Monday, January 31, 2011

January Update

Wow, can you believe it's the end of January already?!! Crazy . . . Actually, part of the month seemed to go by fast, and the last week or two went by more slowly. I didn't mind, since usually times seems to fly by all too fast, anyway. :)

I'm hoping to post a little update at the end of each month to help keep myself accountable in working toward my goals. January was a fairly good month; I worked on establishing some habits, had some successes, and of course, some failures. :) Here's how things went:

Spiritual: I was able to see some definite improvement with my morning quiet time! I still didn't make time for it every single day, but I'm getting there. :) I was able to start memorizing Scripture (inspired and blessed by His Word in My Heart!) and so far I have made it through the first 7 verses of Titus. This is the first book I'm going to memorize, and I have been encouraged to find that I'm actually retaining the verses as I review them again and again.

Physical: Well, the weight is coming off slower than I'd hoped . . . it's been up and down, and the grand total lost for this month is less than a pound!! :( But on the positive side, I'm been making good progress with my exercise routine. I started out the month with a goal of doing about 15 minutes a day on the elliptical. I was quickly able to increase this to about 20-21 minutes (sometimes a little longer), 4-5 days a week. This gives me about a mile per day. For February, I'm planning to increase my time by about 5 minutes a day. My grand totals for January (yes, I'm keeping track! :)) were:
  • Time: 7 hrs. 2 minutes
  • Miles: 19.87
  • Calories burned: 8,220 (including 2,562 fat calories)

Mental: I accomplished my goal of reading two books this month! Actually, I even finished a third one that I'd started in December. I read America by Heart (by Sarah Palin) and it was excellent. It was neat to learn more about her personal values and faith, and also learn a lot about American political history . . . I especially appreciated all the Ronald Reagan quotes. :) The other books I read were fiction: The Talisman Ring by Georgette Heyer, and The Final Crumpet by Ron & Janet Benrey. Both were light, enjoyable reads. I plan to read two more books this month. On my list are What in the World is Going On? by David Jeremiah ("serious") and Sidetracked Home Executives by Pam Young and Peggy Jones (nonfiction, but I'm classing it under "fun" because of their fun writing style :))

Financial: I'm ashamed to say I failed miserably on this one! I started off with a bang, keeping track of my spending, and fizzled out quickly. We did succeed in one point--we paid for almost everything this month (groceries, etc.) with cash rather than debit. And even though I wasn't keeping track, I'm pretty sure we kept under budget on the biggies like food. Obviously this is a category where I need to buckle down and work harder in February!!

Relational: I also didn't do so well in this area. One of my biggest goals was to have people over at least once a month for supper. We tried to have friends over twice and it didn't work out, so we will try again next month! I did better at spending more time with the kids . . . we did lots and lots of reading together since we were back to our normal school routine, we cooked together, played games . . . this was our "no movie month" (or maybe I should say "lo-movie month, since we "cheated" a few times :)), and I could tell that helped all of us get more creative and have lots more family chatter. It was wonderful! Jim and I also

Domestic: This is a work in progress. I feel like it's one step forward, two steps back! I have a LONG way to go, but I am finding things that work for me, little by little. Hoping to see more improvement next month!! Oh yes, I did tackle one long-put-off chore today. Cleaning my dishwasher. Ew. How can something that washes dishes so nicely get so nasty in all the little nooks and crannies? It wasn't pretty, I can assure you. It is MUCH better now.
In other news . . . Julia is going to have another tooth pulled tomorrow (one that is wiggly from when she had surgery back in October, and the gum is infected) . . . please pray that all goes smoothly with that, and for safety as we travel an hour there and back in the snow. Dr. B is going to just do it at the office, which is a blessing.

Jim has had work for the past three weeks and we are so thankful. Please pray for us if you think of it, that another job will come along soon! The work he has had this month was all inside, which was another big blessing . . . especially since we had several very cold days!!

School has been going SO well this month. I will do a separate homeschooling update very soon, but after taking off almost all of December, it was fun to jump back into school. We managed to do 5 days every week and are on track to finish mid-May if we continue on at this rate. It has been exciting to see Sam's reading skills really taking off lately, too!!

I have tried a few wonderful new recipes in the past couple weeks . . . hopefully I'll get a post up about them soon, also. I also had a cooking flop where I made a batch of bread (4 loaves) with no salt in it. Amazingly, it still rose . . . and after a meal or two of complaints about the "yucky" bread from the kids, they settled down and decided they might as well eat it since I told them I wasn't making anymore till it was gone. Today we were down to about a half dozen more slices from that batch, whereupon I discovered it was all moldly (hmmm, I guess salt-less bread molds faster too!), so I gave in and made a new batch, making sure to include the salt this time. I'm sure the kids will be very happy to have good bread again tomorrow!

I got some good deals this month. I ordered a pair of Carhartt jeans for .41!!! A while back I became a "fan" of Sierra Trading Post on Facebook. We love STP because of their great deals, and also because it's a Christian company. We have ordered a lot from them over the years . . . anyway, long story short, I commented on a question they put up for their fans, where they had hinted that they might send some of the commenters a gift card. I was quite surprised and excited when I received an e-gift card for $25!!!! Found some jeans on a good deal with cheap shipping, and after the gift card my grand total was .41. So cool! We also turned in some used ink cartridges at Staples last month, and last week we received $20 in Staples rewards, which we in turn used to buy photo paper and one of those little memory stick thingies. I love deals!

Well, this post has gotten long-winded enough and I'm going to be bad and hit "publish" without linking to any of the books or things I've mentioned, because I'm just too tired to mess with it tonight. Leave me a comment if you need a link to anything and I can add one later. :) Hope you're all having a wonderful week so far!


Mary Ann said...

Sounds like you are making great progess with your goals! And don't worry about that one step forward two steps back thing; it's part of being human :-)
I've never heard of Sierra Trading Post. I may have to check them out!

Mindee said...

We are praying for Julia today! Good to hear everything else is going well!

Diana said...

I remember a batch of pinwheel bread without salt's amazing what a difference that one little thing makes in the taste!