What’s Been Happening:

March began with us being able to use our new kitchen.  Though I love the new colour and the new shape one of the things what I am most enjoying is that it actually works as a cooking kitchen.  I know that sounds silly but you need more than a stove to make a workable kitchen.  The work-flow works, and best of all I can have more than one person working productively at a time!
My birthday is in March and this year I got to spend most of the day at a quilting retreat.  I came home with two projects all but completed and two new skills to play around with. My birthday also signals that it is time to make a health checkup appointment with the doctor.  This is something that is marked on my calendar and it serves as a good reminder to look after myself!
Peter and I celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary – we celebrated in a fairly quiet way because of all the turmoil with the rennovations we didn’t have the head space to throw a party.  Maybe next year – after all 26 years is one better than 25!  In recognition of our years together I blogged: 25 Years Ago I married my Friend
Easter was a little different for us this year.  For so many years I have tried to use the celebration weekend as a time to teach our children the gospel message.  Of course, with them now grown up they well and truly understand what Easter is all about.  I had to ask myself – how do we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, in a meaningful way, as adults.  It is something I’m still working on.  One thing we did do was invited some friends over to watch “The Passion of the Christ” on Friday evening.  It was good to see a visual reminder of the message of the Cross, it was also good to do it with others.  I did blog about Easter Lessons for the Highschool Student

I’ve been thinking:

It’s hard to change your routines!  I am in a transitional stage of my life – I am no longer fully homeschooling, and yet I’m still needed.  My older kids have not left home, and yet they are fully independent.  I have time to do things, and yet I’m still available to help my kids be successful in their endeavours.  So in the midst of all that I’m trying to change my routines, especially my morning routine – and it’s hard.  As the year progresses I’m observing what the family rhythms are, and what is needed of me, balanced with what I need to do for myself and slowly I’m finding something that works.  So often we think because it looks good, it looks workable on paper then it will work – and we can make ourselves, by hook or crook, to make it work – but we are fighting a losing battle.  One of the things I’ve learnt is that we need to be both intentional and realistic if we have any hope of setting routines that truly work.

I’m reading:

Finding time – or rather, making time – to read is a part of my new routines that I’m trying to establish.  At the moment I’m reading Sally Clarkson’s Life Giving Home – I’m trying to read a little bit every day.  I’m also reading Joshua Harris’ Dug Down Deep.  My goal is to read a chapter a week and discuss it with Daniel as he is on the same reading plan.

Movies we’ve watched this month:

Our family loves watching movies together and this month we’ve had a Colin Firth marathon!  We didn’t intend to but we do enjoy his movies.  It started with The Railway Man, then King’s Speech, and then Pride and Prejudice.

 

Had to laugh at dinner last night – in the midst of conversation one of our girls quoted Star Wars, and in the same conversation one of our boys quoted Pride and Prejudice.  It might be one of those ‘you had to be there moments’ but it did make us laugh.

 

I also bought a few Christian movies and to be honest was very disappointed.  I like to support the Christian movie industry as I believe they have a great opportunity to tell a good story – but instead they seem to be returning to the old ways of Christian story telling where their aim seems to be to teach a topic, to teach a very specific lesson.   It usually comes out corny and in a cringeworthy way.  The lesson is missed because it was too pointed.  I believe a good story will talk to our hearts and we can learn from it but we don’t need to be preached at.  Our family has had lots of discussions about Christians in the Arts – what does that look like?  These movies certainly gave us more food for discussion.

Making Home:

My goal this year is to declutter my house.  It is as if I’ve rolled from one season of life to the next, to the next, and have not taken the time (or had the time) to deal with the stuff from the last season.  Jessica has been such an amazing help – each weekend she gets in and sorts out one particular area – leaving me with clear instructions of what to do during the week.  I have been so overwhelmed by the enormity of it all that her clear thinking has been a life saver.

Homeschool Note:

We are nearly at the end of term 1 and in reviewing how Daniel was going we (Daniel and myself) decided he needed a little more structure and direction in order to lift his game.  We looked at  a few things that I had in our bookshelves, but he wanted to do Sonlight again.  He remembers learning and enjoying that learning when he did a Sonlight year a few years back.  Not sure why we didn’t keep it up, as it was successful.  But there you have it – life goes on, sometimes decisions get swept along with you and it takes a specific review to take stock and get back to what you know is good.  So we have ordered 20th Century History unit for Daniel to continue on with – he is looking forward to this change.  He has a few books to finish and reports to write before he moves on.  I think it is important to allow yourself to change direction when things aren’t working as well as you’d hoped.

View from my kitchen window

I’m thankful:

My big new kitchen window!  What a delight it has been.  I am thankful for the great view.  For the lightening shows and sunrises that are just amazing to pause and enjoy.  I’m thankful for my daughter who has kept my window clean!

Something New for me: Though life can be full, and it takes emotional energy just keeping up with the mundane and normal it is healthy to always be learning, to always be on the lookout for ways to grow and improve.  One thing that I’ve changed – and that I’m finding helpful is to write out a weekly to-do list, instead of daily.  This of course may be reflective of my new routines, and stage of life – but I share it anyways cause it may help you too.   I have four main areas of my life where I have a to-do list so I have made up 4 weekly lists: homemaking, blogging, admin work and projects (which include study, creative projects, ministry projects etc)   Seeing what needs to be done over the course of the week helps me prioritise some of my decisions but it also helps me group tasks together.  I may not get to Admin every day, but I can get a lot done when I sit for maybe 2 hours one day in the week.  When my kids were little and I had lots of interruptions I needed to make sure I did a little every day, because tomorrow may be completely disrupted.  So I planned to chip away at things – now though I can plan on bigger blocks of time.  Anyways – it’s working for me.

My blog this month:

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