Showing posts with label planning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label planning. Show all posts

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Personal Goals 2012

All this week I've been talking about things I want to be intentional about trying to do in 2012. I've shared about my Mandarin goals, DIY projects I want to try, some of my goals in my family relationships, and the last area I am going to share about today is my personal growth goals.

In 2012 I'd like to:
  • Try some more natural face and hair cleansing products
  • Do some stomach exercises several times a week (I'm in decent shape and our lifestyle gives me quite a bit of exercise naturally, except for my stomach muscles which I really do need to work on)
  • Continue to exercise my brain by:
    • learning more Mandarin
    • reading at least l book a month
    • doing 1-2 RN CEU hours each month
    • blogging several times a week
    • My editor/husband wants me to go through a grammar course we have, so I am going to try to complete it by the end of this year. Refreshing my knowledge in grammar should help my writing, but it will also help me in teaching our boys in years to come.
My hope in sharing these goals is mainly that I'll be more motivated to work on them throughout the year. Blogging is good for me because I tend to do a better job of recording our lives when I want to share it with others. I tend to be to lazy to journal consistently for just myself, but if He wills, I'll try to give an update here at the end of the year how these goals went.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Family Fridays: Family Goals 2012

I've been talking all this week about setting goals for 2012. Here are a few things I want to be intentionally trying to do throughout my days this next year.

In thinking about my role as His child this year:
  • I want to continue to make my own daily reading a priority
  • I want to continue to make reading to my children and as a family a priority
  • I want to increase my memorization and relearn some of the verses I have forgotten
  • I want to be more intentional about daily talking to my Father about my husband and children
  • I and my husband want to carve out more time to study the Word deeper without the kids
In thinking about my role as a wife, mother, and homemaker (in addition to the above goals) this year:
  • I want to be more intentional about fulfilling all these roles with a joyful heart
  • I want to continue to make reading books to the boys everyday a priority
  • I and my husband want to consistently have the boys help with the small chores they are now able to assist with
  • I want to be more intentional about making sure that I take some time to just play with the boys, at least a little daily, and for longer periods with my undivided attention at least weekly

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

12 Food DIY Projects to Attempt for 2012

Recently, I've talked about some of the projects that I attempted in 2011 and how I am using this first week of the new year to set some goals for 2012. One area I am obviously passionate about and want to keep challenging myself in is DIY projects, hence this blog. I also think that this is a good way to encourage creativity, try to be a life long learner, and possibly cultivate new skills. So I came up with 12 DIY projects that I really want to try in 2012. This list is all food items, but I chose a variety of different types of food. Here they are in no particular order:

  • Homemade Pop-tarts
  • Strawberry Freezer Jam
  • Pita Bread
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Apple Butter
  • Potato Chips
  • Pumpkin Butter
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Thousand Island Dressing
  • Teriyaki Sauce
  • Homemade Doughnuts
  • Chicken Broth From Scratch
These are all things that I've never done before and a few I've wanted to try for quite a while. I'll be blogging about my attempts at these projects throughout the year.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Mandarin Mondays: 学习

So this first week of the new year. I'm thinking a lot about what I want to do in the coming year, and what He would have me do. One of the areas I've been thinking about is my study (xué xí, 学习) of Chinese. I am perfectly okay with the fact that my husband is progressing faster along with learning Mandarin because he goes to school two hours a day, five days a week to study it. I am still continually seeing progress at understanding and speaking, so I am okay with learning a little slower because I cannot devote as much undivided attention to it at this time. However, I want to be a little more intentional and push myself a little more in this important area. I have a lot of good resources I've started to use, but I this year I want to complete some of these.

We also want to be a little more consistent in exposing the boys to Mandarin. We're not expecting them to be fluent by a certain age or anything, but we want to make sure that they are at least getting a lot of practice in listening to this difficult tonal language, at this age where language learning is still quite natural for them.

Since I do blog about our Mandarin learning, I'm going to share my personal goals in this area, if only for personal accountability. Perhaps someone else may want to look into these Mandarin resources as well. I've tried to be fairly specific and break my goals into bite-sized pieces since that is the only way to eat an elephant (or fish head as is more likely here) or any other difficult task. If life completely changes and these goals become completely unrealistic, I'll be okay with that too, but for right now, this seems like a very doable amount of study and a way to challenge myself in a good way.

Week Day Goals
Weekly Goals
Goals for 2012
For working with the boys I just have a couple of goals.

