Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Your children are not your children

I just had to share the lyrics to this song that I got off a good friends blog (thanks Karen). The lyrics to this song expresses what shapes our parenting philosophies and what motivates us as parents. It is from Sweet Honey In the Rock, called "On Children" .........................absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!!

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and the daughters of lives longing for itself.
They come through you, but they are not from you.
And though they are with you, they belong not to you.
You can give them your love, but not your thoughts.
They have their own thoughts, they have their own thoughts.
You can house their bodies, but not their souls.
For their souls dwell in a place of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You can strive to be like them, but you cannot make them just like you.
Strive to be like them, but you cannot make them just like you.

Monday, August 21, 2006

move in day approaching

I'm catching up with e-mail and blogging while Tristan and Calista are playing hide-and-seek in the motorhome, lol. You would be surprised at the hiding places they find in this little box. A little later here we are going to do a round of poker; Tristan's new favorite game.

We are starting to get things organized and cleaned up in the motorhome; getting ready to empty it out into a new house. I am excited to be in a house again as my nesting instincts are strong right now but a little sad to leave my simple motorhome lifestyle. Part of me wants to be on the road still but with five people to consider that just isn't in the stars for us.

Martin has passed his real estate exam and will be working for Kevin Crozier (Remax), as his buyers agent, starting in one week. Our income is probably going to be a lot less than what we are used to so we are going to have to learn to be frugal; a BIG adjustment, especially for the kids but it will be good for us. The office that Martin will be working in has a very nice environment which is a nice change for Martin.

We have had two weeks of solid rain but woke up today with the sun shining. It felt absolutely glorious. It is supposed to start raining again tomorrow so it was short lived for sure! One thing the rain has done for me (and the kids) is force us to get creative inside. We got the polymer clay out and did quite a few projects and I worked on some canvases that were really fun. I feel like my creative genius has come out of the closet and I am really liking her!!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

polymer clay projects

Be the change you wish to see in the world.

Tristans wish box. My prayer box.

This week has been somewhat of a quiet week. It has been a gray, drizzly week and it kind of makes you feel like hunkering down, which is exactly what we have been doing. I went and bought a bunch of polymer clay and we have been projecting away. We have been mostly covering tins and jars with it but it is quite addicting. The one directly above is Calista's.

I have mostly been blogging about the "surface" things of our lives and not much delving in to the more "inside" things. I thought I would start blogging more about what learning looks like in our family and a little more about the unschooling side of our lives. My sister, Ren, talks a lot about connections and how everything is connected, one thing leading to another. This is what it looked like for us this week...............................We met an individual who was transitioning from male to female and when we got in the car the conversation started out with how you could tell that she used to be male ( facial hair, big hands, and her "adam's apple"). From there it went to why an adam's apple is bigger on a male than a female (yes, it does cause a man's voice to be lower) and then talk about our bodies. That somehow went to talk of calories and what exactly does that measure (approximates the energy needed to increase the temperature of 1 kg of water by 1 °C.) A lot of our conversations and questions happen in the car which is why I keep a pad of paper handy to jot things down so we can look them up when we get home.

Something that was said in church this week led Kevin to wonder about the Dead Sea and why it is called that (there is no life in the Dead Sea, although scientists have found 11, I think, bacteria that live in the Dead Sea). And how cool is it that there is so much salt in the Dead Sea that you can float! Calista has spent much of the week with her Leap Frog learning her sounds, because she wants to learn how to read. She also wanted me to buy her a couple of workbooks, which she has been working on quite a bit. Her and Rylee have also been playing "store"; buying, selling, and dickering. They add and subtract on the calculator and use the Leap Frog for the cash register.

For me this week it started out designing a myspace site which led me to music, to Reggae (because I love Reggae), to Bob Marley and researching his life (11 kids and some interesting beliefs, a very interesting life), to Jamaica, to forms of government and some world history........................I will let you know where that leads to.

So many think that if you don't coerce a child to do these things that they won't do them on their own but my children (and lots of others) have proven that is not so. My children seem to learn some of these things much later than your public school kids but they are learning them on their own terms and without any coercive methods that are so prevelant in the public school system. They also don't associate learning with a chore. For them learning is all tied up with simply living; you can't be breathing without learning every day, it is an inherent part of our being. Discovering the world around them is fun!!

The other thing that is so fun for me to watch is some of the things that they dive into that public school kids don't have the time for and don't get in school. Kevin spends hours on his computer and it amazes me some of the things that he can do. Some people go to dozens of classes to learn what he has learned simply by tinkering around because he is passionate about it. They are learning the things that are relevant to THEIR lives and not wasting a bunch of time and energy on things that they don't need to know for their lifes journey. I am thankful every day to be living in that kind of FREEDOM.

