Breaking Down My Goals – Family, Part I

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Family Christmas Photo 2015This year I plan on being more intentional with planning things out with my family.

Not just my immediate family of adorable mini-me’s that my husband and I have created, but with my brother and his family, with my uncles, aunts, cousins and their families, and with my dad.

The three goals I’m listing in this area are:

  • Plant/maintain 12 different types of plants this year

  • Plan 12 intentional events with the family

  • Complete 12 home improvement projects (of any kind)

As I’m trying to improve the length of each blog post, this post only discusses the top two goals, and I’ll get to the third one in a subsequent post.


How I plan to plant and maintain twelve different types of plants

This is my barely surviving oregano plant.

This is my barely surviving oregano plant.

My dying peppermint plant still has a few green leaves on it!

My dying peppermint plant still has a few green leaves on it!

This is my dill (herb) plant. It was dying inside the house and seems to be thriving outside!

This is my dill (herb) plant. It was dying inside the house and seems to be thriving outside!

This is our five year old blackberry bush.

This is our five year old blackberry bush.

The strawberry patch is in full swing in our raised garden.

The strawberry patch is in full swing in our raised garden.

This is my pot of my mother's daffodil bulbs.

This is my pot of my mother’s daffodil bulbs.

This photo was taken in January 2016 of my blueberry bush. It's the one in the center of the photo with the remaining red leaves.

This photo was taken in January 2016 of my blueberry bush. It’s the one in the center of the photo with the remaining red leaves.

There have been many plants come and go into my home and garden.

You can see the photos I’ve placed in this post show various stages of plants, both edible and ornamental.

One of my favorite things to grow however is aloe vera. Aloe Vera succulents

My Aloe plants have thrived at this home for over ten years.  I hope to eventually turn them into a small side business for my oldest, who has asked in the past, but not followed through, on how to make money selling things.  I set up an Etsy shop that I haven’t opened, mainly out of fear that I won’t meet customer expectations.  I don’t have “extra free time” to run an Etsy shop.

My son however, might have that time.  It’s just getting him to commit to doing it with me!

But I digress.

This year, I really want to get to know my plants better.  I’ve been able to grow them and keep them alive, but I really don’t “know” how to take care of my plants.  This is really what the “maintaining” part of my goal is about.

In this post alone, I show eight of my garden plants.

My husband and I have agreed that this year, we’re going to add pumpkins and zucchini, and grow tomato plants again this year.

My indoor plants include Easter lily’s and common house plants, all of which I don’t even know the name of, but I will find them out this year!  All in all, I think I’ll have well over twelve different types of garden/house plants that I both plant and maintain this year.  I can’t believe I’ve never tried adding up the different types until now.

How I want to plan twelve intentional events with the family

If you didn’t already know (or for some reason couldn’t tell) – I’m pretty obsessive-compulsive about having things scheduled out.  In my defense, my husband is too.

In an original discussion we had talking about goals for the year, we wrote down a few important things we want to do with our three children.

One of the things that I’m going to try to do this year is put myself out there for my brother and his family.  His triplets are older now and I have been able to take care of all three of them plus my three in the past, so hopefully my brother and his wife can get a much-needed break.

The last time the triplets came to visit was memorable!

The last time the triplets came to visit was memorable!

I also hope that I can help organize a few more of my extended families functions too.

We have plans to go see an uncle, aunt and their children in Oregon, and help organize an event or two with my nearby cousins and their families.

Our children have been begging us to go to the snow this year, so we’re going to try to plan that first.  I’ll keep you posted on how we do!

Stay tuned for the next blog post on another ‘Family’ oriented goal, trying to complete twelve home improvement projects!

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Breaking Down My Goals – Spiritual

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When I first wrote out my twelve goals of twelve this year, I had no idea how I was going to accomplish some of it.

This goal is the one I should be tackling first as there is nothing more important than serving the Lord and how to serve Him better, yet I admit that I have a hard time “scheduling” a devotional time.

