Thursday, November 29, 2007

brags about maeven


in the midst of a lot of stress and turmoil with maeven lately, i feel i must point out 2 really wonderful moments i had with her recently.

first, we were heading home and were in the parking lot where there's a goodwill store and she BEGGED me to stop and shop for some new clothes for her cuz she REALLY needs new pants (she really does! she has outgrown nearly everything from last year). so i concede because i had been meaning to do that sometime soon anyway and now was as good a time as any. i just had hoped to not have to take tyren with me, but i thought i'd give it a try.

anyway, we get inside and maeven is positively GIDDY looking through the racks and keeps bringing me pants that she LOVES! (most of which wouldn't fit her) and she's just bouncy and giggly and just REALLY enjoying the shopping for new pants, at a thrift store. i love that!

thinking about it later i was particularly proud of the fact that she was so excited about getting "new" clothes that are not new. she doesn't insist on brand new, trendy clothes because she's just not been exposed to that. i'm not into anything trendy (actually i HATE trendy stuff...have always tended to go the opposite of trends, since i was a teen even)...and she's not in school where all the values of other kids families would be bombarding her and conflicting with our family's values...where value is placed on what you wear and how much money you spent on it. i'm not saying that that will never happen with her...she may progress to an age some day where she becomes aware of that sort of value system, but for now she's happily oblivious.

we narrowed it down to 4 pair of pants and she was just ecstatic to try them on and we went to the dressing room where she proudly modeled each pair. she was just so cute!

and in between, when i was scouring the racks some more, i asked her to help with her brother (who i had strapped to a stroller to keep him close at hand) and she happily pushed him up and down the aisles and under racks (carwash!!) and played happily with him to keep him busy. it was a wonderful moment! she was my helper girl again. so nice to see the sweetness coming out. and so nice to see her appreciate used clothes and mommy taking the time to get her something new. it was just so heartwarming! :) i love this little girl!! :)

the second moment happened that same day or the next, can't remember which...when she came with me in the evening to go grocery shopping. left tyren home with daddy. she was such a helper! had her own list she wrote up and insisted on carrying a basket (would NOT let me put it under my cart even when it got heavy with fruit...but then finally conceded when she could no longer carry it, LOL!) she skipped around the store and helped me out tremendously for the whole trip. got a little wild at the end, but nothing too much and she calmed down again and just was really fun to be with. and very proud of being able to help me. i need more moments with her alone like that. making a mental note to set aside more mommy/maeven time (sans baby).

its nice to have had those moments being that we've been at odds so much lately. i won't go into that now because i want this post to be about good stuff about maeven. :) i need to remind myself of this sometimes.

i love that maeven seems to have an appreciation of the fact that we can't buy lots of things (being a one-income family with the one income not particularly high)...she doesn't usually ask for much...and when she does, its not big expensive things. she's ecstatic just getting stickers! i attribute that to the way we are raising her...not having the money to spend on stuff left and right and also the fact that we very rarely watch commercial children's programming (mostly only pbs or dvds/videos)...so she's not bombarded with the advertising to kids that i know many kids get. plus i've trained her from the time she was very little that the commercials are trying to get her to want something...and we've played "what are they trying to get us to buy" game for years. she does watch shows like reality tv shows and such in the afternoon/evening that have commercials but those aren't aimed at kids so they mostly aren't items of interest to her. so she's not saturated in the environment that i think really adds to the "gimme's" not to say she never gets the gimme's ...she certainly does! but its not particularly common.

not only that but i've been trying to instill in her that giving our old and no longer used things away is something that is very special. she's slowly coming around with that...she used to fight giving stuff away tooth and nail (even hated ME giving MY stuff away!) but now she will even come up to me and give me a piece of clothes or an old toy and ask to give it away. i usually have bags by the front door for putting give away stuff in and we are forever culling our stuff and she's gotten better at parting with things. in fact, just before thanksgiving i told her we were going to go through our clothes to find clothes for our friends tiffiny and seren, because tiff had blogged that they were low on clothes and seren is a little younger than maeven so i thought we should offer her all the stuff that maeven had outgrown...and i even went through my closets (which needed culling anyway) and found some stuff for tiff. we always have tons of stuff that, for whatever reason, we just never wear...so we thought we'd share with someone we knew that needed it! and she actually got a little into finding stuff for seren...and has even found some more clothes after the fact to give to seren! (tiff, if you're reading this, i got another bag i'm working on for seren that you can go through sometime. i'll let ya know when its full) anyway, i'm trying very hard to instill giving to my kids (tyren's a bit young still), so this has really made my heart glad to see maeven embracing this value.

