Goals for the coming year


Goodbye 2011!


You’ll be missed, well some parts of you, others not as much.


I was looking back at my goals I had for the last time I set goals, and I have to say there were mixed results, so many of them I need to reuse as goals.



1.  Get the whole house under control.  My goal is to achieve at least one room a month.  Some months I will get more than one.


2.  Establish a workable chore plan for the kids.  All of the ones we’ve tried so far have not worked, hence why I haven’t shared.  It’s worked for a few days to a week, but not lasting.


3.  Resubmit my Bible study for publication.  I submitted it once before and was given some revisions to make.  I did those, but never heard back, so I need to try again.


4.  Establish a workable routine.  I created one at the beginning of the fall, but I very quickly figured out I don’t need a generic here is what I do for the day, but a day by day plan, otherwise it will fall apart.





1.  Get a pantry that I can find stuff in.  It’s gotten rather messy these past few weeks, and it’s more of a shove into place, rather than in the right place.


2.  Figure out a cleaning schedule for the kitchen that includes deep cleaning things.


3.  Create a daily review sheet for the kids.  I used to do this when I was teaching, but I want to start it up again.


Now, I’m off to fiddle for a few minutes before taking down our Christmas tree!

How’d I do on my goals?

Well somehow it’s September.  I’m not quite sure how that happened, but it did…….


First let’s check on our summer goals:

0451.  Go to the beach and collect sea shells
2.  Go to Schlitterbahn!
3.  See Cars 2, it’s coming out this summer and I know the kids will want to see it.The kids saw it with my Mom, or was it Aunt Tara?  I still  haven’t seen it.

4.  Paint with water on the sidewalk, better do it soon before the sidewalk becomes too hot.Did not get this done……….  But maybe when it cools off

5.  Go to the Austin Children’s Museum again soon.  Went to a different museum
6.  Go to Zilker Park. (one of many trips)

208700137.  Play in the water and pool A LOT!
8.  Find one new park.
9.  Make ice cream successfully
10.  Go to the Austin Science and Nature Center- too hot
11.  Go put-putting
12.  Make a water obstacle course, this has been my dream for a couple of years, ever since I saw it in Family Fun in a doctor’s office.- still a goal
13.  Play in a summer rainstorm.  Might as well have fun with the random rain we’ll get this summer, which we so DESPERATELY need.  NO RAIN!  Anyone know how to perform a rain dance?


For Me
1.  Get the sewing/school room put together which will then let me put back together the game room.
2.  Similarly get the piles cleaned out in the dining room. mostly done
3.  Go to the Zilker Musical, this year it’s “Footloose.” see Zilker link
4.  Sleep in at least once yes, yes I did

39For the whole family
1.  Have a family date night and watch some fun movies, never got blogged about because all of the attempts at interesting and amusing things went horribly horribly wrong, and became a Science post instead
2.  Play more games together
3.  Beat Batman Lego, that’s probably more a goal for Superman and myself because we’re the two fans of that game, but there’s a couple of levels we need to get better at to get the final Lego pieces.  Sigh, no
4. Backyard Bible Clubs
5.  Warrior Prince Academy/Princess Academy, maybe.


Pretty good with our summer bucket list, most got done, or fairly close.  I still want to figure out a water obstacle course, but the one I’m dreaming of requires large amounts of PVC pipes.


AUGUST GOALS:(go to actual link to see detailed answers)

School: mostly achieved, didn’t get explorers all the way done, but close enough


Organizing: About halfway done, but made progress on all of them.


Kids: kinda done.  I implemented some, but not others.


September Goals

0011.  Finish school plans and goals

2.  finish the second month of Sunday school plans, have the first month completely done, and the second is almost done.  And then get a start on the third month.

