Thursday, December 31, 2009

Gathering, planning and learning

I went and meet Laurie for coffee up at Pj's, we talked about the goddess circle we will start. She is a really cool lady, she plays the harp! How cool is that! LOL
I am starting to get ready for the garden, I am ordering seeds, our last frost down here is mid February...which is so early, but that is great for me!
Seeds that I have so far are:
Empress of India Nasturtium
Giant Cactus Zinnia
Romanesco Broccoli(This is one of the coolest thing I have ever see!)
Purple Dragon Carrot
Victoria Red Rhubarb
Long Island Brussel Sprout
Blue Lake Bush Bean
Georgia Southern Collards
Dark Zucchini Squash
Early Straight Neck Squash
Alfalfa Sprouts
Snapdragon Giant
Golden Bell Pepper
Winter Lettace
Tomato Roma
Green Bell Pepper

I am already growing:
Passion Flower
Red Hibiscus

I still have many more to get, I also need to get plants. I must also get more herbs.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

5 Things!

Small Ways to Tell Your Life is Interesting
Here's something else a bit random just for your entertainment. Feel free to post something similar on your own blog, if you have one, or just consider what would go on your lists and laugh at your own weirdness.

5 Items in my Bag

1 – Blistex
2 – Wallet
3 – pen
4 – notebook
5 – Small first-aid kit

Titles of 5 Files in My Documents Folder

1 – Quotes for rituals.doc
2 – AmyButlersGingerBlissQuilt.pdf
3 – chloe.jpg
4 – atc.doc
5 – 89.pdf

5 Things on my Coffee Table

1 – Book: The Knitting Goddess
2 – Remote Controls (x3)in a wooden bowl
3 – Heirloom seed catalog
4 – Basket
5 – Candle

5 Things in my Fridge/Freezer

1 – Really good creamy feta cheese
2 – Pumpkin Ale Beer
3 – Grape Jam
4 – butter
5 – eggs

5 Things on my Desk

1 – Lubitel twin-lens camera
2 – Books, 2 on Frida Kahlo, and 2 on Che
3 – Yarn
4 – Business cards
5 – cat

5 Songs With the Highest Playcounts on my mp3 player

1 - "Tiny Dancer" Elliot John
2 - "'Tit Mamou" Magnolia Sister's
3 - "C'est Si Triste" Ann Savoy
4 - "Carnival" Natalie Merchant
5 - "A Love song for Bobby Long" Grayson Capps

Melinda wants you to check out a photo on MySpace in the Wedding pics album

Melinda wants you to check out a photo on MySpace in the Wedding pics album

Life lessons by Regina Brett

Regina Brett's 45 life lessons and 5 to grow on
By Regina Brett, The Plain Dealer
September 20, 2007, 2:03PM
Originally published in The Plain Dealer on Sunday, May 28, 2006
To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.
It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolls over to 50 this week, so here's an update:
1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
36. Growing old beats the alternative - dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
42. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
45. The best is yet to come.
46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
48. If you don't ask, you don't get.
49. Yield.
50. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.
To reach this Plain Dealer columnist:, 216-999-6328

