Things to learn about farm life :) – Update on House

Since moving to this beautiful farm. Things I have learned very quickly.

ED9A2899There are a lot more bugs here than in the city. While we still saw roaches, crickets, spiders and ants in the city… it just wasn’t as many. Maybe having pest control people spray, really does help… :-D Either way, lots of bugs here! When you need to go fishing. Set a wheel barrel upside down and you have a huge supply of black crickets at your disposal. Leave food out, within seconds, lots and lots of ants.

One way I have repelled ants naturally while living here too, is to use Cinnamon Bark Oil and Peppermint Oil. I put it into a spray bottle with some water, shake it well and spray it around any cracks and areas ants may be coming in. The first few nights here we had issues with small black ants getting into the kids beds. Yup… They weren’t biting but they did wake you. The Cinnamon and Peppermint spray did wonders. So I do recommend that. Smells good too!

For those scared away by the huge price tag on the Cinnamon Bark. Do know that having that oil in your oil collection is worth it. I use it constantly! Its one of my go to to treat illness… and I use it in my immune strength blend I make for the kids. Because I own all the oils in the Immune Strength Oil Blend, I actually just make up my own now. Saves on cost I think. Plus I can add more or less of a certain oil depending on what I want.

ED9A2904Oh and for MOSQUITOES I am using THIS recipe. Oddly enough since living here we haven’t noticed many mosquito’s. Maybe they are to busy biting the horses to worry with us? :)

Another thing about the Country life I have learned… is that I am highly allergic to horses. Like for real allergic. Not just a small allergy. A, swell up, hives, close your throat up kind of allergy. The awesome guy who owns this land and horses, treated our boys to some horse back riding this weekend. These horses are POLICE TRAINED horses too. They’re amazing. The boys got to comb the horses… hear a little bit about their training… and then ride. I could tell pretty early on during the “barn” combing period… that my allergies were already beginning to flare up… but I figured it would be no big deal and Id be fine once I got home. Well, I decided to ride the horse for 2 minutes… and I guess that did it. Within minutes of leaving and getting home my upper lip swelled up like a balloon. Got hives all over it. My eyes swelled and got red and itchy… I then broke out in hives up and down my arms and legs!! and then my throat began to tighten. Making it hard to swallow. I was shocked at how bad I got and how fast it all happened. I took some medicine and it took a solid 3 hours before I started to feel better and the swelling went down.

So despite how beautiful horses are… I am going to keep my distance.

Another thing I have realized. My boys love dogs. This place is full of them! The owner has a former police German Shepherd named Bolow. (not sure on the spelling haha). He also has a Great pyrenees dog called Buzz. He is HUGE!! There is also a lab (I forget her name). She is so sweet and will continue to bring you a tennis ball over… and over again until you play with her. Here is a photo of Owen playing with her.

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The owner also has these two small poodles that chase our boys. They think its hilarious! So lots of furry friends out here to see. It kind of sort of makes me want a dog. However, I am allergic to them… so I’m not sure it work out. Travis really isn’t into the “hypoallergenic” dogs either. Im allergic to cats as well but Toby our cat doesn’t seem to agitate my allergies, as long as he doesn’t get in my face. So a dog may not be to bad. Still, in time. I defiantly am in no rush to own a dog.

I love the sights here… We are so thankful to have this quaint place to keep our family during this time of waiting.

It will be a place we will forever remember. Its been fun to build memories here.

Here are a few more photos from our horse riding adventure.

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ED9A2930We also have met a new friend since living here.

A few days after being on the farm I got a phone call from a friend of ours back in Atlanta. She was actually a neighbor too! Lived in our neighborhood and went to church with us. She was a home school mom of 5 as well. Her kids were all much older than mine… but I liked that. Always nice to connect with moms who are a few years older who you can learn from. Any how, she called me up and told me her Niece just moved to the same town we just moved too! That her niece just had her 2nd baby girl and that we’d get along well. So she gave me her information and she gave her Niece my info. A few days later we connected, hung out at the pool and got to know each other. We discovered they are living in a neighborhood within walkin distance to the farm! In fact her backyard backs up to the farm! Crazy coincident huh? Her girls are adorable!!! We got to see them again Sunday morning at church and invited them out to the farm to see the horses as well. My boys got to ride her 17 mo. old little girl on the horses and I must say, it made me want a 5th baby haha… was very sweet to see.

