December 2, 2007

All Good Things

We're all nestled into our cozy little home, happy chilling out (or warming up?) by the fireplace, playing cards, watching cartoons and movies, playing the PS2, baking, eating, sipping hot chocolate, jumping from couch to cushions and back. All Good Things!

That's really the gist of our lives lately. I'm still volunteering at the co-op, although they want to pay me for some part time stuff from now until after the holidays, so I say "HellYa!" John's around, so it's a prime opportunity for me to get out and exercise my brain muscles.

We did some re-arranging of the game room, so now it's all set up with the flat screen, PS2 hooked up and ready, the futon, stuffed full of pillows for cozy tv watching/playing/reading or other snuggly things.

I whipped up a homemade pizza last night. Golly, why don't I do that more often? It's so easy, even the crust part. No raising time required, because I opted for the thin crust. I was just bummed I didn't have any veggies to put on it. Oh, well. I'll do it again soon.

Saylor's re-trying WoW. It's a 10 day free trial, we'll see how he feels after the 10 days. The first character he created was from the 'dark side'. I think the Horde? I'm not so WoW literate. Sorry. Then he did create a character from the Alliance, so I can rest-assured he's not ALL EVIL! (giggle, giggle)

Well, I'm going to run out and pick up the ceramic tile scraps I nabbed from free-cycle. Hoping to do some fun mosaic stuff with the boys on these dreamy indoor days. I also want to make some neck warmers for them, using my round looms. And Saylor wants a big shoulder flax-seed heat pad thing, so we need to try to figure out a pattern and sew something up for that. We'll toss in a bulk load of lavender seeds, as well, for the soothiness of it all.

Stone and Sage are busy playing whatever they can think of that requires bat-man capes, and varying animals. Stone's always the Dad, and Sage is his baby ---fill in the blank--- animal. And Stone's building with anything he can get his hands on. Yesterday, as John, Saylor and I played King's Corners, he was using the UNO deck, a small table, some other items on the floor, and building all sorts of stuff.

We're great. Hope you are too!

Be Well...

November 20, 2007

Travelin' Men

John came home for about 2 hours on Saturday, on his way through from Kansas to Washington. I whipped him up a nice lunch, and then asked Saylor if he'd be interested in going with Dad this time around. It's only supposed to be a 4 day journey, way up north to Blaine, WA, right on the Canadian border.

Saylor says "YES!" and we get him all packed up with essentials, and then they're off.

And now I'm asking myself, "ummmm, why the hell did I go and do that?" I miss my boy!!! :(

And then I remember, "Oh, yeah, because I *knew* he'd love to spend some time with Dad, and it is only fair that I share (a little at least) with John, who's always out there all by his lonesome."

Ok. Fine.

But I MIIIIIIISSSSS my Boy. And Stone misses him, big time. He actually had tears in his eyes when Saylor was preparing to go, saying "I don't want you to go, Saylor". But then Saylor told him how much he really wanted to go, and Stone reluctantly gave him his nod of approval. And now Stone's dreaming about him. And Sage will ask here and there throughout the day where Saylor is. We're all a bit lost.

Seem like I'm missing a part of my own anatomy. It's just weird. Eerily weird.

Can't wait til my travelin' men come back to me...

November 12, 2007

Late Night @ the Buxcel House

The boys are just busy and nowhere near sleep. Huge fort, crafted from couch cushions and pillows, adorns our living room at this very second. They're taking turns hand-cuffing each other. They're laughing together.

There's a big ol' windstorm blowing through right now. Blew one of our wicker chairs clean off the porch.

I'm sure our backyard is littered with the diapers I hung out at dusk.

Does life get any better?

November 11, 2007

Good Times

Last week, was just all around, entirely Good. For three days, the boys and I didn't leave the house. (except for 1 quick trip each day, Monday-Wednesday). They were all so content to just be home, so I didn't offer up any outings. And they didn't ask for any. And they played so, so well together. Like friends. It was a beautiful thing!

Then Thursday, Sage turned 3. Then Friday we went to the homeschool park day and the kids had a great time running around the BMX track that's near the park. As it was nearing time to go, Mary's boys and my boys (we each have 3), had conspired a plan for us to join them at their house. So, that's what we did. Mary whipped up a couple homemade, delish pizzas, while we sipped some wine together and the kids continued on their playing voyage. A splendid evening, except for the fact that a severe case of the YUK'S was about to strike poor old Mama. I told the boys I was feeling very weird, and that we needed to go. They were incredibly sweet (and quick) in getting out of the house and to the car. I guess they could see the near panic on my face? We made it half way home and sho thing, I had to pull to the side of a (dark, untraveled (THANK GOD) road), and puke. One more episode a bit later at home, then I was all better. But, EWWWWWWW! I really dislike puking. And that's putting it mildly, ok? The boys were concerned about me, and gentle with me, and took really good care of me. I survived.

Then Saturday, we had to go back to the BMX track with our bikes, and Mary and her family. Saylor started feeling weird and Stone wasn't ready to leave, so Mary offered to bring Stone home later. Saylor did end up with a slight fever later that afternoon, so Sage and I spent the beautiful 70+ degree day inside, nursing him back to health. He was 100% the next day. Gotta love those homeopathics and essential oils! And the Mama love sure doesn't hurt, either. Stone finally rolled in around 4:30. I was happy for him that he got that special time for just *him*. He had a good time, too, but was tired for sure!

I feel like there are big changes happening here, in the lives of our little boys. Saylor is becoming more patient, caring, calm and compassionate towards his brothers. Way less of the normal irritation in his voice now.

Stone is finding his way out of his dream, fantasy world more often. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with being there, it's just where he spends a lot of his time, so it's great to have him present with us, too. He seems to be becoming more aware of how *he* has an impact on the world around him. I'm sure it's not a coincidence that because he knows he's completely accepted for where he *is*, at any time, that he's able to begin to show empathy for others. (and if that sentence is incredibly confusing, my aplogies)

And Sage is saying so many cute things, I'll never get them all down here. "Wait a minute..." (in a long, drawn out, i-get-the-feeling-someone's-trying-to-pull-one-over-on-me kinda voice). And his most often uttered word at present, happens to be "tupid athole". I'll let you figure out just what that's supposed to mean. To him, it means nothing than two obscure words strung together (something he heard his brother say, and it stuck). He says it when he's mad at someone, he says it when he's laughing with someone, he says it to his toys that he's playing with. Anytime's a good time, evidently! ;) I'm trying really hard not to get attached to the message that he's bad for saying those words. And really, the only time I get tense, is when he says it around someone else. Oh, my. What will *they* think? Yeah, always working to get over that one, y'know?

Let the Good Times roll...

November 6, 2007

***Superstah***

(think Molly Shannon...)

Anyway, here's the pictures of John and his good friend Henry! Groovy cool!



