Friday, May 29, 2009

Trip to the Pacific Northwest

I can't even begin to put into words how much fun we had on our trip to Portland/Cannon Beach/Seaside/Manning/Vancouver. Robin, Rylee, Ren, Jared, Sierra, Jalen, our family + Kev's friend, Sara, all went. It was the first time we've all been together in four years.

The trip started in Portland with us and Robin and Rylee for three days. We explored the downtown area, went to Voodoo Doughnuts (several times), Saturday Market, Oregon Zoo, and lots of eating. The weather was in the 70's/low 80's the entire time so we got some sunbathing in down by the river also. Ren and three of her four children flew in on Sunday night, our third day there. On Monday morning we rented two vans and headed over to Tillamook Cheese Factory and then on to Cannon Beach, ending at Seaside.

We then went to Manning to visit Grandma Bidwell and my Aunt Carol and Uncle Ed. We celebrated Ren's 40th birthday there and explored Grandma's 45 acres and played with Carol and Ed's dogs. It was odd being there without Grandpa around anymore (he passed away a few months ago).

After Grandma's we headed up to Vancouver for the Life Is Good Unschooling Conference where we had the time of our lives. Ren and Kev both had talks there, Amy Steinberg did a concert, there was a barefoot boogie dance, and lots of other fun activities. We met lots of wonderful, joyful people!! 425 unschoolers!! It's always so refreshing to be around so many people who share the same philosophies and desire to live joyful, respectful, trusting relationships with their children. There was so much JOY just swirling around us for five days.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention......................When we were at Grandma's we were all sitting around talking and Jared says, "I wish I could go back to Alaska with you." And I replied, "You wanna?" The boy asks, "Really?" Next thing you know we are booking his ticket and he is now in Alaska with us! We get to have him for the entire summer, so exciting! Unfortunately, the last two days since we've been home it's been raining so we haven't gotten out to do anything yet but him and Tristan seem quite happy to be playing the XBox. We are going to take the motorhome up to Fairbanks in a couple weeks so that's something to look forward to. We have all kinds of things planned. I hope the weather cooperates:)

Here are some pictures of the highlights:

Creative marketing!

Tristan attempts the doughnut challenge- didn't quite make it but had fun trying.

Ren's 40th.

Family picture at Grandma's with my Aunt Carol and Uncle Ed. Jalen didn't want to be in the picture so we snapped him as he was walking away.....

He'd just had enough for the day.

My aunt and uncle's boston terriers got plenty of attention!

Hiking Gram's property.

Posing at the Tillamook Cheese Factory.

Cannon Beach.

Happy, lively, joyful people and energy at the Life is Good Unschooling Conference.

Amy Steinberg concert. This was the highlight of the trip for me!

Partying at the Amy Steinberg concert.

Amy cuddles. With Ren, Diana, and me!

Kev's talk at the conference. He did very well.

Ya think they are a little pooped out. 12 WONDERFUL days later!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Yesterday I was visiting with a friend about unschooling v. public school. This particular individual is extremely supportive of unschooling so we were just discussing pros and cons, the way the government thinks and designs, etc. Tristan was listening to the conversation so Sharon asked Tristan if he was going to join Kev at the highschool next year. Tristan responds with, "No thanks!! I can learn right here!!" As he proceeds to show me all these different kinds of spiders he was looking up.

I love unschooling!! But I also love that my kids are capable of making their own choices and that their choices are very different to fit the uniqueness of their lives. It would be torture for Tristan to be stuck in a classroom all day. This is a kid who thrives on being outdoors, building, working hard with his hands, rollerblading, hiking, biking, throwing a football. I can't imagine a worse scenario for him than public school.