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I made some money...and thankfully I also got an advance so, now we can go buy a tree! I went food shopping last night, so that was good as well.
Now I need to find a way to get a tree home! All of these small little details.
Yule is fast approaching, and I need to get everything ready. I will the main gift buying next week, AFTER yule, but in time for Christmas. I also have to finish making some of the that way they will be ready.
Tonight we will make a whole bunch of tree decorations....that will be fun!
I am trying to not focus on negative things, and focus on the good. That way I am sending out good things into the universe. I know that there are many people doing this, and I am hoping that it will benefit all that I love in this world.
I am going to officially start the woman's group next month, I AM NOT RUNNING it, I want to do it where we are ALL responsible for it, that way no one person is the "leader" the group.
I am hoping will attract all types of woman, because I am setting it up to where it will be a Spirituality group, and we learn and share with each other, so regardless if you are pagan, christian, Jewish, and all the other faiths are going to be welcome.
This is all about having an open mind, and that no one way is correct, and that we all can learn from one another regardless of our religion. I also want to show that religion, and spirituality are two different things.
Two people of totally different religions can come together and share a spiritual moment together.
So I feel that this will be an amazing group, it does have the chance for it to be.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Went and did the Freret st market, it it poured! I barely sold anything...most did not sell well either. I just wish that I had made enough to buy a tree. I am going to a few shops this week and check with them...some told me to come back around now and they may buy some of my things. We shall see. I am tired, and sore. Plus cold, did I mention that I was completely wet for the WHOLE market! That was 7 hours!!
BUT I did meet some great people missmalaprop who's blog is one that I LOVE!, and I also met people who sold some really cool army clothes from different goverments, I bartered for a shirt, a canteen, and a hat for Evan for Yule.
I met this AMAZING artist, Chris Guarisco he had these amazing diorama's/retablo/alter piece, they were amazing, he gave me a small one when he could not find his card! It is Amzing, I will scan it, and try and get it up. It really is wonderful.
I am met another artist who designed Hurricane Katrina Snowglobes the really they are really cool as well...Brad and Elizabeth Maltby were also very nice people.
Si in some ways it was a great day...just cold and wet...and did not nake much money!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I decided that I wanted to start a woman's circle. So I have been working towards that recently. I got a GREAT book Sacred Circles by Robin Deen Carnes and Sally Craig. It is how to start and keep together a woman's circle, yes I know I have done this before BUT I want to do it right, and I also do not want to be the "high priestess" that title has ALWAYS bothered me. I am just wanting start something that I can do with other women. No men, (sorry nothing personal guys) just women.
I rejoined a yahoo group that I use to belong to, and posted my re-intro, and within minutes I got an email from a lady living in NOLA who is also interested in starting a group. The odd thing is that we found out that she lives 3 blocks from me!!! How odd is that?? Then a few women in the Unschool group is also interested! Is that wild or what??
The kids had fun today at group, and we just walked around the park some, even tho it was FREEZING today, it was 50 out! Brrr.
I paid the bills today, had 62.00 left! I know that I could have just left a bill off, but I do not want to do that. We have already not been late on our rent for over 1 year, but I am trying to keep bills paid now, and NOT depend on others. This is MY responsability, not anyone else. So I am trying.
I know that I have to buy things, and spend money...just I need to be careful with when I spend it, and how much. So yes I am doing better now. I am more aware that I must be careful.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Pity Party!

There is much happening here, money is tight, like always. I am vending, I am hoping to make money so that we can have a good buying a tree! Of course I need to figure out how to get the tree home once we buy one.
Not having transportation sucks at times. I do not mind the walking so much, I am losing weight, which is much needed. But my issue is that we are repeating past mistakes, and I hate that. I know that I bought a few things off ebay, but at that time I was under the impression that we were okay. This is my fault for not taking a more active role in our budgeting. Time to change that.
I am going to take a much more active roll in the budget, and this way I will know before all hell breaks lose. I want to start saving money, not wasting it.
But I just need to remind myself that we are doing so much better than ever before! We have employment, a house to live in (the area is amazing), the children are all healthy, we have love, and we know that we are loved. We having amazing friends, that are there for us. So I need to NOT have the pity party, and focus on what we do have.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Hi-heels, and other tibits

I have firmly decided that I hate hi-heels, that they are evil, and were invited by a Man who knew he would NEVER have to wear them, and much be into S&M.
The party at Pat O's on the river sucked...the food is horrible, the drinks were not much better. I think I have gotten spoiled by New Orleans, and the class of cuisine that is here. Pat O's is suppose to be great, but I WAS not impressed, so if you are planning a trip to NOLA, by-pass Pat O's, the food, drinks and service are horrible!
We took the kids to Kendall's party, they had fun, it was great to see how close that they live. Really nice people to, and I love how creative she is with her activities with the kids.
I love my new Born shoes....They may even replace my trusted birks! WOW talk about wild! LOL

Saturday, December 5, 2009


I have been ordering off ebay again, but I am being careful! LOL I am trying to get some clothes for the kids, plus I want to get my winter garden going. Dress for the girls, for yule, the first is Bella's and the second is Chloe's

I also got some new shoes!!! I am so excited!
I also ordered a bunch of seeds from Daybreak Gardens in New Iberia, LA
Black Levi's for Evan, and a Watchmen movie t-shirt.
I love ebay, because it is like the BIGGEST thift store in the world! And you are re-useing things that others do not need anymore, and that is SO important!
The older I get and the more my kids grow the more I worry about the enviroment. We eat more organic, more local.
We just wrapped a present for Kendall (a boy from the unschooler group we belong too) using tissue paper that the Yule dresses came in today.
This type of thing has become so important.
I now have to get ready for Aidan's company christmas party....I am going to enjoy the FREE Open bar at Pat O' Briens !!!!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


I am getting things baked for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. I baked dinner rolls, bread and a Chocolate Cheese cake!
Chocolate Cheesecake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YUM!


