Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Kanoa learned to climb up on the couch tonight!

Tonight Kanoa learned to climb on the couch all by himself!!!  He must feel so big and powerful!  I think so by seeing the huge "I did it!" grin after he climbs up!!

Photos of Makana and Kanoa from March 2, 2010

Makana and Kanoa enjoyed playing the piano while I danced around and when they stopped playing I froze.  It was a fun game!  Sometimes I was the piano player and they were the dancers freezing.  Makana liked that Kanoa was really playing the piano too!  We have been playing this game for a while now. 

Kana enjoyed some chocolate!

Photos from Katie's Taking Wing Project (Gallery Opening)

March 5, 2010 - Friday - 5pm - Here are several photos from the opening night of the Taking Wing exhibit at the Waterfall Arts Gallery in Belfast, Maine.  This is Katie and Karen Jelenfy's collaborative project.  It combined drawing using mostly watercolor pencils and knitting.  Also toward the bottom are a couple of other exhibits by other people.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Artist's Talk and Knit-in at Waterfall Arts

Below is an article from the Free Press about Katie and Karen's "knit-in." -

Artist's Talk and Knit-in at Waterfall Arts
3/25/2010 9:29:00 AM Email this article • Print this article

Karen Jelenfy, left, and Katie Wolfrum with their “Swifts and Swallows” piece at Waterfall Arts photo by Martha Piscuskas

To highlight the current "Branching Out: Taking Wing" exhibit at Waterfall Arts, artist Karen Jelenfy will hold a knit-in and give an artist's talk on Saturday, April 3, from 10 a.m. to noon.

During the Branching Out mentoring program Jelenfy worked with Katie Wolfrum on hand-knitted "nests" and watercolors. Jelenfy, owner of Village Books in Washington, describes herself as an artist, reader and obsessive knitter. She will discuss the Taking Wing exhibit, the mentoring process and "Swifts and Swallows," the collaborative installation she and Wolfrum created.

Through the Branching Out program, Waterfall Arts pairs area youth with professional artists to work together to create art, inspiring each other in the process. In addition, each team is invited to make a public presentation of their work to a school or community group.

Artists and knitters are invited to sit in the gallery, hear the talk, have a discussion and knit together. Those interested can try out simple 3-D knitting, with guidance from Jelenfy. Small amounts of interesting yarn will be provided. All levels of knitters are welcome - bring your sticks. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit or call 338-2222.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday 3/21/2010 - mostly about Makana

Makana and Kanoa were in the bath tonight...just about a half hour ago. Makana kept trying to kiss Kanoa who was sitting in the corner of the tub next to the spout. I thought Kanoa was getting irritated at her many kisses. I asked her to give him some space and finally I said "Stop kissing him - No more kissing." But just as I was saying that, Kanoa leaned forward and made three kisses to Makana (sounds with his lips, but no contact...but you could tell it was supossed to be a kiss). I exclaimed, "Awww...he's trying to kiss you now!" Both Makana and I were surprised and Kana said that he loves her (Kana pronounces loves like it has two it sounds like "loveis" - so cute - and she still calls a sneeze a "bless you!!"). Then they both took turns kissing each other. I gave them each a kiss and agreed that they do indeed love each other very much!

Then we played with the Captain Tony plastic cups and the rubber duckie. We tried to get that duck to float right side up as it seems to flop over on one side or the other. Makana told me she could make it float and said that if you hold it by the head and gently place it in the water, it works. I tried it and it did work. We usually can only get it to float the way we wish when we stick it in a cup full of water. Usually the tub has too much turbulence for it to float right side up.

Then Makana and I were trying to get the Captain Tony cups totally full of water so that they would stay down and not float up. I told her that air remaining in the cup makes it float up. She then tried filling one cup with water (totally with water so it would stay heavy and submerged) and the other with air. She didn't understand that air just got into the cup because the cup was taller than the water level and would just remain in the bottom of the upside down cup when it was just overturned and placed down. She had actually tried blowing into the cup to "capture the air" and then swinging the cup around trying to "capture air" before submerging it...which I thought was kind of funny.

After the bath, Makana said she was sorry for the times when she has been mean to Kanoa and it was probably because she felt jealous. (I think it was me who has talked to her about being jealous as the reason for why she has acted in certain ways toward Kanoa in the past - maybe I shouldn't have ever said that aloud, but I truly think that is what happens some of the time. Noticing this does help me remember to make an extra effort to give her attention or to make her feel special. And I think that connecting time just spent in the bath made her think of how much she loves him and that might be why she said that.) She also said that Erin and Azure are her best friends and she didn't know who she liked better...Azure...Erin! She couldn't decide.

Downstairs, Kana said that she loves Kanoa so much that even when he gets married, she still wants to be with him.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Lincolnville Beach Video's on Saturday 3/20/2010

St Patricks Day and Sat 3/20/2010

3/17/2010 - Katie helped Makana dress up for St Patrick's Day!

