Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Changes

There is soo much change in my life right now....in OUR lives....that my head is perfectly spinning in an odd, but peaceful sort of way. I feel like I could take anything on...and I pretty much have my platter filled to the top.
Here's the scoop!
(and a little bit of a tour through our vacation:)


Wisconsin Dells--12 hour drive from home


Some people call me crazy, but most just know I'm Kendra and go with it.


zip-line time!


In the last few weeks we have gone from a place of essentially being debt-free to a place of "What now?" Can  we call it a leap of faith? Okay, that's the explanation I'm gonna use. 
It sounds better than just saying that we jumped in a giant hole of stupidity.


the wave pool and one of 7 water-parks at our hotel


When we made the decision to adopt, I sat in the bathtub one night and read Dave Ramsey's book about how to release our dependency on money.....when friends would ask us to go on a trip, our response was always "we can't afford it". 
It was true. It's probably still true. But something I learned was that when you really set your mind to it, you don't need as much as you think.  Within a couple of months of reading that book, I (I say I because I had to set the plan in motion with my family) payed off a vehicle, all of our medical bills, credit cards, etc.  We CHOSE to live for awhile on NEEDS vs. WANTS. 
 And it became easier as we went along.




Today.......well, today we have jumped out of that zone and into another.
The gift of a mini-van (I realized that after a period of time) that God gave us to help us pay off our adoption, has died. Our washing machine has died. And when they say "when it rains, it pours", it's soo true. 


the coolest-pizza delivery car with the coolest people


So what'd we do? We bought a washer/dryer set that could have bought one plane ticket to Ethiopia (I compare everything to our adoption process now).  And we bought a year-old vehicle, which we would have never dreamt of doing....ever.  
But we did.  And it's done.
And then we went on vacation!!!!
 No longer debt-free. crap.


big brother lending a hand through the "webs"--coolest thing ever & above an arcade!


So you're probably wondering what all the fuss is about......normal-every day people throw money around like it's nothing. What's the big deal? 


first trail-ride


Well, if you know me and my family we don't fit into that realm of "normalcy".  We don't fit into that main-stream idea of doing what everyone else does just cause they're doing it.  Maybe at one time, but it never felt right.  And it's pretty funny (and frustrating) when people "see" us as being "normal" and then they find out we aren't. 


go-cart fun!


With that being said....within all of the financial changes that were happening in the last few weeks, we also made a HUGE decision to.....yes, that's right......school our kids at home. *gasp*  Crazy, huh? I know, I haven't quite gotten over it either. And yesterday when everyone was posting pictures on Facebook of their kiddos' first day of school I felt this sense of being lost. Because I used to take those very same pictures of my kids with their backpacks on and all set for a new year. 


  

I think about the Christmas programs and teachers we cherish. 
I worry about what my kids may feel they're missing out on.....like Zachary's first year of middle school....and Cole's last.  This was not an easy decision, but one I've been thinking about since Cole walked through the school doors in Kindergarten. I felt like God had given me the gift of parenting these children and I was pushing them out the door for 8 hours a day to be parented by someone else. 
I know to many that will sound ridiculous, but when Zachary started 1st grade he actually spoke those very words to me, and it hit me like a ton of bricks.  And like any big-tough decision, it wasn't something I moved on for quite some time. Cause kids are suppose to go to school, right? That's just what we do.  From the time of Laura Ingalls Wilder kids have been leaving bright and early every morning of the week to be with their peers and learn about all kinds of fascinating things, whether they want to or not. 


dic showed the kids what his brother and sister use to do to him :)


 There have been times through the last many years where something wasn't going quite right and Dic would say "Why don't you just homeschool them?". I know what you're probably thinking.....DIC said that? Aren't all the crazy ideas all Kendra's?  Yea, most of them are. Ha!


jet boating through the Dells--a wet-n-wild ride!


This idea has been tumbling around in my head through the last year.  We loved all of our kids' teachers throughout the years (well, most of them) and we didn't have any major issues that couldn't be resolved, for the most part.  It just felt like it was time.  There are things that stand out when I try to find the reasoning, but basically it's because it just seems to be what's best for our family right now. So we just go from here.  I still have concerns about what it will look like. I worry that the kids may not always be on-board. But it will never be anything I will regret trying.  



  

My family and friends know that I'm stubborn and that if I set my mind to something I will accomplish it....crazy idea or not.  What I am feeling right now is not a force that pushes against society, but a strength from within. Cause Lord knows that this will take strength. 




 It seems a little weird to most to teach their own child, but then what have we been doing all along? 
(yep, some days I still I have to do some self-talking)


our dare-devil--ZACH


Maybe some day the "norm" will be different, just like everything else.  Vegetarians used to be outcast...now people envy them because they're healthy. Ya know? Doing what everyone else does JUST because everyone else does has never been our thing. 


see.....we DO let them have sugar...just not when you're looking :)


I'm sure many are wondering......were the kids all on-board or did we force them (cause we're soo mean you know:)?  
Each child got to make their own decision.
And they are excited about it.


the adults were in awe of our boyz skilz--LUKE


New adventures....new friends.....new ways of learning.....etc.
 It will be a journey.
 One we take together.


isn't this just the most beautiful babe you've ever seen? me too.


In the midst of all of these changes happening in our home....in our hearts......in this family.....
we will be giving the glory to the One who paved this pathway for us.....the One who opened the door back up after I slammed it shut soo very many times.....the One who doesn't make promises He doesn't keep.  


  

HE knows the future of each and every one of His creations. 
Finally letting go.




Letting go feels soo good.
Huh, Luke?



Changes.
Changes.






 and faith.
changes and faith.
it's all good.


 

8 comments:

Deena said...

AWESOME!!! So proud of you. You are going to have an amazing year. I understand that you may feel a little uneasy right now, but there are going to be countless days when those of us that are shipping our kids off to school wish we were in your shoes! Hang in there. Enjoy the ride!
P.S. Thanks for an fantastic weekend!

Tara Autumn said...

what awesome life choices (did i just say racking up debt is awesome- hmm but yeah you guys "deserve it" in my book). The fact that you were able to be debt free and really know what it takes to be that fiscally constrained will pay off, because you know how to get back in great financial shape if/when need be. So thats all good. And as for the homeschool- lets just say two days after my smiley "first day of school" picture with Sam , we are already looking into homeschooling or alternate teacher...sheesh!

Kathy said...

Ok lets set things straight....it was his brother that did that to him not me. I was there but I would never have done something so mean to to my little brother....or maybe I would. Love ya Dic

Kendra said...

crack me up!! we've already heard the stories, Kath...you're busted! ha!

Kendra said...

Deena, thank you soo much...it means a lot to have such great support!

I'm grateful you took the time to meet up with us--time we'll always cherish.
hey...what did you end up doing with your dog?

Kendra said...

Tara--thank you for your sweet comment. I hope your school days get better...if not, we can go through this together! ha!

Jill Funkhouser said...

hey, we are doing the same thing this year. My oldest is only in 4th grade though. So excited to see how it goes! We can pull our hair out together!
Love
Jill
www.campfunk.blogspot.com

Bonnie Nieuwstraten said...

Kendra...enjoy this time with your kids!! There will be days when you will wonder what you've done to your life, but you will NEVER regret these days with your kids. I used to homeschool full-time and now home school part-time. Today was one of our home days and we loved it. Enjoy!!

PS: I really need to get some ET hair tips from you!! Her hair is beautiful!!! Bonnie

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