My most important goal for 2018:

Octavius Baby Foot The Prudent Homemaker

Have a healthy pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby in late spring!


 February Rain in the Garden The Prudent Homemaker

Garden Goals:

1. Take out dead our peach tree and replace it. We may take out both peach trees in the back, as the other appears to be dying as well. I learned in my extension service classes that peach and apricot trees only last around 10 years here. We’ve had these trees for 10 years. They are the two above covered in pink blossoms, The one you see on the right died last year and the one on the left is the other we will most likely take out too.

2. Plant many more flowers for cutting and enjoying in the garden. I want to grow thousands of flowers in the garden this year for arrangements thorughout the year.

3. Plant more Swiss chard, lettuce, green onions, snow peas, Armenian cucumbers, alpine strawberries, squash, and beets than in past years.

4. Fix sprinkler issues and reseed the lawn in the bare spots.

5. Find and fix all leaks in the drip lines.


White Embroidery Detail The Prudent Homemaker


Sewing Goals:


1. Sew curtains for my bedroom. I bought the fabric over a decade ago, shortly after we moved into the house. I need to buy lining and something to hang the curtains (I think we will need to make boxes). I want to get this project done this year. We’ve had shades hanging for years, but they broke last year and I’m ready for my curtains to finally be up!

2. Sew the decorative bed pillow that I embroidered a cover for last year (pictured in-progress above).

3. Sew baby clothes using patterns and material I have on hand. I gave away almost all of our baby clothing, save a few favorite things I had stored in one box.

4. Sew four dresses for myself. (These have been on my list for a few years now; this year I want to finish the ones I’ve started and sew two more, and I already have the fabric to do it).

5. Sew birthday gifts for the children using fabric I have on hand. My girls have requested several things and I already have a list of what they want.


Purchase Goals:

These are my planned purchases for the year. While I’m sure we’ll have other needs, these are ones that I already know will be part of my purchases for the year:

1. Purchase a few baby clothing items for the new baby. I’ve already registered at Target so that I can get a 15% off coupon to use towards baby purchases the last two months of pregnancy (they let you use one towards what is left on your registry at that time, but the 15% is only good for ONE purchase. I’ll definitely buy diapers and possibly purchase some onesies and socks at that time). I also will look at garage sales for needed items. I was recently gifted enough hand-me-down 0-3 month onesies that I don’t need any in that size.

2. Purchase a car seat for the baby.

3. Buy the following clothing items for myself: sandals, black flats, nursing bras, and a few more maternity items (I’ll look for those in thrift stores) for warm weather wear. It gets warm here early in the year. I am needing new-to-me maternity clothing in a smaller size; I donated all of my old maternity clothing last year.

4. Purchase new shoes for the family.

5. Purchase tarragon and tomato plants for the garden. I’ll also buy more dirt for the garden; removing tree roots will mean I’ll need dirt to fill in those spots.


Financial Goals:

1. Refund emergency fund. This was depleted last year after some hospital bills.  We have other goals we’d like to add to this category, but this is the first and most important one, and we won’t do any of the others until after this one is accomplished.


What are your goals for this year?



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  1. What a lovely surprise! I hope this pregnancy will be easier than your last one, praying for you and your growing family!

  2. Congratulations on the upcoming birth of another beautiful blessing! I need to sit down and actually write out our goals for this year!

  3. Cogratulations!! I can’t wait to see what name you come up with. Your children have such lovely names!

    How much do you like your emergency fund to have? I have 2 months worth right now, but I feel like that’s not nearly enough.

  4. Oh I had to look at the date of the post and it is today so HOORAY and prayers for a healthy pregnancy and birth and for thousands of flowers in your garden.

  5. One of the biggest goals I have is to “build” a new bathroom in a storage area and redo my bathroom tub. I am more disabled than I was and I must have my tub removed so I can safely shower.
    I will be continuing the re-wire of my old house.
    Purge, purge and more purging. I have collected all of my life and I MUST get rid of these things that are just too much for me now. Letting things go is one of the hardest things I do. I have hundreds upon hundreds of books. I want them all. *laughing* The will take over my house soon if I don’t pass them on.
    Brandy, congratulations on the new baby. As my late mother-in-law always said when I told her we were having another babe…”God sends another loaf when there is another mouth.”. *smile*
    Thanks for all you do.

  6. Congratulations! Do you use cloth diapers at all?

    Happy sewing and gardening, I look forward to seeing what you create. 🙂

  7. Congratulations! Babies are such a wonderful blessing.

    Your goals all sound wonderful. We have curtains up, but still haven’t put up blinds after over 5 years here. On my want list is blinds. We have a street light right outside our window. While it doesn’t bother my husband, it does bother me.

    I’m returning to college after a year break and my main goal is to find a balance of that and home life.