The guy did a 3-hour spoken word show. Three solid hours of talking, about really good stuff, too! John only remembers him taking a drink of water once. He was also struck by how kind this guy was. This man who is very opinionated and passionate about the current state of affairs and the people who brought us to this awful place; this man who will not hesitate to throw around mighty strong language of every sort to get his point across...is also incredibly concerned about *us*, the average citizen, working our asses off to get by, forgotten by those who lead. He urged his audience that night to get angry, really angry. To demand change. To accept nothing less. And, believe it or not, Henry Rollins is a very shy person. Imagine! He shared that he does great in a room packed full of hundreds of people, but put him face to face and he freaks. Especially if it's a *celebrity*. Unlike the title of this post, Henry doesn't consider himself a superstar of any sort. I like this guy. John does, too! If you haven't seen his show on the IFC (Independent Film Channel) you really should! Good, good stuff.
Da Bus...
The venue... downtown Minneapolis. John went down a bit early, to have a beer before the show, and bumped into Henry on the street. He called me right after *the* picture was taken, giddy with joy!

November 4, 2007

70 Glorious Degrees

That's what we're having right here, right now. It's not too shabby for a November day in South Dakota, eh?

We've got windows open in every room. Sweet breezes flowing through, smelling of crisp, fresh air. The down comforter is soaking up some sun, and the sheets are too. We could be outside, but everyone is quite content running around (naked mostly, except for Saylor and I) inside, building their respective forts and hiding out in cozy spaces carved out for one. (update: Sage just descended from said upstairs hiding spot, stingray in hand, requesting a bath, wish granted, of course!)

We ordered up a couple of bullwhips this morning from e-bay (saylor's new fascination, after watching Cat Woman several times, upon Sage's request). Stone had to have one, too. Saylor's already making plans and dreaming up what he'll do with his; to include: poking a long stick into the ground and seeing if he can remove it using only his whip.

John's off and earning money again for us. Thanks, Honey! :) We miss him, as always. This is just where we're at for today. That's what we work from. Today.

Grandma spent the last couple of nights with us. It's always nice having her around. The boys love their time with her. We're trying to bully her into trying out Guitar Hero with us, but no luck yet. We'll get her! Barb did play last night while she and Emma were here for a visit. She's hooked. ;)

I made cranberry scones yesterday, with the recipe shared by Ms. Kelli. They're scrumptious and special and make one feel oh, so lucky! (and they're insanely easy to make, added bonus)

The boys and I are planning a trek into the woods this afternoon. (tomorrow it's supposed to be 40, so we'll save our marathon banana cookie, bread, muffin baking for then).

Have a sunny one!

October 31, 2007

Halloween Plans

We'll attend the Mother's Collective partay later today. It's a potluck, eating for the first hour and a half, then onto games for the last 2 hours. Finishing it all off with the lights out, pumpkins aglow on table tops, strobe lights, black lights and dancing.

I'm making little critters that resemble spiders. Picture a little smokie, wrapped in a bit of breadstick, baked, with legs made from shoestring potatoes. You get the idea. Sage is going as batman, Stone as the chain-saw massacre guy, and Saylor as, um, well, not sure, he and John are keeping that on the hush hush at this point. And, we won't have any pictures to document, because our digital camera is in MN. Darn!

We carved pumpkins last night, then watched Reign Over Me. Very good, have a new appreciation for that song, now (Love, Reign O'er Me by The Who; though we think it's Eddie Vedder singing in the movie.) Checked out the lyrics, and they are powerful.

So, that's it for us for now. Of course, we're trick or treating after the party, so that will be the highlight for one and all, I'm sure.

Happy Halloween to you!

October 29, 2007

Rock On!

I could be reading one of my 75 unread e-mails, but thought I'd buzz in here for a moment with a happy update. Life is just so good. Don't you love it, when all is Right with the world? It is, it is. We've got a freezer full of good food, the fridge is over-flowing with goodness, too. Abundance is sure to happen when you're squishing cases full of organic veggies in. We're so blessed.

We've had lots of joy in the past days. John took Saylor and Stone pheasant hunting at Grandpa Dale's place yesterday, and they returned home to me and Sage today. It's so strange, when they're gone. The quiet is eerie. When normal is a constant level of noise and energy, not having it is just strange beyond words. Stone said to me tonight "Mom, when we were having the bonfire last night, I missed you a little". (they had a fire, just after they cooked up the one pheasant they'd gotten, thanking it for it's sustenance, btw) I shared with Stone that I missed them all, a whole lot, all through the day, the night. They're my life.

Our little Emma turned 3 yesterday, and tonight was her BD party. It was great to be with her, to see her playing with her cousins. They love her so much. And I must say I'm quite taken by her as well. We spent a couple hours at the park today (it was 69degrees). I struck up a conversation with an elderly man who was walking his dog, and we talked for a long time; about life, children, loss, choices. Choosing whether to wallow in the pity, or look for the good. That it's ok to wallow for a while, just don't stay down there too long. He was wonderful. We didn't exchange names, (except for his dog, Abby) but he was really great. The last thing he said to me was "Be a good mom. It's the most difficult, demanding job on this earth". I told him I do my best every single day, and that it's the best, most important job I've ever had or will have.

And, the funnest news (at least for John!) is that I picked up Guitar Hero III at Target today. The bundle came complete with 2 guitars! Score!!! Saylor and Stone enjoy it, it's a little difficult for Stone right now, but he'll get it. John, on the other hand, is *reeaaallly* into it. ;) And as a joke earlier, I said "Ok, you've been on twenty minutes. All done now, let's shut it off." And we laughed, thinking how cruel that is to do to children. Only they know when a need, any need, has been filled. How ungracious of us to pretend that we would know better than they.

So, yes, Life is Good, all around Good. Just finished _The Memory Keeper's Daughter_. Pushed myself to drag through the last chapter tonight so I can begin _Eat, Pray, Love_ tomorrow! Can't wait for that one. So, now I'm up too late. Goodnight, Sweet Dreams, Choose Joy...

October 21, 2007

Secrets Shared

I've been reading here for many Sundays, now. It's painful, and real. It'll make you laugh...and cry. Really Beautiful.
Check out Post Secret for yourself. I think you'll enjoy it.




October 13, 2007

Lovely Fall Days

We've had a full and zany week of fun. Went to the park, oh, several times. Maybe 6 times? Maybe more? Today, I have a hair appointment for a cut and color (ouch, it'll be a spendy one, but I DESERVE IT!:) Part of me wants to do something radical (or at least a dramatic, noticeable change) and the other part of me clings to the old familiar. I don't know which way I'll go yet.

Grandma will hang out with the boys while I'm there, and then we'll try to make it to cousin Jarod's football game, and then, we've been invited to go to Watiki Water Park with my sister and her family. They're even buying our wrist bands! So nice...:) The boys are all still sleeping at this point, oh wait, I hear footsteps from above. They'll be quite excited about swimming today.

John will finish up his last day of work in MN today, winterize the bus tomorrow, then see Henry Rollins live in Minneapolis on Monday. He is *stoked* to go to this, and I'm looking forward to a call right after with all the details while they're still fresh in his mind. Then, Tuesday, he'll fly to Texas to pick up a truck for his brother, drive said truck back to northern MN somewhere, and then hopefully come home for a spell. Yep. Welcome to our crazy life.

Well, got a nursling crawling to my lap now, so I'm off! Good Day all...

