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I was pleasantly surprised this morning when I put two and two together that my son's chemistry lab was letting out early.  I realized that I'd be home before my faithful friend would be done cleaning (she started out as a neighbor who agreed to do my house-cleaning when I was looking for help five years ago and has turned into a great friend) which meant, if she agreed, I could leave my little one home with her and have an entire hour to MYSELF!!!!  WOOT!  She agreed, of course (she and my little guy seem to have quite an attachment) and I was happy as a lark sitting back in my van with my bag of books, notebook and a pencil.

I took my books that I've been reading - the two that I mentioned in my previous post - and a couple of others in addition to the new cookbook (cookbooks are an addiction of mine) that I just received the other day!  I actually managed to read for about 15 minutes from the book on the Charlotte Mason method as well as read a bit from chapter 16 of the Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook and worked on some goal planning.  Chapter 16 is on Time Management and what the book has covered so far in my reading is on setting priorities and setting goals with those priorities. So currently I'm working on that list of priorities and making some long-term (life) goals as well as some medium term (something I can accomplish in one to five years) goals.  I'll get to short-term soon, I'm sure.

After I worked on that for a bit, I peeked at the cookbook.

What made me buy this one is the author's menu plans.  She actually included menu plans for at least 7 weeks and included the grocery shopping lists for each week!  That's one of my goals - to develop a few easy week menu plans so that if I simply don't have time to plan I can just grab a menu and an already made up shopping list and GO....  no stress of trying to figure out what can be made on days I don't have a lot of time.  This would have been nice to have during the week of our big move - as it was, we fell to take-out from so local restaurants that have gluten-free options, but certainly not paleo.  My digestive system is still a little upset with me 🙁  So I'll be playing around with some new recipes soon!  And working on more goal planning....

So now I'm feeling a little more invigorated and even found time to post today which wasn't even in my plans!  So I hope you enjoy this little update as much as I enjoyed finding a few moments to write it up!

Have you had any unexpected but pleasant surprises today?

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So I had a conversation with my sister today.... it was nice to hear from her and it got me thinking about a topic I often think of in the middle of the night. I think of lots of things in the middle of the night. Actually, not so much anymore....after working with a homeopath and taking some homeopathic remedies and a bit of magnesium, I don't lie awake so often. But one of the big topics in my mind that this conversation brought to mind again is the things I want to do for myself just because I want to and never find the time to do.... like finishing my toddler's quilt (it's pieced together but yet to be sewn), reading more than just a daily devotional (if that), and writing....mainly blogging for now.

I think about my writer friends....well, former writer friends whom I hardly hear from anymore because they WRITE and frankly, for the time being anyway, I don't. So not so much to converse about there, you know? And I think about those food blogs I read from time to time..... I soooooo love those food blogs! (Food Renegade is my favorite!) And I think..... HOW DO THEY DO IT?

How do they find time in their schedule to do it? Some of them, I know, send their kids off to the public school. I won't do that. I keep mine home where I feel they belong and do the job of providing them with a well rounded moral education myself. Some of them (writer friends) aren't cooking things from scratch and have much more time on their hands from that. But some of them DO homeschool. And some of them DO cook from scratch. And some of them (though not so many) DO do both. HOW?????? Of course, I realize most of them have kids more in the same age bracket. They aren't struggling to graduate a senior and raise a toddler too. But still, I feel, there MUST be a way to find that time for myself?? There MUST be a way to set aside a half hour a day or at least a couple hours a week to read, write, sew...things that don't really NEED to be done but I so desperately WANT to do just for my own bit of sanity??

It's not from lack of trying. My excuse used to be lack of sleep. But I really am catching up with that now and so the days are going smoother and homeopathy has given me a sense of inner peace and a brighter outlook and a bit more energy. Yet I still struggle to work into the day anything that might actually be just for me and not really me doing the things I want to do for others. Getting up at 6 allows me to do my prayers and devotion time, get a load of laundry done, feed and medicate the dog and maybe even start a batch of green smoothies before the little guy gets up but that's about all. The rest of the day is preparing breakfast for me, my little guy, snacks, checking and planning school work, doing some reading and activities with my toddler, making meal plans, making meals, reading with my older son, lunch, dinner, and some extra laundry, grocery shopping, errands, curriculum planning, nose-wiping, cuddling, etc. All of this goes on until about 5:00 when we eat as a family. (I LOVE that we eat as a family) Then it's shower time and down time with the toddler to prepare for bed around 7:30 so I can maybe watch a TV show or play a game with the older kids before bed.... I aim for bed around 9 but never seem to get up there till 9:30.... wash my face, brush teeth, etc. have a little nighttime chat with one or both older kids and lights out MAYBE by ten but usually 10:30. So where do I fit it in???

I don't know. I really don't.
Sigh.