This post goes over my plan to devote time to prayer.

A gift never used for the greatest gifts given to meMy first child was born in 2005, shortly after the date of this note that was written in the book, “The Power of a Praying Parent” by Stormie Omartian.

This book was a gift, and as many times of life happen, I didn’t open the book to read it (or I don’t recall opening it) until January 2016 – just over ten years after receiving it.

Judge me if you will, but now is the time.

My goal this year in this “category” is to pray twelve intentional prayers.

By just skimming the contents of this book, it appears there are at least 31.

As this book is on my list of books to read this year, I will be selecting twelve of the prayers, or perhaps fewer, to write out and read over again and again.

I plan on trying to schedule my devotional time during my lunch hours at least two times a week.  I also want to get into a better habit of reading on Sunday nights, and this book will be one of the first on that list.

My goal will be met on a tangible basis by intentionally writing out twelve prayers in a notebook to look over, and write notes on if those prayers get answered, and if not, know that it’s all in God’s timing anyway.

I am in constant prayer for my children’s safety, health and overall well being, but I know I could be both praying more for them, and for more specific things that so many others ask for, when they reach out to ask for prayer.

That’s what I intend to accomplish this year.

Do you have any spiritual goals you’re working on?  Any devotionals that seem to be calling your name for the year?

I would love to know.

Thanks for reading as always,

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Breaking Down my New Year Goals-Physical

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2016 Started off Right!I have extremely ambitious goals for 2016.

You wouldn’t think I was ambitious as 2016 came into our home at 9 PM Pacific Time on December 31, 2015.

Our kids were in bed before 9:30, and I went to sleep before 10:30 PM.

This is what it’s like in my late thirties baby!

But….

The first thing I did on January 1, 2016 after I woke up and got ready was go for a run.

Overall Goal: Intentional Living

See the post about my goals here: Goals for 2016 – My Year of Twelves

This is the second post about how I intend on tackling my goals.  The first post was for my intellectual goals.

So my pattern for describing how I plan on tackling my goals for the year are the classic formula of who, what, when, where, how, and why, but not described in that order.

My What –

Out of the twelve goals I set for this year, my physical ones include:

  • Run 12 – miles a week until the half-marathon.  Then walk/run 12-miles a week thereafter.

  • Lose 12 pounds.

  • Drink 12 cups of water a day.

My How, Where and When –

  • Exercising two or three times a week at home using Amazon Prime videos or You Tube Videos.

  • Run at least three times a week around my home or on the trail nearby my home.

  • Losing weight while I run will be the bonus.

  • Set a reminder four times a day to remind me to drink my water.

Currently, I run and exercise in the evenings after my children go to sleep, when I wasn’t at the personal trainer.

Backstory – I had a personal trainer for the past two years, and it worked well because I was able to go right after work and come home early enough to feel like I got time to be with my children after 5 PM.

With my new position, I have to work 8 to 5.  (Recall ~or know ~ that this position was forced upon me.)

The plan now is to PERHAPS run in the morning (especially when it gets warmer) and exercise in the evening.

Other than continuing to eat low-carb as my “new normal” eating habits, I don’t plan on changing my diet.  I learned so much over the past year about eating healthy, that the only major change is that I will be running on a regular basis.

As far as the water is concerned, I only plan on setting my timer for the first two months of the year.  I’ve already put them into my IPhone, for 9 AM, 11 AM, 2 PM and 5 PM.  It’s for every day.

The last thing I want to tell you about is that I joined a virtual community called Run the Edge.  My husband and I are participating in a challenge called 2016 miles in 2016.  The idea is to run 2016 miles in 2016.  It sounds impossible, but you can have a team or in my case, my husband and I both joined.  The idea is to have a total of five miles a day.  They also are totally okay if you count those miles as walking miles.  I don’t plan on running everyday!

I’ll keep you posted on how we do throughout the year!

My Who & Why –

My husband wants to go with me on some of my runs.  He’s done this before and when my amazing mom-in-law is able to take care of the kids, it’s almost like a mini-date!  It’s been so fun.

