Friday, December 26, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
There are some things so magical they defy description. Taking our boys to ride The Polar Express was one of them. If you've never seen the movie, watch the trailer HERE
It's just so weird to me that we are here and he is there and it's still the same planet. It is hot and muggy in Austin today. Not in Antarctica even though it's summer there. These are some pictures from Jack's photo album
You can go there and peruse pictures of Antarctica and the many thousands of pictures of airplanes and vehicles (my boys LOVE things with wheels).
We've been able to communicate quite well this year via phone, email and the coolest thing ever - Skype. It's a kind of computer telephone and we also have the camera thingee so when Jack calls we both turn on our cameras and we can see each other! It's just so neat and crazy. I'm such a technology recluse, but I really like Skype.
For those of you who have asked:
Nope. Polar bears live in the North Pole.
Ditto for Santa.
Yes, he will get to see some penguins.
It's summer there, but, no, it is not hot.
That is true, the sun stays up 24 hours a "day." No nighttime at all. Boo.
Yes, they do pee (sometimes) through a hole in the wall to avoid having to go outside.
Yes, your snot will freeze.
More later, the babysitter is here and I must run some errands.
Michele and Finnigan the Curious
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
1) The other night I was looking at SouleMama's blog to see if she had had her new baby yet. As I looked at the picture of her new little boy I got all teary. Finny asked me if I was "happysad." I said, yes. Later, while we were in bed talking and talking, I told him that looking at pictures of new babies made me want another baby. He was silent for a bit and then let out a huge sigh and said,"OKAAAAAY MAMA. I'll give you one of my seeds and you can just go on and make yourself another baby." As if it were that easy.
2) One day we were in the car with the radio on. Finny started laughing and laughing in the backseat. I asked him what was so funny. He said, "That guy on the radio sounds like he saying 'Sandwich what you need to say'." (He was actually saying, "Sayyyy what you need to say.") I was just beside myself because my brother and mom and I used to always think that songs were saying something hilarious and completely different that what was really being sung. I'm glad to know that Finny inherited this trait from us. Remeber, be brave and always sandwich what you need to say!
3) Finny and I were on the trampoline talking about superheroes. Finn said that if Stretch Armstrong's penis stretched as much as his arms and legs he would be called Stretch Armpenis. This is hilarious as is, but even more hilarious when you realize that what he meant was that his name would be Stretch Penisstrong. This story about sums up life with a 4-year-old boy.
4) Jack and Finn and I were playing board games the other night. We were setting up for Battleship when Finn asked, "Why are they called board games? They're not boring." Jack and I looked at each other and before we could comment Finn said, "AND we're not boars! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH"
HOW ON EARTH can a 4-year-old child figure out all these homophones? Crazy quick, our boy.
5) One evening Finny came out onto the patio where Jack and I were. He had on some goggle thingees. He said that they were his "invisibility glasses" and that he used them to see things that were invisible like space and the future. We thought that was cool...the future.
6) Jack has started "teaching" Finn to play chess. I use the word teaching lightly as it is next to impossible to "teach" Finny anything. However, one night Jack set up the chess board and they started. Two nights later Finn asked to play again. Jack said that he had to go do something in the garage and when he got back they would play. Finn said he would set up the board. You guessed it - after playing ONE time (and Jack NOT showing how to set up) Finn set up the board almost exactly right. He missed about 2 pieces. HOW am I going to survive with TWO rocket scientists in my house?!
7) And, on a tricky note, Finn cheated at Old Maid for the first time. He got dealt the Old Maid at the beginning of the game and when Jack was not looking (he thought), Finny took the Old Maid and stuck it in Jack's discard pile. He argued that that way no one would be the unwinner. Hard to argue with that logic. Course, we did, because I can't stand to play cards when someone cheats. Just a thing for me. We did think it was hilarious though. Human nature, I guess.
This picture is from a recent family hike. Finn never leaves the house without a costume on. I thought this picture was so cool.
Y'all come on by and we'll play some board games and not get bored.
Jack, Michele and Finnigan the Curious
The 3rd Annual Holt Halloween Party has come and gone, again. I was the White Witch of Narnia, Finn was a Power Ranger at the last minute (we also had a ghost, a skeleton and a partial Shark Boy costume in the waiting) and Jack was a long, tall cowboy. (Several of my girlfriends commented that Jack should dress as a cowboy more often. Wink wink.)
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Last night as we were all cuddled in bed getting ready to read. Finn picked out an old Star Wars book that we hadn't read in awhile. I read the first page. I turned to the next page and then Jack and I were talking about something. A moment later Finny said, "I know what that word says." I looked at the page and he was pointing to the word Obi-Wan. I asked him what it was and he said, "Obi-wan." It occurred to me that he had probably seen that word so much that he was reading it from memory, but I complimented him wildly anyway (of course). But THEN he said, "See, it says O (he pointed to the letter O), B (he pointed to the letter B) and ONE (pointing to the "i" which he mistook for the number 1). He was actually looking at the letters and sounding them out!