Bread Baked....
I just love baking now! I am making my Orange induced turkey, Garlic smashed-potatoes, and the other normal thanksgiving stuff.
I just hope my dinner rolls make it til dinner...the kids, and adults love them!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Chloe's Birthday

Today we celebrated Chloe's 10th birthday. She had a wonderful one! Many people came to her party, and she loved spending time with all that were here. I will post the pictures asap.
I finshed my ATC's for the Sparkle and Shine swap:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Should Children witness Chilbirth?

"Question: Should children witness childbirth?"
Due to a power outage, only one paramedic responded to the call. The house was very dark so the paramedic asked Kathleen, a 3-yr old girl to hold a flashlight high over her mommy so he could See while he helped deliver the baby..
Very diligently, Kathleen did as she was asked.
Heidi pushed And pushed and after a little while, Connor was born.
The paramedic lifted him by his little feet and spanked him on his bottom. Connor began to cry.
The paramedic then thanked Kathleen for her help and asked the wide-eyed 3-yr old what she thought about what she had just witnessed.
Kathleen quickly responded, 'He shouldn't have crawled in there in the first place.....smack his ass again!'

If you don't laugh at this one, there's no hope for you."

Thanks you Herb!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Already a good day

I am already having a good day, when I got up, I went to the bathroom, and I heard Chloe yelling "Mommy's up!!!!!!!!" She then ran around the house looking for me. When I came out she basically jumped into my arms!
Talk about a good day!

Much happening

Last Thursday was a very cool day, we headed over to the park for park day with the unschooler group, we were a bit late(woke late, crazy sister of land lord, lunch on Maple Street, getting change at rite aid) Evan found a kid close to his age, and they hung out(the boy was there with his Mom and little brother) after awhile the Mom comes over and says that she should introduce herself since her kids were chasing my kids. Anyway, they just moved here from Georgia, and had just started weird was that! We ended hanging out the rest of the day, all of us walked down Magazine ST, had dinner at whole was super cool.
We also did stuff on Saturday (at the Fall Fete) and Sunday(at the children's Museum) with the family, met the husband, they met Aidan.
It answered so much for me. I was worried about Evan and boom, he has a friend that is some much like him! They both were wearing a hat, same style, diffrent color. We are calling them the Hat Brother's! LOL
The Mom is really great too.
Getting ready for Chloe's party, or trying too... I had to go help out at Pat's today. Very tired and sore.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Getting ready for my Thursday. Today is the unschooler group, we will meet at the park, then I have take the kids to spend their allowance, that is ALWAYS fun! LOL
I am going to the studio on Friday to work, I am excited by that.
I made a whole of Pumpkin bread, and a loaf of pumpkin, raisin bread. Also I made Applesauce cookies, they are very good. I have never made them, but I am glad that I did.
I hope that the cold/flu is over us all now. It just kept hanging on, I am still very tired.
I am starting to get obsessed with making purses!!!
This the one that I am starting next.
I also am really into making things out of junk...I just love the hardware store! Washers are amazing to make a necklace or earrings, or a brooch....yes it is ending.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


No I am not calling anyone names. Gimp is a photo manipulation software that is great. I was in shock on how well it really works. It is also free!! So that makes even better, and it really did surpise me how well designed it is. You get great tutorials for Gimp here I was amazed how well it works for what I need.

