Saturday, May 30, 2009

I AM BACK

Not that I had gone anywhere but with months of limited mobility, I felt like I had gone somewhere. This past Wednesday we went hiking. My very first hike since I broke my ankle hiking back on Christmas Eve. It was the Tom's Creek Falls Hike, the very same hike where I actually broke my ankle. It was a rainy day, just like Christmas Eve, the rail fence had been repaired. Jackson had taken a couple of rails to build the frame he dragged me out on. We met a couple of people hiking out as we were hiking in, but otherwise it was empty. Very peaceful.



Phillip stayed by my side most of the hike, just in case I needed him for support. And of course my friends were there walking slowly with me. I stopped at the base of the waterfall, many of them continued up the trail a bit, for a different view of the falls. It felt so nice standing in the rain watching the water race down the rocks and on past me down the creek. With all the rain we have had lately the water was fast and loud, screaming my name as it rushed past me "Pam you are here!"



I could feel all my worries rush past me with the water, swept down the creek to the river and eventually out to the ocean. All those thoughts I had that I might never hike again, that my ankle would be permanently damaged. I now KNOW that I will be back hiking. That I CAN hike, that I can do this. Such a beautiful, wonderful, blessed day with just the people I needed to be with. The universe has a way of providing me with just exactly what I need.









Friday, May 29, 2009

Roller Skating

I don't think I have blogged about this yet, but it was such a fun day. My youngest son, Phillip, was wanted to learn how to roller skate, maybe for 4 or 5 months now. We did take him, as well as some friends, to a local rink which was having a family fun night. That turned out to be too busy. He frustrated easily, too many people, too much noise, he was a little embarrassed that others seemed to be skating circles around him and he couldn't take more than a couple of steps.

We did talk about the experience and how he thinks it could work better. Of course I could have taken the more main stream parenting approach and just said "too bad, you need to swallow your pride and get out there....etc. You know what I am talking about, I am sure you have either heard someone say something similar or your own parent has said something like that to you. But we didn't, we sat down as a family to see what was up, what he wanted what we could do to help with the frustration.
What we decided, after some discussion, was to rent the rink ourselves and Phillip could invite the friends he would feel comfortable being around. Dallen, my oldest, wasn't interested in skating, so he would bring his drawing things and invite a friend of his that also enjoys drawing. They could sit together and draw together, being encouragement for each other.

Phillip invited a few friends, and it was wonderful to watch. Phillip was just beaming with joy, and pride. With every circle he made around that rink he was getting better and better, letting go or the side, then moving away from the wall. He was just so excited. And he wants to do this one more time, maybe August or September, to really build his skills before tackling the Family Fun Night crowd. What a blessing to see my boys blossom, and expand in ways I had never imagined. I am truly so fortunate these two wonderful individuals chose to grace our family.



Thursday, May 28, 2009

Birthday Celebration

The 26th was my dh's birthday. One of the most wonderful people I know, my best friends, love of my life. I don't know where I would be without Jackson. He is just such a wonderful husband and father to our boys. He wanted to go out to the Tap Room in Hickory for his birthday supper. Then it was Strawberry Short Cake at home for dessert. The boys wanted something to put candles in, so we bought a small chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. Candles just don't stand up well in strawberries. So that is the cake with the candles in the picture. You can see the components of the strawberry short cake to the side. Of course the strawberry short cake is GONE, and the chocolate cake is still sitting on my counter. You just can't beat shortcake, local strawberries and real whipped cream. YUMMM!!!

And for my sweethearts birthday I wish him all the love, joy and happiness he deserves.



Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Art Trading Cards

This weekend I was busy with some little works of art. Actually it wasn't all weekend, as it took me only about an hour. That is the great thing about Art Trading Cards. They are LITTLE or should I say little. So they are quick and easy to create.

This trade, on the imagination tribe ning, was a recycled art, ATC trade. So digging through my recyclables I found a cool colored cookie box to use for the base cards. A string of mini paper prayer flags, and a few tea tabs, you know the little sayings that come on the tabs of the yogi tea bags. All that I added was a little paint to spruce up the cards a bit. I think they turned out pretty cool, for recyclables. Can't wait to see what everyone else created.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Unschooling...School...Unschooling...

I have been thinking a lot lately about a T shirt I own. Bought it at the last Live and Learn Conference and it says "Unschooling...Living as if School Didn't Exist". And I really like the T shirt, like the sentiment. And on the surface it makes sense to me and just makes me smile. MY BOYS LIVE AS IF SCHOOL DIDN'T EXIST!

