Okay, so I have a few things I'd like to accomplish this year. I've learned that if I declare them in writing, then that A.) helps me remember what I'm supposed to be doing, and B.) makes my goals more definite somehow. So here goes:
I will take the rental off season to evaluate our cabin's rental rate in comparison to similar rental cabins in the area. Taking the results of that analysis into account, I'll set an improvement goal for our rental rate. While I think we had a very successful first year and we've had nothing but positive reviews from our renters, we did not break even and that's going to be important. You know, because I like money and we seem to use an awful lot of it.
My MLM involvement has been slower of late, but that's okay. I'm enjoying my discounts on toys, games, and books and the occasional sale helps me buy more toys, games, and books. I even have a recruit for Discovery Toys!
I have a really spiffy idea for a food allergy product! I'm going to work on it in earnest over the next 3-6 weeks and see if I can't get a prototype going. More on this later, I hope.
We've been cash-poor the last few years, due to business ventures and poor spending habits. We plan to follow Money Magazine's monthly guide to improving your overall financial picture as a means to be more disciplined. We are also going to meet with our financial planner, which is long overdue.
We continue to make great strides in decluttering and I intend to continue it into 2008. I like FlyLady's advice (I'm paraphrasing): if you don't actually need and use it, or totally love it, then get rid of it. This will become important as we grow closer to the new baby deadline in June.
I'd love to get the basement into livable condition. Right now, it's emptier than it's been in a long time, but the cats still spend most of their time down there and it's obvious to the eyes and nose. Sigh.
The deck needs some repairs and since it appears impossible to find someone willing to simply repair it, we're going to get some quotes for a new deck. If it's not too pricey, this is something I'd love to do, since we can take that opportunity to enlarge it. When we bought the house 9.5 years ago, we were too cheap to upgrade for the larger deck and have regretted that decision ever since.
I'm going to keep up with my blogging and the carnivals I'm involved with because I enjoy it so much. It's a way for me to have some Me Time that is separate from the kids and my husband, even though I write about them often. I'd like to continue to increase my average daily hits and have interesting discussions in the comments and make some more new bloggy friends.
I plan to write a couple more articles for magazines, homeschooling and otherwise. (First one should be coming out very soon.) I have an outline for my next one done and an editor who has agreed to look over the finished piece. That should be done in the next few weeks.
I've joined the Home Educator Writers Group (on Yahoo!) and I'm reading it diligently. Lots of good ideas.
Making Myself More Smarter
I'm taking Scott Powell's next online history course: The Islamist Entanglement.
I'm also participating in the Triple 8 Challenge this year: reading 8 books from 8 categories in 2008.
We are very laissez-faire about "school" at this point in our kids' lives. Ryan will be official next September, at which point I will be obligated to send in monthly attendance reports. Very strange thing to do, but as it's simply a nuisance requirement that imposes a very small burden on time and effort, we will follow the law. I will get to use my Declaration of Intent to Homeschool (found under "Quick Links" here) as proof of my Educator's status and get discounts at Borders and Barnes & Noble and other fun places. Perks are nice.
This winter, I'll be assessing Ryan's readiness to learn to read, which is honestly the most important thing for him to learn now and for the next couple of years. He's getting there--many sight words (sadly, not peanut yet, but we're getting there) and an interest in word games and rhyming. It's the Sitting Down and Doing It that I'm pretty sure he's not ready for yet. And really, I'm fine with that. There's not a doubt in my mind but that he will learn to read in the next couple of years.
We are planning to participate in a local homeschool science fair sometime in the spring. I believe Ryan's topic will be Rocks & Crystals.
We're also going to check out some of the classes at the Georgia Enrichment Program for Homeschoolers, which is conveniently located about 3 miles from my house. Every Wednesday, all day long, they have lots of classes on tons of different topics for very cheap. I think Ryan will LOVE the LEGO class once he turns 6 and is old enough to participate. Morgan is even old enough for a few of the classes.
We're going to keep up with Ryan's swimming lessons, and Morgan will continue The Music Class. Maybe we'll add gymnastics and/or martial arts in the spring, but that gets expensive.
Planning lots of field trips--the Zoo, the Botanical Gardens, Fernbank, Red Top Mountain, Kennesaw Mountain, and Dahlonega (for rock and gold mining!). And our regular playdates, too.
Family & Health
Continue our daily walks. When it warms up a bit, that is!
Morgan has two goals for '08 that she is unaware of: staying in her own room at night and potty training. Really, if we accomplish those two things alone (by June, ideally), then I will count this year a success!
Get Morgan tested for food allergies, after she turns 3 in March. I'm a little nervous, to be honest. She's never been atopic or anything, but then again, she lives in a protected environment. Once or twice while nursing, she's had hives or some kind of rash after I've eaten seafood (scallops in particular). Maybe coincidence. Maybe not. Anyhow, we need to know.
Continue excellent progress in gestation.
Zero ER Trips this year and zero 911 calls this year. Because last year, not so fun.
Keep our once a week Night Out going. We may have to put this on hiatus in the summer, but I'm hoping we can keep doing it. It's lots of fun to go out and talk without being interrupted!
That's all--not much, really, don't you think?