Posts Tagged With: homeless

To the kind young man at the park…

I met Seth at the big kids school today, said bye to the big ones, and started on a big adventure with my little 3. I put Tru in a Mei Tai on my stomach, had my large backpack that I am currently living out of on my back, and a whole foods bag with the kids stuff over my shoulder. I was weighed down and had 2 little peoples hands, we were ready!

We walked a little to the bus stop and hopped on. Apparently I really don’t know what I’m doing and that one only took us about a mile before we needed to get off. We hopped on another and were on our way again! Tru loved watching the world go by and Tay was happy trying to figure out how everything works. Ten loved sitting alone and trying to hold on so she wouldn’t fall! We got off the bus at the perfect spot to walk through the park on our way to Lala’s house. Easy, right?

Tenny apparently felt a tantrum when we were walking next to the lake was really the best approach. Ugh.. thanks Ten. Wearing a toddler in a ridiculous cast isn’t very fun either. (Have I not explained my little Tru is now in a SPICA cast which covers almost his entire lower body? Oh I will soon enough!) My hip bones were being crushed and his cast was rubbing on my leg raw, not to mention the sweat I was accumulating between us.  With Tru’s weight, my backpack, and their bag of stuff my shoulders were also on fire… but Tay and I were happily talking about everything he saw, the pain was worth it.

Eventually we passed a youngish man, maybe his late teens early 20’s. He had earbuds in and looked like he was just out for a walk, maybe a walk/run. As soon as he passed I turned to look at Tenny who was sitting on the ground in a “no I’m not going to listen to you mommy” way. The guy was also in that direction so I saw him walking away from me for a minute before he turned and started walking straight toward me. Im usually very uncomfortable with strangers and his eyes were locked on me. I tried to move out of his was but he kept coming toward me which made me start holding my breath. We he got to me he held out a stack of money with a “here, for you”. I immediately got even more uncomfortable and repeated “Oh no no thank you but no I don’t need that” and whatever else I rattled off as I tried to take some steps back.  He clearly wasn’t hearing it and slipped the money in my bag with a ” I appreciate what you are doing” and walked off. I was stunned. Honestly when you have a lot of kids people offer you money a lot, but never a young man like that.

We made it to Lala’s safely and now I sit here wondering what to do with the money. How do I “pay it forward” like this kind young man did? I don’t know if it looked like i needed it, if he was on a mission to give something, or what his reason was. To the kind young man that made some crazy lady with too man kids day, thank you. Thank you for being you. Thank you for reminding me there are good people in the world. Thank you for for appreciating what this Mom does for her kids even when you didn’t have to.

To the kind young man at the park, Thank you.

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Categories: Parenting, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Couch Surfing

Everyone has had that friend that crashes at you place “just for a night” and 2 weeks later they can still be found on your couch,    Well lets try this, multiply that time 7, would you let them stay? Seth and I are currently on a mission to find out, how long can 2 adults and 5 kids couch surf before we severely overstay our welcome.

Since getting back a week ago we have been intensely looking for a place to live. Our plan of not having anything figured out before our homeless summer was cute when we started, but now seeing the housing market here it’s scary to say the least. Renting is our only real option currently and rentals are priced high and getting renters quickly. What doesn’t help is walking into a home with 5 kids and 3 animals, clearly we are not the ideal renters. So we continue to search, but in the interim a new experiment was born.

Currently we are splitting out time between Seth’s Mom’s house and my best lady friend Lala’s.  The kids have had many social events leading up to school starting so that has kept us all pretty busy together during the day, along with the house searching. Needless to say we are not use to this heat so meltdowns and grumpiness are pretty regular. We both try and be as helpful as possible at our respective crashing spots, but how long will people really put up with us?

In just a few days Seth leaves to run Cascade Crest, a 100 mile race in Washington. The kids and I will be here still doing the school thing and all. My biggest concern is couch surfing for 7 days, alone with 5 kids while Seth is gone. Just the simply tasks of putting 5 kids to bed is made that much harder in a home not your own. Add to that that my little people are use to sleeping in a tent or car makes things even more difficult.  Breakfast creates that many more dirty dishes, which uses that much more water to clean them, which costs that much more.  At what point does someone say “enough is enough” to this homeless gaggle of peeps?

