Monday, September 29, 2008

I sure hope so... the Daily OM

September 29, 2008
Social Interactions With Heart
Aries Daily Horoscope
You might find it easier to relate to other people today, particularly in social situations, and this could put you in a friendly and outgoing mood. This ability to interact with others may stem from your desire to put people at ease in social situations and make the time they spend with you much more interesting and treasured. One way to connect with people in an even deeper way could be to extend your love and compassion to them through metta, or loving-kindness meditation. While with others today you can wish that each person you encounter finds unlimited comfort and happiness. Offering your love to those around you in this way could smooth the progress of all of your interactions by making them not only fun and social but also meaningful and significant.

Through loving-kindness meditation, we can bring a more loving level of interaction to our social relationships. Even though it can be fun to go out and simply spend time with others in social situations, such relationships can also be one-dimensional. Being social, however, doesn’t mean having interactions that are only on the surface; we can also have connections that have greater meaning for us. Loving-kindness meditation is one such way to make our social interactions something that we can treasure, allowing us to share not only our sense of fun with others but our love and understanding as well. Relating to other people through your heart will infuse your interactions with openness and genuine pleasure today.

Friday, September 26, 2008


JOELLEN CHAMBERLAIN Friday, September 26 4:41 p.m.
JOELLEN MARIE CHAMBERLAIN May 12, 1943 ~ Sept. 23, 2008

Joellen Marie Chamberlain was called home to be with the Lord on Sept. 23, 2008. She was born to Wilber D. and Ellen F. Gibson on May 12, 1943 in Los Angeles, CA. She moved to Vancouver, WA as an infant. She graduated from Hudson's Bay High School in 1961. Since then she has been a vital part of planning their class reunions. After having started her work career at Joe Brown's Cafe at the age of 15, she worked her way into a management position at Kentucky Fried Chicken, which she used as spring board to become the C.E.O. of Oregon Rail Federal Credit Union in Portland, OR where she retired after 25 years of dedicated service. Joellen was a member of the Vagabonds Skate Club. She was also a member of The Red Hat Society and attended many of their functions.

Joellen came from a very large family where it is a common belief that she was the binding thread between generations. She will be deeply missed by all.

Joellen is survived by her only son, Troy Sharp and wife, Shaun, of Vancouver, WA; her mother, Ellen F. Gibson, of Fremont, MI; sister, Cheryl K. Riley (Rick), of Wamic, OR; sister, Zanita V. Beecham (Jay), also of Fremont, MI; and two honorary daughters, Kimberly M. Sayer (Tommy) and Laura "Bead" Wellwood, both of Vancouver, WA. She was preceded in death by her loving husband, Jerome F. Chamberlain; her father, Wilber D. Gibson; and brother, David K. Gibson. A Celebration of Life will be held at Evergreen Staples Funeral Chapel at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 3, 2008. At Joellen's request, a party will immediately follow, at the same location.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Blackberry Jelly!

My Mom came over today. All day today we (My Mom, Bill and I) made blackberry jelly from the blackberries that Bill and my Dad picked. I ended up mostly helping clean, organise and help the kids stay happy and Mataya get a nap. We have never canned before so it was a learning experience. Then my Dad came over and we all had dinner together. Will post pictures soon. Now to just figure out how to can more and do it without so much sugar.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

How to Choose a Guardian for Your Child

Friday, September 19, 2008



Just a vent...

I just need to vent...

I am so fing tired of being treated like crap by my sister especially when I am trying to help. I just can't think of a NVC way to handle things right now and I just need to get the mad out.

I tried to call her to respectfully offer help with the whole pregnancy thing (offering to fix meals, clean her house, help with her 2 year old) and she gets off the phone quickly saying can I call you right back something happened to her two year old.

Does she call right back? NO so I wait. And then I call and leave a message and wait then I send an email and wait. My Mom has been trying for 2 days to get a hold of her... nothing. 24 fing hours later she send us an email. basically saying don't call me I'll call you. we are all OK!