there's more i could go on and on about but i digress...my kids need me to get breakfast for them now. :)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

ode to adam

ok its not an ode. but it sounded like a good title.

i had to write a little about my darling husband.

this is a pic i took of him on thanksgiving...see his raised eyebrow? he does that when he looks at me sometimes...that's his sexy look for me. it cracks me up!

things have been really wonderful with adam lately. oh we've had plenty of problems...i'm sure every married couple does. even recently we've had some doozies, i'd say. but all of a sudden we seem to be in a really good patch. we worked through some things and i am reveling in just adoring him again. its SUCH a FANTASTIC FEELING!

you know how when you've been with someone for awhile you no longer fully gaze at them with that tickly feeling in your tummy anymore and you just don't see them the same way? at least, there are patches of that i suppose...well i'd been stuck in that for awhile and i'm happy to say i'm currently out of that rut and really giddy with love for my gorgeous hubby!

i can't keep my hands off him! (and him, me!) and on thanksgiving i felt he was looking particularly handsome and kissable! got distracted by all the family and kids and such but i just wanted to eat him up at times! that pic of him above i took during one of those moments where i just wanted to wrap myself around him and kiss all over his handsome face!

its such a good feeling to really truly love someone. and to not only love them but to like him. this man who so often drives me crazy, also makes me so very happy and makes me laugh and laugh and laugh like no one ever can. he's such a good, kind person and cares so deeply. and he makes me feel so loved and desired and cared for. i couldn't ask for anyone better. i feel so deeply connected to him lately. its a wonderful feeling.

i could go on and on and on about adam. i find myself kissing and hugging him more than ever (and him, me!) lately. its so fun! all this started when he made it known to me that i wasn't giving him enough time and attention...which i wasn't. i get so caught up with kids and all the "stuff" i do that i had put him so low on my list of priorities and that was so unfair to him. good for him for bringing it to my attention! and thank heavens for something clicking in me and allowing me to see what i was missing out on and appreciating him again and really getting that spark back! oh its just marvelous!

i know i'll get overwhelmed again, as always...but hopefully i'll remember to find my way back to this place i'm at right now...and for now i'm reveling in this good feeling. and feeling like we are on our honeymoon again (but with constant interruptions from children, LOL! the other nite our "time together", *wink*, was interrupted no less than 4 times by a waking baby! ARGH! now THAT tests patience and perseverence! LOL!)

anyway i wanted to toot my horn about my marvelous hubby for a bit. i am in a place right now that i could go on and on about him but not many people would want to hear it so i'll just write it here, where i can write whatever i want! :)

i watch a lot of dr phil. i have seen a LOT of dysfunctional relationships on there. it blows my mind how people treat one another. i'm not proud of how i had allowed my husband to become such a low priority in my life, but i have never treated him as badly as some of these families i see on that show, wow! name-calling, for one, or just plain meanness...intentionally saying and doing things that hurt. that's just mind-boggling to me. that's not something that adam and i have ever done and will ever do. we have our moments of lashing out at each other...but the downright nastiness that some couples have for one another is just unfathomable to me! never in my life have i witnessed THAT firsthand, i'm happy to say! not in my parents, and not in MY relationships, ever! i'm very proud of that. my husband would never even think to call me names or intentionally try to hurt me, or me him!

and the yelling and constant fighting that so many children witness. not mine. oh adam and i fight, but not yelling and screaming at each other. and we don't fight every day. we don't always solve things, and we don't always talk kindly to each other...but we are not nasty to each other. thank heavens, even at my maddest, or at his maddest. him especially. he has a lot more patience than i. he tends to stay calm and reasonable when i'm going off. and my going off is pretty mild in the scheme of things. i feel bad about it but then i see some of the maniacs on dr phil and i don't feel like my "losing it" even warrants that term really, LOL!

i'm pretty happy about how this relationship of ours is going these days. and i've never once thought for a minute that we weren't going to make it even when in the midst of difficulties. when the chips are down, adam is there for me like no one else. and always has. and for everyone else in his life too, actually...family, friends, etc. he's such a good person. i can't say that enough.

i may complain about stupid little things with adam that at times might feel large...but in the scheme of things...all the biggies...he's really right there for me.

i just had to gush a little about my adam. did i mention how much i love him? and how loved i feel for the fact that he was so extremely upset by not getting enough attention from me?...i'm so glad! it means he really truly does care about ME! god what a wonderful feeling! i'm so blessed!

