Sunday, August 19, 2012

We May Have a Buyer/Renter

I hate to even post this because I don't want to jinx myself.  You all know we have wanted to sell our house for a long time.  So I won't go into the background story again.

A month ago we buried a St. Joseph medal in our yard.  He will help us sell our home.  That very same day we ran into an old friend of ours and found out that he and his wife are divorcing.  So sad. (Yes, I am going into the back story, sorry)  He said he was looking for a new home for he and his boys.  He will most likely have custody of them.  We mentioned our home to him and he said he would get back to us.  Three weeks later he called and came over and said he was interested in our house.  He toured through the whole house and I think the house "showed" well.  He liked it and as he was leaving he said he was going on vacation with his boys this past week and he would call us when he got back.  We are now waiting on that phone call.  He also asked how quickly we could move out.  We told him we could move out any time.  He said he wanted to get moved in and settled before his boys start school.  That is in only two weeks now. ACK!!!

So this prepared mom is beginning to panic a bit.  I don't want to pack up any more of our house to prepare for a move that may not happen.  I also don't want to be freaked out and be a freaky woman trying to move in three days time either. So what to do???

I am preparing for the move in my mind right now.  I am planning what I will need to pack and going through it all in my head.  We have a place to move to which will be fine temporarily but we will need no furniture as it is already furnished.  It is our summer home on a river close by.  We come down on weekends and such.  We will commute from the river house until we find something that we will either rent or buy in town.  So the lists begin.  The items we need for every day, extra cooking utensils and such, our school books, clothes, etc.  Not much really.  Everything else will go into storage for the time being.  EVERYTHING!

Visualizing helps me to prepare and plan.  I can walk through my house, pick up items I will want at our river house (the electric hand mixer) and list them on my list.  I can pack the house and visually place it in the storage unit.  I can visualize commuting an hour and half each way to work.  I feel better.  I am not a freaky woman running around throwing things into boxes and yelling at everyone. (well, that isn't unrealistic though)  I am calm, cool, and collected.

I write this today as I sit at our river home looking out the window on a dreary day.  In my tiny oven  I am baking a cake for my daughter's birthday which was last week and we haven't been able to "celebrate" with cake.  I have to bake it in two shifts as the oven is too small to bake both layers at once.  The oven is funny because the back lets things rise better than the front so the cake is completely lopsided. LOL

I suppose the moral to this story is: even though your cake is lopsided and doesn't come out as you expect it to, it is still CAKE!  Have a great day everyone!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Homeschool Curriculum 2012-2013

Being a first year homeschool family but a 19 year veteran teacher I was surprised at how overwhelmed I was when choosing curriculum for my children.  I scanned curriculum over the internet searching for "homeschool curriculum", "homeschool textbooks", "homeschool resources", etc.  Then my husband and I discussed what we wanted out of our program we were to develop.  We made basic goals and perimeters such as:
1. Bible based but not Bible driven (we wanted the Bible to be an underlying theme but not an "in your face" thing)
2. Covers the subject well.
3. Is adaptable to our kids and their needs, can be expanded if the kids are interested to go further, or can be shortened if we are not that interested.
4. Flexible-can cover a span of age ranges and interest levels.
5. Can be used for all our kids (yes, some of these goals are similar)
6. Is structured enough that we don't have to do a ton of outside planning or gathering of materials.

Then we went to our first homeschool convention.  We spent a glorious three days at the convention and both my husband and I and our kids really enjoyed our time there.  We chose sessions where we would be introduced to methodology, themes in homeschooling, and curriculum as well as topics on lifestyle choices and family living.  We enjoyed our sessions thoroughly and we loved walking through the vendor hall.  WOW were we impressed with the amount of stuff that is out there for homeschool families to use.  Okay we were a bit overwhelmed also. I spent a lot of time looking at textbooks, work books, and full curriculum companies.  I asked a ton of questions.

