Sunday, June 2, 2013

This Day in History

It was exactly a year ago today that we arrived in Florida with all of our belongings.  So much has happened in that year.  Allow me to recap and then I will share some new happenings.

1.  We signed a contract on a house, waited five months for it to be built, and then moved in on Halloween Day, October 31, 2012.

9 days before we moved in
Unloading in the garage with friends
2.  I had a part-time job, but I quit.

3.  John had a contract-to-hire position, which he quit to take a permanent position.

4.  We've reconnected with old friends and made many new ones.

5. We've been to Disney at least four times, historical places in Old St. Augustine, the Daytona 500, and Navarre Beach to go camping with friends and see a sandsculpting competition.

There is a waterspout in the center of the picture.
6.  We met an amazing family, the Olsons, who had just moved here four weeks before we did. Her two boys, and our two boys hit it off right away and have been great friends since.  We went to the Jacksonville Zoo together, and Jake was a member of the "Brickologists" Lego Robotics team. Karyn Olson coached, and her boys were members as well.


7.  I started woodcarving again.  I had done this more than 15 years ago and picked it up again.  I like these new items more than the old.

8.  In December, we picked up Cocoa, our half chocolate lab, half chicken puppy.  Actually, there is a good chance that she is half beagle as well.  She was 14.5 pounds three days after we brought her home.  She is at least 45 pounds six months later.  She is also going to doggy training to become a better dog.

 9.  My family came to visit for Christmas.  Our neighbors own a gaming company, and they blew up their human hamster ball so that we could play with it in our backyard on Christmas Day.  It definitely wasn't the kind of Christmas I was used to - no snow and not cold.  It was the best winter season I've ever experienced!

10.  God has given me the opportunity, for the first time in my life, to mentor some women.  I am humbled and excited!

11.  Jacob has gotten his permit and has been driving only a few times.  It's a lot more nerve wracking than I thought it would be.

12.  Paige has been learning how to play the violin and has continued dancing.

13.  Nate has decided that he wants to be a popular YouTuber.  He is learning how to make Minecraft videos and put them on YouTube.  Minecraft is also something new they have discovered since being in Florida.

14.  We found a new homeschool co-op where the kids and I have found some great friends.  I will be teaching a class about natural disasters there next year.

15.  We are members of an amazing church and help out with the youth.

There have been so many new experiences this year.  It has also been a very hard year.  This was the most difficult homeschooling year we've had.  I had considered having the kids do the Florida Virtual Charter School next year, but God let me know that that was not His plan for us.  I attended a convention last week and was refreshed and energized, eager to begin a new school year with a new perspective and plan.

One of the most exciting things for me, besides mentoring, happened last week.  An advertisement looking for a writer ("star contributor") for a homeschooling website was published by a company I "liked" on Facebook.  I have wanted to be a published author for 20 years and thought I'd give it a shot.  I emailed to let them know I was interested and sent them my blog address and the first chapter of a novel I started a couple of years ago.  They were excited to welcome me to their crew.  So, as of tomorrow, I will be a published author.  I am writing portions of daily homeschool lessons for and will, hopefully, eventually be creating full curricula for the site.  I am excited to see what God has in store for my future since I am living a dream I've had for so long.

I do miss my friends and family who are back in PA, but I am so thankful for God directing us to St. Augustine.  His hand was definitely guiding the whole process, and we have been blessed abundantly.

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