Friday, January 2, 2015

7 Quick Takes: Jolly Jar and 7 Reasons I'm Jolly!

WOW, what a crazy week it's been!  We had some festivities and fever over Christmas, but man oh man, this fever stuff is like the Energizer keeps going and going and going (through most of the members in our family of 7!)

While our family deals with fever and coughs and sleepless nights, we've been mostly focused on trying to get better during this Christmas season.

We didn't get to go to Mass as a family (only my husband and son were well enough to attend) on January 1 for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, which is a bummer because I always love going to Mass together on the first day of the new year to honor Our Blessed Mother and start the year off right, but as mentioned, sickness took over our household.

But, I'm trying to start the new year off on the right foot by focusing more on the blessings and being jolly, even when life throws us for a loop.  So that got me thinking about creating a new tradition for 2015 for our family...

Introducing the Jolly Jar (because life's too short to be grumpy!)

Each family member jots down some things that made them "jolly" or happy during the day in 2015 and each night at dinner they put their jolly notes in the jar.  The jar is so simple to make, but thinking of the positive moments in my days is not always so simple for me.

Confession time:  I will be the first one to admit that as a homeschool mom, I need this Jolly Jar tradition to help me from getting so discouraged during the busy and challenging days. So I created this idea for my family, but also to hold me accountable to try to focus on the happy moments vs.  being down in the dumps when life gets challenging.

So I thought I would put this Jolly Jar idea to the test and blog 7 reasons I've been jolly over this Christmas break even when tending to sick ones 24/7.

Before our 17 month old got sick, we were able to go outside and enjoy the beautiful, warm December weather.  She loved her wagon ride and pulling the wagon herself.

OK so our disorderly classroom doesn't make me happy necessarily (and I will be cleaning it before our homeschool schedule starts on Monday), but I'm grateful and happy to have this beautiful space to teach my children and make memories with them.  

I really savor our family meals together in the evening because during the year our evenings are filled with sports practices and meetings and I was especially grateful to spend the last dinner of 2014 with my family.  We had our Advent and Christmas candles lit, steak, sides, sparkling cider in fancy plastic "glasses", milkshakes, and watched home videos from 2005.  Oh, those home videos crack us up and definitely remind me of jolly and fun times!
We were able to ring in the new year as a family.  Half of us were sick and sleeping, but we were all together and that's what I'm happy about!  

Anytime I can find time and sometimes force myself to declutter and organize something in my house, puts a spring in my step and gives me motivation to try to tackle the 20 million other organization projects I want and hope to do!  Baby steps right?  

My sweet man and little man baking homemade sugar cookies together recently...surely this makes my soul soar and my heart smile!  These two make me laugh and smile alot, especially since they were "creative" with their cookie shapes.  Who needs cookie cutters?  I was on the couch while the bakers were busy with my daughters and we were watching home videos, in between giving them over the counter meds to keep fevers down.  

On January 1, 2015, we started our "2015 Memories" jar where each person wrote down their day's memories, but then just this morning I thought about combining the memories into recording happy times in our Jolly Jar.   I suspect we will have so many memories for 2015 that we will combine our memory notes and our jolly notes into an even bigger jar.  I'm thinking once these animal crackers are gone, this would make a great, big Memory/Jolly Jar for storing all our 2015 blessings.  

I'll let you know in the future how my "Jolly Jar" experiment is working for our family.  I hope it will be a positive change in 2015 for my family, but especially for myself.  


This Sunday is Epiphany Sunday and although we had to cancel our annual homeschool Epiphany party due to sickness in several families, we will be celebrate the day with our family by making a King Cake and rejoicing that the 3 Wandering Wise Men FINALLY made it to worship the Newborn King!

So does your family have a special way to record memories throughout the year? How do you focus on the jolly, happy times (prayer definitely is the most important way for me to focus on my blessings) instead of focusing on the negative and challenging moments throughout your day/year?  I would love to hear your thoughts on this!



Unknown said...

Great idea. I try to count my blessings whenever I get frustrates or discouraged but I do it internally. Perhaps a jolly jar would go further to teach my whole family to focus on gratitude and find the blessing in every moment. Oh yeah and thanks for reminding me about a kings cake. As soon as I have free hands I need to make ours. Happy New Year!

Hi Tara! I do alot of internal dialogue as well, unfortunately it's not always positive so I'm hoping this will help me be accountable more. Thanks for visiting and now I'm off to make the King cake myself :)

Chris said...

Wow, what a great wrap up to Christmas week and share of a fantastic idea ...the jolly jar sounds wonderful!

Thanks for sharing...great shots!
That king cake looks awesome.....I'm pinning for the future...maybe mardi gras?
Enjoy the weekend!

Hi Chris!
Thanks for stopping in! Actually I think I got the King Cake idea and recipe from your blog :) I made it tonight and will decorate it tomorrow for Epiphany! Have a blessed weekend!

Lisa Boyle said...

I just love these ideas! I am going to start something similar here. Life is definitely too short to be grumpy! :-) Thanks so much for sharing with My Week in Review. I hope you can join us again this week.

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails

Subscribe and never miss an update and post!

Hello! Thank you for your Visit!

Hello!  Thank you for your Visit!
I'm Tracy. I love my faith, family and on most days, homeschooling my 5 blessings. When I'm not busy baking cakes for my family or making memories in real life or dreaming I had a housekeeper or professional chef, I enjoy documenting a slice of Smith life in blog land.

Looking for Something? Search My Blog

Follow Me


Please Visit My Sponsor

Amazon Affiliate Search Box

You can support my blog and my family by purchasing through my Amazon affiliate link by using this Amazon Search Box to find products and I will receive a small percentage from your order at no cost to you!

Visit My Friends and Affiliate Links!

I get a small percentage from your purchases!
Thank you!

CCC of America

Brita Baby Boutique

Brita Baby Boutique

Follow Me on Pinterest!

Member of Catholic Bloggers Network

Saintnook: Check It Out!

Saintnook: The Saints are Always Online

Curious about the Catholic faith? Click Below

My Blog is Listed at Blog Mommas

My Blog is Listed at Catholic Mommy Blogs

Healthy Moms Magazine Recognition

100 Top Homeschooling Blogs | Healthy Moms Magazine

Blog Post Categories

Blog Archive

Design by My Heart's Desire Creations Copyright © A Slice of Smith Life. Powered by Blogger.

Grab My Button

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Copyright © [2010 and forward]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.