19 Things in 2019

I saw the idea of “19 things in 2019”, and I fell in love. Yall know I love lists. While 19 does seem like quite a large number, I’m giving myself the entire year to complete the list. I will break it down into bite-sized pieces, as always, and give myself grace for what I don’t get accomplished. But it sure is a fun way to begin… am I right?


*This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you make a purchase through one of these links I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

So here’s my 19 things for 2019…

1. Read through the Bible with my kids using the Bible Roadtrip curriculum.

Instead of trying to do my quiet time totally separate, I’m going to focus on our Bible Roadtrip Curriculum with my kids, and kill two birds with one stone so to speak. This idea was inspired by the book I just finished, Together by Carrie Ward, and by an instagram friend, Phylicia (She doesn’t know me, but I am claiming that we are totally bffs.) This is one way that I’m giving myself grace as a mama, but I am hoping that I’ll be able to go more in depth with it and that we can focus on some scripture memory as well.

2. Explore verse-mapping.

I’m going to try to include this idea with our studies as well, but it’s new to me so I’ll have to learn all about it first.

3. Worship daily with my kids.

My kids and I all love music. Singing together in the car is one of our favorite things. I want to try to incorporate this more when we are home as well. Music calms me when I’m anxious, and I think it will work well for my kids as well. It’s just not currently one of my go-to things that I think about.

4. Journal daily and do “writing sprints”.

This one comes from an idea that came to me a while back. I can’t tell you how many times our kids ask us questions about spiritual things that I feel are just well beyond their years. They already know so much at their young ages than I did at their age for sure. Even the one that I don’t think is listening to me can recall and relate different biblical concepts, and I’m so amazed. I really don’t think it’s because of anything we’ve done – maybe just the prayers we’ve prayed for them… but I want to explore it more. I want to somehow capture these little conversations we have as a means of memory-keeping for them, but also maybe even to publish in some way as well.

The concept of “writing sprints” is just to write… no editing, no formatting, just writing whatever is on my heart. I need to get in the practice of doing this and just see what comes from it.

5. Gradually replace our cleaning products with all-natural versions.

I’ve already done this with our All-Purpose cleaner since I use it the most. I purchased glass bottles, essential oils, castile soap and made my own disinfectant/all-purpose cleaning spray. I wanted a healthier version because this is what I clean my counter tops and tabletop with several times a day. I wanted a chemical-free version so that I can feel good about kneading my bread-dough right on my counter tops and be confident than I’m not adding in any harmful chemicals to my dough by doing so. I already love this spray, and I even made up a few to give as Christmas gifts.

I’m not sure if I’ll continue to make up my own cleaners with essential oil recipes or if I’ll use Branch Basics, which I’ve also looked into. I will do a little research before I make my final decision, and I might just do a mixture of both.

6. Begin to replace my beauty products with all-natural versions.

This one, I’ll admit, is a little scarier for me to commit to. I have products that I already love that I use on a daily basis when it comes to skincare, make-up, and even bath products. I think the easiest way to do this, though, is to just do one thing at a time, as I run out of them. Just like I did with my all-purpose cleaner first for cleaning products… in this category I’m starting with deodorant. I’ve ordered Bentonite Clay Powder that I will use with Apple Cider Vinegar to detox my skin, and then I will try out ClayDry Deodorant from Zion Health. I’ve heard good things. I’ve also seen that you can use the Clay Powder for other purposes as well, such as for shaving so I’m going to probably try that out as well since I have it.

7. Read 6+ books this year, one of them being a fiction book.

My goal for the past few years has been to read 12 books, but I don’t think I’ve actually ever met THAT goal, even though I’ve come close some years. I do believe that it is good to read and be learning constantly so I won’t give it up completely, but I’ve lowered my standards to make them more attainable for me. I have absolutely no shame in doing that. I’m going to try to read 6 books this year, with one of them being a fiction book. I can’t tell you the last time I read a fiction book, other than a children’s book. I’m not sure if I will even like it, but I’m hoping it can be a good “me time” or leisure activity if I can learn to enjoy it.

8. Get back to my healthy self.

There are lots of mini goals wrapped up in this one. I’m so excited to work out again and get back to CrossFit! I’m ready to lose weight, eat healthy, and feel good about myself again. However, this goal comes second to feeding and nourishing my little one through breastfeeding… so instead of focusing on “losing weight” which is sometimes hard to do while breastfeeding, I’m focusing on eating nutritious well-balanced meals instead. I’ll be fueling my body for breastfeeding and workouts. In the past, doing this proved to be great for my milk-supply, and I did end up losing weight as well as an added bonus.

I’m going to start wearing my FitBit watch again. I’ll track my healthy journey’s progress in my planner using the Happy Planner Fitness Extension pack that was gifted to me – I’ll keep a food journal, workout log, and track my progress with pics, weigh-ins, and measurements. I really like to celebrate ALL the wins!

9.  Continue with my daily skincare routine.

A few months ago, I splurged on a new skincare line for myself. I bought the Littles Kit from the Drunk Elephant line so that I could sample all of the products. Some of them, I have fallen in love with, and so now I know which ones to buy the bigger sizes of, and which ones I can probably do without.

10. Plan and participate in regular phone detoxes.

I’d really like to get to a point where I intentionally take regular breaks from my phone… one hour a day, one day a month, and one week of the year will be my goal for this.

11. Cultivate a thriving home school.

This is one of those ongoing goals, but I’m constantly evaluating what is working or not working for us… how my children learn best, and what we can do differently to create a healthy love for learning in our home.

12. Plan, budget for, and complete one household project/month.

I’m making a list for this. It’s something that I often just put on the back-burner, but I want my home to be a place that I love, that sparks joy, and that I’m proud of. I want to be more hospitable and loving our home is going to help me to want to do that even more.

13. Upgrade our dining table to fit our “large family”.

I’ve always dreamed about having large family that could gather around a big ole table. Well I’ve got the family, but we’ve outgrown our table. We are currently squeezing in extra chairs from another dining set we had so we can all have a place to sit, and to be honest – it annoys me when we aren’t sitting at the table because I can’t push all the chairs in at the same time. It’s a minor thing because we do make it work, but I’d like to go ahead and upgrade it this year to a larger table if we can make it happen.

14. Stick to my Flylady cleaning routines.

This is an app on my phone that has different daily routines that I can use for morning, afternoon, and evening. It also has a “Weekly Home Blessing Hour”, and different zones that I clean weekly and can rotate through the house so that it never gets too out of control. It’s a really good system, and I love that it can be edited as well to fit my specific needs.

15. Repeat the KonMari process.

I went through this process for the first time probably about three years ago. Funny that it’s now becoming a trending-hot topic because of the show that just aired this month on Netflix. I’d like to go back through this process because I know I’ve grown since that time, and I’m embracing minimalism more and more as time passes.

16. Pay off 1-2 Student Loans this year.

This one is pretty much self-explanatory. Our student loans are our only debt right now, besides our mortgage. We’ve had them in deferment for several years because our income hasn’t been enough for us to cover them. This past year we were able to start paying on Justin’s, and now we have to pay mine monthly as well. I recently did a debt calculation that said we would have them paid off in seven years if we keep up with paying them monthly. (So basically if we had been able to afford them, they could already be paid off by now.)  Oh well. Anyway, we’d like to be able to continue with the monthly minimum payments all year, but also use our tax refund to pay off one of the smaller portions or two entirely if we can.

17. Establish basic Sinking Funds.

This is something I learned about last year but haven’t been able to carry out just yet. Hopefully we’ll get to a point where we are able to plan more for our future purchases and be in control a bit more, but if not – we’ll be okay with that too I guess. We’re just trying to do the best we can with what we have, and I can confidently say we are doing that.

