Life. Love. Family. Our Perfect Imperfection. Living life as a Catholic, homeschooling family with three amazing, unique boys, a too-oft serious, frustrated and anxious but also loving momma, and a fun-loving, hardworking dad.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

2014 Goals update

Here's our current progress:

We are currently on week 4 of the 52 week savings challenge for OUR savings account. We did weeks one and two for each of the boys.

Since the hospital where Jason had care for a kidney stone several years ago paid off the rest of his bill, we are using that little extra to pay down our highest interest credit card each month. Basically snowballing, adding an extra $50 to the minimum payment (unless something crazy comes up). Also getting rid of some "unnecessary" monthly items to give us some extra spending OR debt-busting money.

Home Management:
#1 The chore/point system is in full gear and working well. They have been doing great keeping track of things. The school point is going good with them bringing everything home, unpacking, doing their homework in a reasonable time, and math and reading each for 20 minutes a night. Mornings are even smoother and they have been remembering to make their beds. Behavior for E is good and though he has been whining, we aren't including that in his school behavior point. As long as he doesn't get questions/RTC, he earns his point. (He also wasn't on his meds for a bit there and now we got a refill on it and a follow-up appointment finally.) Alex is doing better with not getting warnings as often, less than 1/2 the time now, but had only been back to school for 7 days so far at that point... Chore points and round-up is going pretty well. Minimal complaining.

#2 The motivated moms app is awesome. Not only am I able to track what I'm getting done, I'm being reminded of chores I usually forget! And it's super easy to assign things to the boys, too.

#3 We've only had one Saturday since this one was started and we didn't really have a lot to do plus Alex had a friend spend the night.

Get Fit:
#1 To be honest I'm struggling with my eating right now and my motivation to exercise. I need to start fresh and get moving, though I am up off my butt more, due to getting more done around the house.

#2-6 I went a little backwards on the weight but again, by getting back on track with exercising and better food choices, I should make good progress again. I haven't stepped on the scale since last week and will do a check-in on that on Monday...

#1 Since our Costco membership needs renewed in March, we've been discussing this. We both like the organic ground beef better and it's a great price there: $16.99 or $17.99 for 4 lbs ($4.25 or $4.50/lb) vs $7.99/lb at Meijer and compared to regular ground beef at $3.99-5.99/lb. Also they have other things we like. I need to sit and rework the grocery budget to shop every 2 weeks again instead of every week and we are still considering a deep freezer. It may be in the basement by month's end. I've been adding things back in here and there that are organic but not much yet. I think milk and eggs are next in line, though I'd love some farm fresh, cage-free, pastured eggs. Yummm.

#2 After waking up with Jack at 3:30am and having, ahem, some digestive issues myself at the same time on Sunday, I tried to determine the cause. I had a glass of milk on Saturday and lots of cheese over the past few days, as well as greasy pepperoni and a homemade Italian sub the night before for dinner. Maybe it's not just dairy but greasy food too. I'm thinking a food diary over the next few weeks might be a good idea.

#3 See #14 under my personal goals for January's progress and plans for 2 new recipes before the end of the month!


#2 E and Alex both have appointments for their yearly physicals scheduled for around their birthdays. E also has a neurologist appointment scheduled for next week for a follow-up.

#7 I have been in contact with the orthopedic surgeon's office about Jackson's thumb and should know something more next week. He may need to be seen again before they can schedule the surgery, and whether or not that's necessary, it will be sometime in the next couple of months for his surgery.

#4-6 I'm in search of a good dentist that accepts our insurance and am hoping to find an office that has a general dentist and pediatric dentist.

Personal goals:
#1 One book down and 2nd started with a few picked out to follow. I finished Dark Souls that I actually started sometime back in November but had put it away. I found it about a week ago and read almost 3/4 of it in just a few days! I'm now reading The Remains on my galaxy tab on the kindle app. Next up is a book called Don't Breathe A Word, a kindle book I read a chapter from months ago.

#2 I've made a little progress on my project with a few rows added (10-12?) over the last few days. It's going to be a blanket, but is only about a quarter of the way finished.

#4 I'm still working slowly on the German practice and going back to work on "weaker" areas.

#6 I haven't decided what class I want to take yet but plan to look at the college as well as the rec center's summer catalog and a couple local school districts' "continuing education" summer catalogs.

#8 I am also still looking into where to take a photography class, but feel at a loss right now here.

#10 Technically, I re-purposed an old wooden cutting board into a holder for the Christmas lights but that wasn't really what the plan was, LOL.

#12 Currently doing ok with this one. I wrote 2 blog posts last week, and this is #3 for this week. I do need some "original" content.

