Monday, September 7, 2015

Gypsy Blood

Moving?  Yes, we are moving again!  We have already received a plethora of questions and statements, so hopefully this post will answer a few of those.

"You just moved!"
- Actually we moved into this home over four years ago.  Even the five of us have a hard time believing that it's been that long.

"You just finished your downstairs!"
- It's been over a year since it's been completed and we have loved it!  My large school room away from the rest of the house has really been a blessing!  Marty did such an amazing job with the help of friends and family (and a good chunk of tax money.)  Honestly, the only reason we could afford to live in this neighborhood was due to the unfinished downstairs.  God blessed us immensely by providing this house at just the right time.

"You live in such a great area!"
- We have loved our neighborhood, especially our neighbors right around us!  Smores & movie nights, special friends for our girls, the pool, the list could go on...  We have loved the proximity to our church, extra curricular school activities, and Target.  Let's be honest.


"Why are you moving back to Willow Spring?"
- We weren't looking in Willow Spring specifically.  We always try to live as close to the church as possible, but ultimately, we desired more land and less house (the opposite of the American dream).  We didn't want to put our current house on the market until we found just the right house.  And we all truly believe that we did!

"How are the girls coping?"
- Amazingly!!  Marty and I have said again and again how resilient they are.  After we had another dream house fall through a month ago, I promised to never take them house hunting again.  But without much choice, they came to see the house we are buying and we all fell in love with it!  They have been faithfully packing, each in their own way.  They have helped clean, do school work in random places, and watched many belongings be given away, sold, or tossed without complaint.  I simply couldn't ask for sweeter children.  

"Why move at all?"
- We have asked ourselves this question many times.  But we have several reasons why we are: 
1) More land and less house, as mentioned earlier. 
2) Gypsy blood.  Not really, but we'll claim it as both of us grew up moving often throughout our childhood.  
3) We want to put down roots.  To be honest, the last 18 months have been stressful.  Without a pastor, my associate pastor husband carried a little extra and we can only claim God's strength and His grace to have gotten us through it.  We had prayed over our future. Would overseas be an option? Should we move to another state for a job with more focus? Will we be able to blend well with our new pastor and his family? God has clearly answered no to the first two questions and has brought such peace to the last.  We are so excited for the ministry to come at Fairview and feel very blessed to have our pastor!  So, with that said, we feel that God has called us to stay in this area and we want to live in a house for the long-haul.    

We knew that our current home was not our dream house.  Never would be.  But even with all the wishful thinking, this place has seen a lot of dreams come true.  Our littlest learned to walk in this house, cartwheels and handstands were perfected throughout the living room, each of our girls became confident swimmers in our neighborhood pool, and our home was available to family on their way to Japan and Ghana. 

So in less than two weeks, when we pull out of the driveway for the very last time, I'll hold back the tears.  "Tears for all the dreams brought to life here.  Tears for all the dreams waiting ahead.  But mostly, tears for the God that never abandons this fixer upper, no matter what kind of flooring she's living on."

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

This Year

When I thought homeschooling couldn't get any harder by teaching three grades with three entirely different learners, our family decided to add the joys of moving to the chaos. No lie... first day of school began with cinnamon rolls (thanks to Trader Joe's refrigerated section), followed by crazy cleaning and prepping to get our house staged to put on the market by the end of the week.   

More sugar followed as we packed up the dog and headed to Chick-fil-a for free milkshakes (drive-thru, of course!).  Formal school didn't really happen until afternoon due to the lovely stayed-up-too-late-hangover Mommy got to enjoy.  Thank you, Magic School Bus on Netflix!

These three!  They are some of the greatest joys of my life!  (Yet can drive me crazy at the same time!)  It will be a fun year, to say the least!

Lunch included more Netflix by watching "On the Way to School."  Excellent documentary!  All three of my girls were mesmerized. The stories of several children around the world and their daily or weekly walks to school was quite humbling!

School supplies were simple, but useful as we also like new markers, notebooks, and glue sticks.  It was fun to watch them fill out their 1st Day of School Interviews (found here) and then compare them with last year's.  

Each girl picked out one subject to do before calling it a day and heading to church.  We are excited to try some new curriculum this year.  Chloe's adding Wordly Wise for vocabulary & spelling. Naomi is starting cursive handwriting with Cheerful Cursive, and Sophie is using Horizon Math, which we've never tried before. 

Overall, the day was nothing to boast about.  It was certainly not as exciting as other "first days," but I can promise you that none of us will ever forget it.  At some point during the day, we listened to one of JJ Heller's newer songs called "This Year."  Check it out on YouTube.  As Emily Freeman says, I'm treating September like the new January.  A new home, a new school year, and a new perspective...

Here are some links that I'm gleaning from these days:

- 10 Tips For a Stress-Free Homeschool Day by Ruth Simmons
- Amongst Lovely Things with Sarah Mackenzie (Love it all!  Her blog, her podcast, tips, etc)
- The Homeschool Snapshots Podcast

(This was written last week, but due to technical difficulties, I couldn't post it until today.  Two weeks of homeschooling under the belt...)