Thanksgiving 2007

pics have been uploaded here. it was quite a nice thanksgiving. its taken a few days for me to finally get the pics uploaded to our shutterfly album.

we spent the first part of the day watching the macy's day parade, of course. its a tradition i've been upholding since childhood. i literally get all excited and choked up when it starts! my kids seem to have caught the bug and were hooping and hollering as we cranked up the music of the beginning of the parade as it started! it was so heartwarming to see them enjoying it too! of course, the parade IS long, and as usual, i lose interest before its over...but its fun to have on in the background as we get breakfast and enjoy the beginning of our holiday.

before we left the house we took a little nature walk to the office parking lot about a block away where i knew they had pine trees and collected pine cones for a craft project i intended for after thanksgiving dinner. we actually had a very nice time at this! me and the 2 kids walking happily around the parking lot, finding pine cones here and there (they had obviously cleaned their landscaping recently so there wasn't much) and finally landing upon a corner near a bank that had some great ones that had been missed...and tyren and maeven both so excited with every find. very sweet and fun!

then we were off to nana and bompa's where our friends tiffiny and her daughter seren were already and we enjoyed a very nice, relaxing thanksgiving together. the girls had a lot of fun playing together.
that pic of adam and tyren is tyren saying "cheeeeeese!" and daddy joining in. no idea why tyren felt the need to have his hands like that but it was funny!

then off to adam's sister alisa's house where his family was. a few hours there and tyren had had it, napless as he was. maeven enjoyed playing with cousins but tyren was starting to get more and more difficult to handle. headed out of there and home with tyren falling asleep in the car.

it was a nice holiday.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

affirmation

i was organizing my itunes today and came across a bunch of savage garden songs that i don't even know where i got them (i don't believe i bought them)...and found this song, "affirmation" by savage garden from their album with the same name...i am SO LOVING IT!

i am one of those weirdos that really seriously gets into my music...to the point of literally choking up and getting goosebumps (not joking, i do! real goosebumps) regularly when i hear really good songs like this. the lyrics and melody are just incredible! check it out! and i'm putting the lyrics below too.



Affirmation--Savage Garden

I believe the sun should never set upon an argument
I believe we place our happiness in other people's hands
I believe that junk food tastes so good because it's bad for you
I believe your parents did the best job they knew how to do
I believe that beauty magazines promote low self esteem
I believe I'm loved when I'm completely by myself alone

I believe in Karma what you give is what you get returned
I believe you can't appreciate real love 'til you've been burned
I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side
I believe you don't know what you've got until you say goodbye

I believe you can't control or choose your sexuality
I believe that trust is more important than monogamy
I believe your most attractive features are your heart and soul
I believe that family is worth more than money or gold
I believe the struggle for financial freedom is unfair
I believe the only ones who disagree are millionaires

I believe in Karma what you give is what you get returned
I believe you can't appreciate real love 'til you've been burned
I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side
I believe you don't know what you've got until you say goodbye

I believe forgiveness is the key to your own happiness
I believe that wedded bliss negates the need to be undressed
I believe that God does not endorse tv evangelists
I believe in love surviving death into eternity

I believe in Karma what you give is what you get returned
I believe you can't appreciate real love 'til you've been burned
I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side
I believe you don't know what you've got until you say goodbye(Repeat 2)
Until you say goodbye
Oh no no no no no ( Repeats itself many times fading)

working my way through a migraine

i've never blogged during the aura part of a migraine before...this should be interesting...i cannot see properly right now so forgive any typos. luckily i am a pretty good typer so hopefully this will be coherent.

dammit i have been getting more migraines again lately. it comes in spurts. i am waiting to take a vicodin til i feel the pain coming on...sometimes the pain isn't so bad and i'd rather not waste a pill if i can help it. i don't have that many and with no insurance, i won't be able to get any anytime soon.

sucks not having insurance. i was just thinking the other day how good we are basically doing financially...to that point that we are able to eat out (nothing fancy or expensive, mind you) quite a lot...only because adam and i both HATE HATE HATE to shop for food and cook, bleh. but then i remembered that part of why we are able to afford things is because we only have the one car to pay for cuz our van isn't ours. its my parents and they pay for it and let us use it. and also cuz we don't have insurance for me. the kids have healthy families and adam has health insurance through work, but i don't have anything unless i'm pregnant and on medi-cal. and since that's NOT happening again (just discussing vasectomy again just today actually...something that we are going to for sure do very soon here)...i'm pretty screwed because that's a lot of money to get individual health insurance. argh.

