like when I read  “By midweek, we were all a little sick of rice and potatoes. By the end of the week, I never wanted to see another raisin, carrot, pretzel or piece of puffed rice again. ”  Seriously?   What kind of snacks do they normally have?  It seemed odd to me.  The article is worth reading at least for the “welcome to the real world” factor.   Nothing ground breaking or even inspiring to me, but it did make me giggle.

Today’s To Dos

July 14, 2008 § Leave a comment

Here is my “to do” list for Monday, July 14.


Andreas Achenbach – Morning In The Potinian Marches

Lucky room of the day: The kitchen
Special project: Simple Summer Fling

Laundry… as much as I can
Unpack from camping
menu plan
work on “room by room” checklists
work on homeschool plans
go to the library & park
garden
read
work on new blog roll
work on website project.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook – June 30

June 30, 2008 § 4 Comments


the Simple Woman’s Daybook
is hosted by Peggy at the Simple Woman.

FOR TODAY June 30, 2008

 
Outside My Window…  The weekend started out very hot; yesterday there were thunder storms and a bit of rain.  Today is supposed to be warm and nice.  The sky is hazy, the trees and grass still have a sheen from the rain and sew.
I am thinking… About the idea that I need to work on follow through more.  I am really good at planning – the follow through not so much.
I am thankful for… My Dad.  His birthday was yesterday and we had BBQ at his house.  So much fun.
From the kitchen… I need to make some bread.  This week  I will also be making cookies, lemon bars and a cake.
I am wearing…  Black skirts and a t-shirt.
I am creating… I am cutting out two aprons today to sew up.
I am going…  To work on my Summer Fling today.  This has been a great thing for me, I have been organizing the shelves in my house that don’t get attention otherwise.
I am reading…  Laundry, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norell and It’s All Too Much. 
I am hoping…  That the forth is nice.
I am hearing… Cars this morning.  People heading out to drive into town to work
Around the house… I need to get to work deep cleaning the kitchen.
One of my favorite things… My jewlery box.  It folds in on itself like a puzzle box. 
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Sew some, we are going to do a short summer school unit on Independence day.
Here is picture thought I am sharing…


the kiddos last summer at the cabin

Catholic Homemaking

June 18, 2008 § 4 Comments

 

One of the recurring themes on this blog has been Catholic Homemaking.  That is a natural reflection of who I am, this blog is a journal of sorts and an outlet for my rather overactive brain to explore things that are important to me.  My husband and I were joking the other day about what a husband wants from a wife, the cliché sex, cooking, cleaning and rearing children was tossed out and we both laughed.   I suppose it is the flip side of the idea that women want to marry someone who will be a good provider and a good father.  Stereo types, not the whole store, but still relevant in a sense.  

A husband and wife are the ultimate sacramental partnership.  Together they guide their household.  Someone has to do the cooking, cleaning, changing diapers, educating the children, handling the bills and the shopping, bringing home the paycheck or running the business, both partners need security and intimacy.  How exactly the day to day work of living breaks down from couple to couple is entirely up to them.  I certainly don’t have the answers for everyone — actually I am pretty sure there is no one single answer but I have noticed that people tend to fall into certain groups.  The duel income families, the ultra-traditional families, the two-very-independent partners families all seem to have a great deal of trouble relating to one another.  Every family has decided on its own prioities and it can be difficult to respect the point of view of others when their priorities are far off from your own.  

I would hope that anyone reading this who would flinch at the fact that I often write from a more traditional point of view would realize that this is a reflection of choices that my husband and I made long ago and are very happy with.  We have chosen a life style that reflects our priorities and tastes.  I certainly wouldn’t say that anyone should agree with me or that if they don’t they are making some grand mistake.   And I am sorry, trying to post comments with negative critics on my faith or life style choices are not going to convince me to change my faith or any other aspect of my life.  

So I write always from my own perspective.  I am Roman Catholic, I am primarily a homemaker, I homeschool four of my children, I have a little cottage business, I keep this blog, I am crazy about my husband and very blessed by my children.   Most of what I write is for me.  I write to help organize my thoughts, improve my life, record where I have been and occasionally rant about things in the culture around me.  I hope you enjoy your visit here.

 

 

 

The Simple Summer Fling

June 18, 2008 § Leave a comment

After getting horrible side tracked the last week.  I am starting my Simple Summer Fling: One small step at a time.  It offically begins on Monday,  June 23rd.

The goal to reorganize 30 small areas of my house over the next 6 weeks.

The important points:

One — This is summer I don’t want to get bogged down reorganizing the entire kitchen in one day.

Small— one shelf, one drawer, half a closet, the top of the entertainment center.  Something that can be tackled and done in less than half an hour.

Consistant — A little each day will go a long way.

Thoughtful — I want to be sure to assess what the area’s problem is before I take it on.

Accountability — Yes, I am going to be posting before and after shots for this one.

That is it.  As with the trash-bag challenge feel free to adapt this to your own situation and if you want to join in send me a link to your blog or leave a comment here.

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