Friday, April 25, 2014

Home front Update April 2014

At West Beach, Indiana on Saturday!
The Beach -
This cracks me up, a beach with fresh water?

Three weeks until the Semester finishes! That doesn't seem long does it? Well there is lots to do between now and then :). 

We're doing well here, ploughing along! I'm currently on Week 32 this week which is means that I need to do a few double days in the next couple of weeks in order to get all the school work finished for the girls before we go! (For those in NZ, the American School year is 36 weeks) This does mean though that some of the 'extra' jobs are falling behind. Albert has been devoting our family time to schooling the older girls particular in English, not my strong point. I've really appreciated Albert helping out, it means that he has dinner on the table at night and the washing is folded :). So the good news for the girls is that the school year is almost finished, the bad news is that we'll be starting the new school year as soon as we get to Canada! I'm aiming to do about 4-5 weeks of school in Canada as we've got most of the month of August off and also I'm aiming to finish by the end of April in 2015. This means that I've got May 2015 to clean/sort etc. our stuff before we go back. Zara in particular is making huge leaps and bounds in reading which is such a big deal as she now is able to some of her maths by her self. 
The new homeschooling material is being ordered in the next couple of weeks so that I can take it with me and also so that I can organise it all before we go to Canada. Last year it was very nice to have 'school' ready to go when we came back. 

Remember the family portrait in the winter?
same stretch of beach a couple of months later
This deserves a mention as it is ever changing. Last weekend it got to about 24C and then on Monday night a cold front approached and we woke up on Tuesday with -4C and SNOW!! I LOVE snow but it is slightly cruel to have summer one day and below freezing the next. While I have really enjoyed the winter despite it being very harsh (coldest on record since 1978) it has been very nice to go outside without bundling up! So on the weekend I finally washed all the snow gear (thankful for a HUGE washing machine and dryer!) and put it all away. The sleds have been returned to their rightful owners and the bikes brought up from the basement! A change of season! I haven't quite changed all the clothes over yet for the girls but will do that soon, maybe Saturday! 

Again this deserves a mention as with this lovely weather, running has been so much more enjoyable. Albert and I are trying to run once a week for about 30 minutes while the girls stay home, a nice way to spend some time together. Well I'm sure Albert enjoys the quiet 'me' as I haven't got enough breath to hold a decent conversation! ;). Swimming is going well also, I am getting stronger in the pool. I have cut down on my distance and just trying to swim for time as otherwise with running as well it is too much. I do miss not taking out the dog for walks and runs. :( Hopefully one day I'll have my own one again!

17 boxes and we've eaten some already!
(these are great for our date nights,
as cereal is a treat for the girls!!)
I've become more picky here as I've got a good stockpile for most things. So I'm only after food/toiletries that are VERY cheap or FREE or I make money on! It must be cereal month at the moment as I have about 15+ boxes in my pantry and I paid less then 50c for most of them and some of them I got free. Also at the moment I have an air freshener in our bathroom which the shop paid me a $1 to have. Of course I'm not going to pay for a refill but it is a case of it being fun while it lasts! I also scored some free Snickers bars not that long ago which I thought would be nice for our road trip but unfortunately some have already met a certain fate! I'm also making good use of my ipad mini and uploading all sorts of money making apps :). I use one rebate app that has new healthy rebates like $0.25c on cucumbers, or tomatoes or bananas and I can even buy it at Aldi and then claim my rebate. Twenty five cents doesn't sound like much but it all adds up. I'm also using the Swagbucks mobile app which is earning me some points which I can 'buy' amazon gift cards with.  Plenty of kindle books and books coming my way I think! (or maybe Settlers of Catan!). 

How are we REALLY doing?
Girls are enjoying the fact that they are able to play outside. Since Michaela and Grace have realized that the quicker they do all their school work the quicker they are finished for the year, the harder they are working! Zara is not doing huge amount of school bar reading and writing and some maths. She is doing history with Kate and she is not doing science yet. Kate is doing well and will move up to the next year in the new school year. She enjoys maths in particular. Kate has also joined the 'glasses' crew in our house. It has made a difference already! Thankful for glasses!
I'm doing well also, I've had enough of school but determined to finish and get it all done. I would love to get all my cleaning/sorting done before we finish school but that might be a bit ambitious. A lovely Kiwi lady (yes there is another lady, as well as the lovely Hannah!) has offered to help me clean for the summer so once Albert finishes for the year, we'll all do a deep clean together. Albert's Mother told me to leave the cleaning for her when she comes but I can't leave the house dirty for 11+ weeks. Last year I sorted/cleaned the entire house before we left and it was sooo nice to come home a clean house! 
I'm also trying to lose some "US processed food" weight. This is not as easy as it sounds and I'm making slooow process but at least I'm getting fitter in the process which is a bonus I guess :). I read the other day that dog owners are in a lot better health than the average person, so I'm blaming it on not being a dog owner! (Just kidding of course about the blame!)

Albert writing his blogpost
(he took a photo of me writing a
blogpost so this is payback!)
As Albert said in his post we are Canada bound this summer! We're excited!!! We don't know much about Canada yet apart from it being a Commonwealth Country and it having a metric measuring system! (YESS!!). A lot has to be done between now and then. Packing, health insurance to organize, visa's updated, paperwork all sorted out. Banking to sort out, this is so complicated especially with regard to the USA. Basically if you do not have a credit rating, you can't do ANYTHING financial! We tried to apply for a US Visa card but got declined :(. So after talking and discussing this with Hannah, we are going to use our NZ Mastercard (OneSmart put out by Air NZ) as there are no fees for withdrawing cash or any conversion  fees. In my eyes this seems silly that I can use a NZ card overseas and have no fees while if I use my US debit card it attracts all sorts of fees. Never mind. Enough said. 

Albert's parents are DV visiting us in August! We are all looking forward to seeing some family. Since we are going to be in Canada for the summer we are going to see them a couple of days earlier than originally planned which is a nice bonus. 

That's about all from me today. I'm still hoping to 'catch up' with all the photo's we took after the summer internship until now. I've got plenty more snow photos although Hannah has some very nice photo's of the girls and Albert in her blogpost . Go and visit her blog :). I've also got some more photo's of our Christmas of which we had several.......

No comments: