Friday, July 17, 2009

Wishing for God.

My sweet, perfect, amazing, incredible boy has been having trouble sleeping for weeks now.
Maybe it's summer.
Maybe it's being 5 and having so much going on.
Maybe it's having such a fun life that it's just too hard to end each day.
Anyway, it's been hard on all of us, but mostly him.
I very distinctly remember being scared as a kid. A lot.
I actually remember being terrified. A lot.
So, I know how he feels.
Jackdaddy and I do every thing we possibly can to help him. We stay up as late as humanly possible; we leave lights on; we all sleep together; we talk about taking control of our dreams; we lay down and then get up; we walk around the house with him in our arms; we tell stories; we sing songs. We do it all.

Sometimes, however, you gotta bring in the big guns.

Last night, Finn said:
"I wish I had a God that would do what I wanted except not when I'm being mean or mad."
I thought he said God, but I could not imagine he'd said God because we don't say God and where would he come up that word, especially in that context?
I asked him to repeat what he said.
Yep, he said God.
What he meant was that he wished he had a God who would do what he wanted it to do, but for it not to do the things he asked for when he was mad or angry.
Jack and I were both dumbfounded.
I was secretly thrilled.
I firmly believe that sometimes you have to reach deeper than the self you can easily access.
It seems that Finny does too.
I asked him what he would ask of his God right now.
He said that he would tell his God to make it morning already.
The prayer of a 5-year-old.
I told him that he does have a God and that his God would never, ever do the things we ask for when we're mad or angry or hurt. Never. I told him that our Gods know exactly what it is we really want and that Gods understand that you don't mean what you say when you're feeling grouchy. I told him that his God knew that he was a wonderful, kind, thoughtful, sweet boy all the time, even when he didn't act that way.
Acting is not being.

I find all of this amazing as I have just started reading, Eat, Pray, Love and am loving it. It's stirring up stuff for me and making me feel that wonderful spiritual high that I sometimes get (and often lose).
So, here I am feeling this kind of Godhigh, and here Finn is calling on his God.
I want him to feel that he has every option available to him - his parents, his friends, his family, himself, the world, God. Sometimes it's just too hard to do it all alone.
I don't know if there is a God outside of ourselves. I'm long past needing to understand it, I just want to feel it. My strong feeling is that God is simply all the joyful and loving energy in the Universe. I believe that the more joyful and loving energy we put out, the bigger God gets.
That's gotta' be good, right?

So, if you pray tonight, please ask that the morning comes soon for FinnigantheCurious because that what he really needs right now.

Love,
Michele, Jack and Finnigan the Curious

Monday, June 22, 2009

Father and Son



OH, the joy of a Daddy and boy.


Finny was so excited for Jack to have a special day. After yoga, Jack came home to this beautiful DECLARATION OF LOVE banner.
Our Jack is so sweet that he let Finn take him to Dave and Busters for Father's Day so "they" could play video games. Finn was just sure that Jack really needed to fly an airplane and since he couldn't fly a real one today, he made sure he got to fly a simulator. It was pretty cool and Jack did love it. Maybe next year we'll have a real plane for him to fly?


Not a day goes by that I am not astounded and grateful for the love, attention and kindness of this man to this boy. They are so in love and there must be nothing greater known to man than the love between a father and son. My heart is so full of them. Finn told us before we went to bed,


"Mom, I know you might not believe this, but tonight I love Daddy more than you."


Could you just die at that kind of love?


And I sure did miss my own Daddy today. I often lament the fact that his generation had such different things expected of them. How much he missed out on with my me and my brother. He was a kind and sweet Daddy, but I look at Jack and think how different my Dad's life might have been had he been born in another era. I think about my Dad most days. I'll never not miss him, I know that for sure. And as I've grown older I've been able to embrace all the love that he was and forget all that I thought he wasn't. He was my Daddy and I'll never have another.


Hug your daddies for me.


Love,
Michele, Jack and Finnigan the Curious


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Blah, Blah, Blogging

Oh, my, I've been a bad, bad blogger.
Sometimes blogging feels like "one more thing I have to do."
Sometimes I do it with such joy.
Lately, it's been the former.
I also started a new house and garden blog and that's been my passion of late. (I'll reveal it soon, still working on back posting.)

So, here's a quick recap of May and early June and I promise I'll try to do better!

