Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Gratitude Wednesday!

Holy smokes! What has happened with the missing gratitude Wednesday posts!?!? Has the gratitude come to a screeching halt?

lol, naturally that is not the case. :)

There is more gratitude then ever flowing these days... days that have been filled with mirrors, of people and situations revealing who i am and who i am not, loads of opportunities showing me where i am not healed.... So grateful for all the triggers, that show themselves as emotional reactions, that point the way to where i need to go inward, so that I can peel back the layers, so that i can then Heal and be One.....

So, on this gratitude Wednesday, let me start my list with some immense gratitude for a yahoo group...

1- Known to me as my miracles group, for unschooling peoples creating miracles, day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment.... via internal work that goes deep and to the core. This group has brought me a variety of different ideologies via written word, audio, visual, and direct energy that have led to immense inner growth and miracles. (gotta also throw out a xoxox to my soul sister KT.... no explanation needed *hug*)

2- Self.... I am grateful for who I am, that tenacious part of me that will not settle for less then authenticity when it comes to Self. Even though this path is not Easy, and even though it does not always appear that i am at Peace, it is a path of Joy. :)

3- Family.... who else is better then showing me my mirror then family. I spent a week with my parents and other relatives this past week. What an amazing opportunity it was to heal. :) I was able to go inward and heal, so that I was able to enjoy the outward. It was lovely. :)

4- EFT.... been doing more of this lately and have been blessed with some amazing people who have opened up the EFT more widely for me. Especially grateful to my friend Kathy, who did an amazing EFT session with me this week that brought about much healing, and led to more and more healing in the days that came after....

5- Home.... It has been especially cold these days. Coming into my warm home always leaves me with a sense of gratitude for what I have on an external level. I am grateful for my sweet little home, which warms and provides a safe place for me and my family. And of course, I am grateful for Wes, who works hard so that we have our home. :)

Loving what Is!
xoxo

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Toledo Art museum Joy

The Toledo Art Museum is such a great place- so family friendly!
Their family















They had a great temporary exhibit on graphic novels. Kathrynn planted herself at this table and read through one (about 3 times) for about 20 minutes.






Back at home, checking out our pieces of art. :)


These are my two pieces using pastels... very cool how they blend....
Wes, Kathrynn and a small one of mine.....

My paintings.....
Kathrynn's paintings!!!


A very nice day all together :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Solstice Joy :)

Solstice has always been a wonderful day of celebrating in our house. It was great this year because Wes was home from work!

We started the day opening presents!



A piece K made me in pottery class :)




One of Kathrynn's favorite books: Ish by Peter Reynolds
The highlight.... Marvel Super Heros!



Breakfast with Wes' Solstice present!!




Oh they were SOOO yummy! Raspberry jam inside!



Then onto her performances! She had learned some songs through the UU choir, and was so excited to sing them for her family. :)


Lots of practicing first!





Rise up O Flame:

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I am a Light

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Jingle Bells with audience participation!
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Dancing to Silent Night.....
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Part Two of dancing....
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She also did an awesome performance of The 12 Days of Xmas but it was 5 minutes long and blogger doesn't upload videos that long. :)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Holy moly December Joys!

One of the reasons I started a blog was to share pix of our life w/ family and friends.... Lately that has not been happening, and I'm ok with that- just a lot going on these days, internally and externally! :)
Before December rolls on by, I'd like to post some of what we've been up to so far this December. :)



Our fall/winter garden boxes doing great!
Since then the weather has gotten very cold, and the plastic was blown off during some wind storms, so some of the crops are not doing as well, but all things considered, they are still doing great!

Kathrynn doing some harvesting! She loves fresh greens out of the garden. :)

Our homeschool had a great afternoon at our local airport. Kathrynn and her friend Virginia hadn't seen each other in a week, and were SOOO happy to see each other. They were super cute. :)


In the fire truck!
Then over for a sleepover! They are watching a dance video in this shot... they love dancing :)

video

We went to UU's Family Service in December, where they also had a great 2 hours of crafting going on! Kathrynn made many gifts for family members at this time, and a few for herself. :)




Fun with our friend Skye! I'm not sure what the girls were doing in this picture, but i know they were having fun. :)




Kathrynn decided she wanted to decorate the tree all by herself this year!



Wes took this video while she was hard at work. :P
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That's all for now.... more later!
:)

Monday, December 14, 2009

A sampling of life....

