Don’t Die with Your Music Still in You!

dr-wayne-dyer

Wayne Dyer

1940-2015

Maybe its the fact that he was the father of EIGHT.

Maybe it was because his gentle voice exuded love and compassion.

Maybe because it sounded like a nonjudgmental Dad or a kindly Grandfather full of wisdom.

I always enjoyed listening to Wayne, though by no means was I a follower.  I would catch snippets here and there, memes on Facebook or something on Pinterest.  They usually inspired me.

Whatever the reason, I was sad to hear of his passing this past weekend.  However, he was a true example to Don’t Die with Your Music Still in You.

Here’s a couple more videos.

Growing Up with Wayne Dyer as My Dad by Serena, speaking about the authenticity of her father.  And then there is The Shift Movie….Wayne had hoped to live to see 3 million viewers… over a million ((Everette and I were 2 of them!) viewed it before his death and now it is available so that other millions can see it for FREE.

Enjoy!

 

Missing in Action & 30 Years With My Man

I realize its been more than a week since I’ve posted.  Apologies.

Everything is fine.  We’ve been laying low, hanging around the Hotel, watching TV series and movies, planning for Danaka’s trip to Portland and a 2 week cycling trip with Rauchelle and her family.  The count down is on.  She leaves early Tuesday.

This past Monday was 30 Days since Everette and I met.

Well, that could be argued, because back in 1974 our families spent the day at Honeymoon Bay on Vancouver Island just as their family was moving to northern BC.  We were over visiting my cousins who attended the same church as Johnsons and a bunch of people were hanging out at the beach.  So that’s where we first met, I suppose.

However, the meeting didn’t stick in either of our memories well.  Nada for me.  And Everette thinks I was in diapers…but I was EIGHT ….I swear I wasn’t in diapers!!!

The time we officially met was when I went north to Fort St John to be in a friends wedding.  I arrived the week before the big event, and it was the day of my arrival, Aug 24th 1985  that Everette and I actually met and got the ball rolling….

really fast!

So I’ve spent too-many-hours producing a montage for the big 30th Anniversary!  Especially since Everette is away in BC working,  I wanted him to have a tangible way to know how much I care….and I’m sharing it with you all now.  Enjoy.

Big Family Pictures LOST : Cape Breton & PEI Travel and Hardly Anything to Show For It

Cape Breton Create Photo Collage Online Free

We’ve now been traveling more than 1,000 Days but come December this year its actually going to be 3,000 Days since the Epic Trip that changed our lives.  The one that got us over the fear-hump that had kept us from big family travel.

I’ve told the story before of how in 2006 Everette’s sister (& family) and mom lost virtually all they owned in a freak storm that tore their roof right off their house.  And about 9 months later my (Karen) own sister lost her house to a fire.  Well, that was 9 months of us observing what loss of all material things looks like, and what rebuilding and starting over again looks like up close.

Within about 20 minutes of talking to my sister the day after her house burned down Everette and I looked at each other and basically said, “Let’s go help them rebuild!”

Only three weeks later we were driving across the big nation of Canada in 2 vehicles packed with our youngest 7 (of 9) kids….and our life has never been the same since.

We’ve had some wonderful experiences in the past 8 years since then….unfortunately some of the photos documenting those adventures have been lost on USB’s and locked into external drives.  We have memories of much of it, but you know how those fade over time.  And many we just don’t recall without some prompting.

I was able to piece-meal some pictures of our time in Cape Breton to represent some of what we did.  Unfortunately our visits to Baddeck and the Alexander Graham Bell Museum, and the Fortress of Louisbourg are gone.  And the incredible first winter at our house in River Bourgeois: the seal that laid on the ice for 3 days (& Everette and Toveli touched!); the red fox running across our property; the catapults the kids built in the forest.  No images of ceilidhs; the girls tap-dancing; Rauchelle sailing in the boat she co-owned with 3 old men!

Even more so, the incredible trip south: explored Pier 21 and climbed the Citadel in Halifax; fell in love with the colorful shops at Mahone Bay; jumped amongst the rock base of the lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove; enjoyed Joyce’s chowder at the very southern tip of the province at Clark’s Harbour; to the reaches of Digby Neck and Briar Island; the low-tide mud of the Bay of Fundy; the beauty of Annapolis Valley.