Then, today, as we were driving to the library he was counting all the Obama signs - something we love to do. He was quiet for a minute (rare) and then said, "Obama is just an O and a B and then MAMA." HOLY COW! SO right!
This is real reading. Understanding that each letter makes a sound, putting those letters (sounds) together makes a word.
SO EXCITING! What a marvelous, magical world awaits him. I feel the door creaking open and am picturing all kinds of characters tumbling out to welcome him to glorious world of STORIES! Sort of like a Disney movie when the magic portal opens and all the storybook characters come frolicking out.
This picture was taken in our tepee (yet another wonderful gift from Grandmary). Now that the weather is cool we've been climbing in there and having tea while reading The Dangerous Book for Boys (Grandmary again!). Yesterday we had tea, made paper airplanes and read some of Prince Caspian.
I must be dreaming...it's all so fabulous...my life...his life.
Y'all come over and we'll make some tea and climb in the tepee.
Michele, Jack and Finnigan the Curious
Thursday, October 9, 2008
This is one of my favorite pictures of Finn. It captures his beauty so perfectly; those ruby lips, skin like peaches and cream, eyes like a deep and ancient forest dappled with sunlight. He has such an old soul and such old-fashioned beauty to match. Whenever I look at this photo I think of this quote. I used to know it by heart as I love it so. I found it almost impossible to even type the words, "when he shall die..." But, die he shall someday and when he does the face of heaven will be so fine that all the world will be in love with night and pay no worship to the garish sun.
I find it hard to breathe when I think that I almost went through my life without this child. What would my heart be without him? Nothing. Nothing at all compared to what it is now. I love him so.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Not a day goes by that I don't feel grateful that Jackholt is my man. Here are just a few of the reasons why:
He makes me a delicious latte every morning on his fancy espresso machine.
He is generous with his money.
He has now assembled, unassembled and reassembled an intricate bunk bed (now fort) for Finn without ever batting an eye or acting grouchy.
He still tells me I'm pretty.
He always says, "love you" before he hangs up the phone.
He gets up in the middle of rain storms to roll up the car windows or bring in things that we left out.
He acts like it's OK when he comes home from work hungry and there' s no dinner and Finn and I are jumping on the trampoline and we've already eaten.
He's a great cook.
He drives cool, old cars, but is willing to give them up to spend more time (and money) with us. Ditto for cool, old airplanes.
He's got a scientific brain, but is always open to listening (and often believing) my alternative, radical ideas.
He's down with unschooling even though he's as educated as they come.
He cries in movies, especially when they involve children and families.
He knows how to fix, make, create, build ANYTHING. ANYTHING!
When he comes home from trips he always hides a gift for Finn in his suitcase.
He has a great mind for navigation and can read any map with ease. I always feel so safe traveling with him.
He's so dreamy and I'm so lucky.
Friday, October 3, 2008
"Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar."
Thursday, September 18, 2008
I saw this Love Tree on The Sparkling Martin's blog and I just had to make one with Finny.
Monday, September 15, 2008
What's better than spending a Friday afternoon taking a mud bath with your best pal? Spending it in a warm, outdoor shower with your best pal! Oh my, I will miss these moments of pure, muddy joy. As hard as they seem some days, I know they are absolutely perfect in every way. When I think what I would have missed had I not had a child...gulp.
When Bridge got out of the shower Finny sighed, "Oh, Bridget, I love you." And he really does.
And we really love y'all,
Michele, Jack and Finnigan the Curious
We just got home from the Rethinking Education Conference in Dallas and WOW! I don't even know how to begin to convey what a magical and meaningful week this was for us. Connecting with people who are living consentually, peacefully, lovingly and joyfully with their children (and grandparents! Oh, the lovely grandparents there) was simply awe-inspiring! We were able to hear speakers such as Dayna Martin and Sunday Cote talk about trusting the Universe, peaceful partnerships, finding the "YES" in everything, following your passions, etc., etc. Jack got to connect with some Dads and he also got to hear some unschooled children who were kind enough to answer adult questions in a panel format. Amazing! We all came home peaceful, loving, excited, enthusiastic...downright changed, really.
Even though Finny didn't attend any sessions with us it is clear that he feels the shift that took place. Jack and I are calmer, kinder, centered. We know that Radical Unschooling is right for us, but what an amazing gift to spend a week with other families who feel the same way. Finny had the MOST marvelous time running wild with new friends - Levii, Coston and Braeden, to name just a few. The hotel was gorgeous and so tolerant of the free children.
Choosing a path that is so unconventional can be hard. Over and over again people would ask each other, "How did you come to unschooling?" Many people come to it through homeschooling; a natural progression for lots of families who begin with a strict curriculum and find it just doesn't "work." I know for me, and then from me to Jack, it was just a matter of knowing that compulsory schooling was not what I wanted for my child (I thought this long before we had Finnigan). I read and read and read and asked question after question after question. As much as I find the computer to be an akward medium for me I just cannot fathom where I would be today, on this path, without it. SO many wise and thoughtful and brilliant people who shared their journeys with me so that I could begin mine. I am so grateful to each and every one of them. And now here we are - further along the path that I ever imagined and happier than I ever thought possible. And just when I thought things were fine the way they were, along comes this conference and we get riccocheted into a new paradigm altogether. Jack got turned on to (and I got more turned on to) the Law of Attraction and that is really, really working for us.
