Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What We're Up To

I realized I haven't posted anything about what we've all been up to in quite a long time now. Almost two years ago, my husband went back to school to get an AAS at Piedmont Virginia Community College, studying electronics and computer technology. This is where his interests have always lain, and I'm so excited for him to be able to learn more and then also work in his field of interest and his greatest strength.
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That doesn't mean that I was at all interested in having to find a job to put food on the table and keep our health insurance. The first year was extremely difficult for me. I knew what I was doing was what had to be done for all of us, but after staying home for so long, I really wasn't prepared to stop doing what I loved--homeschooling and hanging out with my kids, their friends, and my friends, volunteering for our statewide homeschool organization (www.vahomeschoolers.org), running our local homeschool yahoo list--over 600 members! Not to mention have time to read and surf the web and play World of Warcraft, garden, raise hens, do laundry . . .

But I did find work, and at first was just working 20 hours a week. After not too long, it was obvious that I needed more hours and better pay. After wrapping my brain (heart) around that fact, I was able to find full-time (32 hrs a week) work, and it's a job I enjoy doing. I'm working four days a week, so I get to spend Wednesdays with the kids, doing what I normally would have been doing.

We've relied heavily on friends and my parents to take over some of the things I had been doing with the kids--sports, dance, playdates, Emily's volunteering at the library, became much harder to schedule, and we couldn't have continued without their help. School was never an option. I'm forever grateful to you guys.

I don't know exactly what's in store for us for the next year. Eddie's got one more full-time school year until he gets his degree, but he's working full-time this summer at a job that is perfect for him and that he is just awesome at.

Meanwhile, we managed a few trips to see friends over the last two years. The kids and I went to Tennessee twice for the Autodidactic Radical Gathering of Homeschoolers (ARGH). Eddie had exams and couldn't make it. We all went to SC for the Beach Unschoolers Gathering. The kids and I had a great time in Williamsburg at Great Wolf Lodge for their homeschool days last December, and met up with some friends there. I can't wait to do it again! We also traveled to Maryland to stay with unschooling friends of ours--we need to plan another trip soon! Those were the big things, though I could be forgetting something.

Emily participated in the East Tennessee Unschooled Summer Camp (ETUSC) last summer. Eddie and Thomas went and stayed down there for the week, since Eddie didn't have classes. This summer when she goes again, we're all going to stay there. And I know Thomas will want to participate the following year, when he's old enough.

So far this summer, we've joined a local pool but have only gone a few times. Eddie's son Nick and his wife Catherine have been helping out so much, by coming to the house on Mondays and Fridays, and taking Emily and Thomas wherever they need to go, or else just staying home and playing games with them. Nick still wins every game of Risk . . . We are also doing some bowling through the AMF Kegler free kids' summer bowling program.

Fridays after Five has been a really nice thing to look forward to each week. Emily loves to hang out on the Downtown Mall with friends, and I enjoy eating dinner with Eddie or with friends, or both. :) Thomas enjoys going occasionally, as well. I love that they can have the freedom to wander around, shop, goof off, listen to music even (LOL), without feeling like we're hovering over them. I don't usually see them till it's time to go. Cell phones are awesome tools!

Ok, I've got this week off, and things to do, so that's it for now! I'll try to post some pictures soon. And thanks for reading!

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