Saturday, September 27, 2008

live and 2...finally!!

i had planned to do a post every day about each day of the conference. but then life happened and i just never got around to it. but i couldn't just let it go without at least finishing up the story of our first L&L experience. so i'm going to just continue at my own pace, as usual...
day 1

day 2:
scotty and i pulled ourselves out of bed early to get ready for breakfast (which was not easy after our first late night). when samuel realized we were up, he jumped out of bed and mumbled over and over...i gotta go, i gotta go. he had big plans that started early and finished late. he intended to not miss a minute, and he didn't. silas and sadie were a little less anxious to get out of bed, but then they remembered where we were and that breakfast was being served soon and they got up. after breakfast we all had different things we wanted to do, so we headed in different directions. the kids and i went to make buttons, while scotty went to ben's talk on hosting house concerts. he got a kick out of showing everyone the schedule i wrote for him. he kept telling people that i said he HAD TO go to all these things. no no no, that is not the way it went down at all. the night before, we had gone through the list of events together and these are the things he wanted to do...i was just writing out different schedules for each person so they wouldn't forget where they wanted to be (it was easy to get distracted and forget). anyway...

i went to andrea's belly dance workshop with sadie and sierra while the boys ran off to play video games or hang out with friends. the belly dancing was fun but frustrating. i like to learn new things, but i just don't think i'm a good dance student. i have way too much of my own need to move my own way. the music she played was awesome and i just wanted to dance. but i chose to listen and learn some new things. stretched some muscles that needed stretching and had a really good time. then we got to go to lunch!!! i was starving!! i have no idea (meaning i cannot remember now) what scotty was doing at this time, i think this was one of the times he played basketball with ben, broc and some other guys, but we met for lunch and talked about our mornings. there's this foggy place in my mind during and after lunch (surprise surprise)...but eventually i got my stuff and headed to the lobby for the untrepreneurial fair. i set up my goods and hung out next to nancy and the stonebrakers on the floor. samuel set up his comic books as well. we made some good sales but i'm pretty sure he sold the most that day. he had quite a few fans by the end of the conference. i heard this a lot...oh, you're samuel's mom, he's really talented! it was not new news to me, but it was really nice to hear. at some point scotty came to visit us. i know this only because there is this picture of us together in the middle of my 'un-fair' pix...thank goodness for cameras or i would never be able to tell a story!! i think he had just come from (or was headed to) one of eli gerzon's talks on worldschooling.some more sellers - alex, sophie, and max!! i bought a pillow from sophie =)

happy tired lady!! (sadie was taking lots of pictures for me...if she hadn't, i might not remember any of this!)

sadie bought this cute key chain. on the floor you can see the potholder i bought from the same little girl.

the fair ran until 5 but there were talks to go to so i shut down around 3 so that scotty and i could make it to james coburn's talk on wholelife unschooling. scotty left early to go to what was probably the most important round table discussion of the conference for him...the SSUDs group. SSUDs stands for 'Secret Society of Unschooling Dads.' this was the one and only group of the entire conference that was discriminatory. it was only for dads!! no moms, no kids. just dads. and i thought that was really a great idea. he came away from it with a renewed energy about the choices we've made as a family. he got to talk to other dads just like him. he also got to meet some stay at home dads. that's something for an entire post in itself. maybe i'll get HIM to write something about that.

by this point, i had met and re-met so many wonderful people that i was floating on a cloud. all my doubts and apprehensions about coming to the conference had lifted away. there was an amazing energy in the air that was contagious and inspiring. i soaked up as much as i possibly could. i believe i still have some left in my back pocket for safe keeping.

after the fair, we met up for dinner where he filled me in on his almost overwhelming experience at the SSUDs talk. we got to eat with jessica and talk for awhile. it was really nice. i can honestly say that i did not know where the boys were at this time. oh my. well, i knew they were somewhere in the dining hall, but i did not know where. the eating situation was interesting for such a large group of radical unschoolers. we were on a schedule. we had to be there within a 45 minute time frame that the buffet was available or we got no food. period. what an adjustment for people used to eating when they're hungry and not by the clock. but we're all pretty used to being part of the bigger world as well and so we adjusted just fine.

