The links are trickling in! Excellent. There’s still plenty of time to join our virtual tea party and share your story with us! Sign up any day this week (sign-up located at the end of each of my posts) and on Friday at 3pm PST, I will share everyone’s links in my post and continue to add to it over the weekend. It will be a great time to pour yourself a cup of tea with a little-touch-of-something and take some time to listen to each other’s stories. For today, here’s part three of mine.

TPG Finds a Place to Flourish~The Camellia Sinensis is Transplanted

Todd and I didn’t believe we could school the children from our current home for a number of reasons. As the real estate market in California heated up right at the turn of the millennium, the economic culture of our little university town began to radically change. Moving from our tiny fishbowl tract-house literally sinking in the agricultural mud to something different within the town seemed impossible. Many of the newer homes our friends bought as their families grew were built on tiny lots. We wanted our sons and daughter to be able to play, explore, and roam outdoors. Despite the great fear so many parents live under these days of child abduction, we knew we wanted more for them, and our no-growth town couldn’t provide it. Besides, our hearts resided in the mountains with plenty of rain and snow, the pine trees, lakes, and creeks. I often tell people, “In fourteen years, we never got over the lack of natural beauty (in California’s Central Valley)”. So the summer of 2003, we moved 50 miles east to Grass Valley, California, a gold-rush town nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains. One of our first house projects included baby-proofing the back deck that overlooked the creek that ran through the backyard. Yes, we missed our friends, but we were home.

For three years, my husband continued to commute those fifty miles every day to the cubicle his company said he must occupy, despite his profession in Systems Administration. While he spent two and a half hours/day riding in a van-pool, I home-schooled the boys with a toddler or preschooler in tow. Our first year, my mother drove up once a week to help me. Thanks to a random conversation in a doctor’s office with the husband of my daughter’s preschool teacher and the prayers of my mother and father, Todd was hired to work locally beginning October 2006 in an extremely flexible situation for more money.

We didn’t realize when we moved to Nevada County that it boasted more homeschooling families than any other county in the state. I did my research, made my calls, interviewed people I met and learned about the many opportunities for children in our area. We met many other families on similar paths, joined a co-op with about fifty of them and learned quickly how difficult it can be to stay home when one is homeschooling. It provided a great deal of friendships for our children and connections for me.

I learned some key lessons during this season of transition, health battles, and daily serving very young children. Some of them included:

  1. Accepting help. Why I thought I needed to do it all myself is beyond me now. Especially from my mother, father, in-laws, and husband, I began to receive their care of time, money, and patience.
  2. Nurturing myself isn’t selfish, it is incredibly affective. When I sleep right, eat right, and make time to do what I really love to do, it’s amazing how well life works. And it’s the best gift I can give Todd and the children, when I choose a balanced life as often as possible.
  3. How to say no. Just today, during this writing, I said no to a free-lance offer and the chance to see a friend. But I was able to say yes wholeheartedly to another friend who wants to visit tonight with her new best-guy.

And last, but not least, I learned…

4. How much I love tea

Tomorrow: TPG’s Tea Party Lifestyle Begins: The Camellia Sinensis Preps for Harvest

Would you like to share your story as well? Sign-up below and I’ll feature your link in Friday’s post.