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!


diana-still-evolving said...

I just have to say I use the term immunize (as in naturally building/reinforcing their immune system) to describe what I *do* to the kids and vaccinate (artificial/chemical caused immunity) as what I *don't* do.
In Wyoming a few years ago, the religious exemption practices (of proving membership in a non-vax religion) was deemed unconstitutional under separation of church & state; now if you say Religious Exemption, you sign a form and off you go... I thought I'd love to fight that here if I ever had to... glad I don't :)
I hear your time with the administration was quite, er, *entertaining* to those who were lucky enough to witness! I can't wait to read about Kevin's adventures of a free kid in prison, oops, school ;)

Laura said...

I'm paying attention too because we're going through the same transition. Sounds so familiar that your son couldn't accompany you somewhere because he had practice... ditto here. This is our last week before school and I've been asking my son if he wants any special meals or to do anything special to mark it. The other day I had a wave of emotion about the whole thing - boy am I going to miss having him home all day.

Snavleys said...

I really like the immunization/vaccination clarification. Can I think of any other words that end with tion, lol? Because, yes, my kids are already immunized but I choose not to vaccinate. And, ya, the school doesn't quite know how to handle me, they will probably be wishing that Kev wasn't in school by the end of the year, lol. Today I find out that I have to pay a fee for certain classes!! Excuse me?! What do my taxes pay for? There are just so many things that I find insanely frustrating and I hope I can get through it all without totally making a huge scene.

Snavleys said...

And Laura, we will have to keep in touch over the year. Mothercrone's (Andre)daughter has decided to do highschool this year too. It will be interesting to see how all these free kids handle everything. One of the counselers, after I explained unschooling, says, "Weeelll, grades are going to be a SHOCKER for him!" I said, "Why is that? He knows what grades are, it's not rocket science. And we don't care about grades anyway so it really doesn't matter." Like I said, they just don't really know what to do with me.

kelli said...

I just think it's wonderful that you all are helping your children fulfill their dreams, even if it's different from what you would want; but yet, is it different? Since you want your child doing what he/she wants? :)

I'm excited for him. :) And the fact that they offer Japanese rocks! very cool!

Laura said...

Ah, I didn't know about MotherCrone's daughter - I know her (a bit) from MySpace. It will be a curious thing to see how it all shakes out for these kids. Already, just with school soccer practice, Brady is coming home and saying "Well, I'm already getting an education" meaning the language and 'who cares' attitudes of kids, so we've already talked about the difference between their rebellion after 8 years of lock-down and Brady's freedom, something they can't even conceptualize. He's got a good head on his shoulders, a very discerning eye, and I've already been very up front with the school, too, about unschooling, so... we'll see! We're lucky in that this is a very small private school and they've had unschoolers before.

I'm at if emailing is of any interest to you.


Ren said...

Holy crap!! Permanent Fund is big this year. Almost makes me want to be a resident. way.

Let us know how the school experiment goes. It will be interesting eh?

granola*girl* said...

I hoping that because my DD was in public school from K-3 that she'll never want to go back.

Keep us updated on his journey through the wasteland.

Heather said...

Gee, this is all making me want to appreciate what precious time I have with my boys. ;)

Thanks for the post and huge life update. Stay strong... Glad u are enjoying the moment.