Friday, November 30, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Here is the idea: Type the answer to each question into a Google image search, and then pick an image from the first page of results. Here we go!
1. Age at next birthday...42...yes 42, and loving it!
2. Place I'd like to travel...Canada, BC
3. Favorite Place...Home
4. Favorite Objects...Sea Shells
5. Favorite Food...Ice Cream
6. Favorite Animal...Sea Gulls
7. Favorite Color...Blue
8. My Nickname....Pam
9. Town I was born in...Rockland
Now you see where my connection to the ocean began.
10. Bad habit I have...biting my nails...although I am not sure what this picture has to do with biting my nails, she isn't, it is still a cool picture.
TAG your it.....
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
"Mindful parenting meditations guide us into the stillness that is present in every moment. It is from within this stillness that love and joy explode not just into our hearts, but throughout our entire being. This stillness though, is an elusive space and one we think our way out of all too quickly.
We search for the stillness and silence that we sense is at our core and the place where we will find true happiness. Of course, every moment presents us with the opportunity to enter into that space. But, the distractions and assumed realities of our existence make finding such comfort, let alone keeping it, all but impossible.
One of the keys to the doorway of stillness and deep joy is found in our connection to our children. Time and again our hearts melt when we observe and are with our children. At these moments, we are in a state of pure awareness -- the joy creeps in without us knowing about it..."
Of course there is more and there are a few guided meditations that I will try in time. For now I am just going to spend a few moments with my boys, being still and connecting.
Monday, November 26, 2007
It helps me to be able to prioritize my "to do" list. When I can just sit and be and let it all wash over me, I can then look at it more objectively, see what needs to be done, see what things I want to continue doing, and what things are not bringing me joy anymore.
People sometimes think I just can't say no, but in reality I have no problem saying no to things that do not bring me joy. The truth is that I surround myself with things that I love so there is very little to say "no" to. I have been doing some more reading today on the Soulful Living web site and finding many articles on stillness.
This article caught my eye: Be Still: In the Eye of the Storm by Rev. Sandra Lee Schubert. In it she says, in part,:
"In the center of a storm there is calm. But how do we get to a place of stillness?
Ten small steps to stillness:
Take time to breathe
Take a crisis break
Watch a funny movie
Keep a journal
Keep the counsel of a trusted friend or advisor
Choose the high road
Remember who and what is important "
The article is powerful and intuitive. If you have never been in the stillness it is a great article to get you started.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
English author Sue Phillips, author of Healing Stones, believes that healing stones can be found just there, where you are. Expensive crystals aren’t necessary for healing, she believes, nor does she recommend them because most are mined from the earth and it takes millions upon millions of years to renew them. Instead, Phillips urges us to look for stones nearby that have already been released from the earth, and don’t even need to be dug up or the earth disturbed in any way.
What stones are outside of your front door? Where are you drawn? Take a walk and open your heart to whatever stone draws your attention as you walk by. Some very powerful stones can be found this way – easily dismissed by most as “just a rock,” almost as if they are weeds in a garden. One place to check is under an uprooted tree, where the roots used to be. Another is on any path that is well worn by you – you may find the perfect stone that you have passed by dozens of times. **
Monday, November 19, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
In general, it seems like people talk about these things as if they were an article of clothing or a possession that you can choose to put down or pick up. Almost the idea that you could leave this baggage behind you if you really worked hard and wanted to dispose of it. But why does it have to be such a negative thing? Also why is it treated as separate from the individual?
For me, my whole life, who I am now in the present is made up of all that has come before me, not just my childhood but all of my history and the history around me. It is who I am. Without all of the past I would be a different person and thus, not myself. I look at all my past, good experiences and not so positive encounters as a part of me. Not something I can pick up or put down, choose to acknowledge, or pretend does not exist. It is me. I am so grateful for that, so grateful that all of what has gone before has brought me to a point of who I am today, where I have a loving husband and partner, and two beautiful children.
