Day 44

3.23.17

One night of rest is amazing, but two nights in one place is a little gift we give ourselves every few stops. Today was one of those times. Everyone is enjoying this state park and wanted to slow down one more night before we finish the final stretch home. Since we all were in that space we booked one more night. We had to move lots which took a short minute since it was literally one lot down. Now that we are only 7-8 hours from home we are beginning to make sure that we enjoy every second of this trip.

The girls have had such an amazing time exploring at this stop. We are surrounded by woods, a beautiful lake and a park that is pretty much all theirs to play at. They gathered wood for our last fire,mixed up face rubs out of local mud and played with each other the whole day. At one point they all decided to take a dip in the lake with a few other kids. All day I was amazed and thankful that our girls are friends. I know they have many battles of the wills each day, but I’m coming to see those moments as training for them. They are all so strong, brave and passionate. Having sisters helps them practice putting their ideas out there and either negotiating or fighting for their idea!

This afternoon we heard back from the Transfer office regarding Ellington & Emerson’s School. Since we moved away from Downtown into Old North Knoxville we have kept the kids at their same school on a transfer. When we pulled them out for this trip we knew that we were losing our transfer. When we returned and decided to put the girls in for the remaining 2 months the Transfer office said it was up to the Principle. After they spoke with her they let us know the principle had made a decision and did not approve our transfer for the remaining 2 months.

I had a few feelings. First, I know that she didn’t really like the idea of us pulling the girls out and hasn’t always agreed with the way I parent the girls. My littles ones have anxiety about pressure at school sometimes, and it has caused a lot of tardies/absences because of resistance. That hasn’t quite fit with the high standards of the school and I have always tried to find a balance. Second,I honestly prayed that if we were granted the transfer that they would be received with open arms and not made to feel behind or in trouble for going on our trip. Thirdly, If we didn’t get the transfer I prayed that my girls would LOVE a fresh little start for 2 months in a magnet school where they have theater & dance along with all their other classes!

Being with my thoughts feelings have changed a few times since I heard the news. I will say that overall we feel excited for this opportunity. This school may be exactly what our girls need that we have resisted over the past years because of familiarity. Saying goodbye to the past 7 years at the sweet little school the girls had grown up at is a big one. Oh how I have spent a MANY hours there volunteering, setting up events, trying to love on the staff and the classes. Thankful for the memories and trying to remember that even though the admin didn’t grant our transfer, that there are indeed so many at the school who loved on our family WELL over the years.

Ok. So we told the girls this afternoon that they were indeed heading back to school on Monday. Since the Homeschool office gave us that option, we decided it would be best for the girls. Emerson was our saddest girl. So many tears flowed down the grassy hillside as she shared with us how excited she had been to head back to school for the remaining 2 months and graduate with her 5th grade class. I assured her that the friendships she has made are still special and I would be very intentional about setting up opportunities for her to see her people.

Tonight was Michigan played their sweet 16 game. Since we moved our lot the picture on our TV for the basketball game wasn’t coming in clear. We had a few hours till game time and Sean had tried everything. I mean EVERYTHING to get that picture clear. He finally stacked a few bins and was trying to climb onto the top of the trailer to adjust our bent antenna. Instead we sent Emerson up since she is our little helper who will climb on, around or under every small space we need to get too. She did the job, yet the picture still wasn’t coming in. Sean never stops so he decided to move the camper back a few feet and HAPPY DAY the picture was PERFECT!!!!

Our girls played and created till it was dark out while Sean watched the Michigan game.Even though we lost by one point this series has been fun for him to watch.  After the game Sean built the best bonfire of the trip, all the girls ate their lasts smore and we ended up going to bed shortly after because Mom gets WAY too stressed by a fire. These girls have no sense of danger and it FREAKS me out.