Its really cool how God brings people into your life in such a cool way. This family also CAME from the same city in Atlanta, Woodstock, that we came from. So they are familiar with our former life there…They even attended the same church we went to while there… we just never ran into each other.

We are excited to get to know them better.

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Now… Update on the house we are buying.

We had the inspection done… and it came back with some pretty big issues. 1. Termites. There were some in the front den, which had caused some rot problems in the sub floor. So the subfloor and a portion of the hard wood floors in that room have to be replaced. When we heard this, we kind of expected they’d say no to the repair and re-list house for more, fix the floors and hope to make more money off the sale… we offered 10K less than asking.. so we just weren’t sure what to expect.

There were a few other issues that needed attention… over all they’ll prob spend 3-6K fixing these problems. Roughly. We wrote up the addendum with the realtor and sent it over to the sellers agent. To our surprise they agreed to fix EVERYTHING we asked for. So that is going to be happening the next few weeks… and if all goes as planned we close on August 17th.

I have had some wavering back and forth. Wondering if we got the right house… doubting… dwelling on “what ifs” and worrying myself to death about it! Buying a house is a big deal… and when we went looking for a home I so desired one really close to the church. Since that is what we knew prior in ministry. We always lived very close. However, after looking at 30 some homes, we just realized that may not happen this time… The house we found is 16 minutes from the church. We timed it last night :) – so it really isnt THAT FAR… even tho it kind of feels like it right now. It isn’t next door… its not within walking distance… but its close enough. We also will be in a great neighborhood with beautiful large oak trees and shade. The yard is almost an acre… shaded… with grass and woods for the boys to play around. A beautiful wrap around porch… and lots of charm. Its also on a very large and nice cul-de-sac!

So it is a great home.

… and I’m having to trust the Father that if this isn’t meant to be, it wont happen… and who knows, it may happen… and we may move in 3 years to a closer house. I’m going to try really hard not to live in the “what may come” limbo phase tho… and hope that once we move in there, I can make it our own and plant some roots.

I think our history of moves has made this very hard… but it is something I greatly desire.

House-side Fishing

ED9A2868The temporary housing we are living in right now, has turned out to be such a special place. While I look forward to getting into our own home, the charm of living on a farm has been really special.

The trailer we are in is at the back of a 100 acre farm… and we are not only surrounded by horses on both sides and the front… but we also have easy access to a beautiful pond.

Saturday Travis took the boys fishing there… and while we didn’t have much luck ;-) – it was still really cool to just be able to walk there and enjoy the outdoors. One thing we are learning though, is in South Carolina, if you intend to do anything outdoors… do it before it gets to hot. Seems like before 10am here its already 90F… gets so hot, so fast.

I want to invest in some insulated water bottles for the kids too… they complain about being thirsty constantly now, and plastic water bottles just don’t stay cold long enough. I was hoping to find a bottle that had some sort of SLING for the kids to wear it across their chest? Does anyone know of something like that available for children? That way I don’t have 4 water bottles shoved into my purse… Id love for them to have something THEY can carry on their own.

Below are a few more photos from the morning :) Enjoy.

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They caught their own bait. Crickets!

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This is walking “away” from the Trailer. Towards the pond.

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This is what you see if you turn around. :) Thats our cute little trailer we are in currently.

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Here is one of the horses near the house.

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The Limbo Phase

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These walls are part of our limbo phase. They may not be the widest walls… but their home for now.

Learning to be thankful during this time of waiting.

and honestly…. who can complain with this view.

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Homeschool Curriculum Choices for 2015 – 2016

We got our Wifi turned on yesterday… and it didn’t take me long to begin the process of figuring out what we will do for school this coming school year. I knew we’d home school this year… The thought to public school wasn’t even a question for me. The last few years, it has been on my mind. This year though, hasn’t even crossed it. I guess it may show my own personal confidence in myself building… where as former years I doubted myself a lot. Still do some days… but I think all moms struggle with those insecurities… I am debating and praying about the possibility of putting our oldest in Public School once he hits high school. We have a good many years before that though. So for now, ill enjoy these elementary school years while I still can.

