I love the week between Christmas and New Year's!
The stress of Christmas is over, but the feeling of the holidays is still here. It's a perfect time of winter stillness before the busyness of school time sets in again.
I enjoy this week as a time to look back (what has worked, what hasn't?) - and to look ahead (where do I want to go from here?).
This past year has been a good one. While there have been set-backs, times of grief, and times of back-sliding, it's also been a year of great blessing and progress. We've settled into life as a family of six, we've gotten used to my husband being back in the corporate job world, and we've made a lot of progress academically in our home education program.
Looking ahead to the coming year, I have plenty of goals and areas that I would like to improve. Here are a few!
* I was actually doing pretty well with my pre-conception nutrition-lifestyle plan, until a certain bout of recent stomach flu took everyone back to simple carbs and zero extras. Time to jump back on the bandwagon.
* I need to continue getting up early so that I can both exercise and spend time in Bible study and prayer. This is a constant struggle! It also entails getting to bed at a decent time, which also entails giving up time-wasters so that I'm not desperately scrabbling to do chores late at night after I've wasted earlier hours.
* I want to devote some time to learning the Trim Healthy Mama cooking system, focusing on S and FP meals and snacks.
* As always, I earnestly desire to press onward and upward in my pursuit of excellence in five areas: faith, homemaking, marriage, motherhood, and home education. As a sideline, I continue to pursue knowledge and better practice in the area of nutrition and pre-conception preparation.
* I need to focus on several areas of parenting: encouraging (and enforcing) responsibility and faithfulness in school work and chores, being diligent about "yes, ma'am" responses, continuing to forge ahead with chore assignments, and beginning to teach the 9yo how to cook (unlike his younger brother, he does not voluntarily enter the kitchen). It's also time to start teaching some boy-girl principles - not because the 9yo is interested in girls, but simply because the topics are starting to come up. Uncharted waters, here I come.
* I need to potty-train a certain 3yo. Yes, the one who's about to turn four. (*Sigh*) I'm afraid I avoid potty training like the plague. I successfully procrastinated through our first child's potty training, and he potty trained himself. Our second will most likely never be potty trained, due to special needs. But our third child is stubbornly insistent upon remaining the "baby of the family," and I don't see that he has any plans to abandon diapers voluntarily any time soon. Hence, action is needed.
* I have several home projects that I'd like to tackle this year:
- Get the carpet cleaned.
- Get the piano tuned.
- Deal with furniture arrangement in the front room.
* Our mornings still need work. No matter how hard I work, no matter how early I get up, I still find myself bogged down by about five million morning chores, and it is extremely hard to wade through my to-do list (not to mention diaper changes, breakfast, nursing babies, etc.) to get to the start of our school day. This has to change, especially as we enter fourth-grade-land and have more to do.
* Speaking of homeschooling, we will be adding several new curriculum areas for the coming 2016-2017 school year, including a formal reading curriculum (reading technicalities, not phonics), composition, formal science, and Latin. Besides making the actual curriculum choices, we'll have to make more time for lessons.
* Still trying to figure out piano lessons for the children. I should just buckle down and teach them myself, but... hmm.
* I am having to make decisions regarding our outside-the-home schedule. This past quarter, it's gotten too crazy, and it has to change. We're currently involved in three separate homeschool groups, and while I love each of them, the combined schedule of park days, special events, and field trips has gotten out of control. (Some moms would consider this pretty tame, but I have a very low busyness-overload threshold.) This year, I'm going to have to learn how to say no to some things - even good things.
* For my blog, I do not have any goals. Two words: no time. I enjoy hopping on when I can, but that isn't often. I see that my blogging in 2015 (119 entries) was nearly identical to 2014 (121 entries), so my time seems to be holding steady. I make zero profit from this blog, and it's something that is purely personal (i.e. it does not benefit my family in any way), so it has to come last as a minor hobby.
I'm looking forward to this new year, and to the opportunity to continue to learn and grow. While I have so far yet to go on this voyage, I have experienced God's faithfulness in the journey - and I know that He will take us where we need to go.
Happy New Year, dear readers!