Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011

So far, so good....

So far, I love homeschooling.

Having our family on only 2 schedules rather than 4 or five is so freeing! So often as a small business owner, we have “minor” emergencies…. out of milk, bathroom is not working, etc. We have to be available sometimes at a moments notice. Having the kiddos with me has been more freeing then I thought it would be. No longer do I have to worry about missing the bus, or not being able to be at someone’s special presentation. We have more family time together during the week when Pat gets off after his shift. Since we’ve been home together during the week, we have more energy and space for hanging out with friends or having an adventure during the weekend. This newfound freedom is glorious.

Most days we head up to our newly redecorated classroom/office/creative space around 8:30-9 and get started with school. We’re doing a crazy combo of Sonlight/Waldorf/Co-op homeschool. Obviously, we’re not a textbook (literally and figuratively) homeschool family! I hope that once we are a bit more disciplined in our routine, we will have a better idea of what works for us. Jbug has taken to homeschooling like a fish to water. (Note to anyone who has struggled with attachment issues: consider homeschooling.) I have been amazed at the way this little one has blossomed by having close contact with mom and dad most of the day, without having to figure out how to interact with 30 other classmates. She is surrounded with those she knows and loves, who know, love and for the most part understand her. After years of headaches, stomachaches, tantrums, and counseling sessions, it feels as if we have made extreme progress in just weeks with the chosen-for-us little one! Micah is still trying to figure out how homeschool works (aren’t we all?) It has defiantly been more challenging. No longer are the answers being spoon fed. It feels good to challenge his amazing brain! Kj has already discovered the freedom of homeschooling last year, although I am asking for more from her this year. She is very independent and already thinking of testing a grade level ahead. I better start brushing up on my math skills. We love being able to attend Karate classes during the day, or hit a geocache on the way home. Afternoons are spent at the coffeehouse, reading, tending the bar, running errands, etc.

So far, so good.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

One Day Without Shoes

Thought I'd share what our family is doing today. Check out or check the tweets at #hardwithoutshoes. Consider it a modern day fast and sackcloth. This is the letter I sent out to the kids' teachers.

Hi Wonderful Educators,

So..... Our family does a lot of conversing about those in the world that are less fortunate then ourselves. We try to help out in different ways & stand for issues of injustice. This week we remembered hearing about an event called "One Day Without Shoes" This event, held today on April 8th, brings awareness that most children in developing countries go without basic necessities like shoes...this limits their ability to go to school, and protect themselves from debilitating diseases. Our kids would like to show their concern by participating in this day. Basically, one goes about their day as normal except without shoes.

We have spoken with both of them and feel that their hearts are definitely in the right place. They are choosing to go without shoes to "respect those who do not have shoes." We are providing them with t-shirts that reflect the message of the event and stickers that have a website for those who would like more information. We are asking them to not draw attention to themselves and to remain in an attitude of learning and respect.

We would ask that you as teachers and administrators respect their right to reflect their growing conscience of the world around them. We do understand that if their actions become disruptive to the learning environment that they will be asked to wear shoes. (They will each have a pair of sandals with them.)

Thank you....We know that this is an unusual request. Feel free to contact us for any reason.
Pat and Mandy

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A new label

After reading this blog, I realized, once again, how big our God is. I find it encouraging that our journey of living, house church, emergent, whatever form it has taken over the years, has been echoed across the globe. It's crazy good that God moves the hearts of his people in such similar ways. While a part of my humanness says, "oh darn, I'm not as cutting edge as I thought," the other part of me is glad to see a bit of a path ahead. An inkling of what might be. But for now, I'm looking forward to embracing a new label: social entrepreneur. Maybe even getting to help form the meanings.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Slow down, you move too fast

This summer (8 months ago) a friend gave me a book called Slow is beautiful. I’ve been too busy to read it. But now, I’m finally starting to realize my need for slow. It is not as strong as my need of silence (I tend to get that on a daily basis after ever one else has gone to sleep.) I would truly starve without silence at some point in my day. But now after 8 months of intense speed (major renovation and starting a high profile business) I’m starting to hope for a more sustainable rhythm.

Even as my friend handed me the book, she said that we were entering a season where this book might seem impossible. Maybe now I can find the book again under the piles of 8 months of clutter.

What started this need, this pull my nose off the grindstone? I cleaned my office. Once the clutter was reduced, a rhythm, a system found it’s place. It’s only about a 4 foot square corner of control. But now I’ve maintained it for a total of 4 days! There is a freedom in a bit of rules. Leave the desk as clean as you found it. File it! Take action.

Admittedly it’s only been 4 days. True, it’s only 4 feet square. I’ve got a whole house to deal with now. And that is just physical space. What about my spirit? My body? My finances? My relationships? There’s a lot of clutter that has been shelved and piled these past 8 months. God, I get overwhelmed when I think about the energy and effort to pull things back to reasonable speed and order. Hell, it took me 2 days to clean and organize my desk.

I’m grateful for the groundwork God has done in me over the years. His instilling in me a love of nature, community and peace will continue to be my pillars as I rebuild. A great strength is that we are surrounded by amazing folks who hold to similar values, a beautiful landscape to get lost in, and hearts begging for inner peace. I’m not going to make goals, resolutions or promises of daily updates on my progress. That would just add to the overwhelmingness . For now it is just enough to state that I am ready to begin the process and acknowledge the need of slow.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The view from my window

Yeah, the view from my window has changed.
Actually, the window I look out the most has changed. I used to gaze out our dining room window at my three little ones playing on the swingset. I am soooo thankful for the time I got to spend with them when they were little. Good soil for my little ones. Now, they're all in grade school.
After two weeks of Christmas vacation at home with the kiddos, it's back to the regularly scheduled program. We all wake up and head out the door at the same time. They to fill their heads with knowledge. I to fill empty coffee cups with great coffee and hopefully a drop of love|peace too. I missed all my people at the shop. I really feel that God has placed me where I belong right now. Those mothering skills of the past 11 years go really well into the customer service realm. 3 different kids= 3 different sandwiches. 3 different customers=3 different drinks. Oops...a dropped glass jar of peanut butter. Oops....a dropped ceramic cup. (Actually, it was me who broke a cup today!)
I find some of the same "mothering hen" emotions come into play at the shop, too. If I have a regular customer who doesn't show up for a while, I start to worry a bit. After a well played music gig, I rejoice for the success of the musician. I love gazing out around the shop and seeing my community connecting. Yeah, the window is different, but the view is pretty much the same