I am just really tired of offering help to her because she has a high risk pg and then being treated like crap. You know if you don't want help then just say so just don't treat me like crap and then decide you want me at your every call to watch the 2 year old and say it is all because of the pg. She has been like this all our adult life so no nothing new here just tired of the crap and I feel like I need to be there for here and help her because of the pkd and high bp and possibly the pre-e.

I love her and I really wish things were different. I really wish we communicated better. I really hope nothing happens to her.


Sandra Dodd's collection of Unschooling Wisdom:

Joyce Fetteroll's collection: JoyfullyRejoycing

Discussion board:

Great parenting wisdom from an Unschooling Dad, Scott Noelle:
EnjoyParenting be sure to subscribe to
his Daily Groove

Discussion Group for Unschoolers (directed at experienced unschoolers
who want discussion, not support):

Unschooling conferences: (both have discussion groups on yahoo, as well)
Live and Learn
Life is Good

Unschooling Blog Ring:

Unschooling Voices-Unschooling Voices is a monthly collection of blog
posts on the topic of unschooling.

Connections-ezine of unschooling and mindful parenting

Life Learning Magazine-inspiring families around the world who learn
without schooling.

Live Free Learn Free magazine-magazine for unschoolers and other
natural learners

Oh, and the newest! UnschoolingAmerica-Freedom To Learn With Liberty
and Justice For All

Christians can & do Unschool!

And there's a big book called Christian Unschooling, by Teri Brown and
Alissa Wahl. You can do a "search" inside it on the Amazon site - just
click on the picture of the book to get to the search box.

Here are some more - these all from the Natural Child Project:

Unschooling articles:

A pre-order for the "Unschooling Unmanual":

The Natural Child:Parenting From the Heart (book on attachment
parenting and unschooling):

Parenting A Free Child: An Unschooled Life

Recommended Books for Unschoolers:

Albert, David Homeschooling and the Voyage of Self-Discovery:
Aldort, Naomi Raising Our Children; Raising Ourselves
Aron, Elaine The Highly Sensitive Child: Helping Our Children Thrive
When the World Overwhelms Them

Berends, Polly Whole Child/ Whole Parent
Chapman, Gary and Ross Campbell The Five Love Languages of Children
Cohen, Lawrence Playful Parenting
Coloroso, Barbara Kids Are Worth It
Diamond, Patti Life Long Learning
Dyer, Wayne W. What Do You Really Want for Your Children?
Faber & Mazlish How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids
Will Talk

Faber & Mazlish Siblings Without Rivalry
Fitzenreiter, Valerie The Unprocessed Child: Living without School
Gatto, John Taylor Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of
Compulsory Schooling

Gordon, Thomas Parent Effectiveness Training
Greene, Ross The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding
and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children

Griffith, Mary The Unschooling Handbook
Hirschman, Jane and Lela Zaphiropoulos Preventing Childhood Eating
Problems: A Practical and Positive Approach to Raising Children Free
of Food and Weight Conflicts

Holt, John Learning All the Time
Holt, John How Children Fail

Holt, John Instead of Education
Holt, John Escape From Childhood: The Needs and Rights of Children
Holt, John Teach Your Own
Holt, John How Children Learn
Hunt, Jan The Natural Child: Parenting from the Heart

Juul, Jesper Your Competent Child: Toward New Basic Values for the Family

Kabat-Zinn, John and Myla Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of
Mindful Parenting

Kashtan, Inbal Parenting from the Heart
Katie, Byron Loving What Is
Kimmel, James What ever happened to Mothers (available online at

Kohn, Alfie Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars,
Incentive Plans, A's, Praise, and Other Bribes
Kohn, Alfie No Contest: The Case Against Competition
Kohn, Alfie Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and
Punishment to Love and Reason

Kranowitz, Carol Stock The Out of Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping
with Sensory Integration Disfunction

Kream, Rue Parenting a Free Child
Kurcinka, Mary Raising Your Highly Spirited Child
Kurcinka, Mary Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles
Leo, Pam Connection Parenting

Luvmour, Josette Natural Learning Rythms: Discovering How and When
Your Child Learns

Rosenberg, Marshall Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life
Rosenberg, Marshall Raising Children Compassionately
Smith, Frank The Book of Learning and Forgetting
Sweet, Bill and Win Living Joyfully With Children
Wallace, Nancy Child's Work

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Is five too soon to start school?

