Tuesday, September 28, 2010

field trip friday

on friday, m and b get to go on a field trip to a raku firing, they have made pieces to take and i can't wait to see the results.  i'm going to show up and take some pics - i'll share them when i have them.  in the meantime, here is a video about raku firing.... very cool.

Friday, September 24, 2010

the gamble


This week was not an easy one, it was filled with big decisions, long meetings that were followed by deep thinking, full moon induced tears AND the kind of parenting that is really hard - saying no because you know it is the absolute right thing to do but knowing it will make your teenager really upset. The kind that leaves you wondering if you played the right card or not.
The Fear: We have always told our kids to be honest, so when he comes to me honestly, with his plans and we say no, will he be honest the next time?
The Faith: When we are honest in return, tell him no, that it's not OK, he hears us, understands our values so the next time he is able to make the decision on his own without needing our guidance. Isn't that the goal by the time they leave our home, to have a foundation and be able to make choices based on that?
The Truth: It would be much easier to just say yes, to not have to argue, not worry if this is the start of a few years of constant battling. If that is the route I take, his foundation is flawed. I am willing to put up with some rough days during this time of his life if it means it will help him be solid later. Sometimes good parenting feels really crummy!

I'm looking forward to the weekend! I have this movie, now I just need to find some time.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

orchard





We have taken the kids to pick apples every fall, today was the day this year. We tried a new orchard (to us),and I think this might be my favorite. It is not one that has many activities for little kids, but it was perfect for the age we have. Cider slushes, picnic tables, ducks and dogs. When the youngest one walked away we thanked the teenagers, they always make these days so much fun for him. They have done this more times than he has, and they could act bored or not interested, but they don't and because they don't, it makes the experience the same for the youngest child as it was for the oldest, and for that I am very grateful. They listened, smiled and told us they still love doing these things. I'll let you know how much they love it when we're all out raking leaves together :)!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cross Country





I love Cross Country - might be my favorite spectator sport: fall weather, winding country courses, extremely supportive fans and kids working so hard and then commenting on how beautiful the course was. A few pics from the meet today.

11


This guy is 11 today. He looked out the window and said, "Oh good, I got a great day!" The sun is shining, it feels like fall - yep, he got a good day. He is an old soul. He brightens a room, his sensitivity is beyond his years,he knocks us out with his humor and he is a good, good friend to his buddies. The thing that bursts my heart wide open is that he still kisses me goodbye every single morning, right out on the blacktop in front of everyone. I see the other boys notice, but my guy wouldn't have it any other way.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

transition


I do this every year, I miss summer with all my heart, I watch my family get back into their routines and I notice changes in each and every one of them. It always makes me wonder how a simpler, slower life would change who we are as a family. The summer gives me a little glimpse, I think we read more, I know we are together more and our days are not as connected to technology in the summer. The changes I notice aren't necessarily my favorite characteristics: one gets moody, another is awfully nervous, one is crazy busy and another is more distant. These things make us work on our relationships, they help us to help each other and they enable growth. I do recognize that and I also recognize that we can't live in a bubble, but wow, this transition time makes me want to pack up, head for the hills and slow down, ease into life instead of the rushing. I read this article recently and it really made me think about this topic... even more than I already was!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

back in the classroom




This year I plan to take more pictures of the children to give to the parents, I think they will love seeing what their children are doing when they aren't with them.
I was in awe of the bravery of one little boy and his mom today as she dropped him off for his first day of school, they have lived in the US for 3 months and do no speak english.... yet. The little boy was so very scared, crying and not wanting to let go of his mother - she felt the same way and then she very bravely kissed him, hugged him and handed him to me. I tried to put myself in her shoes, could I move from here to Korea and be that brave, that trusting? Could I take that leap and do what is so hard even though I know it is going to be important in the long run? All of these parents are doing just that: taking a leap, being brave, trusting.
So this year I'll take more pictures for the parents and I'll put myself in their shoes more often, too.


Friday, September 3, 2010

fire escapes


I parked on the top level of the parking garage the other day, I've never parked up that high and when I got out of the car I took a minute to look around and noticed this fire escape. I have walked down below in this alley many, many times and have never noticed it. I have never known it was there but I am sure the people who live in that apartment depend on it, trust it and are so glad to have it, to know it is there 24 hours each day.
I woke up the next morning and my inbox had an e-mail that had been written in the middle of a sleepless night, by a very dear friend whose heart was aching with worry about her children. My heart ached right along with her and then it hit me, she needed a fire escape, our friendships all need fire escapes. There has to be a part of us that will bolt on and stay there through every storm, it doesn't have to look pretty, but it has to be maintained and it has to be strong. We go along this journey of life with our friends and family and for the most part we all enjoy the ride, but every once in while we need to step outside, look around and make sure we are still carrying a fire escape for each other. And to those of you who are carrying one for me... thank you! I depend on it, I trust it and I'm so glad to have it!