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Archive for January, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Monday:  7 Layer Casserole
Tuesday:  Breakfast for Dinner:  French Toast
Wednesday:  Spaghetti
Thursday:  Sweet Potato and Apple Soup and Salad (We never had this last week)
Friday:  Leftovers
Saturday:  Chicken in Cream Sauce

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Gina at Six in the Country is budgeting for $1500 in food this year, which works out to about $4.10 per day.  I am very impressed with this budget and am interested to see how well she does throughout the year.  Go, Gina, Go!  Oh, and while you are at her site, you have got to check out this CVS Deal she got.  It is incredible!  You would never guess her total price for all these toys!  I am in awe of Gina!

Sunny at Dandelions and Daydreams has a post for a basic sourdough bread starter.  This looks so good.  I would like to make my own bread but so far have not prioritized that in my life.

Sarah at Real Life has a great idea for having chidlren sort laundry so you do not have to

Neila at Blog That Mommy recites a couple of recent conversations with her 5 year old son which are very humorous.

Shawn at Letters to my Daughters tells how to bloggers have taught her how to save money with coupons

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This post has moved to JenuineJen’s new domain:  http://jenuinejen.com.  Please visit the new site for posts on surrogacy and more.  Thanks!

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GigglyGirl has this funny little rhyme game she made up.  Every time she does this it is in the same cadence.  It goes something like this:

Middle, maddle, liddle, criddle, boo

Or:

Zerma, kerma, ferma, terma, you

While the words are not funny, the way she says it is.  She just sings this rhyme out of nowhere and then stops abruptly.  It just cracks me up when she does this.  After I laugh, she laughs. 

She now has the whole family making up these silly nonsensical rhymes.

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WfmwsmallIn the last installment of “Do You Have a Program to Set Goals?” we made a wish list of everything we want to be, do, and have.  Now it is time to turn those wishes into dreams or goals.

After I wish for something, it is time to get real and determine whether these are truly just wishes or if they are items I can visualize and dream about and are willing to work to see the dream come true.  When I decide that something is still a wish, it is usually something that is out of my reach and I am not willing to work hard to achieve it.  For instance, I wish I were a size 2 and look like a super model.  I am really not willing to starve myself to become a size two.  I like food more than I like the idea of become a size 2.  I know that I am never going to put forth the effort to achieve this.  For me, becoming a size 2 is just a wish and I am fine letting it stay that way. 

When I turn a wish into a dream, I am ready to begin the process to achieve this desired result.  I use the following criteria to determine whether I am willing to turn a wish into a dream and the dream into a goal:

  • Can I truly dream or day dream about this happening to me?

In other words, can I actually visualize the outcome?  If I cannot actually visualize myself achieving this goal, then there is no point in looking at the rest of the criteria. 

  • What types of steps would be necessary for me to achieve this end result? 

I am not looking at all the minutia but a general outline of what would be necessary to achieve this goal.  If I do not know all the details and know that I need to research how to achieve it, then research is enough to get started for this step.

  • Am I willing to put for the effort required to achieve this end result? 

Based on the necessary steps to achieve the end result, do I truly think I am willing to put forth the energy and time to make the wish a reality? Is there a fire in my belly that makes me want to work tirelessly to achieve this end result? 

  • Is it in line with the way I envision living my life?  

In other words, is the end result in line with my personal mission statement?  

  • Does achieving this result hurt anyone? 

If the wish will hurt someone else, then I personally cannot pursue it.

  • Are the result and the steps required to achieve it ethical and moral? 

If the steps necessary to achieve the end result are not ethical and moral, then I personally cannot pursue it.

  • Does this wish conflict with any other goals I am working towards?  

If the steps necessary to achieve this wish are going to hurt my progress towards another goal, then I will have to evaluate which one is truly the most important to me.  For example, if there is a trip I want to take to the Bahamas that is scheduled for the same dates as another trip I having been saving for in Alaska, I obviously cannot be in both places at the same time.  The trip to the Bahamas will help me increase my network connections and boost my career.  The trip to Alaska is a vacation that Mr. Right and I were planning to take for fun.  I have to determine which one is more important to me at this time in my life.  In this example, I may have to choose to the Bahamas now and reschedule the Alaska trip or vice versa. 

  • Finally, after determining if this is a wish or a goal, I classify it as Short Term Goal, Long Term Goal, or Review Later Wish.

Short Term Goals are ones I plan to achieve in the next 90 days and need to focus on regularly everyday.  Long Term Goals are ones I am committed to achieving but they will take longer than 90 days.  I need to focus on these goals about once a week.  Review Later Wishes are wishes that I will need to review on a monthly basis to see if I am ready to move these from wishes to goals.  At this point in time, I am not ready to commit the resources to achieving these goals.