 

Categories: Our Homeless Summer | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Vegan Mac and Cheese

Great for camping!

Bag of pasta (Fun shapes are better!)- cook that per package

Mix dry ingredients and put in sauce pan over medium heat-

3/4 cup nutritional yeast

1/2 cup flour

garlic salt

onion powder

maybe a little more salt and pepper

Slowly add wet ingredients-

A cup of water plus a cup of plain soy milk

3 tablespoons olive oil

Whisk this all together and try to make it smooth (never works well for me). Be patient and it will thicken up nicely! If you have any veggies add them in!

If not..

Hobo Style- Any leftover veggie ends (broccoli stalk) either yours or your friends, add it in! Cheese sauce makes everything better!

Mac and Cheese cooked van side!

Mac and Cheese cooked van side!

 

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Categories: Vegan Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ashland- SOB 50K

Late post-

I think I am in love. If I could live anywhere all summer Silverton is my all time choice with Ashland not being far off as second. It is a super cute little town having all the quiet and character Leadville lacks. Both Seth and I had a hard time dealing with how “busy” Leadville seems, Ashland just seemed much less “on the go”. We spent the morning at the railroad park called such because it sits next to the tracks, a little disappointing but still a cute place. In true homeless style we cooked our lunch there as the children climbed trees and made new friends. The joy of having no agenda.

How 8 years old taper

How 8 years old taper

Keeping it green the day before their big race.

Keeping it green the day before their big race.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

T-shirt pick up at Rouge Valley Runners wasn’t too exciting but luckily we draw attention!  We parked in front of this super cute antique store and as I stared longingly in at all the amazing old books, the kind woman who I believe owns it came out.  She informed the kids for all children 10 and under it was free book rushed them inside and began offering them all wonderful options, of course they were all super excited! The children all shook hands and gave high 5’s to her husband as we said our thank yous and headed on our way. I love happy people who just want to make the day of others! So thank you to the lovely couple, my children (who are complete and totally book nerds) were beyond happy with their selections. This super cute couple also looked up our blog, how cute is that?!

Tea being sad I would not buy her a new handheld for the race.

Tea being sad I would not buy her a new handheld for the race.

The kids each got their shirts, picked out some race nutrition, and we headed for a nice walk around town. +1 informed me we should have the kids try the Lithia water in Lithia Park. Always up for tricking my children we convinced them to all partake and of course they all were grossed out (expect Tru… hmm…). The best part of this was our new friend Pirate we met. He informed us that this water was a joke and showed us where the real water fountains were, right next to the Lithia Water. Pirate then informed us until the day prior he had longer hair then Tajh, but he cut it for court. Apparently that did not help the outcome of his case, at which point he asked if we needed any weed. Being cautious Pirate whispered this, you know, since the kids were there and all. Overall, I think Pirate is a great guy. Silly court system in Ashland…

Tajh loving all his race nutrition picks from Rouge.

Tajh loving all his race nutrition picks from Rouge.

Tru apparently isn't too picky.

Tru apparently isn’t too picky.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So between Pirate and our finding of a super cute little market to grab some tasty food at, we had quit the exciting day in Ashland. Eventually we headed up to Mount Ashland to sleep at the start, and the kids and I ran the course a little to get a shake out run and a feel for what they had ahead. Both of them had finished a 50k plus a little before, but this was the first time they would be running a set distance, non loop course. Honestly I was a little nervous, and with Seth being the one to run with them and me having to watch the little ones it was worse. I love being there with my little people, and helping them through the lows. The real joy with the kids is being there during their highs. I have never seen my kids as goofy as they get when feeling amazing hours into a race, although it is hard to keep up at those times! So we ran, and then had a dinner of mash potatoes and veggies, and they headed to sleep.

Getting a feel for the course.

Getting a feel for the course.

