Majestic Heights of Soul Force

Today, we celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday with a couple of videos* specifically tailored for children’s understanding. When we were done, my six-year old announced that he was going to color a picture of Martin Luther King, Jr. Ben joined him in coloring on the living room floor, and I printed out the “I Have a Dream Speech,” to read to them as they … Continue reading Majestic Heights of Soul Force

Gratitude, Grace and Green Beans

The way I am learning to meditate, is to be still and quiet, and allow my mind to settle onto something, whatever it wants to settle onto, and keep breathing. It is a very low-key, no stress kind of meditation. I don’t beat myself up for doing it wrong, because there is no wrong way to do it. I read somewhere that given the opportunity … Continue reading Gratitude, Grace and Green Beans

Bird’s Eye View, Crop Circles and What Aliens Must Think of Us

  Whatever you may believe about the formations of crop circles, whether they are made by pranksters or by some other means; to put any time into studying them, proves they are not easy to dismiss as silliness. In the book, Sacred Geometry, by Stephen Skinner, the author shares that most crop circles are based entirely on Euclidean geometry. A quick Google search of the phrase crop … Continue reading Bird’s Eye View, Crop Circles and What Aliens Must Think of Us

Here’s to Hilarious Late Night Snacking

We were out later last night than ever before, I’m pretty sure. Somehow after our afternoon chores, we ended up going out to our Goat Mentor’s place – way over in Applegate. It is always a several hour adventure to get there, up the crazy bumpy driveway, deal with the pack of dogs, get to the barn, pick up supplies, hug Sue a few times, … Continue reading Here’s to Hilarious Late Night Snacking

Lucy, Ethel, Conveyors of Chocolate and Family Mechanics

We started with Dessert First, because Bean won a Gift Certificate to Dairy Queen from our local Credit Union. He had answered the kid’s quiz about which Presidents were on which bills. He was very proud to be able to take his brother and I out for ice cream on his very own little credit card. Over dinner, tonight, Bean said something hilarious, and Ben mimicked … Continue reading Lucy, Ethel, Conveyors of Chocolate and Family Mechanics

“We are all, Despite Ourselves, Drenched in Narrative”

  “Long, long ago, in a village far away…” And so begins a story, that holds our attention all through dinner. Benjamin, my 8-year old, told a story that he’d heard at school, with such skill that I was on the edge of my seat, wide-eyed and crying at one point. Such heroism. Such love. He just waited patiently for me to stop blubbing and … Continue reading “We are all, Despite Ourselves, Drenched in Narrative”

Victory Speeches – Including Everyone in the Win

The plan was to look at Oxymorons because they are hilarious. However, the best thing about our outlook on learning is that we can change on a dime based on the interests of the kids. Ben’s mini-bike underwent some modifications and enhancements over the weekend, which allowed him to go faster and jump higher. When he and his dad stopped at Motorcycle Madness over the … Continue reading Victory Speeches – Including Everyone in the Win

The Red, Black & White I was not Expecting This Season

Over dinner tonight, I was informed that the boys had been watching The History Channel‘s show, American Pickers, and were introduced to a flag with a Swastika on it. Sharp intake of breath. My husband explained that he paused the show and had a teachable moment with my 5- and 8-year old to explain (again) the idea of planting seeds of hate vs. planting seeds … Continue reading The Red, Black & White I was not Expecting This Season

The Boys Want Stories of The Days They Were Born

We started our dinner out with a question from Ben. He asked “If having a baby is the most painful thing a woman can do, what’s the most painful thing a man can do?” Scott started with a very respectful and cautious answer about how men can never fully understand it all, but they can offer support and love through the whole process. But then … Continue reading The Boys Want Stories of The Days They Were Born

Jam Jar Half-Full or Half-Empty and Computer Malfunctions

We have done a lot of canning this year. Mostly tomatoes and various sauces, because we ridiculously-over-planted tomatoes, by about 40 plants. Yes. We have 48 tomato plants, and I wouldn’t be surprised if our skin tone took on a slight ruddiness after winter and all our put away tomato products! We also did Blackberry Jam, which is easy. You can just turn the jar … Continue reading Jam Jar Half-Full or Half-Empty and Computer Malfunctions

And just like that, we are talking about Slavery around the dinner table.

These topics come up because of something Ben is learning in school. Part of me wishes they would give us some warning. But then I realize that if they left it up to group rule, our poor kids wouldn’t learn anything, because adults would argue over when it’s appropriate to bring up certain topics. Ben, in 3rd grade, was learning the story of Harriet Tubman, … Continue reading And just like that, we are talking about Slavery around the dinner table.

It turns out, I am not Cool Enough to Duct Tape my Glasses

I am allowed Scotch Tape, and that is all. This is as a safety precaution, to protect me, so says my husband, my 4-year old and my 8-year old. They decided this amid howls of laughter, as my husband described what could happen if I were allowed access to Duct tape. They would come home to find me stuffed into the middle of a giant … Continue reading It turns out, I am not Cool Enough to Duct Tape my Glasses

Operation: Get to Know our Military

Last night I had a mini-meltdown over the topic of discussing war with my kids. Some great ideas came from visitors to the blog while I slept. This morning, I want to look at the whole idea from a completely different perspective. Last night, and even over the weekend, I was melancholy over the sad and tragic parts of war. I have to remember that … Continue reading Operation: Get to Know our Military

The Many Shades between Right and Wrong, and How do we Talk about War?

Is it ever too early to broach the subject of peace? After watching a WWI Flying Ace movie over the weekend, dinner conversation tonight drifted into the idea of immortality. We have talked about Legends, and Icons and the idea that Heroes are Remembered Forever, but Legends Never Die. We have talked about artists and musicians and great people throughout history who are considered legends. … Continue reading The Many Shades between Right and Wrong, and How do we Talk about War?

Canning Tomatoes, while being Lost in Paris most of the Day

Saturday Night we watched a movie with the boys called Flyboys, about American pilots flying for the French in WWI. It mostly focused on the flying, but there were moments that showed the devastation of war, the displaced families, the star-crossed lovers and the heartbreak of it. The boys missed most of that, but it clung to me as I was picking tomatoes on Sunday … Continue reading Canning Tomatoes, while being Lost in Paris most of the Day