Major construction on the house including new driveway, new garage floor, new front porch, new walkway, new outdoor shower/hot tub redo. Whew!

See above.

I was in a play. It was fun and I'm glad that it's over.


Jackdaddy and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary.
It was lovely and I'm so thrilled to still be together. Growing, loving, learning, laughing and sometimes barely muddling through!

Y'all come on over and be sure to drive up in the driveway!

Love,
Michele, Jack and Finnigan the Curious



Sunday, May 17, 2009

Baby bird on the John Deere


Can you see that little guy on top of the tractor?
 His mama was having an absolute fit so I went over to investigate and there he was, sitting in the sandbox and hopping from toy to toy.  I brought the dogs inside to give him a better chance.  I guess he made it because I never found any feathers and the mama stopped fussing.  
Poor mama,  I know just how she felt.

We'll leave the light on for you.

Last night I went to brush my teeth and found this surprise 
in the medicine cabinet:
Isn't Jackdaddy just the sweetest thing ever?

We always leave our aeroplane nightlight on when he's gone.  It keeps us all safe.
Night-night Jackdaddy.
We love and miss you!

We love and miss y'all too!
Michele, Jack (in Switzerland) and Finnigan the Curious


Saturday, May 16, 2009

My caterpillars!

Aren't they lovely?

I like clean.

Oh, I just love it when my house is clean.
Y'all better come by quick 'cuz it won't look like this long.
Love,
Michele, Jack (in Switzerland) and the Finnigan the Curious

Something Fun

I went to The Dollar Tree and found some bags of plastic cowboys and Indians. I glued them all along the top of my fence. They look so funny and silly. I'm always reminded of one of my favorite kid movies, "The Indian in the Cupboard" when I see little plastic toys. My kitchen window looks out on this part of the fence and I can always hear what people are saying when they walk by. Lots of people slow down when they see the mermaid on the garage and start looking more closely. I've heard lots of nice comments about my little guys on the fence. I realized at some point though that the squirrels and birds were having a hard time perching up there. I love my wildlife and felt kind of bad that I had interrupted their spot. Eventually they starting knocking the little guys down. That's OK with me...there are still some hanging around and the wildlife opened up a few spots for themselves - everybody wins! (Except the Indians, of course, but that's another story, right?)


Pow, Pow, y'all!
Love,
Michele, Jack and Finnigan the Curious

The Great Outdoors

One of the coolest things about not going to school is the freedom to go where we want when we want. It's so awesome to be able to bypass crowds by going places during the week. There is such a small window of opportunity for spring camping in Texas - by mid-May it's too hot. This means that the weekends in May are insanely crowded. I feel really grateful that we can go during the week when it's nice and quiet; just us and the old folks and the other homeschoolers! Oh, and the deer, rabbits, lizards, snakes, birds, spiders, scorpions! and, of course, mosquitoes.
We had such a fun time playing with the remote control cars. If you've never done this, I really must recommend it. When we've had enough hiking and swimming and eating and bird-watching we break out the RC cars and have a blast.

Jackdaddy came and joined us one night. Always good to have a big, strong, strapping man around when camping. Look at the sleepy boys...so sweet.

You know what's crazy about this? Finny wrote this upside down! I was just amazed. I have a talent for reading upside down...maybe he got my upside down talent and translated it into writing.


This was the first trip that Finny has asked to go off wandering by himself. Because I trust that all is well and I trust him to use good judgement, I was delighted to encourage him to wander to his heart's desire. He was with his friend, Bowie, the first two days, but after they left he tooled around all by himself. I could hear him a few sites down just chatting with folks...making friends. He would come back often to report his findings.
There's always a teeny, tiny little pocket of guard in the pit of my heart, but I totally believe that letting your children experiment with freedom in, what is to me, a safe setting is simply priceless. I think camping trips to state parks are all about kids running wild. This is the way I grew up. People don't let their children run wild in the neighborhoods anymore so we've got to find a place to let them sow their wild oats, so to speak. He had a great time and I got to read a magazine! I did "tattoo" him just in case he wandered a bit too far. He loved this.
See y'all at the campsite!
Love,
Michele, Jack and Finnigan the Curious



Saturday, April 18, 2009

What to do on a rainy day.

Burn a pizza. Really, really burn it.

Make a cake (and wonder where the good camera is)



Make truck art



Get out in it!



Take a self-portrait














Thursday, April 16, 2009

Easter! Easter! Chocolate for my keister!

