Thursday, January 9, 2014

2014: Goals for the New Year

Has another year really already gone by? Wow. With a new year my mind is buzzing with all sorts of new goals to accomplish, and sadly some are still the same old goals from previous years--never attempted. I always find that at this time of year I want to purge every room in the house, declutter and simplify, and get my health back on track.

Here are some of my goals for 2014--we'll see how many I can actually meet :)

1. Get healthy eating habits back on track.

Our family's meals and eating habits have gone a little haywire lately. Although we have really no excuse,  a lot of times we were too tired or busy or caving in to cravings to plan healthy meals made from scratch with locally-grown or organic products. We did a good job of eating from our garden and of course fresh eggs from our chickens, but I want to go all the way organic and strive to eat mostly locally grown, in-season foods. I'm hoping to completely eliminate processed foods and severely limit white and refined sugars and grains. We also plan to buy local meats.

2. Consistently do a family devotional and read Scripture each evening as a family

We are not very good about reading the Word together, and even though I have my own quiet time it sometimes gets pushed aside with the craziness of life and new babies. I hope to establish my personal time of prayer and scripture reading in the morning, and then a family devotional in the evening; perhaps at the dinner table after eating.

3. Read more and watch less TV

I think this is pretty self-explanatory. Yes, we have our favorite shows to watch, but I will no longer aimlessly sit in front of the tv at night to relax and let the time slip away.

4. Participate/contribute more to church activities according to the Spirit's leading

I used to give more of my time to our church and its ministries and lately I've been more selfish with my time. I'm striving to deliberately make more time for church activities, service opportunities, and ministry as God leads me.

5. Be better about sending cards and well wishes for birthdays and encouragement for the sick.

6. Be consistent about going to yoga class and participating in other exercise regimens. I must lose the rest of this baby weight from the twins! (about 10 more pounds to go!)

7. Stay on top of the gardening duties

The garden can get overwhelming if we don't stay on top of things. Starting seeds, planting schedules, weeding, harvesting and processing, and composting/fertilizing are all things that have to be done. If we can do a little each day and a fair amount on the weekends I think it will help to make our backyard garden a bigger success.

8. Find a source for raw milk and attempt to make our own dairy products.

I've wanted to do this for a long time. It will be difficult though, considering North Carolina's tight regulations on raw milk consumption. Hopefully I will be able to at least once try my hand at cheesemaking, homemade butter, cream, and butter milk. Yum!

9. Don't forget to spend a little time each day playing with my babies, not just taking care of them.

 My twin girls will only be babies once, and I have to relish every sweet moment with them at this fun stage :)

10. Bake bread weekly. 

I love fresh bread, and we have a wonderful flour mill very close to us that makes their own organic spelt/sprouted whole wheat flour. I can buy it directly from the mill in bags for only $3 each! It makes a great tasting bread that's healthy too!

11. Practice better poultry husbandry habits, and inspect birds regularly. 

As much as I hate to admit, when our lives get super busy, the chickens often get neglected. This next year I want to make sure we are taking the best care of them so that they don't suffer from something we didn't catch early on.

What are your goals for the New Year?

Sharing with:

Friday, January 3, 2014

Glimpses of our Christmas....

Well, folks I am so sorry for being so behind! Granted I have been quite busy with the twins, but I had meant to get out a fall decor post and a Thanksgiving post and neither one happened :(

I'm finally getting around to a brief belated Christmas home tour and as usual I've kept my decorating simple this year. I brought out a few of the boxes of the annual decorations such as our Nativity, tree trimmings, tin angels from Old Salem, and a few other vintage odds and ends. Other than that I've kept the decor to mostly fresh greenery, things I already had on hand and natural trimmings found around my yard like pine cones and cedar clippings.

pine cones and greenery in an antique bread bowl on our dining table

"Williamsburg" decorative fruit wreath- can be hung overtop doors or used as a statement piece just about anywhere!

Our Christmas Tree- we get a live one every year as a fundraiser for our church
ministry and I think this year's was the most beautiful 

handmade tin Angles from Old Salem

fireplace mantel with Nativity, stockings, and more greenery

Here are some more fun snapshots of our home and our Christmas happenings:

"JiJi" with her two grand-babies dressed for Christmas Eve

Our Christmas morning breakfast of Eggs Benedict, bacon, and mini cinnamon rolls

Georgia with Grandma Holly

June on Christmas morning watching everyone open gifts :)

We enjoyed not having to travel this year among all the chaos and festivities of the season. Of course I am cherishing this precious time with the babies while they are so little and sweet. June and Georgia wish all of you a (belated) Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


" And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."    -Luke 2:10-14