I never came back to update. Working with the reporter we determined the family mentioned before was not my kids' family. In a way it's a relief, in a way it's kind of a bummer because now we are back to square one as far as their family history is concerned. Which is to say, we know basically nothing about their Dad's side of the family.
We made it through Christmas, and it was actually pretty pleasant. This was the first year in a while that I have felt not stressed out. Granted, I also didn't accomplish all that I wanted to but hey, I kept my sanity and that is saying something!
We went to go visit my family in Kansas this weekend. It went pretty well all things considered. Ben slept horribly, he refused to nap for the most part and insisted on sleeping in our bed with us at night which he literally hadn't done in 5 months. We survived, and all the kids are asleep in the car now as we are driving home. :) Hoping Ben will slide right back into his routine at home and not continue trying to sleep with us, although it was nice having the extra snuggles from my wiggly boy. :)
I read the book "The Well-Trained Mind" on our way, selected the curriculum I think I'd like to use for next year, and priced it out on Amazon. Looks like for both the boys getting brand new everything will be around $390, and even less if I can find some items used. We might need to add some more books through the year and we will be supplementing with library books of course, and we will have costs for school supplies and possibly some furniture costs (mainly storage items I think). Plus maybe field trips to the zoo etc. All in all though I think less than $400 for curriculum for two kids isn't bad, especially when two more children will probably be using these items as well.
We are going to use the Classical method of home schooling, but steer away from Classical Conversations. Not that there is anything wrong with it, it seems great but I don't think it will fit with our goals. Right now we plan to school year round, and I think do short school weeks (with Fridays as field trip/fun days) and take breaks through out the year as needed for holidays, vacations, sickness, and sanity. I am so excited to get started!
We are also getting bids to finish our basement so D can have a bedroom down there. To put in an egress window alone is $5,000, no kidding. We had three estimates and they were all within a few hundred dollars of each other. That is a huge part of our budget so I guess we'll see what we can do with the rest. Once it's done then D can move down there and Ben can finally have his own room! So stinking exciting!
So hard to believe my baby is nearly one year old. He still seems so small. We were kind of robbed of the first ten weeks of his life that he spent in the hospital, so that is part of it too I think. The past year has been crazy and flown by so fast. I'm excited to see what next year will bring. :)