2014 has been a hard year, with a week-long hospital stay early on and then weeks of serious illness in June, difficulties with the boys (teens and menopause are an insane mix), and continued financial difficulties.
Good points have been the prospect of improving interpersonal difficulties through outside help we started accessing a couple of months ago, quilting retreats (always a good way to re-energise) and, as a result of my illnesses, discovering who our 'friends in action' are - those who stepped up and put their good wishes into actions when we needed help. Made new friends, and discovered old ones.
The boys enjoyed St John's Cadets (David, now 16, and his Division winning the State Drill Team award), Scouts (James, now 15, will be moving up to Venturers beginning this year) and archery, and Blake (now 11) enjoyed soccer, inline skating, wave-boarding, scooters, parkour and fishing. John became active with the CFS, working on their Incident Command Vehicle, and he's done a great job (finally) in getting our small yard planted into a producing vegetable patch.
2015 is off to a rocky start, but plans are to fight against fatigue and pain and get the boys to as many Catholic events as possible (unfortunately most are down town so it will be an ongoing strain on health and finances). The idea is to connect the boys with people their own ages who are fired up about their faith so that the boys don't see it as boring or irrelevant.
David will be going away for 10 days in January for a Summer School of Evangelisation in Melbourne - his first big trip away! Will have to offload some excess jewellery to find the money but I know it will be well worth it.
I'll be off on a 3 1/2 day quilting retreat around the same time - it's a 'charity quilts' retreat at which we'll only be working on quilts that will be donating to charitable causes, e.g. heart kids, fire/flood victims, etc. Sooooo looking forward to it. I'm also planning to make a serious dent in my PhDs during the holidays and through the year.
I've lots of ideas to do with the family this year - scheduled 'friends for dinner' days so the boys get to have friends over and include them in our family dinners, more structured outdoor activities like archery, cooking demonstrations & classes, parkour, fishing and beach days, etc (booked into my diary so they actually happen!).
Also plan to get more involved in community activities - might even take up the ukulele!