Before getting started… let me first off encourage the moms who desire to home school but doubts their abilities. I for one never imagined I would ever home school. I struggled in my later years of school. I was not an A/B Student. I was more of a C/B student… and a few years in high school I actually failed a few classes. Math mostly… I just didn’t grasp math well for some reason. Some have told me its because im “Artistic” but whatever the reason, I hated math in high school and struggled throughout each year. From Algebra to Geometry. It just was not my forte. I also really stunk at Grammar and spelling. My blog is evidence of this!! I managed and passed, graduated… and so forth, but it wasn’t with flying colors. The only areas of school I ever remember liking, without a doubt were the arts. Photography, music, art class. I also really enjoyed science. History was “so so” for me. While it wasn’t my favorite, I enjoyed that much more than English or Math.

Still. I knew when we began to have kids, that the thought to “school them” at home, scared the heck out of me. I did not feel smart enough.. and to be honest I probably am not smart enough. Thanks to amazing curriculum options though, even this “C” student, has the ability to home school…

I am thankful that I stuck with it, despite the early year struggles especially. I am thankful for friends encouraging me throughout my many many many MANY MANY bumps. I’m thankful for my boys ability to bounce back during a hard year and skipped lessons. The year I was pregnant and had our 4th baby was a doozie for our home schooling. We missed almost an entire year it seemed… and yet these boys are right on schedule and doing great.

Its the beauty of home schooling!

… but to the mom who just doesn’t want to home school. Skim this post knowing that your choice is perfectly fine and no one can judge it.
I am learning we as mothers really need to begin to support other moms out there. Regardless of our differences in opinions… methods… thoughts…. choices. We each have to come to these decisions on our own. Prayer and personal conviction come into play big time… and who am I to judge any other mom for her choice “not” to home school. No two mothers convictions are the same and that does not mean they love their child any less.

So cheers to all the mamas out there. Home school. Public. Private. Charter. Know my post is here to encourage and help. Hopefully my processing of this years curriculum choices will be helpful to someone out there reading.

Here is what I have in mind so far.

This is not set in stone. I have not ordered anything yet. I am making my list, checking it twice… and seeking mentor-ship from friends with older kids, who have been there, done that… :)

So this list may be changing before its all said and done, but its what I have so far. :)

 
Home School Options for Boys

Caleb: (5th Grade) – age 10

Literature/Language: BJU English – I have actually always done ABEKA Language… but I have never been super keen on their teacher books. They tend to confuse me and overhwelm me at times.. The BJU Literature/English kit looks a little less complicated and its also cheaper. So this is what I am leaning towards for this year.

I may also do an Abeka writing for Caleb as well.. but haven’t decided yet…

Math – Saxon 4/5 – with Teacher DVDS – I cannot speak enough about this set. I got mine used on ebay for $65.00 – for everything. New its much more… but its well worth the cost even if you can’t find it used. It has been super helpful for Caleb… and since Im horrible at Math, its been great for me to have that to fall on.
Typing – Typingweb.com – free! great lessons
Bible – Champion Devotionals – I am possibly going to do some sort of BIBLE study story series with all the boys, but haven’t decided what to get just yet.

 

 

Taite: (3rd grade) – age 8

Language/Literature – Also considering BJU this time instead of Abeka Language
Abeka Spelling
Hand writing without Tears – I’ve always done Abeka writing… but Taite really struggle with it. So I am switching it up and trying this instead. My friend Luci who is a home school mom of 5 loves it. Shes used it for all her kids (minus her youngest whos Reeds age). So thought it be worth trying. Can’t really screw up writing IMO. Either way I think you’d be fine. I am just mixing it up this year.
Math – Math U See Gamma – I already had these books from last year (Caleb), so didn’t even have to purchase anything new, score.
Typing – Typingweb.com
Bible – Thought about doing the Champion Bible for him too.


