Saturday, February 7, 2015

So, I guess we're moving?!

If you're reading this, you're probably a close personal friend, so you've probably already heard (or read on facebook) that we're moving back near my childhood hometown.  But, you may not have heard our story.

At the end of last year (2014), Ben had some vacation time left over, so we decided to spend a week with my family in my hometown.  It was a really nice week.  We all got along really well, and just enjoyed our time together.

Well, the next week, (December 30 to be exact), Ben and I were talking about our future, when he mentioned that he thought we should move to my hometown.  To be honest, I was in shock.  For many years I had wanted to move back, and the timing wasn't right.  But now, moving wasn't even a thought of mine.  I had assumed that we'd remain here forever. We have great friends, a wonderful church family, great neighborhood, Ben loves his job and the company that he works for, we found a great homeschooling community, etc.  So we prayed about it, asked a couple of others to pray for us as well.  And, we started applying for jobs.

Everyday I would spend 30 minutes or so looking for a new job for Ben.  He'd apply to any of them that he thought he'd enjoy.  He heard back from someone, but the pay wasn't right.  So we continued searching.  Two weeks ago, I did a google search on the best companies to work for in my hometown, and found a company in his current industry.  So, on January 26 (we think, the date is a blur), he applied for a position that was very similar to his current position.

Within two days, they called him and screened him as a potential candidate.  They wanted him to come in for an interview the next day.  So, he did.  The interview went well.  They informed him that the reason the position had opened was because the previous employee unexpectedly retired earlier that month.

Well, three business days later, they offered Ben the job.  They LOVED him and made sure he knew that THEY wanted him to work with them.  They negotiated salary (they raised the offer to get him on board).  And we talked it over and prayed about it.  The next day, he accepted his new position and resigned from his current position.

He begins his new job on March 2.

Let me backtrack for a moment.  When we first talked about moving, we thought it would be a very lengthy process.  Months.  And instead, the biggest part, getting a job, took only a few weeks.  Really, just a blink.  And through it all, we truly felt that God led us here.

  • Many years ago, when I craved my hometown, we couldn't move back.  Our very best friend was here, and we would never leave him.  Well, in recent years, he's gotten married (to a WONDERFUL woman) and gained a new family, and he's going to be a dad next month!
  • I had a very strong relationship with one of my friends here.  Our relationship is still strong, but in the past year, she's really bonded with another friend, and I'm so happy she has her now.
  • Ben's mom was single, but in December, she got married.  She's very happy, so we know she's taken care of.
  • We've become involved in Classical Conversations, and because of that, I've seen how easy it was for my children to make friends, so that part isn't scary.
  • The job that Ben applied for wouldn't have been open until this very month.
  • We were planning on taking a pay cut to be closer to family, but that all worked out better than we thought. 
  • When he accepted his new position, he also asked for a couple of weeks off for a vacation and camp week we have scheduled, and they granted that too.
I feel like the timing is perfect.  And I can't believe how it's worked out.  It's been fairly simple (only because of God), and VERY quick.  But now, we have a house that I don't consider to be market-ready, and it needs to be sold.  FAST.  And, we need to find a new house.  It's going to be so much work, but I feel so much peace.  If God has provided everything else, I know He's got the house thing figured out too.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

School Choice Week!

Did you know this week is school choice week?  We are so incredibly fortunate to have a choice in our children’s education.  Whether you choose public, private, or homeschool (which is illegal in some countries), we get to choose what’s best for our children.  I know many of my friends are content with their decision in education – if that’s you, carry-on.  If, however, you’re even a little interested in homeschooling, please read on; I’d love to share a little about our life.

We’ve been homeschooling for almost three years.  To be honest, it was a very difficult decision.  I didn’t want them to miss out on having friends (the great socialization myth!), and I felt inadequate to be in charge of their entire education (gulp!).  So, after much prayer and advice from friends, we decided to give it a try.  We were committing to one year, and then at the end of the year, we would re-evaluate.

Well, you know how that first year ended.  We began our second year, then our third.  Lord-willing, next year will be our fourth year.

I enjoy being with my children.  Maybe it’s a little selfish, but I want to spend all day with them.  I know that before long, they’ll be grown, and then I won’t see them as often.  In homeschooling, I have more time with them.  And I savor it. 

Not always.  Sometimes it’s really tough.  Sometimes I need a break, sometimes they need a break.  I was not equipped with super-patience. Sometimes we grow frustrated. But, over time, I’ve discovered that when they grow frustrated, often that means that we’re working on something that they’re just not ready for.  So, we back off and try again later.  I love that we can customize their education, and go at their pace based on their ability and skill level.

I get to teach them.  It’s the most amazing feeling when you hear your struggling reader read for the first time.  It’s amazing to watch your child (who HATES handwriting) develop a love of cursive.  When something questionable comes up, we get to discuss it together. 

I learn from them.  I’ve learned so much with them this year.  I hated history when I was in school, but now I can’t get enough.  I’ve learned some Latin, and the Presidents in order, and all the capitals of the US.  I’ve also learned how to live in the moment and not worry about being adequate.  I’ve learned (the hard way) how to be more patient.  We take it day-by-day, and learn what we want. 
They’ve made so many friends.  And they’re not all the same age.  I remember when I was younger, I was afraid of older kids.  It may be because I didn’t have older siblings, or because in school, we stayed with kids in our grade, or maybe it was my own insecurities.  My children love to play with children of all ages.  We meet most of the kids at church, gym class, or our co-op, so I know their parents, which is awesome too.

Now to be totally honest, I will tell you that this is the first year ever (so far) that I haven’t considered sending them to school the next year.  It can be really challenging, but so rewarding.   

Enjoy this week.  No matter how your child is educated, celebrate the fact that we have an option.  We are all so blessed!  Happy school choice week!