Saturday, July 24, 2010


Wow. One year (almost) has passed since my last post. Am I really that lame? I totally got sucked into Facebook and for a very long time, formed all my "newsworthy" thoughts into facebook-length posts. So. I'm sure many people think that my blog is "abandoned." Someone get the crash cart ... charge to 350 ... Clear!

Some very interesting things are going on here in the Lodmell household. Where should I begin?

Last summer, John and I struggled to find a way to afford Coram Deo Academy for our two oldest for the year. Jack and Holly had both been at CDA since Kindergarten and it was really working for us, so we definitely wanted to stay. (CDA is a university-model classical Christian school, meaning the kids go to school two days/week and we homeschooled two days/week, with the fifth day being for electives, should we choose to send them at an additional cost on Fridays. Classical refers to the type of education.) Anyway ... we managed to come up with the money for tuition for last year, but it was a stretch. John said as he was paying the tuition last July, "Crissy, I just don't know how we can do this again next year."

So, we started the school year just like we had started school for the past four years. New shoes, new haircuts. First day of school pictures.

It was a very busy fall. I was the "Popcorn Kernel" for Jack's Cub Scout pack and our boys (the entire pack, not my two boys alone) sold over $20K in popcorn. Which means that I had all that popcorn in my garage for a time. A lot of time and effort went into being Popcorn Kernel, and I found it very rewarding, but knew that it was just a one-year thing for me. I felt like God was calling me to pare down my commitments. I did not sign up to be room mom again. I did not help with Girl Scouts at the Service Unit level as I have done in the past. I did keep my position as Girl Scout troop leader, but that was really just about it. No cheerleader coach, either (for sure! Because that was a serious beating, even though it was Upward). The kids were still busy with Scouts (Jack and Holly), karate (Jack), dance (Holly), basketball (Jack) and academic work.

In October, I made an appointment with our school's director, Mrs. Campbell. I knew that re-enrollment time was rapidly approaching at CDA (Jan. 1 begins the re-enrollment period) and that, even though the tuition for the 2010-2011 school year wouldn't be due until July, we would have to make the financial commitment in January. And, let me say, CDA takes the financial commitment very seriously. And rightly so, as they are using our commitment for their budget and to hire teachers. So, I sat down with Mrs. Campbell and discussed our options. She encouraged me to substitute at the school last year and even apply to teach at CDA for the 2010-2011 school year or to consider CDA @home (more on that later). I quickly went online to check out the application and it's pretty intense! I got started on it, but just never felt like God was leading me to jump through the hoops necessary to complete it (letters of recommendation, resume, etc.). So it sat at the back of my mind all throughout the fall.

Meanwhile, times were tight here in our house. I had given up my housekeeper at the end of the summer and was trying, mostly unsuccessfully, to keep our house clean myself. It seemed like our house and our clutter kept getting bigger and bigger and the messes were almost insurmountable. Our house is over 4500 square feet. We love our house. We built it and made all sorts of changes and upgrades and it really worked for our family. At first. But as time went by, it became more and more of an albatross around my neck.

January rolled around and we had to make a decision on school for 2010-2011. We had several options. First, we could keep the kids at CDA in the "signature" (2-day/wk) program, enrolling by faith that God would provide tuition for the coming year, as He had done the previous year. This just didn't quite feel right to us. Second, we could put them in public school (nope). Third, we could homeschool full-time (eep!). Or fourth, we could enroll in CDA's @home program (aha!). This would still be at home full-time, but someone else would be in charge of the curriculum and of keeping me accountable. This sounded like the best option to us, although I was most definitely not super-excited about it. When my kids were little I often said that my greatest fear was that God would call me to homeschool my children, which I did NOT want to do.

Winter turned into spring, then back into winter again (remember the day we got 12+ inches of snow?), then back into spring. But let me back up. In December, John and I talked about how we thought a relocation could be the answer. He thought that with the change coming up in his job at GMAC, there was a good chance that we could relocate to the Detroit area and get out of our house. I was not really excited about Detroit, but hey, we could sure get a great deal on a house there! John thought the chances of making the relo happen were probably about 80%. By January, we were thinking maybe 50%. Then, things at work changed and it became clear that a relo was not a possibility (sadly?).

To be continued...

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