"Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

Friday, September 26, 2008

Camping and Crawdads

We went camping again last weekend, this time a fairly spur-of-the-moment trip. Mom and Dad told us they were going the week before, and invited us along. Camping sounded much more interesting than staying home and cleaning the house, so off we went! It was in Lynx Lake, a beautiful area of Arizona that we've never visited before. We went up on Friday night, and on Saturday we hiked, learned to pan for gold, rented paddle-boats, and visited a creek to test our new-found gold-panning skills. It was a blast. And when the boys got tired of swishing sand, they spent the rest of the time catching and following the many many crawfish that were in the river. It was a great trip, and a short trip. I can't wait to go back again!

Little Swimmers

This week was the boys' last swim lesson of the season. We're going to pick it up again in the spring, and Tegan is going to join them! It was such a successful summer, and they all worked so hard. Keep in mind when you see these pictures that they were all NON-swimmers just a couple of months ago...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I was originally going to title this blog "Becoming a Butterfly," because I've been thinking of this story lately:

Butterfly (A True Story)

A family in my neighborhood once brought in two cocoons that were just about to hatch. They watched as the 1st once began to open and the butterfly inside squeezed very slowly and painfully through a tiny hole that it chewed in 1 end of the cocoon. After lying exhausted for about 10 minutes following its agonizing emergence, the butterfly finally flew out the window on its beautiful wings.

The family decided to help the 2nd butterfly so that it would not have to go through such an excruciating ordeal. So, as it began to emerge, they carefull sliced open the cocoon with a razor blade, doing the equivalent of a cesarean section. The 2nd butterfly never did sprout wings and in about 10 minutes, instead of flying away, it quietly died.

The family asked a biologist friend to explain what happened. The scientist said that the difficult struggly to emerge from the small hole actually pushes the liquids from depp inside the butterfly's body into the tiny capillaries in in the wings, where they harden to complete the health and beauty of the adult butterfly.

Without the struggle, there are no wings

It seems we've been experiencing some family-wide growing pains lately. So I've been thinking of this story, and thinking how butterflies do not transform overnight. They become butterflies as the result of a long and gradual process. Sometimes there are jumps between stages, and sometimes there is struggling. I've seen this again and again in myself, and I see it again and again in my kids, especially lately. So this story I've heard so long ago has been on my mind, and this blog post was born. But then I thought.... what if they don't want to be butterflies? What if they want to become dolphins or lizards or pterodactyls?

Whenever I'm asked why I homeschool, I have a tendency to babble. I am a babbler anyway, and there are just so many many reasons. This though, would have to be at the top of my list. I want my kids to be able to be what THEY want to be, and I want them to take the path THEY need to take to get there. I see so many people - friends, family members, other homeschoolers - try to subtly and not-so-subtly assist my kids in becoming "butterflies." They want to box them, label them, declare they're butterflies and send them on their way. I thank God that they have other choices, and I thank God that they know they're free to become whatever their hearts desire.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Autumn Leaves

We made these with coffee filters and watered-down paint in eye droppers. LOTS of fun. Paxton and Everett made them for two days straight!

Too much love...

The other night I was laying in bed with Tegan, and Everett came in the room to talk to us. When he was leaving, I called him back like I always do.

"Hey Ebbie"

Turning around "Yeah?"

"I love you"

Big, heaving, four-year-old sigh. "Mommy. You ALWAYS say that."

"I can't say I love you?"

"Well. You can say it SOMETIMES."

"Do I say it too much?"

"Yes, you do."

"Well will you tell me the next time it's ok to tell you?"

"OK Mommy" Goes to leave, and I just can't resist...

"Hey Ebbie... I love you."

This time, he laughed.

I do so love my kids - all four of them - in such a way that I can't imagine they'll ever truly understand it until they have kids of their own. And if I've gone over my "I love you" limit with any of them, I'll tell you instead. I. love. these. kids.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Tastes of Fall

Since Phoenix doesn't really have an autumn in the traditional sense of the word, we're bringing the autumn to Phoenix! Yesterday we tried a recipe I found for a fall smoothie - with pumpkin, applesauce, banana, and yogurt. It tasted like 5 different Thanksgiving desserts all in one drink, and unfortunately no one really liked it. Not to be deterred, we used the leftover pumpkin for muffins this morning. Delicious!!

Everett and I have been making these little Forest Fairies. Spencer started one yesterday, and Paxton tells me he will only be making one when he can figure out a way to make it a super cool, masculine, forest BOY.


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