Mid-February probably seems like an odd time to make a post about goals for the year. Maybe you think I should put “stop procrastinating” on my Not-Quite-New Year’s resolution list. Well, I’m not going to do that. Here’s why: no list of resolutions! Yea!
I have many, many notebooks (journals, sketchbooks, diaries, scraps of paper, napkins from restaurants, etc.) from over many, many years, that I can’t throw away, somehow. Every couple of years, I come across a list, dated “Sept ‘97” or something, on which I’ve detailed my goals for the next year (or five years, or life, or no time-frame at all). They always mention losing weight, getting organized and writing more. It has become obvious to me that I’ve been doing this wrong, since it seems I go backwards on all of these things every time I write them down.
This year, I’ve decided to set three smallish goals for myself per month. In January, I chose: 1. to spend 30 minutes a day, three days per week, getting rid of clutter; 2. to make sure we had “project time” three times per week (more on that later); and 3. to finish three of the numerous art/craft projects I’ve started over the last year.
Goal 3 went swimmingly. I finished a crocheted sun hat for the Girl, a knitted fox hat for the Boy, and put the finishing touches on a knitted stegosaurus I started last summer. Boy was so happy to see that his stego had eyes, he brought me three more knitted dinos to have their eyes added. (Photos to come)
Goal 2 worked fairly well, but I discovered that protecting the time for project-based learning is not as important as I thought. There are two reasons for this: it’s hard to find a time when Boy is not directing his own learning, and the length is not as vital as the kids knowing that this time is for them to do what they want – I will be there to attend to and document their activities and help them, if they need help. I will keep track of questions and plans they have, and materials they need, but I WILL NOT TAKE OVER.
Goal 1? Well . . . slow progress is better than none.
So, now it’s time for February’s goals:
How are you improving/enjoying life?
Seed catalogs have started to appear in our mailbox!! Yea! Spring is coming! I can’t wait to see dirt (outside dirt, of course. Sadly, we have plenty inside…). Well, of course, I can wait. I’ll need patience for another three months. (Four, if this winter holds on as long as last winter did.)
The Garden in January 2014
Still, I love when the catalogs start arriving. I’m going to have twice as much space for growing veggies this year, and no away from home job to interrupt. And last year the property gave us most of what we needed to make a green house. That will be going up as soon as we can remove a few small stumps. What’s that you ask? How did the property give us a greenhouse? Well…
We had been pondering how we could build a greenhouse cheaply. I’d seen a prefab one at Sam’s Club; it didn’t really look big enough or sturdy enough, but the price was decent (less than $200). Husband went to check it out and discovered the much larger carport for about the same amount. With some modifications and additional structural support, he thought that would make a really nice greenhouse for between $300 and $500 dollars. He thought he might even be able to use some old pipe he’d noticed half buried in the woods on the property to lengthen the carport, or as replacement parts, if needed. Turns out, the old half-buried pipe was all the pieces of a similar carport. Only a few were damaged, and of those, most could be repaired. And it wasn’t super old.
Pipes Laid Out on Driveway, Summer 2013
He got some new pieces to replace the few unusable ones and lengthen the structure a bit, and built the first end wall last summer. We already had most of the plywood for the wall, salvaged from remodeling the inside of our house.
Structure Complete. Sorta
This is a good sign, I think. It’s like magic. We have a need and the land provides. I’m tempted to go stand in the middle of our field and say, “Golly, I could really use someone to clean my house….”
I love that my kids make to do lists for me to find and envy. I posted one of my daughter’s awhile back; here’s one I recently came across that my son wrote:
Dressed Pick up Legos
go to shwirch
go to Doctor Mary’s office have Lollipop
go home take out Legos
play with Legos
Put away Legos
Play out Doors
go to sleep
🙂 “Have Breakfast,” “Exercise” and “Get dressed” were crossed out. “Shwirch” is our shortened version of “School-work-church,” since I was homeschooling him at my work, which happened to be at our church. The Drs. office visit was for his sister, so that was really all about getting a lollipop from the snack shop there.
I’m thrilled that he included “put away Legos.” And I’m really going to start putting “play outdoors” on my to do lists.
Well, one of them, anyway. The little man is first grade age, and has the requisite fascinations with dinosaurs and superheroes. He also likes sharks and dolphins. Yesterday we went to a very cool local toy store, Enchanted Forest Toys, which has all sorts of wonderful wooden toys and Folkmanis puppets and eco-friendly craft kits. Both kids had $25 gift certificates they’d gotten at Christmas. He chose a Great White shark puppet. (Sister got a craft kit – more on that later.)
We already had the book I Can Draw Sharks, Whales and Dolphins out of the library, and he made a little book about sea creatures a week or so ago, which he’s been illustrating off and on, but this is now specifically about sharks. This morning he told me, “I think I’m going on a shark buzz.” That’s a new phrase to me, and I’m not sure where it came from, but I understand it! Let’s focus on sharks for awhile!
He has decided to write a series of chapter books about a group of shark pups who think they are orphaned and who solve mysteries. He has very decided ideas about how the credits of the movie based on his novels (!) will look. Instead of scrolling up, like they normally do, he wants the credits to scroll down, from the sunlight zone, through the twilight zone to the midnight zone. An eye and a bright yellow light (an angler fish) will swim in and out of the credits as if they are a coral reef. There will be a darker black shape following the fish (this will be Hammie, the Hammerhead). When the credits are all gone and the screen is pitch black, Hammie’s voice will say, “There’s something fishy about this.”
He started his story today, on the computer, with the following. Spelling, punctuation and everything else are all his. He did ask me to spell a couple of words.
The shape of a Great Hammerhead pup moved across murky water. He was lost. He didn’t know his name. But, most terrible of all, he was an orphan! he didn’t know that there was a string of other orphaned pups inclueding a Great white, a Tiger Shark, a Bull Shark, a Whale Shark and a Blue Shark. But he didn’t care about that. He just wanted to know his name. He looked evreywhare for his name. He looked in small places like nooks, and big places like caves. He even puffed up his courage and dove into a under-the-sea volcano! that was how he got his yellowish-gray color. no name. The next day there was a party.