Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Amishness in Review and Ambitions for 2013

So, at the beginning of last year I made a list of 21 Amish goals for the year 2012. And basically? I failed at being Amish this year. Out of the 21 goals I set:

8 did not happen at all.
7 were partially completed.
6 were accomplished.

I'm just going to blame those results on Atley. ;) Haha. I can't really blame her for how I've always been - overambitious. I've been a "Shoot for the stars and land among the trees!" as opposed to a "Shoot for the trees and land in the mud" sort of girl, for as long as I can remember. I will continue to chip away at these though. Becoming as awesomely, Amishly self-sufficient as I would like is going to take longer than I thought and that is ok. I've got time. I'm just going to keep at it! I'll keep you posted on future failures and successes. If you care to know what I did and didn't do, here's the run-down:
  • Churn some of my own butter.
    • Did not make my own butter this year. We did make scratch ice cream in a bag one night . . . Yeah, this one was a fail. I would still like to do this one this year.
  • Plant a decent perennial vegetable garden in a box.
    • No box, no garden - but Lincoln has been having fun with the soil in my pots out back.
  • Learn how to start my own yeast. Start it, and keep it alive. Use it regularly.
    • Squire got a 100% hydrated sourdough started. I made sourdough pancakes with it once. They were very good. I need to work on this one more.
  • Expand and cultivate my herb garden. (We have to replant a whole new Rosemary plant because we already ate the whole thing. Too delicious.)
    • Plants and me = fail. All the living plants that were under my supervision have died. But, we'll keep on trying! (Poor future plants . . .)
  • Upcycle at least a few old items of clothing so that I do want to wear them (nicer fit/shape, improved visual interest.)
    • I made Lincoln's Halloween costume - that is all the clothing sewing I've done this year. That counts for something Amish though, right? It was a cow costume after all!! :)
  • Make a new candle from old candle wax and use it.
    • Nope, but I've been saving jars and wax. Hopefully soon.
  • Bottle fresh Summer peaches for Winter days.
    • Again, no. We thought about going to pick pears or peaches, but making the trip and devoting a whole day to canning together was too much at the time they were ripe and cheap for the canning.
  • Make fuel sources out of old tuna cans, cardboard and paraffin wax. 
    • I've stockpiled tuna cans and cardboard and purchased a 10lb. block of paraffin wax. Will do this one for a family home evening activity this month.
  • Learn how to make soap and make some.
    • So sadly - no! :(
  • Make and can my own homemade applesauce.
    •  Yes! I did this one my friends. I peeled apples during October General conference. The finished product was so delicious. I don't know why I ever buy applesauce at all. It freezes well for up to a year in Ziploc bags too I discovered. Will do this again when apples are super cheap this year. But, I'm making a whole lot more. This stuff rocks.
    • Make a scrap rug for Lincoln's room.
    • Make and can homemade jam of some kind this year.
      • Totally did this one with my friends, Allison and Amanda. We made Prickly Pear Jelly and Syrup. It was a fun day and a great learning experience. I'm not so intimidated by canning any more. 
    • Embroider something by hand with the leftover chenille thread from my arm chair slip covers. 
      • Did not happen.
    • Sew a scrap quilt - not by hand. ;) 
      •  Been collecting scraps, and looking for design ideas on Pinterest. But, this one has not yet come to fruition as I have imagined. I did though sew one (and my first) quilt/blanket ever - a cuddly one with different textured fabrics for my niece, CJ.
    • Make and dry pasta from scratch for later use. 
      • I did make scratch pasta a few times this year. I learned how to make homemade egg noodles and used them in several batches of scratch chicken noodle soup. I also made homemade ravioli. Delicious but also very time-consuming. Glad pre-made stuff is available so I don't have to do this all the time. But, very good all the same. I'm glad I learned something new!
    • Figure out the darning stitch on my spaceship sewing machine and mend something with it.
      • I didn't figure out my darning stitch, but I did mend a torn bed sheet, a couple pairs of work jeans for Squire, and a couple of Lincoln's diapers this year.
    • Make a loaf of bread from home ground wheat and home started yeast.
      • From the time Grandma Hepworth gifted me her Bosch this Summer, to the time up until Atley was born, we hadn't bought a single loaf of sandwich bread. I have been making all our bread from scratch! All with home ground wheat. None with home started yeast yet, but since I've successfully implemented a lifestyle change for our family, I think I can give myself this one.
    • Only bring and use reusable grocery bags. It's time to buckle down on this one! (I forget more than I remember to bring my bags. Sad but true story.) 
      • I have done decently on this one. I remember to bring my reusable bags three times as often as I forget to bring them. I need a few more to complete my stash. But I have greatly improved and will continue working on this one.
    • Learn how to carve wood and carve the wooden doors for the computer hutch Squire is building. 
      • Squire is just now working on that hutch which has been redesigned a few times and will now be a corner computer desk. It only has one small door which will hardly be seen. I have no carving supplies to speak of.  Don't know that this goal will happen for many years to come. It's more involved than I realized.
    • Have a year's supply of food stashed away.
      • We made some awesome strides in growing both our short term and long term food supply this year. I'm pretty proud. Even made an awesome excel spreadsheet to document what we have. But, we also added another member to our family! This one will forever be a work in progress.
    • Play the piano at least 20 minutes every day.
      • Don't know about this one - I probably get 30min. to an hour in each week with the playing and singing I do at the piano with Lincoln. 
    Now that you're done looking at my half-completed list of goals from last year, I bet you're just dying to know my goals for 2013, aren't you?! Hehe. ;)

