Thursday, May 31, 2007

Joy in SD

We swam, visited Hannah's bench, met the super cool new boyfriend, laughed, learned, and loved.

And yes, I was there too ;)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Something we all can remember

While I'm waiting for the girls to wake up, I have some time this morning to go through e-mails. I found this for today's OM.

What We See
Judging Others

Though it is human to evaluate people we encounter based on first impressions, the conclusions we come to are seldom unaffected by our own fears and our own preconceptions. Additionally, our judgments are frequently incomplete. For example, wealth can seem like proof that an individual is spoiled, and poverty can be seen as a signifier of laziness�neither of which may be true. At the heart of the tendency to categorize and criticize, we often find insecurity. Overcoming our need to set ourselves apart from what we fear is a matter of understanding the root of judgment and then reaffirming our commitment to tolerance.

When we catch ourselves thinking or behaving judgmentally, we should ask ourselves where these judgments come from. Traits we hope we do not possess can instigate our criticism when we see them in others because passing judgment distances us from those traits. Once we regain our center, we can reinforce our open-mindedness by putting our feelings into words. To acknowledge to ourselves that we have judged, and that we have identified the root of our judgments, is the first step to a path of compassion. Recognizing that we limit our awareness by assessing others critically can make moving past our initial impressions much easier. Judgments seldom leave room for alternate possibilities.

Mother Teresa said, �If you judge people, you don�t have time to love them.� If we are quick to pass judgment on others, we forget that they, like us, are human beings. As we seldom know what roads people have traveled before a shared encounter or why they have come into our lives, we should always give those we meet the gift of an open heart. Doing so allows us to replace fear-based criticism with appreciation because we can then focus wholeheartedly on the spark of good that burns in all human souls.

Wonderful words to remember.

We'll be driving back to Bemidji today, after we say our goodbyes to diana and Hayden. It's always hard to say good bye to one of our tribe.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

And here she is..

She Loved It!!

Yeah, :) she loved it. I'm so glad.

I'm talkin about the poncho.. and Amy. She asked, "do I have to take it off?" Hehe. She's even planning on wearing it for one of her performances! I'm so excited!!

It just proves that you have to trust your heart. If something speaks to you, go for it. That poncho definitely spoke "amy" to me.

I'll post pictures later. We had an amazing time with her last night and seeing diana and her awesome. Abbi and Kyra hugged her to death too, letting her know how much they love her and her music.

What a gift she is~

Friday, May 25, 2007

While in Sioux Falls, we're hoping to also meet up with a Miss Amy. :)

I finished her Rockin' Poncho.

Abbi looks dang good in it too.

I just love this ribbon yarn that it's made of, very cool and velvety. I'm gonna make some more of these for the Etsy, there's some really cool color combos that I'm hankerin to get my hands on :)

Memorial Weekend

Well, just getting the last items packed up for our long weekend. Every Memorial weekend Tim's parents take his whole family to a resort in Brainerd. It really is beautiful country (one of the reasons we have a hard time leaving here ;)

Here's where we're staying. Tim worked there for 4 summers through college and I actually worked there 1 summer to be close to him. :) Lots of history
at Grand View. We play lots of games, swim in the lake and lay on the beach (if its warm enough, its questionable this year) swim in the pool, fish, walk amidst the trees, some of us golf, hang out, play the ultimate game of bingo and eat. :)

On Monday, the girls and I are heading down to Sioux Falls to visit Diana and Hayden. We haven't seen them for tooo many months. Wish Diana a happy birthday, its this Sunday! Love you Diana!!

Here's Alec walking in front of our cabin last year.

And fun on the beach. We probably won't get that much this weekend, supposed to be a high in the 60's ... a bit brrrr to be on the beach, even this Northern MN girl thinks so!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

And more..

From the radio show that included our interview:

"Even someone who loves to read Shakespeare needs to know math, science and history."
- Gretchen Wheelwright, education professor

But critics are on the rise, too. They say it's wonderful to think kids will soak up knowledge on their own, but that's not always the case.

"That is the romantic notion," says Gretchen Wheelwright, a retired high school teacher, principal and professor at Troy University in Alabama. "It was resurrected in the '60s for the hippies. Go out and everybody make love and the world is going to be a beautiful place. Our experience is that isn't what happens."

