Cross Country

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Three years ago the umbrella school we use started a cross country team. The first year just our four boys were on the team. The second year we added the girls too. The middle school boys won the conference that year and moved on to Nationals. This year the same thing happened. Last year no one from our team placed in the top ten. This year 3 of our boys placed in the top ten. Luke and Nik were 4th and 5th. Jeff and I had the privilege of going on this trip as chaperones. It was so much fun to be with these kids for the weekend. Only three of the ten kids are homeschooled, the rest go to the private school we umbrella with. These are great kids. They are funny, and smart, and excited, and silly, and just wonderful. They hiked together and played 9 square. (which is a really fun game if you haven’t played before) They teased each other and stayed up giggling. Our boys are just as much a part of this team as the boys that go to school together. You can tell they have been together for 3 years. They are comfortable with each other. Watching them bring home a trophy with the other parents was the highlight of the weekend. We have also been together for three years. Holding our breath as we watch the finish line. Biting our nails waiting to hear if the team is going to Nationals. Excitedly pacing as we wait for results of the National race. It’s fun.

But life is changing. Next fall I need to return to work. I am working on my teaching credentials in both Tennessee and Iowa. All good things, it seems, must come to an end. I have had the privilege of being home for the last 12 years. We’ve homeschooled for 10 of those. Our business didn’t do what we expected it to. What we are discovering is that we can no longer make it on one income. We could, but we’d have to do without clothes, shoes, and electricity. 🙂 I’m at peace with the decision, believe it or not. The next choice is where. We are not sure we can stay here, but the thought of leaving hurts my heart. That and the thought of fixing this house the kids have wrecked and trying to sell it isn’t much fun either. We are not big fans of the public schools near us and would prefer not to put our kids in the system here. That being said, we aren’t packing any boxes yet. I am looking at a few things here, but trying to get a TN teaching license after being out for so long is expensive, and time consuming. Even with a master’s degree.

Here’s what I figure. God brought us down here kicking and screaming. If he wants us to stay, he’ll open a door. If we are meant to go home, (Jeff’s hometown, not Seattle) then it will be obvious. Until then, we wait, and we fix this house. Say a prayer for our family, and be thankful it’s not you having to rebuild a falling apart deck and re-side a crackerjack box of a house. 😉

I Wish You Were Here

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Hey Dad,

I really needed you this week. Life is hard. Business is slow. These kids keep fighting. The laundry keeps piling. The school never seems to get done. There’s never enough money. There’s never enough time. I’m overwhelmed. I want to sit and just cry until I can’t stop, but I can’t because I’m never alone. I wanted to call you. I needed to call you. I know what you’d say, because you’ve said it before. You’d tell me how proud you are of me. How you are glad it’s not you raising these kids. (We’d laugh at that) You’d ask me why I’m so worried. You’d tell me how great these kids are and that I’m going to screw them up no matter what I do. But everyone screws up their kids. You’d ask what you could do, and I’d say nothing. It would be enough just to talk to you. But I can’t. Cancer sucks. It’s not fair. I miss you. What I wouldn’t give for just one more phone call. I love you Dad.