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elizevdmerwe

elizevdmerwe - There be Dragons

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I'm concerned about your Energy levels. Do you think it could be burnout? You spent a lot of mental energy the last couple of years dealing with your mom, and the constant drain of ferrying the boys around along with finances and dealing with their education has you wore out. You also don't seem to have any friends your age.

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9 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

I'm concerned about your Energy levels. Do you think it could be burnout? You spent a lot of mental energy the last couple of years dealing with your mom, and the constant drain of ferrying the boys around along with finances and dealing with their education has you wore out. You also don't seem to have any friends your age.

These were the things I thought about when deciding whether to join the Mom's Retreat this year or not.

Burn out - Maybe? Probably. Feeling that nothing I do around here is good enough. Feeling that I'm not being taken seriously, or really listened to, or I'm so odd-ball with what I like, think and are concerned about, that people run from me? Maybe also a habit of moaning and seeing things negatively instead of trying to look for positive?

 

Real life friends my age? There are two groups: ones I easily chat to about superficial things, kids, sport, school... that kind of thing. You meet at HS outings, Brandt's office (some of his colleagues always come to greet me if I have to meet him there) etc. and chat for a couple minutes. Ladies I've met at the club shoots? Yes, we chat about fire arms, safety, shooting, a bit about other things in life, nothing too deep or serious. Yeah, I have a lot of those. These quick chats happen at least once or twice a week. I get messages, those nice sayings, picture-things from some of them. Even some bible verses or a sermon or something from others. I answer, chat a bit via whatsapp. Yes, I have real life friends.

 

Close friends whom I'm willing to discuss what really worries or frustrates me, or chat deeply about things that are of interest? Like some of the things I discuss on here? No... no I guess I only have one friend like that (if you don't count Francoisana), and she lives 2.5hrs away. We chat mainly via whatsapp. Either I've pulled away, or people got too busy, or like the support group fell apart (various reasons), and we still chat, but everyone have their own things. And I don't feel comfortable enough to open up to anyone. Except Dy from Lego, whom I told about my mom as well (but she met her on outings, and understood the situation). She was the one who suggested that particular home for my mom. We talk a couple of minutes before/after Lego every week. Not just me talking, her talking as well. She also suggested I join the Mom's Retreat group.

 

Today isn't a good day to think about these things. Two weeks till shark week and I'm spot on running on feelings which I'm trying to not let it control me.

Maybe it is a bit of burnout, but probably mostly feeling sorry for myself. I just have to get out of the slump. I have friends, people who care and think about me. Just not ones I am really willing to open up to anymore.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------

WEEK 2: Wednesday-

1. Pray - Read - Talk: Proverbs 15

2. Be good about food and water: Only just enough water.

3. Sleep, wonderful sleep: Was finally in bed just after 22h00. I wasted a lot of time playing a card game on the computer, thinking, reading more on immigration.

4. Train like Astrid and Fishlegs, with passion: Yes, legs again.

  • Squats 3x10
  • X-over lunges 3x10
  • Deadlifts 3x10 @ 28.5kg
  • Leg lifts for core 3x40

5. Do finances studiously: DONE. Keeping up with daily finances.

 

We might be going to Home Affairs this afternoon. Brandt isn't sure. I guess it will happen when it happens, if it happens.

 

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I'm so relieved. We went to apply for the boys' unabridged birth certificates and it went relatively smooth. I asked someone standing in the queue outside the building where to go for birth certificates. The man looked me up and down (my heart sank) then said 2nd floor. Brandt and the boys followed me in. I found a security guard inside the building, 2nd floor and asked for directions. There were almost no signs up anywhere. From that perspective and just the sheer number of people milling around it was chaos and overwhelming. Got to the right office. Asked around again. Was told in short what to do, where to go. There were luckily not a lot of people. Did it, paid, went back and we have Adam's certificate! Rocco's for some or other reason has to go through a new system update or something, and I'm supposed to get a message within the next three to eight weeks to fetch it. When we walked out of the building, the first guy I'd asked for directions outside stopped me to ask whether we came right, and was I ok. He was still waiting outside in line for ID/passports.

 

Brandt was totally cool with the fact that it turned out it wasn't necessary for him to be there, as all our information was on the system since the boys' birth. Although the website and other information documents had said both parents had to be there. But they hadn't even checked our ID's or the boys' copy certificates which I had, or anything. We could basically have been anyone asking for a certificate, is what it seemed like. But I'm so relieved. All in all it took us only 1hr!