My life is not defined by one event in my past. I make the choice to review things, evaluate them, learn from them, learn about them, and move on into the future with that knowledge intact. Facing future decisions with the knowledge that my past experience does not control me, it is me, a part of me. It isn’t baggage. And maybe if we could get rid of the need to judge all experiences as fitting into one category or another (positive or negative) we could just accept them for what they are, part of us.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Now for the description. I am taking the photo in my mirror which, as you can tell, needs to be dusted (any volunteers?) My top is from Walmart, probably like $7. Sarong is from Hawaii, gift from a friend, so the value is priceless, what great friends I have. And I am not sure you can see but I am wearing pants under the sarong as it is chilly here, they are greenish cargo type pants from Avenue, probably about $35.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Jackson and I had talked a lot about parenting before we had children, although not a word about school...I had never even heard of homeschooling, LOL. But we talked about our own childhood and parents, how we wanted to parent, didn't want to parent etc. And we soon discovered that we were both interested in parenting in a way more responsive to our children's needs. Not following current social trends, not letting a baby "cry it out" etc. And I also knew I did not want to control my child's eating in any way. Other than to be a partner. I know my mom rewarded and punished with food and told us what we could eat and when and how much and I feel that is a big reason I have food issues now. So all of that was out on the table.
We had two boys and as our boys grew, questions from other people started coming about preschool. I hadn't even thought of that yet.I was not ready in any way to send my son out there to navigate a big school without me, and he was not in any way ready to separate from me. So I started looking into alternatives. One thing I have learned over the years is that there is always an alternative, LOL. We were just getting connected online in Germany, using CompuServe (remember CompuServe? LOL) and so I just started doing my research. I have also learned not to make any decisions based on fear but to use my gut instincts to find all the information I can.
So I learned about homeschooling and signed up with a program in California that sent you a "curriculum" to use. Well for preschool it consisted of good books (although we already had a ton of those, you can never have too many books right? At least that is my philosophy), and some instructions to basically follow your child's interest. Trying to do crafty things (they had a book of cool craft projects) and outdoor time (had no trouble with that...we loved the outdoors) etc. So basically it meant to just keep on doing what we were already doing. The boys loved it, so did I.
Kindergarten was more of the same...."cool this homeschooling thing is easy and makes more sense than school." Well in first grade they added in a math book (I think) but I talked with my mentor and said that we were already way beyond that book just doing our every day "stuff". So she suggested that I just eliminate that book and keep doing what we were doing. Second grade they added another book, can't remember what it was, but that was when I decided that they were just going to keep adding "text books" into the mix until we were surrounded by them. And if I am not using them why should I pay for them. So we stopped using that program and just kept on doing what we were doing, living life.
Of course in 2002 (I think that was the year) I read Mary Griffith's Unschooling Handbook. I remember we were on our way to Asheville to meet up with some of Jackson's family for supper. I was reading it out loud to Jackson and the boys were in the back playing. It just made so much sense. And put what we were doing into words and GAVE IT A NAME. It was nice to have a name for what we were doing. I thought we were just crazy, I didn't know any other homeschoolers let alone unschoolers (we had just moved to NC). Jackson was totally on board with everything she was saying in the book, it just made so much sense for our family.
I went home that night and did an online search for "unschooling". Was too nervous to join any e mail lists but did some more reading and found The Unschooling Conference in Columbia, SC. Didn't know Kelly Lovejoy, didn't know any of the speakers, didn't know it was the first one. But it was only a 3 hour drive away. Jackson and I talked about it, and decided that we would all go and if we didn't like it we could easily just drive home. LOL. I loved it, we all loved it, the boys loved playing with kids "just like them", LOL. See adults treat children with respect. See children speaking their minds. I cried. It was just like my home...I knew then that I was NOT alone.
Although I still didn't join any e lists for another year. It was after my second unschooling conference in Columbia, hearing people talking about different lists, then coming home and hearing someone on a local list, talk about how they were so mean on one of those lists, LOL, I knew I had to join. Something was pulling me, I had to find out what they were talking about. So I joined my first list, Unschoolingdotcom and the rest is history... LOL.
Monday, November 12, 2007
I know as a child I loved building tents in the living room as well, although my mother wouldn't let me or my brother touch the cushions on the couch, so we used blankets only and would stretch them out between the couch and chair etc, using heave books to keep them weighted down, LOL. Such fun.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
I wanted to blog about Candy. I know this is an old topic but I had a great example on Halloween. I have never limited my children where food is concerned and when they became able and interested they were always welcome to come grocery shopping with me and pick out foods. When not interested I have always asked them if they want or need anything from the store while I am there. We have chosen not to label foods good or bad, although they get plenty of that in the general public. So my boys have candy when they want it and people are amazed that we are able to function that way, and many assume that all my boys eat is candy, I mean because if you give them the choice wouldn't they choose to just eat candy all day every day!?!