Now that you know my criteria to determine which wishes I will turn into dreams in my mind and goals that I work towards, let’s look at a few examples from my Wish List last week:

Help Mr. Right Get a Job

  1. Visualization? Check.  I can visualize this.  I can see Mr. Right working some sort of job in the next 8 weeks. 
  2. Necessary steps?  Check.  Review job posting website, help create cover letters, make sure he can focus 80% of his awake time on this effort.
  3. Willing to put forth effort?  Check.  Boy am I willing!!  We desperately need the money.
  4. In line with Personal Mission Statement?  Check.  Without having an income, I cannot serve my country and community.  Also, without an income, I am not treating my body with respect because I am stressed and worried much of the time. 
  5. Does it hurt anyone?  No. Check.
  6. Ethical?  Moral?  Yes.  Check
  7. Conflict with other goals?  No.  Check.
  8. Short or Long Term?  Short Term.

Resolve Our Financial Difficulties

  1. Visualization? Check.  I can visualize this.  There will be much more peace in my life once this happens.
  2. Necessary steps?  Check.  Mr. Right gets a job, I add additional clients, make arrangements with creditors.
  3. Willing to put forth effort?  Check.  I am willing to spend time working on this.
  4. In line with Personal Mission Statement?  Check.  Resolving these difficulties will give me peace which will help treat my body with respect by reducing stress.  Also, I will have more time to focus on my community and country for volunteer and work activities.
  5. Does it hurt anyone?  No. Check.
  6. Ethical?  Moral?  Yes.  Check
  7. Conflict with other goals?  No.  Check.
  8. Short or Long Term?  Short Term. 

Payoff Our Debt and Create a Net Worth of $5 Million

  1. Visualization? Check.  I can visualize this.  All of our debt will be gone and the only bills we have are monthly utility bills.
  2. Necessary steps?  Check.  Mr. Right gets a job, I add additional clients, make arrangements with creditors, create a plan to pay off debt, create a plan to save money.
  3. Willing to put forth effort?  Check.  I am willing to spend time working on this.
  4. In line with Personal Mission Statement?  Check.  Again, this will help me respect my body by giving myself peace. Also, I will have more money to invest in my community and country for volunteer and work activities.
  5. Does it hurt anyone?  No. Check.
  6. Ethical?  Moral?  Yes.  Check
  7. Conflict with other goals?  No.  Check.
  8. Short or Long Term?  Long Term

Have a Spa Day Once a Week

  1. Visualization? Check.  I can visualize this.  Can you?  Imagine how relaxed I would be after having a massage and reflexology each week.  Oh the life!!
  2. Necessary steps?  Check.  Make and keep appointments at my favorite spa.
  3. Willing to put forth effort?  Check.  I am willing to spend time working on this.
  4. In line with Personal Mission Statement?  Maybe.  I could justify how this is treating my body with respect.  Although, it does very little to serve my country and community.  Also, it is putting myself much further ahead of my family and taking time away from them.  Still, if I were more relaxed our time together would be much more enjoyable.
  5. Does it hurt anyone?  No. Check.
  6. Ethical?  Moral?  Yes.  Check
  7. Conflict with other goals?  Yes.  There is no way to resolve our financial difficulties and pay off our debt if I am spending money at the spa.  Also, this the time at the spa would take away from the time to spend on my other goals.  Alas, the weekly spa day cannot be one of my goals. 
  8. Review Later Wish

Learn to DigiScrap

  1. Visualization? Check.  I can visualize this.  When I learn to digiscrap, I will have books that outline and detail our lives as a family.   
  2. Necessary steps?  Check.  I already have tutorials to teach me to begin learning this, practice, and create pages.  I need to set aside time each day to do so. 
  3. Willing to put forth effort?  Check.  I am willing to spend time working on this.
  4. In line with Personal Mission Statement?  Check.  While, I do not specifically have “scrapbook” in my mission statement, it does fall in line with showing my love to my family by taking the time to detail their lives. 
  5. Does it hurt anyone?  No. Check.
  6. Ethical?  Moral?  Yes.  Check
  7. Conflict with other goals?  No. Check.
  8. Short or Long Term?  Short Term

Update Family Blog 4 Times a Week and Turn the Blog into a Book at the End of the Year

  1. Visualization? Check.  I can visualize this.  I can see myself typing in my blog several times a week.   
  2. Necessary steps?  Check.  Make notes of blogable moments, take photos regularly, type actual blog posts.  I need to set aside time each day to do so. 
  3. Willing to put forth effort?  Check.  I am willing to spend time working on this.
  4. In line with Personal Mission Statement?  Check.  While, I do not specifically have “scrapbook” in my mission statement, it does fall in line with showing my love to my family by taking the time to detail their lives. 
  5. Does it hurt anyone?  No. Check.
  6. Ethical?  Moral?  Yes.  Check
  7. Conflict with other goals?  Yes.  At this point in my life, the time necessary to blog conflicts with the time necessary to digiscrap and work towards other goals.  Since I have already established a blogging routine, I will turn this one into a goal and set digiscrapping aside for the time being.  In a few months as I achieve other goals, I can review the digiscrapping goal again because I really do want to learn to digiscap.
  8. Short or Long Term?  Short Term and change digiscrap to Review Later Wish

Without giving you the details on each of the other items in my wish list, here are my current goals.

