Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Yarn along

books and yarn
I couldn't take another day of socks, so I cast on another project. I have decided that maybe I will stick to tube socks in the future! I am working on the "Soft Basket" from "More Last Minute Knitted Gifts". I stole the yarn from Rowan's knitting bag, I swear he won't miss it, I think the idea of knitting is way more appealing to him then the actual doing, or maybe it is because his teacher (me) is just a bit of a nut and doesn't know enough to properly teach knitting to a 4 year old. Either way I am going to give the basket to him, because honestly who doesn't need a cute rainbowy knitted basket to put stuff in?
At the time of the photograph I was reading my friend's ebook "Phoenix Child", but I have sense finished it. It was great! I laughed, I cried, I hated a character with a fiery passion and still dislike him greatly, even though the main character has forgiven him... it just takes me longer, I hold grudges sometimes. I especially love that it was written in first person and the character is a teen, so you get a bit of smart-assy-ness which was fun to read.
I finished reading "The Secret Garden" to Cae and Rowan. Cae just loved it so much he wanted me to restart it again right away. I convinced him that maybe we could read something else first. I tried reading "The Hobbit" but neither Cae nor I could get into it. I remember loving that books o much when my dad read it to me. Maybe Papa Jim needs to come read to us. Anyway, I pulled out another of my favorite children's books... "Mrs. Coverlet's Magicians" the best thing about this copy is that it was my mom's! It has her name and address right in it, and my name is in it as well, and so is Aydrey's! Cae liked it right off, Rowan, well he does seem to get this book a bit more, but he tends to just play cars while I read. LOL

Come join Ginny at the Yarn Along!

Magical Tuesday

new calvin and hobbes

the orchard game

mushroom matching

another matching

tell tale

hiss

more hiss

variland

cae running 10 laps

rowan running 5 laps

picture drawing

cae using ed emberley books
We had a really great day today. While doing up the breakfast dishes I noticed a package on the front porch, something we forgot to bring in yesterday! It was the set of "Calvin and Hobbes" comic books I had ordered for Sagan. He was so excited he dove right in and read for at least a good hour, or as long as it took Cae, Rowan and I to play a half dozen games. I think the biggest hit was a game we got from Audrey's friend Derek, one he gave the boys for Christmas that we some how just hadn't played yet. Totally fun! It is called "Tell Tale" and the rules are super simple and the game is quick fun and silly as all get out. The stories were so silly and ended with poop, so what 4 and 7 year old boy wouldn't love that. I think this will be our "gift to give" of choice for awhile. After a bit a messing around inside the boys all went outside and started "training" for something, I am not sure what, but it did entail them running laps around the driveway at a certain maintained pace. Sagan and Cae decided that Rowan being little would only have to run 5 laps instead of 10, and you know that little guy can hall. He did great and was so proud of himself.
As the day moved into evening, and as I was making dinner they all started drawing. Cae ran across and Ed Emberley book I had when I was a child and has just poured through it drawing all sorts of little pictures of himself doing all sorts of wild things. Sagan is working on a story right now, a project he is trying to get Logan into, and was working on the book cover this evening.
Some of the best parts of the day were not actually caught on film, but I think even if I had had the camera it wouldn't have caught the awesomeness of them. Logan hung with his brothers which they love so much. Sagan really misses him now that he is in school full time. And it was nice that he gave them so much of his time right after school today, without me even saying anything. And Sister and I had a great talk, that girl has a good head on her shoulders and she just knows her stuff. And of course Fiona was just normal cute, smart self. She surprises me everyday with the stuff she knows how to do, I forget that even though they are small they are so so paying attention and they get waaaay more then they can articulate.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"I'm bored..."

Ever since we sent the TV packing (just over a week now) Sagan has come to me complaining that he is bored. Before, when the TV was around, he would fill up his "bored" times with watching various Disney channel shows, some days for HOURS and HOURS. Honestly, I think boredom is a good thing, it helps you make plans and opens you up to new things. I, too, have been feeling bored lately. SO starting in a few weeks I will be studying to become a lactation counselor and a childbirth educator, two of my passions.
At the same time, we are going to start up a little thingy for Sagan. An on-line friend suggested Time4Learning, a website that offers enrichment and/or full on education for homeschoolers and after school studies. I was offered a free month for an honest review of the website. I also thought I would add in what Sagan thought of the whole thing as well, since he will be the one using it. As a disclaimer,  he thought it sounded sort of neat and might help him when he is feeling sort of listless and wandering about, and after looking around he thought the science and history things sounded/looked pretty cool. SO, in a month we will post our review of the website and let you know what I think (as the mom) and what he thinks (as the kid) of what this website has to offer.
here he is trying to give me a heart attack.

