Wednesday, February 29, 2012

In Denial

Xavier and I are firmly in denial that one of our favorite people is moving to the other side of the world. That's just how we roll. Perhaps we'll pretend that we just don't notice he's missing until our emotions can handle it. Yup. I think that's what we'll do. The other members of our family are being much more realistic about this and actually went to say goodbye. I will say my goodbyes later this evening, but poor Xavier just can't handle that kind of emotion. He's never been good at goodbyes.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I wake up to a sunny day...

After a lovely winter storm, we woke up to a sunny day. When I walked outside to leave, I saw the boys in coordinating outfits riding their bikes up the driveway and had to run back inside for the camera.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

An Afternoon With Dominic

I got to spend an entire afternoon with Dominic recently. We left the house at 11:30 and didn't return until 4:30. Our first stop was a science class.

Dominic got to spend time with his adorable 'fiance' while I knit. (Yes, I am arranging marriages for all three of my children. If you want in, let me know. The younger two are already arranged. Gabriel is still in negotiations, however, so things could change.)

After science class, we needed to stop at Whole Foods for some groceries. We were also hungry. Since Whole Foods is one of the few places we can both eat while avoiding allergens, we were excited to eat there. Dominic has been wanting to eat there for a while, so this was a special treat.

After we ate, we went grocery shopping. We hit up Smoothie King on our way home for our dessert. While we were driving all around the city, we listened to All the Weyrs of Pern. We were getting close to the end of the book, and I was looking for another book I thought I had downloaded. I mentioned to Dominic that it was another book from the same series that I thought he would enjoy and he said, "Oh. I thought it was an old fashioned book because of the dragons." After I explained to him that the book is actually set in the future, we had a long conversation about the series, including the genetic modification that created the dragons. Personally, I'd like to impress a dragon.

It was a wonderful afternoon.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Wandering Soul

One of my favorite book series of all times is Little House on the Prairie books. I've never watched the T.V. show, and never want to. Oh, but the books. They call to my soul. One of the things about these books that stuck out the most to me was Pa's wandering feet. He was never finished wandering. I wonder if he was even finished when they settled down, or if he did it for his family.

We have lived here for almost 5 years. I never expected to live in one place for so long. I have wandering feet. I've known this most of my life. I come by it honestly. My father did not go to the same school two years in a row until he was a Junior in high school. My parents were always talking about moving, and actually did move us to Oregon briefly. (Oh beautiful Oregon, how I wish my children could have the opportunity to experience you!)

My oldest son, however, is done moving. He wants to stay here forever. Granted, he wants to travel the world, but he wants to return here. Always. He does not have my wandering feet. So, like Pa, we settle. We grow roots. We wait.

One day, we will no longer have children. In fact, one of my consolations for not having more children is the fact that I will be able to move at will once they are grown.

A few years ago, I discovered the song Soul of a Sailor by Kenney Chesney. Ah. This is my song. Each time I hear it, I feel that deep down knowing of myself that a person can frequently find in a piece of music. And, you must understand, I hear this song at least 20 times a night. Dominic listens to it all night, every night. When I say I feel that every time, it is a significant statement. I do feel it every single time. I have the soul of a sailor. I have a wandering soul.

*Confession- Although I have read the Little House on the Prairie series at least 15 times, I have never read By the Shores of Silver Lake because I knew what happened in it. I have successfully avoided reading it for 27 years and intend to continue to do so.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Gluten Police

I have my a house full of gluten police. Heard here:

"You can have tacos, Mom. They don't have any gluten."

"Would you like me to make you a salad?" (After me mentioning the Krispy Kreme I saw on the corner.)

"Mom, you can't eat any of this stuff."

"It's okay Mom. There's lots of other stuff you can eat."

