Category: Day to Day

The Year of Fixing

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Me, working on illustrations for the book, “Dog the Dragon”. Nothing to do with the post but thought I should add an image of some sort. So there you go.

 

After years of trying to get back on track (and pay off our debt) this is apparently the year of fixing. Fixing the car, fixing our health, replacing things that can’t be fixed, just plain getting things back in order.
So far:

  •  Shamus has gotten a benign cyst that I was sure was a unicorn horn starting on his forehead.
  • Rachel has been diagnosed with moderate hearing loss . She has cheap over-the-counter hearing aids that rub but which help enough that she willing wears them anyway. Our goal is to be able to get her a pair of digital ones (including bluetooth for music, phone, computer) BEFORE she moves out in the next year.
  • New glasses for Es and I – much needed, including reading glasses for me. This would make me feel old except that I have needed reading glasses off and on since I was 18.
  • Replaced dead Wii with Wii U.
  • New sewing machine to replace multiple dead or nearly dead old ones.
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Another unrelated picture, though apparently this is also the year of the rain cloud. all the rain, all the time.


Coming soon:

  • Full glaucoma workup for both Shamus and Es because apparently there is weird eye stuff running in that side of the family.
  • Get Rach in to doctor for proper inhaler script, permission to get hearing aids (because the FDA is weird), and get her driver’s permit physical.
  • Get car doors fixed- our car has issues. Every door has something wrong with it, 2 don’t open at all, one only opens from out outside, one only opens from inside and one works but has a broken bit so you have to open it just so.
  • Get Rach decent digital hearing aids that suit her needs. Preferably ones with bluetooth that can be adjusted from her phone and can be used with bluetooth so she can easily do what she does, like talk on Skype, listen to music, watch movies.
  • Get a good printer for printing art so the girls and I can, you know, print our art.
Sunset. Because sunset.
Sunset. Because sunset.

I am sure there is more that I have forgotten.

Lots of general stuff going on:

  • Rach graduating and moving out (soon).
  • Rach working on independent study of art and possibly video game design and programming.
  • Me working on the book illustrations, working full time, and working on several websites.
  • Es working as content manager for a website.
  • Es designing and creating a video game.
  • Es writing a webcomic.
  • Issac doing his thing (mostly video games, Lego, and hanging out online with friends while growing and eating and growing some more.
  • Shamus writing, writing, writing, working on Good Robot, writing some more, doing  Spoiler Warning and the podcast and writing some more.

Life is Beautiful and Teens are Awesome

The last couple months or so have been crazy busy.

Mr. Tumnus gets a new look.

A photo posted by Heather Young (@gracedbychrist) on

We moved in the fall (that is a huge story that eventually I will tell, when I have time, and words). Es started volunteering at the library. Rach got a job, then lost it due to age restrictions (company policy vs store policy.)

Breakfast date with my baby boy. (He wouldn’t let me post the one with him in it.

A photo posted by Heather Young (@gracedbychrist) on

The kids are all teens now, and wonderful, awesome, brilliant, fun to be around, and all busy with their own stuff. I don’t post things about them unless they give permission (never have) and now they are older and more private about their stuff and well, I have less to share. We have several new projects we are working on as a family.

Life as we know it is swirling and changing and adapting. I go from times when the kids want all my attention and it is a swirl of activity to times where no one is around– all asleep, or busy with their personal projects, or talking to friends.

 

Rachel’s new head.

 

A photo posted by Heather Young (@gracedbychrist) on

My own projects go in spurts. In this season they often get set aside to talk out personal issues with the kids, discuss how somethign works or why, or how people work or think or why people can be dumb sometimes.

Pillow fort.

A photo posted by Heather Young (@gracedbychrist) on

It is all such a whirl of color and activity interspersed with times of quiet and nothing that it is hard to keep track of coming or going.

 

THIS is how geeks spend Thanksgiving. Dungeons .and Dragons Clue plus Sheetz takeout.

 

A photo posted by Heather Young (@gracedbychrist) on

Our big current project – the kids and I (I’ll let Shamus share his own as he sees fit) is body butters. (For sale here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SeriouslySimpleStuff) They are fun to make and pretty and the kids love them as much as I do.

Kind of excited about the adorable body butters the kids and I are selling. This is the cute little sample size.

A photo posted by Heather Young (@gracedbychrist) on

 

And how cute did the single Valentine’ s gift wrap turn out.

