Category Archives: Travel

Homeschool park days, in November! :-)

Yet another very cool thing about having moved from MI to NM, Here in Albuquerque, we are still doing homeschool park days, in November, in summer clothes! Today was our weekly park day with the ABQ homeschoolers group,the kids were having a great time, and so was I! I was very included in the conversations with the other moms, and so caught up in the enjoyment, it was 4:00 before I even realized it! We usually leave park days by around 3:00 – 3:30, and do at least one errand on the way home, leaving time for me to get supper going so we can eat shortly after my husband gets home. Fortunately, today I made use of my slow cooker, because even without an on the way home errand, we got home about 15 minutes before my husband did. It was a fun afternoon! Now, if I can just find the time to get to the MVD and get my driver’s license changed to a NM license, then we’ll be able to get library cards, and it will help if any of the museums have lower prices for local residents.

One cool thong we’ve done since moving here is to go to the International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. Tons of fun, and educational, too! There was a Nasa tent, where we watched a good demonstration of why one would have to have a space suit in space. The demonstration was done using peeps, which was kind of fun. 🙂 There was a hot air balloon simulator that all four kids got to go in and “fly” the balloon, seeing on a big screen everything that was happening. We got to meet some of the balloon pilots, and watch all the balloons being inflated and set up for the balloon glow. After that, there was an awesome fireworks show, better than any we’d ever seen, anywhere. Next year, we plan to try to go to both a morning session, when they do the mass ascension of all the balloons, and an evening session, to see the glows and fireworks again. It was an awesome evening, and I highly recommend that if you ever get to Albuquerque during the fiesta, you should make it a point to go. My kids liked it so much, we purchased from two books about the first hot air balloon flight and plan to do a lapbook about it.

They’ve also asked to do a unit study about Route 66, because it runs right through our city(Albuquerque), and because the original Cars movie was based on Route 66, so now that we’re getting settled in here, I will find the unit study I had saved on the computer, and they can do it. I’m saving some of thos stuff, though, so that if I can find someone to sit with the kids next month when my husband has surgery (I will need to be at the hospital all day with him), they’ll have something to do. I don’t know any unschoolers who might be willing to keep them that day, so if I find anyone, it will likely be regular homeschoolers, who will have their own kids doing school, so mine will need something schooly to do, too, even though we generally are relaxed/homeschoolers. Lst resort will be having to bring them to the hospital for the day with me, which would NOT be my first, or the best choice.

Another educational thing they want to do is learn about New Mexico, along with each state we drove through on our way here to NM, so we’ll do that before continuing on with our study of all 50 states. My two youngest, for about the past year off and on, on their own, have been making notebooks in which they draw and color each state flag, then label it with the name of the state, the number (1st, 2nd, etc…) of state, and the year it became a state. They are enjoying that, probably because it was their own idea. My stepson has for some time been writing stories for the Fossil Fighters DS game, and drawing pictures to go with them. He’s keeping them in a notebook. Our oldest is most interested in playing baseball on DS, sorting his sports cards, and reading.

I have been considering getting the Write an Adventure Novel in a year curriculum and doing it myself! I had made a goal to learn to knit this year, but then we found out my husband was being transferred to NM, so my time became cosumed with packing and getting us moved. Now it’s November, so if I’m going to meet my goal I will need to find the DVD set I purchased from a homeschool catalog and get going on it, hadn’t I? But first, I need to complete a baby gift I’ve been working on for a new grand niece.

We have my cousin and her teo boys from Ohio coming the first part of next week for a short visit on their trip out west, so the kids and I will be getting the house in order as best as we can (we aren’t completely unpacked as yet) tomorrow and Monday, and while I run errands tomorrow, they’ll be doing their Saturday chores under their dad’s supervision. I think I will call my cousin tomorrow and ask her if she will teach me how to make omelets while she’s here. That way I can buy what I need for them on Saturday while grocery shopping.

Next on my list is getting desks for the computer room, so I can have back the tables I need for cardmaking/stamping/scrapbooking workshops. I’m a consultant for Close to My Heart and am really trying to get my business off the ground now that we are finally here. If any of my readers enjoy scrapbooking, stamping and/or card making, please consider me for your papercrafting needs, and go to my website. I have a current party going, so if you go to the site and scroll down, you’ll see a link for hurricane sandy aid gathering. Click on that to begin shopping. In November, everyone who gets the stamp of the month set can also choose another stamp set for 50% off, plus, with every stamp of the month set, Close to My Heart will donate $1.00 to the American Red Cross for hurricane relief. Get a great deal, and help others at the same time! You can also order when there is o current party, but I do try to have one up each month. If you are interested in having your own party, you can email me at and I’ll set you up with an EZ invite so that you can have your own online gathering, earning free and half price product for yourself. I will also be happy to mail you catalogs to show to your local friends, and your non-local friends can order from your personalized link on my website. Their online order will be sent directly to them, and you still get the credit! 🙂

Well, I think that’s all for today!


