Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Life Happens!

While we always knew this was the case, this week has been a tremendous example of "life happening" despite our best efforts to keep our home (and home-school) on a tight leash.

Background: Sunday was DW's birthday. Coincidentally, I had a business trip to San Francisco last week that was an ideal "go along" trip. With a LOT of assistance from my mother-in-law, DW was able to join me on the trip to celebrate her birthday and (most importantly) give her some time away from our blessed children. As the old adage states, absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder. En route to the airport I couldn't drive fast enough to get her away from home and hearth. But, by Friday she was missing all three and ready to get home. (Good thing, too, since we were headed there regardless!!)

So, we start the week with a "vacation" under our belts and ready to take on the world. Of course, that means that BOTH cars will start making bizarre sounds and both air-conditioners will die. Hmmm. What to do. First, my car. We dropped it off last night at our trusty mechanic with a written list of aches and pains with instructions to "call first". My car is ancient (14 years old / 195k miles) but has served me well for a long time. I've sensed for some time that its end was near, but that didn't make this trip any easier. The call came today that, in fact, repairs will far exceed the worth and the long-term viability of the car. Ouch. That means shopping for a new (or "new to me") car is now in our future. Meanwhile, DW's van (our primary family vehicle) is at 90k miles and due for some routine maintenance plus a check of the AC and brakes. We've lived in the mountains for almost a year now; the brakes are due for an upgrade whether I like it or not. It's time to bleed money!

Cost aside, this whole episode has also cost time. Driving "into town" to drop off my car last night ended up lasting until 11:00 pm. Then, DW had the priviledge of taking the van in to a local dealer for a check-up while I facilitated school (I dare not suggest that I "taught"). Since the dealer was too busy to see us today, I get to take the van back tomorrow while DW actually teaches tomorrow. Eventually we'll head back into the city to pick up my heap and figure out what to do with it.

Ah, life!! It does move on regardless of what we put on our "to do" list!!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Michael C Carlos Museum - Emory University

With a 1st Grader and a 5-Ker (?) enrolled in our homeschool, we're spending a lot of time studying ancient history. (Go, Classical Model!!) The kids have especially loved learning about Ancient Egypt.

A few weeks ago we took a family field trip into Atlanta and visited the Michael Carlos Museum at Emory University. Outstanding! Actual mummies in actual coffins with actual heirogliphics. Plus lots of other cool stuff. I highly recommend it to Georgia homeschoolers who aren't afraid of Atlanta traffic. You can buy a family membership for $75 per year that includes free headsets (for the audio tour) and a 10% discount in the bookstore. BTW, the bookstore is well-stocked with books for all ages focusing on the same areas of expertise as the museum.

Humorous anecdote: the five of us walked into the museum in the mid-afternoon and approached the docent at the front desk. The first words out of her mouth were "so, are you a homeschool family?". DW and I laughed later and wondered if we really had grown flashing signs on our foreheads announcing the fact. Has anyone else experienced this?

Saturday, February 3, 2007

My first official post. . .

When we started homeschooling last fall, I discovered the world of blogging. With the exception of "The Corner" from National Review Online and Dave Barry's blog, I had never bothered looking for or reading them. Suddenly, I had a reason!

Now, after 6+ months of reading, I've taken the plunge to start my own. But what to say!!!???

Perhaps a brief bio. We moved to the mountains of North Georgia last spring. The move was greatly desired and, in fact, totally self-motivated. I am a "virtual employee" for my company and travel extensively. Therefore, as long as I can get to an airport they don't really care where I live. (a nice perk, I must say) This fact dawned on my wife and me about 2 years ago and we started dreaming about where we REALLY wanted to live. At first, we planned on moving to North Carolina. In fact, we made multiple house-hunting trips and thought we had found the perfect house. However, our house in Birmingham didn't sell as quickly as we were convinced it would, so that didn't work. THANK THE LORD! If it had, we would be in a home that was too small, too expensive, and nowhere near where we are now (and where we are certain He wanted us to be).

After taking last winter off (no "for sale" sign, no weekly open houses, etc), we tried again. By now, we had also realized where we wanted / needed to be. Or rather, we realized a new criteria that we hadn't thought of before: "close to family". For my wife, having a husband who travels and three kids at home was difficult enough. Doing this with no family support-system near was even harder.

Now we're settled in a wonderful community 3 miles from her parents and less than 1 hour from mine. (Compared to 3 hours before, that's practically local!).

In the midst of all of this planning, we had a second revelation. We decided, or perhaps we realized that we needed to, homeschool. Wow! Are were we crazy? Some family members certainly thought so (and more than a few still do). But, after much prayer and consideration, we decided that it was the right thing to do.

Well, that's enough droning on for my first time. Maybe next I'll describe how the first 6 months have gone (as well as how the haven't gone).

Blessings. . .