  8. So exciting to have a little one on the way. I pray you both stay healthy and labor is quick (unlike mine that was 36 hrs long)
    Buy our dream home with 5 acres AND rehab it for wheelchair accessibility as we know I will be in a wheelchair due to spine being twisted, just a matter of time. We priced a house to build and then buy land for that house it it was hitting around $400,000.We had set the budget for $350,000 so we looked around and found one close to our plans but it’s AMISH…which means NO electric NO plumbing (nice 2 seat outhouse though) and NO heat as they used wood stoves and took them with them. Even after receiving the estimate for the work needing done including a complete new roof. We are still under the budget I set. BUT I want to replace the “cash” outlays that will be coming in the next couple months. SO FRUGAL 2018 is the motto.

  9. Congratulations, I am so excited for you and your beautiful family. May you be blessed with an easy pregnancy and delivery.

  10. Congratulations on your pregnancy! I’ve been reading your blog for the last 3-4 years now, and you’re a great inspiration for me. I’m really happy for you!

    My/our goals for our family are:
    – getting healthier financially (finding a new job, finding ways to save up more money – I’m still impressed how you manage to feed your family with 200-250 USD per month)
    – getting healthier physically (i.e. eating healthier, hubby and me: losing 10-15 lbs, exercising regularly)
    – growing more of our own food (and starting the tomatoes and bell peppers earlier this year; also, getting a few more hens for egglaying, taking out two old apple trees that don’t bear much fruit any more, so we’ve got enough space for potatoes and black beans – I’ll try the “potato box” this year. They say you can harvest about 50 lbs worth of potatoes from one box of about 3×3 ft.)
    – Doing some renovations around the house (guest room, kids’ play room)

    Have a great day and best wishes from the South West of Germany 🙂

  11. Wow, congratulations! Prayers for you and your growing family.

    I started cross-stitching last year, and I’d love to start embroidery this year. Your beautiful work always inspires me.

  12. Baby! How exciting for you all! Many blessings to you all!

    I enjoy reading your blog… thanks for sharing your goals and aspirations! Best wishes!

  13. Congratulations on your upcoming bundle of joy! That is wonderful news.
    I wanted to ask you about your emergency fund. How you do you calculate how much to put into an emergency fund? Do you have enough to cover a certain number of months and would that be for all expenses and food or do you only cover expenses? I don’t have an emergency fund but I think it would be a good idea to have one. Do you build your fund with any extra that would normally be put towards debt? As much as I think it’s a great idea, I just can’t figure out how to do both – build an emergency fund and pay off debt –
    at the same time.
    Thank you so much for all of the information you post. I read your posts when I am starting to feel overwhelmed and panicking. I always feel better afterwards and I feel I can manage and there will be an end to this one day. Thank you so much!

  14. Congratulations! I follow you on Pinterest and thought you might be pregnant from some of the things you pinned. 🙂

  15. Congratulations on the impending new addition to your family.

    We, too, want to work on rebuilding our emergency fund, which we used to also pay a lot of medical bills this year.
    I’m going to try growing more in my greenhouse this year, and use some new strategies I hope will combat voles in the raised beds. I also want to plant more flowers and just grow more in general.
    I also want to establish a more regular practice of Bible study — it has been rather haphazard the last few years and I want to be more disciplined.

  16. Congratulations. How exciting. Are you feeling well?

    Our financial house is out of order. We, too, had a reduction in income and I haven’t figured it all out yet.

    Last year we started an all family and all friends picnic Sunday once a month in the pleasant months in the Midwest, so May – November. I will set plans to continue that and thus a tradition is born.

    I have enrolled in some community ed classes, accounting and google for business. Completion of these is a goal.

    I didn’t garden much last spring. I will be much more diligent this year. Farmers markets can’t compete with back yard gardens. I won’t quit going. I love the farmers market.

    With the newly announced engagement of our oldest son, there will be a wedding to plan.

    Lastly, I plan to paint the kitchen and dining room. The wall paper is very tattered.

  17. Congratulations to you and your family!

    While 2017 was filled with many blessings, it was rough on savings, emergency funds and health.
    This year my goals are to take better care of myself, by adding more greens and getting in at least 5 workouts a week. I mentally feel so much better with prayer and a little cardio.
    This year for 10 persons who will need a birthday gift and Christmas gift, I am budgeting $10 per person, plus a homemade gift with items I have already (ie, my SIL wants sturdy placemats, my uncle a Star Trek themed pillow or pot holder..)
    I am going to work diligently on recouping savings and my emergency fund. I have a goal of June to have the emergency fund replenished.
    And finally, more gardening and thought out landscaping. Now that I know your Swiss chard soup is something my husband enjoys (It is the only way he enjoys chard) I will be planting more chard too.

    Happy New Year!

