Showing posts with label Family Time. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Family Time. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Goodbye Girl - When Joy and Grief Meet

Life is a series of moments of great joy, moments of great grief and moments somewhere in between. This week we are living large at a beach in northwest Florida and have the images captured forever in film to prove it.  If you are following me on Instagram or FB you'll see the Sun and the Moon playing in the sand, visiting local tourist attractions and jumping in the surf.  It is easy in the land of social media and blogs and instant communication to show only our joys.  But really, isn't that what we always show?  Our joys in life are meant to be shared.  We wear our joy on our faces and they radiate out for all to see.  The grief.  Well, the grief is held close.  Grief is an intimate emotion.  It is rarely captured in film.  It is only shared with those closest to us and even then it is difficult.  But, I would be lying if I said our week here was perfect.  You see, there is grief mingled with our joy - it is LIFE and it is true.

In 1998 we were given a black cat with a patch of white on her neck named Akasha.  The story goes that she was the runt of a large litter (13 perhaps) born on Halloween.  She belonged to friends of ours and due to their living situation they had to give away one of their cats.  As the other two were litter mates, she was chosen to go to a new home.  She was a tiny furball who hid for days behind the washing machine only coming out to eat and use the bathroom.  Nathan finally coaxed her out and she and our cocker spaniel Bailey soon became best friends.

She was a terrible cat.  She was.  I won't lie.  She was aggressive to guests and only used the litter box part of the time.  Our furniture became her scratching post no matter what tactics we used to curb her habit.   She would tease our guests and convince them she was a loving animal, rubbing against them and purring.  When they reached down to pet her she would strike.  Don't think we didn't warn them.  We did.  Repeatedly.  But, most of our visitors through the years were convinced they were different and that she really meant it with them.  Oh, she meant it all right.  She meant it when she drew blood!  And, in protest of bringing home a new "kitten" - our newborn son Noah - she ran away for a couple of weeks in what has been the coldest winter we've had in years.  It took her about 5 years before she allowed him to come near her.

Regardless of the issues, she was quite loving toward Nathan and I and became quite the "lap cat" with both of us, nestling down each night in bed between us.  We had a good 15 years with her.  And, despite the issues, they were good years.  She eventually warmed up to Noah, who like his father is an animal whisperer, and once we had Arwyn she began to rotate between all three beds at night, always able to find a warm body who welcomed her demands for love.

Two nights before leaving for the beach she told me something was wrong.  She did.  I voiced it to Nathan but then attributed it to my normal anxiety attack that I have before leaving home for a week. We drove down to our condo on Saturday and spent all of Sunday basking in the sun.  It was Sunday afternoon when the call came.  My sister found Akasha lying in our den, unable to move and much worse.  She crated her and rushed her to the emergency vet who called us quickly to let us know that our beloved cat had a "neurological episode" to which there was most likely no recovery.  I knew immediately when the call came that a difficult decision, made even more difficult by our distance, must be made.  But, make it we did. We let the children know that their beloved companion was ill but waited until sunset on the beach, when we all four gathered, to break the final news.

It is hard to fathom.  A full day of sun on a glorious beach.  A difficult decision.  A yummy dinner. Then tears on the beach and for the rest of the night.  Each day this week I have shared our joys and our triumphs for the world to see.  But today, our share our grief as well.

Peace to you in this first week of fall.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Well, we attended Bonnaroo again this year. We only went for one day this year. With all we have been doing I decided one day was enough. Usually when we go in for the day we arrive before 10AM, so the entire place is very subdued. None of the booths are open and most folks are still in the campgrounds. There was no one we wanted to see until noon. So, we headed over to our beer both, sponsored by the Millenium Repertory Company in Manchester. Nathan's folks and some of their good friends were there and we set up and went to work.

Very quickly, Noah was bored and the smell of corn dogs began wafting through the air as the small city of Bonnaroo woke up for the day. We were not yet busy with customers and I gave in and got Noah a hand dipped corn dog with Applegate Farms organic sausage. This is one of my fave organic sausages so I was okay with Noah eating it (organic/nitrate free). He also had Sprite along with it, though I was less thrilled with that!