Week Day Goals
  • Go through about 20 Chinese picture flashcards
  • Listen to at least 1 short ChinesePod newbie lesson
Goal for 2012
  • Have the boys listen to all appropriate ChinesePod lessons at the newbie level
Again, our goal is not to try to force our boys into fluency but just try to make sure they are consistently exposed so they don't develop language blocks that would make it hard for them to learn later. We may try to find other ways to increase their exposure in natural settings here as well.

So, those are my goals for Mandarin learning in 2012. Hopefully, I will see a lot of progress this year and maybe prevent Alzheimer's later in life too.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Goals

With the new year upon us, I've been thinking a lot about how I spend my time, what I want to do this next year, and most importantly what He wants me to do in the new year with the time He gives me. I have been reading a lot about setting goals, living our best life story for His glory, and I love this idea of a new years planning retreat.

A Proverb that I have really been struck with recently is "Where there is no vision the people perish" (29:18). I think that He is telling us here that having clear direction and vision for the future is critical and we are always to be pressing on towards the mark that He wants for each of our lives.

Now, He is definitely in control of all things and my life circumstances could completely change in the coming year in ways that I have no idea about right now. And that is okay. I don't don't what the future holds; only He does. So, I am not trying to set some sort of new years resolutions that I want to strive my hardest to keep in my own right but to take a little time to really look at what I believe He wants for me and how best to use the time I'm given in the coming year.

So, while I'm not going to do a full planning retreat, I am going to be spending small bits of time throughout this first week of the year thinking and praying about the coming year. My husband and I also want to talk together about family goals and goals for the boys schooling.

The first step in this process that I did on this first day of the new year, was to think about the different areas in my life and different roles I have. This will help me break down goals into different categories and bite sized pieces to make them more reachable. I will be sharing about some areas that I'm setting new years goals in and a few of my goals throughout the week.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

DIY Projects Attempted in 2011

This past year, I've tried to make a lot of things that I've never done before. Many of them have worked really well...but a few have completely flopped. I'll start with the ones that worked. Here are some of the successful projects that I've attempted that were new to me in 2011 (or that I finally figured out how to do well).

Homemade Tortillas

Frozen Yogurt made without an Ice Cream Machine

Pasteurized Eggs

Cheesecake Brownies

Real Homemade Ice Cream

Easy Fresh Lemonade

Homemade Ice Cream Cones

Corn Syrup Substitute

Homemade Glue

Homemade Watercolors

From Scratch Caramel Pudding

Homemade Chocolate Chips

Homemade Hash Browns

Homemade Caramel Chips

Pumpkin Scones

Chocolate Covered Spoons

Easy No-bake Caramel Corn

Homemade Bubble Bath

Homemade Chewy Salted Caramels

There are still quite a few other new projects that I did in 2011 that I haven't had a chance to post about yet like homemade marshmallows, crescent rolls, paint with water pages, and more that hopefully I'll get a chance to share with you soon.

There are also a few projects that I have tried that have been complete flops. Projects that I just couldn't get to work, at least not yet. I don't generally share these here, simply because failed projects aren't as helpful to others. But so that you all know I am human and still fail often, here are a few things I tried and didn't work out.

I tried making fresh limeade the same way I make fresh lemonade in the blender, and it turned out incredibly bitter. Don't make limeade in this way, you'll just waste limes and sugar. (Although my husband still liked some of it.)

Candy Canes
I tried making candy canes twice and both flopped rather badly. I was trying to make them with just a dairy thermometer instead of a proper candy thermometer that would actually read all the way to proper temperatures (in high altitude, which effects boiling temperatures) and not using corn syrup. I think I need to change at least one of these obstacles before I'll think about attempting making these again. I did manage to save the slightly minty sugar and turn it into these mint-sugar balls, which all the boys ate with gusto, but it was not at all what I was going for.

Homemade Dehumidifier
I think I deleted all pictures of our attempts at making homemade dehumidifiers using old plastic tubs recycled from food, salt, charcoal, fabric, and colanders, because it made me mad that instead of helping they started molding themselves, and I had more to clean. For some reason they don't sell dehumidifiers in this city, so we were trying to make our own, but so far no success. If anyone has successfully made their own, please share. Otherwise we'll probably have to try to order one off of Chinese "Ebay" and see if it helps.

There are probably a lot more projects that didn't work out, but I think I'm repressing them at the moment. I am planning some new things to try as I am trying to set goals for 2012, and I'll share what projects I want to tackle next year soon.

Happy New Year!


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