Reflections on the past year and hopes for the new year!

I could sugar coat this post and tell you the year has been fantastic. I could tell you that I have an amazing family with perfectly behaved children, a house that is always clean and a homeschool schedule that works for us. I might even say I’m ending this year perfectly content and happy.

But that would be far from the truth. It’s been a really rough year for me personally. I’m not sure if I should say it’s been a hard year for our whole family, but I know I’ve struggled a lot and so has my husband. I read the post from Raising Arrows on her hopes for the new year, and could relate to so many things she said.

So here goes. A look at the old year and what I hope to change for this coming year.

I should start by saying I’ve picked my one word for 2016. I have chosen the word Focus for the coming year. ย If you are not familiar with the one word concept, you basically pick a work you’d like to build your entire year around.

This year I need to focus on one thing at a time, instead of trying to do 50 thousand things in one day. I’m picking different days to focus on certain things. 3 days of the week I will focus on business (I’ll listen to business podcasts, take training courses, work on creating new products, etc). 2 days of the week will be devoted to my home.

My Walk With God

This has not been a good year for spending quiet time with God. How can I stay a peaceful, rested wife and mother if I’m not constantly at the feet of my Maker? I started doingย my first ever Good Morning Girls Challenge, and we are going through the book of Job! I bought the study guide book to use, and it’s so cheery and inviting.

Good Morning Girls Book of Job

Marriage

The first year of having a baby is always rough on our marriage. I’m so distracted with trying to keep up on nursing the baby, and exhausted from being up in the middle of the night with the baby that it leaves little time or energy for nurturing my marriage the way I would like to. This year has been particularly difficult because we were given a very fussy, needy baby in March and it’s only been the last few weeks that I’m starting to see light at the end of the tunnel. If I am in the room, she screams non stop until I hold her.

All.Day.Long.

And did I mention that she’s up at least 3-4 times a night?

Every. Single. Night.

It’s been draining, mentally and physically and has definitely led to me being an irritated and grumpy wife at times.

Juggling businesses, homeschooling, Sean being the Pastor at our church, six children, and living in a small rental house is a lot for us to keep up with. We are now house hunting, which is another (hopeful) adventure!

I’m going to work on having better communication with Sean, and plan on reading more marriage books this year. Whenever I read something on marriage I get super recharged to be a romantic, incredibly wonderful wife. ๐Ÿ™‚

Mothering

I have a 12 year old. Where did the last 12 years go? It’s going so fast and my goal this year is to soak up more time with my children. They constantly ask me to play a game with them and more often then not my answer is “not now.” I’m hoping to turn this the year into saying Yes! Within reason of course. ๐Ÿ™‚

We also have several areas of child training to focus hard on this year, more specifically character traits, like humility, preferring one another…the kind of traits that adults need to work on as well!

Sean and I have been talking about the consequence chart we use with our Character Badges system and have come up with some more consistent punishments that should be good to use. We decided a long time ago that being consistent is far better then being harsh, and that if stricter correction needs to take place it will be above and beyond the consequence chart. This will help things be, well, consistent! ๐Ÿ™‚

Character Badges is a creative child training program

 

Homeschool

The children are not excited to dive back into school after our Christmas break, but I’m hoping that getting back into Tapestry of Grace will excite them more than the math lessons! They love read aloud time, and we are working on making our morning time happen every single morning. Right now our morning time consists of:

Prayer – Every child rotates getting a day to pray for devotions and meal time.

Devotions – We read a Bible Story book together

Literature – We just got done with the last Little House book. We are going to start a fun book like Mr. Poppers Penguins for a change!.

History – This is the time we do our Tapestry of Grace together, and I read the main history book that fits all the ages.

I’d like to include hymn singing (we used to do this every morning but got out of the habit), Scripture memorization, poetry, classical music appreciation, and art appreciation in this time, just using a loop schedule.

Homemaking

I was convicted of something recently. I spend money on business courses, take the time to go through them, read business books, but I haven’t spent much time in the last few years really diving in deep on any homemaking training.

Is there such a thing? Sure there is! It might be books, courses, asking an older woman to mentor you, or simply making a homemaking schedule and sticking with it.

After thinking about getting this course for a year now, I finally just did it during a sale. The Simplified Organization course looks amazing, and after listening to the first module I’m really glad I got it. It’s like she is talking to me personally! I didn’t realize that I should have gotten Work the Plan first, so I’ll probably go through that as well.
Learn to love what must be done

I’m convinced that homemaking is one of those things you are either a natural at or it feels incredibly overwhelming to do. It really doesn’t matter where you fall in that category though, it must be done. I work best when the children are asleep, just because I can think through how I’m going to clean the room. Yes, it requires a lot of brain power to get in and clean a room. I’m not sure why, maybe because we live in a small house and I’m constantly asking myself where I should put something or if I could just get rid of it?

Health

I went grocery shopping last night and didn’t buy one single thing that was bad. Hurray! Now if I can follow through with that the rest of the year. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I love chocolate, and it loves me! I didn’t stress about trying to lose weight last year as I have learned my baby weight doesn’t come off easily (or at all) when I’m nursing. I am going to get back to exercising though, as I feel horribly weak and flabby.

My goals this year with health are to simply eat less sugar, eat more vegetables and fruit, and take all the Plexus products and see my health be strengthened by all the above. ๐Ÿ™‚

My Short List

If you want just a very short, specific list of my goals, here they are!

Buy a house and move in 2016 (Yippee! Thankfully this is a goal our whole family has and not just me!)

Go through the Homemaking Course

Be extremely consistent in the consequences that come with Character Badges

Stay focused on the important things in homeschooling, and to keep the lessons in mind that I learned from Homeschool Made Simple DVD’s.

Eat healthy (less sugar!), exercise and take Plexusย for energy and health.

I would love to hear what your goals for the year are! If you still need to write out your goals, don’t forget about our free goal planning journal!ย 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Comments on Reflections On The Past Year And Hopes For the New!

  1. Thank you for sharing your goals for 2016 Caroline! My goals are:

    Spiritual: Study God’s word daily, focus on prayer, listen to my church’s podcast weekly (we are unable to attend service regularly at this time)
    Marriage: Monthly date nights, one weekend away
    Motherhood: Choose joy even when struggling, more snuggles, say “yes” more often
    Homeschooling: Stay on schedule for the rest of the school year, add some fun field trips
    Homemaking: Add a larger monthly project (January: organize all of the outgrown clothes)
    Financial: Pay off $15,000 of consumer and student loan debt

  2. How refreshingly honest, Caroline. Thank you for your transparency. As a mother of (soon to be) 5 who also home-schools, many of your goals are mine as well. Consistent discipline, work/home balance, homemaking routines, all are challenges for parents universally. The main idea that I’m taking from your post is to do a personal evaluation for myself. Take a look at each aspect of my life and set specific, obtainable goals for each area. Thanks for your example. Let’s also remember to add a large dose of grace in there. Grace on our spouses, our children and absolutely ourselves. No one can accomplish it all, at least not perfectly, except our Savior Jesus. Thankfully, we parents can focus on lifting each other up in consistent prayer.

  3. I would love for you to document in the blog the resources that you come across this year to help you in this. I am experiencing the same thing as you are and would be interested in any resources that you use to help.
    I am taking Jennifer Ross’ Focused Homemaker’s Course.

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