Thursday, November 29, 2007

what have we been up to?

it's been a long couple of weeks and it seems like we've been just busy busy busy all the time. silas turned 10 this month and we also celebrated our 13th anniversary (both events are on the same day). we had a nice thanksgiving with family, i helped my mom in the kitchen as much as possible without getting in the way too much. after dinner with my family, we went to visit scotty's brother who recently became a father to a beautiful baby boy...and got to see him for the first time. that was wonderful and emotional for me. a new baby always takes my breath away.

the weekend after thanksgiving was filled with meeting new people and learning new things at the ARGH get together (autodidactic radical gathering of homeschoolers). it was excitement from the minute we walked in the door of the rec center on the first night. we hadn't seen ren or her family since halloween and the kids were excited to play with them again. it was refreshing to spend time with other people who are trying to live an unschooled life, who are struggling with the bigger picture where it isn't just about "education." i learned a lot. one of the big things i have been struggling with is control where food is concerned. i came away from the weekend with renewed energy to focus on that issue and to know that it's MY issue and not anyone else's. and to let go just a little bit more. the first night was all about just meeting and playing some games. that was really really fun. i often have a hard time learning new games, it's a good thing there were so many kids and adults willing to tell me just one more time how to play them. finally, i just have to play to really get it. the next day was held at a different location where we had an ATC table, a video game station, lots of toys to choose from and rooms to play in and a kitchen for making ice cream in a bag. the structure was organic and we made it up as we went along. the kids saw the adults sitting around talking and writing on sticky notes and white boards and decided to go into one of the other rooms and do the same thing. it was awesome. the next day was a more informal gathering (is that possible?) at ren's house just to hang out. poor little jalen was sick but consented to have company. the kids played in and outside, playing dress up and board games. scotty got there around 7 or so and finally got to meet everyone, then we played the bean bag toss game which he loved. steve did our human design charts and explained them to us. we didn't leave until almost midnight. i was pooped out the next day and thought i was getting the flu but just needed to rest all day long.

so that's our life in a nutshell the last few weeks. just the highlights. because, of course, there's always much much more.


Thursday, November 15, 2007


i was emailing my bff and i thought "this might make a decent blog entry since i've been so lazy and not done one lately." i had this long rant in my mind of a post that was going to be really interesting about having gone to a homeschooling talk and how i got irritated and walked out. but i just got over it and didn't feel like it anymore. maybe some other time when my feathers are ruffled again, i'll share that story. but here's a bit from my email about dreams:

back to your question about dreams. "i have so many dreams. do you ever feel that way?" yes, i feel that way so often it hurts. i just want so much this life or that one. paths i might've taken. things that maybe i could still do on this path as well. i dream of having land. to build a house with my own two hands and have a garden. i also want a store front, a retail and gallery space for local arts and crafts. there's a space for rent and another space for sale in downtown jonesboro. i think about that a lot lately. i have a food wagon idea. i dream about being a singer/performer of some kind. i want to dance and being in this space right now i can't really. i danced my ass off at rascal's halloween eve though. fun dancing not lyrical/serious dancing. i dream of building cabins for a retreat of some sort but then i imagine it would be hard dealing with people in that way and i'm not sure. i dream of living completely alone. in a little house. with very little inside of it. a bed, a table, a lamp. and a studio room. and lots of flowers. i dream of having more children, which i won't but it comes to me sometimes that i might like to. i dream of writing. stories, songs, poems. i even dream (real ones while i'm asleep) that i've written an amazing song and i'm singing it and i've gotten it written down and at some point i realize it's a dream and i tell myself to try really hard to remember it when i wake up. but i never do.Share

Friday, November 02, 2007

our busy first month back home

well, i thought i would start off my coming back to blogger with a little bit about our first month back home again in tennessee.

we started out enjoying the mountains again right away. it is amazing how quickly (if you can call 3 years quick) that i forgot how beautiful it is here. the rivers and mountains took my breath away.

spending some quality time with friends and family was a long time coming as well. our 2nd week here we went to our first sofh group in years. and it was almost as if no time had passed. a new building and kids that did not really remember each other didn't stop everyone from feeling right at home.

the kids have gotten to spend tons of time with their cousins again. sometimes a mixed blessing, but always an experience to remember. and being able to grow up around family is something i really want them to have.

going hiking again is something we looked forward to but i was unsure whether we would actually get out and get back into that habit again. i shouldn't have worried. we have gone to the mountains almost every week, sometimes twice a week since getting back. i now realize how out of shape i've gotten walking around on perfectly flat ground.

next we met some new friends that we had only known briefly through email. and we are so glad we did. we have so much fun with them! we got together once at rock creek, played in the very dry pond making obos and taking lots and lots of pictures.

another big adventure was the cutting of silas' hair!! something i hadn't thought we would be doing so soon. but it was time. and he feels a lot better. and if this is even possible, he has more energy now!! he's enjoying being able to play with gel and spike his hair ocassionally. he's even talked about dying it blue sometime.

we made cookies with sofh and had a really great time meeting yet another great family (beth and her daughter elise, who decided that silas would be her boyfriend!) and got all sugared up!! i think i had just as much fun as the kids did (if not more) rolling out the dough and making cookies to decorate!!

and then there's the day we became slug and snail pet owners!! not much i can say about that except, it was more interesting than i thought it would be. we now have 3 cages of them, one has eggs in it and we're waiting to see what happens there.

and then FINALLY, FINALLY, we got together with our best friends in the mountains. the CG clan! and as usual, they made awesome food for us. cornbread that was all fresh ingredients right off the farm. beans that tasted so good i was almost sure there had to be lard in it...but there wasn't especially for us!! the kids played games and ran around outside and when it came time to go home, they didn't want to. i came away from the day with a very eye-opening lesson on what it really means to conserve water and it has been something i have carried with me every day since. implementing new ways to do things that i would not have thought of before.

halloween was celebrated in two days. on halloween eve we went to a family event at rascals teen center in kinsport. i hadn't been there in almost 20 years and i had just as much fun dancing as i did back then. the kids dressed up and had a really fun time running around the place, eating free pizza, doughnuts, and sodas. i ran into a friend from college AND a friend from high school and traded email addresses. samuel won the costume contest for his age group...very cool! he was the grim reaper, silas was a zombie, and sadie was a witch.

on halloween night, we got together with ren and her gang again for a wandering about in downtown jonesborough and then trick-or-treating in a nearby neighborhood. the kids got so much candy, and shared some with we big folks too old to go door-to-door. at ren's house the candy sorting began as they traded and organized their candy loot. we ate yummy bread and deliciously rich beans (you can't beat having so many friends who will feed you bread and beans!!)

we've gone to my nephew's baseball games and had backporch-firepit banana roasts with grandma. we've eaten at pal's at least 5 times already (we went without it for 3 years, so we had to catch up!). i've helped my dad fix things here and there, started a compost and recycling bin for them. we've learned how to live in a multi-generational home, and see it's benefits as well as it's drawbacks (mostly having to do with space). it's been a full month. i can't wait to see what's next!!