Noon came quickly and we were getting excited. On Thursday it was announced that Jimmy Buffet would make a surprise appearance and Noah, Tina (MIL) and I were going to the show. Of course, Noah wanted to eat again, so he and Nathan set out in search of a vegan pizza (no cheese). They found one and Noah ate it and drank a lemonade. I wasn't part of this food frenzy and really didn't realize what he was ingesting. In other words, he ate more between 7AM and Noon than he sometimes eats in an entire day, plus getting sugary drinks which he is not used to. So, a little while later we headed over to Buffett and after a couple of songs the little guy began to feel ill. So, he and headed back to our booth. Luckily, there was not a band playing on the stage by us so we could hear Buffett loud and clear.

We spent much of the rest of the afternoon serving beer and sodas to the masses though we did duck out for a little while to take Noah over to the kids tent. There is a kids tent each year that offers a respite from the sun, an inflatable, face painting, clowns, and more. Here are some photos of that portion of the day.

After the kids tent we finished our time in our booth and then set out with Nathan's parents to see the sights. We found out that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was appearing on the Solar Stage for some Q and A. We got drinks and headed over there.

Wow is all I can say. He is very passionate and has done the work. It is things like this that makes me glad to be a mom and glad that Nathan and I have exposed Noah to so many things. He was really impacted by this part of our day and told us he wants to help the environment by creating a natural habitat in the backyard to bring in wildlife. It gave me so much food for thought about my own life and how I do things. Probably the most important thing he said is that if you want to do something about the environment change your politicians and don't worry about the light bulbs. Of course, he also said that Obama has basically continued to screw the environmental movement much for the liberals!

After seeing Kennedy, Nathan took Noah up on the ferris wheel. Here are some of the "arial" shots of Bonnaroo he took.

After that we headed over to the main stage to wait for nearly 3 hours for Bruce Springsteen. We sat with the in-laws and all had a lovely dinner. Wilco was playing which was a great show. Kennedy spoke again to the masses and then the sun slowly set on the little town of Manchester. Though there were many folks there for Wilco, the grounds quickly filled up as Springsteen's set approached. Very close to 9PM as Springsteen prepared to go on, Noah lay down on the blanket to go to sleep. he had on ear muffs (hunter style). He had a hard time getting comfy so eventually I picked him up and held him in my lap. Eventually, we both dozed off. Unbelievable I know! Luckily, we cannot find the cord to Noah's camera or there would be a picture of me here asleep with Noah on my lap, both with mouths agape! But, I woke up in time for the big hits, such as Glory Days and Dancing in the Dark.

Oh! And Santa Clause is Coming to Town. That was AWESOME! Someone actually brought a 3 foot tall poster of Santa and held it up to Bruce to request the song! We were sad that Noah was asleep as it is his FAVORITE Christmas song and when he hears Bruce singing he really belts it out. Bruce played an unreal 3 HOURS with no break. I have never seen anyone sweat so much in my entire life. But, it was a great show and I'm glad we were there. And now, I can add BS to my list of concerts. So, Bonnaroo is over for another year. Stay tuned for next year's tale of the most rockin' show on Earth!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Here Comes the Bride

I won't put many pictures of the special day up. But, we went to Michigan last week to attend Nathan's cousin's wedding. His cousin is Anna and she is a beautiful girl. She married a truly fabulous guy - John in a wonderful outdoor ceremony. You probably cannot see it but it was on a covered bridge in Grand Rapids. They had a fun and yummy reception after in a neighborhood restaurant/bar. A good time was had by all.

Croy Family Reunion

Okay...not really and there were not many of us there. But, here are a few family shots from the wedding (the real reason we went to Michigan!)

The lady with the lovely white hair is Nathan's aunt Cathy (on his father's side). The stunningly beautiful woman in the purple is Nathan's cousin Rachael. And, the handsome with the exotic look is Saji, Rachael's love.

These photos were taken during the reception.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Backyard Fun

Well, our time as homeschoolers has come to a close. It is difficult at times to not say, we homeschool. The ideology that embodies homeschoolers is one that we embrace. To be free wheeling with our family and not bowing down to the government influence of education in America, to be able to live our lives without the constraints of other people's idea of how our time should be spent, to be able to pick up and go wherever and whenever, all of these things are part of that.