Wheelwright says unschooling is a disservice to children.

She remembers public schools trying a similar approach in the 1960s and '70s, when students could choose their own classes they wanted and work on self-directed projects.

"You saw the results five, 10 years later. They didn't know anything," says Wheelwright. "They had vast gaps in areas that they should have known." Wheelwright says even someone who loves to read Shakespeare needs to know math, science and history.


I guess I'm wondering how many unschooled families she really knows. And she says, "even someone who loves to read Shakespeare needs to know math, science and history." If she had met some unschooling families I think she would see that kids can and often do learn all those things. Abbi, who they were referring to, also knows math, science and history. She's curious about things. We were actually playing a card game which brought her to wanting to read more about Shakespeare and that also lead to discussions about England and its surroundings.

Oh, and how about this, "
They had vast gaps in areas that they should have known."
Gaps? And I know everything about everything because I went to school. Hehe. No one knows everything, everyone has gaps in their knowledge. With unschooling we feel that a person will keep wanting to know, they will continue to find things out because they've never been stifled or told.."wait, you can't do that yet, its not your level" or "that's all for now class.. time for your next subject"... that's where learning tends to come to a halt.

Learning can keep going, it can be continual, it can connect one thing to another. And in my opinion, I see it happening most easily and joyfully by unschooling.

Internal Compass/Being Successful

This was asked at the end of our recent interview:
But many parents and educators wonder -- left to their own devices, will kids find their internal compass and succeed in life? Or will they lose their way without the road map of a more structured education?

Wow, left to their own devices, will kids find their internal compass and succeed in life? When I hear that my mind automatically goes to--how do kids find their internal compass within school. How do you know your true self if you're always worried about getting the stuff done that everyone else wants you to do? Really. I know soo many people who still question who they are and don't know what the heck they're doing with their lives. All have been to school.

Left to their own devices? I'm not sure who's leaving their kids to their own devices, but we're not. We're right there along for the ride. We're right beside them livin the life, helping them along and making it the best we can. It's a big jump for people when they hear about radical unschoolers' lives. If the kids are allowed to do what they want, they must just be running around "hog wild". The parents must be just sitting around, not doing a thing. Wrong. There is an in-between and people tend to just skip right over it.

Now, successful? Pretty hard to define success isn't it? Is success making a lot of money? Is it being happy? Is it doing what you like and feeling fulfilled? I believe that in living a life down our path there's much more chance of our definition of success coming to fruition. Which I guess would be being happy and feeling good about your life. There could be a ton more to each pers
on's definition of success but that's a bit of mine. I see way too much unsuccessfulness coming to people who have been schooled, I see too many people who "lose their way" with the road map of a more structured education.

I choose this life.
And they do too.

Here comes the rain

We're so glad it rained. We really needed it. And the girls really wanted to play in it.

So they did.

Then I got worried about my camera and
decided to go in.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Today's a special day for me and Tim. 17 years ago we were married. Yep, its been 17 years, although we were together, (on and off again) 7 years before that too. High school sweethearts we are and we've come a long way! :)

I love that guy of mine. He's an amazing husband and father. I'm very lucky :D

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Our Interview

Last night MPR (Minnesota Public Radio) aired the interview we did . I thought it was pretty good. I have just a few things to say about it right now. Abbi is 12, (and she wants everyone to know ;) and we're disappointed that he didn't mention Kyra at all. :(

Kyra is our only child who has been unschooled her whole life. It would have been cool to hear more from her, but she may have been a bit shy with answers.

Here's the link to the website and whole report and below is our 6 minute section.

The latest trend in education: Unschooling

by Sanden Totten, Minnesota Public Radio
May 18, 2007

School is almost out, but with day camps, summer classes and part-time jobs, many kids are left wondering when they'll have time to just be kids: to play in the world, rather than study it. Some educational reformers have asked the same question. They worry that a formal education often drives out a child's innate love of learning as it tries to drive in knowledge and facts. That's led some parents to a trend called unschooling.

Bemidji, Minn. — It's one thing to home-school your child, where parents become the teachers. They can download lesson plans, buy workbooks, and register their kids for online classes.

It's another thing to "unschool" your child. Kelli Traaseth insists she is not the teacher for her three children.

"I used to describe myself as a tour guide," Traaseth laughs. "I thought that was kind of corny but kind of true, because I help them along."