18. Study the Enneagram.

Originally this one on my list was to “learn about and try new wines” this year, but my husband wasn’t too fond of that being one of my goals so I changed it to this one. I’ll just stick to ordering the one or two wines I know I like when we go out to dinner. Lol.

The Enneagram is something that’s becoming increasingly more popular now. I read about it in the book Reading People by Anne Bogel last year, but I didn’t spend much time on that chapter because I wasn’t as familiar with it. I’d like to learn more about my own type and what it means this year as well as the types of those in my family and those closest to me.

19. Learn to do a Hand-Stand Push-Up.

This was the same goal I set for last year in CrossFit, but I didn’t know I’d be pregnant most of last year so it wasn’t a goal that actually got met. Since I wasn’t already confident with being upside down (it’s actually a big fear of mine still), I REALLY didn’t feel confident in continuing to work on it while being “with child”. So… here it is again. A fear for me to overcome, and a goal for me to hopefully achieve and just a fun item to complete my list for the year.

I hope to be able to share with you monthly how it’s going with this list, and what I’m specifically doing to accomplish the goals I have set here. I’d love to have you as my accountability, and I’d love to know what your goals are for the new year.

Do you set New Year’s Resolutions? In what ways are you Planning to be more Purposeful in 2019?


36-Week Bumpdate & Baby-Prep Checklist

*This post does contain affiliate links. What this means is that if you click any of the links and make a purchase, I will get a small commission at no extra cost to you. I just linked to similar products of those that we currently own and love in case you might be interested in them too.  

Current Pregnancy Stats…

How far along: 36 Weeks, 2 Days

Countdown: 5 days until we’re considered “Full Term” / 27 days until due date / 41 days max until the 42 week deadline
(I usually carry my babies later than my due date so I’m mentally preparing for that.)

Size of Baby: Last Ultrasound Baby Measured over 5lbs! Baby is the size of a Honeydew Melon this week.

My Body Changes: I was told at church yesterday that it looks like baby has “dropped”. Of course, I’ve never been able to notice this feeling myself in any of my pregnancies. I know that in my pregnancy with Linkin and Layten, I carried them both so low the entire time that there was literally no where for them to drop down to. I haven’t felt that way with this pregnancy, but I also don’t feel any recent differences either so I don’t know.

I’ve also had noticeable Braxton Hicks contractions this week, which I’ll have to admit just excites me very much.

Must Have Items: I’ve now reached the point of my pregnancy where I have “Purse Tums” and “Night Stand Tums”.

Sleep: With the exception of the heartburn, I am actually sleeping pretty great lately. I think I’ve mastered the pillow situation, and some nights I can even sleep all the way through without having to get up to use the bathroom!

Cravings: I’ve been really into hearty soups lately, and I’ve also really enjoyed mashed potatoes this pregnancy. This is definitely a Barrett baby, because that’s what Justin’s mom craved during her pregnancy with him.

Baby Movement: Baby’s movements are getting bigger and stronger now, and my whole belly moves sometimes. Baby also gets hiccups at least once a day now.

Gender: Since this is baby #4 for us and we already have both genders and clothes for both, we opted to not find out the gender of this baby until it’s born. Yes, I’m tired of saying “it” or “the baby”, but we’ll be able to call it by name soon enough. 😉 We really don’t have a preference for either one this time, and we just think it will be fun to be surprised!

Names: We do have a name picked out for both genders, which we are keeping a secret until after baby is born. Both names do start with letter “L” though, of course, and they are unique in that we don’t know anyone personally who has these names, but we didn’t just make up names either. We can’t wait to call our baby by name and share this with you!

Challenges this Week: This week I stepped on a Paw Patrol pup, and something happened. I felt a shift, and it felt like something broke or got misplaced internally. I literally felt sore and uncomfortable for the rest of the day any time I walked, lifted my leg to get dressed, or got up or down. I messaged my chiropractor before I went to bed, and she gave me an exercise to try. I felt a pop, and I was able to have a good night’s sleep. I woke up feeling MUCH better. Pregnancy is weird sometimes. I’ll be sure to have my kids pick up their toys a little better. 😉

Best Moment of the Week: I love how excited our older kids are about this baby. Lawson (age 6) is one who’s always hugging my belly and saying hi or bye the baby when he leaves. He also often prays for the baby at bedtime. Linkin (age 4) prays for the baby as well sometimes as well as for my tummy and back to feel good. Layten (age 2), although we don’t really know if she understands what’s about to happen, she sure talks like she does. The best moment was this week when she wanted to talk to the baby. She talked to my belly and said, “Hey, baby. I Dayten! I’m the baby girl! Bye, baby.” It’s almost like she was claiming her girl territory just in case this baby is also a girl. It was pretty funny.

Nursery Progress: We are not doing a nursery for this baby, but here’s how we’ve decided to work this out. All three of our children share one bedroom. Our two boys share a full-size bed, and our daughter has her own twin size bed. Our second bedroom is used as a playroom… but this is where we’ll keep the baby’s things mostly. We’re going to set up a changing station in that room for the baby, the baby’s clothes will be stored in that closet, and there’s a comfy rocking chair in there for night nursing sessions so that we don’t wake the others in the house. The mini crib is in our master bedroom currently.

Things I Miss: I miss working out. There have been days where I just have the urge to go in and lift some weights, but I also know all of the aches and pains I’ve felt recently due to the Relaxin hormone and just things shifting and changing and how just the simplest things have hurt me… so I’m playing it safe right now.

Fears: I’ll have to admit that I’m a little afraid about how big this baby will be. Baby measured over five pounds at my last ultrasound, and I calculated that if baby grows half a pound a week for the remaining six weeks, that it will be over eight pounds. I know that eight pounds isn’t really THAT large, but Layten was over eight pounds when she was born, and I just know the difference of how much more difficult her delivery was from delivering Linkin who was only seven pounds. I also know that I usually carry my babies later than my due date, so I’m a little worried about this one being too big for me to deliver naturally. I’m trying to just think positive and not worry too much about it, but it’s just something I keep thinking about.

Eats: I’m hungry all the time now, and I’m open to anyone cooking for me or taking me out to eat in this final month. ;-D

Baby-Prep Checklist

By now, if you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know that I’m a planner and a goal-getter. I’m especially good at this when I have a clearly defined deadline in sight, and a baby’s due date is the perfect opportunity to get on the ball and get some things done!

I planned our Homeschool terms to accomodate our baby’s due date. We started our school year in July so we could take a good, long break in December when our new baby comes. I also finished our Christmas shopping super early so I wouldn’t have to worry with all of that while I’m home with a newborn. It’s great to have a good deadline to work towards.

Because I’m a little nerdy, and not ashamed to admit it, I researched on Pinterest what items a baby needs just for the sake of list-making. For the most part, I already know what we need and like to have for a baby, and what’s not really necessary. This comes from having three children already, BUT I’ve also done lots of minimalizing and purging since having our last baby, and I wanted to make sure we had enough of everything for this baby. I’m determined to think minimally when it comes to this baby, because I know I have a big hoarding tendency – especially when it comes to all these sweet baby things!

Since we don’t know the gender of this baby, it’s hard to know exactly what we need, but here’s what I did…

I took all of our baby clothes that we had in storage and separated them by size and gender.
I took out all of the Newborn size for both genders and washed them up in that good-smelling baby detergent. In the past, I would’ve washed and organized ALL the clothes that I could possibly fit in baby’s dresser and several month’s worth, but since we don’t know the gender yet – I only did this with the Newborn clothes this time to keep things to a minimum.
I labelled the other storage boxes properly, and I do have easy access to the 0-3 month clothes in both genders so that I can easily wash those after we get home with baby and as we start to need them.

