Tuesday, April 19, 2011

fresh air and penny candy

i woke up with a notion to blow off every single thing today. cleaning house, paying bills, doctor appointments, taking care of much overdue business, etc. but it was too tempting with the sun and wind beating on my windows to waste it on such rubbish.  instead, we will head out toward the fresh air for some photo shooting, soul refreshing and gobs of penny candy. kinda like a mini-vacation. one that is much overdue.
we packed up a bag, and headed out where the grass is greener. literally.
i had a aching urge to snap pictures today, and i think Nev felt it too.
so we brought along our "nice" camera.

we found our little place upon an apple orchard to spread a blanket and laze a while. the wind was wild today, but it was good. every now and again it would hit the baby just right and swoop her breath away but she didn't seem to mind. and we got whipped about like a bundle of fresh sheets on a clothesline.  for the rest of the day our clothes smelled like they just came fresh out of the dryer. ahhh.
and i got a cluster of free dread locks, oh how i wish i could keep them.

it was so nice getting out today. showing Nev a few new things about photography, and her showing some to me as well.  watching the kids bop around with absolutely no worries. a day like this results in some creative photos, muddy shoes and tired legs. (and in my case a tired back! i feel like i been hauling a couch around all day, i hope this girl learns to walk soon).!

what is it about a boy, and trees, and mud and sticks. whenever they are in the same place at the same time, they are as one. bum found a tree low to the ground, perfect for climbing, as if it was sized up just for him. he jumped right on and climbed up, and up, and up ,and when he got as far as he could go, he pointed up to a small branch above and asked if i could help him up onto it. funny how how their little minds work. when i lifted him down, he made a b-line straight to the mud puddles.

 ya gotta let a boy do what a boy needs to do. no matter of the damages it does to his clothing and shoes. oh the irony.
but even if the garments are damaged to the point of no return, it is not a waste. we use clothing to simply protect the outside of the body, nothing more. hence my love of goodwill shopping, and hand me downs.
i once was checking out a pair of jeans at goodwill that had a hole in the leg below the knee. the cashier chucked them into a pile of unwanted items assuming i must not have noticed the tear. i placed them back on the counter and said to her, "it's o.k. i will take the jeans anyways, they are for a 3yr old bum".
i bet they have many more hole's than one before summers end.

one of denver's favorite things is throwing pebbles in the water, where as Nev would rather dig in the sand.
i think i'm gonna make denver a pebble pouch he can hang around his shoulder to keep his pebbles in until he's ready to pitch them into the water. next thing on our list of things to master is skippin' rocks:)

this is how denver's feet look most of the summer.  i think dirty feet denotes a happy boy, and one who has been many places. it's almost time to polish up the frog sandals he be'bops around in in the summers. they are good for stomping in ponds, and puddles and pools of mud especially.
 its the only shoe's he wears in the summer, and the only shoe's he needs.
(Polliwalks) best shoe's you'll ever buy for your youngster.

we stuffed ourselves with as much fresh air and walking we were able to handle for one day, but before heading back to the car, we couldn't resist stopping at the country store where we guzzled up oodles of sugared potions, and spent crazy money on penny candy, all before lunch. Win!
we should be utterly ashamed.
i take it i'm not gonna win mother-of-the year again this year, oh foozers.

denver thought he'd died and went to heaven. but i don't blame him. it did kinda feel like something heaven might be made up of.

on the way home we stopped at the dam for a swing, it was bum's first time ever there. he was able to experience a few new things today and even learned how to pee outside for the very first time.

it was not a good day for household chores and errands, but it was a day for living.
and that is what we did.

It's only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth -- and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up -- that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Radical Revolution