This is a picture of Bella that I reworked;

This is the original:

I love both of them, but that is my Bay-Bay!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Figuring the household out

I figured that I using 30-40 pounds of flour a month!(This just unbleached, wheat is another 20, rye 5-10, misc. 30 pounds) 35 pounds of Sugar, this is not even taking into account, salt, corn starch, baking soda and powder, vanilla, and other exacts, plus the other things that I add to breads, cookies, cakes, tarts, and so on! WOW!!!
Thankfully I give some of this away! LOL
I am getting ready to makes Chloe's cake, I have finally finshed the design, so now I need to buy the Fondant, Almond paste, and the coloring...WOW I have never made a cake like this, but I know it will be okay. It is a 3 tiered ladybug/butterflies/dragonflies cake. yes I wrote 3 tiered! I know I am crazy. I am also making pizza...with my own crust.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Get ready

Our park day went very well, the kids had a lot of fun.
I am getting ready for Lady Fest, I made 3 wreaths, and whole bunch of pins. Still making more things. Just tried lately, but I think that a lot of it is the stress that has been happening lately.
I am going to try and get into Ms. Voo sewing class next, my sewing is not all that great, but I want to become better.
Chloe is working on learning sewing. I want to get her a Fashion studio kit border's has them for 30. Her birthday is on the 22nd of this month(she is going to 10!!) I have already gotten her some things, but that is something she would love. She is very into fashion design, sewing, and anyhting to do with that type of creative process.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

लेडीफेस्ट २००९

LadyFest 2009
Celebrating, Showcasing and Supporting
the Creative Women of New Orleans featuring
New Orleans' women musicians, visual artists,
film-makers, comedians, singers, poets,
craftwomen, storytellers, actors, photographers,
puppeteers, magicians, dancers, performance
artists, cultural standard-bearers and more

LadyFest, New Orleans, a non-profit music,
spoken word and arts festival organized by
local women of all identities to showcase,
celebrate and encourage the music, poetry,
art and activism of women in New Orleans
and to benefit local organizations that
support women presents their third annual

The festival runs for five days
at five different venues.

Wednesday, November 4
St. Anna's Episcopal Church
1313 Esplanade Avenue
6 pm
Deacon Joyce Jackson, the first and only
black woman Episcopal deacon in New Orleans
presents a Homily on women in the bible
* Gospel music from Tonia Scott and the
Anointed Voices (featured choir in
"Skeleton Key")
* The Queen Clarinet of Louisiana,
Doreen Ketchens will close out the evening
with lots of hot music from Doreen's Jazz
New Orleans

Thursday, November 5
Shows 8pm and 10pm
Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro
626 Frenchmen Street
* Featuring vocalists
Cindy Scott and Leah Chase
with Megan Swartz on piano,
Cori Waters on drums
and Cassandra Falconer on bass.

Friday, November 6
7pm to midnight
Sweet Lorraine's
1931 St. Claude Avenue
* Charmaine Neville, David & Roselyn,
Estelle Compagne, GaBrilla Ballard,
Lynn Drury, MoLasses: New Orleans?
(mostly) Women?s Brass Band & the
Pfister sisters accompanied by
Amassa Miller on Piano, Cori Walters
on drums and Cassandra Falconer on bass

Saturday, Nov. 7th
5pm - midnight
Marigny Theatre
1030 Marigny (at St. Claude)
Beth Trepagnier, Gina Forsyth, Kayne
Reznick, Lindsay Mendez, Olivia Greene,
Toni O, Some Like It Hot, Cori Waters
on Drums, Cassandra Falconer on Bass
& Estelle Campagne on Flute

Sunday, November 8th, 2009
Noon to 6pm
1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd

30 X 90, Dixie Rose, Hazel & The Delta Ramblers,
Kelcy Mae, Margie Perez, Olga, Troi Bechet,
LadyFest backup band
Cori Waters on Drums, Cassandra Falconer on Bass,
Estelle Campagne on Flute & Mimi Geste on Piano

Silent Auction
20+ Visual Artists will be exhibiting

** LadyFest Artist Roster **

Vanessa Adams
Lauren Angel
Beverly Boulet
Kaya Caputo
Dore' Veronique Cermak
Leslie Curry
Zé daLuz
Sharona Deveneaux
Judy Gamache DiGeorge
Maria Fomich
Kim Griffin
Pat Jolly
Lisa Lee
Michelle Levine
Annie Odell
Donise Polk
Debbie Rusher
Natasha Sanchez
Lynette Schissler
Chrystal Skye
Gwendolyn Siniard
Melinda Taylor-Kelly
Patri T. Williams

Read about our visual artists:

Every LadyFest is a feast of delight to audiences. The artisans who will decorate the Ashe Community Center with their works of art will tempt you to take it all home and it is available. There is a donation at the door. And there will be a silent auction with works donated by Dr. Bob, Joe Dunn Arts of Royal Street, Carl Mack Presents and Stafford Tile and Stone.