October 10, 2007

Today's OM & Us

***THIS*** is what unschooling gives me, gives our boys, gives the world! It's a beautiful thing...


October 10, 2007
The Truths Within
Value Your Own Wisdom

Throughout our lives, we will encounter individuals who presume to know what is best for us. The insights they offer cannot compare, however, with the powers of awareness and discernment that already exist within us. From birth we are blessed with wisdom that cannot be learned or unlearned. It exists whether or not we acknowledge it because it is a gift given to us by a loving universe before we chose to experience existence on the earthly plane. Yet for all its permanence, it is vital that we value and honor this incredible element of the self. It is when we do not use our inborn wisdom that we begin to doubt our personal truths and are driven to outside sources of information because we are afraid. What we know to be true in our hearts is invariably true, and we discover how intensely beautiful and useful self-trust can be when we recognize the power of our wisdom.

Inner wisdom is not subject to the influences of the outside world, which means that it will never demand that we surrender our free will or counsel us to act in opposition to our values. We benefit from this inspiration when we open ourselves to it, letting go of the false notion that we are less qualified than others to determine our fate. The wisdom inside of us is the source of our discernment and our ability to identify blessings in disguise. When we are unsure of who to trust, how to respond, or what we require, the answers lie in our inner wisdom. It knows where we are going and understands where we are coming from, taking this into account though it is not a product of experience but rather a piece of our connection to the universal mind.

In the whole of your existence, no force you will ever encounter will contribute as much to your ability to do what you need to do and be who you want to be as your natural wisdom. Through it, you reveal your growing consciousness to the greater source and discover the true extent of your strength. If you heed this wisdom with conviction and confidence, the patterns, people, and fears that held you back will be dismantled, paving the way for you to fulfill your truest potential.

Too Long...

It was August 30 the last time I posted. I have so many important thoughts, really, I do! It's just that John was laid off in September, so he was home and my attentions were turned elsewhere. But, I do miss blogging. It helps me to clarify my thoughts, put down some highlights, and connect with the people reading. I also haven't been reading blogs lately, and I caught up this morning, and it feels good to know how everyone is doing. I love that they share their journey so readily with me and the world.

John is working this week in MN, for the week, then will be helping his brother pick up a truck from Oklahoma that John will be driving this winter. We really wished he could lay off completely, but we're just not there yet, so it is as it's meant to be.

We're enjoying fall. I'm looking forward to retreating indoors more often now, although yesterday found us at the park flying airplanes. How can you not be at the park flying airplanes when it's 73 degrees and sunny with no wind?

I've been volunteering at the Breadroot, helping Mary with her boys for a couple hours while she does, and just otherwise staying busy loving my boys. We've gone through a couple batches of scrumptious zucchini bars. Even Stone (who really doesn't like anything green) is indulging!

And, biggest news of all... Stone is on week two of Karate and is absolutely Shining there! He goes Monday through Thursday (yep, 4 times a week) for an hour each day and he's always eager to go back the next day. We stay and watch. I wouldn't miss it. My face disappears behind my smile every time I see him out there doing his kicks, punches and blocks. Oh, he's just delicious, I tell you! Mama pride, it's a good thing. Almost as good as a kid who's happy and loves his life, with our without mama pride! :)

August 30, 2007

Buehler?

We're still here! John came home last weekend, and will come home again this weekend. He's planning on getting into the parade (Labor Day Parade-he is a union man, after all). So, when he gets home, he and the boys will be busy gathering up all of their earth moving equipment, retrieving a load of sand or dirt for the trailer, and representing Local 49. The boys are stoked that they get to throw candy!

We went to our favorite little pond/park yesterday, and as Stone and I were balancing on the stone wall that surrounds the park, we saw a b.i.g. garter snake slithering about just below us. The boys caught it and played with her for a while, then put her back. Then, Saylor found a cutesy little turtle by the pond. We brought the turtle home and it will live with us until the excitement wears off. Stone has been spending every second with Striper. (y'know, cuz they have orange stripes!) He's tickled, to say the least.

After watching I-Caught, and hearing that there's a video on youtube that walks you through, step by step, on how to pick a lock, Saylor's been obsessed with everything "lock-pick". We've looked a many a site, and he's got his heart on one that looks like a ballpoint pen, that has 5 lock-picking tools hidden inside. For 39.95, it can be his! We're working on saving up that 39.95.

All's well! We've been doing so many fun and interesting things that I won't bother to list them all here. Just be assured we're doing great!

August 19, 2007

Zoo!


Late this afternoon, after a while of playing/riding/running in the nearby deserted parking lot, I felt the urge to start pulling weeds, again. (did a bunch a couple days ago, got a big job ahead of me). The weather was perfect for it, nice and cool with a bit of a breeze. So, I got my gloves and gave each child a cutting device so they could help with the big ones. We were all having a grand time, until Stone got stung by a bee. Poor child, he screamed his head off, it hurt him very much. I whisked him inside, put some lavender on the sting and gave him a homeopathic for insect bites/stings. Within minutes, he was making his baby brother belly laugh, the pain of the sting behind him.

So, we wandered back outside and I resumed the weed pulling and trimmed a few pesky low hanging branches. The boys made quick use of these branches to build a zoo by first setting up some decorative wire fencing around the table, then stacking that full of branches. Once they were finished, the Zoo Keeper (Saylor) let me know it was open and that it was free, so he led me over, insisting I keep my eyes closed. He introduced me to his two critters, Jackie the Bunny (Stone) and Wolffy the Wolf (Sage).

It was one of those evenings that everything was just right. We were outside until dark, everyone engaged in something they were enjoying. Saylor had some oldies station blasting through the yard, which just added to the whole experience. Nothing like pulling weeds to "you're mama can't dance and you're daddy don't rock'n'roll". Stone finally led me inside, telling me we were going into the aquarium now, and that there were gifts, but not for sale, for free, but I can only choose 5 so that there's enough for everyone... Oh, and it just went on and on!

Daddy-O is in B-town with the cool Traaseth's, so this post is especially for him, because I know Kelli will show it to him when she sees this really early tomorrow morning! :) Hope ya'll ate a marshmallow for each of us!

August 16, 2007

On Free Children

Nabbed this from a friend's blog! Beautiful.

"There is, of course, this matter of being afraid
to give freedom to
young children. I believe they have that within
themselves which makes
it possible for them to meet the world and life,
and interpret it more
nearly aright than can we. They carry with them
that inheritance of
faith and imagination undimmed; and that
tremendous surging desire to
know, to see, to feel and to do, which is rarely
betrayed. In our
desire as adults to lay hold of a child's life,
to grip it, mold it to
our own values, we do unwittingly a great harm.
We confront children
with our own fears, our own lack of faith; to
safeguard them we
attempt to thrust between them and life those
many false illusions
which we have picked up in our own twisting,
turning way. Children
take a far more advantageous highroad. A free
child is a happy child;
and there is nothing more lovely . . ."

-- Ruth Sawyer, in her acceptance speech upon
winning the Newbery
Award for Roller Skates, 1936

Seize the Moment

Last night, as I was helping Stone brush his teeth, and holding a very tired, cranky Sage, Saylor headed upstairs to hop into bed. He noticed that the sheet on the king-size bed felt all "crumbly" and so took the sheet off and went to get a clean sheet out of the closet. On his way back to the bedroom, sheet in hand, he passes by our big wind tunnel fan, and the sheet does something quite exciting...spreads out into this lovely, billowy fort. So, there he stops. He attached the sheet carefully (it was the bottom sheet, so he used the elastic stuff) to the back of the fan, and then ran downstairs to get all of us saying "you have GOT to see this". We all ascend the stairs and see his magnificent creation. He invited us all in, Sage is now anything but cranky, he's all smiles and excited to be in the fort all together. Saylor yelled down to invite Grandma up to check it out, and she and Max made their way in, as well. Even though it was late, we lounged around in there for a while before making our way to bed. Stone was saying "this could be our headquarters" and then told me he learned what headquarters were by watching X-Men.