Short Term Goals (to achieve in 0 – 90 days)

  1. Help Mr. Right get a job
  2. Resolve our financial difficulties
  3. Update family blog 4 times a week and turn the blog into a book at end of year
  4. Live my life as an example to our children so they can have a close personal relationship with God
  5. Help GigglyGirl and BusyBoy learn how to read
  6. Create my first money making blog
  7. Add clients to consulting  business
  8. Read 1 book per week including 2 non-fiction books per month  Given the time involved in my other goals, I have reduced this to 2 books per month, 1 non-fiction book every other month
  9. Keep up with the laundry on a daily basis
  10. Plan my weekly menus in advance at least 3 times per month
  11. Workout regularly

Long Term Goals (to achieve longer than 90 days from now)

  1. Payoff our debt and create a net worth of $5 million
  2. Help on the Republican Nominee’s Presidential Campaign in swing states in October and November
  3. Attend the RNC Convention
  4. Lose 22 pounds
  5. Determine whether or not GigglyGirl and BusyBoy will be in the same class not next year or not
  6. Write a book with Mr. Right
  7. Face life with a positive attitude even during adversity

Review Later Wishes

  1. Start additional money making blogs   
  2. Purchase a flat screen television for our bedroom and one for our family room I do want to do this but will need to review it again in a few months.   
  3. Purchase a second car
  4. Go on a family vacation sometime in 2008
  5. Let GigglyGirl and BusyBoy take swimming lessons this spring
  6. Replace the siding on our home
  7. Replace the lighting in our kitchen
  8. Volunteer for the various organizations I want to volunteer in
  9. Learn to digi scrap
  10. Have a spa day once a week
  11. Finish paper scrapbook projects that I have already started and have not finished

Next week, I will review how to break each goal into manageable parts so that the goals can actually be achieve.  In the meantime, you may want to check out my other posts in this series:

Do You Have a Program to Set Goals?
Develop a Personal Mission Statement
Create Your Wish List:  A List of Everything You Want To Be, Do, and Have

If you have created a wish list and determined which wishes are your goals, leave a link in the messages below.  I’d love to hear about your progress.

This post is part of Shannon’s Works for Me Wednesday.  Be sure to check out all the other entries on the official site.  It is a wealth of information is many great tips and resources.

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Talk About TuesdayIn the south, we are suffering from the 100 year drought.  This is a drought that is supposed to happen only once every 100 years.  There have been reports about Atlanta running out of water in less than 3 months if there is no relief from the Corps of Engineers.  There are reports that instead of loosening up on the water to take care of people and farmers’ needs water is still being released to protect mussels in Florida.  There are efforts to conserve.  There are plans for more reservoirs but it takes 15 years from proposal to completion of those reservoirs because of so many federal mandates and red tape.  There is talk that we may not be allowed to fill swimming pools this summer if the drought does not let up. 

I took photos recently of a local lake but then my hard drive crashed and I have not yet been able to retrieve them or able to take more photos.  Instead of my own photos, you can click to see this slideshow from the Atlanta Journal and Constitution.  The slideshow is specifically of some local Boy Scouts cleaning up debris from the dried land that used to be the lake.  You will see boat docks that are simply standing on mud rather than floating in water.  You can even see a boat that is stuck in the middle of the dried up mud. 

The good news is that eventually it will rain again and the lakes and reservoirs will fill back up.  There are decisions to be made to determine what to do until the lakes fill back up.  Hopefully, the citizens and the elected officials will learn from this experience so that when a future generation has a 100 year drought they are more prepared than we are today.

This post is part of Laura Gallagher’s Talk About Tuesday.  It is like show and tell, bloggy style.  Check it out and leave your own post.

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In an effort to set boundaries awhile back, we established a few words that are only to be said in the bathroom or with you have to go to the bathroom.  They are our “potty words,” words such as poop, poot, and poo poo.  These are not typically bad words but I do not want these words used as adjectives in our home.  I especially do not want them used while at the dinner table.  The rule is basically he can go into the bathroom and say “poop” 100 times in a row if he wants to but he cannot just go around the house describing things as with the word. 

The other day, BusyBoy said there was a monster in the house.  This is not unusual.  BusyBoy and GigglyGirl often see monsters, elephants, giraffes, hippos, and all sorts of animals that are not typically considered domesticated. 

Mr. Right asked, “What kind of monster it was this time?”

BusyBoy stepped into the bathroom and asked, “Can I use a ‘potty word’ to tell what kind of monster it is because I am in the potty?  Please, Mom? Can I?”

At first I did not understand what he meant and then I realized what was about to happen and he was in the potty.  So, I said yes.

“It is a poo-poo monster.”

I guess I walked right into that one. 

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