LadyFest 2009 Festival is sponsored by the
New Orleans Music Clinic Foundation

Lady Fest New Orleans 2009
LadyFest New Orleans is held annually
to celebrate the talented women artists
of New Orleans and region

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Getting ready for Lady Fest!

I am getting ready for Lady feast again this year. I did not sell anything last year, but it was good exposure...and I met some WONDERFUL artist.
Tomorrow is the park day for the unschooler group, the kids and I am excited about that, I think that the socialization is as important to me, as it is the kids! There are some really great people in this group, and I think that it is the best HS/US group I have ever belong to.
Swamp Fest is this weekend, that is fun to do. Not sure if we are going, but it's there if we want to. I am thinking about going to the New Orleans Musuem of Art. this weekend, I can not wait for later this month when they have the Kathe Kollwitz Who is one of my favorite artist of ALL time. I am so excited about this.
The Disney exhibit also starts later this month, and the kids are excited by that.
I have to start dinner soon, Stir Fry with chicken for everyone else, I am making mine with Tofu.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Interesting past few days!

We had Halloween, Chloe was a Cat, and Bella was a Witch...LOL Evan wore a mask from the Halloween movie, and scared the heck out of people on the street car!
It was a nice area to trick or treat.
Sunday we went to a Day of the Dead celebration in the French Quarter that was put on by the Mexican Consulate, it was GREAT! The alter that was set up was amazing.
Yesterday I went with Pat Jolly over to the west bank center and poured more molds, that was fun. I am just a bit sore today.
I have my show coming up at Lady fest, this is what I did last year, in showing my photos.
I have to go to whole foods in a bit...I hope the Street cars are on a good schedule today.
I have not baked in days!!! And I am not happy about that, I must do some tonight.
OH!!! I now know that I am a non-smoker I had a margarita on Sunday, and I did NOT want a cigarette! YAH!!!I thought for sure that I would if I drank anything with Alcohol, so I have not had a drink since before I quit....I am so happy! I am almost to 4 months! Amazing!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

50 ways to bring out the best in your child

50 Ways to Bring Out Your Child's Best

by Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D.

(first published in Family Circle, February 2, 1993).

Richard loved to tinker with mechanical devices. As a 6-year-old, he took apart an alarm clock. At 9, he helped his dad fix the lawn mower. In high school, he spent hours tearing apart and rebuilding stereo equipment. Now, as a young adult, he's a sound technician for a professional theater company. Richard's parents encouraged his interests at an early age, which helped him become a successful adult. However, Richard was never labeled as "gifted." In fact, he had trouble with math in school. The definition of "the gifted child" has traditionally been based on school-related skills and limited to the upper 5 to 10 percent of children who achieve high test scores, write well and excel academically. These are certainly important, but there may be hundreds of other ways for children to show their gifts. "Today's intelligence researchers emphasize that nearly all children-not just the celebrated 5 percent-have special talents, "says David G. Myers, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. Studies at Harvard University bear this out, suggesting that kids can display intelligence in many different ways-through words, numbers, music,pictures, athletic or "hands-on" abilities, and social or emotional development. As an anonymous observer once said: "All children are gifted, some just open their packages later than others. "You can play a crucial role in awakening latent talents or developing current strengths through experiences you give your child at home. Here are 50 ways for you to bring out your child's best, regardless of how his gifts are packaged:

1. Let your child discover her own interests. Pay attention the activities she chooses. This free-time play can say a lot about where her gifts lie.

2. Expose your child to a broad spectrum of experiences. They may activate latent talents. Don't assume that he isn't gifted in an area because he hasn't shown an interest.

3. Give your child permission to make mistakes. If she has to do things perfectly, she'll never take the risks necessary to discover and develop a gift.

4. Ask questions. Help your child open up to he wonders of the world by asking intriguing questions: Why is the sky blue? Find the answers together.

5. Plan special family projects. Shared creativity can awaken and develop new talents.

6. Don't pressure your child to learn. If children are sent to special lessons every day in the hope of developing their gifts, they may become too stressed or exhausted to shine. Encourage, but don't push.

