Saturday, December 24, 2011

Stewardship Saturday

So here is a recap of my 2011 Stewardship Steps and how I've grown through the year, for more details you can search my label "Stewardship".  I am much preferring this to type of 'to do' list, not because I was able to accomplish so much more of my list, but most of the items I was doing without even monitoring it against my list, it truly is a reflection of my heart and what I want my life to look like!

Stewardship of My Finances
1. Before buying anything new first consider reusing/recycling -this is something I still have to work on better, but not being able to find a suitable used item to buy did sway me from buying some things altogether, realizing we could live without them. Part of the Financial Peace course talked about where to find bargains, I think if I have enough time in 2012 I'm going to do more garage sale/consignment store shopping!
2. Smarter money management - with the Financial Peace course I was able to pay off $2500 in debt and save $500 in just 2 months, as well as on track to pay off another $3000 by Spring, and to pay off our vehicle 1.5 years early.
3. Give more tithe than we already give - already have a plan (again, thanks to Financial Peace course :) to move money from an area that shouldn't have been used as an investment, upon cancelling that we'll be using the cash value we built up towards our Church's building fund.
4. Cap my Stampin’ Up! expenses to 50% of 2010 expenditures- not only did I just about stop all expenses altoghether, but I went out of business and sold off about 66% of my inventory for a decent amount....which helped pay off debt.

Stewardship of My Home
5. Schedule a small Fly Lady tactic every day, to maintain a tidy & welcoming home without a LOT of effort - as I've mentioned, I'm not quite on par with the 'per day', but my whole home has been in a state of easy maintenance for most of the year, especially with short notice guests, it takes hardly any effort to make our home more welcoming and tidy.
6. Establish a list of at least 60 staple recipes and rotate in a 12 month menu - My meal plans ended up being 90 in number, which I organized by meat/flavor and rotated per week, then OAMC/d most of the meat after a Costco shop. This plan has kept me right on track, I blogged them all with the title "What's on the Table Tuesday".  It's been a life saver and will be doing it again next year!
7. Make as much food from scratch as possible to avoid unnecessary preservatives & packaging & cost - I have made the following from scratch this year:
~roasted red peppers    ~almond butter      ~homemade broth   ~oregano infused olive oil & vodka
~tomato sauce with stewed veggies and spices   ~dry soup mixes (no chemical or preservatives)

~roasted turkey for OAMC as well as lunch meat, instead of deli meat   ~homemade granola
~naturally flavored my plain yogurt   ~flavor infused rice in my rice cooker
~homemade dressings with veggies blended with mayo (bought with no unpronouncable ingredients)
~homemade tomato soup  ~homemade turkey stew   ~homemade fries in my Actifry

8. Improve yard, by installing brick patio, add BBQ pit & replace broken sidewalk - due to our finance goals changing, and a few unplanned for expenditures, this will be on hold for awhile, but still want to use discarded sand bags from the city to lay brick over, and will still utilize the annual summer deal we get an inside scoop on.
9. Finish improvements to upstairs bathroom - all finished as per this post.

Stewardship of My Body
10. Create a list of weekly weight loss motivators/challenges to last through year - although I stopped following the list after a few months I have in other ways built up some of these as habits and that was what I wanted to do, was create more awareness of my actions and develop good habits. I work out on the treadmill twice a week unless I walk significant amounts outside the house.  I wake up at 6 am to do weights or pilates at least 2 times per week, aim for 4 times per week. I snack way less and more healthy when I do, drink more water and less sugary drinks, eat in moderation and no longer eat based on how much I've worked out. I eat more clean foods (partly 'less processed', partly based on the Maker's Diet).
11. Lose 20lbs and maintain that weight - I have lost 12 lbs and with my new 'whole health' perspective I am confident I can shed the rest of the weight.
12. Try a Zumba class to make being active enjoyable again - I did not have a chance to try this after all, but with running becoming more enjoyable again I'm not too worried.  A friend of mine is hoping to get trained as a Zumba instructor and so I look forward to still trying this one day, and as her student would be even better!
13. Create/maintain a better daily health routine - I have to love my body and not just my image, my body is also affected by how I treat my skin, my teeth, taking my vitamins, etc. I have remarkedly improved in this area and actually have reduced the amount of nose bleeds I normally get due to taking allery medication and nasal flushing habits. My hip hasn't been a problem all year, probably due to increased activity and vitamins.