1 hour ago, annyshay said:

Hugs

:love_heart:

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12 hours ago, elizevdmerwe said:

Close friends whom I'm willing to discuss what really worries or frustrates me, or chat deeply about things that are of interest? Like some of the things I discuss on here? No... no I guess I only have one friend like that (if you don't count Francoisana), and she lives 2.5hrs away. We chat mainly via whatsapp. Either I've pulled away, or people got too busy, or like the support group fell apart (various reasons), and we still chat, but everyone have their own things. And I don't feel comfortable enough to open up to anyone. Except Dy from Lego, whom I told about my mom as well (but she met her on outings, and understood the situation). She was the one who suggested that particular home for my mom. We talk a couple of minutes before/after Lego every week. Not just me talking, her talking as well. She also suggested I join the Mom's Retreat group.

This is what I meant when I said Friends, maybe I should have said you don't seem to mention friends your own age. I didn't intend it as a criticism, just an area of concern. I think the Mom's Retreat is very important for you, and you may want to consider asking Brandt to make it a priority and not schedule as many races on those days.

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21 hours ago, Rhovaniel said:

Glad you got at least one of the boys certificates sorted out. 

 

Virtual Hug GIF - VirtualHug WanderOverYonder GIFs

We're very relieved, and I'm very glad it was relatively calm and easy.

15 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

This is what I meant when I said Friends, maybe I should have said you don't seem to mention friends your own age. I didn't intend it as a criticism, just an area of concern. I think the Mom's Retreat is very important for you, and you may want to consider asking Brandt to make it a priority and not schedule as many races on those days.

No, I guess I don't really talk about my chats with other people, except if it really affected me (us/family) directly. I know you meant well, and it came across as concern :) not criticism. It made me really think though. I realised that for the last while things have been getting a bit much (it's been building), and when I was waiting for the boys at an extra-mural I would "hide" in the car. I greet the other parents there, but I wanted quiet, so more often than not I didn't sit with them, thus didn't chat a lot. So no, I don't really have a close friend here in town, except Dy, but I also don't tell her everything. Also can't make friends if you aren't truly one. I did really enjoy chatting with some of the moms at the HS meeting last week Tuesday though.

 

I had a long, good break over December, but I think I'm staying worked up about the political situation, the break ins, the educational situation, etc. Even Brandt said he doesn't really see a future for the boys here at this stage, no matter what kind of qualification they get. So even if we don't immigrate due to safety, he is considering it for them. And I hate if things hang in the air, so this - don't know whether we are staying or going or what's going to happen - is working on my nerves. Unfortunately I think it will be in limbo for a good couple of months to come. So I am going to take one day at a time.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Today is the first day in two, three weeks, that I woke up not tired, and actually relatively happy. I'm continuing taking one spoon of Bio-Strath a day.

 

So I was early enough and got space for next weekend's Mom's Retreat. I did speak to Brandt and explained that I'll see how it goes, but I think I need something like that for myself. He had absolutely no problem with it. Said to tell him beforehand when it is on, so that he will know not to book anything (races/marshalling) for that day.

 

With regards to moving: he isn't sure. As I mentioned, for the boys' future, at the moment with the way things are going, he is considering it. Also safety (attempted child kidnapping this week again, not to mention the attempted burglaries, etc. We literally heard the police shots fired, yesterday, while they chased two guys two blocks down). I'm starting to agree with @lucky fire dragon that this area isn't as safe as it once was. How they can say it is the suburb with the lowest crime rate in this city/town, I don't know. Brandt said that I should find out exactly what documents we'll need, and those that are easy enough like birth -, marriage certificates, and passports, we should go ahead and get. Then we'll see as time goes by what our options are. I'll keep you posted on this.

 

First possible destination if we decide to go, will be New Zealand. They are seriously looking for all kinds of hands-on people: builders, mechanics, electricians, IT people, etc. They can only fill a couple of those positions with residents currently in the country, so the chances of him getting a job in the IT sector is very high. His job falls on the long term skills shortage list. Then comes the situation of his hip. They aren't asking for any medical information up front when you inquire about immigration (and there is nowhere to even note it), and you have until you are 55 to be eligible. So now it's for Brandt to decide.

 

WEEK 2: Thursday-

1. Pray - Read - Talk: Proverbs 15

2. Be good about food and water: More than one bottle. Less coffee.

3. Sleep, wonderful sleep: Was in bed by 21h00. I was out like a light.

4. Train like Astrid and Fishlegs, with passion: Yes, arms, but couldn't get to core.

  • Pushups 3x10 - all part way down, not on knees.
  • Shoulder press 3x10 - could feel my core contract when I lifted the bar. Felt good.
  • Inverted rows 3x10
  • Abs wheel 3x10 - not done

5. Do finances studiously: DONE.

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The uncertainty about the future makes a lot of sense as the source of your malaise. It's hard to focus on day to day stuff when the future is uncertain, especially if you are starting to feel unsafe. As much as I'd love to have you guys close, NZ would be awesome for you. Same hemisphere, so you won't have to get used to a flipped winter/summer cycle. Firearms laws may be comparable, in that you have to get a license to own one. Self-defense can't be a reason for a license, but then again it's a lot safer. Plus all the Lord of the Rings locations.