Off that subject, Kevin is now counting down the days until his 14th birthday. He has two reasons for being so excited; he can get his learners permit to drive and he is able to get a job. He has been wanting to get a job for a while but the government doesn't allow it until 14 so he is ready to go!! He wants to apply at Coldstone Creamery; I think he just wants to be around all that ice cream all day :) ! He loves being a teenager and I just want to scream "STOP!". I have to admit though that I love a lot of things about the kids growing older. We can play with them and do things that we were limited on when they were little. They are fun to just hang out with and not quite so dependent on us. It is much more relaxing than when they were toddlers. Every stage has its blessings I suppose and I can't say any stage was my favorite. My favorite stage is whatever one they are in!!

My favorite quote for the week: Happiness is not a destination, it is a method of life.
This is something that I have learned over this past year and it has brought so much contentment into my life!!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Tristan turns 11

Well, time is marching on. It is hard to take in how old my kids are getting! It just seems like I can't catch my breath sometimes when I think about how it was just yesterday that they were little toddlers learning how to walk and talk. Tristan turned 11 on Tues. and what a great day we had. He is my child that HATES birthday parties; he doesn't like all the attention on him and he doesn't like to think that he is putting people out or that they are having to do something extra on his behalf. So here we were again, not wanting to do anything for his birthday but Mom wanting to make his day so special. I decided that I would set something special up so he didn't feel that all the attention was on him but still felt like it was his special day. A few years ago a friend of Richard's took him flying and he LOVED it so I asked Richard if him or his dad could take him flying and he said that would be great. We planned on going down to our favorite lake spot (just to play) and then have Ernie land on the lake and pick him up.

Last minute Richard told me he didn't think it was going to work out on his actual birthday so we were back at square one. Tristan thought it would be nice to take a couple of friends to H2Oasis, the indoor water park in Anchorage. But no party! We couldn't arrange it on his actual birthday though so I still had to come up with something special for Tues. Tues. morning came and I still hadn't thought of anything so for starters I thought I would make him his favorite dinner. He loves "family" dinners, which means at least five choices of dishes with his family sitting at the dinner table eating together. We made flank steak, chicken, green beans, salad, bread, and potatoes. He was in heaven! He has also been anxiously awaiting the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend, which all residents of Alaska get every year, and is usually around $1000.o0. He really wants an X Box! Instead of making him wait we went and got him one, set it all up and surprised him with that. He really thought he had died and gone to heaven!

I got a phone call at 5:00 from Robin saying that the flying was a go after all. Yeahhh! So we ate dinner and went down to the lake. Tristan had no idea what was going on so it was a great surprise. Ernie buzzed over us, landed, and cruised over to the beach. They cruised over Wasilla a few times and did a touch and go on the lake. When he got out he was so excited, I knew he wasn't going to be sleeping much that night. He exclaimed, "That was AWESOME!!" After his flight we went back to Merle and Lois', Martin's parents, house and sang him happy birthday and had red velvet cake, Tristan's favorite. I get teary just thinking about the day because it worked out so great. We made his day REALLY special, he was so excited and he was happy about not having a "party". I think we are still going to take him and his friends to H2Oasis on Sunday afternoon just to top it all off!!

It still looks like we are going to be able to close on the house August 25, although early occupancy is probably not possible. Martin is busy studying for his real estate test, not feeling overly confident for sure! He takes the test tonight and I hope he passes just so he can relax a little! He has been pretty uptight but I am sure he is going to do fine.

We moved the motorhome over to Lois' and Merles for a few days since we haven't seen them much since we got home. We will be moving to an RV park tomorrow morning. As much as I appreciate my sister for taking us in I just find myself craving my own space, privacy, and alone time with my husband and kids. My kids were really wanting wireless internet too so it was time to move on for a little while.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Back to "school"

Martin got home with all kinds of ideas for a job and all of those doors have been shut. The one that has remained open is an opportunity for him to sell real estate. A friend of ours, who is a broker for Remax, invited Martin to join his team as a buyer agent and Martin has accepted so............................he is back in school. Back to memorizing so he can regurgitate at test time and not use half of what they are shoveling in but it has to be done to get his license so here he sits memorizing away. He is excited for the challenge and I think he is going to be really good at it!! He has the right personality for it and he is a "go-getter".

We also had our home inspection this morning and all went well. There are a few things that need to be addressed but nothing too major. Our closing is set for Aug. 25 but we are hoping to get early occupancy; wish us luck with that! The kids LOVE the house so everyone is waiting with anticipation for move-in day. It is a very unique, cozy house and what I have been dreaming about for a house. It is good that the other house didn't work out!! I am anxious to be able to start having people come hang out with us and living the very relaxed lifestyle that we are used to. I miss our midnight hangouts where we talk about life and our dreams as a family. I miss gathering around the table for family dinners. I miss having wireless internet for our laptops. I miss having my own kitchen. I miss having our projects strung out all over the house and I miss being LOUD!!! I am SO grateful to my sister and her family for putting up with us for so long; I know they live very differently than us and it can't be easy to have our crew bombarding them. Family is a wonderful thing!!!!!