Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Not ashamed of crying anymore

The last several weeks have incredibly, um, challenging for me. In honor of NaNoWriMo and the fact that I am just a walking raw nerve right now, I am going to write about some stuff. Pretty much no one reads this blog anymore anyway, so I feel pretty comfortable putting all my emotions and deep, dark secrets out there! The recent and highly publicized suicide deaths of the five gay teenagers and all the ensuing talk about bullying has brought up a bunch hard memories and brought about a lot of soul searching. First off, no, I am not gay. That's not what this is about. It's about a lot of other things. There are probably too many to list, but I'll get to them as I need to talk about them.

It seems like I have always, always, always hated to cry. I have decided that no longer going to be ashamed of crying. I am a crier. I cry easily, and it's always bugged me. Darn it - I'm not going to let it anymore. Crying is cleansing. Crying allows you to let things out. I learned to try and repress the urge to cry at a very young age. School was hard. Sometimes it was painful, humiliating, and even scary. The first few years I was in school are very hard for me to talk about, but I am going to.

My first year of school was kindergarten. I learned that the teacher would just like for me to shut up and not say a word - ever. I was sort of the freak of the school, so I didn't really have any friends. I was mostly ignored though not really picked on. The teacher ignored me, the students ignored me, and I mostly sat quietly twiddling my fingers until the day was over. It wasn't enjoyable, but it could have been worse. The next year I went to a very small, private school, and the following year back to public school, and it did indeed get worse.

Now, to be fair, neither of my first grade teachers really liked any of us. One teacher had a habit of calling us dogs. Nice, eh? But I, being an odd kid, really took the brunt of it all. I was the teacher's whipping girl. My second grade teacher wasn't really any better, and actually in many ways, she was worse. These teachers really set me up for bullying, and not only did they set it up, they looked the other way when it was happening. When I went to school, I was pretty far ahead of the school work we were doing. I could do the fifth grade reading work, so instead of giving me harder work, the teacher decided to use me to her advantage. The school was a one room school with grades 1-8 (a couple of grades were empty, so there were only 6 actual grades) with a small number of students. The teacher decided that it would make her job easier if I, a first grade girl, taught the third graders (two boys) their reading work. Wow did that make me popular. They really hated me, and she knew it, and she didn't care a bit. Both years, I was punished for ever succeeding. I remember sitting in school with absolutely nothing to do, but being expected to just sit there quietly. So, I taught myself to write in cursive from the letter boxes around the top of the room. When I showed my teacher, she moved my desk away from the other first graders, put it in the corner, and made me stay in from recess. Once I finished a math paper before anyone else in the room, and when I took it up to the teacher, she made me stay in from recess because I hadn't spent enough time on the paper even though everything on it was correct. When I took my math workbook home in the first week of school and finished half the book in one evening, rather than looking at it and realizing (since it was all correct) that I needed harder work, my teacher decided that I needed to stay inside during recess and erase it all. I remember time after time after time of being humiliated in front of the whole class by my teachers. It's really no wonder that the teacher's whipping girl became the class' whipping girl.

During this time, my hair was cut, and then apparently my aunt "thinned" it, and well - I just looked like a boy. Suddenly, I went from the freak who at least looked normal, to the freaky girl who looks like a boy. That all happened during that really awkward phase where you're losing all your baby teeth, and they're being replaced by these huge gopher teeth that don't fit in your head yet. Yea, that was fun.

Over the years, I've only focused on the things that happened to me from teachers. I learned at a very young age from them, to not succeed. I almost NEVER did homework. Even through high school I didn't do homework in the evenings. If I had homework to be turned in, I would quickly do it over breakfast or sitting in my seat waiting for class to start. I knew I should do it, but I would get these knots in my stomach when I sat down to do homework, and I didn't realize why.

I never really took the time to think about the treatment I received from the students. Recently when bullying was in the news so heavily, I started having to look at the things that happened to me as a young child. In those first years I have memories of being pushed in the mud, tripped, pushed off the swings, called names, being taunted, having my hand stomped on, being told I smelled (which I didn't), being pushed out of the tree, being excluded, having my things taken and then being teased with them, being called a boy, being run into and knocked over, and being tied up with a rope. I never classified myself as someone who was bullied, but I think those things qualify me as someone who was bullied. I was scared to go to school. I was miserable and sad. I was happy at home. My parents are wonderful, but I did not tell them what was going on. I think they believed that bad grades equaled problems at school and good grades equaled things being okay. Well, I had good grades. School work wasn't hard for me. School was.