Other than the sometimes-I-get-to-hang-out-with-my-husband, I have an additional reason of why taking care of myself is going to be a key component in 2016. In 2015, my mother passed away from diabetic complications, including heart disease. I know that her diseases were preventable, or at least, could have been better maintained.

My real reason “why” these goals are so important to me are because I can control what I eat, how and when I exercise and overall, know that I did my best to show my children that they were important enough to me to take care of myself.

These could potentially be some tough words for some people to read.

I get that.

I have no magic formula to convince you to make a few changes.  But I do want you to know that you are loved, and you do have control over some things, including how you take care of yourself.

Peace to you this week and stay tuned for how I’m going to tackle the next goal – Spiritual.

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Breaking Down My Goals – Intellectual

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Simply put, I am doing many of my goals for 2016 as realistically as possible.

If you read my first post of the year, about how I’m calling this My Year of Twelves, you might have thought to yourself that it’s impossible.

No one can do that many things.

Well, that just tells me that you don’t know me personally.

And that’s okay.

I thank you for finding and reading this blog.

Out of all the goals I set for myself, I really think the hardest will still be to read 12 books this year.

I read a total of eleven last year, and I’m barely imagining to exceed that number by one. Heh.

What I think might be the most interesting piece of this equation is how I find myself wanting to strive in this area, but not finding the time to do it.

Well ~ we’ll see what the new year brings.  This year I’ve declared that it will be “Intentional” and I’m not going to back down.

The question remains to be answered: Who, what, when, how, where and why is the goal to read 12 books this year going to be accomplished?

My Who, What, When & Where –

The following books are currently in my library and I hope to either start or finish them.  Maybe this list is a little short, but I intend on making the best of the things I’ve got this year, which includes not purchasing more books until I’ve read these listed! 2016 Books

  • With my oldest son, I am currently reading the Lord of the Rings Series by J.R.R. Tolkien.  The three books are titled “The Fellowship of the Ring,” “The Two Towers,” and “The Return of the King.” (We read “The Hobbit” last year and it was phenomenal.)
  • Last year, I bought a book called “Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?” by Brian D. McLaren that our church pastor recommended.  I started it, but admit-tingly, the language is not easy to follow for me and I only got to chapter seven.  (Does everyone know what the word “ecumenical” means? Page 37….)  Anyway, I plan on finishing this book this year.
  • I inherited two books from my mother that I am now ready to read this year.  One is “Sit, Walk, Stand” by Watchman Nee, and the other is “What If Your Blessings Come Through Raindrops” by Laura Story.
  • A book that got recommended to me by a co-worker is by Gerald Durrell, called “My Family and Other Animals” to read with my children. The title is just intriguing and I hope it’s as good as she says it is.  Hopefully I’ll get to it after the Lord of the Rings series, or use it as a small reprieve between the Lord of the Rings books.
  • I’ve had a book on my shelf for a while that I literally had to wipe the dust off called “The Power of a Praying Parent” by Susie Omartian.  This is a book that will also cross-over into my personal Spiritual Goal Challenge as I intend on reading through all of it and doing the prayers in the book.
  • The 4-Hour Workweek” by Timothy Ferriss was recommended by my personal trainer and I’m all over learning new ideas to get things done more efficiently.
  • The last book shown in the photo and on my list to read this year is “The Lando Calrissian Adventures” by L. Neil Smith.  I started this book many years ago and never finished it.  As a Star Wars fanatic, I love the world created between the time when there wasn’t any movies made after Return of the Jedi.  I’ve read several books and have two more lined up in my library if I get through this one this year.
  • The first book I might actually complete this year is by Roald Dahl, called “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” I purchased a Roald Dahl Collection Boxed Set last year, and this will be the second book we complete as I read it aloud to my family on a weekly basis.

If I’m able to get through the above books, I will have read a total of eleven.
I have a couple stand-by Star Wars books that I could delve into, but I also have a list a mile long of books I want to purchase and read when I can.