I love my family.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Writing Club- Gabriel

Gabriel Pelletier
Where I Want To Live And Why

When friends are talking, one question inevitably come up. Where do you want to live? Why do you want to live there? People around the world ask and answer this question every day. The answer you get offers a useful insight into their character. This is my answer to that question.
When I think about that question, I always have my answer in a heartbeat. I would want to live in Greece. There are many reasons I want to live there. For the first, I was conceived there. My parents met and got married there, so I feel like I have a connection with the place. And the history! I can practically smell it from here. Greece was one of the main starting points of western civilization. Everybody can see that America admires Greece in our architecture. Many of the world's greatest thinkers also come from Greece. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Aristophanes all call their home Greece.
When I think of Greece, I think of the food. I love exotic food. The different kinds of food I could find in Greece are just about endless. Greece was one of the places where many fronts in the world were pushed back. The gourmet industry, science, math, religion, and philosophy were all changed by the Greeks.
The science of Greece was incredible. They had amazing architecture, and they were wonderful sailors. Their knowledge of the human body was second to none at that time. The Greeks discovered arteries and veins and the connection between them. It was the Greek Aristophanes who figured out the circumference of the earth, and he was only off by less than an inch. It was the Greek Plato who started the controversy about Atlantis. He also made the phase “The mother of invention is necessity”. They also had superb generals, battle tactics, and weapons. One of Greece's greatest leaders and military geniuses was Alexander The Great. His military tactics and revolutionary use of the technology of the time allowed him to conquer most of the known world. The only reason he didn't conquer more is that his men mutinied and didn't allow him to go any farther. He made an early version of the crossbow, which can pierce through heavy armor of the time. The Greek's scientific advances changed the world.
Greece is an amazing place. In it's greatest hours, it led the world out of an old dark age. It was also the inspiration for another superpower that would rise and conquer nearly all of the known world. That empire was known as Rome. But no matter what time period it is, Greece shall always be immortal in the sands of time. That is why I want to live there.

Writing Club- Xavier


I would like to live in San Jose. The weather is nice. You can grow different types of food. There are other things I like about it. Let's talk about the weather.

The weather is awesome. It's mostly temperate, with the average temperature being 61.3ยบ F. It's most likely to rain in February. There's low humidity during the summer. Besides weather, there's the benefit that you can grow tons of food.

Food is one of the bare necessities of life. In San Jose, you can grow oranges. You can grow cantaloupes. You can also grow tomatoes. There are other things to like about San Jose.

There are other random things I like about San Jose. It is close to the Myth Busters, and I really like the Myth Busters. Mom and Dad seem to like it a lot. It's close to the ocean. It's close Lego Land. These are some of the cool things about San Jose.

There are many things to like about San Jose. There is amazing weather. You can probably grow every type of food, except coconuts. It just has the stuff people like. That is why I want to live in San Jose.

Young Writers Club- Dominic

Jennie, over at Cooper Family Farm, is having a Younger Writers Club. We decided to participate. This week the writing prompt was "Where would you most like to live and why?"

This is Dominic's essay.

Where I'd Most Like to Live and Why

I would like to live on the Endar Spire. It would be awesome to go around the galaxy in a starship. You get to be in a space battle between the Republic and the Sith. Finally, you also get to meet all kinds of people.

It'd be so cool to go around the galaxy in a starship. All the planets you'd get to explore would be awesome. You'd get to see both of Tatooine's suns up close. It's so awesome to see all the stars.

You'd get to be in a space battle between the Empire and the Republic. This would be awesome because you'd get to go into hand to hand combat against Sith. You'd get to fend off the enemy. You'd get to experience for yourself fighting against the enemy.

Think of all the people you'd meet. It'd be so cool to meet a real live Jedi. I've always wanted to meet a T3 Unit. Oh, and did I mention that I'd really like to meet a Miraluka.

These are all very good reasons to want to live on the Endar Spire. Flying around the galaxy seeing all the planets would be nice. Also, you'd get to be in a space battle. Think of all the people you'd meet. That's why I'd like to live on the Endar Spire.

