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New Year thoughts....

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The start of the new year is upon us. As I look to the future and envision where I want to be in 365 days, I really have to look back into 2008 and see where I started. Last year I really put focus on preserving more food for my family. I did not keep up with a jar count but know I used over 150 jars on tomato products alone. Add to that the many batches of apple jelly, apple pie filling, apple butter, apple sauce, potatoes, corn, green beans, soups, stews, peppers, and other vegetables from our garden. I do know I keep running out of jars!

For this year, I want to expand our garden more. I want to make better use of the space we have for gardening. Mel Bartholomew's books are on my must read list this year. I hope to preserve, can, dehydrate, freeze, store as much as I can. I would like to have enough food stored away to feed my family for 6 months or longer.

I also am planning on buying less convenience foods and make more of my own. The more I dig around this site, the more recipes I find to help me along that journey. I have noticed that lately my grocery lists contain mostly staple items and a lot less JUNK! A result of that will be healthier eating for my family and more money in our pocket book.

I want to get back to doing more crafting this year. I have started crochet snowflakes for Christmas gifts in 2009. I think that, along with a choice gift item, will make a nice gift for those I choose to swap gifts with at work. In 2008, I created a "choice" gift list of goodies from my kitchen, where my friends could choose what items they would like to recieve for Christmas. It was very well received by myfriends and co workers. So well received that I know I will do it again this year. The choice list included many of my jellies, jams, and home canned items. It also included fresh baked items like cakes and cookies. Intended for the men, but chosen by several female friends, I even included deer jerky and sausage as choices.

I want to get more sewing done this year. I dont remember setting up my sewing machine and doing anything more than very little repair work, the time of which might have taken 15 minutes for the whole year! I have at least 3 patterns and material waiting patiently on me to get my rear back in gear and get back to sewing.

My daughter has taken an interest in crochet and makes a great chain stitch. So good in fact that right now, she has a 5 foot chain stitch created. I want to teach her more about it and help her make some simple projects this year. The snowflake pattern I am doing is only 4 rounds, and only has sc, dc, and slip stitch, so that may be a good one to consider teaching her. She then could make some to give as gifts to her friends at Christmas. She is also turning into quite a good baker. She can bake cakes, cookies, and brownies by herself. I want to begin teaching her about canning this year. SHe has helped with the prep work and loves to help in the garden.

My son is interested in learning to mow and maybe take on some odd jobs around the house this year for a little extra money. He is only nine, but wants to earn money. He is willing to work, sometimes with a little prompting. He was such a wonderful help last year in tilling the garden. He would see it needed done and do it. He too has taken an interest in baking cookies this last few months and I want to help encourage that talent.

Both children are becoming quite the pianists. They hate to practice but want to play well. So, they practice. Kaitlynn has begun singing in public also. She is gaining confidence and is slowly develping a stage performance/demeanor. That is coming with the confidence.

We were blessed with good health last year. No major health issues to contend with. My sleep apnea is being dealt with, and my husbands back troubles are minor right now. Hopefully the Lord will bless us with continued good health this year.

I want to continue working on getting rid of our debt. We only have a small credit card bill, the car, and the house left until we become debt free. I need to get out and listen to my Dave Ramsey CDs again and get back focused on getting this behind us. We did buy new living room furniture in 2008, but saved to get it and paid cash. I want to keep better track of where I spend my blow money. I realize the little amounts here and there really add up to a lot of money spent over time.

2008 was a good year for us. I am looking forward to 2009. God has wonderful things in store for us. He led us to a new church in 2008, which as been such a blessing. My children like it because there are lots of other children their ages and there are many things to do. My husband and I like it because there are other couples our age who share like interests. We have been filled so that our cup is overflowing with Christian love and fellowship from our new church family. We have been there almost a year, and know we were led there by the Lord. I thank Him for that. He led us to a place where we could be fed and grow.

His leadership was with us last year and He will see us into tomorrow as well.

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