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This month was busy but so productive! It flew by as most of these months seem to do. I know I say that every month and every month it is so, so very true. Micah took some time off to get some tasks checked off our to-do list and just enjoy not being at work. It was such a treat for us!
My Goals for November
November's focus was all about Holiday prep! I wanted to get some things done around the house so I could do a little more sitting back and enjoying of the holidays in December and less of the not so fun work.
1. Deep clean of bathroom and kitchen
One bathroom got a thorough scrub down but the kids bathroom still needs it. Anyone else avoid their kids' bathroom? How do they end up with toothpaste up the walls and toilet paper EVERYWHERE? Oy. As for the kitchen we've done a great job of keeping it cleaned up this month thanks to Micah jumpstarting us. The only part I still want to clean off and organize is the desk area that we use as extra counter space. I like having it cleaned off during the holidays as a place to keep all the cookies and other treats.
2. Writing Christmas lists
Done! All the lists have been made and sent off. My mom told me she already has the kids just about finished. The kids are still trying to add things to their lists so we are making mental notes of those items for our own shopping if we need to buy anything else.
Speaking of shopping... We've gotten a good portion of our shopping done. Three of the kids are done and the other two are just a gift or two shy of being done. We still need to buy stocking stuffers but that's easy. We've even started shopping for each other (hiding boxes gets hard!) and we've knocked out a few extended family members. It feels awesome to be crossing things off the list this early plus we scored some amazing deals that saved us a lot of money but still feels like we are giving quality gifts. And because we set aside money during the year all this is already paid for with money that doesn't hurt our monthly budget!
4. Plan out baking/cooking
Baking list is set (although there's a chance more will get added later just because) but I have NO IDEA what to make for our Christmas meal. Last year was a homemade Chinese buffet and I simply can't settle on anything this year. I thought about a pasta bar similar to Olive Garden's Never Ending Pasta Bowl but I didn't want us all to end up in a carb coma from all the noodles. I've gotta come up with something soon though, Christmas is only four weeks away!
5. Set up the tree
Tree and other decorations were put up the weekend before Thanksgiving. It was so nice to walk in the house after being gone for the holiday and have it already sparkling with lights. They just make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!
We also managed to purge a good amount of things we no longer used or wanted. When we moved we didn't get to go through our stuff as much as we wanted. I was heavily pregnant with twins and it was Micah's busy season at work. Most of the items we had in our attic or basement stayed in their boxes and moved from storage at the old house to storage at our current house. So now we are taking the time (mostly Micah because he's a rockstar) to sort through all these boxes and toss the useless items (like old school work!), donate what we don't need or want, and rebox what we want to keep. We are also storing all the items we are keeping in storage in plastic totes so they are a little more protected than in cardboard boxes.
Goals for December
I'm keeping December simple. We've already got enough on the calendar that I don't need to add a whole stinking to-do list. This month is all about just being together and focusing on the season. Part of this will be slowing down my posting for the month. I'll still have a few posts up each week but I know you will all understand the desire for more family time.
1. Bake cookies with the kids
The kids are already itching to dump sprinkles everywhere so we will be making some batches of spritz cookies and probably cut outs as well together soon. We love making TONS of treats and then we send buckets of cookies and candies to Micah's work. They love it and it's a nice way to thank them for their hard work.
2. Countdown to Christmas
I shared my free printable Christmas countdown with all of you a couple weeks ago and now it's time to put it to good use. I found a super simple felt calendar in Bullseye's Playground at Target for $3. I've got the countdown printed out and I've stuck an activity in each day's pocket. The nice thing about this is I was able to plan the days ahead of time to make sure busy days have easy activities and slow days have more elaborate activities.
3. Plan Goals for 2017
I've got some ideas of things I want to make happen in 2017 so I need to break them down into smaller chunks. I have far too many ideas swirling around in my head and hopefully by getting them down on paper I can make more sense of how thins can fit together or what won't actually work.
4. Focus on Jesus
This is really goal number one this month. He's the reason we are celebrating and I want our family's focus to be on Him. Kaylene Yoder has a great post about weaving faith traditions into your family life. She also has a Names of Jesus scripture reading calendar you could follow! I'll be adding this to our morning devotionals to keep our minds set to Jesus this holiday season.
Nothing too strenuous this month but still things I need to be intentional about. I'm really looking forward to snuggling on the couch watching Christmas movies. I'm going to attempt to post more on Instagram and Facebook so that you can catch everyday life moments that are happening around here so be sure to follow me if you want to see what we are up to. I'll also be sending out a newsletter or two with all sorts of fun things so make sure you are subscribed to always hear the latest happenings!
How did you do with your goals for November? Have you set any goals for December or are you sitting back and soaking up the season? What traditions are you excited about this season?