Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Personal Revelation

I've been tossing a question around in my head for a while. I love to learn new things and want to constantly be learning and studying great books, but lately I've felt really disorganized in that. Like I had no direction, no goal, no anything. So every time I was ready to move onto something new I just felt lost as to where to go, and I've ended up reading less because of it. Saturday afternoon I was driving home from helping to paint the barn at my grandma's house, thinking about it again.

Saturday night I attended the general Relief Society meeting. I don't think there was anything said that made me think of it, but at one point the same question popped into my head, and a moment later I had my answer. I need to study things about home and family.

Before going to bed that night I took a few minutes to stare at my bookshelf and pulled off most of the books that I felt like could fit into that category. Here's a partial list:

Daisy Chain by Charlotte Mary Yonge (currently reading)
Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott
Jo's Boys by Louisa May Alcott
Nurtured by Love by Shinichi Suzuki
Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter
Little Britches by Ralph Moody
Five Little Peppers and How They Grew by Margaret Sidney
The Friendly Persuasion by Jessamyn West
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families by Stephen Covey
The Power of a Positive Mom by Karol Ladd
The Book of Mormon: It Begins with a Family (essays)
The Book of Mormon: A Pattern for Parenting by Geri Brinley
Glimpses into the Life and Heart of Marjorie Pay Hinkley
Watership Down by Richard Adams
Song of the Lark by Willa Cather
Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss (thanks Lara)

Like I said, a partial list. There are some here that might leave people scratching their heads but I have my reasons how they fit into home and family. It was also just perusing the bookshelf next to my bed, not all the other bookshelves throughout the house. I'll stick with these for now.

This also includes home and family skills I need to learn. The ever-hovering cleaning/decluttering skill I find so hard to keep up with, canning, meal planning, gardening, and many other skills I can learn to strengthen my home and family. All the things I'm currently a failure at. This list could go on for miles, but I'll spare you the gory details.

I'm excited! I noticed a book that I had checked out from the library recently that doesn't fit here, and I can easily decide to take it back for now and save it for another time. Doesn't mean I'm not willing to throw in other books, but that my focus is on home and family.

Direction. Purpose. Peace.

Any other suggestions for my list?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Always Out of Order

I have three or four posts I've started in the past week or so but haven't finished, adding to the many others in the same category. We'll see if this one gets officially published.

I'm so out of order. An example from this morning. I had a bracelet I needed to ship, really quick and easy style. I needed to get online (there's the downfall!) to check the size since I hadn't written it down, and after checking my e-mail, reading a couple blog posts quick, e-mailing my visiting teaching partner, I finally turned to make the bracelet. At the same moment I heard the mail lady driving up the street. Oops. Now I get to go drop it off at the blue mailbox up the street instead just at my own mailbox. That's what I mean, always out of order. Something else I need to learn - priorities!!!

On a random sidenote, we have all been looking very religious lately, well the kids at least, trying to choose which jeans were the least holey when we have to venture out in public. Yesterday I went to Savers (if you don't know, like DI only they organize their jeans way better so I can actually find what I'm looking for. DI, could you fix that? No sizes on the racks really bugs me. Maybe you have a system and I just haven't figured it out yet. I promise I'll ask about it sometime). I love buying my jeans there, because I hate how much jeans cost, especially ones that actually look nice. Several years ago I stopped buying jeans for the kids there because instead of the knees lasting a few months they started lasting only one month, thus making it not very cost effective. I decided to take the plunge again and see if that still held true, thoroughly inspecting the knees of course. Happily, I walked out with at least two pairs of jeans each (in some cases they'll have some to grow into) for five of us.

Monday, September 14, 2009

One Year at a Time

Early in 2008 I declared it the year to clear things out. No, I'm not done. In my defense, I've heard it said that it didn't take a day (or a year in this case) to get that deep, so it's going to take more than a day (or year) to clear it out. Besides the whole 5 kids and lots of other things to do factor.

Still, I got a lovely surprise about how much I've learned and how my attitude has changed when I attended an organization class Saturday put on by my amazing and talented friendKaren. I don't think there was anything overly new for me in that realm that she shared (other than another burst of motivation to keep it going), but the biggest realization I got there was that rather than feeling anxious while I listened, feeling like it was something I should be doing and internally coming up with all kinds of reasons why I shouldn't/couldn't get rid of things I didn't need to hold on to anymore, it was refreshing and exciting to be there, knowing that the weight of all those feelings isn't on me ANY MORE! That I can get rid of things and it's okay, and wonderful even! Hooray! Thank you Karen for the big part you've had to play in that, Lara for yours a lot through your blog (and a quote recently while talking to her, "Just throw it away, you'll be glad you did" - she's right), and the authors who've written books or articles I've happened upon to help my heart change as much as it has.

Oh wait, before I move on, something I did learn from Karen at the class that has already been proving helpful - tell the kids they only have to clean up the things they want to keep. Genius! I told that to my boys, and I don't think I've ever seen their room cleaned so well. They didn't have time to finish what they were working on, but I was impressed. Very impressed. I'm so glad there are so many people smarter than me.

This year, I decided back in January, was my year to learn to make bread. It took some reading and playing and messing up, but I feel very great about my bread making efforts. We make a triple batch of rolls about every week, if not more often when I'm more on top of it. I've learned that rolls go faster than a loaf of bread so I make those the most. Just easier for the kids to grab and eat without having to deal with cutting it. My learning has paid off enough that I even taught a class on making bread Saturday!

Isn't it great how learning new things pays off? If those were the only two things I'd learned in the past two years I would still feel pretty darn good about myself. A slow learner, but still making progress. With all the years ahead, if I learned one more cool thing like that every year, just think about how amazing I would be!!!

Exciting things to learn practice a lot in the future: canning, sewing, meal planning, piano (after years of piano lessons, I was teaching two of the kids how to sight read using Jon Schmidt's method and really learning it for myself!), and some other things I thought of earlier but can't remember right now.

Learned anything exciting and new lately?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Habit Breaking

I was feeling so punished at the beginning of my week without internet. Since I'm a tough girl and know I can put up with a lot, I have to put on my tough girl face about that, so everyone would know that really I was surviving. (But wait, did that last post sound a little more whiney than tough girl?)

Well either way, she finally did come out. And I started really enjoying my evenings without wasting using my time to catch up on e-mail and blogs. And rather than using the computer for downtime I would find other methods (sorry, still not housecleaning) to settle my brain for a few moments.

I realized some funny irony about the whole situation a couple days ago. A few weeks ago I got really really really really really sick of the TV, so I "broke" it - unplugged it, but not in the way I normally would straight from the wall, but just the TV cord into the power strip that then connects to the wall. The kids were baffled, and for several days our house was blissfully TV-less. It amazed me how quickly they stopped turning to it at every bored moment. Now it is much easier to regulate, and when mom says "no" like I still have to sometimes, they just go find something else to do.

Maybe I needed the same lesson. Even though it's been up since Wednesday night, I'm not back into old habits yet. I was having fun with the 7 day blogging thing and overcoming some of the reasons I don't blog much (more on that since I learned about that a few days ago), but there are so many exciting things out there to see and do. Like pilates. The kids and I have been doing pilates here and there. And hello! It's always good to work on my forever expanding reading list.

See, it was all for the good. Thanks for breaking the internet for me, Jamie. Told you I don't hate you!