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1 hour ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

As much as I'd love to have you guys close, NZ would be awesome for you. Same hemisphere, so you won't have to get used to a flipped winter/summer cycle. Firearms laws may be comparable, in that you have to get a license to own one. Self-defense can't be a reason for a license, but then again it's a lot safer. Plus all the Lord of the Rings locations.

Texas is second, a very close second.

Also because of British background, or link, there are the fact that they drive on the left side of the road too. Companies are smaller, and more informal, and they tend to want people to work independently most of the time, which would suite Brandt well.

W.r.t. the firearms, they have a lot of pistol clubs for competition shooting! Seriously a lot for such a small country. We haven't spoken about those details yet, because it is a lot of rig-ma-role to take the firearms with.

 

Oh my, I think I just lost my nerd status. I haven't even thought of the Lord of the Rings. Hobbiton! I would love to visit the little hobbit houses and some of the other places.

 

I've been looking at houses, rentals, etc. to estimate prices and cost of living. You know the one thing that hit me immediately, which I guess you'll get in America too: there are almost no burglar bars or security gates on the houses! Almost all the properties' front gardens are open! Anyone can walk onto your property. If we move, that will be a huge culture shock.

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1 hour ago, elizevdmerwe said:

I've been looking at houses, rentals, etc. to estimate prices and cost of living. You know the one thing that hit me immediately, which I guess you'll get in America too: there are almost no burglar bars or security gates on the houses! Almost all the properties' front gardens are open! Anyone can walk onto your property. If we move, that will be a huge culture shock.

You'll find burglar bars in bad neighborhoods in the US, but even there you don't find many fenced in front yards. The backs are usually fenced in, and that's where families have their privacy.

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NZ always looks so pretty in pictures. And you would real- life hobbits!  The odd thing about homeschooling as an introvert, is that since you around your kids all day long, you then have a tendency to want to be alone, but then , like you said, it's easy to be too inward and not seek out friends, which does tend to burn out. Going to the retreat sounds like a good idea, and like you said  just trying to be a friend. Maybe when you move you will be able to find a church.Church can be a good place to build strong friendships

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15 hours ago, Elastigirl said:

The odd thing about homeschooling as an introvert, is that since you around your kids all day long, you then have a tendency to want to be alone, but then , like you said, it's easy to be too inward and not seek out friends, which does tend to burn out.

It's true. And with my two loud, energetic boys, I crave quiet times. But I'll try to find that balance.

15 hours ago, Elastigirl said:

Going to the retreat sounds like a good idea, and like you said  just trying to be a friend. Maybe when you move you will be able to find a church.Church can be a good place to build strong friendships

A part of me is looking forward. A part of me is becoming very apprehensive. It's next Saturday. I know most of the ladies who are the "base" group, so to speak. So far, through the HS years and groups, we've gotten along well enough. I'll see how it goes.

Brandt said this morning not to put my hopes on moving at all. It would be the absolute last resort for him. So at least I definitely know where I stand in that regard. Just get passports ready, in case, otherwise go on with life as if nothing is going to change.

 

We have a braai at our neighbours this afternoon from 14h00. She's been through a lot of stress with the company she works for having gone through a major restructuring. So w.r.t. friendship, I try to be there, I listen and try to support, I just don't open up myself. Hope you all have a good weekend. It is cold, rainy and misty for a change. I started watching a new series our dvd shop has for rent: S.W.A.T. Don't know if any of you know it?

 

WEEK 2: Friday-

1. Pray - Read - Talk: Proverbs 16

Prov.16:3

" Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
and he will establish your plans. "

2. Be good about food and water: Just over a bottle.

3. Sleep, wonderful sleep: Was in bed by 22h00. Slept till 6h00 this morning.

4. Train like Astrid and Fishlegs, with passion: Nothing.

5. Do finances studiously: Daily done.

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On 1/18/2019 at 2:17 PM, elizevdmerwe said:

Today is the first day in two, three weeks, that I woke up not tired, and actually relatively happy.

 

Big YAY on waking up happy and healthy :) 

 

Ooof, your energy levels sound really used up and I totally get it with such a big question hanging over your head, while having to constantly see negativity while doing your best to stay up. It's so exhausting! The Mom retreat sounds wonderful, I really really hope it works out and you have a beautiful time there!

