Enjoy some photos my parents took of us celebrating Christmas with them this past weekend, while I wax nostalgic about the waning year:
(The Map Man and Zoo Boy clowning around.)
Last year as 2007 ground to a close, I reviewed the five goals I'd listed at the previous change of years, and commented on how I'd met those goals (or not). That little end-of-year ritual worked well for me, so I'm going to do it again.
Here were the five goals I listed for 2008:
1. Sustainability for our Homestead
2. Jump-start my kids' Arts Curriculum
3. Do something with our horses
5. Control my computer habit
I'll take a look at them one at a time:
(The boys and my mom check out one of her gifts)
Sustainability: Well, we didn't plant a garden, as I had hoped to, although we DID come up with a doable plan for 2009 -- after trying our hand at raising a pig (and reaping the benefits of all that home-grown pork!) we discovered that the pig pen would make the perfect planting grounds for a variety of edibles. So the plan is to time the butchering of our two current pigs to coincide with planting season. We did manage to produce our own eggs, lamb, and pork. And we ate as much of our purchased foods from local/organic sources as possible. So although that doesn't do all that much for our own sustainability, we're helping out other local farmers with theirs, so that's SOMETHING, anyway. We also added a few wool sheep back into the flock, for their fiber-producing ability, so in the spring we'll have our own wool again after a half dozen years without.
(Zoo Boy, in a thoughtful moment.)
Arts Curriculum: We did it!! We've been drawing and painting and crafting and creating and performing. So I can feel confident in putting a great big check mark in front of this one!
Horses: Unlike the above check-mark, I made no head-way whatsoever with this goal. Both Butterscotch and Annie gave occasional pony rides this year, and I even got up on Annie a couple of times for a ride around the pasture, but for the most part the horses just ate a lot of food and were very attractive pasture ornaments. Maybe I'll list this one again on my goals for 2009. (Check back in a few days to see!) However, Annie DID go from a somewhat unthrifty looking crossbred horse to a stunning picture of health, who has been proclaimed by folks in the know as a purebred Morgan. So I suppose THAT is something, isn't it? And of course, we lost our dear Lacy this year, which took a bit of the wind out of my equine sails for a good chunk of the year.
(J watching his cousin perform magic tricks.)
Cooking: Ahem. Well, I made more progress with this than with the horses, but I certainly wouldn't declare myself a raging success. The past few months I made a commitment to provide more homemade snacks for the kids, so there's been some regular baking these days -- pumpkin muffins and cinnamon bread, along with home-baked cookies, have replaced chips and store-bought crackers as snacks. And I've been preparing pastry pockets with various meats in them for The Map Man to take for lunches rather than his standard Peanut Butter Sandwich fare. But I've still got a long ways to go in the meal-preparation department (although I DID cook a ham dinner for my entire family this fall). What can I say, I'm a work in progress. But the kids (especially Zoo Boy) really do enjoy cooking, so I do see more of this sort of thing on our horizon, so it's a goal that is only just now gaining a head of steam.
(Me and my Sis, hiding our double-chins from the camera!)
Computer: I was ready to declare complete defeat on this one, but in looking back at my original list, I realized that I am no longer visiting any of those time-consuming web-sites that I listed as examples of ways I waste time on-line. I still spend plenty of time on the computer. However, it's spent corresponding with real people rather than playing games, and reading the blogs of other Enki Homeschoolers, where I receive inspiration and motivation, and glean cool ideas for use in our own program. So while my quantity of time hasn't changed much, the quality has seen a vast improvement.
Now to put a bit of thought into my goals for the coming year. And to enjoy the last few moments of 2008 with my wonderful family!
5-7 year mission preview, realized
5 years ago