Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Wordless Wednesday


Well, not completely without words...

Just giggling over the pirates who stopped to have a feast to celebrate their religion today--seems a little ironic being that they ARE pirates and trying to steal weapons and all but at least I imagine them in cute little outfits.

Monday, September 22, 2008

New puppy

My parents are getting a new puppy--don't get too excited, I do not wish for another thing to toilet train. But this dog will live only a mere 20 minutes from us and we have a family foster program that allows us to borrow dogs, loan dogs, exchange dogs within a three family co-op.

She is too cute and her name is Mckinley. We have been discussing the similarities in having a dog and baby and here is the list:
1. will have to wait patiently for the dog to arrive (must be 6-8 weeks old)
2. will need special bedding
3. will need special food
4. will keep you up ALL night
5. will require training classes or at least a book or two
6. will include many dtrs visit to ensure growing properly, shots, etc.
7. will cause you to rethink your sanity
8. will keep you close to home as that is the easiest place to keep all the STUFF
9. will remind you that consistency is more important than anything (no softies here)
10. will require toilet training and for this kind it's more like an outhouse
11. will need new toys
12. will involve many "OOHS and AHHHS!!"
13.will bring endless amounts of love!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Why homeschool?

This is the time of year I meet many people who ask me why do I do this crazy thing, keeping my kids with me all day and never having any time to myself.

The answer is it is a lifestyle and I am thankful to another homeschool mom who I met at our chiropractor's office who reminded me of this fact. It is a decision we made when Denali was little and it just grew into homeschooling. Michael and I decided to co-sleep with the kids (many countries do not consider this a choice, but a necessity), nurse on demand, choose our (and their) food wisely and carefully, not leave our children until they were ready to be left, and with all this we are hoping we are giving them roots and wings as Michael commonly refers to our parenting style. We love Dr. Sears and I personally have read more parenting books than most people even know exist, but I have taken this job seriously from the very beginning. We have grown and changed with each child- most especially becoming of the philosophy of everything in moderation so we do own plastic toys now, and they have eaten fast food more times than I can count.

Back to the title of this post, the schooling for me is about being with the kids and influencing them every day. I its my goal to have them fully understand and know our values and right and wrong as we determine it. We are teaching tolerance and perspective ( a big one I think because you must understand where someone is coming from before you can decide right or wrong). It would be hard for me to squeeze all this in in only a few hours each day in between school and extra curricular activities. I fully realize that this does not work for everyone, I would like the assumption to be that my family is not judging others but instead choosing what is right for us. My kids see us reading and learning about new things each day ( we are ordering cheese making supplies at the end of the month and Michael is trying to build a hydrogen run Barbie car with the kids). They help set the goals for their school year and the methods to reach them. We spend a lot of time allowing them to make choices under our roof so that when they leave, they can make informed choices for themselves.I choose not to grade the work they do yet because the fear of failure outweighs the willingness to risk trying at this age. That being said , I have very high expectations that they must complete their work and correct their mistakes. This lifestyle for me does require that I need very little sleep, that I be involved in everyone's everything, that my free time mostly comes in ten minute spurts and that Michael and I must use our time wisely and discuss our days late in the evening after the sun has set. Hopefully what my children will remember from their schooling years is an endless amount of curiosity stemming from the large amounts of curriculum ( I collect books because I think they offer inspiration and remind us of things we have learned or want to learn) offered to them and a desire to continue learning about many of these topics well beyond a college degree. At the health talk on Monday, the conversation I had with the other homeschool mom reminded me that in fact, I don't homeschool strictly for educational purpose but in fact it is a lifestyle that Michael and I have chosen thanks to some very positive influences in our lives. Not everyone can or will make this choice, but for us it is a perfect fit.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Week in Review

I have stolen Katrina's title. But anyhow, so much has happened, I will try to recap quickly. We returned from the beach and met up with reality and schooling. Micheal started our first day of school with us and it was great. Got soooo much done because he played with Keaton. We had soccer practices all week and really did get a lot done. I love our new Chemistry book and even enjoyed teaching Keelin and Bryn a little Latin. Had I remained on my original path I would be fluent, as I thought I would start when Denali began. Her third year in and I am just learning Hello. I also love our Geography songs CD from Rainbow Resource. Overall it was a very pleasant week and I am glad we are back to firm schedules. It fits my personality so much more.

