What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Thursday, February 29, 2024

It's almost pizza night!

 The extended Newman family decided to have a Pizza Party.  The idea was for everyone to bring a pizza (or two) from a favorite local pizza joint and we were all to decide which place made the best pizza.

I paid an exorbitant price for a single pizza at a local pizzeria and while there, I asked if I could have two extra boxes...

and then I made my own pizzas to fool them all. 

BBQ chicken and onion

Buffalo chicken

Homemade mozzerella.  Loaded with leftover wedding chicken.

I win.


Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Race to Spring

 I am now living in the point of time where simply winging it through the October/November/December sprint results in the pandemonium that is January through March.

It happens every.single.year around this time.

Surely, I am not the only one.... right?

Too much stuff.  Too long disorganized.  Too many drawers spilling over.  Too many and too long ignored spaces.  Too much to do.  Too little time.  Too daunting to even want to begin.

My day-to-day chores are hard enough to keep on top of.  Laundry is done every day and never done.  Meals are made constantly and still there are growling bellies.   Homeschooling is always and never done.  

But the fact is- those utensil drawers that get clogged every time I open/close them (and drive me crazy) will continue to get clogged until I actually DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT.  

(I know, profound.)

For "before" pictures, just imagine layers of dust and no showing surfaces

When my life feels too chaotic and out of control, it always makes me feel somewhat more in control if I can actually rein something in.  Even if it is just the top of the fridge.

 So... I made a list of all the teeny, tiny, long-neglected spaces/jobs that I could think of that would take about 10 minutes to tackle (or so I tell myself) and I am now in a race with Old Man Winter to see how many of these things I can cross off by March 19th.  (That's the first day of Spring, you know.)

The goal is not just to clean and dust these places but to organize them and purge at least 3-5 things that add more clutter than value at this point.  Or to focus on a tiny task that I have been avoiding.

Most of the time it takes longer than 10 minutes.  (Sometimes, even hours.)

(Washing all these shelves and jars took WAY longer than 10 minutes)

The list is constantly being added to.

But the list is constantly being checked off too... and bags and boxes of stuff are being thrown away, given away and/or donated which means... those particular things will NEVER drive me crazy again!

And that makes me supremely happy.

Friday, February 16, 2024

Funny Little Valentine

Corynn surprised me with these beauties last week.  Sweet girl.

Just the typical Valentine mayhem over here.

So what if I can't find the dining room table... who cares if there are a million shards of cut paper in every crack of the dining room floor, broken crayons under every chair, paint splotches on clothes and  candy wrappers in every pocket, just waiting to be washed?!  

There is love.

Wednesday, February 07, 2024

Goals for 2024

I tell the children all the time that obedience is cheerful... if you aren't cheerful while you obey, you aren't REALLY being obedient.   Obedience must be fueled by LOVE and not be duty for duties' sake.  Mama needed the reminder too. 

 It took a bit longer to get my goals up for this year than I expected.  My apologies to the masses!  ;-)

Here is what I am working towards in 2024:

I see a lot of value in continuing and expanding some of the habits I developed last year so hosting Matt's parents for dinner one night a week, taking vitamins, being active/exercising at least 3x per week, writing one letter/card a month, Christmas shopping throughout the year, and being sure to fit Morning Time with Mama into my weekdays will be a priority for me this year as well.  

In addition to those things (which, let's be honest, are going to keep me busy), here are some new things I would like to accomplish this year.

(Or in the remaining 11 months of it, anyway!)

~ Read Paradise Lost (this was a roll-over from last year)

~ Host ladies + children from church once a month at our house.

~ Get a different vehicle (ours is one breath away from death)

~ Get Andrew into his own vehicle (we will go halfsies)

~ blog once a week (These may be short and sweet but I think my Faraway Girl might appreciate them so I want to try.)

~ Fix up dining room (if not a full do-over, at least repair the broken drywall by the table)

~ Start saving up money for a home generator

~ Sort/Purge Granary in order to make a play space in the upstairs for children

~ Write six long letters (not just cards)

~ Get grapes on fence or arbor

~ Do a better job recording important info into our Hopestead Journal

~ try to grow carrots 

~ try to make a new variety of cheese (maybe cheddar?)

Here is what my January looked like:

Do you have any particular goals for 2024?  How are you doing on them?  

Thursday, February 01, 2024

Looking Back

It may be February 1st but it is only just now beginning to feel like the new year for me... I guess we were on "wedding time" for a while.  Last weekend we had our Christmas gift exchange with the Newman side.  I have not yet written or mailed a Christmas letter...which, if it were to happen, would likely be for the New Year at this point.

I'm absolutely okay with starting 2024 already behind schedule.  (har, har)   

Nevertheless, here I am.  

Behind schedule.

But before I truly begin this new year... I always like to take once last, lingering glance back at what is being left behind. 

(To look at the original 2023 Resolutions post, go here.)  

I feel pretty proud of last year's efforts.  While some of the things I had hoped to accomplish fell entirely off my radar (like reading Paradise Lost, for example), other things I never anticipated being ON my radar (i.e. putting on a wedding) were accomplished.

It really, REALLY helped me to have a daily/monthly checklist to check off... it helped me not only to keep my goals on the forefront of my mind each day (thus helping me to actually accomplish them), but it also helped me to not lose heart when I didn't feel like I was progressing or improving quickly enough.  

Seeing all the checkmarks made me feel like there was real progress being made, even when I didn't make every goal, every time. (And I didn't... see the barren wastelands of the end of November and the end of December.)

An added perk, I've got to say... it is awfully fun to look back on all those little checkmarks now! 

I think I will be implementing the check-off system from now on.  That was the single-biggest reason I had as much success as I did. 


~ NOT reading Paradise Lost
~ NOT repairing chicken coop or getting more chickens
~ NOT finishing the entire Literary Life Reading Challenge
~ NOT writing creatively for 10 minutes a day
~ NOT writing long letters to friends (I did write correspondences but they were usually short cards of condolences, gratitude, encouragement or congratulations... not those lovely, long letters I love to write/receive.)


~ hosted a Community Psalm Sing
~ hosted Corynn's wedding
~ had Matt's parents over for supper once a week the entire year
~ new roof on house
~ accomplished monthly projects
~ Christmas present buying throughout the year (what a blessing this was to me as December's TIME and BUDGET was entirely devoted to Corynn's wedding)
~ homegrown beef (and more recently pork!) in freezers
~ printing photos from '22 and '23 (though now I have a bunch of photos that need to be put in albums)
~ deleting photos from computer
~ and, of course, every single one of those checkmarks above!

(I'll be sharing what I hope to accomplish in 2024 tomorrow.)