Goals for 2017…better late, than never!

We all have that one blogger that we just adore and inspires us.  Truth be told I have a couple, but in the goals department no one beats Mavis over at One Hundred Dollars a Month.  She is a rockstar at goals.  Last year, I watched and read, and cheered as she posted her goals at the beginning of the year and then gave weekly updates as she plowed through.  She inspired me!  So, this year, I am publicly putting out there my own goals for 2017.  I don’t know that I will do a weekly update, but I will try to at least update on them monthly.  So, without further ado….my goals.

  1.  I plan to track (and I’ve already started a spreadsheet) our spending and ultimately learn where we are spending too much and where we should be spending more.  The grand goal here is to find ways to save, cut spending, and pay down debt.
  2. Keep the grocery and household budget to under $125.oo a week.  This may or may not be a lofty goal.  I am undecided here.  I’m trying to keep a closer eye on the cost of items and factor in those elements from #1 above.
  3. Go on 26 dates with Mark.  As we are entering into this empty-ish nest phase of life (which is really, really strange) we are trying to do more fun things together.  Will all of our dates be fun? Well, not in the traditional sense of the word, but spending time together, even if it is at the local Menards, is fun for us!
  4. Get rid of 500 things.  I have already, as of this posting, gotten rid of 71 items.  We’ll see what I end with by the end of the year.
  5. Read 26 books.  I am more than half-way through book one, and I have a pile ready and waiting.  I’m really looking forward to this…I miss reading.
  6. Graduate my Cactus and my Opulent in May.  My babies graduate from high school this year!  Which also means I graduate from being a homeschool mom.  This goal comes with a few sub goals:
    1. Transcripts
    2. Senior pics
    3. Visit the local college
  7. Another blogger I adore Toni over at A Bowl Full of Lemons  She is a rockstar in the organization department!  Each year she hosts the Home Organization Challenge over on her website, and she has a book out by the same name, which is chock full of helpful tips, tricks and ideas.  I own the book and this year I am bound and determined to complete the entire challenge.  It is currently kitchen week and I am more than halfway through.  Yeah me!!
  8. My husband finally got me out hunting, and this year I did both bow hunting and gun hunting for deer.  Shhh, don’t tell him, but I actually enjoyed it!  While I may not have gotten a deer this year, I do have to agree with him, we need our own hunting land.  A place we can build a stand or too, maybe even a small cabin (we’ll see), but the point is, it’s time to start looking.  So the goal here is to start looking, seeing what is available and where, looking at price ranges, etc.  You know, the stuff you do when you buy property.  lol  We may not purchase this year, but we would like to be able to purchase land next year.
  9. Pass my Black Belt Test.  Yes, I started taking karate (our studio is a mix of disciplines) a couple of years ago and this year I am eligible to test for my black belt! :O  Of course, this means I have goals I have to complete before test time.  My sub goals for this goal:
    1. Pass the physical fitness test.  This is new this year to the black belt test and no one knows what all it will entail yet.
    2. Spirit Goal ~ host a blood drive at the studio.  This is scheduled and in process of becoming a reality.
    3. Mind Goal ~ Become a Signing Agent.  I still need to take the class and complete the state’s requirements, but I’m confident this will get done soon.
    4. Body Goal ~ Exercise 3 – 5 times per week for 90 days.  You would think going to classes, and walking the dog would count, but not for this one.  At least not how I’m defining it.  Those are certainly bonuses, but I want to improve my overall physical health and well-being so, not this time.  I have other items I’m doing for this one. 😀
  10. Complete 2/3 of the home improvement projects that are either in progress or planned.  This may or may not be a lofty goal as well.  I’m undecided, especially since a whole boat-load of factors come into play.  The items on the list include:
    1. Finish retaining wall
    2. Build greenhouse
    3. Build deck
    4. Redesign garden
    5. Put in new garage doors and openers
    6. Finish Dining room revamp
    7. Finish Hoffa’s Hideout (another post on this one is altogether necessary!)
    8. Finish Kitchen remodel/revamp
    9. Revamp master bathroom
    10. Revamp staircase
  11. Finish Christmas gift for Mark’s brother and family.  This was supposed to be their Christmas gift this past Christmas, but life decided to through a few curve balls and it didn’t get finished.  My goal is to complete it and get it to them long before this years Christmas.
  12. Simplify life.  LOL.  Are you laughing?  I’m laughing.  I have all these big goals listed here and then there is this…simplify life.  I’m not even sure how I am defining it.  Maybe it will be crossing a bunch of these time eaters listed above off my list.  Maybe it will be making simpler decisions about meals, clothes, etc,…I do not know.  Not yet.  But I’ll know when I am on the track I want to be on, and then maybe I’ll be able to define this more.

