Week in Review: September 26-October 7, Weeks 3 & 4

Monday, October 10, 2016

Two more weeks have passed by and we have been trying to get projects done around the house. Soon, I'll be posting photos of the house of all the updates we have done with it.  It has been a ton of work, but I am happy with how it is all falling into place.  Here are a few things we have done around the house.   I put up a friend wall for the boys going upstairs to their rooms.  It's so nice seeing all these smiling faces.  We miss them all so much! 

 Ben built two benches for our kitchen table and the tv stand, so I started painting them this week.

 I finally figured out how to order my groceries online. It took forever because I had to translate every.single.word!  But, it was so nice to not have to go to the grocery store.  And we received this huge box of free goodies.

We also decorated for Halloween.  

Cooking Club

I started going to a cooking club and this week we made Thai food.  It was so comforting to have cashew chicken, fried rice, pad Thai, and curry.  It felt like "home".

 I wasn't able to go to cooking club this past week and the other women were so sweet and dropped me off the delicious Indian food they made.  It came just at the right time.  I didn't even have a clean dish, so it was a wonderful surprise and it was so appreciated.

School Time

Five in a Row

I was so disappointed last week because I took all of these great photos of Britton during his Five in a Row story and then my camera disc somehow deleted all of them.  I was so upset, but two weeks ago Britton started A Giraffe Goes to Paris.   It is such a wonderful story about the first giraffe to live in Paris, France.  Britton could not believe that this was a true story.  We studied giraffe and looked at all of our gifts from Egypt.

Britton had to draw a made up animal.  We talked about what it would be like to draw an animal you have never seen before.  He drew a bearaffe.

We talked about the four seasons and Britton painted a fall tree.

 This week, we started When I was Young in the Mountains.  I love this story.  And now we live in the mountains and we talked about what Britton's life will be like in the mountains.  We only made it through a couple days of this story and we will finish it next week.

Beyond Five in a Row

Greyson and Lincoln started Beyond Five in the Row this year and we are reading Sarah Plain and Tall. This is the first year we have worked through a chapter book, so this is a different set up for us. We have been working on a chapter every couple days and going in depth on each chapter.   We have talked about prairies and oceans.  We worked on setting up notebook to use during our book.  We will be working through this book for the next couple of months.

Story for the World

Britton has just started Story of the World Vol. 1 this year.  We have been talking about nomads and and how nomads moved to setting up villages.  Britton did a cave painting like the first nomads did.  

 Vol. 2

Greyson and Lincoln are learning about English Knights and the feudal system.  The boys worked on a knight lapbook and created their own coat of arms.

We also had a medieval meal.   We did this a few years ago and the boys still bring it up.  Our plates were thick pieces of bread, just like during medieval times.  We had chicken legs, bacon, cheese, asparagus, baked pears, and loaves of bread.  The boys also had coke only because last time I gave them root beer to represent ale. I couldn't find root beer her, so coke it was.  They loved this meal.

50 States

We learned about Texas and California this week.  So, we had a Texas and Californian meal.  For California we had California Club sandwiches and Cobb salads.  For Texas, we had Texas ranch Chicken casserole and a Texas sheet cake.  So good!

Tea on Tuesday

We had our first Tea on Tuesday this week and we made scones and enjoyed tea out of our new tea cups from Thailand.  We even had our first piece of mail for our teatime this week from a friend from Thailand.  It was so fun to do this again.  

Other Fun: 

Lots of silent reading this week.  We started IEW writing program this year and the boys wrote their first paragraph from this program.  I hear angels singing!!  This has always been a struggle for us and I am so happy to be using a program that is working.  We also did a couple art projects this week.  

These past few weeks have been tough.  I expected this, but it still doesn't make it any easier.  We are still trying to find a group that the boys fit in.  It always takes time.  We are working to make some homeschool connections.  We did meet a homeschooling family this week that will be moving from Santiago soon.  I am so sad because I think it would have been so fun to get to know them.  We did buy a great load of books that I am so excited about.  We are trying to take it day by day and trying to see that this was a good move for us.  Hoping that this coming week will be better for all of us and we will start to find our groove.  Thank you for all of the encouraging words over the past few weeks. I cannot tell you how much we appreciate it.

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The Other Side of the Story

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Yesterday was a bad day.  Like the kind of day that makes you question what exactly you are doing with your life.  It wasn't the kids that set me off or this country, but a feeling of complete isolation and loneliness.