They even sit the same



Sweet Grandmary and Baby Michele





The happy Easter couple






Grandmary tries the candied apples



And you think your family is silly? Check out this video:



video


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

BOYS!




What more can I say?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Childhood

My dear friend, Autum, posted this in her Facebook notes and I loved it so much I just had to post it here.

"When we adults think of children there is a simple truth that we ignore: childhood is not preparation for life; childhood is life. A child isn't getting ready to live; a child is living. No child will miss the zest and joy of living unless these are denied by adults who have convinced themselves that childhood is a period of preparation.How much heartache we would save ourselves if we would recognize children as partners with adults in the process of living, rather than always viewing them as apprentices. How much we could teach each other; we have the experience and they have the freshness. How full both our lives could be."
John A. Taylor

Mailbox surprise!

This was in my mailbox when I came home the other day!
How FUN is that?
(I did call her, she came over and we had a great time)
I'll post some pictures soon of our magcial home that inspires notes in the mailbox. Promise!
Love,
Michele, Jack and Finnigan the Curious

Go Rockies!

What a catch!


What a throw!


Batting - the best part!


Never too busy to stick out his tongue.
I thought I might take this opportunity to show you some pictures of Finny playing teeball. His interest is waning quickly. We were completely surprised that he asked to play in the first place, so this comes as no real surprise.
I'm so grateful that we are a family who realizes the value in "quitting." I know most people feel that parents should make their children "stick to it" no matter what in an effort to learn about commitment. When I think back on my life and realizes how many things I should have quit, yet, didn't, it reinforces my decision to let him quit if he wants to.
It's easy to look at quitting in a negative way, but what if we were to turn it around and understand that teaching your child to stay in touch with his wants and needs might just be a wonderful life lesson? What if someone taught you that quitting has value? That you CAN want to do one thing and then simply change your mind. Or that it's perfectly OK to experiment in life and you don't have to finish everything you start. Sometimes quitting is the wrong choice. But learning that, in an organic way, is much more powerful that someone making you continue to do something you don't want to do anymore. There may be a time in life when Finn quits something and then regrets it. He then has another wonderful opportunity to learn for himself how that feels, how it affects others, how others may treat him for it and whether he would make the same decision again. Real life learning from his own decision; that's invaluable in my opinion. Teaching children to think for themselves and helping them maneuver through the aftermath...that's unschooling.
Y'all come see the Rockies. Finn may be playing and he may not, but you can still get a hot dog!
Love,
Michele, Jack and Finnigan the Curious

Sunday, April 5, 2009

And now we are FIVE!

Birthday, oh, glorious Birthday!
This year Finny had his birthday at Kiddie Acres. It is just the sweetest, cutest place you've ever seen. When I was a child we had a place in Beaumont called, Kamp's Junction, and I have such incredibly vivid memories of that place. I can still remember exactly how the hamburgers tasted; buttery. I distinctly remember getting on the train and riding through the "wild woods." It was so magical. Kiddie Acres is that kind of place. This has been my favorite birthday party so far. Childhood can be so fleeting; this party held sacred all the magic and pure joy that is being FIVE!



Monk, Bowie and the birthday boy after their train ride.


I made little party capes for all the children. You can see Bridie and Zoe's capes and that's Ursula and Freya across the table.




Sometimes I make Finn's birthday cakes and he likes that a lot, but he really loved going to the grocery store and picking out his cake this year. Another huge memory of my own birthdays was us going to Rao's Bakery and picking out my birthday cake. I can see the tile floor and the big glass cases with all those awesome cakes and cookies in them. I remember the smell, the cash register, the pecan sandies that my brother loved. Those memories are really so fresh in my mind; just like yesterday. They had this book that you could look through and pick out what you wanted. Oh, wait! I think they actually had sample cakes. I'll have to ask my mama. Anway, it was just a wonderful place and the most cherished of rituals. (It's still there, by the way. New owners, but still in the same spot.) I got a lump in my throat thinking about Rao's when Finn and I were picking out his cake. I know homemade is special, but so is a special trip to the store to leaf through the cake book, picking out your flavors and colors and then, oh, my, the picking up! That huge white box so full of promise. Inching the top up so you can get a "real" look. We makes so many cakes here at home that it was super fun to have a store-made one for his special day.
Joy, dear ones, it's all about whatever brings the most joy!