Naomi's Reflections

One of the greatest causes of suffering is making choices from a place of attachment to a specific result. If I must have what I want I have no choice at all. No freedom. I am a prisoner of that attachment over which I have no control. I also miss on opportunities that lie outside these wants. For example if you planned a day in the sun on the beach and it is unexpectedly raining, you can be upset and teach wanting what isn't. Or you can spare yourself the pain by choosing and loving an indoor day that day. Your child will learn from you to flow with reality.

Children demonstrate to us the process of becoming attached and the pain it causes. Your child cries because he wanted to sit by the window on the train and there are no window seats. Or, he screams when the tower falls or the banana breaks. You stay calm. You have a larger view. You know she can to have a wonderful time either way. You know that however it is, is reality to cherish.
Be your own teacher. Borrow the "you" that knows to stay peaceful when that banana breaks or the tower falls. Borrow it for yourself, when you are the one displeased with your choice or with your child's choice of behavior; when you expect a different behavior, or a different outcome.

To borrow your peaceful equanimity you must learn to be peaceful first. Your child learns to want what isn't from your demonstrations. If you fall apart with your child's fallen tower or not having a window seat, then both of you drown together in painful emotional illusions. No one is out of the water offering a hand to the child if you go down with her. To assist her, stay out of the "water" by showing with your own behavior how to choose what is. Peaceful children have learned to flow with what is. Show her child how to choose freely; not by following the mind's dictatorship (I must have...) but by noticing reality and loving it.

"But, shouldn't I be proactive in creating my and my child's reality?" ask many parents. Yes, be proactive. Create, nurture, provide and prevent. And then when the results come in; choose what comes. You may enjoy it as is, or you may respond by making adjustments. Then again the next results come in and you respond peacefully and effectively because it is always the perfect result and propelling the next proactive step peacefully.

We create and then what comes is rarely what we intended. Being attached to our ideals of how things "should" be hurts and brings us stress and disconnection from our loved ones. "My child should sleep better," "she shouldn't grab the baby's toys," "he shouldn't hit" "he should listen to me..." are all expectations for reality to be other than how it is. When we follow these expectations we lose sight of reality and miss its beauty.

For example, if I believe that my child shouldn't hit, I lose sight of why she has a valid reason to hit. I can only help her when I find out what drives her to hit over which she has no control. I stop her hitting, but I don't scold her, rather I find a way to abolish the cause of her drive to hit. I choose love every single step of the way. I choose peace and I trust my child's innate wisdom to act on her own behalf.

©Copyright Naomi Aldort
With love,

Naomi Aldort

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Finding Another Vantage Point

September 16, 2008
Hidden Treasures
Finding Another Vantage Point
The ocean can look very different, depending on whether you are standing at the shore, soaring above in a plane, or swimming beneath its waves. Likewise, a mountain can look very different relative to where you are standing. Each living thing sees the world from its unique vantage point. While from your window you may be seeing what looks like a huge shrub, a bird in its nest is getting an intimate view of that tree’s leafy interior. Meanwhile, a beetle sees only a massive and never-ending tree trunk. Yet all three of you are looking at the same tree.

Just as a shadow that is concealed from one point of view is easily seen from another, it is possible to miss a fantastic view. That is, unless you are willing to see what’s in front of you through different eyes. Seeing the world from another perspective, whether spatially or mentally, can introduce you to all sorts of hidden treasures. The root of the discovery process often lies in finding another way of looking at the world. The common human reaction to insects is one example. Spinning its web in a dark corner, a spider may seem drab, frightening, and mysterious. But seen up close weaving silver snowflakes between the branches of a tree, they can look like colored jewels.