In the morning it was a little crazy getting all 3 of them ready and sending them away, but once they were gone the sitting and waiting was terrible. I have no idea where they were at and occupied my time hanging out with the little ones and cleaning the van a bit. I knew Seth would get cell reception at some point on the way in so I asked him to text me back whenever he had it. Seven hours into the race with a 7 ½ hour cut off (which apparently actually isn’t enforced) he text me they were still on the PCT; it was going to be close for Tea. I immediately assume that means Tajh is ahead, then I second guessed myself and ask for clarification. See, we usually run ever step of a race with the kids, I don’t believe either of them should be out on a course alone. Its not that I don’t trust them, its just IF something does go wrong, I believe Mommy or Daddy should be there. Going into this race we knew it would be hard. They can usually run together some, but for an entire 50K that just wasn’t going to happen. Seth is really good about running back and forth between them, but what if they were so far apart he couldn’t?  Seth eventually text me back Tajh was behind… shit. If Tea was going to barely make, what is Tajh going through mentally?

My two amazing Littles at the start.

My two amazing Littles at the start.

Seth woke Tajh up by telling him the race started in 3 minutes, MEAN!

Seth woke Tajh up by telling him the race started in 3 minutes, MEAN!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teagan and Seth coming running in, huge smile on Tea as always, and the race director announces Seth’s name as he has done for all people previous. I believe I yelled something like “and Teagan” and he looking completely confused and disheveled then yells, “I cant see her number”. Now here’s my point, if an 8 year old girl is signed up for your 50k, shouldn’t you take notice? And on top of that, not being able to see her number? Is that really an excuse when she is THE ONLY 8 YEAR OLD GIRL?! Seth runs by and yells her name which the guy then butchers… ugh… To continue on the volunteers then try and not give her a finisher medal and Seth has to correct them on that and then they aren’t taking the chip off her shoe. *sigh*  Not a happy Momma here AND Tajh is still out there. I offer to run back and find him but Seth informs me he has it, and off he goes.

Coming in to the finish with Daddy!

Coming in to the finish with Daddy!

This Lady is amazing!

This Lady is amazing!

As Seth takes off a man rushes over to talk to Tea. At first I assume he is a race director, but no he is actually a reporter. It basically is chaos at this point as my tired little girl tries to talk to this man (which she actually did a wonderful job at!) I try and wrangle 3 little people, stress about Tajh, and try and get my little lady whatever she needs. Eventually its back to sitting and waiting, but this time with Tea too. Forty minutes later Tajh and Seth come running up. Tajh’s name gets butchered by the man announcing and he luckily gets his finisher medal without too much hassle. Poor Tajh did not have the best day out there, but that little guy sure stuck it out and finished.

He loves his medal.,

He loves his medal.,

Finishing with Daddy. Not the time he would have wanted, but still awesome in my book!

Finishing with Daddy. Not the time he would have wanted, but still awesome in my book!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We hung out for a while, a couple of people congratulated the kids, and the kids had their free post race meal from a taco truck. They do get caffeine in long races and they both informed us it didn’t kick in until after the race. This “crazy mode” as Tea calls it I think isn’t the caffeine (I think they use that up during the race) I believe its just a little post race high. Honestly they are just crazy, talkative, and goofy. I feel like its similar to those kids after the dentist videos that go viral, maybe I should film it!

Tea in "crazy mode"

Tea in “crazy mode”

Post race vegan gummy worm.

Post race vegan gummy worm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So with no race director ever coming over to say anything to them, we eventually head on to our next adventure, which turned into the Redwood debocal of 2013 . Maybe I’m silly, but I believe my children deserved a little nod from the race directors. They are the youngest finishers of SOB 50k (at least that I saw) and I think that they desired a “good job”. Instead they got people almost seeming annoyed that they were there. Tea finished under the time cut off, with many people behind here, and Tajh was by far not the last finisher. They were not in the way, not a pain to have out there, they were the same as any other finisher, just shorter. Oh well I suppose. They both got medals they were super excited about and they both were happy with their performances. They thought the course was very pretty and they both of course were happily playing not too long later. Although I am jealous of their recovery time, I love my little people and I am so proud of both of them for their finishes!

Dirty feet. New Balance is all they wear, both finished the 50k in 890's.

Dirty feet. New Balance is all they wear, both finished the 50k in 890’s.