  18. Congratulations to you and your family!

    While 2017 was filled with many blessings, it was rough on savings, emergency funds and health.
    This year my goals are to take better care of myself, by adding more greens and getting in at least 5 workouts a week. I mentally feel so much better with prayer and a little cardio.
    This year for 10 persons who will need a birthday gift and Christmas gift, I am budgeting $10 per person, plus a homemade gift with items I have already (ie, my SIL wants sturdy placemats, my uncle a Star Trek themed pillow or pot holder..)
    I am going to work diligently on recouping savings and my emergency fund. I have a goal of June to have the emergency fund replenished.
    And finally, more gardening and thought out landscaping. Now that I know your Swiss chard soup is something my husband enjoys (It is the only way he enjoys chard) I will be planting more chard too.

    Happy New Year!

  19. Congratulation!

    I just posted my goals for 2018. I have some major financial goals of paying off my husband’s graduate school loan and paying down our mortgage.

    Take care and Happy New Year!

  20. Oh my goodness!!!! Congratulations! I didn’t see that coming at all! And, from the fact that you gave away your maternity clothes and baby clothes, neither did you!!!! What a blessing!

  21. Oh Brandy, that’s such wonderful news! Congratulations!

    Some of my goals are up on my blog, others I will be keeping private and may or may not share as they are completed.

    Best wishes and prayers for a healthy pregnancy, mama, baby and an uneventful delivery.

  22. Well Congratulations I had no idea you were expecting again! Or maybe I just didn’t see it posted ! How exciting for you and your family!

  23. Your first goal surprised me a little–congratulations. Wasn’t thinking along those lines just yet.
    I have not had much time for thinking of goals for the year, but I know a few off the top of my head. Decluttering is always #1- just never seem to get ahead on that, no matter how hard I try. I would also like to spend more carefully this year. I was gifted quite a few new clothing items for Christmas so should need nothing much at all for a while. I haven’t even found time to try on my new things yet to see how they fit. I would like to do more sewing this year also–it is something I have always enjoyed but have gotten away from lately. I also need to continue to stay as healthy as possible, which means getting myself to yoga class twice a week. I was one of only 6 in class this morning, but there were 40 mph winds and blowing snow–and 11 degrees! Worse is coming.

  24. We would eventually like to have a year’s worth of money. But we will do it one step at a time. The first goal is a month, then 2 months, then 3, etc. Hopefully, we won’t have to use it again before we can build up more, but that’s what it’s for, too.

  25. An emergency fund should cover all expenses; we eventually would like to have a years’ worth, but an emergency always comes up before then. We do it one step at a time: a goal for a month’s worth of bills, then 2 months, then 3, etc.

    I think you can do both an emergency fund and pay off debt at the same time, even if it’s just a little bit at a time. If you don’t have an emergency fund, you’ll end up going into debt for the emergency. I find having an amount automatically deducted from my checking amount into my savings account each month makes it easier to save without any thought. That’s only a small amount, though; if we are able to earn more than we need for expenses in a month, anything extra will go into the emergency fund. Keeping our expenses down as much as possible (like our reduced grocery budget) will help us to increase our emergency fund.

  26. Congratulations on your pregnancy! What a wonderful event to happen in the spring 🙂

    My goal this year is to improve my health, plant lots of flowers in my flower beds and to develop some (or one) new hobby.

    Best of luck and good wishes on the last months of your pregnancy. So happy for you and your sweet family 🙂

  27. I’m expecting too… I’ve found Amazon prime to be the least expensive place to order diapers (at least for Huggies, which fit my babies thighs the best), so I’m currently stocking up every month. I’ve found it to be even cheaper than Costco or Sam’s club… I’m getting a case for less than $30 when I have a standing subscription…

  28. Congratulations! You are now going to pass our family up with #9! I’m so excited for you.

    I have several goals for 2018, but don’t have them in formal form. One thing that is happening is one daughter will finish home-school high school. So, there are all the classes to finish for the program I have her signed up in, and a party in the spring. My husband will take the graduation pictures, as he did for the daughter who graduated a few years ago.

    My sister and I are taking my daughter and hers to Washington DC in April, as a senior trip and because we are doing government this year. I need to make sure we have everything ready for that.

    I plan to grow a good garden in my backyard again this year. I will order seeds pretty soon and hope to get a small greenhouse going so I can grow my own starts as I used to do before I moved. I will can and freeze everything I can grow and get my hands on again this summer. We plan to stay home more this summer than we did last year, so I will have more time to enjoy the garden.

    We will go camping a few times, I hope.

    There are more, but that’s all I can think of off the top of my head. Again, congratulations!

