Trailer Park Unschoolers

Because you don't need to be rich to unschool!

Four Years Is A Long Time


Today Oz and I celebrated our four year anniversary.  I know for some of my fantastic readers, that’s no big deal.  For us it’s really a big mile marker.  His last marriage barely lasted at all.  My last marriage had already started to turn bad by this time.  The fact that, sure, we’ve got our issues, but we’re still going strong is really something for us.  We’ve both heard the first five years you live together are the worst.  It’s really the make-it-or-break-it kind of phase within relationships.  We’ve got one year left, and after the trials we’ve faced, I’m pretty confident we’re going to be fine.

We were lucky enough to have Oz’s aunt babysit most of the kids for us to go out to lunch.  We went to this cute little Italian place that the whole family loves.  It was just the two of us and Luca.  He came along because we didn’t think he’d last without getting hungry.  He had almost a whole dinner roll, half a fried ravioli, and a few bites of meatball.  Oz got stuffed mushrooms as an appetizer and I chose fried ravioli, an incredibly good choice.  Then we both got a side salad, though I didn’t have much time to eat mine before the meal arrived.  He had spaghetti with meatballs and mushroom sauce, which was okay, and I had their pasta sampler, lasagna, manicotti, and canneloni.  Okay, I probably butchered the spelling of the last two.  What can I say?  I love my stuffed pasta!  The three of us were completely stuffed.

After that Luca was dropped off with Oz’s aunt so we could have some adult time.  In this time we went to the library.  I know!  Exciting anniversary trip, huh?  It was actually kind of nice though.  We got to go hang out at the library and take our time without having to worry about what the kids are getting into.  They can get a little wild at the library, or anywhere, really.  The library is small and doesn’t have much selection, but I got to enjoy the craft books and found a couple of books that directly relate to a project I’m working on.  I picked up a book on writing too.  It should be a good read.  It’s a thick book though, so I’m not sure I’ll have time to finish it, but that’s what book renewals are for.  I found another book that might inspire some quilting projects too!  It’s on fabulous fairy tale quilts.  I’m probably going to take some notes and work on some ideas for myself.  It’s a bit complex and probably above my skill level, but I’ve always been one to dive in to projects head first, even when they are beyond my skills.  That’s the kind of quilt I’d love to make.  I like patchwork quilts and traditional quilts, but they really don’t suit my sense of style.  If the kids are interested, I might even see if they’d be inspired by it too!  After all, quilting is kind of an art.  Well, it’s a craft, but close enough.

IMG_20130115_155903(1)On our way home we saw a fantastic car that Oz had found previously and it made him think of me.  I can totally see why.  The car was fantastic.  It’s also fantastically for sale.  It’s unfortunately a little two door and not big enough to fit the whole family.  For $750, I’m not sure what kind of condition it’s in either, but it’s worth a look.  The low price might just be due to it’s age and all of the artistic additions.  Sadly, art devalues a car unless it’s a legitimate paint job, which this is clearly not.  I’ve been toying with the idea of finding a way to afford it because Oz is right, this is totally the perfect looking car for me.  It would make for a great A to B car, which would be great for grocery runs, visits to the library, and other errands.  We may just be able to fit all the kids if Corde sits in the front, though it wouldn’t be ideal.  It could be a practical solution until we can afford something bigger, which would probably end up looking much the same in the long run.  If it sounds like I’m trying to get my readers to encourage me to buy it, that’s probably what I’m doing somewhere in my mind.  Oz is going to call to find out what condition it’s in and how it runs.  We saw someone else stop by to look at it too, so I’m not sure we’re even going to stand half a chance at getting it anyway, especially as we don’t have the money for it right now.  Its just a dream, and a dream that I find particularly inspiring for my own vehicle at some point in the future.

IMG_20130115_155913(1)The rest of the day was spent at his aunt’s house chatting with her.  The kids all chilled with a couple of movies.  Beekee told Oz’s cousin she needed Clean House to come in and organize her room, which was kind of funny.  Sander managed to go the whole day through without a nap, and though he got a little cranky at the end of the day, he did pretty well.  It was nice to be able to relax with other adults for a little while.