In my free (ha-ha) time, I have been reading and tonight I could not help but laugh out loud. The book I am reading is Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver and it is a true tale of how she and her family moved out to a farm to become "localvores"- people who eat within a range of their house. They set up rules and planned to live a year like this to see what influences they could have and just change their perspective. Well, it is a book I wish I could read aloud and have someone in my family find as funny as I do. Maybe it is my lack of farm knowledge or maybe it is my desire to do something similar but my fear of failure that finds the story intriguing and hilarious. But tonight it was so funny that instead of calling all of my favorite people, I will put it in my blog- this paragraph or two that made my side ache at the idea of such antics.

Background you must have is that Michael has been Vegan at one time in our marriage and continues to be vegetarian. He and Denali both. While Bryn eats any and all meat and prefers it not to be marred with any other foods. Protein just protein for her. Lastly is Keelin who is vegetarian unless you count hamburgers, and bacon (which I do-- so she is not in my book a vegetarian). I am someone who eats anything lovingly prepared and placed in front of me because REALLY I am a mom who feeds everyone else first and rarely sits down. So with food and discussion of what is and is not meat and where things come from constantly surrounding me, all usually occurring at the dinner table, I am not a big fan of thinking of the life cycle of animals that find their way to my plate here and there.

So on page 90, Barabra is discussing turkey. Apparently the majority of them are of the same particularly dumb breed and are too fat to have turkey sex (trying not to picture this). She writes," So how do we get more of them? Well you might ask. The sperm must be artificially extracted from live male turkeys by a person, a professional turkey sperm-wrangler if you will, and artificially introduced to the hens, and that is all I am going to say about that. If you think they send the toms off to the men's room with little paper cups and Playhen magazine, that's not how it goes. I will add only this: if you are the sort of parent who threatens your teenagers with a future of unsavory jobs when they ditch school, here's one more career you might want to add to the list."

The question here in our house is- How long into the school year will I have to describe this job to one of my children in effort to get them to finish their schoolwork? And better yet, when can we move to the farm? I feel certain I can maintain being vegetarian there.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Turtle time

Turtles in our midst!! We have been coming to Hilton Head for many years now and love the idea of sea turtles. Fueled by Nemo, we have read books, and looked at marked nests over the years but never have we seen even a track of a turtle. UNTIL Sunday, we were taking an early morning walk when the turtle patrol came by. We stopped with them at a nest several houses down. They were just checking for activity and then the nest next door to us had hatched Friday night. we were told that stragglers end up in the dunes confused by outdoor lights. They can not make it all day in the heat and end up dying because they are unable to reach the water. The nest can hatch for several days and after a few days, they do an inventory, count the eggs, and the shells. They were going to do this on Tuesday. We excitedly discussed how we would be able to at least see the eggs, and shells. On Monday morning, Michael awoke early and took Bryn with him on a scouting walk. Bryn returned out of breath and yelling, "A turtle, A turtle, hurry!!!" I woke my mom and dad insisting that they not get into clothes but run out on the beach in pajamas. Everyone ran out except me, always the mom, I did not want to wake Keaton and so I stayed behind---for all of two minutes. The moment everyone left and the house was silent, I thought,"Are you kidding me? He wakes me all night long. I can wake him for a once in a life time event." So out in our pajamas we ran. We hit the beach running and watched the turtle make a path to the ocean. He was very small and working very hard. We cheered him on. He was our Crush. When he made it to the water, he was clearly in his element. The rest of our day, while incredible since we are beach front with beautiful weather, was just not as emotional or exciting as the turtle we waited six years to see. Then we awoke this morning anxious to see the nest inventory. Keelin with her eagle eye and attention to detail found many tracks but no lost turtles in the dunes. Then the turtle patrol arrived to uncover the nest. They found three babies and helped them to the water. We had quite a following on the beach today as we invited all who walked by to join the turtle train. The volunteers gave us information and encourage people to become more knowledgeable in order to save these cuties. Loggerheads weigh between 250-400 lbs. Loggerheads are threatened. Only 1 in every 10,000 hatchlings survives to adulthood. So if you find yourself in a turtle area, PLEASE turn out your lights after dark.

We are looking forward to more naturing tomorrow as I have signed us up for a mini introduction to a new resort in exchange for free dolphin tour tickets. (There seems to be a bit of apprehension as to what the magic show and turtle feeding will entail as they are trying to sell timeshares) Only tomorrow will tell. We are starting the day off with donuts that we get to customize . What can go wrong with donuts and a free dolphin tour??????