Moral of this, I love Ashland. I think I need to plan another visit, spend some more time, maybe even a different race! 🙂

Tajh’s race report

Tea’s race report

*July26-27

Categories: Our Homeless Summer | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Super Van Down

Like the bad kind…Poor Supervan…

So I know I have a lot to recap, some fun things having been going on prior to the demise of Supervan. For now though I’m going to fill you in on the chaos. Priorities!

Saturday after the race (that the kids wrecked!) we left the beautiful Ashland, Oregon and headed toward Redwood Forest National Park. From the get go the van was feeling a little funky, but in true “we are homeless lets just go for it/live dangerously fashion” I told Seth to keep rolling. Around 9pm we were in the middle of the forest and things seemed a little funkier, plus we needed to sleep, so we pulled off at an information center. Upon opening the hood we were greeted with black liquid, everywhere… Awesome…

Before we left for our summer homeless adventure I made a point of getting premier membership AAA. I thought “Hey, if shit hits the fan we will be covered. 200 miles free towing is perfect no mater where we are!” Ha… I think I jinxed us! So silly me assumed that would also mean all my people could get to where the van was headed. Alas, as in any good chaos story, I was wrong. The tow truck would only take two people and they wouldn’t cover transportation for any of the rest of us. So, Seth and Tea headed with the tow truck for a two hour drive (sounds a little Gilligan’s Island-ish to me) and Tajh, Tay, Tru, Ten, and I sat at the information center and waited.

Bye bye Super Van

Bye bye Super Van

 

My phone was almost fully charged when they left but between it being an iPhone that doesn’t hold a charge, and my +1 texting me to find out what was going in, it ended up dying a little over three hours in. At this point I knew: 1) Sitting around with four kids and no caffeine sucks 2) My previous/present injury hurts so hiking anywhere was not an option 3) This two hour trip turned into three and Seth was just now in Eureka with no ETA on return, and 4) I needed a nap!

 

I took this time to teach the little 2 to play baseball... clearly they still need some work...

I took this time to teach the little 2 to play baseball… clearly they still need some work…

Funny thing is, the information center closed at 5:00pm. So basically it was just people stopping to us the restroom and then this random lady off to the side with four children. Only one person questioned this and asked if we needed help. This Mom, Dad, and teenager daughter sat at a picnic table nearby and ate dinner as we did the same. They packed everything up and drove over to the bathroom in the 1980’s beat up Suburban. As I’m cleaning a kid I see the Mom walking back over to me. When she gets closer I hear “Excuse me Ma’am, you aren’t stranded here with your children are you”? I explained my situation and thanked her greatly. Just one of those random moments you remember there are good people in the world.

 

Back to this waiting thing. Eventually, who knows what time, I get Tru to sleep in my arms. It’s really getting cold at this point and as I sit in the grass holding him the mosquito’s are swarming around us. Almost seven hours later I see the glow of a stark white rental minivan. Never have I been so happy! We got everyone in the rental van and headed back toward Eureka. We were all able to sleep in the van so we spent the night in a pull-off by the ocean, a great place to wake up to!

We all fit! Kinda...

We all fit! Kinda…

 

Our poor Supervan needs a new transmission. Of course it would be something serious, gotta keep things crazy, right? So now we sit in Eureka waiting. Hopefully it will be done tomorrow night and we can get on with our adventures. We have places to go Supervan!

Sad sad Lady she is. See you soon Super Van!

Sad sad Lady she is. See you soon Super Van!

Categories: Our Homeless Summer | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Homeless life is exhausting

Now don’t get my wrong, I honestly LOVE being homeless. I think being homeless by yourself, or with a partner could be pretty cool. No agenda, no real plans, the fly by the seat of your pants approach to life is great. Having a bunch of kids makes it tiring.

No T.V. to put them in front of so you can “relax”

No couch to “take a break” on

All the elements that cause added stress (e.g. rain, hail, anything causing them to be inside)

Cooking all 3 meals plus snacks (there is no easy way out here)

Dishes being done by hand after every meal (I don’t want to be eaten by a bear)

Clothing being washed in the creek or at a Laundromat

Always being vigilant in order to be sure the children don’t fall off a mountain/eat something that will poison them/get eaten by something

Basically there is no escaping hard work when you are homeless with kids. Breaks don’t come like they do when you live in a house. I am tired all day, every day. I need a nap, I need some down time, I need to watch some terrible television and veg out, and I wouldn’t change any of that for the world! What I am learning about myself, my children, and that weird guy that keeps following us everywhere, Seth, is worth all the exhaustion that can be thrown at me. May I suggest you try homelessness too?