So I tried to post some awesome pictures, and for some reason blogger is not letting me post pictures.......

and, its letting me post videos!!!!!!

Some of the things we've been up to....

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Playing in the Sedona sand......



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Sunset crater...... playing in the ash, pondering volcanos....


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Dancing at Flagstaff brewery...


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Grand canyon splendor!


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Makin' music!


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Oliver Winery..... always a good time :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Gratitude Wednesday!

It's Wednesday, and as good a time as any to take a few moments and focus on what I'm grateful for in this moment. :)

1. Right now, under my down comforter, I'm grateful for my awesome bed and comforter and pillows and all things warm in general. (yes, i'm feeling winter coming)

2. I'm grateful for the awesome UU we have in our community. They have such amazing programing for kids and families, and Kathrynn loves this community.

3. I am grateful for our friend Leslie, who has been offering wonderful classes for homeschooled children in the community for 25 years. Kathrynn loves it when she gets to hang out with Leslie for the day. :)

4. I've been reading this great book, Anastasia (from the Ringing Cedars Series). It has brought me such loveliness- I don't know how to put it into words. I am grateful for the original author, and the man who translated it into English.

5. I've started to read Michael Brown's The Presence Process again. I am deeply in love with the process he offers, and am so grateful for MB. <3

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Gratitude Wednesday!

It is officially week #6, but I'm dropping the number from my title this week, because every Wednesday from now on will be Gratitude Wednesday!

1- I'm really grateful for Wednesdays, because it gets me to blog a bit. lol. It seems as though we've been so busy lately that I haven't been tracking our experiences here, like I really do love to do. I know this will shift. In the mean time, I've been really grateful for connecting here on Wednesdays.

2- Patience. Patience and I have come a long way baby! It's amazing to me that I don't have to react when things around me are crazy. I can stay connected to what is going on AND stay present and calm. I'm loving that choice!

3- I'm grateful for the wonderful friends that Kathrynn has. It has made our unschooling life very full and rich, because of these amazing connections that she's made. And lets face it, its given me some nice mama connections, and also time when I can do things for myself.

4- I'm grateful for my wee little hoop garden in the back, growing some yummy fall/winter greens for my family. It's magical and amazing to see them grow, when the weather outside their home is cold. :)

5- Perseverance. I'm grateful for my perseverance- without it I would be an insane and stagnant being. With it, i push on in uncovering my triggers, integrating my past, and authentically Be. <3

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gratitude Wednesday, week 5!

Gratitude Wednesday!
For those people who know me, it's easy for me to be filled with gratitude and appreciation about my life. It comes pretty easily, actually, in the sense that often it is happening moment by moment through out the my day. And yet, ever since starting Gratitude Wednesday, I have looked forward to posting on Wednesday... to see what would come to mind in regards to what I'd be writing about.
It's really always a surprise, right up until I start my post.

When I realized a bit ago that Wednesday was coming to a close, I decided that I better get to blogging, before the day was over! At first I was not overwhelmed with thoughts of gratitude.... but in the time its taken me to write the above few sentences, my mood has shifted, my perception has changed, and the gratitude is flowing freely. Another reason why I really do love Gratitude Wednesdays, and will keep on this tradition, even when Thanksgiving is over. :)

1- I am grateful for the kindness and giving spirit of others. I went to a facebook friend's house today to pick up some post cards he was giving away, and i left which a box full of awesome post cards, PLUS a few great shirts, some cool paper, and a box full of awesome martini glasses!!!
Wes and I have wanted to get some martini glasses, and just hadn't gotten around to it. :P

2- I am grateful for the invention of the telephone. :) I have met many wonderful and amazing people via the yahoo groups that I'm on, and this morning I got to talk to my wonderful friend Josha. Yeah for the phone, which allows me to talk to many friends! :)

3- Which leads me to my next moment of gratitude- I am gratitude for my friend Josha. My life is so much richer and full of authenticity because of her. <3

4- I am grateful for the shinning passion of my child. :D

5- I am grateful for my ability to make choices, particularly my choice to be patient, which i've utilized a lot today. :P

:)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Gratitude Wednesday, week 4!

We are in Flagstaff, AZ this week!
My parents gave us the use of their time share as a gift for our anniversary and we choose to visit AZ!
We've really loved being here-it's been full of new experiences for all of us.

My mind is a little AZ preoccupied so I think my list may reflect that ;)

1- I am grateful for my sweet parents, who gifted us with this fabulous place!!!!

