Trailer Park Unschoolers

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

The Busy Season

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It’s that time of year again, the time to be super busy. Then again, I think most of the year is really like that. However, this time of year is crazier than most. Generally from May to August or September is the crazy season.

This year is crazier than most and it’s just begun. We went to the Art and Jazz Festival at the end of April, which was fantastic. It’s just too bad the kids were tired and that made them easily bored and irritable. We had a mostly good time though. Poor Beekee fell asleep watching the belly dancers. I’m surprised he managed not to fall out of his chair! We decided to bail on going to the classes at church to go. The best part was our picnic lunch.

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The day before that the kids went to a birthday party for a friend from church. They had a blast. Nothing says fun like eleven kids! All but one baby came from two families. It was massive craziness.

Somewhere in all of that the kids had a sleep over with that same family. Corde and Beekee did, at least. Sander and Luca had a big-kid-free night. I forgot how nice sleepovers were. I can’t wait until we can have the house in order so our kids can have their friends overnight too.

What other craziness has gone on? Well, Beekee has some new heroes. He’s in love with Davy Crockett and Harry Houdini. Paul Bunyan is pretty cool too. I’ve been lucky enough to find books to keep him interested.

Beekee’s new interest has us planning our first real family vacation. We’re heading down to visit with friends for Independence Day in Austin since Oz has a long weekend. While we’re down there we’ve decided we might as well make use of the whole weekend. Depending on how much we can save and how much camping costs, we’re hoping to have a pretty busy trip. Wednesday after Oz gets off work we’ll be going down to Austin. Thursday is the fireworks and party. Friday we’re driving down to San Antonio to see the Alamo. We’ll set up camp that night. Saturday we’re hoping to go to Sea World. Oz has lived in Texas since he was three and has never been. Sunday we might do Six Flags or go hiking in the area. Then we pack it all up for the even longer drive home. At least we know the kids can handle long drives and they should sleep in the car after all that!

Beekee also planted the seeds he got for Easter. He’s got some serious sprouting on his cucumbers and beans. His squash only seemed to have one tale root. His carrots are sprouting too. Unfortunately we have little hope for his watermellon and radishes. It seems like something got to those as they were sprouting. At least he’s got something and he’s proud of that.

Corde did some planting too. She planted a pot of chives at church that she left with friends in Austin. Apparently they’re sprouting pretty well too now. It looks like my kids are pretty decent at making things grow!

Family days have also been revived! We have four hours at church now, which eats up most of the day, but afterwards we decided to go to a pizza buffet where everyone stuffed themselves and then went to the park. This time we finally got to enjoy the nature trail. We let the kids play at the park for a little while after that. Next week we’re going to go to another nature trail. Going on walks, disc golfing, hiking, and all kinds of other outdoor day trips are on the list for after church. Of course, this Sunday I’m going to be all dressed up in the new dress I’m getting for Mother’s Day, so we’ll see how that goes.

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Tomorrow we’re going down to the square for their evening music event that runs in May and June. Next week we start going to the ones on Wednesdays at lunch time too. Next month we may try to make the first Friday art and music event too, though we’ll miss the one in July. It’s exciting to be surrounded with so much culture. Even Austin didn’t keep us this busy when we lived closer. I’m really looking forward to it.

As if that’s not enough, we’re also doing a major decluttering purge. We’re getting rid of all the winter clothes that are highly unlikely to fit next year. Beekee’s getting some of Corde’s old clothes, but Sander doesn’t want Beekee’s hand me downs for the most part and I’m not keeping Sander’s clothes for Luca. There’s only two years between them, but Luca is still swimming in 12 mo clothes and Sander’s mostly wearing 5T these days, his cast-offs all being 4T. I don’t want to be holding on to all of it for the next three years. Besides, Luca will probably have his own style then, and cars and super herors may not be it. He could be into dinosaurs or animals or simply want everything pink and purple like Beekee. Then I would have held onto all that for nothing. I don’t want to be in the habit of storing stuff like that! Our trailer doesn’t have enough storage as is!

