Sunday, January 3, 2010
Kat~ Please leave another comment with your e-mail address.  I would LOVE to answer your question but I could not link to your e-mail.  I will not publish your comments.

(taken by me on April 25, 2009, straight out of the camera, no editing)

I think I need a mini-retreat. So, once the peanuts go back to school (tuesday!) I am going to spend some quiet time at home in the mornings thinking about my goals for this year. I think I spent most of this past year mothering (cooking, cleaning, laundering, driving kids to schools, practices, games and camps). While I think that truly is God's work and very important, I think I want more this year. The problem is that I don't know what that more is. I need to figure that out. I will be praying that God reveals His plan for me.

I will be blogging this week and I plan to continue our January project of cleaning out every room and closet and lightening our load. Dave and I have realized that we have way too much stuff. As is often the case with us, we are on the exact same page in that we both want less stuff in our lives. So, we are going room by room and purging. Will and Harry's rooms are complete and the playroom is too. This week, I will clean out Kate's room (and will likely have some clothes to sell in a few weeks). Our plan is to tackle every single room and closet and the garage. A Spring tag sale is on the schedule as well as lots of donations. We are also going to make a conscious effort to bring less stuff into our home this year.

In looking back on my goals for 2009, I did okay on some such as working on my photography (at least in the beginning of the year, but I let it slide once September hit). I started a 365 photo project but only made it to day 97. You can see it here. This year I am thinking about a Project 52. One photo a week. I think I might be able to swing that. Anyone want to join me?

I also spent more time reading my Bible and even visited a few Bible studies. I will be doing a study that begins in 2 weeks at my church. I also wanted to exercise more (according to this post). Well, I failed miserably at that! I went to exactly ONE Pilates class. However, I did diversify my blog posts to include more decorating and recipes which was a goal last year. And we did get back into our routine of having individual dates with the kids. In fact, Dave is at a hockey game with Harry right now and he took Will to Avatar last week. Next, he is taking Kate on a date:)

So, now it is time to reflect and think about some of the changes I want to make in my life this year. Please share with me in the comments any thing you plan to work on in 2010.
As I type this I am smelling the most delicious aroma from my is a recipe for the most delicious rice dish you will ever have. We are having it with tilapia...

Almond and Red Grape Pilaf
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons minced onion
2 cups chopped celery
1 cup raw long grain white rice
1 teaspoon of salt
1 and 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 and 1/2 tablespoons of chopped chervil (I use this if I have it)
1 and 1/2 tablespoons of chopped marjoram (we grow this in our yard-so easy)
fresh ground pepper
1 cup of toasted slivered almonds
1 and 1/2 cups seedless red grapes halved or quartered

Melt butter in large skillet (we use dairy free or organic ghee for Harry). Add onion, celery and rice. Cook 3-5 minutes or until rice becomes a pale wheat color. Add salt and chicken broth (we use organic, gluten-free). Cover and simmer on low heat for 25 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove pan from heat. Stir in herbs. Season with pepper. Stir in almonds and grapes. Serve immediately.
From Stop and Smell the Rosemary (my favorite cookbook)


  1. that is really a great idea and I so understand the need to do that! Good for you for deciding to make that a priority!
    happy new year!


  2. Happy New Year to you Kim! I need that reflection time, too, but don't think I'll get it anytime soon! I am looking forward to the kids heading back to school tomorrow.

    I am trying a project 365 this year. We'll see how I do. Hopefully, I'll be able to keep it up.

    Can't wait to read your goals for this year!


  3. Oh how wonderful even a mini retreat sounds. I wish I could do the same but I will also be back to school tomorrow!

    Enjoy your quiet, I know God will show you exactly were He is leading.


    The rice dish sounds yummy, I'll have to give it a try.

  4. Sounds like a plan!!! We too have way too much "stuff" in every room, drawer, closet, basement and garage--I just wish I was better at purging--please pass along any secrets!!! Your recipe sounds delish and one I will try---it also reminded me of one of my favorite dishes of yours--the tortilla soup!!1 It is a favorite in our house--and you have me thinking I need to make it this week!!!! Happy new year--as always thanks for sharing your blog!!!

  5. I understand the feeling of having too much "stuff". I have to do a couple of purges each year or I feel a bit overwhelmed. Thanks for that recipe. We love rice in any form at my house, Kerry included. Happy New Year!

