Monday, November 3, 2014

Home is where....

I’ve for the most part always embraced our life so far. Travel, experience, yada, yada, yada and well you get the picture.

Virginia it never really bothered me although it was difficult for the first eight months because we lived in a very UNSAFE area. We didn’t know how dangerous at the time because we were overly excited about the private beach and pool.  Shortly after our eight-month mark hubby was deployed and I was packing up our super tiny place, storing it, and going home for the next six months. Bittersweet.  When he arrived home we moved to another place that less ghetto (it had two doors instead of just one). Luckily hubby made some friends when he was gone and I was introduced to their wives and we became friends! Sadly we missed family, but it was bearable.

Chickpea came along and shortly after we received our orders to Italy and Life was Grand. Life in Italy was a total Dream (Crappy Fiats, Gelato, Vino Rosso you name it). We had an AWESOME group of friends who are now family. By our Lords grace we were given Sweet Ladybug who was born half way through our Italian tour. After her birth our grand European tour kept on getting better and better.
Our European tour finally came to and end as we headed to Vermont for hubby’s schooling. Vermont left me with a feeling of freezing aloneness for the first year and a half. My reprieve came when dropping off Chickpea off at school and saying “Hi” and “Bye” to Miss Porter (who was my only social outlet/local gossip de jour). Hubby’s senior year I finally made friends, but I was so ready to leave Vermont that I probably didn’t invest as much of myself as thought I did.

Ohio oh sweet plain not much going on Ohio our 6th of 6 choices on our list of places to go (I can blame myself since I created the list). Oddly our time in Ohio really hasn’t been that bad and I must say that it has been our quickest adjustment EVER!! However, it has brought insecurity, jealousy an awareness of what we are missing to the surface.  Hubby and I were able to find a perfect church for us here in Ohio. Since finding our AMAZING church I’ve realized these people have known each other since the church opened its doors or their WHOLE family lives in this area.  I think that is the hardest thing because we have been the outsiders for so long.  That outsider feeling hasn’t just been the church, but also at Co-Op, Karate and it seems everywhere we turn people are rooted here. Our roots don’t even break the surface, but we have made a home here.  Even with friends, church and activies we miss our family even more than ever before.

It hasn’t really hit me like it has since moving to Ohio that our girls will never have a childhood home; spend weekends with the grandparents, no growth chart marks on the doorframes. After 12 years of being married to the Military you would think that I would have gotten it by now.  Instead of moving to different houses within the same zip code from time to time, they get different states and countries.  Even though we aren’t close geographically they are still close to their grandparents and they really have a special bond that I hoped that they would have.  That leads to the unveiling of my plaque.

My friend has a plaque her hubby made that says, “Home is where they send us” I feel in love with it.  I wanted something similar without seeming like a total copycat, even though give her kudos it was a FAB idea and besides imitation as they say is the sincerest form of flattery.

I had planned on being super crafty, but when I priced the equipment needed for what I wanted to do it was just cheaper to buy it from this little husband/wife shop. So I sent them my ideas and they sent this back. I added the pink feet (craftiness complete!).  Hopefully in the next few weeks I’ll reveal the new link!! 

Friday, September 12, 2014

From Defeatist to Positive overnight!

I’ve felt guilty for being so negative in my last post.  The momma/teacher I was the first day of school was NOT how I wanted to kick off the school year.
That night when I was stuffing my face with comfort food God spoke to me about my bad attitude.  I wasn’t being a good example of how to deal with new things.  I had just talked to the girls about how if they are trying something new and they don’t get it right off the bat to not freak out. Taking it slow and practice makes perfect… Hello I was acting just like my nine and six year old but maybe a little more psycho.

After I adjusted my attitude and thought happy thoughts I went to bed.

Tuesday morning I didn’t stress about the alarm, got up, made strong coffee, made a delicious breakfast and put my big girl pants on and walked into the school room with positive thoughts.

We had a great day and I wasn’t as lost trying to use the teacher's manuals. I did delegate Hubby to teach Science and be the Math sub.  What a HUGE blessing to have my hubby give me a helping hand.  He is truly one of a kind.  Our Bria (pictured below) graduated to the reading mats (previously kennel bound due to bad behavior) and is now so much more enjoyable to do school with.

By Friday we were on a roll and totally enjoying it. We also went to our first homeschool organized Co-Op and the girls LOVED it.  I’m happy because two of my favorite HS momma buddies are also part of the group and our kids enjoy being with each other.