So here’s the list I found and adapted of what’s needed for baby…

  • Infant Carseat (We were given one, though I’m keeping my eye out for one that’s more gender-neutral.)
  • Crib (We still have our mini-crib and sheets from our last baby.)
  • Dresser/Changing Table (Check.)
  • Special Gender-Neutral Coming Home Outfit (I ordered one I’ve been eyeing for a while. It’s so soft and sweet.)
  • 10 Bodysuits (We have 11 for girl & 10 for boy.)
  • 4-6 Outfit Sets (We have 3 for girl & 2 for boy.)
  • 5 Bottoms (We have 5 for girl & 6 for boy.)
  • 7 Sleepers (We have 7 for girl & 4 for boy.)
  • 2 Swaddler Blankets (We have 3 for girl, 1 for boy, & 3 gender-neutral.)
  • 2 Sleep Sacks (We have 1 gender-neutral.)
  • 10 Wash Cloths (I don’t know why you’d ever need 10 wash cloths, but we have plenty for both genders.)
  • 3 Hooded Towels (We have hooded towels for girl, but I need to get some for boy or gender-neutral.)
  • 8 Bibs (We have 2 for girl & 1 for boy. (Gender-neutral bibs are in my Amazon cart.)
  • 8 Burp Cloths (We have 3 for girl. Gender-neutral burp cloths are in my Amazon cart.)
  • 2 Hats (We have 5 for girl & 7 for boy. I love little hats on a newborn.)
  • 6 Sock Pairs (We have 8 girl & 10 for boy.)
  • Newborn Diapers – 1 Box or 148 total (We have 64.)
  • Size 1 Diapers – 3 Boxes or 648 total (We have 478.)
  • Size 2 Diapers – 3 Boxes or 558 total (We have 651.)
  • Size 3 Diapers – 4 Boxes or 900 total (We have 244.)
  • Wipes (We have lots of diapers and wipes from our surprise shower…What a huge blessing!)
  • Diaper Rash Cream (My favorite is in my Amazon cart.)
  • Baby Shampoo (We have a few bottles already that were given to us.)
  • 1 Diaper Bag (We’ll be using the same one I used with Layten because I loved it’s organization.)
  • 1 Boppy Pillow (Check. We also have a few different boy and girl covers that are washed and ready to go.)
  • 1 Rock n Play (I’m on the lookout for one of these, but I know it’s also not completely necessary since we have a crib.)
  • 2-3 Pacis (I will be purchasing a few Pat Pats and Cutie Clips from Ryan and Rose.)
  • Hamper or Basket for Baby Laundry (I’m on the lookout, but I could easily just use a basket we already have too.)
  • Baby Play Gym (I ordered this one, and I’m so excited about it.)
  • Swing or Bouncer (We don’t have either of these, but I’m still trying to decide if we really even need them or not.)
  • Stroller (I have a double-umbrella stroller that will work when they get older. I prefer a baby carrier when they are small.)
  • Baby Carrier (I have a Baby K’Tan for the newborn stage and a Tula for as they get a little bigger.)
  • Breast Pump & Accessories (I debated ordering a new pump all together, but I think I’m just going to order a new accessory kit to go with my current one.)
  • 4-6 Bottles (We have way more than this. It really shows me how much a hoarder I’ve been in the past. I think I will use them mostly for freezing milk though since I have so many instead of purchasing the milk storage bags.)
  • Bottle Brush (It’s on my list.)
  • Nursing Pads (I have some washable ones.)
  • Nursing Bras (I do have some, but I will be purchasing more.)
  • Pajamas for Mom at Hospital (I have a nice nursing gown and robe, but I will probably buy a pants set too.)
  • Robe for Mom at Hospital (I want to get a nice robe that will match with everything.)
  • Slippers for Mom at Hospital (It’s on my list.)
  • Toiletries for Mom & Dad to Pack & Keep in Hospital Bag (It’s on the list.)
  • Is there anything missing from my list that you think we’ll need? Let me know in the comments of this post!

And here’s what’s on my personal Baby-Prep Task List…

  • Purchase any of the priority things we still need from my list above
  • Print my birth plan
  • Register at the hospital
  • Prep some Freezer meals (dinners, easy grab-n-go breakfasts for the kids, & lactation cookie dough)
  • Sterilize Pacis, Bottles, & Breast pump parts
  • Select & confirm new pediatrician
  • Set up changing station
  • Pack Mom, Dad, and Baby’s hospital bag.
  • Install car seat. (This would be a great time to also clean out my car really good. It’s a “mom car”.)
  • Plan for a housekeeper to come and do a good deep cleaning
  • Plan a final date night (kid-free)

Anytime I’m working on a big project or getting ready for something big… I like to start with the big picture and work my way down to all those tiny details. I’m very detail-oriented so I love this type of thing. I love creating a system so that I don’t forget anything that’s really important. It really helps me to make sure that I have enough time to get everything down and money in the budget to afford the things we need as well.
Step One: Research what’s needed, what needs to be done, etc.
Step Two: Adapt the list or research that I find to suit my needs and make my own list(s) from it.
Step Three: Plug these tasks into my planner and add the needed items to my various shopping lists. (Amazon and Wunderlist for things I’d rather buy in-store.)

So that’s what I’ve done. This past week, I did a few things like Order the Baby’s Coming Home Outfit, Raised the Crib Mattress, and purchased a couple nursing bras. I also grabbed a few extra things during my grocery shopping trip that will hopefully keep us stocked for a while after baby comes so we won’t have to rush out to get those at any point… pull-ups for our toddler, paper towels, etc.

Next week I’ll make sure to print my birth plan, purchase the needed toiletries and items for the hospital, pack our hospital bags, and install the infant car seat.

See how that works? Like a charm hopefully! Help me to know if there’s something I might’ve missed… because “Baby Brain” is a real thing. 😉 

My Monthly Goals

After reviewing my yearly goals, here is an update for September and a preview of the things I will be working on for the month of October…

I like to share my Monthly Goals with you here because it holds me accountable for one, and also I just hope that it can inspire you in some way to create goals of your own and find something that you can be working on. I believe that to be purposeful and intentional, we have to sometimes make an effort to do so. I like to make a plan of how I will accomplish certain goals, and I’ve found it to be really helpful for me. Your plans may not be as detailed as mine, and that’s perfectly okay. I’ve been doing this for quite some time now. Just start somewhere with something, and make a plan to be more purposeful. You’ll be glad you did!

Spiritual Goals:

Continue reading the One Year Bible & praying strategically

Mothering/Family Goals:

  • Football season with Lawson.
  • Bi-weekly trips to the Library with my kids
  • Linkin has a special goal he is working towards for a prize, but I won’t share it here. (He’s almost finished!)

The boys also asked how they could earn some extra money so that they can buy things they want when we go shopping, so I considered this. We don’t give a regular allowance for chores that are expected of all of our family members, so this would have to be something extra. I did come up with a few extra things that I would pay them to do. Lawson took me up on this twice, but since then nothing. I’ve offered it to Linkin too, but he really would rather not do extra work, so there ya go. 😉

Homeschooling Goals:

This month I started grading some of Lawson’s work to help me to better track his progress and to also make sure that things like handwriting and spelling actually get done correctly. I don’t know the correct way to teach this, other than to have him “fix” the mistakes so he doesn’t continue to make the same ones over and over. I introduced the “You Can Read Sight Words” curriculum to Linkin to test out. It’s a more hands-on approach, so I think we may either switch over completely or at least add in some of these activities each week. Layten is continuing with her Tot School Printables. For more on our Homeschooling… you can visit our Homeschool Page. 

