It's been quite a long time since I've blogged!
Calista has been browsing the blog and asked me to please blog again because she likes reading back on things she's said and things we've done. At this moment there are so many things swirling in my head that I really don't know where to start so, I think I will blog about the gist of what has been going on this last year and start fresh from hereafter.
Last fall I decided to take an Anatomy/Physiology class, mostly to just get a little extra education for my much-rewarding job as a yoga instructor, but also because it's a subject of much interest to me. I started the class with no intention of doing anything more than that but ended up really enjoying it and deciding to go for a degree.
In the last year there have been shifts happening in our house: Kevin deciding to go to school for the last four years and graduating this last spring, and the kids all growing up and heading off on their own adventures. I have been left alone, or with just Calista, more often than not over the last year. I started feeling like it was time to pursue some of my own things. I've always been very passionate about health and wellness and a dietetics/nutrition degree was the natural direction for me. So, in the spring semester I continued with the Anatomy/Physiology class and added a History class as well. I ended the semester with two A's. I know, sounds so strange coming from an unschooling mom's mouth, right? The field happens to be a bit competitive, to get into the upper division classes, so it is paramount for me to keep the grades up. I have to admit, I was pretty proud of myself:P
This year, beginning on the 29th, I will be taking on 12 credits. At this rate it will take me four years to finish but I'm not on any particular race with time so I will just chug along at a comfortable pace. I already have 17 credits but because I have to take 6 credits this year which will not apply to my degree, it will take me a bit longer than the average person.
Tristan and Calista have continued to swim competitively. Tristan was planning on swimming with the high school again this year but the association that controls the high school sports does not allow independent homeschoolers to swim with the high schools. He is unwilling to jump through the hoops and play the system's games so he will not be swimming with Wasilla High this year. He is still swimming club and has some pretty amazing goals that he is going for. He also has an appointment to get his driver's license on Sept. 6. He really wants to learn Spanish, as well, this year, so we are working on that:)
Calista has really gotten into hooping. We found a group that she can hoop with and learn new tricks so that should be something fun for her this winter. She wants to learn Spanish as well, as do me and Martin, so there will probably be lots of broken Spanish being spoken around this house:P
Kevin is still working at the pool, as a lifeguard. He is going to try and find a job on a boat in the Keys and plans on leaving by middle of November. His ultimate dream is to learn how to sail. I'm so excited for him! It's just the best thing ever, as a mom, to see our kids pursue THEIR dreams and not the expectations that society has of them. He has quite the busy social life so I don't see him very often. I guess this is preparation for him not being here at all:( At 20 I was so ready to be a mom and he was a very planned baby, but at 39 I'm not really ready for my kids to be flying the nest. It just creeps up on you!!
We had an exciting summer this year. Kevin graduated from high school on May 20, and on May 21 we loaded up the Flex and headed down the Alaska-Canada Hwy. Our first stop was Life is Good Conference, in Vancouver, WA. Actually, our first stop was at the Cerullo's, where we enjoyed an awesome dinner and very comfortable beds after driving 47 straight hours:) Then, it was LIG. We had a fantastic time!! It was incredible for me to catch up with people that I hadn't seen in years, including my soul sista, Karen Buxcel, and all her awesome kids!! I can't explain what it's like to spend four days with 700 people who mostly all treat kids with dignity and respect, who are gentle parents, and who treat children as equals and with tons of happy, creative, inspirational children. It's just good for my soul!
From Vancouver we headed south, stopping at both my sil's houses, Lizz and Becky, in Colorado, eventually landing in TN, where my sister, Ren, lives. We spent three weeks in Tennessee and had a blast. We got lots of hot weather, lots of days at the river, and just special time with family. My sister divorced her husband of 21 years this last year but she also found another someone special:) Keith and his daughter, Trinity, had moved in the day before I got there so it was a little chaotic but we all did pretty well. It was really special to get to know them and to see my sister launching into this new, wonderful life of hers.
My nephew, Trevor, had called a few weeks before we left Alaska, and asked if there was any way he could come back to Alaska with us. Of course!! was my answer:) He was just needing a change and has always loved Alaska. We had his brother, Jared, for five months two years ago. I've missed so much of their childhood, with us living so far apart, so it's nice to get to know them this way.
From Tennessee we drove up to Davis, IL and spent a couple nights with the Endres. Fun, fun time! And then to Iowa to spend a couple nights with yet another sil (yes, I have a lot of them), who just got married to a farmer and has moved from the Palm Springs area to a farm in Iowa. Talk about culture shock! Luckily, she still gets to live in the California house during the winter months:) It was so much fun to see her new life and get to know what life is like on a farm. Kevin even got to drive the semi-truck, loaded with soybeans! The next stop was Rapid City, SD, to spend two nights with my good friend, Karen Buxcel. YES! I got to see her twice on this trip!! Another fun time!! Spent the day at the lake and just hanging out and chit chatting.
After we left Karen's it was a beeline for home. We did the first 30 hours straight, from Rapid City all the way to Watson Lake, Canada. We spent the night in Watson Lake and then another 18 hr stretch home. We were gone six weeks in all. As much as it is good to be home, I'm a gypsy and I CRAVE being on the road. I'm choosing to be content, right where I'm at, but I will not give up the dream of someday, soon, being on the road full-time. I would even settle for winters on the road and summers in Alaska if we could figure out a way to make a living that way. Ideas?? I even told Martin this morning that I would give up school temporarily to be on the road. Anyone that knows me well, knows that is huge!!
So, here we are settling back into a schedule. Trevor is here to stay. He went back to TN for a couple of weeks because he was committed to East TN Unschooling Camp, as a counselor, but will be back on the 24th to stay. Fall is approaching and the rainy season has begun. I'm excited to see what this next year brings us!! Bring it on!!