It has been a really good week for me, starting with the fact that I have rid my body of the 6 extra lbs I was carrying around. My body is working much better and I am feeling lighter on my feet. I can't give all the credit to going back on my vegetarian diet, as I am also watching calories and exercising daily but the diet has definitely made me feel a whole lot better!
Something that hasn't been mentioned in our website or blog is that we "unschool" (unschooling.info is a good place to start for more info) our children or we choose to learn by living life (life learning as some people call it). Kids have a natural desire to learn about the world around them and we allow our children's imagination and curiosity to unfold naturally without coercion, rewards, or punishments; without grades or stars and so many other things that the school system uses to get kids to "learn". That lifestyle also spills over into all aspects of our lives including our parenting. Two days ago Calista was outside sweeping the driveway, just because she wanted to see it free of leaves; Tristan was in the kitchen doing some dinner preparation, just because he likes to cook; and Kevin and I were curled up on the couch reading about Elizabethan England because it is so fascinating. I thought to myself "Yes, this really is a good way to live and yes, it really does work!"
We are headed to St. Louis, in two weeks, for an unschooling conference. We are so excited to meet other unschoolers (looks like there will be upwards of 700 people there including LOTS of dads), getting our creative juices flowing again, and just having a wonderful time. We were planning on taking the motorhome down but after much thought, especially with the price of gasoline, we have decided to fly. The price of our flight, hotel, AND car was much lower than just the gas would have been taking the motorhome down so we are comfortable with our decision.
Another wonderful thing that happened this week was that our oldest child, Kevin, turned 13. It seems to be a big milestone from his perspective, after all he is a teenager now! We had to make it big, so he decided that he wanted to rent a hummer limo to pick up all his friends. It turns out that the limo service does a special birthday party package where they take them around town on a 2 hour scavenger hunt. They dressed up in funky hats and had to do silly things like go into the foyer at Taco Bell and sing rounds of the ABC song and Row Your Boat. The afternoon was filled with the sound of teenage giggles, I take that back, those were mostly Tristan giggles, but they had a lot of fun. We then had a slide show presentation of his life, lots of cute pictures that brought back so many wonderful memories. Oh, how the time flies and how young I looked back then (oh yeah, I was young).
We are officially leaving the state of Alaska the first week in January so the countdown has officially begun! Our plan is to head right to New Orleans and surrounding areas and hook up with Habitat for Humanity and see what kind of a difference we can make there. It is hard not to be affected by this horrible disaster and not want to help in some way. Come March or so we will start traveling around and visiting everybody and having some wonderful adventures, I'm sure!