One Bite at a Time: Together {Weeks 4-7}

(We are working through Tsh’s ebook One Bite at a Time.  You know, together.  As a group.  For accountability and to keep us motivated to not just read through the pages, but actually implement what we read.  The first Wednesday of every month, we’re checking in to talk about what worked, what didn’t, what we struggled with, and what we rocked.  I’d love for you to join in too!  It’s not too late!)

Week 4: Establish an Evening Routine

This one was a little more challenging for me than most.  I am most assuredly NOT a night owl.

I run out of steam.  Quick.



That being said, I have been heading upstairs a few minutes earlier so that I can get a few pages of reading in before clicking off the light.  I’ve long loved reading and would spend hours upon hours reading as a kid.  Now that I’m a mom, getting reading time in can be difficult.  So I decided that even if I only get 15 minutes of reading done each night, that’s still better than nothing.  I’ve really been enjoying it…and am seriously considering getting a Kindle now that I’m actually making it through books at a reasonable rate.

I’m also trying (this one’s tougher for me) to take the extra ten minutes every night and straightening up the downstairs before going to bed.  That way, I wake up to a tidy living area.  It’s a great idea in theory.  Some days I do better at this than others…but this one’s gonna be a constant struggle.  I just don’t. have. the. energy.

Working on it.

Week 5: Start Menu Planning

If you’re like me, you’ve done this off and on for years.  Some weeks I’m really great at it.  Some weeks I rush around the kitchen trying to figure out what’s for dinner…at 4:00 in the afternoon.

The funny thing is, my days/weeks/evenings always go smoother the times I menu plan.  It’s really a great system, there’s no last minute grocery shopping, and no rushed crazy in the late afternoon.  Yet, I still don’t do it as consistently as I’d like.

I’ve recently been putting my Erin Condren planner to extra use by scrawling my menu plan in the empty spaces.  That way, it’s not a separate piece of paper stuck to my fridge…and I can see at a glance what we have going on that week, if Andy will even be in town, or if I’ll have a crazy day of doctor appointments so making something extra simple is probably a better bet (or running through the drive thru!).

My planner looks like a crazy mess of info when I do this, but it’s really helped.  A lot.  I like having everything in ONE place.  Every appointment, basketball game, business trip, etc.  Makes menu planning a breeze.  When I remember to do it that is.

Week 6: Create a Family Purpose Statement

Lucky for me, I had already done this task long ago. Not quite a mission statement, but it works for our family.

A few years ago, I created a family rules canvas.  You see them all over the internets now, and you can buy them pre-made, but I made mine myself which means I tailored the rules to things that were important to OUR family and things I specifically wanted my children to do/know.  (If you want to make your own, here are some tips.)

We also have a family verse.  It’s inscribed on the inside of our wedding bands and the scripture reference hangs in our house.

“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

The thing I love about it?  When we were first married, I don’t think I really had any idea what it truly meant.  I probably still don’t.  But it’s so been one of our guiding principles as a family.  So, it looks like I chose well…even if I had no idea what I was doing.

Week 7: Downsize Your Book and Magazine Collection


Ah, this one hurt.

I’m a lover of books.  I like the way they look.  The way they smell.  The way old pages feel.  All of it.

But I sat down one day and for each and every book I thought “Will I ever really read this again?”

I kept the old standbys.  All of my C.S. Lewis.  Classics.  And yes, even the Twilight series.  But some of the more random books found a new home at Goodwill.

The good news? I have less books to schlep around if we ever move again.  Plus, I look much more literary than I really am since all that’s left is the really really good stuff.

And you know what?  I’m really serious about wanting that Kindle.  Which I will tell you, I never ever ever ever thought I’d say.  It kinda gives me hives just thinking about it.

Okay, YOUR turn!

How’d you do this month?  What did you do really well at?  Did you struggle with certain weeks?  What did you rock?

If you’d like, you can do a recap post on your own blog and link it up below…OR you can just leave a comment in the comments section.

I’d love to know how you did and if you have any tips or tricks for those of us who are working alongside you!

(It really isn’t too late to join us.  Just start where we are and then you can go back and do the first few weeks on your own.  The projects do not have to be done sequentially.  Go here to buy Tsh’s ebook.  Remember, the first Wednesday of every month.  If you know you’ll forget, subscribing or liking my Facebook page might help you remember.)

{Affiliate links used.  FYI.)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

I'm a mom to four. A wife to one. I believe in story. I love telling you about mine and would love to hear yours. There's really no sense in wasting our suffering and not sharing in each other's joy. We're all in this together...even if it doesn't always feel like it.

Latest posts by jeannett (see all)


  1. 1

    Love the verse. I don’t think I would have truly ‘gotten it’ either a few years ago I culled my books when we tolk over that room during the reno. I was not pleasant to be around at the time.

