Monday, December 31, 2012


Found this on Facebook.

Wanted to pin this to my reading board.
Couldn't find it on Pinterest.
Can't pin right from Facebook

Permission was given by Stifyn Emrys
see his page @
Thanks so much Stifyn

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Yearly Goals 2012 ~ December Do's and Did's and Year End Accomplishments

October was terrible. So terrible I never did do an update. November had it's moments as well... but even with the ups and downs, especially emotionally, I got some things accomplished. December did not go like I had hoped. I was sick on the couch, day and night, for almost a week, then on the couch daytime only for a few more days. Just over a week and NOTHING accomplished.

Now on with the update...

The main goal is in bold and under that are the smaller steps to reaching those goals.
  • Main Goal
    • The updates will be here
      • or here.. in purple.
The positive steps I have made with my goals this month have a smiling smiley face Happy Smileys in front, the goals that I still have to work on have a sad face Free Icons in front. Some are not really sad but that is the best contrast I could make between completed and not completed. The color thing was getting to complicated and I love smileys so I am sticking with them.  

In bright blue I will be doing any additional thoughts on how I did for the whole year... so December updates in purple ... Year End in bright blue... got it!

Personal Goals:
  • Read Godly books. Some will be for my devotions, some for Ladies Bible Study and some for Sunday School.
    • Read Promises PromisesHappy Smileys I finished this book on Dec. 29th and wrote a review of it in my Reading post which was posted Sat. evening. I listed all the spiritual books I read this year above... you already read that... right!
    • Happy Smileys I started reading Honestly by Sheila Walsh in Nov. An interesting book about a woman from tv who went from hopelessness, to honesty and freedom, to real faith and joy. A book handed down to me by a cousin that I thought might do me good in this stage of my life and because of the circumstances of 32 months of unemployment for my husband. I am now just starting ch. 6 of 12 chapters total.
Health and Fitness 
  • Exercise more, more often and consistently. I would like to be much more fit by the end of 2012
    • Start by using the Wii at least 3 days a week for 15 minutes and increase from there.
      • Free Icons I am sad to report that though I started back to exercising in Sept. I have stopped, again! I saw this on Facebook then looked it up and pinned it on Pinterest.   I soooooo need this. I am tired of starting over... so I need perseverance... in exercising and a few other area of my life. This is my mantra for exercise for 2013. I had hoped to start again this month but that did not happen either.  Exercise was almost a total failure this year. That makes me sad. This is my focus for 2013.
  • Eat Better and drink water Free Icons I took this off my list because our financial position made it impossible to eat well. We can't afford fruit and veggies all the time. Some months I only had vegetables a couple nights with dinner, fruit a little better. We have eaten a lot of bread this year because we have been getting it free from a church run daycare across the street.
  • Read some books/magazines to expand my own education.