also i really hate to scrape, so we just don't go buying frivolous stuff for the most part...we're not big shoppers...and the only thing we really waste money on is eating out. now that's a lot of waste, but i figure it balances out with the stress it reduces by not making me cook so much. i mean, i seriously HATE to cook.

so anyway, maybe i'm rationalizing, but oh well, that's our life. i do plan to change that soon though cuz i really want us to start saving money and eating better. but i can only handle so many issues at a time so first i want to get through this rebuilding of our big room. the mold is now gone and we have to start reconstruction on the room now.

we'll be replacing the carpet and rebuilding the walls, since half the carpet had to be thrown away and the walls torn apart to get the mold out. insurance isn't paying for much either. still waiting to hear if they might pay for the carpet afterall...the mold guys said that it was ruined actually by the water and wouldn't have been cleanable, but insurance guy heard from the first people to the scene that it WAS salvagable so he didn't give us any money to replace it. well now that that's changed, hopefully he'll change and give us some money for it. we'll see. crossing my fingers over here.

so anyway, i feel like i have to make it through rebuilding this room before i go changing anything big in our life. and changing habits like eating is a biggie, so i'm going to make it through the room rebuild and maeven's birthday party (which is on hold til the room's rebuilt) and then by then it might be xmas, so maybe i'll make it a new year's resolution to get our eating habits changed. gives me some time to work up to it and not stress any extra right now.

i'm also working right now on another holiday hoopla for mommy chats. that's fun but a lot of work, so i need to focus on that because people pay me money to participate as a vendor in that. its dec 2-8 and i have much work still to do on it.

well i have other things i'd like to blog about so i'm going to start a new entry for that.

Friday, November 23, 2007

me need milp

i just have to share what my darling 2yr old just did...i had gotten him a bowl of panda puffs, but didn't yet get him the milk and spoon...so he took it upon himself...

i came into the kitchen to find he had gotten into the fridge and had the rice milk and was putting it on his high chair tray as he says to me "me need milp" (milk) ...and then he goes over to the drawer and says "me need poon" (spoon)

SOOO friggin adorable! LOL!!! i swear i have the cutest and cleverest 2yr old ever! LOL! well of course i do! every mama knows that theirs is the cutest and cleverest, right? ROFL, he's just too cute for words sometimes.

he's been talking up a storm lately...become quite the little chatterbox...even if some of the time we have to really work to figure out his words. he's still not entirely clear on pronouncing things but he has the ability now to say full sentences (well full for him) and express himself quite well! its amusing to us every day! just could eat him up!

and he's the cheeriest and most caring little 2 yr old i know! anyone gets hurt and he's immediately "you otay??" and giving hugs and kisses. and he's always doing something silly to make us laugh. my little comedian. definitely taking after his dah-ee (daddy).

everywhere we go he charms people. unlike maeven, who still is quite shy with strangers...tyren tends to be a charmer. they are both sweet in their own ways...don't get me wrong...my little girl is just friggin adorable too! LOL! i just wanted to toot my horn about tyren for a minute....everywhere we go everyone falls in love with him. not hard to do. people love to run their fingers through his curls. he's finally got a head of hair and its quite curly! so cute!

tyren tends to be very smiley and happy. oh he still drives me nuts with tantrums and incessant requests to nurse and not doing what i want him to do...he IS 2, afterall! but i have to say his personality more often then not is cheery and friendly. he says "he-wo" (hello) to most everyone we see. runs and gives hugs and kisses when daddy or nana or bompa arrive. and he is such a little helper. he actually tends to pick up after himself!! what a shock! he tears through the house, but then he will put stuff away sometimes too and if i ask him to help, he usually does! shocks the hell outta me!

my little imp! this is a very often seen look on his face.


he's just so cuddly and huggy and kissy and adorable and funny! i have to remember that when he's driving me NUTS! LOL!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Bitter Homeschooler's Wish List

From Secular Homeschooling Magazine, Issue 1

1 Please stop asking us if it's legal. If it is — and it is — it's insulting to imply that we're criminals. And if we were criminals, would we admit it?

2 Learn what the words "socialize" and "socialization" mean, and use the one you really mean instead of mixing them up the way you do now. Socializing means hanging out with other people for fun. Socialization means having acquired the skills necessary to do so successfully and pleasantly. If you're talking to me and my kids, that means that we do in fact go outside now and then to visit the other human beings on the planet, and you can safely assume that we've got a decent grasp of both concepts.

