Okay. First things first. A couple days after we got home, our chicks came in the mail. 50 of them. All different breeds. The beginning of the end of any small amount of free time I could look forward to enjoying…
Someday when I get enough love for this whole blogging thing, I’ll do a blog all about crazy, fun money-saving ways to just eek the very most out of life on a super-tight budget. Chickens will not be included on that blog. Nor will pigs. Instead they will be on a blog called, “Hobbies I wish I’d never become addicted to in the first place.”
I’ll probably love the chickens when they start laying eggs, but for five-six months, they just make a huge mess, require near-constant babysitting, give you constant guilt that you haven’t had the time to build them a bigger/better coop, and eat a LOT of expensive food.
But, they are incredibly cute. For the first few days at least.
While we were still in Washington, the bishop of our congregation back on Maui called me up and gave me a new assignment in the Ward. Young Women’s 2nd Counselor. This meant that I got to go to Girls’ Camp about five days after we got home. Oh my heck.
Jonah brought the kids down to play for one of the days. We got to camp on the beach, which is great… except that this was on a stretch of land between two nude beaches, so we had to always have someone on patrol to steer the nudists down another path.
It was a lot of fun and the other two brand new Young Women leaders did a great job of pulling it all together without about two weeks notice. It was a good way to get to know the girls right off the bat. But man, it was a kick in the pants that I had just barely been able to get my house cleaned and repaired from the summer’s renters, enjoy my own bed for a few nights, and then head right back out into a tent.
The girls sure liked it. They are always up for rolling around in the sand, especially after two months of no warm sand…
I’m still adjusting to working with the teenagers instead of the children (I had been in the Primary program for 10 of the last 12 years), and I am often overwhelmed with the amount of work and time it requires, but once Ana joins the group next August, I think I’ll be especially glad that there. But seriously—with three daughters, it is a bit of a life sentence. I figure I’ll be teaching/leading/attending Young Women’s stuff for the next 16 years at least. Whoa.
First day of school!
It took me about a week after we got back to finally get the kids enrolled in school, and that’s only three weeks after everybody else started … there are lots of medical tests and shots that you have to get before you can enroll here in Hawaii so I had to patiently wait to get all the forms signed and faxed back in, etc. Although my kids were anxious to get to school, I really wasn’t in any rush. I think it’s a crime to have kids start at the beginning of August anyway. Besides, kids never do anything of major importance for the first month of school… I’m glad they started when they did, in fact, maybe I should have waited a few weeks longer… BUT, once they started, it was SO fun having only two kids at home every day. There is a lot less to clean up and much less to manage.
**and by the way, some people have asked-- I did send the two middle kids to public school this year. Cam was dying to get back into school. Seriously. Begging every day. Elsie was old enough to start kindy, so I wanted her to go have some fun socially with all the other cute five year olds (and get her out of the house…I’m not going to mince words)… The are both totally thriving, so I feel like it was an excellent decision. Ana, on the other hand, has been “attending” a charter school which is mostly done online at home (it’s the K12 program. It’s like homeschool), except for two three-hour sessions a week where she joins her class of eight other sixth graders for fun, group-based learning with some of the finest teachers any of my kids have had (and that’s saying a lot, because we’ve had some good ones). I love it because it combines all the best of homeschooling (having her home, the efficiency, the freedom, the fast paced curriculum, the challenge, the flexibility) with all of the benefits of school (having your kids work with other adults, not having to be the “bad guy”, report cards (yes, I like them), working with other kids, feeling a dose of competition, using common school resources (like expensive curriculum, science learning materials, computers and software…), learning to get along with others, learning about hierarchy and bureaucracy and how to work the system (yes, I think that’s good too)). Will keep you updated on how we feel as the year progresses, but for now, we love it. We don’t even mind driving her 40 minutes to school for the two days a week that she goes because it’s a block from some great beaches, so it forces us to get our beach time in every week. I don’t think Cam would love it as much as he loves full-time school, but we think it’s perfect for Ana, especially as an alternative to middle school.**
ANYWAY, loved being back. Glad to get the kids back into the swing of things… school, swim team, friends, chores, church… although I still and always miss the flexibility, freedom, constant learning, and sheer excitement of travelling and vagabonding. I truly think I could live out of my car forever, but for now, with kids who need and thirst for stability, friends, trinkets, toys, and schedules, we gladly settle ourselves down.