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I know I haven’t been posting much, I’ve been SO overwhelmed with everything here!

This move was NOT an easy transition, by any meaning of the word. The house we are renting was left in a terrible condition by the previous tenants and we had to fight the landlord for months to get things fixed. (And I am not even exaggerating about the state of this place.) Which made things worse, our landlord’s first language is not English OR any of the other languages hubby and I have any of the slightest knowledge in, and most of our early discussions about this were done via email while the landlord vacationed for the summer overseas. We all know that can lead to a lot of misunderstandings! When we finally got to meet him, we realized that it really was more of a cultural and language communication issue, and we all got along well. They are happy we are being so picky about taking care of the house (though I will maintain that not having dried dog pee in all of the carpeting isn’t being picky, but I digress) and we are happy he finally agreed to pay for all of it. But, that basically destroyed MONTHS of my summer. The actual unpacking was a complete breeze compared to that.

Which also ruined my homeschool plans. Because I spent all of that time dealing with repairs and cleaning, I did NOT spend it planning out my curriculum and organizing it like I like to each year. Which has led me to learn some very important things:

1. I need to plan and organize everything in advance, for my own sanity. — I just do not work well, figuring things out as I go. I’m sure this is my residual Type A tendencies,

2. Trying to plan at night while I’m homeschooling by day is a terrible idea. — It just leaves me totally stressed out. I will TOTALLY get this done in advance this year.

3. A HSLDA membership will never ever be an “elective” for this family. — Yup, we had our first run-in with the local school board within weeks of moving here. A new law was passed just a few months ago, but PA is one of the MOST regulated and complicated places to homeschool in the US. And yes, the superintendent’s office (at least in the county we are in) constantly tries to push for more information and more oversight than they are legally allowed to have. Which was our experience. I am so thankful that I was able to have the research and the documentation forms that HSLDA provides, and that I can call them if I ever need to. And yes, after my experience, our HSLDA info is laminated and in my wallet at all times!

But beyond all that, we’ve kept pretty busy:

First of all, meet the newest member of our family. Her name is Elsa (yes, after the movie). Isn’t she beautiful?


Elsa Cat

We went berry picking at a U-Pick-Em farm. I love these places, and now they’re only ten minutes away!!20140809_125530The girls took swim lessons. (We’ll go back to this in late Spring).20140807_180324We joined a Homeschool Co-Op Group, and take classes with them once a week.

20140930_121828 We visited family in Alabama and went to my 20 year reunion. (Roll Tide.)

20141011_114744Hubby had a BBQ – ribs lesson.

20141011_120221 20141011_125635I found a great Living Social deal for a membership to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia (Science Museum). We are so excited about this and have great plans to really take advantage of this place in the future!

???????????????????????????????20141025_134327Of course, we participated in Halloween. Our neighborhood gets way into it, but I enjoyed staying on the “Happy Halloween” side of things.


Girl Power!

We are trying to start a local American Heritage Girls troop.20141026_115115 Then, of course, THANKSGIVING! We had several guests this year and had a total blast!


If all that wasn’t enough for you, the girls are also taking ballet classes (which I don’t have pictures of)! Oh, and there are few other field trips I forgot pictures of as well.

And finally, we got the tree up and the presents purchased and hidden, and we are ready for the holidays! It’s time for me to relax!