  6. I love this time of year when we can evaluate and think of what we what to acomplish. Kudos to you on your goals, I think they are all very attainable.

    My goal is to be more gracious. I want to live in a state of grace admist all of the chaos. I also want to read the Bible (I did a post on this).

    You've inspired me to tackle one room at a time, I get so overwhelmed in getting the whole house done in a weekend. If I plan it right I can get the whole house done and decluttered this month.

    Enjoy your time to your self and stop in to let us know how you're doing!

  7. Ha! Great (realistic) minds think alike! I'm launching a Project 52 too. =)

    Praying for you to have some quiet moments and that God will give you loads of wisdom for this New Year.


  8. I love that cookbook too! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Nice to meet you and I'm looking forward to reading about your adventures in 2010.

  9. Kim, I love the sound of mini retreats...what a wonderful idea. I am excited about your biblestudy..what study will you be doing? I have always loved that you all do dates with your of the 1st posts I read of yours was when Harry took you on a brunch date. Who better to teach your children how to respect and treat a date than their own parents!
    Last March I completely purged and cleaned out my house...but let me tell you, after needs it again!
    Happy New Year, my sweet friend!

  10. Every year I try to change something in my life for the better. Last year I started pilates (I take reformer classes twice week) and It does make me feel great. This year my plan is to eat much healthier. I do a good job of cooking healthy meals and making sure that everything is either organic or natural...but then I sneak off to eat some candy : 0 I need to stop that LOL I also want to get back to blogging and having a purpose...: )
    Good luck with your goals. It's important for us moms to find out who we are and what makes us tick.

  11. Happy New Year girly..
    I need to go through all the rooms and get rid of things..
    You are amazing..
    Can't wait to see what you do this year.. I will be right here with ya..

  12. I agree -- less is more! We are constantly decluttering and getting rid of stuff at our house! Good luck with your goals in 2010!

  13. HNY Kim, I also love to plan and have new fresh goals each year.
    I love to purge the house too, especially toys and clutter.
    The rice dish sounds great. One of the goals at the top of my list is cooking more. I have been baking bread and cooking with the Treasures alot over the holidays.
    Hope you have a great week:)

  14. Kim...I can definitely identify! I think the New Year gives us all a "clean slate" to try to better, renew or just REFRESH ourselves! I plan on eating healthier and joining a water aerobics class next week!

    I love the "cleaning one room at a time"!! It's amazing the stuff you collect over the years!! Thanks for an uplifting post!!

  15. I have been in feeling in dire need of a mini-retreat. My daughter (age 5) has been reminding me to take deep breaths and realize that everything doesn't have to be figured out today.

    I am eager to tweak and figure out exactly what I will be doing, in terms of goals for the year. Healthy eating and cooking at home is topping my list right now. I'm thinking of devoting one day a week on my blog to sharing updates.

  16. I love reflecting on the past year and getting inspired for myself and family in the year to come. I just started a new blog and the 365 challenge. If it is too much I am may just have to take you up on the 52 week challenge.

    I am going to try to go through each room this week too. It is so refreshing. Sounds like you have a great start especially with 2 of you on the same page and working at it.

    The recipe looks yummy! We love fish and are always looking for yummy sides. I will have to try this !

  17. Hi, Kim! I just got your comment on my blog ... I'm glad that the Lord led you to Heather's New Years' post ~ I find her so inspiring! ;)

    Shame on me for lurking on your blog and not commenting!! LOVE your blog!!! I noticed your gluten-free links on your sidebar a couple of weeks ago (I just recently learned of my sensitivity to gluten) and then read some of your other health/nutrition posts. I have to tell you that I went out and bought a juicer!!!! I LOVE it!! The Green Goddess recipe you shared is my fave! ;)

    Thanks so much for sharing your heart! May your dreams and goals for 2010 come to fruition as you seek Him! ;)

  18. Hi Kim.....I hope Tuesday is everything you need it to be. I am in a purging mode as well....I think because I have so many things on my mind, I need to have my home in order to be able to function.

    I began my 40 days of feels so good to be reading it again.

    I pray that 2010 is a wonderful year for many of us and that the Lord reveals what He feels your plan of purpose should be.


  19. I love purging the house. Unfortunately, it seems like it doesn't stay that way for long at our house. Exercising, becoming more focused and organized in our meal planning, and devoting more time to spend reading the bible... and more time reading in general, are at the top of my 2010 list. I will be trying this recipe. Thanks for sharing!!