My Personal Goals:

Blogging –


I’ve got several small goals that I’m working on currently with this blog, and it’s all just kind of a big learning process for me. I actually merged my blog to a whole new hosting site this month, and you may have noticed my new newsletter feature. I’m trying to work at it at least a little each day and hopefully, I’ll get even better at consistency and gain some momentum. It’s all part of the bigger goal and vision that I have, but I’m just working through one thing at a time. Thank you for your patience with me and support!

Home Organization –

(Kids’ Clothes)

I went through all of the kids’ clothes storage this past month to see what we have/what we needed for the upcoming Fall/Winter season. Turns out, we have plenty for them from all of the hand-me-downs we’ve been given, and it wasn’t necessary for me to take a shopping trip to the kids’ consignment sale this year.

(Desk Solution)

I didn’t purchase a new desk, but I did reorganize all of my office, home school, and planning supplies into bins on a 4-cubby shelf that I moved into the dining room. I purchased two chalkboards that we can use for school or our memory work. I can use the dining table as my “work surface”, and I just have to put everything away when I’m done. It’s working well for now, because everything has a place.

(Baby Items)

This month I will be going through all of the baby boxes we have. Since we don’t know the gender of our baby coming in December, I will get all of our newborn things for both genders together to see what we have and what we still need. We’ve got 10 weeks left, but I’m working on this mostly during our home school break week.

Marriage Goals:

  • Weekly Budget Meetings as a Couple to keep us on Track with our Goals (Sometimes these happen through text messaging, but we try to stay on track and keep each other updated.)
  • Weekly Quality Time Together at home (This one has been hard to come by because our kids are so needy and demanding *insert chuckle*. We have movies we’ve started but not finished. We’ve got to get better at this one.)
  • At Least One Date Night This Month – We had an at-home date night this past month with take-out sushi, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and a movie.

Health & Fitness Goals:

Health, Smealth! I’m kidding, but this has been a FULL month so it has not been something I’ve been able to prioritize as much. I had several deadlines and things that needed to be completed so I didn’t prioritize making it to the gym to workout as much. I still made it about once-twice/week but it’s definitely not where I was used to.

Financial Goals:

  • Continue in the grocery store & drugstore game for saving money with our food, toiletries, & household purchases.
  • I know I’ve mentioned sinking funds here before. We have tried for two months and four pay periods to make them work for us, but so far, we haven’t had much success in that area. I’ve had to cut some lines from our budget, and of course the sinking funds/planning ahead were the first to go, unfortunately. Maybe one day we will get it. It doesn’t mean we aren’t trying.
  • Prepare for Christmas. (Baby coming in December – I’ve gotta get on it!) I purchased a few gifts this past month, including one for our children, collectively, and I’ve been working on solidifying their Christmas lists with the things they tell me. I’d like to purchase or make a few more gifts this month.

What goals will you be working on this month?

If you’re just starting out, you can read my series on My Purposeful Planning. Choose one goal to start working on, learn how to reach that one goal, and I think doing this will only lead you to want to achieve more.

Whatever you do, let’s go make a plan to be more purposeful! 

Our Family I.D.

This Summer, Justin and I led a small group at our church called Family I.D., and it was phenomenal! I’ve been wanting to share with you the things that God gave us for our family through doing this small group…. Our Core Values, Our Vision Statement, our Mission Statement, and our Family Slogan.

We weren’t sure how this small group would go. There were a lot of hands-on activities that required each family represented to do some “homework”. We didn’t know if it was something they would grasp ahold of and actually take the time to do or not. To be honest, we weren’t super excited to do the work ourselves. But as the weeks went on, the process became clearer and clearer, and God spoke to each of the families represented in our small group and gave each one a clear Family I.D.

We started by selecting our Family Core Values. You’ve heard my mention these on my blog. The worksheet printable I created for you here at My Purposeful Planning is very similar to the one we used for this small group. We compared our lists with that of our spouse and discussed the similarities and differences in our lists. We took it home and also talked to our children about our lists. We narrowed our lists down to which Core Values we would like to best represent our family.

In no certain order, here are the Core Values our family chose…
Family & Relationships
Humor
Knowing God / Prayer / Worship
Personal Growth / Growth
Teamwork / Unity

At first I thought that “humor” seemed like a silly thing to be included in our core values, but the more I thought about it, the more I loved that it was one that we chose. We want to laugh and be silly with our kids always, and we want to laugh and enjoy having fun with friends, family, and guests when they come to visit our home as well. Laughter and humor are good things. I think the rest of the values we chose are probably self-explanatory.

We added verbs to help solidify these for our family…
Celebrate Family & Relationships.
Embrace Humor.
Prioritize Knowing God, Prayer, & Worship.
Pursue Personal Growth.
Praise Teamwork & Unity.

Next, we worked to write our Family Vision Statement. 
“Having a well-defined vision statement will help ensure that no matter what life brings, no matter where we find ourselves, we can still get our bearings and stay on course.” – Greg Gunn

“Your family vision statement describes where you are going in words that greatly motivate you to take action.”

“Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.” Habakkuk 2:2 ESV

Our Family Vision Statement is… 
“To collectively know who we are in Christ and use each of our unique giftings to fulfill God’s Purpose”

After coming up with our vision statement and knowing the direction we wanted our family to go, we came up with a Family Mission Statement that would help us get there… “We will build solid family relationships that are grounded in God, Growth, and Grace.”

And finally, we came up with a simple slogan that our entire family can easily remember to sum up all of these things… Our Family Slogan is “We’re Grounded!” I’m thinking it’s going to be fun to have shirts made for our kids to wear that tell the world they are grounded… (Pun intended). Of course the Mission Statement will probably be there somewhere on the shirt to, and hopefully we’ll all be able to explain what it means to us, in case people ask.

It’s so important that we aren’t “just winging it” as parents. It’s too important of a responsibility that we’ve been given. Having a vision for WHERE we want our family to end up and then coming up with a mission for HOW we will get there is vital. Think about what you want your kids to be like as adults. How can you start encouraging these things in your children now?

We personally love that this small group and these things have given us the verbage and language we needed to talk to our kids about the things God gave us for our family. It’s given us specific things that we can pray over each member of our family daily, which is really strategic in helping us move forward with the direction God wants our family to go.

If you’d like more information about this particular small group curriculum, here’s a link to the videos we watched in each group session as well as the website with more family resources available.

Have you done something like this for your family? Really pray about this, and take the time to do this with your spouse or partner in parenting. I’d love to know what you come up with!

Whatever you do, Let’s Make a Plan to Be More Purposeful! 

My Monthly Goals for September 2018

After reviewing my yearly goals, here are the things I will be working on for the month of September… 

Spiritual Goals:
Continue in reading the One Year Bible

Mothering/Family Goals:

  • Begin the football season with Lawson.
  • Bi-weekly trips to the Library with my kids
  • Linkin has a special goal he is working towards for a prize, but I won’t share it here.
  • The boys have also asked how they can earn some extra money so that they can buy things they want when we go shopping, so I’m considering this. We don’t give a regular allowance for chores that are expected of all of our family members, so this will have to be something extra.

    Homeschooling Goals:
    We are back to homeschooling, full force now. Layten will continue to work through Tot School Printables Curriculum with me. Linkin with continue to work through Raising Rockstars Preschool with me. Lawson will continue in Language Arts, Math, and Penmanship/Handwriting. We will continue to do Bible Roadtrip as a family. We will especially work this month on establishing a regular “Morning Time” for our memory work and read alouds. We’ve been getting this done, but having a set time for it would greatly benefit us I think.