Now it’s the end of the day and the kids are all settling down for bed.  We’re going to watch a movie from the library, another advantage to going there.  It may not have been the perfect anniversary, but we got some snow, had a good time, and were at least able to actually go out last year.

Best of all, we learned some things about our local library.  Tomorrow morning I might try and get the boys up early, weather permitting, so we can get them down to the story hour at 10.  Then two Saturdays a month they have a knitting and crocheting group, and the women want to learn sock knitting!  I love sock knitting, so this will be a good excuse to bust out my sock yarn, needles, and books to knit and help other people learn the fine art of making socks!  I might get to learn to crochet out of the deal too.  They have video game competitions.  It looks like they hold them every month, which is good for Oz.  They might even be looking at starting a Pokemon league, which would be awesome for Corde too!  Our local library also accepts donated books, so if we’ve got books we don’t want, we might be able to get them a home that way.  And the best part?  Everyone in our library is so nice and there is no limit to the number of books you can take out.  They don’t have a huge selection, being a tiny, country library, but they’re all really nice there and try to do what they can to acquire things you’re looking for from other libraries.  If we can get there for story times and knitting days, we should never have a problem worrying about things getting back late!  And Corde can be very excited to get a new library card.  Beekee might even be able to get a card himself too.  All he has to do is be able to write his first and last name clearly.  He might want to learn just so he can get his own card.

All in all it was a great way to mark 4 years.  We were able to look back at some of the great moments, share our interests, and best of all, we were able to do a couple of grown up things that we really love.  It was calm and enjoyable.  It wasn’t the fancy, exciting, and interesting like we hoped.  It wasn’t some super special occasion, but it was what we needed.  Maybe we’ll go bigger next year.  For the time being, I think we got exactly what we needed.


Author: Fox

With four kids, who has time for much? We spend a lot of time together, which translates to a lot of knitting time for me when we hang out. We've been trying to get back to our unschooling roots. We watch a lot of videos, play a lot of games, and pay attention to the things we notice in our everyday life. It's been quite the big adventure!

9 thoughts on “Four Years Is A Long Time

  1. Happy anniversary to you and Oz! It is an exciting marker! Regardless of the time frame, it is big to you and that is all that matters. There will always be those people how have been together longer and find yours minimal compared to theirs. You like knitting socks? It is all I have been making lately. I get most of my patterns from Ravelry. Free patterns are my thing, especially with the cost of sock yarn!
    I am glad you had a wonderful time!!!

    • Yes, I love knitting socks! I haven’t made any lately because my skin gets bad in the winter and the yarn makes it worse. If you want you can find me on Ravelry. I’m Sarasyn on there.

      As for our anniversary, I’m just glad we’ve made it this long. There have definitely been some moments where it looked like we weren’t going to! But every couple has disagreements and things they don’t think they’ll be able to settle from time to time.

  2. I love the library – we go once a month and our city has all the libraries connected so you can go online and hold a book or video and have it sent to the library you go to the most. We found all the Harry Potter movies – I had no idea that they were at the libary and they have tones of educational movies. Congrats on 5 years – that hard to do for a lot of couples. Sorry but I wouldn’t buy the car till you can afford gas, insurance and buying car – at least have $1500 start with to give you some cushion just in case – just save $5 week you will get there. – mybe for the next one!!

