Sunday, September 28, 2008


Fletch has been in "school" for just about a month now. I can't believe I haven't posted about it at all! It's been an experience for our whole family.
We signed up with an homeschooling, charter resource school: Family Partnership.

I lean more towards wanting to unschool Fletch, what I really mean to say is I believe in unschooling. And that is what I would have chosen to do with Fletch and eventually Maggy if it were all up to me, which it is not. While Jim likes the idea behind unschooling, he sometimes views it more as unparenting. He really need more structure and teaching to happen in our homeschooling world. So we signed up.

It's been a bumpy ride already, some stuff we love: field trips, enrichment classes, free curriculum. Some we don't: star testing, weekly homework (for lack of a better word) chart to fill out, worksheets (yuck).

What it's really turned into though is our own form of unschooling while using what we like from Family Partnership. It feels like a good compromise.

Jim found out he loves to read with Fletch. They have read the first four books in the Five Ancestors series and started over again at the beginning while waiting for the fifth to be written.
Jim never enjoyed reading, except magazines and Uncle John's Bathroom Reader. Saturday, at the library he got a novel, Dearly Devoted Dexter (the books the show is based on) to read for himself!
He also found out that filling in the weekly "homework" chart makes him a bit crazy, so I do it.

I found out, everything doesn't have to be done my way in order for it to work out. Hard lesson to learn. And I'm not really sure I can say I've learned it, but and constantly learning it.

Meanwhile, Fletcher is happy with homeschooling. He doesn't ask to go to school like his cousins and some of his friends do. He proudly tells strangers who always seem to ask about school that his school is at home. And a surprising number of those strangers says, "you are so lucky."

So, a few pictures, with many more to come:

Last weeks field trip to the Morro Bay Nature Learning Center:
(who says homeschoolers don't know how to raise their hands, stand in line, or wait their turn!)

Fletch, sharing his tooth spacer with everyone.

enamored with the big boys.

Fletcher's own water experiment. Notice he donned a jacket, because the bucket doesn't always go fast enough to keep in the water in it!

The praying mantis we found on our window and took in for a day to study - thanks to our public library for the great books!

then we released him

I'm not sure Fletcher won't want to go to school-school some day. Maybe even tomorrow he'll change his mind. I hope not, but I'm keeping an open mind - so is Jim, and I think thats what matters most. We're all in this together.

Maggy Mayhem

Maggy Mayhem and The Gremlin.
These are my new nick-names for Maggy. Why? Isn't it obvious? She's seven months old, and now able to roll over at the precise moment you stick a VERY shape pin into her diaper - VERY close to her belly. With your finger covering her belly mind you. So you get stuck when she does the grand flip.

That's not all. She's teething, and has produced this month - five teeth. Sharp teeth. Have I mentioned how fast she can get across the room? So, while you're minding your own business, reading on the couch, and you think she's in the opposite corner of the room, gnawing on block of wood - OUCH! Those five, sharp teeth clamp down on you big toe.
Your first reaction might be to wildly shake your foot to dislodge The Gremlin, but your parental instincts kick in just in time to save her.

Still, there is more....

Remember how she used to sleep, and has lately taken to not sleeping quite so much? Our new nightly routine while Dad is putting Fletch to bed goes a bit like this:
She is exhausted, crying, and wanting to nurse. I, being the good mother march her upstairs, change her diaper and lay down with her. She begins to nurse. So far, so good.
Then, well before sleep has taken hold - only moments after laying down she pops up laughing, yes - laughing. Whats the joke? I still don't get it.
She proceeds to throw herself face first onto the bed. And scoot towards the head of the bed with her face buried in the mattress.
Now for the Exorcist part. I'm sure you know what I'm referring to: spinning head, evil laugh, crazy eyes, and green goop or slime or something.
Granted, her head doesn't spin, all of her does. So fast I have to lunge to keep her from going off the side of the bed. The evil laugh is real so are the crazy eyes, and the green - nastiness - is all too real, pouring from her nose in copious amounts. I've taken to keeping the worlds largest snot rag (a receiving blanket) next to bed, it's really the only thing that makes sense.
After several minutes of this fun, I give up and we head back down stairs. I try to do a bit of dishes or knitting while she continues her little show on the carpet for a good thirty minutes. She lets me know when she's really ready for bed by scooting up onto my foot and sobbing, nibbling on toes, and leaving a snot trail like the biggest snail you've ever seen.