Despite all the positives I’m still in the mind frame that since we homeschool I need to run this super tight ship.  When I was homeschooled (HS) as a kid it wasn’t very popular to be a homeschooler and I remember my mom making sure that we didn’t do anything until after school hours in public.  Oh MY how things have changed. Now I feel that we can be more liberal with taking the kids to the grocery store mid-day if need be. One of the many reasons we decided to HS was so we could do school AROUND our schedule.  That would mean our schedule would be different from everyone else’s: correct? I still find it ironic that no one ever questions homeschooled athletes or stars about being sheltered or weird.

This year I decided to change the curriculum for a few reasons… We were using ACE Math and it was a constant battle to get anything done, but when we were getting anything done it was usually a tearful advent.  This year we went with Saxon Math for Chickpea and even though it is only the second week, she loves it, and is actually asking to do Math! 
BIG WIN for Mom!
For Ladybug I’m finishing up the Horizons Math K book and then starting Miquon Math.  Ladybug has always loved Math so it’s waiting to see how see likes the new stuff.

I was not impressed with the program I used with Ladybug for kindergarten last year so I bought this program second hand and LOVE it!  It is Institute for Excellence in Writing.  I'm using it for Reading and Writing and Ladybug just loves it and is already reading so much better.

I had planned to just use Story of the World for History (SOTW).  They have great extra reading recommendations, which the girls enjoy going to the Library to pick out.  I like ACE Social Studies because you learn things you would NEVER learn in public school. For example I introduced my hubby to Dietrich Bonheoffer whom I learned about in school (I used ACE as a kid) but my hubby had no idea who this guy was.  So I may end up ordering ACE Social Studies again and supplementing with SOTW.  When time permits we are using 50 States and where to find them (a FREE download from Homeschool Giveaways) for our Geography and also Kids Guide to American History.

We are using Apologia Science for the girls.  We are doing Zoology 1, which covers every thing that flies.  Hubby seems to having just as much fun as the girls are.  The girl’s favorite thing about this is they each get their own journal. Another great thing about is that it recommends doing science 3-4 days a week. This has been Fabulous for my hubby’s schedule.

I am continuing to use ACE for English/Grammar, Spelling, Creative Writing and Literature. When tested this last year Chickpea scored above grade level in all 3 so I figure if it isn’t broken why fix it?  I am adding English from the Roots Up for no other reason than because I want to.

This year I’m teaching them Sign Language and attempting Latin.  I’m using SongSchool Latin. I can’t really say how I like it because I just got it in the mail today, but I’m excited to start.  I can’t wait to use Discovering the Great Artist this year.  Since living in Italy I have a new respect for Art and hope to share that with the girls.

We start each morning with our Mother daughter devotional.  I’m not in love with The One Year Mother Daughter Devo, just because it’s probably better suited for older girls.  If I feel the subject isn’t for them then we just read the scripture for the day.   Either way it is the Perfect way to start the day.

It is going to be an interesting year since we just found out the hubby got a new job in the Air Force and will be being packing up the house sometime in April.  We are excited about this even though we have no idea where we might go.  There are only 4 choices, but I hope they let us know soon.

Have a blessed weekend!

Monday, September 1, 2014

It was a lonnnggg day….

So a brief run through of our summer…It was AWESOME, full of friends and family visits, ran my very first 5k, I started selling Scentsy again, hubby promoted, and we adopted a puppy. Her name is Bria and she is fun, but goodness lots of WORK!

So even though today is a holiday we started school today. Hubby had to work so why not? I revamped 90% of our curriculum and feel like a fish out of water…Ahhhhh Ayyyyyee I don’t want to do this!! Ok, YES I do I just don’t know the new stuff and yes it will be worth it….Right?

I set my alarm for early. (Early for me ok.) Chickpea and Ladybug were up before Bria and my alarm! Ugh really? I had a few things to finish up before school started and was really looking forward to atleast 30 minutes of quiet. Didn’t expect ├╝ber excitement and all BEFORE my morning cup of coffee. “Mom, you ready to start school?” umm “Let me eat breakfast.”  Of course today I would also try to be organized and start dinner in the crockpot.  I couldn’t chop onions and peppers fast enough. “Hurry up mom!” Then in their boredom and lacking of patience, they thought it would be a great idea to play chase in the house with Bria all while talking in their loudest voices possible.  Oh lordly it’s going to be a long day….