 

Also New Zealand always looks like a magical place and I think a lot of South Africans have already taken that route, haven't they? That and Australia, but New Zealand sounds way better to me. Less poisonous wildlife and then of course, there is Hobbinton ;) 

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19 hours ago, lucky fire dragon said:

 

Big YAY on waking up happy and healthy :) 

 

Ooof, your energy levels sound really used up and I totally get it with such a big question hanging over your head, while having to constantly see negativity while doing your best to stay up. It's so exhausting! The Mom retreat sounds wonderful, I really really hope it works out and you have a beautiful time there!

 

Also New Zealand always looks like a magical place and I think a lot of South Africans have already taken that route, haven't they? That and Australia, but New Zealand sounds way better to me. Less poisonous wildlife and then of course, there is Hobbinton ;) 

After being to the Home Affairs (I keep wanting to say Human Affairs? Maybe I've been reading too many paranormal books lately) office, it feels like part of a mountain has been lifted off my shoulders. I'm still tired, but not as much, and I feel lighter. I'm going to continue with the Biostrath for this week still.

 

Yes, there are apparently quite a few South Africans in New Zealand already. We fall under their African immigrants stats, and they have a nifty map where if you click on one of their areas (states? provinces?) it gives you all kinds of information. I don't know whether I'm more impressed with the effort they've put into their immigrants website or the country itself. I'm nerdy enough that I love playing with their online tools (like the cost of living calculator), and their list of what to do when you immigrate, which has a tremendous amount of links that take you all over for information! I like working on computer systems like that :D

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------

So we had a braai at the neighbours last night, the other Van der Merwe's, and sadly the two men are sort of out of action today :D  :very_drunk: I'm happy to report that they solved all the world's problems but they just need someone in the higher echelons of politics to listen to their proposals. Sorry, can't help teasing B and R a bit.

 

We really had a great time. Sharon and I each had a small, small liqueur glass of some coffee/vodka Russian drink (after dinner-braai and dessert), but then wisely stuck to coffee, cooldrink and water. We chatted so much, and realised that we've always clicked, we are so, so much alike, although I think she is able to kick serious butt if it ever came down to it (she was in the army just after school). We are, believe it or not, currently struggling with the same stressors w.r.t. politics, safety, thoughts on immigrating, etc! Both of us really like talking to the other one, but both of us haven't reached out to the other, because we thought we wanted to give the other one a break as they already have so much on their shoulders. So we decided this morning (her boys came to play here, and jumped the fence, so to speak) that every other month, or sooner if necessary, we'll make a date and either go for coffee someplace, or just pack a bag and go walk somewhere. Just the two of us, so that we can get away a bit, but also have the freedom to just talk and vent and just get things out of our system with someone who really understands and feels the same way about so much! She also feels that she has a lot of people around her but no one who really listens, without judging, or feels so similar and just understands! As she put it: "I smile, nod my head, but inside I'm screaming to ask questions or just talk about my real concerns, and not just the price of bread, or school stuff".

 

We were so shocked when we heard last night that part of why Riaan, Sharon's policeman husband, is studying for his degree (majoring in forensics and something else), is because he needs it to apply for overseas jobs. Yes it could also help him to maybe secure a higher position here in South Africa, but then politics comes into play... We of course talked safety (and there are so much more happening around us, than we've heard, but R luckily didn't go into details). A lot of topics got covered. Around 19h00 I quickly went home to feed the dogs and took Adam home. He is the oldest of the kids, and got to a point where he wanted some time away from the younger kids, so I left him at home, locked inside with the dogs, and we were right next door. Their property is a little bit higher than ours, so from where we sat, we could see part way into our back and front garden sections. Of course when I got back there, the men realised that Riaan had run out of wood. The men decided it was too much effort walking out through the front gates, when the pile of wood was lying just 10m away on the other side of the fence, next to us. So you guessed it, they jumped the fence, threw over some logs, then jumped back and started chopping. Coffee around a nice blazing fire (luckily a coldish night) was amazing. Anyway, I stayed for a while still, until their two boys and Rocco finally became walking zombies (around 23h00), and we went home. Riaan asked Brandt to stay a bit longer still, and that was when the world's problems were apparently solved. It seems both the men also needed someone to really talk to. I woke up when Brandt came into the house around 3h00 this morning.

 

So it was a good afternoon-night. I lent Sharon that paranormal book series I won last year, and asked her kids to come play here from 10h00-13h00 to give her a bit of a break. Now it's just a lazy Sunday afternoon, overcast and cold. Perfect storybook under a blanket with a nice cup of coffee, weather.

 

I feel so much better. Sorry for the "sorry for myself" attitude and too much feelings these last few days/week.

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6 hours ago, elizevdmerwe said:

Sorry for the "sorry for myself" attitude and too much feelings these last few days/week.

