Saturday, July 26, 2008


Recently there was a thread on my beloved Well Trained Mind message board. Someone asked, "What does your dh (dear husband) do for a living?". Here is a sampling of the jobs that were posted...

*Highway Patrol Officer
*Self Employed Carpenter
*Youth Pastor
*High School Teacher
*Clinical Psychologist
*Electrical Engineer
*Comic Book Artist (Corey...did you catch that?! YOU can do it too!!!!)

Wanna see what I posted?

"My dh will be starting his PhD. "stuff" in English this fall. He's going to be the best University professor in his field, but we really hope that'll be his part time job. He wants to write...and I think he'll make it."

After I posted this I got to thinking..."Are people going to think we have our heads in the clouds? A writer? Full time?"

Yep. A full-time novelist. He's got talent. A lot of talent. And no, I am not just playing the "supportive wife" role. There have been other "dreams" I have not been so supportive of.

Collin and I are dreamers. Sometimes we dream big, but even though our heads are in the clouds, our toes are still touching the ground. In the past years, we have learned that we have to be careful what we dream due to the fact that they usually end up coming true.

Some of those dreams have included...

*Moving to Nashville and working in film and video (Collin) as well as the Christian Music industry (both). (LBJ...did you know we use to work at EMI? Tee hee!)
*Being in a band...Collin was the front man for his band "Fellow".
*Backpacking around Europe...this dream has come true twice!
*Homeschooling my boys...coming up on my third year!
*Learn Marital Arts/Kickboxing...short lived, but we did it!
*Have a pet snake...Steve.

Dreams we are hoping to fulfill...

*Collin becoming a full-time novelist, part-time English professor.
*Living abroad...preferably in France, but anywhere in Western Europe would be fine.
*Me going back to school to become a Herpetologist. I love reptiles!
*Own/live in a house, with some land that has lots of trees and a creek/river, enough for chickens, goats, sheep, and cow.

What are some of your dreams? We'd love to have some company here in the clouds!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Small Tour

The internet has been our constant companion as we have been planning this move. Google, Craigslist, ebay, are just a few sites we view each and every day. Searching through google, I was able to locate a floor plan of our little, tiny, baby pretend house, that had the dimensions down to the inches. Collin, in his brilliant sort of way, decided to make it into a grid, measure all of our furniture (well, the stuff we are taking...everything else is being sold or given away), scale it to size, and arrange it. You know what?!? It looks as if it will fit! Unbelievable! Here is what it will look like...hopefully...

By the looks of the above map, we have placed the dresser in front of the sliding glass door on the left side of the living room. Our apt. has the sliding door on the wall where the orange chair and armoire are located. Yep, we will have to cover a bit of it.

We also scored by finding some pictures of the inside that someone had posted. Gotta love google images! So, keep in mind this is not our stuff. I'll post some of those once we get settled.

I am actually a bit excited about the kitchen. It looks like there is a lot of storage and definitely laid out better than our current one. There is space on the other side of the refrigerator to place a washing machine...but no dryer. I thought that was a little strange. I like having a window over the sink as well. Maybe I'll place some bird feeders there so I can watch my lil' feathered friends.

The living room will be our homeschool area as well as our dining and seating area. The walls will be lined with our huge bookcases and my long green dresser that holds all of our crafting supplies.

There is a little alcove in the bedroom I think is going to be the Master. That area will be converted into a small (who am I kidding? Everything in the place is small!) work area for Collin. A narrow table with shelves extending up to the ceiling. He will have is own office in the English building, but it is across campus and frankly, I like having him around.

The boys will have about the same amount of room as they do now. As long as they continue keeping it picked up, they'll do fine.

Thanks for coming on this little tour with me. Remember...practical but pretty!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

How NOT To End A Date...

“Get back in your car!”


“Get back in your car! There is a man with a shotgun! I am on the phone with the police!”

