Saturday, August 22, 2009

Because of these guys:

- I didn't have to make dinner last night. Gillen decided to make us omelettes, to order. Because of the kind of guy he is, he added a centerpiece of strawberries and grapes and the really good glasses. - I didn't have to wash the car before our trip tomorrow. They decided to do it, after playing baseball all day. - and how cool they are, I am getting to speak at a conference in Mass. next week.

- I have redefined peace.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The big picture

In this picture, from last night's dinner, I see Gillen and Jesse, really hungry, diving in to the pistachio parsley alfredo pasta and fried green tomatoes. I feel glad that they liked the new kind of pesto. I am aware that many people would see Jesse eating the fried tomato with his hands and see Gillen shoveling the pasta into his mouth. Nicolas has been known to be (a gentle version) of one of those people, especially when we are about to be with his family on vacation. We talk to the kids about others' expectations around table manners and about how they could be judged based on their table manners. Having been drilled unmercifully about table manners when I was young, I don't give a whole lot of feedback in this area. I'd rather talk about most anything else. But Nicolas is able to work it in once in a while and still preserve the peaceful meal.
In this picture, from an hour ago, I see a boy so excited to have his ATV working again. But most of my attention is on the frightening fact that there is no helmet. Nicolas sees a careful boy who knows not to go too fast with out a helmet. True. But my mother in law and I see the unexpected weeds and the glint in Gillen's eyes when he feels the motor revving up. Until we get the bigger helmet, later today, Gillen finally chose (it was that or not ride) to squeeze his valuable head into the small one. It is good that Nicolas and I see different bigger pictures and can help one another to look through each other's lens. It is especially good that we have gotten to a place where we can (usually) voice our fears and our perspective in a way that can be truly heard.
It is hot today. The red squished face in that helmet is also looking mad due to heat. He has decided that he is not so squished after all. He doesn't want to get the new helmet until we get back from our trip. We went out for ice cream after his guitar lesson (much closer) instead.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

New room and plans

We have new lighter colors in our living room. The once dark ceiling is now white, surrounded by new white molding, with rope light behind it. The once dark grey walls are now light greenish-grey. It is truly a new room!

This one change in our home inspired all kinds of ideas this morning. We moved every single painting and print in every room to new spots. We folded up the curtains and put them away until winter. And we made plans. My plan is to sell our heavy, wooden furniture in the living room and to buy lighter pieces at flea markets and yard sales. Nicolas' plans are much more exciting. He wants to create a Slow Food Event next year that involves Gillen's heritage turkeys and that raises money for Slow Food, or for a food bank or some other organization. It would involve a turkey cook-off with some of the best chefs in Atlanta. In the meantime, we just need to have some kind of fall or winter party, with our friends and turkeys, and surrounded by our new walls.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Loads of visiting, and a birthday.

We got to see lots of people this past week. It was a wonderful way to celebrate not going back to school, and Gillen's 12th birthday.

Here are just a few snapshots from the past week. Unfortunately, I didn't take any good pictures of the Traaseths' or Stonebrakers' visits. I'll have to remember them in my mind.

Kimba, from the Atlanta unschooling contingent, at the not-back-to-school party on Monday. We went to the state park out here, Hard Labor Creek, and had the lake and beach pretty much to ourselves! It was so good to see Kimba, Beth, Missy, April and their kids again.

This woman cracks me up.
Here is Kimba with Claudia. It's really nice to have this beach only twenty minutes away.
Below is Max, with Sophie and Gillen. Suddenly, they are all so tall and mature. Another birthday - Katie's. Eating a delicious dinner with Mindy and her kids, their first night here. It was all from the farm, including Gillen's duck.
Sophie, wearing the beautiful apron that Mindy made for me, cooking the duck.
Small firecrackers from Gillen's birthday eve, which we celebrated with the Haworths:I'm glad that we've been busy. It's kept me from thinking too much about the fact that Gillen is twelve. Man. These years went too fast. I feel so lucky to be his mom.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Right now

But for the summer buzz of crickets outdoors and the sound of Tuki's sighs at my feet, it is quiet. Nicolas took Gillen and Jesse to the horse auction down the street (with a detour to the farm to clip the wings of young turkeys; they were flying over the fence and into the green houses).

We had Kelli and her family here for the last two days. SO nice to be with them. They were our second family from Gainesville this week. Wendy and Shelby visited for dinner on Wed.

Before we can get too lonely, Mindy and her family will be here tomorrow night and the next day. They're going with us to an unschooling not-back-to-school party at a local state park lake and beach.

But for now, in this vast, still moment, it is just me, Tuki at my feet, Fracas in the art room and the baby Carolina Wren in the bike helmet, right on the other side of this window.

This silence makes all of the laughing, screaming, jumping, debating and dancing that is our normal life that much better.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Gillen's ten seconds of fame

An article about Gillen and his heritage breed turkeys came out in the Morgan county paper this week. The writing and the pictures are wonderful. This little weekly county paper was voted best weekly in Georgia. I see why.

Gillen is so excited. So is his mama.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Weekend by the Suwannee River

What a wonderful weekend. There was a half-day spent floating down a river, loads of game-playing, and some of our favorite unschoolers. So much fun.

Jumping off of a giant rope swing into the Suwannee River:We shared a cabin with the Haworths which made for lots of good food (these were Ella's rice crispie treats):and much humor (how many European unschooling dads does it take to blow up an air mattress?)Jesse loved playing so many games. Here, he was playing his game, Creative Titles, with the older unschoolers. He was really excited to have stayed awake longer than his brother and his younger friends.
We stopped by Barnes and Nobles on the way home and bought yet more games. We've been loving playing games and watching movies for the past few days. I'll have to post a list of our favorites soon.