I didn’t get my March Summary goals post up. The second half of March consisted or a round robin of a yucky cold virus. It hit each member of our family, even Baby Bear, and made for a not-so-fun few weeks. April has felt like a new start. A new season. A new day. Baby Bear is the first of my children who is not high need and he still has a really consistent routine. The biggest perk: I’m rested. I make sure to go to bed on time and we still deal with multiple night wakings but it’s amazing how a content and peace-filled family can show each other love during the day. If your family doesn’t enjoy each other’s company, there is no quick fix but I can say that slowing down and resting more will get you further in life that running around and hardly allowing yourselves to breath.

A new season, a new quarter, a new day. Life Plan 2014: April Summary - Aimed at the Heart

Goal updates:

Faith:

Read the Bible in one year: I got very far behind in March but am almost caught up. Doubling up the reading on some days and getting back into the habit of listening daily. I’m currently in 1 Kings for OT and making my way through the Book of John for my NT readings.
In depth book study: Oh, right. I was supposed to be reading Ephesians…. I’m going to be caught up soon on my yearly plan so I’ll stick this back into the rotation.
Focused Daily prayer time: I’ve been more sporadically praying for people and events as I think of them instead of taking a specific time each day. Trying to think of when I could add this in. Last month I mentioned a prayer prompter. Still haven’t made it. Putting it on my To Do list right now though… Scheduled for my Sunday afternoon planning session.

Wife:

Monthly “out” date with Adam: No dates. We did errands together without the bigger boys. But they took too long and we didn’t actually sit down to focus on each other. I just mentioned this fact to my husband and C has already figured out he’s going to call a friend to watch him and his brother. I’m glad that even my son sees the value in it… friend texted and May’s date is scheduled.
Shared interest “doing something” time: He totally out paced me in the game that we were playing and I have been left in the dust. This month’s “doing something” involves a garden and a plan for yard work. I want it done and he actually enjoy most yard work.
Kiss Adam daily: So simple and yet, with all the sickness we had in March, we completely got out of the habit. I didn’t review my goals at the end of March either so we really have some work to make this a priority again.

Mother:

Play: Can I just say that my kids are awesome? They truly are fun to be with and, even though I don’t usually get down on the floor with them to push cars around, I love spending time with them. With the weather having (finally) warmed up, we have been taking a lot of walks and doing story time outside and we have been making good use of the swingset. Baby Bear isn’t to sure about swinging but he sure does love participating with the big boys.
Their faith: We did pretty good with out daily family Bible readings for a while but then slacked again. I’m trying to figure out how to make this a firmer habit. Do you have any suggestions? Perhaps a visual chart by our dinner table that we can add stickers to each day we read. Kids love stickers!

Homemaker:

Cleaning: I feel like I’m getting the hang of this whole housekeeping-with-3-kids thing. Baby Bear is about 5.5 months so that’s quicker than I adjusted with the first two. My house certainly isn’t perfect but I’m also not overwhelmed anymore. It’s like a breath of fresh air to not feel like I’m always running behind.
Food: Freezer cooking? Baking? Yogurt? What’s that? I have been making kombucha so that’s a benefit to out health. I also have my tomatoes, peppers, and broccoli started and we will plant the rest of the garden in a couple of weeks.
Project: March’s project was to plan my garden and I still need to do that. April’s project was to clean my bay window so I could start my seeds and put them there. May’s project is to plant everything that can be planted in May. I didn’t plant a lot of things on time last year so my harvest was rather pitiful. This year will be different!

Hobbies/Blog/Personal:

The OIler's Handbook Reading: Two non-fiction books in April were The Essential Oiler’s Handbook. I have used essential oils for the last few years but we had a real breakthrough with Biscuit and his emotional issues during sleep (perhaps I’ll write about that in more detail one day) so I started doing a ton of research. I read about 6 ebooks on essential oils and that was the best. Another one I really liked was The Aromatherapy Bible: The Definitive Guide to Using Essential Oils. It is not a Christian book and there are a few things that I don’t agree with in it but it has great tips for recipes and how to use oils. My favorite part of the book is the section that is dedicated to an overview of a ton of different oils. My fiction selection was The Swiss Courier by Tricia Goyer. The kindle version is cheaper than I could have driven to the library and back.  I have read another couple of books by Tricia and read her blog regularly and just love her writing. This book was no exception. It was a WW II book and I haven’t been able to read a WW II book for a number of years because I found that they affected me too much. I took a chance on this book, however, and I’m so glad I did. Fantastic story that left me on the edge of my seat and had me applauding by the end of it. I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars.
Writing: I have been pretty consistently writing daily. Not always something for my blog but I journal and have even done something that I hadn’t done for probably 15 years: I wrote a song. Or rather, a part of a song. It isn’t quite complete. It has been great to get back at the piano and have the mental capacity and the joy in my heart to be able to write music again.
Website: March’s goal of making a disclosure page is going to be completed in May. I want to give a little more information on how and why I decided to monetize my blog and how those kinds of things affect my writing and how they affect you, as a reader.
Blog: My regular readers will know that March was a tough month for posting but I’m getting things organized again and I am enjoying posting regularly again. The thing with a blog is that it’s never just writing. If all I had to do was write, I could post daily. The truth is, as any blogger will tell you, the photos and links and formatting and marketing all take up more time than the actual writing does. I put a lot of time, effort, and heart into my final project so if a post really resonates with you, please share it!
Planning Session: I missed a few of these due to sick kids and Sunday’s spent away from home. I had to do some very quick and sporadic planning on Sunday evenings or Monday mornings and the hurried planning showed. I really love my planning session because it helps me organize my thoughts on all the areas of my life. I can accomplish so much more when I have a game plan.
Quiet time: I love warmer weather. I skip out of the house a bit when my husband comes in to make lunch. I get to take a walk alone or, occasionally, with a sleeping baby on my back. The boys play outside a lot so all the noise is out there. I can put Baby Bear in his little chair on the deck and he sleeps or watches his brothers and I can relax. Feeling much more refreshed with the amount of quiet I’ve been experiencing.

Health: Drinking water: It is much easier to keep my fluids up when the weather is nice. A cool glass of water on a hot day is perfect. I would say that I’ve got this “drinking water daily” habit in the bag. Eating fruit: Fruit and summer go hand-in-hand. And my boys have started asking for fruit at snack time so I prepare their snack and make an extra plate for myself at the same time. Strengthening my back: My back injury was over 3 years ago now and it still gives me grief. It makes me a little sad to think it but, at the same time, it has improved drastically. I am starting to find a routine of essential oils, back stretching exercises and remembering to massage daily (my chiropractor recommended the Professional Body Massager and I love it). My back still pops out daily and gets tired easily but it doesn’t usually hurt. I’m so glad that pain is minimized! Reviewing goals regularly helps keep you headed in the right direction.

Do you have a regular time to review your goals? If you have written a blog post on your goals, we would love to have you link up and share your goals with us. You could grab the button and put it on your post to help spread the word that we are writing these posts. Or leave a comment with a summary of how your life plan for 2014 is coming along.

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