Summer Goals (& a question for you)

Did you have a fitness goal for May?  My May fitness project went moderately well.  My aim was to get 100 points on my chart, and I got 82.  I didn’t record my food often enough, but I did run/walk 41 miles, which felt good.  I also lost 2 pounds during May– only five more til I’m back where I was a year or so ago.  Hooray!

A book I read in May that was an encouragement was Trim Healthy Mama.  It pulls together a lot of the ideas I’ve been trying to incorporate lately such as eating healthy fat, avoiding wheat, and decreasing the number of carbs in general in my diet.

The book really hammered on the necessity of drastically reducing the amount of processed sugar in your diet if you’re serious about losing weight.  The less your body has to compensate for spikes in blood sugar, the less fat you’ll store. I really think that idea alone is why I lost two pounds in May.

Because of these ideas, I think that I’ll change my June goals just a bit.  I’m keeping the fitness goals, and am still going to track my food.  But I’m going to give myself a point for each gluten free day, and a point for each day that I avoid sugar.  (I am still allowing myself a bit of honey in my coffee each day.)  I’ve also decided to accept my evening snack as a normal part of the day, and will continue to balance that by aiming for one salad meal a day.  Here’s my chart for June. (Customize your own here.)

Fitness for June


Other random goals for this summer:

  • Write for at least an hour (before facebook!) each day
  • Read for 30 minutes a day
  • Shut the computer for at least 3 hours a day
  • Lunch-time read-aloud with the kids
  • Help Amanda do some freezer cooking before her baby comes

To carve out more book-writing time, I’ll be blogging a bit less this summer. So I’d love to get a little feedback from you about what you find most useful and interesting.  Is it recipesMoney-saving ideas? Fitness inspiration? Adoption postsSewing projects? Something else?

Will you take a moment to add a word or two below?  I so much appreciate your feedback!


  1. I enjoy everything. The fitness helped me think that it was possible. I tried it because I had read your blog. And I wondered if it was possible for me. I “ran” 5 miles this morning. So thrilled. This is something I WOULD NEVER and I repeat, WOULD NEVER have believed I could do. Enjoy our blogs about child rearing even though I am done child rearing and moving into adult advising, praying, etc. Praying for and loving those grandkids. Trying to build a spiritual fortress in my heart. So all your blogs, when I get a chance to read them are usually helpful or at least fun. I am not as good at the cooking. And I have to eat gluten free. I’ve been diagnosed with Celiac.

  2. I came to know your blog after ordering your book, “A Sane Woman’s Guide to Raising a Large Family.” I was pregnant or soon to be pregnant with our sixth. The last four were born in four year (twins helped that equation!), and I found myself needing HELP… help for organizing, encouragement, how to stay afloat in this new life I found myself in. Your book was very helpful and super encouraging, practical, too. A surprise was that it also really burdened my heart for adoption. I’m not sure what the Lord has planned with that. Your blog is the one I read the most and check nearly everyday. I really like the “way” you mother… with love and fun but also discipline and organization. I see you as a mentor and someone to learn from. You are honest and vulnerable in your posts, and I respect this very much. That in itself is encouraging; I am not alone. What I appreciate most from your blog is anything your write about parenting/mothering, anything that is encouragement based, everything about homeschooling, any organizational tips (charts, schedules, how-to, etc… this is my weakness!), your adoption posts and people’s comments, saving money esp. regarding grocery shopping and big family needs (furniture, college, etc…) and I love free stuff, so the give-aways,too. Since you’ve been mothering for awhile and have a large family, I feel this gives you credibility. My oldest in only 10, so I appreciate being able to learn from you. Also, when I searched for large family books (to help me and this is how I found your book), I noticed there is a VERY SMALL selection period of large family, how-to mother, anything… books! Or at least I didn’t find them! I’m sure others appreciate different things but for me it’s all about what you write about being a mother w/ a big, young, homeschooling family. Tips and help for how to be a wife in this season of life would be super helpful, too. How does one find, pay a babysitter to get a date w/hubby. That kind of stuff. THANK YOU! I’ll be reading your blog whether you post once a day or once a week. It’s that helpful and my favorite.

  3. I am sorry, Just one short correction. Just wanted to say I enjoy “your” blog instead of “our.” Apparently, that little letter escaped my notice. I agree that you are honest and that is sooo helpful. When you mention your realities, it helps others know that their world is a normal world. And that God does not automatically change all the hardships with children just because we are diligent. They are still human with many attitudes. Thank you.

  4. I enjoy almost all of them, but that isn’t helpful at the moment. Recipes, adoption, and nitty-gritty realities of life are generally the ones that interest me most.

  5. Like your stories about your family and the realities, challenges, and things that helped you along the way or you have had to change. Not real big on the food items you have since I love my Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbooks and usually use those when looking for a new recipe. The posts of how you have done home improvement projects are usually interesting because you find a way to do them cheaply which is something everyone needs right now. Exercise ones are interesting but since I have no plans of changing my exercise routine (2 miles walking spring/summer and 45 minutes walking in place fall/winter) and since eat little meat with tons of vegs and fruit recipes are a challenge anyway- read through but that is about it.
    I enjoy your posts for different reasons on different days but understand why you feel the need to cut back–ever considered having regular contributors?
    LOVE the ones when you ask for feedback such as books we recommend, etc.