3 Quit interrupting my kid at her dance lesson, scout meeting, choir practice, baseball game, art class, field trip, park day, music class, 4H club, or soccer lesson to ask her if as a homeschooler she ever gets to socialize.

4 Don't assume that every homeschooler you meet is homeschooling for the same reasons and in the same way as that one homeschooler you know.

5 If that homeschooler you know is actually someone you saw on TV, either on the news or on a "reality" show, the above goes double.

6 Please stop telling us horror stories about the homeschoolers you know, know of, or think you might know who ruined their lives by homeschooling. You're probably the same little bluebird of happiness whose hobby is running up to pregnant women and inducing premature labor by telling them every ghastly birth story you've ever heard. We all hate you, so please go away.

7 We don't look horrified and start quizzing your kids when we hear they're in public school. Please stop drilling our children like potential oil fields to see if we're doing what you consider an adequate job of homeschooling.

8 Stop assuming all homeschoolers are religious.

9 Stop assuming that if we're religious, we must be homeschooling for religious reasons.

10 We didn't go through all the reading, learning, thinking, weighing of options, experimenting, and worrying that goes into homeschooling just to annoy you. Really. This was a deeply personal decision, tailored to the specifics of our family. Stop taking the bare fact of our being homeschoolers as either an affront or a judgment about your own educational decisions.

11 Please stop questioning my competency and demanding to see my credentials. I didn't have to complete a course in catering to successfully cook dinner for my family; I don't need a degree in teaching to educate my children. If spending at least twelve years in the kind of chew-it-up-and-spit-it-out educational facility we call public school left me with so little information in my memory banks that I can't teach the basics of an elementary education to my nearest and dearest, maybe there's a reason I'm so reluctant to send my child to school.

12 If my kid's only six and you ask me with a straight face how I can possibly teach him what he'd learn in school, please understand that you're calling me an idiot. Don't act shocked if I decide to respond in kind.

13 Stop assuming that because the word "home" is right there in "homeschool," we never leave the house. We're the ones who go to the amusement parks, museums, and zoos in the middle of the week and in the off-season and laugh at you because you have to go on weekends and holidays when it's crowded and icky.

14 Stop assuming that because the word "school" is right there in homeschool, we must sit around at a desk for six or eight hours every day, just like your kid does. Even if we're into the "school" side of education — and many of us prefer a more organic approach — we can burn through a lot of material a lot more efficiently, because we don't have to gear our lessons to the lowest common denominator.

15 Stop asking, "But what about the Prom?" Even if the idea that my kid might not be able to indulge in a night of over-hyped, over-priced revelry was enough to break my heart, plenty of kids who do go to school don't get to go to the Prom. For all you know, I'm one of them. I might still be bitter about it. So go be shallow somewhere else.

16 Don't ask my kid if she wouldn't rather go to school unless you don't mind if I ask your kid if he wouldn't rather stay home and get some sleep now and then.

17 Stop saying, "Oh, I could never homeschool!" Even if you think it's some kind of compliment, it sounds more like you're horrified. One of these days, I won't bother disagreeing with you any more.

18 If you can remember anything from chemistry or calculus class, you're allowed to ask how we'll teach these subjects to our kids. If you can't, thank you for the reassurance that we couldn't possibly do a worse job than your teachers did, and might even do a better one.

19 Stop asking about how hard it must be to be my child's teacher as well as her parent. I don't see much difference between bossing my kid around academically and bossing him around the way I do about everything else.

20 Stop saying that my kid is shy, outgoing, aggressive, anxious, quiet, boisterous, argumentative, pouty, fidgety, chatty, whiny, or loud because he's homeschooled. It's not fair that all the kids who go to school can be as annoying as they want to without being branded as representative of anything but childhood.

21 Quit assuming that my kid must be some kind of prodigy because she's homeschooled.

22 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of prodigy because I homeschool my kids.

23 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of saint because I homeschool my kids.

24 Stop talking about all the great childhood memories my kids won't get because they don't go to school, unless you want me to start asking about all the not-so-great childhood memories you have because you went to school.

