Non-violence and civil rights.

I've been trying to write this post for over a year, but each time I get started we get swept into it again. I have had people ask how I got Jack started in studying this topic and how I introduced it. Honestly I didn't do a thing. He got this started all on his own. Once he was going I tried to answer his questions and provide materials for his consumption. How I think it got started?  

From a very young age Jack was obsessed with Albert Einstein. He wanted to read books about Einstein but at 5 years old we had a hard time finding a book he could read on his own, with enough information to satisfy his interest. I ran across the manga biography series Great Figures in History. We bought the Einstein and he wanted more. So I bought the Gandhi book, followed by the Mandela book, then Mother Theresa. He couldn't get enough of them. I think these are what planted the seed. It took years for the seed to start growing but eventually he was asking more and more questions.  

When he was nine he wanted to learn more about Gandhi and I tried to find more for his age, which was hard. They were either to simple or too adult.  Eventually we let him watch the movie, with us of course.  He had so many questions. We tried to answer them as best we could and researched what we couldn't.  During our conversation we brought up Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr.  He had read the Mandela book and wanted to know more about him. So we research more. This was about the time that the movie, A Long Walk to Freedom came out. My husband and I watched it first, and decided to let him watch it. It really fanned the flame. I remember he watched it on a Friday before our homeschool group park day. We were over an hour late, because he had so many questions and the questions didn't stop for days. 

Through our research we also learned of the documentary, A Force More Powerful.  I would highly recommend this to anyone. It is a wonderful look at non violent protests throughout history and their effect. I also liked that it looked at some of the well known protest through the lives of participants who were not as well known as say Mandela or MLK jr. 

During our research, it was mentioned more than once that Gandhi was a big influence on Martin Luther King Jr. and our civil rights movement in America.  We started watching and reading what was available. There is a great episode of American Experience about the Montgomery Bus boycott. 

Last year on Martin Luther King Jr. day I took him to see Selma. It was an amazing experience to be in the theater that day.  As we were standing in line to get tickets, an older couple started sharing their experiences of living through the time of Martin Luther King Jr. and what she remembered.  

Just recently we were able to attend an event at our local university and the main speaker had interviewed Martin Luther King Jr., marched at Selma and attended his speech at the March on Washington. 



This has been one of my favorite rabbit trails in our homeschooling experience and a perfect example of how I want all of our homeschool experience to be.  I can't wait to see what else we will explore on this subject and where it takes us and especially where is takes Jack. 


Things that made me happy this past weekend.


A mass of wool roving found at an estate sale for dirt cheap. Lots of projects in store. I have aleady started a few, including making my own sheet felt. 


Happy mail.  I had to be careful opening this so I caould save that tissue paper for more projects.  Also came with stickers and cards. Can't wait to use these!


And inside the tissue... a very lovely book.



Jack yoga

Picture from yoga camp.

We've been having a tough go  of it lately with some discipline issues with Jack. There has been so much whining and "it's not fair" going on that we have been at our wits end. We've had to start leaving him home when possible if we are going to the store, but sometimes there aren't any other options.

Today was one of those days when I didn't have any other options. I prepped him with a talk with what I expected. In the first store we started to have some mild issues so on the way to the next store we revisted my expectations. He did great in the next store. No whining.  In part revisiting my expectations helped me avoid any behavior traps for him, but he just did great. He did his best and he was very thoughtful about it.

We left the second store and approached the car. I opened the door and looked at him, he had paused breifly. I told him to jump in the car.  He said, "Oh yeah. I was just honoring myself for behaving well in the store."

Whoa! You what? Where did you learn that? Yoga? No? He says he just thought it up. I have a feeling it stemmed from yoga, but what an awesome thing for him to do for himself. I smiled at him and said, "You know what I am honoring you too."

Because  sometimes the things kids say annoy you, embarrass you, make you mad, or make you sad.

But sometimes if you listen , they blow your mind and make you think real hard which causes you to look at things from a different persepctive. They teach you something. They bring you a new awareness.

Namaste Jack.


Yesterday was my 37th birthday. Time flies! I had a wonderful day filled with friends, family and fun.


I feel so blessed by all the wonderful friends and family in my life.


And yesterday I spent most of the day basking in thankfulness for them all. Something I need to do more often.


Because it is truly a miracle to find people who really get you.


And it's sometimes hard for me to show those people how much I truly care for them.



But I do. I really, truly do.


This last pic is a gift I bought for myself. It goes along with Soul Restoration 2. It has been quite a journey the past few weeks and when I read Melody's poem, I knew I had to have this bracelet.

Today is day one.

being crafty


This week I finally made some time to get crafty. I had some  lessons from the last Soul Restoration class that needed to be finished up.  It came time in this current class where I decided I couldn't procrastinate any longer and pulled out the mod podge. :) I was able to finish up that lesson and get a good start on the projects for this class.  It felt really good to have my creative juices flowing again.






love week


Valentine's day is almost here. My daughter was telling me that at her school this week it is love week. There are different themes for different days like tomorrow is-buy a sophomore lunch day, Thursday is make a new friend day.  I love it.

In honor of love week here are my links that I love:

Hope you all have a happy love week.


Some linky love


Agh! Monday strikes again.

