Friday, January 3, 2020

Looking Back ~ Looking Forward

We had a lovely Christmas break. Well, in reality we only took Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day off this year. We are in a nice school groove right now and no one felt or feels the need to stop. So we continued and it felt good. We still felt like we were on break because there were no dance or out-of-the-home classes. We read for an hour or more every day as a family and knocked out several books. We watched movies at home and even went to one in the theater. Anne built a 1000 piece puzzle. She has missed puzzles and really enjoyed having the time to do one. We may even squeeze in one more before the crazy really starts up again. Dean spent more time drawing and exercising outside in our crazy warm weather. Oh, and the Christmas Eve service at church was gorgeous. I wish I had taken a picture. We also hosted our 3rd annual New Year's Day party with great success (which I will talk about next Thursday). It was a lovely pause in our usual busy lives.
Our silly dog ate three pieces!
One evening we decided to do a dance photo shoot with our city's holiday light display. The temperature was in the low 50's, so we grabbed our chance. Anne created a bit of a stir downtown with several tourists requesting dance moves be performed. Our city is famous for its street performers, and I think some of them thought she was one of the street performers.

Now it is January...a new month, new year and new decade. There is so much hope in a fresh start. This decade promises great changes in our family. All of our children will grow into adults and be in their late 20's and 30's by the time this decade ends. That is an amazing thought for me! I have been a mother of minors for three decades...every minute of my adult life thus far. No wonder my urge to start a preschool is so strong. Change is hard, but it can also be beautiful and exciting. I look forward to seeing how this next chapter in my life plays out. However, we aren't there yet. There are two lovely teens to graduate and tons of work to do on their journey to adulthood. Our January goals are as follows:
Learning about Gravitational Attraction
  • My husband is taking over all physics experiments. I just can't bring up the energy for physics. It is my least favorite science. I am doing the reading material and worksheets with the kids and he is doing the experiments. It is going so much better.
  • Continue reading for an hour or more as a family each day. We are enjoying biographies, government books, literature and a few science books. It is a nice mix.
  • Watch a movie for literature, history or science once a week.
  • Fill out paperwork for Dean's homeschool graduation this spring!!
  • Sign Anne up for six hours of private driving lessons, which is a state requirement on her journey for a license. 
  • Dean will complete U.S. History II credit and maybe his Visual Arts III credit.
  • Anne will complete her Health Credit and U.S. History I credit.
Our other goals are financial goals. We lose almost 20% of our income in May due to the loss of Dean's adoption assistance at age 18. He received this benefit because he was a special needs adoption from foster care. I also was required to be a stay-at-home mom for many years as part of his adoption requirements (not that I would have wanted it any other way). There are some other big expenses coming down the road right now as well, a dying mini van, health insurance changes and necessary home repairs...not to mention community college for Anne in the next 18 months. We have known that this is coming for a long time and are actively preparing for the change. We had assumed that I would go to work part-time around this time, but the special needs of my family still makes it in everyone's best interest that I remain a stay-at-home mother. We hope to continue to shave off expenses wherever we can for the next year or two so that I can do just that. If we really need more income, I will most likely start a daycare home, which is something I have loved in the past and keeps me at home. This is all said to announce that I will be starting a Thrifty Thursday post with some of my ideas on how we are saving our pennies.

Blessings, Dawn


  1. The photos of Anne are lovely! Sounds like things are going smoothly. I'm looking at ways to shave expenses, and possible part time early morning/late night work if needed, so you're not alone in the battle of the budget.

    Happy New Year!

  2. What beautiful photos of Anne with the lights. We took almost the whole two weeks off and I am honest enough to admit I am struggling more than the boys with heading "back to school." Thankfully, the older they get the less they seem to need so much of my help to get the work done.

  3. Those photos . . . so gorgeous! I totally get the agony of lost AAP at 18. We tried so hard to save that assistance and not depend on it, but we did depend on it. We've done our own bit of adjusting in the past year and a half. I hope you do start your own preschool/daycare in your home. What a joy! I have the same desire, even though I know it is not possible at this stage. I hope that when the "crazy" begins again, it is fulfilling. <3