I am thankful that I have the ability to seize these moments of togetherness, creating new memories to add to our already overflowing happy memory bank. I am so thankful that I'm not a parent trapped in the "it's time for bed.period." mindset. I would have completely missed this wonderful interaction with my boys. I'm thankful that we really can follow our hearts, and that our hearts get to dictate what we do, when we do it, how we do it, instead of the clock or the calendar of the public schools. We would be missing out on so much, living our life in any other way.

August 14, 2007

A Hot One!

Yesterday, it reached something like 105 degrees here. Ouch. Stone wanted to return one of his b-day gifts to Toys-R-Us, so we headed out there to see what he had in mind. We ended up spending extra time there cruising around on their wheeled toys, just for fun (and cuz it was nice and cool in there, too!) He decided that he'd like to return the remote control Jeep, get a smaller remote control car for himself, and then a remote control boat for him, and one each for his brothers. What a generous soul! We got the boats, loaded the batteries in them on our way to the pool, and they were a great disappointment. The batteries didn't stay dry, the boats didn't turn, and actually ended up filling with water and flipping over.

So, after 4 hours at the pool, the boys wanted to return the boats and Stone wanted to get Saylor a car like the one he'd chosen for himself earlier, because that actually worked and was fun. Mama was quite spent at this point, hot, tired, but mostly hungry, it turned out. After eating a delish dish at Qdoba, I found the energy and ability to smile and say, "YES! Let's go return those boats and get that car!" Well, we did just that, Stone saw to it that Saylor and Sage each got a car to bring home, and they've been having the best time cruising their cars all around together. As a matter of fact, Saylor and Stone are outside right now driving them. And I've just retrieved Sage from our bed and delivered him outside to play with his brothers. Looks as if my morning coffee/e-mail/blog time is at it's end! Time to go be a mother to my boys!

August 13, 2007

Today is the Day...


that my Sweet, Sweet Stone turns 6!

How I wish I could go back to the day he was born, truly one of the happiest in my life. Our first homebirth, snug in our little sacred space. He was the most beautiful baby, with those big eyes and the dimpled chin...he took my breath away early that morning, when I first laid my eyes on him, and he continues to take my breath away daily. This child of mine, the one who really encourages me to stretch my mothering wings and flex in ways that inspire me to grow and be better, do better.

As I tell him often, "Thank you for choosing me!"

August 8, 2007

Our Amazing Boys

They just do so much every day that makes me smile and melt with Joy. For the past several days, they've been practicing their bb gun skills in our back-yard-shooting-range. Funny, cuz if you saw our back yard, you'd wonder how we can do it at all! :) It's little. Anyway, there happens to be a stretch alongside the garage, long narrow open space, that they've been using. They set up their cans on the table, and then shoot them over, rarely missing. Just beyond the table is an overgrown tree, and beyond that is a privacy fence, so I'm confident that no windows will be sacrificed.

On Monday, our neighbor R. played with us most of the whole day. While he was here, they made a little fort out of a hole in the wall. Seriously, though, there is an access door inside my closet, that takes you to a space behind the wall, if that makes any sense? Right now, the space is insulated and the floor has exposed beams, with insulation between them. They used a large piece of wood that was in there to create a sitting space. John will cut some more pieces to finish off the rest of the floor, then I've got 2 big Pier 1 rag rugs we'll put in there for them, some big cozy pillows, some shelves. However, I must say that they've done quite a job of making if their own already, with no help from us at all. Saylor put his portable dvd player in there, along with a tiny little lamp, a fan and a couple of closet lights he picked up yesterday with his allowance. So, now when Saylor is MIA, I can find him up there, sneaking in some quiet time, watching a DVD, just hanging out. Pretty fun stuff!

We've been researching 4-H; Saylor wants to participate in their shooting sports. Stone will have to wait until he's 8, though. Ugh. Poor guy!

We've got fruit flies munching on a ripe banana in a jar.

Stone's busy planning his birthday party, set for this Saturday. We're thinking park, pond, crawdads, a couple cakes and lots of friends.

Today, out of the blue, Sage starts telling me about a scene from Shrek 2, where Donkey keeps smacking his lips and Shrek and Fiona (he remembered all these names, too) said "DONKEY!" He told me all of that! And we haven't watched Shrek 2 in a looooong time.

While looking up 4-H stuff, I came across a link to a park here in town, that I didn't know about. We're thinking of checking that out today.

I love these boys of mine, my little Zen Masters, my Greatest Teachers!

August 1, 2007

Water, water everywhere!

We have just been so darn busy lately, that my time is limited to share with you all what we are doing. Most of what we've been doing includes water and swimming. Yeah! :) The boys all have that cute little back tan, that stops just above their sweet little cheeks. Adorable!

We did the lake last Friday (oh, I think I posted about that). And then we went to the Rushmore Water Slides on Sunday with my sister, her children and the 2 Japanese exchange students they have for two weeks.

Yesterday, we inflated our Bonzai water slide, but then Robert came over and they all chose him, instead.

Today, we are going to go have Janice (robert's gma) help us thread our sewing machine. I haven't done it since highschool, and sat there and looked at it, like, 'duh'? She's the sewing expert, so she's agreed to help us out.

Saylor's hungry for crepes, so gotta go whip some up. I'll get up some pictures soon!

Blessed Be...

July 28, 2007

Just me and The Babe

We went to Sheridan Lake, for the whooooole day yesterday. That's so how we do things, all the way 110%, no rushing us, man! We got there about 11:30'sh and left at 6:00. Saylor and Stone left with Amy and Adeline to spend the night with them in Deadwood. Sage and I came home, ate some crock-pot goodness, watched the first season of Weeds (LOOOVE IT! and Oh! the Music!) and shared a gourmet chocolate bar.

After every episode of Weeds was over, he'd say "Can we go now?" He really wanted to go be where his brothers were, and I kept explaining to him that we'd go in the morning. It is precious how much he loves his brothers. He's just a bit beside himself when they aren't near.

So, this morning, we're heading to Deadwood to catch the Days of '76 Parade and pick up our boys. Then, I'm hoping to spend the day at home milling around, pecking away at some neglected duties and relaxing. But...I have two boys who might have entirely different ideas of how our day should look, so we'll see.

Gotta get dressed and get going!

Peace...

July 27, 2007

Thursday

Sage had 2 hats on, and looked so cute sitting here with Max. He humored me and sat for a shot, too!

We searched for crawdaddies yesterday. The boys thought it would be fun to try their fishing poles, baited with ham. Yep, crawdads enjoy ham. They pulled in several.

Watching and waiting...

This is the lovely pond that's just blocks away from our home. We love it! It's home to some HUGE snapping turtles, too; which we've had the privilege of seeing. They are so prehistoric looking...very cool!

Sage wanted to bring along a toy to play with, so we played a while with these before he requested we go over to the park to play on the slide.
The children pictured here are all friends of ours. Mary came with her 3 sons, and Christine came with her 2 sons, her daughter, and another little girl. I'll get some photos of the mama's one of these times!
Here are some contemplative little people. Wonder what they're discussing? From left, Henry, Saylor, Haakon and Willow.