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Favorite Picture

First of all, look how young I was. Then, look how skinny I was. I was 9 months pregnant. This was taken on October 31st, 17 days before Xavier was born. My belly was so beautiful. It was perfect and round. I could still walk. A few days after this, Xavier dropped and went to a plus 2 station for two weeks. I couldn't walk very well. But this night, I could walk in the Halloween parade and go trick or treating. I was beautiful.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Christian, Inclusive, Secular, and Anti-Christian

Before I started homeschooling, I did not understand how segregated the people of this country are. You see, in public schools, all people are together, regardless of religion, race, sexual orientation, or gender. They are only segregated by age. But out here in the real world, our country is segregated by religion, race, sexual orientation, and even gender.

When I started homeschooling 4 1/2 years ago, I began to look for a secular or inclusive homeschooling group. We needed friends. We had only just moved, and knew no one. I quickly discovered the local homeschool group, which is a Christian group. They will allow me to participate in their activities so long as I am not vocal about my unbelief, and do not get upset about their vocal belief. We mostly avoid their activities. It is not that we care about their belief, or that everything is started with a prayer. It is the condemning talk about people of unbelief that is ever present among them. Of course, I do not broadcast our unbelief, so they feel free to talk in front of me. I do not broadcast it because I do not want it to be an issue. If someone asks me, I do tell them.

I found a secular group quite by accident. I found them on Yahoo. I started driving an hour each way each Monday to spend time with them. My children got to play with other homeschooling children, and I got to spend time with other homeschool moms. It was through this group that I began to make close friends.

Over the past 4 years, I have discovered an interesting dichotomy. Many Christians believe that secular means anti-Christian. Many non-Christians believe the same thing. I believe that secular means without religion. So, when I join a secular group, I do so with the belief that the group, not the people will be without religion. And that is what our group is. But there have been many people challenge this view of secularism. Most of them are either Christians who believe that secularism is evil, and all things must be centered around their faith, or anti-Christians who have been hurt in some way by Christians, and want to be protected by them. We remain an inclusive, secular organization.

So, what does it mean to be an inclusive, secular organization? It means that we will take you regardless of your religious un/beliefs, race, sexual orientations, and gender. We will take you if you are  a gay father homeschooling, or an evangelical Christian homeschooling. Our only requirements are that you be homeschooling and be willing to get along with those people we have on our list.

Why do I think this is the best way? I think that I benefit from being surrounded by all different types of people. I think that it is important to know not just those people who hold the same views I do. I think it is important for my children to learn to think. My children all hold strong views on subjects. I cannot be the only one to challenge those views. They have to be challenged by others in order for them to find their true meaning and foundation.

And, in the end, it comes down to this. Many people have been hurt by many other people. We have to realize that the person standing in front of us, be they of the same religion, race, sexual orientation, or gender, is not the same person who hurt us. We must learn to love people regardless of these things. We must learn that we all have something to contribute to the great conversation, and value that contribution.

Friday, February 3, 2012

When the Kids Get the Camera

From Soule Mama: {this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. For more, please visit Soule Mama.

You get the most honest pictures.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Yarn Along

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~
Visit Ginny at Small Things to view more.

This week I've been too busy to knit. Today I had to sit for an hour while Xavier had some tests run. A friend of Gary's wanted a pattern for a hat I knit for Gary. I don't have a pattern for it, so I thought I'd write one. His friend is a beginning knitter, and a roll brim hat is one of the easiest patterns to knit in the round. I'm almost done knitting it. I'll post it when it's done. I'd love if you'd glance over it for mistakes.

I'm reading The Non-Toxic Avenger: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You. I've only read about 4 chapters, but I've already learned a lot. This book is definitely worth a read for anyone attempting to learn more about the toxins in their environment. It follows Deanna's journey to find out the effects of the everyday objects in her life are on her body.

I'm also joining Tami's Amis for Work in Progress Wednesday.


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