Monday, September 11, 2017

Harvest Moon Camping

I said many times and I will keep saying it: I love the moon and feel alive, invigorated and empowered every time there is a full moon. Maybe there is actually power in the full moon or maybe I just am excited about seeing something so beautiful, I may never know. What I do know is that I  will never stop looking at the moon in all it's magical beauty.
I did not actually take this photo of the moon but this is what it looked like on Sept. 6, 2017 as it was rising and peeking through the dark gray/blue storm clouds. As it rose it looked whiter, brighter and smaller.

Fun moon facts:
The full moon will always look bigger when it’s near the horizon, but it’s not actually bigger. It’s totally an optical illusion. You can test this by just holding an penny at arm’s length. The penny will exactly cover the moon when it’s by the horizon and it’ll do the same when you hold it up to the sky when the moon is higher up but appears smaller.
Also the moon and the sun will look redder when they're by the horizon. The reason for this is because we're seeing them through the maximum thickness of atmosphere, which absorbs blue light and transmits red.

I decided to take my 4 younger kids camping at Maumee Bay State park this year to celebrate the full harvest moon and our journey into the fall season.

Our campsite was gorgeous, a spectacular view a yellows, whites, and deep golden wildflowers along the large pond. I had been watching the weather and it looked like we might get a few hours of rain at check in time when we were supposed to set up our tents. So we left very early and arrived by 11pm to set up our tents before the rain.

Canary stole my phone and took a bunch of photos, most of them were of grass and and the tires on the van but this one was a great action photo of me setting up our tent.

The weather was great, we spent the day exploring and going on bike rides along the shore. I did not take many pictures but I was fully in the moment feeling the wind on my face and the sun on my skin. Owl came up with a great game that we played while riding, it was called "What to you see that is beautiful." We took turns looking around us as we cycled along naming one item at a time that we thought was beautiful. Such a great game!

We went back to our campsite to cook dinner and to make moon water which we infused with small shards of black tourmaline. We also made some glow in the dark bracelets with glow in the dark beads.

Some of our tiny moon water charms hanging in a tree waiting for the moon.

Getting ready to head to the beach for our lantern walk after reading a page in the book Full Moon Lore we love this book so much, we brought our library copy but I need to add this to my amazon shopping list ASAP.
Everyone loved the cute little mice nibbling on corn!

We watched the moon rise, wrote messages in the sand, listened to the soft lake waves, and walked with our lanterns while listening to some beautiful lantern songs found on youtube.

It was such a calm peaceful walk.

Back at camp with our lanterns glowing into the night.

Gorgeous moon photo I caught on one of our many walks to the bathroom.
Around 11:30 Robin and I sat out by the fire after everyone else was asleep just chatting about books and life. It was a nice moment, I think we should go camping together one night just the 2 of us!

Just as the moon moved out of a 100% full one of my children woke up vomiting, which brought our camp out to an abrupt end. I built a fresh fire for the children to sit around and by the light of the moon and our warm fire we torn down out tents and packed up the van with the help of Papabird who rode out on that beautiful  September night. 

We had many activities planned for the next day but I assured the children that we would stop back next week and spend the day there.

Despite the fact our camp out ended in a vomit covered mess I would do it all over again because up until that point we had a blast. 

We picked up these great books from the lodge gift shop that I cannot wait to use for our studies.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Don't clean - go play!

I was sweeping the kitchen floor after dinner and feeling overwhelmed by the mess in the house with  Papabird working late. That is when my 2 boys raced outside to  kick a ball around.

This struck me as odd because usually after dinner they get a bit of electronic time. They did
 not even ask, they just wanted to play outside. This was even after playing outside for 2.5 after school.

They are always asking me to play with them but my response is usually "I do not have time" all I could hear in my head as they were playing was:

(A fellow mom made this card for me, it was taped to the inside of my planner for awhile)

So I left my pile of crumbs on the floor set the broom down and went right outside.

They were so excited that I was going to play them...

Yes, Duck decided to take of his boots and play in socks, Sigh! I need to buy stain remover in bulk!!!

We had so much fun.

We laughed

We ran

We even fell down, all of us! My ankle still hurts to walk on today. As an extra bonus I got in 30 extra minutes of exercise according to my fitbit I burned 180 calories. Good things because my ankle is so sore today my workout is going to be quite light!

