Monthly Archives: January 2013

Progress Report: How it’s going so far

Step The past two weeks at my house have been filled with sickness and resulting fatigue. We’ve played pass-around-the-pink-eye one too many times. There have been horrible head colds and several ear infections. However, for the most part, I’ve stayed on track with my resolutions.

I started the 100 Day Fitness Challenge on Facebook on January 7th. It’s basically just a plan to decided personally what I want to commit to change for 100 days. The changes I decided on were no added white sugar, and exercise. I had a three day migraine from sugar-withdrawal, but I haven’t touched a piece of chocolate or a Snapple in almost two weeks. Since these two things were something I had daily, I feel pretty good about this. I’ve been eating a lot more healthfully too. There’s not a lot of shelf-foods without added sugar. I made this Superfood Salad this week; a recipe I snagged from the lovely and healthy Kristin at Iowa Girl Eats.  This recipe was great, it was even a hit with the hubby! I’ve also made the Green Monster Smoothie, which is both delicious and nutritious. I’ve not started counting calories, and I honestly haven’t decided whether or not I will. I also haven’t managed any real exercise, so that’s a goal going forward.

I did some organizing last weekend and plan to do some more this weekend. I’ve read the Bible every day, as planned, and started two other books on my list. I’m halfway through crocheting a prayer shawl for a cancer support group that is working with my needle-workers charity group.

So all in all I’ve maintained the slow-but-steady forward momentum that is so necessary in real change. If I have one area in need of immediate attention it would be sleep. For some reason I’ve been having trouble settling down for the night. As a result, I’m sluggish and sleepy throughout the day. This is not helping with my goals and it really needs to change.

Book List: TBR pile 2013

I have these separated into categories, but some of them cross over into other categories. This is not a comprehensive list, nor a rigid one. This is a loose outline; just a suggested reading list. I may change the read-alouds and the biographies depending on what we’re covering in school and as I start planning for next year. That’s also why there aren’t as many titles later in the year. I fill them in and change things around as needed. My Goodreads account widget will be the most accurate tell of what I’m reading and when.

This is definitely more than one-third of the books I read last year. I may not get to all these. If I do, great! Go me.

  • Spiritual
  • Parenting/Teaching
  • Biographies/Historical
  • How-to/Informative/Self-Help
  • Classic Literature
  • Read Aloud with kids


Twelve Ordinary Women
Shepherding a Child’s Heart
Driven to Distraction
The Natural Soap Book
The Great Gatsby
Of Courage Undaunted: Read-Aloud
The Light and the Glory: Read-Aloud


Twelve Ordinary Men
What to Read When
Families Where Grace Is in Place **
D.L. Moody
21 Days to a More Disciplined Life
Man of the Family: Read-Aloud


The Case for Christ
The Read Aloud Handbook
Just a Minute in the Heart of a Child
Wilfred Grenfell
Mary Emma and Company: Read-Aloud


The Resolution For Women
When Children Love To Learn
Why America is Free
Healthy Homemaking
The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy
The Fields of Home: Read-Aloud


Twelve Unlikely Heroes
The Teachable Moment
One Bite at a Time
Shaking the Nickel Bush: Read-Aloud


Raising a Daughter After God’s Own Heart
Bringing Up Boys
Sarah: The Life of Sarah Bernhardt
When I was child and I would behave in a dramatic manner, my mother would call me “Sarah Bernhardt.”  I always wondered who she really was. Especially now, when I have a daughter who causes my mother to say, “Oh you never did that!” and me to say, “Sarah Bernhardt” without a true understanding of the reference.
The Pearl
The Dry Divide: Read-Aloud


Demolishing Supposed Bible Contradictions Vol. 1
7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess **
Nuture Shock
Anna Karenina
Horse of a Different Color: Read-Aloud


Demolishing Supposed Bible Contradictions Vol. 2
The Well-Educated Mind
What Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast
The Sun Also Rises


Eminent Missionary Women
Abundant Simplicity: Discovering the Unhurried Rhythms of Grace **
Mind In the Making
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society


What Most Successful People Do on the Weekends
Answers to Distraction
Bunnicula: Read-Aloud


One Blood


Read the Bible for Life
Anything: The Prayer That Unlocked My God and my Soul **

The Jesse Tree: Read-Aloud

** Indicates titles that I don’t yet have and are not available through my library. If anyone has these to borrow, please let me know.

Next post- Progress report: How it’s going so far.

2013 Resolutions

The plan is to move forward slowly. Real change takes time! The aim is quality over quantity in whatever I do, learn, gain, or loose. It’s all about the bigger picture in 2013!

With that in mind, here’s the list.

