A little more info about our next adventure:
- Jeff is going to keep his business in Chicago-land going and will commute (6 hour drive–already planning to stay with a friend) as needed. We have lived separately many times before (college and all 5 state moves involved at least a month apart–so nothing new here). He will be the one gone for the summer instead of the kids and I–although I still wan to travel to visit everyone. And winters when he is slow in Chicago he will be in Iowa–he is already scheming a variety of ideas to keep him busy. The man never fails to have more business ideas!
- Jeff’s business is doing well, but the moving industry has its fluctuations. And having someone with a stable income (selling art–not so stable LOL) with health insurance and retirement prompted this whole thing. Owning your own business makes those last two things expensive, and they are good through teaching. Plus, a second income will help with just the cost of kids becoming teens– and college is looming in our very near future. In state tuition is a lot less in Iowa than Illinois–hopefully all three choose something in Iowa! (Yes, of course, we are encouraging Luther and U of I Hawkeyes.)
- Move will happen for us early August so we can get settled before my meetings, getting my classroom moved in, and curriculum ready– the kids and I will start school August 25 (super excited I get to teach Annika and Tanner). Being in the same district with the same calendar was one of the big reasons to teach in Iowa.
- I am hoping to house hunt in late June. I am going to have to spring something on the family. But again, not really anything new for us. Pray for us we will find something! Our house will go on the market in Lockport about the same time. Know anyone who wants it???
- Besides the pull of being near family and small town Iowa life–getting re-certified to teach in Iowa vs. getting a new certificate in Illinois was WAY easier and cheaper, plus took far less time. And we had to think about this: if we wanted to move back to Iowa–now is the time—not when I am 50 with more education. And we trust the Iowa retirement system and the likelihood that art will not get cut. Just saying.
- Not only was re-certification cheaper, the whole life style will be cheaper– by almost half. It is crazy. Can’t wait. And no sirens, airplanes, traffic, lines, crowds. Less crime and Illinois government corruption. Slower and simpler altogether. My heart feels peaceful thinking about it.
- Kids are taking it hard, they don’t remember all of the other moves, but it is getting easier. We have also been conditioning them that they are “from” Iowa since they were born, which helps. They want to have a little land so they can have chickens and fainting goats. LOL Sports will make it easy for Annika and Tanner to assimilate, we hope. Pray we find the right dance studio for Phoebe and that her transition back into school will go well.
- The blog and Etsy store will keep going–but possibly scaled back a bit at first. As well as some of my other projects. And others–well, I learned a lot this past year about what I am good at, what I enjoy and get energized doing, and what did not work. Making art with little kids is truly my calling–more than speaking, publishing, or business by far! I really struggled balancing lots of irons in the fire. So glad I tried so many things this year, but ready to focus on just a couple instead of 10.
I promise to keep you posted as things develop. We are looking to God to lead us in this transition and trust He will keep showing us the paths. He will help us! I know just documenting all of this helped. God is good. This is His plan, so it will be good.