July 26, 2007

"Advice to Myself"

"Advice to Myself" by Louise Erdrich, from Original Fire: Selected and New Poems. © Harper Collins Publishers, 2003.

Advice to Myself

Leave the dishes.
Let the celery rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator
and an earthen scum harden on the kitchen floor.
Leave the black crumbs in the bottom of the toaster.
Throw the cracked bowl out and don't patch the cup.
Don't patch anything.
Don't mend. Buy safety pins.
Don't even sew on a button.
Let the wind have its way, then the earth
that invades as dust and then the dead
foaming up in gray rolls underneath the couch.
Talk to them. Tell them they are welcome.
Don't keep all the pieces of the puzzles
or the doll's tiny shoes in pairs, don't worry
who uses whose toothbrush or if anything
matches, at all.
Except one word to another. Or a thought.
Pursue the authentic-decide first
what is authentic,
then go after it with all your heart.
Your heart, that place
you don't even think of cleaning out.
That closet stuffed with savage mementos.
Don't sort the paper clips from screws from saved baby teeth
or worry if we're all eating cereal for dinner
again. Don't answer the telephone, ever,
or weep over anything at all that breaks.
Pink molds will grow within those sealed cartons
in the refrigerator. Accept new forms of life
and talk to the dead
who drift in though the screened windows, who collect
patiently on the tops of food jars and books.
Recycle the mail, don't read it, don't read anything
except what destroys
the insulation between yourself and your experience
or what pulls down or what strikes at or what shatters
this ruse you call necessity.

July 25, 2007

Oh, whoa is me...

I'm outta coffee! And everyone is still sleeping, so I can't make a coffee run. And if that's the greatest of my woes, then I'd say I'm living a pretty damn good life! But, when the baby wakes up, I'm running to get a cup to tide me over, then I'll pick up some fresh roasted beans from our local roaster. They're wholesalers, too, so if I buy 5#, I get it at the wholesale price of 7.99/#. I can already smell the sweetness of some organic Mexican fair trade beans brewing up!

We went to the pool yesterday with Kendra and her three sons, Cole, Zach and Luke. They all had a great time with each other; they always do. We might do a movie with them sometime this week, as well. A cheap movie, that is! Our lovely little Elks Theater has $3 seats. We've got a couple big theaters, too, but we like to wait a bit and drop less cash to see a new release.

We played a dvd game last night and one of my questions was about Elaine Davidson, and how many piercings she has (she holds the world record). I guessed right, then we had to google her and find a picture. Pretty incredible!

We started to listen to Redwall last night, but most of us fell asleep before really getting into it. We'll try again tonight.

July 23, 2007

Off to the lake

We're heading up into the hills to hang out at Robioux (eek, that's a hard one to spell, but it's pronounced Ro-Bay) Lake. I'll have to check for the real spelling when I'm there. Anyway, it's supposed to be another scorcher here today, so the temps should be somewhat gentler up there, and we'll be in the water all day, so it'll be good fun.

I've got the cooler packed with carrots, strawberries, grapes, watermelon, sugar snap peas, sandwiches, some chips and a few sodas. We've got our big jug of ice-cold water prepared, the boys are all running around here in their swim gear and we are ready to go! Dinner's in the crock-pot, waiting to nourish us when we return home, tired and hungry, full of happy memories and sand in places I won't mention! ;)

One quick stop at Albertson's for some ice and to pick up a movie for tonight (99 cent Mondays) and then we'll head up the hill, listening to Bowling for Soup ALL THE WAY THERE! Saylor already informed me we'll be listening to number 3 the whole way!

Enjoy the beautiful day, all!

This is Why.

THE DAILY GROOVE ~ by Scott Noelle
www.enjoyparenting.com/dailygroove

:: Goodness Is Inspired, Not Required ::

Situation 1:
You ask your friend what she wants for a birthday
gift, and she says, "I would treasure *any* gift
from you!"

Wouldn't you feel inspired to give her something
very special?

Situation 2:
Another friend says, "I hope you're getting me
something *good* for my birthday... I just *hate*
tacky gifts!"

Wouldn't you feel like giving this friend a pile
of fake dog poop?! :-)

The point is that you feel most inspired to please
others when you don't feel pressured or coerced --
when you don't "have to."

Children are no different. They love to please others,
especially their parents, so long as their inspiration
to share pleasure isn't confounded by implied threats
of punishment, reward, or withdrawal of approval.

Today, let go of all "required goodness" by affirming
that your child is inherently good, and is *free* to
express that goodness... and free *not* to express it.

Remember that the best way to foster children's
authentic goodness is to let them see how much *you*
enjoy expressing your own goodness.

http://dailygroove.net/inspired-not-required

Feel free to forward this message to your friends!
(Please include this paragraph and everything above.)
Copyright (c) 2007 by Scott Noelle

July 22, 2007

A Month in Review...

In June, before we went back to Sacramento, Grandpa treated us to a visit to the Cosmos Mystery Area. Here's a cool photo of just some of the freaky stuff that goes on there!

Back in Sacramento, swimming at the pool where we were parked. Fly Baby, Fly!

Getting his funk on!

A wee bit of warm up in the sun. I used to love laying on the hot concrete to warm up when I was little. Heck, I still do!

Daddy and his babe.
More pool time...


The feast Rita and I cooked up for Father's Day. Ogden, UT. On our way back to Rapid City.



All the boys playing with their AirSoft Guns.
Water sliding while parked at a friend's farm near Kennebec, SD. On our way to Minnesota, late June.

Saylor driving us to a stock pond to try some fishing. We put it in first gear and he did the rest; gas, brake, steer! He did great!

No luck fishing in SD, but this beauty was caught in Northfield, MN. We stayed in Northfield for about a week right before the 4th of July. Stone was so proud of his bass!

And Saylor had good luck fishing, too! They caught bazillions of bullhead, nearly every cast in promised a bite! That makes for fun fishing!

Clearing off the bug juice.
In Northfield, MN. John's beautiful Mama Shirley visiting from Virginia. Here she is chopping up 4# of strawberries for some strawberry shortcake.

Saylor was outside just after a big rainstorm in Northfield, and ended up with a bit of a mud splatter!

Our time in Bemidji. We arrived there on July 4th. Here are the kids painting in the sun, one of many great memories had from our time there.More painting fun...Saylor finally gets the black hair he's always wanted! It's nearly back to his blonde already, with the sun and swimming we've been doing.
And now here we are, back in Rapid City enjoying a 104 degree day at the pool!

July 19, 2007

Oh, The Joy...

We had a blaster of a thunderstorm yesterday, and the boys had a wonderful time in it! They were under the umbrella some, in the rain some, running around and laughing together some, just having a ball! I always say I love rainy days because then I can actually keep my boys *inside*. Hmmm, guess that ain't truly so.We stopped at a thrift store yesterday and scored some great buys! Here's our new lite brite for only $4! Stone worked on this rooster for most of the evening, coming back to it when he'd pass by, putting in a few lights, then moving on to something else until the mood struck again. I wanted to leave it right there, glowing all night it was so pretty! But Sage thought it was fun to start removing the lights, so I tucked it safely away in another room. We also picked up a couple wooden Tonka vehicles and Pictionary Junior (for $3)! Woo hoo! I loves me a good deal!!!
Cousin Jarod spent the night last night and they are now having some serious mud fun! John would have a heart attack if he saw this, but when the cat's away... :) No, I'll tell him about it. But he usually doesn't like the kids playing there and creating muddy swamps and such, but all that dirt is just there begging to be watered and enjoyed!

