Homeschool Dreams

Lili loves studying history.  Naomi is just okay studying history, but her study of the fall of Rome and the rise of the Renaissance seems to capture her interest a little more.

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Lili is studying Victoria’s Empire currently, and their studies makes planning a European vacation more appealing than ever.

My homeschooling dream has been some book study at home, with travel to help the girls better understand what they have learned.  So completing our history studies this year followed by a trip to visit some of the places they have been learning about will help fulfill my home school dream.

Where In The World

Is Carmen Sandiego?

It was a show on PBS and is also a series of computer games and books teaching kids geography.

However, this post is not about Carmen Sandiego, but it is about geography, learning more about other countries, and exploring the possibilities.

At the moment, Lili’s favorite subjects are art, history, science and geography.  It makes sense as these subjects are intertwined.

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Naomi has some interest in these subjects as well and as a child, I had limited interest in any of them.  My interest developed in my adult years and these are some of my favorite subjects in our home school program.  It’s partially why I was drawn to the “Build Your Library” curriculum.

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My family has had the opportunity to do some traveling across the U.S. and I love taking the girls on trips.  I want to provide them opportunity to learn outside a classroom setting, including the classroom that is also known as our dining room.

Although the girls haven’t been with us on every trip (after all, they are only 7 & 9) we have visited well over half the states in the U.S.  We’ve also had the privilege of visiting a few countries.  Guatemala and Ethiopia are near and dear to our hearts, since those countries gave us our beautiful daughters.  We’ve been able to travel back to Guatemala a few times since and hope to return to Ethiopia (once things calm down there).  Our cruises have taken us to The Bahamas, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Jamaica, Grand Caymans and Cozumel.  Next month the ship will take us to two new countries – Honduras and Belize.

Travel is definitely one of my passions.  I enjoy seeing new places, meeting new people, seeing the diverse landscapes, learning the history of the places we visit, and seeing how others live.  It’s one of the reasons I have demanded that each of our cruises include stops to places we have not been before.

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My interest in learning about and exploring different places around the world is continually growing and changing.  On a blog post a few weeks ago I asked the question, “If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be?”  I received a couple of responses that caused me to check out some places I hadn’t considered visiting before.  One I didn’t even know existed.  Now I’m looking for participation from my readers once again and have three questions.

  1.  How many different cities, states and/or countries have you lived in?
  2.  Of those places, which was your favorite and why?
  3.  If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why?

I think it’s fascinating to not only know where people have lived, but what draws them to a certain places.  Is it the landscape?  The culture?  The people?  Jobs?

Since I’m asking you to answer these questions, the least I can do is answer them too.  So here is goes.

  1.  I have lived in 9 different cities (although, a few of them are not actually cities, but villages or small towns).  I have lived in 4 different states and I have never lived outside the U.S.
  2.  Of all the places I’ve lived, Tacoma, WA would probably be my favorite.  I loved being sandwiched between the ocean and mountains.  I appreciated the beauty and diversity of the area.
  3.  Hubby lived in Germany for two years while in the Army.  The girls started their lives in other countries.  I’ve only lived in the U.S. , but I think I would love the opportunity and experience of one day living elsewhere.  Where, I don’t know.  But I’m quite sure gypsy blood runs thru my veins and the thought of a new adventure in another country is certainly appealing to me 🙂

What about you?  Are you living in your perfect corner of the world?  Is there a place you would rather be?

Please share!

 

 

 

 

Our Christmas Gifts to Us

Recently, hubby came home from work and wanted to talk to me about our homesteading dream.  As he began spilling out all of his thoughts I sat there thinking, “He’s right.”  Yes hubby, I said it publicly – You are right!  🙂

We’ve been waiting for the perfect moment.

We’ve been waiting for that perfect location.

We’ve been waiting for the perfect property.

We’ve been telling ourselves that until all the pieces fall into place, we can’t make our homesteading dream a reality.  The problem with that philosophy is that we put our lives on continuous hold.  There is no perfect moment.  There is no perfect location.  There is no perfect property.

All the obstacles that seem to stand in our way are only there because we’ve put them there.  For 2+ years, we’ve stood in the way of making real progress toward our dreams, our goals and our desires.

