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Showing posts from September, 2011

Restoring Community

I wonder what my girls were thinking when they walked into the nature center tonight to see their mother holding hands in a large circle swaying and singing an Aboriginal Australian Song that meant go in peace, go in love, until we meet again.  Somewhere in their brain it must have clicked that something transformational is happening to their mother. Tonight I attended a talk sponsored by Two Coyotes featuring Mark Morey of the Institute for Natural Learning: Creating Nature Based Culture for Future Generations.   We were asked to examine some internal questions such as What is our Mission for Our Children? Together the group answered: Love them, Challenge them, Feed them, Follow them, Provide a safe place for them to grow, Listen to them, Trust them, Honor them.  But how many of us are actually doing these things?  Really doing them?  How about in the face of unseen external influences such as media, marketing, industry, and culture? As we examine these issues and begin to raise our con…

Guilt Be Gone

I had a fleeting moment of guilt.  Guilt that we should be having so much fun on a Monday night.  Why do we do that to ourselves?  Why do we allow guilt in where is has no place?  It takes up residence in a little corner of our heart and begins to gnaw away.  
Are we having too much fun? Shouldn’t the girls be tucked in bed hours ago? All the neighbors houses are dark, their children are tucked in ready for school in the morning. We are just winding down our day.   Why should that make me feel guilty in any way? Even on our third year, the school vs. homeschool guilt can creep in.  When we were passing a catholic school in town, on our way home from somewhere fabulous, we saw the children lined up outside listening to their teacher.  Grace said she felt guilty that kids were in school when we were having so much fun with our learning.  I reminded her that lots of kids have fun in school.  It is not a bad place to be.  Our learning looks much different because we have made a different choice…

My response to the 11 Rules Facebook Post

A post going around Facebook: This should be posted in every school or kid's bedroom. (11) rules kids will not learn in school.  Rule 1 : Life is not fair - get used to it!  Rule 2 : The world doesn't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.  Rule 3 : You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.  Rule 4 : If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.  Rule 5 : Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping - they called it opportunity.  Rule 6 : If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.  Rule 7 : Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you think you …

Apple Picking

We tried apple picking today.  It was spontaneous and in response to a “can we....” question.  The problem with spontaneous outdoor activity is that we did not have any bug spray.  I can only assume that the dramatic increase in the mosquito population is due to all the standing water left from Tropical Storm Irene and subsequent rainy days.  Whatever the reason, they are horrible. It does not matter the time of day, the nasty creatures will find you.  My poor Lilah does not stand a chance.  Within ten minutes she had three horrible bug bites and we had to catch the tractor ride back to the car.   In those ten minutes we did catch a few great photo-ops and three bags full of beautiful apples.  Many of those apples have already been juiced and are freezing in ice cube trays, where they will wait patiently, until it is time to be added to delicious green smoothies!


Homeschool Mother's Journal: September 23

A whole week has passed?  It does not seem possible.  There are times when I think to myself...."so this is how it is supposed to be.  I have been waiting to arrive at this place." In My Life This Week:I have been struggling with social media.  I find that Facebook’s recent changes seem invasive (in a way past changes have not) and I find myself questioning why I need to share through this medium.  I find blogging to be intimate and purposeful and Facebook has felt very random and impersonal lately.  This link shared by one of my friends helped cement this feeling.
What Facebook Really Wants
I don’t know if I will come off Facebook again but I am getting increasingly frustrated with a corporation collecting so much information about the American and World population.  Call me paranoid but it just does not feel right.... On top of this I have been asking myself if I am truly authentic in my blogging.  Do I share the good, the bad and the ugly?  When it comes to homeschooling, I t…

Counting My Blessings

Grace: “Today was the best day ever.” Me: “Didn’t you say that yesterday?” Grace: “Yeah..but today was a really great day too.” Me: “Do you realize how lucky we are to have a great day just about every day?”

Our first day of co-op...

Not a picture was taken today for me to share with you.  I wanted to.  I really did.  In order to take a picture of your children, you have to actually see your children and I saw very little of them today.  They were too busy learning, moving from room to room, floating in their new groups of friends, lunching outside, playing in the grass and enjoying their newfound independence.  It was our very first day of co-op.  When my girls came out of school, co-op was top on their list of things they wanted to do at home.  Fortunately, one of our friends began a co-op years ago.  It is established, organized, offers a-mazing classes, and is filled with some pretty a-mazing families. For my family who may be reading and may or may not know what co-op is, a co-op is a cooperative formed of families who are willing to pool their talents in order to offer our children unique learning opportunities.  For example, one mother is a film producer.  She offers a class in film critique.  A coach of elit…

Anyone have a wand???