I know that is where I learned to hate crying. I learned to not cry because crying only made the bullying worse. If I cried on top of things, I was teased even more because then I was teased for crying. I learned to stuff that down or in more cases than not - eat it away.

Luckily for me, the bullying did stop although I know I have lasting scars from it. I spent years and years trying to be someone I wasn't to make people happy to protect myself. I learned to be very talkative and kind of goofy. I also became very fluent in sarcasm! The rest of my grade school years weren't as horrible. I made friends and even had some fun. I still didn't have a lot of luck with teachers though. Some of the teachers we had at our school were nice people, but they were terrible teachers. It wasn't until I got to high school that I had teachers that I respected or that really gave a darn about me. When it happened, honestly, I didn't know how to handle it.

Recently, I've been going through all my old videos, so I can get them digitized. It's strange how this stuff is all happening at once, but I guess it's really time for me to just talk through all of it.

I went to a private boarding academy my freshman year in high school. My last school had 26 kids (and that was a big year!), and then I went to a school with around 200. That was quite a switch. It was a switch in so many different ways. I lived, worked, ate, and went to school with these people. They were kind of like a big family to me. For the first time ever, I had teachers who knew what they were doing, were good at it, and cared about us. I only stayed one year, and I've often tried to figure out exactly why I left. I really did like it there. So, why did I gripe to my parents and beg to leave? I did not know how to trust people. I couldn't handle having these teachers and faculty in my life who were so different that what I was used to. I know it sounds strange, but I wanted (or thought I wanted) to be in a place where I was invisible.

I went to that place as a sophomore. I went to a public high school that had about 800 kids, and I probably knew the names of 8. I was definitely invisible. My teachers barely knew my name, The one who did know my name, had been my older brothers' counselor, and she HATED me by association! Seriously. When she got to my name on the rooster, she had a very significant pause. Then she called my name, I said, "Present." She looked at me and said (in this really mean voice), "You're not related to the OTHER Dupuis' in this town, are you?" Have you ever had a time when your brain is literally screaming at you, "Lie, lie, lie, lie, lie..."? Well, mine was doing that, but instead of lying I said, "Yes, ma'am." WRONG ANSWER! The woman literally did not speak to me for six weeks. She finally talked to me when she realized I was the quietest person in her class! I had a Geometry teacher who knew my name, but didn't get a rat's bottom about me. I had his class the first semester, and I sat in the front row and had a solid A the whole time. Then at the semester because I was probably the loneliest person in school, I switched classes to be with a few of the people I knew. They were all stoners who hated smart kids with good grades. My grade dropped from a 95% to a 55% in 4 1/2 weeks. Now, it takes a lot of work to do that poorly! What is the only things my teacher said to me? "You did better in my other class." Yep. That's it. It was that incident that made me decide that I wanted to go back to Ozark. I knew that I would never, EVER have gotten away with that at Ozark. There would have been discussions in the teacher's office, parents called if need be, etc. I should have begged my parents to put me back then, but I didn't. I stuck out the long, boring, lonely year.

I went back to Ozark as a junior. It was absolutely the best place I could be. I still managed to almost ruin it for myself though. I smoked (at school - something I could have gotten kicked out for), I drank, and I experimented a bit with drugs. I was very miserable with myself. That's what having zero self esteem will do for a person. I started dating a very troubled young man. For years, I was very angry with him, but I guess age has mellowed me! He was very troubled, and unfortunately, I allowed him to take it out on me. I only knew how to be in a relationship where I was treated like crap. I knew in my head that I should stand up for myself, but I didn't. I didn't think of myself as abused because he never hauled off and hit me with his fist. To me, being hit with a fist equaled abuse. One day I realized that being thrown into a wall or knocked to the ground creates bruises that are just as real as those caused by fists. I wanted so badly to figure out how to just co-exist happily with people, but I was miserable. So, one day, I decided that I would stop fighting and just end it the stupidest way possible. I tried to commit suicide. It was such a stupid thing to do, and I am incredibly glad it didn't work. I was living in the dormitory was a wonderful roommate. Our room was connected to another room where two of my good friends lived. The four of us had our own little self contained living quarters. I didn't think about how my actions could have scarred these kids. I took a bunch of pills - everything I had in my room - some legal - some not so much. I told everyone goodnight, and I went to bed. I woke up the next morning to my roommate shaking me nearly yelling my name over and over. When I rolled over, I could tell she was worried. She informed me that I had slept through my very loud alarm, and I could tell she'd had trouble waking me up. It quickly became apparent to my friends that I was not okay since I couldn't stay vertical for more than a couple minutes at a time and only if I had some forward momentum going. They got really concerned when I laid down on the floor of the "Mid bus" (the bus that took us to work at the cabinet factory) because that bus was na-hasty! Anyway, long story short, I ended up calling the dean and going back to the dorm where I spent the next few days sleeping and hurling. It wasn't fun, but I remember having this overwhelming sense of relief to be alive. It was a big turning point for me.