Our Christmas gift to us was letting go of all those things holding us back.  It was realizing that the most important thing we could do was to make our dream reality.  Not next year or the year after, but now.

We aren’t in a perfect moment or a perfect location,  but we need to take advantage of the moment and we’re in a location we know.  Hubby and I have lived in this area for the last 19 years.  I was born and raised here.  Hubby spent the majority of his growing up years here.  Other than the 10 years we lived on the West Coast, we’ve lived most of our married life here.

We live in prime farm country.   No, we aren’t necessarily fond of the landscape, but we know the land and this land is made for raising food.  Better than some of the areas we’ve considered.

No, we don’t necessarily like the weather, but we are fully aware of what each season brings.

We have friends here.  We have family here.

Our girls like it here.  They love that it snows in the winter and that the snow sticks around to enjoy for days or even weeks at a time.  Then they have plenty of hot summer days for water fun.  They have activities they love and lots of friends.

We are well established in our homeschool group and I have trouble imagining a better group for us.

For these reasons and others, we realized that we don’t have to pack all our possession and move to another state to homestead.  We can homestead here as well or maybe even better than anywhere else.

Our other Christmas gift to us is to begin shopping for property that will allow us to fulfill our dream of  homesteading right here in Central Illinois.

It’s not our dream location, but we don’t always have to live out every detail of the dream for life to be truly wonderful.

The best Christmas gift we can give to us is being good to ourselves and for us that means finding our homestead.  That place in the country where we can garden, raise animals and begin living the life that we long to live.  A life in the country!

 

Yes, We Still Long for It

A homestead that is.

Land in the country.

 

A house, smaller than the house we currently inhabit.

Animals.  Farm animals that serve many purposes for our family.

A view.  I want land with a view.  Not a view of flat lands and prairies where I can see for miles and miles, but hills.  Mountains.  Obstructed views that allow me to imagine what’s on the other side.

 

The dream hasn’t changed.  The dream continues.  The longing remains.

What hasn’t changed are circumstances.  Circumstances that keep us rooted where we are.

I have accepted that we have a purpose where we are now.  We have two little boys who are relying on us.  Two little boys who want to feel safe, secure and loved in their new environment.  And I see new signs everyday that they do feel safe, secure and loved.

But while we were here, I still long to be there.  To be on that homestead that for the time being, only exists in my dreams.

1001 Posts

This is blog post 1001. I didn’t realize I had hit the 1000th post mark when I posted yesterday, so the little quote I am now so fond of was more appropriate than I realized – Don’t Quit.

I have stuck it out with my little blog for 6 1/2 years, although not all those years have been on WordPress (I started with Blogger before moving to WordPress) and it’s been a great way of journaling all the ups and downs as the Weeks’ Family travels our journey thru life.

Thank you for reading and following along.  I hope you’ll continue to check in from time to time as we strive to reach our dream of having our little piece of the country to build our homestead.  Who knows what might happen on this adventure!

Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014

Today we said good-bye to 2013 and hello to 2014 and I enter 2014 with some big hopes and dreams for the year ahead.

A few days ago I shared four things I’m going to tackle in 2014.  You can read that post here.  Number 4 on that list was sure to be the toughest for me, but I did quite well having spent maybe 15 minutes on the computer today, until starting this blog post of course.  And as expected, by not spending so much time on the computer, I got other things done which meant instead of sitting at the computer, I was up doing things which helped me tackle Numbers 1 and 2 on the list.

My monthly challenge, which is number 3 on the list, also went well and today’s soup meal became a learning experience as well.  I made Ham and 15 Bean soup for lunch today, but what I wasn’t aware of, is that ham and beans is a traditional New Year’s meal.  Although my research tells me a meal of black-eyed peas and ham hocks was traditionally prepared because it would feed a large family nicely and plenty to eat was believed to mean you would have good luck and prosperity.  My Ham and 15 Bean soup had black-eyed peas, so hopefully that means good luck and prosperity for our family.  Maybe a move to our homestead this year?!!!! 🙂

2013 is now in the past.  It was a year of making big decisions and learning many new things.

Now we enter 2014!  I’m very excited about what this year has in store for me and my family and am ready to make 2014 a year to remember!!