Friday, January 31, 2014

What I'm Into this Month- January 2014

Don't you love how I proclaim my inability to be quiet and then go silent for almost two months? Yeah, me too.

January has been a pretty busy month for me. I feel kind of behind, because I didn't really sit down to think about my goals for the year as I usually do, but I did choose a word (or maybe it chose me?) and I hope to be able to share about that sometime soon! (I guess maybe choosing a word kind of eliminates the need to make a huge list of goals. It is the filter through which every decision can be made as it comes. Kind of a nice change!) It's actually working out nicely for me, and I keep seeing God reveal this chosen theme in different areas. He is so good!

Here's a hint at what my word might be: I've joined this 2,014 in 2014 challenge where you get rid of 2,014 items in (you guessed it) 2014. I've just grown so tired of being disorganized and cluttered and weighed down by all the unnecessary items in our (tiny) home. I've been so drawn to the idea of minimalism- especially since my brain tends to get overwhelmed with too many choices. I mean, why do we really need so much stuff? I think it gives the illusion of prosperity, but it's a lie. You can't be prosperous when your stuff is sucking the life out of your home. When you don't have space to create or relax or whatever it is you do with your space...when your stuff is not contributing to your well the instance of hanging on to items that don't work, or that don't work for you (I'm looking at YOU, pre-motherhood clothes!)
A box of items that no longer live here. Yay!

Anyway, that decluttering journey has begun. I've started to donate items to a local women's center, as well as hauling stuff to Goodwill. And some stuff (you know, like trash) is just going in the trash. That counts too.

Books- Well, I have turned into quite the slow reader. (It may have something to do with a busy toddler I know...hmm.) I am still reading Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids. Matter of fact, I renewed it from the library twice, and then checked it out again. That's how quickly I'm getting through it. It's a great book, and I'm getting a lot of good tips from it and gaining understanding about my own behavior as well as that of my children. I just can't seem to get through it with any speed. I might read more quickly if I could read more than five minutes every three days or so. Ah well. I will finish it. Eventually.

Want to Read- I cracked open Teach Your Own (try as I might to commit to reading one book at a time!), and so far that's pretty interesting. I really love reading books about homeschooling. It's so eye opening- especially being that my husband and I both attended public school- and we literally knew two families who homeschooled before embarking on our own journey with our children!

Television- Ah...well Downton Abbey is BACK! I have church on Sunday night, so I don't get to be home to watch it when it airs, but God bless PBS. They stream it for free online, meaning I am able to watch it the next day. And I can pause it too! I think we all know why that comes in handy. I've never been so sucked into a television show as I have with DA. It's so not my style to be obsessed with a television show, but I love following the lives of these fictional people. And then? Then once I've finished an episode, I have to follow it up with reading someone's commentary on the episode. I can quit when I want to. ;-)

Films- Akeelah and the Bee is streaming on Netflix now. That was such a great movie! I love watching stories about unlikely-seeming people with a gift who triumph over their circumstances. It helps that I LOVE words. I shared this quote from it on my Facebook page a while back: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~Marianne Williamson

So inspiring!

I also watched a documentary called The Cartel- about the school system in New Jersey. Umm...scary! Films like this make me so glad we chose the homeschooling route- not saying schools are necessarily like this everywhere (I know they're not- at least not to that extent), but to think that there could be that kind of corruption lurking in a place where we send our children to learn? No, thanks. We were warned. The love of money is the root of all evil. It's even more terrible when people can't resist the temptation when precious children are involved.

In My Kitchen- Bread! Lovely bread. Baked by yours truly. I've been using this recipe as a guide, and trust me when I say, it's delicious! (I've tweaked it a bit, using bread flour instead of whole wheat- actually the last few batches I've baked, I've used about a cup of whole wheat flour and it's really good. The time I used all whole wheat flour, no one was really impressed.) I'm still soaking it to release the nutrients, and that seems to be a good thing. Everyone seems to be tolerating it well. (If you have read for long, you might remember that I had to eliminate wheat from my diet when I was nursing my daughter- well I did the same with my newest addition- now going on 20 months old- and I introduced soaked bread with no issues. He even eats it just fine.)

Not bad for my very first bread attempt! Was delicious!
 Anyway, this bread reminds me of the fresh bread that is served at some restaurants. Only better. Mmm...bread!

Also? Helpers! Why didn't I get on this bandwagon sooner? I had read an article recently and one of my take-aways from it was the importance of allowing children to learn to do things that benefit their family. Learning to do things for themselves and how it builds their confidence. Genius! Ha. I know I've had the tendency to simply do things because I want it done a certain way (not thinking about how I might be hindering their growth) and it's "easier" to just do it myself. But I've been so blessed by my children's willingness to help out and how it actually frees me up somewhat. (And it helps them, of course!)
My little workin' man!

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month- My husband is celebrating a birthday! That's exciting. Not sure what we will do to celebrate just yet. I will have to come up with something. Also, my oldest boy will begin taking karate classes. Super exciting!

So tell me, what are YOU into this month?

Linking up here: