January 31, 2009

A small sigh of relief

Heard a little more about the court situation on Friday. The state's attorney wants me to plead guilty to one charge of 'not sending child to school', and he'll drop the other charge. (two kids, two charges). He's only going to ask for $54 in court costs, no fines, and he said he'll take all of the suspended jail time stuff off the table completely. He's requiring that we either enroll the kids in school within our district or provide a valid homeschooling certificate. Our exemption has been held up since this all started, so hopefully they'll get it to the school board and grant us the exemption once they've been given the 'all clear'.

My attorney was out on Friday, but his secretary forwarded me the letter from the s.a. I'll be in touch with my attorney on Monday and we'll proceed from there.

Feeling so much better about this, but still want it signed, sealed, delivered and DONE!!!

I've been blessed with incredible kindness from my friends and family, even strangers, through all of this. I love you all from the bottom of my heart! Thank you for lending me your strength and compassion when mine was wearing thin! I'll keep ya posted...

January 28, 2009

A Good Soak

For 3 1/2 hours, we soaked, swam, dunked, floated, played, got naked and generally enjoyed ourselves here. Keough's hot springs are located just outside of Bishop, CA. The water was just over 100 degrees and the sun was shining. The air temp was 60 when we arrived. It was GREAT!

There are a series of springs that flow here, and we checked a bunch of them out. When we got there, we even had the privilege of seeing some old butts, I mean, men, letting it all hang out, heading down to soak. We did only see their butts, though, so no major trauma! And they weren't splashing around in the same pools that we were; we all had our own private little pools.

Conway Summit

Conway Summit is between Carson City, NV and Bishop, CA on the 395.

8136 feet above sea level. Our brakes were stinkin' pretty good by the time we crawled our way back down a few thousand feet. P-u!
ahhhhh, Wild. Wilderness, indeed.

Leaving Reno

Moments before pulling out of Reno. We left behind one sad Grandma, but we have plans to see her again within the next month, so it's all good! I did most of my crying the night before this was taken. For someone who isn't so great at good-byes we sure have set ourselves up for lots of them. It's a learning and growing experience for me, as always.

It was a great month for me, and the boys as well, getting to spend every day with my mom. We worked out together a bunch at a local fitness center and watched more movies than I can count. We love to watch movies! She spent all day every day just hanging out with us, whether it was in the bus, or running errands or walking to the park, or making dinner, or getting library books or browsing at the Goodwill. It was wonderful and I shall cherish that time for always!
Sage and his favorite playing partner! I learned some very good things about how to really p.l.a.y. with my children by watching her play with them. I'm so gosh darn lucky!
Sage requested that both of these pictures be put up, so here they are! Grandma knows how much the boys love biscuits and gravy, so she arrived Tuesday morning (the morning we were leaving) with fresh biscuits and homemade chicken sausage gravy. It was a relief to not have to worry about breakfast on the morning we're trying to get everything buttoned up, tied down and ready to pull out. She also baked a pizza for us to eat later on down the road. She takes such good care of us. Again, I'm so gosh darn lucky! I love you, Mama! Thanks for being *you*!
Sage, Saylor, Ruka and Stone.

Stone and Sage were experimenting with some make-up...I think lipstick gave them this effect. Creepy cool!

Stone's big score from the local Save Mart, a $2 giant Stuey! (hmmm, spelling on that, I'm not sure? Kyra would know! :)

and Stone battling at Jump Man Jump in Reno. And you'll see John zipping down the slide in another photo here. The proprietor of this fine establishment is a fellow homeschooler. He was very friendly as we spent some time chatting on our way out. He was curious and supportive of our travelling plans, as most people are. I've yet to meet someone out here who says anything negative. So refreshing! If you're ever in the Reno area and the kids need to blow off some steam, I highly recommend this place! The sessions are an hour and a half long, and believe me, we were all beat by the time we were done! Our friends from Lake Tahoe joined us, making it all the more fun!

