2012 in 2012 – Week 4

(Here is the first post in this series: Weeks 1-3) Here I am at the end of Week 4  and I have worked really hard to catch up! Actually, I must commend Diva as she was pretty selfless this week in her donating. It’s difficult sometimes to teach this to children, so I am so glad she is learning it early. At one point, she wanted to keep ALL of her clothing as she grew out of it “for her little girl.” I had to explain to her that an awful lot had to happen in order for her to be able to do that; not the least of which was the storage of all these items… We have compromised on a few of her favorite dresses instead of everything she has ever worn! She has also, on her own, decided to donate some of her puzzles and toys. She has come a long way. This coming week, we tackle LegoFan’s clothes…
Oh, we were blessed with our tax refund this week and we finally purchased a new blender! Yay! Our old one was so pathetic – the center part of the lid no longer stayed on by itself! So, even though we bought a new one, I’m still listing the old blender as a throw away. I am oh-so-glad to get rid of it!
So let’s see where we are as of the end of Week 4:
Donations:
  • 6 Puzzles
  • 1 Pair of Boots
  • 1 Pair of Dress Up Shoes
  • 1 Baseball Hat
  • 2 Head Bands
  • 1 Pair of Pants
  • 1 Small Purse
  • 1 Belt
  • 1 Play Wand
  • 1 Placemat (still looking for its counterpart…)
  • 1 Child’s Hat
  • 1 Wooden Crate
  • 1 Bag of Foam Pieces for a Foam Craft
  • 1 Christmas Garland
  • 13 More Ornaments
  • 8 Articles of Kids’ Clothing
  • 1 Christmas Stocking

Thrown Away:

  • 2 Pair of Tights
  • 2 Christmas Garlands
  • 1 Pair of Pajama Bottoms
  • 1 Broken Hanger
  • 1 Dragonfly Magnet with Broken Wing
  • 1 Pair of Socks
  • 1 Broken Flashlight
  • 1 Damaged Picture Frame
  • 1 Brush
  • 1 Rocking Chair (sad…)
  • 1 Ottoman (sad…)
  • 1 Broken Blender (oh happy day!)

Sold:

  • Nothing sold this week, but I listed a bunch of items on eBay tonight. So, hopefully by the time I write this next week, I will be able to add something to this category!

TOTALS:

  • Donated: 42 items
  • Thrown Away: 14 items
  • Sold: 0 items

Week 4: 1933 – 56 = 1877

Boy, I sure do like seeing that number go down! And as I sit here thinking about it, the new blender is really the only thing we brought into the house. Other than food and toiletries, etc.

But there is one more funny thing I want to add… Diva is really getting into the spirit of this project! She wanted to count every piece of paper she recycled too!

Now, I am off to get some sleep and enjoy a day of rest at Mass, with God, and with my family before I start to tackle LegoFan’s clothes…

How did your week go? Were you able to donate, sell or throw away anything to de-clutter your home? Tell us about it in the comments!

Encouragement

This time of year is a great time to examine the past and make changes for the future. It’s also a good time of year for organization. This post involves both!

I come across a lot of blogs that I really like and tend to sign up for every subscription I can find. It’s a sickness. I know. Is there a 12 Step program available?

So, every once in a while I need to take a look at all the email coming into my inbox. If my top priority is my family, I can’t justify spending that much time each day on email subscriptions. I unsubscribe from a few each time I do this to keep my email at a manageable level. I’m always hoping I won’t hurt someone’s feelings – it’s not personal really!

However, there’s one email that I always keep. I’ve been receiving Mrs. Lorrie Flem’s Eternal Encouragement Newsletter: Serenity for Your Soul for a while now and I enjoy reading each issue. I like them because they are short but packed with great tidbits; and because they live up to their name: they offer encouragement. Each newsletter begins with a personal anecdote from Lorrie that always manages to make me smile. In fact in one recent newsletter she mentioned she had a new weight loss plan. She wrote, ” Instead of changing my eating habits, I’m just switching my shower body wash for Dawn dish soap. Its label reads, “Dissolves fat that is otherwise difficult to remove.”” I laughed so hard! (And secretly wished that it actually worked that way!)

I love all the little things Lorrie includes in her newsletter. There are helpful hints, Biblical stories and applications, family anecdotes, quotes, and more. But you don’t have to take my word for it, you can sign up for the newsletter yourself on the Eternal Encouragement website. Just scroll about halfway down the homepage and the sign up is right there. It’s quick, easy, and (most importantly) free! Once you sign up, you will also receive a free ebook on Organization. Not a bad deal, eh? Check it out! And enjoy the Encouragement!

This review is part of the Gabby Moms program. I was asked for my honest review of this free newsletter. None of the links included are affiliate links; and other than the newsletter, I have not been compensated for this post. I read the newsletters myself and my opinions are entirely my own.

Chocolate Waffles – Pinning It Down {3}

This week I was looking forward to pinning a few things down. This link-up party has really made me think about doing these things on pinterest NOW instead of some arbitrary day in the future. The only problem? We can’t seem to kick this cold – it’s been passed around from Diva to LegoFan to me, and back to LegoFan. And the only person who can’t seem to get rid of it completely is me. So glad my family shares with me!

