Tuesday, December 25, 2007


I got tagged by my sis, Ren, which is probably a good thing because I haven't had much time to blog and my last two blogs are definitely not extremely exciting. I also got tagged by Katy and Vicki (myspace) on another one that maybe I will do in a day or two.

So here's the meme:

1) Post a note about a blogger you would like to see something wonderful happen for. Maybe one whose posts have touched your heart in one way or another. Include details as to why you admire them and what you wish for them. Be as supporting and affirming as you can.

2) Post your favorite memory around selflessness, giving,or doing for others. Something that has actually changed you.

3) As a postscript, name one thing you will actually do for someone in your life before December 31 that is born out of joy.

4) Tag 3 other bloggers who will play the game and find the spirit. Don't forget to leave a comment on their blog so they continue to share the good feelings.

1) Wow, I feel like a copycat but I too was thinking of Diana Jenner; a woman I really don't know except for the little communication that we've done through unschooling lists, Myspace, and blogger. An amazing human being who lost both her husband and daughter to cancer and is raising her son alone; although, now has the help of a boyfriend. I'm sure she has some very dark hours but keeps living an abundant life, full of spunk and rebelliousness (the good kind). She celebrates life, celebrates her daughter's life and is just an incredible inspiration to me. I wish her a prosperous life in Corvallis and LOTS and LOTS of good luck.

2) I can think of several off the top of my head. The most recent one that keeps coming back to my attention was when I was in a metaphysical sort-of-store a couple of weeks ago and a woman was admiring a piece of quartz, or something of the sort, that was tagged at $125. She asked the store owner if she gave Christmas discounts to which the store owner replied, "Tell me one thing that you have done for humanity this year." The woman answered that she worked for hospice and the store owner gave her the piece for $75. It just touched me and I can't exactly explain why. I find myself often asking myself the same question, "Heidi, what have you done for humanity today?" Lovely, just lovely! Sometimes even a simple little smile can be a selfless act for others, especially when we don't really feel like it, because of the ripple effect that it can have, not only on the people immediately surrounding us, but on the rest of humanity. We often feel so different from one another but we are all very much connected by the same energy; we all experience the same emotions and are much more the same than we think. Everything we do has a profound effect on the rest of mankind. That ripple effect!

3) I will continue to be the rock in Christa's life; the young girl that I blogged about in my prior post. Almost every adult in her life has disposed of her when they can't deal with her anymore. I will continue to let her know that I'm the rock, I'm here and I'm not going anywhere. There is nothing she could do to make me go away. I will support her financially when she is in need of something and I will be here to give her a hug when she is sad and lonely. And along the way we will continue to have fun. She has brought so much positive energy into my home, has such a positive outlook on life, and is SO interesting and creative!

I will also continue to be the ever present person in my children's life. I will give them everything I have to give and I will take care of and love myself so that I have something to give. I will teach them about joy and peace by having joy and peace in my own life. I will continue to honor them as fellow and capable human beings, by letting them be who they were born to be without interference, and being their soft place to land when they make mistakes. I will choose to use words and actions that build them up, not break them down. I will love them unconditionally!

I will let my friends and family know, out loud, how much I love and care for them and how much joy they add to my life. Off the top of my head- Ren and Robin, my husband and children, Sheli, Debbie, Tanya, and many others who make my life as wonderful as it is. I seriously couldn't make it without you guys- you are the bomb!!

And last of all, I will strive to be the best yoga teacher possible. To offer the gift of learning to be present, breathing, and getting to know and accept ourselves. Again, I will use words and actions to build people up and help them to be better human beings.

4) I'm tagging my son Kev, Kelli, and Karen.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

I think this is the longest I have ever went without blogging. So much has gone on this last month it is hard to know where to begin. I will try and keep it brief.

The first part of December was spent putting together a gingerbread house for the yoga studio. The City of Palmer had a contest with the downtown businesses and Heather and I volunteered to make one for the studio. It was a lot of fun and VERY time consuming. We figure we have about 14 hours total into the house.
I finished my yoga teacher training on December 14!! I am officially a certified yoga instructor. The only thing left to do is to send my certificiation, along with my fees, to Yoga Alliance and I will be registered. It has been a very positive experience and a time of some major personal growth. I'm working with some incredibly wonderful people and am very happy in where I am at in my life.
Around the same time I was finishing my teacher training our septic backed up and flooded our basement. What we thought was going to be a simple carpet cleaning and a day digging up our septic turned into a major remodel project in the basement. Turns out we had a mold problem and everything had to be ripped out, including some sheetrock and studs. The good thing about it is the insurance paid us enough money to finish our entire basement. We had started on a remodel project that we were unable to finish because we ran out of money so now we can finish it!! So..... blessing in disguise. It hasn't been fun but in the long run we will be thankful.
Calista's birthday was Tuesday so I took her, Rylee (her cousin), and Haley (her good friend) into Anchorage for the day. We went to Red Robin's for lunch and had the crew sing to her, shopping at the mall, and then to the theatre to watch Enchanted. Last night we had the family over for cake and ice cream. It was also Dina's birthday (her dog) so we had a puppy party.
Of course, we have had the normal last minute shopping trips, trying to make Christmas a special day for the kids. I'm not a big fan of Christmas but it is enjoyable to watch the kids get excited. We've had this incredible young girl that has been spending much of her time over at our house, including overnight most weekends. Her home life isn't exactly peachy keen and we wanted to make this Christmas memorable for her. We (our family, Murphy family, and the Walker family) filled a stocking, plus a bag full of things that she loves, and at the very bottom of the stocking we had an i pod. She wouldn't have dreamed of even putting something like that on her list because I don't think she could have even imagined something like that was within her reach. She lifted it out of the stocking, was a little stunned, almost as if she thought it was a pretend one, and then it sunk in and she started to cry. It was so fun to make her smile and excited about the holidays. Those are the kinds of moments that I live for. She couldn't quit saying thank you the entire evening and we definitely made her year special.
Today I'm off to my sisters to do laundry. My laundry room is in the basement, unfortunately, so it won't be put back together for at least another week.
Merry Christmas to everyone!!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Wow, I haven't blogged in a while! I don't have a lot of time for computer stuff lately. I don't see my kids as much as I would like, due to the yoga teacher training that I'm doing, so when I'm home I'm either cleaning house or being with my kids. The one thing that is keeping me going is knowing that it is short-lived. I actually am only three weeks away from being certified, yay!! I've been teaching four classes a week and Georgia just gave me another class to teach.

I'm enjoying teaching Ashtanga the most, I think in part because it is my own practice; the glove just fits better for me. It has been so rewarding to see people come into my class that are tight and unsure and just completely open up, and sometimes in just a few short weeks. Heather and I are also working on a Kids Yoga Camp, putting together games and activities and somewhat of an outline. We will be doing the camp over the Christmas Holidays. The City of Palmer also puts on a gingerbread house contest for local businesses to participate in. We decided to participate so we will be getting together next weekend to build it. We are making a yoga studio and Martha (Martin's sister) agreed to make us clay figures for it. She makes these clay figures and makes them into pins and magnets. The local stores buy them to sell to the tourists and she also does quite a few bazaars over the holidays. So she is making us figures of people doing yoga!!

I have also been dealing with a neck issue that I have been trying to ignore and it finally kicked my butt. I injured it several months ago, which usually causes major problems because I've not had any curvature in my neck for quite some time. I just kept working through it, expecting yoga to eventually "fix" it. I teach my students to honor their bodies and here I am COMPLETELY ignoring my own. So I went to see a chiropractor this week. I don't like the ones that just pop and crack you because all that is doing is releasing the gas in your joint; I want someone who is going to actually line me back up. So I got some recommendations and ended up at Dr. DeSalvo's office. Great choice!! He has done two adjustments and I'm feeling 70% better. I have another adjustment on Tues. morning and as soon as I am mostly pain free he is going to put me on a Posture Pump, a piece of machinery that will put the curvature back in my neck. We are pretty sure that the curvature problem stems from a bad car accident that I was in about 18 years ago. I should have had this taken care of years ago!!