So there you have it.  My goals for this beautiful 2017!  What do you think?  Did you set any goals for this year?  Please, share them.  I’d love to know what you’re planning for your year.

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17 Things You May Not Know About Me

In honor of 2017, I thought it would be fun to share seventeen things about me you may not know. Some are serious, some are silly, but nonetheless they are random tidbits about me I thought I’d share.

  1. I have never obsessed about anything that I recall. When I say “obsessed” I’m talking the living, eating, breathing, sleeping, that is all that I talk about it, think about, and drive everyone crazy about for days or months on end.

  1. I am a recovering perfectionist. This is an ongoing issue that I am continually working on. I am continually telling myself that flaws, the minor~ist of flaws are a good thing. Being a perfectionist is debilitating on a good day and a nuisance on others. But, if I don’t work on keeping it in check, it can be damaging to relationships.

  1. I played the flute and piccolo for years. I truly enjoyed both instruments. On another musical note, I have never mastered the piano, but I enjoy it just the same.

  1. Every personality test I have ever taken has been the exact same result ~ INTJ. It really is very accurate, and I have learned a lot about myself the more I learn about this personality type, and I’ve learned why I struggle so much in specific areas of life. For example, I do not do small talk well at all and it is exhausting for me to do so, but I try nonetheless.

    1. I have two “rainbow babies” as the term has risen in popularity. While admittedly, I do not understand why the term “rainbow babies” exists, I do however, understand the heart behind it.

  1. I am an absolute sucker for polar bears and for the life of me can not figure out why my husband will not let me have one. (*wink*)

  1. I am an avid DIY’er. Truth be told, I come from a long line of DIY’ers and I enjoy construction projects.

    1. I had a pet lizard in high school. (Yes, I know a totally random fact that is just an, “well, that’s interesting, alright y-then” fact).

  1. I do not have just one favorite color. I have a collection of colors and each fulfills a specific trait. Oh, now if I shared the traits, or colors for that matter, then what secrets would I still have? lol

        1. I love to write. I struggle with it (see #2 above), but I love it nonetheless.

  1. I am a control freak and like #2 above, I am constantly struggling with not “having control”. It has gotten better over the years (a lot of counseling taught me some pretty awesome skills), but each day it rears it’s ugly head in some way.

        1. I learned how to ride a horse both English and Western style in high school.

  1. I am terrified of hobby horses. My mother tells me it’s because of an episode of “The Twilight Zone” I walked in on as kid and to this day I still find them a disturbing and inappropriate child’s toy. Truth be told, not fond of carousel horses either.

  1. I have the same irrational thoughts regarding clowns. Although, if you’ve ever looked at some clowns then the argument could be made that my thoughts are not irrational.

              1. I have had the same best friend for forty years! She is my “sister from another mother”!

  1. Raccoon’s will forever have a very special place in my heart due to a camping trip with my family as a kid.

  1. I hesitate to “publish” with every article I write, but this one will really be a challenge because I admitted, publicly, to a few major flaws. I’ll publish it anyhow, because it will be good for me.

So, there you have it. Seventeen random, and in some cases, serious facts about me. Aren’t you glad I shared these little tidbits?

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Why is the road always paved with good intentions?

Seriously, what is it about that road and it’s pavement being good intentions?  Is blacktop not good enough for it? You know how this road gets paved right?  It looks a bit like this:

Oh, I need to get back on top of blogging. *cough, cough, ahem*

Oh, I need to workout more.