3.  Get an afternoon schedule done.  I’ve got a morning one, which we’ve successfully done a few times.  Kinda

4.  Chore chart for kids, we got a start, but not all the way done, and for peace of mind I’d like it done.

monthly goals at mama smiles

Goals for August:

I have to admit I rarely write monthly goal posts.  Why?  Because I don’t keep them, or rarely do, but I have a lot I want to get done and I need to plan it all out so I can do that.

So, here goes.

  1. Finish up the Explorers unit.  Which if we buckle down we’ll be able to.  As a follow on to that statement, write a review of the product.  I’m really enjoying it, and am always happy to share things I like. close enough to done.
  2. Continue building the kids up to a full day of school.  We’re almost there, and it’s going fairly smoothly.  I just need to create a plan, which leads to:  SUCCESS!


  1. 001Plan out general idea of lesson plans for the school year.  I’ve done this for History, mainly because we’re doing it with another family.  But, I desperately want to get geography and science in particular better planned.  progress, but not done
  2. I have the school room organized.  I don’t remember if I put up the before and after shots, but that is done.  My goal for the next week (as in before August 11) is to get the rest of the upstairs done.  I know that is overly ambitious, but I think it might be doable.  in flux, I get it done, but don’t follow up and it falls apart again.  Still working
  3. Create a family schedule.  I won a great book at the Curriculum Cleanout for scheduling and making better use of your time.  I want to do this because I am a huge waster of time.  Insanely so.  morning is figured out, now to stick to it and get the afternoon done
  4. Figure out stories and lessons for the first two months of the next year at church.  first month done, second month closer.


  1. 015Exercise more, this goes back to that family schedule.  If it’s in there I’ll do it. not done
  2. Figure out a healthier snack than chips and salsa.  I like to snack when playing computer games, and I figure if I were to just cut out the chips and salsa I’d go a long ways to losing the 10 pounds I want to lose (and having someone ask if I’m pregnant is a great motivator) somewhat done
  3. Look for specific ways to encourage my family.  This includes Jeff and the kids, I’m not a great verbal encourager, which my accountability partner has pointed out could help with problems I’ve been having in various areas.  in progress


  1. 061A chore schedule.  Which again goes to the family schedule, if I have cleaning time built into the day we’ll all do better.  not done completely
  2. I want to teach them how to sort their own laundry.  They are capable, but I haven’t taught them so when they bring down laundry it all is just thrown into whichever bin has the least clothes.  And it’s almost always the wrong color.  not done
  3. Work on Princess’ bad habits.  This past week we’ve caught her in several discipline issues that are going from slightly bad to being full blown trouble.  I’ve had to take away more privileges from her this past week than I’ve ever imagined.  And then tonight as we put her to bed we discovered two more things she’s done.  Any suggestions for strong willed children are very much appreciated or children who are hiding things, like say eating 30 starburst.  BETTER NOW!
  4. Implement an idea I saw over on Educating Layton for encouraging being respectful and responding immediately by giving out M&Ms for right behavior (this has to wait until Princess is allowed candy again, one of three punishments she has).  done, but not consistently

So, that’s my goals for this month, and also why if you see me being less responsive or not posting as much you’ll know why.  I’m busy trying to do way too many things.
monthly goals at mama smiles
Mission of the Month

October Goals: for Mommy and kiddos

monthly goals at mama smilesMission of the Month


So, my theory of all this accountability kinda worked…….

Mission Accomplished

Here’s what was achieved:

1.  The kids have learned most of the letter sounds, they’re stuck on the ones that have 4 or 5 sounds, but that’s partially because we didn’t get to work on it as much as I wanted to.

2.  I did sew something, and got another project partially done.  Of course neither were the two quilts I need to work on.


3.  I kinda got further on my Bible study like I wanted, but not as much as I’d like.





READING: Finish alphabet part of reading program (review of that to come, I’m still ambivalent on them partially because of customer service).

MATH: Again, working on their writing.  I’m thinking through how I want to achieve this, part of it is I need to make some hints for them they can keep with them, probably to be added to this project.

