[I started this during the first week of the new year but then got sidetracked with other things. There have been some accomplishments since then.]
The following are not necessarily resolutions but goals that I would like to accomplish for the year 2010. It going to take a huge amount of dedication to get them accomplished. By putting them out there for the world to see, I will have no choice but to make them happen. ;)
* Get chickens and raise them for eggs and meat. In fact, I'm going to place an order today for a friend and I. We will order 25 and I will keep 4 hens for their eggs, let my friend keep the rest on his farm. Being that the weather is too cold for us to have the chicks at our house, my friend will take care of my chicks until the spring and then I will bring them over to live with us. This will give us a little bit more time to build a coop and run for them. They will be free-range but I'm going to build a run for the times that the dogs are outside (I don't trust them!). A couple of the chicks that our friend will keep for us are going to be meat for us. It makes more sense to leave them on his farm. He is experienced with hacking chicks so I'll leave the dirty work to him. Thank goodness for friends like that! ;) [UPDATE: done! The chicks will arrive sometime around February 17th or so.]
* Be a more present parent. Spend quality time with each of my boys, including Nick. ;) We don't really have a routine but with Lochlan taking gymnastics this year, I hope to set up some kind of daily routine with an activity for each day of the week, i.e. Mondays: gymnastics, Tuesdays: Game Night, Wednesdays: Farm Time, etc. This will help set the pace for homeschooling, especially since Lochlan will supposedly be at the Kindergarten level this coming fall. Oh, that reminds me, I need to submit the homeschooling registration papers to the state. Another thing to do on my very, very long to-do list. =P
* Say NO to additional obligations. I have a terrible time saying NO to people so I need to work on this. By saying NO, I will be less stressed and will have more quality time with family.
* Plan a family trip out of the country. I've been wanting to do this ever since Lochlan was born. He hasn't been out of the country other than Canada which means his passport has not been used yet. Kind of a waste but we got it mainly because Canada requires it. Later we found out that showing a birth certificate for children under the age of 16 would suffice. I would like for Lochlan to get to use his passport before it expires soon! Also, Kalle will be turning 2 this year which means he still flies for free until October. I'm looking into possibly going abroad and doing some volunteer farm work in exchange for room and board. I just got the latest Mothering magazine which featured an article about a family who did this! That was the push I needed! I just need to get the ball rolling. =)
* Reduce my carbon footprint. As if I couldn't be any more green than I already am! =P But honestly, there are a few more things that I could improve on. Our trash output is pretty small but a high percentage of it is from cereal plastic bags and soymilk cartons. Neither are recyclable and it makes me sick to think about it floating somewhere out in the ocean or buried in some landfill. I have resolved to completely give up on buying packaged cold/hot cereal and soymilk. Instead we will either buy cereal, either cold or hot, from the bulk bins using cloth bags. At home they will be stored in glass jars. As for soymilk (or any nut milk), we will buy a maker and make our own! All we have to buy are the nuts-soy nuts, almond nuts (my favorite), etc. Also, we are not buying bagels EVER again. I tried my hand at making my own and it's surprisingly easy! Tastes great too! Sundays will be our baking days, to bake food that we will consume for the rest of the week. Just need that kick in the butt to get in the routine of doing this. =P
I'm working on having a monthly menu of homemade foods, including snacks. It's going to take a while to get the menu set to our satisfaction. I'm trying to work in food that we buy in bulk and plan menus that will use those ingredients for that particular week so that we don't have food that goes bad. It's a challenge to find that perfect balance in planning a monthly menu. A work in progress.
I'm also going to try canning this year! For Christmas I gave my mother a starter canning kit. The two of us are going to learn to can fruits (applesauce anyone?) and jams! Lochlan absolutely adores jam so I will need to make sure we make enough to last the whole year!
Another change I want to make is to switch to no 'poo. I feel that my hair and scalp is out of whack due to processed stuff, especially shampoo and conditioner, even if they are "natural." Just this morning I used baking soda (1 tbs mixed in one cup of water) in place of shampoo and washing it in my hair felt great! My scalp was tingling! I hope the baking soda will help with the itchy skin issues I've been having with my scalp this past year-a lingering issue from my pregnancy with Kalle. Then in place of conditioner, I used apple cider vinegar (1 tbs in one cup of water). Rinse. My hair is still wet so we'll see what it's like when it's dry. I've heard from other people that it takes the scalp a couple of days or even weeks to get used to the omission of hair products. I shower 3 times a week anyway and have been using less and less shampoo and conditioner due to running out of it and NOT running out to buy more so perhaps my scalp will get used to the switch quicker? I'll post an update sometime next month.
* Family Traditions: I'm reading up on books and internet sources on celebrating Winter and Summer Solstice. I really want our family to get into this. These events are more important to me than Easter and Christmas and other commercialized holidays. Again, this will be a work in progress as we familiarize ourselves with the solstices and try to come up with other family traditions. One family tradition that has been steadfast in our family so far and one that I hope my kids remember for always is a homemade breakfast in bed for the birthday person. =) I want to add a birthday crown for the kiddos-will be either buying a handmade one or attempt at making one myself (*ahem!*). I have until July and October... ;)
* Handmade Holidays: If you read my Valentine's Day post, you know my views on this. ;) A friend commented that her only rule is that handmade goods are required for Halloween and Valentine's Day. Not a bad idea at all. I think I will adopt that. =) I also want to challenge ourselves this year to make gifts for Christmas once again. We did this during our year of Not Buying It and to be honest, it was the most memorable Christmas. The kids have enough toys as is so we will be asking family members to either give the gift of experience (museum membership, gymnastic classes, taking the kids out someplace special, etc) or a handmade gift. More on this later.
* To blog more often: so much of Lochlan's first years was documented on this blog and now with Kalle, not so much. I have been writing down anecdotes on a calendar in my computer but it's not the same. I hope to blog more often and try to post pics as well...but I'm not going to pressure myself to stick to a schedule or anything. Going with the flow is how I roll anyway... ;)
There are other stuff such as adding a front porch, finishing the basement and little projects like that but what I mentioned above is more important to me. The other stuff can wait...a bit. ;) Wish me luck in getting these things accomplished!