1. Do "Shaking Off the Bonds of Stuff...for Lent." This past week of activities included some things that were useful to do and others didn't apply. Some were much more labor-intensive than others.
For example, on Monday the goal was to toss expired cosmetics. I didn't have anything to toss because I did this at the end of December when I purchased a few new items to replace what I had in the drawer for a long time and/or had run out of and needed.
On Tuesday, the task was to throw away any books that we no longer wanted. As a side note, one of the things that bothers me about this list of activities is the advice to "throw away" things. I find that incredibly wasteful, especially when things are in good condition and can be used by another person. So, in lieu of throwing books away I opted to donate them to several non-profit organizations.
I went through the bookshelf in the living room where there are so many books that they don't even fit on the shelf - they are in piles in front of the bookshelf. I found 46 books there to donate.
Then, I went to a shared bookshelf upstairs and found 17 books there that could be donated. I asked the girls to take a look at their bookshelves one more time (since they already went through them in January) and see if there are any more books that they didn't want. They found 11 books.
On Wednesday, the goal was to give broken rosaries to a ministry that fixes them. I didn't have any broken ones. However, as I've been going through my Dad's office where he kept his personal and deacon-related items, I came across 8 rosaries. They all are ones that were sent to him in direct-mailers/fundraising requests. So none had sentimental value.
Because the rosaries aren't broken, I gathered them together and will donate them to St. Therese Care Center (the nursing home where my Dad stayed during the last 3 months of his life). St. Therese is a Catholic nursing home, and there's a pastoral ministry team there. Perhaps they can use the roasaries along with some prayer books and "how to pray the rosary" guides that my Dad had in his office.
I'm going to visit my mom on Sunday at St. Therese (she's there for 5-6 weeks due to a cracked ankle), and will bring the rosaries to them at that time.
On Thursday, the task was to bury broken blessed items and burn faded religious pictures. I didn't have anything like that, so there was nothing to do.
Today, the goal is to evaluate my collections and give away those that no longer interest me. When I think of "collection" I think of a mass quantity of some object or theme (e.g., coins, stamps, dog items).
I do have a couple booklets of coins that I collected when I was younger, but I want to keep those. I also have a small book with Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) that I collected a couple of years ago. At that time, I was making ATCs and swapping them with people all over the United States and world. The ATCs that are in the book are creative miniature works of art. It's an inspiring, tactile book to look at periodically.
What I do have that simply takes up space is quite a few CDs. I'll be going through my CDs and determining which ones I no longer listen to and can be donated.
I also have quite a few stamps that I purchased for homeschooling and crafting purposes. Since the girls are learning about the United States, I want to go through some of the domestic stamps and find some that represent each state. They can add these to their geography notebooks as we study each state in the United States.
So, at this point, I am holding onto this collection. Once I go through the stamps then I can either sell them (as I've done through my shop on Etsy) or donate them.
2. Finish taxes; and determine a budget for homeschooling curricula and supplies for April.
I'm still waiting for the taxes to be completed by the CPA, so I'm not sure yet what is available for the homeschool conference next month. Hopefully, the taxes will be done soon so I have an idea what kind of budget I'll have for purchasing curricula and supplies for the upcoming year.
Even though I don't have a budget yet, I thought it would be good to establish a rough outline and goals for the upcoming year, and determine what is needed to reach those goals. As I did for this school year, I plan to continue to use as many materials as I can that I already have on hand and limit what I need to purchase.
I spent some time going through a couple websites that have curriculum that I plan to use during the upcoming year - Sonlight and Simply Charlotte Mason. Wrote down the resources that I'll need and topics that the girls will learn about in each of the subjects that they'll be studying. Then looked at the current plan I have now and wrote down what I want to continue with next year.
What's difficult for me is that there are so many interesting resources available to homeschoolers. There simply aren't enough hours in a day to be able to incorporate everything I'd like to do and have my daughters experience. So, it comes down to what is practical and realistic to accomplish...and will keep them engaged and excited about learning.
3. Trim trees before spring. I did not have a chance to work on this project this week. However, this weekend the temperatures are going to be in the 70s and 80s - unseasonable hot for this time of year (this is more typical of June and July weather - not March weather in Minnesota). So, I definitely need to get this project done before the trees start growing leaves.
Additional Goal Met:
1. Re-paint Olivia's room. Olivia wanted to paint her room blue (one of her favorite colors). Before she was adopted, I had painted the room green since I thought it could be a forest or jungle theme room. Although Olivia loves animals, the theme never materialized...so it was just a bedroom with green walls.
The before (north/northeast view) is above; and the after shot is below.
Eight years later, I thought it would be good to honor her request in changing her room color to better fit her personality and preference. I know when I was growing up how nice it was to have a room color that I wanted...not one that my parents had picked for me.
Before picture on the top; and after picture below.
I was given this opportunity when I was 8 years old and we moved from inner-city Minneapolis to Plymouth (a suburb of Minneapolis and almost "the country" at the time). My parents asked what color I wanted. for the walls and carpet. My choice: purple. Sure enough, they followed through and I grew up with purple walls and purple shag carpet. It was exactly what I wanted.
Before on the top and after on the bottom.
Olivia is equally as happy with her new room color. It's such a simple thing - a gallon of paint. But, what an impact it has on her happiness; and feeling good about her room that is a place of comfort and security for her.