Just a quick update on my stewardships.
Finances - nothing new to report but on track with my goals.
Home - my first small group has been on the go since March 7th and it's been fantastic! I have a nice little area downstairs for us and it's been kept nice and tidy down there this whole time, even with piles for my 40 Bags of Lent stored/hidden well in the basement. During lent I found it hard to keep up with Flylady schedule and the stuff cleanse, so I took a hiatus, especially since some of my FL tactics are reducing clutter. But I'm back on track now and back at my schedule.
My meal planning has been ongoing for about 12 weeks now and it's been a blessing, just like last year. So nice not to have to think about choices after a long day at work, just follow the plan and done. I've had the chance to add a few recipes I didn't have last year, and it's been great trying new things, figuring out what we like and don't. It helps Sean is giving more feedback now that I'm experimenting more. And, for those crazy days were nothing goes right, a few alternative options in the freezer/cupboard helps with avoiding McDs.
I still haven't added anything to my 'from scratch' repetoire, but I hope to attempt potato bread very soon. I found a breadmaker recipe but it calls for potato flakes which I'm having a hard time finding, I'm wondering about the conversion in measurment if I used mashed potatoes instead. We'll have to do some Googling I guess.
Body - I'm still struggling getting back into treadmill time, I'm hoping that a new app (Couch to 5k)recommended by a friend will get my butt in gear again. I have been trying to impliment more pilates as well, but the last few weeks have been slacking there too. I know I can wake up early and do this but then I often run out of time for Bible reading so I'm going to work extra hard at putting a priority on this every Tues., Thurs. and Sat/Sun. evenings, 3 times a week. And pilates I'm going to try to do at lunch as well as 15 min. after supper the days I don't run. Renewing my determination because...
As I've already mentioned on my Wellness Wednesday I fell off the eating plan, I think I got a little over confident with the not-counting-calories and allowance of sugar 4 out of 7 days. I've decided to detox again, but in a little easier way - I'm doing the smoothie thing again for the majority of 2 weeks, the smoothie ingredients follow the same detox plan, no milk, no sugar, no carbs other than fruit, with protein powder, spinach, and a little fibre. This worked wonders 2 years ago when it wasn't even as healthy a smoothie so I have high hopes of breaking the reappearing carb addiction. For suppers I'm having only chicken breasts seasoned with spices, no sauces, and a few veggies. I had a few allowances because we had lunch plans last week out at a restaurant, but I made a healthy chicken choice, and then at a women's retreat over the weekend I also made the healthiest choices I could. Then I'm going to go back to my original plan except for place some rewards/punishments for sugar consumption and go sugar free 4 out of 7 days instead of vice versa. It was a good reminder that I can only let my guard down so far.....I'm ok with a little leeway but give myself too much and I just about tank myself. I also really need to focus on the emotional reasons behind my 'tanking' too.
I am still doing well on cutting out caffeine, I've only had about 1 cup per month since I started at the beginning of January. I'm really beginning to enjoy tea a lot more.
Earth - Monday last week was my first day out in the yard this spring and so I turned my compost pile (untouched since last fall) and added all the compost I've been storing up since then. Luckily it liquifies over time, didn't actually take up as much room as I thought it would. I know, gross, lol :P
I also started off seeds for several herbs and for peas. Thanks to Pinterest I have a few new ideas for my garden, from herbs to vine vegetables, starting seeds to watering.
I haven't seeded my carrots yet, soon, and I think I'll get my peppers and tomatoes from seedlings again since I didn't have seeds for them like I thought I did. I cleaned out the old containers of dried up plants and debris, as well as my oregano patch, which looks like it's flourishing on par with last year :) I feel like my garden this year will be much more promising.
Since my success with local beef I've been trying desperately to get local lamb (to replace pork) with very little luck. The place I get beef lost it's lamb contact for a year and I found a new place but they only deliver to Winnipeg once per month and my timing with trying to order has missed the shipment both times. I'm going to try again once farmer's markets open because it's much more readily available at FMs.
I'm still working at getting greener, especially to conserve water, I'd really like to buy a rain barrel this year, and I found a cool idea on Pinterest to run a hose from the barrel.
I think I'm going to keep a watering can in my kitchen too, then when it's full I can water the veggies right outside the kitchen door. We also have a kit from the City of Winnipeg to attach to shower heads for better water conservation. No word on fixing the bikes yet, have to check into new laws that are being implemented for bike riders.