I look at my now 16 year old and am reminded everyday how quickly time passes. I really do love a clean house but before I know it my house will be clean and empty with grown kids who have moved out.

I know all too soon I will long for the days that my kids were little and the house was messy.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

No time = not a priority.

While I was eating lunch at my desk this week I pulled up a random TED talks video to watch while I ate my delicious pico de gallo. The video was was about Time management by Laura Vanderkam.

There are so many valid points in her video  the word "Too busy" does not necessarily mean "Too busy" what it really means that those said items are just not a priority.

No time means not a priority.

Every minute I spend in life is  my choice

There are 168 hours in a week how we choose to spend them is up to us, EVERYTHING we do is a choice. Should I scrub my toilet or should I read a book? = choice!

If you asked me last year why I was not reading for pleasure I would have responded  with "I have no time" I was just too busy. I decided when 2017 started that I would read 1 book each month for the next 12 months. I was surprised that once I made that a priority I was able to read not only just one book but TWO!!

How did I do that? Well, I took my book with me everywhere I went and I found 5-10 minutes here and there that I could open up my book and read instead of pulling out my phone and playing with that.I also started reading in bed for 10-40 minutes each night (some nights I read more because the book was really good) I found that doing this has helped me sleep better as well. I remember reading a few articles years ago about how blue light affects our sleep click here for an article about blue lights from your phone.

Laura Vanderkam suggests writing a  year end review of what you would like people to read about the successes of your year. This sounds like a great way of setting up your goals for the year.

What I found really important was that she suggests each week  ( Friday afternoon) writing out a priority list and putting it in your calendar making sure you make time for what you really feel is important.

I have a lot of things in the works  right now with my kids being in school, this video just dropped  many items off my list. Some things are just not a priority at this time  for me.

Simplify and re evaluate 

Interested in hearing more about Laura click here to be directed to her website.

Maybe one of her books will be on my reading list in the coming months.....

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year 2017

Every year I am alive is a good year. I have 61 years left on this earth I will live a healthy 100 years!!

I am having a hard time reflecting back on this year not because it was sad. It was good, great even. 2017 brought on lots of joy, change, success, and failures. The truth is I am very much looking forward to a fresh new year.

2016 was amazing and 2017 will be even  better.

In 2017 I will turn 39
My oldest will turn 17
My youngest will turn 3
I will be celebrating 19 years with Papabird
And my Dad will turn 66

Time flies so fast, every second matters.

My Resolution this year is to make life magical: there is wonder and joy all around us we just need to be open to all the amazing wonders of the world.

"Being Spiritual means:
Whispering to the trees,
Laughing with the flowers,
falling in love with sunsets,
consulting with the waters,
and worshipping the stars at night.
One  hand to her heart 
and one hand touching mother earth....."

Monday, December 26, 2016

The River of Change

"When the  river of change flows  into  your life  it  can  be very  frightening,  It  can bring  up all our resistance and fear of the unknown."

Change is important, stagnant water is not healthy


I started my homeschool journey 12 years ago. I never intended to homeschool. I never even knew a single person who homeschooled but that is just where my journey led me. There were many set backs and the journey was hard but by the time I was 3 years in I new my goal would be to get my first born in college by 14.

At age 14 my son who never knew another teacher besides me started full time at the University near our city.21,000  students wandering the campus and my 14 year old was one of them, it was a terrifying and proud moment.

My son is thriving, he is 16 now, sophomore in college with a 3.8 GPA and working part time.


2 years ago we won  an outdated 1970's house on 15 acres  during a house  auction. It  all happened so fast we were not ready to move nor did we think it would be sold for under 300k. 30 days from the moment we raised our  auction card number that won our house and we were scrambling to make it livable enough to move in and get our other house ready to rent. We would not be able to float two  mortgages for too long.Neither house was ready to move in or out.

We have been on an incredible journey for 2 years trying to juggle work on the house, work on the land, the out buildings, the farm animals, homeschooling, maintaining the office building we own and running a company. Setbacks came and went and everything takes 3x longer than we expected 

I have too many things to juggle and I realize  that I am  only giving a small percent of my time to each one  just scratching the surface ...........not getting anywhere..... treading water in rough seas.


