Saturday, April 24, 2021

A Plan Forming for Next Year

The last two weeks have sped past. Rebekah is nearing the end of her high school years. I ordered her graduation announcements and diploma. We are looking for a  picnic shelter in a park to reserve for her graduation party. It is getting very real, and we are feeling lots of emotions around here. While it is an exciting time, it is  also a bit bittersweet. The end of my homeschooling career is very close. I am entering a new phase with less clear guidelines and boundaries. To the outside world, I will simply look like a stay at home mother to four grown kids (two of which aren't launching very fast or at all). It is a tricky time of redefining myself to the outside world who seems to think that I should be racing out into the workforce to do something meaningful. Yes, I have heard that from several people, as if the last 23 years of homeschooling hasn't been meaningful and the very most important thing I could have done with my life. (Not to mention, in my humble opinion, the lack of stay at home parents in children's lives is a major reason we have so many issues in this country.) I feel completely content and certain that my time has been well spent. Fortunately, so do the family members closest to me. In reality, I am not returning to work for a good while yet (if I can help it). I am still very much needed here on the home front. 

Rebekah completed her art project for her college course. She had to follow certain parameters and use photoshop software for the first time. It was a big learning curve, but her piece came out great. It is called Mother Nature and Father Time.

In other huge news ~ Rebekah auditioned and was accepted to a professional training program at a dance academy here in town. The professional program is new and  has two art directors from Ballet West (a famous dance academy and company in Salt Lake City) who have joined the academy. The new directors are amazing and have created a professional training program for teens and college age dancers that will begin in the fall. She will be training upwards of 30 hours a week and will have opportunities to perform in multiple shows and dance competitions. Depending on her goals in a year or so, they can also help her find and audition for dance companies throughout the United States. We are so proud of her and I am so happy that she can remain living at home while she follows her passion at least for another year or so. She has decided to take a gap year or longer from college to give her all to dance. I couldn't agree more. I have been talking about a gap year for a long time. It just isn't possible to work (which is necessary), attend college and dance so many hours a week and still stay emotionally/physically healthy. She finally saw it my way. She will continue to work in the mornings and dance in the afternoons (six days a week). For the first time in more than six years, she will have most of her evenings off. 

We celebrated my mother's birthday this week. We went for a walk down by the river and then ate dinner and cake at home. We also played the adult version of HeadBanz, which was lots of fun. It was harder then the original version, with characters like Napoleon and George Bush, etc. We had a blast!

Elijah did lots of work at Grandma's home this past two weeks. She is finding him to be very helpful. He is also working some at home. He is a bit slower and distracted for me, so I am having him work for her more often. He did learn how to use a tiller at home and how to prepare our garden for planting. For us, Elijah has painted doors, fixed loose doorknobs, did landscaping, decluttered the cedar storage closet, maintained the cats' nails and maintained their grooming, as well as performed his regular daily chores. Their medieval sword play group has returned to playing a few hours on Sunday. Tim and Elijah are overjoyed and come home worn out, sweaty and filled with funny stories of their adventurous battles. It is all good!

I will leave you with a cute picture of our sweet and crazy clowder. Why can't they ever be cute on a fully made bed?

Blessings, Dawn

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Easter, Covid Birthday Take Two and Accomplishments

We woke to a beautiful Easter morning. We had a very sweet breakfast display of treats and nibbled away at it. We ended up packing most of it up for desserts for the week. We just don't eat that much sugar around here. We then packed a picnic and headed out for Hickory (a town a little over an hour away). We were planning to visit and art museum which had told us was open on Easter Sunday. We were surprised, but headed out. Turns out it was closed when we arrived. I guess a volunteer or otherwise uninformed person had answered the phone.  But, we enjoyed the grounds and ate our lovely lunch. 
David and Grandma at the fully vaccinated table.
Since we had come all that way, we looked for an alternative and settled on a hike up Baker's mountain. We didn't put enough research into it and accidently started off on the hardest trail (we found out afterward). Grandma gave up very early in and headed back to the parking lot and some nice rocking chairs she had spotted. The rest of us forged on thinking that we were from the mountains and used to steep trails and it was only a bit over a half mile. This one was much harder, steeper then we were used too and filled with slippery rocks. It seemed like a mile straight up. Did I mention we forgot to bring water and that I had only had a few sips of liquid at lunch? Oy! 

We did make it to the top. Elijah laid down at the top and proclaimed that the view was not that stunning. We after all could have seen a more stunning view from the car on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I must admit I couldn't disagree with him. But, it was a relief to make it. We tried to spin the adventure to the top as a family challenge that we had conquered the mountain. That was mostly met with teen eye rolls. 

  The way down wasn't much easier and we were terribly thirsty and overheated. I turned beet red and became hot to the touch. My husband became alarmed that I was going into heatstroke. I must admit that I felt pretty awful and nauseous. His military training kicked in and he got us down and safely back to the car. So Easter was a true adventure and left us all grateful to be home safe and sound in the end. 

Tim had his second birthday in "quarantine" this week. We enjoyed our time outdoors playing darts for the first time. That was really fun and we will be doing it again soon. We also had barbeque and carrot cake. We enjoyed a bonfire and presents at the end. It was a lovely evening. Three of us (including grandma) are now fully vaccinated. Tim get's his second shot next week and the teens are scheduled for their first shots on Monday. 

All the Rest ~ Elijah has been earning money around the house and at Grandma's. He is strengthening skills and learning to work more steadily without breaks. Much past an hour is really a challenge for him. This week he put together some furniture, replaced outlet covers, helped lay a stick down tile floor, put allergy covers on a mattress and general cleaning. 

Rebekah continued to  plug away at school and work, applied for another scholarship and worked on her Depop  store. She was also asked if she could work more hours at the consignment shop after another employee quit on the spot. Since she only has two subjects left, she increased her hours to 25 hours a week for now.  Her boss is grateful and she is grateful to be able to sock more money into savings. 

Spring is here. I hope you all have a blessed week.

Blessings, Dawn