Sander also moved into our bedroom officially. Our bed just wasn’t big enough for all of us so we moved Sander’s bed in. Now Beekee has room to play in his room again! Unfortunately, one of our couches has to go. The kids tore part of it clean open, so it’s now not useable or safe. We’re hopefully getting that out today. As much as the lack of seating is sad, I’m kind of glad for the space it’s going to open up. We’ll be that much lighter in here, and it will make for one less thing to clean under. When we’re done we’re going to have that much better of a handle on our own space. Everyone will be so much happier with less cleaning to do and less stuff to be kicking around. When we do move it’ll be that much easier. We’ll have more space to bust out games and projects or to play. It’s also leading by example with the kids. They’ll learn a lesson I never did as a kid. I wanted to keep everything. Now I know there are some thimgs you just need to let go. A thousand toys sounds fun, but then you can never find what you want and things get broken. Having tons of clothes may be a fun way to stand out, but most of them hardly get worn aside from the favorites and the rest just take up room that could be used for better things. It’s especially that way with kids because they hardly get to wear things before they’re outgrown. They’ll be able to find the books they love much easier if they cut out the ones they don’t. They’ll also have room for the whole series of something they love versus just a couple books, and some kids’s series sets are massive! Junie B. Jones, the Boxcar Children, The Bailey School Kids, The Magic School Bus, and those are just the big ones my kids like. Judy Moody and Stink are also favorites around here, and they are still just small series. Best of all, with a less cluttered house, Luca will have more places to go and not get in their way. I was raised in constant clutter and overwhelming numbers of toys, so I’ve been blind to it for a while. Now I’m starting to see it as a hassle now that it’s my job to clean it all. I want better than that for my kids. Life without clutter is something my kids should learn.

Then there’s the bug front. Sadly, not much progress has been made there. We could spray the whole house, every inch weekly and still have a problem. It seems a never-ending battle, so we’ve decided to give up, sort of. We’re going to take it one or two areas a pay day, but focus on minimizing. The hope is that we can cut down the places for them to go enough that getting rid of them becomes an easier task. I have a feeling we’ll still be fighting the hard fight every day we live here, but maybe we can turn the stalemate into slowly gaining ground. If they only have a few places to hide aside from under the trailer and in the walls, keeping them at bay should be so much easier. Not only will it mean less stuff to move, but also it will ne easier to prevent the bugs from coming aling for the ride. I’m sure some will still find a way, but the less we bring, the easier it will be to stop the progression before it gets bad. Prevention of a minor problem growing is easier than getting rid of a big problem.

As for moving, we’ve decided to hold off and stick it out here a while longer. We’re looking into a few different options. We could look into buying a house. There’s a bunch of new houses going up across the way from us. They ask for no downpayment, but we’d want more information before we jumped on that. We have friends who bought their house that way and it worked out great for them. Still, no downpayment makes me worry about high interest and new construction has a high price tag. Chances are the house will end up seriously dropping in value as our friends’ did. They lost almost half their mortgage value in the first few years. Then again, their pets tore up their carpets and there were a few other things that helped their value drop. We could also buy land and look into building an earthship. The kids could learn a lot in the process and help build their own house. It would also be good in the long run because we could be off the grid, at least mostly. Earthships create all their own power, so that would save us nearly $2000 every year! It would also give us a good space to grow hydroponic or aquaponic foods, saving on our grocery bill. If I could ever get brave enough to gut and clean fish, aquaponics would mean we could have fish, fruits, and vegetables. We’re also considering packing it all up and buying an RV. While that’s a less practical option with Oz working a steady job, it would make canping and traveling easier. I’d never have to worry about whether I locked the door on a long weekend away again! As much as that four bedroom sounded nice, we want to move with a plan for once. We also want to start thinking about moving with a long-term goal. I’m just getting tired of paying rent to other people, especially when it seems like so many of the places we’ve lived aren’t maintained and try to get the tenents to pay for everything themselves, or keep losing work orders. I want to be moving up in the world, even if that means buying a trailer on our own little plot of land for a while. I’d even take the run-down little trailer Oz’s dad has on his four acres until we could build our earthship. Of course, there’s no way that would happen, nor would I truly want to inherit that problem trailer, but you get the idea. It would just be nice to have something to show for ourselves. Even if we end up renting for the next five yeats to save up a downpayment, at least we’ll have a plan. Even if it means moving into a better place for a while, we’ll have a plan.

With all this decluttering, purging, cleaning, and adventure planning going on, I’m really feeling like my life is going somewhere. I may have to suck it up and deal with church this weekend so Corde can sing me the song they’ve all been working on for their mothers, but even that’s not so bad. Having started reading the Bible again I’m starting to be reminded why it’s not for me, but I’ll give it a fair shake. The Old Testament, as much as it may be a good place to start, is not my cup of tea. Believe it or not, I’m starting to lean back towards Dianic Wicca as a result. I have to wonde how the church would take that one. I don’t want to make it rough on Oz and Corde, but I just don’t know that this path is for me.

Anyhow, back to our trailer’s version of the Boston Tea Party! That unnecessary junk is going overboard. Our war on stuff has just begun! I have not even begun to fight…okay, yeah, got to get my head out of history…or maybe into it and sort out those history books!

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Author: Fox

With four kids in the house, who has time for much? Well, we're trying to make it work, trying to get as close to our unschooling roots as we can while state restrictions and family pressures try to stand in our way. Every day is a new adventure.

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