February Report

Depth Days to write: Took 3 days off; wrote an important Facebook post and 2 new blogposts

Kids on board: One family night, I  pulled out some old journals from my pre-teen years and read them aloud to my kids, who found my antics hilarious. They got out their journals and wrote faithfully for several days in a row. J participated in a spelling bee and we spent several hours together studying words, which we both found to be a highly enjoyable activity. And just a few days ago, we made a bulletin board with a feelings chart/chores/reminders and decorated the walls with beautiful Easter pictures from a magazine.

Only purchase non-essentials: As the year rolls on, this gets a little harder to define. If I run out of something and buy a replacement, is that a necessity? Is it okay to splurge on cupcakes from a bakery when your son does well at the spelling bee? If our TV broke and we wanted to watch the Olympics, was it necessary to purchase the least expensive updated TV I could find at Costco, and a digital antenna? I’m finding that a lot of my “necessities” are first-world wants, but at least we are paying better attention to what we purchase.

Only four items of clothes per year per person: No clothes or shoes purchased this month for anyone.

Consume things already stockpiled: For February, this applied to food. We had an unexpected financial setback and I realized I’d already spent more than my allotted amount for groceries halfway through the month. So about 11 days ago, I figured we’d just make it on food storage. I got mighty tired of carrots being the last fresh vegetable option, and we had to carefully monitor our milk, egg, and fresh fruit intake, but hallelujah, we made it. Our packed lunches were very simple and dinners weren’t the most memorable, but I think it was a great exercise to see what life tastes like when you’re living on food storage.

Books I own that I read: Reading is truly the love of my life right now. I’m halfway into “How Green Was My Valley” and it’s going to oust Steinbeck as my favorite book of all time. Okay, so this month I finished Courtney Carver’s “Soulful Simplicity,” which presented a fresh view of the Whys of minimalism; “The Writing Life,” by Annie Dillard which wholly captured me until the halfway point; “The Greatest Salesman in the World” since I own it and it was a short read; and C.S.Lewis’ “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.” I’d gotten stuck on Lucy in the wardrobe multiple times when reading this book as a youngster and was glad I pushed through to the end this time. I’d like to finish the series this year and get my kids to read them as well.

Existing relationships strengthened: Helped D and J clean out their fridge and freezer before baby comes; helped H get ready to move; exquisite Mardi Gras meal and gracious hosting at the N home; dinner and ballet with my Alaska peeps; mentor lunches with C and M; surprise flowers from J and I; A’s birthday celebration with the girls in the ‘hood; long talk with L; repaired the breach with S and A. And daily Marco Polos with family!

Hobbies we worked on: I risked life and limb to attempt to master the kids’ Ripstik (yeah, didn’t happen), and we had a really fun modeling clay competition one Friday evening. Bananas and elephants! I also love the walk around the lake when everything is covered in snow.

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