  6. Forgot my goals for summer months:
    1. Talk to all my children at least once a month.
    2. Visit my mother and father once a month
    3. Spend time talking with my children who live at home (at least 30 minutes a day each)
    4. Make one new recipe once every two weeks.
    5. Finish a cross stitch project once a month
    6. Donate at least half of my books
    7. Mow yard at least once every 10 days
    8. Spend one day with each of grandchildren

  7. Love all of it except the giveaways… I am not eligible for those anyway. Though I do understand why you do those ;-).
    So maybe do a little bit of everything? With perhaps some golden oldies? Recipe/home improvement reruns? Oh and please have Amanda and Erika over, maybe for like a (bi) weekly corner or something. I love reading from them, since we’re in the same stage of life.
    My summer goals are
    1 to finish the school year as sanely as possible (4 more weeks)
    2 run at least 3 times a week
    3 do the Color Run 5k
    4 walk at least 30 mins each day that I don’t run
    5 sew
    6 sleep
    7 read

  8. Elizabeth says:

    I especially appreciate posts on adoption, recipes, and just everyday life at your house! Your insights on everyday life are very helpful! Hope you have an enjoyable summer!

  9. I always come here looking for encouragement along the way. You have such a great perspective on living a Mom / Wife / Christian kind of life. You feel like a friend. I have been encouraged and inspired. Just write what you find on your heart and I will be happy. Hope you enjoy all the moments of summer.

  10. Janey Backer says:

    Amazon is selling the book for $35, yikes! Is that correct???

    I love your home projects, fitness/healthy living and family activity posts the most.

    I am still planning my summer but I know that each of my three big kids will have one day a week to learn to cook with me. So at the end of the summer they should hopefully have 6-10 meals depending on repeating the menus.

    • Mary the link for your Google doc is not working. Not sure if that is a google issue or the link???

      • Fixed the link to the google doc (I think) but I wasn’t able to change the price of the book on amazon. 😉 You’re right– it’s spendy. But along with the diet info, there are lots of recipes…if you think of it as two books in one, maybe it isn’t that bad. It is 650 pages.

  11. Cecilia says:

    If I had to pick my two favorites it would be adoption and crafty projects.

  12. Family stuff. Life as a mom. Household running.

  13. I enjoy your blog and especially like the posts about recipes, sewing projects, and money saving ideas. And I also like your home improvement projects too. Loved your idea for using old jeans to make pot holders and have made many of those for myself and also as gifts.

  14. Adoption stuff, especially how to talk to kids at different ages about the difficult parts of their stories. Also frugal ideas! One of my plans for summer is to clean out a closet every rainy day and send lots of stuff to thrift stores . . . :o)

  15. Elizabeth says:

    I really enjoy all the content on your blog. I’m not married and don’t have kids, but I was raised in a Christian homeschool family and I just enjoy reading about big happy families. 🙂 My favorite of your posts, though, are what I would call self-help or personal improvement. Where you get honest about your strengths and areas for improvement and how God is working your life. It’s very encouraging to me, kind of like reading a devotional online. I really appreciate when bloggers are honest and open up about how they are approaching challenges in their lives. It’s inspiring and encouraging.

  16. Enjoy your summer…I enjoyed reading your goals and always love your frugal ideas.

  17. I already gave my two cents worth but wanted to ask if you could post a bit about how you talk to your children about the why behind your different lives, and how you help them handle the ‘you haven’t seen that?’ or “you haven’t read that?” I am finding it newly hard (my oldest daughter is 12) to help my children navigate the pressure of the world to have seen, heard, read everything that is out there, all the jokes and slang and camp skits that are spoofs of things they haven’t seen. And most of this is from the Christian community- I find that we are living differently even from most of them. I assume you find yourself there at times too. If I just called you weird I hope you are taking it as a compliment. Mary, thanks so much for your beacon of hope – it is so good to know that there are other moms out there who are choosing ‘different’ lives. I hate that my convictions cost my children – but the other option of just living like everyone else would cost so much more. How do you handle these issues. I’ll be her reading what you write, take your time and thanks for sharing life with us.

    • This would be helpful to me, too. My oldest 10 recently told his aggravating brother (5) to shut up. We don’t say that in our family, but he told me how hard it is because his Christian friends say that and other things we don’t “all the time.”
      Thank you!

      • I’ll write something soon…it is definitely challenging.


        PS– My youngest daughter thinks ‘shut up’ is a cuss word. I kinda love that…. 🙂

  18. I love, love, love hearing about your “systems” for things. We are going through growing pains of sorts here (5 children: 3 boys, 4 and under now…) and my methods are needing to change a bit.

    And, of course, I love hearing about money saving, financial goals, and home improvement.