Oh, I should really try to get on “______” (fill in the blank) committee.

And on and on it goes. Intentions.  Seems like every day is filled with the best of intentions and thus, that proverbial road is paved. Over and over and over again.

I mean seriously, how many times have I said (or posted :O ) that I need to get back on top of my blogging?  Um, that really was a rhetorical and not literally question. 😛

Now, all that sass being said, I really DO want to get back on top of my blogging.  I miss all of you, I miss the creative outlet, oh, and I have SO much I want to share with you all! 🙂 🙂

Like the crazy roofing adventure.  Oh my!  And my youngest two are driving.  And my youngest tests for black belt soon.  And I’m a brown belt now.  And I started hunting last fall.  And…and…and…

See, so much is going on and has been going on and projects, and adventures and, and, and….

Ok.  So, now my goal:  I want to blog at least once a week.  Right now.  And well, behind the scenes…get my fanny in gear on all the other plans I want to implement with this crazy, all-over-the-place, “oh my lanta, I can be so random at times” blog.

Does this sound like a good plan?  It feels like a good plan.  A wild & crazy plan.  But this is me, so wild and crazy just might work. Ha!

I adore each of you and I am so honored that each of you has chosen to follow my little corner of the internet, sit on my front porch, and just reflect on all the amazing wonder in this world and God’s blessings.

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Developer Test

The following is a developer test post to test some new features coming to the website, please disregard and enjoy your day.


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Conviction and Condemnation

I have put off writing about this subject for a long time. I don’t want the debate. I don’t want anyone offended. But I feel very strongly the leading to do so now. I just want to start by saying this: Don’t let someone else’s conviction become your condemnation.

I grew up under a very oppressive hand of condemnation.  Not just from family members, but peers as well. I wasn’t smart enough, pretty enough; I was too serious, not serious enough.  Wasn’t popular or too popular. I wasn’t the right gender. No, I am not kidding, I still have one family member that nearly hates me because I am not a boy. It’s sad really. Oh my, I could go on, but I won’t. 

My point to telling you that is to get to this, all that ‘not the right thing’ mentioned above led me down a path of trying to find ‘right’ or ‘perfect’ if you will. I was well into my adulthood before I realized truly that it couldn’t be found. Oh, I hit a point in my late teens where I just didn’t care one iota what anyone else thought. This led me into a significant rebellious stage. My Mom referred to me as her ‘little rebel without a cause’. The irony, I wore it with a badge of honor. I was a James Dean fan and his most popular movie was “Rebel without a Cause”. I loved being compared to such a Hollywood icon. Oh, I was so lost and confused and frustrated.

This rebelliousness led me into some not-so-pretty relationships and “friendships”. I sunk further. I began to believe if I did ________ (fill in the blank) just like _________ (again, fill in the blank) that I’d be accepted. Oh, foolish young woman that I was….for such a long time. Can I tell you, it didn’t work. No surprise there right?

Flash forward to 2006, I was at my first woman’s conference. The speaker felt led to speak over some women in the group about being released from condemnation. Initially, I had no clue what she was talking about. As I listened to her, I learned that all that “not enough” that I lived my whole life under was condemnation. I began to feel this release inside of me that I have never found words to describe. She did an alter call and I couldn’t get up there fast enough! As this speaker continued speaking, I dropped to my knees and just sobbed. Until that moment, I don’t think I had ever cried so hard, or for so long. The knowledge, not just in my head, but my heart, that someone, Jesus, loved me just because I was me overwhelmed me. Release. Freedom. Peace.

What does all of this have to do with not allowing someone else’s conviction to become your condemnation? Everything! Condemnation is an evil spirit that doesn’t want to ever let go of someone that it’s had a strong grip on. It is constantly trying to work it’s way back into my life. For example: a few years ago, my sister-in-law felt led to wear skirts for a month. It became a year. We went to visit them and I took a couple of skirts with me. I did it to show respect for her conviction and to support her efforts to display to her daughters, my nieces, feminity. But oh how easy it would have been to make her conviction my own and fall right back under the whisper of condemnation. It sounded something like this: “You know, if you don’t wear skirts all the time like she does, no one will believe that you truly love Jesus.”, or “You know, everyone will call her blessed because she wears her skirts and they will curse you.” Oh, the stupid things condemnation says. And when you’ve been under that thumb, reason, logic, and common sense take a road trip to Bora Bora and leave you behind.