My Personal Goals:
Reading Plans –
I’m working to get my Hoopla app working so I can listen to audio books from the library. If I can get this to work, my plan is to listen to one or two books this month. I will count this towards my goal of reading 12 books this year.
Home Organization –
(Kids’ Clothes) This month I will be going through all of the kids’ seasonal clothes (and possibly also the baby clothes we have in storage). I’ll make a list of what each child will need to make a simple and minimal Fall/Winter Capsule Wardrobe. There is a Kids’ Consignment at the end of this month I plan to attend and stock up on everything we’ll need. I’m praying that our budget will allow for this because it will be so nice to get all of that shopping done in one day. We currently have all three kids sharing a room with one closet and one dresser, and we plan to keep it to that – especially with a new baby coming.
(Desk Solution) I also have another home organization goal of replacing my large desk in our master bedroom with a smaller (but with more functional vertical storage) version that we can use elsewhere in the house (possibly the living room or dining room). I don’t love the idea of having a desk in the living areas of the house, but I do really benefit from having a desk and a place to keep my planning and blogging supplies… a place to spread out when I need to, but also have a home for everything too. The reason I’m looking to do this, is that we need that space in our room for our baby’s crib in December (except that now it’s currently taking up unnecessary play space in the kids’ play room) so the sooner, the better. This may not happen this month if the budget and time doesn’t allow for it, but the reason I’m thinking about it now is that we only have two more homeschool break weeks before the baby comes, and one of those is Thanksgiving Week – which I’d like to save for our travels and for Christmas decorating.

Marriage Goals:

  • Weekly Budget Meetings as a Couple to keep us on Track with our Goals (Sometimes these happen through text messaging, but we try to stay on track and keep each other updated.)
  • Weekly Quality Time Together at home (This one has been hard to come by because our kids are so needy and demanding *insert chuckle*. We have movies we’ve started but not finished. We’ve got to get better at this one.)
  • At Least One Date Night This Month (We already had a date night this past weekend, actually, so if we have another it would just be a bonus.)

    Health & Fitness Goals:
    Keep doing CrossFit, even if I have to modify and scale everything. Keep meal planning and having healthy meals readily accessible for us.

Financial Goals:

  • Continue in the grocery store & drugstore game for saving money with our food, toiletries, & household purchases.
  • Continue with sinking funds & reaching goals there.
  • Prepare for Christmas. (Baby coming in December – I’ve gotta get on that!) Purchase or make at least one gift this month.

Professional Goals:
Post about our Family’s Core Values, Vision, Mission, and Slogan
Post about our Sinking Funds & Financial Goals
What else would you like to see from me this month?

What goals will you be working on this month? If you’re just starting out, you can read my series on My Purposeful Planning and hopefully be inspired with one thing to begin with and how to reach that one goal, which will only lead you to want to achieve more.

Whatever you do, Let’s go make a plan to be purposeful! 

My Monthly Goals for August 2018: An Update

After reviewing my yearly goals, here are the things I will be worked on for the month of August… 

Spiritual Goals:
I’m finishing up the Seamless Bible Study by Angie Smith with Proverbs 31 Ministries this month, and next week I will begin the Medication study of Psalm 119 provided by Stone Soup for Five. (done)

Mothering/Family Goals:

  • Sign Lawson up for recreational football. (done)
  • Family Trip to the book store for Lawson to pick out his new book as a reward for completing his Summer Reading Passports Program. (We have been doing this at the library instead.) 
  • Family Trip to the Trampoline for Lawson’s second reward for completing his Summer Reading Passports Program. (done)
  • Linkin has a special goal he is working towards for a prize too, but I won’t share it here. He will also benefit from Lawson reaching his goal, of course. (in progress)
  • Linkin will continue working through his Raising Rockstars Preschool with me. (in progress)
  • Layten will continue working through Tot Schools Printables Curriculum with me. (in progress)
  • Things still left on our Summer Bucket List: Float the Creek, Kroc Center, Zoo, S’mores, Aquarium, Campfire, Bike Ride on a Trail, Hiking Adventure, Make pickles, Snow Boogers, and the Trampoline Park (We completed the activities in bold.)

Homeschooling Goals:
After our Break Week, we will be adding in our Language Arts Curriculum on week 1, followed by Botany and Apologetics, which we go through slowly at our own pace. I’ll be posting in more detail about our homeschooling plans soon. (done)

My Personal Goals: Reading Plans
Right now, I don’t know if I can really prioritize this as a goal, but I might try to start a new book if one grabs me. We’ll see. No definite plans as of now for this month. (no plans = done)

Marriage Goals:

  • Weekly Budget Meetings as a Couple to keep us on Track with our Goals (done)
  • Weekly Quality Time Together at home (done)
  • At Least One Date Night This Month (didn’t happen in August, but we’ve already had a date in Sept.)
  • Cheer on Justin as he competes in the first, annual Anchor Games this month. (done)
  • Work together on reaching goals set for opening the new CrossFit gym the first week in September. Exciting! (done) 

    Health & Fitness Goals
    Keep doing CrossFit, even if I have to modify and scale everything. Keep meal planning and having healthy meals readily accessible for me. (in progress)

Financial Goals:

  • Continue in the grocery store & drugstore game for saving money with our food, toiletries, & household purchases. (in progress)
  • Continue with sinking funds & reaching goals there. (We had to use what we’d set aside for “sinking funds” in the month of August. Even though we have a strict, minimalistic budget – our income is still unpredictable. Our plans are to “catch up” with our Sinking Funds plan in September so we can still stay on track and reach our goals.) 
  • Prepare for Christmas. (Baby coming in December – I’ve gotta get on that!) Purchase or make at least one gift this month. Talk with family about holiday plans. (We didn’t have the funds for this in August, but we have been thinking and discussing our plans.) 

Professional Goals:
Post about our Family’s Core Values, Vision, Mission, and Slogan (still on my list)
Post about my Grocery, Drugstore, and Sam’s Shopping Process (done)
Post about our Sinking Funds & Financial Goals (still on my list – bumps in the road have made these posts difficult to write)
Posts about our Homeschool Methods, Curricula, and Goals (done)

Whatever you do, Let’s go make a plan to be purposeful! 

My Homeschool Planner

Today is one of my favorite posts because it combines some of my favorite things… planners, homeschool, and organization! I’ve been wanting to do this post for quite some time, but I had to get it just right before I did. To be honest, I LOVE when homeschoolers will post their plans and planners for me to see, but I also would get overwhelmed. How do they do so much in a day? How do they plan for all those little nuts and bolts of the big plan? I didn’t see their whole process, but I decided to just do what I could and take it one bite-size piece at a time. As I watched their YouTube video (nerd alert!), I would jot down a list of all of the components in their planners. Then, I would cross off the ones I didn’t need in mine, and add things that I did want to add and include. Little by little, I began working on a plan for each of those things whether it was a divider section or a pocket or a way to keep up with our attendance… and I found what works for me. I’m pretty happy with the results. Sometimes I add some stickers and a little washi here and there, but for the most part I really don’t. It’s more about function and use for me, so it’s mostly just pen and pencil and highlighters. I purchased a Teacher Planner that’s already pretty cute on it’s own so I don’t feel the need to spend time decorating it too.

I love keeping it all together in this cover. It gives me extra pockets and a place to keep my pen or highlighter handy. It’s the perfect place for this sticker pack. The planner is this one. Last year, I used a regular classic-sized vertical Happy Planner, and it worked just fine, but I really love ALL THE SECTIONS that the teacher planner gives me.
**It looks like the Teacher Planner I have is out of stock on the Mambi website. Be sure to check Michael’s if you’re looking to get it, or check out the other available options in teacher’s planners. If you purchase from Michael’s, be sure to use their coupon if they aren’t already on sale the week you go.

