12 Things To Expect in 2016

Natal Day Fireworks 2

Photo Credit: Glenn Euloth

I am so grateful to my sweet husband, who spent almost eight hours working on my computer to get it up and running for us again!  Hopefully I can now use it to get back into blogging!  I know I would love that!  I so miss blogging when I can’t do it as much as I would like!

Now that 2016 has arrived, I have some plans for the blog, and I have some questions for you as well.

Goals for 2016

  1. Read 12 books this year.  Despite being a homeschooling mother, I really do not get to read that much.  I’m more of a web-surfer and researcher than I am a book reader.  But I definitely want my children to see me reading as a normal part of our lives, and so I will be making more of an effort to do so!
  2. Personal items down to 100.  This isn’t household or family items (sofa, pots and pans, etc) but specifically items that I can say are directly mine.  I may stretch this a wee bit to a few collective items (books, maybe, or knitting stash) but for the most part I am intending to minimize my own items drastically.
  3. Reduce our grocery spending to $80/week for 4 people.  Right now we spend a little over $100 a month for our foods, and shop biweekly.  But I intend to try harder and see if I can do more things myself at home.  My job is to save us money at home, and darn it, I’m going to do my best to do that!
  4. Find as many ways as I can to save more money and energy on as many household tasks as I can.  I’m going to experiment with a few various things and see what and how I can save money on around our home and in our daily routine.
  5. Lose 80 lbs.  Ahem.
  6. Give “Five Hands for gifts this year.  This means gifts that are either handmade, hand-me-down, second-hand, a helping hand (donation), or hand-in-hand (spending time together).  #heartbubbles
  7. Develop/stop 12 habits this year.  January is the month I am working on flossing.  I never used floss before but I know I have to take better care of my teeth, so I might as well!
  8. Find a better way of organizing the children’s toys and belongings.  Oh my gosh, the stuff.  It’s everywhere…
  9. Finish knitting my Christmas sock…before Christmas.  I’ve knitted Christmas stockings for my daughter, my husband, my son and I have started one for myself, but I have never finished it.  So it is on my radar for this year.  I really don’t have much to do, even!  I just lose my motivation.
  10. Sell our house.  That’s right, we are trying to sell this house and move on to something better for our family.  I am really looking forward to it!
  11. Let go.  Ask my family, my friends, my husband… I need to find ways to rest, and relax, to find ways to not have to take charge of every little thing.
  12. Buy no fiction books. Here’s the thing — despite not spending much time reading, I actually have a horrible habit of buying books all the time.  Drives my poor husband insane.  So unless the books I need for homeschooling are not available at the library, I won’t be buying any books this year.  Gulp.

Why I’ve Disappeared Again…


Photo by Luca Cucchetti

It seems I am destined to be away from this blog for awhile yet.  I have wanted to return for quite some time, and post again more frequently.  But life continues to get in the way.  My smartphone ins’t working.  My laptop cord isn’t working.  I really don’t have access to a proper and reliable computer at this time.  And so, I can’t really post regularly.

I hope to get back (again) as soon as I can.  I really want to post more frequently, but until I can, please know that I am thinking of this blog and looking forward to posting again.  🙂

Loving Living Books: Roger Duvoisin



Ages ago, my father bought a beautiful book that my brother and I read repeatedly.  It was an adorable story about a donkey who felt his ears were too big.  I remember reading it over and over again as a kid.  The story is beautifully written, sweet and simple, but also the artwork is so rustic and charming.

It went to some other sweet child eventually when my brother and I outgrew it, but it was something I remembered as a pleasant memory, along with some other cherished children’s books.  But of course, I didn’t expect it to come back into my life.

And then, I went to a secondhand store and found a copy of the same book.  I was thrilled!  I got to save it and share it with my own sweet darlings.  I have read it to them a dozen times since I got it and I will happily read it to them again, until I put it in a box with some other cherished stories for my future grandchildren.

The book was called Donkey-Donkey and it was written by Roger Duvoisin.  Roger’s artwork is so simplistic and warm, and his stories are worded in a way that they give a great lesson, but are also challenging and captivating.  They are delightful, wonderful stories.

Since I have rediscovered his works, I have also had a chance to pick up some of his other books.  Petunia is a funny little story about a proud little goose who gets the wrong impression about the value of books.  And Veronica is a sweet story about a hippo who learns the wrong way of being conspicuous.

The more I invest and learn about living books, the more I find myself reminising about the wonderful stories I grew up with and I am thrilled that I have the chances to share these stories with my children.  I love them and the sparkle in my daughter’s eyes when she hears me reading them to her.  I now know what my mother experienced reading our stories to us as children.

This post is part of…

Reading List: Cozy Reading Spot
I Choose Joy!
Cozy Reading Spot at Fun For Reading List. Homeschool Link-Up by Squishable Baby From House to Home by I Choose Joy

Disclaimer: Yes, I am compensated for some (but not all) of the purchases made via the referral links in this post. You can read my entire disclosure policy here.

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Christmas Break

Just wanted to let you all know that I am going to take a brief break for a few weeks as I enjoy celebrating Christmas with my children and family.  I likely won’t be back to blogging til after January 6th (the last of the 12 days of Christmas).

Wishing you and your family all a wonder holiday season, and may God bless you and your families!


The Sheppard Family