There are 3 HS families that we really hung with the past few months. One move away in May and the other left a couple of weeks ago. The third, still here and still in contact with us just adopted two boys and are fully occupied with them. I think it actually helped that two of the families moved away in our transition into school.

Above is a photo of four of the kids including two of the ones that moved.

Bye guys, we'll miss you and maybe we'll see you in CA someday!

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Flowers

Well, I won't go into too many details as I do not want the children identified on my blog but this is a great story with a happy ending.

We have these two friends, the Flowers, who also have a little girl who is Noah's age. Tasha, the mom, and I met at homeschool PE at the Y and became friends. Noah and their little girl hit it off and became friends as well. Tasha and I realized that we were both in the adoption process which further cemented our friendship. We later found out that her husband works with Nathan. Amazing!

Nearly two years ago this great couple applied to adopt two little boys from foster care. Though there were many roadblocks (mainly due to the ineptitude of the US Foster Care System), it took that long for them to be approved and receive the boys into their home. One boy has been in foster care since age 2 and the other since birth. They are two of many siblings who are all also in foster care due to the birth Mother's inability to care for them. In fact, she voluntarily relinquished custody of at least two of the children. (That's really beside the point but I like to put that in there for those folks out there who may have stumbled across this and think that adoption is never a good choice).

Anyhoo....our friends were able to bring their boys home this week at last and have now added these two little lights into their homes. We are so thrilled for them and their happy ending and pray for a quick and smooth transition for the entire family.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Mudcakes

I have been remiss in my duties as a friend by not posting a link from my blog to my dear friend's website. They are The Mudcakes, also known as Rick and Sherry. Two incredibly talented people who happen to have married and have produced what I am sure are two talented children. I wouldn't know, though, they up and moved from our area to the land of plenty of sun and fun - Australia. To be fair, Sherry is from there, so she has merely returned home.

A few years ago they made one of the best kids CD's I've ever heard and we still do no tire of listening to songs, such as "Poo Party" and "That's A No No." Check out the link above or click on the Mudcakes image on the left to go to the website to hear some of the songs.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Bonnaroo Fun

HI All. Well, we didn't take photos of Noah this year, but we attended the Bonnaroo Music Festival again this year. This year we went for two days which was really challenging with Noah. We were in a booth again, something I don't know that I'll repeat. Noah has gotten to an age where the novelty has worn off and he became bored and really was sort of in the way as he really didn't want to help much this year.

I told Nathan that I want to go back next year but we will stay in a hotel by the farm or perhaps camp for one night. They now provide a family camping area, so that may be an option for us.

Noah loved the ferris wheel again, liked the kid's tent, loved the fountain (though I didn't) and had two days of face painting and really like B.B. King. "I like that B.B. King," he told us after the show. We did too.

I hope we can attend Bonnaroo as long as they offer it. He is definitely the coolest kid around, getting to go. And, in case you are wondering, there are lots of families. For more on Bonnaroo, check out my other blog Peace and love to you.


Friday, May 16, 2008

Croy Kid Blog Posts from March 2008

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Just letting you know, we are counting down the days to Disney World. We have less than 4 weeks to go! We are so in need of some time away from here. Living, working and schooling at home has it good points....and its bad.

Never fear, this will be another homeschool lesson. I will have maps for Noah to read on the way down as we are studying mapping this quarter. I am sure I will come up with some other creative things for him as well to do before leaving.

We are also planning a trip to the Kennedy Space Center so I am sure I can come up with a lesson for that!

Happy Homeschooling

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

These are the days...

These are the days that homeschool moms hate. I am in the middle of my moontime, I have a sore throat and what appears to be a viral infection. I cannot get motivated to do anything and just feel awful. Luckily the neighbors are on spring break, so Noah got to spend the day with the boy next door yesterday and I stayed in bed. I have no idea what to do about today. I think we will do some fun projects as I cannot focus enough to do actual schoolwork.

Calgon...take me away....