So most of you know that my family spends a lot of time dreaming and planning our dreams; sometimes we actually live them and sometimes not. Usually when we don't it's either because our dreams have changed or the Universe didn't see fit to give them to us for whatever reason. My sister's husband, Bleu, refers to our dreams as the fruit-of-the-month because they are always changing and revolving. So MY latest dream that I have started actively planning is a two month trip to India to practice my Ashtanga with Masterji Viswanatha. Viswanatha is the nephew of Patabhi Jois, Guru of Ashtanga yoga who studied with Krishnamacharya,. Viswanatha studied with Patabhi for 15 years and now has his own studio in Bangalore. I may change my mind and actually go study with Patabhi, who actually has pretty much turned everything over to his grandson who has studied with him most of his life, but for whatever reasons I seem to be more drawn towards Viswanatha. The goal is to go within the next two years. It is a very family-friendly place and they welcome families to join. I will actually be going to get certified in Ashtanga yoga. My goal before I leave is to get to Series II. Ashtanga is split up into series and you master one series before moving to the next. Most people practice each series for a couple of years or more before moving on. I have practiced Primary Series for almost one year and I expect that within one more year I will have it somewhat mastered. I have two workshops/conferences planned over the next year so that will help in my goal also.

So what's happening in my normal day-to-day? Not much out of the ordinary. Kids always in and out of our house, which I love!! The other night a group came over with a Risk game with the goal of staying up all night and finishing a game. I went and got them a bunch of food and Rockstars and that is exactly what they did. I think the last one to go down fell asleep around 4:30 or 5:00. I love it that there are kids that still like to have good, "clean" fun. And the funny thing is that if you judged some of them by their looks a lot of adults would think they were just "punk" kids. I think it is time that our society started honoring these teens because they are incredible human beings with so much to offer the world!! Calista has found Club Penguin and has been playing it non-stop for the last week. Rylee and Hailey are also on the game so they call each other and play, while they are talking on the phone...............for hours! Tristan is doing a trial month of X Box Live so he is on another gaming spurt too.

Tonight will be another night of a house full of friends and food! We have been having friends over quite often to eat and play! I love having a lively house with great energy in it!! We have been trying to do some crafty things to make gifts for the holidays. We made bath salts a couple of weeks ago and then Debbie bought the stuff to make candles.

The weather has also been terrific!! I usually have a very difficult time during these long, dark winters. For at least a week now we have had 45-49 degree weather and quite a bit of rain. Actually I don't think we have dropped below 25 degrees but once this entire winter. It feels like fall to me! We got a little bit of snow but that has all melted now. It is going to make this winter extremely short. I'm still planning on taking the motorhome out in the spring, or possibly the fall, it kind of depends on Kev's schedule. It is looking like he might not return to public school next semester so we may be able to leave whenever. He really wants to continue with the Japanese at the school so we have to look into his options. He feels that school is wasting his time on meaningless busy work and that he could be doing better things with his time. He has also struggled with the immaturity of so many of the kids and the basic "teenage drama" that goes on. Of course, most of it is due to teens that aren't being honored and trusted but that is beyond our help.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


My sister, Ren, posted this on her blog. I thought it was kind of fun so I will give it a shot.

You can play by finishing the following sentences about yourself:

“I am.......... wife, mom (the best ever ;), sister, aunt, clogger, yoga teacher, recycler, vegetarian (currently vegan),a free spirit. I am creative, beautiful, complicated, loud, talkative, spiritual.

“Right now I am in............... a state of complete contentment, satisfied and grateful."

“Most people do not know that I................ am a certified ghost hunter. Really, truly. I got certified by Allen McGee in Erwin, TN. Do you have a house being haunted that needs investigating?”

“I am passionate about.................. yoga and all that it entails. It is so much more than a physical exercise but unfortunately, that is mostly what it is here in the Western part of the world."

“Decades from now, when my children think of me, I hope that they remember ................that I completely supported them in all their endeavors; that everything they wanted to do, ask, inquire about, pursue, or delve into was acknowledged and supported fully; that they were respected as fellow human beings, not puppets to be controlled; that there mom was truly their best friend, their soft place to land, their cocoon of safety; that I let down my hair and had fun with them; that I let them be exactly who they were without trying to change or mold them into something that I wished they were.”

“My soul feels warm and I have a big smile when I remember........... our six month trip around the USA in our motorhome. We took huge risks and lived our dream and we didn't let anybody or anything get in our way.”

“If I could go back in time and give one piece of advice to myself when I was 18 years old it would be to.............. stand up and question everything! It was so easy to accept everything as truth. It limited me in being who I really am deep inside. To not be afraid of what other people could do to me. In my younger years I was so concerned with pleasing others instead of living what I was put on this earth for. And to really live, to do those things I was passionate about and not be afraid to try new things.”

“I think that the most important thing about life is....... JOY, it's all in the joy. The joy of living, doing, being.… And being authentic!”

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Food For Thought

This article was posted by my friend, Cara, on her blog. I thought it was such an excellent article I had to re-post it. I read it to some public school kids who thought it was SO true! Food for thought!

This article was written by Jason Holm:

Imagine this:

You wake up one morning, pour yourself a bowl of cereal, and turn on the morning news. As you lift your spoon to your lips, you hear the newscaster announce that, starting today, the American government has declared that the nutrition of its citizens is a very important issue. Poor nutrition results in decreased productivity, increased healthcare costs, and additional cost for the airline industry due to seating redesigns. In its infinite wisdom, the government has decided that from now on, it will take responsibility for your personal nutritional intake.

Glancing down at your bowl of Frosted Flakes, a twinge of fear enters your heart.

As the report continues, you hear that each state will be responsible for setting up government-controlled restaurants, and that all adults over age 18 will be required to spend a certain number of hours (generally 8am to 3pm) in these facilities for about 9 months out of the year, for 12 years, eating at these restaurants. Naturally, this upsets you. Turning off the television, you start to get ready for work, hoping you simply swallowed some mouthwash earlier and the alcoholic content was causing hallucinations.

Just then, you hear a knock at the door. To your surprise, there is a police officer standing there.
"Excuse me, sir/ma'am. Would you mind explaining why you aren't in restaurant today?"

"I beg your pardon?" you exclaim, suddenly coming to grips with what is taking place.

"According to state law, you are required to be in restaurant at this time. If you don't comply, there will be legal ramifications."

"Why can't I just eat what I want, when I want?"

The officer explains that, technically, you can. But this new shift in the power structure has had some interesting effects. Due to the fact that there are now a large number of government-run restaurants, and that the majority of the population will be required to attend them,nearly all other restaurants have been put out of business. Those that remain are required to follow government-set menus, cooking methods,and more. For the most part, the only privately-owned restaurants left are so expensive only the elite can afford to eat there -- and are still required to be there all day.

You ask "why can't I simply buy my own groceries, read cookbooks and nutrition manuals, and cook my own meals at home, on my own schedule?"

The officer rolls his eyes, then replies "Well, I suppose, but we'd still have to monitor you. We can't trust that you wouldn't just eat junk food all day, so you would still be required to follow government standards, and we have rules about the qualifications of the people who cook food for you, and you'd have to see a government-set nutritionist every year -- to make sure you're following the rules. You'll have to provide them with a daily meal plan, just so we can be sure.

"He then adds "But everyone you know will be in the restaurants. You'll be home all alone. How will you get any socialization?"

You start to mention all the teenagers running the grocery stores, the folks at the cookbook store, not to mention the folks you'd interact with at the bank, post office, library, your job, and all the other places all day. "It's not like I'd be sitting at home just cooking and eating all day -- there's a whole world out there.

"But eventually, you give in to pressure from friends, family, neighbors, and government officials. While you'd rather cook at eat your own food, it hardly seems to be worth the hassle anymore.

Getting off the restaurant bus, you step into the building. It's obvious most of the other people you see don't want to be there, either. They had plans of their own today. Some people seem to be truly happy - they were very hungry and actually like the menu.

For efficiency, 20 to 30 people are stuffed into a single booth. You start to introduce yourself to your booth mates, only for the waitress to approach and say "I'm going to have to ask you all to quiet down, please." So much for socializing.

