Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Reflecting and moving on...

We started our "school" year on July 1st so this is a little late to the game as we are currently on fall break for two weeks.

Anyway, reflecting...

I used K as a learning experience finding what works for us academically and what philosophies work for Athena.  I've found we have an appreciation for most philosophies, roadschooling, Charlotte Mason and hands on projects. Sometimes I feel pressure or judgement to pick a philosophy because others feel it works so well for them. The thing, most either don't work for me or Athena and we need it to work for us as a team.

Last year also left me wanting to step back from a lot of activities and I did. We dropped a gymnastics class for Athena. We dropped any Saturday activity and we dropped any weekly commitments outside of paid EC's all specifically chosen and thought out by our kids. Athena has five hours of structure per week. She sets her own goals and thrives at meeting them.

I've been questioning a lot of what I thought we needed as well and now that we are into the school year, we've decided to reduce what we are doing. Not because we are overwhelmed or stressed like last year but because Athena has choices. Lex has choices. They make them each day, some I agree with and others I step back and cringe wondering why the prefrontal cortex did not come fully developed. Come on evolution, step up your game! In all seriousness, they are learning and I am thankful to grow alongside of them. 

Athena has chosen to step back from play dates.

I never thought I would type that particular sentence in regards to the first born. For anyone who knows her, you know she is social and loves her friends fiercely.

She misses her friends when we are unable to see them. With this step back, we are hoping to see her close friends more frequently and in smaller groups giving her time to build and nourish each friendship. 

I felt weird leaving group play dates. It was me. Not her... Which made me ponder, are play dates really for kids or for moms?

A friend set this in motion today. Another friend told me about it and 'forced' me away from my cave today. I gave up my troglodyte status to venture away from the cave and chat only to come home and to feel relief. Yes, relief.

I'm not the only one who feels pressure to say yes. I'm not the only one who feels the need to step back or out completely! So we are, we are stepping back from various groups and group play dates to nurture the relationships with the families we don't always have the chance to be around.

It may seem like a big decision but to me now, today, it seems small. It seems tiny and it made me wonder why it had taken so long. Thank you friends! I'm thankful for each of you!

Friday, September 5, 2014


One of Athena's good friends moved to Florida in June to prepare for a sailing trip around the world. We were tentatively scheduled to be on our trip when they flew back so we did the only logical thing, we came home early.

It was great seeing both April and Audrey! We will look forward to seeing them again soon! 

My child is not this strong.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Roadschooling to worldschooling transition: Decisions!

Six down, 43 to go!

In mid July we committed to making a decision by Labor Day for our goals and best way to achieve them. You can read the original post here.  There were many questions but Jay and I finally came to what we consider a fair compromise.

(I think. I hope.)

Are we going to sell our house?

No. We have decided not to sell our house. RV's and vehicles towing them depreciate. Our house is gaining value and it's in great shape. We would like to hold onto our house until we are done traveling the US or until we move abroad in roughly five years.

****Random, I can imagine our retirement homestead with goats in New Zealand.****
****It also helps that we love our homeschooling community and friends in Boulder.****

Are we going full time?

No. As much as I enjoyed three weeks on the road with the girls this summer alone, I can't in good conscience go full time knowing Jay needs to be in Boulder for meetings at work from time to time. We would either travel without him much of the time or we would be driving back and forth across the country which is not at all economical. In the ideal world we stay together as a family more than not. I will still be traveling with the girls and without Jay a decent amount but we will be happy to have him join us more often! Giving up Jays current job to go full time would not be a wise decision in the long run as it would impact our savings abilities drastically.

And Yes... We are going to go full time but not now, it will happen when we travel/ live in Africa, Asia and Europe.

Are we going to buy an RV?

Yes. The idea is to buy something cheap and remodel to what we need. Because we will not be traveling full time, our kids do not need the privacy a 5th wheel bunk house provides and we will not need as much storage. The idea is to gut part of it and put in a small rabbit hutch for Promise and Lilith. Thereby, eliminating the need to pay rabbit sitters frequently and also keeping the cost of pet fees in hotels to zero.

Are we taking the RV to Central or S. America?

We might attempt it. A lot of people jeep S. America and rent homes or apartments along the way. I like this idea but if we can pull a travel trailer, I will try it. I often times justify purchases by usage. If we spend $18k on a trailer and upgrades to only use it once it costs us, $18k. If we use it 180 times, it's down to $100/ use. Obviously, getting our money out of it in S. America is idyllic but we need to research more.

We still have a few details to work out minimally in the coming weeks and months but the major decisions are made. It was a huge relief to finally have a plan!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Grand Teton

Our family stayed in West Yellowstone the night before heading through the Grand Tetons and back to Colorado. It's a cute town with a nice park near the restaurants. We picked up dinner to go from the Slippery Otter and played at the park, I can't give them an honest review because we only had salads but it was a great break from huckleberry jam sandwiches, yogurt and fruit on the way down. Oh, and the fighting... Our kids decided to fight over who was able to pet Sparty, our Scottish Terrier. 8 hours later, I was happy to have survived.

The morning of the Grand Tetons we drove through Yellowstone. We missed Old Faithful, Athena was disappointed. She had every plan of showing it to Jay because he had not seen it recently. I think she wanted an excuse to time it. 

We did a few short hikes at the Grand Tetons and attended a few of the ranger programs on bison and wildlife. Having attended many of the ranger led programs at various parks this summer alone, I must say, they did a great job with content and being able to address and engage the entire audience. We plan to head back through each the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone when we travel through the Pacific Northwest. We will hike each of the parks more thoroughly at that point.

She is getting taller... Or maybe she is standing on a rock. 

Toddler hikes- barefoot. It's all fun and games until you step in mud. 

We loved the wildflowers. 

Athena has decided to hike with technology in hand to take pics. Or play games. I'm not sure. Okay, it was the first. I suppose the iPad thing is growing on me because it gives her a camera (which is hard to misplace, unlike her Olympus Tough) to take photos from her level and POV.