Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2016: A Year in Review

It's Tuesday morning which means the holidays are officially over. My husband is back to work today and our days go back to their normal routine. I love Christmas but this time of year always seems busy no matter how much we plan on keeping things simple. I love visiting family and friends but the introvert in me craves some quiet time. I know a lot of people who live for the weekend and holidays but I love our ordinary days so much more and I'm excited to see their return. Not that our normal days are really normal. With kids, critters, homesteading, and homeschooling life is always interesting and they all like to keep me on my toes.

So before I jump back into our routine I want to take a short pause and reflect on this past year and also jot down some goals for this year. Hindsight is 20/20 and I love looking back to see lessons learned and answered prayers since they can be hard to spot in the moment. It's also nice to have goals for the year written down to keep me focused and on track. I may continue to add on to this list as I think of things. Pregnancy brain has me in a fog today.

2016: Moments, Accomplishments, and Lessons

Family Life
  • Figuring out life with two kids
  • Finding out we are expecting a third blessing due in April
  • I feel like I am finally settling into a good routine that balances home, homeschool, and homesteading chores. I am actually using my home management binder and it has been a lifesaver. 
  • Finally learning that it's okay to put my family first. Life is so much better when I stop worrying about what other people are doing and focus on what works for our family.

  • We are half way through Pre-K with Iris and she is doing so well. 
  • I've learned to be flexible with the curriculum. I get so caught up with having everything planned out that I sometimes forget that one of the main reasons we homeschool is so that we can be flexible. 
  • Iris decided she wants to try reading and is making a ton of progress. 

  • I became pretty proficient at milking a cow and sheep.
  • We learned that we are not ready for a cow right now
  • We had a successful lambing season
  • We learned the hard way that tetanus, while rare, is very serious. We lost two sheep to tetanus this past year.
  • Between lamb and chickens we raised a year's supply of meat for our family. 
  • Gardening is not my strong suit. This year's vegetable garden was a mess. I need to set time aside each day for gardening and stick to it. 

Personal Life
  • I was baptized in January 2016.
  • My relationship with Jesus is continuing to deepen and it's amazing to see the effect it is having on my life.

Goals for 2017

Family Life
  • To be more present. With phones, computers, and a long to-do list I end up not fully giving myself to any one activity. I want to change that and give my family and tasks the full attention they deserve.
  • To build on the previous goal: Using my phone only at certain times during the day. It is so easy to get lost on Facebook and Instagram instead of focusing on what I should be doing.
  • Maintaining our daily rhythm. The kids thrive when we have a somewhat predictable rhythm to our day.
  • Finish Pre-K
  • Begin Kindergarten this August.
  • Make sure I am following her lead. 

  • Improve my sheep milking skills
  • Learn to make mozzarella
  • Make our vegetable garden a priority. I'm going to try to spend at least 15 mintues every morning weeding. I know 15 minutes doesn't sound like a lot but I'm hoping it's better than my previous method of not weeding at all and then dealing with a jungle.
  • Pressure canning more vegetables. I would love to be able to can/freeze enough to get us through the winter.
  • Experiment with more lamb cuts: ground, sausage, ham, etc...

Personal Life
  • Continue making a daily effort to put Jesus first. 
  • Daily bible reading

I can say with certainty that 2017 definitely won't be boring. With our dairy sheep due in February, twice a day milking, twenty-five layer chicks arriving in March, our Icelandic sheep due in April, me due in April, a vegetable garden to plant/weed/harvest, and 50 broiler chicks arriving in July I would  say our hands are going to be pretty full. I am so thankful for this crazy and beautiful life God has given us. 

P.S. This post may be linked up with some of my favorite blog hops.

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