  2. 2

    I have the same planner as you. For meal planning (which I’ve re instituted since the One Bite at a Time purchase) I just write the meal at the top of my day above the AM boxes (right underneath the date numbers). I don’t write out full courses, etc. I just write spaghetti. Or French Dips. Or Tacos. I keep a post it right there on my weekly view calendar and as I write a meal on the calendar I just list all the ingredients (and sides) on my post it and pull it out when it’s time to grocery shop. :)
    I LOVE my Erin Condren planner. Sometimes I wished though that the boxes had faint lines in them. I would be neater then. ;)

  3. 3

    p.s. I’m a book lover, too. My husband bought me a nook for mother’s day several years ago and I can’t believe how much I love it. I read VORACIOUSLY now because it’s so convenient to have all my books with me wherever I am. It got to be such a popular item at our house that we now have THREE. There are many bookworms at our house. :)

  4. 4

    I am so bad at menu planning. I have tried. If I make a meal plan on Sunday, by Wednesday night…lasagna…no longer sounds good, so I make something else. Which screws up the whole week. My husband laughs at me, about my menu planning all the time. I will tell him in the morning what we are going to have for dinner, and he comes home to something totally different on the table. Could have something to do with the little one that is making me nauseous all the time. Ok, so my menu planning definitely needs some work…

  5. 5

    Oh, I really like your family purpose statement. I have been trying to put together something like that, but I am in that “graphically challenged” arena.

    I couldn’t live with out my meal planning. I guess Istarted it when we lived 15 miles from any grocery store and I had to have ingredients or we didn’t have a meal.

    I know what you mean about getting a few minutes of reading in everyday. As my kids get older, or I get more stubborn (maybe both), I am starting to carve out some time to enjoy books again. My husband bought me an iPad; the first app I loaded was Kindle. I didn’t think I would ever be willing to give up pages, but I am happily converted! It is so nice to change font sizes and be able to highlight and search, not to mention, having several books available all the time.

  6. 6

    I need to work onmenu planning as well.. Its just so hard even for just the husband and i.. he works such crazy hours its hard to plan out meals :)

  7. 7

    I didn’t do very well with the One Bite at a Time the last few weeks. But I really do need to sort our books. The problem is my husband is an English teacher and so it is really hard to get rid of books. And my husband told me about a survey where if you have at least 500 books in your home that your children will stay in school an average of 3 years longer than children without that access to literature, so I’m always worried about getting rid of too many books – what if we don’t have 500 anymore?

  8. 8

    I’ve only completed the first three projects, but I’m writing about them weekly to keep me moving:
    Project One
    Project Two
    Project Three

  9. 9

    I did the best with establishing a nighttime routine. It has transformed my life! I am a working full-time outside the home Mom. At night I struggle between playing with the kids and keeping the house in shape. (A husband at home all day is just not the same as a wife at home all day, at least in my house.) If I choose playing with the kids I feel guilty that the dishes are piled in the sink and the playroom is a mess. If I choose cleaning, I don’t know when to stop and spend time with the children. Now, I have a set list of things to do in order of importance. I posted it on the fridge. I start tackling these items as soon as I come through the door around 4pm, that way I’m not waiting until I’m too tired. Now I feel less guilty playing with the kids because at least some, if not all, the most important tasks are done. I feel less guilty cleaning because I know I’m only going to spend time on important tasks that help my day/week run more smoothly. Another positive result is that in the last three weeks that I’ve done this, I haven’t had to go to Dunkin’ Donuts even once on my way to work. I set myself up at night for a smooth morning. I’m so happy to not have wasted money on breakfast. It is helping me stick to my financial goals as well. Here’s my list: Set up coffe maker. Refill water bottle. Refill juice bottle. Clean cat box. Wash dishes needed for morning (travel mug, frying pan, juice bottle). Pack leftovers for lunch. Supervise clean-up of playroom. Clean kitchen after supper. Pick out clothes for the next day. I don’t always get it all done but I always feel on top of things and not guilty about not doing other tasks since I’ve decided thay are not as important as these.

  10. 10

    Briefly, here’s how I did with the others: menu planning was a bust. My husband cooks dinner and I couldn’t talk him into trying this. I was going to write down every dinner we had so I could show it to him but I didn’t. My daughter and I made a list of every dish in his repertoire but I didn’t do anything with that either.

    The family purpose statement was fun. In education we are constantly revising our mission statement and reviewing our goals and objectives so I just applied that philosophy to my family. The biggest change for me was to place a higher value on getting together with friends. I realized this was more than just fun. One of my priorities is to be friends with the parents of my children’s friends. I don’t make friends easily so it is important that I focus my energy on this.

    As for my books, I rarely buy them anymore since I became a librarian! I purchase most books I want to read for my high school library! I still purchase some for myself, but the problem is really in check. I have Nook, also, which I love. I can read books as well as surf the web in bed. I would recommend the Kindle Fire for Christmas…

  11. 11

    Can I mention to you that if you have a smart phone and a computer, you don’t have the spend the $$ for an actual Kindle??? There is a Kindle app you can put on your smart phone for free (yay!) and you can install Kindle onto your computer for free (yay!) also. If you happen to have a tablet, again, install the free Kindle app and you have the equivalent of a Kindle right there…but with the other uses of a Tablet. I don’t have a tablet yet, but I use Kindle on my Android OS phone and on my laptop all the time. I LOVE it.

  12. 12

    Just started following your blog this week. Love these posts and might have to follow along. Love your “Family Rules.” Just had my first child in June. Quick questions: What is the meaning behond “no permission shopping” ??