    

     

I like to start out the year with a “Back to School Survey”. I’ve done this for about three years, and it really is fun to look back and see their answers from previous years. I made my own, and we use the same one every year to keep it simple.

I also keep this “Plan your Year” calendar in the front where I planned out all of our terms for the year and planned breaks. You can learn more about our yearly planning and schedule in this post.

Finally, here you can see my tabbed dividers… I have a section for our Memory Work, Knight Training, Reading, Planning/Scheduling, and Bible Roadtrip. I’ll share some samples from each of those sections.

  

In our Reading section, I have printed a First Grade Reading List for Lawson so we can use this list as we choose books at the library each week and highlight them as we go. I also have a Read Aloud Revival Booklist. It’s 10 pages of different types of the best read alouds…. everything from Audio Books to Board Books, to Stories for Large Families. It’s got it all. I’ll also need to add a “Reading Log” to this section, but I’ll probably just do that with a simple notes page to keep it simple.

    

In our Memory Work section, we have Linkin’s Raising Rockstars Preschool Memory Verses. I realize the page says “Kindergarten” but that’s because the verses are the same for both years, so next year will be a review for him. I like this page because we can easily see all the verses at once to review when we need to.

We also have our Catechisms in here. I love these, and I’ve already seen how they can apply the things they’ve learned from just by memorizing them. They really like the question and answer flow when we do these.

I’ve also included some other Memory Work samples for you to see. I like to have it at a glance for me so I’ll know what to review and introduce to them. I put previously learned things in here as well to review periodically. We’ve got scriptures, poetry, manners, safety rules, mottos, and skills like skip counting in this section.

      

      

      
   

In our Knight Training section, we’ve got our Knight’s Code of Chivalry that we’re working through. We do one per week and discuss it from notes I took when I read the book. I’ve included some of my notes from the introduction of the book here to give you some ideas. I just love this for my boys!

   
   

In the Planning/Scheduling section, I’ve got our current “Term Plans”. I make a simple six-week plan for us based on how far we got in our previous term and how far I think we need to get in this term. It just helps us to stay on track and pace ourselves. If you were to compare this term with last term, you would see that I’ve slowed down some things we do like doing only one verse per week of our Psalms Memory Work and taking two weeks to cover our Bible Roadtrip lessons. This is much more doable for us, but we’re still making great progress.

   

Also, in this section I have “Just Because We Can” Days List… which gives us some ideas of some things we can do, really whenever we want to, and just because. I’ve also added some pages for ideas as they come to me in the form of Movie Mondays, Tasty Tuesdays, What’s New Wednesdays, Thoughtful Thursdays, and Fun Fridays. I like the idea of assigning various “extra” fun things to certain days, Otherwise, they may never happen. I also have some lists for Service Days, Playdates, and Fieldtrips in this section so that we can keep track.

         

In our Bible Roadtrip section, I keep our lesson plans for the current term. I’ve included a full week for you here so you can get a little idea of what the curriculum is like. If you have older children, you would just add in those sections that would build on the others, but of course, I had no need for them so I didn’t include them in my planner.

             

I just love the cute dashboards and dividers in the Happy Planners, especially the “teacher-themed” ones this one has. You can see how I use the monthly spread page to keep up with our attendance, and I add in any reminders such as our weekly Memory Work review and monthly things to go over as well.

   

I included my August lesson plans for you to see. I mostly write in our plans “after the fact” instead of making a plan before hand. Honestly, as much as I love to plan, I’m not really that great at carrying out really detailed plans so this works for me. I do kind of plan the week at a time for things like language, math, and Bible roadtrip. I write in the workbook or lesson plans a simple letter (M,T,W,R,or F) so I’ll know if I can fit it all in. Then, I’ll add it to my planner as we complete it to keep track.

   

Of course, one of our weeks this month was our “Break Week” so I included that and added in some fun field trips we wanted to take (or did take), as well as some tasks I wanted to complete during the week. The final week I included is the first week of our Fall Term because the format looks a little different. I changed up the titles of the boxes. I left off our Summer Reading Program and included our Langage Arts curriciculum. You’ll also notice that I added in a “coupon”. These were a printable that I laminated and gave to Lawson a few years ago in his stocking at Christmas as a little treat. There are lots of different ideas included, and we grabbed a few of them randomly last year. I decided this year that I would punch them and add them to my planner. It helps us to “plan ahead” and actually do them this way… We can’t bake cookies if we don’t have all the ingredients. So now we are prepared.

      

The teacher planner has a section for checklists, which I am currently not using. I’m not sure how I could use them in our homeschool, but maybe I’ll think of something. Instead, I’ve just used this section to keep our developmental evaluations and goal-sheets for each of my “students”. 😉

      

And that’s it for this school year’s Homeschool Teacher Planner! Let me know if you have any questions I can answer for you.

My Winn Dixie Shopping Trip 8/3/18

Do you always wonder what things other people buy for groceries and how much they spend?? I know I do. I love to see breakdowns like this, but I also feel like sometimes it’s been unattainable for me because either we don’t have the same stores available to us here or we eat and use totally different products than the things they do. I think I just need to see the whole process from start to finish in order for me to grasp the entire concept.

So that’s exactly what I’ve done with this series of posts. (If you missed my planning and preparing process in part one, you can find it here.) I’m taking you from the very beginning to the end. Who knows? We might even have a continuation where I show you what meals I cook from the things we buy and how we use the purchases we make! Maybe that would be really helpful? We’ll see what I can get done for you.

For now, I hope you enjoy the breakdown of my trip to Winn Dixie this week. Here goes! 

Here’s my Winn Dixie grocery list for this week. I like to mark it up and make notes all over it as you can see. I add in quantities I want to buy. I add in coupons I have. I highlight the ibotta rebate offers so that I remember to submit them. I add up about how much I will be spending to make sure I’ll be within my budget. Of course the starred items are the ones that are priced based on pound so I don’t take those into account when I add it all up, and I just know that these will add to my total a little bit.

Here are some of the coupons I printed and clipped for this week’s shopping trip. I haven’t started buying the Sunday paper again yet, but I really need to.

Here’s my car full of groceries! I was kid-free when I shopped so I was able to use my entire backseat to hold everything. (You can also see the freezer bags and the broccoli from my Sam’s trip I made right before this trip.)

Here’s what all I bought today. I thought you might enjoy seeing it all spread out. It was definitely fun for me to set it all up this way to show you.

And here’s the breakdown of today’s shopping trip!

I bought…

4 boxes of Kellogg’s Raisin Bran Crunch Cereal – B1G1 $4.29 ($2.14) x 2
*I had a digital coupon loaded to my Rewards Card for $2/4.
*These will definitely last us at least a couple weeks or more.

2 boxes of Krusteaz Pancake Mix – B1G1 $2.89 ($1.44)
*This should last us at least until they go on sale again in a month or so.

2 boxes of Quaker Instant Grits – B1G1 $4.49 ($2.24)
*I haven’t had grits in a really long time so I’m really excited about these. 🙂

2 boxes of Lance sandwich crackers – B1G1 $3.29 ($1.64)
*I got these to fill our snack box since it’s getting low. It wasn’t on my original grocery list, but it’s okay because they were on sale. These will be good to grab for on the go snacks like when we go grocery shopping next week!

2 containers of Planter’s Peanuts – B1G1 $4.49 ($2.24)
*This isn’t something we buy on a regular basis, but I got them to use for our favorite “Snickers Oatmeal” recipe. We can also eat them for snacks, and these should last us a good while!