  29. Best Wishes for you, Brandy, and the new baby! Will this be beautiful child number nine?

    My goals: I haven’t really thought about this. (Yes, I know it’s a little belated). I think that I want to enjoy vision and life to the fullest (I want to find something special to really appreciate every day). I would like to finish assembling the 7photo albums I am making for cousins. I would like to get things sorted, at least upstairs. I’d like to invite special friends over for a lovely dinner, perhaps in summertime. And some friends over for a tea. I hope that all 22 of my Itoh peonies bloom all at once. I would like to start selling some blooms to a florist. Brandy, have you thought about selling some of your flowers? I am still deliberating about the new camera lens –– the insurance will cover it but it won’t work with my present camera. I had hoped to upgrade my camera but have qualms about doing so this year. I’d like to go to the mountains 3 or 4 or 5 or more times in the spring, summer and fall. I’d like to learn how to sew again; I’d like to play the piano every day. I would like to do especially kind or nice things for
    my friends who have been so kind to me these past few months. I’d like to live on the minimum money possible while being happy. I don’t need much. Ann

  30. Congratulations on your pregnancy. Is this #9?
    My husband made more than expected and I just started a full time job. Priorities are 1. Paying of our debt, increased contributions to retirement and saving. Once that’s squared away we want to take a nice vacation and I want establish monthly charity contributions. We have to fly to see family and friends so I need to budget for that and home maintenance and improvements. One benefit of being financially challenged is learning to live on a shoestring. When times are good, there’s excess.

  31. Congratulations! A new baby, so precious!

    My goals, since I’m in a brand new house- I hope to get a garden planted in Feb. to continue working on saving more to pay for my daughters college bills. Those are at the top of my list right now.

  32. Congratulations! I have to say I personally feel very blessed that you continue this invaluable, informational, and loving blog while you are so busy. Blessings to all of you!

  33. Oh Brandy congratulations on your soon to be new addition to your home, what a blessing and God will provide 😀 .

    Our major goal for 2018 is to see if we can improve on our savings rate and be more frugal to save more for the deposit for our home.

    Other things we would like to achieve are –
    – Keep stocking up our grocery and household needs up to a 12 month level. We have now started a second pantry in our small workers cottage to extend our storage area using gorilla shelves.
    – Preferably spend less money in all budget categories.
    – Stock up our freezer with meat when we see it come on sale as it is getting low on stocks.
    – Work on building up the rest of our vegetable beds as we harvest to raise them more with more horse and cow manure as our budget permits.
    – Minimise travelling and combine our errands more to save on fuel costs.
    – To price check more between grocery, other stores and Ebay to get the best deals we can get on all household items.
    – To sew more items for the home being fabric napkins and other projects to use some of my fabric stash.
    – Generally enjoy life and be thankful for all the blessings God gives us each and every day.

  34. Best wishes for a healthy happy pregnancy and 2018! Your posts add so much to my days! The beauty and sensibility that you bring to daily life is so inspiring.It’s how I seek to live,also.I’m retired now,but I love hearing about your children,the things you sew them,their activities.. and your gardening skills just knock my socks off!!

  35. Congratulations, Brandy on your pending new arrival!

    I don’t usually create a formal goal list for the year, but do have a couple things I’d like to accomplish this year. I’d like to start crafting more, to build up my gift stash a bit more. Having ready made gifts will save me money when I suddenly need to come up with a gift last minute and don’t have the time to make it. I’d like to work on getting our garden area designed and built this year. It just didn’t get done last year like I’d hoped. I’d like to get a more formal plan together for our month long European trip my hubby and I will be taking in April of 2019. We are already budgeting and slowly buying things we will need for the trip. And last but not least, I’d like to help my daughter get more settled into high school. This has been a very slow process and the staff at her school are not being as helpful or understanding as they should be. I hope they get on board quickly in the New Year or there will be a battle waged! They picked the wrong Special Needs Mom to screw with, that’s for sure!!!

  36. Kathryn McGarry when we went through our Chapter 13 bankruptcy (slow pay) the Judge, our lawyer, and the debt counselor told us to only make the minimum required on the debt and focus on the emergency fund until we had 3 months of basic bills. THEN split the money between the two. You will always go in debt with emergencies if you don’t have a fund.. START small other wise you will stop saving according to Clark Howard. Basic bills is the bare minimum you would need… NO cable, cheap cell phone with payment $50 or less if you don’t have a landline phone along with other things.

  37. We’ve also found Amazon Prime to be the best deal on diapers. Especially if you’re not brand loyal and will buy whatever they have on sale and offer coupons for.

  38. I buy the Target brand diapers when they go on sale. They are cheaper than Sam’s Club and Costco. It costs me about $200 a year for diapers and I buy the Costco wipes on sale. A box from them is $19.99 (and goes on sale for $16.99 a couple of times a year) and it lasts me 9 months.

  39. Congratulations! So wonderful for you!

    If you’re not into cloth diapers, but are ok with laundry, we’ve found that cloth wipes save a bundle. We just use a package of inexpensive wash cloths (though friends have made some out of flannel in the same size). I use baby shampoo and an old plastic wipe container to contain them. We can usually get 6-8 in a box at a time. This has saved us a lot of money, and in the end, we can use them for cleaning rags when we’re done with the baby phase of life.