These are the words being yelled at Collin and I by our neighbor as we were walking across the dark parking lot at 11:00om to our apartment from a great night out. Panic set in as we rushed back to the car and Collin fumbled for the keys. He was also trying to call Laura Beth (LBJ), our friend who was watching the boys, to let her know what was going on. The guy was walking down our walkway towards our apartment. No answer. He tried again. No answer again. He tried again. She finally answered and he told her to lock the doors. He stayed on the phone with her as we headed out of the complex. The first Sheriff pulled in with his flashlight and shotgun loaded. We pointed to the direction of our building and told him he was down there. Collin, still on the phone to LBJ got out of the car. He didn’t want to leave the boys and Laura Beth “in the dark”. He wanted to be able to let her know exactly what was going on as it was happening. Six other cop cars showed up and again, I pointed them towards our building, with our kids and our dear friend. Within 5 minutes, Collin was able to make it into our apartment and I was told to go wait across the street at Rite Aid, with our neighbors, until all was clear. After about 20 minutes, a sheriff pulled into the parking lot. They had the man in custody.

Apparently it was not a shotgun or even a sniper rifle as had been suspected. This bozo decided he was going to take care of the skunk population with his pellet gun and scope. Are you kidding me? Walking around, in the dark, at 11 o’clock at night with a gun? What the (insert profanity here)! I want to knock that guy up side the head!

So now, I have to try to go to sleep with adrenalin pumping through my veins and a knot in my stomach that is trying like crazy to come up. Looks like I am in for a long night.

And I just want to add that this description falls completely short of the experience itself and the raw emotion we felt. It was scary. I hope to never have to go through something like that again.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Chug, chug, chugging along...

In the midst of the chaos, I am trying to make things as normal for the boys as I can. We are getting back on track, at least for the next few weeks, and trying to get caught up on some of our lessons.

Magnus is going to be doing a math lesson, two grammar lessons, and a page from his dictionary skills workbook a day. Thane is continuing to complete Book C of his Get Ready for the Code phonics workbook. I am still planning to complete our history lessons on the road by listening to the SOTW cds and doing the coloring pages. That will leave off exactly where we are starting with TOG Y2 U1 this coming school year.

I am also trying to plan at least our first month of school before we get to CA. Once the apartment is in some sort of order, I want to be able to open up my lesson planner and get started. I am going to have more accountability this year since I have decided to register with a charter school. I am going to have to meet with an "adviser" every other week and present to her what we have accomplished. This was a hard decision for me because I do not want to have "big brother" looking over my shoulder as I educate my boys. However, money is really tight and they will buy/lend us curriculum and books, I can sign the boys up to take a couple of classes if I choose, and it will give us an instant homeschool community. If I start to feel uncomfortable and not in control of our education, then I'll just drop it. No biggie. But right now I feel I have made the best decision for us.

I'll keep you posted on our packing and moving process.

Monday, July 14, 2008

We Have An Offer!!!

We got an email from the Department of Student Housing today offering us an apartment! We have accepted the offer and move into out "little, tiny, baby, pretend house" at the end of August!

I am relieved! No more waiting. No more wondering.

So, what does this mean? Well, we will continue selling what we can on Craigslist, continue taking items to the Goodwill drop off, and continue scaling back. We have about 5 weeks to pack up the apartment now. No rush.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Ping Pong Matrix

I thought this was very clever and had to share....

Okay...and maybe a little on the silly side as well!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Finally...We Have Some Answers...Well, Kind Of

(If you missed the previous post concerning my anxious feelings about our up coming move, you may want to scroll down and read the post below this one.)

Here is the latest:

Student Housing...We found out there are 20 families on the waiting list ahead of us. 20 families! I submitted our application way back in February and we still have that many people ahead of us. Crazy! Anyhow, she did say that we will have a good chance getting an apartment sometime in August. So, that is good news. I think. I really have mixed feelings about living in student housing.