2- I am grateful for the hot tub on our deck- I've been using it every morning and often at night too. It has felt great to climb into the tub when the air is chilly and relax in the arms of the Flagstaff mountains. :)

3- I am grateful for the amazing landscape of AZ. We've experienced so many different terrains- the Grand Canyon, the ponderosa trees 7000 feet up, the red rocks of Sedona..... All amazing and unique.

4- I am grateful for my husband, who works so hard so that we can do things like this! :)

5- I am grateful for the honesty of each moment, and for the opportunities each moment brings should I choose to be Present in that moment.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Grand Canyon!

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We are in AZ this week- staying in Flagstaff and visiting surrounding areas. Yesterday we went to the GC and it was amazing. I can't wait to go back when Kathrynn is a bit older so we can do some hiking. :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Gratitude Wednesday, week 3!

A new Wednesda- a new opportunity to focus in what I am grateful about!


1- I am grateful for my job. I got this job about 10 years ago, long before I had Kathrynn. It was great then, because it was an awesome way to make some extra money (my full time job was working for the ashram business, which meant that i didn't really get paid :P) AND work at home!
I do have about 2 meetings a month I have to attend, but the rest of the hours are done from home! I am so glad that I am able to help out my family financially (a wee little bit) AND be a stay at home mom so that I can be with my sweet girl. :)

2- I am grateful for my AWESOME computer. Wes is a fervent mac user (and used to sell macs for awhile) and introduced me to the mac world many years ago. I absolutely love my MacBook, and can't imagine not having my laptop. :)

3- As much as I complain about living in Indiana, I am utterly grateful for the city of Bloomington. When I first moved to Bloomington, someone told me that it was like "the Berkley of the mid-west." Well, I'm not so sure about THAT. But I do know that Bloomington is a GREAT place to raise a kid. Its a great place regardless. :)

4- I am grateful for my unschooling yahoo groups, esp. a couple groups in particular that offer me so much support and guidance and love..... I don't know how I'd do it without these amazing internet connections. :)

5- I am grateful for music. I LOVE listening to all kinds of music, and my soul SINGS as a response to hearing music. I am just one of those people who can really be moved by hearing music, and I can't imagine life with out it! Thanks to all those amazing musicians whose passions radiate out and connect with my own passion. :)

Thanks out to Clint, who motivated me to do Gratitude Wednesdays! <3

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Elixir drinking Chocolates

While we were in Sante Fe last week (!!!!) we visited Kakawa Chocolate House, where we sampled hand-crafted historic European and Mesoamerican Aztec Drinking Chocolate, made in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
http://www.kakawachocolates.com/

While there I told the owner that my experience there was so marvelous that I would blog about it, and here I am!



This is a shot of the Chocolate House, and unfortunately I accidentally cut the owner out of the picture, and I have forgotten his name as well! I am hoping I can retrieve that information. :)

Check out the home page for details on the amazing products offered at this amazing place. http://www.kakawachocolates.com/
The hospitality at Kakawa was amazing- the owner gave unlimited samples of the various elixirs out to us so that we could get a taste for all the different kinds of chocolate drinks he had available.

After tasting about 6 different kinds, we settled on the Chocolate Chai Elixir. It was soooo amazing. We had our drink with a small sampling of chocolates that they make in shop.
(http://www.kakawachocolates.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=4_6&products_id=35)




I took a couple chocolates and a bag of their top seller- the Mayan full spice elixir.
(http://www.kakawachocolates.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=23)

I brewed up a small cup for Wes and I this morning..... mmmmmm nothing else like these elixirs. So amazing and full of intense flavor.

I'm so glad Missy had been to Kakawa Chocolates before- what an amazing experience!
Check it out!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Gratitude Wednesday, week 2

Gratitude Wednesday!

1- I just got home from the ER- one of my best friends in the world had a DVT and asked me to come sit with her while she was waiting to be discharged. The body is a weird thing, and i am full of gratitude that my friend caught the clot early and is going to be fine. :)

2- I got home from a FABULOUS vacation a couple days ago, and I am still basking in gratitude for this trip..... There are so many layers of gratitude involved.... In short, I am grateful that I made it happen for myself. I manifested an amazing trip, with countless amazing experiences.

3- How can i not mention my gratitude for my wonderful husband and amazing daughter? Every day they motivate me to become a better person.

4- I am grateful for the contrasts that exist in my life.... The contrasting moments of "difficulty" and other such shadow type words illuminate and amplify the Joy that permeates....