I made this banner for his very first birthday. It makes an appearance every year and is such a wonderful part of Finn's birthday rituals. Lots of people in the neighborhood waved and shouted out, "Happy Birthday Finn!" So cool!





And last, but not least, a gorgeous birthday photograph from my dear friend, Autumn. She is the most amazing photograhper and we are so lucky to get birthday pictures from her each year. I am framing each of her photos and making a birthday chronicle in Finn's room. I'll show you when I get them up.
And now we are five. Bittersweet and real.
Love,
Michele, Jack and Finnigan the 5-year-old







Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Love, Regret and Pizza

I was really shitty to my boy yesterday.
I mean really shitty. Not "grouchy" or "thoughtless," but out and out mean.
It's hard to talk about, but I know that we've all done it. I decided it might help me lay down the burden of it if I just put it out there.
I just lost it because I had expectations and they were not met. I wanted to go the unschooling park day and visit with friends and I wanted Finn to play with the other children or at least just play on the playscape so I could have a chance to NOT play with him. Well, firstly, it wasn't park day. My days have been really off for some reason (maybe this lingering flu/cough/malaise/plague?). That put me in a grouchy mood. I wanted to connect with some mamas, especially one I have been trying to connect with for awhile. Then Finny was really needing me to stay close. Close as in RIGHT THERE EVERY SECOND. I followed him around for awhile and then I told him I was gonna sit right there and just watch while he climbed. About, oh, 5 seconds later he came over and said he was surrrre feeling hungry and thirsty (we had plans to go eat pizza after being at the park). At this point I was just overtaken by a demon mother. Where she came from, I have no idea. I hope to never meet her again. I grabbed my keys and stormed out of the park with him running behind...it got worse before it got better. I said some ugly things that I can't even bring myself to remember much less write. We were both crying as we drove to the pizza place. We got inside and I ordered his pizza. I came and sat down and we both started crying and crying. I took him in my arms and rocked him while sobbing my apologies. The sweet pizza guy boxed our food up without being asked and we drove home. We climbed on the couch and held each other for an hour. I cried and cried and told him how terribly, terribly sorry I was. I told him all that I thought had happened and he listened and we talked. He said it was all OK. That he was mad and sad, but that he knew I didn't mean what I said and that he loved me anyway.
I asked him to try and tell me how he feels when we are somewhere and he can't play without me. HOW that feels inside him - to help me better understand. He said, and I quote (with tears streaming down my face):
"When you're far away from me my heart feels very tiny. When I know you're close by, it feels bigger. My heart feels better when it is bigger. It feels scary when it's tiny."
SO, today we had a redo. We went to the same park and I told him that I would stay right with him and play with him and stay just as close as he needed me. We had a really good time. I figure today is Day One of being the best mama I can be. I can't do anything about yesterday that I haven't already done, but I sure can try not to do that again.
Expectations! They are just the cause of so much crap in my life. That's my new goal - I'm trying to stay in the moment and out of expectation. I am actually grateful for that terrible few moments. They were a reminder to me of who and what I do not want to be. They provided me with valuable contrast. The contrast between who I want to be and who I sometimes am. I HATED the way I felt when I was so mad. I choose to try and not feel that way anymore. Now, I have this experience of "when I go to the park with Finn I need to not have any expectations of how he will play." I have that information now and I will choose to use it. I am growing. OW.
Thank god my sweet son and I have a relationship that is based in love and respect. I know we're not permanently wounded by my crap. We're raw and tender, but really OK.
Love,
Michele, Jack (in England) and Finnigan the Curious

Sunday, March 15, 2009

LOVE your frock!

How do you like Finn's new swimsuit?
Isn't it FAB? His friend Bowie, who has very eclectic taste in clothing, picked this beauty up at Target. The moment Finn saw it he just knew he had to have one. We think they have adorable taste. We did explain to him (as did Bowie's parents) that people will probably think he's a girl when he wears this. He said he knew that and that he didn't care. There you have it!
How lucky are we to live in a time that a little boy can wear a girl's one-piece suit and his mama and daddy and friends think it's not only fine, but cool.
A side note to all the ladies reading this: boys pick one-piece suits out of their butts just like we do ! He performed the universal "butt-pick" within moments of putting it on. I was dying.
Y'all come over and we'll go swimming...bring your one-piece!

Love,
Michele, Jack and Finnigan the Curious(ly dressed)

Toys! Toys! Toys!