Owen: (He will be in K5) – age 5


Abeka Language K – I have all the readers already, so very cheap for us to just repeat abeka language K with Owen, since it is what we used with Caleb and Taite.
Abeka Number Skills  – Debated doing Math U see with Owen too… but Im leaning towards Abeka since its more engaging and colorful. I haven’t decided for sure though. If I did Math U See, I have the Math U See books up through 3rd grade.. so it probably would be cheaper to go that route. Gotta look into it more before I decide… but as of today, leaning towards Abeka.
Think & Learn Activity Book


Reed – Age 2 – Grade Messy


I do not intend to do a thing with Reed but give him activities that will keep him out of our way. Some moms I know do school stuff at age 2… but, well. I don’t have the time to teach a 2 year old how to hold a crayon. He can learn that when hes 5 :) – for now I will try my best to keep him from eating them or shoving them into dvd players.

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For Art I am leaning towards THIS BOOK. I am a great artist ;-) – sorta… I can draw, lets put it that way. So I thought this book looked fun to go through.

For Science and History : Im on the fence still… I would do Science and History together with all the boys. I may let Owen skip this though.. He is only 5… so I’m going to be lucky to get in the basics with him. So Science and History will be more so for the older two…

Im leaning towards… Time Travelers of America for History – its cheaper than most History programs I have seen… You print what you want to use.  The study on the 19th Century – its $29.00 roughly. I really want the boys to study something having to do with The Presidents… Christopher Columbus… etc… we’ve done previous history studies, such as Story of the World Vol 1… I liked it.. but I think those books would be great for my boys to go through as readers on their own time too. So im actually getting Caleb the Story of the World Vol 2 to read on his own this year. I’m not sure I like the idea of printing stuff so often though. I feel like we do that enough as is… so if you have any good history options, do tell :)

Science I was leaning toward sonlight but its just so over priced. Would be like $265.00 for everything… I’m not sure that is worth it. I used Sonlight last year for Science though and did enjoy it. Just not sure im willing to fork out the cash again.

So yea! that is it so far. Other Home School moms chime in if you can. Let me know some thoughts on History and Science options.

Also if you have any good NOVELS or books I can have Caleb read this year (hes 5th grade) list those too. I think ill skip Abeka Readers this year (their boring IMO)… and let him just read a few good novels throughout the year and do book reports on those. To me the love of reading is the goal… more so than little check marks in readers.
So “good boy book suggestions” appreciated :)

I am super super super excited to get into our new house come August. Our close date is August 14th.. but we are secretly hoping the loan comes through early and we can close sooner. We do know the home owners at the house will be moving out July 27th (they close on their new house then). So if they are gone and our loan goes through earlier than expected, then we may be able to move in sooner. Fingers crossed.

The home school room in our new house is off the kitchen. It has a french door dividing it from the kitchen though, so I can shut that off if need be for quiet. It has really nice window light and hard wood floors. I don’t think its as big as the other school room in our Atlanta home… but its not far off. I look forward to making it our own. Also the living room that is across the hall has BUILT INS on one wall. TONS of great book space and storage.

To end… thought this was a fun photo to look back on. My first year really schooling my boys. Time goes so fast….

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Wifi is on!

After a couple weeks without Wifi, I can honestly say, we are glad its back on. :-) While it is nice to disconnect… with a business… and little ones, it is nice to have a wifi signal. Not to mention we have used up an insane amount of data on our phones. Even just looking up houses used up like 50% of our data in a week! No bueno. So Wifi is on… and even though we will have to relocate our wifi and all that jazz in August when we move again (to the home we are buying)… it will be worth having for the time being.

SO updates.

ED9A28011. Its hot in SC. Our dash said 106! Its only July too. From what we understand August is even hotter. I think my body is in the adjustment period this week… as I broke out in a weird rash on my face. To me it looks like a heat rash. I have sensitive skin to begin with though. So it could by my face adjusting to well water (we use to be on city)… also we are living on a farm near horses. Im allergic to horses… so maybe their dander is in the air? :) who knows. All I know is I’m looking a wee rough today… and hoping that 2 days indoors out of the heat will clear things up.