July 17, 2007

Tuesday, July 17

Saylor is loving WoW. We went out yesterday and bought a head-set so he can chat with others (Hayden & Kyra) through Skype while playing. Sooo cool! And sooo easy! And sooo free! (except for the head-set).

Not much time to post more right now, I've got three boys that want to go to the park pond on a quest for crawdads. We're hoping to go now, while it's only 90 degrees. It's supposed to hit 103 today. We'll be coming home to watch a movie when that happens. We rented Ghostrider and Catch and Release last night from Albertson's. Gotta love their 99 cent Monday rentals! We watched Ghostrider last night, and we'll draw the shades, cuddle on the couch in the ac house and watch the other one today.

All's well...

July 15, 2007

Another 8 Hour Road Trip

...and I think it'll be the last for a while! .....long, dreary sigh....

And, what does one do when coming off of an 8 hour road trip, (from the Twin Cities back to Rapid City)?

Why...run through the sprinkler, of course! Yep, the boys and I (again, without John, double long, dreary sigh) are back at home now. The reasons are many and varied, but basically, we need to keep our nose to the grindstone and *make* more money right now, while pulling back on the spending reins. That said, we arrived here about 9:30. It's dark out, but quite warm, 85 degrees, I think? Our grass was crispy under our feet, so I said I was going to put the sprinkler out for a bit. "Can we run through the sprinkler?" Stone asks. "Of Course!" I say, "Why not!!! What can be more fun than running through the sprinkler, in the dark, after a long day in the car!" So, we did! And it was fun!

Now Stone and Sage are in the tub (surprise!) and Saylor is patiently waiting for one last patch to go through so he can get on WoW! (thanks, Traaseth's!) He's been itchin' to play since we left Bemidji yesterday (sniff...)

Ta ta for now!
Hugs and Love...

July 10, 2007

Helooooo Out There!

We’re tucked away in Bemidji, MN in the driveway of some wonderful unschoolers. Saylor, Stone, and Sage have played ALL DAY, EVERY DAY since we’ve gotten here. And, this is the house for playin’, too, let me tell ya! There’s the trampoline, the pool, and the woods to explore outside. Inside, there’s really too much to list! The Wii (oh! So much fun!) the PS2, big ol’ flat screen for watching movies, sewing materials and art supplies aplenty, guinea pigs and a corn snake, too! Saylor and Krya have been sewing bags and have plans to sew up a few more and sell them! ;) Last night before we headed to the bus for the night, Saylor said “Kyra, tomorrow, let’s sew all day”. He’s into it. We all watched as the snake was fed yesterday, the boys thought that was pretty cool!

Before coming here, we spent a few days in Northfield, MN near John’s brother’s place. John’s mama, Shirley, flew in from Virginia on the 30th so we got to hang out with her for a few days. We left there on the 4th and then she flew out on the 8th. Sage and Savannah (Jim’s daughter, about 1 month older than Sage) didn’t quite hit it off, so had to be closely watched when they were playing together. Sage was getting easily frustrated, not sure why? But, at two years old, I guess he really doesn’t need a reason. It’s our job to *be there* and help him through those moments! I only wish everyone else would have gotten that, instead of resorting to the “your kid is mean” crap. I could go on, but what’s done is done and I’m sorry for those who refused to see what an amazing child he is. ****big sigh**** Ok, moving on!

So, here we are, now, surrounded by gentle, loving, open-minded, open-hearted people! That’s always such a refreshing gift! I thank the Universe for bringing people like this to our lives. We’re so stinkin’ lucky!

(right at this very moment in time, Stone, Sage and Kyra are watching Shrek 2, Saylor is outside with Tim (dad-on-duty) chopping up a fallen tree, Kelli's doing her pool duties, Alec is engaged in WoW, Abbi is reading a big fat book and the house is filled with the aroma of cooking-all-day-long-in-the-crockpot chicken rice soup. How sweet it is...

June 29, 2007

Update since Monday, June 25...

Since I haven’t written since we first arrived back in RC, I’ll be filling in some gaps from then until now. (just the highlights, or the things I’m remembering now, a week (almost two) later; there’ll be many details I’ve forgotten, I’m sure) Oh, and the last time I wrote, was June 18, the day we arrived in RC. I kinda forgot to mention in that post, but on that special day, June 18th, John and I celebrated our 13th anniversary! xxx ooo We still really like each other...

My mom needed some clothes to wear to the Kilber family reunion, so she invited me along last Tuesday night. We had a great time, she chose some really cute, flattering things and then we went for a quick dinner at Red Lobster. It was pretty cool having my mom all to myself!

Stone, Sage and I did some crawdad fishing and turtle searching down at the little pond near our house. Saylor spent the day with Robert at Janice’s house (Robert’s Gma) which he always loves to do. Janice is one of those story book Grandma’s, whipping out the homemade play dough and all! John was busy all week doing his UA test and getting his haz-mat endorsement on his CDL, but we still had lots of time together. He brought a picnic down to the pond for us and we all sat under the shade of a big tree and ate lunch together.

We got together with some friends to celebrate the Summer Solstice on Thursday. We went up into the hills to a little roadside park that has a wide, shallow stream running through it. We picnicked and (of course) got very, very wet looking for minnows, crawdads and tad-poles. Boys…they never tire of it!

We headed to Pierre on Friday for the Kilber Family Reunion which was to be held Saturday. It was nice to see and catch up with some family members, and meet plenty of new ones. Stone thought it was pretty awesome that he was related to *every single person* in the room! The boys each bid on an item at the silent auction, and were highest bidders, so went home with something special to mark the occasion.

We left Pierre Sunday, traveling to Kennebec, SD to park at a friends farm for a couple of days. John set up the big Bonzai waterslide in some shade, and the boys spent lots of time on it. Mom and Dad even went down it a time or two. The boys did a bit of wood chopping and air-soft gun shooting, too. John M. (our friend) pulled out a little BB gun pistol thing and helped the kids shoot it.

On Tuesday, John got a call from someone wanting to rent some dirt bikes, so Wednesday morning, he dropped us off in Murdo to hang out with some friends and family there for the day, while he made a quick trip back to RC to get the bikes in order. While we were in Murdo, we got to see Wyatt and Chase again! Yay! Saylor caught a little tiny ‘pocket gopher’ while we were playing at the park. We all got to investigate it from a close up point of view, it’s tiny little teeth, and little hands. He was so cute, and so freaked out, so we put him back under the merry-go-round where he came from. I drove the boys past where John and I were married, past the high-school, the grade-school, the Drive-In (ice cream joint), and swimming pool where I used to work. We were even lucky enough to catch Wyatt’s baseball game Wed. evening.

We spent Wednesday night with Judy and Roy and their boys. They hadn’t seen John in a looong time, so they all enjoyed catching up with each other Thursday morning over a delicious, home-grown, free-range, succulent steak breakfast. Judy really felt the need to fatten John up; she thinks he looks quite skinny.