You have nothing to feel sorry for. You were honest about how you were feeling. How can we help you if you don't let us know? You did exactly what you are supposed to do. You reached out to friends for help. It was heartwarming to hear you have a great potential friend right next door. 

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12 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

You have nothing to feel sorry for. You were honest about how you were feeling. How can we help you if you don't let us know? You did exactly what you are supposed to do. You reached out to friends for help. It was heartwarming to hear you have a great potential friend right next door. 

 

12 hours ago, Salinger said:

Speak all you like Elize. Its important not to bottle things up, and we will do our best to help xx

Thanks guys. I really appreciate it.

 

-----------------------------------------------

Not much else to report. Brandt and I spoke a bit about Adam not having a lot of friends. He made good friends at Lego (who also play some pc/console games), and at Wesa and Nature Club, but they don't see each other regularly at the moment, so the friendships sort of drag or fall flat. Somewhat like with me. There will be a nature hike outing once every two/three months for older children (the dad is a qualified nature guide/game ranger) which we are keen to join, but in the mean time there isn't really anything that Adam wants to join. The chess club/group seems to be off. And he really wants other kids to talk to w.r.t. games (pc and XBox), so I was thinking: maybe once a month on a Friday afternoon, we can get kids who like playing games together to help each other with games. Share strategies about the game play, specific levels, share games, and just be able to talk and share about something they like. I also thought that we could maybe include boardgames (chess) for kids who aren't too keen on computer games, or to give everyone something to do while they took turns on the pc/console. This also can't be at our home every single time, we would preferably have to change up houses w.r.t. those families participating.

We don't mind the kids playing computer games because we've seen with our two boys how it has helped them with sums, reading, thinking, support, sharing, and just that general attitude of if you don't succeed the first time, try again, and if it still doesn't work, think about how to do it differently then try again.

BUT around here there are a lot of negativity w.r.t. games, so I need advice and nice words for how to "advertise" it. Can you guys perhaps help? Ideally I don't want parents to just drop their kids and go do their own thing, leaving me to take responsibility for all the kids. It can also be a support group for the parents as well. Younger siblings Rocco's age are welcome. I haven't really thought everything through yet. Are there other pro's and con's that you can think about? How long should such a 'session' be? Two, maybe three hours?

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I know of places around here that have tried game nights.  sometimes board games (like chess) are included but I've found that they, fall short compared to video gaming..

so my expectation is that if you have more kids than game consels,etc  that might be a little bit of a problem.*

 

still.

 

its gone well, where I've seen it tried.  Kids will Definitely love Video games; and video gaming if wildly popular compared to chess.  as a parent; you may or may not find game requests reasonable.  some games have edgy content.  I've also seen kids that become too competitive or disruptive-- but that's a danger during any youth event.

 

but back when I helped with boy scouts* we did try this game night idea as a legitimately good scout experience.

 

I don't know Quite how to explain this; but my experience is that something Kids would prolly rather not do and doesn't seem that fun to them; can go well and kids can actually like and learn from it

on the other end of the scale are things kids would LOVE to do and would definitely prefer doing.   there's not a lot of learning- and problems can happen when kids get excited, and competitive.  video gaming would likely be this kind of activity.  it could go great!  but I'd keep the kids under a lot of supervision.

 

in scouts, we had Most of problems, either when the kids were doing stuff they like doing or when they were bored.

my previous experience is with Boys Scouts specifically.  so I'm not sure how relevant (these experiences) are

 

Generally, its always solidly good to look for a way for your kids to make friends doing favorite activities.  I hope you find or create that kind of experience for them. its seems that leaving or staying is a difficult and even anxious decision.  so much disruption, expense and effort to move anywhere- not to speak of moving internationally, I can understand the enormity of that.

 

during my last move;  life got very, very disrupted and I'm not sure it was exactly for the better.

 

my wife in particular is not happier here.  

 

* I want to point out that I haven't been a scout leader for a good 7-8 years and that some experiences are even much older than that.  in Computer terms, 8 years is like an eternity and I am not so confident about knowing the way that kids feel about video games.

there

 

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10 hours ago, elizevdmerwe said:

We don't mind the kids playing computer games because we've seen with our two boys how it has helped them with sums, reading, thinking, support, sharing, and just that general attitude of if you don't succeed the first time, try again, and if it still doesn't work, think about how to do it differently then try again.

BUT around here there are a lot of negativity w.r.t. games, so I need advice and nice words for how to "advertise" it. Can you guys perhaps help?

So, I've been reading SuperBetter lately and it's got a lot of good research on why games are so good for us. No idea if you can get it easily in ZA, but it's worth thinking about.

