Cowgar Family Adventures

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Welcome 2014!

Happy New Year's Day!

Now is the time to make resolutions, but I am not making resolutions, I am making goals for our family this year! So here's the list for 2014...

-We (especially myself) will exercise at least 3 times per week. Pretty sure we will start the couch 2 5k program on Monday. (Right now we are still getting over being sick)

-We will pay off at least $15,000 in credit card and car debt this year. We will pay around $12,000 in minimum payments alone with our current budget, but I hope to come up with a few thousand extra and get some of our smaller cards paid off in full.

-Drink more water!! Kicking the soda pop is tough, and we are struggling terribly with it. Luke and I both got the big water bottles at the The Dollar Tree (BPA free and made in the USA) that hold 74.4 ounces each. I hope we can down one of these a day.

-More family nights. I limited my availability at work, and we both agreed that we won't be advertising the photography business as much. Luke will continue with photography if he gets contacted, and we may still do boudoir marathons and family mini sessions throughout the year, but no bridal shows or senior marketing. We have a few new games we got over the holidays (memory card games, dominoes, Go Fish, Uno, checkers), so I hope that a few times a week, even for just a half hour, we can sit down with the girls and play something (We've done lots of Uno since we got sick)

-Get rid of at least 10 things per week. Our ultimate goal is to have our house finished so we could put it on the market whenever we want, but right now we have too many unfinished projects, and lots of clutter. We will either toss, donate, give-away, or sell these items. (This is one way I hope to fast track our debt snowball)

-Potty train Henna. She just turned 2 in December, and the other girls were trained around 2 1/2 years old, so I'm hoping she doesn't turn into the stubborn one. It will be nice not to have wipes and diapers in the budget.

-Monitor our electricity usage. I know we are using more than we should be. Lots of things are charged, left plugged in, left running, left on. I want to watch the meter a few days and see what is on and plugged in, and also take note of the meter when we leave the house and think we have most things turned off. We've got to be able to lower our monthly bill, even if it's only $10 a month.
-Finish up house projects. December was our kitchen month, but with the holidays, then being sick, we didn't get nearly as far as I had hoped. So our kitchen month is being extended into January and February of this year. After that, we have some unfinished business in the spare room and downstairs bathroom that will be for March and possibly April. We will then reassess what still needs to be done, and plan for the rest of the year.

-Date nights. We haven't really had any of these since we had kids! I want to do the Pinterest project that is floating around with the popsicle sticks in a jar. Have a few different colors depending on if it's something that requires a babysitter and money, or if it's something we can do at the house (if we can ever get Henna out of our bed!)

-Journal. I had Luke pick up a couple notebooks at the store. I originally wanted us to journal back and forth to each other each day, like a little love note, words of encouragement, things like that, but then I stumbled across a few little notebooks that we had on the shelf that him and I started for Lexi and Lilly back in 2008. We only had like 1 or 2 entries in it for them, and hadn't touched it since probably the first week we started it. So now I want to find some way for each of us to journal to the girls, and make it more consistent than every 5 years!! I'm not sure if we should do a journal for each girl, (I think that may be too much), or just have each of us do a family journal, with entries that can be for all of the them to read, and some that may just speak to one of them (like on birthdays). There is so much we both don't remember from our childhoods, so I want the girls to be able to read our journals, and then start journals for themselves when they get better at reading and writing. Even in this digital age, I think a nice handwritten journal would be a great family treasure in the years to come.

-A yearly scrapbook/photobook. I have 4 scrapbooks in my hope chest. One for each girl. Lexi has a few pictures in hers, until she is about 6 months old. Lilly's has pictures from when we were in the hospital with her. Avery and Henna...blank pages. I'm not sure If I will ever get those baby books completed for them, but starting this year, I would like to make a family memory book. Fun trips, silly pictures, everyday life...anything and everything. Each time Luke downloads a card from the camera, I want us to automatically look at all the pictures and sort some into a special folder. Along with this come our daily family picture. Last year we took a family picture every night before bed, except for the nights that the girls were in West Virginia with Nana and Papaw, so I want to continue that for this year as well.

I think these are the main goals, I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but typing it all out makes it look like a bit off more than I can chew! Let's go 2014! As Spongebob would say, "I'm Ready!"