One of the most meaningful messages that I got from the conference was one of gratitude and acceptance. Where we are right now is perfect and I totally trust that wherever we go from here will be perfect too. We're a team and our goal is love and trust and enjoy one another as much as humanly possible. Jack and I feel that our job is not to make Finn obey, but to bring him joy and happiness whenever possible. And we wish to offer that to each other as well. And to you!
Thanks for being on our journey with us.
>We love y'all,
Michele, Jack and Finnigan the Curious
Thursday, August 14, 2008
We love y'all,
and Finnigan the Curious
Uncle Roo was kind enough to drive all the way from Denver, Colorado to come visit his favorite nephew (and his favorite sister and mama). Finn was absolutely hysterical to see him and we sat on the front porch for almost 2! hours waiting for him. It also prompted us to spend some time in front of the map. Finn really liked seeing where Uncle started from and how far it was down to us. His point of reference for driving is "is it as far as it is to Grandmary's house?" That, to him, is the max amount of time that one could possibly drive. When I told him it was like driving to Grandmary's 5 or 6 times he almost blew a gasket. He immediately said that Uncle should take a jet airliner next time and "NEVER drive that far ever again." He's not a big fan of the car, as you can tell.
Uncle Roo was wonderful as ever. He played endlessly with Finn; let him crawl all over him; played batman and guns and swords and who-knows-what-all. I came in the house and found the bedroom door closed - they were hiding guns in the closet so no one could find them.
Poor Roo was exhausted upon arrival and just played his heart out. We are so grateful to have such a wonderful uncle. I'm also so grateful that Roo has a nephew to love.
Whenever we're all together I can't help but feel a bit of loss that Daddy is not living down the street as planned. I always hoped that him living close to a real family would make him feel better about life. He was so lonely. I think the next time Roo is here we could sit together with Finn and look at pictures of Daddy and talk about him. I will make a little photo album for us to sit with. Maybe we can bake a cake in honor of him - that man LOVED sweets JUST like his grandson. To me, Finn is like Daddy in lots of ways. Just little things, but I definitely see it.
We love y'all,
and Finnigan the Curious
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Just a few days ago he still didn't like getting his face wet and now, voila, swimming! He told me that he just kept watching other people and thinking about it and then he just told himself, I KNOW I can, I KNOW I can and he did. We never did swim lessons because he didn't want to. We never pushed him to try anything - not even to blow bubbles or get his hair wet because he never liked it. I was really reluctant to get him floaties or even a float because I think children learn to depend on them instead of themselves, but he wanted them and so I did. He LOVED them and I now believe they were exactly what he needed to feel comfortable.
He and I were at Brentwood Pool (our neighborhood pool across the street from our house) and we were playing and having a great time. He said he was going to go all the way under water (which he never likes to do) and he did! He did that several times, staying under longer and longer. Then he said he felt like he was just going to swim. He asked me if I thought he could. Of course, I replied, "OF COURSE!" He then started doing a kind of dog paddle thingee. He asked me if that was real swimming. I said that I thought real swimming was when your legs were out straight behind. He said, "Oh, yea, that's right." He then lifted his chin, kind of threw himself out and started swimming! It still looks like a burro swimming, but, bgosh bgolly it's real swimming. He was absolutely delirious with joy as was I. He wanted to surprise Jack so when Jack got home (in record time because I told him there was something really important to see at home) we were waiting on the porch for him with his bathing suit and a towel. He was a little confused because Finn told him that he had learned a new Jedi trick but that he had to show it to him at the pool. We ran over (NO ONE else there) to the pool and Finn and I went into our previously rehearsed dialog. I acted bummed out that I had forgotten his floaties. I said I would go home and get them. Finn then said, no, no that he could go in without them. I had strict instructions to act worried and tell him he could NOT go in without his floaties (which I would never really say). At that point he jumped in and started swimming! Jack was so surprised. The pool closed just a few minutes after we got there so, in Holt family fashion, we hopped in the car and drove to another pool that stayed open until 9. Jack and Finn swam and swam and swam. Then we got cheapo Mexican food and went to bed on full bellies. Well, poor Jack had to go to the lab and check on some equipment, but Finn and I passed out.
Our boy can swim!
We love y'all,
MicheleJack and Finnigan the swimmer
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Happy Birthday to you!
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Now, just need to install the outdoor claw foot tub, put flagstaff all around the area, plant all the tropicals, build the bamboo wall so the neighbors can't peek, build a cool wall for the back of the carport, etc., etc., etc. For now though, heaven, pure heaven.
Come on over and check it out!
We love y'all,
and Finnigan the Curious