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Pawpaws and Pappaws

Noah loves his grandfathers. Here are photos of Noah with my dad and Nathan's granddad, also known as Pawpaw and Pappaw. I'll add photos of his other "P" - also known as Pop, Nathan's dad, later on.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Love Is In the Earth

Over the past few weeks I have been reevaluating our homeschool curriculum. Not that we use a real curriculum, mind you, just a hodge podge of my own devices. But, what' a New Agey homeschool mom good for if she isn't passing along such wisdom to her little light? So, we went over to my friend Ramona's shop and let the Croy Kid pick out an Amethyst.

This morning, we got out the fabulous Love Is In the Earth by Melody and began our study of crystals - beginning with Amethyst. An Amethyst is a variety of quartz that has a deposit of manganese giving it that great purple color. It is great for balancing out our whole system and connecting our Earth bound selves with our spiritual selves.

I had Noah hold it while we discussed it. We used the first sentence from the book as copywork and then Noah had to draw the particular crystal he was holding. It was great. It made me even more determined to make it to Arkansas near the end of Summer for a couple of days of crystal digging. We are so there! It should be right after our trip to the American Society of Dowsers convention in Vermont!

Happy Homeschooling.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Keeping An Open Mind

Last week as I told my tale of woe to my friend Brittney, a fellow homeschooler, she laughed at me and said, "you'll be homeschooling Noah again next year." She may be right. We are currently awaiting an answer from the Waldorf school as to whether or not they have a s

pace for Noah in the fall. The longer I wait the more I wonder if I even want that spot.

In the meantime, we are continuing our studies and I am making plans for the Fall. I'll be attending the MTHEA fair looking at educational supplements. If you have not been, it is a great time! I'm going to go ahead and enroll Noah in one of the local co-ops. I'm a little nervous about this to be honest as they are all religious based. But, I am hoping one day a week will be okay.

But, the big thing is I am planning an extended road trip for Noah and I. I have no idea how we are going to pay for it. But, I am planning it. I want he and I to do one of two things. Either we are heading up the East Coast and ending up at the American Dowsers Convention in Vermont or we headed across country and then going up the West Coast. If we do that I a have friends and family up and down the coast we can stay with.

I wish my friend Kara were here. I really have been wanting to talk to her about starting our own co-op and having people pay or my helping her start a co-op so people can pay her. I've also been wanting to ask her if she would like to go part of the way with us across country. At least to the crystal mines in Arkansas. So, Kara, if you are reading this, file this away to think about when you get home!

So, that's where we are now. Today is our free day/playday that we have been doing since Noah's birth. We are meeting friends for lunch and then on to the park. I'm sure a good time will be had by all.

I've told Nathan I need him to take an extended weekend and take Noah to my in-laws so I can regroup. Sort of a Spring Break for Noah and I (a break from each other is more like it!) Hopefully that can happen very soon.

Well, gotta go get ready before Noah is lost for the day!

Peace Out.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Milk Teeth

Can you believe that my baby lost his first two teeth today? Not the usual way of course. Tooth number one has been loose for a little over two months. Meantime, the new tooth has come up behind it. Then, a second tooth loosened up and lo and behold, did not loosen much and a new tooth had come up behind it. So, today we went to the dentist. I was very nervous that he was going to freak out before we went, but I told him about the Snoopy nose that the dentist would put on him that would make him giggle. That was all he needed to hear. Unfortunately, he did not giggle and that made him sad.

But, the visit went well. Both teeth were pulled, he received a prize and I took him for a Frosty as he needed something that did not require a straw to ingest. All in all it went well. Now, he is sound asleep with two teeth under his pillow dreaming sweet dreams of the glitter and magic of the Tooth Fairy. I know he won't be disappointed.

As for me, I finally broke down and cried at bedtime as he got ready to read The Tooth Fairy book. I cannot believe we have a child losing his milk teeth. He is growing up so fast. It is days like this that I am so thankful that we have made the decision to keep him home with us instead of sending him to school.

That's it for tonight. So, look for the kid with the missing front teeth and be sure to ask him about his Tooth Fairy visit.

Peace Out.


