Going back in time and thinking about all the things you have done can be bittersweet. On one side, you have the great things you managed to do and on the other side…not so great things that were either left undone or threw a wrench in your plans and just happened. Here is what happened in our life for 2014, in a snapshot!
So, we started the year Homeschooling which ended up being the biggest part of our year. This was our third year Homeschooling my children and I was Homeschooling 3 out of 5 children in three grade levels. My little girl-not quite in Kindergarten yet-always wanted to participate so, technically I had four!
We worked hard to get the three basic things down: Math, Reading and Writing. I really focus on Phonemic Awareness and Orton Gillingham Approaches for the Literary portions as my children have Dyslexia. You can read more about our journey through this on my other blog: thedyslexichomeschooler.blogspot.ca There you can also find resources if your family is blessed with the gift of Dyslexia 😀
I love Handwriting Without Tears& A Reason for Handwriting They are very good for simple dexterity and memorizing the way a letter is formed through songs. This year we chose to put our children into regular school and guess what the Kindergarten teacher uses? Yup! Handwriting Without Tears!
For Dyslexia we use clay and boards for letter recognition and multi sensory input!
Teaching my oldest how to cook was fun! We started with salads and learning how to use a small knife properly. Also, food safety and management. Then, we moved to cooking eggs. He was so proud of himself and so was I.
For Homeschooling we focused a lot of skills. Painting being one of them which they have a natural niche for. THis probably comes from my side of the family line because my husband hates art. So bad, if he had it his way all art supplies would be thrown in the garbage forever. Sometimes, I have to go to the garbage and pull out brand new paint brushes or pencil crayons because he has chucked them into the garbage!
The perks of Homeschooling is we do more fun-real-life things like meeting the MP and asking questions about what they do. This covered some of the Grade 3 outcomes which was also fun. The boys dressed in their suit and ties and had an official meeting in the board room for the MP and his constituents. He gave us neat flags that we still have now and brochures of where he works in Ottawa. He showed us also where he sits when discussing important issues at the House of Commons.
One thing we discovered was that my one son REALLY struggled with memory and his Phonemic Awareness because of Dyslexia. This was a highlight for us and a pivotal moment for his reading comprehension; My Kindergartener began leaning to read with 3D clay letters. This worked way better than flat 2D words or rice writing r any other trick so-to-speak! He would see and remember the letters only when done like this. It was a break through for his learning.
School was out and summer was in full swing. My husband and I couldn’t have been more happier. We took a mini-vactaion together and spent time gazing at the beautiful Pacific Ocean; Tour Boat riding on the Ocean and watching the seals upon its shores. Riding our bikes together. Eating foods that we like!
It was so funny and I think we will laugh about this for years to come. The first night on our vacation we ending up sleeping in, until 2pm the next day!! Yes, we were on vacation as parents haha! I don’t even remember the last day I slept in…
Then our church was so blessed, as we had been praying every year we came to the city that we would be able-by God’s Grace-to get a new building….and He answered our prayers. Well, half of it anyway. We have to share it but, we are very grateful for God’s provision and can seat almost twice as many people! What a great God we serve.
Every year we started to go camping in the summer and make sure we are set up good. We love the outdoors and nature and yes, even camp food. It is almost a treat for us to have lots of junk food because I never buy it! Ever! Otherwise, I would eat it all and that is not a pretty sight. The kids are always mad if mom doesn’t end up sharing. Not good. It is better to just avoid the problems 😉
I thoroughly soaked up the time there. The kids were with daddy swimming and playing. I got to start on my new book for the Reality Series in the midst of beauty and rest. It was perfect!!
I finished the Re-Launch of my first book, Darkness Into Light which included a new cover and type-setting. I wanted to focus more on things that brought my targeted audience attention. Some readers were younger and a larger print was necessary etc. Layout and design needed to emphasis my genre and age ideals. So this was important and I was featured in many local newspapers that picked up the story for the re-launch. This was pretty exciting! I also got some great reviews which I now have on the blogs too.
After the re-launch and during it, I worked like a dog to get the Branding, Networking, and Advertising going. Also, creating a Twitter account which has been a wonderful blessing. I began starting the ground work for the new book coming and laying a foot-hold on a lot of the typing work for the book during NaNoWriMo. I had already handwritten out the time-line, scene goals, and about 50% of the book itself already. I thought during the National Writing Month I would try to get as much of the computer work done as I could get with NaNo’s Writing Sprints. This was incredibly fun and I got matched up with a great Editor which will be Editing Facing The Grey in May. Yay!
It could have been December, however, we had one of those major *ahem* bumps in the road when: our roof went earlier in the year–ten grand later, our basements flooded with washing machine problems and we had to re-do the entire basement–six weeks later and higher Insurance premiums later…
Only to get re-done again during November when the City’s main sewer lines decided to backup into our brand new basement. Good thing the same contractors who were just there a few months back knew our house and set out to work right away–ripping out everything they had just put in!
Right, almost, at the exact same time this was all happening my health was really taking a hit and I was very ill. Then, while I was laying on the couch immobile, my husband came home with his cycling-work-bike in pieces. He had been hit by a car and flipped over it, landing on his head.
Yes, this has been a very bumpy year!
I was grateful he was alive but, he was banged up pretty good. Nothing was broken. Thank the Lord he was smart enough to be wearing a helmet or I would be writing a very different story, as the helmet had been cracked in half.
So we finalized the year in Joy for having each other still around, and with a simple Christmas at first. When obviously money was tight on the cash-flow, we realized that we were not going to have a Christmas for the kids. But, in our simplicity and thankful hearts, we were very content with that. Yet, God came through the very last minute with some unexpected finances. Isn’t it funny sometimes that though God tests our love towards Him, He comes through and bring Beauty from Ashes! THis is seen best in the story of Abraham, the father of our faith.
We also had some other little riffs that were there to steal the joy, love, peace and beauty of Christ’s birth but, we managed to enjoy our time as a family, with the ones we love, creating memories, eating good food and loving the One who gave everything for us to be with Him! Living as a testimony of His Grace, Love and Forgiveness!
Such a wonderful way to end the year!
Many Blessings to you as you reflect on all the Lord has done in your life with the past year…
Ephesians 6: 7-8
“With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.”
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