i been thinking a lot lately. thinking about my life and my children.  contemplating ways i could enrich their lives a bit more, to the best of my abilities, their abilities.
i have come to a crossroads in my life. one that seems to be leading  me into a whole new light. a light so bright i don't know how i did not see it before. but now it is blazing.
i have a notion. one that i could only dream about as a child. one that will make a positive change in the way i educate my children. 
we live our lives day to day, talking about our dreams, our goals, our interest, and what we wish we could be doing. i have come to realize there is more to life for a child than sitting at a desk and working on so called lessons that are supposed to prepare you for real life. certain so called lessons would not be so bad if indeed they were initiated by the child because they choose to learn it. anything that they do not show interest in, should not be forced. it is more damaging to them than good.
when we began this homeschooling journey, my point was to get her out of the school setting. i never seen a purpose in it in the first place. how is my daughter going to learn if she is stuck in a building all day, doing the same thing as all the other kids. what if her way of learning is completely different than the next child's way. maybe she is not interested in history from a classroom perspective, maybe she needs it "hands on" to learn it or find interest it. why does she have to learn at everyone else's pace and not her own? why should she have to endure criticism and be badgered by other children whom she cannot ignore because she is stuck with them in the same space..every...single..day. school was the most negative thing i have ever experienced in my whole life from the beginning to the end. those days were nearly impossible to bear when doing nothing but watching the hands on the clock ticking all of my time away. what a waste.
it was not my way of learning. i needed something more. a whole different approach.
little by little the light is creeping in on me. every day we grow a little more and learn by experience. i have come to realize that my daughter is handicapped. crippled by society, and their expectations. 
instead of investing in a school curriculum, i choose to invest in my children and their desires, passions, dreams and talents and let them be natural learners. let their real individuality explode.
let them lead the way.
i cannot think of anything more important to me than my children's well being, happiness and freedom.
they have the need to explore, they have desires and talents that need nurtured in order for them to grow.
every day will be a good day because it will be our day. we have just as many hours in the day as Mother Teresa and Albert Einstein.  it is up to us to use it wisely. the whole wide world is up for grabs, so lets go get it and use it to our advantage.
i believe that children learn far more than school could ever teach, when they are exposed to real life situations. being with their parents, playing with their parents, and simply hanging out with their parents.
i was exceptionally happy that Nev was able to accompany me to each and every doctor appointment during my pregnancies and attend the birth of London. she was involved in it. she was able to see the process hands on, and can understand that real life experience, instead of learning it in a classroom that does not provide anything tangible. those doctor appointments were just as important for her to attend than the birth itself, and i if she was still in school, i would have most definitely taken her out for them as she learned so much from each and every visit.
 i caught some grief here and there about how she was too young for such an experience, but how dare i deprive her of any real life learning opportunity. how shallow! no one is too young! plus, she wouldn't have wanted to miss it for the world. in 2008 when Denver was born, she came to all the appointments, (i had to take her out of school for one's scheduled during school hours), but she chose not to attend the birth, although she was most definately welcome. it was her choice, and i respect it.
it used to drive me crazy waiting out the hours till Nev got home from school. i remember telling Brian "she doesn't have time for school, there is so much i could be teaching her"! but his reaction was always the same, she is a kid, and a kids place in school. Ack! i still will never understand his mentality. and silly me for leaving her there day after day. i am one that loathes waste. and homework? well, lets save that for a whole nother blog. if i counted up all the hours of our valuable time that was wasted in school, i'd be sick all over again. she is my kid, and she should be raised by me, guided by me, taught by me. only i know her needs.
so why should i force her to continue to waste away her hours on tedious worksheets, quizzes, and hours of ridiculous and non-purpose havin assignments that are trying to squash her natural desire to learn.
i think from now on i will let my children guide the way to a full and interesting life by offering them a new, unique kind of curriculum. one that consists of:
 *The Earth, in which will provide a plethora of natural learning resources. it offers us the materials needed for the learning of physical, chemical and electrical Science. and from the land which will accommodate us in Geography, History and Nature study gained by camping, hiking, gardening, etc.
*Museums, *libraries (reading), *galleries (art), *church (music).
*our 5 senses (sometimes 6)
*computer for obvious reasons
*and a mama who promises to always allow you to choose your passions, and interests and help guide you into that direction. providing you with the means to go and DO, see, touch, and explore all that is available to us. i will listen to your instincts. involve you. and play with you.
i promise.