    Alternatively, we’ve discovered that our local children’s council has a diaper and wipe bank. There’s no financial restrictions, so it’s a resource we can use (we make just above the threshold for government assistance programs). There’s a limit on the number of packages you can get in a year, but it’s a great resource. Maybe there’s something similar in your area?

  40. Congratulations on your growing family! What a sweet blessing! 🙂 God bless your year ahead to be fruitful & filled with joy!

  41. Congratulations! You and your readers might enjoy the blog and Instagram account of “To many children.” Ness lives in England with her 12 children. I think you would enjoy seeing how she manages her big family! It’s quite lovely.

  42. Congrats Brandy!! I’m sure you might have thought Octavius was the last one as you gave away your baby items but I guess this little blessing had other plans. 😉 Hope you have an easy and healthy delivery. Can’t wait to find out what name you are going to choose. I love all the name you’ve chosen so far!

  43. Side note: would you ever consider doing a post on how to raise a baby frugally? In today’s world, it seems like we have to have so many items for a baby but what are the necessities and what are the frills? Like how many onesies does a baby actually need?

  44. Congratulations on the new baby. Back in the days before birth control pills the standing joke was you’re sure to get pregnant if you get rid of maternity clothes and baby stuff.

  45. Katie, the common amount recommended is 3-6 mos. We had that- 6 mos. Then came 2013 & 2014. One thing after another and poof! We were starting over. We’re working toward a year now. It might take us the duration of our lives, lol, but 6 mos. just wasn’t enough when Murphy and his 5 cousins showed up! I don’t like the feeling of sweating razors. Scary.

  46. Congratulations! My husband was one of 9. He was #8. His mom desperately wanted #9 to be a boy. There were boys 1, 2, & 3. Then girls 4, 5, 6, & 7. Then my husband. But alas, he got another sister! He said the great part about that deal was that he never got hand-me-downs, had his own room most of the time (the girls were all upstairs in a huge dorm style room), and when his dad retired, the two of them drove all over seeing the west. Personally, I love that his older brother instilled in him the need to put the toilet seat down so his sisters didn’t kill him!! The saddest part was that the last boy left in the house was 18 & hubs was only 8, I think. He got drafted to go to Vietnam. Hubs said he wouldn’t let go of his brother and bawled for hours when he left. He came back alive, but not really okay.

  47. This year’s goals include:
    Being 15 minutes early to personal and professional engagements
    Investing in quality relationships
    Cultivating a meditation practice
    Re-funding our Emergency Fund
    Reducing plastic use & waste


  48. One of my biggest goals outside of getting my yard put together after living here almost two years, is to buy my son and I new walking shoes. We live around 1 mile from the grocery store, and about 3 miles from the library and the center of town. We only have one vehicle, so he and I walk just about everywhere, and our shoes are needing replacing soon. I hope to go to Cabela’s Sporting Goods and getting us each a good sturdy pair.

  49. Congratulations on the new addition! I honestly don’t know how you manage to do so much! I come from a family of 5 children and my parents were really organized and kept us all on track but you home school, and maintain a huge garden along with raising (soon to be 9) children! You are truly a superwoman in every sense of the word!
    My main goal for 2018 is to get some part-time work in order to ease things a bit financially. I was retired early (and before I’d planned) so things were not as set as I would have liked. I’m trying to be flexible and look at a number of different possibilities – including some freelance type work that I’ve been meaning to try for years.
    Otherwise I intend to concentrate on my health – I’ve regained some of the weight that I’d lost so that is my first priority. My mobility is a bit compromised due to health issues but I’m going to do as much as possible to regain some strength and flexibility. Otherwise I intend to be as happy and as contented as possible – whatever life brings in 2018.

  50. So happy for you and your husband.

    I have simple but important goals for 2018…
    1. Finish losing the weight I gained last year
    2. Pay off remaining debts
    3. Rebuild the emergency fund
    4. Be able at attend a huge event with the entire family in March 2018 and again in 2019
    5. Owe our places
    6. Give and pray

  51. My Father was in Korea. He wasn’t okay, either. No-one comes back from war okay. All vets need our blessings.
    (If this sounds snarky, it’s not meant to be.)

  52. Let me add my congratulations to the list of well-wishers! Such exciting news! One of my sisters had eleven children and she’s been home schooling for over twenty years. There’s always something going on over there; never a dull moment!
    As for goals, the main one would be to save more money. Since my husband has been laid off, this is close to home at the moment.
    Another would be to read more, sew more and have more fun. (Too much work makes Debbie a dullard.) I’ve already started on this one.
    I’d like to walk more and add another pose or two to my yoga routine.
    I gave up on growing much besides herbs last year. I’m still trying to decide if I want to revisit this. We won’t be signing up for another CSA even though I thought it was good value. That money can buy a lot of vegetables at the farmers market.
    And, i’ve decided that I need to cut back my hours at the Summer job. I need to enjoy more of the Summer since it’s such a short season here. How to do that and save more money will be a challenge.

