Just super quick... we are still homeschooling... still unschooling actually, though I will be honest and say I've had curriculum temptations haha. But I've found that my older girls especially tend to help me re-focus when the temptation to make a purchase comes over me.
The kids are now 14, 12, 9, and 7.
We just celebrated a year in our new home on May 12, 2016. Last year we purchased a newly constructed DR Horton Home and we really just feel like we found a great house and a great neighborhood with great neighbors to call home.
We had rented a small, make that small for our family size, home (1100 square feet) for 2 years to save up to purchase our home. Our kids all shared the master suite in order to make it workable. And we were determined to be able to get back to home ownership again.
Bry has now been serving on the police department for 17 years. We thank God everyday in this anti police environment that he makes it home each night. He may be making a move to working off the streets very soon. This comes with a significant jump in pay but that's not the motivation. The motivation is really that he has served a lot of time on the streets of our city and it's time to dip his toe in another area of police work.
I'm also working... I was offered an amazing part time job (4 hours a week) and it's been a true blessing. The pay is wonderful, and I really enjoy the job. I've been working since August 2015. I take notes on board meetings, type up the minutes, contact political candidates, schedule and organize political endorsement interviews and things of that nature. I get to work with a great bunch of folks on our board and just really enjoy my role with them. I will confess that it felt like God really dropped an amazing opportunity into my lap to use this job to get us debt free. (Which is something we really re-committed to doing).
My brother was married in June of last year and the kids had a great time meeting extended family they hadn't gotten to see otherwise. My husband lost his mother and his brother very closely to one another... and that was a super sad time of course.
The kids have grown a lot. I uploaded some pics in the side bar and will add a few here also.
Skylar is 14 so we officially have been homeschooling a teenager. Was hard to imagine getting to this point just because when we started she was just two years old. But wow! Does time fly or what. As I mentioned, we are still unschooling and for Skylar how that looks right now is: Instagram, Music, Photo editing, Attending Concerts (with her Dad), Watching YouTube, Reading - Right now she is really into Greek Mythology. Watching Supernatural with her Dad from the beginning all the way through (she and I are already on season 11 I think it is). I know some Christian parents would take issue with this show... but in our house it's sparked some great conversations especially relating to the character of God and how God, Angels and Demons, etc. are portrayed in the show. It's funny that sometimes she has to remind either myself or Bry that the show is just fiction. She got Invisalign this year which has been a journey in itself... man talk about some serious pain and suffering. She's on tray 4 of 22 and it's better but the first tray was awful she said.
Skyar's maturity and attitude about pretty much all things amazes me she's just very mature and patient about so many things. Probably a great thing in this house of crazies for sure! Haha
Summer is 12 and this year was the first year she really was excited to dive into some books. They were Harry Potter that Skylar had requested for Christmas. She watched the movies first and then felt like she wanted to read the books. She did some coloring in the Harry Potter Coloring book, this year she has really gotten into music so she listens to music a lot, she's a huge fan of Dan and Phil (some youtubers) and Bry is taking her and Skylar to see them next month. Summer is so helpful around here and so generous as well. Skylar is generous with giving the little kids candy and Summer is generous with her time. Though she is gravitating toward wanting more time to herself she is always willing to let Ember and Decklin hang in her room and color or play their ipads while she has her music on. She also pitches in often to help with breakfast and lunch making for the younger kids. She's pretty active on her several instagram accounts, has made some nice friendships that way also. She seems to like the flexibility that online friendships offer and she's met some nice kids around the globe that way too.
Decklin is 9 and this year he's been learning a ton about a ton, specifically from Youtube. He's also made some great friends in our new neighborhood, one boy we found that lives here is also homeschooled and another of his neighborhood friends attends public school. He has a pretty active social life seeing those friends and other long time homeschool friends. Bry takes him to hit golf balls weekly. And he loves playing video games on Xbox live, with in person friends and family and solo. I have to admit he is great with money from those video games. And also he is reading quite a bit from those games and from texting on his Ipad as well. He and his one friend text a lot back and fourth, the audio text feature on the idevices is great for kids for sure. Also has lots of great apps on the ipad that he plays. Right now he and Ember are super into a game called Geometry dash.
Ember is 7 and funny enough I'm surprised by how this kid loves workbooks and writing. She will write letters and numbers on anything. You can often find her with notebooks spread before her filling them up. Explode the code workbooks are super fun for her. And for a couple days she and Decklin were using math flash cards to test each other on math skills. She thought that was super fun. She also loves board games and playing Xbox Kinect, Exo Zombies and Minecraft as well. This kid can hang pretty touch with the zombie fighting games. Her coordination amazes me. I can't even walk and shoot and here she is helping revive team mates, upgrading her weapons fighting off zombies all at once haha. She plays with Kinetic sand, her easy bake oven and some other food making sets that she heard about on You Tube. She's a huge fan of the Vat19 video demos on there.
Ember is always doing something to keep busy, usually with the TV for background noise while she does other things... playing hide and seek with the puppy, board games, writing, coloring, playdough, ipad games or really a bunch of other stuff.
We watch Fear of the Walking Dead and Walking Dead together as a family always brings up some good discussions for us. Lately we have been watching Naked and Afraid together also.
Last night the older girls and I had a Grease movie marathon of sorts. My whole point was to show them how great I thought the first one was compared to the others (Grease 2 and Grease live). And even though they wouldn't say they were fans of the original Grease... they felt it was hordes better than the others... as if there was any doubt (hahaha). I on the other hand loved Grease so much as a teen that my friends and I knew it word for word. Haha... fun times.
Here are some pics of the family.
Happy Homeschooling and be blessed.