something old, something new, something borrowed, something purple!

•December 5, 2013 • 1 Comment

Time for an update! it’s been too long, I refuse to check how long, we’ll just leave it at too long. 

So the half-marathon. It is upon us! Saturday morning (if you can call that ungodly hour morning) I will be voluntarily waking at a time I vowed to never see again, to pay someone, to run, for 13 miles. Pretty sure that cinched my spot in the looney bin, but I am looking forward to going crazy. I hear it’s fun there, and the company is fantastic.

Onto further, much further, things. Remember that post oh 4 years ago maybe, when I said I was going to Korea? It’s finally happening! Like tickets purchased happening. This very month I will be freezing my booty off with my sister half way across the world, I am super excited, a little bit terrified, and partially prepared (I have a passport, what more do I need? No, really, tell me, what more do I need? International travel tips welcome!) South Korea here I come!

Been driving the van for a bit, finally past the selling the old car, registering the new one saga (which I really should post about, because OH M GEE, beauracracy is a bitch). It was a little weird driving so high up at first, I adapted faster than I expected. I cannot believe I love it so much. A van full of kids is just way more awesome than a car full of kids, and now I really need more kids. I have extra seats people! Also I can fold down and shuffle so many seats I can fit just about anything in there. It drives like a car, which I was not expecting, I can even make tight turns, like U-turns, not that I have had to make any of those…

On to cute little babies. I am watching one, extremely part time (like a few hours a week), for a very sweet neighbor of ours. Can I say it is NOT helping the baby bug. He is so cute and so sweet and so EASY. I also have that van, with the space…

And now for a totally inconsequential factiod, I am going to attempt the purple hair, again. I still love my teal/blue/green depending on what section you look at, which is good, as it may not be totally when I’m done. With any luck it will be purple for the race on Saturday!

So I end this post with a challenge. Can you figure out what the old, new, borrowed, and purple items are in this post? Can you? I don’t know what they are, but I look forward to seeing your creativity shine!

it has arrived

•September 26, 2013 • Leave a Comment

The long awaited day has come! and gone, I’m late, sorry. Turns out you have to do a few things when you buy a car, especially out of state. It’s been a little busy, here’s the story.

I told you we were working with MATS, they were super nice and very helpful with information, and didn’t end up finding out van. After a few weeks of looking they emailed us and gave us the skinny. First, my insistence on 8 seats was complicating things. Not as many were made any year, but the older ones were even more rare. Second, the price range would probably need to be moved up (something we weren’t willing to do). They didn’t think they were going to be able to find what we were looking for unless something changed. However, I was contacted due to my last post with information about someone who goes to car auctions for people. So we contacted him and started down that route. Eight days later we had an urgent email. There was a van he thought we’d be interested in going to auction that afternoon, did we want him to bid. Yes! He got it and was even able to sell to us under budget. Double win!

One small issue. It was in Texas. We decided to sleep on it. I woke up to a Facebook message from someone who saw my status about winning the auction (this is why I love Facebook). Anybody wanna guess? He was in Texas, coming home in a few days, did we want him to drive it home?

God is good, and we are now driving it packed up for our first camping trip with Sienna. Yes, we named her, and yes her name is Sienna. This is a family with bears named teddy and bear and pillows named purple pillow and lizards named lizardy. It seemed fitting.

So her she is, four days after we first drove her, welcome sienna! Side note: very glad I insisted on the eighth seat, or we wouldn’t have been able to do this…

only run when someone’s chasing you

•September 9, 2013 • 2 Comments

At the beginning of 2012, I was a firm believer in that statement. In fact, rarely did I even run when being chased. I mean what is so bad about being caught anyway? Most of the people chasing me are under four feet tall. Running was much worse. Then I left the office to stay home, and realized I was too out of shape for this at home gig. Little people are hard core. So I set a goal, a new years resolution, 200 miles in 2012. I really wanted 250, but it seemed so horribly out of reach I only went public with 200. This was intended for walking. Then I discovered it could be over quicker if I ran. So I started running some. Then I actually liked being out. I ran some more. I hit my goal. I hit my unspoken 250 goal. I set a new goal, 365 miles in 2013. I’ve reach a special level of crazy now though, are you ready for it?

I’m running a half marathon.

I still can barely believe it. I could literally not run half a mile when I first started out and on December 7th, I will run my very first half marathon. My official training plan started tonight and I set a new 5K record to boot! I’m pumped and ready to go. I even got the gear ;)

let the search begin

•August 23, 2013 • 1 Comment

I know a few of you are aware of our transportation saga, well really my transportation saga, as it only effects me, during the day, when I have four children in my home. Now that we have decided to homeschool, I am effectively house bound. I can, legally, in the state of Florida, fit four children in my Gallant. However, the research on what happens to a child in the front seat during an accident has me extremely wary as to where we go and how we go, no highway for sure. We live in the burbs, with three exits to the highway within a mile of our neighborhood, we take the highway virtually everywhere. So save Publix and a few friends that live out here, we don’t go out. Those friends are probably getting sick of us, and we’ve started to go to Publix so often they know us by name!