Sunday, March 2, 2008

Wait List

Hi All,

Well our school drama is still going on. Many of you know that I have pretty much decided Noah needs to go to school and I need to go back to work. So....we applied to two schools. These are the same two schools that I have said since Noah's birth that are the only two schools he can attend. One is University School of Nashville and the other is Linden Corner School. Two vastly different schools, but both incredible educations. We have been through the assessment and tour of USN and have our LCS assessment next week.

I have been praying daily that Noah get into one of these schools. I am using every New Age visualization technique I can think of. I am meditating on the schools. I have been doing this for couple of months. But, then, after doing the tour at USN I came to the conclusion that it really is not the best place for Noah. This was before we received the response letter yesterday. The night of the tour, Nathan and I watched Boston Legal, the best show on TV. There was a mom suing the public school system for overworking her Senior level daughter resulting in the girl dying in a car crash. Wow. They gave details of Princeton University's new gap year program, offering incoming freshmen the opportunity to take a year off from academics to travel and do volunteer work. No, it's not just TV. It's true. Click here for an article in US News. That sealed the deal for me that night. I told Nathan that I just don't think 6 year olds need academics that badly.

So, I switched gears and though LCS had been in my focus, it has become my only focus. All of that was nearly two weeks ago. Fast forward to yesterday. We received a letter from USN putting Noah on the waiting list for the fall 1st grade class. That's fine. That is not to say that we are not impressed with USN - because we are. We just feel that the earliest our kid needs that level of academics is 5th grade, but preferably in 9th grade. For now, let him play and draw and explore.

What will we do if he is wait listed at LCS? Well, I guess we are staying home. Not a problem. We'll know in the next couple of weeks. If he is wait listed there, I am going to attempt to make some money this summer and Noah and I are possibly going to head out West for 3 weeks in August. Stay tuned for more updates on this unfolding story!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

From the AP

I copied this image from It is an image from the AP. A kid in California took a gun to school and the school was locked down. This was at a Baccalaureate School which is sort of like a magnet school but not. The police searched all 1200 students and the school. These police state images of our school systems burn me up. This is what I am talking about. I would be furious if this happened to my kid. Think this sort of thing doesn't happen all of the time? It does. My niece was involved in a small incident a year or so ago. Let me frame it by saying it was really bad and the parents handled it. And, let me say she is at the top of her class academically and a a cheerleader and learned her lesson. With that said......she was interrogated by a policeman and the principle of her magnet school where she was a 7th grader for over two hours. She was NOT ALLOWED to call her parents. After getting a thorough tongue lashing from my sister, she was basically told that they do not have to call her and that she has not rights in this incident. Police state folks. Police state. When your child is in the public school system you basically have no rights to them. They are essentially wards of the school while they are there. You think I am crazy. I know you do. But, it is true. Okay class, all together, say "George Orwell."

Croy Kid Blog Posts from February 2008

Friday, February 29, 2008

Diversity and Socialization

Well, it came up again tonight though the "S" word was not used. I was reminded that by homeschooling Noah he would never learn to interact with a variety of people. Hmmm...

Let me see, when exactly would that interaction occur? Would it be when the walk from class to the playground in silence? Would that be in class where they are not talking much because the teacher is leading the lesson? Would that be in the lunchroom when the bell is sounded because the children are too loud? Maybe it would be on the playground where the younger children segregate themselves based on gender. Or, it could be in junior high and high school when they are separated by sports teams, academics, or socio-economic class.

Here's the thing. To assume that Noah will not have that opportunity is making a big assumption about our lives.

Let's just first look at the folks we hang with. We have the usual friends that we see each week that are definitely living in a higher s/e area. Some of them homeschool, some do private school and some are utilizing the public school system (some even teach there). Then, we have our friends who hang more in the land of the middle class. Middle class has a huge range, we have friends all over that spectrum. They drive new cars and old cars, live in their own homes and rental property. They live in modest neighborhoods, old neighborhoods and neighborhoods they probably cannot afford. Then, we know people that I would say are technically lower class in terms of socio-economics. They do okay but do not have college degrees, make much money and biggest ambitions might be to homeschool their kids and grow a garden.

Next, we'll look at religion. Now, ya'll know me. We are pretty liberal in the religion department. We, of course, have our UU friends. They may be liberal Christians, Pagans, Buddhist, what have you. We have close friends (not UU) who are Muslim. We have good friends who are moderate Christians and we have close friends who are evangelicals. So far, so good.