3/20/2010 - Saturday - Jim was off this day and it was beautiful!!!!  Unusually beautiful!  At 10am (yes, very early for us) we went to make pysanky eggs at Merryspring Nature Center.  We bought a kit so we could try making them at home.  (And also because I tried to rinse the turpentine off Makana's egg - it took off some of her dye and she was upset and we didn't have time to make another.  But it was good to get the kit as Jim said he wanted to try making them too and he had not had a chance at the class as he hung out with Kanoa while I helped Kana.) 

Later that day, Katie went to a birthday party (her friend Francie's) and Li went to the Magic The Gathering tournament at the Knowledge Vault.  Jim, Kana, Kanoa and I hit the beach!  Yes, it was fun!  And relaxing too!  A teaser for summer!  Here are some pics!  This was Kanoa's first time this season at the beach and in the sand.  Pretty cool!  He seemed to really like the sand.  I finally did take off his soft shoes and he enjoyed walking around in the sand and feeling it between his toes.  It felt so good to sit on the warm sand! 

Gosh...all these pics of Jim and Kanoa came out so good....I think though I like the first one best because of their crinkly eyes and smiles.  But they are all good! 

Jim wanted to take a couple photos of me and Kanoa, but Kanoa wanted to nurse.  Nursing first!  We never got back into taking pics...just enjoyed hanging out, making sandcastles and skipping stones instead.
All in all, a great day!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

It's the little things that mean so much

It's the little things that mean so much - I just made a paper hat out of newspaper for Makana.  She lost it and was upset.  I found it and put some tape on a ripped spot and put it on her head.  We just walked hand in hand into the other room and she feels so happy and good inside. And so do I.  These are the things I will remember!  (esp since I am writing it down!)

Also, Katie's friend likes Wolf's and she is going to her birthday party on Saturday.  She just drew this picture of a Wolf (by looking at a similar pencil drawing online) and then added color and her own touches.  Wow! was uploaded sideways and I don't have the time to switch it right now...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Embracing Our Children's Passions and Likes when they are different from our own

Originally written on Thursday, January 28, 2010

Today at the Thursday homeschool group, one of the moms was wondering if anyone had ever had a daughter who loved Disney princess stuff. Um, yep. Katie loved Barbies. Katie loved Disney. I did not like either and made sure no Barbie's came into our home. I finally let Kelly and Tommy (Barbie's younger siblings who were short, kid-like versions) be accepted as gifts. However, NO Barbies. And of course no consumer driven Disney products that might be made in a sweat shop. Wasn't that something I had heard? Well, even if their products were not made in a sweat shop, they still were totally trying to sell, sell, sell their products and their storylines always had female characters that were not portraying exactly what I wished my little girl to see and think to be like. Wouldn't she then worry about what she looked like and think she had to try to be or look a certain way to be worthy of some man (prince)? I got stories of strong, brave girls (Girls To The Rescue books...which were awesome by the way and Katie loved them and years later still thinks they are great!). One of my friends who felt similarly got these plastic doll figures for her girls which were the same size as Barbie, but they played sports and did other real things besides dress in fancy clothing and have an unrealistic body size and shape. I thought I was making good, responsible choices.

Over time, I read some other opinions on various unschooling groups and began to think differently. I slowly released my fear and control. I realized that not only had I been hoping my young daughter would understand, agree with and live the same values I had (which is unrealistic for a 4-7 year old!), but that I had not giving her a choice (free of judgement) to even explore and figure out if she liked playing with them due to me limiting her choices and explaining why I thought barbie dolls/Disney were bad.

And wasn't the Waldorf type toys its own form of commercialism?

What really mattered if my kids played with plastic legos, little playschool people or wool dolls or barbies? As long as they were happy and feeling creative and enjoying using them it just didn't matter. And those into thrifting can find great deals on toys at garage sales and Goodwill stores and other places where you can get second hand items - handmade, wooden, manufactured, plastic.

Also, the fearful judgemental attitude teaches in unspoken words, that outside forces are more powerful than us. Aren't we powerful to play with Barbie and still grow up to think healthy about ourselves, our lifestyle and body image? If I played with an obese barbie, would I fear growing up to be obese? Kids play with crazy looking dolls and toys all the time. It is plain fun to dress them up and change outfits and hair. Kids do it to themselves, their dolls, their barbies and even siblings! Heck, I even let the kids do my hair for fun! I'd rather teach my kids about realistic body images by talking about that as we live and grow up and see different shapes and sizes and colors, not by making my small kid think that by playing with a certain doll or brand that they will be at risk for becoming fat or thin or a crazy over-consumer who doesn't care about the environment or the living conditions and lifestyle of the people who make clothing/toys. We don't need to project our fears onto our kids.