During the hours most kids are at school, Traaseth's house is full of activity. Her kids spend the day surfing the Internet, playing music, reading, painting or whatever else catches their fancy. Unschooling is about letting a child decide what to do and what to learn.

For Traaseth's 11-year-old daughter Abbi, that means studying piano, updating her blog, or reciting Shakespeare. Abbi read her first play by Shakespeare when she was only 9. It was "Macbeth." She found out about the play after reading a quote from it in Harry Potter.

Abbi says on any given day, she has dozens of interests. She'll wake up in the morning and start researching, writing or asking her mom about whatever is on her mind. Together, they'll look into one topic, but often end up studying something completely different.

Abbi's older brother Alec is much more focused. He delves into his studies for days at a time, sometimes staying up late in the night working out a single problem. He's only 14, but he has the determination of a graduate student.

Except Alec is not solving complicated math equations -- he's playing video games.

"This game, there's so much to it," Alec says about a game he's been recently mastering. "Now I've put in a total of at least 300 hours into it."

Three hundred hours? On video games? Most parents would cringe in pain at the thought. Spending months on Shakespeare is one thing, but playing World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy and Halo 2?

But that part of unschooling. Kelli Traaseth says if you tell your kids what they can and can't learn from, you'll shut down their curiosity.

That's what she saw happening to Alec when he was in school. She says he was bored and depressed, that he was losing his drive to learn. So she pulled him out of the third grade.

Since then he's spent his time building massive Lego ships, studying Japanese samurai, and playing his Xbox.

But Traaseth says video games inspire Alec to learn about other things, too.

"If you want to use school terms, geography, history, social studies. Alec has no time for mindless video games. It definitely has to be the problem-solving strategy to it," says Traaseth.

Unschooling isn't a new idea. Thinkers from Socrates to Jean Jacques Rousseau have touted the benefits of letting a child's interests lead their education.

But it was John Holt who penned the term "unschooling" in the late 1970s. He inspired some families to abandon the school system for a looser approach to education.

Recently, the idea has been catching on. Estimates are hard to come by, but within the roughly 1.1 million home-schoolers in the U.S., it's clear many are being unschooled.

Unschooling message boards and listservs are springing up around the country, some with several hundred members.

"Even someone who loves to read Shakespeare needs to know math, science and history."
- Gretchen Wheelwright, education professor

But critics are on the rise, too. They say it's wonderful to think kids will soak up knowledge on their own, but that's not always the case.

"That is the romantic notion," says Gretchen Wheelwright, a retired high school teacher, principal and professor at Troy University in Alabama. "It was resurrected in the '60s for the hippies. Go out and everybody make love and the world is going to be a beautiful place. Our experience is that isn't what happens."

Wheelwright says unschooling is a disservice to children.

She remembers public schools trying a similar approach in the 1960s and '70s, when students could choose their own classes they wanted and work on self-directed projects.

"You saw the results five, 10 years later. They didn't know anything," says Wheelwright. "They had vast gaps in areas that they should have known." Wheelwright says even someone who loves to read Shakespeare needs to know math, science and history.

In states like Minnesota, children taught at home are required to take annual exams, but the state Education Department never looks at the results. That makes it tricky for college admission counselors. Yet some universities like Stanford and MIT have welcomed some of these unconventional students.

For Roya Sooroshian, getting into college wasn't a problem. She's been unschooled since the fourth grade. She passed the high school equivalency exam at 15. Now, at 22, she just graduated from California State University at Long Beach.

Sooroshian says when she first started taking formal classes, she was amazed at the difference between her and her classmates.

"I'd get homework and I'd go do it, and yet all the other students wouldn't do it at all, or they'd try to do the least they could," says Sooroshian. "I think that's because they're tired of school. They're tired of people telling them what's important to learn right now. I never had that."

Sooroshian says her education gave her plenty of freedom. And that freedom is at the heart of unschooling.

But many parents and educators wonder -- left to their own devices, will kids find their internal compass and succeed in life? Or will they lose their way without the road map of a more structured education?


I will write more tomorrow (when I'm feeling a bit more rested ;) about the questions that were asked at the end and I'd also like to address Gretchen Wheelwright comments about unschooling.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

More to share

Abbi's sooo exicted! We got an e-mail yesterday from Concordia College and a spot has opened up for her to go to French camp! A few weeks ago, we were told it was full and that we were on the waiting list, 10th, so we didn't think we were in the running...well, we were!