My How & Why –

I enjoy reading.

The hardest part for me is scheduling it “in-between” things.

One of the things that I recall from my childhood was my mother reading books aloud to my brother and I.  My mother read aloud to my brother well into the seventh and eighth grades, and I remember being “too cool” to listen to my mother reading as I was already a freshman or sophomore in high school.

As much as I regret not sitting by her as she read to my brother, she taught me the importance of reading and how valuable the time spent with my children will be to them after they grow up.

I use my children as an excuse now to read books that I didn’t get to read when I was younger.  This was the case with the Narnia series last year, and will be the case for the Lord of the Rings Series I hope to finish this year.

I also like to improve myself.  I like having control of things and it seems that while I realize the more I try to have control on things, the less control I actually have, there are areas of my life that can be controlled – such as diet, exercise, water consumption, and the knowledge I choose to incorporate into my life.  That last item is where reading really comes in.

Out of the eleven books I listed above, five of them are non-fiction.  I’m excited about that!  Three of them are listed as “devotional” but none-the-less, they are about self-improvement, and that’s the purpose of reading them in my case.

I’ll get those devotional books read, sometime, and somewhere.  It will be intentional, that’s for sure.

Do you have any books that are on your must-read list this year?  I’d love to know about it if you do!

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Goals for 2016 – My year of Twelve’s

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2016 Goals - My Year of 12'sI know, I know, you’re thinking “Twelve’s? What’s that all about?  It’s two-thousand and SIXTEEN!”

It just hit me one day in late December.

I announced to myself in my head “This year I’m going to do 12 of each thing!

“What does that mean exactly?” I had to ask myself.


Last year, I tried to read twelve books throughout the year.  I only got to eleven but that “12” number really stuck with me.

I remember when I first met my husband – he and I couldn’t believe that our favorite number was 12. Meaning, individually, but shared.  (You know, those dumb little things you talk about when you’re 18-years old and dating.)

One could say that the number twelve just has meaning to me.

There’s 12-months in a year, so why not set up twelve tangible goals?

I based this list off of a prompt from Rachel Cruze’s website: Seven Areas to Focus your Goals.

One night in late December, my husband and I sat down together after the kids went to bed and brainstormed our yearly goals.  Truth be told – up to that point in our marriage, I don’t think we’ve ever done this.  Sure we talked about things we wanted in life, but we never came up with goals.

We talked about everything from the garden, the children, financial goals, certain areas of life that are more important than other and certain areas of life that need to take priority.  It was awesome.

Out of that brainstorming session, I gathered my thoughts into the groups listed on Rachel Cruze’s site.

  1. Intellectual
  2. Physical
  3. Spiritual
  4. Family
  5. Social
  6. Career
  7. Financially

DeAndrasCrafts Goals for 2016

  • Read 12 books this year.

  • Run 12 – miles a week until the half-marathon.  Then walk/run 12-miles a week thereafter.

  • Lose 12 pounds.

  • Publish 12 blog posts a month.

  • Plant/maintain 12 different types of plants this year.

  • Drink 12 cups of water a day.

  • Save $12,000 this year.

  • Plan 12 intentional events with the family.

  • Write out 12 prayers based on the bible.

  • Tackle 12 crocheting projects, either started or new.

  • Create 12 handmade gifts.

  • Complete 12 home improvement projects (of any kind.)

The key to this list for me is to remember that small accomplishments are big ones.  For example: Twelve cups of water a day may not seem difficult, but I don’t track my intake of water.  I want to change that habit and KNOW how much water I’ve consumed in a day.

Over the course of the next month, I’ll be writing about HOW I intend on tackling this list.  My-actual-doing-things.

It sounds impossible, I know!  But this year, I’m making things Intentional, and for the purpose of giving the Lord all the glory for the talents and gifts he’s given me.

I hope you’ve come up with your list of goals.  It’s not too late to start.  Whenever you read this.

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