I fully expected to be frustrated, upset, in love with this place and in awe all at the same time. Anyone that moves to a new location, whether abroad or to a new town usually experiences a full range of emotions.  I remember when we first moved to Thailand and I didn't even have a bike and I felt like I was totally stuck.  It was too hot to walk anywhere and I had 3 littles under 6, so that made walking anywhere even more difficult.  I was frustrated, felt completely alone, and would go days without even talking with another adult.  I hated it. I ended my time in Thailand with an amazing group of friends.  The boys had friends they could play with everyday in our neighborhood.  I could hop on my motorbike and take the kids to a coffee shop or out to lunch when we needed a break.  My life was full, we were all happy, I really could not have asked for a better time in my life.

After a month in Chile, I have been transported right back to my first year in Thailand.  I don't really know anyone and don't really have anyway to meet anyone.  I don't have a phone, a car, a bike, any transportation and the boys have not really had a chance to make any friends.  And you know what?  I hate it.  I'm angry we moved.  I'm missing the amazing support system I had in Thailand.  There is no place within walking distance that the boys and I can go to escape our house.  I'm frustrated and lonely.

I'm not posting this for sympathy or a pat on the back, but posting to show the full range of the life we have chosen.  I post these beautiful pictures from amazing places we have been and it may seem like we are all very happy and enjoying our new home.  I wanted to make sure that I kept it real because so often we only see one side of the story.  The side that looks good to everyone.  We don't see the difficult side of the story.

I do see a glimmer of hope that has been pulling me through my current set of frustrations.  I see us 3,4,5 years down the road here and I see us happy, fulfilled, and complete.  It took me 5 years to build the community I had in Thailand.  It was a lot of work and took a lot of time.  It was so many playdates and uncomfortable situations.  It was pushing and stretching myself to get out there and meet people when all I wanted to do was stay home.  It was meeting so many people and waiting to find the ones we connected with and friends that were positive influences for the boys.

 I know all of this can be possible here in Chile too.  It's going to take a lot of time.  There will be lots of outbursts and temper tantrums, mostly from me.  :)  But we will get there little by little.

I saw this posted today and I am going to try and make today a better day by remembering this.
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Week In Review: September 11-17-Things that make me happy, American Ninja Warrior, & Recipes

Monday, September 19, 2016

It's week two of school and I hardly took any pictures. But, I did take a lot of pictures of things that made me happy.  I mentioned last week I was in a little mood and so this week I decided to focus on things that are great about living in Chile so far.

On Sunday, Greyson was invited to a paintball party.  The location looked amazing and he had so much fun.  He cannot wait to go back.

 The paintball location

While Ben and Greyson were at that, Britton, Lincoln, and I went on a hike through the trails in our neighborhoods.

We started out the school week with a beautiful book that was given to us by some wonderful friends. If you homeschool, you need this book.  It quickly has become a favorite in our house.  

You know it's a good day when your table looks like this at the end of it.  

I tried a few new recipes this week.  I made this yummy cream cheese coffee cake and baked pretzels. I also made my own coffee creamer.  I never realized how easy that was.  We also had taco Tuesday at our friend's house.  I need to take photos the next time.  I also starting going to a cooking club this week.  This week, we made Jamaican meat & veggie patties.  They were delicious.

Just look at those sunsets!  Ben chose a house with amazing views.  I am just in awe every night when the sun sets.  It is absolutely beautiful.  

Other things that made me really happy this week:

Our shipment came!!  It was like Christmas.  It was so much fun opening all the boxes.  Although, we are still arranging, organizing, and trying to find places for everything.  Everything made it in one piece and we are so happy to have all our belongings again.  

I have a dishwasher!!  I haven't had a dishwasher for 5 years, so I am ecstatic about this.  I am very, very thankful to have a dishwasher. 

Brotherly cuddles make me very happy.

Avacoados make me so happy.  They were so expensive in Thailand and you can buy them by the bag here.  They have become a staple in our house now.

 My new elephant mug from Thailand made me very happy and a little homesick.

Lincoln is also training for American Ninja Warrior.

I also made a trip into the city to get fabric to re-upholster some chairs in our house. I have never upholstered chairs before, so that will be fun to learn.   We also ended the weekend at a potluck for all the new teachers at Nido.  It was nice to get to meet so many new people.  

Ben has this week off, so we are taking time to work on the house and build lots of furniture. Hope everyone has a great week!  
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