SCIENCE and HISTORY: by the end of October I’m thinking we’ll be finished with insects, so I want to have them be able to tell me about what they’ve learned, and in History by the end of this week we’ll have finished the first quarter, so that’s another review spot.


Physical: continue working out, my goal is to work out 3 times a week.

 Home: I’m going to join this challenge and work on cleaning my house.  The challenge for this week is to clean my coat closet and any other hall closets.  Not having any other hall closets I’m going to work on the closet in the guest bedroom which houses all of the random “to be grown into clothes.”  I think I can get this done by the time this post goes up on Friday, we’ll see.


Spiritual: finish the 1 Thessalonians study, and get started on 2nd Thessalonians.  I’m also tempted to write a “How to Study the Bible” mini-blog (as in it will be for a limited duration until I’ve gone through the lessons I want to write), but that may be biting off too much.


School: I want to finish up my planned out schedule for history, and again work more on geography plans, they’re coming along, kind of.


And hopefully I’ll get a slew of laundry done and put it away, emphasis on putting away.


Oh, and cleaning the downstairs, hopefully by the time you read this it’s much prettier.  Fingers crossed.

Preschool Corner and Mommy Corner: GOALS for September

 Mission of the Month monthly goals at mama smiles

I figure more accountability is better, right?
How did we do on Summer goals?
013Reading:  did not achieve it, mainly because I figured out it wasn’t what they needed to be doing.  By working on it the way I was it was killing their interest in reading, so I’ve put that on hold for now and am concentrating on reading to them a lot
NEW GOAL:  I won the All About Spelling giveaway over on the Homeschool Crew blog, so I’d like to complete Step 1, which is memorize all the sounds the 26 letters make.  They know all of the common ones from Leap Frog Letter Factory, so we’re slowing working through remembering the less common ones.

Handwriting: We more or less got through what I wanted to, but they still really need help.  I’ve printed off the Jan Brett alphabet tracers and the kids are working on tracing 2 letters each day in heavy duty page protectors (I figured out that it was the quality of the page protector that was frustrating them, these are much stiffer).

Math: again, yes and no.  Are their math skills better?  Yes, can they reliably count to 100, no not really.
NEW GOAL: be able to write all of the numbers from 1-20 so I can recognize them without my helping.  Batman is well on his way, he can write them all, I don’t always recognize them.  Princess is being silly about this, but she’s 3, and Superman is being whiny right now.

030 History and Science: for both of these I’ve broken down the books for the semester down into manageable sections so I know what I’m doing for each day we do school.  History, I still need to finish the rest of the year, but I’ve got through December planned so I’m good.  Science I’ve broken the entire book down, so I’m really happy with that.

I have to admit those are the easier ones for me to get organized, they’re what I really love.


in no particular order beyond the random way I think of them.

002 1.  I’d like to lose a couple of pounds of vanity weight.  I”m still at a healthy weight, but I’d like to lose a little bit of weight, I’ve noticed I’ve put on about 5 pounds or so, and I don’t like that.  So, my goal for this month is to lose 2 pounds.

2.  I miss sewing.  I’d sewn a little back in the spring, and then since getting back into town my sewing/school room is such a mess that I haven’t really wanted to go back in there.  So this is a 2 part goal:  1.  clean the room; and 2.  sew something.  I have several projects I want to do, and about 50 more projects the kids want me to do.  Amusingly enough the boys are the ones coming up with stuff for me to make.  (See all my quilt squares cut out, that’s for one of the two quilts I’d like to complete by Christmas).

3.  Get my bedroom back under control.  Right now it’s a huge mess.  I’d show you a picture but then I’d have to shoot you, it’s that bad.

4.  Organize my pantry.  It’s way too scary.

5.  Schooling related:  finish up more of my printables for state studies and then upload them to somewhere that’s not Scribd with all the probability of it charging now or at some point.013

6.  Spiritual: get more earnest in my Bible study, a review post to hopefully come up later today about a cool study I”m getting to review.  Also, actually sit down and write the rest of the Jesus stories, and then I need to age them up, because I discovered last Sunday they don’t work for 2/3 kids at church.
See what I mean about mess?  Actually that particular one is solved for right now.

