Plan to Finish

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Jonathan is standing beside several unfinished projects.

 

Each year starting in 2013 I have been choosing a word for the year. In fact it was a blog post by a fellow Tribe Writer called “Why you should have One Word for 2013” that got me started. Picking a theme word each year has really revolutionized my goal setting and how I keep up with it all.

I won’t bore you with all the details on how I’m not a list person and how before starting this method I gave myself way too many goals thus becoming overwhelmed and hardly accomplishing anything on the list at all. (Yes, I did just say all that in one breath!) 

Now I pick one simple word. A word that all my goals and aspirations can snuggle up to and get comfortable with. 

In 2013 my word was “Determined”. All that determination helped me get my writing off the ground. I finished my manifesto “Don’t Quit! Build a Legacy of Commitment“. Which you can download the pdf for free right here on my site. It was a really good year for my writing. 

That year I wrote a post about how my Life is Like a Boat. Despite all my determination I still felt unbalanced. I decided maybe if I chose the word “Organize” for 2014 I would find that balance. 

My family and I accomplished a lot in 2014. We got most of the house cleaned up. We traveled a lot without losing too many things. It was a very good organized year (at least organized for me). Even though things aren’t perfectly organized yet, it is better. I feel this past year was a successful year. We did so much more that we wouldn’t have done if I hadn’t even tried.

Now you are probably wondering about my word for 2015. 

I struggled to decide on a word. I started thinking about it in December as I was trying to do last minute organizing. One of the things I need to work on is making sure I keep my priorities straight. It sounds very noble. Make a list of the things that are the most important and focus on those things this year. However I couldn’t put my finger on why I didn’t quite feel that word working for me. As I tried to write down some things that I wanted to do this year using “Prioritize” as my key word my goals just looked flat.

My husband and I had our children list some things they wanted to accomplish this year. They wrote some pretty good goals and some lofty ones that will take them a lot of work to accomplish. Most of them were very good goals and they can achieve them all if they work hard at it.

New Year’s Eve my husband and I sat down with the kids and talked with them about their goals. I told them that one of the things I would like to see this year are goals actually being accomplished. I told them that if they set out to do a project I want to see those projects finished this year not just started.

Then my word for 2015 hit me between the eyes…”Finish”. My children are not the only ones that need to finish things. Suddenly my mind went to all the unfinished projects I have laying around the house. 

I never finished crocheting a blanket I started around 10 years ago. I’ve worked at it off and on (more off than on) but never finished it. I have a lot of blog posts just from this past year that I started writing but never finished. I have books that I planned to write and some I even started but never finished. 

I look back on my life and realized that a lot of those unfinished projects stem from a problem in my mind. Somewhere in my life I got into the bad habit of assuming things weren’t going to get finished. 

For way too long I have set myself up for failure.

This year I’m going to finish. I’m going to finish that blanket. I’m going to finish getting organized. I’m going to finish cleaning my house up. I’m going to finish writing a book. I’m going to finish the writing courses I started. I’m going to finish reading my Bible through. Everything I start I’m going to make plans to finish.

I’m going to help the kids finish their projects as well. This year will be very productive and I’m going to keep a list of every project we finish. 

I already know our Rock Solid Family will finish this New Year out strong. 

How about you? Do you have some goals for this year? If you were to summarize them into one word, what would that word be? I can’t wait to hear from you. Please share your word for the year in the comments

Together let’s make 2015 the best year yet!

Right now? I am going to finish taking down that Christmas tree!

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My Birthday, Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

I had to sing the title as I typed it. Well, at least that last part.

2013 was a wonderful year. I met and exceeded many of my goals. I wrote a book, attended a writer’s conference and ended the year with a clean kitchen.

Those who were following me at the beginning of last year might remember my word for 2013 was “determined”. I was determined all the way to the end to finish the year out strong.

Here are a few blog posts of note in 2013:

Why I Started the New Year with 1000 Kicks (We’re doing this again this year.)

Conquering the Chore Monster

How to Baby Proof a Kitchen in 8 “Easy” Steps I need to do another post like this with Elisabeth as a toddler. We have not put a baby gate up at all to our kitchen this year.

Finding Beauty in Imperfections

These are just a few to show what we have been up to during the year.

I also wrote a book “Don’t Quit: Build a Legacy of Commitment” which you can download for free here. You can also read the blog posts I wrote to go along with my book. I plan to finish the 31 Day Building Commitment series and write a more in depth book from that theme.