Monday, February 27, 2012

How we treat our children

sagan taking fiona for a stroll


A week or so ago I found one of my most favorite books, that I had lent out and never got back, at Bookman's. "High Tide in Tucson" by Barbara Kingsolver. I was re-reading it over the weekend, and still all these years later it still speaks to me. Her essays are timeless, and poignant, and beautifully written. One that has always left me nodding my head and feeling like "YES! someone else sees it too, someone else knows" is her essay "Somebody's Baby". A shorter version of this essay was published in 1992 in the New York Time's under the title: "Everybody's Somebody's Baby". The version in the book is longer and honestly better I think, but still you get the idea. The idea of how here in American we pay alot of lip service to the act of parenting, but in the end that is all we give it... lip service. We don't really truly want to help children or parents. We are not a culture that wants to work together to make a world where parents and children feel welcome. We balk not at just paying taxes but at paying taxes that benefit families and children. We don't want to pay higher taxes for schools, medical care or any program that helps children at all. Give a tax break to a multi-million dollar company that ships jobs over seas... sure! Increase taxes to make sure all children have healthcare... are you freakin' nuts!
She writes it so much better then I can say it. When did we get to this place here? When did money and things become so much more important to us then actual living people? When you get on a bus and you see a mama and her kids on the bus standing up do you offer a seat? Do you move to another seat on a plane to allow a family to sit together? Do you help up someone else's kid if the take a tumble in front of you? And if not... why?
How we treat our children (and I don't just mean the ones we have given birth to or are raising) like they are less, that they do not matter, that they need to be seen, but not heard, or sometimes not even seen... we are sending a message, a lesson. What do we want them to learn? Because they are watching and listening and learning. Barbara said it very well "Be careful what you give children, for sooner or later you are sure to get it back." And what is it that we want to get back? Remember these children we refuse to help, acknowledged, or show compassion for are the very same children who will grow up and become the doctors, lawyers, bakers, shop keepers, thieves, drug dealers, lost souls that will be around tomorrow. We are responsible for all children. All of us. Not to sit on the sidelines bitching about how bad so and so is, but being active in our communities. Being there for them in the voting booth, making sure they all have a full belly, a chance at some sort of education (whether that is at a school or making it so they can be homeschooled), that they can get some kind of healthcare at a reasonable price and that they have a family, not just of blood relatives, but friends and community.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Painting with water and popsicles


I am at a loss sometimes as what to do art wise for Fiona. She loves to get into things and get messy and I know all sorts of art stuff would be way fun, but she is still in that space where she will eat any and all things you give her. So the other day while we were outside she had found a paint brush and was messing with it. LIGHTBULB!! I got her a cup of water and she "painted" the patio with it, that is until she tipped it over, splash in it and then licked it... but hey it is a start.


After that is was only fitting to eat a popsicle... and although it looks like an "otter pop" I swear it isn't! No "Otter pops" until at least 2 years old! haha It is a treat from Whole Foods.
We are joining Saturday's Artist at Ordinary Life Magic.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Fiona's freezer pop

video
While we were in the middle of super yuck this week, I went to Whole Foods to get some sort of popsicle type food. Whole Foods was the closest grocery store and I was just feeling too funky to venture much further then a couple blocks from the house. Well, NOTHING at Whole Foods is inexpensive and since I have a family of 8 who were all at some level of sickness I just could not get a box of popsicles, and there was just no way I could afford to get more then a box, which only had four pops in it anyways, well they just so happen to have a pop similar to "otter pops" but it is made with actual juice and no added sugar... so I felt ok buying a box which was actually pretty reasonably priced and had 12 pops in it. We never actually got around to eating them, so while digging around in the freezer for something to settle my tummy I remembered the box! Woohoo! I got one out and Fiona crawled right over and "demanded it" (with her cute little head nod and grabby hands). She loved it! I felt compelled to catch it on video.