This is the bowling alley, targeted at, I mean... especially for children, at Ballocity in Reno. Grandma treated all 5 of the kids to a game of bowling at this schnazzy little alley. The picture doesn't quite show how silvery and glitzy it really looked. We could have bowled a real game, with typical bowling alley sized lanes and balls, but this was ***way*** more intriguing for the children...and twice as expensive, but... Thanks, Grandma! :)

Hanging out at Ballocity with the Wilson clan. Behind us you'll see the large climbing/play structure. We spent several hours here pelting each other with the cannons that shoot soft balls (not softballs!) whew... ;), chasing each other through the maze of tunnels, and racing down the slides.

January 14, 2009

A Reminder for Serenity

Late, late last night, or early, early this morning, I woke up with fret, worry, anger, resentment. For an hour or more, I laid there, stewing and steaming over this whole court bullsh** going on. The latest that I've heard from my attorney is that there's a 'pre-trial conference' set for January 20, and then a trial date would follow, if no agreement is reached, on the 29th of January.

The DA handling this whole case has been there less than 6 months and seems to be afraid to take any sort of action on this, for fear that it may make him look stupid later on. And in the meantime, I get to be drug along because he can't figure out the law? Or can't decide what to do, or if he should do anything at all. It's enough to make me scream. And, for every time I call my attorney, or my attorney calls him, or my attorney appears on my behalf, I get to PAY money. I am Grateful that I have the luxury of having an attorney, and I know he's doing all that he can. I just wonder how many letters it'll take before this DA guy can get it through his head that it's just a bogus charge. I've proven, beyond any reasonable doubt that we are homeschooling the boys. The one and ***only*** thing that I'm guilty of is not filing the paperwork asking the states 'permission' to educate my children. (which is a whole other topic of which disgusts me completely).

I have no faith or trust in our system. What frustrates me so much is that I have to work so hard to prove to them that this isn't true. What ever happened to 'innocent until proven guilty'. It's not working out that way, here. If I had asked for a court appointed attorney, and then was found guilty, I would be required, most likely, to pay the court back for attorney fees. So, since I have my own attorney, and they find me not guilty, they should reimburse me for *my* attorney fee's, right? I pity the sucker who just has to swallow whatever it is that is handed down to them, because they don't have the money, time, or support to demand anything else. It's just not right.

And so, the lesson from all of this...and there is always, always a lesson, is this, a little reminder...

God, Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change...
The Courage to change the things I can...
And the Wisdom to know the difference...

Feeling better already...thanks for riding along during my public therapy session!

January 12, 2009

My Sunshine

Saylor turned 10 yesterday!!! I would have put a post up then, but that would have been weird to be staring at my computer screen, rather than spending his day with *him*. Plus, we were busy all day long, so there's another good reason for ya!

The day started with breakfast in bed, then some Zelda on the Wii. Grandma arrived with a big Happy Birthday banner and some fun goodies, like exploding confetti tubes and a balloon twisty kit. We let the confetti loose in the bus, so it was quite the festive place! :)

Next, was a bit of climbing at Rocksport, followed by dinner out (chinese). Then, we stopped at a park and threw around the X-zylo and played on the equipment until dusk. Saylor requested strawberry shortcake, and since our oven is acting up, we swung by Raley's to pick up the goods, along with a couple movies from the Redbox...Saylor's choice, of course. So, we came home, had some delish dessert and then watched Sweeney Todd. He had also chosen Surfer, Dude -- but, we were only able to get a short way into it, before we all decided it was STUPID!!! Saylor was happy to have Grandma spend the day with us, too.

For gifts, he and John went to REI and chose a pair of climbing shoes (Mad Monkey's), a chalk bag and some chalk. We picked up a Rocksport t-shirt for him; and he received some cash. He's still waiting to decide what to do with that.

It was a wonderful day, spent with my wonderful son. I'm the luckiest mama around to have that fine boy in my life!

