Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Bit of Sarcasm

Because this is just the kind of thing that strikes my funny bone as we head into February (the longest month of the year, imo!).

 Have a great day!

God Bless!

Monday, January 26, 2015

An Official Book Signing

This past weekend we took Ms 16 yo and her new book "Still That Girl" and headed over to our local library where we held a book signing.  I, personally, have never been to a book signing so I didn't know what they were all about.  Fortunately, Ms 22 yo, who is very well-read, is versed in these sorts of things so she set it all up.

We spread the word, and for a Saturday afternoon, I'd say we had a good turnout - over 30 people!  

Ms 16 yo signed books, talked with friends and posed for a lot of pictures.

Ms 22 yo said it is customary for the author to read an excerpt of her book to the attendees and then answer questions; so that she did.  

Ms 22 yo had picked out the perfect chapter for her to read and then Ms 16 yo fielded a lot of good questions from the audience.  I was impressed both by the questions that were asked as well as by how my daughter handled them!  It is amazing to see what your children are capable of!

The signing ended and a few of her close friends joined us for pizza afterwards.  It was an incredibly special day for all of us and we are all so very proud of our new author.

Rumor has it that the plot for a sequel might be brewing.  We'll just have to wait and see.

If you haven't ordered a copy yet, you can either a hard copy or a Kindle copy.  If you want an autographed copy, just leave me a comment and we'll get in touch with you to arrange for that!

God Bless!
affiliate links included, thanks!  

Thursday, January 22, 2015

We Are Pro-Life

It has been almost 21 years since my husband and I had our reversion back to our Catholic faith.  It was 19 years ago on this day that we had our first post-reversion baby!  This event is what cemented us in the pro-life movement.  It's her birthday, but the new Ms 19 yo is at the March for Life in DC, and while we miss her today, we are proud that she is there representing our family.  Should this slaughter rule law called abortion continue to be legal, I hope that we can continue to send representatives from our family to march for life.  One year I hope we can all go.

In the meantime, we went to our first March for Life Chicago this past weekend.  While it isn't as big as the one in DC, it was the biggest one yet in Illinois.  It is amazing what being with thousands of like-minded, peaceful joyful people can do for one's spirit.  That is what I like about the pro-life movement: it is filled with joyful people.  We know the ending.  We know we win.  What isn't there to be joyful about?

At the end of our march there was a small (maybe about 50) group of pro-abortion protesters.  They were not joyful.  We were singing and dancing and celebrating life.  They were not.  I thank God every day that I'm on His side.

Here are some photos from the day.  I pray that this is the last March for Life we have to participate in and that next year it will be the Victory for Life dance in the streets (or something like that)!

Loved this!

Pat McCaskey (owner of the Chicago Bears) giving a pro-life speech!

Abby Johnson speaking

God Bless all those marching in DC and may He have mercy on our country.

God Bless!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

My Next Five Goals

Continuing on from yesterday, I made the last five areas of my goal setting business-related.  Yes, I have my hand in too many things.  I've thought about this, prayed about it and pondered my options, but I have realized that it just isn't clear enough to me to give any one of these areas up.  Given that, I've made goals for each one of them.

Catholic Homeschooling Resources - my website for homeschoolers.  Ah, there is so much I'd like to do here so hopefully I can accomplish some of it this year.  Every summer I have such dreams....Anyhow.  My main goal here for the year is to send out four newsletters (one per quarter) and add to and update my Highschool section.  I have some great ideas for that and just need to get them up live!

A Plan for Joy in the Home - My goal this year is simple:  sell more books than I did last year.  My main advertising avenue (besides the website) is word of mouth.  Won't you help me spread the word??

Homeschooling With Joy - yep, this place right here.  I love to write, but sometimes my mind is just blank.  My goal for this space is to try hard to remain consistent throughout the year.  I'm setting my sight on three posts per week - but only if they're meaningful...no fluff here (or at least I'll try).

The Goat Milk Soap Shop - I love this soap and it's the only soap we use so I just can't give it up!  My goal - increase sales over last year by being more consistent in the avenues I already have.  

Dominick Photography - like I say, "homeschooling is my life, photography is my passion".  Photography gigs increased a lot last year so I'd like to keep the momentum going.  More family photo shoots and more student/senior portrait shoots is where I'd like to aim (ha, no pun intended!).

Well that should keep me busy when I'm not busy with my other, more important goals (i.e. family and schooling).  I am super excited to see how things go.  I'll check in here occasionally and keep y'all updated.  I hope that these posts have inspired you to consider setting some goals. 

Now, on to the second half of the book, "Living Well Spending Less" - the spending less part!

God Bless!
affiliate links inlcuded 



Monday, January 19, 2015

My First 5 Goal Areas

Wow, we had a busy weekend and that seems to do a good job at throwing me off track.  My mind gets caught up in all that is going on, not to mention how tired I get, and it seems to take me a day or two to get back on the motivated band wagon.  Maybe that is why today just wasn't a very productive day.