2. Kids are ready to move into our new house. They have really loved being on the farm here… but living out of boxes just is not fun. We don’t know where the majority of our stuff is… our boys have very few toys left out.. so we are relying on their “kindles” for entertainment. I look forward to setting up our home school room and getting back into the routine of some actual structure for them. They need it! They also really miss their trampoline and being able to ride their bikes and scooters. You can’t ride scooters and bikes here in thick sand. Just doesn’t work. I do know when we move from this farm they will miss the great pool we have access too… and the freedom farm life allows. Its nice to be able to hose off our kids naked in the backyard without worries of anyone seeing. :) I also love the sunsets here. So beautiful.

3. Now that I have Wifi ill begin plugging my business away in the nearby cities. Its hard when you relocate a business… but I have high hopes with some extra hard work I can get busy again here like I was in Atlanta.

That’s really all the news to share.

Things are going well at the church. Travis is staying busy setting his office up… and making connections in the area. We have lots of ideas for the church and hopefully in time we can apply those. Excited to see what God does.

Below are a few photos taken on the 4th of July before our move btw. I didn’t get a chance to share them! So thought Id share them now. :)

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Letting go

The last few weeks as you all know have been a little harder than normal. Lots of changes happening… the natural trials with moving a family of 6, selling our first home… and on top of it all sickness making its way through our family and then crippling myself for over a week. Not at all ideal or the way I would have liked things to go, had I had a choice. In the midst of the sickness and settling in, my Abuela passed away (my moms mom…) she lived in Panama (central america) and the last time I saw her was about 5 years ago. Its the one thing I hated about living so far from family… you just couldn’t see each other as often as you wished. Saddness came from not knowing her more :( and of course seeing my mom loose her mom. I hated I couldn’t go with her but the timing just wasn’t what it needed to be for me to go. My mom got to Panama safe though and all is okay. Mourning will happen… and she will be very much missed. Thankful this is not our family home and we will see loved ones we miss who know the Lord, again. Throughout it all I have had to learn to press through those hard times and understand, its only a season… Throughout our struggle, no matter what it may be, we are always strengthened and God can without a doubt use it for His Glory in the end.

We still do not have wifi. Using just our cell phones is eating up data too… so I am having to be careful not to allowed the kids to watch netflix… or stream any sort of videos that will eat up our data. You don’t realize how much “wifi” you use until its gone. :) We know we need it though for my business… unloading albums with 100+images at 20MB an image, results in a lot of usage… so Wifi is on the way. However, it won’t be installed until the 20th. SO! until then, not much blogging will happen. Boo. I miss it!

I am however on instagram daily usually and updating on there. So be sure to follow me there @dreawood.

Right now the next step in our journey is to find a home. A few people have been asking me what happened with the other house we had made an offer on. Well, things happened that were not in our control and that house is no longer an option. It is what it is and like all things, you move on. No reason to dwell in what isn’t.

Im at peace with things and I know that there is a home out there that God has for our family. Even if it isn’t “my timing” like many things :) – it will all be okay in the end.

For now, I am so thankful! We have the most amazing place to stay right now.

We are living on like a 100 Acre farm! Surrounded by horses, donkey, geese and even a camel! I can’t recall if I wrote about that in the last post… so if I did, forgive the repeating. :)

This farm has a sweet 4 bedroom double wide trailer on it that the owner has graciously allowed us to live in for as long as we need. Such a blessing. He is such an evidence of generosity… I know some people who are so greedy with their possessions… their money… and to me, that is no way to live. Scripture even speaks on being givers… and blessing others with our riches. I am thankful for this awesome man who gave us this special temporary home. It has all we need… and to add awesomeness to the already beautiful surroundings, theres an in ground pool WITH SLIDE for our boys to use daily.

Our first Sunday for those curious did go very well. People embraced us and the kids had a good time too. It of course will take adjusting to. Any move like this takes time to adjust to. I had to leave so many special friends of mine back in Atlanta… ladies I am thankful via txt, Facebook, instagram and phone calls will be able to keep up… but still, you miss them… the last minute play dates, or Panera bread ladies night outs. The thrifting trips I use to go out on… and so forth.