2 jars of Hormel bacon bits – $2 each x 2
*I used a $1/2 coupon for these.

2 containers of soft Philadelphia Cream Cheese – $2.50
*I earned 100 SE rewards points for buying 2 of these, and I needed them for an upcoming recipe in a few weeks so I grabbed them now since they were on sale.

4 cans of SE Grocers fruits – $1/each

3 packages of Seasoning Blend – B2G1 = $3.18
*I didn’t originally plan to buy these, but I saw the deal and decided to grab them. I love to always have these on hand for various recipes.

2 packages of Dole Salad Mix – B1G1 = $4 ($2)

Fresh Snap Beans – $1.49/lb = $4.10

Fresh Strawberries – B1G1 $4.99 ($2.49)

Fresh Plums – $1.99/lb = $2.47

Fresh Zucchini – $1.49/lb = $2.19

2 packages of Gorton’s fish fillets – B1G1 $6.99 ($3.49)

3 lbs. of Butterball Ground Turkey – $3.50
*I planned to buy 2 of these, but when I was in store I saw that one package had been marked down by $2 additional for a quick sale so I grabbed three instead. We’ll use the quick sale one first, and I can freeze the others to use later unless I’m planning a meal with them this week.
*I used a $0.75/1 paper coupon of this and also a $0.75/1 digital coupon for this.

1 lb. Butterball Turkey Sausage – $4.99
*This was also marked down for a quick sale and savings of an additional $2 so I grabbed it too. My kids love sausage so I knew it would be a good buy for us.

Pork Chop Ribeyes – B1G1 $9.44 ($4.72)

Hillshire Farm Smoked Sausage – B1G1 $4.99 ($2.49)

Ball Park Franks – B1G1 $3.99 ($1.99)
*We’re planning to build a campfire soon with the kids as it’s on our Summer Bucket list, and I thought it would be fun to roast these over the fire.

1 half gallon of Tru Moo Chocolate Milk – $2.50
*I planned to get this anyway because one of my kids LOVES chocolate milk. It was marked down for a quick sale so I found the one with the latest date, and I knew it would be fine because my family will definitely have it gone by then anyway.

2 pints of Halo Top – $4.50 x 2
*My husband loves these so I got them as a treat for him. They weren’t necessarily “cheaper” but I earned 120 SE Rewards points by purchasing two of them. And this is one of those things we would run out and get if we have a craving anyway… so now we won’t have to. Totally worth it.
*Let’s see if my husband actually reads my posts…. I hid these in the back of the freezer for him and haven’t told him yet. I’m waiting for a good time to let him in on my secret little purchase for him. 😉

Tropicana Essentials Probiotic Orange Mango Drink – 10/$10
*Did you know that if something says 10/$10 in a sale ad, you don’t actually have to buy 10?! It’s true. I’ve been craving orange juice lately, and so I grabbed this since it was also on sale to drink on the way home from my shopping trip. Fruits from all my labor and efforts! (And still better than the jumbo bakery cookies they’ll try to tempt me with at the register.)

2 containers of Purex Laundry Detergent – B1G1 $4.99 ($2.49)

2 boxes of SE grocers plastic spoons – $1.50 x 2
*I earned 40 SE Rewards points for purchasing these. I like for the kids to grab and use these to eat their disposable yogurts or fruit cups with so that we don’t dirty up any extra dishes for those snack times. So, sadly we aren’t a “green” as we could be in this area…. but it’s one of my “mama conveniences”.

2 packages of Quilted Northern Toilet Paper – B1G1 $4.99 ($2.49)

Fresh Grapes – $2.49/lb = $5.90

I’ll let you in on one of my secret little pleasures. It’s so fun, yall! When you start shopping sale cycles at a regular grocery store, you’re going to have to try this one too. They always try to ask me for my reward card first thing, but I never pull it out too quickly. Instead, I leave it in my purse and wallet tucked away until the end. I let them ring up ALL of my items, and I watch that number get really big. Today it was over $200! Seeing that number go up and up and up used to scare me, but now it totally THRILLS me!  (When that number goes up and up at Walmart, it’s a different story. Am I right?) But anyway. Let the cashier finish, and look at the big number. THEN they scan your loyalty rewards card, and all of your sale items register and the price drops way low. It’s super fun to see! And finally, you can hand over your additional coupons, and you can choose to use your rewards points balance for even more savings. It’s just really fun to see how much you are actually saving by shopping grocery sale cycles.

Total – $126.54
Coupons – $16.00
Points Used – $5.26
Final Total – $121.28
Today I earned – 322 points + $3.75 in ibotta Rebates
Today I saved – $102.68

Ibotta App
If you don’t already have or know about the Ibotta app, I’d like to share that with you. This app will give you rebates from purchases from TONS of stores. It doesn’t matter if you buy the item on sale or full price – whether you used a coupon or not. Chances are – you could (and should!) be getting rebates on many of the things you are already purchasing. Shopping online? Shopping in stores? Always check the ibotta app before you shop, and watch those rebates add up – which is money in your pocket later on. You can choose to put it on a giftcard or transfer it to your Paypal account.

If you’d like to sign up for ibotta and earn your savings, here’s my referral link!

This is my Rebate earnings from this particular Winn Dixie shopping trip!

And this is my lifetime earnings. Do you SEE that amount?! This is money that I have been able to transfer to my Paypal account over time! It’s REAL money, and it’s been nice to have a little bonus cash, or what I like to call “Free Money” just from buying things I was already buying anyway.

If you’d like to sign up for ibotta and earn your savings, here’s my referral link! 

In my next posts I’ll be sharing with you the breakdown of my shopping trips to CVS and Sam’s Club!

Whatever you do, Let’s make a Plan to be More Purposeful! 

My Monthly Goals for August 2018

After reviewing my yearly goals, here are the things I will be working on for the month of August… 

Spiritual Goals:
I’m finishing up the Seamless Bible Study by Angie Smith with Proverbs 31 Ministries this month, and next week I will begin the Medication study of Psalm 119 provided by Stone Soup for Five.

Mothering/Family Goals:

  • Sign Lawson up for recreational football.
  • Family Trip to the book store for Lawson to pick out his new book as a reward for completing his Summer Reading Passports Program.
  • Family Trip to the Trampoline for Lawson’s second reward for completing his Summer Reading Passports Program.
  • Linkin has a special goal he is working towards for a prize too, but I won’t share it here. He will also benefit from Lawson reaching his goal, of course.
  • Linkin will continue working through his Raising Rockstars Preschool with me.
  • Layten will continue working through Tot Schools Printables Curriculum with me.
  • Things still left on our Summer Bucket List: Float the Creek, Kroc Center, Zoo, S’mores, Aquarium, Campfire, Bike Ride on a Trail, Hiking Adventure, Make pickles, Snow Boogers, and the Trampoline Park (Who knows if we’ll get to all of these – probably not, but we’ll try to get to as many as we can)

Homeschooling Goals: 
We have been doing “light schooling” this past month. We are about 20 days in right now, and we will be completing our “Summer Term” and taking a break week this month. That week will be reserved for field trips and fun things (right about the time when all of the public schoolers go back to school so we’ll have less crowds). We, introverts, plan these things accordingly. 😉

After our Break Week, we will be adding in our Language Arts Curriculum on week 1, followed by Botany and Apologetics, which we go through slowly at our own pace. I’ll be posting in more detail about our homeschooling plans soon.

My Personal Goals: Reading Plans
Right now, I don’t know if I can really prioritize this as a goal, but I might try to start a new book if one grabs me. We’ll see. No definite plans as of now for this month.