I found a school that is project based and most like homeschooling than any other school I have seen, I spent the day there observing while my kids participated.. I realized that day  that my half ass version of homeschooling was about what this school does. No one is getting to college early that way. So I decided that if I enrolled them they would at least be getting the amount of education that I have been giving them for the last 2 years while freeing up more time for me to get things done at the house/farm. I can catch them up and get them ready for college later if that is the journey we decide on.

They are enrolled and start Jan.4. these were very hard papers to sign, again I felt like I was signing FAILURE on the documents.I failed them.

Papabird has been  trying to convince me to use a weekly house cleaning service: I have been resistant. So for Christmas he bought me a year of weekly service forcing me to use it. This was a hard gift to accept because it felt like I was receiving the gift of FAILURE.



Moving on....
Sailing down my river. Maybe this school will be temporary, maybe it will be permanent. When I started homeschooling I only planned too do it for one year I did it for 12!

I am a strong believer in the journey and that people, things and situations come into your life for a reason. For now I am asking my children and myself to give it a try for the rest of the year. then in June we will re evaluate and see where to go from there.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Destination: Puerto Rico

My first trip with no kids.

Destination: Puerto Rico 2 flights 6.5 hours

View from the plane as we were landing. I was separated from Papabird on both flights the second flight  we were supposed to sit together but he got bumped to first class but then gave the seat to me because I never sat in first class before. It was nice I sure would like to fly first class every time.

I was giddy the moment I saw the ocean literal giggles in my head of excitement and a goofy smile from ear to ear. Just as exciting to me as my 8 year old self waking up to the glittering Christmas tree with gifts from Santa. Magical.

There is just something about the ocean especially tropical waters that  envelopes me in utter peace and washes all my worries away. I feel home!
View from the living room in the house
We stayed in old San Juan the first day. A gorgeous  500 year old house it had so much history and character a bit run down though, it could have used some  updates.
They had cats everywhere- I later found out it was because of the Save A Gato program 

Old San Jaun was beautiful, I love the bright color buildings. It looked like all the books I read in college when I studied Latin American culture.

We traveled to the other side of the island to stay at resort where my husband had his important work thing

As soon as we were checked in Papabird had a meeting so I headed to the ferry that takes people over to the private island.

This was a 15 minutes walk through multiple buildings to get to the tram that takes you down the cliff to sea level. We stayed in the farthest building from the tram on the very top floor ( Papa bird knows I like the top floor anywhere) We had the best view from our balcony than any other building.I yearned to get my toes into the warm tropical sea water. I had yet been able to do so.We could see the water and hear the ocean from the house in San Jaun but we were up on a cliff and unable to get into the water.

The resort was large
The tram that takes you down the cliff to the bottom level of the resort. It looks like a fun coaster but it was pretty slow.

 Bliss- toes in the water.

The island was beautiful 

I have never seen a sun rise, sure I have been awake when the sun was coming up but I have never seen it rise up from the horizon line making it's very first appearance.

Papabird thought I was crazy but I was up at 5am (I can NEVER sleep when not in my own bed) so why not enjoy every second and watch a sunrise.
My first attempt, my timing was off and I went back to bed.

My second attempt- breathtaking, a moment to remember always.I may have damaged my retinas forever but, how do you watch the sun come up without actually looking at the sun?

And the Moon ( not the best quality but I only took my iphone not my DSLR)
Seriously there is NO other view in the world more amazing to me ( besides the birth of all my 5 amazing children) than a full moon over the ocean.
This night was perfect. Clear night, warm breeze, ipod in playing my favorite songs. I sat on our balcony until the moon was no longer in sight. I was lost in my thoughts and full of emotion. 

View from our balcony, it looks directly East right to the resorts private island.
 All my favorite things!!! A Rainbow over the water on the ferry  while riding  back to the resort after a day of longing on the beach..
Sandy toes, crashing waves,mountain view and a rumtastic tropical drink!!

The water changed color after a small rainstorm.

There were so many amazing places and adventures to do while visiting Puerto Rico but on the few days that Papa Bird was free from meetings I just wanted to relax and hang out with him.What I really needed was to just let the salty ocean bath me and wash away all my stresses.

During his busy times I was happy and content to sit, relax, and enjoy the beach.

My trashy novel that kept me company on the plane especially since the audio went down and there was no wifi or movies on my way back.

I also discovered a new Gemstone. I fell in love with it right away and bought a few pieces.