We’ve been saving for a van for years, little bit by little bit. But when the homeschool discussions started ramping up again last year we began to save in earnest, cutting everything possible and squeezing blood out of stone for food. With an amazing amount of grace, an unexpected and mostly returned security deposit, and raises for both of us we’ve managed to hit our money goal 4 months sooner than expected. And there was much rejoicing, yay! (Please tell me someone caught the Monty Python reference…)

We have just contacted MATS, an organization that helps find vehicles for individuals with certain jobs (missionaries, mission staff, teachers, church workers, etc.) to help us find a vehicle. I am so grateful to have someone else looking 1) because even though funds are finally available, time is not and 2)they do all the mechanical checks for you to make sure its reliable. I am feeling super better about this process already. Now if they can just fill our impossible wish list, within budget, miracles can happen right?

I’m almost free! Yippie!

Oh and side note. When the four car seats are spread out in the van, I will only have to buckle in one kid, count it one, and she can already do half herself. So excited.

our first offical homeschool day

•August 12, 2013 • 3 Comments

Today was the day. Our family’s first official day of homeschooling. We have been doing ‘school’ all summer. It’s been mostly math (for all) and reading (for Jena). The kids were convinced homeschool started the day regular school got out. Since I was not previously under that impression, what I mentioned above, was all I had, so we went with it. But today, whoa, today we actually tried to do everything in one day. That was a bit different. I learned a few things, and I’m sure I’ll learn a lot more. Here’s the first 5.

1) I was thinking we would start around 9. Today was a tad later, maybe 9:30, ok 10…ish. So shoot me, it was the first day. Isn’t late kinda the point of this whole thing anyway? Lesson learned: Teacher needs to get up earlier. 

2) When I was originally planning my schooling routine I had planned to do the bulk of the academic work for the big two during the little ones’ naptime. Today, even though we started late, I just kept going and ended up with late lunch and cranky kids. Lesson learned: stick to the original plan.

3) Doing Bible, writing, reading, science and math in one day is a lot. I’m super relieved they kicked my butt into starting early. Lesson learned: margin is awesome.

4) It was pretty fun and I actually enjoyed most of it, even with Grant’s breakdown over having to do a gratitude journal. Lesson learned: we made the right choice.

5)I’d forgotten how good it felt to be appropriately challenged (not so much its super stressful and not so little its demotivating). Lesson learned: find that place for the kids too!

I just want to end by saying thank you for all the support you have given since I posted that we had made this life choice. Help has come from everywhere and I am very grateful to have such a supportive community to do this with. Our computer died within minutes (yes literally) of my last post, but a new one has been provided in the last week, many thanks to my in-laws for the laptop and to my amazing multitalented husband who made it workable again. So you’ll be hearing more from me!

another birthday, he just keeps getting bigger

•July 1, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Dear Grant,

It’s your birthday, well, almost, if you want to get technical (as you are prone to do). Technically, you were born at 11:05PM, the only child whose birth minute I can remember without the aid of a birth certificate. However, such a late birthday would suck, for you who has rarely ever seen that time of night in your short life, if, we let you get technical. So for now, it’s your birthday!

You are still my strong willed, sweet spirited baby boy. You love to be valued for the things you know. You volunteer to help the younger ones with their school work and were playing teacher to them long before we made the decision to teach you all primarily at home. Many a person has learned the hard way not to challenge you when you spout off some random fact, like the date the dodo bird became extinct. You are almost always right. Your aptitude to collect facts is amazing. You have excelled in school earning your first trophy this year. Instead of learning 300 site words, you learned 1000, incredible. Your desire to learn warms my heart.

Your brother and sister both love to be with you, and Jacob especially is so excited you won’t be leaving him everyday for school anymore. I love watching you two play now that he is bigger.

Your recent obsessions revolve mostly around video games. You and daddy play almost every night, with you practicing during the day to be able to beat him. The beating him being the important part, you are still highly competitive. The outdoors has an appeal this year for you too, however. You mastered your two wheeled bike earlier this year and take great pride in riding in the grass. You also learned to swim just this summer. Goggles were the magic trick. You put them on and took off like you’d been swimming your whole life. We never thought you could tan, but your love of swimming has proven us wrong.

Mommy and Daddy are both very proud of you. Watching you overcome your fears and develop into a caring and intellegent little person has been an amazing journey so far. Looking forward to journeying with you for many more years.

Love you bunches,
Mommy

cause I don’t have enough to do

•May 22, 2013 • 6 Comments

So I have announcement, one that I fear may confirm everyone’s suspicions that I am, indeed, crazy. We’ve decided, or rather I’ve decided and used my magical powers of persuasion to show Neil that he should decide too (which he did, I make a convincing case when I believe in something) to home school. Why? Well because I get bored easily and I need a challenge, ha ha ha. No really, I’m beginning to wonder if that isn’t the real reason, though I have an entire page of other more legitimate reasons (part of that convincing case). It really boils down to family lifestyle. Right now we have the availability to not have our family life consist primarily of running from one place to the next and not having our kids see each other near as much as they want to (yes they actually WANT to play together, most of the time). So seize the day! right? Right?

Anyway. For those that are already homeschooling I would REALLY appreciate some pointers.

I know I need to send off a letter of intent, but after that…well there seem to be a lot of options after that. What did you chose and why? What are the differences?

And curriculum pointers please, specifically reading. I am a bit nervous about that one. I learned young enough that I don’t remember a thing about the process, so I’m starting from scratch! But some sort of Bible that would cover all their ages somewhat would be fantastic as well. Anything else you’ve absolutely loved or feel has helped you out in your process, I’m all ears! Advise away, I’m asking for it! Now how often does someone actually ask for advice, seize the day people!

 
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