This will be my last post until after Christmas as I will take a little break. It is a time when we can be too busy. We all know it. Too busy ruins things. I was feeling sorry for someone called upon to do ridiculous amounts of extra things making her Christmas cooking etc impossible and then I thought about myself and that I very easily do too many things and get overwhelmed! So I am taking my own advice and slowing things down this week!
I want to savor the week we are in and the year we have had. The biggest event of this year was Harper coming into the family! She has added so much joy to the whole family and my parents becoming Great Grand Parents for the first time! Just wonderful.
When Dad was in hospital the sight of her lit him up!
Other things included some wonderful friendships I made through this blog, establishing "the shop" in my cellar, improving our preparedness greatly, making presents all year so I really did make most of my Christmas presents...
The garden came a long way. That is a gradual process but the roses I add each year are really paying off!
The birds in our backyard that built a nest eventually had a baby in a nest somewhere out the back of us. We knew they were feeding babies as they come for food and head off with it over the back fence! And a few weeks ago they turned up with their baby to show us! There is only one. We call him Baby Baby.
We also got our chickens. They are like garden ornaments only cuter!
Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed with writing, photo's, comments and support. There is such a sense of a supportive and loving community that we have built up! Anyone could ask for any advice and there would be help. Thank you.
I am not sure yet what will be the same and what will be different next year. I do know we will have The Christmas Challenge starting to work on gift making all year. This will be a massive money saver and should easily cover birthdays and other gift giving as well.
Also The Vicky Challenge which will be very motivating and show just how much our work at home contributes financially to our family. We know how much it does in many ways but a frequent thing I hear is women feeling pressure to "contribute financially". This infuriates me as the money we save is often far more than the money we could earn elsewhere especially when you deduct work expenses, tax, child care, travel etc. You will be shocked when you see how much you contribute financially by your work at home and we will find many new ways to add to that!
I know one of my aims for 2016 is to help us all feel encouraged and to be able to meet financial challenges as so many are facing severe income reduction through either job reasons or expense increases. Or both! To do it we might have to learn new things, develop new habits and make changes.
I read this quote this week which I thought was perfect:
"If you are not willing to learn no one can help you.
If you are determined to learn no one can stop you!"
I am amazed how much I have learned this year! I have saved money in ways I never knew of! I made a lot of changes! I had good days where I learned one thing that saved me hundreds. Sometimes one new tip that you can use saves you a fortune. It's just finding that tip. One of my good days was discovering that the discount chemist would save me over $600 a year. Yes I learned to save $600 that day alone! I had a few days with savings like that.
So I really look forward to next year and am excited about it.
But first lets really appreciate our blessings this year and Christmas time. A few weeks ago I didn't think we would have Dad here for Christmas. I have a lot to be grateful for.
I am going to take so many photos of our family Christmas and the farm. I am going to appreciate every moment!
I hope to be able to post on Facebook even when I am away. This is an easy place to share your Christmas pics and creations also if you would like.
This is the link to Bluebirds on FB. The Bluebirds are Nesting.
I have benefitted enormously from following A Working Pantry via fb, the weekly challenges and questions and answers... I have found lovely friendships through this too. Also A Tray of Bliss, The Cheapskates Club and My Abundant Life. And many others. It is a quick way to keep up with everyone and a great way to chat. I love how I am able to chat life (for free) to Vicky late at night!
FB is set up so that to see the things you wish to follow you need to like, share or comment on or after a couple of days you do not see what you are following anymore and wondering why. Once you know that you can have the most wonderful time! Over Christmas I will post pictures as we go along there.
Have a wonderful Christmas! Every bit of joy you add for someone else will come back to you 1000 x With love.xxx