Thursday, June 30, 2011

Goals Progress Report : a post to help you feel very good about yourself :)

Even if you fall on your face, you're still moving forward.
Victor Kiam

As Heroine Worshipper so tactfully pointed out in his comment on my post, um. . .<cough, cough> 5 months ago, the blogging thing hasn't been working out so good.

I love the story about Sis. Hinckley's personal scripture study project. She reported to her daughter: “I have a new project to read one chapter a day from each of the standard works. I’ve been on it four days and I’m only three days behind.”  Gosh, it helps to know I'm in good company. :)

But rest assured, I have not given up! Never, never, never!

goals logo


I want to share with you just how progress on my goals has gone through this mad, wonderful year so far. You will leave my blog greatly encouraged, I hope.

(Plus, I spent a lot of time on that gorgeous graphic to the left, and darn it, I want it to get USED!)

What can I say? My charity never faileth. :)



~ Daily scripture study and prayer

This is perhaps the ONLY goal going well. And, oh crumb, I just realized I haven't done it yet today. . . arg.


~ Develop my romance with DC – ENJOY :)

Hmmmm. . . . things are going better than a year ago. It is awesome to have Exacto old enough to babysit--we've started going on REAL dates again! Still plenty of room for improvement. DC has a funny quote: "We interrupt this marriage for the raising of children." It's not THAT bad, but I think we are at the peak of our family's parenting demands right now. Any suggestions for how to stay close when you're both up to your eyeballs in real life?


~ Consistency in time with Exacto, Fluffy, and Hummer – ENJOY

Super Kid dates, piano lessons, one-on-one time after school (stations), reading books together, paydays, etc.

Doing pretty well here, too. My friend Suzanne asked about how we do the "stations." After school is normally insanity here. If any of you have more than one child in school you know exactly what I'm talking about. Why is life such that dinner must be made at the same time as a toddler's natural fussiness which is also the same time that one must go through reams of paper daily, signing, deciding where to put, checking calendar, etc. etc. plus deal with homework, practicing, etc.? It is the bewitching hour. ('Cuz I get be-witched! Get it? :)

Anyway, we have a little system that has helped. It's a little OCD, but the boys seem to enjoy it, and I definitely do. They rotate through stations, and we set the timer for 10 minutes per station.

Station 1 = chocolate milk and rest (IF you finished your chores before school)

Station 2 = show Mom your papers and tell her about your day (this is awesome because it's one-on-one and I can really look at what they've been doing)

Station 3 = play with Rosebud (this is the most brilliant part - fun for both of them and frees my attention)

Any homework needs to be done before or after this time. Practicing starts at 4:30pm, and finishing that is your ticket to dinner. (We follow Suzuki's credo that you don't need to practice everyday, just on the days you eat).

~ Spend some time “with” Benjamin once a week, either visiting his grave or working on one of his scrapbooks

Ouch. Ever since our church meetings switched to 9-12, we are STARVING after church and Rosebud is near exhaustion, so the cemetery tradition has fallen by the wayside. I do try to head back out there in the afternoon while she's asleep. No scrapbook progress. Zero. It feels okay, though. I'm not worrying about it, just a little wistful.

~ ENJOY Rosebud – Help her get on a sleep/daytime routine. Start reading to her and singing to her regularly.

Woohoo! I am happy to report that after a ludicrous amount of time (months, literally!) studying and preparing using Sheyne Rowley's Dream Baby Guide book, I implemented the system in March, and it worked like magic. I could kiss Sheyne Rowley, and I fully intend to if I ever meet her. Rosebud went from 5-6 wakings per night and sometimes no more than 20 minutes of napping for a whole day, to 12 hours solid sleep at night, and a nearly 3-hour nap like clockwork every single day. The reading and the singing are part of the routine now.

I plan to do a whole post on this (don't snort! I will! You just see!). The book changed my life, changed my parenting for the better--I wish I could have read it when Exacto was a babe.

~ Consistent exercise program / Reduce waist measurement by 8”

I have a specific plan for this (complete with rewards!) that I will share soon. . . .

Oh my goodness. I am ashamed and humiliated to admit publicly that this goal happened for all of about 2 weeks. And the worst part is that my "specific plan" included built-in fancy rewards every 4 months. Like flying to UT for the Carl Bloch exhibit and a couple of family events. I was to hold myself STRICTLY to 90% success rate, or no go. And guess what?

I went anyway. Naughty spanky me.

Is it even possible to take off 8" by the end of the year now. . . .?

It really is necessary to make progress on this. Heart trouble and high blood pressure are knocking at my door, due to some strong genetics, and my waist just keeps increasing!

