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It doesn’t get easier.

We cried when we left Texas. We cried when we left California. Arizona. Texas again. Florida. And now we’re crying as we leave New Hampshire. Family, old friends, and new friends that quickly become old friends. It doesn’t get any easier to say, “goodbye.” We’ve been in NH for two and a half months. That’s the longest we’ve stayed in one place since we embarked on this RV journey one year ago. This is where Chris and I began our journey together with the loving support of our families; where our babies joined our lives; where we met and fell in love with a handful of other families who shared our desire to parent in a connected way and to support our children in pursuing their interests and learning in their own individual ways.

So when you ask me, “is it hard for the kids to say ‘goodbye’?” I’ll tell you the truth. It’s hard. Sometimes it’s beyond hard. Today it’s unbearable… for all of us.

I don’t have a way to make it easier. I have hashed this out over and over in my brain wondering if this was somehow damaging or mean to do to the children. Like with most things, though, the light dawns through our communications with them. We feel the emotions together. We talk about the people we love. It’s raw and honest. We even wonder aloud if traveling is the right thing if it hurts this much to leave.

Here’s what we came to today: We love our friends and family here so much. Time spent here is time spent wrapped in the comfort of the fold. These people are our people. When we are here, we are home. But our home moves. And that is amazing. It means that we have the ongoing opportunity to nurture and develop relationships with people along the way and at our destinations that we would never be able to do if we lived full time in one place. We have adventures and excitement beyond our wildest dreams. And we maintain these heartfelt connections made and grown until we return to throw another log on the fire in person.

We love our life. But saying ‘goodbye’ doesn’t get easier.

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2011 in RV

 

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Spring is upon us!

Yes, it’s spring.  The weather is absolutely gorgeous.  We’ve been spending tremendous amounts of time outside doing all sorts of exciting things with all sorts of wonderful people.  Here’s a catch-up:

Rollerskating around the neighborhood- our wheels were not acceptable for the local indoor rink so we are just as happy to enjoy the weather and play together outside at home.

We’re making the rounds of the playgrounds on foot, bike, rollerskates, and wiggle cars.  This run-down jungle gym was an unexpected find on a bike ride one afternoon.  The kids thought it was pretty funny to climb on the window of the school bus.

Several people have asked me, when discussing unschooling, how my kids get PE (aka- gym).  I have to laugh because we’re always on the move! 

FINALLY- winter chill and wetness are gone and we’re getting together every two weeks for our DFW Whole-Life Unschooling Meet-Ups!  Discussions so far this spring have ranged from supporting health and wellness by listening to our children listening to their own bodies to talking to people about unschooling.  These are long days full of thoughtful, supportive, open-minded discussion and children frolicking happily on the playground, in the wooded areas, and in the creek!

We’ve hung out with old friends (Sadie and Rachel eat lunch together at the park).

And new friends!  The kids (after another fabulous children’s theatre production at Casa Manana) explore a 200 year-old pecan tree at the Ft. Worth Botanic Gardens with Milford and Crewe (of New Zealand). 

Creeks are a big fascination this spring.  We’ve spent a LOT of time exploring water!

We’ve got Miss Skooter with us almost everywhere we go.  She’s the kids’ baby and best friend.  She’s gotten quite big (for a small dog, mind you) but is dwarfed by Lulu.  We’ve found some great wild areas to explore near the house and are learning all the time about and because of our sweet pups.  Here Lulu looks longingly at what we presume to be an animal den.  It’s cleverly protected by cacti which keeps her at bay.

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Playground Brilliance

What is a typical park day? Like any other day of our lives, there is no typical. This day, however, does have all of the general components that make up a ‘usual’ day at the park. Many of our schooled friends and family wonder how we can possibly be LEARNing when we spend so much time PLAYing. The response: Learning is joyful not painful! Learning happen always in all ways.

How will your kids learn to make new friends? They do it all the time- with excitement and ease. Their friendships are not limited to time, place, age, or interest. They enjoy interactions fully and in the moment. Their definition of a ‘friend’ is beautifully pure and open. Here Sadie makes friends with some toddlers.

We spend a lot of time everywhere we go appreciating our natural surroundings and its inhabitants. We are always seeing new species that we’ve never seen before. We describe them, hypothesize about them, make up stories about them, talk to them, etc.

