Friday, June 29, 2012

4. Take Hannah out on 5 dates

I took Hannah to the pool again.  I will let the video tell the story.

She definitely had fun!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

106. Learn how to braid hair

Now that we have three little girls, I need to learn how to do their hair in the morning.  Getting out of the house to church on Sunday mornings is difficult enough without having to do their hair, but since Melissa is the only one that is the resident "expert" I haven't been able to really do it on those mornings.  Because of that I have been trying to get better at doing their hair to help relieve some of the pressure on Melissa in the morning.
The challenge that I had a year ago was to figure out how to just put the girls' hair up in a pony tail.  Now that I have that down I have ventured into trying to braid hair.  Here are my results:

My next thing to get down is parting their hair more efficiently.  Baby steps...

While this wasn't a goal, I consider it an accomplishment considering where I came from.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

73. Make a baseball bat

For Father's Day Melissa asked me what I wanted and the only thing I could think of was a hunk of wood for making a baseball bat.  A number of years back my brother Matt made a bat and since then I had always thought it would be fun to make one myself.  That's why I put it on my list.

Maddie was so excited. She is our gift giver for sure! All three kids drew on the box to give it make it "look pretty."

Who wouldn't be happy with a new hunk of wood.

Here's the first show of progress.  It actually wasn't too bad getting it this far.  My experience with the lathe isn't really extensive so I didn't know how long this project was going to take.

Here's an action shot.  Too bad we couldn't capture one of the thousands of chips of wood that pelted me in the face. Luckily I took the advice that Norm Abrams always gives:
 "there is no more important safety rule than to wear these — safety glasses."

Almost done!  The part that I was most afraid of was chiseling down the ends.  Lucky for me, I got the tool stuck in the grove and the bat broke off easily and just fell into my hands.  The entire time I was working I had visions of the bat flying off the lathe and hitting me in the face.  While that would be funny to watch, I didn't want to be the one that it happened to.

What a mess.  For clean up I had the kids take the small chipped pieces out to the yard and spread them out.  They had a fun time doing this.  Honestly though, I don't think I will ever have all of the pieces picked up and out of the garage.  They are everywhere!

It is fun to say that I have made a bat.  I have no idea what I am going to do with it, but at least it is made.  I am guessing that one of my next projects will be to make something to display the bats that we have.

34 goals down!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

72. Make a planter for the front of the house

 Here is our house.
 Upon closer look, here is the flower box that I remade for our house.  When I was doing something by the planter last year I took a screwdriver and was able to put it all the way through the box.  It was time to make a change.  I built a new one. So here it is.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

105. Keep my car under 3,000 miles in one school year

Two or three years ago I began noticing a great decline in the number of miles I was putting onto my car.  A few key factors contributed to this.  First, the car only gets used if I am going somewhere by myself.  If I am taking kids anywhere we take the van.  Second, I ride my bike to school a lot more which means that I save 8 miles per trip to school each day.

Two years ago I tried to see how many miles I put on the car.  After a few months I wondered if I could make it through an entire school year by keeping the car under 3,000 miles. Back then I was really close.  I made it through a school year in about 3,200 miles.  With that in mind I really made the challenge to myself to try to make it through this past school year under that mark.  During that time I made sure that I wasn't changing my driving habits for which car I used in an effort to save miles.  If I had to go somewhere or Melissa had to go to a Dr. appointment my car needed to be used.  The only exception was if it was really hot (my car doesn't have air).

I made it. I began the school year at 113,667 miles and ended at 116,632 miles.  Forty-five miles to spare!

The biggest thing that I have learned is that taking a vehicle everywhere isn't always necessary.  Yesterday the kids and I walked over to the hardware store instead of driving.  I bike to the grocery store often when I am buying food.  One big plus for that is that you always get a really good parking spot.  Lastly, I filled my car up under 10 times for the whole school year.  The savings in ga

This isn't a written goal, but I am really glad that I was able to do it.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

49. One year down

It has been one year since I started working on this list.  Last summer I got off to a really fast start, but lately I haven't been able to get too many things done.  One thing has been consistent over the whole year.  I have been reading.  I know for a fact that if I didn't put reading goals onto my first list, I wouldn't be the reader that I am now.
Over the past year I have started and finished 41 books. I have kept a running list on the left column of the blog as well as keeping track here and here. That honestly may be more books than I had read in my whole life before beginning my first list of goals. I am thankful to be able to get just about any book from my school library, the Aurora Public Library, or from Aurora University.  If none of those libraries have it then I have had a lot of success with interlibrary loans.  If I would have had to purchase all of those books I know that I wouldn't have gotten through that many books.
I can credit Melissa for a lot of my reading by introducing me to a website called  The site is great because it lets you keep track of all of the books you have read, are reading, and want to read.  It is nice to be able to hear someone talk about a book and add it to the list.  Another cool feature of the site is that it gives recommendations for books based on previous books that you read.
Now that I have read 42 books in the first year, I am curious if I can read 100 before this list will be over.  I'm guessing I can do it.
As for my real goals that I have written down, I am hoping to finish 7 this month.  Hopefully I can get that number.