On another trip we crossed the Confederation Bridge and explored the red earth of Prince Edward Island, counting more red foxes than ever in our life.  And that incredible hawky-hawk that Everette spotted (private joke, sorry!)  We ate lunch at Summerside; saw more Anne’s than we could count, & the iconic Green Gables (though the season hadn’t started yet); played in the sand at Cavendish Beach; mulled around Charlottetown before taking much of the coastal road back to Cape Breton.

All of our excursions in Atlantic Canada were fabulous.

Unfortunately I can’t show you the beauty.  Almost all that I have left are our home-based photos of our time there.  But in the end, isn’t it the people that we share the adventure with truly what matters the most?

And so I share what little I have of those 2 separate years we spent on Cape Breton.  You’ll see how little the kids were when we started this nomadic lifestyle.

Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

The Perfect Family…That’s Us!

Perfect-FamilyI’m not exactly sure what those of you who have never met me & my family think we are really like.  The impersonal aspect of the online world is that we can make people believe (on purpose) whatever our agenda is.  At the same time, I think that by virtue of not sharing everything about ourselves and our families, a false impression might ensue.  Not on purpose, by any means, but because we don’t share all the nitty-gritty of our lives.  After all, who’s interested in the regular everyday events that take place behind our walls?  That would be boring, right?  And nobody wants to be Negative Nelly.

For years I was involved in a homeschooling support group which was predominantly moms who attended.  (Seems dads don’t attend them, much.)  No matter the topic for the evening, most people tended to share their successes rather than their failures.  They were looking for answers, and there was always people willing to dole out their perspective answers.  There wasn’t much negativity at these meetings (opposing views, yes, but not evenings of negativity).  What curriculum worked for particular learning styles? Who were great music instructors? How to get your kid to finish their math?

I didn’t think the women were being unrealistic, painting their lives as wonderful at home when they really weren’t.  I just think we focused on the positive.

Johnson-Tongue

Rude kids…of the perfect family.

I had a lady over just once shortly before our big family started to travel.  If I recall, there was some physical interaction between 2 of my kids, like somebody hit the other person in the head or something like that.  I think there was a burst of verbal abuse between siblings. This visiting woman visibly started to relax.  She was relieved to see that my kids weren’t the angels that she had envisioned!  And she excitedly told me so!!

I was quite shocked, actually, and gave a chuckle.  Having never socialized with this lady and her children she had no idea what my household was like until that day I invited her over.

She realized that she had taken all the good things all the women had shared over the months at the homeschool group, and concentrated them into one Perfect-Homeschooling-Mom (that has never ever existed).  She thought I was it…or at least one of a few.

The first winter we were living in our rooftop tents, Laars was still sleeping with Everette & I.  We weren’t aware of it yet, but he was having issues with certain things in his diet, affecting his behavior and probably his brain.  I just knew that some days were much longer and painful than others, and often we could tell the moment he woke up on the proverbial wrong side of the bed.

One of those mornings before we were even out of our tent Laars yelled out, “I HATE YOU!”  Ah, welcome to another long day.

A short while later Pat, a grandma lady who was tenting down by the lake with her hubby but whose car was parked next to our van & tents, said, “I was so happy to hear Laars say ‘I hate you!’ this morning.  Now I know you are just a normal family!

We all have ideas what somebody is like without really getting to know them.  Many people have ideas about what I/we might be like, without necessarily being aware of their own pre-conceived ideas.  How do I know this?  Because more times than I can count somebody has sized me up and down and then said, “I can’t believe you’ve had 9 kids!”  Why??? Because they subconsciously were expecting an obese woman (perhaps in a denim jumper).

So, today I got to thinking that maybe my blog makes it appear that I’m a put-together mama fully engaged in my children’s lives, and that every day my kiddos are abounding in their creativity, confidence and friendliness.

It ain’t so.