This is a toad we saved from some less than gentle younger children. Elijah and Sadie gave instructions on proper holding and then whisked him away to a safer location. We observed a shrill pleading coming from this guy which was a new sound we haven’t heard in our vast experience with toads. It was decided that this was the sound of terror and the kids did what they could to return him to a safe and comfortable habitat.

Look at this cool acorn! Which tree did it come from? How many ways can we use it in a fairy house? How many more can we find? How many have tops vs. how many that don’t? There is never a need for quizzing or manipulating. Their learning is organic, inquisitive, interested, continuous.

This park day ended with a tremendous group collaboration with children ranging in age from 2 to 7. They worked as a team figuring out how to get each child who wished to have a turn on the swing and each child who wished to push into their desired position. They respected each other when one child didn’t want to swing so high, fast, spinny. They lifted the little ones up and down. They managed and negotiated so that it was a fun-filled event for all.

Yes, there is much learning to be had at the playground- and everywhere else.

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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New Friends

We seem to be moving in a new direction. We asked for growth, sought it out, and are getting just that. Several unschooling mamas and myself came together to begin a new support and discussion group for DFW metroplex unschoolers- Whole-Life Unschoolers Meet-Up. Two of these women were already my friends and the other two have quickly become recognized as kindred spirits on this journey to discover ourselves through respectful partnerships with our children. We are branching out, discovering new pockets of unschoolers, and making new connections. It is a beautiful, exciting time!

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We’re meeting new friends! Reaching out for positive energy and other people that project similarly, we are finding more and more wonderful families with whom to share and grow. Although the pictures didn’t come out great, I find it compelling to mark the beginning of this friendship. This is the first day that Angie and the girls came over to play. Sadie and Elijah really enjoy playing with the girls and we seem to have a kinship between our families.

There was quite a bit of dress-up along with some swimming and building homes for their stuffed animals out of cardboard bricks. Looking forward to lots more fun!

montje playdate

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2009 in Playdate

 

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Friends with Flair

Time and availability of dads had us going out on a limb with this one. We started a playdate with the Quinns in the late afternoon! There was lots of swimming.

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(left to right) Sadie’s feet, Elijah, Declan, and Alistair.

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Scuba Sadie

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Scuba Liam

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How to get waterlogged kids out of the pool? PIZZA!

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Somewhere we lost a few of the kids. While cleaning up the patio, we came in to these 3 little cuties (Sadie, Liam, and Alistair) who moved a chair over to the counter to gain access to the fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies. Brilliant!

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Even Motley got in on the action. Here Alistair shares some snugly time with our sweet piggie.

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Though we have been with Liam during his breathing treatments before (Liam has chronic asthma that is easily exacerbated and needs regular nebulizer treatments), Sadie seemed to notice it for the first time on this evening. She was curious and for the next several days we had quite a few discussions about premature babies (Liam was 7 weeks premature) and the issues that often come with that as well as smoking, air pollution, and illness as situational issues that can exacerbate his predisposition to breathing problems.

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Me: “Wow, Liam. That makes your eye look really big!” Liam turns around with a dry smile. Liam: “Does it make my butt look big?” I laughed so hard I nearly cried.

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The big boys were peaceful late in the evening- building with Legos and constructing marble runs. It was definitely different to see two boys who are usually so silly and wild with each other sitting quietly with intention. This was a fabulous evening. We’re trying new things and going with the flow and it’s just wonderful. Our playdate ended shortly after 11PM and it was all fun, games, and (as always) loaded with life learning.

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2009 in Playdate

 

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Dogs and Kids

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We brought the dogs to the dog park and the kids to the kid park all in one day! All had a great time.

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The dogs got lots of attention from the children who don’t have dogs at home. They were walked and patted to their hearts’ content.

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Elijah and Declan meander to the car.

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2009 in Parks, Playdate

 

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Spontaneous Fun!

Our friends Ehlayna and Ethan came over to play!

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We took a wiggle car over to the playground but somehow ended up here… How does this always happen? The drainage area is way more interesting than the prefab. playset!

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There was lots of dam building going on today. The kids were carting rocks from different areas then using mud to seal the cracks between the rocks.

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Then back to our house for some good, clean swimming fun! It was a wonderful day.

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2009 in Playdate

 

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