Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Love Tree

I saw this Love Tree on The Sparkling Martin's blog and I just had to make one with Finny.
You simply find a tree branch and strip the leaves off. Then you make little hearts and write the names of those you love on them and hang them in the tree. We had a little stuffed bird that we added to ours. This project was so cute that Finny even worked on it for, oh, about 10 minutes which is a crafting record for him. He thought that folding the paper and then cutting half-hearts out (which unfold into full hearts) was the coolest thing ever. I think Dayna and her babe, Ivy, made the hearts out of felt and stuffed them. I had to go for quickie hearts cuz my boy wanted me to jump jump jump on our new trampoline with him. But, really, it's the sweetest little thing ever. I just love it. I think we'll make them for Valentine's Day too. It will be hard to top the Love Boxes I made last year, but the Love Trees just might do it.
Here's who Finny put on his Love Tree:
Uncle Roo
Aunt Mara
Coston and Braeden
I'm SO grateful he could think of so many people that he loves. His life is just full of love.
I have been feeling so close and tender with my family of late. We had good, good friends who lost their homes in hurricane Ike. They lost everything, really. Every little thing. I am so grateful that they are safe and sound, but my heart is so raw for them. I hope they know how much we love them. Maybe a Love Tree is in order for them too?
We sure love y'all,
Michele, Jack and Finnigan the Curious

Monday, September 15, 2008

Oh, Bridget, I love you.

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

Rethinking Education Conference

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