Now, we can talk a little about ethnicity. I'll be really honest. I don't have tons of friends outside of my own race. It's a big joke that white people are always looking for black people to be friends with so we can say we have black friends. The reality is, if you have black friends, great, and if not, well, they probably aren't feeling the loss because a white person isn't hanging with them. With that said, we have friends who are African American, Middle Eastern and of Hispanic descent.

This doesn't even touch on my family. My extended family (cousins, etc.) is very much, well, let's just say definitely different from us. That's not a bad thing, or an insult. Let's just say that if want Noah to interact with some folks who are not like us, then that's as far as we really need to look.

So, there.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Bonnaroo '08

Well, here we are looking at taking Noah to Bonnaroo for the third year. I have to tell you, that it rocks taking a kid to this incredible music extravaganza. He totally hung in there both years. We have the good fortune of working in a booth to raise money for the Manchester Art Center and Community Theater (which unfortunately burned to the ground a year ago during the run of Charlotte's Web.). Noah hands out drinks while take the money. We don't let him hand out the beer, but he knows his sodas well.

This year it will be a real challenge trying to decide when to go. The lineup includes Allison Kraus and Robert Plant, Pearl Jam (whom I saw in 1993), Jack Johnson, and my personal faves, The Allman Brothers Band. I'm sure others will be added as the concert nears.

Noah particularly loves getting to walk around all day without a shirt, riding the ferris wheel and the great kids section which featured a magic show last year. Above you'll find a father / son photo during a break in the kids section. See you in Manchester folks!

Holiday Letter 2007

Friday, December 14, 2007

Happy Holidays From the Croys

Hi. I hope this morning finds you well. I sit here early this morning sipping my coffee and watching the sun rise in very cold weather. It must be freezing if not a little below and I still have to finish the outside holiday decorations sometime today.

I am nearly finished with my Christmas shopping. We have 4 gift cards and a couple of things left to buy for Noah. In fact, I was just looking online at Legos, which is one of the things he is requesting from Santa. How is your shopping going? Do you have your tree up? We do. I call it our Charlie Brown tree. It is tiny compared to what we normally have. This year, the tree farm where we have cut down a white pine each December for the last 5 or so years, did not have any big trees. The tallest they offer this year is 7 feet. I think ours was 6.5 and not nearly as fat as we like. Once we had tree inside, Nathan and I just stared at it. We would leave the room and come back hoping it was our imagination that it was so small. Nope. We debated putting it in another room of the house and going back for a pre-cut Frasier Fir. But, we decided that this is a lesson for us in consumerism. We do not have to have the biggest and best to make us happy.
So, we put on the lights and the ornaments and now we have a small but delightful tree in our living room. And, there will be less mess at the end of Christmas!

I think in light of today's weather, Noah and I will put on comfy clothes and sit in his bed and read books all day least until time to leave for Budding Biologists, that is. Speaking of Biology, homeschool has proven itself to be quite challenging for our family. Actually, teaching Noah is quite easy. He is eager and wants to learn, but is quite impatient as you would expect a 5 year old to be. He wants to do everything himself but gets frustrated when he cannot master a task. The difficult part is just being with him all day every day. He normally is up between 6 and 6:30 and goes non-stop all day. We do school work and lots of outside the home activities and see lots of other children, but there is just enough lack of consistency in our schedule to pose a problem for him and I. That, coupled with the sheer number of hours we are together each week sets up a not so great dynamic. So, Nathan and I have decided that he will be attending school in January. (But, of course, being the good Cancer that I am and with my ruling body being the Moon - which changes every two and a half days - I could change my mind.)

He will attend our local Waldorf school, Linden Corner. It's a great school with a great environment. And, best of all, the Kindergarten program is only a half day, which is what I believe Kindergartners need. For those of you that remember, Noah was there before for pre-K and we left after many of us had a quarrel with the administrator and board. Since then, many changes have occurred and the school is back on track. To be honest, Nathan isn't totally on board with this, but he knows that something has to change for all of us.

