Monday, September 11, 2006

We're Baaaack... =)

Well, this summer was certainly interesting.

We flew to TN and found a house on the second day - funnily enough, it's almost exactly the same as our house in Rochester Hills except it doesn't have a basement. Which is odd as I didn't like our house in RH at all....but I do so like this new one. =) It also cost almost exactly the same amount as our house in RH. Go figure.

Then we flew back to MI, did some laundry, and flew off to CA. Meine gute that wasn't a fun flight.

Our apartment in South Beach was a two bedroom about 15 mins walk from the beach. It was small. It was excessively old and smelly and dirty. Blech! The first night there I bought a bunch of cleaning supplies. Whilst we were there I started to itch...and it hasn't stopped since. It's not as intense as it was in CA but my legs are still covered in scabs from me scratching and scratching....very uncomfortable. I think I should probably go to the Dr., eh?

We lived in that apartment for five weeks. Almost every day for that five weeks I was at the front desk complaining about our carpet which was just filthy. I couldn't let anyone walk around in bare feet or socks because within five minutes the feet/socks would be BLACK. Ew. Thank goodness Andrew could walk and wasn't a crawler otherwise I'd be going out of my head.

We went to the beach - took Andrew a couple of times to get used to the sea. =) We frequented the surprisingly clean and salty community swimming pool. We went to the playground only once as it was a little disconcerting to remove broken glass and cigarette butts from the sand so Andrew could play. We went to Sea World and LegoLand and Knotts Berry Farm (My FAVE! They were even selling McGuffey Readers there - I should have bought them). We spent every weekend with Grandma and Grandpa Brooks who lived an hour - and 10-20f warmer - inland. I think Andrew got kind of fed up of not knowing where he was going to sleep. He coped quite well though, all in all.

The first 2 1/2 weeks in CA just DRAGGED. The second half flew by. Oh yes! Emily flew to UT by herself to go to EFY at BYU for a week. She had a wonderful time. =) BTW, her attitude improved dramatically as soon as her father was around.

Then finally, thankfully, we were coming home. We flew to MI and packed up for a week, then drove to TN.

All these weeks I'd been praying "Please Lord, let our house sell. Please!" Having done the double mortgage thing once before, we had no desire to do it again. Unfortunately, MI is in a HUGE housing slump at the moment. A couple of houses for sale on each street and no-one even looking. The number of foreclosures has shot up and it takes an average of 6-12 months to sell a house, if you've priced it right.

We priced ours right. At first $5000 below what we paid for it, then $10,000.....and it still wasn't selling.

So we moved to TN, leaving our house behind. The move went as smoothly as can be expected. We were all SO SICK of packing and unpacking suitcases that it was WONDERFUL to unpack them and put the dratted things away. Andrew did really well on the drive, being several months older than when we'd driven it before. His brain was sucked out by the videos we played and it kept him quiet. TV is definitely a drug.....occasionally one I am very thankful for.

Trying to register a child for school here in Williamson County is INSANE. The amount of hoops you have to jump through is ridiculous. Thankfully I only had to go through that hell with one child; with Ben I just went into the LEA, handed in my notice to homeschool form and that was that. Hooray! =)

Unpacking continued apace. Ben had his birthday on the 13th Aug - he got a guitar. School starts on the 14th Aug, so off went Emily to Seminary and school, and Ben and I started homeschool and we've been at it ever since.

It's going quite well. We're trying to sort out a schedule that works for us. Today I started a new thing of typing up everything Ben needs to accomplish and saying "here, do this". I thought he'd have a conniption but instead he said "Wow, this is really helpful Mum, thanks." GO figure! =) This new thing might work, and it frees me up to sort out stuff to do with homeschooling and actually clean the house and stuff. Alright. =)

I'd continued praying, asking the Lord for a miracle - which, quite frankly, is what it was going to take to sell our MI house - letting him know that in Sept. we were going to have a double mortgage and we were really worried about it. We fasted and prayed. Bert's parents fasted and prayed. I think my parents might have prayed. Bert's parents put our names in the Temple....