 

A photo posted by Heather Young (@gracedbychrist) on

And there is more happening but I will leave it for now. Life is beautiful, and fun, and wonderful. We have a new warm, safe place to live that is everything we could have asked for, if we had thought to do so. This season with teens is absolutely awesome.

It is NOVEMBER!

A photo posted by Heather Young (@gracedbychrist) on

Dealing with Chores: Everyone gets Paid

I have been leery of writing about this since we have only really had a one week trial, well, a little over a week. But so far it is working. It is interesting to see what aspects are and what aspects aren’t. Also, Rachel is still out of town so that will change the dynamic when she returns but here goes.

You may remember, if you have read this site for anytime at all, that roughly 2 years ago we quit chores. No more chores. We were done. After that there were some whiny posts as I dealt with my own baggage regarding chores.

A lot has changed since then. I now work full time. The family is here all day without me, making messes without me here to clean up as I go. When Shamus isn’t working a lot he will do dishes or clean the bathroom and the kids pitch in occasionally but they are all busy with their own stuff and a clean house isn’t a huge priority to them. We still do Saturday Sabbath which is wonderful, and the house stays relatively clean because we don’t have a lot of “stuff” and we do have a pretty good system in place for that. The problem is that I work Sundays. Twelve hour Sundays. And Monday I like to rest and get caught up on computer stuff I missed out on at work. So coming home to a mess- dishes in the living room, dishes in the sink, random stuff on the table. Not huge messes but not neat, not calm, not clean, was getting frustrating. Working 36 hrs a week and then taking Grandma shopping each week and doing our own family shopping…well, I was getting cranky and exhausted. I was burning out. It isn’t that the family wasn’t getting anything done. They were but I was picking up the slack anytime it didn’t get done (I have higher standards of cleanliness than everyone else, except Issac- but he keeps his room and desk clean and doesn’t notice the rest), and most days it came down to me.

We needed a solution.  There were certain things we knew from past experience it had to be:

  1. It had to be elegant. Simple. Easy to implement. None of us have the energy or time to fuss with details. I hate lists and schedules. So does the rest of the family. So no lists, no schedules. No “standards”.
  2. It had to be something we could all do- no “kids get paid for jobs that parents do for free” (leading to cranky parents when kids choose not to help).
  3. It had to benefit everyone and everyone had to agree it was fair.
  4. It had to allow for various quality of work and reward accordingly.
  5. It had to be easy to figure out and make sure people got paid and work with when we couldn’t pay due to no money.

It was tricky to come up with something that would work for that list, but suddenly it all fell into place. We would pay per hour. That was it. For any work done to benefit the family that member would get paid. Each member has their own rate based on experience, quality of work, time taken to do work. After a lot of talking it out we came up with the kids starting at $5 per hour and myself and Shamus getting $10 per hour- I am faster and more experienced but not as meticulous, he is slower but super high quality work when he does it. Issac is like Shamus. Takes forever to do a load of dishes but every dish is perfectly clean, dry, and put away neatly. Es is more like me, hurried but doesn’t take long. We used “doing a load of dishes” as our measurement with the goal of “each family member earning roughly $2.50 for a whole  load of dishes. That is the job that needs done most often. That is the job that is most easily measured because we know how each person does the job. Each kid can up the quality/speed of their work and get paid more per hour. That is the only time they need to show us their work. They need to prove they have consistently upped the quality of their work in order to get a raise. Otherwise we have a sheet of notepaper on the wall and everyone just notes an estimate of time spent.  5 minutes sweeping the floor? Mark 5 min. on the sheet. An hour cleaning a room, or doing laundry, or shopping for groceries? Mark an hour. Whatever.

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This picture is from back when Issac was about 8. He is 12 now. I want to pat his head, the tiny thing. (He is now my height and about to pass me up.)

Yes, it takes trust, and we trust the kids and they trust us. It is up to them if they write something down or not. If they want to do something out of love then awesome. If they want to put down the time spent helping me take Grandma shopping then great. If they can’t remember exactly what time they started something and estimate, it is fine. No stress.

So how has the first week gone?

Esther worked 4.5 hours. She helped with several projects she would never have helped with in the past.  She worked harder in hopes of working her way up to $6 an hour. She also spent quite a bit of time figuring out the math behind how much she needed to save up for a game she wanted and helped her brother do the same. She worked till she had enough to buy the new game she wanted and stopped unless I asked for help for something, but it was still wonderful having a sparkling clean kitchen when I got home from work. She also learned a lot about how her sister and I, and pretty much every other person who has cleaned something only to have to do it again the next day,  feel about  cleaning the kitchen- “It is really frustrating, I worked so hard to get it really clean yesterday and already it is messy again and we have to do it all over again.”