We scoured the catalogs and information we received in the evenings and the next day I went back and asked more questions.  I came out of those three days exhausted and had made many decisions.  We were able to mark off some curricula and add to our list others we didn't know about prior to the convention.  By the second evening we had made a tentative decision.  One that we actually have stuck with since. So here it is:

We have chosen for this year Sonlight Core D+E, Sonlight Science E, All About Spelling, Horizons Math 4, and Teaching Textbooks Math 7.

Our cost for this including all the supplemental materials is $1300. That is HUGE.  We chose Sonlight because we liked that it was pretty scripted and very structured however we have the ability to pick and choose the parts we want to keep and parts we want to skim through.  We love that there is a lot of reading involved.  We think our kids will enjoy reading on their own as well has having read aloud books as a family.  We love that it is unit driven.  We love that it includes Bible study but not Bible driven.  It is actually history driven which is my forte anyway.  We love that we can use the Core and Science curricula with all our children at the same time learning together as a family.

I will keep you abreast of how we are doing in this curriculum and what we love and what we don't love as the year goes on.  If you are a homeschooling family, have you used any of the curricula that I have chosen?  What did you think of it?  How did it work for your family?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Decisions, decisions....

Wow what a difference 5 days makes!  I last posted that we had found a home that would work for us and that we had turned in our forms.  All that is still true.  However.....

We are not sure how we are going to sell our house.  We had a meeting with a realtor and she said that we would most likely have to bring money to the table when closing on our house for sale and that we couldn't ask for more than a really low amount and that would include: repainting a lot of the walls in our house and fixing the AC unit and repairing some other items as well.  We don't have the money to do all that right now. We also have a huge tax bill coming up in October that we have no money for and we have a few other bills that are smaller but still important.  Oh and did I tell you that we are planning for me to quit my job?  Uh yeah, we are.

So here is where we stand. We have a house we can't seem to get rid of and every time we turn around we have problems with it.  We have a couple major bills with huge amounts of money coming up on the horizon. We have three kids who will not be going back to school in the fall.  We have me who will be quitting her job which brings in over half of our monthly income into our house, not to mention that I also hold our health insurance and dental insurance.

What are we thinking?

First and foremost we are praying hard that everything will work out okay.  We have faith that God will provide for us our needs.

Secondly, we are thinking that if I stay home then I can not only work to manage our money a bit better than we do now, but I can also help my husband in his business and help to get it further than it is now.  With the stability that I can provide at home, we will feel less chaotic and less like we are up against a wall and being defeated with everything we attempt to do.

Does that make sense?  yeah, I know it doesn't but in some way to us it does.  So that is the plan.  For those panicked about health insurance, we are COBRAing my plan for a bit until we can get on another plan that will work for us.

What if it doesn't work out?  Well, I can always pick up another job, I have lots of irons in the fire now for a little bit of money trickling in here and there anyway.

If you are a praying person please pray for us that we may be able to take this leap of faith successfully and reap the benefits.  Thank you.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Still Moving in the Right Direction

Yes, we are still in the process of selling our home and moving.  We have a few new accomplishments I thought I would tell you about. 

1.  We think we may have found a new (to us) home.  It has three bedrooms a big dining room, a living room and a teeny kitchen, a big back porch (three season) and 5 acres of land.  It is still in our county but it is zoned agricultural so we can have chickens, farm animals, a huge garden, and a vegetable stand.

2.  We officially turned in our forms for homeschooling in our county.  We are committed.  So committed I will have some new changes to the plan for you in a week or so.

We have been praying about this change in our life for a while and asking for God to show us signs.  We have been receiving signs every single time we ask.  It has been an amazing experience.  I am so thankful that our God listens to us and moves us in the direction that we are meant to go.

If you are a loyal follower/reader of my little blog here I hope to have many new things happening here in the next month or two.  I hope that you will stick with me as I further prepare myself for all things MOM and all things FAMILY.