Our days have been very very full.  Not full of running around from place to place but full of meaningful work. If I had a magic wand there would be only one thing that I would change....the amount of bickering between my two girls.  If I could just get it to stop everything would be as close to perfect as it could get.  I don’t know if that is realistic but it is my wish.... I wonder what is a reasonable expectation of the relationship of sisters.  We idealize it, think that they must be BFFs forever and for always.  I look at my adult friends and it seems that while we have this expectation for our children, it is rarely the case in adulthood. I don’t want to put the pressure on my girls that they must be best friends.  They know that they must treat each other with kindness and respect.  They love each other and with love should come kindness and respect.  You do not have to like the same books, games, movies or subjects.  You may not have the same styles in clothes, hair and jewelry…

Graphic Novel Workshop

This weekend the girls and I had the opportunity to take a class with graphic novel author Barbara Slate.  This was presented free of charge at our favorite library in the next town over.  Advance registration was all that was required.   Barbara has created comics for Marvel, DC Comics, Disney, and Mattel and Archie Comics.  Her work has also been featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine and on The Today Show.  When I heard about this, I just knew I had to bring Lilah to see if she could learn how to develop her love of manga illustration into a form of writing.  Grace surprised me by wanting to come as well.  She has recently discovered a love of drawing mythical creatures.   In this 90 minute workshop the girls learned how to create a character.  Once the character was sketched, they were given the tools to develop an in-depth profile, or a “character bible”.  As Barbara put it, “you should know more about your character then you know about yourself”.  Where does you character do to school?…

Homeschool Mother's Journal: September 16th

In my life this week....
I am feeling kind of crappy.  I am not sure if it is allergies or a cold but I am congested and sneezing.  I am still tired from my trip and my suitcase is still not unpacked.  I have a load of laundry overflowing in my bedroom and two loads clean that need to be folded and put away.  The grass has not been cut in two weeks and my pool is not closed for the season yet.   My daughter is on crutches unable to walk and in a great deal of pain since spraining her ankle last Friday.  She had to cancel the nature class she has been looking forward to for six months.  Disappointment is an understatement. Not every day is easy.  Some days you have tears.  Some days you wish you could just call in sick, crawl into  bed and sleep the day away.  Those are the days you pour yourself another cup of coffee and trudge on.  You give an extra hug, wipe away the tears and make back up plans.



In our homeschool this week... For now, we are laying low.  We have to rest.  Bodies need to…

Life Imitating Art

Ever since our return from the trip of epic proportions, I have felt fall creeping in.  Perhaps it is the way the late afternoon light streams in through my windows casting an orange glow on the bowl full of ripened tomatoes.... Or maybe it is the smoky odor of a neighbor whose fire pit is ablaze.... Whatever it is, it has filled me with a need to begin to prepare to welcome this season into our lives. I have begun to get a large donation ready for Goodwill.  It is mostly things we have outgrown both figuratively and literally.  Like these rain boots.  The little red apples have not fit on Lilah’s feet for quite some time.  And the polka dots?  A size too small for Grace.  The funky black and white ones...they leak.  It is time to say goodbye to them. As I was walking by, I noticed the three pairs of boots lined up in the hallway two facing one direction and the littlest pair facing another and was instantly reminded of one of my favorite book covers, Belong to Me and then of Oscar Wild…

Washington D.C

What was I thinking scheduling a tag-along business trip immediately following Family Camp????  I am not a super Mama, never proclaimed to be.  But I do love the tag along.  Since Greg was opening a new store at the Pentagon City Mall in Washington, it made sense for him to attend the store set.  Since we were so close we could tag along, get the benefit of a hotel room with a shuttle to the Metro.  

If only we were not so tired.... All we could manage was one day at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.  I thought this was very fitting.  Due to Hurricane Irene, our public school friends were beginning school this day.  Last year on the first day of school I took the girls to Manhattan to visit New York’s Museum of Natural History.  The girls and I enjoyed this museum more.  In fact, we spent the entire day there.   We saw a tarantula feeding and spoke to the Entomologist afterword.  He went to school at Cornell and told us about a fabulous Entomology Festival they have every Octobe…