Stewardship of My Earth
14. Assist composting with more room in yard & kitchen caddy - we removed a bush to make room for a large compost area and I recycled plastic containers to make my own kitchen caddy.
15. Grow my own vegetables, fruit, herbs or purchase from Farmer’s Market - my experiment with container gardening wasn't as successful as I'd hoped, my carrots and peas were tiny and my peppers never came in at all, but I got a bush of oregano I have to end up giving most of it away!  I did learn from it though and hope to make modifications to make it more successful next year.  And I did hit the farmers market a few times, which was mostly good, although worms in the broccoli was not something I was a fan of.  Having a 1000 ml container of honey for $5 I do like!
16. Have a 100 mile meal once a month - I wasn't nearly as diligent as I'd hoped I would be with this, meat is the hardest to be intentional about so I hope realizing that I can do better than 4 meals per year next year.
17. Use organic/natural herbicides & pesticides - with container gardening I didn't have to use pesticides and I did find an organic herbicide but due to the frequent rainy weather I ended up manually pulling all our weeds this year.  That's a natural weed killer :)
18. Find 3 more ‘One Million Acts of Green’ I can try - it was hard to find 3 because most of what' left on the list is pretty major. I wanted to try conserving more water (which I learned about during my Justice Journey), turning off/unplugging my computer - and as many other appliances as I can remember - daily, and drying my clothes instead of using the dryer. I did somewhat well with the appliances, water conservation I could do better in some areas but I've really tried to multi-use cleaning water and we also got a free kit from the City of Winnipeg to attach to our shower heads to reduce water.  I dried a few pieces of clothes on our inside clothes line but didn't even get one whole load on the outside line for drying.  I blamed the moist weather we seemed to get every other day in the summer, but I'm sure I could have found a way. Another one to try next year.

Stewardship of My Talents/Purpose
19. Blog truth insights I receive - these are fewer and farther between than they used to be, but I believe I'm sharing a different kind of insight now...when I get a chance to blog. My time and my insights have mostly been shared now with my Recovery group every Friday night.
20. Start focusing on developing my other creative tendancies other than papercrafts  - things I've created in the last year:
~ frames for my bathroom     ~ bracelet for myself    ~ started sewing a purse from old tank tops
~ started saving old clothes for pieces of a quilt I'm going to sew  ~ wrote a poem
~ created our 2011 Christmas photo card

21. Capture memories in scrapbooks and photobooks, finishing at least one of each - I couldn't finish my wedding scrapbook because the type of pages used by that album are extinct! I might have to try ebay. But I did finish a dating 'scrapbook' that I did through blurb books, it has the ease of creating a photo book but I could use digital scrapbooking pretties to make it look at some points like a scrapbook.
22. Continue at least one entry per journal per month - I only did this about every other month, but it's something I still want to strive at.
Stewardship of My Communities
23. Set aside at least 2 hrs per week for quality time with Sean, not including date nights - this may have been a bit ambitious in hindsight, maybe a total of 6 hours per month is more reasonable. We did however spend a lot of time serving next to each other, which was definitely quality time :)
24. Donate blood at least once - due to my tattoo retouch I wasn't allowed to give until September....when I got crazy busy.  Gotta try for this one again next year.
25. Volunteer to help someone with something they can’t do for themselves 2x per year - have done more than 2 times this year! Puppy fostering for several months, giving rides to friends without a vehicle, we even tried to pay for someone in financial need to be able to take the Financial Peace course but this term no one needed our donation.
26. Babysit one or some of my nieces/nephew(s) at least once - babysat all of them once and the girls twice.
27. Organize/host at least one gathering of friends every other month - this was completely on pace, actually ahead of my goal, until September hit, but most of my 'gatherings' have been one-on-one with girlfriends since then.
28. Invite at least two couples from Church into our home for a meal - yay! I got a 100% on this one! Although technically one was in our backyard not IN our home :)
29. Volunteer in mentorship opportunities at Church - well....there is that little thing I do called Celebrate Recovery every Friday night.

Stewardship of My Growth
30. Step out of my comfort zone, and any time I get a case of ‘that’s not me’s’, attempt to try whatever it is anyway - nothing significant in this area comes to mind...of course I could be getting better at not labeling myself in the first place.
31. Learn to play guitar - I received another lesson this summer and realized I need much shorter nails to keep that up. Oh, and more time.
32. Read all non-fiction books on my shelf - got through 2 of the 6 and had another 5 added to my shelf :(
33. Improve my photography skills - this may have to be a backburner, it's been on my list for far too many years now, with no time put to this at all really.  But maybe if I put it on my list I'll actually be reminded that it's important enough to be on my list, and give it a whirl during some free time, lol.
34. Media fast one day per month - I actually completely forgot about this one after my fast in the Spring, but I've probably 'accidently' done this most months.
35. Keep up prayer journal and bible study blog - well, unfortunately the same tale, same sad ending for this goal.  However I did create a prayer 'checklist' on my iPhone, one for all the important people in my life and other prayer requests that come up, so when I'm staring at my phone looking for something to entertain me while bored, I can be prompted with who needs prayer for what. I did also start listening to the New Testament on CD in the car and I finished the whole NT just a few days ago. I should get the OT version for next year.

Stewardship of Living My Life
36. Read to relax and be entertained in a healthy way - only got through one fiction book
37. Take a trip with hubby to Las Vegas - no trips until all but vehicle and house debt is paid off.

38. Go to at least one Folklorama pavilion - yup, went with mom and sisters
39. Go out on the town by myself3 times - only did 2 out of 3 times, but I got a mani-pedi one time! No art gallery this year though, maybe next year.
40. Take at least 4 hours per month to pamper myself - as I wrote in one of my last posts, pampering myself hasn't been quite as important to me as it once was. I still should make some time now and then to unwind in a bubble bath though.

Can't wait to start on my next list!

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