When 2009 started, we had no idea that Jeff would be traveling for 75% of the year. We also didn't know for certain that we would begin homeschooling. We also didn't know that we'd be moving. 2009 was a rough year for me. I had some pretty extensive goals for 2009. Here's how I did:
1. Lose 3 lbs each month. I can do that, right? - Didn't happen. By the end of February, I had lost the 6 pounds, but then it all fell apart. I currently weigh EXACTLY the same as I weighed last year at this time. :(
2. Stop using bottled water at home. It's expensive and wasteful. It's convenient for travel, but not necessary at home. - I have used bottled water about 97% less than last year, so I'm pleased with that. Jeff still likes to use it, but it wasn't his resolution. :)
3. Reduce soda intake to 1 or less per week. - Done!
4. Learn how to use my new camera! (Canon Rebel XS) - Nope... still on AUTO.
5. Continue weekly lunch date with Jeff. - We continued this as much as possible. Jeff traveled A LOT this year; sometimes it was less than once a month.
6. Blog less and without obligation ... Live more. :) - I blogged less and felt less obligated about doing so, but I sure did continue to read a lot of them!
1. Get up early for personal bible reading and/or prayer. (still working on this... 5:30 comes too soon!) - Sadly, this didn't happen.
2. Continue with the online bible study. - Nope... hanging head in shame... :(
3. Have at least a weekly devotional of some sort with the boys. (What do you do? I'm looking for suggestions!) - Thanks to our decision to begin homeschooling, this has happened! More than once a week, too!
4. Pray at least once daily that Witt will outgrow his allergies. - I might not have prayed every single day, but I sure did a lot of praying about his allergies and enlisted a lot of people to join me as well. It sure did pay off!
1. Continue being consistent with the boys in discipline. This has worked wonders! - Still needing to be more consistent with being consistent. I think this is a constant work in progress as the boys grow and change.
2. Encourage Will and Jeff to do a "boys night out" at least once a quarter. - This one was hard, too, with all the traveling Jeff did; however, he and Will did go out to eat a few times together this year. They even invited Nathan! :)
3. Continue training the boys to do chores and help as a part of the family. - The boys do their daily chores when asked, but won't do them without being asked. Cleaning the playroom usually results in a day long procrastination event with lots of whining. :P Sadly, I mostly take the easy road and just shut the door.
4. Reduce the number of times I ask Will to stop talking and try harder to answer more of his questions. (Multiple obscure "What if?" questions break me d..o..w..n...) - Homeschooling has helped me with this one a lot. Granted there are still times where I just have to say, "I know you're not done talking, but I'm done listening for now." Sometimes my ears just need a break. LOL!
5. Complete Nathan's potty-training. - DONE!
6. Read more books / watch less tv. (another ongoing battle) - I have enjoyed a couple books this year: Nourishing Traditions (which is on sale right now for less than $18!!!! Go grab one!) and Created to be His Help Meet (Jeff would even say this book improved our marriage... not that it needed a lot of help, but there is always room for improvement!). I also really enjoyed Go Dairy Free. There have been a few other books that I picked up, but those were the ones that impacted me the most this year.
NUTRITION - March 2008 update HERE
1. Reduce the amount of soy milk we use by at least half and start drinking more rice and almond milk. Too much of anything is not good. - I purchased almond milk all year. We all loved it!
2. Along the same lines... learn how to use different kinds of cooking oils - grapeseed, coconut, etc. I mostly just use olive and vegetable. - This year I used mostly coconut oil, followed by lard or olive oil, and then vegetable oil (only for a few recipes). I also tried red palm oil on chicken nuggets, but didn't purchase it again after I ran out... no reason, just didn't.
3. Incorporate more whole wheat flour and wheat germ in recipes. I currently substitute about 1/8 - 1/4 of the white flour with whole wheat in most recipes. - I would say most of my recipes are now 1/2 - full whole wheat flour! I also received a grain mill for Christmas 2009, so I'll be using freshly ground whole wheat flour in 2010! WOO HOO!
1. Update last year's budget. - I think I did this at the beginning of the year, but it all fell through when Jeff started traveling. To be honest, I didn't think much about money this year at all. I had other things on my mind.
2. Save for the boys' education. - Nothing formally. I still want to open them each at account.
3. Open a savings account. (If I don't see it in the checking account, I'll be less apt to spend!) - Didn't get to this either. Jeff was rarely around to go sign papers to open an account. When he was home, this was low on the list of things to do.
4. Stick to my grocery budget. I'm shooting for $125 a week or less to include all groceries, diapers, wipes, toiletries, cleaners, OTC medications, and paper products. Based on some of the frugal blogs out there, this should be totally doable! - HA! This year was a year of survival for me. I feel like I was in constant crisis-mode. I have no idea what I spent on groceries. None. A friend of mine said that when they go into crisis-mode, they increase their budget by 30%. That would bring my weekly grocery budget to $162.50, but i really have no idea. If we needed it, I bought it. I have no physical number to share with you on what actually happened after April of this year when Jeff's traveling started. Here were my extended thoughts on my grocery budget in January 2009, though.
5. Start looking into what it's going to take to build a house out in the country. - Well, the first step turned out to be moving. :) We also brought the plans to a contractor to get a round-about price. The contractor priced it with a full basement and the best of everything... $275,000. Oh, hey, I've got that in my back pocket. HAHAHAHA! We weren't planning on a full basement or the *best* of everything, so it will definitely be coming down in price. Plus, now that seen some benefits to a smaller house, we'll probably reduce the square footage a bit as well. Except for the kitchen. That needs to be BIG! :)
So, that's it. Some things stuck, some things didn't. I'm fine with that. I'm glad to have survived the year and to be looking forward to a new year with my husband home, spending family time in our old, little, cinder-block house, enjoying homeschooling, and all without food allergies. The doors to the world have opened! I feel like my coin has flipped! So many options are before us.
God has blessed us so much and I am so grateful!