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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

New Year's Resolutions

So it's the second week of January and I am getting around to contemplating and assessing my New Year resolutions. Being only the second week of January, some of them are going better than others.

There are the standard ones: I want to be more faithful in my devotions time, eat healthier, and exercise more.

And then there are the ones that require more thought, more work, more effort. Some of these are subsets of the above resolutions, and others are stand alone.

I want to produce, save, prepare more of our own foods. This requires putting more thought into food shopping and planning ahead. Planning ahead for raising our own meat chickens in the spring (coop, lighting, feed, etc). Researching and learning about using my new dehydrator and vacuum sealer.

I want to eliminate our debt. A college graduation and a wedding this summer are going to make this an extremely difficult task. We don't carry too much debt since we did away with credit cards six years ago, but we do have a few loans and the mortgage that I would like to see gone. I have decided to break this into smaller goals spread out over the next three years. So the goal for this year is to eliminate a small personal loan and cut our camper loan in half. Next year we want to eliminate the camper loan and half of my student loans (yes, I am STILL paying on those!). Then the third year we will finish the student loans and start on our mortgage. Sam retires from the firehouse sometime around 2023 and we really want to be free from all debt by then. This plan requires really cutting back our spending on eating out, groceries, travel, and other extras. GULP!

I want to be more patient. I am so impulsive sometimes and dive into things with little or no forethought. My mouth runs ahead of my head and my heart is often miles ahead of my mouth. My intention is to do good, but in the end I am apologizing, scurrying to get it all done, and just squeaking by with no time to spare. I really want to take time this year to choose my words carefully. I want to choose my actions carefully. I want to take the time to fully enjoy the moments I have without thinking about the next project I have on the agenda.

And so, I have an app on my tablet that is helping me keep up with my Bible reading time. Abby has agreed to go with me to the gym at least two times a week, where she makes me do the weights with her. I do the treadmill/elliptical/bike the other days. I am reading books about food: where it comes from, how it is processed, and what is in it. I am reading books about preserving my own food.

And lastly, but perhaps most importantly, I am praying more. I am finding that as I share my heart with God, He is changing my heart. I pray this leads to perhaps a kinder, gentler person. A person who is living life abundantly in every minute, not anticipating what life might be in five minutes.

It's only week two and my arm muscles are sore, I have missed one day of devotions, I've completed one book about pork production, I have declined two opportunities, but accepted one after some consideration, and I made one extra payment against the personal loan already.
Only 50 more weeks to go....


Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas in Canterbury

My mom and dad went to Kansas for Christmas, where the spent the week having fun with our family that lives there. So our annual family Christmas party was held the Sunday after they returned. This party is one of the highlights of our Christmas festivities. I so enjoy the company of my brothers, their wives and kids and now, as the family expands, the "significant others" that are joining the group.








UGH! He never lets me take his picture!




So much for, "Smile!"






Yes. That would be an entire stick of butter going into the mashed potatoes!

So the "Eggnog Chocolates" weren't so great.


The "Christmas Overload Meltdown" (COM) in it's earliest stages. (Notice how we are all laughing at her? We are so not nice...)










Chocolate temporarily soothed the savage beast...

I think this was Samantha's favorite gift.







Bringing out the heavy tools for the toy packaging.

Dad took control of the knife to prevent any more "Toy Packaging" injuries.



Aerial view.

Christmas exploded all over the living room.






"Christmas Overload Meltdown" (COM) goes to DEFCON 2.






Great Uncle John's gift of 50 pounds of candy.
 The dentist writes him a thank you note every year...










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