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I think our parenting skills are always evolving.  When Grace went through Mayo’s program for her chronic pain and other symptoms, we got a lot of training on parenting.  Not just parenting a “sick kid” but how to break the cycle of parenting a sick kid and just be an effective parent.  To all your kids.  Part of that includes responsibilities and consequences.

We no longer have a “minimum grade” requirement here at our house, but we do require the kids turn in all their work.  If there are assignments missing (without a valid reason as to why), there is a consequence.  I don’t police my kids’ grades daily but I check every week or two.

Today my son got caught.  Because this was the second time he’s had an assignment missing in a month his consequence is handing over his iPod, as there will be no social contact (online or in person) or screens (unless watching TV with a parent) for 24 hours.

This used to bother me, giving consequences.  I don’t like to upset my kids.  But it doesn’t anymore.  I almost wanted to laugh as he was trying to plead his case, but I didn’t.  I think about the future.  How he’s got to learn to be responsible and take care of his stuff before it really hurts him.

I’ll continue to stay warm neutral, as mayo would say.  It’ll be interesting to see how he spends the next 22 hours.


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1 of 24

This morning, earlier than I ever get up, I stepped outside.  And out of my comfort zone.  Today I did the first workout for the C25K program.  Yesterday I downloaded the app and talked hubby into being my partner.  Not a tough sell, thankfully.

I am NOT a runner.  Which is why it’s strange that for months I’ve been thinking it’d be nice to be able to run a 5k.  I have no idea WHY I think that.  But it’s been eating at me. 

I realized that if I ever actually, you know, WANT to RUN that 5k I should probably do more than think about it. 

And today I did.  I honestly was worried about running for a full minute, multiple times, but I did.  THAT feels kind of good.

Three days a week for eight weeks.  Twenty-four sessions. 

Ready, set, go….


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Day One Recap, Again


I just typed a post and lost it.  Great. 

Maybe I whined a little too much and shouldn’t have posted it anyway…. So let’s try again.

The first day went from a mix of office work and home organization, to a day of all office work.  Why?  The computer and printer have to go in for some service.  Which means I won’t have an easily accessible computer… And actually that may make me MORE productive on the clean and declutter front in the coming days. 

With several hours in the office I got SO MUCH done!  I wish I’d have taken photos of my towering piles of unfiled papers and unentered receipts.  Now all my expenses are entered and my budget worksheets are up to date.  The accounts have been reconciled.  Papers are filed and forms are filled out.  While there is still work to be done in my office, things are feeling pretty good. 

I also got to accompany my kid to the dentist and open house at school.  Then I had a tough but GOOD workout with my trainer. 

To end my night, there was a rare quiet time to talk with my son. He is at an age where he doesn’t open up a lot so I cherish these times when he just spills his thoughts on everything.  Nothing earth shattering was discussed but I got to hear his thoughts on his new program meeting with a personal trainer (he teams with his sister) and how he’s been thinking about wanting to redo his room. 

I went to bed truly content.

Today, I am a little all over…. First an appointment with one kid.  Now my last little bit with my computer before heading to Fargo to drop it off for a few days.  If I kill enough time I can head to our CSA garden to get in some harvest events too. 

I have mixed feelings on this.  I love the locally grown goodies!  I love putting all this in the freezer for winter for only the cost of gas money to get there and labor to get it frozen.  But I really really want to get to cleaning closets too.  I’m looking at coming home this evening with 10 dozen ears of corn, a five gallon bucket of broccoli and another of carrots, some dill and possibly a few green beans and cauliflower. 

I’m trying to not whine about the work that creates.  I’m trying to stay positive and be thankful for the opportunity to get this veggie goodness.  I need to remember that these 6 days are a blessing!  I need to have faith.  To trust in God’s timing and plan. 

And now I need to pack up and go…..

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I need some.

The next six days are wide open around here. I was going to do bigger projects but they aren’t ready to do so I’ve shifted my plan. I hope to catch up on a LOT of the little stuff that piles up. Like literally piles up! To keep me on task, I will check in daily with updates and whatnot.

My main areas of focus are on paperwork and organizing/decluttering closets and such.

I will make some time for some creative projects and changing the decor to fall things. Who cares if it’s 90+ degrees… cooler days will be here soon and I’ll be too busy watching football and volleyball to change it up then.

Overall, I want to start off the school year feeling more in control. Of papers. Of stuff. Of time.

Wish me luck!

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Money or the Mindset?

Do the little things matter because it’s a little more money in the pocket?  Or because the mindset to save dimes will inevitably save way more than a few dollars?

I wondered this as I got half-way through the parking lot before realizing I forgot my reusable bag in the van.  I walked back for the specific bag for that store (they only give credit for THEIR bags) and shortly after, received my dime’s worth of savings.  As I walked out, it was still on my mind…. I was doing the mental math.  4 bags a week for a year.  Maybe $20 a year in savings.  Maybe.

Sure, there is the whole “green” thing.  I’m not dissing that.  But I was focused on the change.

So does $20 really make that much difference?  Especially when it takes a year to accumulate less than what we need for a family dinner at a restaurant?  Is it worth the walk back for a bag?  Is that dime worth the quick pang of quilt when you don’t have a bag?

Or does the mere intentionality of it crucial to compounding the savings into something bigger?

If I don’t care about the dimes, will I have trouble caring about the dollars?



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Doesn’t if seem trivial or petty to be worried at all right now about what we have or don’t have?  In the aftermath of Oklahoma’s devastating tornadoes, I am reminded that I have MORE than I need.  My attitude is one of gratitude.  My prayers are for those suffering from storm damage.  Those searching…. May they find God and His peace amongst the ruin.

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Shopping Around

The time has come.

Time to do more comparison shopping and less convenience spending.

Time to pay attention just a bit more.

I’m shopping Amazon for some household staples.  Finding a few deals. I really like the free 2 day shipping with Amazon Prime.  Quick and free makes me happy.

Because any real shopping requires a half hour minimum drive, there is savings in shopping online.  Especially if I’m careful to minimize shipping costs or get free shipping.  With gas at over $4/gallon, driving 50 miles or more to shop adds up.

If you’re anything like me, it also means there is less spent on impulse buys.

I think back a few years….. I was spending considerably less on household things.  Less on groceries.  Just less.  Then life happens and that is more important than saving 40 cents on Kleenex.  Shopping becomes a blur and things aren’t as tidy as they once were.

But now?  Things are starting to come into focus again.  It’s hard to trust that.  And it’s hard to figure out how to baby-step back into those good habits that fell away for a while.  The perfectionist in me has trouble doing a little bit.  Yet, there isn’t the time needed to overhaul it all and start fresh.

For today, I’ll be content to just do a little shopping around online.  Looking for some easy ways to save some change.

What’s your best tip?  Even if it’s an old one… This is all refresher to me, so let’s hear it!

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