at some time during the day, i found a gift in the lobby from my fairy godparent (who i found out later was actually a whole family, the sabos). what a thrill!! i had been having such a good time being the fairy mama to brai that i nearly forgot that i would get to enjoy being surprised as well. it was so wonderful to suddenly be reminded that there was someone out there thinking up ways to make me feel special.

after eating, there was enough time to get ourselves together and head over to the talent show. i was a little disappointed that the boys had decided to hang out with their friends instead of joining us. it was so much fun, we laughed and had a really great time...i just kept having those moments where i'd think of how much they would've liked a particular performance and i would miss them even more. but they had their own magical time, of course!!!

here are some amazing peeps:
the haworth's - alex, max, sophie, ella, and mindy, all dressed up and ready for a good time!!
the stonebrakers - clint, shelby, and wendy...purple people eaters!!!
kelli and rachel...lovely smiles ladies!
rachel, ren, and george...hey rachel, you were just everywhere!!!

some wild turning talent...these girls rocked. one did the hula hoop, while the other spun in place the entire 3 minutes...WOW!! check out that huge orb!!

broc and ben doing their soul man routine...absolutely hilarious!!!

brenna on the piano, playing free fallin' by tom petty...oh my, i hope i'm remembering this right.
a dance routine where suddenly they got as many people up on stage to dance as they could...really wonderful and so much fun to watch!
sophie, sadie, and kyra hanging out and watching the show along with...
sierra and aleah (who i had the pleasure of hanging out with last night along with her brother tyler).

there was a lot of talent that i didn't even get pictures of, but luckily there are a gazillion other posts out there by much more organized bloggers than myself!!
by the time this was all over, i was exhausted!! i thought i would head back to the room and go to bed (ya know, because getting up the next day was going to be even harder!)...yeah, that didn't happen. what did happen was more hanging out in the lobby!!
ben and devil jeff, even satan and his sidekick have to get their internet fix...getting this picture reminded me that i had a camera and so i started taking pix of all the tired people in the lobby.

the amazing duo kelly and it bedtime yet???
robyn and tammy deep in a philosophical unschooling discussion.

more great conversation (including sleeping child in arms) over here as well...

and wild coloring here (and of course, another sleeping child in arms)
robyn, joni and i (after i had gone to the room and changed into pajamas!!)
i believe that's kai, and sadie coloring here. sadie had somehow already gotten into her pajamas, she came up to me and was changed and i couldn't figure out how she'd gotten into the room. turns out that kyra's room key worked on our door. she was in the room just below ours, it also worked on the room just below hers...weird.
karina, turner aka 'kenny', samuel and silas hanging out, having a blast. karina and samuel are birthday buddies, born just hours apart (depending on if you want to count the coast to coast time difference or not).
i think she's ready to go to bed now...

the kids had an amazing time hanging out, running around, and playing video games with their friends. scotty, sadie, and i finally got tired enough to go to bed around 1:30 and the boys came to bed at around 2 in the morning and i could finally sleep. or was this the night they came in at 4?? it is a little fuzzy at this point.

'til next time...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

the passion flower project

last night, the kids and i went to ann law's 'passion flower' performance. it was beautiful and inspiring. i was afraid it would be too emotional for me but it wasn't. the way she told her story about breast cancer through dance, monologuing, and video was positively uplifting and really something to witness. i'm so glad i decided to bring the kids, they really enjoyed it and even wanted to stay after for the discussion.

when we were at the L&L conference earlier this month, my friend mindy (who is close friends with ann) told us about this performance coming to jc and that we must go see it!! thanks mindy!!Share

