But with a year of many ups and downs and plenty of learning in so many areas, I'm standing still for a moment to reflect back...
Before our big US trip we had moved house - at least just in the same town. But moving is moving. Tiring, a huge interruption for school and yes, exciting too.
Our 2 month trip around the States was very educational. But not in the way you might expect.
I learned that we are NOT campers! (I actually knew that but we thought we'd give it a try anyway)
We are especially not campers in the WINTER, in the SNOW! Oh and it was our first time in snow too. It's a rather peculiar thing. I was quite surprised that kids can play in the snow and brush it right off (accept when they rolled around in it for too long, their clothes WILL get soaked) And that certain fabrics are NOT meant to be worn in the snow.
But I was pleasantly surprised that though I don't like the cold, I actually quite enjoyed the snow. And other than expected I stayed healthy the whole trip. Unfortunately three of the kids where sick on and off the whole trip - with fevers running as high as 40.2'C (104.3'F)
We learned to be very flexible in our planning... We had no idea that to drive 'cross country in the winter means you have to reach your daily destination by 4pm to have enough daylight for setup before nightfall! We adjusted the route several times to get to our have-to destinations on time.
We had no choice but to be flexible when every destination we reached had a much-earlier or history-making amount of snowfall. We left Chicago a day earlier to avoid Grand Rapids' oncoming worst-storm-in-20-years. That was quite an experience for this first-time-in-snow family! I cannot imagine how people live with that amount of snow for months on end?!
It took us a while to process everything - because when you're right smack in the middle of it - not everything is always exciting and happy. But reflecting back, we all agree it was a great holiday.
Oh yes, and I learned that where we use "holiday" for any trip that excludes school and work, others prefer "vacation".
It was a great vacation! The once in a lifetime kind. The we'll-never-get-to-do-this-again kind.
Ending the time off in the UAE for some sun and sand was so good!! And a great way to get over most of the jetlag from a 11-hour time zone change.
Once we got home we've had to put some extra effort into school to make up for all the vacation-time. But life had another few curveballs coming...
As we started the journey of starting our NPO that God has been leading us to, we find our feature unrolling in a slightly different way from what we expected. For years we've been talking about and wanting to be more flexible and willing to travel with the kids but with babies/toddlers or a baby on the way we've felt it better for me to stay home with the kids. Though we've moved countries a few times, I've always stayed at home while hubby does most of the traveling.
Now our youngest is on his way to 5 and it's not that hard to travel with kids anymore.
As our foundation is rolling out across the globe I have decided I am ready to take the next step of flexibility and to really take our school on the road. Up to now school was always at home and traveling was for fun and the learning experience. But could we actually combine the two?
We'll see in the coming months...
But first I'm getting ready for a break away with my dear husband to Italy next week :)