I’m Penny. The best description I’ve ever gotten of me is an “alternative” kind of mom. Yes, I’ve got dyed hair and piercings, but I’m also an earthy-crunchy sort. I still cosleep with my littlest. I try to eat as healthy as possible, but it’s hard when you live on a very limited budget. I’m supposed to be gluten free, but that’s expensive. As I’m sure you can imagine, I cheat. I cheat a lot, probably way more than I should. That’s largely a factor of the cost of eating gluten free.
When it comes to hobbies, I’ve got a few. I like to knit and occasionally do cross-stitch. I’m learning to crochet Obviously, I love to write. I’m even starting to learn how to play guitar, something I’ve been interested in for years and never really had much opportunity to try.
Much has changed since I started this blog, including the kids spending a couple years in school (ick). It’s now been two and a half years, and we no longer live in the trailer park, but we’re going back to unschooling. We may be in an apartment now, but I’m once again keeping to the fact that you don’t need to be rich to unschool!
Meet Oz. He’s my partner in crime in all of this and father to our two youngest children, though he lays claim to all of them. He wasn’t here when they were small, but he’s kind of taken to them as though he had been.
He’s also a military veteran. He served three years in the U.S. Army. Life after serving in the military isn’t always stellar, especially since he’s only got a general discharge, but he’s making his way through.
What he wants most in life right now is a good job that will support the family. We moved up north to be closer to my family, but the cost of living is extremely higher here. It’s been challenging to make ends meet, but he’s been working his tail off to make sure the kids have everything they need. What more could we ask for?
Corde is our oldest at 13, and the only girl. She’s got a passion for art in any kind. Her favorite artist is Pablo Picasso. More often than not you’ll find her with her headphones in, drawing or sketching, possibly reading, off in her own little world. In spite of that, her interests are expanding. More than anything she wants to be a chef when she gets older. I think that’s a great choice for her because she loves to cook. With a family as large as ours she’s got plenty of opportunity to learn.
What else is Corde interested in these days? She’s definitely a gamer. She plays tabletop games and video games alike. She’s even taken to playing with the adults. She loves anime, manga, and graphic novels. One of her favorite shows is My Little Pony, particularly for Pinkie Pie. On top of that, she’s a major Doctor Who fan. On top of that, she’s also becoming a fan fiction writer. You can check her out at Jolteon Fan Fic. Her loves are quite varied.
The oldest boy is A.J., formerly Beekee. He’s 9 and he’s definitely a character. He loves to make up crazy, wild stories. More than anything he likes to build with LEGO blocks. He’s also a fan of My Little Pony, particularly Rainbow Dash. He wears Rainbow Dash stuff even though it’s “girl clothes” because he just doesn’t see it as an issue. There’s very little “boy” or “girl” assignments in A.J.’s world. It’s all down to what he likes and what he doesn’t.
At one point A.J. was our little nature lover and scientist. He still is incredibly interested in science, bugs, and animals, though he’s gotten more into building and Minecraft these days. He’s also been majorly into Pokemon and My Little Pony trading card games. It’s best if the science has to do with physics, or really gross stuff about nature.
Oz’s oldest is Sander. He’s now 7 and quite the wild one. He loves just about everything he’s introduced to. He’s not much of a reader, but he loves science and is pretty good with math.
Sander was the only one to experience school from the beginning. He never had “the homeschooling experience” like the other kids did. He didn’t get to see what it was like to stay home while all his peers went to school.
Sander is into a lot of things, but above all, Minecraft. He plays Minecraft everything. He also likes to build and create in the real world. He’s a huge fan of anything science, though he isn’t such a fan of books and gets bored easily by art, unless it’s crafts. He totally digs crafts.
The baby of the house is Luca, though not so much a baby anymore. Luca has recently decided to be called a Luca. Sometimes Luca identifies as a boy. Most times Luca identifies as a girl. We’ve decided we’re just going to roll with it and let Luca figure out just what kind of kid Luca wants to be.
Luca has been the only one that’s been homeschooled the whole way through. We’ve recently started adding a computer program, Time 4 Learning, into the learning we do. Starfall is another great resource. Luca really enjoys learning. Luca’s homeschooling includes the two online programs, workbooks, and knitting.
Luca’s loves include bears, La-La (the baby doll), tea parties, makeup, and “doing homeschool.” Luca is very proud of doing work at home and likes to tell everyone about all the work we do. Because Luca has so many girl interests, it’s hard to imagine Luca going to school and having to choose a gender, and with that possibly having to stop wearing dresses and tutus. Rather than deal with that, our vote is to homeschool.
Service K-9 Nika
This is the latest addition to our family. Nika works for me, though the kids seem to love her. Luca, in particular, attaches to her like nothing else. Nika puts up with Luca climbing all over her and cuddling like crazy. She’s such a patient dog, which she should be as a service dog!
Nika is also a full bred German Shepherd Dog (GSD). Her mom was bred in Germany and Nika was born here, then trained as a service k-9. She came from a wonderful local place, which means she’s used to being out in the weather we’re about to come into. It’s just too bad we don’t have a big back yard so she can run and play with the kids. She’d love to be able to get out and run around with them. In the mean time she’s content to take up a patch of floor and linger nearby, watching them like her little flock.