5- I am grateful for our two little guinea pigs. They are sweet companions for our family. :)


<3

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Breath. Feel. Awareness...... All is well....

Yesterday I had an interesting interaction with a man about unschooling. I was at an open market, just off the square down town Sante Fe. I was wearing a shirt that said "I am blogging this." I man started to engage me in conversation, based on my tshirt. The man was probably in his early 40s- good looking, hair shoulder length, with some grey streaking his otherwise dark hair. He asked me, "Are you really blogging right now?" And that is how we began to converse. He asked me a serious of question, leading up to "What do you blog about." I told him that i blog about my family, and especially my 6 year old daughter. He was curious what was so interesting about our lives that made me want to blog. (Funny question, huh?!?!?) I asked him if he'd ever heard of unschooling.

Now, to pause this for a second, I rarely engage in strangers about our educational choices, and when i do, i rarely use the word unschooling, even though that is what we're doing, if you have to label it. Somehow i choose to use the word unschooling with him, rather then my usual word choice of homeschooling.

Anyway! So he claimed to be unfamiliar, so i told him it was a form of homeschooling. He asked me some more questions, I answered. I felt it to be a lovely transaction thus far, and I was feeling the love of my little girl in my heart so vibrantly, I was feeling the love of our lives so passionately, and as always I was in full appreciation for this vibrant life that i live.

Then.....

He told me that he knew someone who raised their kids like that, and what a DIS-SERVICE it was to the kids..... <> I certainly was not expecting this, and yet there it was, and so the conversation continued. I explained that I personally could not remember anything much beyond multiplication, even though I have been schooled to the graduate school level. Sure, it woul come back to me, should i need to review it. Ie, I could re-learn it if ever need be. I explained that there are a lot of subjects taught that one never uses, "just in case." I asked him if he wanted to learn racquetball, what would he do. He said he'd learn it. Exactly! I said. When a person wants to learn something, they learn about it! No need to make someone learn how to play raquetball, JUST IN CASE they might, by chance, want play it down the road sometime..... He seemed to follow me, but had that doubters look still on his face. That look that he didn't buy it..... My friends, who had been elsewhere, returned to me at that moment, and it was time to leave. I said to this man, "I love my life. And my child loves her life. Have a great day." And off I walked smiling.



I was full of emotion at that point. I was filled with a level of exuberance and passion for my life and the choices we've made. The passion could have been fueled into more gratitude for my life.
Instead I felt anger towards that man. I was angry that he felt the right to turn a friendly conversation into a critique of my parenting. "Who was this man, to question MY parenting!!!!"
Those kind of angry thoughts filled my head. I couldn't shake it....

When I had a chance to relax and feel what was going on, a number of things came to me. Ala Byron Katie, I realized that I too sometimes offer my opinion when it is not asked for. That I too sometimes lack a level of openness to hear new ideas. That I too sometimes lack that trust that *it is all good*. That I too sometimes am not expanded and become limited in my thoughts. This led me to have compassion for this man, for myself, and i started to do some Ho'oponopono: I love you. I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I saw myself in him, and him back in me, and it lead me to heal those parts of me that needed healing. That part of me that sometimes desperately wants to be understood and accepted, because when I was growing up I often was *not* understood or accepted for who I was.

Over the next few hours I continued to go inward and feel, and I eventually felt hands, as if they were my mothers, or the hands of the Universe, or an adult me. Those hands were stroking though my hair, as a young girl. Those hands were caressing me and loving me. They were UNCONDITIONALLY loving and accepting me, every part of me. :)

I *am* unconditionally loved and accepted by the Universe, always. The key is staying tapped into that, and not in my fears, past, or judgments that separate me from that authenticity of Being.

I am full of appreciation for that man, and for my Self. All *is* well. <3

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Gratitude Wednesday!

Clint Stonebraker (http://clintstonebrakerblog.com/) gave me the idea to do this....
write a weekly gratitude post on my blog leading up to Thanksgiving.

I have often thought about this idea- picking a day each week and dedicating it to gratitude. So I am full of appreciation that I came across Clint's blog.....

Today is the day before my big Sante Fe trip. One of my best friends is celebrating her 40th bday in Sante Fe. This was no spontaneous trip- shortly after becoming friends with Kt she told me of this plan... that she was going to Sante Fe for her 40th! Well, years later, and we're going! I can't wait!!! This is the first vacation I've had since Kathrynn was born- maybe the first vacation since our honeymoon, now that I think about it. So, wow!!!