Talents/Purpose - I've been doing better at the blog lately, have had an influx of posts the last month or so, and although they haven't been primarily about capturing my life I think it's still capturing me in ways I haven't exhausted already :) I've had a few creative journal entries lately too, but I still want to work on my handwritten journals a little more.
I am still pumped and busy with my new creative outlet though! I have 5 new canvases waiting to morph based on the inspiration swirling around my head....a few more gifts for a few more dear ones in my life. I also did a little creative endeavor with my oregano, infusing vodka and olive oil, that I've already posted about. It was fun but I don't have a lot of friends who feel comfortable being so experimental with their cooking :) We'll have to see what I can do with my plethora of oregano this year.
I also finally found the scrapbook pages I need for my wedding album, I am certain now I will finish it this year...I WILL! I have to finish it before our 10th anniversary! Especially since I first vowed to get it done before our 5th!!
I am still very much enjoying my CR work, I've been able to free up some tasks that weren't my original responsibility and therefore have been able to take on a few new temporary tasks that fit better with my leadership area - promotions. I find that a lot more fun than scheduling. And as I mentioned my small group has started and we are an awesome little team, we love being together, opening up to each other, supporting and encouraging each other. We were so stoked to be able to go to the women's retreat together and what a blessing our time together was!
Communities - our his and hers connections have been less on our dates and more about taking the opportunity when we can. Just about every Friday we have a ride and a talk, after our night at CR, and it's been really great having the solitude and undivided attention of each other. Loving it. And, I've been making an attempt to play the video game Sean enjoys most at least once per weekend, even if we aren't playing in game together I think he's feeling he's getting his 'shoulder-to-shoulder' time.
Still doing well with our couple/friend community, had some great girlfriend times lately, and especially at the women's retreat I was just at. Our CR small group shared a cabin and it was sooo fun! Plus I was able to meet even more ladies or spend time with some I don't get a lot of time with.
We just had 2 couples over for a potluck as well, which I've mentioned, that was a lot of fun.
As for a small group, my friend and her soon-to-be husband hope to start a couple's small group in the fall and they will live near us then, we hope it will work out to join their group as I have been really blessed and inspired by her spiritually already, I think being in a group together would be amazing.
I've been a little slacking on the Aunty time, I finally saw all the kidlings at Easter after having been an absent Aunty for 3 of them since Christmas! It pained me but it was great to be with them again and they seem to just love spending that time with me even more because it had been so long. Have also been attempting to get in a blood donation, but time and health just hasn't been on my side.
Growth - my media fast has been mostly good, although the last 2 weeks I've been really busy with computer stuff and so I naturally do that in front of the t.v., but after last week's vacation I am determined to be back on that. I have been so productive and motivated by eliminating media once per week, I'm eager to get back to that.
I've still got 2 books on the go, the same ones. I've been reading at least once per week now but that doesn't get me through them very fast. I did get a big chunk read on my vacation though. Same with my Bible, but I'm determined to get up at 6:30 every week day and spend it reading the Bible, instead of trying to do 6 am workout and then read, as I mentioned earlier. I am working at fitting in the priorities and then letting everything else sift in where they fit, and I want to start my days with the biggest priority of all.
My prayer time has still been mostly consistent in frequency, but I've been all over the map otherwise. I've been trying to fit in more 'just being with God' time, but I have to find a better time because I've been doing it at times where being still is just a conductor for sleep. I haven't done as much listening prayer lately as I've wanted but I have been hearing amazing things, which should motivate me to do it more! I have my daily prayers, like my community/houses to pray for, for those in my life I'm led to share Christ with, and I've been really working at praying more for ministries at Church (not just mine, but also specifically certain leaders). And of course, praying for my loved ones (that's you friends!). I sometimes think I need to quit my job so I can pray as much as I want to!
Living my Life - Our anniversary was a nice little road trip, it felt 'away' and it was a great chance to talk. We'll likely be making a trip to Altona in June as well when the newest Friesen munchkin is born. I do get to actually travel this year as well, a conference for CR in California has been scheduled for our core leadership team around August long, I can't wait!
Other than that I've been a little too busy to fit in a lot of me time so I made up for it on vacation last week and did a LOT of me time. A day in the yard working in the soil and sun....oh how I've missed you! Reading, crafting, kitty playing (oh yes, we got a new kitty :) and just trying not to do any thing I don't have to!
And that's been my life lately....still mostly on track, not in the ruts anyway :)