You ask the waitress for a menu, only to be told your order has already been made. "Don't we get to choose what we want to eat?" you ask. She informs you that if there is any funding left, you can pick a dessert at the end.

The meal comes - it's some kind of casserole. You take a taste - no flavor whatsoever. Everyone in the restaurant has been given the same meal. Seeing as how it is only 10pm, you're not really hungry yet.

The waitress comes by. "You need to eat that." You explain that you aren't hungry yet, and ask if you can save it for lunch. "No, you'll have another plate at lunch. And you'd better hurry -- the eleven o'clock plate will be here before you know it."

"I have to eat a plate of this every hour?!" you exclaim. She assures you that the contents and portions have been measured by government nutritionists, and they know exactly what and how much food the average American adult needs to consume to be healthy.

You look around the restaurant, failing to see any "average" American adult. "What's in the food, anyway?" You ask the waitress.

"I'm not sure," she replies. "I don't cook it, I just serve it."

Jump ahead twelve years. Americans are even more unhealthy than before, especially considering whenever they see food in real life, they shun or mock it. You avoid eating whenever you can, after having it shoved down your throat for over a decade. You still don't understand why the food you ate was nutritious, and tend to gravitate towards junk food when you are hungry.

Sounds ridiculous, right? Now why, when we apply this same story to education, instead of eating, does it sound like normal, everyday life?

Halloween Party

Don't be fooled, he is the devil in disguise!

The DJ (Ryan) and his sidekick.

My sister and I, the fortune teller and Queen of Atlantis.

Kev's bestest buddy, Sara.

Part of the gang and Calista, er, goth cheerleader.

Sarah gets down.

Tanya, Debbie, and myself.

Martin, 80's rocker maybe? and me.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Most of you know how obsessed I become with the weather this time of year so here we go:) We got our first snowfall on, hmm, I think it was Saturday. Not very much and it has mostly melted off but still patches on the ground. Temperature has been sticking right around the 30 degree mark but no more snow yet. Today is sunny and beautiful! For some reason when there is no snow it feels warmer, psychological I know. There is just enough snow in the backyard so that the sleds will slide. Calista and Tristan have been out there constant since Saturday and Calista is REALLY sore. It's quite the workout I guess:)

I forgot to mention that my cousin, Bill, and his wife, Danielle came out on Saturday too. They are storing their motorhome on our property, until spring, so we had lunch and chatted for four hours. We had a lot of catching up to do! They are planning on some more travel this winter, duh! Danielle said the other day that they have been to 42 countries!! Amazing!! The life that I want to live someday. I would actually love to do some of that with my kids, too bad I don't have travel benefits like they do. That's what you get for working for Alaska Airlines.

I taught my first Ashtanga class this morning; I think that is going to be my favorite class to teach. That is my home practice so it just feels so natural for me. I have been officially hired and will be teaching two Ashtanga classes a week and two hot yoga classes. I'm really, really enjoying it, just in case you didn't get that already. I'm sure everyone is sick and tired of hearing about my yoga classes.............sorry. It's become such a huge part of my life and a huge part of who I am now. If you haven't ever tried it you should!! Life changing!!

Tomorrow my friend and I are hosting a Halloween party at the Palmer Depot, 6:00 pm for anyone who wants to come; family friendly. Bring food to share and come in costume. It should be fun! I'm going as a fortune teller. I'll post pics later on that.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Awesome Week!!

I had the last two weeks off from yoga teacher training. Georgia (our teacher) was on vacation this last week so Heather and I taught all her classes. I had four that I taught this week and it was awesome!! It is such a rewarding job! The first two classes were a little awkward but by the third and fourth class I had a rhythm going and it just felt very comfortable. The thing I love about teaching yoga is that it doesn't have a teacher/student feel, rather it's more like sharing an experience with others. You are just there guiding them through their own practice, and at the same time learning so much from the students and even improving your own practice. I really enjoyed this week and can't wait to teach more classes. I have two more months in teacher training before I'm certified but am pretty sure Georgia is going to let us continue teaching through our training.

We took the kids to a haunted house last night. It must have been pretty scary because our group of kids and the group behind them were all huddled together when they came out. It seemed to be a well thought out haunted house. After the haunted house everyone ended up congregating at our house (some of the kids and Debbie and Ryan). Martin got to mixing some drinks and we had a little too much fun; doing yoga (I know, not very smart), listening to Saturday Night Fever, doing slides through the living room, lip sync, and dancing with the kids. We didn't wind down until around 3:00am! The teens crashed here, as usual, and Martin woke up and made them a big batch of vegan pancakes this morning...................................well, afternoon :) It was just a FUN evening!! I just can't say enough how blessed I am to have kids that enjoy playing with us and hanging around.

I woke up to a TON of dishes covering my counters. It took me three dishwasher loads to get them all cleared off. And the entire time I just kept thinking how great my life is!! I guess I need to tackle the office next. I've really let the house go, especially since I started teacher training. Some of it is on purpose because it's not worth it, you clean and the next day you start over, so why bother. But I do get tired of dirt and grime and I'm almost to that point where I will do a marathon cleaning. We still have remodel projects in the basement, which doesn't help with the mess. There is never enough money to get it all done at once, oh well.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Well, not feeling very inspired to blog but will give a short update.
We have had some cool weather, definitely headed into winter. No snow yet but temp.'s have definitely dropped and we have had enough wind that all the leaves have dropped. It's clear and sunny today but the snow has come all the way down the mountains so it is just a matter of time before it hits us. I know some people that live up the hill farther that got a little yesterday but none at our house. We got the motorhome winterized and parked so it won't be coming out until spring. There are plans to take it south this next spring but we will see how everything falls into place. Seems like for every ten things planned, one actually comes through for us. But that is why we dream all the time!! You gotta put it out there into the universe and see how the universe responds.

Robin hosted two bonfires, the first two Saturdays this month. She had pretty lights hung up on torches and a nice little crowd, not too many but enough to make it fun. The first time we got rained on towards the end of the evening but it was still fun. The picture is of my sister and her good friend, Suzanne. Little too chilly this last Saturday so we ended up going over to the Murphy's for family game night. We all played Pictionary until the kids lost interest and left to go jump on the trampoline. Actually, they ended up hauling blankets and pillows out there and all curling up together and chit chatting. Debbie, Sharon, Calista and I played a game of Life, Simpson style. It was a great evening!!

I've had last week and this week off from school so am getting lots done around the house. I taught one class last week and this week am teaching 4 or 5 classes while Georgia is out of town. It will give me some good practice and hopefully everyone will give me good feedback as to how I can teach better. I got some good feedback from the last class I taught so I know what to work on for this week.

Other than that, not much new around here. Feeling a little angst, as I always do at this time of year. It's a time of transition and for some reason it's always a little difficult for me. I'm not too much of a cool weather person so it's very challenging that way, on top of the fact that I have a hard time finding things to do in the cooler weather. It's good I have teacher training to focus on but could definitely use a trip outside this year.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Yoga Teacher Training

Well, I taught my first yoga class last night! I co-taught with a fellow student, Heather. I did all the cueing and she did all the poses off my cues. I think it went really well, I felt very comfortable and at ease and look forward to many more classes. I will get a little evaluation from Georgia (my teacher) some time this week to see how she thought I did. I got lots of positive feedback after the class so that felt good.

I really feel like I'm on the right path for me. I just have this sense of peace and contentment being where I am at right now. I have been blessed to meet Heather, who I have a tremendous amount in common with. We have had some fun discussions and I'm sure she will end up being a good friend. She is vegan, as Kev is, and so I'm going to give it another shot. Just remembering how good I felt, along with the fact that Kev needs a good support system. I remember how many tries it took me to go vegetarian, just trying to figure it all out, and that was 12 years ago so here I go! I will be posting on my other blog again, I know it's been a while, so if you were reading over there go ahead and pick it up again. The address is veganforamonth_snavleys.blogspot.com.