Also on the Abbi front *g* check this out.. from Sanden who interviewed us a week or so ago, "Do you like big words?" He got the word
sesquipedalian from me, and I got it from Abbi, who got it from World of Warcraft. :) Connections, connections--it is our world.

Also check out the little peek at the show that we'll be included in:

From In the Loop, Jeff Horwich:

"I just nailed down what I think is a final guest for a conversation about student rights -- what are students learning when they need to live in a world of lesser rights than adults? The president of the Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals is going to be good enough to join us (along with some students) to address the realities of balancing rights versus the need to create a good learning environment.

Beyond that, here's a little of what's on the burner:

  • *The Smarts are working on a new tune about how your high school relationships might be the most important education you get
  • *I wandered down the skyway to talk with adults in the food court about how their school lunchroom experiences prepared them for life
  • *Third and fourth-graders show an astounding -- disturbing? -- level of focus on their later career prospects
  • *A "Schoolhouse Rock" on how a school system founded in the industrial revolution is...well, good and certain things, and not so good at others
  • *Sanden's working on a cool piece about something called "unschooling"
Yeah, that's us at the bottom. But what really caught my eye was the part about students rights. You don't see that mentioned very much. That's almost going down the road to children's, what a thought.

Another Groove

Man I love these grooves!

THE DAILY GROOVE ~ by Scott Noelle

:: Helping vs. Co-creation ::

Q: How do you know when it's appropriate
to offer your child help/assistance?

A: When the offer feels *inspired* rather
than fear-based.

If you're coming from a perspective that your
child is
helpless, damaged, weak, incompetent, lost,
etc., then your "help" will only give power to
belief. It won't feel inspired to you, and it
inspire your child to connect with his or her

But if you consciously shift your perspective to
in which you see your child as capable of finding
or her way, you won't feel like you "should"
help, and
you probably won't offer to help unless asked.

However, you might be *inspired* to get involved
in a
way that doesn't feel like you're a "have"
helping a
"have-not" -- it'll feel more like two souls
together, co-creating purely for the joy of it!


It is hard for people to leave alone, or not leave alone but there for your child but not interfere, *sigh* see its even hard to explain.

Around our house we've taken the route of, "did he/she ask for help?" That often worked because sometimes one of us would want to help another out but the person wasn't looking for help.

I like the inspiration explanation. Being, yeah, being there but not interfering. Yet helping along if needed. It is a fine line.

Change of subject now, :)

We're heading out today to go over to the Fargo/Moorhead area. Kyra really wanted to celebrate her birthday with the Moorhead bunch too. So, we'll be hanging with friends and family the next couple of days and going to Shrek 3 with them! Yayy! Got our tickets already and we're set, everyone is so excited!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

My view as I go up the stairs, I'm welcomed by Miriam.

You really should check out Julie's work.

We're working on some of our own too. Love the feel of the wool :)
Our elusive friend... do you see him?

I haven't gotten a good picture of him yet. I'm still trying though :)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Marc Prensky's site

If you have a gamer in your household you really need to check out this site:

I had read about his book "Don't Bother Me Mom--I'm Learning!"

But hadn't really looked at his website. Wow! Tons of writings and discussions there about video game playing. One that was really relevant to us was this one:

Complexity Matters

Some people believe that video game playing is mindless drivel. Which some games can be very simplistic. A way of vegging out. But for most gamers, these games aren't going to be their games of choice. They tend to choose games that take hours or days to complete; games that keep their attention and brains going.

I think for a lot of parents its hard for them to understand that draw because they grew up with much simpler games. (Prensky touches on this.) If they would sit and watch what their kids are doing and talk with their kids while they're playing these games, huge misunderstandings could be resolved.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Thinking outside the box

Kid who doesn't have or play video games: "People play World of Warcraft to make their uninteresting lives interesting."

Alec: "Do you have any hobbies?"

Kid: "Yeah, I love to read."

Alec: "And, because your life is uninteresting you read to make it more interesting?"

Kid: " have to read to get through life."

Alec: "What kind of books do you read? Do you like Harry Potter and Inkheart and stuff like that?"