After that things didn't change immediately, but I knew I had to do something. There was one thing in my life that made me truly happy, and that was music. We had a music director at that school that I completely admired (I was totally intimidated by him, too!). I was singing in the choir, which I loved. I was also taking voice lessons. I honestly had been sort of coasting by, but after my stupid incident, I really started paying attention and working harder. It wasn't long after that, my teacher switched me from soprano to alto, and I began to get a little confidence. I have composed music since I was 13, but again, after my stupid incident, I started composing seriously. Music truly became my passion and my outlet.

That summer, the troubled young man and I broke up. I quit all my nasty habits. I tried to get healthy (in my mind aka thin), but that only resulted in an eating disorder, but I was trying. I went back to school. It was an incredibly stressful year. I was trying so hard to be good, and I kept getting in trouble! I had friends I loved, and teachers I admired though, so I kept trying. I still didn't study much, but luckily I managed to graduate with a 3.3, so not too bad. In spite of all the stress, I had a really great year. I joined organizations and played sports and had fun. Still, I wouldn't have made it though without music.

Music was my sanctuary. I sang in the small and large choir and I played in the band. I also spent HOURS in the music hall playing the piano. Music was not only my sanctuary, it was my outlet. My music teacher inspired me, and I soaked in every word he said. I constantly annoyed him though without trying, so I just started adding to it by smarting off to him and purposefully annoying him - which was SO helpful! It was very stupid since he was the one person I looked up to the most, but well, I was young and stupid. What can I say? I remember VIVIDLY the day I crossed the line with him. Honestly, I don't know if he was close to kicking me out of choir or not, but in my mind, it was a very real possibility. We were singing this song that I hated (and truthfully still hate!), and I was always smarting off about it. Walking into choir one day, I said something really awful. You know when you say something and it's so bad that even your friends look at you like you're a blooming idiot? Yep, it was like that. I don't remember what he said to me, but it was very short and along the lines of, "That is ENOUGH." The look that went along with it has been burned into my memory! I sat in my seat for the duration of class just shaking and praying, "Lord, I know that was really, really, really, really stupid. I'm sorry. I'll never do it again - I promise!" I managed not to cry though until I got back to my room. I was determined not to cry in class, but you know, if I had, at least it would have been obvious that I KNEW I was an idiot! :-) He didn't kick me out of class thankfully (didn't speak much to me after that either!), and I didn't smart off again!

That year was hard. I starved myself for months, and when I finally got hungry enough that I just couldn't keep starving myself, I discovered the disgusting world of self-induced vomiting. I did that until I started vomiting up blood. Somehow I made it through the year. I was the tough kid who wasn't going to cry at graduation. I almost made it through the whole weekend. When our small choir sang, "Make Me An Instrument" I lost it. I couldn't sing. I was mouthing the words with tears rolling down my face. I've watched the video, and you can see my couple of quick, trying to be nonchalant wipes at my eyes during the song. Twenty years later, that song still makes me cry. It's not that it's just a beautiful song, because it is, it is because of what the whole experience meant to me. It's because of what the people meant to me. The people I knew there still hold an incredibly important place in my heart. My friends were there for me at a time when I really needed them whether they knew it or not. My teachers helped me learn to trust people, they helped me feel safe, and they helped me learn to like school. My music teacher literally changed my life. Music is still an incredibly important thing in my life, it's still my sanctuary and my outlet. I was inspired by him, and that inspiration still exists today.