Monday, September 24, 2007

this and that

Haven't had a whole lot of time to blog lately. I started my yoga teacher training class last week, which is three days every week so that has been eating a lot of my time up. It's exciting to be moving towards my goal of being a yoga instructor. My kids are handling it really well and being very supportive of my endeavor. Martin has been going to work as late as he can get away with, which usually only leaves them alone for two hours on those three days. I will be teaching classes by the middle of December so it is pretty short-lived.

It's been an interesting month, getting used to being in the public school system and being on their schedule. Lots of adjustments, some good/some bad. Kev went on a rant last night about how school is such a waste of time. He feels like some parts of it are fun but that it is just such a waste of good time. He doesn't have time for the things that he is passionate about, those things that are relevant to him as an individual, those things that he is actually going to do something with. He also feels like he really hasn't learned anything new. Even in his English class, which is his favorite class (next to Japanese), he feels like he isn't really learning anything; he is writing some awesome essay's but not really getting much feedback on his writing. He just gets A's but doesn't really know what he needs to work on to write better. He also is realizing that the social part of it, the part that he thought was going to be the biggest plus, is really not social at all. He is finding out that you can't really socialize during school and that he had a much richer social life out of school. At this point he knows he is not going to continue in the public school but he isn't sure whether he will pull out after semester or after the year. I think he would like to pull out now but he says that he wants all of those people, that thought it was going to be such a great experience for him, to know that he did a year and that "it sucked".

The funny thing is that he has 4 A's, 1 B, and a C (in math). He has never had formal schooling before this; so much for the notion that you have to "prepare kids" for this sort of thing. Apparently, unschooling has equipped him just fine! I think grades are a joke anyway, but that is a subject for a different day:) I think school is unatural for many, many reasons but again, that is a subject for another day. Kev definitely thinks that it is not real life, in fact he made the comment the other day, "If people think that school is a mimic of the real world, why not just LIVE in the real world? Why bother with school if you can just LIVE?!" Amen, it's what I've been trying to tell people but not everyone gets it!! At least he knows now what it is all about right?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Happy Birthday Kev!!

My firstborn just had his 15th birthday. He happened to have a swim meet, in Soldotna, on his birthday so we all drove down for that and yelled happy birthday at him all day:) Yesterday we took 7 of his closest friends in to Anchorage for dinner at Red Robins and a movie. Debbie and Ryan came with and helped haul in kids. We had a great time, movie was kind of stupid (Dragon Wars) but we had fun anyway. Five of the kids crashed at our house last night. I love hanging out with his friends, I wish I could adopt all of them. I'm just glad they all like to hang out here. It's a little strange having a 15 year old, since I remember almost everything about that year in my own life, sure doesn't seem like 20 years ago! Happy Birthday Kev, we love you!!!

My little brother got out of prison yesterday too. Robin picked him up and we took him into Anchorage, fed him, and put him on the plane back to Fairbanks. All day I just had a pit in my stomach. It is so frustrating that we can't do more to help integrate these prisoners into society. He has fetal alcohol syndrome, which makes it a little harder for him to function in this world, and he has nowhere to go once he gets to Fairbanks. And to make matters worse we can't really take him in because he is on the sexual registration list, due to a conviction of statuatory rape, because he was caught having consensual sex with a girl who was under 16, when he was 19. My sister, Dana, picked him up yesterday and gave him a warm place to sleep, for a couple of nights, and then first thing tomorrow morning I am going to go on a mad search for some kind of assisted living for him. We just want so badly for him to make it but he also has to want it just as bad. He has found it easier to be in prison though because he always has a warm place to sleep and food in his belly. It's the easier route, ya know.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

My sister, me, cousin Jason, family friend Sarah, and all the kids.


My aunt Karen with Tristan, Rylee, and Calista. Kev stayed home because he wasn't feeling too well. She is more like grandma to my kids.


This is me and my cousin Jason, who is exactly, to the day, two months older than me. We grew up more like twins, always together and often living within a block away from each other.


Had a wonderful weekend, with my family, in Fairbanks. It's been a while since I spent an entire weekend with just the family so the trip was overdue for that. My aunt, who moved to Texas last year, was up visiting, which made it extra special because we hadn't seen her in two years since we were on our trip when she left. It was just good to be surrounded by my mom's immediate family and to have that feeling once again that my mom's spirit still lives in others that loved her so much. It was good for my kids to be around a "grandma" that loves and adores them without judgement.

The picture of me was taken tonight. I know it might not be as cute as the last haircut but it sure is EASY, especially with all the yoga I do. Martin likes it so I guess that is all that matters.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

New tat

Here is the latest. My good friend, Tanya, got it first and then I decided to get a matching one.

Friday, August 31, 2007


The transmission went out on my van................................again! This is the fourth time in two years. I was getting ready to turn into an intersection when it happened so my three kids had to push me off to the side. That has got to be the worst thing you can do to a teenager; making him push your car out of an intersection. Too bad we didn't take a video of it, lol.

Good thing is that our transmission was under warranty so hopefully they can fix it and we can baby it another 10,000 miles.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Another Daily OM

August 28, 2007Exploring An Alternate UniverseWhat Makes People Tick?

All people have their own way of being in the world. It is easiest to comprehend this basic yet profound fact when we consider that every human being on the planet occupies a distinct role in the universe. We grow up in different environments, affected by a unique range of influences. The preferences, values, and beliefs we embrace are frequently related intimately to our origins. And the need to individualize our experiences is instinctive, as doing so enables us to cope when we must face challenges on our own. Consequently, each of us has developed a perspective that is uniquely ours. Interacting peacefully and constructively with people from all walks of life is a matter of first understanding where they are coming from. Then we can adjust our expectations so that we avoid making undue assumptions about what they are about.

In the face of emerging interpersonal conflict, it is easy to assume that others are being difficult, unreasonable, or stubborn. We are apt to grow frustrated when someone in our environment does not share our opinions or feel compelled to support us in our endeavors. It is likely that the individual or individuals before us may simply possess differing notions with regard to what is and what is not important in this life. We can ease the tension that exists between us by reaffirming our belief in the fundamental right of all beings to determine their own destinies. To foster a harmonious relationship, we need to do our best to relate to the unique universes they inhabit. And as we discover what makes them tick, our ability to find a mode of interaction that is pleasing to both of us is enhanced.

When there are barriers keeping you from connecting with someone else, think of questions you can ask them to gain a more thorough understanding of their point of view. You may discover that in addition to the differences in perspective dividing you, they are subject to insecurities and other personal issues that influence their way of seeing the world. It is likely that you will never fully grasp the myriad complexities embodied by humanity, but you can go a long way toward encouraging mutually satisfying relations by reaching out to others in the spirit of sympathetic comprehension.


Sighhhh. I'm working on it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

School Update

We are on day three. I have so many mixed emotions it's hard to blog on it. The female hormones are a little out of whack this week too so that doesn't help.

I wouldn't say Kev is excited about school but getting through it. I expected for him to have a little more emotion on the whole thing, whether bad or good, but he seems a little blase about all of it. He thinks he is really going to enjoy Japanese, Choir, and English but really couldn't care less about the rest. And he HATES science; hates the teacher, thinks the curriculum is boring, really doesn't like anything about it. The curriculum is stuff he already knows lots about so it's a little mundane. He thought he was going to see his friends a lot but he doesn't have lunch with any of them and he only has a couple of classes with two of them. I will have to say though he is very organized, which isn't a characteristic I have seen much of. He gets home, gets his stuff done and goes to bed.

Dropping him off at the school the first day was extremely eery, that is really the only way I can explain it. All the things about school that just make me cringe was right there in front of me. Like a bunch of bees swarming to their nest, into the box they go. And all day all I could think of was him sitting in this classroom, listening to a teacher talk about stuff, of which much he will never take with him on his life journey, and then shuffle on to the next classroom. It just made me sad. And then he heads to swim practice and I don't see him until 5:00!! When he gets home he barely has the energy for his homework and then he crashes. He absolutely has no free time to pursue the things that he is so passionate about, and he has a lot of passions. He hardly has the energy for youth court, which is something he really enjoys. And I feel like there are only two children living at home right now.

