Monday, January 2, 2012

My Theme Word for 2012

It is hard to believe that it was a year ago that set my Theme Word for 2011 - Simplify.  You can feel free to check out my progress throughout the year by reading through all of the posts related to accomplishing that goal.  I feel like I did pretty well.  I made a lot of great changes throughout the year, completed some projects and have our home running pretty smoothly due to established routines for each day.  I've found more time to play with my kids, planned dates with my husband and kept my home company ready most days.  Personally, I found that by having a goal word for the year, it really helped me focus on one area instead of starting something and never finishing.  Sure, I ran into road blocks such as financial means to complete a few items and simply, life getting in the way sometimes.  We ended up having to do extensive work in our basement that was not planned which meant work in my kitchen took a big hit and got put on the back burner.  
If you follow my blog at all, you are well aware of the Too Cute Not To Toot that I started not long after starting my blog in August 2010.  Very quickly I discovered that tyring to do DIY projects was going to mess with my simplify goal so I had to stop trying to do and just save those ideas for the future.  Sometime around April and May I picked my goal for 2012. Yes, I know, crazy right?  What it did for me was allow me to let go of trying to make crafts, or decorate for holidays or plan all of the fun holiday things that my kids are too young to appreciate yet (i.e. I had TIME to work on those things before they would appreciate them!).  What is my Theme Word for 2012?  Here it is:


Now that our lives have been "simplified" I feel like I can plan ways to celebrate things with my family therefore I want to focus on those ideas this coming year.  This idea drives itself because most months have a holiday and/or birthday to work towards.  Here is a basic overview of what I hope to accomplish this year, many will be traditions that I hope we can carry on for years to come.

1.  Find a "mantel" area in our home where I can decorate for each holiday (even the little ones)  We don't have fireplace or even a true entry way to decorate for holidays but I want an area where we always see what we are celebrating.  
2. Holiday Celebrations - I want to come up with simple ideas for each Holiday that we can look forward to each year.  Last year I did a few things for Valentines and St Patricks Day and it was so much fun.  There are so many ideas in Too Cute not to Toot posts to choose from plus I know I will find new ideas.
3.  Date Nights - I want to continue to plan several date nights a month with my husband and, now that the boys are getting bigger, I would like to plan some specific things to do with the boys individually too.  One on One time is always good. I also want to plan one family activity a month - I'm already working on a list of ideas to do - the boys are old enough to really enjoy doing things now.  And, if I can swing it, I want to plan one "field" trip each month to do during the week with all three boys.  I tried this last year and we only did one or two.  The munchkin was still pretty little so it made it a little difficult but he's 6 months older, and enjoys doing more things now!!  We'll see what I can plan :-)
4. Family Celebrations - Birthdays and Anniversaries need to be celebrated in style.  We have a few things in place already but I want to add to those and have things that we put out each year.  There is a balloon idea I saw last year where you put a $1.00 in each balloon for the child's age and they get to pop the balloons to get the money - I just love that fun tradition! Tied in with this, I want to get back to sending cards to my family and friends for special days.  I used to be soooo good at this but then, I got married HA!  I'm going to go back to my original system, which I'll share more about later, and really work on getting cards out and out on time!
5. Crafts - This is where my wonderful Too Cute Not To Toot ideas come in.  I am SOOO looking forward to making time for crafts.  I don't know how I'll choose HA!  My hope is that I can start right off in January and pick one specific craft item separate from of the celebrations crafts that I can make.  Necklaces, rings, bags - just something fun.  I will also be making things for our Holiday and Family Celebrations along the way too.  I learned last year to only buy the items for the craft I'm working on and buy nothing else until I'm done.  :-) 
6. Daily something Special - not sure what else to call this but I want to put together monthly binders that have ideas, worksheets, games, crafts and all sorts of things to do with my kids.  My goal is to do one thing specifically each day with my boys.  It can reading a special story, having a special snack or making a craft.  A friend of mine created this idea/system when her girls were little and I really like it alot
7. Celebrating "ME" - I'm not going to really list anything here yet other then to say, over the course of the next year, I need to find time to do things for myself.  I will be no good for my family if I'm not around to enjoy life with them :-) 

In case you are curious, here is the look at the celebrations I'm hoping to focus on this year:
January - Winter - snow cream, Ice Sculptures and sledding are some ideas I have
February - Valentine's Day, Darryl's Birthday, SUPERBOWL!!!
March - St Patricks Day, Easter (depending on when it falls)
April - Easter (again, depending on when it falls), Jackie's Birthday
May - Spring - plant flowers/garden, Memorial day
June - Fourth of July (yes, I know it is June but since the 4th is at the beginning of July, we'll focus more on it this month)
July - Summer Fun - Beach, Splash Park, and more
August - Back to School Fun ideas - even though we aren't really in school yet, I think some of the ideas are fun and it will be a good trial run of what works and what doesn't. 
September - Labor Day, Start of Fall Ideas and Football!!!
October - Josh's Birthday and Halloween
November - Thanksgiving
December - Nate's Birthday, Christmas, and New Year's Eve

Doesn't that sound like fun?  As I complete each celebration, I will keep a rubbermaid tote along with a tickler file of some sort with recipes, plans, and even additional ideas so that as December 2012 comes to an end, I can pull out the January bucket and already have all of the plans, decorations, recipes ect that we used. 

One key thought with this - I'm still focused on staying "simplified" so even as I plan, I am working to not go overboard with anything.  A lot of what I listed above overlaps so I just have to stay focused!
For me, family is fun and the only way to have fun is to plan it.  There are certain meals and ideas that I hope my kids remember and think of as great family fun!!

Women Living Well - The Gentleness Challenge

Courtney, at Women Living Well is hosting a great challenge to start out 2012 - it is "The Gentleness Challenge" and is going to challenge how we respond to our children.  I'm looking forward to this new challenge!  If you want to see what she has to say or join in on the challenge - click the link I provided and join up :-)