Friday, January 2, 2009

Our year in review

I was just making our bed and was thinking about what I can get done and what I actually am not going to get done in 2008. Well, 2008 is over so the to-do list that I did have for the year is going to get moved to 2009 and now is the time to downsize that list, just like the rest of the economy.

Here are a few of the items on my to-do list...
1. Get our Christmas letter done for 2008. Um, well if you have read any of the past posts, this isn't going to happen, even in 2009. I have the cards, I have the paper, I don't have the time. Merry Christmas everyone, Happy New Year and maybe next year I will actually get these out to everyone. I have to honestly say as well that as our family was receiving all of the cards that we got this year, I had a sense that this tradition of Christmas was really starting to become more of a routine rather than something that truly was going to have deep meaning and didn't want to send something that was rushed but wanted to really spend some time on this for everyone. Photo cards are great but it just wasn't something that I wanted to do this year...maybe next year. I understand why they are popular...they are fast and easy.

2. Go through all of the Teen MOPS stuff that I have. I think this is a process that just isn't going to end anytime soon. This has been a hard year for me mostly because I am running the Teen MOPS program and also running day care in our home. It has been a long time since I have had a job with normal hours and it has been and adjustment getting up early and welcoming kids into our home at 7:30 am each day because I am really more of a 9:00 am type of person. This year has been an adjustment because I also work Monday through Friday each week. I haven't had a job with regular hours for a very long time...actually, ever! I was always in sales or management with retail and those hours truly are hard but they are flexible and are always changing so things were exciting for me in those careers. Those hours are very tough with a family though. Teen MOPS has been on the front for 4 years, always on my mind, always the tasks that I was doing until 2:00 am in the morning. If I was awake and had a moment to do something I was working on Teen MOPS stuff. I see that God gave me the job of getting Teen MOPS started and up and running during the first few years because it really was a full time job. Granted, it was a full time job that didn't get the pay of a full time job other than knowing that you are helping someone who truly needs help. What greater pay is there than that? The Teen MOPS stuff will probably continue to stay in boxes in the basement for awhile...that is the reality. Thank goodness Chris built more shelves!

3) Be at my ideal body weight. Well, I am 5 feet 10 inches tall. My ideal body weight at the top of the scale is at 180 pounds. I didn't get to that weight last year and probably never will. I may get close but 180 pounds...I remember when I actually weighed that. I was a freshman and sophomore in high school and was in volleyball and basketball. I didn't play much during the games but our practices were killers! We even did an exercise called killers and I thought I would puke after each one. I am going to try to live a healthier life this year and actually started this process a long time ago by cutting out a lot of white breads and white pastas. I have been using whole wheat pastas and breads for a long time and the kids actually don't even notice anymore. Chris got a boxed Mac & Cheese about a week ago and made it for the kids one night. I was sick and couldn't eat anything but when they ate it, he was shocked by how bad it tasted. I am not a big meat eater and calcium is very hard for me to get because I am lactose intolerant so the area of protein and calcium is one I am trying to improve on. I have started using soy milk in some things so I can get some calcium and also eat a piece of string cheese once in awhile when I know I can handle it. Little by little, I am trying to get in the things that I need to be healthier and the best part of it all, the kids are changing their eating habits at the same time.

4. Establish great relationships with my family. I have a complicated family. There have been some huge milestones in our family in the last 15 years and some that have changed our family forever. I have lost many family members but also gained even more. There are many choices that have been made by family members that I have not agreed with and lifestyles that are difficult for me to understand. I wanted to spend more time with my family last year but as I look back at the year, I didn't get a chance to spend time with many of them because of either choices that I made or choices that were made on their part. Some of my immediate family I haven't even had a chance to see in 2008. Hopefully I will have a chance to at least say hi to them in 2009.

5. Be a better mom. I am hoping that I did a good job at this last year and am really wanting 2009 to be a great year with my kids. They are all growing up so fast that it is hard to think what they will be like in a year but I can already imagine what they will be like as adults. Sidney will be a great leader and she will be analyzing the numbers where she works very carefully. She is a huge number person and very task oriented. Give her a calculator, a piece of a paper, a pencil and something to watch and she will make a great chart for you out of something that I never would have thought to do, or even have the desire to do. She is not me! Micah will probably have a career relating to talking. If he had his dream, he would be in a station somewhere telling the trains where to go and even conducting them. Micah has a great vocabulary for a 3 year old and from the minute he wakes up in the morning, literally, to the minute he goes to sleep, he is talking. Quinn is going to be something great. With his talents right now limiting to giving high fives, giving kisses, putting things inside of other things and opening cabinet doors, I just am not sure what he will be when he grows up. If he can do something that will show off his smile, he will be a star!

I want our family to be thankful. I really have a hard time hearing others complain...and believe me, I have some in our family that complain more than they should. Our family should be very thankful for kids that are healthy, a great house that more than suits our needs, cars that work and really haven't had any repairs, jobs, a country that provides many things for us, a great church, people all around us that we can call friends and family. I asked the kids the other day what they were thankful for. Sidney wrote: God, air, water, family...those were just a few of the things that she wrote. How simple and yet how complicated is that! I think that complaining has become more of the norm than being thankful and it is really starting to just ring in my ears when I hear someone start complaining just to complain. If I could shout from a mountain top and scream something with all of my might, I would scream, "Be Thankful!"

I actually want to have a verse for our family this year that our kids will learn and actually keep with them for the rest of their life. I want them to grow up and know that every choice they make in their life should honor God. I want them to think about the words that they speak to eachother, the actions that they have towards others and the thoughts that they have towards people that are different than them...all of these different areas in their life should have results that show that God is first in their life.

I love that our kids pray before each meal and that Sidney always prays for the missionaries. I love that Micah prays for himself when he knows that he is having a day that is a little harder for him. Our kids pray for their families and even for some of their friends. I love to see their eyes shut real tight and their hands folded perfectly. Quinn even knows now when we pray and folds his hands...not always at the right times but he intertwines his fingers at some point before, during or after the prayers.

Our year didn't turn out exactly the way we anticipated and I didn't get everything done that I wanted to this year but I am thankful that our family is healthy, that we got to see a good majority of our families, that our kids are doing well in many things and that we have a great church family here in Rochester too.

Thankyou to the One that made everything possible in our lives this past year. I pray that our family will honor You in everything that we do in 2009.

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