We headed out of Murdo Thursday morning for Sioux Falls to spent a day with Diana and Hayden. The boys set up a lemon-ade stand yesterday, and have been having fun hanging out with each other (well, mostly having fun, anyway) I got to see a good friend from SF briefly yesterday who I hadn’t seen since we moved from here, so that was wonderful!

And that brings us to Today. We will have our cup of coffee, something for breakfast, prepare the bus for take-off, and head to Minnesota. Shirley (john’s mom) flies in to Minneapolis tomorrow morning for 8 days, and we are all so excited to see her. It’s been great making our way slowly across the state, visiting people along the way, and always going to sleep in our own bed at the end of the day. Pretty cool to have your home parked just outside at the curb!

June 18, 2007

Road-tripping is FUN!

We're in RC right now. The trip north-east went well. Only a minor mechanical problem on the bus, and John, being the super-cool-extremely-talented-can-figure-anything-out- kind of Guy, pin-pointed and solved the problem: a dirty air filter! We left Sacramento WAAAAY early Friday morning, like around 4:00 am. YIKES! It took us most of the day to get to Utah, to be with family there. It was a hot drive, and the air filter thing took a few stops and babying of the bus to get resolved. We were thankful to arrive and have the chance to hang out with George & Rita for the weekend. We went to a lake (which lake, Rita? I don't remember...she reads, I know she'll answer!) on Saturday and had lots and lots of fun there. Rita had the brilliant idea to whip up some "hobo stew". What is hobo stew, you ask? Why, it's chopped up potatoes, carrots, onions and the meat of your choice (or none at all!) all thrown into handy little tin-foil packets to be grilled when the time is right. We frolicked in the water for awhile, then dug a hole, threw in some charcoal, and had ourselves a feast on the beach. Sage was becoming quite friendly with the water, and walking out, up to his neck, and then turning around and walking back to the shore, over and over and over. You could just see him figuring out how his body moves differently in the water and how to compensate for that. I was right beside him the whole time, and he did tip a couple of times, but always came up grinning, and wiping the water off of his face, and then back to his high-stepping through the water routine.

On Sunday, we made a big breakfast of pancakes, eggs and sausage for the Dad's on their special day, then headed to a little local fishing hole. No fish were caught, but George, Saylor and Stone did a great job of building a little dam to divert the flow of water in a flowing spot. As tummies began to growl, we headed back to the house and created a whole mess of kabobs for lunch/dinner, and followed them with some delicious strawberry shortcake! (it's all about the food, with me, isn't it? :)

The boys had the best time playing with their Uncle, who is so kid-friendly! He KNOWS how to play, and our boys adore him! And, we have it doubly good, because Rita also gives the boys lots of respect and kindness. On our journey away from their home, John and I talked about how easy it was to be there. The boys were accepted and cherished for who they are, which can sometimes mean really silly little boys who have to urp all kinds of goofy body function words! Thanks, guys, for a really wonderful weekend! We'll have to do it again, soon!

I'll get some pictures up when I can...stay tuned! :)

June 14, 2007

And Back...

Well, if this just isn't the way things work in our little world, sometimes! John's company here wasn't able to give him the hours that he needed, and Wednesday morning, he was offered a job with a company in Minnesota, so... we're coming back to the mid-west. John hasn't worked at all this week, and he had to make a decision *now* about which way to go. Wait it out here, and hope like hell that he worked his butt off the rest of the summer, or go back and work in the mid-west, where he always gets in lots of hours in the busy season. So, today we're packing everything up and leaving here Friday morning. We'll stop in Ogden, UT to visit George and Rita for a day or two, and then continue on to Rapid City. He starts his new job a week from Monday. (on a brand new machine, which he is very happy about. He's sick of operating junk and spending more time working on them than *operating* them)

He'll go to Minnesota, around the twin cities area, and scope things out. He might take the bus there at some point, if he ends up doing a lot of work right there in the metro area. And if the bus is there, we can be, too. But for now, he'll be home on the weekends (we hope!) and we'll hunker down in RC for a bit until it's clear which direction to go next.

June 8, 2007

Why didn't I think of this before?

The boys and I have done our Target & Trader Joe's run, to grab a few essentials. It's a close drive to both, about 2.8 miles or so, so that's good. As we were nearing Trader Joe's, I was beginning to feel myself tense up about taking 3 healthy, active boys grocery shopping. It's just not fun for them, so they find ways to make it fun, and they usually include things that make me crazy! So, brainstorm! I asked them each to grab a basket, and go shopping! I told them to browse around at all the aisles (including the produce aisle!) and choose the things that looked good to them. So...they did! They went off together, shopping away! I don't know if this would work in a big store, but TJ's is a small, cozy little place and I felt completely ok with them being out of my sight. Interestingly enough, they stayed with *each other* the entire time, and no fighting, bickering, arguing, etc. Just lots of excitement, helping each other find things, and comparing baskets. It was SOOOO COOOOL! This, we will most certainly do again! It was a splendid shop, FUN, even! We got everything we ALL needed/wanted and walked out of there with no raised blood pressure!

Here's what they chose, collectively:
bananas
granny smith apples
a pineapple
2 bags of jerky
1 bag of organic avocados
2 6-packs of Hansen's natural soda (root beer and cherry vanilla creme)
salt & pepper potato chips
miso soup
udon soup
terriyaki noodle bowl
organic tomato bisque
bag of confetti candy
frozen potstickers
cinnammon rolls


Oh, and Sage chose a watermelon!

Good times...

The Trip

our traveling flockThe Great Salt Lake Desert

An interesting sculpture out in the middle of NO WHERE! Throughout the Salt Lake Desert, there really is nothing, so people go and put interesting things to look at, for us weary travelers, I guess! There's a christmas tree, lots of rocks that spell things, stacks of balancing rocks. It's fun to look at what people have added.
3 boys
2 birds
1 dog
1300 miles
5 states
2 days
1 hotel (and night swimming)
2 movies
2 too many fast-food stops, blech!
lots of good music

0 major meltdowns

We did well! :)

June 7, 2007

Wednesday in Sacramento

Here I sit. 10:00 pm, Wednesday night. John and Sage just hopped into bed together. (well, technically, I slid Sage out of my arms and into bed, but John kind of hopped, gently! :) Saylor and Stone are off playing flashlight tag, and walking in the shallow trench that's weaving around near our bus with their new friend, Logan. I'm enjoying a few moments of quiet solitude under our gazebo, which John had so beautifully set up, complete with hanging flower baskets and pretty lights strung in the center, that give off that just right glow. Sounds peachy, eh? Y'know, a friend a I were just talking about our blog, here. She noted that I only share the good, positive happy stuff. Yep, that's what I share! Just so you know, however, we do have our share of crap, bumps and detours, just like everybody else. I just choose to focus on the good in our lives, knowing that old Secret...what you give your Attention to increases. So, I give as much attention to all the good stuff, because how fun would it be to have the bad stuff multiply? Nah, not much fun at all!

So, yes, it is a lovely, peachy, picture perfect night here! All my boys are around me, healthy and sharing their endless gifts. How much better can it be?

Hoping your night is all you wish for, too!

Gratitude...