But this is what he wants to do so he will never see me tear up when I drop him off and he will never hear all those voices in my head that say, "please don't go". I will be very surprised if he does another year. We have a homeschool/charter school here where he can do most of the classes at home but has the option of taking classes at the school if he wants. If he wants former schooling I hope he takes that path next year. At least that way he still has the freedom and still has time to pursue other things.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

this and that

Wow, I haven't blogged since the 8th of August! It's been a little crazy around here and it's nice to have everything calmed down and somewhat normal.

Martin had family here all of July and the first part of this month with the ENTIRE family here for a week. He has four siblings and with all of their spouses and kids there were about 20 of us. We had a grand time; did some hiking, shopping, eating, and just hanging out. A good friend, Karen Demmert and her son, Nicholas, were here too. Karen provided loads of entertainment, as she is quite comical. We hiked Lazy Mountain, a fairly difficult hike, and she mostly slipped and slided both up and down the mountain. We had a bit of rain before the hike so it was pretty muddy and then Karen had no traction on her shoes. I think my stomach got more of a workout than my legs because I was laughing so hard.

The last week ended with Lois and Merle's (Martin's parents) 50th wedding anniversary. Lots of their friends showed up to wish them well and it was touching to see the legacy that they are leaving behind for their children. My parents were also married for almost 37 years at the time of my mother's death. I think it is special that both Martin and I were left with great examples of what a marriage can be.

After the family left last week I headed up to Fairbanks with Tristan and Calista. Kevin just started highschool swim team so he couldn't come with us. We stayed with my good friend Sheli and just hung out and had a good time. Her daughter, Maija and Calista are bosom buddies and it had been six months since they had seen each other so they were attached at the hip the entire four days. Milo and Tristan are pretty good friends too so everyone was pretty happy! I spent an afternoon with my grandma and grandpa, who are getting ready to move from a big house to a condo. Grandpa has Parkinson's, which is progressing and they just can't handle the house, the stairs, and everything that goes with caring for a house and landscaping. Ironically, Sheli's sister and her family are buying the house so I will be able to see it once in a while.

This weekend we went and got the rest of the things that Kev needs for school. It gives me a really odd feeling to enter into the system for the first time. There are a lot of arbitrary things that the system has in place that gets me going once in a while but somehow we will get through it. He always has the freedom to come home if he hates it, just as he made the choice to go in the first place.

One of the things that was a little frustrating is the whole immunization thing. We choose not to immunize our children, although Kev has mostly been immunized because I didn't question much when he was little. We found a WONDERFUL naturopathic MD in town that signed his opt out form. At first we were told that we just had to sign a opt out form but when it came down to finishing the registration process we ended up having to either sign a religious opt out or medical opt out. The religious one didn't work because you have to actually be a member of a church that practices no immunizations. The doctor that we have been seeing wouldn't sign it so we had to go in search of an MD who practices naturopathically. I can't believe we found one in Wasilla!! He is a younger doctor, probably right around my age (35 or so) who doesn't care for the way doctors approach medicine. Kev has been eating vegan and is pretty committed to living that way so the doctor gave him a list of supplements that he needs to be taking and talked a lot with him about things he needs to have in his diet. He also talked about the slight acne he is dealing with. I was just so excited to find someone that thinks like us! We talked about things totally unrelated to medicine too because we have so much in common. We will definitely be establishing a long-term relationship with him as our family doctor.

Anyway, Kev has everything he needs to enter his freshman year. He is a little nervous but also excited. I think the thing he is most excited about is that the school offers Japanese, which was a big motivation for him to go to school. He is nervous about the math thing, as he has had very little written math but I'm sure he will be fine. He won't have the pressure from us to have to perform and get good grades so it's not a biggie. For him school is a tool he is going to pick up and use.............period. It's not the end all, be all for his life.

I have lots of pictures that I may or may not post later. It seems that I have less and less time to be on the computer, or should I say less time that I want to spend on the computer. Part of it is because we are all sharing one computer. Martin's computer even crashed this last week. He had to get a new hard drive so he lost EVERYTHING. He didn't have any of his realty stuff backed up so it was a hard lesson! I ordered myself a new spring green Dell but it isn't here yet; can't wait! Calista has decided to spend part of her Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) on her own computer too so we will have enough computers in the house for everyone to use. For those of you who don't know what the PFD is, it is the oil money that is in a fund and every Alaska resident gets some of the interest from that fund. This year the checks will be about $1575.00!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Happy Birthday Tristan!!

Wow, so much to blog about from this last two weeks. We've been surrounded by family and have had the most hectic, crazy, fun two weeks! But I will blog about all of that later because today is Tristan's 12th birthday!

My second child who came into this world in 1 hr and 20 minutes and who goes through life just as tornado like. He has challenged ALL of my beliefs and opinions on parenting and has taught me how to put down the old tools and use some new ones. He has been challenging, frustrating, exciting, extremely intuitive, contagiously zealous, living life on the edge; ONE INCREDIBLE HUMAN BEING!!

He made it very clear at a very early age that he DOES NOT like birthday parties! Does not like the attention on him, does not like the planning and thought that goes into them, really does not like anything about them!! So there! It is a challenge for me every year on how to make his day special without him feeling like he is putting people out or feeling like all attention is on him. Last year Richard's dad, Ernie, took him flying and it was absolutely PERFECT! Don't know if I will ever be able to beat that one. He has yet to tell me what he wants to do on this special day so I took it upon myself to invite his two best buddies over. Hopefully we can go bowling or go-karting or something that will make this day extra special.

I did buy him guitar hero, which he has been wanting for quite some time. Awful thing is that his XBox is not working and we have to send it into Microsoft to be repaired; that just bites! He also would like to have a cell phone and there have been several times over the last few weeks where I wish he had one so we might go check those out today too.

He also got lunch out with Grandpa Royal and Nancy yesterday who so kindly invited the rest of us too. He chose Evangelo's, a wonderful italian restaurant here. They gave him a piece of cheesecake so we got to sing happy birthday to him there. After lunch we went next door to a used car dealer to check out the old mustangs and corvettes that were on the lot.

Happy Birthday Tristan!! You make our lives extra special!!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Space In Togetherness

Another Daily Om that goes so well with yesterdays:

As relationships evolve, lives gradually become entwined. We tend to have a great deal in common with the people who attract us, and our regard for them compels us to trust their judgment. While our lives may seem to run together so smoothly that the line dividing them cannot be seen, we remain separate beings. To disregard these barriers is to sacrifice independence. It is our respect for the fact that our lives exist independently of the lives of others that allows us to set emotional and physical boundaries, to explore our interests and capabilities even when people close to us do not understand our partialities, and to agree to disagree. Maintaining healthy barriers is a matter of recognizing the point at which our principles and those of our loved ones and peers no longer overlap.

Human beings must relentlessly fight the temptation to follow the crowd. Naturally, we want to be liked, accepted, and admired, and it often seems that the easiest way to win approval is to ally ourselves with others. When we assume that our standards are the same as those of the people close to us without first examining our own intentions, we do ourselves a disservice. The barriers that exist between us are a reminder that our paths in life will be unique, and we must each accept that "I" and "we" can coexist peacefully. Our reactions, our likes and dislikes, our loves, our goals, and our dreams may or may not align with those of others, but we should neither ask others to embrace what we hold dear nor feel compelled to embrace what they hold dear.

As you learn to define yourself as an emotionally and intellectually distinct individual, you will grow to appreciate your autonomy. However much you enjoy the associations that bind you to others and provide you with a sense of identity, your concept of self will ultimately originate in your own soul. The healthy barriers that tell you where you end and the people around you begin will give you the freedom to pursue your development apart from those whose approval you might otherwise be tempted to seek out. Others will continue to play a role in your existence, but their values will not direct its course, and the relationships you share will remain marvelously balanced and harmonious as a result.


I often feel the need to change another rather than just accept the differences and be comfortable with my Self. What other's hold dear will not effect me and my Self so I can focus on bringing peace and joy into my own life and still share with others those things that we have in common. I just love that last sentence: Others will continue to play a role in your existence, but their values will not direct its course, and the relationships you share will remain marvelously balanced and harmonious as a result.

