Tuesday, January 29, 2008

the MOVE....home SCHOOL...our LIFE

[the MOVE]
In December (the week before Christmas) Scott and I moved our family from Mesa to Queen Creek. We had purchased the home in October unexpectedly. We hadn't really been looking to move, however, the Lord had other plans for us. A house (that had been for sale for a year) across the street from Scott's brother suddenly was 30 days from foreclosure. Brad called to see if we maybe wanted to go in on it for and investment which sounded interesting. However, after looking at it we started to feel like we were suppose to purchase this home for our family. It was a crazy experience...definitely a testimony builder because it took us down a very different path than we were planning for ourselves.

After much discussion we decided we wanted to keep the kids in school through the end of the semester, and so planned on moving in December. This allowed us to do some work on the house before we moved in which I am so grateful for!

I wasn't exactly sure why the Lord wanted us to move to Queen Creek. We were totally excited to live across from Scott's brother's family!!! Not to mention having a home in a cul-de-sac is so awesome for the kids, but we knew there had to be more reasons than that. It was such a sudden and big move for us...however as we began to get closer to our move date things began to get clearer.

[home SCHOOL]
About three years ago my brother-in-law handed me a book after having an awesome conversation with him about life and education. At the time my oldest was 5 so we were just starting the whole education experience from a parent's point of view. We had found a fabulous Montessori School which we loved, however, what Dan (my brother-in-law) talked about was intriguing. I thought what the heck I'd read the book and see what I thought. The book was called A Thomas Jefferson Education. Scott also read it and our minds were opened. Never before had we considered the HUGE impact the quality and depth of knowledge we had acquired throughout the corse of our lives effected every aspect of our personal, family, and spiritual lives. For the first time in a long time I wanted to learn more. I wanted to became a person I had never even realized existed or could exist. I had always been 'told' so to speak what I could expect from life. I knew what the norms were and I was content to live within those norms. We had both gotten our college educations, gotten goods jobs, both started successful companies, and had started having a family. Once our second child was born I had stopped working as a Labor and Delivery Nurse and was blessed enough to become a full time mom.

When I read this book I was very happy, but I have to say I was not really pushing myself towards my full potential. This book challenged me...what was I doing that was making a difference...how was I becoming the best mother I could become...would I be capable of raising children who had the tools needed to live their lives purpose...in a world so different that our founding fathers what truths had we forgotten...was I letting society's norms become my norms without questioning them and then making a proactive choice as to what my personal norms would be? My mind was reeling...

I loved my children and I knew I was doing the best I could possibly be doing at the time with the knowledge and training I had received up to that time. However, I had just been handed some knew information and I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it. A big part of me wanted to hide the information under a rock and pretend like I never saw it. That way I could just ignore it and go on with life as it had been going before. I knew though that I really couldn't do that. I wasn't ready emotionally, spiritually, or mentally to commit to the new life style it challenged me to adapt. I just wasn't ready. There were things in my life I wasn't ready to let go of, and habits I wasn't ready to get rid of. I liked my life. It was comfortable and easy and I fit in. I liked being like everyone else...I never liked standing out and being different. I had always thought I had all red personality traits but looking back now I see I have a lot of white in me too. I just don't like making people feel bad or uncomfortable, and I felt that if I went against the norm I would make people feel bad...I know that is totally a whacked out way to think. :) Now I realize no one really cares if you don't think or do what they do. Its just how you handle the situation.

To make a long story a little shorter I'll skip ahead a year or so. After trying to ignore the entire topic for a while my sister Allison talked me into going up to Cedar City for a couple of forums. One was with my husband and it was amazing. I have to say it was borderline life changing. It was called the Statesman Retreat and was mostly focused on students ready to enroll into George Wyth College. We weren't really in a position to do that, but the events we were able to be a part of during those two days really opened our minds to the next level and made us start to seriously consider the fact that we really needed to start homeschooling our children using the TJed principles. I was so excited (this was the summer of 2006) that I went back up the GWC a few months later to be a part of another amazing forum talking about homeschooling using Thomas Jefferson principles. It was amazing and I came home completely excited about all the amazing things I could do personally and for my children.

