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Jennifer's Parenting Journal


Entry 3 ~ January 9, 2012
~ A New Year With New Chances


Hello all! Even though it's the beginning of the 2nd week of January, I can still say Happy New Year, right? I have been more thoughtful about the last year then I have before. A lot happened in the year 2011 for our family! Although, if you really think about it, is it possible for 365 days to go by and not have many things happen?

Children

The children were in a Christmas program at one of the missions' churches. Caleb was baby Jesus; Grace, Isaac, Malachi and Nathaniel were shepherds, and Maacah was an angel. I have included some pictures of that. It was quite cute to see!

We welcomed our seventh child (fourth boy) Caleb Davids into our family in August. I have had many births, all of them different, and his was no exception! (It's recorded under my last pregnancy journal, if you are interested). Caleb is such a joy to have! His smile is contagious and now that he is beginning to laugh, all the children try and make him laugh. He rolls over from his back to his tummy, but he quickly lets you know that he's not happy! He already has such a different temperament and personality from everyone else, and it's exciting to wait and watch to see what kind-of person he becomes day by day.

This year I have a 4th, 3rd, 2nd, and kindergartener in school. (Those are approximate grades since we home school and I don't use a formal curriculum.) So far, this school year has gone much better due to the fact that I'm actually planning what we are going to be doing for each week. I know, it a "no brainer", right? Even when I used formal curriculum and the lessons were spelled out for us, the days just didn't run very smoothly. It's probably me. I'm buckling down and not being so lazy about things, I think. Either way, instead of being burned out around this time, I'm feeling quite energized and ready for the next part of the school year.

Nathaniel turned 4 on the 4th of January. It's so hard to believe he's 4 already! He's come a long way, and my hunch is he's still got quite a ways to go, but we're hopeful that with God's help, he will be able to overcome any obstacles that his brain damage might cause.

Grace will turn 9 on the 18th. It's amazing how much faster time goes when you compare it to the growth of you children, isn't it? She is normally the child who notices something needs to be done and she does it. She can have quite the attitude and she needs to learn to control her temper (I think most of us need to learn that!), but we are working on those issues as they come up.

Our Business

Adam has been home for a full year now! (Hey, maybe that's why I'm not as lazy with school this year. I can't be neglectful while he's around. Accountability is a good thing!) Surprisingly, we've grossed more than double what we did last year. However, with the cost of food, we netted less than half what we did last year. We have felt the crunch a time or two, but otherwise I think we've done quite well.

Miscellaneous

Over the Christmas week, we cleaned out our dungeon of a basement and turned it into a play room for the children. Since this is the basement and there is a floor drain, we bought those foam interlocking floor squares for protection from the cement floor. True to form, I thought of taking pictures when we were half way done with the project, so you only get to see what it looked like cleaned up. Before that, it was awful! It's only a partial basement and seeing that our house was built before electricity and running water (it was built around 1909), there are many pipes and wires in the floor joists down there, we are unable to put up any type of ceiling. But that's alright. It matches the unfinished walls!

At some point, I will be painting some of the walls with chalkboard paint, which I think the children will really like. At one end of the area, we screwed some fabric up at the joists to make a permanent tent for them to play in. All in all, I am happy we finally did something down there and that the children have some place to go!

This last weekend, Adam replaced a very old singer machine (1941 date) that was in a sewing table with my current machine. He made an insert to go around my machine, which sets into the cabinet (you can see the pictures, which do a better job of explaining than I can). I am so happy with it!! He also made a thread rack to hold all of my thread, which is now on the wall. This allows me to see what I have at a glance, not to mention the "rainbow" effect makes it pretty on the wall. I don't have a sewing room, so I'm making the most of the space I have available, which is in the dining room. There is a bench in the window behind my sewing desk and cabinet, and that has my stuff on it too. The drawers under the table are my scraps with the larger pieces being in another place. With everything that goes on in this house, it's just as well that I'm not tucked away somewhere in another room!

Yes, it's a new year. This past year had good times and bad times, joys and sorrows, successes and failures. 2012 will be no different. Don't fear this, for it means that life is happening. And life is a beautiful thing!

'Till next month, many blessing to you all!
~ Jennifer

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