Hmmm, I'm not sure if I actually said what I set out to say, but I guess that's okay. I don't know how to end this post either except to say that I am grateful for the people who have made such an impact in my life - well, a positive impact anyway. I'm not sure I've grown enough to be grateful for the bad experiences, but at least I don't still hold a grudge. That's good I suppose!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The kindness of strangers

Today was horrendous. I cannot even begin to convey the roller coaster ride that today has been. That is not the purpose of this post, but it is useful back story. I have been dealing with a situation that was created by other people's incompetence. It has been very stressful and was about to cost us a very large amount of money. Today was the absolute last day that I had to resolve the issue. So, that was today! Because of everything I had to do, I did not have time to go home and fix supper for my five children. I decided to take everybody to Qdoba.

Usually when I walk in someplace with my five children, people's eyes bug out. Oftentimes people choose to treat us poorly before they even have a chance to talk to us. I try hard to be super friendly and engaging, and many times I can win people over. It's hard work though, and there is no way I would have had any leftover energy to do any of that today. On top of all this, my youngest son has some special needs. His needs aren't super severe. He wasn't born with Down's Syndrome or something that is obvious to people when they look at him. In all probability with special education and a lot of hard work, he will grow up to be a normal adult with a few possible quirks. When people see him, they usually just judge him as a "naughty, disobedient boy." It's usually only parents who have special needs children who recognize his unique qualities. He is a very challenging child, but he is the most joyful child I have ever met. He exudes joy. I am fiercely protective of him because so many people don't understand or don't care and treat him in ways that can damage his self worth. I've had to sit in on activities, so that I could intervene and explain things to teachers. I quit attending play group. I make sure to have a discussion with pretty much any adult who will be interacting with my child for any length of time. The list goes on and on. Taking him on an outing by himself can be challenging enough, but throw four other children into the mix, and it can be downright exhausting.

Remember all of that. Now, we all walk into Qdoba, and I start ordering for the six of us. When I turned my back, my son starting doing something where he could get hurt. Over comes this man (I didn't realize he was the manager yet), and gently redirected my son. When I turned around and saw what had happened, I immediately thanked him. He gave me a big smile and said, "Oh, it's no problem. I just didn't want him to get hurt." Next, while I am paying, my son gets his meal and starts walking away before I can stop him and promptly drops his food on the floor. This manager kneels down to be on my son's level and says, "That one's dirty now, so I'll ask them to make you another one, okay?" He spoke to my son like he was a human being. The cashier and manager then help us carry all of our food outside and move a table for us, and the manager went in and filled all of our water cups, put lids and straws on them and brought them all out to us. I know it doesn't sound like much, but these people were so incredibly kind to us and went so far above what their job dictated. The most important part was the way they treated my children and especially my youngest son. I hate crying, and I REALLY hate crying in front of people I don't know, but I couldn't help it, I did it anyway. It's hard to describe the judgment I live with everyday when I am out with my children and the way my youngest son is treated by complete strangers and even sometimes by people who are not strangers. Kindness is so completely underrated in our society, but I tend to think that it is incredibly powerful. I was overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers today, and I am thankful that our paths crossed.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Common sense parenting

Okay - I am going to warn you now that I am stepping up on my soap box, so if you don't want to read it, then DON'T! I am so sick of all the judgment and second guessing going on with parenting. When I was a La Leche League leader, we used to tell new moms, "YOU are the expert on YOUR baby." Well, guess what? Moms and Dads are still the experts on our children even if they're four or six or ten or sixteen. Our instincts are the absolute most important tools we have as parents. I read an article about five worries that parents should drop and five they shouldn't. The article is interesting, but it just ticked me off. I'm also sick of the labels we give parents. There's the "helicopter parent" and the "free range parent." Seriously?! I just want to tell all the "experts" to bite me. I'm coming up with my own term. It's called the "common-sense parent."

Here's the five things parents "shouldn't" worry about according to this article: kidnapping, school snipers, terrorists, dangerous strangers, and drugs. The five things it says we "should" worry about are: car accidents, homicide (committed by someone who knows the child), abuse, suicide, and drowning. First off, yes, you can give people statistics, etc. That's all well and good, but do not tell a person what to or not to worry about. I live in Colorado. There have been no less than three school shootings with many fatalities since we moved here. Do I worry about school shootings? No. I am certainly not going to tell someone who lives down the street from Columbine that their worries are dumb. Many of them LIVED it! Our reality forms our perception. That is true for everyone. Not only that, I completely and absolutely believe that the Columbine school shooting could have been prevented. So, while school shootings may be rare, school violence isn't. Shootings may be the extreme outcome, but I don't think it's crazy to think of ways to prevent it. Not only that, if a parent IS concerned about violence at school, maybe they have a reason for it. We need to LISTEN to our intuition. Just Friday, I had an incident at my children's school. It wasn't with a student but with a parent/grandparent. He completely flipped out at me, and I won't go into it, but it was outrageously bizarre. I struggled all weekend with whether I should mention it to the dean or not. Had I listened to the prevailing "wisdom" of the world, I would have just "let it go." Instead, I listened to my intuition that was telling me that something was just "not right." I talked to the dean and found out that this particular individual has already flipped on at least one other person. They kids have only been in school for less than a month. How many people has this man flipped out on that haven't mentioned it? Now I know to keep an eye on this man. I have warned my children about him, and the school knows that he is building a history of belligerence.