Disclaimer- I am talking about homelessness by choice. Before you get all huffy about how being homeless because you have to be and how “there is nothing fun in that” and how I am “terrible for implying that anyone should be homeless”, I understand homelessness because you have to be is terrible. I understand there is nothing fun about that. So, now you can’t yell at me!

Categories: Our Homeless Summer | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Silly Judgy People!

So I came to this awesome little place in Silverton to work and the little ones needed a nap (big 2 are running with Seth). So here I sit, little 2 in car seats and Tay in the front playing. 

This is my view:

Image

I left the windows up for 5 minutes or so waiting for them to actually be asleep before I let in a ton of noise, good plan right? Well of course nosey old lady decides to inform me it is hot in my van. Mind you we are in Silverton, Colorado, not Phoenix! My van is huge on the inside so never heats up too terribly, and it’s white! Ugh… She informed me she would not like to be in there, I thanked her and continued to do my work. (I did roll down the windows once Tru was asleep and no one was sweaty or uncomfortable) 

This is just a giant reminder that people always think they know better than you. Not too long ago Tajh and Tea and their running was posted about on Facebook. Plenty of people had kind comments while there were some angry people. Apparently I am living through my kids, forcing them to run, and they are going to end up getting burnt out on running so I am a terrible Mother. ugh… I couldn’t help but laugh as I read these comments. Children are raised in all different ways, who is to say one way is better than another? I might have some crazy hippie ideas on how to handle my children, but I have to say I get tons of compliments. Honestly, to each their own. I try to not get too bent out of shape about the evil comments and bask in the awesome ones. I even say thank you when I get the occasional “God Bless”.

 

Categories: Our Homeless Summer, Parenting | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Yup… That’s how it goes…

Some days start out normally then turn to hot mess in a flash… You know, just to keep in interesting.

Yesterday morning was awesome. Let’s remember at this point Seth is still in Phoenix taking care of dog stuff so its just me and five crazy hoodlums. The kids played at the creek and left me pretty much alone to do a little relaxing, sweet! Except really you should always assume shit will hit the fan if you have it too good.

Yup I do it all.

Yup I do it all.

After lunch, we headed on a little walk to the grocery store to get food for dinner and a little snack before the kids did a couple loops on the Silverton 6,12,24-hour course. I mean I had “found” $20 in my pocket, didn’t feel like hitting up the thrift store, so opted for snacks and dinner.

Walk to the grocery store turned into ride mommy to the store. Tru needed a ride since he is well, a baby, and Tenny’s tummy hurt (thanks Lala and myself for teaching her this).

Always bring to Mei Tai's, ALWAYS!

Always bring to Mei Tai’s, ALWAYS!

Nectarine for a snack and something for dinner in the bag and we headed to the ski lodge so I could steal internet and the big kids could run, perfect. I scared my mom when talking to her on the phone about bears being in the area and that I hadn’t seen the Big kids for a while, So she told me that I needed to look… ugh.. damn kids. Apparently Tajh’s knee hurt so he wouldn’t let Tea run, slow lap, fine be done for the day just play. The kids playing feeding squirrels, me scared of rabies, but still getting work done…

Baby Kisses

Baby Kisses

The I hear Tenny screaming across the parking lot and Tajh is running her over to me repeating “Don’t look at the blood look at mommy! Don’t look at the blood look at mommy!”

I calmly stand, move to the steps and sit while I wait for Tajh to bring her the rest of the way.

I say: “Hey guys whats happening?”

There is blood, lots of blood. She may have lost the front of both big toes.

I stay calm and remove my Original Buff from my head.

“Tay grab my phone” (Yup I keep it calm and remember how important instagram is)

Letting go of fashion to help out my Little Lady. Gotta Love how Original Buff's are great for everything!