Recently, I had to stand firm against an overt effort to bring me under condemnation once again. A dear friend wears head coverings. She is very convicted by this stand. I don’t agree with her theology behind it and she knows I don’t.  We have an “agree to disagree” arrangement on doctrine.  However, during a conversation I had to explain that the Lord had not convicted me to do the same (wear head coverings). In fact years prior, I had done a study on “coverings” and I do not believe for one second that God will send me to the firey pit of hell for not wearing something on my head. She didn’t agree.

Door wide open for condemnation to sneak its ugly little toe into.

I reminded her that we both love the Lord. We agree that Jesus went to the cross for our sins and to save, restore and redeem us. I’m not going to argue the rest. I love her just the same. Our difference of doctrinal understanding will not change that for me, but I cannot allow her conviction to become my condemnation.

It’s by the grace of God that I recognize the efforts of the evil one to bring me back under condemnation. There have certainly been numerous attempts in the last year alone. But I want to take this moment now to encourage you to remain confident in the knowledge that you are a child of God, you are loved beyond measure, you are blessed and you have an army of angels surrounding you with the King of kings, Lord of lords at the command, guiding you, leading you and protecting you.

Be blessed.


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Certified….now what?!?!

I did it. The desire to do it came a couple of years ago. For one specific reason. And it changed on me.

I don’t really know why. Maybe its being married for twenty years to one. Maybe its that all three of my sons are one.

I was left out. The final preparer of the “prize”.

I’m not sure what has changed in my heart, but I am thinking about taking that final plunge.

After all, I just spent an entire weekend, in a class, getting certified. (Not certified crazy, we are already know that. 😛 )

Hunter Safety certified.

With the purchase of tags & license, I can now hunt.

Huh?!?! How did this happen?!?!

I was certainly not raised in a hunting family. In fact, I was probably raised as far away from a hunting mindset, mentality, lifestyle (insert any random adjective that has nothing to do with hunting) as possible.

But I married one. ♥

In fact, into a family full of them.

And have been raising three of them. ♥

How did this happen?!?! I truly have no idea.

And I wouldn’t change it for anything.

Certified to hunt! Me! Who knew?

“For I know the thoughts I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Thank You Lord. This I would never have imagined.


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This morning I decided I really need to spend some time in reflection and evaluation of multiple areas of my life. What I want to do. What I need to do. Just looking at those two sentences the “need” should be before the “want”.  There are 150.10 gazillion things that I should be doing right now, but I’m writing this instead. Why?

Well, because I read this article, http:// http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/2012/02/15/why-i-make-my-bed-10-reasons-i-keep-my-house-clean/, which only served to reinforce the need for re-evaluation and then I saw the pink flamingos. In my neighbors yard.

How on God’s green (or in my case still white) earth did pink flamingos have an effect? Spring. Renewal. Rebirth. Anew. Didn’t Jesus talk about old things passing away making all things new? Well, for me that leads to Spring…and newness of life. Clean. Crisp. Refreshing.

After the last year, I am fully open to renewal.

This is why evaluation and revamping are needed. Wanted. Nearly required.

Does this insight into how my brain spiderwebs around make you nervous? I hope not. But I have to confess, I roll my eyes at myself sometimes in how “A” will lead to “B” in my brain. 🙂

Why am I sharing all of this? Honestly, mostly for myself. Sorry, thats probably selfish of me and I apologize for that. I need my own personal accountability in this. Truth be told, but what better way than publicly, globally public!  It gives you permission to knock on my door (or a comment, or note) to say, “how’s it going? Progress report. Or whatever clever way you decide to say, “hey woman”! 🙂

I don’t believe for one minute that the process will be pretty, or full of sunshine and roses, but I do believe it will be worth it.