“It is as true now as it was then that no matter what tests show, very little of what is taught in school is learned, very little of what is learned is remembered, and very little of what is remembered is used. The things we learn, remember, and use are the things we seek out or meet in the daily, serious, non school parts of our lives.”

a few cool links: 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Friend or Foe?

to say the least, this last month or so has been pretty interesting. we have experienced many new things, began new journeys, and decluttered our souls a bit, all the while learning a few valuable lessons. in my opinion each and every experience is worth while, even the bad one's. if we are taught a lesson, the hassles & frustrations that go along with it are irrelevant in the end. 
at this moment in time Nev desires nothing more than just a friend. and although her perception of a friend has not yet fully bloomed, the idea is beginning to stream in like delicate rays of sunlight inching their way through the peak of a mountain and beaming her right on the head. *zap*. I can almost hear the sizzle.
these rays can either burn her, or if used correctly, nourish her and help her grow.
 She can choose to run from them, avoid them, block them, ignore them, let them burn her up, or, she could immerse in them, using their natural resources as a learning tool and grow by them in every way possible.
growing wiser, stronger & healthier, by absorbing the light.
a friend. what is it.?
Nevadah came to me once not long ago and said "mom, i have no friends", and those words cut me like a jagged knife. She wondered if going back to school would solve her friend dilemma.
  but what does she mean by friends? so I asked her does she mean the kind of friends like she had when she went to public school? the one's who helped us decide that homeschooling was the best option for her after many, many frustrating years of torment? Like the friends who earn your trust, get you to their house and continuously make a fool of you by locking you out & daring you to climb to the roof through a bedroom window in hope you fall off to your demise?  the one's who called themselves your "friend" until the next day, when they changed their mind for no good reason at all leaving you in the dust all broken hearted?
if you haven't noticed, i don't take that F word very lightly.
Friendship is not supposed to be that way. Its not a title you take on when its convenient for you. A friend has unconditional love for you, feels your emotions along with you, and cannot be persuaded to turn against you. Do not accept any less.
I cannot stress enough to Nev the importance of friends, and in order to have them, you must be one. Too many people have not realized that concept as of yet, and this to me is sad.
being and having friends. these are some of the most important things in life. humans need other humans. its in our nature. i do not understand how people can be so disrespectful to one another, be so selfish, uncaring, egotistic and hostile.  Nev got to see first hand recently that sometimes adults are guilty of this as well, not only children. unfortunately her heartache was the result of it.  but she will persevere, because she is just that way, besides, what doesn't kill us, only makes us stronger. she is learning hands on that people will try to knock you down, belittle you, shatter your self esteem, and suck the life right out of you. it is a sure display of exactly how they feel about themselves, and how they have been treated in their lives.
So Nev, don't take it "personal" when these "bumps in the road" sneak up ya. remember stay true to yourself, don't forget you are a friend, and you are a star in many people's eyes, especially a little boy i know who adores you. you have helped him up when he has fallen, wiped his tears, guided him in safe direction, read to him, sing with him, taught him what trust is by always being his best friend. his big sis. his hero.
Do you remember when he was taking a bath a few days ago and you came into the bathroom grief stricken about something? he took one look at you, and said "don't be sad sissy, i'll be your best friend".
and your grief shattered into laughter and smiles, and so did mine.
not a bad observation from a 3 yr old who can see right through you, knows your desires, and your needs and at the same time knows how to console you, and why? because it has been demonstrated to him.
its called true friends. the real deal.
you love him with all your soul, to the deepest depths of your being, to infinity...and beyond! it shows, my dear. and this is how friends should treat other friends.  i know that you have it in your heart to be a true friend, and the day will come when you will be treated this way as well, and that is when you can call that person your friend.  the biggest misconception is that kids need school to make friends. not so. quite the contrary.  friends can pop up in the oddest and most interesting places. (isn't that right Bjay)?
how callow to limit children to one select group of kids to choose from, all within those mammoth walls of brick & mortar. lets explore the lands, meet people of all cultures and religions. they have so much to teach us, and we have so much to learn from them. lets experience their world. there are friends awaiting baby girl. just always remember the golden rule and you will reap the benefits.
lets try that new venture we were talking about because you deserve it. you deserve life at its fullest, with no expectations, no limits, no boundaries. the possibilities are infinite.
remember, i am your friend. i am your parent. and i am proud to be both.
thank you to everyone who has shown us friendship, love, compassion and for every single nice gesture you have ever bestowed upon us.
and thank you to all who hasn't, for we have learned from you. you have led us to higher ground.
and don't let the dust choke ya as we skip away into those sunbeams.
 i'd best go grab my sunscreen:)

~"Treat your friends as you do your pictures, and place them in their best light."~
~ Jennie Jerome Churchill