My children were very young also when I started, so IKWYM about not wanting to be away from them full-time. Actually I only had 2 children when I first started, and took 2 more breaks to have 2 more babies. I'm now at the point where I can be gone full-time, since my youngest will be in 3rd grade when I start in the fall full-time.
It is such a tough choice, but I think the fact that you haven't given up after all these years shows the kind of committment most schools are looking for.
Klone - IKWYM about living far from a nursing school, although I'm not quite as far away as you are. If I get into the one of my choice, it will be an hour and 15 min one way, probably at least 3, if not 4 days a week. Take heart and don't give up! Once you get your degree, there are so many online options. Where there is a will, there is a way. And your children are only young once. I'm at the other end of the spectrum now. My 13yo doesn't WANT me around - you know, embarrassing mom and all!