  20. I am messy by nature, so my resolution is to be more organized (especially now that we have 2 kids!) In order to help me achieve my goal, I too am purging our house of excess stuff. I already went through our son's toys - up next MY stuff :)

  21. i love purging, cleaning, and organizing! it's amazing how much "stuff" we collect, isn't it? this year i have resolved to rediscover my passion in life...all areas including my job (teacher), my spiritual life, and my personal life. i can't wait to see what God teaches me as I reconnect to the power of God which makes all things new! I'll be praying for you too, Kim!

  22. i love the photo ideas!! i really want to sit down and reflect/make a list too!! good luck, i know you will find something rewarding to put your time into:)

  23. We cleared out a fair bit of "stuff" this past year. I find it needs to be an ongoing job. Not bringing it in the home as well as giving/selling things no longer needed. It feels good to be free from "stuff"!
    This past year I did a tri, and really what started out as a fun new way to exercise turned into my "thing". It was so fun, and my whole family enjoyed the journey too and were all waiting for me at the finish line! I also started being the food co-op liason person at church. It has turned out to be a great ministry for a busy mother because it doesn't invovle tedious and endless meetings that take up so much time. I just can't do that type of thing right now.
    I'm a little slower on developing goals this year. I remember when my children were small I spent some floor time with them each day. This year I'd like to make sure that each day I talk/cook/play a game with each child in an engaging way to help keep communication lines open as they grow older.
    I'm still developing other personal goals.
    I hope you enjoy your retreat!

  24. Happy New Year Kim! I agree Less stuff, more God and living in the moment for this chicken 2010:)

  25. Happy New Year to you and your family!!

    Here is to 2010 being the "year" for each of us!!

    ps. I love Kate's holiday outfits!

  26. the photo is exquisite. Happy New Year friend and I hope you hear the Lord's voice as He guides you into the plans He has for your family.

  27. Hi, Kim! I just love your blog. Thank you for making it public again!

    My big goal this year (I hate to use the word "resolution" as mine are usually doomed from the start!) is to be able to run a 5K this summer.

    Wishing you and your family a happy new year!


  28. Seems many of us are purging the house this week LOL! I am starting this task today and have the same goals of bringing less into the house this year. I'm thankful for the information you post regarding gluten free recipes and juicing. I just bought a juicer and my goal is to begin juicing and a maintaining a cleaner diet this year. Thanks for all of the wonderful information you've provided about this- so very helpful!
    Happy 2010 !

  29. I feel the same way about stuff, I am so glad I choose not to buy any Christmas decoration this year. I also used Christmas paper from last year but I did have to buy ribbon which I chose white so I could use it all year long. I made a drop off to Good Will on New Year's Eve and it felt great.

  30. Kim, thank you for telling me about the weird thing that blog was doing! I took the snow off, hopefully she's back to normal now :)

  31. I really need to do the same, and I think I will! I just caught up on all of your posts, and it looks like you guys had a great Christmas! Your house looked beautiful, and I love the Christmas morning pictures! Have a great New Year!

  32. Gorgeous photo!
    I can relate to so many things you just posted.... needing a mini retreat.... needing less STUFF... getting rid of stuff.
    Happy 2010!!!!!!

    The recipe sounds fabulous! My picky pants eater Lily would love it with grapes

  33. We have some of the same ideas and your 52 project sounds great! Count me in! I have been on Facebook but haven't been blogging so I need to get back to that. I have cleaned out Bradys room and started the office then on to the next until every room is done, I want to declutter for the year 2010 and Mikee wants the same! That is a big goal of ours. Happy New Years!

  34. Ah... a mini-retreat sounds so nice. I am starting a new Beth Moore study on Thursday and am so looking forward to it!

  35. Paul and I are doing some of the same things you are...we are getting rid of stuff! We want to simplfy our lives and live with less this year. Like you, we decided not to bring in more "STUFF". Oh, it will fill so good to have less and that what we have be organized!

    Oh girl I wish I could do a Project 52 with you but I already started a celebrating 365. I am already wondering, "what in the world have I done??". I might just have to do a quick changeroo from celebrating 365 to celebrating 52 :-).