    My main goal for 2013, is to get organized. With caring for two little ones, in (cloth) diapers I'm going to have to be if I want to have any sort of free time to complete my Hypnobabies instructor course work, and to blog, sew, read etc.

    This last year, I've become pretty efficient at meal planning, grocery shopping and sticking to our budget - but I am not so skilled at budgeting my time. As a stay-at-home mom, I have a difficult time finding that balance between keeping on top of the things that need managed, and the children that need undivided love and attention. You feel me, mom friends?

    Also, I just really hate cleaning. A lot. I love a clean house, but I let stuff build up until I can't take it any more and then I have to do a massive clean everything marathon day or two, and that just makes for an exhausted mom, a cranky neglected toddler, and a stressful messy house most days.

    So? I made a plan - with an excel spreadsheet that I will print out and laminate.

    My time budget spreadsheet for 2013. Wish me luck!

    Each day (minus Sunday) I have assigned myself to wash and fold one load of laundry, and one chore to accomplish. I've made a goal to get to bed by 10:30pm each night and to wake up at 6:00am each day, before Lincoln is up so that I can showered and ready for the day, before he goes down for his nap around 1:00pm. ;) I'm also planning to bring Lincoln and Atley to the Zoo or Children's museum once a week, as well as to the story time at the library on Thursdays.

    I'm feeling very nervous about Squire going back to school tomorrow. I have not yet experienced the shock of caring for two little ones on my own, as we have had visitors, and Squire has been home on break. But, I'm hoping that if I can stick to my plan I will be able to make it work. Here's to a more organized 2013 and to you accomplishing all (if not at least some!) of your resolutions this year, too!

    What are your New Year resolutions for 2013? How did you do on your resolutions from last year?


    1. Organization is also one of my major goals for 2013. This is something I've put off since we've been in our house, and I'm running out of time. The "storage area" bedroom will (hopefully) become a nursery this year, so I have no choice but to get moving. Ben and I have purchased several shelving units and are in the process of assembling them. I've also made lists, purchased other supplies (baskets, hangers, etc) and found designs/systems I like. And I've planned how I will schedule my time. We will see how this goal fares amongst my other goals for 2013.

    2. Organizing time at home is a great goal! Loved reading about your Amish goals again. For my goals from the last year, I have to say I did cook much more than the previous year, and many new recipes. In fact, a week ago I made my first batch of pita bread (and all by hand). I've also read several books, but I didn't meet my goal of 30 books I don't believe.

    3. Wow, you are super ambitious. I already kind of knew that, but this just relieves any doubt. We worked a lot on self-reliance a few years back, and now I'm mainly going on what we already did (no garden, no homemade candles or soap, just supplies and some know-how in case). I'm impressed with your goals.



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