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I’m not planning to do major resolutions for the entire year. Instead, I intend to start a new habit each month.

In January, I’ll go to bed on time every night. For me that means lights out by 10PM.

In February, I’ll add something to my bedtime routine. Probably getting either clothes or food ready for the next day.

I expect I could add something to the bedtime routine each month for six months and probably spend the second half of the year getting a morning routine established. It may or may not work out that way. This is supposed to be no-stress, so I’ll just take one thing at a time.

Are you making resolutions? What are they?

I bet I’m not the only one who can’t believe another year is over. This year has been quite eventful for us.

I really hope 2010 is not so exciting.

I want to continue this blog, hopefully more faithfully. I want to talk more about frugality and simplicity, eating well vs. eating cheaply, living well and making do. I’m also rethinking schooling choices. Should I be homeschooling? I once thought yes, then I thought no. Now I just need major discernment.

I’m working toward teaching my children how to help keep the house. I need to find a good balance between clean, organic food, and a tight budget, and between eating well and having treats. We’re still remodeling and decluttering. As I say each year, I really want our next Christmas to be more deliberate, more thoughtful, with less consumption and more creativity.

And I want to talk about these things here.

I hope you’ll join me.

Italian sweet peppers, pepperoncini, tomato.

Meet Prince:

Charlie told Hannah last fall that if she saved enough money she could get a dog. She reached her goal early in the summer, so we bagan searching for a dog. Charlie wanted to get a puppy from a pet store. I refused to get anything (dog or otherwise) that wasn’t already house trained. So we looked at a local animal shelter.

Hannah had a small terrier mix picked out, but at the last minute she (the terrier, not Hannah) showed her true colors. She escaped the try-your-dog-out-before-adoption yard and ran straight for the other dogs in their pens. She reached through a chain link fence and bit a golden retriever on the lip, and wouldn’t let go. It took the shelter employee about 5 minutes to detach her. We did not bring the terrier home.

We were sort of burnt out looking for dogs, and did not search for a couple of weeks. Then this dog showed up at the neighbors’ house.

She told us he was a stray she had taken in. She had been looking for his owners, but had been unsuccessful. She couldn’t keep him permanantly; did we want him?

So we brought him home to try out for a week or so. He is very sweet, house trained, and already knows how to sit, lay down, and stay, though he needs work on the tricks. He rarely barks. He’s bigger than what we were looking for, but he’s working out very well. We will be getting him neutered ASAP. We think he’s part lab (he loves water) and probably pug.

I mentioned last week that Ruth had some teeth pulled. The dentist said she didn’t have room for the adult teeth, and the baby teeth needed to be pulled. So she had four teeth pulled a couple of weeks ago. She was a very good patient. And her gap is so cute!

My digital camera is missing. No one took it. No one has seen it. No one has used it. It just disappeared. So until I find it or get a new one, I can’t show you the dress I made for Hannah, the skirt for Ruth made from yard sale curtains, our new dog, the fairy houses the girls made, or Ruth’s new smile after having had 4 teeth pulled. I’m praying it shows up quickly.

I hope you all had a good Fathers’ Day. Ours was quiet, but nice. We gave Charlie the gift we had ready for him and he loved it, as I expected.

I copied this from something I saw on Tip Junkie (which is a great place for ideas). My original plan included some scrapbook paper behind the pictures, and some sort of simple scroll design on the ends, but that didn’t work out. I think it’s a bit faux-nail-head heavy, and I learned a bit about how not to use ModPodge, and ink-jet printed photos should be varnished before they are used in a craft project. But the pictures were the point, and they are loved, so I’m happy.

We saw these at a craft fair a week ago. Being the tightwads we are, we didn’t want to pay full price for them, so Charlie made his own.

The bow is a length of narrow-enough-to-be-flexible pvc pipe with a shorter piece of heavy-duty twine tied to each end.

The arrow is a wooden dowel with a piece of foam pipe insulation (fun noodles would work for this) glued to the arrow-head end, and a notch cut in the back end.

Yes, his pants are on backward.

Hannah is a talented artist. These are all pieces she did at school.

This one was printed on a magnet, which is what I took a picture of. Sorry about the flash – my cheap camera doesn’t give me the option to turn the flash off.

Mixed Up Clown

Crushed Sunflowers was displayed at the Catholic Education Foundation’s Treasurefest at the Power and Light District in Kansas City on May 3.

I’m seriously considering getting prints made and selling them, or printing greeting cards for Hannah’s college fund. What do you think?