Posted by: ME | January 3, 2012

New Year, new peace that I hope lasts!

What a Christmas!

Whirlwind, but also so many blessings and much peace around here. Something I would LOVE to hang on to.

When we first moved, it was like we had a clean slate. Had no friends,no family, no church affiliation, no homeschool group. No one knew our past. No one knew our mistakes or our triumphs. New(to us) house to make ours. Disney a short drive away. HOME, a long journey back.

One thing I liked about our first year here was the peace we felt about our move and that it was ALL in God‘s hands. We had given it all to Him-every part. Didn’t make the emotional or physical part any easier, but definitely pushed us through. What was I going to do with MY clean slate? Our family’s clean slate? We had a lot of time on our hands, and we started filling it up immediately with things we thought God brought us here for.

Over the past year, things have gotten hairier. TOO much going on. No peace, or very little. So, this Christmas, with Paul home and some downtime, I did a lot of thinking about what I would like us to focus on. School-wise, family-wise, and spiritually. My goal this year is to not lose sight of that. It’s SO easy to let it go, isn’t it?

First- I would like us to refocus on Jesus, every morning, first thing.  I know what happened to my kids lives when we moved here and left our old church, and those things are not being replaced, so I have to guide them and not let them get off track. All they have here is Youth Group. No choir or things keeping them busy in a healthy Christian environment, other than being home. And let’s be honest, I fail miserably in this department, in my opinion, and I cannot recreate how they were being fed spiritually like they had at STUMC. It all just molded and gelled so perfectly into our family’s life. I was there, I helped, but it wasn’t just me molding their belief system. I cannot find that here- whether it be at home or through a church. It worries me, especially for the younger one, who didn’t have as much of it as my older one. Everything they did there was wrapped up around scripture. They learned more about scriptures through choir and plays than I had heard of before I was in bible studies. It’s not that we DON’T focus on Jesus at some point daily, because we do, but it’s not enough right now and it’s not first. For me, I get more out of it in the late night hours- my peace time- but my girls need it first thing. We will be watching sermons from STUMC  and Mosaic in the mornings, and then our bible study. My goal is to post these messages to my facebook page. Once a week,as a family, we will talk about what we read. We started out year doing this, but trailed off. Thankfully, Advent came around and we did devotionals about 2-3 times a week together.

Second- I think I have forgotten WHY I homeschool. Yes, I was called to it, but the daily grind has gotten to me. I lose the balance between academics and that learning CAN be fun. Yes, my kids are getting older and we MUST get our age/grade appropriate work done, but does it have to be so mundane, day after day? What happened to those awesome fun schooldays like when we had Medieval Feasts and played games from different time periods and hopped across the floor for M&M’s every time they got a math problem correct? I used to be a fun mom, who was creative in doing school stuff with my kids. Now I am thrilled if it just gets done. According to their Stanford testing results, they ARE learning well, but can we do better? I know I can give my kids a better all around whole person education than any school can(no offense, teachers, but they are the kids God gave me and I know them well, and although I think you can do an awesome job of it, maybe even better academically, God called me to this, so I am doing it and I have a support system to help) and I am not just about academics, I want well-rounded children. I guess I want them to have it all, within my budget. I am going to focus on how to make their learning experience a 3D experience. Somehow! This will require staying hom more often(a foreign concept to most homeschoolers), focus and stick to my once a month field trip rule(not including Disney, of course), making our home a peaceful environment, making it a whole learning environment- staying on track and adding in the fun stuff when curriculum gets dull and boring. I need to understand and refocus on the fact that I do not need overacheivers- and that homeschooling for me means building relationships with my children, teaching them in those teachable moments, and NOT just pounding the books. I remember doing that in school, and I recall nothing.  There is a reason God called me to this for them. Whatever they are going to be in their adult lives, this has something to do with. My goal is to delve more into their work and add things to our education that are worth it. Life is not about who gets into the best college or who gets the best job, it’s about preparing them for the life God has laid out for them, whether it be something big and grand or whatever degree of normal He has planned for them. It’s about giving them the BEST of us, preparing them, and learning to live happily in that fulfilling life He has laid out for them.