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12 hours ago, TGP said:

I don't know Quite how to explain this; but my experience is that something Kids would prolly rather not do and doesn't seem that fun to them; can go well and kids can actually like and learn from it

on the other end of the scale are things kids would LOVE to do and would definitely prefer doing.   there's not a lot of learning- and problems can happen when kids get excited, and competitive.  video gaming would likely be this kind of activity.  it could go great!  but I'd keep the kids under a lot of supervision.

I understand what you're trying to say. And with regards to the other points, those are all things I thought about too. With regards to HS in other people's homes and abiding by those rules, there are normally very seldom an issue. It happens so frequently that you go to someone else's home for a class/course/group that it is basically second nature, and people/kids adhere to the rule "your house/your rules", but it's given, some kids are more competitive than others, and just like in chess where some want to play the game "seriously" while others just want to enjoy themselves, games unlock the same reactions. I've seen with Adam and Rocco that when they play against each other, things can get pretty heated, very quickly. When they have to play in the same team, support each other and go for the same goal, while everyone stays alive, things can also get heated, because they have to agree on a plan of action, who does what, etc. but in general they tend to work together, have to think how to make things work. That is learning that doesn't easily happen in real life for kids. Not from my experience.

 

Kids will always get bored at some point, whether they are busy with something they like or don't. That is part of life. It is not the adults in their lives' priority to keep them busy and entertained, but it is their priority to keep them out of mischief (mostly - don't squash their honest, innocent curiosity) or away from harm. That is part of raising a kid. Sometimes they need that boredom to find another interest. But within safe boundaries. But keeping an eye on one or two kids, or even four, are nothing compared to keeping an eye on ten+ kids. That becomes hairy! I've seen with two of their school going friends who play here every now and again, that when they become bored they go play outside. The kids don't put pressure on each other to do one thing or another. BUT those two boys basically grew up coming here, so they know my house rules, they know what's allowed and what not. The four of them are almost like adopted cousins. They are Francoisana's grandsons. So the boys basically grew up together, which makes it a lot easier than having strangers over.

 

The big thing for me is that I'm scared I'm going to end up with a lot (or all) of the responsibility on me, every time, which I can't manage. I've previously had it where parents in our "support group" would drop the kids to play, then stay away three to four hours, instead of the "quick pop to the shop to buy milk". Never mind the two hours that the group was scheduled for. But you'll always get parents who take advantage. I specifically don't want the group to be something where parents drop their kids and others have to keep them entertained. It isn't like a scouts or "learning" group where parents pay, and the parents mostly don't get involved. Like where I pay D for teaching the boys physics through Lego's. Here the parents also pay for their kids to take part in scouts, so they basically drop the kids off on a Friday afternoon, and then fetch them later on. This wouldn't be like that at all. But I can see that some parents will definitely see it that way. And then it comes full circle back to what games are allowed, what rules are applied in other houses w.r.t. games, etc.

 

The easier thing would be just to start another support group for home schooling parents, with the specific point that it is for older kids. There are usually younger siblings as well, as with Adam and Rocco, but as long as there are older kids, it should be ok. That way all the parents know exactly what's expected. If Adam and one of the other kids make friends, then they are welcome to come play games here on another day/weekend, with their parents' permission. So you have a support group that gets together once a month, and then organise private/individual 'play dates' on other occasions. With support groups parents always know what to expect and they know the "ground rules". They are responsible for their kids at all times. Some do take advantage of it, but you'll always get that no matter where you go.

 

A normal support group I have experience with, good and bad. A specific group like a games one, I don't. I'll definitely have to ask around a bit more. Otherwise, rather wait till somewhere in February when all the organisations have also started their courses and groups for the new year. There is always the chance that Adam will join something and make more friends that way, with less pressure on me.

12 hours ago, TGP said:

its seems that leaving or staying is a difficult and even anxious decision.  so much disruption, expense and effort to move anywhere- not to speak of moving internationally, I can understand the enormity of that.

It is a very difficult decision especially to move internationally. A lot of things would have to be done, permissions, paper work, dogs and cat vaccinated numerous times over a six month period, find an owner for the bearded dragon, firearms and home school licenses if applicable, not to mention getting finances and Brandt's taxes done in time and finalised properly before moving. Changing bank accounts, renting there when we arrive. Be in the same place where the animals would be in quarantine. Finding a place to stay after that, which is pet friendly. Transportation, furniture, etc. etc. Deciding what to do with his current policy plans, annuity, etc. Keep it and pay internationally or stop everything, take the money and put it in a fund in the other country. The house, selling or renting out, and what that entails. Ag just so much administration its like a mountain. Never mind what the other country allows you to bring in or not. Would it be more cost effective to sell furniture and buy new? I would end up with lists of lists of lists of things that had to be done :D

