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.