  53. Am so sorry. I know what’s that is like. My father came back from WWII. Never the same.

  54. Congratulations! I’m so excited for you and your family! Babies are a wonderful blessing!

    I’ve been working on making goals for the new year. My oldest son helped me set up a net worth tracker on Excel and I have been tracking accounts on that for two months now. It really is motivating for me to see the “big picture” and see the results from our small efforts at frugal living. Actually all the small things do add up as you have often noted on your blog! I am hoping to have the funds to remodel our kitchen this year. The house is 40 years old, we’ve lived here for 26 years and the original kitchen components need to be replaced.

    I also need to declutter, organize the family photos, and finish a few sewing projects. I want to strengthen family relationships by writing more letters and researching our family history.

    I hope you have a wonderful and successful year in 2018!

  55. Congratulations darling girl, such wonderful news, you truly are a natural mother, I wish you a safe pregnancy and birth of your new addition to your beautiful family.
    Kindest regards

  56. Congratulations on your wonderful news!

    My goals for this year are to make more gifts for my family: aprons for the grandchildren and my youngest daughter and a couple of cross-stitch patterns I would like to finish.

    Grow more vegetables and possibly fruit in our yard and get our yard in better shape after removing a tree last year.

    Replenish our emergency fund and pay off some debt.

    Take a trip to Tennessee to see my parents. I am putting money aside each pay period for this.

  57. What sweet news! Congratulations! One of my goals is to sew my first pieces of clothing this year. I’ve already bought the fabric and pattern. I just need to figure out how to go about it, then do it. I’m sending good wishes for a healthy pregnancy.

  58. Congratulations! We are looking for a fourth grandchild this coming summer, and praying all will be well, there, too. Best wishes and prayers for an easy pregnancy and healthy baby, Brandy.
    My goals:
    1. Replenish our emergency fund, too. We are also living on less this year, so it will take some effort.
    2. Lose some weight that crept up on me during the holidays. I’m pear shaped and short, so gaining only 6-10 pounds means my skirts and slacks no longer fit! I’ve gained about five, so it was close.
    3. Learn to use my time more efficiently.
    4. Make myself go on that elimination diet. I have an auto-immune disease, and I’ve been putting this off for too long.

  59. What wonderful news! Best wishes for a comfortable pregnancy, safe delivery, and good health for you and your (expanding) family in 2018!

  60. Congrats Brandy! I remember when you announced your pregnancy with Ivory.

    I have a question for you, and fellow readers. What are your baby necessities/must-have items? It seems as though lists of essentials is getting more extravagant and very expensive.

  61. Congratulations! Seeing your post made me smile!

    I retired in June, but the year was taken up with finding a house and moving, then the holidays. I have high hopes that I will accomplish a lot more in 2018.

    My goals for 2018:

    1. Take better care of my health. Lose weight, exercise more, eat better. One reason is that we want to go to Italy in 2019 and I want to be fit enough to enjoy it. A good motivator!
    2. Continue to pay extra on our mortgage each month.
    3. We want to plant some veggies and a few fruit trees this year.
    4. Get window coverings for the new house.
    5. Find a church home that we feel comfortable in.
    6. Continue to unpack and decorate.
    7. Keep all cupboards, drawers and closets organized.
    8. Buy less groceries. I buy almost everything on clearance or loss leader sales, but right now we need to eat up what we have.
    9. Read more books and start crafting more.
    10. Save all earned points on and Ibotta, etc. for Christmas gifts. Also, purchase/make items throughout the year. I want my December outlay to be minimal.

  62. Congratulations!!! I am so happy for you and your beautiful family. 🙂

    I wish we were local to you (we are in PA!) – I am about to have a baby in six weeks, I have an overabundance of baby clothes, and I won’t be needing my maternity items before long. Oh well. I hope some good opportunities come along. I bought very little this pregnancy despite having given away much of my maternity stuff, and then more boy items came along as well (this is my fourth boy – things are getting worn out).

    I hope it all goes well. I am finding this fifth full-term pregnancy more difficult, and I think you are a little older than I am. However, I think not being able to lose weight in between due to some health issues (resolved now) is a big part of that. In contrast, you have done an amazing job with that! I have some friends who actually found the kids they had at the end of their lineup easier than some of the middle ones, because they had so much more help, and they were in better shape (we are Catholic, large families are common in our crowd as well). I hope it is so for you!