{ This Moment }


Joining Soulemama again for This Moment. A photograph taken from the week. A moment I wish to pause, savor and remember.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

My Space


The author of one of the blogs I read, I can't remember which one it is now, made herself a little space. I was so inspired that I decided I wanted to do something similar for myself. Everyone in our house as a spot, a spot for their things and treasures... all except for me. I have been slowly decluttering the house, thinning the toys out and making space. I was able to remove so much stuff I actually cleared off a whole bookshelf of baskets of toys! I moved the bookshelf into my room and started moving my books (parenting, gardening, craft, etc) on to it, as well as my most cherished Mothering magazines, and I even had space for my knitting box. And it sits so nicely under the picture Mike got for me of a mama and baby. Happiness!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Yarn Along

very blurry picture sorry
Joining Ginny again on another Yarn Along.
Well, I am still working on the blasted sock. I got the heel flap done, the life happened and I wasn't able to get to the heel turn right away, then we all got a tummy yuckiness and I haven't been able to figure it out, I need a visit with my knitting friend to have her walk me thru it one stitch at a time. Oh well. Some day I will have a pair of socks for someone... maybe this year.
I am still reading Simplicity Parenting, as I read it I am sort of implementing changes, that I why it is taking so long. The little boys and I finished up "The Secret Garden" what a wonderful book. I am now wanting to read "The Little Princess" but the boys want "The Hobbit" next. I am also reading my bestest friends self published young adult fiction "Phoenix Child". It is really good. In my fevered haze last night I even dreampt about the characters. So it must be good. AND I am reading thru some of my old blog posts that I had printed out. I was all passionate about so many things. Interesting reading.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Logan on the rope

ready

set

upside down!
Logan figured this little trick out today. EEEEP!

Good bye TV


For many years we were without a TV. Then, for some unknown reason we let it back in. When we moved back to Arizona we got a big TV and cable. We hadn't had cable for about 10 years, and we had never had a TV that big (I think it was 40 inches??)


Oh how we loved that TV. Maybe a bit too much.  After reading most of "Simplicity Parenting" I talked to Mike. Could we please, pretty please, just let the TV go again? Cancel cable and just be done with this horrible time sucker? When we brought it up to the kids, well let's just say it didn't go over super well. Sagan was the saddest. He spent alot of his day slouched on the love seat watching it. And if I am being honest so did I.


So, after we worked out a few compromises (like Glee night at a friends house and Star Wars Clone Wars being streamed on Hulu once a week) the only thing left was what to do with the monster. Well, Mike's brother was coming to town on Saturday so we asked... "Do you want a 18 month old 40 inch flat screen TV?" And he said YES! I have to say, so far so good. We have been a TV free house hold (again) for about 48 hours.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

{ this moment }

Joining Soulemama on this weekly ritual. A single photograph from the week. A moment I wish to pause, savor, and remember.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Yarn Along

books and knitting
Joining Ginny for another Wednesday Yarn Along.
I wish I could say I finished at least one sock, but the blasted heel flap vexed me all week and after tearing it out four times I gave up until my friend came by with her kids to play and explained to me what I was doing wrong. Then of course the next day or so was busy and I have only really gotten maybe 1/4 to 1/2 an inch of the two inches I need to do. So maybe next week.
I am still reading "Simplicity Parenting" and still really liking it. And the little boys and I are still reading "The Secret Garden" and I have to say we are loving it more and more each night. Cae even wants to plant roses, so maybe we will. The other day while sitting on the sofa and nursing Fiona I was sort of spacing out and just staring at the bookshelf and notice "Touch the Earth", which we have had for years and years, but I have actually never read. It is beautiful and sad.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Monday

Sagan's Ancient garden

boys drawing a road on the drive way

flowers

Flowers

FLOWERS

one of our most favorite things

he made a skid mark!

sun through the leaves

look at that hand. <3

my bikin' boys

look at what I got in the mail!!!
I always have such grand plans for Mondays and then, well life happens. Not much on the list got done, but we were busy so much of the day. Art projects in the morning, biking in the driveway, chalk drawing, rope swinging, running around the back yard, friends came to visit and I got a package! Yes, a Hathor the Cowgoddess package of goodness! Happiness! And I was feeling a bit "artsy" and took some pictures of our flowers and plants. I was even able to actually make a LLL meeting. Maybe I need to just toss out the lists and go with the flow.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

On compassion and love


 The last few days have been hard on me. Hard on my spirit, hard on my soul. But this blog post was something that brought me to tears and gave me a bit of hope for humanity. I tend to take on the yuckiness around me. I really need a better filter I think.