#14 Since it's so late in the month I'm planned to find 2 recipes from Pinterest for this month's items, and then we'll kill two birds with one stone, also hitting #3 from the food/diet related goals under health goals for January. I picked out a breakfast meal (cinnamon roll pancakes - I plan to modify this slightly by using white whole wheat flour and coconut oil) and a crockpot meal (Low Fat Mexican Fiesta Chicken).

#7 and #11 Jason laughed about these, mainly due to the fact that these are so vague. He's right, of course. I need to flesh these two goals out a bit. To be honest, I'm thinking these are going to be the hardest for me.

I want to add 16-23 for my list: Visit my friend Jill in Maryland; Visit my friend Cathy in upstate NY; Visit my friend Darla who just moved to Michigan; Visit my friend Sharon in Ohio; "Meet" my friend Kate and family in AZ; "Meet" my friend Jennifer and family in SC. (I say "meet" because they are my virtual friends and we've never met IRL. I hope that we can take a short trip out West and down South this summer but these will prove to be the most difficult. The Ohio and Michigan visits will be much easier as they are closer to home, and we can make a weekend trip, with just the boys and I if Jason isn't able to go, to Maryland and NY if needed.) The last one is my 15 year high school reunion, which is possibly set for the weekend of August 8-9.

A little aside here for the boys' reading goals. I found a really good book list while on Facebook/Pinterest the other day. Mensa for Kids has some great lists according to grades and reading levels, with the possibility to earn a t-shirt as well as certificates for reading the entire list.

#1 He's enrolled in level 2 and had his first class last Saturday and 2nd this morning and is working on learning basic strokes. He's also learning on his listening skills ;)

#2 He's finished his first book and second books: The Guiness Book of World Records 2014 and Middle School: How I survived bullies, broccoli and snakehill.

#4 After auditioning for the school musical, E got the part of "Howe". Monday and Wednesday, they had rehearsal, got their waiver, call list, and scripts.

#6 The two current video game classes at our rec center are at the same time as other activities they are in (swimming, play, catechism, cub scouts) so this will end being a summer time or at least later spring time activity.

#10 There was supposed to be a middle school dance yesterday but school was cancelled :(

#1 He's enrolled in level 1 and also had his first class last Saturday and his 2nd today. He's very close to testing out, they actually tested him because they'd like to move him up, but he needs a little more practice with some of the basics.

#2 As I said, he's technically earned this, as he's finished all the requirements under each of the four sections, but won't be awarded the badge until Blue and Gold. We are going to continue to work on achievements and electives for arrow points.

#3 He wants to earn the archery, astronomy, bb-gun shooting, chess, photography and soccer belt loops for sure. There are many other choices too, several of which he has partially finished the requirements for. The archery and bb-gun ones MUST be earned at scout events due to the safety rules, so he's hoping to earn them at camp this summer :) There are 28 sports belt loops, of which he currently has baseball, basketball, bicycling, bowling, kickball and softball and has done partial requirements for 3 others. There are 25 academics belt loops, of which he has collecting and video games and he has seven others started. He is also half-way done working towards earning the video game pin.

#5 He also auditioned for the musical and got the part of Drake. He is very excited but is also nervous about how busy we will be the next few weeks, with practices (at least) 2 nights a week most week, cub scouts on Tuesdays or Sundays, swimming and catechism on Saturday mornings, etc. plus homework and chores. I reassured him that activity nights, chores would be much lighter especially if there is tons of homework. :)

#6 Alex has finished his first 2 books! Magic Treehouse #1 and Little House on the Prairie: On the Banks of Plum Creek. He is eagerly waiting a trip to the library for the next in the LHP series (this surprised me, as I thought with a girl being the "main" character he may not enjoy it as much, but he is loving them so far, having read one in December for his most recent book report and this one! I know, I know, it's fine, but I was just surprised is all. :) )

#7 He wants to learn French! However, he is still doing Spanish in school, so this may be interesting... LOL

#9 Math practice is continuing and we may be doing some online math programs.

#4 Level A swim lessons had already started or were full for this session, so we are looking into the one starting in March.
#9 He is learning the alphabet song and it's very cute!
#8 He loves counting any objects with me, so this has been fun so far. I think it will be an easy task for him.

As he has only just shared his goals, I don't have any real updates yet, except that he has started his classes (2nd week is almost over for the semester) and I know he won't have any trouble with his GPA. I'm so proud of him. He's taken on so much this semester with 3 classes for a total four nights a week at school (10 hours or so) plus group projects, 40-50 hours of regular work, pinewood derby chairman - meaning he runs the pinewood derby for our pack basically and "hosts" it for other packs in our area on multiple occasions! - AND working a second job as a contract mechanic for some co-workers/employees' business on the police helicopters in the D. Plus making sure he's got time for the boys and I. I'm doing my best to help him out and also make life less stressful around here by having things done. Once we get in a groove with all the new around here, it should be good.