December was a very busy month. Our children were sick the week before Christmas. I caught it the day before my birthday. 

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Birthday Presents from My Husband and Kids

I shared this on Facebook about my Birthday.

“Thank you, everyone, for the Birthday greetings! I had a wonderful day. 

My younger children gave me one roller blade and a floaty.  Now I can skate on one foot in a swimming pool without drowning.

My oldest son gave me a beautiful necklace. And my husband took me out for dinner and bought me a Keurig.

When we came home we had birthday cake made by my kids, ice cream, and coffee made in my new Keurig.

I couldn’t have asked for a better day! — feeling loved with Scott Maness

I had quite a few comments asking, “What’s up with the one roller blade and the floaty?”

I promised to write a post about that and then immediately the busy-ness of the season set in and I never stopped to post the rest of the month. So I will now give you that explanation. 

My children have sweet, caring hearts even if at times they are a bit misguided in their efforts. They believe that a Birthday is not complete without a gift being given some time during the day.

My younger children felt bad that I didn’t already have a gift so they ran to their rooms and grabbed probably the first two things they found on their floors as a present to me. It just so happened that those two gifts were a roller blade and a deflated floaty which they wrapped in a baby blanket. 

They brought it to me and when I opened it I smiled and with all the excitement only a mother can give for such a gift, I exclaimed, “Wow! Now I can skate on one foot in a swimming pool and not drown!” I gave them all hugs and thanked them for the gift. 

My 15 year old son later in the day gave me a necklace he had bought a month earlier. I was very impressed by his having thought to get me a gift that far in advance. It was very sweet and a sign of his growing up. 

My husband took me out to eat and we shopped for Christmas presents and bought a Keurig for my birthday. I have only been drinking coffee off and on for about a year and a half now. Two years ago I would have never dreamed I would want a Coffee Maker for my birthday. It’s amazing how much we grow and change in just a few years.

We spent Christmas with my family and enjoyed seeing my sister and her family as well.

Did you have a good 2013? Are you as excited as I am about the things to come in 2014? What type of posts do you like to see on my blog? Is there anything you would like to see more of? Feel free to share your thoughts with me in the comments or if you follow my blog by email just hit reply if you would like to talk with me privately. 

It took me long enough to get this post written. I have quite a few goals for this year. My word for the year is “organize” and I’ll be sharing more about that soon. I will also tell you about the goals I have for this year. I’m looking forward to a lot of great things to come. 

Have a very blessed and productive New Year!!!

~~ Anastacia ~~

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Life is Like a Boat

You may be wondering where I have been. Well, life has been pretty busy lately and my blog has been down for right around a whole week. I have finished my book and will be sharing that with you tomorrow. But today I wanted to describe what my life is like.

My friend Pamela Hodges asked on her blog ipaintiwrite.com what life is like to us. She plans to put all submissions into a book. You can read more about her plans on the post “Tell me what life is like and be in my book“. I have been describing my life as a boat for a long time. So I’m going to share it with you today. And since I haven’t blogged in quite a while (try a whole month!!!) this post is very fitting as a prelude to my book launch tomorrow.

Art Credit: Scott K. Maness (2004)

Art Credit: Scott K. Maness (2004)

My life is like a boat. A leaky boat. It keeps taking on water.

I run over to one part of my boat realizing I neglected an area. I work diligently to fix the holes and bale out water.

Ah! Smooth sailing…

Then suddenly I look behind me… Oh, no! Another leak. In the process of fixing one area of the boat I forgot to see the damage in another area of the ship. I then have to run over there and fix that leak and bale out more water. 

There fixed! Life is good.

Uh oh! Yep, you guessed it. I’m constantly running in circles to fix up this rickety ship.

One day it’s the dishes starting to pile up. I get so upset about the mess that I work very diligently to get that mess cleaned up. It may take a few days but I’m back on target with the housekeeping. 

Then I turn around. Sometimes I don’t even turn around just someone warns me. You have a problem over here. Maybe it’s a problem one of my children are having. I leave everything else behind and focus on that problem. Great that child’s problem is solved. Even if it took a few weeks to resolve the issue, I’m happy with the results. 

But oh, no! I planned to have a book finished and given to you, my faithful followers, by the end of August. So I rush over to that part of life and try to get that resolved. I have so many things planned for my little part of cyber space. 