Wanting to Join

From the Daily OM:

The ability to go into any social situation and sense the level of consciousness in that situation is a gift. It enables us to move considerately in a world that holds people of all levels of awareness. However, there is a difference between shifting our energy to accommodate people and dumbing ourselves down to a regrettable degree. Sometimes, when we get into a particular social situation, we may feel pressure to play it small in order to fit in. Perhaps everyone is drinking or smoking excessively, engaging in gossipy small talk, or complaining bitterly about politics. It is one thing to notice this and modify our expectations and another thing entirely to join in.

When we notice where people are coming from and acknowledge to ourselves that their energy is not in alignment with ours, we have several choices as to how to proceed. One viable option is to quietly endure the situation, keeping to ourselves until it is time to leave. In this way, we take care of our own consciousness and protect our growth process. Another option is to interact in a way that honors and pays respect to the people in the group, while gently attempting to shift the level of consciousness with our input. In order to do this, we must maintain our own vibration, which means that joining in by dumbing down is not an option.

When we choose to dumb ourselves down to fit in, we not only sell ourselves short but we also lose a possible opportunity to influence the situation for the good of all concerned. Our desire to join in may come from our natural yearning to feel connected to the people around us. There is no shame in this, but being able to stand on our own, separate from the crowd, is a powerful milestone on any spiritual path. It can be difficult in the moment, but when we arrive on the other side, our integrity intact, we may find ourselves feeling positively smart.


This is something that I struggle with and I just need to learn to let go and be myself and learn not to get sucked in. We naturally have a desire to be accepted and loved but often it is at the expense of Self.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

America is driven, but the world questions our destination

The following is an article that appeared in our local paper several months ago. It has been hanging on my fridge and I read it quite often. I would like to share it with the rest of you.


Written by Todd South

I feel most like an American while driving. The movement mimics my country's attitude.

Each year, things go faster. There's always something more important to do, somewhere more important to go.

Where we're going, why are we going there so fast? What are we missing along the way?

That's the image I think the rest of the world has of us. Still moving but not going anywhere.

I'm not going to share patriotic writing that rallied the troops and citizens. The author who best tells the story of Americans wasn't too popular in his own time.

Henry David Thoreau was a bit of an outsider. He also didn't care much for any transportation outside of his own two feet.

The American I love is the nation of outsiders, nonconformists, and dreamers because America, at its core, is about possibility.

The work that illustrates this best is "Walden." Thoreau stepped away from the bustling towns of 19th-centruy Massachusetts and found solitude in the woods.

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life," Thoreau tells readers, "and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."

In his cabin, he laid out thoughts that struck to the heart of what a person's life should be about. He questioned the status quo and challenged readers to examine what they considered commonplace.

For generations, we have been put to sleep by promises of comfort and security. While leading the world in material development, we have neglected our character development. Thoreau said, "The mass of men live lives of quiet desperation."

Our nation is leading its own life of quiet desperation, and we don't even realize it. Much of the world doesn't like American now.

Like our country, I know what that feels like. I served my country as a US Marine Corps sergeant in 2003 in Iraq. I was my comanding officer's driver. I drove onto and off a ship. I drove through camps and cities. Across borders and through deserts I drove. I passed camels and men who walked for days to reach a tent they called home.

I drove around bombed-out-buildings and through hawklike stares of dark men who hated me.

Once I returned home, people asked me about Iraq. I can't say too much I saw it from behind a steering wheel. But I've seen most of America from behind a steering wheel, too, always going somewhere, never really in a place, just passing through.

In Iraq, I was insulated from the people we were liberating by a thin sheet of glass and a plastic door. The Humvee I drove stood out as the only patch of green ina whirlwind of hot, brown sand and an impossibly blue sky. But the dirty glass and green plastic door were enough to divide liberated and liberators, as our president called us.

Most Americans I see are a bit more comfortable in air-conditioned, cushioned-seated cocoons rolling through cities and across this land, but they're still cut off.

If we listened to Thoreau, we might question our push forward, our need for more and more and more. We might recognize that the hope with which we once inspired other nations is now seen as sheer greed.

We might see that showcasing giant personal vehicles, immense wardrobes and eating contests to the world does not arouse others to follow our example.

In "Walden," Thoreau advocates a maxim that holds true still: simplify, simplify, simplify! He returns to the idea that people should question what they do and why they do it.

I believe we could once again lead the world through our actions and not just our spending. But this can happen only by looking inward and taking full account of our culture and what this nation is really about.

Self-determination and sacrifice, leading a deliberate life - these are the ideals that show what America was once and still wants to emulate.

If we showed the world these core principles of what America is beneath all the surface garbage we've built over generations, then others would again follow our lead.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Harry Potter

I'm just barely catching up on my lack of sleep from taking the kids to the Harry Potter movie opening and then the book comes out!! Of course we had to go to the book release party at Barnes and Noble silly!!

Naahhh, just teasing, it was loads of fun! Martin and I found a corner, by women's studies, lol, and sat down to read our own books and people watch! Some people were sooo into character and it was quite entertaining. My favorite was the fat lady, carrying around a big frame in front of her. We got lots of pictures which I will upload later.

We now have five teens camped out at our house. They tried to stay up all night reading the book but it is awfully quiet in this house and one of them is crashed on the couch.

Tonight we are off to our first overnight camping trip, in the motorhome, this summer. Looking forward to relaxing and sleeping :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Okay, so amazing how this universe works!! I posted this morning on my journey away from Christianity and the need to constantly grow and change and not feel like I have it all figured out. I get home this evening and open my e-mail and this is what my Daily OM said:

Living in an information age, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the constant influx of scientific studies, breaking news, and even spiritual revelations that fill our bookshelves, radio waves, and in-boxes. No sooner have we decided what to eat or how to think about the universe than a new study or book comes out confounding our well-researched opinion. After a while, we may be tempted to dismiss or ignore new information in the interest of stabilizing our point of view, and this is understandable. Rather than closing down, we might try instead to remain open by allowing our intuition to guide us.

For example, contradictory studies concerning foods that are good for you and foods that are bad for you are plentiful. At a certain point, though, we can feel for ourselves whether coffee or tomatoes are good for us or not. The answer is different for each individual, and this is something that a scientific study can’t quite account for. All we can do is take in the information and process it through our own systems of understanding. In the end, only we can decide what information, ideas, and concepts we will integrate. Remaining open allows us to continually change and shift by checking in with ourselves as we learn new information. It keeps us flexible and alert, and while it can feel a bit like being thrown off balance all the time, this openness is essential to the process of growth and expansion.

Perhaps the key is realizing that we are not going to finally get to some stable place of having it all figured out. Throughout our lives we will go through the processes of opening to new information, integrating it, and stabilizing our worldview. No sooner will we have reached some kind of stability than it will be time to open again to new information, which is inherently destabilizing. If we see ourselves as surfers riding the incoming waves of information and inspiration, always open and willing to attune ourselves to the next shift, we will see how blessed we are to have this opportunity to play on the waves and, most of all, to enjoy the ride.


So true that intuition is sooooo important. We have all the answers inside us- we just have to learn to listen. Like the book The Four Agreements explains, we have all been "domesticated" and it's not easy to shut those other voices off; all those things that we have been taught as truth that were only someone elses truth and not our own.


I've been so busy enjoying our very short summer that I just haven't had the time to blog like I do in the winter. I've also been a little stymied, due to my complete focus on some research that I have been a little caught up in.

I was raised in a very strict, fundamental, cult-like Christian sect that taught us to never question but to just have 'faith'. I left that church five years ago and became a member of another Christian church that, unlike the church I grew up in was not black and white in their thinking, still taught to "just have faith", to not question.

So many questions rose up in me all through my life, not only about the church I grew up in but questions about Jesus and Christianity in general. My focus five years ago was to challenge the history and validity of this sect I grew up in. I satisfied those questions quite quickly and I didn't have to look very far. But those nagging questions about Christianity continued to pop up in my mind, so many things that just don't make sense to me, yet I continued to "believe" because that is what I was taught to do. Besides the fact that so many things in the Bible don't make sense and don't add up, the Bible was telling me things that just didn't line up with what I was actually experiencing with God. I just couldn't ignore it any longer.