Monday, September 15, 2008

live and learn-day one

on september 3rd we headed over the mountains and through the woods to the live and learn conference in black mountain, north carolina. we got there just minutes before we were supposed to volunteer for our scholarship reduced conference fee. we got our registration stuff and i got to meet the amazing pam genant...FINALLY. i got a little teary-eyed. in case you don't know how important she is to me, i'll just quickly say that she believed in me as an artist at a time a few years ago when i needed it most and commissioned some work from me. we got our bags and t-shirts and green meal bracelets and room keys. we thought we would have to go straight to work but they were serving lunch and so we ate first. we had no idea that we could've come earlier. ah well. after eating, scotty headed over to help beth set up for the raffle and passion basket auction. the boys had gone off to the gaming room and sadie stayed with me (well, up until she found sierra and they took off together).
i headed up to lee hall to help robyn set up the funshop tables. there wasn't a lot to do so i ran over to take our contributions to the raffle and auction to scotty. i came back up and there was some work for me to do but still not much and robyn released me...but i decided that i was still needed somewhere and sure enough just outside on the beautiful lee hall porch ren was manning the popcorn and slushy table all by herself, so i jumped in to help. i did that for awhile and that is where i first met a sweet little girl named fire...and so many more kids and parents with smiling faces wanting popcorn!! after that i went to bring some of our stuff into our room and to put mine and sadie's names into the fairy godchild bag. i told scotty i'd come help him when i was done. but then the kids wanted to go swimming so we did that first. then i helped scotty up until it was time for dinner. we all headed over to the dining room, i was sooo hungry and excited i don't think i even tasted anything. after dinner, we finished bringing stuff up to the room and got ready for the amy steinberg concert. there was still some more work to do with the raffle tables so we did that until the concert started (luckily it was in the same place).

as usual, amy was amazing!!! she is, after all, the unschooling crowd's mascot!! i danced over on the side, but these kids got right up front and got funky!!!

some fans...i think that's kyra (you can just see her hand), sadie in back, sierra and shelby

there wasn't a dry eye in the crowd when she sang wide sky life with help from some back up singers during a slideshow memorial for lisa heyman (roxanne and fire's mom...and larry's wife) who passed away in february this year.

me and amy!!!...that's her hand, not mine...LOL (we were going for sultry but i was just laughing too much)

after the concert we walked around a bit and then went over to where ren and her crew were staying and hung out for a little while. then we headed over to the lobby of the BRA and stayed up talking with our hometown friends and making new ones while the kids ran around who knows where. we finally headed off to our room a little before midnight. okay, i'm thinking this is all blurry and out of was a wild first day and i can't truly remember exactly how it all went down. i just know the boys stayed out so late it made my head spin and i couldn't sleep and finally asked them to come in around 2 am. oh my. in the mean time, scotty, sadie and i hung out in the room planning what fun we would get into the next day...
i am in no way ready to even go into the deeper aspects of what we experienced during the conference, the beauty of all the amazing families, the simple joy of just BEING. i'll have to save that for my last day post.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

quiet days at home

we went to the live and learn conference this past week (september 3rd-8th)...but that's not what i'm posting about. just not ready to sift through it all yet. i'm so impressed that some people have been able to blog about it already...or better yet, they blogged DURING the conference. i am not that on top of things, plus i don't have a laptop.

i just wanted to post about how i've been feeling manic the past few days. creative manic. the good kind of manic. as opposed to the crazy kind of manic i get sometimes when i feel the need to clean too much. and get cranky. yesterday i wanted to paint all day, the day before that i made jewelry all day. frenzy like. it's a bittersweet sort of thing to feel that way. because i love it, the wild desire to create and how it makes the rest of the world disappear. the fact is though that the rest of the world doesn't really disappear, it's all still there. i have to remember to be patient when interrupted (it was easier to be interrupted from beading than it was from painting though...there's a different focus and energy there), to make sure there are plenty of snacks (and make sure i eat because i'll forget to notice that i'm hungry) or if i had planned to fix a meal, to follow through with it. and to still give some attention to the kids. luckily samuel and sadie like to sit along side me while i'm making things and join in. silas usually doesn't. so later the other night i asked him if there was something he wanted to do with me, just the two of us. he said he wants me to create a character on world of warcraft. okay, i can do that. it's not MY thing, but it's something fun and important to him right i'm game. we're going to do that today or tomorrow i think.

the kids decided to look at old photo albums yesterday. it was so cute watching them (especially since they were inside the empty box of the new guinea pig cage). they kept wondering why there were only pictures of samuel. they had gone way back to when there was only samuel to take pictures of. there's one picture of scotty and i before we went out for our anniversary. samuel wanted to know what i was dressed up as...he thought it was a halloween picture. he asked if i had white make up on and if i was supposed to be dead. no, i said, i was just really really white back then. it startled me a bit to see it as well. i looked like a freaky china doll. i miss that innocent skin.
the bionicles have been out for a few days as well. they go back and forth between their new WOW game and the bionicles. since we only have the one computer, they take turns. so they are immersed in both simultaneously.

we miss the energy and excitement of the conference but we're definitely enjoying the peace and quiet of being home.