Kid: "Yeah, I LOVE those books!"

Alec: "Well, I don't think you have to read those books to get through life."

Abbi: "And you'll pick up a book and read about exciting things?"


Abbi did say that she thought that she and Alec had been smart asses, and wasn't very proud of it.

I was thinking that Alec and Abbi were thinking pretty quick, versus how I used to hmmmm and haaaa and um to questions like that.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Happy Birthday Kyra!

NO WAY! 10 years old?!?! Say it isn't so....

Happy Birthday sweetie!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Not learning?

Yes, another blog post. :P

"How do you know that they're learning?" A question that was asked by the reporter.

Alec and I are discussing this question this morning. I guess we have it so deep in our soul that we are continually learning. We can't believe it's even a question. It's such a "duh" to us.

Alec made the statement, "That's like asking, how do you know you're alive". I like that. We just know it. Maybe it's the trust thing that we talk about all the time with new unschoolers. That you have to trust your children.

We then went on to trying to think up a situation where we weren't or wouldn't learn. *g* Or is there really a way to go through a day and not learn? We both thought of laying in bed not doing anything. Yet, then Alec said, "but I think you'd learn that laying in bed = back ache". lol So, scratch that. *g* Then we went on to, well, what if you already knew that? hmmmm... maybe not learning then...but yet, I bet your brain would keep going. Thinking about things and maybe, just maybe you (probably) would figure something out, hence.....LEARNING something.
And this morning...
Alec loves these "massive" lego sets. Massive meaning 3,000 pieces or more, as well as 3 feet long. He now wants the 5,000 piece Millenium Falcon and 3,000 piece Death Star II. phew, I wish they weren't so expensive...*cry*

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Morning surprise

And I should have known it was gonna be a good day. We awoke to our morning glory seeds sprouting! I wish we would have started them sooner, but they are growing. :) These are all the way from New Mexico and the Dodd household. Thank you Sandra! We're gonna plant them by the mail box!

Warning, gushing about my kids about to commence :)

OK, my kids are smooth. Like my friend Rue said one time, "I wanna grow up and be just like my kids" (I'm pretty sure it was something like that). I was feeling that today. After interviews I always feel like I have no idea what I said. I feel as though I was saying "blah, blah, blah". Probably not a good thing but I try. :)

My kids on the other hand shine in interviews. Its amazing. No problem, no nervousness, present and self confident. Kyra didn't want to say much but Alec and Abbi were very talkative.

It was great sitting back and watching them respond to questions.

After the interview I was tired (it was over 3 1/2 hours long) but the kids were fine. Kyra biked down to a friend's house to play, Abbi started working on the computer and Alec sat and discussed the afternoon with me.

Alec and Abbi tonight, in their elements (Kyra was in the tub so that photo op wasn't gonna happen ;)
Hopefully I can be this eloquent this afternoon. I have an interview today with a reporter from MPR. Wish me luck :)

And here's more of Dayna Martin on Radical Unschooling. Its what we believe. Thanks Dayna and thanks Joni for sharing it at your blog.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

more pics

Kyra's pics

Kyra took these today.

I'm trying to figure out how to handle the size of the pictures. The files with my new camera are so big. I shrunk them, but I'm wondering how it affects the pics.

First one:

Now shrunk:

Monday, May 07, 2007

Last night as I was preparing the coffee pot for this morning, Kyra was writing in her journal. She wrote what day it was, what she did during the day and what she was going to do today. Then she wrote good night. As we were talking and doing a few more things she said "dang!". I asked her what was the matter? She answered that she had ended her day in her journal by saying good night and she wanted to write more. I told her she could still write more if she wanted, since it was her journal and she could do with it what she wanted. She started laughing, "I just love writing, I love writing, I love writing!" She sang and sang those words for about 10 minutes *g*

Some wonderful benefits of unschooling. Very cool.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Daily OM

Yesterday I wrote about how its hard to break certain cycles. How making a shift to the whole kindness trickle-down thing would be wonderful and is wonderful. Well, today I got this DailyOM, just an idea of how we can change those cycles.