May 31, 2007

Soon Come

I've begun the first preparations for our trip back to Sacramento, which basically consists of starting my lists. We'll leave sometime between Sunday and Tuesday. How's that for planning? Basically, when the milk and eggs are gone, when the laundry is done (enough), and when all the stuff gets put into the car, then, we'll go.

We met Melanie and Siri (awe-inspiring unschoolers) at the pond today, to search for crawdads, in the rain! Saylor showed Siri the crawdaddy catching trick, and they were off and running! The kids had a good time, Melanie and I shared an enlightening conversation and nobody melted!

I went out for a couple hours tonight with Pam, my eternal friend...xxx ooo!!! (love you, baby!) We had a margarita and a bottomless salad at Minerva's, then she came with me to Target to get diapers, wipes and pull-ups for our trip West. Also had to pick up a Pretzelmaker pretzel for Stone, because he was asking about them today, and wondering when he could have one. (everyone got one)

Tomorrow, we hang out with Grandpa Mike. He's taking us to Cosmos, and maybe some other touristy thing, then we'll go to his place in Custer to grill some goods for dinner. Saturday, I think is open right now, so that'll be my day for doing some major stuff to get ready to go. Then? Who knows? Maybe Sunday at the crack of dawn, we'll slip on out of town?

I just found out about this very cool site and of course my interest is piqued! Who knows??? There's such a big, big world out there and the possibilities are truly endless... I love that about our life, that we are open to the possibilities...sure makes for a Rich and Joyful one!

May 30, 2007

Crawdads, Unschooling and Family Time




In that order, that's what we've done the past few days. Monday, we headed down to the little park near our house, it's got a pond and a little run-off area with rocks in the water that make perfect hiding places for crawdads. So, the boys did that from about noon until 6:30 that day! We had such a great time, though! I love the days that I can let go of 'stuff' and just *BE*, and that was one of those days! I wasn't interested in trying to coax them out of there, just so I could do things that I thought were important to me (such as house work, which REALLY needed to be done, but it's gotten done bit by bit over the past days). Actually, while we were all there together, it never occurred to me that I should be anywhere else but right there where I was! Such freedom...and such a Gift to really be in the Moment, priceless, really.

There were many, many children there, of all ages and backgrounds. And they were delightful. I was having just as much fun with children we were just meeting as with my own! Actually, one little guy, Eli, reeeeally liked me! He hung out with me far more than my very own boys, who were so engaged! Eli is 3, incredibly beautiful, and sweet as can be! As I meandered around, checking out everyone's catch or running around playing with Sage, Eli says "Can I hold your hand?" Of course! When I was headed to the Suburban to retrieve the marshmallows that Sage requested we get while we were picking up lunch, Eli asked "Can I walk with you" Yep! As we were sitting there watching the kids hunt for crawdads and sharing marshmallows with all our new friends, he says "Can I sit on your lap?" Oh, he was precious! I sometimes meet children that I feel such a connection with, immediately, even if I've never laid eyes on them before. And I have this deep feeling for them, like they could be one of my very own. I wonder...

So, the day was magic! We all had a grand time and were the last ones to leave. On our way home, we helped a couple little boys on their bicycles who were trying to ride home (one bike with a flat tire) and carry a big cup full of crawdads. We loaded up the bike, stopped at the station to air the tire, then followed them home, they on their bikes, and the crawdads safely stowed with us. It made for much easier riding for the boys, and I could just see how proud that made my boys feel, to help these children even in such a small way. Good stuff!

Tuesday, we had a little informal Unschooling Gathering at the Library. It was a meeting for people interested in learning more and a veteran US'er came to share her experience and wisdom. There were 5 of us there, plus all of our kiddos. We ate some delicious food and had a good conversation. After the meeting, Adeline and Amy came over to our house to play for a while. Amy and I had tea while they played in/out/around the house. Saylor thought we needed to take Adeline down to the crawdads, so we did that, too. They were all successful! It was great to be able to visit more with Amy, she's a groovy gal, that one! We're already making plans to visit them at their home in Deadwood when we return.

And today, we spent with Barb and Emma. All day, and it was so lovely! We met around 9:30, grabbed some disgusting breakfast sandwiches from BK (uggh, still wanna gag just thinking about it) and headed up the mountain to Old McDonald's Farm. OMF is a great idea, but a bit of a rip-off, price wise, I think. Hate to be a downer, but 24 bucks to pet some animals, um, yeah, kinda steep. They've got pygmy goats, llamas, poultry of many varieties, calves, lambs, pigs, etc. I guess I just love how Reptile Gardens treats the locals. You pay once, and go as many times for the rest of the year for free. Your first admission is your pass from them on! And we only paid 21 or something there, and they have crocodiles, and snakes, and orchids, and prairie dogs and a huge sandbox, and staff that actually knows all about these exotic things.

After OMF, we met some other friends at McDonald's for more disgusting food, which the boys hardly ate any of, because they were all about playing with Cole, Zach and Luke. Then, after quite a long playtime there, we came back to my house for a while, then headed to my mom's house for dinner and hot-tubbing. Dinner was great (chinese take-out) I ate too much, but I think I was just generally od'd on fast food for the day. Barb brought some oh, so delicious, chocolately, coconutty, oatmealy bars for dessert. Yum. I hot-tubbed it with Lauren, Jarod, Saylor, Stone, Sage and Emma (in the rain, which was really cool!) but all the other grownups stayed inside. They're all such fun kids!

Now we're home, the boys are out and I should be too! Sweet Dreams...

May 29, 2007

Nothin' But Smiles, Baby!

Behind the piano, but still beautiful as ever!

The boys wanted Amy to sign their hands...she signed our CD, too...

Big Fat Grins! (Sage was just waking up after a little snooze through "Gone", her closing number)
That's what we had last night! From the moment my sister arrived, and we shared a glass of wine on the porch, to loading up all of our precious ones into the car, with *my* mom behind the drivers wheel, it was a fun, fun evening out with the ever-amazing Amy Steinberg!! :)

We had some fine cuisine (err, uh, Taco John's! but, hey, we LIKE it!) for dinner, and then hit the road to Hot Springs. Naturally, we listened to Amy all the way to Hot Springs, and it was the first time Barb (sister) heard her, but mom and I were singin' along to every song (the kids were, too!) We arrived in time to grab front row seats in the very intimate setting that was the venue for the show...chairs arranged in a semi-circle around the piano/guitar/mike stand. When she was at the piano, we mostly only saw her boa floofing around while she sang, but when she was on her guitar, OH YEAH! Perfect! There were probably 40 or so (i'm a terrible guesstimator) people there, and I saw many of them leaving with CD's in hand, so Amy's Music is sure to be shared and the Love will be spread...

There were a few children there, other than my three and Barb's one, and at one point Amy commented on how she loved to see children at her shows, and that's it's great when they're running around and being noisy, because that's what being a child is all about, and how it's awful when people try to shush them, and shove pills down their throat to calm them down! Mmm, mmm, my kinda gal!

Well, even though my smiler muscles began hurting from over-use, it was just an over-all spectacular night and I am ever-so-Grateful that I got to share it with people I love so much!

May 26, 2007

At the Skate Park

Sage found this broken skateboard, so began imitating what he was seeing the other skaters doing, jumping around on the board.

Stone catching some air...

Saylor just coming off a ramp and keepin' all 8 on the ground!