Sometimes, there are experiences in life that from your vantage point may seem confusing, alarming, or worrisome. Or there may be events that look insignificant from where you are standing right now. Try seeing them from another point of view. How does the situation look now? Try burying your face in the grass and looking at the world from a bug’s vantage point. Explore your home as if you were a small child. Take a ride in a small aircraft and experience the world from a bird’s eye view. Just as kneeling down or standing on a chair can help you find a lost object, so can seeing a broader or the more focused picture help you find wisdom or hidden treasures. In doing so, you’ll experience a very different world.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Green sprouts

We went to green sprouts fest. And Bill was so sweet to watch the kids so I could look around.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Benefit of the Doubt

THE DAILY GROOVE ~ by Scott Noelle

:: The Benefit of the Doubt ::

Have you ever been upset with someone for doing or saying something, only to realize later that you had misunderstood them, and you wished you'd given them "the benefit of the doubt"?

Truth is, everyone deserves that benefit, because ALL upsets are misunderstandings born of conditionality.

And no one deserves that benefit more than children.
The younger they are, the more their words and actions are merely "experimental," or rough approximations of things they've observed. They're trying to figure out how life works.

When you give them the benefit of the doubt (for example, by not taking it personally when they experiment with unkind words they've heard others use), children learn that their relationship with you is a safe place in which to grow.

And you benefit yourself, too, because you're doubting your "reason" for being upset. With no such reason, you're left with the simple pleasures of inner peace, heart-felt connection, and appreciation of Life's endless unfolding.

Feel free to forward this message to your friends!
(Please include this paragraph and everything above.) Copyright (c) 2008 by Scott Noelle

Article I wrote for a Newsletter...

When I became a parent I started to question everything. None of the parenting books and websites out there felt quite right. They were full of advice that ran against my instincts - the cry it out method for sleeping, drugs for reflux, drugs for anything for that matter, timeouts for kids as they get older, labeling, fear, coercion, guilt, manipulation, shaming, threats, counting, charts, yelling, oh and spanking. None of this has ever felt right to do, so I started to research alternatives to find guidance on what was in my heart and my mind and what did feel right.

I would say our parenting philosophy is based on the belief that ALL people deserve to be treated with respect, including our children. With this in mind I think first about whether what I am going to do or say to my child is something I would do or say it to my Significant Other or my own parent? If the answer is no, then I try to think of a different way of doing things based in love and connection, working with them instead of against them.

I believe every moment with my children is a teaching moment. So what I do or say to my child, what I model for my child, is what they learn to do or say in return If I were to hit them, I'd be teaching them to hit when someone doesn't do as they want. Another example that just came up recently is “bad words”. Are they really bad words, and if they are, then why is it OK for adults to say them but not children? Would you wash an adult's mouth out with soap? No? Well then why wash a child’s mouth out with soap? Why not just not make a big deal out of it and give them a better word to use? I might say, “Yes, it is ok to be angry, but here is a better word than the word you used.” Our children are new on our planet, in our culture, and need a guide, not a jailer –I strive to teach them and support them rather than punish them! If I treat them with love and respect, then, over time, as they are developmentally able, I feel confident that they will learn to have love and respect for everyone, including themselves. Children have really big thoughts and feelings and they are very valid thoughts and feelings. I try to connect and understand and validate, rather than discipline or judge. A quick quote that has really stuck in my mind is, “connect before you direct” as said by Gordon Neufeld. That connection can make the need for traditional forms of discipline unnecessary, as true connection brings greater cooperation.

I also try to find the yes in everything even if the answer is “no”. For example, it is 8 at night and my son wants to go to the park. I first validate his thoughts and feelings of wanting to go to the park and then I say yes we can go to the park right after breakfast tomorrow. And I do follow through! If he says he wants to go right now then we talk about the park rules of being closed after dark and some safety ideas and also try to find an alternative thing that will fulfill the park need right then. When I am able to move past “yes” or “no” and to think outside the box, other solutions, much better solutions, tend to present themselves. I have found more creativity in myself in the last year than I thought I ever had. It is really refreshing and we all have more joyful days in our family than frustrating days.

