Wednesday, December 31, 2008

End of the Year Ramblings

How was everyone's Christmas? Ours was good. Busy - as always, but good. This is our year to travel and be with all of my side of the family. So we celebrated our faux Christmas Morning with our children on the 24th, then headed to Tennessee for a Christmas bash that included 12 adults and 11 children! It really is a blessing to gather that many family members to celebrate and fellowship, even if it is what my Mom calls "happy chaos."

We also took the opportunity to get a portrait done of the entire family. I can't wait to see the results and post the picture. It was actually much easier - and faster - than I thought it would be to get a good shot of so many people, five of whom are age 4 and under!

Now it is New Year's Eve and I sit here in the midst of a mess of presents, luggage, and packaging - evidence that we left in a rush - and I'm struggling to get it all put away and tidied up. I titled my blog Doing the Next Thing, because that seems to be what I spend so much of my time doing! The kids still need the basics of being fed, clothed, cleaned, and disciplined; and yet I have so many other things on my list to do! Sometimes I'm tired of just Doing the Next Thing! Sometimes, I'd like to actually get a project done --- like finding a home for the two new bookshelves we adopted from My Sweetie's office. I'm thrilled to have them, but they've spent the last month sitting in my ever-cluttered dining room, waiting, like everything else in this house, for my attention.

I don't mean to bum anybody out, but I'm just trying to keep it real, ya'll! I'm guessing I'm not the only person who feels the tension between how much fun it is to plan and celebrate Christmas and how much work it is, too. I've mentioned Nancy Wilson here before, and she has another post that I found helpful in bringing my attitude out of the dumps. Read about "lifting our hearts" here.

Now for some New Year's thoughts:
My beautiful daily schedule - the one I labored over for hours back in August - isn't really working for us. I've got to try to find some time over the next few days to tweak it. The Big 3 still end up wasting a good bit of time waiting for me when they need my help and I'm busy with The Littles. We just can't do ALL our school work at naptime - gotta find a better solution.

I'm also rethinking - again - they layout and function of our basement. We do need lots of storage for our school stuff, but we are using the "study" less and less for actual studying. Everyone tends to go find their own quiet spot to work - or work at the kitchen table when they need regular input/supervision from me. I'm seriously thinking about turning the "study" (the smaller room in my basement) into a "teen playroom." The larger room is where our bookshelves and school posters are, but it is really the "playroom" where the big toys for preschoolers (and our zillion legos) live. Let that encourage all of you who homeschool and don't have a "school room" - you don't really need one! Just a place to keep all the stuff.

I'm hoping to begin working out - again. I signed up for a 5K last fall, hoping that having a goal and some accountability with friends would motivate me to exercise regularly and start getting fit. It did...until I got a stress fracture in my ankle. So now I'm finally out of the aircast and, thanks to a YMCA membership that was a gift, hoping to start slowly on the stationary bike and find my motivation again.

Lastly, though perhaps most importantly, I'm striving to be more faithful about daily time with the Lord. Why does this show up on our lists every single year? It's such a simple thing. It's our life-blood -- and yet, spending time with the Lord seems to be so difficult for us. I'm praying that this year, I will finally see some growth and maturity.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading my lengthy, meandering post!
Happy New Year!

6 comments:

The Small Scribbler said...

I'm recovering from the Christmas busyness too...and putting things away and trying to find our way into some sort of schedule and starting back into a workout routine after a few weeks off. Guess it's just what we moms do at the end of the year.

Kate

Kate said...

"I'm praying that this year, I will finally see some growth and maturity."

Me too. More than anything else. Pray for me when you pray for yourself in this area. And I'll do the same for you.

LOVE you so much!

Mary Bernard said...

"The kids still need the basics of being fed, clothed, cleaned, and disciplined; and yet I have so many other things on my list to do! Sometimes I'm tired of just Doing the Next Thing!"

You said it, sister. This sums up well the story of my life. Blessings to you in 2009.:)

mom24 said...

"The kids still need the basics of being fed, clothed, cleaned, and disciplined; and yet I have so many other things on my list to do! Sometimes I'm tired of just Doing the Next Thing! Sometimes, I'd like to actually get a project done"
So these are the EXACT words that run through my head SO many times this season as I try to decorate yet am forced to leave the boxes all over in order to feed and daiper or 'enrich' a child's life with glitter and glue!! And even with all that, my heart still quietly thinks a 5th baby!

You are not alone in these feelings. I am thinking that the best way to deal when it's such, is to pray and give thanks. I find that this seems to re-direct my heart and puts my eyes back towards heaven, don't ya think? Again, in my life also, it does go back to a more regular time in His word.... *sigh*

Your post encourages me though (no bumming out here) because it's good to know that one is not alone in the day to day struggles of mothering through the Crhistmas season. I also am constantly trying to figure a better way to store our stuff, often lamenting about NOT having a schoolroom. But God is teaching me to flex there as well.
I hope that you can work out your lesson schedule as you dig back in this new year! We have the same issue and try to use naps, but it truly can NOT all get done then. We SAH and HS moms sure do have to learn how to juggle, huh? :-)
Can;t wait to see that family photo!
Blessings in the New Year,
Andrea

Cathy said...

Once again your words echo my thoughts...good to know what you're up to so I can pray. Glad that your Christmas with family was fun!

Happy New Year, Jen!
And happy birthday on Monday!

Mary@notbefore7 said...

Rock on with the working out girl! I am trying to get the treadmill set up outside the kids gym room so I can do a little walking.

Now, as for tension amoung all of our duties, responsiblities, and desires AND need for rest...oh yeah...praying for you and myself. It is so hard, but God doesn't want us to stay in a place of dispair and frustration!!!!

As for schedules - I posted mine on my homeschool blog, but not sure they'll help you as I only deal with a kindergartener. D does make our AM's tough because he constantly wants attention right now (at 2) so we stick with the FIAR and handwriting in the AM that isn't too intense.

Ok - I am trying to get to bed at 10 PM at the lastest and it is 10:15...UGH! Off to a bad start!