The article says we SHOULD worry about car accidents. Their solution though is to make sure our children are buckled properly, in the proper harnesses, blah, blah, blah. Don't get me wrong - I am adamant about my children wearing seat belts, being in boosters and car seats, etc. However, could the article talk a tiny bit about personal responsibility? The number one thing we can do to keep our children safe in a vehicle has less to do with the way they are restrained and more to do with the way we drive. Maybe they need to be saying to parents that they should grow up, slow their butts down, follow the speed limit and street laws and drive defensively.

Then it tells me that I should not worry about my child being kidnapped and worry about suicide instead. Okay, maybe I am niave, but I would see suicide as an issue for children who are at least in middle school and mostly in high school. Is that really going to be valid for my six year old? When she walks down the street to see her friend, should I worry that she'll have an intense bout of depression on the way, climb a tree, and jump? Or would it be more prudent for me to talk to her about safety, what to do if she were approached, how to listen to her intuition, and maybe stand in front of the house, so I can watch her walk half of the way and then have her call when she gets there? Maybe we could throw a little common sense into parenting. Worrying about things is just wasted energy. Maybe our time would be better spent if we could educate ourselves and our children and take precautions on things - even the ones that have a less likelihood of happening. Maybe we could take some responsibility for the things we can actually have a huge impact on such as car safety. The biggest thing we could do though is to trust our parental instincts and beyond that, we could trust that OTHER parents have instincts as well.

Before my oldest went to school, I was convinced that I would home school her. I hated the idea. It made me sick to my stomach, but I was a "good" attachment parent, and I kept hearing and reading that it was the best thing and what all the "good" attachment parents do. Finally, I wised up and realized that home school was not an option that would work for anyone in our family. It would break us apart. I have other friends who have people telling them how awful they are for home schooling. You know, because people that do not raise the children absolutely must know more about the children than their own parents, right? Yes, that was sarcasm. The same thing goes with vaccinations. I researched the heck out of vaccinations and came to the conclusion that the research supports the validity of selective vaccination, but that it does NOT support early vaccination. So, that's what I do. I selectively vaccinate my children on a delayed schedule. I catch crap from both sides of the fence. I have done my research, and I am secure in the decisions I've made. I may not agree with the decisions other people make, but I support them in making educated decisions for their own families.

Could we just agree that we are all the own experts on our own family and leave each other alone?! Would that be too darn difficult? I guess that wouldn't catch as many readers because really what would we have to read about if we couldn't read about how we are all different and one side is better than the other, right? Nobody can love a child like their own parent. I know there are people in the world who should never have become parents, but for the most part, I like to believe that we are all doing the best we can with the information that we have. How about we all love and accept a little more and judge a little less?

My Louie is 4!!!

My little boy turned four on the 25th. *sniff* He's getting so big. We haven't had his birthday party yet, but we did celebrate and let him open presents. Unfortunately, my stupid camera is not working properly! I've got to get it working before I can get the birthday pictures off it. I did take a few with my camera, and I'll post those. Louis is such an incredibly joyful child. He experiences life to the absolute fullest. We are truly blessed to have that beautiful boy in our family.

This is the gift he got from his buddy Nick.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The B'Shaloms visit!

Our dear friends: Miryam, Joey, Hannah, Benji, Jonah, and Gavi moved to Portland, Oregon last year, and we miss them lots. It was such a great pleasure to get to spend the afternoon with them when they came back to Denver for a visit. I'm so glad they were able to move to a place that makes them happy even if they're far away. Thank goodness for Facebook, so I can still follow their lives! Plus, I think Miryam's mom and dad still live here, so they HAVE to come visit sometimes, right? :-)

I had to get the short video of Theresa while we were at the park because she was just too funny!