Marriage Goals:

  • Weekly Budget Meetings as a Couple to keep us on Track with our Goals
  • Weekly Quality Time Together at home
  • At Least One Date Night This Month
  • Cheer on Justin as he competes in the first, annual Anchor Games this month.
  • Work together on reaching goals set for opening the new CrossFit gym the first week in September. Exciting! 

    Health & Fitness Goals:
    Keep doing CrossFit, even if I have to modify and scale everything. Keep meal planning and having healthy meals readily accessible for me.

Financial Goals:

  • Continue in the grocery store & drugstore game for saving money with our food, toiletries, & household purchases.
  • Continue with sinking funds & reaching goals there.
  • Prepare for Christmas. (Baby coming in December – I’ve gotta get on that!) Purchase or make at least one gift this month. Talk with family about holiday plans.

Professional Goals:
Post about our Family’s Core Values, Vision, Mission, and Slogan
Post about my Grocery, Drugstore, and Sam’s Shopping Process
Post about our Sinking Funds & Financial Goals
Posts about our Homeschool Methods, Curricula, and Goals

What goals will you be working on this month? If you’re just starting out, you can read my series on My Purposeful Planning and hopefully be inspired with one thing to begin with and how to reach that one goal, which will only lead you to want to achieve more.

Whatever you do, Let’s go make a plan to be purposeful! 

My Monthly Goals for July: An Update


After reviewing my yearly goals, here are the things I  worked on for the month of July… 

Spiritual Goals:
I am currently finishing up week six of Proverbs 31 Ministries’ online Bible Study of Seamless by Angie Smith. I missed this small group Bible Study when a group from our campus did it, but I heard it was phenomenal. So, when I got the email that it was going to be available as an online study, I ordered the book and jumped on board! This study has been everything I heard it was and more! I’ve gained so much insight of little tidbits and things that just really came together for me in a new light through this study. I feel like it has even equipped me to be a better Bible teacher to my children as I homeschool them, and for that I’m really excited.

Mothering/Family Goals:

  • Lawson has still been working through his Summer Reading Passports Program and working toward his goals of earning a new book from the book store and a family trip to the Kroc Center. He has worked hard, and I’m glad that this program has kept him reading throughout the Summer so he’s definitely going to earn his rewards. Although, he has decided that he’d rather take a family trip to the trampoline park, so Daddy will definitely have to accompany us for this one. No way this pregnant mama will be doing any jumping right now. 😉
  • Linkin has been working through his Raising Rockstars Preschool Curriculum with me. We’ve completed 5 weeks of it now. (We’re just going through it slowly. He’s not real keen on doing the school thing just yet.) I’m proud to say that he’s been doing much better with having a good attitude and trying his best each day. It’s really all I ask him for, and he’s learned his Bible verses. I’m a proud mama.
  • Layten still gets read to daily, and she REALLY wanted to do school with us. Although it wasn’t it the plans, we started her with the Tot School Printables Curriculum this month, and she has LOVED it! She loves the intentional time with Mama as she gets to color and learn new words. She’s doing fabulous with it! She has also successfully weaned from the pacifier this month! My little girl is growing up!
  • Things still left on our Summer Bucket List: Float the Creek, Kroc Center, Zoo, Aquarium, Campfire, Bike Ride on a Trail, Hiking Adventure, Make pickles, Snow Boogers, and now The Trampoline Park (Who knows if we’ll get to all of these – probably not, but we’ll try to get to as many as we can)

Homeschooling Goals: 
We started back to school this month with some light schooling. Why, you ask?
Well for one, we are going to have a newborn in December and I know we will be taking some time off for that so we need to get a head start so we can have a break next Summer. Our requirement is 180 days so we need to try our best to meet that, even if it means starting early. I just know myself and that we will definitely want to take a mid-year break, especially to get used to having a new member in our family. And we pretty much always start in July, because I get excited to get to all the plans I’ve made. 😉
Second, we really all do well with having a routine. We like to have fun, but our normal schedule and routine is good for us, so we do what we want.
Third, I did say “light schooling” which means we started with our character study of Knight Training, me Reading Aloud to them, and our Memory Work… but other than that we didn’t do too much more than our current Summer Reading Program and Fun Summer Activities we have planned. I did end up adding in some light Math one week, and we started our new Bible Curriculum just so we could get our feet wet there.

My Personal Goals: Reading Plans
One of my goals is to read 12 books this year, and I had planned to finish up two more this month. However, I totally bombed this one. As Jon Acuff says in his book Finish, “You only have two options right now. Attempt more than is humanly possible and fail OR choose what to bomb and succeed at a goal that matters.” Wise words. So this was the area that I bombed this month, and I am not ashamed at all to say that.

Marriage Goals:
We have had intentional time together at home this month in the form of mini Netflix binges in between family activities… we had some time to go on a brief kayak trip together, a few budget meetings, one lunch date out, and at least two of what we’ll call “Family Dates” where we all went out to eat as a family this month.  We led a family small group together at church (which was incredible, by the way). This really helped us to have some really intentional conversations about our vision for our family, and how to get us there. Justin and I have both been more intentional in the past couple of years, but it was really good to bring those ideas together and let God give us a mission and a vision for our family. I’ll share those with you soon.

Health & Fitness Goals:
My goal here was to keep doing CrossFit, even if I have to modify and scale everything… to work harder at meal planning and prepping to have healthy meals readily accessible to me. I have not been perfect (though I’m not striving for perfection so that’s okay), but I feel like I’ve been pretty successful at this goal.

Financial Goals:

  • My goal was to continue in the grocery store & drugstore game for saving money with our food, toiletries, & household purchases. This has helped us SO MUCH! I have cut our grocery spending by more than half in the past two months! I will be sharing more about this soon.
  • I wanted to work on starting some sinking funds, and I have done that this month as well. I actually wrote out our “tentative” budget for each pay period through the end of the year, complete with sinking funds. This is really going to help us to be intentional with our finances and reach some much-needed goals.
  • I wanted to start preparing for Christmas. (Baby coming in December – I’ve gotta get on that!) I have purchased one gift this month to put up for Christmas, as well as spent time making several gifts. Aren’t handmade gifts the best, anyway? (I sure hope so, because that’s what our budget calls for, and I’m thankful that I have the time to allow me to spend on it, even though the money I’d like to spend is not always there.)
  • Another possible goal was to sell our house, maybe? We didn’t achieve this one, although I haven’t really done any work to sell it either. I’m kind of torn at the moment as to what to do here…. what God wants from us now. We don’t have any clear direction as of now, so we are just sitting and waiting. (We’re used to that, so it’s totally okay.) When we first put our house up for sale, we had no idea that we would be having a baby this year. You would think that might motivate us to sell it quicker and move into a new house with more space, but that’s not our goal at all. Our goal was actually to downsize and temporarily live with family and save money. Now I’m finding that I’m really content in our home, and I’m just rearranging, getting rid of clutter, and making small changes to make it into what I need it to be in order to work for us.

Professional Goals:
Purposeful Planning Tips & Strategies Series for the month of July… I posted a few of these, though I’ve also been working on some larger posts, such as my grocery and drugstore shopping and meal planning process and to update you about our sinking funds and our goals with that.

What else We’ve Been Up to this Summer: 

  • We took a family trip to Lynn Meadows Discovery Center.
  • We made S’mores at home.
  • We dressed like cows for free Chicken at Chick-fil-A for Cow Appreciation Day.
  • We participated in Serve Day with our church.
  • We had a play date at Perk Beach.
  • We went swimming and boating at Flint Creek several times.
  • We got to see our new baby via Ultrasound this month. (And I did not peek to see the gender.)

And that’s all for now… I’ll be posting soon about my goals for the month of August!

Whatever you do, Let’s go make a plan to be purposeful!