In fact one day when we were helping an acquaintance with something my boys came with Jackson and I to play with their children. The boys wanted to bring some candy from the store, so they carefully picked out candy they thought the other children would like and brought it along. The other mom said that her kids couldn't have candy because it was too late in the day, so I suggested maybe we could leave some for the morning. That mom and another that was in the room, started asking me how we did it. I was a little confused at first. Then one mom explained "how do your boys do it...eat candy and not be affected by it? Is it because they have a low level of sugar in their system all the time?"
Yes that has to be it I mean they eat candy non stop all day every day, right, so that has to be why they aren't bouncing off the walls. DUH. I was so shocked that I had no idea what to say or how to respond. I probably said something equally stupid like "no, they don't eat candy all the time". Or something like that. Man I wish I was good with the witty come backs in times like this.
Because we have candy available to us all the time doesn't mean we eat it all the time. They eat very well, and my boys do not have that healthy food/junk food crap going on in their heads, so to them it is all food, and they are just as likely to want an apple or a piece of cheese. They are very in tune with their bodies and what their bodies need at any given time.
OK back to Halloween, I just thought it was funny that this year before we went to the Halloween party for more Halloween candy they had to dump out their Halloween plastic pumpkins of last years candy that had been sitting there all year. Kind of funny watching them pick through last years candy and throw a bunch out to make room for this years candy.
I know as a child my candy was gone within a week, I was so controlled/limited. One reason why Jackson and I had chosen, long before Dallen was born, NOT to do the same to our children.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Friday, November 2, 2007
Now to explain what I am wearing. It is about 11:30 pm here so I am in my pjs (although you are just as likely to find me in my pjs at any time of day). The T shirt is a BIG T shirt with our local homeschool group logo on it. The only TRULY inclusive homeschool group in Catawba and surrounding counties of NC, one of the only ones in the state. The bottoms are the really soft, comfy organic cotton pj bottoms from Walmart. I try not to shop there but these pj bottoms are truly some of the softest I have ever found. I have on a small friendship bracelet that I made at the last FLT Gathering and the yellow Livestrong, Lance Armstrong, bracelet I received for participating in an ATC funshop at the 2007 Live and Learn Conference. I have on 2 wedding bands, one is my mother's wedding band and the other my grandmother's (my mother's mother) wedding band. I figure it has to be good energy from that many years of love and marriage.
Well, Phil sat with me, and Jackson sat in front of Dallen. I asked the lady next to me if she would switch with my son so that my kids could sit with me. She said "I wish someone would switch with me so I could sit next to my husband" in this very sarcastic, snotty tone of voice. And she would not move. I was stunned, and being not so good with witty remarks I just sat down not knowing what to say, and said nothing. Dallen started crying (you know at this point we had been without sleep for about 24 hours, hadn't eaten a decent meal since we left Hawaii and just wanted to go home). I told Dallen not to worry we would find someone to switch. Then Phil started crying cause he was sad for Dallen, then I started crying seeing both of my kids crying. So Jackson asked the guy sitting on the aisle next to Dallen to switch with him so he could sit next to his son. The guy said only if there is another aisle seat open. I explained "they said the flight was full so I don't think there will be another aisle seat open" so he wouldn't move. Dallen is standing up holding Jackson's shoulders at this point and saying "dad I don't want to sit alone, and crying". I tried reassuring him that he "would NOT" have to sit alone. In my head I am thinking I will go up and down this stupid cabin until I find two people sitting next to each other that won't mind moving so my son can sit with one of his parents, surely there will be someone.
I was so outraged and totally shocked. It never even occurred to me that no one would want to move for a crying child so they could sit next to a parent. I mean in my head I am thinking, I would move in a heart beat, not even have to think about it. I could not believe that NO ONE would move for a child, that was obviously upset, crying and saying "dad I don't want to sit alone". I mean come on what has happened to people. I thought for sure the first person I asked would say yes, I mean who says no to that request, who says no to a child like that. I just upset me so much and being so tired, I cried for like 20 minutes, just couldn't stop.