choose kindness

hey again. 
i'm ready to share with any of my long time reader/friends
what we've been up to.
if you've read here for awhile, you know I am very passionate
about parenting
{gentle, peaceful, respectful, mindful} parenting.
we have been helping others begin their journey towards more peaceful
parenting for years now and it was suggested to us many times
to start a coaching business.
and so we have.
we have been working on material for a long time now and
are just opening up our {really crappy, but will soon be made
lovely and professional} website and testing out our services
with friends and i'm really excited because,
this. is. our. passion.
to me, it's not just about peaceful parenting, it's about a
peaceful world.  and that begins in the home.
this quote is my inspiration:
"We do not yet know what the world might be like if children were to grow up without being subjected to humiliation, if parents would respect them and take them seriously as people." -alice miller

i want to see this world.
i want to do my part to impart knowledge, guidance, and assistance to others to
help raise strong, opinionated, respectful, kind hearted, peaceful children into the next
generation of adults.

so we're doing it.
i even set up a facebook page.  that makes it real. ha.

anyway, let me know if you want to be involved in testing this thing out or
in services once we're totally up and running. and always choose kindness.

i feel fine

things change, yeah?
when I look back through this blog at all my posts from the past
nearly 7 years, I
find myself in such awe of the changes we have gone through and
all that has occurred.
I ended this blog.
I don't really intend to write here anymore but then,
things change, yeah?
not every change is what we want but
every change shapes us and
every event moves in harmony with the precious
dance of our lives.
I can't tell you that you'd like me anymore but
I can't tell you that you wouldn't.
maybe you'd like me more.

but what hasn't changed in the past 7 years?
my love for my family, my love and devotion to god.
that may be it.
oh, and my love for books. and homeschooling. and knitting. and nature.
I suppose I could say not everything has been change,
but more an evolution. an evolution of what was already
there, seeds that were planted,
now sprout forth and out.
and if I write, I write of the flowers now blossoming
in my soul, that once were hidden or different.

things change, yeah?
but I feel peace.
I feel joy.
I feel fine.

hey, it's wilder

i forgot to tell you guys....

Wilder Ocean was born November 8 at 7:12 pm.
9 pounds 3 ounces
22 3/4 inches
Born at home, in the water after a 4 hour labor.
He's beautiful, calm and amazing.
God is good.



truly, it's a good thing

It's raining. 
California needs rain, desperately, and I am so grateful but
still, the rain just makes me awfully down.
I need cool temperatures, foggy mornings and sunny days and
these things help me breathe.  I think that I'm weather picky which
is kind of an unfortunate thing to be. 

Or maybe it's just the circumstances right now that make the rain
a bit depressing.
Tomorrow is my 14th anniversary and tomorrow is this baby's
due date so I'm a bit anxious and if I'm being honest,
we kind of moved into this place that stifles me,
so far removed from the type of home we desire.  I'm so grateful to be
back in California and so grateful for this house in this time,
but some days, some days,
like the days when we are stuck indoors or the days
before special moments, it just kind of gets to me.

Pearl was born in a house we loved, a place that was home.
And I feel so many emotions about this baby, Wilder,
being born in a house that I have no connection with.  Maybe it's
not actually the house but the land.  We were created to have connection
with the land.  But whatever it is, it's getting to me today,
this day of rain, this day before anniversaries and due dates,
this day that needs a bit of magic and some beauty and
I'm having a hard time finding both.

It's raining.  And truly,
it's a good thing.


Well, there you go.

I'm tired.
Tired of rethinking my words and trying to sugarcoat my thoughts,
tired of having to say what I want to say in a pc way to not offend anyone. 
Sometimes, things are offensive. 
Sometimes, you don't like what someone has to say.
But I don't really think that means it shouldn't be said. 

I read things all the time that I don't agree with.
I read books and articles that irritate me and make me want to tell the author how wrong he is.
I do this intentionally because it's healthy to hear other viewpoints, it's healthy to disagree, to consider the ways and ideas of others, to either change your own thoughts if necessary or strengthen what you already believe. 
So for the life of me, I can't understand why people get so mad and offended over other's
words just because they disagree with what they are saying, no matter how passionately they are saying it.

I admit, moving to Idaho has made me extra feisty with my words. 
It's like every single person here has the same brain and lives in the exact same way and
that brain and that way are the complete opposite of my brain and my way and it makes me speak
when I probably shouldn't.  And then I post things on facebook that maybe I shouldn't. 

But I only think maybe I shouldn't because of the way people get upset.  Because really?  I don't think
there's anything wrong with speaking up with a different mind than the majority.  In fact, I think it's necessary.

But whatever.  I can either censor myself so as not to cause offense to someone who thinks differently or I can just be me.  And since I'm tired of censoring myself, well, there you go.


