Friday, October 26, 2007

10 weird things meme

I've been tagged by Whimsigal!
I'm supposed to share 10 weird things about me.
Hmmm...Here goes...Hope they're weird enough for you! :)

1. My favorite way to pass the time as a kid on my 45 minute bus ride was to calculate the powers of 2 as high as I could go. I have them memorized to a large number as a result. 2,4,8,16,32,64,128,256,512,1024...

2. I'm left handed, but use scissors with my right hand. I got tired of the left handed scissors in elementary school, decided to learn how to use the right handed comfy ones and now I can't cut with my left hand.

3. My whole room at one point was various shades of purple, and it was the best room ever. I hope to have a purple house at some point.

4. My neighbors will probably hate me someday b/c in addition to wanting a purple house, I hate grass lawns. I HATE them. When I have a home that I can, I'm getting rid of the lawn and putting in xeriscaping/gardens/weeds, anything besides grass. My husband wants a small patch, so maybe we'll compromise, but I really hate grass. And the thought of it ticking off stuffy neighbors just makes me giggle.

5. I am irrationally afraid of muddy water and all the invisible creatures in it. I will not go in it, and if the water (re: the beach) becomes too cloudy, I freak out and scream a lot like a girl. I do not enjoy swimming in lakes, rivers, or anything that isn't clear.

6. I taught myself how to hold a pencil (being left handed with right handed parents) and I hold it in such a way that I have a large callus on the front of my ring finger when I write a lot.

7. I want to move to the country and grow all my own food and at the same time, I love the convenience of the city and my computer, and being near people. I don't know if that's wierd, but I needed more for the list.

8. I'm pretty sure I could live off of dark chocolate and orange juice.

9. I was a cheerleader for one football season in middle school. Then I found out I'm not that peppy.

10. After trying to leave Utah as fast as I could for 8 years and not succeeding, I finally succeeded and now I miss it sorta. (Though I love Texas so far.)

I tag:

Amy
April
Ashlee
Libby
Kristi
Linda
Hope

Have fun with it! :)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Fun Filled Family Weekend

We had a great weekend of family fun. We went to the State Fair on Friday for 5 hours, and had a great time. The Texas state fair is HUGE. But pretty awesome. My goal was to eat alot of fun fried food. I succeeded and we saw neat things and overall had a great time. My boys loved the trains, the car show, the parade, the farm animals, the food. Check out some of our photos!

Oh, and the fried cheesecake was the handsdown winner for us in the fried dessert category. The fried sweet potato pie was pretty good too. The fried cookie dough was a disappointment - just a warm uncooked cookie really. Corny dogs are awesome, and a must have. The fried bbq baloney sandwich was good according to DH, but I didn't want to try it. The fried twinkie was REALLY sweet. If all that makes you sick, consider that we only tried a few of the offerings of fried food at the fair.



Saturday night was family movie night, inspired by a friend's post. We made pizza for dinner (a serious enterprise for my DH), I made Caramel popcorn, and we watched Sleeping Beauty and Herbie: Fully Loaded. The boys showed amazing stamina for a long night of movie watching, and I was tired before they were.

Sleeping Beauty is a classic I haven't seen in a long time. We enjoyed it, L loved the dragon, H liked the forest animals best. Herbie:Fully Loaded was a hit with the boys b/c of Herbie being a bug and it was a racing movie. We play "slug bug" in our family, though we don't slug anyone. But the boys like to yell "slug bug blue" or whatever color it is when they see one. Unfortunately, Herbie the car really is a better actor than the main female lead. Oh well. :)

Friday, October 19, 2007

My garden; my life

I love my garden. It is little, but nourishing plants that can later nourish me with their fruits is so fulfilling. Landscaped plants that look nice aren't really my thing most of the time. I do love flowers, beautiful shiny flowers, but only those that I have really chosen, instead of the generic, looks good in a front yard type.

Do you think your garden can be symbolic of your life? I do. (Of course there are limits to all symbolism, just go with me here.) My garden is young and tender, naive and idealistic, full of goodness, in need of regular nourishment, mostly easily moveable, though it would cause some shock to the roots of a few plants.

Here are a few pictures I took of my little garden a week ago. It is growing wonderfully and is A LOT bigger since then, but if I take more pictures, I may never update.



In other parts of my world, we are house hunting. Yes, it appears we will be buying a home in the near future, a scary permanent commitment and adult like responsibility. Never seemed like a big deal before. But I'm trying hard to find the right home for us right now and for the next few years, on a budget, but quickly. How fun. I feel slightly out of control with the lack of knowledge about my future that I have now and so its been a crazy week.

Today has been good so far. I'm striving to find and maintain peace in our current challenges so that my kids will still thrive in this time of change. It's a tricky thing, but I think I can succeed. :)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Raising our Children, Raising Ourselves



Ever feel like a kid still? I know I do. I'd say that's a good thing most of the time. How to become a better parent though? That is a question I think most of us think about a lot.