Issac worked 2.5 hours and 10 minutes or something like that. Enough to buy a game he wanted and get his Roblox Builder’s Club for the month. He is talking about working a little each day so he can save up for a new computer but hasn’t gotten to the point of doing just yet.

Shamus worked 1.5 hours but  spent a lot of the time I was home and awake writing.

I worked 9.5 hours. That included some projects I had been putting off so isn’t really my norm. It was so much easier to do that knowing I was going to get some reimbursement for my time, that my time was important. I love serving my family, I have been doing it for 17 years now but it was nice to feel valuable, and also to feel like I wasn’t just spending money that needed to go to other things. The money I spend is “mine”. I can use it to buy people things but there is no guilt and no stress. (I recognize that I am working for my money “twice”. So is Shamus. It is more a system for divvying up money that lets everyone help out and feel valued. I am thinking in general I will end up closer to 4 hours a week, maybe 5, which is much more reasonable financially.

In general the house is staying cleaner- everyone knows how it feels to clean and have it messed up again and forming habits of cleaning up after themselves. The kids now have a real means of earning money towards bigger things, it is no longer in our hands, it is in theirs. Everyone is happy because we all have an easy way to get spending money. If we don’t have the money at the time then it will be “saved” until we do. I plan to finance my traveling out of that, as well as games clothes, treats, etc for all. This means we will likely, in the long run, spend less as a family than we normally do when money isn’t tight.

It will be interesting to see if this is something we can continue or if we find it is just too expensive or if it just falls to the way side. For now it is really working and we all are pretty happy with the results.

Addendum:

I neglected to add that I post jobs that need done to the door frame using mini post-it notes, which get tossed when a job is done (or for recurring jobs they get put in a pile). And for Sabbath prep I move the notes to the table so all can see what needs done an grab what they want to do.

It occurred to me that it is likely that, in the future, we could hire people for a set time for more regular job and have everyone sign up. For instance, “I would like to hire someone to do this job  each day and whoever wants it can do it each day or once a week or whatever. ” Or we can do a scheduled time each day more like a regular job. The possibilities are endless.   We could also offer an extra $1 an hour for certain jobs. For now we are keeping it simple and we will add to it as it is needed or as we figure out what works.

This has all already lead to a conversation about how  Issac would like to save us money by not charging. I pointed out that even better he could do more jobs and even if we are paying him, by not paying me he will be saving our family $5 an hour. He thought that was pretty cool.

Sixteen

Happy 16th birthday to my baby girl, to the one who made me a mama, to the one who is strong, and brave, and very sure of what she wants, to the want who made us rethink our idea of child-raising and education and healthy living, to my dear sweet guinea pig, adventurer, shopping buddy, traveler, joyful, fun-loving, creative, musical, artistic, amazing oldest daughter.

Rachel Travels

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Rachel with her Asian Onion bun.

Our oldest is back in Texas for a 3 week visit. Everything fell in place perfectly for her to spend her 16th birthday there at her best friends’ home so we went ahead despite winter’s unpredictable weather.

Rachel with her Asian Onion bun.
Rachel with her Asian Onion bun.

The first day of the trip was awesome despite the bus leaving an hour late and driving straight through due to snow and ice. She made friends with a girl about her age from China who barely spoke English. She helped her  get where she need to be and do what she needed to do. They watched their favorite shows together (Thor  which they watched in English with Chinese subtitles and Heartstrings- a Korean drama which they watched in Korean with English subtitles). They shared Rachel’s food (there was snow and ice and they were running late so they they didn’t stop at any of the normal stops for food). It was amazing and wonderful and Rue was thrilled that God was clearly in this trip.

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Look at my onion bun!

The second day was HARD. She had a pack of Pocky left for her breakfast and wouldn’t get in till 9:30pm. (I really wish I had bought her a few more buns at the Asian grocery store (I ran in while she waited in line to get check in.) They were running really late still so weren’t making any stops and when they did stop there were only broken machines. At one point the bus broke down. She had a layover in Oklahoma City with no way to get food as the machines were all broken. Finally they got to Amarillo where she missed her transfer and her luggage had gone missing (they think it went to Dallas but so far no one is sure as it hasn’t turned up yet yet.) She ended up stuck in Amarillo, well after the time she was supposed to be in Lubbock, after everything had closed, waiting for our friends to drive an extra hour to come pick her up with no way to get any food and no luggage.