Sending Noah to school definitely has presented some other challenges for us. To make this happen, we have FINALLY decided to move! We are so nervous and scared and excited. We have grown so close to our neighbors that the thought of moving makes us sick. Noah is also excited but when he thinks of not living next to his friends, he cries. No...make that wails. He has played with these kids since he was a year old. We have shared birthdays, New Years Eves, Easters and more with these folks. They have pitched in when we have had projects and proved invaluable when I have been sick and needed help with Noah. We have shared a large part of the past 6 years with many of them and moving day will be a day for mixed emotion for all of us. But, move we must.

The upside of moving is we will be MUCH closer to Nathan's office. Instead of an hour and a half commute each day, he will hopefully have a 30 minute commute each day. Instead of being 40 minutes each way from church, we will be 10 to 15. We will be closer to our playgroup - the set of children Noah has played with since birth ( in utero, actually, if you count childbirth classes!) Nashville has a host of cultural events. We are Frist members but rarely get there these days just due to the commute. We will be minutes from the Zoo....literally, as one of the neighborhoods we are looking at backs up to it! The list goes on for what we can do in Nashville and I am so excited.

We are currently looking at a couple of houses that have an acre lot. It's important to us to have some space. We need room for my vegetable garden and a swingset and lots of room for kids and dogs and cats to run. We will more than likely trade house size for lot size and convenience, but that's okay. Most of the neighborhoods we are looking at have ranch houses built in the 60's, exactly what I said I would never live in after having grown up in one. Now, I see the charm and see how family friendly they are. Most of the houses we are looking at have lots of mature trees which we love and most feature a basement which we need for storage of things like Christmas decorations. Nathan wants a work space. He worries about where we will store things like the lawn mower. He does some of our car repairs and needs plenty of room for that.

For Nathan, things are going well at work. He is now an Information Security Analyst and is busier than ever. He has traveled about 3 weeks each year. He spent a week in San Francisco and week in Atlanta with a few days in Louisville scattered in between. The amazing thing is that each of his week long trips found me at home with a 5 year old with the flu. Yes, the fever, chills, things coming out both ends, flu. We are hoping he will do more traveling in '08 and Noah and I will pick up and go with him, provided we are all well!

As for me, I have stayed busy with Noah and a few projects in the house. I have spent much time at my parents, trying to give my dad a break from his round the clock care of my mom. Many of you remember she fell last Thanksgiving and broke her hip. After a few weeks in the hospital, she stayed briefly in a nursing home for rehab. She was doing quite well there but has been going downhill since coming home. Easter weekend her oxygen caught fire and she ended up at the VUMC burn unit being treated for burns on her face and scalp. Out of all of her illnesses and problems through the years, it was probably the most traumatic for me. I cannot remember ever feeling so sad in all of my life. My sister Debbie and I were there when the Life Flight crew brought her down from the roof. I wondered that night if I would ever recover. I did. Life goes on and we move forward. Her illness is a fixture in our lives. I help when I can and when I can't, well, I can't.

We also try to see Nathan's grandmother Allene when we can. She is now in an Alzheimer's facility and no longer remembers any of us. She still has her wit and charm and spirit but her memory and other parts of her mind no longer serve her. When we move, we will be minutes from her and I know we will continue seeing her on regular basis. It is hard sometimes to see her. Seeing our grandparents and parents suffering is harder than you realize until you are there yourself. For those of you also dealing with aging family members, our hearts are with you.

The year has been good overall, but we have had trying moments throughout. My Mother's illness, setbacks in the adoption and trying to work out the answers for us, challenges overall with Noah, these have all been difficult. The good times though, outweigh the bad. We took a couple of small trips this year as opposed to a big vacation and had so much fun. You can see our trip to Dinosaur World on my homeschool blog (linked on the right of this page.) We spent lots of time with my family and Nathan's and had many adventures in homeschooling.

One of the best things that has happened in the last 12 months is Noah and I have made some good friends through homeschooling. We have met two families through the Y that we adore and try to spend time with. One has a husband that coincidentally, works with Nathan, though we found that out much later. The other family has two small boys. She walked into one of our HS classes and was holding a book that I know and have wanted to study, A Course In Miracles, and we bonded immediately. Two other families have come into our lives the past few weeks and for all of these families, I am thankful.

