Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Lion's Tales: March edition

I've been quiet around the blog-o-sphere the last few weeks, and it just means our family has been doing lots of things and I've still been doing lots of reading! If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you've seen that those have been updated a lot more frequently. :)

Here are some of the highlights of the last few weeks. Look for a March reading recap next week!

1. My birthday came and went without too much fanfare.
My girls made me some cute cards, and a friend gave me a potted hyacinth. The week of my birthday, my husband was busy every night running the sound board for his high school's musical, so while we didn't get to celebrate, I did get a lot of late-night reading done while waiting for him to come home. :)

The weekend before my birthday, though, we met up with some friends for dinner (sans kids for all of us!) and then went to a Rend Collective concert together. Very fun to do a grown-up thing.

2. Abby won her age group in the library's LEGO contest! 
Last spring for her birthday, we got Abby her first set of LEGOs. And now we're telling friends and grandparents anytime they ask what to get the girls for Christmas and birthdays - LEGOs. (and things like zoo memberships :)  We asked Rocky's dad to build a LEGO table for the girls, and he finished it the end of February, and it's beautiful. The girls now spend hours downstairs and have a place to contain their mess!

Our library runs a LEGO contest every February, where kids build anything they want that will sit on a board the library provides. Then they bring their creation to the library, where it's displayed for 2-3 weeks and anyone can come and vote for their favorites. We didn't even attend the awards program, because I didn't think Abby had a chance... but she won first place for age 6 and under!!

Her creation was titled "Lots of Lights House
and a Light Plane." The prize? More LEGOs!

3. I signed up for Grove Collaborative (formerly known as ePantry).
A few bloggers that I follow mentioned a new member special that Grove was running for a few days, with LOTS of freebies. I've been thinking of switching our household cleaning etc. products to more natural ones, and while natural = more expensive, I'm going to give it a try for a bit to see how our budget handles it.

With the new member deal, I got all of this for only $23.20! 

It's nice that while Grove does offer monthly/bi-monthly orders, you don't have to commit to them. Unfortunately I don't clean house as often as I should, so it takes a loooooong time to go through most cleaning products (except laundry and dish soap).

I also realized that since I'm going to Aldi more and more for my groceries, my trips to Meijer are becoming less and less -- which is great because Meijer is just like Target in the "I went in for a package of toilet paper and walked out $100 poorer..." Hopefully by purchasing higher-quality cleaning products and toiletries online less frequently, I'll save money overall because I'm not stepping foot into Meijer...

4. I ran my first Usborne Coffee & Coloring Party.
I'd attended one that another consultant hosted last fall, and it was so fun! I put the offer out to my friends to do one for them, and had a friend book a Saturday morning party. She and her friends chose coloring books ahead of time, and I purchased colored pencils and chocolate to go with them. We sat around for 2 hours sipping coffee, eating snacks, chatting, and coloring! SO relaxing and SO much fun! I even had one gal book a "Coloring Between the Wines" party for later this spring. :)

Let me know if YOU want to party with me, coloring or other book party!

5. Sugar Fast 2016 is almost over!
Read my half-way recap here. I've stopped tracking the food I eat, but definitely feel there are habits that will continue after Sunday. I still crave sweet things, even after 6.5 weeks with nothing more than honey or maple syrup. And I haven't lost any weight, and my energy levels are still mediocre. I really don't feel any different than when I started this.

BUT I do realize the hold sugar has had on me, and commit to avoiding it whenever I can. I'll go back to eating ketchup and peanut butter, and the occasional dessert when we're at small group. I've finally reached the point (only this week!) of consistently drinking my coffee with only cream, but I'll still have a Starbucks drink here and there. And probably part of a donut with Easter breakfast tomorrow.

My one splurge: I happened to meet a friend at Biggby on
March 16, which apparently was Biggby's birthday, and all
drinks were $1.99. I considered it my birthday treat. :) 

Everything in moderation right?

6. I'm trying to start a better morning routine.
Here's what my typical morning has looked like:
  • 5:45 Wake up, make lunches, get Abby up and dressed
  • 6:30 Rocky and Abby leave
  • Read a tiny bit in Seeking God's Face. Get online and check email, Facebook. Consider blogging, get sucked in by other online things to do, some of which are productive and good and some not.
  • 7:00-7:30 Ellie gets up, watches cartoons on the iPad. I continue down the not-so-great online rabbit hole.
  • 8:30-9:00 Realize my morning is slipping away. Pull the iPad away from Ellie, start a load of laundry.

Now some people might think this is a great, relaxing morning. And sometimes it is. But more often, since I'm very much a morning person, I realize my most productive time of day is being wasted.

I'm starting slow. After Rocky and Abby leave, I'm taking that quiet time before Ellie gets up to still read, but then actually pull out my Bible and read more. Eventually I hope to start another Beth Moore Bible study with some friends (I've looooved the ones I've done in the past), which have daily things to read and work through.

I'm also trying to make sure I'm actually READING a book when Ellie gets up, since a) I've been setting a bad example for her of always being on my phone or computer first thing in the morning and b) I don't have a desire to read non-fiction books any other time of day (afternoons and evenings are for fiction-only in my brain). This week I've been working through Lysa Terkeurst's Made to Crave

Once Ellie is awake and on the iPad, I feel better about pulling out my own electronics and doing my morning check of email and Facebook. But then at least I'm only online for one hour instead of two or more.

I hope you've had a great month! Have a wonderful Easter!

Artwork by Abby, made in her kindergarten class this week

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