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family

a new year a new leaf

So I came on here to write about how the irony of rocking out to Beastie Boys’ Intergalactic (wow that was a crazy video I missed with no MTV as a kid) down the highway in my mini van full of children made me grin like an idiot. To show our pictures of the kids seeing snow for the first time, actually taken with the real camera! To just generally gush the gratitude I feel at the amazing gift of a virtually free vacation in a time when it would not have happened otherwise.

Then I opened chrome and WordPress was not one of the 6 most recently viewed webpages….again. When I was doing my yearly goals this January (December is too crazy, I give myself all of January) I put the blog on there, again. Cause really if I’m going to do something, I want to actually do it, not just feel guilty about not doing it. However, I know from experience that something vague like “the blog” is never going to inspire anything more than guilt over inaction, I need something specific and measurable.

HELP ME PLEASE! Those of you that read this or any blog, how often do you like them to update? Is once a week often enough? Everyday good or too much? Anything in particular you are looking for? More writing? Less writing, more photos? Recipes? Acrobatics? Magical robots that cook and clean and do laundry? OK I already know the answer to the last one is YES! I feel like I’ve been out of this writing world for so long I don’t know what’s what anymore. So help me set my 2015 blog goal, it’s only mid February and hey there’s always time for a fresh start right? 🙂

But I’ll still leave you with some photos so I can procrastinate on our adoption photo book just a little longer! Why of why do I do these things to myself, le sigh.

He'd actually seen snow before, his one up on the big kids. But this is the first he'll remember :)
He’d actually seen snow before, his one up on the big kids. But this is the first he’ll remember 🙂
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You can barely even see the snow in this pic, but trust me, she could
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He was so pumped
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Also my 6 year did this. She wasn’t even big enough to go up on her own, but she owned it. I was shocked (shouldn’t have really, this is so her) and asked the guy if this was normal, he said he’d never seen a kid her size run them all so easily. I ❤ her.

how to kill an afternoon

Well that time flew by. It’s like when you’re in wal-mart, you just go in for a few things and before you know it you’ve killed an ENTIRE AFTERNOON.

5 ways to kill an afternoon – the wal-mart edition

1. Go for more than one category of thing (food, tolietires, household items, birthday presents, ect) Seriously though, why else would I be here? Only thing worse than wal-mart is half a dozen different stores in one day, shoot me now.

2. Use couponing apps, in store. Envision blocking traffic for 10 minutes in isles already questionably wide enough scanning every varieties they carry trying to figure out which ones qualify for which offer on which app. But hey everyone else was blocking EVERY OTHER ISLE anyway, so when in Rome…

3. Take the family. I knew better, but I hate shopping and even unruly children distract me from my distaste of the sport I was engaged in. Also my children do well in the store, for 45 mins, as do I. Problem is I cannot do wal-mart in 45 mins, daddy was on good behavior and was our only saving grace.

4. Try to check out. Can someone explain to me why a super wal-mart will have 20-30 isles and only staff 5 of them? Everyone in a non express lane has read #1 and has at least 100 items.

5. Go to wal-mart, cause really, that’s all you needed to do to kill your whole afternoon.

So the next time you find yourself with so much time you just don’t know what to do with yourself and your multiple small children. Well you have your answer! Wal-mart, you can thank me later. Just be sure to buy a six pack to recover with when you get home.

let the search begin

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

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!

cause I don’t have enough to do

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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