Checking the Boxes: My Love/Hate Relationship with Lists

There is something about that little square with words next to it that just begs for action. It literally cries out for me to grab a pen and make that check mark inside it's precise lines.

I love it and I loathe it.

I love the feeling of checking off tasks. It makes me feel accomplished...that I can look back on my day and see that I was able to some things.

But it also makes me feel that know that kind. That mommy pressure we all feel to be/do/achieve more.

If I'm not careful that box can do more damage than good in my heart and maybe this is another reason why lists with boxes have somewhat gone the way of the new year's resolution for me the past few years.

So, considering all that...I'm not sure what happened, but I'm feeling pretty industrious this week. 


A few weeks ago as the calendar turned over from 2013 to 2014, I decided that I would once again make resolutions for the new year after many years of avoiding them.  

I called that blog post, Be Resolute, because I was determined this year to do things differently.

I pinned a flurry of things to my Pinterest -- recipes, organizational tips, and yes, some worksheets and goals for 2014 on a board.

The truth is that I have not touched a single worksheet. I have printed them out, sure. But I have yet to put pen to paper. For some reason, I keep avoiding it. And it's not that I don't want to do it, I do. I just don't feel like I have the mental energy or space to do it quite yet. And I want it to be God-directed and not me-directed. 

So, what am I doing about that? Well, I am in the midst of planning a Be Resolute getaway, but that's perhaps another post for another day.

I have put some of those other pins to use, however. 

This week, I cooked an entire free-range chicken in my dutch oven to rave reviews from the family.

I then took the drippings and bones and simmered up some bone broth for 24-hours in my crock pot.

Then, I put my dutch oven into service again and baked this amazing artisan bread and was amazed how well it came out for my first time -- and with regular flour (not bread flour) too.

Calgon has nothing on Devonshire cream and lemon curd!

I even received my second eldest's new "task boards" from our education coordinator at the homeschool charter. This was an idea by the special ed. coordinator to assist her in completing tasks -- which is challenging with ADHD. This way, she knows exactly what needs to be done and when. As long as she remembers to check the chart, that is!

In the same vein, I also received our Chore Board that I ordered in 2013. Since I had just introduced the topic of resolutions and starting new habits with the kids this week, it has come in handy.

Basically, I hang a wooden token that has their assigned chore on it. Once they complete it, then can remove it and put it in the container for the tokens.

Thanks Jennifer from JRT Creations!

The get a mark for each chore they complete that they are recording here.

(Yeah...I know that this board isn't so fabulous. I'll have to think about something a bit more fun than masking tape and dry erase.)

Each hash mark earns them $.25. At the end of the day, if their tokens are still hanging on the board, then we get to take away $.25 for each chore not completed.

So far (two days in), it seems to be working pretty well!

It might help that we have been utilizing dry erase boards for school work/assignments for a few weeks now (which has also saved all of our sanity and some trees too).

And my happiest project that I did this week? By far it was the #MemoryProject2014 from Ann Voskamp's blog. I have been wanting to memorize scripture with the kids, and she has made it so easy and beautiful!

This was a step above taping it to the sliding glass door (which is totally what I would have done, but then thought of doing this at the last minute) and we have enjoyed having it be visual art.

I realize that this post could come off sounding like I am Super Mom or that this is the way that things always go in my household.

Ha. Ha. haaaaaaa!

Nothing could be further from the truth.

But a week like this gives me hope that....

a.) I/we are capable of change -- of doing things more efficiently and doing them better

b.) If I put the time and planning in, then we can accomplish more than we have been and we can accomplish what we need to do.

I am not naive enough to believe that this will happen every week because...

a.) Life happens

b.) I'm/we're not perfect

c.) I really like staying up late and sleeping in

However, I am encouraged. 

One could say, I am Resolute in my pursuit of a more organized 2014.

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