Do you want to join me or be a cheerleader? I welcome both.

Now, ready? Begin.


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I figured it out!!!!

Is it I wrong that I’m doing a happy dance, singing an “I’m so pleased with myself diddy” because I figured out how to log into the wordpress app WITHOUT the assistance of my oldest child? (Big run on sentence, oops, question there, but you won’t tell right?) So, yes, I am publically announcing that I am NOT a technology nerd. Maybe I should be. For blogging purposes. :=)

Anyhoo, enough of the dork-on-myself fest. Time to dig out of the cobwebs of my brain all things I’ve wanted to write about and start writting again. Here’s to new posts. ◆◆cheers◆◆

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Facebook breakin’ and lovin’ it!!


So, I have not been on Facebook in a week.  And I don’t miss it. Not. One. Little. Bit.  Except that also means I’m not posting on my page for my blog either.


Seriously though, my positive thoughts, energy, vibes, whatever you feel like calling it has skyrocketed over the last week!  Hum, and what does that tell me?  Well, that I must be exposed to a whole lot of negativity on Facebook.  Have I gotten a lot done?  Well yes, and no.


Yes!  I finished the window quilt for the large window in my bathroom!  And its hung!  Wow!  This is a big deal….I started the project about a year and a half ago.  Hum…what does this tell me?  Wasting time on Facebook more than I realized.


I also made a draft dodger for my front door and have gotten some other odds and ends done.  Is there anything I’m going to sing from the rooftops about, or spin my baton…no.  Except for those window quilts.  Those? Maybe.


For now though, I have absolutely no intent on getting on Facebook until January 1st.  A new year will have no rules and no plans that I am hopefully getting into place now.  Maybe.  Kinda.  Sorta.  We’ll see.


And yes, I will at some point post a picture of those window quilts.  Hopefully before, or maybe after, I finish the one for the smaller window.  Again.  We’ll see.


Until then, I am hoping to get some stuff written, some more stuff decluttered, and yet even more stuff organized before the 1st of the new year, but this crazy Christmas stuff is hanging me up.  I’d rather just focus on the reason for the season, Jesus.


So, with this mini-update in tow, tied up and delivered to you in a neat little bow.  I will bid you adieu.  For now.  Maybe.  We’ll see.

Be Blessed!

Signature Card


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Kitchen Makeover

For years I have wanted to do something new and different with my kitchen.  Replacing cabinets, changing the layout, all that fun jazz was not in the budget.  And with a 140+ year old house that has an interesting shaped kitchen and windows that just don’t quit…

I had to get creative.

Meet my inspiration:


No, I did not burn the kitchen down and start from scratch.  Tempting that was, yes, but burn it down I did not.  (Tapping into my inner Yoda there.)  It was the color of this lighter!  I love it!!  It is so happy!!  It just downright makes me smile and you can’t help but be cheery around this color.  Maybe it’s just me.

Let me show you how the kitchen looked before:






See, blah.  Dull.  No personality.  Cabinets that the dog had way to much fun with.  Dreary.  Sad.  And Salmon.  It made me think of a dead, dried up Salmon.  Blech.



It is fun!


It is jazzy! (ignore the un-vacuummed rug, and dog toy strings)


It is happy!!


It is cheery!!


It still has all the quirks of an old farmhouse kitchen,


but, it is an absolute pleasure to be in there!!


I love, love, love how it came out!  The pictures truly do not do it justice.  There is still work to do: paint all the trim (whole house project), and re-organize.  However, the lion share of the job is finished!  In nine years of living in this house we have never had kitchen hardware on the cabinets ~ we do now!  😀  And do you see that bit of plywood in the bottom corner if the picture above?  That is my next project ~ finishing the island.

It didn’t cost much to do this either.  Seriously, it took two gallons of paint: one for the cabinets and one for the walls.  $45.00  All new hardware for all the cabinet doors: $100.00.  And finally, a week of my time.  The kitchen has a whole new look, feel and shine.  It’s brighter and livelier and we are really enjoying it.

Be blessed!!

Signature Card


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