We made it to the schoolroom and at our desks by 9am, pray, pledge of allegiance, and devotional check.  Well not quite. Bria decided she needed to explore the schoolroom and taste test everything! Really? Focus flew out the window and it quickly became a game of “get that away from Bria”. I couldn’t take it, so I brought the kennel and a “Bria” toy into the schoolroom and put her in that.  So she was with us and we could actually get something done.  She slept through class. Slacker!

I don't like putting her in the kennel, but we are still
working on stay, no and etc.
Compared to last year I’m a frazzled mess! I’m looking at all these new teacher manuals and thinking WTH was I thinking?  Teaching multiple grades this year might be more of challenge.  What Chickpea finds interesting, I have to work to keep Ladybug’s attention.  Yes, I should cut myself some slack since it is only the First Day of school. This is my fourth year homeschooling, when does it become NOT such a stress-filled chore?

There really is nothing like one of my momma’s pep talks to encourage and get me back in the game.  So first day of school wasn’t the picture of perfection as I hoped but it’s complete and tomorrow is a new day!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Do you know about Military Spouse Day?

I’ve been racking my wee little brain for something to blog about.  Just found out that Military Spouse Day is upon us. May 9, 2014. 
I feel very silly that after 12 years of being a MilSpouse I’m just learning about this day.  Well, I knew about it just never knew which day it fell on.  It could be because it is the Friday before Mother’s Day and I’m always busy getting stuff together for all the Moms.  Either way better late then never and here is what I found out about it.

Military Spouse Day or Military Spouse Appreciation Day is celebrated on the Friday before Mother’s Day in the United States. Many United States citizens take this day to acknowledge the significant contributions, support, and sacrifices of spouses of their Armed Forces.
President Ronald Reagan recognized the profound importance of spouse commitment to the readiness and well-being of military members and declared May 23, 1984 the first Military Spouse Day with Proclamation 5184, dated April 17, 1984. The US Secretary of Defense, Caspar Weinberger standardized the date by declaring the Friday preceding Mother’s Day as Military Spouse Day.

We all know that being married; having a career, raising kids and life in general isn’t easy.  Add in the “military” part of life, which can be the most frustrating, unpredictable, crazy, priceless, gratifying, hair-raising ride of life you never knew you wanted to take. There are times it can be pretty heavy, depressing, and downright scary, too.

When my husband asked me to marry to marry him, he also asked if I was sure I could live “the military life.” I was too in love with HIM to know or really care about what he was talking about. 
I would learn a week after we were married what he was talking about.  Here is what I have learned thus far.

You might spend your very first anniversary apart and many more after that.

You understand the kind of self-sacrificing, we-can-overcome-anything love that most people think only exists in books.
If you are lucky your solider will be home for the birth of your children.  (I’m blessed x 2.)

You feel helpless when your babies cry for daddy, when you are crying for him too.

You Hate good-byes, but mentally start preparing for them once you move to a new base. It always seems to happens that the neighbor next door whom you hit it off with is preparing to move or just got orders to move.

You learn to call your spouses co-workers by their last name.

You have shamelessly used the military ID card to get out of a tough spot at least once. Don’t feel bad we all have done it.

You can’t stand mandatory fun days, especially when you have to pay for them.

You find moving stickers from 2-3 moves ago.  You might even save them and plan on making something out of them.
You know your spouses social security number better than your own, if you even know your own.
You may be the first to complain about the military, but HATE it when civilians do it.  Seriously, what do they know? After all, we are just venting.
You develop the 2-year itch. No matter how much we hate to move or love a place, after 2 years we are ready for something new.
You prepare to stand up for the National Anthem in the regular movie theater, and then remember you aren’t on base.
Your family and friends are supportive, but they will never truly understand. A lot of the time we don’t even understand, when things can change with the wind. They’ll never understand like another military spouse.
Being a military spouse is a 24/7 commitment requiring, dedication and patience. We may not put on a uniform everyday but even with all the speed bumps, sacrifices, deployments, those painful tri-care calls trying to move your coverage, we find the strength to carry on and we are Dang Proud to be a Military Spouse!

So while you are preparing to celebrate all the wonderful Mother’s this weekend, please set aside Friday May 9 to think about all the Military Spouses across the world.

Happy Military Spouse Day, Happy Mother’s Day to all the friends and mother’s in my life.