It's been a long, wild ride this past year that has let us see and experience the good, the bad and the ugly. Too bad we had more bad and ugly than good. As the name of the blog states Joy in the Little Things, that is what I will focus on as we've lived the negative and we are ready to move on.
To start off the positives, my dad won his five year battle with cancer. He is in remission and going strong. We also had a wonderful new addition to the extended family this year with the birth of my grand-nephew.
The next year will be filled with change for us. I am eagerly looking forward to what the future holds, but sad at the same time. The move across the nation is one I am eagerly awaiting. The thought of traveling for awhile is exciting for all of us, especially when the goal is finding our new home. The move will seem strange as it looks like only five children will be going with us instead of six. it is hard to believe my oldest will be 18 and moving on with his life.
Homeschooling has taken yet another turn this year. My oldest returned to high school last year and this year my 16 y.o. son followed suit. We found a small charter high school and he is trying very hard. His grades are not the best, but he is learning life skills that I was concerned he would never learn. For someone with a social anxiety disorder and Aspergers, a high school settings is beyond intimidating. He has given oral reports, is making friends, and is riding public transit. I would love for him to have great grades, but the fact he is succeeding at life is making me just as happy as if he had straight A's.
The youngest four are still being homeschooled. We attempted an online gifted program for my 10 y.o. daughter, but after becoming emotionally overwhelmed by skipping two grades and the realization of graduating early we decided homeschooling was much better and went back to her usual course of study.
Three of the kids are now in 4H and loving it. I'm seeing a new level of confidence from both the girls that I have not seen before. There have been requests for taking animals to the fair, but with our move eminent I'm not sure if they will be able to this year. If not they will look forward to it next year once we are settled and hopefully have land to have their animals on.
The other new addition to the family was my early Christmas present of a sweet puppy. We had to put our long time companion, Lacey, down in the spring after she developed a bacterial infection and was too old to fight it off no matter how hard we tried. So a few weeks ago we brought home a 10 week old Queensland Heeler pup we have called Spirit - rightfully named as she came home with her spirit already damaged from abuse/neglect we think she endured, but has found a new way of approaching life and become quite the outgoing little thing we'd hoped we would start to see. She sleeps on our youngest at night and gives him the sensory input he needs so that he's not sensory seeking in his sleep by tensing his muscles or pushing on things (usually me).
Now that we are back on track and we are beginning a new journey, I'm hoping to be writing on a regular basis. This will be an exciting time for us and to share the changes as they happen will be rewarding.