A World without walls
everyday life while homeschooling overseas
Packout is done. The movers came, spent two days methodically packing everything in my house, stuffed those boxes into giant crates, and drove away. How long will it be until I see those crates again? Who knows? I'm hoping for Christmas, but we shall see.
Our goals for this packout was to be underweight. EVERY SINGLE TIME we've ever packed out before, we've been within 50 pounds (either under or over). I worked tirelessly to get our weight down. I was SO nervous as I looked at our piles for our UAB shipments. Those piles were so big! Would we have enough weight? YES! We did! AND not only did we have enough, but we were under! I was SO relieved! We are allotted about 900 lbs for our UAB, and we only used 700! That was so happy!
Then came the tricky one. The HHE. After day one of packing all day, the downstairs was still not finished and I was worried. Why do we still have SO MUCH??!?!? Day 2 took 4 more hours to finish the downstairs! Ugh. And that was with me having pulled everything out of the kitchen and setting it on the dining room table, all ready to wrap and pack. Oh boy. And those bookshelves from Africa are heavy--but not as heavy as our piano!
However, after the downstairs was packed away, then came the fun part--the whole upstairs took 2 hours to pack! Claire and Andrew/Peter's rooms had only 4 boxes each! Josh only had ONE! The art room had 4 boxes, and my room had 5 boxes. That was it! I couldn't believe it!
When we left Jordan and arrived in Sri Lanka, we brought with us over 200 boxes/pieces that weighed well over 7,000lbs. Probably 30+ out of those 200+ boxes were books. Leaving Sri Lanka, we boxed up just over 100 boxes/pieces that weighed just barely over 5,000lbs!! And only 8 of those boxes were books. I did happy dances the rest of the day! Talk about a relief of stress! I'm pretty sure that everything that's in there are things that we want/need/use. I still wonder why we need to carry around 5,000lbs+ of stuff for only 6 little people, but there it is. I'm just so happy about our new packout weight. We did it!! We almost halved our weight/possessions! And it feels absolutely marvelous!! Who needs all that extra junk?
Now, we're on to bigger and better things. I'm trying my hardest to move away from stuff, and focus on experiences. That's what life is all about anyway, right? Experiences and relationships. Family and friends and what we do with our time. We've enjoyed our time here, and look forward to our time in the states starting in just over a week, and wonder what our time will be like in South America. After all, isn't it about...time? :)
How we cope with stress, therefore, is more important than what causes the stress.
Where did I find this??!? This is so appropriate for my new day today. Packout is in less than a week. I'm not quite ready yet...and yet my kids are DYING to do as much as possible with everyone around them. I get it. That's a GOOD thing! Where we live is really not so much the PLACE as it is the PEOPLE that we get to know. I will miss our friends here desperately! So I'm torn. It hasn't helped that we've been really sick.
So yes. I'm stressed. Honestly, when am I not? There's always something to do, somewhere to be, things vying for my attention. I really think that this past year I was far too busy for my own good. I was pulled in way too many directions. I've been reading a lot of books about simplifying--Simplicity Parenting...Minimalist Homeschooling...Decluttering Your Home... And basically, OF COURSE, all they say is Do Less, Have Less.
I've been working hard on the 'Have Less'. I've got my kids on-board with the decluttering. We've gotten rid of SO MUCH...but I think we really collected SO MUCH. We came to Sri Lanka pushing the extent of our allotted weight limit. I'd like to have FAR less. When the moving guys came last week to do our packout survey, at first I was concerned! We started in our main rooms, and we still had lots of stuff! We own a few bookshelves, a cedar chest, a large TV and stand, a piano (digital, but still heavy), and my daughter's amazing doll house! However, aside from that, we really don't have much. As we've gone through systematically, room to room, I'm finding that we're really close to having only what we really need. Will I be able to finish paring everything down my Monday? Maybe not. But I will be closer!
Having less brings peace--much more so than having a whole lots of stuff 'just in case'. I've learned that if I hoard everything, I become burdened by those things. There is a physical weight on my shoulders! I've tried to keep all our stuff and our books--just in case we, or someone else, might need it! Well, if I hold on to it, I"m doing two things: First of all, I'm just adding to our weight. Both the weight of our household goods AND the weight that rests on my shoulders. Second of all, I'm not trusting in God to provide for me when I need it. Doesn't He say that I should take no thought for the future but trust in Him? So if I'm hoarding everything I've ever collected for 'just in case', then I'm not allowing Him to provide miracles for me when I need them...and I'm not trusting in Him, I'm trusting in myself and my storage room. Plus, if I'm keeping some of it to help others, too, and yet I'm hiding it in a closet, well, I'm not blessing anyone with it, am I? Instead it just collects dust and I forget it's there, so it does no one any good at all.
So, out it all goes! We've had SO MUCH FUN giving things away, selling things for super cheap! I have LOVED the joy we have seen in people's faces and they've carried away their new treasures! We have blessed their lives through giving, and they have blessed ours by relieving us of our burden. Now THAT relieves stress! The less I have, the less stressed I am AND the easier it is to clean...and to find all the stuff that I actually use! :D
'Have Less' is now well on its way. 'Do Less'...well...that one still needs some work. I've often wondered if it's even possible to do less. I find that when I 'do less', I become quite lazy and do nothing at all. It's all about balance, I suppose. I do know I did too much these past few months. We had AMAZING experiences, but it might have been just a bit too much. If I'm doing too much to have time to record it in my journal, then it's too much. Hopefully I'll have some time in the next few weeks so I can play catch up and post some of our amazing adventures.
Who Am I?
As a Stay At Home Mom of 4 wonderful children, I have the amazing opportunity not only to home school them, but to do so in many different places! I am married to the most amazingly wonderful (and handsome) man in the whole world! Together, we seek out, every day, that Joy in the Journey that makes life exciting!
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