January 10, 2009

What we're into...
Sage is in the black, Stone's on the floor in the blue.

Loving the chance to share a new experience with the ones you love!

Dad and Saylor constructing an addition to the back bed. They scrounged the materials from local miscellaneous piles, cost to us...nada! That's my kind of remodel! ;)
At the Scheel's in Reno (or maybe it's Sparks?) they've got 2 huge aquariums. One for fresh water fish, the other is salt water. They were so big and beautiful, you actually walk underneath them, because they are constructed as 3 'pillars' with a 'bridge' connecting the pillars. The pillars and bridge are all aquarium, visible from all sides and underneath. We saw many different types of fish, but our favorites were the shark and the itsy bitsy stingray.


Trying so hard to get a family photo. This one was actually taken after John pointed out I had my hand on Saylor's head and it looked dorky, so of course, we all had to do just that! Look dorky, I mean!
Again, how on EARTH does one get 5 human beings all looking somewhat normal for a fraction of a second? We just can't seem to accomplish this... oh well ... it's a funny one, anyway!
Playing Monopoly with Grandma.

A Quickie

We're having a great time exploring and discovering in and around Reno. We found a quiet little campground that's very inexpensive. Since Grandma is here, we committed to a month long stay, and the rate comes out to be just over 8 bucks a day. We do pay our own electric, but that won't be much. Best of all, just a short walk from here is a decked out park with a play structure, large field for running wild, bmx track and skate park. Stone is clicking right along with his skateboard, really getting the whole thing figured out. He's got such balance on that thing. I can barely stand on it, and he's going a quarter of the way up the half pipe like it's nothing. Every day, he has a little more confidence and a little more skill. So fun to watch the process.

A week ago, we went to the indoor rock climbing place and the boys climbed for a few hours. They loved it so much, we decided to get a 'membership'. They pro-rated us for the time left that we'll be here, so it was a great deal, and now they can climb every day if that's what they so desire. Saylor is requesting climbing shoes for his birthday...and a harness...but we'll start with one or the other and keep our eye open for a good deal on the rest. I really, really, really want to give it a go, but John and I have our hands full belaying the boys, so we'll have to wait a bit for now. They're all naturals at it, climbing right up and ringing the bell with ease, even Sage! Monkeys.

We spent the day with some new friends on Wednesday and are returning to their house tomorrow to help them move. The boys are happy about the chance to play with them again. Mom and Dad are happy, too! We've got another get together planned for Tuesday and I might have them convinced to come into town one additional time beyond that so we can play at the park here and so the kids can see our bus.

John and I have been walking Max in the mornings while the boys sleep. There's a large hill right behind the campground that we hike up. Get's my heart a pumpin', too. It's been good to move some. I've started a 14 day challenge (hey, baby steps!) to do something, some form of exercise, every day for 14 days. Even on the days I don't want to, I'm just doing it anyway. Not letting myself off the hook. Hoping that I'm creating a new, positive habit. My mom and I went to a local fitness center today. We're both members of a spa in Rapid City, and there is a center here that is reciprocal, so we get to use it for free. An additional bonus is that the Trader Joe's is pretty darn close to the gym, so I can go get a good sweat going, then rush over for some good food! Can't have one without the other! :) Balance, baby!

My intention was to post pictures on the blog tonight, but here I am, all snuggled in to bed tap, tapping away on the computer, and the camera isn't within my reach, unless I want to actually get up and look for it, which I don't, because I really, really need to get to sleep now. So, check back soon, there'll be pictures then!

January 4, 2009

Sending a Prayer

I read yesterday, that John Travolta and Kelly Preston had lost their son, Jett, who was 16 years old.

It seems, sometimes, that superstars are exempt from tragedy. Bad things, like losing a child, just couldn't/wouldn't happen to someone like that.

We're all in this together, a part of this human race, connected at levels that we probably aren't even aware of.

My thoughts are with this family. I can't begin to imagine...