May 24, 2018
I apologize for not writing for almost a year. We came home to Minnesota last June and life took us down several detours from our traveling until this time. I’ll try to briefly fill you in. I hope this doesn’t turn out sounding too much like a Christmas letter.
Because of our unique, independent lifestyle of being small business owners, sitting on a board of a non-profit organization, and homeschooling our boys, both the state and IRS flagged us for auditing. The IRS ran the most dreaded “complete audit” on us first.
Then the State of Minnesota has been having a field day bullying us with three different tax years trying to attack us for being a homeschool family. I can’t resist expounding on this situation a bit, to show you what I mean. They initially threw out a bogus number that they were willing to allow us to deduct for homeschooling. That number did not even cover my son’s math curriculum. They also tried to deny other deductions that were clearly stated as “allowable” under their own written reference guidelines. I find it ironic that the state is questioning pennies for a quality private education where every expense, field trip, and other experiences are on our own shoulders when millions of dollars are dumped down the public education money funnel every year with not much to show for it. When they could not catch us with something, they proceeded to search back a few years further until they found an item where the category was nebulously stated and subject to interpretation that was “coincidentally” the same amount that they were originally after us for.
Fortunately my husband, Joel, kept beyond ridiculously excellent records and were able to prove our innocence to both the state government and the IRS. As maddening as it is to have a target on our backs that will continue for years, I feel like we’ve now been through the fire and have come out with our integrity intact as well as even more confident in our actions.
In addition to the auditing hassles, I have been battling health issues. Of course having a picnic in “central command” can result in any kind of physical and mental deficit. After consulting countless therapists and specialists, I have come to realize how very little is known about the brain. Even though my surgery was deemed as highly successful, it was still a traumatic injury that has affected how my brain works. This year has been focused on learning my new “normal” and adapting my lifestyle to accommodate it.
On the positive side, we decided to make the most of the year in the northwoods. My youngest was able to enjoy being a kid, whether it was sledding, ice fishing, or romping through the woods. He also past some well looked forward to rites of passage including passing his ATV Riders Safety Course. My older son discovered his natural ability to weld and fabricate and has blown away his teacher. He also passed his first DSST test that ended up giving him college credits as a 9th grader. Meanwhile, my husband and I were able to influence, challenge, and encourage teenagers in a small town.
So the time spent at a new home base was not wasted, and now we are on the verge of heading out again. Hope you will continue to travel virtually with us this summer.
Until we meet again,