Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Home Buying

Most every one i know is aware that we have been looking at buying a home. We made an offer about 8 days ago and the offer was accepted within 3 hours. The house is simply perfect for us. It is (until we take possession) a 1 owner home that has been well maintained and is very much loved by the family that lived in it for over 30 years.
We had inspections this morning and there are NO termites and only smallish stuff that needs to be fixed (either before or after we move in), no structural or major things to speak of. We get a written/emailed report tonight or in the morning that we will go over with our realtor and determine what we want the current owner to fix prior to closing.
Closing is set for June 19th and i am really looking forward to having our own space and clearing out our storage unit (no more paying someone else to store our stuff and i get to sit on my furniture again).

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Aden's Garage Sale

The other night Aden started stacking a small amount of books on a table. I asked him what he was doing and he said "This is my garage sale for books." He then proceeded to sell me 2 books for (an imaginary) $4 each - being quite the sales person. He said "What can I do for you today?" And "Books for sale!!!" He was really working it, how could i resist buying a couple? I also asked if i could take a picture of his garage sale and of course he said yes. Here is him proudly displaying his books:
And him holding on up saying "Books for sale!"

I think he will come in handy on June 14th when ULSC has their garage sale!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Feeding my OCD Tendencies

I have already written about the Spring Clean at ULSC recently but after that came some organizing that needed to be done. If you know me, you know that i LOVE to organize. Love is not quite strong enough a word but it will have to do. It's like i am in some other world when i am putting things in their place - something about everything having a place just makes me feel better about the world...is it the Universal Order of it all, probably.
Anyway, one of the rooms that needed to be fine tuned was the youth supply room. Last week i worked on it quite a bit and today i worked on it more. I weeded through some supplies we found in the shed and combined them with what we already had. This created the need for new bins or at least to relabel some old ones. I started to just hand write the labels but the Center Administrator offered to type them for me so i took him up on that. What resulted was so great! He and i worked together on relabeling all the bins so now they all have uniform labels that look great. It felt really good to get all that done even though i have quite a bit more things to go through (more time intensive weeding through paperwork type stuff). It just looks so great!!!!!!!!! I might take a picture when i go back up there for a meeting this evening...if i do, i will post it so ya'll can see.
Next week we will work on organizing and labeling the office supply cabinets - you have no idea how much this excites me...lol!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Aden the Hair Stylist

Aden has taken a fascination to fixing Daddy's hair since he found my box of clippies. Tonight he happened across one on our desk and since Daddy was sitting on the bed, he was a prime target for some 'hair fixin.' the pics pretty much speak for themselves...teeheehee:


My First Mei Tai!

Soooo, since i found out about Mei Tai's, when Aden was still 'en utero', I have been searching for the perfect one that doesnt cost a million bucks. Over 3 years later one comes through the BabywearingSwap yahoo group for $50 that looks beautiful via the pics (using the links the previous owner sent me - hope its okay): http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d76/heatherrichard/thbowtai004.jpg
and turns in to a tote:
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d76/heatherrichard/carriers/IMG_0178.jpg

I bought it, with Chet's consent of course, and it arrived today. It is more beautiful than the pictures could ever make it. I tried it on with Aden in a back carry and he loves it too! It is very comfy and even acts as a support for my pregger belly! I am so very excited and grateful! Just need to find out how to make it into a tote and i will be set!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Aden Moment

This morning Aden was watching My Friends Tigger and Pooh and either Tigger or Pooh asked through the TV, "Have any of you lost a tooth or known someone who has?" Aden has recently started answering the TV when the characters talk to 'him' and this time was really cute. He said "Yes, when I was sleeping and it was dark, the wind blowed my tooth out."

He tells really cute stories all the time and i just wish my memory was good enough to share them or at least write them in a book for when he is older.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Where two or more are gathered

This Saturday was a Spring Clean at our spiritual center. The Youth and Family Ministry hosted it (since i am the YFM Director, that means I guided the process) and we had a great turn out. 20 people showed up throughout the day to help and we cleaned out every room and closet we possibly could in 1 day. There are small organizing projects that need to be done but all of the big stuff is done. It never ceases to amaze me that when people pull together for the same cause/goal, major things get accomplished...things that it seems like should take a few days, weeks, months.



