Well, this has been quite the 6 months for our family! We made the decision to adopt and began the process back in March. Since then, we have been busy with paperwork, doctor's appointments, fingerprint appointments, passports, criminal records, home studies, and the like. On top of all that, we also decided around the same time, to start up a new homeschool community in our area and have had a bunch of responsibility concerning that. A location to be found, hiring tutors, attending practicums, etc...
As you can imagine, by the end of the summer, as everything came swelling up towards the grand finale, I was mentally and physically exhausted. Even the THOUGHT of starting school again with my own four kids come September was a daunting task. The curriculum was ordered and the lesson plans drawn up, yet I couldn't muster up the desire to even WANT to get started (despite my kids telling me everyday, for at least the last two weeks of summer, that they were bored and wanted to start school!!).
Then....enter glorious vacation. We started off by driving down to Maryland and spending a couple days on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay with my parents. The kids swam in the pool and played baseball all day. They spent HOURS riding their little John Deere tractor all over the property, picking up debris from last weeks storm, and running down to the dock to check the crab traps. We celebrated Kaya's birthday (again!) and made a bonfire. I even started a book and actually finished it later that week!!
On Sunday morning, we filled up little bellies with breakfast, and then headed the rest of the way to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. It was a week-long family reunion with Charles' whole family - 8 adults and 16 grandkids. Despite hurricanes swirling all around us, we had BEAUTIFUL weather all week, a definite answer to prayer. VERY conducive for a week spent sitting in a beach chair looking out at the Atlantic or parked next to the pool. I was one happy lady. :) We visited the Wright Brothers Museum in Kill Devil Hills, the huge sand dunes in Kitty Hawk, and went horseback riding in Corolla. We ate disgustingly AWESOME food (disgusting because I gained 5 lbs., but none-the-less, AWESOME!) all week and had lots of laughs. The kids were occupied with plenty of playmates and were off and playing the entire time we were there.
And somewhere in the midst of it all - it happened. The stress released, and a week later when it was time to return home - across the bridge connecting us to the mainland....over and under the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel......back to a week of dreary skies and record rainfall - we were ready. A little lighter, a little more carefree. I think vacation will do that to you. :)
We got back last Sunday, and started school that Monday, with a fresh perspective and an attitude of thankfulness. Was our first week home perfect? By all means NO!! We came home a to broken washing machine and loads of stinky laundry. We lived amongst half-unpacked suitcases for a few days (OK, more than a few days. :), and I've come to the conclusion that my counter-space is NOT big enough for all the science experiments we have going on (currently: mummifying apples, an edible cell and 3 large salt-dough landform maps of the United States). Did I mention I have fruit flies? I can't imagine why. :)
But regardless, we were refreshed and ready to tackle any new adventures thrown our way. And just that little change of attitude....that much-needed week of rest....allowed for us to have a GREAT first week back. I will be posting some pictures of our first week of homeschool in the near future. Currently I have: a third-grader, a first-grader, a preschooler, and an adorable, yet feisty, little 21-month-old. Life is full, but we have much to be thankful for. :)