From comments over the years I surmise you think:

  • I’m overweight from all the pregnancies
  • I slave in the kitchen making nutritional & scrumptious meals
  • I am well organized (or sloppy as hell) and a hard worker
  • We have a strong marriage
  • Our kids’ clothes are neat and tidy and we have good hygiene
  • We do endless activities and crafts
  • I am well connected with my children’s needs
  • Our children never fight
  • I spend endless hours with my homeschooled children pouring over textbooks and marking their work
  • I am superwoman getting my housework and grocery shopping done
Brotherly Love

Brotherly Love

NOPE!  I mean, Yes I’ve got some extra weight on.  But most of the other statements….nope.

  • I don’t enjoy working in the kitchen most days; I feel accomplished if I make one good healthy meal per day.
  • I am decently organized but I am consistently lazy and a great procrastinator.
  • Everette and I have been together 30 years (end of Aug) but it certainly hasn’t been easy.  Worth it, yes.  Struggles, absolutely.  We have a strong commitment to keep working on it, so that’s worth a whole lot!!
  • Our kids might wear the same clothes for days and their feet might stink.  But they’re happy.
  • I imagine hanging out with the kids all day engaging in games and crafts and science experiments…but I rarely do.
  • The kids yell; some say “I Hate You!” and slam doors.
  • We are allergic to textbooks (just kidding, but we don’t use them on the whole since we find them boring & unengaging) and don’t do busy paperwork so there’s nothing to mark.
  • I’ve never been a duster of the home unless I know company is coming.
  • Everette is the main grocery-shopper for the family and has been for about 13 years or more.

Ok, so now that’s off my chest..I feel better.

Now you know I’m just another mom trying to do my best….well sometimes I don’t even think I’m honestly trying my best.  I’m just existing, making it thru another day.  Doing my own selfish thing while my kids fend for themselves.

But at least now you know what a Perfect Family really looks like!

Worldschoolers Unite: Well, 3 Families Did!

What a hectic weekend….glad that weekends aren’t our only time to socialize.  The laptop lifestyle provides a flexible time schedule….we do actually have to work, but we can adjust our day/week/month to what suits us better. So getting 2 big traveling families together worked out best for a Monday afternoon and we invited our neighbor/friends Mark, Renee and their daughter, E to join us. The Inions have been in this area of Mexico for well over a year, and somehow we never knew it when we were here in early 2014.  But this time around we’ve run into them several times in town, just never got our families all together. With 2 big families you have an instant party.  Inions travel with their 9 children, and we with only 7 of our 9.  So between our 2 families we have enough for a full-fledged baseball game!! But we didn’t.

Stacey Inion with her youngest son, and Mark D.  Everette and Brent manning the BBQ

Stacey Inion with her youngest son, and Mark D.          Everette and Brent manning the BBQ

We had a Barbecue, and some played cards while others played frisbee on the open field.  There was plenty of talk….comforting talk where you are free to share not only your successes but more importantly your struggles without feeling judged for living outside of ‘Normal’.  Ideas were thrown around of how to handle some of our difficulties such as dealing with insurance, tourist visas and mail while you internationally travel.  No judgement, just help and camaraderie. These fearlessly independent world schooling families paused long enough for an afternoon together and a quick photo-shoot.  Before everybody goes on their merry traveling ways. You can check out Stacey’s post here.

What watermarked

Johnson-Tongue

Johnson tongue always showing up. Rude group of people. But you can see which parent to blame 😉

pic courtesy of Stacey Inion

pic courtesy of Stacey Inion

1,000 Days of Travel

Hard to keep things straight.  Our big family has been traveling most of the time since Sept 2007, so that’s 2,866 days…

since 2007

but we did move to Sooke (south Vancouver Island) to start a business and stayed 23 months.  So take that off the grand total and…

1,000 Days!!

1,000 Days!!

We’ve made it to ONE THOUSAND DAYS of Travel.

Its been a hectic week, and all my good intentions of putting together a montage of our 1,000 days of travel thru western USA and Mexico didn’t materialize.  I’ve got a bright kitchen now (we’ve been renovating) but the montage didn’t happen until later this afternoon and I only covered the USA in 2012.

But I chuckled as I went over the pictures and videos from not-quite 3 years ago.  I have some pretty silly family members that make me laugh.

And so I hope you’ll get a laugh, too, and enjoy it.  It’s only eight minutes long….but like I said, its only the USA so there’s still all of Mexico yet to come.