25 Here's a thought: If you can't say something nice about homeschooling, shut up!

Monday, November 19, 2007

on this day in 1995

i thought it would be neat to dig out some of my old journals (i've been a journal writer for YEARS and have BOXES of filled journals) and find entries from this exact day of the year in past journals...

so i found an entry for 11/19/95...a little background history on where i was at at that point in my life:

i was living by myself in a one-bedroom apt in sacramento, teaching preschool fulltime (head teacher of the afternoon program at harmony day school) and spending a lot of time dating losers and even more time alone reading books and trying to figure out my life. not a huge social life at that time, but i was actually pretty happy with the way things were for the most part. although i was desperately seeking a real relationship instead of a purely sexual one.

at the writing of this entry my mom was still dealing with breast cancer. i believe she had finished chemo but i'm not positive on that. this entry was just before going on a vacation with my dad and mom to palm springs and i recall that trip being pretty stressful for me because of the health of my mom and i had a ton of migraines during the trip.

so on this day in 1995 (a sunday, at 9:28am) here's some of what i wrote:

"just finished writing my christmas list. i'm asking for alot of stuff for decor. i really wanna fix up my apartment.
i put away alot of clutter yesterday, but i didn't do any cleaning yet. so, today is my major cleaning day. i'm determined to REALLY CLEAN! right now i'm slistening to my new CDs. i bought yesterday a bunch of used CDs. and one new one--"friends" sndtrk. they're all very good. i got--amy grant (heart in motion), jack wagner (new one), bobby mcferrin, frente!, melrose place sndtrk, midge ure. pretty cool!....
...today, my first focus is to clean and organize! ...well, i should probably goet moving and get this day started! i'm pumped to do alot!i just need to go hop in the shower first. bye bye!"

LOL! well, that was probably the last time i actually had so much time to clean and organize, LOL! this was PRECHILDREN, of course, LOL!

it got me curious about whatever else was happening around that entry. reading back a couple days, apparently i was in the middle of this thing with these guys i was involved with. one that was a dear friend that totally ditched out on me when i told him my mom had cancer. he was supposed to come be with me and spend the day with me and i even called to tell him that i was desperately waiting for him to come because i had just found out my mom had cancer and i could really use a friend to just be with me. he never showed, never called and i never heard from him again. this was someone i considered my best friend! i was devastated so at the time of that entry above, i was still smack in the middle of shock over that. (incidentally i reeled over that whole betrayal for years and was still hurting over it when i met adam and finally got up the nerve to call michael, the loser friend, years later and talked to him about it and he apologized but frankly, i don't buy it. he's a loser. i just finally got closure on the whole thing by finally talking to him and telling him how he hurt me).

anyway i also apparently was in the middle of ditching this guy nick i was dating that i was starting to have serious feelings for because he was going back to his ex-girlfriend and i decided i didn't want to share him. that was hard too cuz i was really getting some serious feelings for him and could have seen a future with him. oh well, it was probably best anyway cuz he was my ex-boyfriend's (todd, who i blogged about here and here) best friend. lol ya, it was a really bizarre situation...

in fact, actually, i was involved with all 3 of the guys....nick, mike and todd...all of whom lived together in this house, all of whom were friends, all of whom i dated, with some overlap even. did i mention i was a little crazy back in the day? LOL! i never was really super wild, but those were my wildest years...well i was in the tail end of that when i wrote that entry.

well this has been a fun trip down memory lane. wonder what all those guys are up to now? i know that nick married the ex-girlfriend and they had children together...i know todd married the chick he hooked up with right after we broke up (and actually i always figured he probably cheated on me with her too, but i don't know that for a fact)...mike, i don't know what happened to him. the last time i saw him he has super long hair and adam and i, right in the very beginning of our relationship took a trip up to sacramento for some reason and looked him up and he spent our visit trying to impress us with his singing and guitar playing. i think he was really uncomfortable. at one point he had feelings for me and i was sorta on the verge of that for him, but definitely had deep deep friend feelings for him, as my best friend for a few years...and there was peace between us over the thing with my mom but i think it just was never really fully made right and i never bothered keeping in touch after that. no idea where he is or what he's doing now. and his name is michael martin so not like i can google for him with a common name like that! i know he graduated high school in a town called escalon, but that's about all i have to go on looking him up. sometimes i do wish i could find him though...not sure why but i tend to hold onto friends forever and its hard to let go. even when they hurt me. and i think i can safely say that the way he hurt me was the deepest and darkest betrayal i've ever experienced and it still shocks me to think about.

anyway, back to 2007...

online photos

ok i finally got some online albums up, check them out here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

back from marine world

i will not call it six flags discovery kingdom...it just doesn't stick in my brain. LOL! they need to stop changing the darn name!