Here's an exerpt from one of Deb Lewis' posts on AlwaysUnschooled that fits in nicely here: "The point crusaders miss is that having your own personal ideas does not give you the right to form the personal ideas of someone else, including your children. Most parents want to control what goes into the minds of their children so that the kids end up thinking just like the parents. But your child's brain is not your brain and while your beliefs and ethics and choices will influence him you have no special right to program and map him." - snip - and "But there are ways you can live with your kids that help them be happier and ways that can make them miserable and since you were directly involved in your children being on the earth it's your responsibility to help them live well. You can decide if filling them up with fear is the way you want to go but since I know my time here and my son's time here is limited, I've opted for a happier life for my kid. When he's grown and out on his own and if I feel the urge I can use whatever time I have left for my personal brand of radical extremism. (which will make no significant difference) It's good to be nice, to try not to hurt others, to have an understanding of the world beyond your own needs and wants. It's also good to be aware of how you will affect your child's emotional and psychological health by the choices you make. Psychology plays an important roll in health. Emotionally and psychologically healthy people are much more likely to naturally make healthier food choices than people who are worried, afraid, controlled, depressed, lectured, anxious or outraged." I just love what Deb Lewis writes!!!

Healthy buying and eating come from living life and having experiences and discussions and freedom to explore each of these thigs for oneself over one's life. We definately talk about all subjects as they come up. However, kids can't figure out what is good or okay for them if we create an environment where they doubt themselves, fear liking certain things that they would otherwise like if not for our judgement and think the shouldn't trust their natural liking for certain toys or foods, or whatever. And if they even think we'll be dissappointed in their excess candy bar or hydrogenated cookie consumption, don'tcha think they'll eat those things anyway and feel guilty about it? Aren't we trying to give them less baggage about food? Don't you think if you provide a wide array of healthy food that your kids will eat what feels good to them and that they'll decide when and if and how much of what to ingest just by trusting themselves and knowing and listening to their bodies (and by having years of experience doing so and by knowing we trust them)?

If I continued to talk about how "bad" I thought Barbies were, would my daughter think that I was judging her as making a "bad" choice if she still wanted to play with them? Would she say she didn't want to play with them just to please me or to prevent me from thinking she was making a poor choice? I would think so. When I was thinking from a place of fear, I was judging her choices (consciously or unconsciously) as good or bad and I would bet that she knew it whether or not she expressed it.

A turning point came when I realized that I didn't have to fear my children's passions and likes. I could embrace them!

Our neighbor Eileen (whose son worked for Disney) lived downstairs from us and gave Katie a Princess Aurora doll...yes, a combination of the two things I feared (Barbie type doll that was Disney!). I told Katie we could thank her of course because she meant well, but that we couldn't play with the doll. It just stood for everything I was against. I saw Katie's little face look so lovingly at the doll. Katie held it on and off. She had thanked Eileen for it and put it back like the kind of easy-going child she was. But I didn't feel so good now. I had a realization! My child's happiness and trust and our relationship was SO much more important than my ideals of how I wished our world to be. This doll didn't have any power over us. It was simply a doll. A doll my child wished to play with. A doll my child adored. By me preventing her from playing with it, I was harming my relationship with my child and teaching her by example that this doll has some sort of evil power. Could Katie even wonder if it was wrong for her to like something that I didn't like? Maybe she thought she was wrong for doing so? Because she trusted me to make good decisions, she might have actually wondered if she could not trust herself and her own likes and dislikes.

Gosh, if it were books, wouldn't we say to our kids, "Sure sweetheart, I'll go get you those frog books just like Jenny and Todd have." But because it is something Disney (princess books, dresses, dolls, etc) we think or say, "Oh, ...those? You want ...those? Hmmm. We'll..I don't know. I will think about it." And then we might share some horror stories with them about consumerism and plastics and pollution, etc. Things they fully can't understand, but things we might use to justify our position that we are in the right for denying them that which feels right to them.

Gosh, what a relief to have realized that I didn't have to live in a place of fear regarding Barbies or Disney products or whatever my child liked! I happily say now that we have wonderful, thoughtful kids who do care about the welfare of other people and animals and being kind and thoughtful. They are all still growing and learning about what they think about how our world works and making individual choices based upon their own values. I am learning right along with them and doing my best to honor their choices as I hope they will honor mine. We continue to share with each other what we think and why about various topics such as vegetarianism, slavery, environmental issues, child labor, freedom, public elementary school, homeschooling, how people treat each other, etc).

Years went by with Katie playing barbies with a special neighbor friend. We eventually moved and she gave the disney barbie doll to our new little neighbor after noticing how much she liked it. :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

The average age in our house is 19 for both boys and girls!

Jim and Li calculated the average of the girls in our house (41, 12, 4 = 57) and the average age of the boys (48, 8, 1 = 57).  57/3 = 19!  How funny (strange funny)!!