Thursday, November 30, 2006

Happy Feet, not happy?

Last week we went to the movie Happy Feet and I was going to write a blog about it. I really liked it and everyone in our family really liked it. It had so many good things about it. I ran into a lady I knew after it and she asked me how it was and what came to my mind was--profound.

Maybe that's why this columnist from the USA Today didn't like it? Hmmmm..

I guess I didn't realize that talking about things with our children is propaganda. That being aware of our planet is propaganda. That being accepting of individuals differences and respectful to those things is a horrid thing?


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

And it goes around

I've had some really nice couple of days. :) Not that most of my days aren't nice, but I've been able to enjoy some daytime hours with Alec and Abbi. In a past blog, I wrote about how they had been staying up through the night and then I would spend a few hours with them here and there. Well, they decided this week that they wanted to be up during the day.

They struggled a bit, the first couple of days were hard. Their bodies were tired and not used to it, but now on about the 3rd day, they're on a daytime schedule. We've been hanging together, talking, playing, reading, cooking, shopping, and laughing a lot. :)

Its so amazing seeing what these 2 kids are becoming. Alec, being 13 soon 14, is starting to look and sound like a man and Abbi , 12, continues to amaze me with her wisdom beyond years. I am so enjoying them.. its very cool.

I ache so bad in my heart when I hear people cutting down teens. People often say,, "just wait, it'll happen," and we look at them in disbelief. They're saying that my kids are going to revolt, become a "problem" or something. One lady even said it right to Alec! "Just wait...." and Alec turns to me with the questioning look. He asked me later, "what was she talking about, what am I going to get?" It was like a disease or something. I explained it to him that a lot of people think teens almost always have to have issues,, or struggles or have to rebel. He kind of laughed and said,,"what would I rebel against?"

I wish people saw that it really doesn't have to be like that. You can have an open healthy relationship with your teens. And it is so amazing.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Flexing my Wii muscle

So my arms are aching me. Not from working out or lifting weights, but from playing our new Nintendo Wii. We are having sooo much FUN! Hehe.

The sports games that come with the system are a blast. Up to 4 people can play at once so yesterday afternoon, Tim and the kids were all playing doubles tennis! Its amazing! You hold the wireless controller just like a tennis racket and you control the little person on the screen. The ball comes near you and you swing the controller and hit at it just like you were playing real tennis. It even has you program it so it knows if you're using your right or left hand. Its so dang real its scary and its awesome! You should see my amazing back hand! :-D

The other games look fun too but I haven't tried those yet--bowling, baseball, boxing and golf.

We've been talking about how we HAVE to stretch our arm muscles before we play,, pretty funny. Or not,, as my arm aches right now. *g* Its a good ache though.

Another game Alec tried out but didn't really like on the bigger screen anyway, was Call of Duty. He thought he might like the shooter aspect of it,, aiming like a real gun, but it seemed way sensitive. He didn't have fun, but thought it might go better on a smaller TV.

The biggest reason we got the Wii though, is for what Alec is doing right now,, drum roll.... The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess! :) So exciting to see Link again *g*. And he's all grown up! He's having a good time with it so far and its so good to hear all the Zelda music again.

Dianacised this morning ;)

My horoscope this morning:

Your sensitivity to people's feelings can be
overwhelming. You must find a way to maintain
awareness without letting your own judgment be
suspended. Endeavor to stay centered and

I'm not sure how much I believe them, but from my friend's
reading of hers I thought I'd subscribe. :)

Pretty funny with some things that have been going on in my life.

I've had some local unschoolers questioning my calls on my
Minnesota list. So of course I also question what I am saying.
I go back and forth (in my head) on the things that
I believe, but it comes back to this--> this life is really
working for us. We are so happy and it works for others
too, (maybe just not so many in MN *g*).

I'm just trying to share it with others.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

life is messy

I really like Scott Noelle. :) I've been getting his daily inspirational e-mail lately and I'm really enjoying them. I got one today that was so in sync with my life right now. I do better with this than I used ;) but its still so good to keep in mind.

Scott Noelle:

:: Life Is Messy... Get Over It! ::

In man's quest to conquer nature, our culture has
developed an unhealthy aversion to the natural
messiness of life.

Heaven forbid you should eat an apple that isn't
and round and free of bug bites. Those get made
applesauce so we never have to see their

And if our high-tech, Star Trek fantasies were
we could avoid the messiness of birth and simply
"beam" babies out of the womb -- without a drop
blood in sight.

