Saturday, January 28, 2012

Homeschooling...the impossible possibility.

Along with all the other new things in our household, we started homeschooling this month. And by "we," I mean "I".  I started homeschooling our kindergartener.  No, I'm not crazy. There are a lot of reasons behind this decision, but it boils down to this: the Lord made it clear that this was our only option at this crossroads in our life. Even though it was never, ever, EVER something I would have pictured myself doing, here I am. And, because I know HE is in it,  I am jumping in and doing this with a joyful heart.

So, here are a few pictures of our first few weeks. (Which have been crazy and fun and exhausting and by day 2,  I was ready to start calling schools for enrollment options.  But, we got through it. )

This is our school room.  It was a great surprise to me when we arrived at my in-laws house to find this little room set-up for us. I added some of the school touches (the white board and behavior chart, etc.).  It was one of those unexpected blessings that I appreciate every day.

Noah's behavior chart. He gets a treat out of the treasure box on Friday if he stays off red all week.

1st day of school.

During our second week of school, we studied the Egyptians.  Noah got to make a mummy:

We paused for a minute the other day to check out the snow coming down hard. And, yes, we did go outside for "recess."  It was a cold one!

Here's one of many outside break times with Seth and Mollie (that's our dog.  Remember her? She's a giant now.  She has lots of super-neat talents, too! Like she can eat plastic, wood, even her own poop. If it's not chained to the ground, she eats it! Isn't that so super awesome? cough cough)

What can I say? A boy and his dog. 

As I mentioned in my last post, the first couple days were pretty hard and the first day in particular ended with 3 blood-shedding incidents between my younger 2 sons.  To Noah's credit, he plowed right through his school work without getting distracted by the screaming and the agonizing cries of his younger 2 siblings. I, however, found myself getting frazzled.  By the end of day 2, I needed a glass of wine. 

This was the start of day 2. The calm before the storm.

We are now in a regular schedule of starting school at 9 and ending at 11. If you know me at all, you know I like my schedules!  (Babywise, anyone?)  So, we are in a routine and it is in no small part due to my sister-in-law and mother-in-law.  They have helped me with my 2 little ones almost every day since day 3.   Because of them, I get almost 2 hours of un-interrupted time working with Noah.  It is pure bliss and something I fully did not expect.  Another not-so-little thing I was surprised and blessed by!

When Ryan and I made the decision for me to homeschool Noah, I emailed 2 women in particular about how to approach this. I was confused, I was nervous, and I was convinced that Noah would end-up either stupid or a social shut-out.  I know we are only 3 weeks in, but it's calmed my nerves and I can see the light in the homeschool tunnel. At least til the end of kindergarten. I can't think of 1st grade yet, or I'll have a nervous breakdown. But for now, we are settled and we are good. A HUGE thank you to Jenny and Nora. They've been my #1 supporters and coaches through this. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A New Year, A New Adventure

Well, it's here! 2012. Whew...for my little Friesen five fam, this is a year we've both dreaded and looked forward to.  I'm kinda happy the way God has worked all of this out for us, timing our new adventure with the new year. It feels appropriate in many ways. The death of one season and finding new life in the next season.  It's just beautiful the way the Father works out even those little details.

So, a brief update: we have made the big MOVE!

Our moving crew. Aka...our friends.  :)

This was my moral support on moving of my best friends,  Kath. (I love you!)

We are now living in Vancouver, British Columbia.  My sweet parents helped me and the boys fly up while Ryan and his dad drove my car 3,000 miles across the USA.

A quick kiss goodbye for my hubs before he left for Canada.

My dad taking care of Seth on the plane.  An i-phone always works, folks. ( And there's Jackson creepin' in the corner.)

Jackson helping his Mollie-dog look out the window as we descend into Vancouver.

We are all settled in now and trying to get adjusted to life here. Ryan is busy working while I stay home with the kiddos. They've been patient with this mama as I try to navigate unfamiliar roads, shop in unfamiliar grocery stores, use new currencies, drive in kilometers per hour rather than mph, and all the while look as cool and in control as I can. There have been funny moments and a few almost-stop-the-car-and-cry moments. But, just as only the father can do, he's given me a peace that surpasses every other emotion flailing around inside me.

Thanks to so, so many of you for the outpouring of love and support for my family as we make this transition. Both our American and Canadian friends have been awesome. I, especially, have felt loved from both sides. I've received too many emails and texts to count from my friends back home. And 1 very special card in the mail...thanks Kath. :) And after being here only a week, a welcome tea was given in my honor at the home of one of Ryan's aunt's. That was so unexpected and terribly special; I think I needed it more than I realized.  :)  Thanks Aunty Judy!

A lot has happened in the short time we've been living here.  Ryan and I celebrated our 9 year wedding anniversary.  He took me dancing and to dinner.  Actually, he took me to dance lessons.  Go ahead and laugh. I did. I may or may not have shed a tear or two as well.

I realized, towards the end of the night, how much of a boy-mom I am when Ryan asked me if I wanted to go dancing again and I responded by saying "maybe we could go rock climbing next time?"  That threw him for a loop, even after 9 years.  I think I'd feel more steady on my feet on the side of a rock than in dancing shoes with Michael Jackson in the background telling me to beat it. Some people's hips just shouldn't move that way. Including mine.

We also had our first couple of snow days and started homeschooling. (That is a whole other blog my friends!  Just a preview: we ended the first day with only 3 blood-shedding incidents between the boys. Better than I expected).

Here's a few pics to enjoy.

It was a weird thing seeing our cars under snow!

First snowman. He borrowed my hat from Amanda. :)

Our new adventure has begun!!