Preschool Corner: goals for the new year

This isn’t a what we’ve done recently post, but more of a looking back and ahead to figure out what we need to do:



I’ve finally broken down and printed off Progressive Phonics.  My kids seem to be enjoying it, and we’re working our way through it.  So far they’ve done 3 pages in the first week.  The problems I’m working through with it are:
1.  How do you store it?  For the first book I printed it off, folded the pages in half, and hole-punched it.  This seems to be mostly working, but isn’t quite perfect.
2.  They’re getting silly occasionally, and know they are.  This is a constant struggle in schooling.
3.  Often they don’t try to read it, but just guess the word they think should be there.  On the first page Princess got stuck on the work brother.  “I see my little cat,” is what it says, but she says it along with me “I see my little BROTHER!”  and it is yelled that enthusiastically.  So, I’m struggling with them on that one.



I came to the conclusion the kids needed more in this area.  I’ve also come to the conclusion they know more than they’re letting on.  I went ahead and ordered the Math-U-See curriculum and the different manipulatives that go with it.  Even if I don’t stick with Math-U-See the manipulatives are close enough to Base 10 blocks I can use them with something else.

I’m going to keep doing the calendar time we’ve been doing, they could still use more practice with this, and I like them seeing the progression of the days of the week.  I’m also thinking I’m going to add in a daily time problem, and a daily coin problem, counting pennies, and eventually nickels.  We’ll see.



This area I think is going really well.  Since I started making myself sit down and do something at least once a week that is science related so I could have a post every Sunday for my Science Sunday.  They’re not always earth-shatteringly amazing, but it’s something every week.  I still think there’s room for growth, but it’s coming along.

For next year I’m thinking about going with Apologia science, but for now I’m going to finish out My Father’s World and work science into the themes we’re doing.  I’ve figured out that MFW doesn’t quite work for me because I don’t want to buy a comprehensive curriculum that I then buy another curriculum to go with it for science and math and so forth…..

Social Studies


Another area I’m going to start working more on.  This spring we’re going to start working on Geography and learning the 50 states.  I participated in a postcard exchange over at Children Grow, Children Learn, Children Explore and got lots of great cards, and mine should be arriving any day to everyone who I owed a card too. If anyone hasn’t participated yet and still wants a card from Texas let me know, and I’ll happily trade cards with you.

Next year I’m thinking about getting Tapestry of Grace, Mystery of History, or Konos.  They all go with teaching history in 4 year cycles.  I’m leaning most towards Tapestry of Grace or Mystery of History (the latter because I have a friend here who is using it).

Fine Arts


This includes a little bit of everything.  I’m working to play music more often, and since my husband gave me a player that my iPhone can hook up to that is much easier to do.

I also want to start introducing real art to them, you know classic artists and start showing them more of that.  I haven’t quite decided how I’m going to do that.  At some point I want to take them the the Austin Museum of Art, but I think that’s something I need another adult to go with me for.  I could maybe do it on my own, but………

So, that’s my goals for the rest of the school year and a little about what I’m thinking for next year.

Oh, and here’s my children’s medical procedure tally so far, just because it amuses me:

Superman: sonogram of his head at 6 months to see if it’s too big, several sonograms of stomach for various reasons eventually ending in, hernia surgery, CT scan for when he fell at Christmas on the ice

Batman: sonogram for tummy ache that had us scared out of our wits, end result: he has gas.  I got to sit there for 2 hours after they gave him medicine that helped him pass gas.  It was not pleasant.  Glue from his fall in Galveston

Princess: X-ray for her legs, apparently one is growing slightly faster than the other.  In 2 weeks I’ll be adding surgery to correct her toes that are growing crooked