I have taken a big break from the heaviest of our school subjects since Advent, which always makes it hard to get back in the groove of things. However, I have an outline for what I want to do, especially the literature we're starting in January. I'll post more details as I get more details planned. ;) But we're looking to have some fun with Broadway musicals, Google Earth, and world explorers.
There was quite a flurry of business for me when I was working before Christmas. But I was successful in my work, and managed to make some nice bonuses that went towards a couple of nifty gifty items for Travel Man and myself. Camera for me, Tom Tom for him, and maybe a movie out for the girly-kins. I want to see Despereaux, but we're still reading it, so we can't go yet. Maybe Bolt.
Which reminds me. What a phenomenal year it has been for family movies! Usually, we can see everything we want to take the girls to in a year, even though we usually only go to the movies with them two or three times per year. But this year, we missed Kit Kitteridge, Horton Hears a Who, Kung-Fu Panda, and more. We did see WALL-E with them (Travel Man posted about it here), and we might be lucky enough to see Bolt and Despereaux, but there is just as good a chance that we will miss one of those. I've seen reviews for Bedtime Stories with Adam Sandler that say it's a great kids' movie that lacks those not-always-subtle sex jokes. So thank you, Hollywood, for inundating us with movies that we actually want to take the kids to see! I hope they were rewarded by those who could afford to go out a lot. We'll reward them with rentals and/or purchases. (Heck, we have two copies of WALL-E, but the girls don't like when I tell the story of why.)
Now that we are in the middle of the Christmas season and the new year is starting up, I realize that our regular crazy schedule will be underway soon. Starting Monday, Little Girl starts dance again. Tuesday is the first basketball practice, with games on Saturdays. Story time at the library will be starting up, too. I've got activities with Respect Life (like the Fight FOCA campaign and a quarterly baby shower for Catholic Charities). Travel Man will don his super suit again as basketball season comes to a close. School lessons will start again in earnest. And Little Girl will start preparation for First Holy Communion! Somewhere in there, I'm still going to be working 20 hours a week. Whew. Did I mention co-op is starting again, and I want to read some Shakespeare with the 5th through 7th graders? Yeah, I need a copy of "Comedy of Errors." And I wonder where the year went.
Speaking of where the year went, this year has flown by. If you know how that happened, please inform me. I'm clueless. Suddenly I'm the mother of a ten year old and a seven year old. I pick up pictures of the girls sitting on Santa's lap from the parish brunch, and I get some picture of these BIG girls that look a bit like my own little ones. I think the camera is wonky or something, but the photographer insists it works fine.
And more on this year. There have been a lot of changes for our family. I've blogged about our Dave Ramsey plan before, and I cannot tell you just how much it has changed our lives. One year ago, I wasn't sure how we'd make it. We needed to sell that van. We needed to pay off some serious debt. And I'd just gotten out of the hospital and knew I had about $3000 worth of medical bills coming my way. Throughout the year, the Soccer Mobile has needed more than $2000 worth of repairs, our family computer died, we took trips to Texas and South Carolina and South Dakota, and I started a business, with start-up costs that meant I didn't really see profit until July. In spite of this, we managed to pay off an obscenely large amount of money, about half of which was taken care of by selling my van. We have one large piece of debt left, which we moved from our credit card company to our credit union, and our two mortgages. God willing, we think we might be able to pay off that last non-home debt by around this time next year. If you told me that was possible a year ago, I'd have laughed in your face.
If you are in financial crisis, look at Dave Ramsey's site and get a hold of The Total Money Makeover. We've made sacrifices, but the girls are still in dance and sports, and we still took our family vacations. Biggest difference is that I started my business, which is helping keep those things going. But you can do it.
Christmas is not over yet. I am still wishing people Merry Christmas! This season will last until the Epiphany, January 6. These are the twelve days that you were singing about!
If you are unfamiliar with the concept, you can read more about the Christmas season here and here. One nice thing about being Catholic is that I know all those decorations are not "just for one day." Christmas is nearly two weeks long! Not as long as Easter (which lasts 50 days), but still ... Being Catholic really enhances your understanding of this time of year. Our joy and excitement over Christmas was made more so by our Jesse Tree readings. And our happiness about the season will continue right through Epiphany, when Travel Man will bless our home and inscribe a blessing over each doorway of our home.