Friday, March 21, 2014

Moving!! AGAIN!! City Life Here We Come!!!

If you have followed us long at all, you could have guessed that back in January when I said "Big Changes" and then stopped blogging completely, it likely means a move. Yes... another move! We thought we would be moving across Canada again, but we will be staying in Ontario. We will live 2 hours from here! I'm excited to be back in a city. Small rural town life isn't for us. The people all know each other and just aren't interested in friends outside of the circles. A couple of people told me that it took 8 to 10 years to finally feel like they belonged and had friends. We just don't want to wait that long. We have at least one close homeschooling family as friends (they moved here just before us). Don't get me wrong, we have met some really nice people, but just trying to talk to other locals is like talking to the wall most days. We are ignored! It is such a strange phenomenon! The cliques became overly obvious in hockey. We eventually pulled Austyn from his travel team. This was due more to the coach, than the cliques, but the cliques are what protected the coach. With all of that said, gymnastics for Zoe has been great. The coaching staff have done all that they can to help her get into another great gym at a level similar to where she is now. She sees them as almost a family! They will be missed!

So, I have been working hard again... purging, organizing, and now that the move is confirmed and the long wait of knowing exactly what we are doing is over, I am packing again. It is hard to balance parenting, homeschooling, packing, sports and everything else on my own. My hubby has been at the new location for months. Since Christmas time! This is my other excuse for not blogging. He is home on weekends, but it's so much more of a challenge to keep up without him here. Knowing that we are life learners and learn all year long gives me a bit of relief in my worries.

Looking ahead, everything looks so much more bright. I'm sure there must be benefits for some people living in rural areas and small towns while homeschooling, but for us it was a bit more of a challenge. Being life learners we had to work on activities outside of the house too hard and many times had to deal with scrutiny from other homeschooling moms. I'm not sure why they would have a problem with someone organizing a bunch of activities or trying to get a group going in a way that any family (no matter what income or beliefs could attend), but although I had many moms who were so grateful to have my help, there were those who typed up lengthy emails running me down.

At least by moving to a city we will have so many resources at our door and I won't have to organize so much to get my kids out into LIFE to learn with other like minded people! There are more homeschooling activities, museums, zoos, conservatories, science centers, nature centers, huge libraries, festivals, a large educational resource center, universities, colleges, and so much more! These are the things we missed when we moved from Edmonton.

One nice feeling is knowing that there is a fairly active group here that we are leaving behind, that is not just religious but open to all homeschooling families, no matter what their homeschooling style. They have a website, a Facebook page, and a Yahoo group. I did a good deed even if a few moms didn't like me getting it going. So, although there were some negative experiences, there are always good experiences as well. I will take this experience and move forward to another new adventure. Maybe I'll take on some new challenges with my kids in a new place! Who knows!

We will miss family. We moved here for family reasons so moving away will be hard for us to not see our family as much. For the first little while we are going to return once a month to see people and just help the kids adjust better. Moving far, cold turkey can be hard. We've done it before! We know!

One thing I do know... I want to stop moving!! Being that we have lived not far from where we are moving we know we liked to live there. We know that the type of job my hubby took is much more long term than anything he has ever taken since starting his business. So, please send happy, rooted thoughts of a home of stability and growth in a place where the people are much more diverse and are much more accepting of a weird, non-conformist family who just want to have fun, have new experiences (that is where learning passions arise) and make new friends.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Big Changes, No Blogging, and Naughty Kitty!

Well, more big changes in our lives and I've had a hard time finding the time to blog! My focus is on homeschooling and our upcoming changes. I will try and update soon, but for now I'll share a cute picture of our cat that was taken in December when our little elf terrorized our home. We found chewed up jumbo marshmallows on the floor and stairs the morning that this picture was taken. I thought you'd get a kick out of the look our cat is giving me as I take this picture. What a naughty kitty!!!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sea Monkeys

 YUP!! It's official! I'm aquatically challenged!! Austyn got some sea monkeys for this birthday. We followed the directions and ended up with 3 surviving sea monkeys and in only a couple of weeks we killed them! Ya... this isn't the fist time we have had trouble with aquatic animals. We may try again.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Homeschool Dance Class

 Zoe took dance class with her homeschool group. Her instructor was an actor on a children's show! 

Zoe seemed to have a good time. The program is finished now. These pictures were taken on the last day.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Kids Photography - While putting up tree

 While tree decorating, the kids took some pictures with my camera.

I think their dad took this picture.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Florida Again

Since we have been back from vacation, I've really not blogged much. Here is what our last trip to Florida looked like. We have been to Florida 3 times this year so far. Each time we drove. One thing I like about driving is that it gives us family time together while we see interesting things. We learn where we'd like to visit someday. For example, I'd like to stay in Kentucky for a vacation someday. I think it's the most beautiful State we travel through. The air feels so fresh to breath there! One place I like to stop off at while passing by is the Kentucky Artisan Center. They have local art, clean facilities, and good food at a good price!

 The kids learn to cope with the long drives by making their own little rooms with blankets. They don't do this the whole way. It's something they do when they are tired and want to be alone. Also it's when the traffic isn't so bad. 

 Although I bring books to read, games to play and we have DVD players, Austyn usually spends much of his time on his iPod. He's on there more then we'd like while we travel to our destination and sometimes pays for it with a stiff neck and a headache. We have seen a maturity grow in him over this year. Each time we drive between Florida and here it gets easier and easier to tell him it's time to do something else.

Zoe sometimes naps in the car. She likes to play car games. I use two books to come up with fun, educational games to play while on the road. One book is called Car Games by Jo Pink and the other one is Carschooling by Diane Flynn Keith. You can subscribe to her Clickschooling website and get educational internet links.

While we were at the hotel on the way to Florida we had Austyn open his birthday gifts. Zoe thought it'd be funny if she wrapped the presents from her in pink paper. She is always joking like that!

 When we arrived in Florida Austyn had a cake ready for him. He isn't a big Cars fan anymore, but he didn't seem to mind at all. 

 We like to go to Florida while Magic Kingdom holds their night time parties for Halloween or Christmas. Sometimes we go for both! This trip was Halloween. Zoe dressed up as a gymnast because the weather was warm. 

 Austyn was a grim reaper. He tends to go with this kind of costume every year.

 Since we have been to Magic Kingdom so many times, we have pictures of all of the main rides. 

 I find that the more we go, the more we focus on the smaller things and I tend to take pictures of those moments instead of the things that someone might be more excited about if they have never been there before.

 No matter how many times we go to Florida, we always have fun. I don't just mean the kids.

This is a musical wall while waiting to get into the haunted house.

 The 3D movies give such classy glasses!

 There are a few new things this year and next year there will be more new attractions.

 After trick-or-treating at Disney, they got to spend Halloween night on our resort. The resort staff always put on a good party for the kids. They had stations set up to get candy and meet scary people. As you can see, Austyn had a scary mask on this time and Zoe wore her bundled up raccoon costume, but she later changed into her gymnast outfit and Austyn took off his mask. It was just too warm. By the way... Zoe did her own make-up.

 The swamp monster took over the hot tub!

 They have had the opportunity to pet an alligator before at the resort. They never pass up a chance to touch one again. We recognized the man who brought this soft, little guy. He is from Gatorland and we watched an educational show he put on earlier this year at this same resort.

The kids did a bunch of contests and danced the night away!

It was a fun trip. Florida never gets old, but one day, we'd like to expand and go to other places. When the weather is cold Florida is an easy destination to get to warm weather for a few days!


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