  • Spend one afternoon at least every other week doing scrapbooking.
    •  Happy Smileys  I did scrapbook one thing in Dec. I did a timeline picture for my Facebook page for Christmas. Considering I was sick a whole week I am marking this as done.  I did fairly well in scrapbooking in 2012. I enjoyed it. I was excited my hubby got me the update to my digital scrapbook program in Dec. when they updated it... that gives me more options in the program and a bunch of new papers and embellishments to play with in 2013!
  • Read some books for pleasure. 
    • Happy Smileys  Check out how I did on Reading in December HERE. I accomplished my year's goal so that is great! I gave you my link to Goodreads above so you can see everything I read in 2012 there.
  • Continue blogging and remember it is supposed to be for fun and for the records for my family.
    • Write more consistently on my blog at least 3 posts a week.
      • I want to join back in on some meme's that are favorites... see my Memes tab at the top.  Happy Smileys I did a few in December but not as many as I had planned. I was glad just to get my regular posts done.  I did better on this some months than others. I ended the year not doing as well as I had planned but I did not plan to be sick. I know... excuses, excuses.
      • I want to write some posts each month that are not linked to a meme. I want them to be interesting and informational for my readers.  Free Icons I didn't get this done in Dec. I do want to do more of this but I struggled with energy and time to write in Dec. and I have also been struggling with what to write. I just need to do more personal how and what I am doing posts.  Same as the one before... just excuses.
  • Free Icons Meal planning was also taken off my list because our $$$ trouble made it impossible to plan... we just had to make do with what we had and some nights we didn't make anything! 
  • I have a few projects for our home that I want to accomplish. I would like to do a few of the projects for the home that I have saved on Pinterest.  Happy Smileys I got the Christmas ornaments done for my family and that was all. I did save a lot more ornaments and a few other crafts to my Pinterest boards so... I hope I can get some more craft things accomplished in 2013. 
    •   Free IconsCraft projects for 2012... not so good. I  really didn't get anything from Pinterest accomplished. I have some money I got for Christmas... I hope to use it to do a few things I want to do and a couple of them are home projects from Pinterest.
Homeschool Goals:
  • Continue being consistent on recording daily in our school log. Happy Smileys  I was doing very well on this until I got sick. Now I have about a week of school to log in before we begin school again on Thursday this week.
  • Be consistent with reviewing Christophers daily assigned work and making sure they complete everything assigned to them and then put the stuff away in the folders/notebooks where it belongs. Happy Smileys  Done.
  • Check periodically on the boys hours for school. Free Icons I need to do this first thing after my mom leaves... I don't think I will get it done before then.
  • Complete Nathan's Sr. Year. Complete his transcript. Have his graduation ceremony. Next school year, which starts in July 2012 I will only have one student! That will be weird and I am sure we will have to make adjustments. Happy Smileys  Done! Nathan graduated in June.
  • Happy Smileys I did really well with homeschooling this year. I have done way better keeping up than in previous years. We have about 100 days done and about 80 to go... so I will just keep on keeping up, I pray, and we will end the year early (last week of April or sooner) and happy!
Family/Relationship Goals:
  • Spend more time with my dear husband
    • Happy Smileys Hubby and I have been spending time together in our bedroom. Both on our computers, chatting about things throughout the day. We spent a lot of time in Dec. doing errands together... especially a tiny little bit of Christmas shopping, including stocking stuffers.  I have been reading marriage books, writing my hubby notes and trying to enjoy our time together. He is still unemployed after almost 3 years and that can put a strain on a relationship. Marriage, in the good times, takes work... in the bad times it takes even more work... and we can't just go and do... I spend most weeks at home, some weeks not leaving the house from at all... so we must make the best of our time and be creative.
  • Spend time once a week with one of my kids, just mom and one of the kids doing whatever the child wants to do. Usually a combo of eating, talking and playing board games, computer games, or on the Wii.
    • Start with my youngest and schedule it on the calendar so I can keep track of who is next for their turn. Goal is one child a week and then a week off. Sometimes the kids don't have time or won't make time to spend with me. Sometimes I will skip that child and go on to the others. Sometimes I will just wait until the next week. Perfection in scheduling is not the goal. The goal is to spend time having fun with my kids. Happy Smileys The time we have spent together lately has been mostly together or in small groups, mostly watching movies. We also started a tradition of reading by candlelight on Sunday nights. We all read what we want and sit together at the dining room table. Everyone is not required to participate... but encouraged to. I have not been making time for each child like I should... though the kids don't seem to care much these days. I started out better than I ended up... but I still love my kids and try to spend time with them. Lately it has been more talking here and there instead of time together doing something... especially with the girls. I do want to play on the Wii more and games... oh, and I love our Sunday Night reading times... though we forgot again last night, bummer! After I got sick, and with my mom visiting it has been hard to do the candlelight reading... hopefully we will get back to it once she leaves on Friday.
For December 
Happy Smileys  13 Done
Free Icons 3 Not Done

For the whole year 2012 in review - I had 16 total goals and I count:
 Happy Smileys 12 as done - Devotions, Read Godly books, Read Educational books, Scrapbook, Read for pleasure, Blog, Record school daily, Review boys work daily, Check house for school subjects, Complete Nathan's Sr. Year, Spend time with husband, Spend time with my kids
 Free Icons 4 not done - Exercise, Eat Better, Meal Planning, Home Project

So a pretty good year. I got a lot more accomplished thanks to my monthly goal updates and the weekly meme I do... Goal Planning Monday. God Bless you all in the New Year. I still have to work on my 2013 goals!!

If you made/make/want to set goals and link up, just choose the size you want and copy the code from the little box beneath it. Past the code in your blog post at the top then write your goals. Tell you friends to click the button at the top of your post so others know how to join us if they want to.

At the bottom of the post I will provide a linky so you can join up and I can see your goals and how you are doing. If no one joins me that is fine too. I am doing this mostly for myself.

Debbies Digest

Debbies Digest

Monthly Update List

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Reading Challenge 2012 ~ December and Year End Wrap-up

Reading Challenge 2012

My goal for reading this year was to read 52 books or more in 2012. That is one book a week.

I DID IT! I read 53 books. I am so happy. I worked really hard in December because I had terrible reading months from September to November.

 I am currently reading 8 books and if you are interested to know what they are, check out my Goodreads profile. If you are on there send me a friend request.

 I love reading!
You can explore so much of our past and present and gain so much knowledge and encouragement! Also, reading is and can be Fun!

Read A Book Today!

