Book Review and Goals Update

Happy May! With all this wet weather, it’s hard to believe summer is just next month!

1. Read 12 books this year (honestly if I can make it to 10, I’ll consider it a win)

Update: I finished Cozy Minimalist HomePeter Pan, and Sacred Holidays, and  Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

I’m currently reading Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Faith by Chuck Smith, The Life Giving Parent by Clay and Sally Clarkson, and Mother Culture by Karen Andreola.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is the story of one family’s experiment to only eat food from their county for one year (with the exception of coffee, olive oil etc).  It definitely makes you think about the source of your food, the benefits of organic and small farm raised meat and produce, the problems with the typical American diet, and how money (rather than nutrition) often casts the final vote in the food industry.

I liked how the authors emphasized community by gathering products raised by different people in their area and visiting the farmers market. I also appreciated how she encouraged the readers to start somewhere. Raising a tomato plant on your balcony is a step towards eating real food and knowing the quality of it. I don’t plan to only eat food from my county (we love bananas too much), but it did add fuel to some of my dreams that are waiting for the right season to bloom.

While the author clearly has a very different world view, and some parts I had to turn down real low so my kids wouldn’t hear, I appreciated the information provided in the book and the authors’ challenge to think about what we eat.

2. Explore the alphabet with my preschooler: our “preschool” takes different forms through the seasons.

Update: We’ve been doing more nature walks, and paying attention to the flowers, birds, ants, etc we find around us. We are trying to learn the names of the trees and flowers we see in our area. She has also been thinking about what sounds she hears in words, and is able to write her name, mama, and papa.

3. Identify 5 plants/tracks: I think it would be amazing to be able to go on our nature hikes and …..gasp….name what I’m looking at. But, alas! I have no idea. So I ordered some books to give me some clues.


After our walk today, I looked up some of the trees and flowers we saw. The crocuses, hyacinths, tulips and blue bells are in bloom now. Pictured above are the crocuses from down the street. I guess I should change my goal from learning 5 to learning “all of them”. 🙂

Our forsythia has been beautiful this year!  It is the first plant to bloom each year so it’s always a welcome ray of sunshine.

Even in the woods, there are early spring flowers. These are called snow drops, and were pointed out by some mamas in our hiking group. I just love God’s attention to detail, making beautiful flowers even in the woods where they are hardly seen by people.

4. Get rid of 50 things:

Update: We tossed 3 armloads in the trash and have two boxes full to donate.

5. Learn to make more things from scratch.


At the end of this month, we are doing a book party for Farmer Boy, and I’ve been preparing activities connected to the book. Yesterday, we attempted butter making by shaking heavy whipping cream in a small bottle for 6ish minutes.  It separates into buttermilk (which you pour off) and butter.  The little one was excited and ate most of it on her muffins. It didn’t taste as good as store bought butter, but that was probably lack of salt, not rinsing enough butter milk out of it, temperature, etc.

We also made cauli-mash which is a newish (within the last couple years) recipe.  Think of it as healthy mashed potatoes. 🙂 We used riced cauliflower, salt, pepper, oregano, garlic, onion, smoked paprika or bacon salt, and the most important part….cream cheese. I dump it all together in the food processor and let it do the magic.

Not food related…..but I like using this recipe to make our laundry soap.  It’s very cost effective and it makes a lot at one time.

6. Prepare for secret project:  making progress

7. Blog/writing (I have ideas…but life seems to take all my time)

Update: At least I’m writing each week…mostly. It definitely is life giving to be able to write.

8. Finish 2nd kids baby book and do the 3rd kid’s book: no updates….just wishful thinking.

9. Clean out freezer and use up pantry (you know all those unmarked surprise dishes you find in the back of your freezer? yah….)

Update: nothing exciting to write here.

10. Do 10 projects with the little ones.

Update: Do our daily walks count? We find many “treasures” along our route.

This week I listened to a podcast about our information overload, and our lack of response/action to what we hear/read. It was called the “information-action ratio”.   How much information am I taking in from social media, the news, books, podcasts, etc vs what am I doing to act on it?   Often we allow so much input to come in that it overwhelms us to the point of doing nothing, it makes us numb to what we should be caring about, or we get frustrated trying to do everything we just learned/heard. The two main points were: 1. Be mindful of what input you choose and how much you take in. 2. Do something with your new information. Start small. Remember the way to big things is small steps!

Often in thinking about goals we get overwhelmed and never start. Other people’s projects seem so cool and far beyond anything we could do. But everyone starts somewhere. At the beginning of the year, my goal was learning 5 plants because I had to start somewhere with taking baby steps. But then I kept going and easily passed that goal.

Just wanted to encourage you as you think about your goals for this year. It’s hard not to feel overwhelmed by all that is left to do. Our focus needs to simply be on ‘what’s the next step?’.

How about you? How are you doing with your goals for this year? What’s your next baby step?

Sojourning with you,


2 thoughts on “Book Review and Goals Update

  1. I love that you mentioned the bananas! Throughout the book, I kept trying to balance her goal of eating local produce with denying herself and family some things they really liked and wanted. I’m glad you got the chance to read it. If you liked her, Poisonwood Bible is my favorite of hers!

    Great job on your goals!

    Liked by 1 person

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