Speaking of creativity or doing things differently I believe you really have to connect and get to know your child as an individual. Every child is different. One child may need more snacks or sleep than another child, another they may need more quiet time or really big spaces to feel free and move. It is all about being creative and finds ways for our children to be who they really are and not who we want or need them to be.

I find joy in my day with my kids even when they are fighting and screaming. Yes I do get on edge sometimes and even feel like I might lose it. But think of it this way - if I did not have kids there would be no sound of children - happy or sad. I truly believe that if everyone in our world prioritized connection and respect, rather than power and obedience, the impacts would be far reaching - there would be no war - instead there would be an abundance of peace and joy.

A Quote from Pam Leo on connected parenting, “Connection parenting is an ideal, a navigation star we can look to for guidance. Whenever we question how to respond to a child we can ask ourselves, will this response create a connection or a disconnection. We feel connected when we feel listened to and loved. We feel disconnected when we feel hurt and unheard.”

Here are some great websites that I have found very helpful.

Happy Birthday and Anniversary!

Happy Birthday Grandpa Owen! Happy Birthday Mom! Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

2 year check up

Took Mataya to the Dr. and she had her 2 year old well child check up. No shots. She is well! She is 35.5 inches tall and 29 lbs.

When did the world stop turning?

Do you remember where you were?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


The last two days Dylan has been going to the bike/skate park by our house and having a blast riding his bike in the bike park. It is so hard letting go. I love watching him ride and how much fun he is having. But I am a little concerned about all of that cement! He has already taken a few nasty spills but he just goes back for more.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Struggling School-Age Boys

Struggling School-Age Boys
A new study says parents are right to worry about their sons.

Peg Tyre
Newsweek Web Exclusive
Updated: 1:10 PM ET Sep 8, 2008
Every other week it seems a new study comes out that adds to our already-formidable arsenal of parental worries. But even by those escalating standards, the report issued last week by the federal government's National Center for Health Statistics contained a jaw-dropper: the parents of nearly one of every five boys in the United States were concerned enough about what they saw as their sons' emotional or behavioral problems that they consulted a doctor or a health-care professional. By comparison, about one out of 10 parents of girls reported these kinds of problems. (See the study here.)

The report confirms what many of us have been observing for some time now: that lots of school-age boys are struggling. And, parents are intensely worried about them.

What is ailing our sons? Some experts suggest we are witnessing an epidemic of ADHD and say boys need more medication. Others say that environmental pollutants found in plastics, among other things, may be eroding their attention spans and their ability to regulate their emotions.

Those experts may be right but I have another suggestion. Let's examine the way our child rearing and our schools have evolved in the last 10 years. Then ask ourselves this challenging question: could some of those changes we have embraced in our families, our communities and our schools be driving our sons crazy?

Instead of unstructured free play, parents now schedule their kids' time from dawn till dusk (and sometimes beyond.) By age 4, an ever-increasing number of children are enrolled in preschool. There, instead of learning to get along with other kids, hold a crayon and play Duck, Duck, Goose, children barely out of diapers are asked to fill out work sheets, learn computation or study Mandarin. The drumbeat for early academics gets even louder when they enter "real" school. Veteran teachers will tell you that first graders are now routinely expected to master a curriculum that, only 15 years ago, would have been considered appropriate for second, even third graders. The way we teach children has changed, too. In many communities, elementary schools have become test-prep factories—where standardized testing begins in kindergarten and "teaching to the test" is considered a virtue. At the same time, recess is being pushed aside in order to provide extra time for reading and math drills. So is history and opportunities for hands-on activities—like science labs and art. Active play is increasingly frowned on—some schools have even banned recess and tag. In the wake of school shootings like the tragedy at Virginia Tech, kids who stretch out a pointer finger, bend their thumb and shout "pow!" are regarded with suspicion and not a little fear.

Our expectations for our children have been ramped up but the psychological and physical development of our children has remained about the same. Some kids are thriving in the changing world. But many aren't. What parents and teachers see—and what this government study now shows—is that the ones who can't handle it are disproportionately boys.

