I have to say, it feels SO good to be writing again!
The kids and I LOVE our new place - been here since June and settled in just about as quickly here as we did when we moved back to our hometown in October of 2011. This is home to us and it feels right. It's mostly a rural setting - quite similar to what we had when Matt and I built our home (but way less taxes, lower cost of living, less traffic and a beach nearby). There's lots of space - in the house and outside - and we are on a road that is in a private community, so there is very little thru traffic. Our neighbors are great, too. Even our cat Penelope (the one that's left) loves being able to be outside and do things she instinctively loves to do. Pepe Le Pew ran away shortly after we moved here. We're not quite sure what happened to him... Penelope has gained weight since he's gone, though - he used to eat all the food and scare her away from the food dish. He tormented her a lot, too, usually biting her in the rear. =s
Jacob and Sydney are thriving in school. Jacob is in third grade now, and loves his teacher (she is young and pretty, so that might help), and Sydney is in Kindergarten. She only has half-days here, so it's like she's hardly in school.
Jacob is reading chapter books and is so into reading that his nose is always buried in a book. Right now, he's totally into the Box Car Children series. Right up his alley between trains, kids, and mysteries. He's also been very interested in space and technology. He can even explain how a super nova happens. He's also becoming quite the artist! He makes very detailed drawings, and does just one stroke movements. I remember sketching when I was growing up and I rarely made one continuous line the way I wanted it so I was always erasing and continuing the lines in short, jerky strokes. His are smooth, continuous and accurate.
The kid is part monkey and can climb like no one's business. It's nuts. Thank goodness for health insurance just in case! But he's pretty good at it so I don't worry too much. I've got to get him involved in a sport of some kind. I'm looking into options around here.
Sydney is learning to read and knows words beyond the sight words she's learning in school. She would know more if I'd have spent more time with her on reading - I feel a bit guilty about that. I was better about working with Jacob on things like that, but that was in our former life. I'm starting to get into a much better routine with the kids, though, and that is helping. She is so eager to learn to read and takes the initiative to pick out the words she recognizes in anything written around her, and she's always asking "what does *this* spell" and "how do you spell..." Her handwriting is pretty good already, too! It helps a lot that her brother has been such a positive example with his love of reading and learning. Thank goodness! She is interested in taking up gymnastics at some point, so again, something I'm looking into.
And NO MORE switching schools (at least until they move from elementary to middle to high school to college).
I invested quite a bit into a beautiful play structure in our back yard, so not much money is left to work with for lessons or sports at this point. There are only a few parks close by (still kind of a haul to drive to), and it's such a luxury to send the kids right into the back yard to play when I'm getting stuff done in or around the house. It attracts some of the other kids around our community, too, which has been fun.
The other reason I invested in such a great set is the guilt I felt getting rid of the one Matt made for them. After two moves, it was pretty much destroyed. The wood was warped and splitting, and was no longer safe. It broke my heart to dismantle it and I cried with almost every nail and screw I removed, and every piece of wood I brought to the curb.
There's a little girl that goes to their school who lives just a couple doors down from us, and she's a little sweetheart. She rides the bus home with Jacob in the afternoons (she's in 2nd grade), and I've been keeping her at our house until her parents come home from work. My kids love having her around and she loves being around them. Her mom watches my kids on Wednesdays when she's off so I can have one full day for errands, etc. Such a luxury! It's wonderful to have someone so close by that we can count on to help each other out.
We don't plan to travel for Christmas. While we miss our family and friends terribly, I just haven't had the desire or energy for anymore travel. At least for a while... Plus, we have really needed time to establish ourselves here and make this "home" once and for all. It's working!
And while I feel like our friends and family may feel somewhat abandoned by me, they will see in time that I'm finally getting myself together and settled enough that I can get back into their lives more regularly. I just have needed time to find my own.
Well, that's about it for now - more soon! xoxo