So on this night, before my departure, I have some serious gratitude:

1- I am grateful for my friend Kt. I know we're going to have an amazing trip. :)
2- I am grateful for my husband, who works SO hard (and is working right now actually, finishing up a project) so that all the members of his family can do fun things. I am also so very grateful for how wonderful a father he is- I know that he and Kathrynn will have a fabulous time while I'm gone.
3-I am grateful for my wonderful 6 (nearly 7!!) year old daughter Kathrynn. She is one of the brightest lights of my life, and every day I get to be with her is an amazing gift.
4- I am grateful for my parents. They are very caring and supportive of my family, and are always doing unexpected things for our family. Today Kathrynn got a big package full of fun things from them, and then Kathrynn had a nice long conversation with my mom afterward. It was very heart warming. :)
5- I am grateful for for a life which challenges me, honors me and nourishes me. <3


Off to sleep I go, with gratitude in my heart, and mind. :)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Dear Trust- we've come a long way baby, you and me :)

One thing that I've been thinking about lately due to some recent conversations is how much I really love living our days together in the way that we do. I have recently been reminded of how much fear people have in regards to homeschooling, and I feel immense gratitude and appreciation that I was exposed to the ideas of homeschooling and unschooling when Kathrynn was less then a year old.

At that time I was learning how to Trust my baby- trust that it was ok to follow her nursing needs, her sleeping needs, her exploring and sleeping needs. I was learning to tune out what others thought was best, and what others expected me to do, and instead listen to my child and listen to my self. I continued to learn to unravel my own issues/conditioning/fears so that I could partner with her. This kept on continuing- my Trust building and building and building. It didn't happen magically for me. It happened through a lot of internal work, and through finding supportive networks that helped me challenge those old fears so that I could continue to build that Trust with my child and family.

I now realize that most people who are AP (attachment parents) have a certain amount of Trust with their babies, but then as they age, and become X year old, they slowly loose the trust that they had in/ with their child..... This is so sad for me to hear, because our children never loose that need to have our trust.

I am remarkably grateful and perhaps even lucky that I have a level of trust that enables me to be with my child on her path. This path has brought me an immense amount of inner growth, and an extreme amount of external joy.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Pizza, tic tac toe, football and sculptures, and a few seconds of pontificating on how much i love our life :)

The happenings around here lately......... :)


We went up to Indy last weekend for our 3rd annual Fisher's Ren Faire!
It was one of the coldest days of the year, and was the coldest Fisher's Ren Faire by far (the first year we went it was 40 degrees hotter, a whopping 96 degrees!!!).
I will hopefully be posting some pix from that soon, but in the mean time will post some pix of what we did after the Ren Faire, and subsequent days...

Now.....onto PIZZA!!!!! We went to Unos pizza after the Ren Faire up in Indy and boy did it ROCK!!!!
They had a gluten free crust, and made her a pizza to order. Believe it or not, this was Kathrynn's FIRST PIZZA!!! She's had bites and the occasional piece here and there, but this was the first time we'd been to a place that made gluten free pizzas that she could also order without cheese.
She was soooooo excited by this experience, and Wes and I were equally as excited to be able to be facilitating this experience for her!!! It really felt great to be giving this experience to her. :)






By the end of it, she'd eaten all but a few pieces, and ate another piece on the way home. :)



Tic Tac Toe joy........ One day Kathrynn and I played some tic tac toe while waiting for some food. She made me laugh when she went from making these rather large grids to this VERY tiny grid. I had to take some pix of it bc it was so funny to me! :)




One thing Wes and Kathrynn have in common these days is there love for the Chicago Bears. One day while eating bruch at The Farm for our usual Sunday Brunch, Wes was able to bring up the game on his iphone and BOOM! They had their game on. :)
(if you look closely, you can see his iphone propped up toward the center of the table :P )


They wound up winning that game, so whatever that's worth! LOL :)


The other day Kathrynn came up with the idea for us to make sculptures. We worked on them for awhile and this is what we came up with:
I am feeling rather emotional as I post these pictures, feeling the extreme joy and love I feel for my daughter and my husband. I am full of appreciation for the wonderful moments and creations we share each and every day. Its amazing how something as simple as a sculpture can lead me to feel a sense of awe for how creative and expansive our days can be, without even "trying," and instead by just following our joys of the moment.
<3