Filed under card making, Close to My Heart, education, family, Kids, scrapbooking, stamping, Travel, unschooling

Something new!

I’m sure that at sometime in this blog I’ve talked bout the fact that we homeschool. Well, now that we’ve gotten at least partially settled here in New Mexico, the kids are asking to do some school-ish things. They really want to do a Route 66 unit study, because we drove on part of Route 66 during our trip here, and because the original Cars movie was based on it. I think we can manage to do that soon. 🙂 

I’m hoping to get more followers here, because I’d like to apply to be on the Old Schoolhouse Review Crew for the coming year. To do that I need a bumch more followers of my blog. I will be blogging about what my kids and I are learning, along with other journeys in my life. Now that we’re here, and at least partially settled, I should have more time to write. 

So far since being here, we’ve been to the International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, where we learned about flying hot air balloons, and also learned some interesting things in the Nasa tent about how the pressurized space suits protect astronauts. In the demonstration, they used marshmallow peeps to represent toe astronauts. We also learned that in space, the boiling point is at a much lower tempurature than it is on our stovetop! 

At home, we’re learning how different it is to cook here than it was in Port Huron, MI. We are nearly six thousand feet higher here,  so cooking is different because of the altitude. 

The weather here is amazing! Our friends ack home are running their furnaces, wearing jackets, and ladies are pulling out their tights to wear with dresses, whereas here, we are still in summer clothes, and I’m wearing sandals. 🙂 I’m liking the weather so much! 

It’s very beautiful here, in a different way than the beauty of Michigan. I think it’s going to be a wonderful place to homeschool, there are a bunch of different museums here, which I’m told are very kid friendly, and as soon as I have time to change my driver’s license to a NM one, the kids and I can get library cards, which will also help a lot. 

Well, as I said, this is a new journey, homeschooling in New Mexico. We’re looking forward to it! 🙂

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October 20, 2012 · 11:08 pm

New Journeys!-

It’s been a long time since I posted anything, I can’t believe how time has gotten away from me! However, I plan to try and be so much better about frequent posting now. I’m in the midst of a brand new journey. My husband’s job was transferred, so we have moved across the country! I’ve lived just about my whole life in Michigan, but he was transferred to Albuquerque, NM, so that necessitated  a BIG journey!  

Mike’s last day of work in MI was June 28th, 2012, and the following morning he left for Albuquerque. His first day to work in Albuquerque was July 9th, so he wanted to get there and have time to find a house for us to rent before beginning work. He made it there by July 1st, which was considerably faster than he should have done it, given that he also needs spinal surgery. It would have been so much easier on him if he could’ve taken a longer time with more overnight stops. We reserved a room for one week at a Super 8 in Albuquerque, and he was able to move out of it before the end of the week, having found us a BEAUTIFUL home to rent!  

The children and I did not leave until July 30th. I am a consultant for Close To My Heart (, and had pre-orderered my fall/winter catalogs, which were not shipped until July 12th, so we had to wait. That turned out not to be too bad of a thing, because I needed every minute I could get to get our life packed up and ready to move across the country! In fact, I finished up the packing the morning of July 30th, while waiting for the moving truck to arrive! 🙂

It was very hard, that last month, basically living as a single mom, while trying to pack, have a moving sale, plus add in how hard it was as each week went by, another goodbye either was happening, or getting closer. Before Mike even left, the kids and I went to my best friend Charlene’s for a few days, it would be our last time to celebrate our ks birthdays together. So in the 3 days we were there, we had on one day a party for my twins, whose birthdays are May 1st, and the next day a party for 2 of her kids, whose birthdays are in June. I was just fine, until it was time to leave for home. When we said goodbye and hugged, it felt like it would be the last time (and it will be, for a long time), I began to cry. I forced it back, but when we pulled out of the driveway and got to the end of the street, I couldn’t hold it back anymore. I sobbed for at least the first half hour of our trip home. Charlene and I have always been such an important support system for each other, and now it’s pretty much impossible for either of us to take care of the other one’s kids if needed. She kept my kids when I had my bariatric surgery, for example. I have hope that they will be able to come and visit us sometime within the next year, I miss em all, so much, and so do the boys.

