1. Wasabi Peas. My current favorite snack. So good and spicy.
2. Daily journals for the kids. Still going on this although I have missed some days, as expected. However, having them here and having started them made them that much easier to pull out last night when I had some stuff to write out that I wanted to remember.
3. Menu planning. Saving my sanity every. single. day. I get so tired of coming up with a plan for what to eat, but life right now is so busy and, honestly, our two foster girls eat SO MUCH FOOD that if I don't have a plan for almost every meal, it is not pretty around here.
4. Project Life. I still love it even though I have some serious catch-up to do on 2014. I'm hoping that my friend Elizabeth's Unfinished Project's challenge will be what I need to power me through finishing the last pages before January is done. It has already inspired me to do my 2015 title page. #procrastination
5. Reflecting on such a good Christmas this year. I went into December wondering how the month would play out with two extra kids in the house. With that came some things we hadn't had to plan around before - visitations with their family. Excessive amounts of gifts from "angel tree" programs plus gifts from their biological family. End of the "semester" activities for all kids. And so on. We ended up cutting several annual events from our to-do list and we survived. Sure, Travis and I missed going to the one annual Christmas party that we attend, but it was worth it for the greater good of a cleaner calendar. We gifted our munchkins with one biggish gift each and then lots of little stocking goodies that they loved and it was the easiest Christmas ever to keep up with. I'm making notes for next year.
6. My giraffe blanket. Seriously, this is the best blanket ever. It was a gift from my sister and BIL for my birthday and it is so soft and heavy.
7. Making lists of what I want to read this year. It's already getting a little out of control. As part of that, I am planning to participate (as I can) in two reading challenges hosted by friends:
8. The Reading to Know book club hosted by my friend Carrie. (I'm hosting May!) Always a great variety of books and I love that I can participate as life allows ... which I try to make happen as often as possible.
Getting to see Amy last week was an extra special treat - someday I hope to have a picture with my friend Carrie as well!
9. Amy's Newberry Challenge. Amy is reading through the Newberry winners by decade and I would like to jump in on this one as well. January's challenge is to pick one of the winners from the 1920's and I pulled several from the library shelves with hopes that I can get to at least one of them ... I'm eyeing Dr. Doolittle as my first choice.
10. Being healthy ... for the moment. We have been sick as dogs this fall and I'm so thankful we are well for the moment. I'm pretty sure there is a direct correlation to when we starting having foster placements in our home that are in and out of the public school daily and we started catching stuff. So far, we have had a round of the flu and strep go through the troops.
11. Hot tea and coffee, multiple times per day.
12. Pondering starting a IRL bookclub for my girls. Just pondering at this point because I certainly don't need anything else on the calendar. However, we love books so much and love talking about books and recommending books that I think it's something we would enjoy that would be fairly low stress.
13. Making some changes for the coming year that I'm excited about. As of the first week in January, I have stepped down from a position at my church that I've held for the last 12 years. It was an administrative role and one that I really did enjoy. However, as I told our elders in the email I sent them, life is just extremely full with homeschooling the girls + the busy calendar for all six munchkins currently in the home. It's hard to be as available as I once was for handling the church's communications and miscellaneous needs that come up. I waffled for months on asking Travis if I could quit and we finally came to the consensus together that it was the right decision; there was a huge weight of relief off my shoulders. Such a confirmation that I waited until the right season to step down.
14. Coming to terms with how I want social media to play out in my life and as an example to my girls. As of January 2015, this is what I'm setting as boundaries for me:
- adios to Facebook. Now that I'm no longer working for the church, I don't have to keep up with my church's facebook page, therefore I don't need to get on as often. I can't delete my profile (and I'm not 100% sure that I want to because there are some relatives that tend to communicate primarily through FB messages), but I've logged out and am taking a break from checking it. If someone really needs me or wants me to see something, I'd suggest another route of communication.
- yes to Instagram. Taking pictures is something that encourages me and makes me focus on blessings in my life. Saying to posting (ie., micro-blogging) there for now and making that my social outlet of choice.
- yes to sporadic blogging. I do miss the practice of putting fingers to keys and pecking out thoughts and lists and remembrances of what our family has done. I've read several great "state of the blog" posts of late (here and here), and I was reminded that I really do love this form of communication and recording of memories. I'm trimming my blog reader to those blogs that I absolutely, positively love and calling it good. I obvious don't blog to make money or gain and large readership, so for myself, I'm turning off comments in this space so that I don't have that pressure either. Email is always an option and a much more intimate space for a conversation. (I don't know about you, but I rarely if ever remember to go back and check comments that I've made to see if I've gotten a response from a blog author.)