Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hiking and Health

We went hiking on Tuesday, it is a monthly hike that I organize for our local homeschool group. The weather was "iffy", it had rained in the morning and driving up the mountain it was overcast. As we arrived it was chilly and cloudy, but within 10 minutes the sun was shining. Was uncertain if it was better to have sun and heat of clouds with the cool air BUT the possibility of rain. hmmm. It turned out to be overcast, so a nice cool day, with no rain, so the best of both worlds. The hike my youngest chose was down to Bass Lake, so as we arrived at the Moses Cone Memorial Park, I started looking around for a map of some sort, of all the trails at the park.
We went into the house on the property and it was a beautiful old house with a wonderful view of the lake and valley below, and was filled with craftsman wares, from pottery, to wood carvings, stained glass, to weaving, just awesome with some jewelry thrown in to tease me.

The maps were not as descriptive as we had hoped and with no signs posted on any of the trails up at the house, we switchbacked our way down to the lake. The trail was a wide carriage trail, that was very well manicured and gently sloped 1 1/2 miles down. The scenery was beautiful, and as we approached we could see the lake peeking through the trees. We sat for a while and the kids waded in the lake enjoying the nice breeze and the company of friends. Then it was back up the hill for us, another 1 1/2 miles, but it really felt great.

This was when I really realized that my ankle is healed and can take all of this, my health is better, and the three miles really did feel good. I was not winded or stressed. I just loved this walk/hike and want to go back and try some of the other trails. Just a nice, well kept place, thoroughly enjoyed our day. And my son took one of the best pictures of me I have seen in a long time. So nice spending time with my boys and friends doing something we all love.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Graduation

I have a family member graduating from high school this year. Exciting for her, I am sure. But in looking for a graduation card, I didn't see ANY I liked at all. I thought about making one, but really don't have the time right this minute, and didn't see any generic cards that conveyed the thoughts I had in mind.

All of the graduation cards made it sound like the graduate would finally be starting life now. Like this was some gateway into the real world, now that they have this diploma. I want to congratulate her, as I know this signifies an accomplishment for the individual. I guess my thinking has just changed so much over the years, that I can't get "into" this whole "your life is starting now" image. So what were these people doing for the last 18 years, if it wasn't "living". And if you aren't living then what good was school anyway, was it just some holding place, like a stasis chamber from Star Trek or something.

Most said things like "now may all your dreams come true" of course I have been wishing that for the graduate all along, why now. Don't you have dreams, goals, plans, ambitions before the age of 18. I know for my boys some of those dreams are long term, some are short term, but they have dreams and they are coming true and I wish that for them all along.

OK I am done rambling. I got a generic congratulations card, and will write something nice on there to convey my thoughts.
The pics are from my new camera. Dallen and I went for a walk in the pasture and were experimenting with the different settings. It will take a while for me to get used to the features but so far "I LIKE IT".

Friday, May 21, 2010

Smores and Music

I meant to post about this last week, but seem to be so busy in the garden lately I haven't had the time. Last week the boys and I had a craving for smores. We found some nice firewood, some kindling, a piece of newspaper and started a fire in our chimney.

We love this chimney, it is easy to start, and gives us just a little fire without heating up the house using our wood stove. Today was a smores day. Gathered the ingredients and just had a wonderful day. After the smores Dallen and I got out our flutes and decided to just play a bit. Neither of us has had any training on these flutes but the magic is you don't need any. Play anything, any combination of notes and it sounds beautiful.

I do enjoy our spontaneous moments, with this lifestyle we have chosen, we have such freedom as individuals and as a family to have spontaneous moments. Living for joy, and connection helps us see all the possibilities in our days. I can't even imagine what we would have missed had we ever sent the boys to school or chosen an authoritarian approach to parenting. Everything would just be so different. Living consensually has allowed us to be a family that is so deeply connected, and full of wonderful moments, full of joy, full of life, full of happiness.
For so many families that I personally know, this would be a "special occasion". Not just a spontaneous moment. It would take planning, and finding time. So many families are just so busy that moments like this take lots of planning. I really "like" that for us this is not a special occasion, although smores are always special :-)
For us, these kinds of moments happen quite frequently, we are always open to the possibilities, and have quite a few spontaneous moments. Moments where one of us will have an idea, share it with the rest of the family and take the time to pursue it. It leads to such connection between all of us.
I know I use the word connection quite frequently, but that is truly how I feel. Not only the connection we feel as parents to our children, but a much deeper connection. The type of connection that comes from being so into family, from enjoying each other's company, from having shared interests and passions, from spending time talking together, meaningful conversations, from sharing spiritual moments, quiet moments, fun moments, laughing moments, crying moments, from sharing our lives. That is the connection we have within our family.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day

It is the day after Mother's Day actually, having too much fun yesterday to blog, but did take a few nice pics with my new camera. Jackson bought me a Sony a330 for Mother's Day, great camera, but what makes it even better is that his old 35 mm camera has lenses (that he no longer uses...we just waste too much film developing rolls of pics for only one or two keepers), and those lenses will fit my new camera, YAY!!

