Organizing For The New Year

I can’t help but think about all the things that I want to do differently next year (starting in January). Just thinking about those things is clogging up my brain (that is already stuffy from a cold) and I can’t really focus on Christmas. I don’t understand why I am fixated on  the new year, and a fresh start, but I am. I also suspect that until I write this post (the one that you are reading now) I won’t be able to get much done towards my homemade Christmas. So, here goes….

We had a good start in August, September, October, and then petered out in November and December.

Our van broke down in October (I think – it’s been so long) and is just sitting in the parking lot waiting to be repaired. This has made us home bound with a bit of cabin fever.

Our server crashed and we lost all the posts etc. I was reading the stats the other day and we have only been back on-line since November 26th. That is only 19 days to rebuild from scratch. Here I was frustrated with myself that I had not been making the downloads to give away during this season that I really desired to. Please know that my heart wants to give you things (and I will again, I promise). I just have tons going on and creating Christmas memories for my family needs to be a priority.

My Nana went into the hospital about 6 weeks ago and is still there. She has Dementia and an issue of blood. We have been to visit several times and I think about her every day. It is not likely that she will be going back to her apartment, in fact, it is more likely that she will be going home to be with Jesus very soon.

We had a visit from my mom’s sister (my auntie) recently for half a week. She wanted to spend some time with her mom (my Nana) before the Dementia gets too bad. We had a nice visit (it was too short), but it was very busy.

My laptop died. It died a slow and painful death.  You can read more about it on the free downloads page – HERE – and also in another post – HERE – so I won’t bore you with any more details. I will let you know that we do have a new laptop. That I am loving! It is a complicated story (and you don’t really need to know all of the details even though I am sure that you would love to). Let’s just say that it will be put to good use preparing and adapting amazing homeschool materials for my kids (and yours too).

We have been sick with colds for just over a week or so. Everyone has been kind of cranky and just feeling icky. We have been loading up on the Vitamin D and the Vitamin C and I think the sickness is heading out before it really settles in and takes over. I feel like I have been just on the verge of getting sick for about a week. We seem to be fighting the germs nicely, but have stayed home to keep the germs to ourselves.

My sister is very pregnant with baby number 4 and has been having some pre-term labor and bad migraine headaches. I am excited about another baby in the family (and kind of excited that it’s not mine – hehehe – we still have 2 babies). I am curious how the twins will react to the new baby (their cousin).

We are still not sure how everything will play out over the holidays. Births and deaths are so unpredictable.  I wish I could be more prepared for both of them, but I know that I can’t be.

All of that said, we did have a good start to the year and then life just sort of happened (all at once). We pretty much slowed to a grinding halt. Right now, we are trying to get back on track by focusing on Christmas. We are doing all kinds of fun crafts and even some gift making. My goal is to sneak in some more crafts (much as they fuss and whine about cutting and glue) and even a little holiday writing (shh! please don’t tell them, they hate writing). We have some new pen pals that we need to send Christmas cards to. We also have some relatives who could use some simple Christmas letters. We’ll see how that goes…

Like I said, I have been thinking about how I want things to go differently next year. I can’t tell you what I want to do really, because I don’t know for sure. I just know that it has been on my mind. I am also talking about January 1st, not July 1st when we start our new school year. I can share with you some resources that I have been pouring over to find something that jumps out and smacks me in the face (at least I hope it will).

My thoughts are jumbled and might not make sense (let’s hope they do by the time that I finish this post).

I  will state first that I love our curriculum choices for this year (mostly). I am learning to make the curriculum work for us (and the specific needs of our family). I will be doing some tweaking to our daily homeschool schedule (to begin in January). I need to do some planning over the holidays to keep us on track for the year (did I say keep us on track, I meant to say – get us back on track).

I found Spelling City.  It gives me some hope for spelling and my family for the rest of this year. I am able to input our Sonlight words for each level and not have to create lesson plans etc. The older two boys love it. I could rave more about this, but I already did that in another post.

I found information about creating a DAILY BINDER from Refined Metals Academy. Creating something like this would make it easier to be more consistent with Malachi (my first grader) and help us to review the things that we are doing. I am also thinking about how we could use something like this with the older boys – no real aha light bulb moments there yet.

I also found tons of homeschool organizing forms at Highland Heritage Forms, and Donna Young that I hope to sift through (after I get through Christmas, but before we start school again in January).

It has also been my desire to involve the twins more in toddler activities. We involved them in some simple art projects today and they absolutely loved it. Zion went around all afternoon pointing up at his art on the wall. He was really excited to show it off to everyone. He was so proud of it. I can’t wait until the twins do their first painting projects tomorrow! I have a Toddler Resources page in my Homeschool4free section that you might want to check out.

Before the new year, I hope to get our household more organized (don’t get me wrong, it runs well, but it could run better). I just want to prepare some kind of home management binder. I think that creating a home management binder would make my brain less taxed. The idea (for me) would be to take everything in my brain that is using up my energy and put it down on paper, thus freeing up more room (in my brain) for creative thinking. If the chores are written down, then I don’t need to remember them all in my head. If the kids’ chores are written down, then I don’t need to remember them all in my head either. I found some wonderful resources to use when I am creating it.I am scared of schedules and organizing. I hate watching the clock. This will be me – doing another hard thing. I’ll keep you posted on how things go.

Here are some great home management binder resources that I found this week:

Flylady’s Control Journal

A Virtuous Woman

Household Notebook

Donna Young’s Household Planner

Less Of Me ~ More Of Him

Last, But Not Least

More importantly than anything that I have already mentioned in this post, is my desire to focus more on my Quiet Time (in other words, making sure it happens). Since I nurse the twins at least  6 times a day (first thing in the am, before nap 1, before nap 2, before bed, at least twice during the night – sometimes more) that gives me lots of time to pray and talk to God (my best friend besides my husband). We have family bible reading during breakfast and this usually leads to some amazing discussions about the scriptures. What I have been really lacking is personal time to quietly reflect on passages of scripture. I really want to make this a priority from now on. I have some simple ideas on how to do this – but – they will have to wait for another post. Any thoughts or ideas on this, please leave them in the comments.

Do you have a household notebook or home management binder? I would love to hear about it.

2 thoughts on “Organizing For The New Year

  1. I love the new year and fresh starts. We have taken the last 3 weeks off of school and plan to start back up tomorrow. I’m feeling a little refreshed and ready to get back at it. Anway, I’m writing just to say that I hope you have a nice fresh start over there and thank you for sharing what all is going on in your heart. I pray that your family finds peace in all that this year holds for you. You do a beautiful job of letting Jesus shine in your life and have such a nice way of communicating. P.S. I found you through the workbox yahoo group.

  2. Thanks for the mention of Spelling City at the Workbox yahoo group, Honey. I hadn’t heard of it before, but it is a great resource for learning the 400 very difficult Spelling Bee words that my kids each have to tackle this term. Thanks again!

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