Letting go of fashion to help out my Little Lady. Gotta Love how Original Buff’s are great for everything!

Cover bleeding toes

try not to cry myself

I hate blood

Me: “Hey Tenny want to call someone while Mommy cleans your toes?”

Assholes dont answer!

Music? Yes Mackelmore Thrift Shop (yes I made that reference earlier, foreshadowing?)

Cleaned toes, post blog,  need to get back to camp… waited for a while for someone to show up so we could hitch a ride to camp (1/4 mile) but no one did.

Little Lady=Big Helper! But not all the way to camp unfortunately.

Little Lady=Big Helper! But not all the way to camp unfortunately.

Damn gotta walk… Wear Tru, carry Tenny. Tay is whining and limping because his feet are a hot mess too… awesome..

Back to camp, start dinner, bandaids on Tenny, vaseline and put socks on Tay, life is good again.

Feed kids, clean dishes, damn Tru has chili in his hair.

Undress Tru, Tea watch him by the creek while I take dishes back to camp.

Shit Tru is screaming “Tea what happened?” “I don’t know” ugh…

Wash Tru, bring him back to camp, oh shit Tay just fell out of a camping chair

and Tenny peed in one..

My life…

Is it bedtime yet?

+1 shows up, rewrap Tenny’s feet, get kids clean and in pajamas, send into tent.

Loud crazy sounds from tent and then very loud ABC’s- My kids rock

I think I lost my mind. Or i'm in an abusive relationship... really either one.

I think I lost my mind. Or i’m in an abusive relationship… really either one.

Then Seth shows up, at 9;30 at night… Yup I think I deserve mother of the year.

Categories: Our Homeless Summer, Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oh where oh where has our little Baya dog gone..

If it isn’t one thing, it’s another, right?

We got our dog Baya from a rescue when she was just a puppy. We were told she was a

German Short haired Pointer and maybe possibly mixed with pit bull. She was super cute and very playful. One of our first adventures with her was a super crazy day of sketchy hiking. She was the perfect puppy for us.

I have very specific rules about kids and dogs, they are never to be alone together. Basically neither dogs nor kids should ever be trusted! I also don’t believe dogs should be treated like people.

So we began our big homeless summer at my +1’s race. Baya was tied to the van and people wandered over to pet her and she happily rolled over giving everyone her belly to rub. At some point, some little dogs showed up and were pretty yappy which caused Baya to decide to bark too. Tajh and Tea were getting ready to run, Seth was out running already, Tay was all over the place, and I had the babies. I grabbed Baya’s leash and took her with me to watch the big two start. Everything was fine, the big kids took off and I walked over to put Baya back and the babies to bed. I stopped to talk for a minute. My +1’s brother was moving about taking care of all the race stuff and happened to duck under the flags next to the little two, Baya, and me. The first pass was fine, but apparently Baya did not like his second go past, and without knocking over the 2 children standing next to her, bit him, on the neck. Not knowing how bad the bite was, I of course freaked out. My doofus of a dog has never reacted to people that way. I had no idea what to think. Hindsight it makes sense, she was protecting her little people.

Baby love.

Baby love.

So I yelled at Seth, said we weren’t taking her, and he didn’t agree. It was decided we would be more careful. Fact is she is a great running partner, amazing pack mule for hiking, the kids best friend, and usually she pays no attention to people. Ok plan B, she will be kenneled anytime there are lots of people around, I can live with that.

Or can I? So a couple days ago Seth was putting Tru in the car, which means the sliding door was open and Seth had his back to it. Tay was playing in the front seat, and everyone else was off somewhere else. A friend of ours (who, yes, knew what had happened prior) came by the car and went to pet Baya. All Seth hears was a snap, fuck. She got him on the face. Clearly his presence in her area with the kids involved was not ok with her.

Friends

Friends

Please note that both of these times she had already been on a run that day. It wasn’t being over excited, lack of exercise, she was calm both times prior. It was simple protection.

Our hard worker taking a rest after summiting her first 14er.

Our hard worker taking a rest after summiting her first 14er.