Anyway, you get the picture. And that is what life is like for me. I’m still on this same old rickety ship called “Life”. I’m beginning to see that it will always be this way.

I used to get very upset at the tipping and tossing by the waves. Once I accepted this ship that God has given me, I can now enjoy the ride.  

How about you? What is life like for you? Do you have trouble keeping everything in balance? Please tell me about it in the comments

Where am I at today on this boat? Well, the dishes are clean. The kids homeschooling got off to a pretty good start.

Where are the holes? Well, you have just witnessed me patching one up right now. I am finally posting this blog post after a month of neglect.
Over all? Life is pretty good since I have great ship-mates like you to share it with. :)

And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.   ~ Mark 4:37-39 

~~ Anastacia ~~

 

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How to Maintain a Clean Kitchen in 6 “Easy” Steps

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I spent a day this week with just my 4 younger children. Joshua and Ruth had gone to a nearby farm to help with their animals and to have riding lessons.

I had to drop them off. Leaving the younger 4 by themselves is a disastrous proposition not even worthy of consideration. (Okay, I admit I enjoyed putting that many big words into one simple sentence.) In other words I’m not leaving the little kids by themselves for even a minute.

I got them all up and the older children ate breakfast while the younger ones were scrounging around for their shoes.

We dropped their big brother and sister off for their riding lessons and I took the younger ones to a local store for honey buns and hot chocolate mix.

That was a fancy breakfast in their minds.

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After breakfast I decided to let them have a little free time while I worked on some lesson plans.

Jonathan and Hannah were pretty creative. Hannah made herself a mop lady and Jonathan a broom man.

Hannah named her new friend Jennifer. Jonathan said his was grandpa with a Mohawk and a cowboy hat.

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Elijah has been working on potty training. I have also been having to teach him not to be rough with Elisabeth.

In the above picture of Elijah and Elisabeth they are playing on our kitchen floor.

I’ve been managing to keep the kitchen clean. I try hard to keep every dish washed up after each meal. Sometimes there are a few left to be done before bed but not nearly as many as there used to be.

I have learned that there are a couple of things that help in being resolved to keep the kitchen clean.

1. You can’t expect anyone else to do it. I can tell my children to help but unless I show that I care and put forth some effort myself then no one else will.

2. Be determined. I tell myself that I’m not going to bed until every dish is clean. If I want to get to bed at a reasonable time I have to keep those dishes up throughout the day or I’d be up all night doing dishes.

3. Don’t make excuses.That popular saying going around that I used to listen to. “The dishes can wait they’re not going any where.”

That is true but unless you want those dishes to multiply into an embarrassing mess you better catch it while there is just a few. Otherwise you’re stuck playing catch up and believe me that is no fun. Keeping it up is much easier than catching it up.

4. Numbers don’t matter. Cleaning with 2 versus 6 kids? I’ve had only 2 kids before and now I have 6. I can actually speak from experience on this question.

With 2 children you don’t have as many helpers. Of course, they don’t make as big a mess either. Technically clean up is about the same with both.

With 6 kids there may be more dishes but you can assign them jobs that you would normally have to do if there were only 2 children.

5. Make it quality time. The same saying about the dishes not going anywhere is usually followed by “…but your children are only young once.” In other words, you should spend that time doing dishes and cleaning house with your children instead.

Okay, I’ve followed that advice before. I actually liked it. I much preferred spending quality time playing with my children to housekeeping. That’s why I had a messy kitchen for the past 2+ years.

I now have a new outlook on quality time. This year I’ve determined that I’d have even more quality time if the kids and I cleaned up the kitchen before we do other things.

And who says cleaning the kitchen isn’t quality time? If you think about it we are all in the room together. Why not teach my kids a new song while we’re cleaning.

Now with little ones particularly of the potty training years then I may have to leave the dishes for a moment to take care of an emergency.

If it’s a 6 month old wanting to be held. A clean floor with a pot lid and plastic spoon is a very fun toy. More fun than a brightly colored toy in fact.

6. Give the excess away. If I haven’t used a dish in over a year then I probably don’t need it. Give it away! Think of it as one less dish to wash. It’s also one more spot in the cabinet freed up for those dishes I do use.

Do you have any advice on keeping the kitchen clean? Or do you have a housekeeping question that you’re struggling with? I’d love to hear from you. Tell me what you think.

I’ll be posting again in another day or two. In that post I’ll be answering the frequently asked question, “When do you find time to write?” :-)

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