  63. Congratulations!!

    We’re still trying to narrow things down, but his year we want to max our Roths again, take our kids on our first big family vacation (to Disney), replace our home’s HVAC system, and add to our car replacement fund.

  64. Congratulations on your new baby! Depending on where you live ,some grocery stores have baby clubs too and you can get freebies and discounts.

    My big goal this year is to get my garden put in. With clay soil it makes it difficult so I have to make raised beds. A big job!

  65. A huge congratulations to you and your family! How exciting! My goals for this year is to continue my diet/exercise regimen that I started in May of last year – I’ve lost 30 pounds and plan to keep it off. I also average 4.5 miles of walking per day. I want to up that to 5 miles. I don’t do all of this walking at once, but rather build it into my day – picking my son up from school, walking the dog, etc.

    I also plan to maximize our Roth IRAs and my children’s ESA accounts.

    Wishing you a safe and easy pregnancy and delivery!

  66. Please consider adding your instagram link to your Follow Me section. I like to go see the pics on occasion, and it would be great to have an easy link. I enjoy your writing and photos.

  67. Congrats! My goal is to re-fund my completely depleted emergency fund and to pay down my debt. I had horrific hospital bills also in 2017 that consumed my emergency fund and then some!

  68. Brandy,
    I’m relatively new reader. What are your kids names. I know Winter and Octavius but what are the others?

  69. Brandy:
    Congrats on the new baby! What exciting news and what a blessing.
    My goal for 2018 is to spend more time with my father in law. He is living in a facility that doesn’t provide much in the way of social interaction so many visits will be planned. This is a major goal since he is located 4 hrs from us and we have to pay for a hotel room each time we visit.
    Another goal is to replace some of my cheap, vinyl window blinds with wooden shutters- a few at a time. I have done 2 windows already and I so enjoy the wooden shutters.
    I plan to plant a ton of basil this year in the garden. I planted a lot last year and we used every bit so more is needed for this year. I also made and froze pesto which has come in handy this winter.
    Finally, I plan to make a major change in my working hours towards the end of this yer. My grandson will start kindergarten in September and I plan to re-arrange my working hours so I can pick him up from school and watch him until mom and dad get off work each day. I really hope this works out because spending time with my grandson is vitally important to me. He is growing up so fast. I only have the one grandchild so I really value my relationship with him.

  70. I was so excited to hear of your news and want to wish you and your family my sincerest congratulations!! I can’t wait to see what name you choose. I truly live vicariously through you Brandy, as my goal in life was to be a mother and homemaker. I wanted many children and to stay home and garden, sew and cook. Didn’t happen exactly that way but I am happy with what I have. I am very happy for you.
    My goals for this year include saving more for retirement, losing 20 lbs, visiting my aging parents more who live 5 hrs away, sewing every chance I get, and not letting my new duties at my nursing job, consume my life.
    Hoping you have an easy pregnancy and delivery, and that you and your new sweet baby are healthy 🙂

  71. You are a busy lady and I agree, disposable are such a wonderful invention. I did diaper service (years ago, of course) and even with that, I was not happy with cloth diapers. Disposable will save you a ton of time!!!

  72. Hi Kim! Have you looked into Airbnb has a possible money-saving option during your visits to your father in law? We list an apartment over our garage (with its own private entrance) for less than our local chain hotels cost, for a much more roomy space, full kitchen, laundry facilities, etc. I think folks aren’t as familiar with this option, but we love having guests, and using Airbnb ourselves when we travel.

  73. We read the Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey and it has changed our lives. We have only our mortgage left and have a 6 month emergency fund. We are currently cash flowing our sons college. It took a lot of hard work and sacrifice but I truly believe it was worth it. I rented the book from the library. I listen to his podcasts every day to stay motivated. Good Luck!

  74. Congrats! That is so exciting!
    I also used Target diapers as when they have their baby sale and diaper sale at the same time in July, you get a really good deal. I didn’t know about the 15% off coupon. Sounds awesome.
    We only have 2 children but who knows in a year or two? I was one of 4 but my parents are divorced so I’m hesitant to increase workload with more children and adding more stress, etc.

  75. I have to admit, baby announcements always give me a tinge of jealousy as I so wanted more children but that wasn’t in “the cards” I was dealt – even so I pray this pregnancy and delivery are easier on you and you have a healthy baby and easy recovery.
    For me, this year I hope to focus more on making this house truly home (since selling is looking like it is not going to be an option at any point in the near future). We’ve been here 21 years now and some of the windows still only have the original blinds the house came with. Most of the windows need new screens put in and the storm windows need new plastic pieces to keep them in their tracks. The wood around the windows also needs to be sanded and resealed and the glass re-caulked. I can do all of those things myself as money comes available. I have all the fabric I need for new window coverings as well – just need to actually do it. I am fighting depression -again- which seems to suck the joy out of everything and makes any project seem so daunting that I just never start. Somehow, I need to push thru it and find that motivation! I also need to continue to de-clutter – it is ridiculous how much stuff we have even after all my purging!