I have spent the last several months researching and discovering things that make me completely in awe of how ignorant man can actually be. How much we take for truth without every questioning it. And it isn't just religion, it's everything; our government and all of it's institutions, the media, the masses. It's really quite pathetic and I'm quite guilty.

My journey through unschooling has slowly taught me to question everything and to not mindlessly think in a certain way and do things just because "somebody said" or some book printed it or the government thought it was good and healthy. The more questions I ask, regarding the Bible and Christianity, the more answers I receive and the more I move away from it. And I know there is validity to the answers I am receiving because I have an inner peace that I have not felt before. I am completely content with where I am and where I am going and that means something to me.

There is a Japanese word that a friend has on her license plate- Kaizen. The Japanese definition is "change for the better", the English translation is "continuous improvement". There will always be room for change and growth, always more to learn and discover. I never want to think that I have all the answers or that I have it figured out so much that I will never change my opinion on things. This world is so full of wonder and things we will never have the answers for and I will continue to question, research, and discover.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Awesome week!!

It's been an incredibly wonderful week filled with friends, family, and a lot of fun!!
Last Wednesday was Rylee's birthday. We went to H2Oasis, the local indoor waterpark, and swam for a couple of hours and then on to my sister's house for food and birthday cake. She's six years old; hard to believe!
Last Friday we went up to Girdwood (about 70 miles south of where we live) and went to the Forest Fair; a fun, hippie festival where I was completely in my element! They had tons of booths, food, and great music. The teenagers didn't appreciate it as much as Tanya and I so they spent most of the time in the car listening to their own music, but that was fine with us. Problem was when we got back to the car they didn't actually turn the car on and they ran my battery out so we were dead in Girdwood. I had to go around asking people for a jump and finally rounded up this nice young man. He was quite proud of himself; bragging about money and how he was getting ready to get drafted by the NHL and offered to hook us up with some NHL stars, lol! Quite entertaining.

Saturday morning we met Martin's mom, dad, sister, and niece, and my sister, brother-in-law, and niece for lunch at Vagabond's. I then took Rylee out to pick her own birthday present out because I just couldn't think of anything to get her last week. Saturday night Martin and I took the kids, along with a couple of Kev's friends to Ratatouille. What a great movie! We are definitely buying that one.

Monday we hung out with friends, I went with my friend Tanya to get her nose pierced (so pretty!), and then I went to yoga (as usual).

Then last night was really exciting, lol! 14 of us headed into Anchorage around 5:30, went to dinner, the mall, and then headed over to the theatre for the Harry Potter opening. We got to the theatre at 9:00 (the movie didn't start until 12:00) and sat around chit chatting for three hours. It actually went by pretty fast, having my best friends there to talk with. And at least we got good seats! I hate those openings when you end up getting stuck up in the very front! We didn't pull into the driveway until just before 4:00 am. I am one of the few people that don't work too so I'm sure everyone is exhausted today. I got to sleep until 10:15 so I'm not doing so bad today. It was a really fun night; I just really enjoy hanging out with my kids and their friends and to top it off I had my good friends there too. It helps that my best friends are the mothers of Kev's best friends :)

Monday, July 02, 2007


I went to bed last night very angry and frustrated. Yet another evening with the stepmom and all her complaining and poisonous, negative energy; feeling the need to have a conversation with my dad and vent!

This morning I woke up, and during my meditation time I spent time saying the prayers from "The Four Agreements", and suddenly the anger and frustration vanished and in it's place was a sadness and a need to pray that God would send her peace and heal her from whatever hurt that she is feeling and spreading all around her. Just the reminder that I see myself in all people and that we are all connected and when I send her frustration and anger, I am only giving it to myself and feeding myself with that poison.

These are the two prayers from The Four Agreements which, if you haven't read you must. I apologize that they are so long but they will fill your day with peace. When we love ourselves and fill ourselves with peace and love that is what we have to give away to others.

Prayer for Love:

We are going to share a beautiful dream together- a dream that you will love to have all of the time. In this dream you are in the middle of a beautiful, warm sunny day. You hear the birds, the wind, and a little river. You walk toward the river. At the edge of the river is an old man in meditation, and you see that out of his head comes a beautiful light of different colors. You try not to bother him, but he notices your presence and opens his eyes. He has the kind of eyes that are full of love and a big smile. You ask him how he is able to radiate all that beautiful light. You ask him if he can teach you to do what he is doing., He replies that many, many, years ago he asked the same question of his teacher.

The old man begins to tell you his story: "My teacher opened his chest and took out his heart, and he took a beautiful flame from his heart. Then he opened my chest, opened my heart, and he put that little flame inside it. He put my heart back in my chest, and as soon as my heart was inside of me, I felt intense love, because the flame he put in my heart was his own love.

"That flame grew in my heart and became a big, big fire- a fire that doesn't burn, but purifies everything that it touches. And that fire touched each one of the cells of my body, and the cells of my body loved me back. I became one with my body, but my love grew even more. That fire touched every emotion of my mind, and all the emotions transformed into a strong and intense love. And I loved myself, completely and unconditionally.

"But the fire kept burning and I had the need to share my love. I decided to put a little piece of my love in every tree, and the trees loved me back, and I became one with the trees, but my love did not stop, it grew more. I put a piece of love in every flower, in the grass, in the earth and they loved me back, and we became one. And my love grew more and more to love every animal in the world. They responded to my love and loved me back, and we became one. But my love kept growing and growing.

"I put a piece of my love in every crystal, in every stone in the ground, in the dirt, in the metals, and they loved me back, and I became one with the earth. And then I decided to put my love in the water, in the oceans, in the rivers, in the rain, in the snow. And they loved me back and we became one. And still my love grew more and more. I decided to give my love to the air, to the wind. I felt a strong communion with the earth, with the wind, with the oceans, with nature, and my love grew and grew.

"I turned my head to the sky, to the sun, to the stars, and put a little piece of my love in every star, in the moon, in the sun, and they loved me back. And I became one with the moon and the sun and the stars, and my love kept growing and growing. And I put a little piece of my love in every human, and I became one with the whole of humanity. Wherever I go, whomever I meet, I see myself in their eyes, because I am a part of everything, because I love."

And then the old man opens his own chest, takes out his heart with that beautiful flame inside, and he puts that flame in your heart. And now that love is growing inside of you. Now you are one with the wind, with the water, with the stars, with all of nature, with all animals, and with all humans. You feel the heat and the light emanating from the flame in your heart. Out of your head shines a beautiful light of diffferent colors. You are radiant with the glow of love and you pray:

Thank you, Creator of the Universe, for the gift of life you have given me. Thank you for giving me everything that I have ever truly needed. Thank you for the opportunity to experience this beautiful body and this wonderful mind. Thank you for living inside me with all your love, with your pure and boundless spirit, with your warm and radiant light.

Thank you for using my words, for using my eyes, for using my heart to share your love wherever I go. I love you just the way you are, and because I am your creation, I love myself just the way I am. Help me to keep the love and the peace in my heart and to make that love a new way of life, that I may live in the love the rest of my life. Amen.

Prayer for Freedom:

Today, Creator of the Universe, we ask that you come to us and share with us a strong communion of love. We know that your real name is Love, that to have a communion with you means to share the same vibration, the same frequency that you are, because you are the only thing that exists in the universe.

Today, help us to be like you are, to love life, to be life, to be love. Help us to love the way you love, with no conditions, no expectations, no obligations, without any judgment. because when we judge ourselves, we find ourselves guilty and we need to be punished.

Help us to love everything you create unconditionally, especially other human beings, especially those who live around us- all our relatives and people whom we try so hard to love. Because when we reject them, we reject ourselves, and when we reject ourselves, we reject You.

Help us to love others just the way they are with no conditions. Help us to accept them the way they are, without judgment, because if we judge them, we find them guilty, we blame them, and we have the need to punish them.

Today, clean our hearts of any emotional poison that we have, free our minds from any judgment so that we can live in complete peace and complete love.