Third-Living a healthier lifestyle. Since our move, I have gained about 8 pounds. I already needed to lose about 15 pounds, so now I am up to 23(just round that to 25). This is what I weighed when I was 9 months pregnant with my kids. Granted, I didn’t gain much in my pregnancies(18 with the first and 22 with the second). I AM A STRESS EATER.  The past 2 years have been stressful. I am looking forward to less stressful days ahead now that we finally feel we are settling in here. I will admit that I HATE exercise. I really loathe it. I have done 2 half marathons in my past(2002 and 2003) and I walked them. I do not run. Ever. I hate running. I also hate health clubs with glass so everyone can see your big butt through the window. Even in the days when I had no butt, this disturbed me. I also want normal people in a class- not all skinny minnies. Another exercise I hate is spinning. I tried, for my husbands sake, to like it. He loved it and did it often when he was laid off and when we had a gym membership back in Louisiana. He was there at least 3-4 times a week when he was off. When he was working, he’d go about 1-2 times a week. I joined him a total of 6 times. Bought a cushy bike seat when I realized how utterly PAINFUL those tiny seats are. Guess what? The padded gel seat did not help one bit! I felt violated the 6 times I sat on that bike seat and not only from the front- the back end too, where my butt cheeks hung off either end and the seat was up my rear. And lemmee tell ya, I don’t have the biggest butt in town. How ANYONE can tolerate those seats is beyond me. Some MAN designed those seats to violate women. It was disgusting! I also cannot STAND Zumbaa. The music is a headache(No offense to any latin americans out here, I just don’t like the music. I also don’t like rap or too much hip hop- NOT relaxing, just a big ole headache coming on every time I hear it, it’s just noise in my head, pounding). If the music was any other type…..maybe. What DO I like? Walking.  Just Dance with my kids. Wii Fit, mostly the yoga portion. Yoga. My goal is to do 30 minutes a day at the least. My goal is to also eat less carbs, more veggies and fruits and protein.

Lastly-I have an obsession. Saving money. I never had this before the move. I live day to day. I cannot plan some things too far out. I have learned that life can be short and so you have to live it. I have never spent money just to spend it(since I have been married at least!). I have never done a vacation on credit. Yet, we still find ourselves paying our past off- mostly in school loans used to live through cancer(and some for college too, I went through ultrasound school, temporarily retired, and my hubby has his MBA). I love couponing, yet am NOT a hoarder. I have cut my food budget by 40% since we have moved here. The money I save on groceries goes toward LIFE. Living it. I guess I acquired this love of saving since I have been completely an at home, homeschooling mom. I feel it is my job to live within the budget my hubby and I have planned and to do it well. I WANT to do it well. In fact, I want to do it BETTER. For a person who lives day to day, this can be hard. I have learned to say no, to let things sit and think about it before buying, to teach my kids to save for the things they want. If they want it bad enough, they will wait and save for it. If it is my money, they appreciate it less anyway. Paul started them on an allowance years ago. We are desperately trying to teach them to live off of 70% of their income, or 50% if taxes are taken out. 20% to taxes(when in a job), 10% to charity or church, 20% to savings. If they can do this throughout their life, they will not ever have to worry about money. Or debt. How blessed they will be! I pray for that every day. I pray they continue this path we are trying to teach them. One we try hard to live but fall short of. I want my kids to do it because that is what God wants of us as Christians AND because it is just smart. Paul and I want to live that way too! My goal this year is to cut my food budget another 10%- making our grocery/food savings 50% less! I follow Faithful Provisions at  http://faithfulprovisions.com/ for the most part. I appreciate her giving, her sharing, and her love for Jesus and the fact she can tell you about her not so perfect moments too! THAT is the way I want to coupon. That is the way I want to live, in MY own way. I guess, too, I want to live small, so that I can appreciate and experience the BIG things in life when they come along.

 

What are your goals this year?

I don’t like calling them resolutions, which have a high percentage of failure.

 

Lori

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