Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Why Everyone Should Use a Paper Planner

5 reasons why paper planners are the best thing ever, and why I'll never go digital when it comes to my calendar.

Okay, so maybe not exactly everyone should use a paper planner. If you are one of those people who loves your Google calendar and phone alerts then maybe paper isn't for you. Maybe I'm just tired of all the people that tell me paper planners are obsolete and I should definitely go digital, because I'm here to tell you that digital is not where it is at for me in calendars and planners.

I would never show up anywhere. Believe me, I've tried the digital thing. Google calendar and me are not friends. At work, I try to use it, sort of. At least, I get alerts to go teach my class (set up by the department secretary), and my students will sometimes send me their calendars for scheduling. But mine hasn't been updated for several years.

A paper planner is the only way I can keep my life together. So paper it is.

Now, I've already written extensively about the paper planners I've used in recent years and their pros and cons. Today I'm going to tell you all the reasons why I keep using one, even as everyone around me goes completely digital. (Also, be sure to read to the end of this post where I will be giving away one of my favorite planners--giveaway ends March 3.)

1. The act of writing helps me remember better

Sunday, February 15, 2015

How I Know I Married a Musician: Part 10

Due to my shoulder, I can't really lift my camera. And I'm just so sick of trying to get a decent Sunday photo with my phone. Especially when the girls are in their comfy clothes before I manage to get out of the car. I mean, HOW do they do that so fast? It's freaking 9:30 pm now and I'm still wearing my Sunday dress. I may actually decide to sleep in it since it's too much effort nowadays to get dressed and undressed.

I digress.

So today's Sunday photo will be more of a life at the Overstuffed house on a typical Sunday afternoon. 

The older girls have some big theory tests coming up through their violin and piano lessons, so The Maestro decided to work on quizzing them with some flashcards.

He had them clapping rhythms, identifying musical markings, and naming the notes.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Maybe This is a Trial

The Maestro and me. Pneumonia for him, shoulder surgery for me. This isn't a trial at all.

This morning I had a physical therapy appointment.

I only wish it were as straightforward as that. I'm stuck in this shoulder sling for another month, and as long as I'm in it, I am not allowed to drive. I also can't easily get myself dressed (I'm doing better, but still need help with some things) or do my own hair.

These simple tasks have fallen on my dear husband. My dear husband who has had pneumonia for the last week and a half.

This morning I had a physical therapy appointment.

Getting ready wasn't easy. I needed extra help from The Maestro, as usual, and while he was trying to get my hair up into a ponytail, he got a little frustrated.

"I think that maybe this is a trial we are going through," he said.

The Maestro doesn't like to call things in his life "trials." Not when he sees that others are going through much more difficult things. What's a little shoulder surgery and pneumonia at the same time while there are people who are homeless or dying from cancer or who have lost children?

But this morning, after a difficult day yesterday, he was finally willing to concede that maybe this is a trial.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Fun Family Movie Night With The Boxtrolls

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Universal Pictures, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #BoxtrollsFamilyNite http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Enjoy a movie night with your kids, The Boxtrolls, and white cheddar popcorn. Plus a fun game to play while watching the movie.

In our small town we have exactly one movie theater. It is the only movie theater within a two hour drive, and it only has five screens. It doesn't have fancy stadium seating and is just like the movie theaters I frequented as a child 30 years ago. Because there aren't a lot of screens, movies sometimes don't make it to our town, or, if they do, they don't stay very long.

It's frustrating for my kids, because sometimes there is a movie they'd really like to see, but we don't get a chance to see it in the theater. That's why we love having our family movie nights every week. It gives us a chance to see all the movies we missed out on in the theaters, plus spend some fun time together as a family.

The Boxtrolls was one of those movies the girls really wanted to see while it was in the theaters, but we just weren't able to get there before it left town due to other life commitments. So when it came out on DVD a couple weeks ago, I didn't hesitate to run to WalMart and pick it up.

I also picked up a big 10-count box of Pop-Secret Movie Theater popcorn for movie night.

The girls enjoy doing movie-themed activities on our movie nights, so I went to The Boxtrolls official website and downloaded some coloring pages. Sophia had been home sick for a while, so she happily went to work coloring them while her sisters were at school.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

On Being Helpless

I am the mom. It is my job to make sure my children are fed, clothed, and healthy. I am the one who knows where they need to be and when and it is my job to get them there. I help with homework, I make them do chores, I clean up their messes and fold their laundry.

Moms are not supposed to ever be out of commission. I'm supposed to be the one that takes care of my kids when they are sick, after all. And my girls have been pretty sick lately with the super bug that has been going around.

And then that super bug hit me and Joel both. Great! Just what we needed, right before I was going in for shoulder surgery. Thankfully, my own mom flew in to save the day, even though she got a little more than she bargained for.

February 2015 Visiting Teaching Printable

This month's Visiting Teaching message is "The Attributes of Jesus Christ: Without Sin."

Already, my idea of striving each month to work on these specific attributes is foiled! I'm not going to be without sin, no matter how hard I try!

But after reading the message and thinking about it extensively, it is something I can definitely strive for in my life. I may never be perfect, but there is repentance and a desire to be without sin--just like King Benjamin's people. I love the mighty change of heart that they undergo and that they have no more desire to do evil, but to do good continually.

So my little "attribute card" for this month highlights that scripture.

Free printable download for the February 2015 Visiting Teaching Message: The Attributes of Jesus Christ: Without Sin.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

4 Easy Ways to Get Back on Track Financially

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Payoff, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #payoffmindset #whatsyourpayoff http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Do you have more debt than you know what to do with? Check out these four simple strategies for paying it all off and finally getting back on track.

Last year at this time, we were totally on track to pay off a bunch of debt and were getting so much closer to being debt-free.

And then, life happened. I was the lead in an opera, and The Maestro just so happened to be the music director. This meant that we were both stretched much farther than usual when rehearsals started in February. It's truly a miracle that our children managed to stay alive since both of us were gone so much at rehearsals. It's nice to have a responsible teenager around to help with things like cooking and getting the girls showered and ready to bed, but she's not quite ready for taking on things like the budget.

Basically, I was stretched so thin from February through April that I completely ignored my budgeting software. We ate out a lot more out of necessity. While we managed to pay our bills on time, things were a little tighter than we had been used to, simply because we were no longer budgeting and paying careful attention to how we spent our money.

And as soon as the opera was over, The Maestro and I went on an amazing vacation and spent a lot of money. We had technically budgeted and saved for this vacation, but our temporary hiatus on budgeting had really screwed us up and we ended up adding more to our debt load.

To make matters worse, I just haven't had the wherewithal to get back on track. Which means we've wasted an entire year of good money management and our debt has NOT been paid down nearly as much as it could have been.

It's easy to feel like you are drowning in debt. It certainly doesn't take much. But I'm finished with it. I'm ready to get back on track with finances, no matter how hard it's going to be to look at.

1. Rework the Budget