Monday, April 30, 2012

2012 G.O.A.L.S.: March-April Update

WOW!  I thought that the days are passing by steadily, but apparently so are the months!  I think that I will change my monthly updates on my 2012 goals to bi-monthly updates.  I hope I keep my momentum going!

Increase in visits to the adoration chapel (weekly, hopefully)
Rita started walking and then running and chapel visits have turned into chasing Rita, making sure she doesn't dump plants or vases or draw all over the walls and carpet.  I think that our family chapel visits need to be better planned and we need to find a less popular chapel than the one in the middle of town!

Daily family prayer
Before dinner each day, or at least five days a week.  It is a short but rich time.

Teaching Rita the traditional Catholic blessing before meals, the Guardian Angel prayer and the Hail Mary
Working on it and we added the "Glory Be."  Rita continues to make the Sign of the Cross and every now and then clasps her hands in prayer!  

Establishing 15 minutes of conversational prayer time
We had to revamp this.  The Holy Spirit inspired me to make dish washing time (trying to use the dishwasher only once or twice a month to save water) a time for reading scripture.  So I've started with the Gospel of Matthew and the Lord is revolutionizing my life!  I LOVE reading scripture every day!  Depending on the amount of dishes, I sometimes have 30 or 45 minutes of prayer time.  It is so wonderful to have the words and actions of Jesus fill my thoughts in idle moments.

Saying as much of the Rosary each day as I can (separate from conversation time with Jesus)
Mostly this occurs if I run an errand and Rita is being babysat for an hour or so.  Sort of a recuperating experience, and I am aiming for a decade rather than the entire Rosary each day.  One decade is so realistic.

Decrease vehicle debt by $1200 (at minimum)
No progress (but hopeful).

Take a family vacation with CASH only.
Praise the Lord for His goodness!  We were blessed with an extra $300 two days before leaving for vacation and came home with $200 remaining!  It was AMAZING and rejuvenating!

BudgetYourTrip is a great tool that I recently came upon and it is totally FREE!  Great for small get-aways or elaborate vacations.  I am not compensated in any way, just excited and impressed.  This tool really made our vacation easier to break-down and see in small bits.

*Currently we owe on one vehicle and on our home, so this won't happen in 2012 but we are at the start of the journey to totally debt free living!

Being a SAHM is the greatest blessing, Lord let my lips not complain!
Become great at pursuing gratitude and expressing it at every opportunity
Appreciate our financial stability and practice frugality as part of my job as wife and mother
For March we dropped another $5, making our grocery amount $90 per week.  We continued this throughout April with great success.  I am a bit hesitant about dropping down to $85 per week in May, but I think it would be a good challenge.  With Jonah expected to arrive in July, I know that month might be a bit higher for our food budget so I hope to do as much saving as possible before then!

I talk way too often
I interrupt even more often 
Lord Jesus Christ, remind me of the simple anatomy of my being - two ears and only one mouth
I've noticed that not watching TV, observing Rita discover and create and spending less time surfing the internet and reading blogs has really helped with this - as has reading scripture every day.

Save, save, save!
Save $6,200 $5,967* for our three month emergency fund  

We have saved $3,033  $3040.55 towards our three month emergency fund! 
*We reevaluated our needs vs wants during a time of financial stress and determined we would truly need $5,967 for three months.  It could be less if we scrimp on our consumption of electricity, gas and water and if we do great eating rice and beans; but to be safe, we will stick to $5,967.  

Save $400 for photos with our new baby in July and for family Christmas pictures
No progress.  Hoping for a groupon/seizethedeal opportunity that will make these pictures way cheaper than the expected $200 for new baby and $200 for family.

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