When I sat down to think about what I wanted to try to accomplish this year, after my "main" goals, of course, I came up with 10 different areas that I wanted to work on.  Setting goals, like I said, doesn't come naturally to me, and sometimes I caught myself just making big to-do lists for an area.  For some areas, that is okay, but for others I tried to rethink them and make more specific goals instead.

The first five areas I want to focus on are:  Family, School, Spiritual, Health and Home.

I took these five areas and made some pretty specific lists.  Here's the gist of what I came up with.

Family - instead of getting to summertime and having us all scratch our heads about whether or not we're taking a vacation and if we can all get off the same week, I want to start early and actually plan something.  It might not even be big, but if we start now, it can definitely be bigger than doing nothing!  We're starting this month with a family meeting to discuss summer activities already on the calendar and then brainstorming ideas for vacation time.

School - my main goal for this semester is to get the kids' writing program organized.  The girls who have been teaching the highschoolers for the past 3 semesters aren't doing it this semester, so it is again up to me.  I'm aiming for at least 12 weeks of good writing.

Spiritual - one of the hardest things for me to incorporate from St. Ignatius' recommendations on a good prayer life is the daily spiritual reading.  Ugh.  I just can't force myself to do it.  In an effort to do something, I've decided to read one spiritual book every quarter this year.  Three months to read a book - I should be able to do that.  AND, it has to be a book I already have which I haven't read yet.  That makes my options very numerous!

Health - I'm staying on the Trim Healthy Mama wagon and working harder (since the backsliding during the holidays) to get another 10 pounds off.  I'm also getting back to weightlifting.  I'm starting with twice a week.

Home - ah, home decorating.  We desperately need a new mattress and some new couches, so it will take some saving and some good shopping to accomplish, but I hope to do that this year.

Not bad for a newbie, huh?  Really, I think writing them down (and now putting them out here for all to see) will definitely make me more accountable.  Each month I'm breaking the bigger goals down into bite-sized pieces that should be doable.  

Next up, my five business related goals.

God Bless!

Friday, January 16, 2015

My Main Goal

In the book, "Living Well Spending Less", the author talks about how she found it important to tackle her biggest, hardest goals first thing in the morning when she was still fresh.  For her that meant getting up earlier and putting in 90 minutes of writing time.

"But," I moaned to my husband after reading that, "by the time I have time to tackle any of my goals my brain is fried.  I mean...we get up, go to Mass and do school and by the time all of that is over with - there just ain't much left of my stamina or determination."  

Maybe you are more astute than I was, but after awhile of thinking like that, the Holy Spirit took a 2x4 to my head and got me to see that I AM tackling my biggest and hardest goals first thing in the morning.  By getting us to Mass every day, I'm providing for mine and my children's spiritual formation and welfare.  By making sure we spend our mornings homeschooling and not doing anything else, I am assuring that my kids are being educated.  I didn't see it that way at first, but eventually I realized that all of the other items on my list of goals is secondary to what was happening before noon each day.

Once that settled in, it made the rest of the goal-setting process easier for me.  All the rest is icing on the cake, so-to-speak.  If I get to noon and am still able to think, then great, I can tackle some of my other goals for the year!  If it has been an exceptionally taxing day, well then whatever is left can wait till the next day.

That being said, I still managed to come up with 10 areas of my life that I would like to focus on in some way or another this year.  I'll share the first five next time :).

God Bless!
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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Are You a Goal Setter?

It seems kind of fitting that my word for the year is Purposeful and this month I seem to keep running into things about setting goals.  I will admit that I have never been a goal setter.  I've really never seen the point in setting 5 and 10 year goals because that just seems too far out for me.  So much can happen in that time span that how can you even come close to knowing what God will want of you in that time frame. 

Alright, I can see setting goals like, "finish school and get a job in my field", but for whatever reason, I've just never been an official goal setter (the writing it down on paper kind of goal setter).  My husband says it is because I don't like to commit.  I'm sure it has something to do with my temperament.

Last week, however, I came across the book, "Living Well, Spending Less" by Ruth Soukup.  "What the heck," I thought, "let's order this and see what she has to say."  I expected the book to be more about the "spending less" part, but really it is split between the two topics, and, you guessed it, the first half is a lot about setting goals.

I've gotten through the first half already; the part about Living Well.  I've decided to take a short break from the book and, well, actually set some goals.  It took me a few days to process the whole concept, but I finally got to the point where I could set goals for this year in 10 different areas.  I just finished putting them down on paper and now am pondering how to break them up over the months of the year.  I can already see how the act of writing down your goals goes a long way towards actually meeting them.  The key now will be to keep looking at them so that I don't forget them.

Over the next couple of posts I hope to share with you my 10 areas and some of my goals.  Making them public will also help me to be accountable to them.  In case you are like me about the whole goal-setting thing, maybe this will help you, too.  First up...my main goals at this point in my life!

God Bless!