We have a started a newer tradition in the last few years called year-end evaluations. At the end of any type of event, program, etc. that I am involved in, I like to take an “end evaluation”. I jot down a few notes while it’s still fresh like what worked really well or what went terribly south and should never be repeated. These notes allow me to look back the next time the event rolls around and improve upon it. I thought it might be fun to do the same with our little family.
The evaluation sheets include simple ideas, such as current grade, school, practice writing 2014, etc. It also includes questions like: what was your biggest accomplishment for the year? What would you have liked to accomplish but never got an opportunity to do so? What are your goals for next year? Will it be a good year and why? The sheets are not set in stone and will slowly evolve as the kids get older. The best part is that it can be personalized for each family and what would make the most impact for your children.
Before filling out the new evaluations this year, we sat down and read through the previous years. It was fun to see what everyone hoped to accomplish and if they did and it’s also a fun way to keep track of the many adventures and blessings along the way. I plan on tucking them all safely away in a binder to pull out every year - or at least that’s what I’ve been saying the last 3 years and that’s why they’ve been paper clipped together in my “mommy to do to basket” on the kitchen counter. Who knows, this may be the year that it happens or more realistically, they may spend another year in the same spot.
My resolutions for this year included many repeats from past years, such as the old trusty standby….lose weight. I also included: complete more races, run 500 miles throughout the course of the year, find a permanent church home for our family, blog more, soak up the last several months with Berkley before she starts preschool next Fall, buy new underwear (let’s just say it’s been awhile), and of course…pay off my library fines. The first day of the New Year also included dusting off the old resume and sprucing it up a bit (the last time I did that may have been the last time I bought new underwear). I am sure the last one excites Blane the most. Hmmm, I mean the idea of a J-O-B that is, not the new underwear…or well, maybe it’s the underwear too. Either way, if there was ever an emergency brake in life, this may be the time that I would pull it. Parker will be turning double digits and starting her last year of elementary school and Cooper will be diving into new sports and 2nd grade. Time to slow down and soak up the life and the images zooming past us on high speed right now.
A new year also marks closing the back cover of my favorite devotional and flipping it back to the beginning and starting again. If you do not have a good daily devotional, I would encourage you to pick up a copy of Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. My pages are tattered and worn and the satin ribbon attached for the bookmark has been chewed and slobbered by each child in this house, but it truly is my favorite. It’s as if God knows exactly what I need to hear each morning and it is uncanny that the scriptures meet me exactly where I am at in each struggle and celebration. And for those that don’t feel like they can give one more minute of their day, the devotions are short and cover one small page so it can be done while brushing your teeth or even in between the shouts across the house threatening that this is the last time you will ask them to get dressed for school. However you need to get it done, you do it. But let me warn you, the readings may be short, but you will quickly find yourself lost in opening up the Bible and reading through the additional scriptures provided looking for more.
One last quick thought as I can hear 2 of the 3 stirring in bed and my coffee is getting cold. A portion of yesterday’s devotion has been ringing in my ear:
COME TO ME with a teachable spirit, eager to be changed,
a close walk with Me is a life of continual newness.
Do not cling to old ways as you step into a new year.
Instead, seek my face with an open mind, knowing that your journey
with Me involves being transformed by the renewing of your mind.
January 1st, Jesus Calling, Sarah Young
A toast to a new year…..new adventures…clean library accounts…and new underwear.
If anyone has the gift of websites and/or blogging, I would love to pull on your ear for a while about updating and sprucing up this blog. Certainty not one of my gifts but ready for an update of sorts so I can continue documenting the many adventures along the way. I am happy to pay for your expertise on a “remember my husband is a school teacher salary” or exchange your expertise for baked good and vinyl galore! J