Sunday, January 3, 2016

A New Year, New Hopes, and My Goals

Our last days of 2015 were filled with family time. Caleb has begged us to go ice skating. Downtown Chattanooga opened an ice skating rink near the gorgeous Tennessee River and it has been a huge hit for our community. 

I've tried ice skating once before, maybe 13 years ago, and I was pretty much terrible at it. I can remember my legs, ankles, and everything just hurt. I had envisioned a cross between roller skating and professional figure skating when I first tried it. It was a huge disappointment as I made one measly lap around the cheap rink and hobbled off. Back then, I was really out of shape and overweight, the rink was terrible, and the ice skates were probably really cheap. So going into this, I thought it would be a repeat and I didn't have high hopes at all. I simply did this for my child.

I watched everyone out on the ice before I stepped onto the rink. Then I helped Caleb. And I realized this was totally not the same!!!! I can actually ice skate, y'all! And it was fabulous! I had a blast, it didn't hurt and I was slightly graceful! My child, on the other hand, was a train wreck.

He was so angry and determined to ice skate. He spent most of the night yelling that I was hovering, pressuring, throwing him off, or whatever excuse he had for falling a thousand times. He refused to take a break or accept any sort of help from me or his daddy. But he did not give up until he got the hang of it. I promise I do not know where he gets his stubborn streak from....

I've always seen couples holding hands in the movies as they skate around the ice and it totally looks sweet. Well, you can just cross that one off my bucket list! This Southern girl did that. I really loved it minus my kid's terrible attitude because he just wasn't a natural Olympic ice skater. 

On New Year's Eve, we took Caleb to see the most recent Chipmunks movie. It was cute and I cried. Caleb literally quotes the movies and I'm sure we will add this one to our collection. We stayed home that evening, snuggled up on the couch with our favorite foods, and just enjoyed being together. There's no other way I'd rather put 2015 behind us.

A new year for us means lots of exciting things and I cannot wait to share them with you here! Ryan, Caleb and I are looking forward to new beginnings around the house and making some great changes. Last year I really didn't make any resolutions. Well, last year stunk.

I do have goals and resolutions for this year!!! 

1) I have put a ban on negativity and drama!
2) We are becoming more self-sustaining and self-sufficient around our home
3) I'm cutting my migraine cycles down (I will share how I am doing this!)
4) Create more clean eating posts for you here!
5) Complete our boat projects on the Chris Craft
6) Build the chicken coop and raise our chickens
7) Try my best NOT to meet my health care deductible!
8) Spend more time in prayer and deepen my faith.
9) Save up for a family cruise (since I am not spending all that money on my deductible)
10) Learn how to can, dehydrate and preserve food (and then teach you)
11) Finish decorating our home
12) Complete more home projects

This weekend we worked towards some of our goals. Ryan, Caleb and I cleared the brush from behind our barn. We applied for a burn permit and put it to very good use. We have had so much rain lately and it felt amazing to finally be outside all day. The weather has turned cold and it feels like winter has arrived.

Like father, like son... Sweet little Caleb sure likes to work like his daddy. I honestly have one of the hardest working husbands around. I am just proud of who he is as a man and who he is raising Caleb to be. Caleb is our little country boy.

This kid loves anything motorized. He drives the golf cart better than most people I work with. We pretty much turn him loose with it now and he does really well around the property. I let him drive me around and he pulls it everywhere. We drives the lawnmower (without the blades on) while pulling a small trailer. He seriously does that way better than I do.

Speaking of my little country boy.... If you are against weapons of any kind and hunting for the purpose of food, the rest of this post is probably not for you, Just come back tomorrow. That's perfectly cool with me. I understand and we're still friends! If you don't mind reading about a little boy learning gun safety and learning to hunt for the food that our whole family eats, then you keep on reading.

I'm a country girl through and through. I was raised in the South and this is our way of life. I would rather raise my little boy around a weapon and teach him how to handle it safely than allow him to fear it or not know what to do should he encounter one. I can't be with him every second of every day and I can't protect him from everything, so I choose to prepare him the best I know how. I understand that this isn't for everyone, but this is how we choose to raise him. I also take into consideration Caleb's maturity level and intelligence. Not every 6 year old is the same. I don't tell you this to debate whether we are right or wrong in the decisions we make, but so that you may understand our story and Caleb's excitement that I am about to share with you. We all come from different backgrounds and places and this is ours.

My dad has taken Caleb deer hunting for the past three years. If you have ever been around Caleb for any length of time, you know he is a talker. He comes by it honestly, my friends. We joke that a deer would have to be blind and deaf for Caleb to ever have a chance at shooting it. Yesterday was Caleb's very last chance to try to get a deer for the season. I admit that I coached him a lot through the day. I told him that he would have to be so very quiet if he really wanted a deer.

Dad texted me pictures of Caleb sitting in the deer stand. Then there were pictures of Caleb eating and drinking Mellow Yellow. Next came a picture of Caleb completely asleep! I just laughed and we went about our day. The sun was going down and I got a text from dad saying that they got one! Believe it or not, Caleb actually could be quiet when it really counted! I was a little concerned about how he would handle seeing the deer die or being gutted. We have talked a lot about how we only kill animals that we eat and we only take what we can eat. I make sure that he knows we don't let anything suffer and use it as a teachable moment. Caleb had no issues at all and he understands that this deer is for food and is very proud.

He's most excited that the processor is letting him keep the antlers. I'm so happy that my dad has shared this special moment with Caleb. It's something that neither of them will ever forget.

Today we started our first Sunday morning of the new year off at church. We were asked if Jesus was the "line leader" of our lives. What an awesome way to ask children if Jesus is the leader of their lives! Caleb had a lot of questions in church this morning. He is really pondering salvation more and more. He's asking a lot of questions and you can tell he's reasoning things out in his head bit by bit. I pray so much for the moment that it all clicks for him. That will be the greatest moment of my life. I can't think of a better thing for a parent than to know your child has accepted Jesus as his own personal Savior. I may not get much right in life, but I sure want to know I helped get him there. That's all that matters. That's my life goal. 


  1. I think winter has finally arrived here, too. We have an average temp of 49 here all through December. We finally got our first snow and cold front a last weekend. I'm ready for springs. :-)

    1. We had 70 degree weather in December! I loved it! I have spring fever already. I am in trouble.... Ha!

  2. Awesome goals!!!! I deleted a lot of drama and negative people from my life last year and was the best thing ever.
    Love that Caleb got his first deer I have two boys and my oldest has gotten 3 now and the youngest can't wait to get big enough to shoot his own. Nothing wrong with showing kids hunting and safe gun use and care and how to handle them. Think the world needs more of that.
    Can't wait to read more blogs about you achieving your goals and new recipes to try.

    1. I posted a bunch of recipes today! You can read about it here:!

      Have you made beef jerky yet?

  3. I know many people that take their kids hunting. It's a way of life where I live in KY too!
    Your goals are very doable! Here's to a new fresh year!

    1. This year needs to be better than last year!!! I am so determined! :)



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