Today is a very special day. Today we open our hearts to love again so that we can tell each other "I love you," without any fear, and really mean it. Today, we offer ourselves to you. Come to us, use our voices, use our eyes, use our hands, and use our hearts to share ourselves in a communion of love with everyone. Today, Creator, help us to be just like you are. Thank you for everything that we recieve this day, especially for the freedom to be who we really are. Amen.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Another Wonderful Week

Another incredibly wonderful week under my belt.
It just seems that my life has found its groove. I have this inward peace that is pretty hard to push off kilter. Even on the seemingly "bad" days life is just good.
We have had quite a few sunny, warm days. The kids and I have been spending quite a bit of time at the lake. We have even dreamed about living on the lake but not sure if we want to create the chaos that it takes to move again. Our housing market here is pretty flat at the moment so it wouldn't be a smart move to sell our house anyway. Renting it out is always a possibility though.
Thursday we went to music at the park; trying to make a habit of it for the summer. This week was bluegrass. Quite often the music that is being played is not really my kind of music but it is something about the atmosphere of being at the park, with people of all different walks of life sitting there enjoying something together, that does something for my soul. My good friends Tanya and Debbie came too (picture at the top) which makes it even more enjoyable.
Right before we went to the park I got this new tattoo and Kev got his eyebrow pierced. I'm personally not into the facial piercings, it really grosses me out, but it's his body and he thinks they look really nice so............ I suppose some people think tattoos are a turnoff also and I happen to think they are a beautiful work of art so I guess to each his own. What made it even more fun is that all the kids and Martin were there along with two of Kev's friend and one of their mom's. It almost made me feel like a monkey in the zoo but it created some wonderfully, good energy!
On Friday Calista and I went to Friday Fling with Tanya and Sarah. Friday Fling is kind of like a Saturday Market but much smaller; music and local craft booths, food, etc. We started the day with soup from our favorite coffee shop, Vagabond Blues, and ended the day with a trip to a new thrift store in downtown Palmer. This new thrift store is made up of all very trendy, brand name clothes. I bought a jacket that is just rocking my world!! I will post pictures of that later, as I have to fix a little rip on it first.
Later in the evening we went over to Debbie and Ryan's for "spinach crap". Kev hangs out at the Murphy's every Monday, during Heroes season, and Debbie started a tradition of making this spinach ravioli stuff that the kids have dubbed "spinach crap". It's their favorite dish and I never make it right to their standards. I guess Debbie has a special touch when she makes it :) After we ate our "spinach crap" we played a game of Japanese Rummy. That was the first time we played, very fun! We are very thankful to be blessed with such wonderful friends!
I also made an official decision this week to go ahead with the yoga teachers certification class so that I can teach yoga. She decided to add a new class in October so it will be happening a lot sooner than I thought. On the application one of the things she asks us to do is right a story about ourselves and be introspective about it. It's funny that it makes me so anxious because I blog all the time and am fairly introspective about things but something about "having" to do it makes me feel like I am back in elementary school. So all week I have been wringing my hands over what this story might be. I think I have an idea, just funny that it is requiring so much of my energy. This class will give me the 200 hr certification and then in June of next year I will continue on and get my 500 hr certification, which allows me to teach anywhere, where as the 20o hr has some limitations.
Martin's ENTIRE family will be coming to visit in the next month which will add a little more excitement. One sister and niece will be here this week so we look forward to a good time! There will be one week in August that they will all overlap and be here at the same time to celebrate Merle and Lois's 50th wedding anniversary. He has four sisters, three brother-in-laws and seven nieces and nephews so it will be a busy, fun time that we are all looking forward to.
I'm sorry this post is so squooshed together. Blogger is on the blitz today and won't let me make spaces between the paragraphs.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Beautiful Week

This is how my morning started. I don't think it could have started better! I took the dogs out this morning, looked down and there it was; a four leaf clover. Maybe this day will bring me some luck!

This has been a nice, relaxing week. We've had sunshiny, 80 degree weather all week long and the kids and I have spent every day at the lake. We've got these nice Alaskan tans going. Today is gray and cloudy but I don't mind after such a beautiful week.

I'm just finishing week 7 (out of 9) of my yoga challenge. I think I have decided to get my teacher certification in the spring, to teach yoga. It has changed my life in so many ways and I would like to share that with others. Meanwhile, I will spend this year in my practice and take it one step further. Wed. night was so nice outside that we walked down to the park for our yoga class and then on Thurs. morning it was only the teacher, another teacher from the studio and me at class so we did a completely silent class, meaning there was absolutely no cues given during class. It was awesome!! It felt like my own yoga practice, rather than being in a class.

So today, since it is so cloudy, I'm going to spend the day getting ready for our garage sale tomorrow. Once again, I am purging, trying to get down to just what we need and enjoy. If it is raining tomorrow that is going to screw us up but I will just reschedule for next weekend.

Monday, June 18, 2007

8 things about me

Okay, my sister, Ren, tagged me for 8 things about me. I'm going to go ahead and post 8 things about me but I'm not going to tag anyone. We have a lot of blog friends in common and so I'm sure some of them will be tagged multiple times so I will spare everyone. So eight things about me:

1) I LOVE heat!!!! Most people find that hard to believe, as I do live in Alaska. I know it's crazy. I live here for the people and the community, not the weather. My escape is the 2 hours that I spend every day doing Bikraam yoga, in a room heated to 110 degrees, sometimes a little warmer. And in the winter I just crank that woodstove!! I always smell like woodsmoke but I am warm!

2) I'm a vegetarian. I lean towards being vegan but just can't give up the cheese! I LOVE cheese. I don't do milk or eggs but I love cheese. My oldest son went vegetarian about 5 or 6 years ago and my two youngest went vegetarian several months ago. Now the only one left is my husband. He prefers the vegetarian diet but still likes his steak once in a while. It's fun to have kids that prefer hummus and tofu over anything else!

3) I'm a huge dreamer!! I love to dream and I do it out loud. I learned a while back that if you talk about your dreams like they are fact that they tend to manifest much easier. Some people think I'm a big talker because 70% of the dreams never do manifest but it's worth the 30% that do. I never want to quit thinking big! Calista asked me the other day if I'm just one of those people that like change and yes, I do!! I love adventures, new things, new experiences. I'm learning to take myself out of my comfort zone and into situations that help me grow as a person.

4) I can't hurt a fly, literally! I save spiders for goodness sake! I feel that all living beings have a right to be here and they all have their purpose. Oh, I do kill mosquitoes, have a hard time with those little buggers. Calista cried when she accidentally hurt a firefly and I love that I've raised kids with a sensitivity towards life. All living things are connected. I love that the American Natives would thank those animals, that they killed for food, for sustaining them through their sacrifice and that the ground they killed them on was considered sacred ground. I don't think Americans give much thought to where their food even comes from. I'm not against those that eat meat or kill animals for their meat but I have a hard time with people that have no regards for living beings and don't do it in a humane way. I REALLY have a hard time with people that hunt for sport, SICK!!

5) I love to clog!! Some people don't know what clogging is but it is similar to tapping, in that you make a sound with your shoes but the shoes are different (clogging shoes have "bells", two pieces of metal that tap together), and the steps are completely different too. I haven't been able to clog since last fall because of money and the fact that I have been more focused on my yoga practice but plan on getting more clogging in here soon. It's so much fun!

6) I LOVE being a mom!! I mean, I REALLY LOVE being a mom!! And I enjoy my teenage son so much that it makes me sad to think in four years he could leave the nest if he chooses. I have frustrating days but I love being home and being surrounded by my kids; noise, chaos and all!!

7) I have one tattoo and have plans for many more. I think they are beautiful, or should I say some are beautiful as I have seen lots that I think are morbid and not so beautiful. In the next few months I have plans for an ankle band and a rose on my ankle in memory of my mom, with my mom's signature at the bottom.

8) My friends call me Dharma, self-explanatory for those of you who really know me. I guess I'm a little eccentric by most people's definitions. In the unschooling world I'm really not so different. But being called Dharma is definitely a compliment!