Cons...(1.) I am not sure how this can even qualify as a two bedroom family apartment. This thing is 594 square feet! For those of you who have been to our current apartment, that is like cutting off the entire Master Bedroom Suite and 31 more square feet from some place! Click here to view the floor plan so you can get an idea of what I am saying. We are going to have to get creative with our space and storage.
(2.) The noise level will probably be high. I guess the walls, floors, and ceilings are pretty thin. And it is graduate family housing so there will be lots of kids.
(3.) No more dishwasher, garbage disposal, washer/dryer, central heat and air. I know those are conveniences and not necessities, but I will miss those nice

Pros...(1.) It's on campus and centrally located in Davis so we will be able to walk or ride our bikes most everywhere. We'll definitely save money on gas! We're also going back down to one vehicle so we'll save on insurance and maintenance costs too!
(2.) We will be living in a community full of people in the same situation we are in. We have great friends here in TN and we will miss them tremendously, but none of them are in the same situation we are in. None of them are married with kids trying to live on a very tight budget, juggling many jobs, while going to school full time. Granted, they have their own things they are dealing with, but it would be nice to have someone else who understands exactly what we are going through.
(3.) Free DSL!
(4.) No dogs allowed! Sorry "dog people". I like dogs but when they interfere with my well being, I don't like them anymore. So, no more stepping in dog droppings in front of my apartment! No more listening to unnecessary barking! No more worrying about my boys getting jumped on or bit!
(5.) Here is the biggie...the rent is roughly $250 cheaper than other two bedroom apartment in Davis.

So, now we just have to wait until they send us an email letting us know an apartment has become available to us. We will need to respond in two days by accepting it or declining it. If we accept, then we have to start paying rent from the day it becomes available to us whether or not we are able to move on that date. So, we pretty much have to be packed an ready to go by the first of August. If we decline, then we will be placed on the September move in waiting list. But, we will be placed ahead of those who requested a Sept. move in date from the beginning. Confusing!

We're going to give it a year commitment. If after that time we chose to move, so be it.

Natomas Charter School...Just received confirmation that our application has been received but I forgot to include some things. I'll be mailing that stuff out tomorrow. As far as the curriculum and books, I am going to wait to see what they have available for me to borrow and will also check out the Sacramento Library System's online catalog to see what they have. (Thanks for the information Sharon!)

Job Stuff...I am going to try not to worry about this until I get there. I really can't do much from here anyways.

So, I am feeling a bit better but am still a "glass half empty" type of gal these days. I don't like it and I am trying to snap out of it.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

What's going on this coming school year?

Things are up in the air and I am not liking it. I am a planner. I like to plan. I like having a plan. Right now, I really don't have a plan. I had a plan, but there is so many things I don't have control over that are messing with my plan. I don't like it.

We still have not heard from UCDavis if we have a place to live. We've been on a waiting list for student housing since February for a move in date of August. Nobody is returning my emails to give me some sort of indication of where we are at on the list. We have to give a 30 day notice at our current apartment. We have to pack. We have to reserve a truck. If we are unable to move into the large apartment (594 sq ft!), then we need to somehow find a place to live there, while we are here. Sight unseen. AND most other 2 bedroom apartments I have looked into are anywhere from $250-900 more a month! We are on a fixed income and that is just not going to work for us. Besides, a lot of these places have already leased everything for the coming school year. I need a plan.

Homeschooling...we have decided to register with Natomas Charter School. The boys will be able to take a few classes there (like Latin, Art, Martial Arts, Music, ect.) a couple days a week and they will pretty much buy/lend me curriculum of my choosing (with the exception of curriculum with overt Christian content). It will also provide us with an instant community which is something we will need since we know no one! With that being said, I am not sure if we have been accepted yet. If accepted, I don't know exactly what classes are being offered and when. I am also a bit unclear as to what they will buy/lend as curriculum. Do they just supply the framework (the teacher manual, the student manuals, ect.) or the additional books to supplement and read along with it. It's making it impossible for me to make final decisions to what we will be using next year as well as how to plan my time during the week. I need a plan.

Jobs...I will need to work part time. I don't want to, but it really might be good for me. It'll get me out of the house and with other adults. I need that. Plus, we need the money. But, where am I going to work? Who is going to hire a homeschool mom with scheduling issues? Okay, I am probably borrowing trouble from tomorrow as far as this is concerned, but it is still on my mind.

It's just hard. This summer has been hard. We know we are not staying here. We know where we are going. We are doing our best to prepare for the coming school year, but it kind of feels like we're running in place.

That's all. Thanks for "listening".