So, instead of pinning down a couple of things during the week, I found myself looking for a recipe for Sunday night’s dinner. I had promised Diva that we could have waffles a few days earlier, as we enjoy breakfast for dinner! But the problem was that I had lost my favorite waffle recipe when I lost everything on my hard drive this summer. It was from Crystal Paine’s (Money Saving Mom) Make Ahead Batters {Crystal, if you read this, how do I get another copy of your wonderful book?} Boy, do I miss that recipe… It was quick, simple, and delicious. Can anyone help a Mama out?

Anyway, I found this recipe for Chocolate Waffles and decided to give them a try. After all, I also needed some serious comfort food after the Ravens lost that game. What heartbreak! I mean really, that WAS a catch in the end zone. They should have gone for the tie field goal the first time. Then, they should have made that last field goal. I mean, who misses a 32-yard field goal, especially when the Super Bowl is on the line?! But I digress…

So, as I was saying I made Chocolate Waffles from here. They were relatively easy to make, but did require three separate bowls to make the batter. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but when you’re physically not feeling up to par and your team’s no longer going to the Super Bowl, well, three to clean is just too much. But, they were delicious.

Here they are right after they came out of the waffle iron:

And here they are after we added the necessary topping:

I was told by both children that this was a “keeper!” So I guess we will be making them again. I’m looking forward to seeing what everybody else Pinned Down this week!

This post is linked to Pinning It Down.

2012 in 2012 – Weeks 1-3

The other day I was visiting At Home, At Work, At Play and this is what I saw (Catalina gave me permission to use her graphic – thanks!):

Catalina had started a quest to get rid of 2012 things in the year 2012. Here is that original post. I told her that I really liked this idea and was going to tackle this as a goal for myself and my family – although the family members in question are unknowingly participating. The problem is that when I do the math that comes out to almost 40 items per week! And I’m three weeks behind…
Now I have 41 items to get rid of each week. Sigh. I still think it’s a doable goal though. Between the four member of this family, we can purge enough to make this goal a realistic one. So, here I go:
Donations:
  • 2 pair of pants
  • 12 articles of kids’ clothing
  • 32 kids’ rubber stamps
  • 1 teddy bear
  • 1 tree topper
  • 26 small Christmas tree ornaments
  • 1 doll

Thrown Away:

  • 1 pair of tights

Sold:

  • 1 book
  • 1 collectable catalog
  • 1 fairy ornament

Totals

  • Donated:75 items
  • Trashed: 1 item
  • Sold: 3 items

Weeks 1-3 ~ 2012 – 79 = 1933

As of January 20th, 2012 I have removed 79 items from my home. The problem is I have no idea how many items made their way into my house. I suppose I should keep track of that too, but that may become too depressing. The idea is that we should get rid of more than we bring in, so that there is a net loss at the end of the year. However, I wouldn’t look at it as a loss…

It would be a gain of space. Less clutter means more open space in which to live and breathe.

It would be a gain of time. Less stuff means fewer things to clean, dust, and launder.

It would, in a way, be a gain of money. I would be spending less on cleaning, laundering supplies if I had fewer things. (Ok, maybe that one’s a stretch, but it feels good to put that in there.)

So, will anyone else join me on this journey? Let me know in the comments. If I get a couple of people, perhaps I can look into putting a linky-thing on here in the coming weeks so we can support each other in this endeavor. Who’s with me?

This post is linked to Titus 2sdays, Women Living Well, and  Raising Homemakers.

Contentment

As this holiday season comes to a close with Epiphany, I find myself reflecting on how this last month or two went. As I think, I realize that this has been one of the best Christmases ever.

  • It wasn’t because I got the best gifts.
  • It wasn’t because we hosted the best parties.
  • It wasn’t even because we attended the best parties.
  • It wasn’t because we had the best clothes.
  • It wasn’t because all the food turned out great.

I am realizing that for the first time, I really put Christ in CHRISTmas.Here’s how:

  • We participated in Holy Heroes Advent Adventure;
  • We took my daughter’s doll cradle and some shredded paper (added for acts of kindness and sacrifice) and made a bed for Baby Jesus;
  • We wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a Manger;
  • We followed the genealogy of Jesus with a homemade Jesse Tree:
  • We celebrated the lives and Feast Days of some Saints who loved Jesus long before we were alive – we discovered we can learn a lot from their faith and example!
  • We made many of our gifts, removing ourselves from the malls (we did go to a couple of stores, but were determined not to participate in the madness);
  • We made Christmas Eve Mass a priority – it was something special – we arrived early and didn’t rush out. We lingered. We studied the beautiful Creche. Then we went home and read The Night Before Christmas, but the last thing we did as a family was to read the Nativity story from the Gospel of Luke.

It was such a beautiful time this year. There was no stress. There were no worries about the ‘perfect’ gift. There was just family and love. From the First and Holy family, to our immediate and extended family.

I am convinced now that this is a lot closer to the way things are supposed to be. It’s amazing that the more I let go of the way the world thinks I should do something, the more I feel at peace. How about you? How did you make your Christmas season centered more around Christ? Happy Feast of Epiphany!