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Waiting and waiting and waiting. She was standing in line for over an hour and a half.

They took her to eat, took her home, found some clean clothes for her to wear, and they all crashed. Today they are heading into the city to the Greyhound station to see if they can track down her luggage and go thrift shopping for some new clothes to tide her over. A friend is sending a replacement for her Bamboo Tablet (which was in her luggage) and she received another pair of headphones as a late Christmas gift. So the big things that were lost (if the luggage isn’t found) have been replaced. Her brother gave her some money for her birthday and she will receive a little more which will help cover the rest of her loss. Not the most fun way of spending your 16th birthday but being with her best friends will make up for it.

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Finally getting on the bus!

We are praying that her luggage does show up and soon since we aren’t sure how much to replace and what to wait for. Regardless it will make a great story someday and she still has 2.5 weeks of time with her friends before she gets to deal with Greyhound again.

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On the bus. Finally.

A letter to a friend about to lose her home

I wrote this in response to a friend who just found out she is about to lose her home, something her husband was keeping from her due to her panic attacks and fear. Their financial situation is much as ours was 4 years ago. They live on what work and finances God provides (which makes it tricky to work with the bank and government agencies), have been struggling for a while, and she was scared. This is now an open letter to those in that position, those who are struggling with crippling fear as they look at a future of change. Frankly it could be a letter to myself 15 years ago. And again at 10 years ago. And 5 years ago.  And possibly a letter to myself again in the future. 

 

You are NOT alone. We have been through it, Ame (one of several friends who  knew all that was going on during and helped me through) has been through it (and held my hand through it, including through the panic attacks), I have been through it, many of us have gone through or are in the process of it.  Many moe will find themselves in that place.

The panic attacks do come but once you let it out a bit (you need to let it out like steam in a pressure cooker or you will fall apart) you choose, you choose to stand firm, to be strong, to support your husband anyway- he was protecting you knowing you panic, knowing you can’t cope. He was trying to protect you. It is your turn to be strong anyway. It is your turn to help him and help your family by choosing not to fall apart. Yes, you will. It happens. But then you pull yourself up by your bootstraps and do the next thing. No point in worrying about anything else. You can’t do anything else. All you can do is the very next thing.

I know about the not being able to verify financial info with the bank and government agencies- we tried to keep our house and because of our unusual income sources (how do you explain manna living to a bank?) we never could get anything to happen.

The thing is God is way bigger than that. Bigger than our fear. Bigger than our relationships with people. Bigger than houses and jobs and money and things. WAY bigger.

 

 

I know it is hard.

It is REALLY, REALLY hard.

This is where you get to tell Satan he is a LIAR and choose to ignore all the whispers and shouts he is sending at you.

You get to choose to be strong anyway.

You get to stop telling yourself all the things you can’t do and choose to say “I may not be able to do all that BUT I CAN do this, right here. Right now. I can be grateful for the things we have. I can be grateful that my husband loves me so much he tried to protect me from this knowing how weak I have been. I can support him anyway. I can show my kids how strong I can be and make them proud so they know how to deal with all this stuff that is bound to come at them in the future.”

Be brave, Girl.

You can do it!

You don’t have to do everything right now.

You don’t even have to apply for help if you feel God is not leading you to (we never did- God provided through other means and it was horrible and hard and amazing and miraculous) but you can choose.

You have a choice. Right now.

You can do the very next thing. That is all you have to do.

You don’t know what will happen in 5 years, a year, a month, next week, 2 days, 2 hours, geez- you don’t even really know what will happen in 2 minutes.

All you have is RIGHT NOW.

And that is ALL you have to cope with.

All you have to deal with.

All you have to be strong for is RIGHT NOW. Everything else is gravy.

God is good. He loves you. You are worth it. And He is a very ready help in times of trouble.

Just saw this this morning and it struck me as important:

I Will Go Before You

I will go before you
and will level the mountains;
I will break down gates of bronze
and cut through bars of iron.
I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name. (Isa. 45:2-3)

God’s imagery of going before us lets us know that he desires us to go on a journey. This is not so frightening. Most of us are aware that the Christian life requires a pilgrimage of some sort. We know we are sojourners. What we have sometimes not given much thought to is what kind of a journey we are to be taking.

Not realizing it is a journey of the heart that is called for, we make a crucial mistake. We come to a place in our spiritual life where we hear God calling us. We know he is calling us to give up the less-wild lovers that have become so much a part of our identity, embrace our nakedness, and trust in his goodness.

