What I Learned from Our Time in Monterey

9th move

The boys will miss the California drought side-yard of this house.

There are 3 things everyone should do the week they are moving:

  1. Throw away as much junk as possible.
  2. Sell and giveaway as much junk as possible.
  3. Cry and hug people.

So that’s what we’ve been doing.

We’re officially under contract on a house I’m excited about too. Wahooo!!!  It has ZERO carpet in the living and dining areas. The master bathtub is gigantic, and so is the fenced backyard, so let me tell ya. I am happy.

Am I sad to leave? Nope! There ARE lots of people I loved here, and I will miss you all. I’ve been feeling melancholy about that for sure. I LOVED my friends at CC and my neighbors and our sweet, sweet church family. I will miss all of you.

The thing is that I will unfortunately always associate Monterey with 2 things:

What I Learned from Monterey

1. Homeschooling and how I felt like such a failure at it



2. The ocean and the delightful whales, otters, and seals that I loved so much

Well, okay, also #3…


3. My little health crisis (psoriatic arthritis-ugh!), which was mostly due to the stress of #1 and not visiting #2 as much as I should have.

There are so many if-onlys. But the positive is that we persevered. The past cannot be changed, but the future certainly can.

And so that is my best take-away from this little detour we called grad school:

Do not neglect fun. Do what you enjoy.

Having fun is far more important than I ever realized. The life that I am setting up for myself at our new house will look much different than what I was doing here.

Photo on 5-31-16 at 5.27 PM #2

Don’t I look goofy celebrating over the end of home-school? Let’s never speak of this teaching and trying to do too many things at once experiment again. I am not a teacher.

Next year the boys are going to go to school, where they will be taught by people who (hopefully) enjoy teaching. Our house will be so close to Dan and Caleb’s school that we can walk there. And I am going to make more time for being out in nature with the boys because that is what I love to do. I will also have more time to write because that is my calling.

God created this big, beautiful world. It is a healing thing to take time to enjoy it. Our creator also bestowed us each with different gifts and talents, perspectives, and leanings. He does not wish for us to be idle, but he doesn’t want us to spend all our time fulfilling other people’s callings. We each have our own calling. We all have work we are capable of enjoying.

We are most happy when we are doing what we enjoy and teaching our children to do the same.

But we should not work ALL the time. I’ve always been good about taking vacations, but the past two years it was very rare for me to do anything fun DURING the week. I was not a “fun mom.” I was so busy trying to wear all my hats. I forgot the importance of ever just having fun.

That was a mistake. From now on, I am making more time for fun, even begging, borrowing, and stealing time for fun. This summer you won’t see posts on lesson planning or self-improvement. You are going to see posts on Disney World, baking, getting my Southern accent back, and shenanigans, shenanigans, shenanigans.

And as for those people who may be disappointed in me for not home-schooling anymore? Oh well. I only hope that they know that there is more than one way to skin a cat, and our family needs to skin our cat in a way that doesn’t make me feel like poking my own eye-balls out.

All I know is it’s time for our family to start having a little more fun again. Wait. That’s not quite right. The boys have been having fun all along.

Photo on 5-31-16 at 5.24 PM #3

It’s time for me to start having fun again.

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”  Psalm 30:5


9th move

Daniel at Caleb’s last baseball game



While I was learning to lighten up, the boys were learning the value of hard work. Those are hard-earned medals and trophies, not at all like the participation sports medals. All three boys received book awards, for finishing their entire books, a big accomplishment. Joshua even earned TNT Clubber of the Year! So proud!


Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift.   1 Timothy 4:13-14

From now on I’m going to focus more on the gifts I do possess and forget about the ones I’m lacking. Those things will be stealing my joy no longer.

Let’s all have a little more fun!!


Be still and know that I am God

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10







  • McMom

    Sounds fun: ) Ha ha. Yea, no one wants to see a skinned cat along with poked out eyeballs. Gross. I am excited about your new chapter! And of course, reading about all of the shenanigans! Good job on all the awards, boys! What is TNT?

  • Jen

    April I am excited for your move! Good luck and I am looking forward to hearing all about this next chapter!
    Jen recently posted…7 Sizzling Summer HacksMy Profile

  • I Love to see ur pics.

  • It’s been awhile since I read your blog posts (and I’ve been missing reading them!). Out of all the homeschooling posts I’ve been reading online, yours has been the most helpful because it is filled with scripture AND it is so honest. I’m starting to teach my daughter for Kindergarten (I’m planning on being pretty relaxed because it’s kindergarten and I don’t want to burn out). I’m moving to Sacramento, California and I’ve been wanting to ask about Classical Conversations. I read some of your posts. How did you find out which classical communities were in your area? I’m a very social person and will need to make friends, find a church, and get involved with a homeschooling group too. I loved your 14 tips for your first year of classical conversations post. But I was wondering how intense it was for both you and the boys. Sounds like it was lots of work (but I think it was only once a week?). I only have two girls (ages 3 and 5) compared to your much busier four boys. Also, can you recommend any other books that helped you with starting your homeschooling journey? I’ve read Well Trained Mind and have been using the Parents’ Ordinary Guide to Teaching Reading and it’s been sooooo clear and effective. I just want to sit down with you and drink some coffee and ask you a million questions 🙂

    • Oh that would be fun. I can’t believe you haven’t moved to CA yet. I thought you were already there. We’ve already moved to Georgia! I don’t know if I’d be much help, though, I only made it through two years of home schooling. But I want to answer your questions anyway. 1.Very intense. You could also hold off on CC until 1st grade and not have really missed anything. I wasn’t actually convinced of it being best for kindergarteners. Just learning to read and manage numbers and other basic things is more beneficial in kindergarten I think. But you could get the CDs and plug in at K if you want. The CDs are the key. They learn it best from hearing it over and over and over. I read so much stuff on homeschooling, and now I hardly remember any of it. Oh yeah! Mangers if Their Homes! Of not if. That was where I learned the most. I never actually stuck to the schedule I made. Never. But making it and reading about other people’s schedules gave me lots of ideas. But as long as you make it your #1 priority to make friends and build a support system, you’ll be great. Especially since you have already been a teacher! That’s a great advantage.

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