Some links I am loving lately:


January 12 2011


I love having crafty homework. I think I would have done much better in school had there been glitter, mod podge and ribbon involved in all the homework. :)

Today we started our new tennis schedule with art on the side. :)  It made for a busy full day, especially since we slept in. Ouch.

The older kids have lacrosse every day after school for 2 hours. Our afternoons have been quiet, by then Jack is ready for a break and it's giving me time to do projects.  The evenings after lacrosse have also been really quiet, well other than the complaining that seems to be coming from being busier than before which amuses me to no end.


I'll most likely be sharing pictures of the projects that I am working on. One exception for now will be the art journal. I really haven't done journaling before let alone art journaling. I started journaling on Jan 1 for 30 minutes a day. I am surprised at how much this has helped--bring things into focus, get stuff out of my mind, and work through problems.  And I am excited to throw some paint and mod podge in there now!




New Moleskines ready for the new year.

And I have finally chosen my word for the year. It was quite an interesting process this year compared to last. I thought I had my word chosen, achieve. I sta down and began to journal about it and within two sentences it was looking like success would be a better word. As I continued to journal a different word started making itself known. So much so that I believe  it popped up around 25 times throughout the two pages. Hmmmm... I think someone is trying to tell me something. So my word for this year is:


I realized as I wrote that both the success and achievement I am looking for would happen if I was just more consistent in my actions or choices.  It really is at the heart of a lot of things I want to work on. 

Something to help along the way:

  • I am doing project 365. One picture per day for a year.  Look here for my flickr .

I also have a different word that I will also be focusing on through the year. REACH. I think I've told you before about the book I read that encouraged you to stretch, reach, or die. Basically it's doing things that are hard or out of your comfort zone. I've done a few stretches this year and enjoyed them. It has helped me grow.  So this year I want to do more REACHing. I want to be out of my comfort zone a little more.

I am looking forward to a year of consistency and REACHing towards the new me. How about you? Do you have a word for the year? What do you want to invite into your life?


December 2 2010


Today's thoughts were on what I wanted to focus on this season. As I was washing the dishes this morning I remembered this quote:

"If while washing dishes, we think only of the cup of tea that awaits us, thus hurrying to get the dishes out of the way as if they were a nuisance, then we are not 'washing the dishes to wash the dishes.' What's more, we are not alive during the time we are washing the dishes. In fact, we are completely incapable of realizing the miracle of life while standing at the sink. If we can't wash the dishes, the chances are we won't be able to drink our tea, either. While thinking of other things, we are barely aware of the cup in our hands. Thus, we are sucked away into the future -- and we are incapable of actually living one moment of life!"

-Thich Nhat Hanh

That is what I want to strive for this season,  to be mindful and fully present.   It may be a long shot, but  I need to make sure that the lists and to-dos aren't taking over the fun and quiet moments during the day.



July 6 2010


Today Jack was practicing head stands.

And he kept trying...


he had some help...

and he kept trying...



And he did get it for a minute, but that wasn't the best part.

The best part was the whispered, "I can't give up!" heard half way through.

That's what I like to hear. :)

May 31 2010

August 15 2009 119

Things I am loving today:

  • finding swim lessons right around the block from home. Can't tell you how excited I am about that! We can walk to them!
  • Prepping for a 38th birthday bash for dear hubby tomorrow.
  • These owl counters. You know, I think I need more counters. ;)
  • So true.
  • Love this sign. Unfortunately I think we need a lot more of these reminders around.
  • You know I love The Young Victoria right? So of course I loved this
  • Teaching your kids to live their dreams
  • I keep saying that I need to do this. This summer we will!
  • Rules for life. 
  • Read this!

April 18 2010

April 18 2010 002

Jack sporting his Mohawk. We told him the next time we cut his hair he could have a mohawk for a few days. So here he is hamming it up. He only kept it for a whole 24 hours. He liked the way the "bald" spots felt so when I tried to even out the lines of the hawk, he asked for me to do the whole thing bald.  He keeps asking everyone to rub his head and feel the bald spots.

Alex and I have been supplementing her WWII studies with some videos. Heavy stuff which is part of why I have been a little quiet these past few days. In other learning news, she has made her first salve and is also in the process of making some oils. She seems to be a natural at it.  This is birthday week, on Friday Alex turns 13!! Can you believe it? I can't, my baby girl is going to be a teenager! I'll officially have three teenagers! Send chocolate! :)

I'm also working up a plan for next year and homeschooling Jack. It's been on my mind a lot lately and a topic of discussion for Zac and I quite frequently. So I'm trying to decide how I want to go about it. Lots to ponder.

a quote

Feb 19 2010 156

"...I'm continually reminded that a real education is not just a simple transfer of information, not a competition, but a gradual and at times unfathomable process of awakening compassion, deepening understanding, and fostering the development of imagination, curiosity and will. Learning well doesn't always mean scoring high. It also means acquiring the tools necessary to take on the most challenging work of all--becoming the person you are meant to be."
Katrina Kenison, The Gift of an Ordinary Day.


Everything you need you already have. You are complete right now, you are a whole, total person, not an apprentice person on the way to the someplace else. Your completeness must be understood by you & experienced in your thoughts as your own personal reality. --Wayne Dyer

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