anyway, we left sunday afternoon (much later than planned, of course, as always) and stayed overnight at a vallejo motel 6, got up in the morning and went to the park and NO ONE WAS THERE! it was like 9:30am and we thought they opened at 9. so then i was worried cuz we were LITERALLY the first people there and i thought if they opened at 10, that there should be people there! early homeschoolers, people setting up the park, etc...but NO ONE WAS THERE! we drove right into the parking and there wasn't any way to pay for parking cuz of no one there...so my dad walked to the entrance and found some workers finally while we sat in the parking lot scratching our heads and double and triple checking our tickets (yup, right date, but no time on them)...one other family arrived and was as confused as us...they had just heard of it and drove out from sacramento so didn't really know for sure that they had the right day/time either.

finally dad found out that they didn't open til 11. ok so phew! so we were the first ones there. adam ended up having to drive back around to pay for parking when they finally had people at the gates. but we just hung around til they opened, no biggie.

what a fun day though! we talked to a worker there at one point and he said there were like 2000 people there! but they normally have around 5 or 6000...so he was bored, with not much to clean up, lol! they didn't have everything open, but they didn't have a lot closed either...i think they only had one of their big roller coasters open though...so that was probably disappointing to the olders. there were a lot of groups of teens wandering around. i was thinking...how cool that would be for maeven and tyren when they get older. i would feel much much safer with them wandering the park when it was homeschool day, with not so many people there and presumably not all the weirdos that there might normally be. not that there aren't any weirdos that homeschool, LOL! i'm sure there are! there are all kinds of people that homeschool! but i don't know, it just feels safer when its a small private party like that. people that are MY people. :)

dang it! i was going to add some pics to this entry but the stupid rechargables are dead and i don't have any other batteries for the camera. damn rechargables never hold their friggin charge! argh! so much for trying to save the environment!

well i'll post pics later.

anyway...so we spent the day at marine world (six flags) in vallejo and had a blast, as always. tyren was so funny cuz initially he was really scared of the rides. we went straight to thomas town (he's crazy about that train!) and thought he'd be thrilled to ride on thomas but nooooooooooooooooooooooo. he was really freaked out! so i didn't force him and then he watched me and maeven go on harold the helicopter and a bus ride too...did NOT want anything to do with them! but he wanted to stay in the gift shop and play with the thomas trains all day!

so then we took him to their looney tune playground and he played on the structures for awhile and saw the looney tune train go around a bunch of times and finally decided he wanted to go on it. went on it, had a blast, and the rest is history...we went BACK to thomas town (it wasn't far) and he went on thomas and harold and threw a fit when we had to get off!! LOL!

the rest of the day he didn't want to leave anything. had to go on some rides over and over. oh he LOVED the "hoppy frog"...he went on that with daddy while the rest of us watched the tiger show, which he wasn't interested in. then back on it again with me when the show was over...that was a fun ride!

anyway, so we stayed til they closed and just had a really nice time. then the next day we couldn't leave right away to go home cuz the "check engine" light had come on in the van on the ride up to vallejo the first day so my dad had made an appt at a local honda dealer to have that checked out...so the appt wasn't til 1pm so we had to kill time...found a park and played there for HOURS while my dad took the car in. found out that the damn thing was messed up and so we had to get a rental to replace it to go home in. by the time we were FINALLY ready to leave town it was like 5pm. *sigh* so we got home right around 9pm. not too too bad cuz i was worried tyren would sleep the whole way and be up all nite...but he only slept like a little over an hour in the car and then watched dvds the rest of the way.

the kids were all cranky and tired (especially maeven) by the time we got home but went to bed pretty easily in the scheme of things, once we were all happily home. so all in all it didn't go too bad.

glad to be home! but now we have no transportation! the van won't be ready til like thursday, when my dad will have to drive out there to get it back! fun stuff.

and we are back to normal life again and happy to be here. :)

vacations are always fun but always nice to come home from. :)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Another Birthday Song!



thought this was too cute to pass up. there's more of their videos at their website. too cute! tyren absolutely loves these little guys and keeps asking to watch them over and over, LOL!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!

yes, i am 37 today! and its just me and the baby awake right now...my parents called and sang the traditional bday song on the phone to wake me up (but i was already up)...now i'm playing around on the computer til i gotta start getting ready to go on our 2nd annual marine world africa usa (except now its called six flags discovery kingdom but i don't like that name as much) homeschool day trip. very exciting! tomorrow the park is open ONLY for homeschoolers! we had a blast last year and expect to have it again! :)

so watch this silly video of adam sandler's funny birthday song and think of me and how old i'm getting. LOL!



