So, for a review of last year's resolutions.
- We did manage to reduce our debt, and cash flow unemployment, nearly all of the big move, and with the generous support of so many the burial of Abigail. We didn't pay cash for the car, but the loan we took out was tiny. It will be paid off just making the minimum payments this year, and the interest rate is so low that the bank will have made a whopping $11 dollars off of us. I can live with that, even if Dave Ramsey wouldn't. I am happy with how much progress we made on the debt. Everything I had planned to do by the end of the year we were finished with in July, to the tune of $20,427.47. For the most part I am happy with that. We might have used about half of what Gary made this year, to get rid of debt. Not too shabby since we also have 3 kids. Of course with the layoff we didn't do much after that, other than to cash flow the move to the tune of $5,186.46. One of the unspoken reasons why we wanted a bigger vehicle was to have another baby. I suppose we made that goal too, even if it wasn't the way anticipated.
- I also managed to improve my time management. It's an area I feel like can always stand to be improved. My planner has been a big help in that regard. (Seriously, that EC Planner has been one of the BEST buys I have ever made. If you think you are interested follow the link and you and I both get $10 off if you buy one.) Gary tells me that I do ALOT, so I must be doing fine in that area, but I always feel like I don't get enough done, and I don't have time for so many of the things I want to do for all the things I have to do.
- I feel like I met the majority of my schooling goals over the spring, to finish out the school year. This year was going really well for the first 2.5 months too. We took off from co-ops in the spring, and only did one in the fall. I was intentional about picking out field trips, and making the most of opportunities when we were job hunting with Gary, and staying on target when we were home. We have addressed alot of character stuff, but as always new things crop up in their place.
- One of my biggest successes I think has been in handling my temper and interactions with the kids. I have for several years now, tried to be better about not yelling. And you know what, losing a child that you will never be able to say "I love you" to, makes not yelling at the ones you do have infinitely easier. I still rarely lose my temper with them over defiance, and having to repeat myself a million times. But I can count on one hand the times that has happened in the last 5 months, and it doesn't equal me yelling. What burns me up now more than anything, is the rage I feel when I hear someone else screaming at their kids. It is pretty irrational, but hey, try losing a child, and then we'll talk about my irrational anger with other parents and medical professionals. But I digress, I continue to hope to improve, to better model what I expect behavior wise from my children, but I'm not going to list it on my resolutions next year.
- My biggest failing this year, has been with my Bible reading and studying. I started off well with the Church's reading, but had fallen off the wagon by mid year. My own studies have been sporadic at best, and I didn't really start with any of them till after we lost Abigail.
So for this year's resolutions.
- A big one again this year is eliminating debt. Gary doesn't make what he did, and he won't be eligible for the company bonuses till next year, so I'm not expecting to do as big of things this year. I mostly want to manage what we have well. I do plan to pay off the car, and shore up some of the savings accounts. After now 3 rounds with unemployment, I would feel better to have some savings. Not a fully funded emergency account, but some savings. Our only debt at that point will be student loans. Gary has 2 massive ones at 6.8%. I have 6 fairly little ones. We have decided to tackle mine first as they are the oldest. I have three at 6.8% and three at 2.3%. I have the goal to at least pay off two of the 6.8% loans. A goal of about $14000 if we can manage all of those things.
- I want to continue to work on my time management. I feel like I have most of the day down to a fine science, or at least as well organized as having 3 kids in the house allows me to be. However, I want to make better use of my mornings. I don't sleep well after Gary leaves for work, and now that happens before sunrise. Then again, I just don't sleep as well as I did 6 months ago. Plus, the entire east facing wall of our room is a massive set of sliding glass doors. I want to make better use of this morning time. Do my journaling then, review my plan for the day, and most importantly have set time for my Bible study. One of the gifts
that I got for myself, that Santa included in my book bag was "Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled" by Eld. Michael Gowens. I want to spend some time with that, and with some different areas of scripture that I have marked down to study over. I feel like one of the reasons I have trouble with studying is that I don't have a set time for it. With littles it's been pretty impossible to have a set time. Britt is often up around sunrise, and naps are more sporadic than they use to be, then by bedtime I'm often just total exhausted. I'm not a morning person, and in the past that's been the worst time to try to study and absorb, but I'm hoping to try it again this year.
- At this point, my entire school year plan is shot. My only real goal right now, is to have both the oldest confident with reading both short and long vowel sounds by the end of June, when we wrap up our school year. I'm not going to try to complete the math books, though we'll continue with that. I'll probably postpone History another year, and just let them enjoy science. They both requested to start learning EVERYTHING about the human body in January. I'm not going to do any sort of co-ops this school year, and I'm not planning any particular field trips right now.
- Finally, we desperately hope to try again for another baby this year. Not sure that this is a goal. I mean I'm not sure that getting one or keeping one has anything to do with me. I thoroughly expect to be a nervous, emotional wreck the entire time. (Probably not so different from right now, to be honest.) And I hope through this year, whether a baby comes with it or not, that I can gain some level of normalcy, of togetherness, so that I don't feel like I've become bipolar or just flat out psychotic.