And on Ben's birthday, someone made an offer. We countered. They accepted. We sold the house for $20,000 less than what we'd paid for it. We ended up writing a cheque to get rid of the house, so we've lost ALL equity - but, we don't have a double payment. Furthermore they wanted to close on the 1st September....which means we wouldn't have to pay even one double mortgage payment. Can you believe that???? What an answer to prayer! We feel so blessed and grateful to our Father in Heaven. =) There are so many people in MI trying to sell houses that people haven't even LOOKED at....and ours has sold just when we needed it to. We're so grateful.

So, life goes on. Homeschooling rocks. Why didn't I do this sooner? =) I hope to be able to HS Andrew all the way through. =)

To end this monster post, here's a little poem that was sent to the HS email group I belong to - sing it to "On the first day of Christmas." =)

On the first day of Home School my neighbor said to me, "Can you homeschool legally?"

On the second day of HomeSchool my neighbor said to me, "Are they socialized?, Can you home school legally?"

On the third day of Homeschool my neighbor said to me, "Do you give them tests?, Are they socialized?, Can you home school legally?"

ON the fourth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, "What about P.E.?, Do you give them tests?, Are they socialized?, Can you home school legally?"

On the fifth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, " YOU ARE SO STRANGE!!!!, What about P.E.?, Do you give them tests?, Are they socialized?, Can you homeschool legally?

On the sixth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, "How long will you homeschool?, YOU ARE SO STRANGE!!!!, What about P.E.?, Do you give them tests?, Are they socialized?, Can you homeschool legally?

On the seventh day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, "Look at what they're missing!, How long will you home school?, YOU ARE SO STRANGE!!!!, What about P.E.?, Do you give them tests?, Are they socialized?, Can you homeschool legally?"

On the eighth day of home school my neighbor said to me, "Why do you do this?, Look at what they're missing!, How long will you home school?, YOU ARE SO STRANGE!!!!, What about P.E.?, Do you give them tests?, Are they socialized?, Can you homeschool legally?"

On the ninth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, " They'll miss the prom!, Why do you do this?, Look at what they're missing!, How long will you home school?, YOU ARE SO STRANGE!!!!, What about P.E.?, Do you give them tests?, Are they socialized?, Can you home school legally?"

On the tenth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, "What about graduation?, They'll miss the prom!, Why do you do this?, Look at what they're missing!, How long will you home school?, YOU ARE SO STRANGE!!!!, What about P.E.?, Do you give them tests?, Are they socialized?, Can you home school legally?"

On the eleventh day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, "I could never do that!, What about graduation?, They'll miss the prom!, Why do you do this?, Look at what they're missing!, How long will you home school?, YOU ARE SO STRANGE!!!!, What about P.E.?, Do you give them tests?, Are they socialized?,Can you home school legally?"

On the twelfth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, "Can they go to college?, I could never do that!, What about graduation?, They'll miss the prom!, Why do you do this?, Look at what they're missing!, How long will you home school?, YOU ARE SO STRANGE!!!!, What about P.E.?, Do you give them tests?, Are they socialized?, Can you homeschool legally?"

On the thirteenth day of homeschool, I thoughtfully replied, "They can go to college, yes, you can do this, they will have graduation, we don't like the prom, we do it because we love them, they are missing nothing, we'll homeschool forever, WE ARE NOT STRANGE!!!!, we give them P.E., and we give them tests, they ARE socialized, and we home school LEGALLY!"

ON the fourteenth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, "How can I get started?, Why didn't you tell me?, Where do I buy curriculum?, When is the next conference?, WILL PEOPLE THINK WE'RE STRANGE?, I think we can do this, if you will help us., Can we join P.E.? and we'll homeschool legally!!"