But year after year it seems like school is creeping in on us. We have a middle school down the road, and a brand new high school was just build last summer the opposite end of the road from the middle school. An elementary school is on a road that branches off our road. So no matter where we go there is a school. BUT I wouldn't change it for the world. Because even though I love the sentiment that we live as if school didn't exist. The reality is that we live AND schools do exist, and the idea of school exists.

It is so empowering to know that unschooling is a CHOICE we make each and every day. So we live as if school and the idea of school does exist and we make the conscious choice to turn away from that, to live free; think, act and live consensually within our family and community, fully understanding that the majority live within the school system. We CHOOSE freedom, from all that school represents.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Phillip's Drawing

Both of my sons have been interested in drawing for as long as I can remember. My oldest son, Dallen, works on drawing every day. He has a certain idea in his mind of how things should look and he will spend hours perfecting his art until he is satisfied with the result. One specific time I remember him commenting that the faces he was drawing were not coming out "right". So he spent days drawing just faces until they were how he wanted them.

My youngest son, Phillip, also enjoys drawing but not the same way Dallen does. He is not as passionate about it, and when things don't look quite right he will not spend hours perfecting his art. A few times I have seen him get a little frustrated and stop and move onto something else. I didn't really think much about it. I mean I do that too. Something may be interesting enough to try once or twice but not interesting enough to spend the time to perfect. And then my interest moves.

At the last FLT gathering I could see that both of my boys were spending a great deal of time drawing. Both enjoying the art, and sharing it with a couple of other friends. It was nice to see them building friendships around their art. And when we arrived home, Phillip was still talking about drawing and getting a book or two on drawing magical and/or mythical figures.

So they bought a really creative book that had mermaids, and fairies and other creatures in it. Dallen had been working on drawing a couple of the figures in the book. Phil hadn't really touched it. One morning I saw the beginning of a mermaid drawing on the table and I just asked who was starting this. Phil said it was his but he couldn't get the arms right so he quit. hmmmm. I was thinking to myself "I wonder if he quit because it wasn't coming out like he wanted, or he quit because he just didn't want to put the time into it...was he frustrated the night before or just lost interest." So I decided to look through the book and just start drawing something myself. I picked a dwarf. And started working through the process like the book showed. In a couple of minutes Phillip picked up his drawing pad and joined me, and we were both working on a dwarf.

Early on, Phillip said "I just can't get the head shape right" and I could see he was indeed frustrated. He wanted to do it, but just couldn't get it right, after erasing it a couple of times. So I offered to see if I could fix it, although I did tell him that I am not that artistic myself, so I might not get it exactly right either. LOL. He was so excited. And I just drew the shape of the head and it was good enough for him. We continued on working through the steps from the book, and a few times he would ask me if I could do the "right arm" or the "nose". And I didn't say anything like "why don't you try to fix it yourself" or "you really didn't try that hard" or "practice makes perfect". I just happily did it for him, as best I could. And we would move on from there. Phillip actually spent about an hour after we were both done, making additional changes and improvements, filling in, shading, changing the beard until he had it just the way he wanted. We both had decent looking dwarfs, and had such a wonderful afternoon drawing together.
I really think this is something we will continue doing together, Phillip just seemed to really enjoy it once he knew that he did not have to do it all himself, and that mom was an "OK artist". But this could have turned out so differently had I not set my mind on making this a wonderful experience for the both of us. Had my intention been to make him a "disciplined artist" who would work on something himself until it was "right", we would not have had that joyful afternoon, and I am sure it would not be something he would want to continue.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Socks

I am working on my etsy store. While I was immobile after my ankle surgery, I had plenty of time to knit. There is only so much you can do while sitting on the couch. So, I would turn on an audio book and knit. In four months I made 13 pair of socks. One pair for a friend, one is still waiting to be loaded in my etsy store and 11 that are up and ready for sale. Well I think there are 10 pair now, one pair has been purchased. They look impressive all stacked up here by my computer. I love the colors and textures.

It is almost meditative to sit and knit. Very repetitive, almost like a mantra....knit...knit...knit...knit. With certain yarns you can hear the needles clicking in a rhythmic chant. Very soothing, during a time when frustration could have easily taken over my life. A great BIG thank you to my mom for showing me how to knit.