I am doing a book club with some of my unschooling friends here in TX now and our first book is Raising our Children, Raising Ourselves by Naomi Aldort. We met last night for a night of discussing the first half of the book and having fun. It was a relaxing, good time. And I highly recommend the book.

A few months ago I blogged about Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn. I reported that we had stopped punishments, time outs, threats, counting down, reward systems, etc. And though we slip occasionally, these things are still gone. I'd say its permanent. We are a happier family without them, and our kids are better most of the time. We're certainly not perfect, but life is more peaceful, happier, etc.

So why more parenting books? Well, there are still those moments where I just don't know WHAT to do and I'm losing my patience and control. I don't like falling back on techniques that I know are harmful to my kids. But when you don't have any other tools available, it happens. So we're trying to learn new tools. This book really helps there.

The #1 thing you can do? Bite your tongue and give yourself a minute. Think about what you are about to say. Will it be helpful? Will it accomplish what you want it to? Would you say that to an adult? Etc. She compares it to automatic programs in our brain that start up in situations. She says they aren't necessarily authentically us, but the results of previous experiences. We can hold our tongue, watch the movie in our head and then let it be and turn our attention to our child. Really listen to them and validate what they are feeling. Then empower them to allow them to solve the problem themselves. It is a peaceful approach that involves letting children experience their emotions, and handle them on their own. It really does work too. I doubt I explain it all that well, but I'm still reading and re-reading the book and trying to change.

We need to make peace with the things that were less than perfect in our own childhoods or other relationship experiences. This allows us to not pass on coercive or controlling habits to our own child but learn to love them unconditionally. We can meet their needs, and recognize that their behavior may be the only way that they know to express their needs, and that it can be cured in working with a child instead of doing things to them. In this way, I see this book complementing Alfie Kohn's ideas too.

Anyway, I wanted to share with y'all. What a book. Buy it. It is worth it a million times over.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

San Antonio Part 3


Sea World. The reason for our trip. Do you know they are charging admission to Sea World almost as much as Disneyworld? Thank goodness for Homeschool day and cheap admission. (No rides, but somehow there was enough to do!) Here are a few pictures my friend took for me since my camera batteries died. The kids loved Sea World. The rest of the trip, we played feed the dolphins, sharks, walrus, etc. every night at the pool



The Alamo was our second destination that day. We hadn't gone for new batteries yet, and my friends camera started dying too, so only a few pictures. It was pretty cool. They have lots of gardens, speakers on the stories and history there, a museum of stuff associated with the fights, and more. I was fascinated to go to the Alamo and learn more about it. L & H really liked some of the cool stuff in the museum.

I did manage to get a giant splinter in m fingernail going in the shrine door. When we got it out, it was as long as my fingernail. Unfortunately the picture didn't focus. ;)

Our San Antonio trip was awesome. The relaxed pace to visit 2 things a day, the camping, the swimming every night at the KOA...we had a wonderful time. While it took a few days to clean up and recover from being tired when we got home, I'm already thinking about where we'll be able to go next!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

San Antonio part 1



Sea World, The Alamo, Botanical Gardens Dora & Diego Adventures, The Riverwalk and Natural Bridge Caverns. What a trip! We went camping at a KOA and had a wonderful time with our friends.

There were many more places that looked awesome to visit, but we picked based on preschooler/toddler interest (mostly), and an easy visit pace that allowed us to have an enjoyable time and be happy, sane mothers. (Mostly sane, I don't know how many moms decide to go camping with their little kids without husbands.)

My camera batteries decided to die on Sea World/Alamo day, so I'm still waiting for copies of pics from my friend. But I have tons of pics from camping, the gardens, the riverwalk and the caverns.

I like the slideshow option, it allows me to offer more pics without taking up tons of space. What do you think of them?

Also, did you notice the subscribe option on the sidebar of my blog? Automatic emails with new posts, so you don't have to check 5 times a day for my once a week updates. :) I thought it was a cool idea. What do you think?

I'm only including 2 sets of photos in this post, the camping and the caverns, I'll post again with more...

San Antonio part 2



Dora & Diego's Garden Adventure at the Botanical Gardens was definitely the focus of our visit. But it is a huge garden with lots of other cool things. We saw a chocolate tree (not pictured)! I need one of those...who wants to build the greenhouse? :)



The RiverWalk is in downton San Antonio and is full of restaurants and shopping. Not really little kid territory but we still had fun. Haagen Daas ice cream... mmm.... A boat ride and tour, bridges to cross, things to see, it is really gorgeous. It would make a great couples getaway destination too. :)

Monday, October 01, 2007

Balloon Festival

Picnic lunch and balloons everywhere. What a wonderful way to spend an evening. L & H enjoyed pointing out the colors and running around. We learned a good bit about hot air balloons and had an awesome time.

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