We are the luckiest family in the world to have "Grandmary Claus!"
I just can't even begin to tell you all the wonderful and amazing toys she has sent us over the years. Finn absolutely LOVES toys. Some children can take 'em or leave 'em, but Finny is one of those who simply loves them. I hear lots of parents say that they buy their kids toys and they go untouched. NOT here...Finny really does play with almost all his toys... a LOT.
This spin art is one our all-time favorite gifts from Grandmary. If you're looking for a new toy for you child please let me recommend this one. The only downside to it is the 134,398,587,487 pieces of spin art you will end up with. If you're a mama like me, you can't bring yourself to throw away anything your child has created. We finally got a big pizza box from Slices and Ices and I keep them all in there. I have plans to make a BLURB book out of all of them...some day.
Here's another new favorite - Haba dominoes. Aren't they just beautiful? They come with TONS of beautifully colored dominoes that you can do all kinds of things with. We use them as dominoes, blocks, racetracks, Army barracks (ahem), just all kinds of things.
Thank you sweet Grandmary!

Y'all come on over and we'll play with some toys!

Love,

Michele, Jack and Finnigan the Curious

PS Don't you love our Santa lamp? We leave him up year-round cuz who doesn't love a Santa lamp?


Family Art (and feet)

One of the things we like to do late at night when everyone is tired, but no one feels like sleeping yet is family art. There's something so fun about all of us painting together. We roll out a big, long strip of paper (Save your Christmas paper. If you buy cheapo paper like I do then you can just turn it over and you'll have a big roll of white paper to draw on!)
Something so interesting happens when we all paint together - I, the family "crafter" draw very traditional things and I can't seem to think outside that box. I draw houses and flowers and birds and rainbows, stuff like that. My two boys, SO much the engineers, will just draw the loveliest random stuff. They use the coolest color combos and cover the whole paper with abandon. I sit over in my spot, drawing the way I was "taught."
Finn likes to paint then cover it all up with black. He does this a lot. He says he likes knowing that his picture is hiding under the black. Cool. Strange and cool.
Who's crafty now, huh?
Love,
Michele, Jack and Finnigan the Curious

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Finn + Uncle Roo = LOVE







We made our annual trip to Denver in February and what a blast it was!
Uncle Roo must be the most awesome uncle who ever lived. For a single guy with no interest in having a family of his own, this man can PLAY! He just played with Finn like there was no tomorrow. Karate, football, catch, wrestling, you name it. AND he made chocolate chip cookies. AND he gives Finn Dr. Pepper.
We went out to eat and Roo let Finn do to him all the crazy boychild things that his Dad and I can't really get on board with: poke at his food, climb on him while eating, stick him with a fork, talk about poop while eating, etc. etc.. He took us to a park and rolled down the hill with Finn over and over. He took us on the train and the electric city bus. He made Finn hot chocolate every time we came into his building. The fun and patience and joy was never ending.
Finn told me on the way home that next time we go to Colorado we are NOT going to stay with Daddy in Boulder, we are simply going to Uncle Roo's and staying there the whole time. He was quite adamant about it.
I think they're both lucky ducks.
Love,
Michele, Jack and Finnigan the Curious


Sweet Grandmary turns 75!




Oh my goodness! How can it BE that my sweet mama is 75?
And a lovely 75 she is!
We had ourselves a good ole time of it too. Finn and Jack and I drove over for a couple of nights. We all went to Beaumont for lunch with 2 of Mama's oldest friends; Carol Jean and Miss Sonia. They've been friends since before I was born. I think it's going on 50 years. FIFTY YEARS of being friends and all that that entails - babies, divorces, second marriages, losing children, gaining grandchildren, loving, grieving, living - you know, friends.
I was so honored to be there for this celebration of life and love and women. Even though we had some fine men there, it seemed to be so much about us women. How we just go on and on and love and live in spite of it all. What a beautiful and magical example these women have been to me.
Most of all my Mama. I love my Mama so much it hurts. She is my anchor, my compass, my sail. Without her I would lost at sea...gone adrift never to return. Not a day goes by that I do not think of her and feel her in my heart. I am eternally grateful I got to give her a grandchild. I am even more grateful that my child gets to know his Grandmary. I could have never explained to him how magical she was if he had not known her for himself.
Happy Birthday Grandmary. We love you so.
Michele, Jack and Finnigan the Curious