I think it has a lot to do with having each other to talk with, bounce ideas off of, or just simply being together. It also helps to motivate us to keep doing. There were several times in the day that i am sure would have been easy moments to just say, "I can do this later" if any one of us were working alone. Having each other around is also better when you have bigger items to move around/carry, of course.



It is hard to describe in words all the things that got accomplished on Sat. - not only the great strides in ridding the center of stagnant energy and creating more usable space - but the respect and admiration and learning more about each other. Near the end of the day it was almost like that feeling you get when you go away to camp, you forge friendships with others then leave knowing that the feeling wont be quite the same next time you see or talk to them but you know there has been a shift. A deepening of of respect, perhaps.

I absolutley love the feeling in ULSC now...I liked it before, of course, but now it is even better. Feels more like a home - an efficient, well organized home. I look forward to getting the smaller projects done over the next few weeks as I know it will serve to deepen this feeling I currently have. Major Gratitude...

Friday, May 9, 2008

Creating More Work for Myself?

I just created a new yahoo group for teens in our area. I resisted doing this because I didnt want to be responsible for another group but I plan to be more hands-off with this one. It will be more member driven. I am not totally attached to this one being an amazing list either. I mean I really want it to succeed and thrive but am not as attached to this as I have been to other endeavors. I look forward to seeing what it becomes...here is the email I just sent out to advertise it:

Due to my search for an active HS Teens group in the OKC metro area not proving fruitful, I decided to create one. Check out the description and join if you feel it fits your needs. If you have suggestions, I am open to them! My vision is that both adults and teens will join and teens will take ownership in planning things they enjoy doing. This is truly meant to be a group for teens, not just parents of teens. If you know a teen home/unschooler or a parent of one, please forward this to them as well.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OAHAT/

The OKC Area – Homeschooling Active Teens (OAHAT) is an inclusive group created for homeschooling/unschooling teens and their parents in the OKC metro (and surrounding) areas that would like to participate in, plan and carry-out activities for teens (ages 11+). This is not a group based in any religious or political view, rather an inclusive group for all who are respectful of paths that may be different from their own. Each person (teen and adult) has a voice in this group because we are all individuals just like everyone else. We encourage all members to plan and host activities of interest to them. It is our hope that the teens are instrumental in planning the things they want to do. If anyone (teen or adult) has an idea of an activity – bring it up in the group (or create a poll) and see who else might want to join in. This is a member driven group – when members plan activities there will be plenty to do. If you think there is not enough to do, plan an activity!Please Note: Introduction questions are required prior to membership approval (remember to check spam/junk/bulk mailbox). New members will be on moderated status for at least the first post in an effort to protect this group from spam or emails based on lack of knowledge or understanding. Once off moderated status we ask that posts be respectful, thoughtful and kind. Keywords: OKC, Edmond, Norman, Moore, Mustang, Oklahoma, home school, homeschooled, teen, teens, homeschooling, teenage, teenaged, teenager, teenagers, homeschooler, unschool, unschooled, unschooling, unschooler

Monday, May 5, 2008

Aden Quote

I just happen to be at the computer when Aden comes in and says "I'm older now, I'm three, I can do anything." Then gets his skateboard and shows me some 'tricks' he can do on it - i wish my camera did video because sooo much is lost in still pictures of action...



Freedom Means Choice

I recently finished a GREAT book! Guerrilla Learning by Grace Llewellyn & Amy Silver. I checked it out because The Teenage Liberation Handbook (TLH) was not available right then and with Seth going to Grace's "Not Back To School Camp" I figured I should read her books. Actually when Seth first started unschooling i checked out TLH but couldn't get into reading it for some reason. Anyway, back to the Guerrilla Learning book...

One of the chapters i got the most out of was the one called "Freedom." I even had Chet read it, which is something i don't normally do because he doesn't like to read. I think part of why it was such a great chapter to me is that freedom is something we are all struggling with right now...both with Seth and Aden, and internally. I have to admit that i underlined (in pencil) some things I want to remember - something i don't normally do in library books - but i will erase them before returning it, promise! I want to share these points with you. Partially as a sharing of view points and what i learned as well as a way to help me retain it :-} Remember this is only a small bit of one chapter of a really amazing book!