    • See, that’s half the problem, $5 per week to get us there lands us at getting a car…over 5 1/2 years. To have a car in 6 months would mean putting away $200 per week, which is entirely impossible, and, unfortunately, living in the country a car is a necessity, not a luxury. There is no public transportation out here. We need to walk everywhere, but Oz’s potential for work is limited to jobs that pay $7.25 per hour and are only offering a maximum of 28 hours per week, thanks to Obamacare and companies not wanting to pay for their employees insurance. If he gets the job he’s applied for he’s going to have to rely on his aunt getting the job as well and her offering a ride, so he’s going to be missing his interview tomorrow because he won’t be able to get to the job if they hire him. We’re going to have to wait until next month’s round of hiring. So we really can’t wait for 5 1/2 years to get a car. Realistically, a car as soon as possible will allow us to actually have savings and some wiggle room because even if Oz doesn’t get this job, he can get to Labor Ready and a ton more jobs to apply to. We won’t be barely living week to week. As things stand we’re holding on by a thread.

      Since all of Oz’s tax returns are likely going to back child support, we can’t even rely on that. It’s just getting to the point where either we get a car so he can get to the jobs he’s been offered, or we put the kids in school and daycare, he gets a second job, and I try and find a job I can walk to (which is very limited given I can’t have a job where I’m on my feet all day) until we can afford to get a car, or we hope that his aunt is going to be reliable and get her act together so we have options open up for us.

      When you have a car or live in an area with reliable transportation, it’s really easy to say “Oh, just wait”, We sadly live in the country. The grocery store is a five mile round trip walk. The library is about 7. Oz walks about 5 1/2 round trip to work. There are no other sources of entertainment we can walk to and the only other community is church. We really need a way out of here. So as soon as we can put money down for one, a car is a necessity. That’s not a question. The question is what are we going to get to fulfill that need?

    • Sorry if I sound crabby about the whole thing, but when you live in the country a car is really a necessity. We can only beg rides off of people so often, so we try to keep it to necessities. I’m not sure the kids even can manage walking 7 miles round trip to the library, so all of that may just be wishful thinking on my part. The truth is we need a car so that Oz can get to a wider range of job opportunities, or so I can get a job outside of this area because I haven’t found a single job locally that I can do. We need a better source of income here, even if it’s only one of us being able to get odd jobs. We really can’t live like this anymore now that Oz’s hours have been cut, and relying on other people has lost Oz more jobs than I can count. We need to have this sense of independence, which is what makes all of this so incredibly hard. A car isn’t an option. That’s not the debate here. The question is what car, and do we find something we can pay out of pocket, or do we go to some used car dealer that’s going to charge us an arm and a leg in the end, but at least we’ll have the ability to pull ourselves out of this stagnation and survive. It’s easy for me to feel really hurt when it feels like someone is telling me to just deal with it when they don’t know what “dealing with it” is doing to the family. I’ve tried to stay upbeat, but it’s not easy. It’s like all the people making light of living on food stamps with the “food stamp challenge”, making it sound so easy, but the truth is it’s just not that simple. Some things really are necessities, and it’s really hard to have someone telling you something you need in order to better your life should wait.

      • I understand – I have been looking at doing online job – which is hard if you don’t have a realiable computer or internet but look into medical industry or try looking at this website – I found this on pinterest – maybe give you some great ideas for staying at home with kids and working – I am so sorry about your troubles – You are probably right about the car – when we were down to one car (when we lived in FL) the girls and I took him to work the days we wanted the car. Good luck – No problem on ranting – sometimes it helps to have a sounding boord and I am hear to listen anytime

      • I did a little freelance writing for a while, and that helped, but it wasn’t easy for me to find reliable work. I might look into the medical industry, but I have no idea where to start. I also don’t have my GED, which makes life difficult. I’m looking into getting my GED, finally, but it’s expensive. That also limits my income potential. The way I look at it, anyone who can give us some suggestions on where to look for work and things we can do is definitely putting us a step in the direction of more self-sufficient.

      • Ok here is what I found out but it’s priced a little high, sorry but it is something to think about now or in the future-
        Medical transcription – as long as you have a certificate they don’t care about a GED – I will leave you alone now – I just wish I could help more – good luck

      • Thank you. That’s definitely well outside our price range right now, but we’ll have to see in the future. The funny thing is I used to work filing insurance claims for a doctor’s office before. You’d think previous experience would help me get a job again! Unfortunately, that hasn’t been my experience.

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