So what do we do? I literally watch my children put their hands in her mouth and take food from her. I watch her go on runs with the kids. I watch them ride her, lay on her, cuddle with her, poke her, why did she have to do this? In no way do I want to get rid of my dog, in no way is it her fault, but she can’t stay with us on our trip. We are around too many people, friends and strangers. This cannot happen again.

Baby hugs.

Baby hugs.

So as I write Seth is in Phoenix with her. We contacted the rescue we got her from and they were kind enough to take her in until we get back. Once we are home we will find the perfect training for her and spend whatever it takes for her to learn protecting the kids does not mean snapping at anyone.

The best reading buddy.

The best reading buddy.

Maybe we are terrible people. Maybe we are doing the right thing. But, she is our dog. The kids love her, and we will do everything we can for her to stay a part of our family.

This guy is really going to miss his best friend for the next couple of months....

This guy is really going to miss his best friend for the next couple of months….

Categories: Our Homeless Summer | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What kids do when they don’t have a screen to consume them.

At home (before this crazy trip) we did own a tv. Along with that, we have a computer, iPad, iPhones, and a Kindle. Obviously we are on the “less than” end in the electronics department, but I like that. We didn’t have cable but we did have a DVD player. When people watched our children they were usually welcome to turn on a movie or two and on some Friday nights the children had  “movie party” where they watched a couple of movies before falling asleep. We are music lovers so that has always been huge in our house. Dance parties are a regular event and at times they also watch music videos for some songs. Basically, screen time was at a minimum in our house already, but even so having no option is a pretty large change.

 

The oldest two are huge readers. Tajh, especially, is known to try to bring a book to the dinner table. This problem is so bad (yes I call it a problem!) that my plan to “just get you new books at the used book store on our trip” is not working. This kid will read a book OR TWO a day, and yes he can tell you exactly what happens in each book. So at this point he has resorted to asking his little sister to borrow her books, or waiting until she falls asleep and “borrowing” them. Ugh… Seth has actually allowed him to use the iPad to borrow books from libraries which I myself am highly against. The little ones as well enjoy reading and are happy to have any and all books read and reread to them a hundred times. So my kids are readers… rough I know…

So when they aren’t hiking crazy mountains, running awesome trails, or reading, what do I do with them? Don’t they drive me crazy? Don’t I need a screen to babysit them so I can “get things done”? Well… they are playing of course!

Yesterday a game of choice was football. Although we do have balls with us (not a football though) they used each other as the ball. They played this for a while, giggles at how silly it was, and eventually moved on to new and different things.

They talk about books. Its kinda funny to hear Tajh and Tea having read the same books discussing them and deciding to act them out. For a while our dog Baya was a horse from the book they had both just read and they were all different people in the story. On our last hike we found an old train car and they had a great time talking about being in The Boxcar Children books and who would be which characters. I remember reading them the entire Chronicles of Narnia series and them loving to recreate the entire story and even the little ones being part of the game. The great worlds kids can create after being inspired by books is ridiculous, and sometimes if I don’t get a character too I feel a little left out!

They play in creeks, simply that. They get wet, make bridges, throw rocks. There are no rules here which is perfect!

Yes he did fall in eventually!

Yes he did fall in eventually!

She was "ice skating".

She was “ice skating”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They build forts, and inform you its a “lean-to” not a house because that would have been more difficult.

Nicely built! Not that I'm bias or anything...

Nicely built! Not that I’m bias or anything…

They get dirty, because kids are suppose to!

This baby is never clean, but still cute!

This baby is never clean, but still cute!

They play with their little siblings, and even decide to wear them!

Making my life easier!

Making my life easier!

Two pretty Ladies!

Two pretty Ladies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now most of these things to do will not work for helicopter parents. You have to be willing to take a step back and let the kids just be kids. I try to never give my children the ideas for their games, as I believe they are much better at playing than I am. I like to sit back and watch them create a new world, actively engaged with the natural work, being children. Basically if you have no read Last Child in the Woods By Richard Louv, DO IT NOW! Awesome thoughts on how we need to send our children outside, to learn to love nature. I’m going to pat myself on the back and say I’m doing a pretty darn good job!

 

Categories: Our Homeless Summer, Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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