Excerpts from Guerrilla Learning's chapter named 'Freedom' - i have added the bold to show the biggest points/trigger words for me:
  • Freedom, as some philosophers have described it, is essentially the freedom to commit oneself, and that is what interests us [for this purposes of this book]: the freedom to choose and commit. ...the freedom to do and be what we can, more so than the freedom from rules and limits.
  • [the typical questions/goals parents have for their children - like "will they be productive adults?" come from fear] The presumption that lies at their heart is: People will be good only if they are forced to be. ...in fact, people cannot be forced to be good. Goodness counts only when it is freely chosen.
  • [Some phrases I want to remember:] "Let me know what you decide and how i can support you." - "We are not willing to pay for __________ that you are not _______." - "I am responsible for your well-being, and I am unwilling to allow you to ____________." - "You made a promise, and I expect you to keep it." (more empowering than "Do it because i said so.")
  • [to parents when picking battles:] You are the only judge of what's important or not. The only rule: Everything can't be important.
  • [to parents on setting limits:] Just make your requirements simple, necessary, and truthful.
  • [to parents on agreements:] If you break a promise to a child, apologize, repair any damage, and go on. If your child breaks a promise to you or someone else, instruct her/him to do the same. You don't have to be upset or disappointed; people do sometimes break their word.
  • [to parents on autonomy:] Don't micromanage every aspect of your child's life. Trust.
  • [to parents on own freedom:] Be conscious of your own freedom. Most of us, overwhelmed by out obligations, often forget that we made choices in the first place to live a certain way. We too easily see ourselves as victims and focus more on the consequences of our choices than their benefits, losing sight of the fact that we face freedom each day: to choose new commitments or make changes in our lives. The more self-aware we can become, the better guides we can be.
  • The reality is: All of us have an inner slug and an inner dynamo.
  • Practice seeing the consequences of "good" choices as well as "bad" ones.
  • Let children commit themselves to their own goals. Then take their commitments seriously, and make it clear that you are available as much as your time and resources allow to provide the child with whatever support he or she wants.
  • The questions is not whether to teach kids discipline but how to teach them discipline, and what costs attend different methods.
  • Offer real choices whenever possible. Real choice means that your child might chose to do nothing. Let your children confront the consequences of their choices.
  • In each case, you have to ask yourself what you're really comfortable with or do what you have to do to get comfortable.
  • Then hold children accountable for the choices they've made - allow them to authentically confront the consequences, when possible. While we do kids a service by holding them accountable to some degree to their choices, we do them a disservice by being completely rigid and inflexible - preventing them from, or punishing them for, quitting. Ultimately, quitting should be an acceptable option.
Next I will read the Teenage Liberation Handbook that has been sitting on Seth's desk since it came in from the library and he has chosen not to read...and that is okay...right?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Update

Well I haven't been feeling like blogging lately. It's almost like I got burned out after March...lol. Seriously, it feels like there has either been too much going on to have time to blog or a lot of nothing to blog about. I am not a good as my friends at picture taking nor as good as them about getting it onto the blog so that makes me not really want to blog - boring to blog w/o pics to share.
We are beginning week 27 in our pregnancy and i am starting to feel big. I find myself not wanting to go through the effort of deciding what to eat, making it and eating it. I would love for good and good for me meals to just appear in front of me without having to think about it. I also long to sleep on my side... Everything else is going well though - my BP is great, my weight is good, baby is wiggling, Aden still talks to it.
Aden is totally into dinosaurs right now and some friends loaned us some great dinosaur books. I plan to get a membership at the Sam Noble Museum within the next week or so - have to drive my booty up there. We tried to watch Jurassic Park the other night because it was on TV but he asked to turn it off - it was too scary for him (i was concerned about that before we started it). I need to check into some dino movies at the library. For Dad/Aden time yesterday they started to go to the zoo but Chet said parking was horrible! So they went to the Myriad Gardens instead. Aden loves to watch the fish!
Seth is getting quite a bit of skate time in and for Mom/Seth time yesterday we checked out the Moore Skate Park. It was okay but not like Mat Hoffman, of course. He did make friends quickly and didn't want to leave when we needed to so that was nice. The skate park is in the same complex as baseball fields and a nice park. We also drove to a few homes we were kind of interested in checking into - our favorite one happens to be right down from the skate park (within walking distance for Seth, anyway) so *if* we move there it will be a bonus that Seth will get to skate every day.
Chet has been interviewing for jobs within Dell and is waiting to see if/which ones he gets offered. Any of them would be a good step for him though all three would be lateral pay moves...just the potential for advancement will be better.
That's about all i have so far...I look forward to next week being a bit more mellow than weeks in recent past.