Stay Tuned for Baja California, Mexico.

PS  Very Late in posting this since the internet has been atrocious this week/end, even notifying that it would take more than 111,050 minutes to upload.

Pirate Murder Mystery: The Birthday Boy Must Have Done It!

Birthday Boy

An advantage (among many) of having a big family is you have an instant party, an instant baseball team, an instant cast for a theatrical.  Its all dependent on the willingness of participation.

Our Bonnie Lad turned 17 and became a suspect in our family’s first ever Murder Mystery Party. It was a ton of fun had by all, both those involved and the spectators–some of us started as spectators but then got cast into roles on the spot.  Best to Roll with the Punches!Mitchell-17

 

Birthday Tradition

Usually for our family members’ birthdays they get to choose what the main meal is for the day, and what type of dessert they want.  Sometimes they pick an activity, like going to the Guadalajara Zoo.

Mitchell rolled it all into one, wanting Make-Your-Own-Parfaits….meal and dessert all in one dish.  So that’s what we planned, and made Tapioca Pudding since his birthday happened to also be the National Tapioca Pudding Day.

The Murder Mystery

Costumes

The kids worked for days on creating costumes.  Toveli worked tirelessly on a gown for Gaelyn…the base of which was a down quilt with strips of fabric stitched onto it.  Such creative minds.

Somebody ‘gave’ Anders a black eye but when Danaka added some purple eyeshadow it was a great improvement.  She’s thankful Tina has taken her to hang out at Live Theatre with her sometimes, picking up little tips here and there.  Coming in handy.

The Spectators

It’s always nice to have somebody available to watch us makes fools of ourselves!  So we had a willing audience….and even several last minute actors.  Like Bob, who willingly became Captain Hook the Third.

The Plot

Captain Jack Parrot went missing over night and was discovered chained and drowned beneath the boat, a big smile on his face.  Who done it?

The Setting

Amongst creepy crawlies and half-drunk bottles.  We’re introduced to the characters and realize everybody had a reason to wish Captain Jack Parrot dead.

Pirate-Murder-Mystery-Capt-Morgans

 The Characters

Blackbeard was an irritating character who habitually tapped his foot to some unheard music.  He and Jack Parrot were rivals, after the same treasure.  Parrot had taken possession of the treasure and hidden it, infuriating Blackbeard.

Captain William Kidd (who needed a translator, Aunt Jo, to tell his story) was the son of Jack Parrot.  We aren’t sure what his issue was against Jack, but probably some family dysfunction going on there.

Nell, as the wife of Jack Parrot, was the beneficiary of his Last Will and Testament, so she had lots to gain by his death.  Besides the fact that she had a rival in the love-department.

Ben Gone was the only one alive now who knew where the treasure was hidden.  He obviously could claim the whole treasure for himself now.

Captain Hook lost both his hand and some money because of Jack Parrot.  Revenge ran deep with him.

I was Kim Hawkins, a young girl disguised and working as a cabin boy.  Jack knew of my identity and threatened to expose me, but I both needed and wanted this way of life.  Under no circumstances could I let him betray me.  (I was the one with the camera, so no picts of me.)

Elizabeth Goose had fallen off a gang-plank and was saved from drowning by Jack Parrot.  Her admiration for him turned to love, and when he was imprisoned, she visited him and swapped clothes so he could escape (as a lady).  Still married to Nell Bird, Jack didn’t commit to Elizabeth as she had desired and she felt betrayed.

Girl Friday (aka Antonia Da Ville) had been abandoned on an island for 5 years by Jack Parrot.  Obviously she had reason to want that man dead.

Ann Bonny had just recently discovered who her father was, and she was furious of Jack impregnating her mother and abandoning them.

Blackbeard-Accuses-Ben-Gone

WHO DONE IT???

And the verdict is…..well, you’ll have to watch the video to find out!

 

Should the guilty one have to walk the plank?  Or are we thankful for the  contribution of bettering our lives?

 

 

**The whole idea behind doing a Murder Mystery is Thanks to the lovely Teresa Leonard who initiated this whole thing.  I have yet to introduce you to “Tree”.  I’ll have to do a post featuring her before she leaves the end of this month.