  • Make healthier choices in life. This is actually several goals in one. At first glance, this may seem to be in reference to the physical body. My goal, however, is about my total self, giving  equal importance to the physical as well as the mental and the spiritual.
  1. The physical: The usual: Eat better, exercise (I won’t even bother with the word “more”, it would be dishonest.) But also to get out more. It may seem obvious that a mother of 5 would by default be very physically active, that’s not necessarily so. While I do spend a great deal of time on-the-go, it’s usually in the car. Because of this and resulting feelings of fatigue, most of my hobbies tend toward the sedentary: crocheting, reading, and now blogging.   Also, It’s very easy to “fake” running for the ball, to trot three steps and then demand that son #1 go get it. The plan is to be the one to get the ball, to go for more walks, to encourage and participate in living room jumping jacks, jump rope outside with my daughter, to just overall intentionally be more active. A fun tidbit: While researching essential oils for soap-making, I came across rose essential oil which, according to aromatherapists, *helps in soothing & harmonizing the mind as well as helps in overcoming anger, depression, grief, nervous tension, fear.  So there’s a biological reason behind “Stop and smell the roses.” Who knew?
  2. The mind: “What goes in, must come out.” I have a confession to make. I read over 100 books last year, and most of those would be considered junk reads. I like to read. I enjoy fiction. Cheap, poorly written fiction is entirely too easy to come by. The plan is to replace one third of my reading material with better choices. Some non-fiction, some classics, some just more well-written fiction. Inspired by this blogger, who also already gives the same answers I would as to how I find time to read so much. I’ll still read my fiction, but there’s just so many books out there that I’d like to read, and I never get around to it because I usually just grab the easy read. This year I want to challenge myself a little and maybe learn something new.
  3. The spiritual: I want to read the Bible. The whole thing in one year. I’d also like to do a few in-depth studies as well, but I’ve never actually read through the whole Bible, so that’s the big goal. The execution of these goals will coincide with the book-reading goal above. I have a GoodReads account and the widget, which shows my progress in my current reads, is to the right. So feel free to GoodReads friend me and follow along.
  4. Organize. I’m adding this. I was hesitant to put this in for two reasons. 1. I’m not superstitious, but I am a little bit about this. I’m afraid I’ll jinx it. Like a no-hitter in baseball, I’m afraid that if I say out loud “I’m attempting to be more organized,” that it’ll never happen. 2. I’m ADD. I’ve never been organized. I’m not really sure what that will look like in my life. I’ve read about the schedules of others with lives similar to mine and it honestly makes me break out in a cold sweat. I couldn’t live that way. It goes against the way my brain works. Still, I’m open about learning and trying new ways. So I have several books on the subject and a “Just do it” attitude. I may start 2014 no more organized but with several more ways that don’t work for me. That’s okay. That’s still a sort of progress; process of elimination and all that.
  • Plant a garden. I’m adding this one because I started the 100 Day Fitness Challenge on Facebook and I’ve come to realize that if I want to eat better and keep the roof over our heads, then I need to start growing some of this stuff myself.
  • Make soap. Simple right? I’ve had the supplies for a while, but just haven’t gotten one of those round to-it’s. The original reason behind this is severe allergic reactions in my youngest. The goal is to become proficient in soap-making, lotion-making, etc., so that I can better control the products we use for him.
  • Knit one item. That’s it. Just one. It can be small. I took a class this past year. I learned to knit. Then life got in the way and I didn’t finish anything. I’m a kinesthetic learner. I need to do it to retain it.
  • Finish one crocheted item for charity. Goal accomplished 2/18/13. I have belonged to a charity needle-workers group for over a year now. I haven’t finished a single item for charity. In all honesty, I haven’t finished anything at all since the baby boom hit our family. I can never seem to find the time anymore. Still, I have a plethora of yarn and I have the skill to share. So that’s the goal. Find time. Finish one item.

That’s it for now. I may or may not add goals as I finish some of these.
The next post may or may not be a book list.


Ringing in the New Year

Hello 2013- goodbye 2012! Yes, I’m a day late, but I was busy yesterday. In the past, I haven’t been big on New Years resolutions. This year, however, has marked a series of milestones.

Probably the most profound for me being that my youngest has turned three. Although not traditionally considered “epic”, it is the end of an era in my little world. For me, with three under five years of age, this is an end to a very long toddler stage. My body is once again my own. Okay, so that happened when the fifth stopped nursing a year and a half ago, but I didn’t have a blog then so I’m counting it now. On average, I sleep more. I get some *free time.* Really, I can not put too fine a point on the world-changing quality of these last two items. This is the thing that has given me time to take a step back and look at my life.  An introspection that my previously sleep-addled, mommy-brain would not allow.

As a result, I’ve decided to make a resolutions list for 2013. While the items on my list are your average “get this done” or “accomplish that”, the spirit behind it is more intentional. I’ve been reacting to life for too long, and I’d like to stop doing that. The overall goal is the goal itself. My goal for 2013 is intentional living. It’s about living my life on purpose rather than being swept along by the current.

It’s not as much about where I want to go as it is about who I want to be when I get there. It’s about smoothing out the rough edges, and working on some character flaws that have been left to run amok.

To that end, I’ve started this blog. I’ve dipped my toes in the blogging pool before, but I’ve never stuck with it. This incarnation has been in the works for several months. I’ve started and stopped because I didn’t know what I wanted to say, or how I wanted to say it. No more of that. I’ve decided to take on the “Just do it.” mantra for the blog. The goal for this blog is to post at least three times a week. The what and the when is as yet undetermined. Baby steps. At this point, the blog will serve as a sort of journal of the journey. So that I can more clearly see where I’ve been and better plan where to go next.

Goal for the next post: the 2013 list of resolutions.