There is this video going around on FB and youtube, it is a dad "disciplining" his daughter. He is mad because she was disrespectful to him by writing a venting note on FB about her mom and dad. This was very upsetting to him, so much so that he felt the very best way to handle it was to humiliate her on the internet and then shoot up her laptop. So many people saw this as a good parenting move, felt like this was a good way to make her respect him and to prove to her that he was the boss. (I found this blog post very well written on the whole matter.)


This broke my heart. Where was the compassion for his daughter, where was the love? Jan Hunt said: "All children behave as well as they are treated" It is true. How did this girl become so "disrespectful"? How did she become so "entitled" (as so many called her), how did she become a "spoiled brat bag" (as someone called her)? Why is there is idea that "kids these days are..." a list of awful nasty things. Why do we feel compelled to treat children less then we would like to be treated? They are so young and fresh and new in the world, what they need more then anything is to know they are loved 100% and that there is compassion for them as they learn and grow and become an adult. Growing up is hard work, you have to test and push and pull and hold back and move forward. And it has NOT changed at all since the beginning of time.


We can not expect our children to be more then we are selves are. You can not hit them for hitting, or not share your cookies and expect them to share their treasures. We seem to have it all backwards. People force independence on infants, and demand strict compliance on young adults.
I am not a perfect parent by any stretch, but I always try to do better. Maya Angelou said "When you know better you do better." When will we learn to do better by our children? When we will see them as actual people? We all love our children, I know that. But it seems to me at times that most people do not like their kids. It makes me so sad. I try and live in a way that my children will always know they are valued, loved and liked very much. I wish that for all children. If we all just remember that we were once children and what is needed most of all is to love them deeply and give them loads of compassion, how can we go wrong?

Healing days

filling up the pots

fiona giving a hand

caelan's pot of mints

the three pots: strawberries, mints and herbs

playing board games

yes, that is logan

sidewalk paint

much funner to just pour out

mixing

cae thought it looked like a map

rowan doing the dishes

rinsing

hey, hey guy!

adding color to the play dough

daddy played too

logan at the piano
 We have been plagued with much sickness here this past week. No visits with friends, school days missed, lots of fevers, coughs, and general feelings of yuck. But in amongst the nastiness there have been some bright spots. There were some board games played. We recently got a new to us game called "The aMAZEing Labyrinth"  , it is a very fun and easy to play game, so even Rowan can play. We worked a bit in the garden, the little boys each got a pot to fill with what ever they wanted. I took them to the garden store and each picked out a few plants. Rowan wanted only strawberries, Caelan wanted 4 different types of mint, and Sagan picked out 5 different types of herbs (he thought they would help with the cooking.). We tried out a cool project called sidewalk paint. I found the recipe here. I am feeling that maybe there wasn't enough water or something, it dried so quickly on the brushes, BUT it was still fun to pour out and mix up on the drive way. I also made up some homemade play dough and we used kool aid to color and scent it, we even got daddy in on it. So many beautiful bright colors, that lasted all of about 1 hour. Now we have a huge pile of brownish green dough that smells like a wild fruit salad. Logan has blessed us with some wonderful piano music and Mike has even moved the drums around so that maybe they will be easier for our left handed drummer to get his groove on.
I have even learned to relax a bit and just let some stuff go. As much as I have always wanted to just be ok with certain things, it has taken me alot of years to just be OK with some things. During this week I have let both Rowan and Cae do the afternoon dishes if they felt like it. I know for alot of homes this isn't a big deal but for some reason I have always just said "no" to this. This week I said "yes" and they had a great time and did a wonderful job. I am thinking I may never have to do dishes again!
I have slowly been reading through "Simplicity Parenting" and I am really liking it. It truly speaks to me and what I have wanted for my family. I am slow, ever so slowly removing things from the house. Next weekend the TV will be leaving the house (yet again. we were TV free for some time and only since we moved back to Arizona 18 months ago have we had a TV again), we will also be canceling the cable. It should be an interesting transition, we have become so use to having it around again. But it feels so freeing. The living room will become a room for living and not just watching.
Our healing days have been very nice and comforting. It has been so refreshing to spend some time at home just being here together. The weather has been so amazingly beautiful and the time we spend outside has just be such a blessing. This is truly the very best time of the year in Arizona. The nights are cool, the days just warm enough. No heater or cooler needed, windows open to let in the breeze, the scent of citrus and creosote blooming... ahhh. Just heavenly.