Even if you're a "crunchy" parent who's not
of nature's messiness, there may be other kinds
messes you abhor, like the messy ways children
explore, and process emotions. Or the messy way
grow through parenthood.

Today, whenever you feel bothered about anything,
yourself, "What 'messiness' am I resisting?" Are
not allowing your *own* process to be messy?

Well, get over it! Life IS messy. :-)

Let life's messes remind you how good it is to be

Have a great messy day :)

Friday, November 10, 2006

making a killer? Nah,,,


Will playing video games make a person more violent?

Does playing video games make a person desensitized to violence?

Do I worry that my kids play video games?

These questions come up all the time. Just recently on an unschooling discussion list, a person was talking about how she didn't want her 9 yr old playing Grand Theft Auto (GTA). She worried about it desensitizing her son. She knew he learned a lot from video games but she wanted him to wait for a few years before he played this one.

I didn't always allow my kids to make their own choices. I used to say that we'd never have a video game system or cable TV. I've come a long way, haven't I? I now know that allowing my kids to make their own choices and talking with them as they are making decisions is a much better way to go. Instead of an adversarial relationship we have a partnership. I'll help them to what information they need and tell them what I know about different things, but ultimately its up to them.

GTA did show up in our lives, pretty quick after we decided to unschool. I decided that I wasn't going to censor their viewing of things or playing of games. Now, that being said, it doesn't mean I just leave them to their own devices. We do things together. I'm always there, part of their life. So if they see something they want to watch or play, I'm usually along for the ride. I can help them to find out about it. Remind them of previous choices, give my opinion, but try not to judge what they are looking into. Which is sometimes hard, but I'm getting better. :) We'll often look things up to see what reviewers say, a good objective viewpoint.

When Alec decided he wanted to check out GTA I was a little apprehensive but I thought,,"OK, here's my test, can I walk the talk?" I brought him to a video rental store and we rented GTA. I knew that there was going to be car theft (obviously) but other people had also warned me about the prostitutes and other stuff. So I was a little worried about that. We sat down and he played it. He enjoyed driving the cars around, but that was about it. We didn't even see the prostitutes and that was the end of that. Wow. It really didn't keep his interest. He likes to do a lot of problem solving and strategy type stuff and it wasn't there for him. Maybe it was over his head, he was around 9 at the time, I don't know, but I do know he got bored with it really quickly. It even went back to the rental place before it was due.

So that being said, while playing the game he did run over people with the cars. Now, maybe that would bother some parents. Is that encouraging violent behavior? I don't think so. Its a game. He hasn't gone out and tried to steal a car or even tried to hurt anyone. The times when people/media has linked certain violent behavior to video games you have to stop and look at those particular circumstances. Don't you? Did those people who committed awful crimes have loving homelives? Did they have parents who were involved in their lives? Did they have positive role models in their lives? Nope. No, no and no.

Being violent or aggressive in real life has a lot more to do with how that person is being treated and the life they are leading than an easy out as blaming a video game.

Back to the discussion that was going at the discussion list. The person said she knew how much video games can teach people. Can't a flight simulator teach a person to fly? Can't math games(and other games) teach a person to do math? Yep. If that person is interested in what they are doing. So then we could ask--Do you think your son/daughter is going to pick up a video game and think, "now I'm going to learn how to blow a person away, cool, then I can go do it to someone in real life"? I know, no, of course not. These kids that actually went and killed people were very troubled. They had very disturbed lives. So different from homes where kids are respected and loved.

Why do so many people fear video games? Is it because they are so new? So popular?

Do I think video games will make a person violent? Nope. Does playing a video game make a person desensitized to violence? Nope. Am I worried that my kids play a lot of video games? Nope again, not a bit.

We have to trust our children. We have to know that our kids won't want to hurt someone else. If there is anger or resentment in a child I hope that the parent would try and figure it out, try and change something. Something isn't working, find something different.

Our different was unschooling. And it has lead to 3 very happy, joyful, even gentle kids.


a little "lite" reading this morning. nah, not me ;)

**warning** for anyone who hasn't read Daniel Quinn before~ he will get your brain a goin'

what does this have to do with our joyful life? lots of reasons why we unschool are right there.

and what have we been doing lately?