    In the garden, I’m not sure what I will be doing as the water contamination has ballooned into a county wide issue. We know a neighbor’s well has contamination, so ours more than likely has it as well. So I’m not sure how to water the garden – it may be time to set up a rain barrel system. I do already have 3 barrels – just need a way of running the water to the garden. I do want to put in blueberry bushes (some dwarf types) and transplant more blackberry bushes but that all depends on if I can save any money to go towards that (the blueberries – the blackberries are free). I do not need any seeds other than lettuce. I have enough saved or left over that I should be set this year. I may purchase some packets of flowers though – it won’t matter if they get watered with contaminated water. I will be keeping an eye out for more free gravel, lava rocks and perennials to finish my back area around the patio as well. Have any of you ever tried columnar apples? I am wondering what the texture and taste is like?

    Financial – the goal is just to manage to survive another year. Hubby’s health just isn’t getting better so we are surviving on my very limited part time job and my disability. And we have already gotten hit with some vehicle issues due to the extremely cold temps we have been seeing. Today it made it up to 20*F and it felt like a heat wave! Hopefully we will get a decent tax return so we can afford the dogs yearly vaccination, licenses and meds. Last year it was $800 for the Danes alone. At this point, since our cats are all indoors (except the oldest one who like to roll around in the sun and check for mice around the shed), we simply cannot afford the yearly cost of vaccinating all 5 when they are never exposed to other cats or outside. It bothers me, but it is how it is right now. At least I no longer work at the kennel and have to be concerned with bringing home some bug. We will continue to utilize the pet pantry for the cats litter and food and the beagles senior food. I will keep the ducks and quail simply because it is cheaper to feed them and collect their eggs than it is to buy the eggs from the farm market (duck eggs go for $4.50-$6 for 1/2 dozen – and quail are about the same for 18 eggs – 3- 4 of their eggs is equal to one chicken egg). The dogs will come first and anything left over will go towards vehicle repairs we have put off and home repairs that are necessary and can’t be left undone.

    I have a feeling, we may be selling the boat project we traded a rifle for. #1 I don’t know that my husband will be able to do any boating with the amount of pain he is in and #2 boats are money pits – especially a project like this one. It has been a dream of his to have a boat like this (weekender – bath with shower and mini kitchenette) but we may have to let it go. We’ll have to see how the next few months go. We also have “The Bus” that is our RV but long lengths of time sitting are difficult as well so we may need to discuss whether it makes sense to keep it. It is all so uncertain right now.

    And that is it. Hopefully, this year will be a turning point for us and things will slowly begin to improve on all fronts.

  76. Congratulations!!!!!!!!! What a blessing!

    My goals–my two big ones are to fund an emergency savings account a certain amount each month and to post to my blog at least once a week.
    We also have to replace a washer/dryer and we have a small house so it’s proving more challenging than I thought it would be. We want another unitized washer/dryer but it can’t be more than 24 inches wide to fit in the space we have.
    I also plan to at least double the amount of flowers I grew last summer–especially dahlias. I can’t believe how easy those were to grow and how prolific they are.

  77. Brandy, congratulations to you and your husband. Our prayers our with you for a healthy and uneventful pregnancy and delivery. We will look forward to his or her arrival and to that first newborn picture in Spring.

  78. I agree…but for God’s provision we wouldn’t have made it either! All debt paid off, own home, stocked up and multiple income streams are my goals – along with replenished funds. Lifetime goals always!

  79. Brandy, I am very happy for you and praying for you and your family. For years, your website has been my go-to place when I want to feel peaceful, hopeful and enjoy beauty. I tell people about your website and blog all the time.

  80. My father came back from WWII and while he did not often talk about it, he did seem to be ok. He was in the Army Air Corps on a Navy ship that repaired other ships, a floating machine shop, really. His duty station in combat was as a gunner at one of the turret type guns towards the back of the ship. I wonder if the fact that he wasn’t Infantry, and wasn’t seeing people killed in a direct way was part of the reason that he was OK. Were any of your fathers that were not OK in the infantry? I’m curious about this because my husband was a radio operator Vietnam Era Vet, and he moved from place to place fixing radio equipment, climbing towers, and hopping plane rides back to his base before nightfall—did not see direct combat on a regular basis. A number of people who did what he did lose their hearing (he wears two hearing aids and still has trouble) or go a little crazy (he spent a lot of time copying Morse code the first half of his 8 years of service) He is still ok mentally but is having some moderate memory problems at age 75. It makes me wonder how much of these two conditions would exist WITHOUT having his military experiences. He is slender, physically active, and exercises regularly. Except for mild high blood pressure, he has no other medical problems. Hard to prove any direct connection when it’s 50 years later before any consequences appear.

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