 

I've moved around so many times in my life that the physical aspect of getting things sorted and packed are the least of my worries. Having trouble making friends or adjusting never even crossed my mind, although in my current frame of mind, it may play a role. Brandt makes friends very easily, but him adjusting to work and colleagues there, is very important. I once counted: by the time I married Brandt at age 21, I've moved 25+ times (but that was arranged by the adults in my life, I only packed, moved, unpacked, adjusted to new school, friends, area...). But since we were married, I've had to handle all the moving aspects, which were three times in Sabie, once cross country between provinces, and three times here in Pietermaritzburg. So I've basically moved 30+ times in my whole life (44yrs). But moving internationally is a whole different thing.

 

Brandt has only "been in charge of moving" about three times: going from his home to university, which was in a totally different province. Then from home to his plantation where he was plantation manager, and then from there back to Sabie (home town) just before we got married. And in all those cases other people handled the actual arrangements of moving, he just unpacked and said when what had to happen by. So knowing that moving internationally is the total last resort takes a lot of pressure off me, but I still have to get out of the negativity w.r.t. safety and the current country situation. But I'm working on it.

11 hours ago, annyshay said:

So, I've been reading SuperBetter lately and it's got a lot of good research on why games are so good for us. No idea if you can get it easily in ZA, but it's worth thinking about.

I've asked for a sample to read on my PC Kindle app. I've also put it on my book wishlist. Rocco, especially has learned a lot through games, which is why I'm not that negative about games.

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i'm VERY impressed that you have moved around THAT many times. WOW!

me and my wife moved quite a bit when we first got married ; 5 times?  but we've been in Warren now close to 15 years and I don't see a change anytime soon.

we own our house, have chickens, too many cats, and unless something dramatic happens I just can't imagine moving.

I think that's part of the issue;  my wife really doesn't like the house and moving would be so unbelievably hard- we feel stuck.

---

I can't speak for my wife; but I simply focus on other things.  my exercises, my hikes, my love of chess.

 

these offer improvement and passion where my job is pretty tedious and there is few other places where I can feel a sense of improvement and passion.  I think Jenn  is enjoying the animals.   chickens for example are far from mere egg layers; they are something she can nuture and definitely pets.  we've also become something of a savior to several stray cats.  

 

anyways; maybe its useful or maybe it isn't.   I know you're* unhappy WHERE you are but are you unhappy enough to leave.  and if the leaving isn't possible can you focus on other parts of your life?

 

this is a harder question for you; because SAFETY is such a Huge concern.   whatever you might be hearing about the United States it feels very SAFE in many , many places in this nation.  anything can happen to anyone , anywhere  but most people never experience anything worse than very infrequent petty crime here, unless they look for it.  

 

I hope you find some peace in your thoughts.  as your religious, I'm sure this enters your prayers often and I'll keep you in mine.

---

also ty for the detailed thoughts of your support group.  perhaps, if the work becomes too great, perhaps, it falls short of the purpose of the group. I am glad though that you have generally well behaved kids in it! that's such a blessing.    in the end, though, I think you need to make sure other people understand and respect what you can do and what you can't.  that's about the only advice I can offer, maybe other people will chime in.

 

 

* I say 'You' but ofc I mean both you and your husband

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2 hours ago, TGP said:

anyways; maybe its useful or maybe it isn't.   I know you're* unhappy WHERE you are but are you unhappy enough to leave.  and if the leaving isn't possible can you focus on other parts of your life? 

 

this is a harder question for you; because SAFETY is such a Huge concern.   whatever you might be hearing about the United States it feels very SAFE in many , many places in this nation.  anything can happen to anyone , anywhere  but most people never experience anything worse than very infrequent petty crime here, unless they look for it.

I'm not unhappy with our house or where we live, except for the safety aspect. And trying to look past it, and focus on house, family, and other interests is what I'm trying to do to get me out and keep me out of being negative. I think this last while it just became, not enough, to distract me from all the news articles of "we are going to kill you", etc. that have been broadcasted everywhere. But I am trying. Also w.r.t. safety and the country, I'm trying to find positive news articles to bolster my spirits. There were some this weekend, but... yeah, I'm just not sure how much I can trust what the president says, seeing as it is election year and A LOT OF PROMISES are being made as usual, of which very few has come to fruition in the last 20+ years. But I'm trying to see the silver lining around the dark clouds.

 

As I mentioned before, we've definitely been protected over the years, as we've only been touched by concerns and it is all around us. We've escaped possible serious situations a number of times, and whatever has hit us directly/personally is a drop in the bucket compared to people around us. So we are very, very lucky, and yes, I'm definitely praying about it daily, and will continue to do so.