--returned from moorhead, my mom went into the hospital, but is now on the mend.

--playing new games Final Fantasy 12, Sims Pets, Sims University and an upstanding moral boosting game-- Desperate Housewifes PC game *g*

--going to bake our own French bread today and do some other baking

--and as usual continually making all those connections as they occur, meaning google and are our constant companions :)

Friday, November 03, 2006

stuffing any doubt

Here's a post that I did at Unschooling Discussion this morning.
I wanted to share it here too. :)

I felt like sharing some thoughts that I've had floating around in my
head lately. :)
My oldest 2 kids are on the nightshift right now.   I  stay up
with them as late as I can  and then I get up early to see if they
need anything (and to be up with my youngest). They also know they can
come and get me and wake me up if they need anything.  That being said,
I'm usually fine with them being up, yet I still have little voices in
my head telling me they should be sleeping when I'm sleeping.
I sometimes start questioning if I'm doing enough for them.  Maybe I
should be right by their side more?  I make sure they have easy to warm
up food, and snacks they like.  I make sure I spend a chunk of quality
time with them when they are awake, but I still worry.  I'll ask them
if they're happy (they look happy, but I want to make sure, my doubt
again) and they'll enthusiastically answer "YES!".  I ask them if they
want to be doing some other things,,(I'm thinking,,, like stuff during
the day) and they'll answer "but Mom I'm doing what I want to do"
and they laugh at my doubt.
So I go back and forth, being confident in what I'm doing and then also
questioning it.  I think because I'm not around anyone in real life who
lives their life like this its much more difficult to remain confident.
 When I do question it I need to stop and look at my kids, see the joy
and see the learning.
Ok, so what are they learning?    A few, off the top of my head
things:  yesterday Abbi HAD to find out if the poem "ring around the
rosie" came from the Black Plague.  She loves snopes and looked it up (don't know if
that'll transfer or not).  She really didn't want to believe that a
beloved kid poem would be associated with that.  She was happy to find
out that Snopes believed that that claim is false.  She sat there for a
couple of hours reading and researching.
Then this morning when I got up she was just bubbling over with
enthusiasm, that's the way she usually is when I see her in the
morning. :)   She comes to me and tells me that her new favorite word
is Antidisestablishmentarianism.   Apparently some people were
talking about big words and threw that one out there.  She had never
heard of it,, she loved it.   She also told me that when people were
throwing that word around someone said, "how about sesquipedalian?"
(which means the use of big words, I had to google it, I had never hear
of it ;)  So she had been looking up different words, reading about
long words (she loves  She also had to share this new
word with her friends on myspace and made a bulletin about her newly
found favorite word.
She continued to talk about this and that, different things that she
had done in the night, commenting that it was nice to talk to me
because Alec (her older brother)  had been in some raids last night
(groups with other people on WoW) and not as talkative as she would
have liked.   Usually she has a couple of friends that are up with her
on IM through the night and some will be on WoW (World of Warcraft),
some not.  Last night apparently her friends weren't around so she
ended up doing some other stuff.    So she's talking and talking and
then she stops and says, "OH, I HAVE to ask you this!  I've been
meaning to talk to you about this then I get sidetracked."  I'm
thinking oh my gosh,, getting myself ready for something deep and
serious.  And she asks me "what was the Black Plague?"  :)
So the research we were doing yesterday morning resurfaces and we get
back on the computer and look it up.  How many things can you learn
when you look up the Black Plague/Bubonic Plague?     Wow!  Its a
lot.  Tons of history, science, biology, toxology, pathology,,, it
keeps going.  Disease, geography of Europe and Asia, rat info, flea
info, history of diseases, even warfare (they believe that it may have
been spread by one army catapulting infected corpses onto its enemy,
the disease spreading and those people leaving their country and it
coming to Europe).
Finally after reading about the Bubonic Plague for about an hour she
decides its time to lay down for a while.  Its 8:00 and she wants me to
get her up at around 2:00-3:00.  I had told her about a couple of
artists that are going to be showing how they do their artwork in one
of the art studios in town.  She won't be getting a lot of sleep today
but she'll probably make up for it tonight.  When its something she
wants,  she makes it happen.
I continue to be amazed at this life of ours.  Even when I sometimes
question myself or have people questioning me, I know deep down inside
me that its the right thing.  The energy, happiness and joy I see in my
kids is so proving.