We have 7 kids but sure as hell aren't the Duggars

We have a lot of kids.  And yes, it's intentional.  We like kids.  We are perfectly happy to have a big family and it works for us.  It's totally normal for us to be asked, "Are you guys the Duggars," when someone finds out how many kids we have.  And typically we just laugh and shrug it off.  But I now find it necessary to make a broad and definite statement that, yes, we have a lot of kids, but no, we are not like the Duggars at all.

We raise our children in a very relaxed, relationship and respect- oriented way.  Our kids are allowed to question us, question authority, say no, have their own thoughts, opinions and desires.  Our kids may believe what they want, though of course, it is likely that much of our beliefs will rub off on them.  They know that they can question those beliefs, come to us and discuss differing beliefs and explore as God leads them. 

Unlike the Duggars, our kids can dance, our girls can wear pants, there is not a tie in our house.  We are against punishment, we are against forcing our kids to be a part of raising and caring for the home and big family that we chose to have and therefore are responsible for, and we encourage our girls to do what they want to in life; whether that be marry and raise a family, go to college, pursue a career, or all of the above.

Though we feel that sex is best left for a committed relationship, we do not teach our kids that purity is the only way.  We give our kids information, talk to them, answer their questions, let them know our opinions on God's intentions for sex and relationship (which I can guarantee is nothing like what the Duggars think) and let them make their own rules for their own bodies, teaching them to always be respectful of other's rules for their bodies.

While we are comfortable with a big family, we do not impose that on anyone else, our children included.  People can have the families they want. 

We teach our children that God is love and love wins and kindness, peace, respect and love are always right. 

On any given day in our home, you will see our children running around free outside, people reading YA novels, kids playing minecraft, tv shows, emotional littles yelling, a toddler outside naked, pre-teens questioning us, asking why, saying no, you'll hear cuss words from someone, see the sweetest hugs, kisses, snuggles, be privy to an Elizabeth Mitchell or The Cure dance party, watch us laugh and have the very best time.  You won't see order, or bed times, or everyone cleaning together, you won't hear rules spouted off or see big meal times, or any punishment at all.  You'll see lots of love, discussion and friendship.

I'm telling you, we have a big family, but we sure as hell aren't the Duggars.


we can add more color

I think sometimes people worry so much about spoiling their kids that they miss out on so much of their children's heart and spirit.  They miss out on opportunities to be a friend and show their kids that their wants matter. 

I think sometimes people live in a black and white world and miss the color everywhere.  They have determined that everything is either this or that and there is no room for considering circumstances. 

I was at the store yesterday and in front of me in line was a little girl and her father.  He told her that she could get a candy and so she put m&m's on the conveyor belt.  She then proceeded to put two other candies up as well.  At first her father looked down at her and said, "one honey, choose one."  She whined a bit and said she wanted them all. 

This is that moment when parents typically panic and realize they have two options, the black and white world viewers.  They can either stand their ground while their kids throw a fit and others pat them on the back for being a good, firm parent or they can give in, buy all the candy, get their kids to be quiet and happy and try and ignore the angry stares from others lamenting over their raising entitled kids. 

I was so glad that this dad saw the color in things and chose a route of light, of connection. Kneeling down to her level, he said to her, "You want all of these candies?"  Sniffling a bit, she said, "And this one," while adding another candy to the three already there.  He asked her, "Why do you want so many candies?" Her response was beautiful.  "I want to give those ones to my friends."

Her daddy smiled and said, "That's very nice of you.  We will buy them all; one for you and three for your friends.  Next time try to remember to talk to me about it when I don't understand instead of just getting upset."  She hugged her daddy, they finished their transaction, I smiled at them as they walked away.  I thought about how if he had just told her no, she would have cried more, he would have put them all back, she would have thrown a fit and been in trouble and he would have never known the kind deed his daughter wanted to do.

Once they were gone, from behind me came the black and white reaction.  "Ugh.  I can't believe he gave in."  I should have kept my mouth closed but it's oh so hard for me to do.  "He didn't give in," I said to them, "He communicated with his daughter and worked things out.  Her thoughts were completely kind and giving, she's just a little girl and doesn't quite know how to express them yet.  Her father listened to her and gave her the ability to communicate.  He showed her that he cared about her and her thoughts and her wants. He showed her that she can talk to him and he will listen. It wasn't mindless give her what she wants to shut her up or frightened better stand my ground so she doesn't become a spoiled brat that still lives at home at 30 and won't get a job.  It was mindfulness, it was connection. That was a great father."

Color is such a delightful part of this world, we need to embrace it. We need to consider circumstances, listen to each other, realize that our first thought may not be the answer.  If we allow for it, we can learn so much from each other and that includes our children. Age difference, cultural difference, faith difference, any difference at all just means that if we listen, if we don't stubbornly push others away, we can add more color to our lives.