Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Time Passing, Passing Time

The project on the kitchen counter right now is root beer. Munchkin boy has been talking about Ginger Bugs and fermentation and he filled the house, this past weekend, with a smell that carried me back to Boothill Museum in Dodge City where you could take a seat at the bar and order a sarsaparilla.

The project on the kitchen table involves black spray paint, old photo frames that now look shiny and new, and covers of classic books. Munchkin #1 has been redecorating her room again, inspired by the recent library book sale.

My projects include putting together a proof of Meadowlark's second book, and beginning the edits for Meadowlark's third book. If all goes as planned, we will have five books published by the end of the year (4 of them 2015). That's a good year, I think, for a start.

This past weekend we three at-home-bodies had a Harry Potter movie marathon party, but we only made it through the first two movies. That's a lot of movie watching, even for a rainy Sunday. We've had a lot of rain this past week. The nights have been cool enough we've had to kick the heater back on to get up and about in the mornings.

We've heard from the travelers a few times. When they call at night (our morning) they sound exhausted -- good exhausted. When they call in the morning (our night) they sound raring to go. They've moved, via bullet train, from Beijing to Xi'an. Those two locations are now permanently etched in my mental map of the world.

Tonight we will attend a play at the university, As You Like It. We are eagerly anticipating our trip to the airport to pick up the travelers. It will be good to have us all crowded into one location again!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Two Family Members Short

I'm feeling very much like our German Shepherd, counting family members, worried that some of us are missing. This has been her routine since the beginning of time with us. If anyone is missing, she paces the house, nudging each of us with her nose as if trying to ascertain whether or not she is losing it, or if there really is someone missing.

Nancy (the German Shepherd) seems a bit sad that her boy is gone (that would be my hubby = her boy). She is spending lots of time sleeping on the floor by his side of the bed. It's only been three days and she's stopped counting. She's simply depressed. There is no doubt. They aren't anywhere. She's checked the whole house.

Middle Munchkin and the Hubby, off on their Grand Adventure.

I, however, have turned toward my daughter's bedroom door at least once each day. Sometimes it's a question I want to ask her. Sometimes I just want to see her smiling face. "Come out of your room," I almost say, before I remember that she's off on her Grand Adventure. I am not depressed in the least. I can look at the calendar. I understand that they are coming back. My job is to simply come to terms with my moment. I am not adventuring this round, just eagerly awaiting their return and their stories!

The Grand Adventure is a 16th year event in our house. Our oldest planned her trip to England and Scotland in 2012 (and I got to go with her!). Middle Munchkin is now in China with her dad! I love to travel, and I've spent most of my life wishing I could travel outside of the US, as well. My kids kind of prompted me to stop wishing. It's about planning. It's about deciding what is important and making it happen.

This trip to China will mean that our kitchen doesn't get the new flooring it needs this year. Our second bathroom may never happen. Our "new" car is a 1999, one year newer than the "old" one. I still dream about those things from time to time, but when I think of the stories she is going to tell when she gets back from this trip, I don't mind the old car, or sharing a bathroom with 4 other people, or having a crappy looking kitchen floor covered with a "temporary" linoleum we put down several years ago to hide what needed replaced.

Life is about experiences. Dreaming is only fun when dreams come true. We have the power to make our dreams come true. I hope my children grow up believing that above all else.

Friday, April 10, 2015

April Entry at home/school/life

Sorting through Subjects in an Everything-is-Connected Manner of Homeschooling is the title of my April entry at home/school/life. Here's a bit:

Our family takes an “everything is connected” approach to life, but some people prefer to break the world into subjects, perhaps for the sake of being thorough (or because the setting of school requires it of them). It gives you more of a checklist approach to life. Have we done our math today? Have we practiced reading? Have we learned to spell a few words today? Have we spent some time with nature, making sure we are learning about the way of the world? Have we contemplated cultures, people, or methods of governing?
These are all things we encounter daily, and the flow of life naturally takes us there.
Coming from a subject-oriented education myself, I found it surprisingly hard to turn it into words my nine-year-old, unschooled kid could relate to.