We have learned lots through our homeschool endeavors. I have learned a lot about myself and the best way to interact with Noah (I am still learning to put some things into practice.) Noah is learning to read and we have found that he loves math and science. He also loves history and I am thankful that I will have a kid to go fun historical places with me! Of course, Pirates are still the be thing at our house and we will be having another Pirate Christmas.

I guess that's about it. I may do a mid year update next June. I am looking forward to the new year. We have lots of changes on the horizon that I know will bring good things for our family. Just getting us off the road so much is going to be a very positive change for us. Of course, Noah and I will still be in Murfreesboro two days per week. Even with that, our commuting time will be cut by several hours each week. Yahoo!

So, I guess that's about it. We will be spending the next few weeks getting ready for the holidays. Noah and I are doing a study on the Winter Solstice and the Advent. He is really into it as this is the second year of our Advent Calendar. He's all about anything that gives him gifts. But, aren't we all?

Immediately after Christmas is his birthday on the 27th. We'll then hopefully slow down and have a quiet two weeks before he begins school and I begin the major task of getting the house ready to sell.

For now, we send you wishes of a holiday season full of Love and Mystery and Magic. I encourage you to spend some time on the Solstice reflecting on the last 12 months - where you have been - and on the next 12 months - where you are going.

Peace to you and yours this holiday season and throughout the new year.

With much love,

The Croys

Croy Kid Blog Post from Early December 2007

A fellow homeschool mom, AKA "hip chick," invited us to hike and explore at Barfield this week. We were planning on doing the backwoods trail but decided to walk the paved one. It was just as fun, to be honest. Here are some of our pics from the day. Thanks kids and ladies for a great day and much needed exercise.

Ben's Snails

Sam and Noah

Noah Looking for Snails

Croy Kid Blog Posts from July 2007 through November 2007

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Magic Treehouse

Love It! I have been eyeing The Magic Treehouse series for a few months, but waited. Two weeks ago we took the plunge. We read two chapters a day. I want to teach Noah about the anticipation that goes along with reading a good book. He and I loved the book. We went today and picked up the research guide that goes along with number one - Dinosaurs Before Dark. We have also taken advantage of the educator materials including the "passport" and "stamps" that we printed off the website. We'll be doing one every three to four weeks and cannot wait!

So....add The Magic Treehouse books to your homeschool library. You will not regret this.

Friday, September 28, 2007

The BEST Activity Book I Have Found

A few months ago I purchased a few books from a friend of mine who is leaving homeschooling behind. After a year of trying, she decided to enroll her boys in a good public school near her home. Though I am sad they are leaving homeschooling, I am grateful for the spoils of her choice....namely the opportunity to purchase several great books at a great price.

Last week I began pulling those books out of the bag they have sat in for the last few months. The one I specifically looked for was Earthways: Simple Environmental Activities for Young Children by Carol Petrash. What a gem!

If you are looking for a great craft book that is very Earth friendly and that is not too hard for those of you non-craft folks, this is the one. I have tons of craft and activity books for kids and this is hands down the best I have ever seen (traditional or non-traditional).

For the fall, we will be making paper lanterns to light our way, for winter - pomander balls, for spring - May bouquets. You get the idea.

The book is simple, concise and truly a treasure in this world of prefab craft kits sold in overly packaged boxes in every craft and toy store around.

Happy Crafting with your child.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Getting Started and Stopping Again

Well, here we are, mid-September. We have been doing some of our schoolwork since the end of July, mainly out of boredom! My plan had been that once all of our activities got started we would really be in the swing of things. Ah....the best laid plans....

Last week we were all set to go and our plans were interrupted by the cancellation of our P.E. class. Mayhem ensued as our schedule was seriously disrupted but I thought, oh well....we'll do what we can and start fresh next week

Well, here it is next week and guess what? Noah has the flu. The full blown chills, fever, aches and pains, vomiting, you get the idea, flu. Is this a message? I am beginning to wonder!

Maybe next week will be better. Right now, we are on day 3 of a television marathon.

The silver lining? I am off my feet this week and am catching up on updating my blogsites!

Hope you find a silver lining this week, too.

Peace Out,