As we stand at this intersection of God’s calling, we look down two highways that appear to travel in very different directions. The first highway quickly takes a turn and disappears from our view. We cannot see clearly where it leads, but there are ominous clouds in the near distance. Standing still long enough to look down this road makes us aware of an anxiety inside, an anxiety that threatens to crystallize into unhealed pain and forgotten disappointment. We check our valise and find no up-to-date road map but only the torn and smudged parchment containing the scribbled anecdotes and travelers’ warnings by a few who have traveled the way of the heart before us. They encourage us to follow them, but their rambling journals give no real answers to our queries on how to navigate the highway. – John Eldredge, The Sacred Romance.

Everything in its Season

*I wrote this in my Christian unschooling  group in response to a young mom with a 15 month old wondering if she would ever have time to do all the things she wanted to, to learn all the things she was interested in learning. It occurred to me that she is not alone. I remember being that young mom wondering if I would ever get a full nights sleep let alone  be able to do things I was interested in, things that weren’t just about my family. And how were all these super moms doing it all? 

This is just a season. Everything in its seasons. Pregnancy is a season. New baby is a season. Toddler is a season. There was a season of me stuck at home in a new town with hubby gone all day, pregnant and with a toddler. We had a season of 3 kids under 5- all in diapers at least part of the time. A season where one child was constantly in and out of the hospital. Several seasons where I was too sick to get out of bed. We have also had seasons of going all the time. Of passionately learning new things- I have learned a little of several languages (Not a natural language person so it is more osmosis for me- watching a lot of tv in that language and just exposing myself to it). Learning to cook for food allergies. Learning natural remedies and cheap healthy foods. Learning wild crafting and herbal-ism. Learning how to be a homemaker. Writing a book. Editing and publishing my own and my husband’s books. Marketing books and art. Learning to code html and php. Hosting and maintaining websites for myself and others. Blogging. Reading the Bible through multiple times and really studying it. Researching pretty much everything. Running several websites and Faecbook groups. Learning to fix things myself and then doing it. Working for an antique appraiser. Working as a caretaker for an elderly woman. Taking care of my own grandparents.

 

I have been married 17 years now. I have a nearly 16 yr old, a 14 yr old, and a 12 year old. There have been many many seasons. There are many seasons to come. I have no idea what will come next. Some of the seasons rotate around my children. Others around other friends or family members. Some mostly around myself.

The biggest trick is learning to focus on the here and now- to do the next thing and not worry about the other stuff, but also knowing this IS just a season so you can enjoy it fully. You can keep your goals in mind, you can have a list, the list will change. Your passions will change.

One of the wonderful things about unschooling is that passion for learning in YOU will encourage the passion for learning in your children so when you hit a season where you can you do- you study and research and learn. And when you hit a new season you do what you need to do for that one. And you build on all that stuff that you have learned and are able to learn and grow more and it benefits your kids as you do so.

Review of Morrocco Method hair care products

Just before Rachel’s trip I was contacted by a sales person from https://www.morroccomethod.com/ asking if we would be willing to review some of their hair care products (it caught my attention unlike most of the product review requests I get because the sales person was awesome and bothered to read my site enough to know who we were and write an email full of geek references. She just asked us to review the products she sent and a few days after I ordered we received a package with the full size haircare products. She also contacted us to make sure we received the products, helpe dus choose which would suit our needs most, and told us to contact her if we needed any  other hair help. Excellent customer service.) The products are raw, gluten-free (important for those who are actually really sensitive to gluten- we have friends who are as sensitive to gluten as Shamus is to animal dander), and wild crafted (they are also vegan if that is important to you.) They have a lot of great information on detoxing and growing in hair including how-to videos (would have been helpful when we first tried henna-ing.) Because their ingredients are all simple and up front it was easy to avoid the things Rachel is allergic to when purchasing.

As you likely know we generally stick with no hair care products due to allergies and cost. We also usually keep it super simple and can’t be bothered to fuss with hair except for occasional color. I cut all of our hair and when we need hair care stuff I usually make my own. She wrote at the right time though. Rachel and Es have gone through a phase where they are pretty tired of homemade products and want to try other things. Rachel had also had her hair dyed and the results, though cool looking, were pretty hard on her hair. 

