Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year – New Hopes, New Goals

angel praying (1)

This sweet praying angel is one of my favorite things to bring out at Christmas time.  She was given to me by a dear friend, and I imagine her prayers are my own, but she’s a bit more diligent about it than I am.  :)  Doesn’t she just seem so peaceful and trusting, even in the middle of unending supplication?  I may leave her out for all of 2011.

I know what she and I are praying for as this new year begins:  peace, grace, focus… and a little joy would be nice too. (A very little joy, wrapped up in a blanket, and looking an awful lot like a baby would certainly be nice, wouldn’t it? ;) This might take a miracle, but my sweet angel and I will continue to pray.)

I’m in the middle of drafting a post about the routine and rhythm we’ve developed over the past couple of months, so I won’t go into that too much here – but I do hope to use my time more wisely this year; and plan to set aside time on a regular basis to see what’s working, what needs to change, and whether or not my priorities are what they ought to be.

There are a few things I am going to work on, and I’m going to try to schedule most of these into my weekly calendar somehow:

  • I need to find make time to exercise at least 3 times a week.
  • Read daily to M (the snuggled-up kind of reading, not just bedtime stories or our chapter books at lunch).
  • Prepare and actually do more activities pertaining to our faith.
  • Organize about 5 areas of our home that really need it and are making me crazy.  Winter should be a great time to do this, but I’m trying to figure out how to do it and still have time for everything else…
  • Make a decision about preschool this fall – I really thought we’d already made a decision (to not do preschool outside of home), but an enlightening conversation with family members over Christmas has turned it into a question again (ugh).
  • Really sit down and form my thoughts about homeschooling (pros and cons) in a way that will help me explain, out loud, how I feel, and help others to understand. 
  • In regards to preschool activities with M:
    • More reading of *good* books – I recently went through the book, Books Children Love: A Guide to the Best Children's Literature, and marked a bunch that sound enjoyable and are on M’s level.  The book was written to help Charlotte Mason followers find good literature for children instead of “twaddle”.  I found it very helpful, and found myself becoming more interested in Charlotte Mason and her ideas about education. 
    • Some book activities, hopefully, in relation to the above.  The planning of this, for one child, is a bit daunting for me.  We’ll see as we read, whether or not I can come up with activities.  (Yes, I know about Five in a Row, and should really look into it more.  I’m kind of stubborn when it comes to spending $$ on things I could do myself, and stubborn about planning activities that I know will appeal to M – he’s a custom-job kind of kid.)
    • More gross motor activities and exercise time with M twice a week.
    • More art (is that possible?) – meaning more looking at beautiful art, learning a tiny bit about various artists, art museum trips, more learning about various techniques, etc.  Books Children Love, was helpful in this area, and lists art books and the ages each one appeals to. 
    • More music – our first step in this is a fun local class once a week.  We may not make it to all the classes, as it falls on the same day that we do other things, but I’m looking forward to garnering good ideas from it when we are able to go.
    • More hands-on work with science, since this is M’s favorite thing. 
  • In regards to blogging:
    • More posts about faith-related activities for preschoolers.
    • Posts about depression, especially post-partum depression – there’s a lot of good writing out there about this, and I’m sure I don’t have anything new to add to the conversation, but it’s just something I want to do as it seems there’s a lot of misunderstanding and lack of knowledge among people in my personal life.  It’s another “I’ll write it all out so I know how to explain it out loud” kind of thing.
    • A series of posts about homeschooling books I’ve read – there are 3 very good ones, in particular, that I want to make notes about.
  • And, finally, after all of this, I want to work on an opportunity that has presented itself to make a little $$ from home, while working on something I love… again, it’s a matter of working out a time for this and scheduling it in.  I’ll keep you all informed about this as any progress is made, because it may be beneficial to a lot of homeschool mamas. :)


Any plans on your part for the new year?  I’d love to hear about them!

I hope your 2011 is off to a wonderful start and that all your dreams for the year will come true. :)

Have a beautiful day! :)


  1. What great goals! We'll be praying for you to get your little joy wrapped up in a blanket this year.

    Here is my goals post:

  2. Happy New Year Nicole. You seem to have really thought through your goals and desires for the upcoming year. Looking forward to joining you on the journey through 2011.

  3. Oh, Nicole, I pray you get that bundle. It's so ironic that some people who would have been so very happy with the bundles they have keep getting more of them and the people who so want more bundles don't. You will be in my prayers.

  4. A very Happy new year to you n ur family , loved going thru ur wonderful blog !!!

    - Smita
    (fun foods for little eaters

  5. It sounds like you have some big decisions to make regarding homeschooling. I'd like to encourage you that if you decide this is what's best for your family you'll always have critics in your life, but you'll also have a community of other homeschoolers to help you through it. :) It's not the best or right decision for everyone, but if you come to this decision through prayer, you know you've made the right one :)

    Semalee @ Nailing Jello to a Tree

  6. Hi, I love your blog and I think you really deserve an award which is waiting for you at my blog! I am so happy I found you! Ewa

  7. I love your goals and maybe I'll steal some of them for myself.

    I have to admit I'm curious about your conversation with a family member, but I know it's not a useful curiousity, more a I want to know type.

    I can't wait to see what you do this year, all of those goals look great.

  8. Love that little angel and I think it's beautiful she's guiding you through your prayers. I have a few of those same wooden characters; they are so special.

    I'll keep you in my prayers and hope you are blessed with that tiny bundle in a blanket this year. :)

    Looking forward to your posts about post-partum... I suffered a bit from that and it's one thing I think more people need to understand.

    Wishing you nothing but good things this year, Nicole. *hugs*

  9. Wow, ambitious. My goals are... um... I've given up on goals, actually. They make me feel bad! But anyway, sigh. Sorry you are still having trouble convincing people that homeschooling is ok. I will say that if, in the end, you think M is going to go to kindergarten, you may want to send him to preschool this year. I've had friends tell me that their children had trouble adapting to kindergarten after not going to preschool - they learn how to be good little students there. Waiting in line, raising hands, and mostly sitting still all day. M will be ready academically, but may need practice with that stuff? Or maybe not since you have him in nature class, music class, etc. Just something to think about... Also, in place of Five in a Row, you could try this site: It's not as thorough as FIAR, but it's free and a good way to start. I found that it's really not for me, and I had been convinced that FIAR was the way I was going to go...
    I envy you the way to make money from home. I'm feeling like there is an empty space right now because I miss having a career. Got all hyped up about going back to school and starting back to work part time, but then thought about the logistics and really can't do it. Homeschool, college, work, deployed husband. Ha. Sigh. I'll find something. Good luck to you! (And I hope that teeny bundled joy arrives in your house this year. That would be so lovely!!)

  10. Happy new year Nicole! Very thoughtful post. I hope that you get that little bundle of joy this year (and hope for one for myself, I must admit!) Good luck on all of your goals.

  11. Good luck making decisions about long term homeschooling, and I really hope that you will get the baby you are dreaming about.

  12. Nicole... I only have a second, but wanted to share a tumblr link with project ideas. They could be simplified, or saved for later. I thought the collection was diverse and interesting. I've been gathering ideas on my tumblr too, so I'll include that address in case I haven't given it to you.

    More soon, xoxo

  13. These are some great blogging and personal goals! I will be praying for a little miracle for you guys!!


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