Oh, and I forgot to mention: while she looks and acts sound asleep after all that - she wakes again just about an hour later! Hi Mags, love ya.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Still Awake

Tonight was to be a bit of a night off. We dropped Fletch off at Kids Night Out at Harvest's preschool.
Then, Jim, Maggy and I tried out the new Mexican restaurant - Mariachi (not great). Next, we dropped Jim off at his friend Matt's for a visit and headed home.

That was the beginning of MY TIME. I planned to put Maggy to bed and get to work:
on a gift for Janie, our niece/cousin who turned four on Wednesday:HAPPY BIRTHDAY JANIE!
Maggy has other plans. Apparently to stay awake until Aunt Harvest brings big Brother and Dad home around 10:30!

I should know better by now.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Remember when....

I said I was making something? Well, I did. It's been finished for some time now:

An outfit for Maggy and matching skirt for me. While I love the way both turned out, the skirt still need some work, Maggy's shirt needs some fixing up, and the pants are already too small!!
Still, I didn't think I should keep you guessing about it for ever.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What A Wonderful Day

9 years ago today Jim and I headed to the County Clerks Recorder's Office in San Luis Obispo and got hitched.

And here we are today:

We had a lazy, easy morning: pancakes, indoor hokey and a bit of homeschooling then off to Avila Valley Barn for some apples, toys and ice cream. Another perfect day among many for our family, good memories, and fabulous pictures!

A bit later we dropped the kids off with Grandma Sue and Aunt Harvest while Jim and I went to dinner. We went into Paso Robles for Thai food at Basil. So very good! A really great day.

9 Years...

Happy Anniversary Jim,

I Love You!

Friday, September 05, 2008

top 5 for Katie

Got this from my sis-in-law Katie


  1. Avacados
  2. Peanut Butter
  3. Pocket Books from the library
  4. Ice for my water
  5. story books from the library on my ipod


  1. Annie Hall
  2. She's Having a Baby
  3. Knocked Up
  4. Dial M For Murder
  5. The Story Of Us

TOP 5 BABY NAMES I LOVE (Besides my own Children's)

  1. Eugene
  2. Francesca
  3. Poppy
  4. Van
  5. Quintin


  1. December, 1963 (Oh What A Night) - (Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons)
  2. Daughter - (Loudon Wainwright III)
  3. What A Wonderful World - (Louis Armstrong)
  4. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right - (Bob Dylan)
  5. Warm Love - (Van Morrison)


  1. Plainsong by Kent Haruf
  2. Beethoven Medal by K.M. Peyton
  3. Learning All The Time by John Holt
  4. Unconditional Parentingby Alfie Kohn
  5. Mutant Message Down Under by Marlo Morgan


  1. Lip Balm
  2. Extra Diaper Pins
  3. Toy for Maggy
  4. Snack for Fletch
  5. Water bottle


  1. The first time I talked with Jim in his driveway in SLO, it was all an accident - but look where it got us!
  2. Fletcher's birth
  3. Maggy's birth
  4. Traveling around the states in my Mom's VW bus camping at National parks for three weeks one summer
  5. Every time Fletch and Maggy look at each other and smile


  1. Reading
  2. Cooking/Baking and trying out new foods, new recipes
  3. Sewing, clothes for my kiddos, skirts for myself, maybe curtains, hopefully a quilt for Fletch
  4. Penn Says podcasts on my ipod
  5. Homeschooling, following Fletcher's lead


  1. The same National Park trip with my own family
  2. The Smithsonian with my kiddos
  3. Strawberry Music Festival in Yosemite with lots of friends and family
  4. Anywhere with Jim, just the two of us for a few days, maybe camping
  5. A seaside cabin on the east coast - Cape Cod?


  1. Food Processor
  2. Blender
  3. Cast Iron Pans
  4. Knife sharpener (which Jim bought me after I asked him to get my knives professional sharpened - who knew it was so easy!)
  5. garlic press


  1. Barbara
  2. Teresa