Father's Day

Yea, yea, I know. I'm a little behind. I just got the pictures downloaded though! We decided that it was high time to take the kidlets up Pike's Peak, so we went on father's day. Trey and I have been up Pike's Peak three times, but all three times happened within the first year that we lived here. We'd never been since then. We decided to drive up (because it is WAY cheaper, and you have more than 20 minutes at the top). We stopped at the reservoir on the way up. It was so beautiful and peaceful. It was quite cool at the top as well. We could see the smoke from the Royal Gorge fire from the top. On the way down we saw marmots and a fox. It was a really fun day.

Girls' new haircuts

Beth Ann has had long hair for her entire life. She finally decided that she wanted to cut it off! I only asked her about 25 times, "Are you sure???" She was sure. So, we went to the salon where our friend Carrie's cousin Jenny works, and she cut it all off for her. Turns out she had enough to donate. She was very proud to be able to do that. Livi got her hair cut, too. They both loved Jenny and have decided that we ALWAYS have to go to Jenny to get a haircut!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hula hooping

The kidlets mad hula hooping skills!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Theresa turns one!

I can't believe my baby girl is one year old. That went by FAST! She is such an amazing angel, and I am thrilled and feel so blessed that she is in our lives. Saturday was her birthday, and we celebrated with friends. Here are some videos from her eating her first birthday cake. I'll post more pictures later!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Eating Local

Well, I guess it's been a while since I've posted! It's been a bit busy around here. I'll be posting some new pictures of the kidlets soon. I am currently reading a book called Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. It's a pretty good book. Last year, my family and I made a pledge to reduce our carbon footprint. We did a good job, but we are trying to take it a step farther. We've already ordered our CSA share for next year. That'll start in mid-June, and we're looking forward to getting it again! We've also been looking into local farms. We are planning on going up to Grant Family Farms (where we get our CSA) to visit it. We also have plans to go up to Berry Patch Farms this summer to pick berries to put up. I recently talked to another local farm that is out east of the city called May Farms. They are a family owned farm, and they have a "you-pick-it" patch where they grow many different kinds of vegetables. We have plans to pick a bunch of pickling cucumbers and make pickles!

Today, the kidlets and I went to Whole Foods, or as we refer to it in our house - Whole Paycheck! We were on the hunt for locally grown products or products from local businesses. We found quite a few things. Some of the things (like the bread products), I am unsure of how many local ingredients are in the product. I plan on doing a little research though. Here's a list of what we got: fingerling potatoes, shiitake mushrooms, button mushrooms, fresh sorrel, fresh basil, alfalfa sprouts, dried apples and peaches, green chile goat cheese, dill & garlic goat cheese, ice cream, BBQ sauce, hot sauce, gf bagels, gf bread, and potato chips. I told the kids that I am going to make them a meal of almost exclusively Colorado products tomorrow night. I also have gf crackers, honey, and dried beans from local sources, and I will have local, farm fresh eggs tomorrow as well. The kids were really jazzed about finding stuff made in Colorado. They're also really jazzed about getting to know some of the local farms.

I'm planning on making a quiche from the eggs, goat cheese, mushrooms, and basil. I'm going to make a potato side dish with it. For desert, I'm thinking that I'll make something from the dried fruit, honey, and some soy yogurt that I have in the fridge. Should be interesting!

We're really going to do what we can to support local and/or small businesses and artisans. I'll try to remember to blog about it along the way!

Monday, February 1, 2010

This is awesome!!!

Putting healthy fuel in our bodies makes us healthy! :-)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Budding environmentalists

I have the coolest kids in the universe! We've been talking a lot over the past year about reducing our carbon footprint. Pretty soon we're going to be watching No Impact Man with some friends. We've been talking a lot about the movie even though we haven't seen it yet. So, we're all going to work on keeping the lights off in the house when we don't need them. That's where this picture comes from. The kids decided we should eat dinner by candlelight to save electricity!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

choir videos

The kids' church choirs sang this Sunday. This Sunday was the first time Ray ever sang with the choir. He was really excited about it! The first video is of the Chalice Sparks with Olivia in it, and the second video is of the Chalice Flames with Ray and Beth Ann.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Great quote

We can learn things from the Nazis: "The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders... All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country." - Hermann Goering - Field Marshal of the Luftwaffe