I had someone on instagram ask me for advice on how I cope with the change and moving… and my only advice is to prepare yourself for some loneliness in the sense, you will miss parts of your “former home.” You are allowed to feel sadness and yet still know confidently that its going to be okay. One thing I often pray for during our moves, is that God would bless me with friendship. I think its important to ask these things… and reach out.

I hope this is our last move for a very long time. After 12 years of marriage… 9 moves. 4 churches… and even a change in my husbands career as a cop for almost 3 years… lets just say, I’m super ready for some roots. At least for the next decade! If not more.

Thankful for Grace during the moments im not so gracious… and so thankful the boys seem to be doing well with this transition. They are still young enough I believe that this will not hinder them the way I think it would have, had they been older and had more established friendships. I know they’ll miss their Atlanta friends and home/stomping grounds… but since moving here, I have not heard them express sadness or wanting to go back. So for that, I am thankful. Thats helped me more than they realize. :)

Travis’ first sermon (officially) went really well… I am excited to see the moving God can do in this area of SC… and for what is to come.

Thank you all for the prayers. I will include a few images in this post taken from my instagram :) – I can’t post “real camera” pictures until wifi is set up. So until then, this will do.

Blessings!

 

This is the view from the yard beside the double wide we are in. Beautiful huh?

The pool near the house. Behind this pool to the right is where we stay.

This is a walking trail behind the double wide. Goes back a longggg way! We even found a creek.

 

Sickness and Roadblocks

Thought Id type up a quick update while I had the ability. We have no internet but im using my phone as a hot spot to do a little “house hunting…” yup… you read that right. We may very well have to look for another house to buy. Out of respect for the seller of the house we wanted, im not going to get into the details… but in short, she may not want to sell.. which puts us back on the drawing board. Legally its a bit of a mess… she may have some hefty fees to pay but we arent malicious people and would never sue (even tho we’d have the right in this situation). So as of right now, we wait… and will continue to live in the temp housing we are at currently.

The temporary home we are in is awesome though. It is small, its a double wide but in good shape. Has 4 bedrooms.. so I cant complain. It is on about 100 acres!! surrounded by horses, a lake and even a camel. The owner is extremely generous. He has given us access to his in ground pool with slide too. He has two awesome dogs who patrol (one is an ex- police german shepherd). So we feel very safe here. He even allowed us to bring Toby our cat, so we feel complete her for the time being. We do not have all our furniture and we are living out of suit cases… but we have a kitchen table set up, living room furniture, our mattresses (on the floor), a desk for my computer… and a TV. Obviously a kitchen too. :) Its all you need. Im finding peace in the simplicity of it. The only snag I feel I will run in to is having to go ahead and purchase my boys school materials without having a school room set up. We will have to be flexible though and just school on our kitchen table… and keep things minimal. Main subjects… It’ll all be okay. I just don’t want to get to behind.

This week has without a doubt been very hard though. The move itself, very hard… moving with 4 kids across two states is not easy… to add even more stress, I got very sick. Thursday evening really late I spiked a high fever. Then my ear began to really hurt.. like very bad… on a sale from 1-10, 10 being labor… it was like a 7.5. I have never experienced ear pain like that. I had to go to urgent care saturday the day of our “loading the moving truck” Doc prescribed an antibiotic for me. After a week almost, no change. In fact it was worse. Yesterday I had a break down because of the constant pain I was in… that we had to go to another urgent care (this one in SC)… where the Doctor checked my ear out… still very badly infect and apparently my congestion was just not letting up. So she put me on a steroid… and drop antibiotics (just for the ear), flonase and zyrtec. I feel like a drug addict haha.. on top of it, I was in such pain I started to cry at the Doctors office… the Doc. I think had sympathy for me and asked if I wanted a shot for pain. Heck yea. haha. So I got my 1st ever shot in the butt. She then prescribed me some pain killers to manage the ear pain until it cleared up…

Today I feel a little better but I think thats due to the pain meds. My ear is still so stopped up. I cant hear hardly any… but I think with all these things, ill be better soon…

I hope :)

When it rains it pours, right?

Thank you all for the prayers. Do continue to pray for our family.