1167439_10200548810264464_351703214_oRachel’s hair was bleached and dyed. When we bleached it a section of it got over-processed and basically had the consistency of straw. It was horrible. She was getting a giant dreadlock in the back of her hair every morning when she woke up.  For a  while she debated whether to just go ahead and dread her hair (until she realized it would mean none of her hats would fit. ) When she took her trip we braided it all over so she wouldn’t have to try to detangle it every morning.  When she got back home our package from Morrocco Method had arrived and she gave it a go. I had ordered Diamond Crystal Mist Conditioner & Moisturizer and Euro Natural Oil Conditioner & Moisturizer for her to try.

“At first my hair was so tangled my brush got caught in it every time I tried to brush my hair.  After I used the oil and the conditioner spray  on it my hair was super soft and I could run my fingers through it easily. It was wonderful.”

The Diamond Crystal Mist Conditioner & Moisturizer is a thin mist so it is super light instead of traditional heavy conditioners. I was surprised how much it actually did. It worked like a detangler but also softened the hair. Rachel pointed out it smells like our local incense shop but the smell is light enough that it isn’t overwhelming. The oil was unscented and works similar to a hot oil treatment but without the heat- just rub in a little and it softens the hair and detangles it.

9918263695_8e10e1c7b8_bEsther’s hair is short and “anime style”.  It is dyed with henna and she specifically asked me to cut it in “anime style”. When we were picking out things from Morrocco Method she asked for some proper styling gel (we had attempted to make our own from aloe gel, which was okay but not awesome.) And of course dragons so we got  Blood of the Dragon styling gel. She loved it. Her hair is naturally curly in places and she just wanted something to  bring that out. It did  just enough without her hair being super stiff.

I had also ordered the Zen Detox Hair and Scalp Therapy for myself. I still do a lot of detox baths/soaks and I know from past experience that I love bentonite powder and green clay for detox but had never used them on my hair and scalp. This stuff was like those but had added minerals and was wonderful. After use my hair was super soft and my scalp, which gets itchy when I get exposed to certain foods or have an allergic reaction to something, felt so much better.

Will we keep ordering from the site? I am not sure. The products are really high quality and we really liked them but they are pretty pricey. I do think that next time we order henna we will get it through them and I am tempted to get more of the Zen Detox. The other products we ordered do get used often but we need so little that I am not sure when and if we will reorder. After regular use both the oil and spray are still pretty full, the hair gel is not used that often because Es seldom leaves the house. If she asks for more we will definitely consider it. I am awfully tempted to order some of the soaps they carry- the oatmeal lavender soap sounds wonderful.

I am pretty impressed with the quality of service and of the products. I would definitely prefer ordering from them than buying off the shelf at the health food store- the ingredients lists are straightforward and made of actual real things instead of chemicals.

 

Just Life

Life has been busy.

Awesome family photos by http://halseymae.com
Awesome family photos by http://halseymae.com

Crazy busy.

Rachel and Esther
I have been working overtime.

3 Christian radical unschooling families together.
3 Christian radical unschooling families together.

We have gotten together with fellow unschooling friends from all over every single week for almost 2 months.

At the zoo with friends.
At the zoo with friends.

Rachel took a 2 week trip to visit her friends in Arizona and Texas.

At the bus station, about to leave.
At the bus station, about to leave.

Shamus is writing a video game- but you knew that.

Shamus and Heather
Shamus and Heather

I have gotten sick enough to have to call off work. Twice. I still have a cough that will not die.

Like I said. Fun photo shoot.
Like I said. Fun photo shoot. And yes, the photo has been double copyrighted- my friend Tina took the photos, which I added a copyright for on Facebook then reused and added a regular for my site and I am too lazy (or too busy) to go back and fix.

The kids are suddenly tall- Issac is the only one NOT taller than me and he is getting there fast. And he is getting a mustache. For real. And a deep voice.And he just turned 12.

Rachel's shoes
Rachel’s shoes

The girls? They are 5’7.5″ and 5’9″.

Kids
Kids

The Christian Unschooling  group I run on Facebook (with a small group of admins) has reached over 1,600 people. I have an awesome group of admins. Really. They are wonderful.

At the zoo with RCU friends
At the zoo with RCU friends

Life is going by in a streak.

With Jennifer of The Path Less Taken (http://jennifermcgrail.com ) and Teresa- a fellow radical unschooler and dear friend from only 3 hrs away. Both mother's of my daughters' closest friends.
With Jennifer of The Path Less Taken (http://jennifermcgrail.com ) and Teresa- a fellow radical unschooler and dear friend from only 3 hrs away. Both mother’s of my daughters’ closest friends.

And it is good.