Some researchers responded to last weeks' study by calling for more resources for more mental-health services for children—especially males. That's an admirable goal. But when nearly one in five boys has such serious behavioral and emotional issues that their parents are talking it over with their pediatrician, you can bet we are facing a problem that requires a more fundamental change in our society than medication or weekly therapy. Let's take a moment, before the school year gets any farther underway, and ask ourselves whether we are raising and educating our boys in a way that respects their natural development. And if we are not, let's figure out how we can bring our family life and our schools back into line.

This is one study that we ignore at our peril.

Peg Tyre is the author of "The Trouble With Boys: A Surprising Report Card On Our Sons, Their Problems at School and What Parents & Educators Must Do," which is being published this week by Crown, a division of Random House. She can be reached at


Monday, September 8, 2008

Just helping

or so I thought! Remind me not to help grumpy old people that really don't want help anyway. Sad really just sad. I guess it is a fine line between being helpful without being asked and just waiting for people to ask for help when they really need it. That is all I will say for now on the subject.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Who am I?

You know I am tired of living in fear, fear of being myself or I might piss someone off. Well I happen to like me! I happen to really like who I am and what Bill and I are doing for our family. Sometimes I feel like I don't fit in anywhere. I have one kid that hardly ever wants to go anywhere and has a hard time warming up to new people and another that would just love to run skip jump and climb everywhere. I sometimes feel like I am not this enough or not that enough or too much of that or too much of this. I really just want to be to be who we are to be where we are with no fear.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

It is just a word...

Really, all words are just that, words! It is the individual who make a big deal out of a word. So why is it OK for an adult to use "bad words" but not children? I say soap to everyone! Everyone who thinks a bad word, who says a bad word.... really, now I guess we would be going through a lot of soap. OK, so what is the difference between poop and crap? And did you know you can't spell around my kids? Dylan knows c-r-a-p is crap! And Mataya, well she goes around saying b-o-o-b! So there you have it they are just words.

So, the next time you find yourself getting mad at a child for using language you think is inappropriate, just think, well I can get the soap or get mad at them or I could say hey here is a better word than the one you used. AND think before you speak! Especially around children! If you are going to get mad and let the c's and s's and f's and d's fly well don't be surprised if you hear them from the little mouths who have big ears.

Really they are just words and the more power you give to them the more power they have to everyone! So Either use "good words" or shut the f___ up!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A little bit of everything.

What did we do today to save money... cooked beets that we grew and saved the water for a project. cooked tomatoes down for sauce. picked blueberries at Mom and Dad's, did a lot of yard work by ourselves, ate breakfast and lunch at home.

What did we do today that did not save money... we went out to eat for dinner.

What did Dylan do today? eating, drinking, watched cartoon, played computer games, lots of reading, lots of bike riding, helping us dig, swimming in Grandma's hot tub, played with his sister, and they both did a lot of bouncing, dancing and jumping.

I also made some more calls regarding Dylan's orthodontics and Bill worked off and on throughout the day.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Happy Not Back To School Day!

Yes, we watched all of the neighbor kids get on the big yellow bus today then we had crepes and blueberry french toast for breakfast. It is a beautiful sunny day and we are having fun. Learning through life.

We also went and picked up a big box of fruit from the Portland green parenting group. Thanks Rebecca for all you do! You are awesome!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

2 GOING ON 16!

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Bill paying day... so much fun. Well not really but we are truly blessed that we are able to pay the bills. Now we are working very hard to not only pay the bills but get out of debt. it will take time but it will happen!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Happy September!

Happy Labor Day and Happy September! Warm days and getting cold nights yes it is September. Our garden did not do as well as we would have liked this year. Tomatoes coming on late and the lettuce and spinach came on a little and then bolted. So we are rethinking things for next year. I found someone on Craig's list with bricks, Bill went to pick them up and got one load but they are not really what we want. They really need to be cleaned up and they are not very heavy. We might use some of them but we really need something heavier to do the job. The kids and I also went to the store for groceries and such. It was a good time not much fighting between them this time and I was able to stay present and find creative ways to make the trip more enjoyable.