 

Our house is small and feeling smaller the bigger the boys get, and the more interests we as family get (back) into. But we've adapted the house a couple times to suite changing needs, and we're talking again about Brandt finishing his car project, so that one day we can break through from the house to the garage to make that a BIG room for the boys, each with his own half. Otherwise connect the outside room and bathroom to the house in some way, and use that room for something else, maybe a laundry and storage room, instead of the 3rd bedroom in the house. So if we don't move, we have a lot of ideas but money is the big concern. There is very little chance of us moving elsewhere within South Africa. House prices have sky rocketed since we bought this house, and we were very lucky to have gotten it at the price we did, and thus our monthly installments are about 1/3 of what other people pay monthly for a similar house and property size. And Brandt may not be in the managerial brackets of payments, but he is earning a lot of money. He only has so much hours to work.

 

WEEK 2: Monday-

1. Pray - Read - Talk: Proverbs 17

2. Be good about food and water: About two bottles.

3. Sleep, wonderful sleep: Was in bed just after 22h00. Struggled to fall asleep. Was awake for a long time still.

4. Train like Astrid and Fishlegs, with passion: Legs - the usual stuff, except Plank2Pushups did 4x5 and not 3x10. Struggled a bit with it.

5. Do finances studiously: No dailies. Will do this Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Next week is time for December financials update again.

 

The boys and I went walking with Brandt again this afternoon. We used to walk around 12h00, but it is definitely too hot, so we changed it to 13h30-14h30. It was still hot (32C), and I'm sitting with a headache again. In part, I think, because of the heat, in part due to sinus (neighbour across the street burned garden refuse and the smoke came straight into our house this morning).

 

Whatsapp on Brandt's phone has finally stopped working altogether, and his normal cellphone mode (?) works intermittently. Guess it is really time for a new cellphone for him. He is looking for a 4" entry level smart phone with Android Go. So... that is on Feb's budget.

 

Otherwise, just the usual.

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I didn't mention that I took my mom's pills to the home on Monday. It was again difficult to get out of the car, and I felt like running away, as if I'm entering the danger zone. The gate lady chatted a bit, told me my mom was really doing well, making new friends, and I shouldn't worry. She told me I was looking a lot better than I did beginning of October when I saw her last (I must have looked horrible then). I nodded a lot, said almost nothing and got out of there as fast as I could. I drove there while Rocco was at dancing. While waiting for Rocco to finish, I managed to calm down again and relax.

 

WEEK 2: Tuesday-

1. Pray - Read - Talk: Proverbs 17

2. Be good about food and water: Over two bottles

3. Sleep, wonderful sleep: Was in bed just after 22h00 again. Coffee is starting to have an effect on me if I drink it late. I think I'll draw the line at 20h00.

4. Train like Astrid and Fishlegs, with passion: No exercise, was tired when I got up in the morning. Did walk with Brandt the afternoon.

5. Do finances studiously: No dailies.

 

I started reading to the boys again. We're on the 8th book of How to train your dragons. It might rain today, so I'm not sure whether I'll get a chance to walk during Lego, or not.

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Bah. I'm sorry for the anxiety-inducing drop off, but at least it's over!

I can't believe she used to actually live with you :/

Happier day today!

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12 hours ago, Fonzico said:

Bah. I'm sorry for the anxiety-inducing drop off, but at least it's over!

I can't believe she used to actually live with you :/

Happier day today!

I think I can use it as a barometer of where I stand w.r.t. the mom situation. Away from there I don't have a problem, but when I receive a call or have to drop the meds off, my anxiety shoots up. I bought two containers of pills, so I only have to go every 4 months. And I think my anxiety came back down very quickly.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------

I walked at Lego yesterday. It was even hotter than the previous day, so I stuck to the 1km 'circle' that has 1/3rd shade. But I had a spoon of Alkaline minerals in my water: no head ache! Finished the bottle (2nd for the day) and had some more later during the day. This morning (Thursday) I'm really tired. Going to skip strength, maybe if the weather allows, the boys and I can swim at Francoisana's place. Dy from Lego has invited all the kids (with parents' permission) to swim in their pool after Lego from now on, so we'll stay a half hour longer next week to give the kids some play time.

No dragons to be found.

boys-calf.jpg.8e8d98428fddcee89139f77002ccc424.jpg

 

 

WEEK 2: Wednesday-

1. Pray - Read - Talk: Proverbs 17

2. Be good about food and water: Over two bottles again

3. Sleep, wonderful sleep: Was in bed before 22h00, still woke up tired this morning

4. Train like Astrid and Fishlegs, with passion: Arms done, and a walk on the farm road during Lego (3x1km)

5. Do finances studiously: Dailies done.

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