actually i never really feel like i care much about my age...i'm not one of those people that stresses over getting older. never mattered to me. seems silly to stress over your age since you can't do anything about it anyway. *shrug*

Saturday, November 10, 2007

random acts of kindness

i just found this site... and i'm inspired! i stumbled upon it when i was looking for volunteer opportunities in our area...i remembered this was a catch phrase for awhile and wondered what was on the net about it...imagine my surprise when i found an entire organization!

anyway, it started with me reading the ccparent mag article about family volunteering and how rewarding it is. i grew up experiencing this and so i know it to be true...and really want my kids to experience this as well... and i've been trying to think of ways to expose maeven specifically to more acts of kindness, to encourage her natural kindness to come out more... so here we have it!

i got a lot of work to do to organize my thoughts and figure out what we will do...stay tuned! i'm planning some big things! :)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

OMG HYSTERICAL!!!

i gotta get back to life...too many funny things out there!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

dumbing us down pt 1

man! i just finally got this book from the library. "dumbing us down: the hidden curriculum of compulsory schooling" by john taylor gatto. i've been on the waiting list for months so i guess its pretty darn popular.

i think i'll start blogging when i can about it as i go...its a fairly short book but very very fascinating already!

mr gatto was a new york city public school teacher for 26yrs when he wrote the book...and voted the new york state teacher of the year. the book is a serious criticism of the public school system.

his first part of the book, "biographical note", about himself...i found this part really fascinating:

"...teaching is nothing like the art of painting, where, by the addition (emphasis his) of material to a surface, an image is synthetically produced, but more like the art of sculpture, where, by the subtraction of material, an image already locked in the stone is enabled to emerge. It is a crucial distinction. In other words, I dropped the idea that I was an expert, whose job it was to fill the little heads with my expertise, and began to explore how I could remove those obstacles that prevented the inherent genius of children from gathering itself."

i think this is really enlightening! i'm going to try to keep this in mind while homeschooling. pouring knowledge into children, like they are a blank slate, is something that i don't want to get sidetracked into thinking that's what education is or should be about. its one of the problems i think as to why so many children learn so little...at least in comparison to what they COULD be learning, in public and private schools. forcing kids to learn stuff they don't understand or are not interested in. it doesn't stick. so much wasted time because the stuff doesn't stick. i tell maeven all the time...there's no point in reading (or talking to her) about a topic if she's not listening. she won't retain it. on the one hand, i don't feel completely comfortable with her being completely in control of what she learns because i think adult guidance due to life experience is definitely beneficial...but on the other hand, force-feeding information is something i've never felt comfortable with. i think of all the stuff i was forced to learn in my own schooling experience and i know very little of it stuck. wasted time, as i said.

forgive me for scattered thoughts today...i have a nasty migraine...but i really wanted to post about what i'm reading while its on my mind...

anyway...the other reason i think this quote is so telling is because of the response so many people give to moms and dads that are not credentialled teaching their kids at home. for some reason so many people think that one must have this special training to teach. nothing could be further from the truth. in fact, i think its possible that that credential could actually hinder home education. that training teaches the teacher what i call "assembly-line education"...something that is completely not relevant at home. and frankly, i don't think is all that appropriate in public and private schools either, but i digress.

right now maeven is young enough that the topics we are covering are easy for me because they are fairly simple. when she gets to topics i'm not so knowledgable about (actually, the history lessons we are covering are pretty new to me...don't remember learning much at all about ancient egypt and such when i was in school!) i will seek out people to help or i will teach myself. either way, i don't need a credential. i think a teaching credential is a waste of time and money and a lot of stress, if you're not teaching in the public schools. (i can see where it would be useful if you are in the schools though, i just don't agree with it so i would never want to be in the schools.) i decided against getting one a long time ago (i had been going in that direction and changed my mind) and i know a lot of people that are homeschooling their children that have a credential that don't really use any of what they learned, so that kind of contradicts all those people who seem to think you need training to teach children. in fact, there was that article recently that proved just the opposite.

anyway, my kids need me now and i also have more to read in this book...and my head hurts...so i'll write more later. :)

Saturday, November 03, 2007

tidal homeschooling

i've just joined the tidal homeschooling egroup...i had heard about it awhile back and had read a little...it sounded interesting...i'm reading more now...just read this...and i'm very intrigued! what she says makes a lot of sense and really feels like its inline with what i feel. i'm excited to learn more!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Halloween Pics

Here's my cute little unicorn:



and my adorable baby dragon:



And here you can see the back view of their costumes and also Daddy! :)