Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Looking Ahead at 2016

I feel a little conflicted about sharing my goals and projects for 2016.  I suppose it is largely pride that holds me back, the fear of looking like an idiot if I manage to do very little of what I set out to do.  But in an effort to keep that pride in check, I'm going to share this anyway.  My goals and projects fall largely into two areas, community building and our home.

I hadn't planned on choosing a word for 2016.  But as I was praying in Adoration on Sunday, I knew I had a word for the year anyway.  Something similar happened to me in 2013, when the word was Hospitality.  And that was the year when I had my hardest pregnancy and I learned a lot about what hospitality is and isn't, and about how to accept hospitality and ask for hospitality, and how to handle accepting hospitality only to find that the well intentioned people don't follow through.  There was a lot of good growth (and, really, I'm still processing some of the things that happened that year), but it certainly wasn't what I expected at all.

So with that background, I'm feeling some trepidation about my word for this year.  The word is Persistence.   So as you read through these goals and projects below, keep that word in mind, and perhaps say a little prayer for me.  Something tells me I might need it.

Community Building

Nature Study in Nevada County - I'm starting a monthly nature study group at a local nature reserve.  I've already started to publicize it, it'll be on the third Monday of each month.  I've also started a Yahoo group to help organize it.  I'm committing to going each month, rain or shine, for all of 2016.  My hope is by the end of the year that there will be 12 people on the Yahoo group and at least 4-5 families showing up each week.  But frankly, I'll be thrilled if even one other family shows up each month.

Teaching from Rest Live Online Video Discussion - I want to facilitate a three month study of Sarah Mackenzie's Teaching from Rest, using Google Hangouts or Skype.  I'm hoping to do this with people who live at least near-ish to me, so there's the possibility that we could meet in person.  I hope to start this in February.  I don't know if I'll even be able to get this off the ground, but I'm hoping I can find at least two to three people who will commit to it.  If you're interested, let me know!

Start Here: 20 Principles Live Online Video Discussion - In the same vein as above, using Brandy's 20 Principles study guide.  I'm hoping to start this in April or May.  I think doing a group like this could be really great for people like me who live rurally and just can't get enough people together to have a discussion group locally.  It could be a great way to still have that immediacy of conversation but without the driving and child care hassles.  Again, if you're interested, let me know!

Charlotte Mason Conference - This has proved more challenging than I expected, back when I volunteered at the end of the Seattle conference to head up a conference in Northern CA for fall of 2016.  Suffice to say, there are still plans in the works, but it is looking like there will be a California conference in Southern CA in the summer rather than one in Northern CA in the fall.

Shakespeare Co-op - I held a Shakespeare co-op at my house in the fall which culminated in the performance of an abridged version of The Tempest.  It was a success, and I am planning on doing something similar in the spring and perhaps the fall as well, if I can get people interested in coming out here.

First Saturday Adoration and Social - Years ago I read a wonderful book called A Haystack Full of Needles and one of her suggestions was setting up a time where teens (and parents) could be at Adoration together for an hour, then go to a local ice cream shop or restaurant for some social time.  I filed that away, and now I'm ready to bring it out and dust it off as we have a teenager and our youngest can be put to bed without my intervention.  I expect to start this in February.

Our Home

Due to various issues and circumstances such as pack rat tendencies, difficulty in saying no, lack of time and mental energy to tackle dealing with possessions and the like, we've dug ourselves into a position where we just have Too Much Stuff.  I read Marie Kondo's book over the summer and it was a big help.  (Yes, some of it is decidedly odd, but I don't have to thank my socks to still find a lot of usefulness in her book and methods)  And perhaps more importantly, my husband read Kondo's book over the summer and is on board.  I've since gone through everyone's clothes as well as all the hand me down clothes in storage and drastically reduced what we have.  And it feels great.  I'm going to go through the rest of the house in 2016.  Next up, books!  

This summer I want to revamp our study/school room.  Right now the school age kids and I all have individual desks, but the kids use them far more for piling than for working.  We also are storing the craft supplies on a different floor of our house, which is not working well at all.  The other problem is that my children prefer to create things in three dimensions - I'm not drowning in paper over here, I'm drowning in popsicle stick catapults and airplanes, cars made from wood and plastic lids, balls of yarn, and various findings and salvagings that are just waiting for inspiration to strike.

We also need to redo our oldest daughter's room to put in trim (we were owner builders, so most of the house does not have trim, as we didn't need trim to move in.  But once we moved in, we largely stopped working on the house because we had been living and breathing working on the house for two years and needed a break.  But here we are, six years later...  and, well, I would really like trim!) We also need to make room for her younger sister, who is currently in a porta-crib in our bedroom.  That'll be a summer project too.

And then in the fall we're going to continue the trim project, this time in the hearth room.  Yay!


  1. What a rich, exciting list of projects! I wish I were local so I could get in on some of your get-togethers. They sound not only fun but also fulfilling and intellectually/spiritually stimulating--the best kind of fun, really! :)

    1. Thanks, I hope so! I really am hoping and praying I can find some other people who are interested and will actually show up. :-)

  2. Wonderful goals, and so ambitious! Good for you. :)

    1. Thanks, Nelleke! I'm curious how much I actually manage to do. Persistence, right?? I'll have to post some quarterly updates and keep myself accountable.