So first I flipped back to last year's resolutions, to see how I did. I wanted to pay down debt and we paid off $26,153.79 though I'm going to say that about $4000 of that was plane flights so I'm not going to count that. I also decided to try to yell less, I don't feel like I did very good in this area. Gary tells me that I'm very patient with the kids, and that my expectations are not unrealistic. But, I don't feel like I have as good a handle on this parenting thing as I would like a year later. I set the goal of attending a homeschool convention, and meet some more people and dive more into the homeschooling world. I did all of those things, infact we did so much of it, that we are scaling back a bit this year. The fourth goal I listed last year was to read the Bible all the way through with the kids on the schedule our Church family was using. We read almost every day together, with the exception of the month the kids were gone to AL and FL. That put us behind. We nearly caught up reading everything but the tail end of the Old Testament. The conversations with the kids were a hoot. The final thing I wanted to do was take some time for me to do something crafty. I can't spend too much time doing things I just feel like doing because I ended up neglecting other responsibilities, but I get a ridiculous martyr complex when I am the ONLY one cleaning, and the ONLY doing school work, and the ONLY one breaking up arguments, and don't do anything just fun for me. I still didn't get the scrapbooks caught up, and I didn't blog as much as I would have liked. But, I did spend alot of time in the flower beds this spring and summer and fall which was something just for me. I also, have started doing a little decorating in my planner, which isn't as good as real scrapbooking, but it is cheery.
So on to this year's resolutions...
- Here's my biggest one. I want to be debt free with the exception of our student loans by the end of this year. It's going to be a tough goal, but we've already made plans to see that it happens. First of all, there will be no trips this year. Those cost a ton, and they always go on the CC because we don't have any room in the budget to budget for them. In all honesty, that's a big Dave Ramsey no-no to keep adding new debt, even if it's only every now and then. We have cut back on commitments for travel this year to cut down on our gas expenses, and Gary's found cheaper tv and internet so that we can cut the budget more than before. I'm confident that we can do this, and that it will all be worth it next year.
- Continue to work on yelling less.
- In addition to managing our money better I want to find a better way to manage my time. I don't do good on strict schedules, we've tried doing different things like Managers of the Their Homes and it just doesn't remotely work for us. However, I want to get a handle on some things. I want a habit of always loading Sunday's sermons on Monday for example, and having some time each week that I work on our scrapbooks. I need a set time each week to lesson plan, to stay better on top of things. Right now I sometimes schedule too far in advance and then have trouble making my plans work for me instead of being a slave to the schedule.
- Which brings me to my next point, schooling. I want to scale back this year. We need to spend a little more time at home and a little less time out of the house. When you try to do every cool field trip and opportunity that comes along, the other things get neglected. I want to get the kids a little more involved in helping out around here too, Britt has real surprised me with things that he is beginning to actually be alot of help with. Coupled with both the academic schooling and the home ec type stuff, I want to address some different character issues we've seen crop up.
- This year instead of reading the entire Bible through, Bro. Jonathan has asked us to read more in depth, so rather than trying to read the Bible through I'm going to be reading what he comes up with. However, I've often thought about trying to study things out topically and think maybe I'll be doing more of that this year, this way.
- Finally for the last resolution I'll share, Gary and I want to look for another vehicle. Our SUV has just over 140K miles on it now, and it's cramped. Plus it isn't 4 wheel drive which would be nice up here. Britt is ready for a booster seat, but we still have him in a 5 point harness because there is no way he could buckle up around two other carseats. It's not a problem yet, but he's getting close to the height limit on the seat. We'd like to have more space since no one else can ride with us when they are here, and have a little more luggage room, etc. However, we don't want to pick up new debt to get a vehicle so we are going to be doing some planning and scheming at least for now.
Like always I'm sure I've put more on my plate than I can handle. But at least, I guess I can say I like a challenge. I'm rarely satisfied with the status quo of things.