I am so fortunate that my two sons chose me as their mother, chose to help me become the person I am today, taught me so many things about being a mother, being a mother to them. They are just so wonderful and I am so richly blessed.

Breakfast was fresh strawberries and gluten free, dairy free yummy crepes. Then my boys bought me flowers for all my outdoor flower pots, today we are going to plant them. Knitting in my hammock followed by grilling out, delicious, and a soak in the hot tub. The evening was polished off with a game of Munchkins, our new favorite board game. Such a wonderful day, beautiful weather, and loving family.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Big Birthday Sleep Over

I am a little behind in posting all the events in our life that I had intended. But I am slowly catching up. These pics are from Phillip's Big Birthday Sleep Over. Phil came up with this idea less than a week before his birthday. I later found out it was after chatting with his friends, they thought a huge sleep over would be a wonderful idea, and since Phil's birthday was right around the corner (literally), he volunteered to host.

I could have said no, too short notice, not enough room, need to clean the house first etc. But I didn't hesitate. I just said "let's get to work, I need a to-do list and there are things we need to get done before hand, things to figure out". Sitting down with Jackson that night, I told him about the sleep over and that in thinking about it, a sleep over was something my mother would have not given any thought, she would have just said no. I remember having a couple of friends over to spend the night, one at a time of course, but only a couple of times. And never with the parents. That concept would have baffled even my liberal mother, the idea of parents spending the night with their children. And I told Jackson that I want to give these things to my children if at all possible, and that is how it has been in our house. I mean, you can't have too much joy, can you?!

The Big Birthday Sleep Over was during the middle of the week, in March, another no-go in my childhood (no fun on a school night...LOL). With our non-conventional lifestyle it is easier to do things mid-week. Guest list, OK that was an easy one, all of Phil's friends, and their parents. Sleeping spaces, plenty of those, a few air mattresses, two extra bedrooms, a family room with plenty of floor space. Food, OK , so Phil decided on a taco bar for supper, pancakes for breakfast, and sub/sandwich bar for lunch, with plenty of snacks including mom's chocolate, chocolate chip cookies (dairy free), brownies (also dairy free) as well as gluten free/dairy free brownies. So we did the "major shopping trip" the day before, lots of paper plates on hand.

The kids came up with the fun, ranging from sitting in the living room with everyone on their lap tops, multiple gaming systems, board games, computers, music, movies etc. It was so fun to be there, chatting with my friends, and seeing the boys having so much fun with their friends, late into the night (morning). It was such a blessing to do this for everyone, to show my friends how much I love and appreciate them, to serve them as I feel they have served me. OK now I'm getting sappy, time to add the pictures. Not many pictures, I was too busy having fun to take pictures. :-)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Knitting

I have started with Christmas presents already, so happy to be doing this!! More socks and I am making a hat from a new pattern. It was my son's idea, he wanted an ear flap hat. So I searched the internet and found this pattern. There was one error I found in the pattern, but otherwise it is a great pattern. I made two and inserted one inside the other, crocheted around the edge and have a reversible ear flap hat now. It looks a little odd on a fist but is so cute on a head, and it will make great Christmas presents. And this is my craft of the week, for Craft it Wednesday :-)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Pearson's Falls Hike

This past Wednesday our local homeschool group went on a hike to Pearson's Falls. Beautiful hike, wonderful friends, nice sunny (not hot) day. Just couldn't be better. And my new philosophy, thanks to a friend, is to take lots and lots of pictures and weed them out later, on my computer. Of course this led to researching cameras and ordering a new, more professional camera, cost considered, which is on it's way to me as I type. Ahhhhh

I do think I captured a few nice shots and want to share them today for the Straight Out Of the Camera Sunday shots. Beautiful day, Love spending time with my boys. Thanks everyone for a lovely time!