~ Personal history / writing / blog

Write daily in journal, write weekly family letters

Come up with blog routine that I am happy with and can maintain

Journal and family letters, yes. Blog routine, nein. Much to my sorrow! To my credit, the sleep thing with Rosebud cleared up in March, but only a few days after that, I pulled Hummer out of public school to homeschool. Any regular time to myself that I had just gained went out the window immediately. It was wonderful and worth it. Just not good for any serious writing.

~ House – Declutter, Organize, Decorate as if to sell

One area per month – have notebook, make wish list, use budget

Jan: Downstairs closets,½ bath ~

Feb: Rosebud’s rm, closet ~

Mar: Boys’ rm, closet ~

Apr: Master br, bath, closet ~

May: Living rm ~

June: vacation :) ~


Oh, this one is classic. Want to know which month's project I'm on? Yep, January! Aren't you wishing you had joined me in my motivational house project schedule?

And yet, I am undaunted! Onward and upward!

Just for fun, though, I hope to show you soon the progress on January's. (I'm ridiculously proud of my little powder room makeover:). Almost done, having worked on it sporadically for the past 6 months. . . stay tuned!



 IMG_8967 edit

Rosebud, 18 months old last week

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Flat Stanley in Portland, Part Two

(Exacto is telling this from Flat Stanley's point of view)
Here, Aunt Annie and I are outside Voodoo Doughnuts.  I really wish that I could have some, but I'm so flat that no matter how much I chew my food, I can't swallow it.

Wpdms Nasa Topo Columbia River Gorge large map

Here I'm camping in the Columbia River Gorge with Aunt Annie, Uncle Dallin, Annie's mom Sandi, her dad Allen, and her younger sisters Katie and Ellie. When we first arrived at the campsite, I was scared that I was going to get lost in all the leaves, trees, bushes, and everything else.  But Aunt Annie and her family took good care of me and made sure I didn't get lost.  For example, they wouldn't let me go anywhere by myself; whenever I wanted to go anywhere, I had to take someone with me.

Here, I am with Aunt Annie and Emma the black lab (Aunt Annie's family's dog).  Emma smelled me and then said that I was her friend.  I asked, "Does that mean that you're not going to eat me?"  Emma assured me that she only eats dogfood (usually).

Me with Aunt Annie and Zoe the yellow lab (Aunt Annie's other dog).  I told Zoe that if she ate me, then Hummer might be sad.  Zoe said that she wouldn't eat me, but she might lick me.  I said that licking me would be okay, as long as she didn't get me soaked.

Here, Uncle Dallin and I meet a dinosaur at the Oregon Zoo.  I didn't know that they had dinosaurs at the zoo!  For some reason, it didn't move at all the whole time I was there.  Maybe it was hibernating.  (With its eyes open?)

I met some penguins!  They were very nice to me.  They said that I could relax on their backs for a while.  I asked Aunt Annie if I could, but she said no.  I guess she didn't want me to fall in the water.

Here I visited the ocelot.  I asked why people didn't just call it a leopard, but it ignored me.  I'll ask the next ocelot I see.  Maybe there will be ocelots at the next place I go to!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Flat Stanley in Portland, Part One

Next Flat Stanley travels via USPS to Portland, Oregon, meets famous author, hobnobs with cute furry animals, and hits the stacks at Portland State!

(Hummer and Exacto are telling this from Flat Stanley's point of view)




Here, Aunt Annie and I are outside Powell's Books, one of the biggest independent book stores in the world.  I liked seeing all of the books there and remembering when I was still inside a book!



Here, Aunt Annie and I are visiting New York Times best-selling author Steve Berry at a book signing at Powell's books.  He was very tall.



Here I am with my Cousin Alice.  When Aunt Annie first put me by Alice, I was scared.  But we became friends before long.  Eventually I fell asleep against her because she's so warm and soft.  Her purring lulled me to sleep, too.



Here's me with my Cousin Paploo.  Paploo is smaller than Alice, so I wasn't as scared at first.




In this picture, I am watching the acrobats at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI).  They were amazing!  The walls are made of glass, and I was worried that one of the acrobats might mess up and accidentally go through the wall.



Here Aunt Annie and I are at the Narnia Exhibit at OMSI.  At first I thought that the lion was real, so I was really scared!  Later I asked Aunt Annie if I could slide down the arm rail on the stairs, but she said that if I did, I might fall off.



Here, I'm outside Cramer Hall, Portland State University.  I wish that in "Cramer" they would put an "e" before the "a" and a "y" at the end.  Then they could put the word "ice" at the beginning and it would be "ice creamery hall."



Here I'm outside Millar Library, Portland State University.  It's five stories tall!  Since I'm so short, it seemed extra huge to me!