Then reality set it. I had four amazing children and the oldest was 7 and the other three were still at home with me. I had a very successful business I ran from my home with my sister which I LOVED (okay I was borderline addicted to it), and I just didn't have enough time to keep running the business and homeschool. I quickly became sick to my stomach every time the word homeschool was mentioned around me. Which was usually by my husband who was completely on fire about the entire concept. Within a month any discussion about the topic of homeschooling was outlawed and I became bitterly opposed to the entire idea of it all. I was not ready to let go of the business and so my decision had been made. Besides we had the children in a wonderful school...life was good.

[the CHANGE]
In February of 2007 my sister and business partner got married in the Hawaiian temple. It was a fabulous experience and thanks to Scott's wonderful parents we were able to get away along (just the two of us) for 10 days. The last two nights Scott and I spent a few days alone since it was my birthday and had some nice one on one time. We talked about our need to make some changes personally so we could start achieving some goals we had of becoming better people and a better family. One of the things we talked about was getting rid of cable TV since we were slightly addicted to it. Man did I love TVio!! We also talked about my business and how it was hurting my ability to be the parent I wanted to be. We talked about where we wanted to be in 5 and 10 and 20 and 30 years and what we needed to do now so we could be there. It was amazing to see what is really important in life when you try and look at the big picture. I wasn't ready to give up the business yet but for the first time I admitted to myself that my love for the business was getting in the way of me be the best parent I could be. Scott did bring up homescholing for a brief moment before I shot it down. I still wasn't even ready to think about that whole topic of homeshooling. I had however started making some changes that eventually would change my life forever.

[letting GO]
On June 15th 2007 I gave birth to our 5th child a little girl named Brea. I had been put on bedrest for 6 or 7 weeks then finally 3 weeks early had Brea by C-section. I was out of it for at least a month trying to recover and to say the least I was forced to reevaluate live and slow down. I was forced to turn over many of my business responsibilities to my sister due to my situation and something began to happen. I realized I just couldn't do it all anymore. I still wasn't thinking about homeschooling...so it wasn't that...it was just I couldn't be a mom and run the business like I use to. I took me a few months to realize I had to let it all go, and let me tell you it was like cutting off both of my arms. It hurt in so many ways. I felt like I had lost part of myself. I was in shock how would I live without my business. Slowly I began to come to grips with it, and right before everything became official about the business being turned completly over to my sister the house appeared. Its crazy now to look back on everything and realized the timing of all the different events that were taking place. The Lord's hand was surely involved in it that is for sure.

[now WHAT]
So that about brings us up to date. When everything started happening with the home in Queen Creek, and after the business had been turned over to my sister, the topic of homeschooling started to come up again. For some reason this time I was ready to listen. I agreed with my husband that we'd study and pray more about homeschooling to find out if it was something we really wanted to do. This would be my third or fourth time broaching the subject, and I began pulling out material I'd purchased the year before and reading it for the first time. I couldn't put it down and was inspired to continue to read and learn as much as I could. Before long I knew without a shadow of a doubt that even though I had never seen myself homeschooling that I was going to be homeshooling my children, and you know what I was excited about the possibilities and adventures we'd have doing it.

Beginning in January we started homeschooling our children and I have to say its been the hardest most challenging things I've ever done. I am so far from perfect at it that I can hardly say my children have learned much in this last month, but I have learned amazing things about myself and the influence and impact I can make on my children. I know that each day things get a little better and easier and that is all I can hope for. I truly believe that the TJed principles are truths that if I follow will allow me to attain an amazing education and inspire my children to do the same for themselves. For we can only educate ourselves.

[the BLOG]
My hope with this blog is to {One} keep myself accountable {Two} allow my children to share what they are doing with others {Three} motivate and inspire ourselves and others to learn.


Dan and Alli Ralphs said...

Ande - I love it!! You're are an amazing mom and I love watching how you interact with your children, how you teach them, and love them. Like always I just want to follow in your footsteps (Isn't that what little sisters are suppose to do!?!)

Stacy said...

Welcome to the world of bloggin'! I can't wait to see pictures of the kiddos and see what they are up to!