Each month for the Reading Challenge we are supposed to do an update and link up. This month I read....
So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore: An Unexpected Journey by Wayne Jacobsen 192 ppdidn't like it it was ok liked it really liked it it was amazing (my current rating) started Nov 11, 2012 - finished Dec 02, 2012

What to say about this book??? We were given this book by friends of our ours. They keep copies of this book to give out to friends who need them. Jessica saw this book on their shelves and mentioned to them that she would like to read it and thought it might be good for our whole family. One of her friends went into a room and came back with a copy for Jessica to bring home. My husband read it in record time, and he doesn't read much except his Bible and stuff online like the news. Then he started reading it aloud to us as a family. Now, I want a copy of my own because Jessica won't let me underline this one and I want to read it again and underline my favorite portions.

When given this book they told Jessica that "it wasn't what we expected, but it was what we needed." Maybe you've felt unsatisfied in your church family and have considered leaving. We have for a long time. Or maybe you are perfectly happy where you are. Either way, reading this book is an eye opener.

This book is a story, a walk along with someone on a journey to find out how God can be real in your life in ways that you cannot find in a church. It shows how the Christianity of the church often fails to supply what people need because the church is too interested in keeping the business going and the status quo and not really concentrating on helping it's people find a deeper, personal relationship with Christ.

I highly enjoyed listening to this book and while it may be controversial to many people, I found that it was "just what I needed". I found so many wonderful little gems of wisdom in this book... which I wanted so much to highlight, so I could remember them.

Here are 2 quotes that may help you see some things about the book... but you really need to read it for yourself.... these quotes were found by randomly opening to a page and reading a bit to try and find something to share. Unfortunately they are probably not my favorite quotes from the book but to find them I would have to read the whole thing again and I don't have time for that today. I hope these perk your interest and cause you to desire to read this book.
"... God looks past the institution and deals with people. He wants them to know him and experience real community with one another. He'll keep inviting them into that their whole lives." pg. 161.
 "Once people are in love with the program and grow dependent on it as the spiritual component of their loves, they won't see it's limitations. it cannot substitute for their own life in him and it can only produce an illusion of community because it is based on people doing what it takes to sustain the institution." pg. 161

The Face of God by Bill Myers didn't like it it was ok liked it really liked it it was amazing (my current rating) started Nov 18, 2012  - finished Dec 08, 2012

Wow! It is "funny" how God directed me to start reading this book... just one week after we started reading "So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore: An Unexpected Journey" See my review of that HERE... in case you missed it. It is such a God-incidence.

This Christian fiction book takes you on a journey with Pastor Daniel, his son Tyler and a cast of other characters including a terrorist and his buddies. On the journey they try and find the lost stones from the breastplate of the High Priest of Israel as well as the Urim and the Thumim that are supposed to help you hear the audible voice of God... if you don't get struck down with fire first.

Along the way Daniel discovers many things about himself, including his pride and prejudice toward others of his church, of other faiths, of others countries, of other colors, even toward his only son. What a story this was... it kept me "on the edge of my seat" more times than I can tell you. What a wonderful, thought provoking tale of spiritual discovery and action to keep you guessing and reading.

Here is a quote from the end of the book that sums things up and shows you how this book relates to the things I learned in "So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore."

""Do you see the difference? It's service. I'm no longer interested in creating the perfect machine with the perfect programs to serve my dreams. Now I'm interested in finding out what the people's dreams are about and how I can help them achieve them. It's so simple but so incredibly different. The church is serving the people to accomplish their goals, instead of the other way around."

"Can't that get a little frightening?" Helen asked.

It's terrifying. Every second. But it keeps me alive. It forces me to keep turning to God instead of my programs. Because the programs, the rules, and regulations, the religion... let's face it-it's a thousand times safer to follow those than a relationship.""
pg. 352-353

My son Nathan, age 18 also read it, and liked it, and now I think I will see if my son Christopher would like to read it... he is 16.

My Utmost for His Highest: Classic Edition by Oswald Chambers  didn't like it it was ok liked it really liked it (my current rating) it was amazing started Jan 14, 2012 - finished Dec 09, 2012

So... how did I like this book??? I gave it 4 stars out of 5 and I sticky noted 48 pages out of the 365 days as my favorites! I would say that is pretty good. I did not give it 5 stars because I have to admit that some of the devotionals just didn't apply to me and some I was left dumbfounded by. Some of those that I didn't understand my hubby was able to explain to me. I am thankful that we read this together or I probably would have quit before we finished, and there were some gems in those last months.

We started reading the book in January and finished it December 9th. We did not read every night be we read 2 devotionals on most of the nights we did read, and so had no trouble finishing the book this year.