When we left on July 30th, we stretched our budget as hard as we could to enable the boys and me to go up north (in MI) to spend two days. I wanted that, so we could spend time with my mother’s  only surviving siblings and their spouses. They are all in their 80’s, so I’m fairly certain this was my last time to ever see them alive. 😦 I’m so thankful that my husband felt strongly enough about my doing this that he also made sacrifices in order that we could go. We really enjoyed our time there, we spent time with my aunts and uncles, and my Uncle Jim took the boys out in his truck for 2 or 3 hours and showed them all kinds of things, and took them rock hunting. The kids got to watch Uncle Jim use his machine to polish a piece of rhodonite that is shaped like a heart, and make a necklace out of it for me. My Uncle Leon made me a beautiful bird house which will sit on a post made from part of a slender tree trunk. We also went to Torch Lake, where I spent just about every weekend with my family during my younger years, so that my kids could have one last time swimming there.

Wednesday, we left to begin our trip to Albuquerque. We stopped in Holland MI to see my Aunt Carol and went to the Lake MI beach and supper with her. That was so fun! After that, we spent the night in Portage, IN, which is just outside of Gary, IN.

Then it was on through IL., on our way to St. Louis, MO, where we spent the night at the Hampton Inn, which was a lovely gift from my cousin Anne. She met us there the next day and took us to the arch, where we went through the museum, and then went to the top of the arch, as well. We had an early dinner together at a very good BBQ restaurant, and then after our goodbyes, the boys and I headed for Republic, MO, where we spent one night and then spent a couple hours the next morning with my cousin Ed and his lovely wife Demara.

After Republic, we headed for Owasso, OK, which is right outside of Tulsa, and spent the night with an old friend and his wife, Chip & Sheila. Had a wonderful time with them, the boys LOVED their pool, LOL! Wen we left there the next morning, it was to head through Oklahoma City, where we met up for a late lunch with a friend from a Christian Unschoolers yahoo group. That was fun, we’d never met “in person”, only online. We met at a cool place called City Bites, good subs for the kids, and a good salad for me. It was wonderful meeting Deanna, she is as nice in person as she seemed to be online. :-).

From there, we headed to Amarillo, TX for our very last night on the road, where we found a lovely surprise. Our room at the Super 8 was a SUITE, for less than the cost of the little room we had in the Super 8 in Portage, IN! The lady at the desk said it was the only Super 8 like this in the whole country, and the only reason we were there was because the one my husband had stayed in in Amarillo was full up, LOL! It was very nice, and for once we didn’t need to use the inflatable sleeping bags for the twins! 🙂

Our last day on the road, we decided to take our time, as we needed to wait to arrive until after Mike got out of work, because I did not yet have keys to the house. I forgot that we’d be crossing into an earlier time zone again when we crossed into NM, so when I realized we were now an hour earlier, I decided to kill time by finding somewhere for a late lunch. We got off of the expressway and found a nice little diner on historic Route 66, In Santa Rosa, NM. The food was very good, and plentiful, too. Even on the little kids menu the portions were good size, and there was a taco meal on the kiddie menu as well, which was something new for our kids. They loved the place, especially the decor, very much what would make you think of Route 66. Everything was freshly made, even the salsa for the chips they brought us was homemade, and excellent!

After that, we headed to Albuquerque, and my introduction was driving on I40 through the city during rush hour. Not very fun at all! We arrived at our new home about 10 minutes before Mike got there from work.

We love the home we’re renting. We will rent for at least the next couple of years before even thinking about purchasing a house again, so it was important to find a house that was right for us. We homeschool, so five of us are here even during the day, so we need space to be in. It’s all on one floor, which is nice, and there is plenty of space for people to spread out and be alone when they need or want to. It has a very open floor plan, which is also quite nice, makes it seem so spacious! We have a good size main bathroom, and also a master suite, with our own full bath and large walk in closet!

We got involved right away with a local unschoolers group, and have attended every park day since the second week we were here. The boys really like the other kids in the group, and I like the other moms.

I am still working on finishing the unpacking, and we need to buy a freezer, some bookshelves, some storage shelves for the garage, and furniture for the front living/dining room, but things are coming along! Now, if I can just get used to the much higher altitude here, that will go a long way toward helping me have the energy to get it all done!

My PLAN is to try to write something here a minimum of once a week, maybe more often if I have anything of any interest to write about. I’m hoping that getting used to this new life, and homeschooling, etc, will be plenty interesting, and that I’ll actually remember to get on here and write about our life!

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Filed under Birthdays, family, Kids, Travel