Here is it:

Generate Your Own Patterns
Becoming Your Parents

Heredity plays a role in almost all human development, whether physical, mental, or emotional. We tend to look like our parents and are subject to the same sensitivities they have. We may even be predisposed to certain behaviors or preferences. As we grow older, we become increasingly aware of the traits that exist within us and the clear history of the traits of our mothers and fathers. Our response to this epiphany depends upon whether the inclinations, tendencies, and penchants we inherited from our forebears are acceptable in our eyes. We may honor some of these shared traits while rejecting others. However, there is no law of nature, no ethereal connection between parents and children, that states that the latter must follow in the footsteps of the former. We are each of us free to become whoever we wish to be.

When we accept that our parents are human beings in possession of both human graces and human failings, we begin to regard them as distinct individuals. And by granting mothers and fathers personhood in our minds, we come to realize that we, too, are autonomous people and in no way destined to become our relations. While we may have involuntarily integrated some of our parents' mannerisms or habits into our own lives, conscious self-examination will provide us with a means to identify these and work past them if we so desire. We can then unreservedly honor and emulate those aspects of our mothers and fathers that we admire without becoming carbon copies of them.

Though many of the tempers and temperaments that define you are inherited, you control how they manifest in your life. The patterns you have witnessed unfolding in the lives of your parents need not be a part of your unique destiny. You can learn from the decisions they made and choose not to indulge in the same vices. Their habits need not become yours. But even as you forge your own path, consider that your parents' influence will continue to shape your life-whether or not you follow in their footsteps. Throughout your entire existence, they have endeavored to provide you with the benefit of their experiences. How you make use of this profound gift is up to you.

Pretty cool :)

(and I just had to include the above picture because I love it :D)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Being nice to little ones

Why is it so hard for people to be nice to little ones?

Yesterday Kyra and I were shopping a bit and heard a little one crying. We just kind of kept shopping not paying a lot of attention to it. Then when we went up to pay for our purchases we saw the little girl (about a year old) who was upset. She was in a stroller very distraught. Her mom was pushing it looking tired and her dad was walking along carrying an even smaller baby. Both Kyra and I looked at the little girl and gave her a "awww look" and she kind of paused. I kind of looked at the mom but didn't say anything. The mom finally took her out, which I thought she might hold her but she didn't. She put her down and the girl backed away. The little girl kept walking backwards away from them, almost like keeping an eye on them. :(

The dad said,"that's almost funny the way she's walking away, but I don't want to laugh it'll encourage her". I just ignored him and paid for the merchandise. I heard him say that she had disappeared into the men's department. And that she deserved a spank. I turned and looked at him and just had a very disturbed look on my face. I guess for her, getting lost was a better al
ternative than getting spanked and I now knew why she was backing away from him.

I wish I would have said more, I keep going over in my head what I want to say in these situations. Does anyone have any ideas? Please comment if you have any suggestions.

This morning I got Scott Noelle's daily groove and it really touched on what happened yesterday:
:: The Trickle-Down Theory of Human Kindness ::

In peaceful "primitive" cultures, kindness is
sustained from generation to generation by a kind
"trickle-down" effect. At its core is the
held value of serving and delighting younger

especially babies.

Adults appreciate and support the delight of
who delight in the joy of prepubescents,
who enjoy entertaining younger children,
who love to carry babies and play with

The elegance of this top-down, pleasure-oriented
system is that the youngest people receive the
(and give the least) at the developmental stage
they're naturally narcissistic, while those who
give more
are more adept at deriving joy from giving.

In contrast...

Adults in our culture often *fear* adolescents,
who call prepubescents "dweebs,"
who disparagingly call younger children
who compete with real babies for scarce love

and attention.

When your children behave unkindly, remember that
can't enforce authentic kindness. Instead, let it
trickle down by *modeling* unconditional
Using your creativity, find a way to serve and
both "aggressor" and "victim" ...and yourself,

Why is it so hard to be nice? Is it because we weren't always treated nicely? And that trickle-down meanness/disrespect worked the same way? I think that's part of why its hard. Some of our parents weren't treated nicely so our parents didn't treat us so kindly. I think we have to break that cycle. Break a lot of those cycles so our kids don't have the hang ups we have. So our kids can easily treat their children with kindness and gentleness. What an amazing gift we can give our children and world. I bet there would less sadness, less wars, and (with last week's Virginia Tech tragedy) less violence in the schools.

Just be nice :)

I will not play at tug o' war.
I'd rather play at hug o' war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And everyone wins.

Shel Silverstein