This book is a daily devotional taken from the sermons and class lectures of Oswald Chambers. If you don't own the book and are interested you can read each of the devotionals one day at a time at this website...

Here are a couple little quotes to show you some of the gems this book has.

“In the midst of the awfulness, a touch comes and you know it is the right hand of Jesus Christ. The right hand not of restraint nor of correction nor of chastisement, but the right hand of the Everlasting Father. Whenever His hand is laid upon you, it is ineffable peace and comfort, the sense that "underneath are the everlasting arms," full of sustaining and comfort and strength." May 24

"His purpose is that I depend on Him and on His power now. If I can stay in the middle of the turmoil calm and unperplexed, that is the end of the purpose of God." July 28

"Do not look at someone else and say "Well, if he can have those views and prosper, why cannot I?" You have to walk in the light of the vision that has been given to you and not compare yourself with others or judge them, that is between them and God." Dec. 29

I did a post on this book on my blog...
you can go read that also if you are interested.

Tempest in a Teapot (Tales from Grace Chapel Inn, #17) by Judy Baer didn't like it it was ok liked it really liked it it was amazing (my current rating) started Dec 18, 2012  - finished Dec 20, 2012

This, as it says, is one of the Tales from Grace Chapel Inn series. I love this series. The topics are varied and keep my attention, there is always an element of faith in each book, the quaint town is lovely and the people are as varied as the topics.

The three sisters and the townfolk of Acorn Hill are fighting to keep Fairy Pond when a developer comes and wants to put a gas station on the site. Will they save Fairy Pond for the present and future generations of Acorn Hill to enjoy? Can they find a legal way to stop the developers?? Should natural spots be preserved or should businesses be built that might bring jobs to the town? Will the gas station be a blessing because of more jobs and traffic for the businesses in town or a curse of more traffic in the little town bringing in "riff raff?' Read this series/book and find out the answers to all these questions.

Life is a Three-Ring Circus (Tales from Grace Chapel Inn, #18) by Rebecca Kelly didn't like it it was ok liked it really liked it it was amazing (my current rating) started Dec 20, 2012 - finished Dec 22, 2012

In this tale from Grace Chapel Inn a circus comes to town. Some of the people of Acorn Hill are prejudice and make false judgements and generalizations about "all circus people."  The circus owners are getting older and having physical difficulties, but they don't want to close the circus, all their friends would be out of work. Can the three sisters do anything to help? This was a fun read and it was great to see the older 2 sisters having fun and getting involved in things that would normally be outside their "comfort zone."

Promises, Promises: Understanding and Encouraging Your Husband by Denalyn Lucado didn't like it it was ok liked it really liked it (my current rating) it was amazing   started Jul 04, 2012 -  finished Dec 29, 2012

This was a good book written by the wives of 12 prominent Christian leaders. Some of the chapters were great, applied to my life and a real help. A few of the chapters did not apply to me or were just not so great. Not that they were terrible, they just were average, OK. You know what I mean?

One of my favorite chapters was ch. 7 - Building A Strong Marriage. It suggests that you, and I, get to know "what tickles him (our own husband that is, what makes him laugh), what makes him tick, and what ticks him off." Do you know those things about your husband. I realized that I don't know how to make coffee for my husband. I don't drink it and he and my teen boys all make the coffee, my daughters both know how to make the coffee also, they drink it occasionally but not as often as my sons. Me, I never drink coffee and I don't know how to make it. I would like to surprise my hubby with a cup of coffee just how he likes it some day. I want to know things about him more, study him. The movie Fireproof talks about this.

I don't know if I have my college degree on my husband either.... I need to study him more... even after 29 years.

There was also a portion of that chapter that talked about showing him respect. This is an area I struggle with. The book quoted the Amplified Bible Eph. 5:33 "...and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly]." Wow! I have a lot of work to do.

That is 6 books for December. That makes 53 of 52 books read for the year. I accomplished my goal. If I had not had bad months of reading in September and November, and worse in October when I read NO books, I would have done even better. I will be upping my goal for 2013... but only by a couple... probably. Though I would really LIKE to set the goal at 75, I don't know if I could make that. I will probably do somewhere between 52 and 75. I am thinking and praying about it.

Here are the previous updates if you are interested:
Reading Challenge ~ January Update
Reading Challenge ~ February Update
Reading Challenge ~ March Update
Reading Challenge ~ April Update
Reading Challenge ~ May Update
Reading Challenge ~ How I did in June
Reading Challenge ~ July's Book
Reading Challenge ~ August Amendment
Reading Challenge ~ September Reading
Reading Challenge ~ October Oops (no post, because no books read)
Reading Challenge ~ November notes

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