    Take care and ((HUGS)),

  36. That really is an incredible photo. It's amazing how beautiful life can be, even without all of our editing getting in the way :). I started the 365 photo project a few months ago because of you. Your photos inspired me to start and I'm sorry to hear that you only got part way. I understand, though, as I often forget days or get lazy and skip and then have to take several to catch up. I am only on day 69. I think taking 1 photo a week sounds much more manageable. I'm going to keep at the 365, but if I can't do it, I'll definitely try the 52. Enjoy your mini retreat, and please tell us about Kate's date. I think it's so cute that you guys do that :).

  37. I have been busy purging as well...feels so good! I too am waiting on God to reveal some things to me. I made way too many goals last year, so I am not trying to think too lofty this time. I would like to do the one photo a week with you, that sounds very doable to me. Happy New Year Kim~

  38. Less is more...I think Americans have stuffitis. We jokingly say that's why we move so much (so we can purge and I have a new house to decorate, lol). I too plan to work on my spiritual and physical goals. I also want to do a better job of "being" in the moment, slow life down and be a better friend, mom, wife, daughter, etc.

    My friends have always told me I should quit my day job and be an interior decorator/designer or own a fun little shop with accessories, home decor, gifts, etc. One day I want to make that a reality!

  39. I have a rule about "stuff". :)

    If something comes into the house, something must leave the house. By way of gifting it to someone, donating it to the appropriate agency, or by recycling it. It rarely goes into the garbage. :)

    I agree. We all have too much "stuff" and it weighs us down. When I purge, room by room, it's a great feeling! That's when I came up with the what goes in, must go out rule. There's always a pile in my car, at the front door, in the basement, in the garage: to go somewhere!!

    I just got rid of a large pile of books. I took them to work so start a book club/book exchange. Everyone wins. (and no, I'm not bringing another one home!) LOL

    Happy New Year!!
    Snick :)

  40. The process of purging is taking place in our home as well. I'm clearing a lot of "stuff" from many areas of my life and focusing on what is most important to me and my family.


  41. I am constantly getting rid of 'stuff' ... such a good feeling to declutter!
    I really need to start back in a bible study. Last year I went without (the first in many years) and I am realizing just how important it is for me to be continually in the word of God.
    Also - I am with you on the once a week photos - I failed terribly this past year with the 365 challange!

  42. I love your new year's thoughts. I can't even get organized enough to make such a list so you're already way ahead of me!

    It is always such a great feeling to clean out a closet, but it's a bit discouraging how quickly it fills up again. I'm somewhat caught up on the kids' rooms, but my own closet is a disaster. {sigh}

    I hope it works out for you to come up for the Judo tournament. You know I'd be happy to entertain you for as long as you're here! Keep me posted.

    We're scheduled to be in Houston the weekend of Jan. 23-24 for hockey. I'll email you with details as soon as I know our plans.

    Happy New Year!! You are such a blessing and an inspiration to me!

  43. I am def. all about "cleaning" things out and starting with a fresh slate. Project 52 sounds amazing...the rice recipe does too....thanks for sharing~
    Happy New Year sweet girl!

  44. i'm with ya friend
    i can not seem to get a good quiet time moment of thinking when my home is bustling with early morning risers & stay up late teenagers.
    i need to retreat too!
    happy new year friend
    you have been such a blessing to me

    i look forward to your words

  45. Happy New Year! I think a 52 week project is much more do-able than a 365 project! I'm in!

  46. I heard a man say he was embarrassed when he went to his closet and counted 75 pairs of pants. He was embarrassed because while he KNEW there were people with NONE, this did not stop him from buying his 76th, 77th, 78th. He vowed for a YEAR to not buy any more clothing - because bottom line, he just didn't need it.

    Now, I don't know if I will be that extreme - but we strive to be minimalists and our motto this year is we don't buy it if we already have one. Whatever that is - we are not buying anything in excess just because we want it.

    Not sayin' that isn't going to be hard ;)

  47. I am hearing you! FD and I are in de-clutter mode and have been for weeks. Its a great feeling!

  48. De cluttering makes you feel so good. I like your mini retreat idea, too! When you have your spring sale maybe you could give some or all of the proceeds to a charity. Our annual LIVESTRONG garage sale is always a big hit. And then when people try to haggle over 50 cents I say "It's for a CANCER charity" and then they back down! We always have a bake sale/lemonade sale at the same time and feel good getting rid of things and giving back.


Thank you for your kindness.