What a crazy year it has been!
It's hard to believe at the beginning of this year my oldest daughter, 7 at the time, was a member of the public school system.
It's even harder to go back and look at the pictures!
Thankfully, sometime in January, i realized (after one day on the job at a local daycare with my baby girl crying down the hallway) that public school was not something that we had ever wanted or intended for our family, and we refocused, got back on course, and pulled her out of school to be home with us again.
Shortly after that, we celebrated our baby girl's first birthday. HAPPY DAY!
Unfortunately, when we took her for her one year checkup, we found out that she had an elevated lead level in her bloodstream. The nurse called and suggested we find another place to stay immediately. What a shock that was! So we packed a few clothes and moved into my dad's house that night until we could figure out what to do. We were there for three months. Family of four sleeping in a double bed and living out of suitcases. We tried to get out of the house as much as possible!
NOLA CHILDRENS MUSEUM
MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST
BALAGAN CIRQUE PERFORMANCE
SPANISH TOWN MARDI GRAS PARADE
ZOO WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY
CAMPING AT TICKFAW STATE PARK
EASTER AT UNCLE'S FARM
SPRAYGROUND WITH FRIENDS
AND WE NURSED SOME ABANDONED BABY BIRDS
Because it was determined that one possible cause of the lead was that my husband might be bringing it in on his shoes from work, he started trying to use his connections in Dallas to get a job in the racing industry.
We didn't want to sign a lease anywhere knowing that we wanted to move, but nothing was happening fast enough, so we talked our way into staying at a friend of a family member's camp on the river for the summer, in exchange for fixing the place up. Family of four sleeping on a king size mattress on the living room floor while the rest of the place was being renovated and used as temporary storage! We tried to stay outside as much as possible!
The job finally came through at the end of June, and Steve flew to New York for his trial run with the race team.
I guess he passed the test because he got the job!
For the next few months, me and the girls stayed at the camp in Louisiana while he traveled the country with the team.
He came home long enough to help me move everything out of the camp and into storage, and me and the girls took off to Dallas with our suitcases to look for a place. We stayed at his boss's house while they were on the road, and went back to Louisiana and stayed with family when they came back in town.
We went to the Rethinking Education conference and met lots of cool and inspirational people who also unschool their kids.
The conference was a life-changing, inspiring, and self-affirming event, and i am so glad we made it a priority to go.
Back to Louisiana for the rest of September to stay with my little brother while my mom took a temporary job assignment in Puerto Rico. (poor thing, right?) But it worked out great for me, because me and the girls had a comfy house with a pool for the last little bit of summer weather.
Then off to California with hubby in race rig for family road trip and last race of the season!
We finally found a nice little apartment with a library and a ymca within walking distance from our front door, and signed up for all kinds of local groups and have stayed very busy meeting all sorts of new people. We have been to museums, gardens, aquariums, zoos, parties and park days; and have met lots of incredible unschooling families!
And i couldnt think of a better way to end this wild ride of a year than meeting 'in real life' the gypsy spirited woman who has been my online hero for a couple years now! She travels the country with her husband and three kids living in a converted school bus and teaches her kids about life by getting out there and living it! Thank you Vicki for being such an inspiration and for sharing your family's awesome alternative lifestyle with the rest of the world! I'm so glad to call you a friend!
This is just a very brief summary of what we have gone through this year as individuals and as a family.
All the experiences of this year, and all the life lessons, and all the fun, the sadness, the frustration, the struggles, the enlightenment, and the strengthening of our family that went along with those experiences are too many to list; and too subtle to define. But it has been an amazing year, in both good and bad ways; and i know that without some of those 'bad' experiences, many of the 'good' ones would have never come along!
So, here is wishing everyone a new year filled with many new experiences that will expand and enlighten your world!