Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Glance Back and a Good Look Forward to 2014

Here is my look forward to 2013 from last January.  It's a pretty extensive and exciting list.  I accomplished a lot of that list including daily time with God, reading 52 books, eating and cooking good food, making my marriage a priority, going on a Disney cruise, and maintaining a debt free lifestyle while increasing savings.

There are also some areas where I didn't quite make my mark.  My bee hives are a wreck.  I didn't accomplish my goal with Operation Christmas Child.  I don't have a working system for jobs, family time or serving others.

Rather than reinventing the wheel, I'm going to revise, edit, adding and subtracting to make a working plan for 2014.  It might also be a great idea to look at this list more than once a year to remind myself of my intentions for the year.

1. continue to spend daily, personal time with God.

2. read at least 52 books.

3. develop a community relations team for Operation Christmas Child by adding one member and one event from each of my target counties.

4. participate in sustained physical activity/exercise at least three times each week.

5. maintain a healthy diet, heavy in fruits, veggies, and healthy choices.

6. continue to provide my family with meals that are healthy and, as much as possible, home made.

7. date my husband and nurture a relationship that will last for another 25+ years.

8. pray with Rob and for Rob daily.

9. create a planned family night each week.

10. enjoy family meals as often as possible.

11.  celebrate Kady's graduation from high school.
13. provide opportunities and encouragement for family time that is physically active.

14. continue to pray for and with my children each day.

15. nurture closer relationships within our family by providing quality time, activities, and opportunity for interaction.

16. provide quality, personally matched education for each of my children.

17. continue to look for the best curriculum and educational opportunities for my children.

18. encourage reading, writing, independent learning, and personal growth in my children.

19. develop a plan for chores, jobs, compensation and cooperation that works for our family.

20. maintain a debt free lifestyle.

21. increase retirement contributions to 15%.

22. continue at current level of charitable giving.

23. continue college savings for all four children.

24. celebrate our 25th anniversary

25. be intentional about sharing time with friends.
26. complete one family act of service each month.

27.  develop five year plan for the farm which includes raising turkeys, chickens, and grapes.

Reflections on 2013

Another year sped by while I was busy living.  How does that happen? 
The older I get the more I realize how necessary it is to take a moment to reflect.
I was being pretty ugly to myself this morning.  It's way too easy for me to beat myself up with the momentary discontentment rather than keeping my eye on the real accomplishments.  In order to help myself out the next time I come at myself with that particular board and to get myself over the current episode of mud wallowing I offer this list of  reflections and accomplishments for 2013:

Personally, I read more than 50 books, many of them classics.  I spent time with lots of people I love including each of my family members, the Keegans, the Barnes family, cousins, and friends.  Through various activities I became acquainted with new people.  I hope that many will become friends.  I celebrated life in big ways with parties and pig roasts and joyful reunions.  I skiied, traveled (Richmond, Snow Shoe, St. Augustine, Louisville, St. Augustine, Washington, D.C., Tybee Island, Grand Caymen, Mexico), snorkled, climbed ruins, road trains, served God, my family and others.  It's been a wonderful year!
Professionally, I taught 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th and 9th grades. I raised and harvested over 100 chickens.  Hatched, with the help of an incubator, five turkeys for harvest.  Raised and harvested two steers.  Helped raise two sheep. Sold dozens and dozens of eggs.  (Yes, I had some help with all this but it's a valid accomplishment.) I continued my volunteer role with Operation Christmas Child attending a connect conference that gave me an amazing picture of God's work in this ministry.  I joined the leadership team of Cornerstone Co-op as their junior high coordinator.

Spiritually, Rob and I started sharing a daily Bible study and prayer time.  We are learning more about God and each other with each lesson.  We also are learning to support and hold each other accountable. 

Emotionally, I continued to nurture relationships with my husband, children, sisters and parents. I consistently took part in several groups outside my family including a book club, homeschool co-op, and church groups.  I desire to find a few close friends and am trying to identify those women.  I have met several new, interesting, challenging, fun women this year.

Physically, I lost 20 pounds over the course of this year.  I am making better smaller food choices.  For my family, I am being very conscious of the choices I make for them. We are eating more "real" food.  I'm buying non-gmo grain products.  I'm being very intentional in what I serve and eat.  A glass of water before each meal has worked wonders.

Reading List 2013

The Iliad by Homer translated by Robert Fagles

The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate

The Truth About Style by Stacy London

Someone by Alice McDermott

Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood

Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight by M.E. Thomas

The Good Earth by Pearl Buck

The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin

Safe House by Chris Ewan

The Hero's Lot by Patrick Carr

A Cast of Stones by Patrick Carr

The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls

Gilgamesh: A New Rendering in English Verse by David Ferry

He Who Saw Everything by Robert Temple

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Gilgamesh: A Verse Play by Usef Komonyakaa & Chad Gracia

Mighty Be Our Powers by Leymah Gbowee

The Cherry Cola Book Club by Ashton Lee

Telling the Bees by Peggy Hesketh

The Woman Who Died A Lot by Jasper Fforde

Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott

The Complaints by Ian Rankin

Die Trying by Lee Child

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

Killing Floor by Lee Child

So Brave, Young, and Handsome by Leif Enger

One of Our Thursdays Is Missing by Jasper Fforde

Disobedience by Jane Hamilton

The Good Mother by Sue Miller

TransAtlantic by Colum McCann

The Last Original Wife by Dorothea Frank

Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou

First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde

The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

The Runaway King by Jennifer Nielsen

The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen

Lost in a Good Book (A Thursday Next Novel) by Jasper Fforde

Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat by Bee Wilson

The Light Between Oceans: A Novel by M.L. Stedman

The Eyre Affair: A Thursday Next Novel by Jasper Fforde

Legend by Marie Lu

Peace Like A River by Leif Enger

Tear Down the Walls! A History of the American Civil Rights Movement by Dorothy Sterling

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Falling Home by Karen White

Showdown Trail by Louis L'Amour

The Ruins of Lace by Iris Anthony

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

The Round House by Louise Erdrich

The Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

Thirteen Days/Ninety Miles: The Cuban Missile Crisis by Norman Finkelstein

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland's History-Making Race Around the World by Matthew Goodman

The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn

The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott

One Shot by Lee Child

The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry

The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman

Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich

Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

The Merchant's Daughter by Melanie Dickerson

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had by Kristin Levine

Marmee & Louisa: The Untold Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Mother by Eve LaPlante

Elsewhere: A Memoir by Richard Russo

The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin

Brilliance by Marcus Sakey

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

The Secrets of Happy Families by Bruce Feiler

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl by David Barnett

Prairie Tales by Melissa Gilbert