7. Have high expectations. But make them realistic.

8. Share your work life. Expose your child to images of success by taking him to work. Let him see you engaged in meaningful activities and allow him to become involved.

9. Provide a sensory-rich environment. Have materials around the home that will stimulate the senses: finger paints, percussion instruments, and puppets.

10. Keep your own passion for learning alive. Your child will be influenced by your example.

11. Don't limit your child with labels. They may saddle her with a reputation that doesn't match her inner gifts.

12. Play games together as a family.

13. Have a regular family time for reading, listening to music, talking.

14. Have reference materials available to give your child access to the world.

15. Allow your child to participate in community activities that interest her.

16. Use humor, jokes, silly stories to encourage creativity.

17. Don't criticize or judge the things your child does. He may give up on his talents if he feels evaluated.

18. Play with your child to show your own sense of playfulness.

19. Share your successes as a family. Talk about good things that happened during the day to enhance self-esteem.

20. Provide your child with access to a home, school or public library computer.

21. Listen to your child. The things he cares about most may provide clues to his special talents.

22. Give your child a special space at home to be creative.

23. Praise your child's sense of responsibility at home when she completes assigned chores.

24. Visit new places as a family.

25. Give your child open-ended playthings. Toys like blocks and puppets encourage imaginative play.

26. Give your child unstructured time to simply daydream and wonder.

27. Share inspirational stories of people who succeeded in life.

28. Don't bribe your child with rewards. Using incentives to get children to perform sends a message that learning is not rewarding in its own right

29. Suggest that your child join peer groups that focus on her gifts.

30. Discuss the news to spark interests.

31. Discourage gender bias. Expose your child to both feminine and masculine toys and activities.

32. Avoid comparing your child to others. Help your child compare himself to his own past performance.

33. Be an authoritative parent.

34. Use community events and institutions to activate interests. Take trips to the library, museums, concerts, plays.

35. Give presents that nourish your child's strengths.

36. Encourage your child to think about her future. Support her visions without directing her into any specific field.

37. Introduce your child to interesting and capable people.

38. Think of your home as a learning place. The kitchen is great for teaching math and science through cooking.

39. Share feelings. A child's gifts can be stifled by repressed emotions.

40. Encourage your child to read.

41. Honor your child's creations.

42. Do things with your child in his areas of interest.

43. Teach your child to trust her intuition and believe in her capabilities.

44. Give your child choices. It builds willpower and fuels initiative.

45. Show your child how to use books to further an interest. For example, "how to" books for the "hands-on" learner.

46. Set aside an area of the house for displaying creations and awards.

47. Encourage your child to tackle areas that are difficult for him. Help him learn to confront any limitations.

48. Be a liaison between your child's special talents and the real world. Help her find outlets for her talents.

49. Introduce children's literature that honors and develops gifts. Books like the Little Engine That could encourage a "can do" attitude.

50. Accept your child as he or she is.

For further information read: Thomas Armstrong, Awakening Your Child's Natural
Genius (Putnam, 1991), and Awakening Genius in the Classroom (ASCD, 1998),
available by calling 1-800-247-6552. Visit Thomas Armstrong's website at:

Friday, October 30, 2009

Unschool group, french quarter and Border's all in one day!

Today, we went to Audubon Park and met a homeschool/unschool group, which was GREAT, they were all really nice people, and the kids had a blast with all the other kids, even Evan had fun.
After that we went to the Quarter, I had to go to Mary's hardware store(needed flux), we had fun, ate at Krystal Burger...really bad for you, but oh so good!
Then we went to Border's...Evan was running out of books. He can just walk down to Maple ST books, but they did not have the DC comic's he wanted.
We did all of this while taking the Street Car everywhere!!!! Not bad...just time consumming.
It was a good day, I got to see the kids have a really great day!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Creating, mothering

I am here starting this new blog, listening to two of my children fight over the everything and anything. SO it is interesting that I am here starting a blog about being a mother, and also being an artist, and they are fighting! I just find that perfect.

I should introduce myself, I am Melinda, I am married, to Aidan, and we have 3 children together, he also have 2 other children from previous relationships. Our children are Evan is 14 years old, Chloe who will be 10 years old in 3 weeks, and Isibella, who is 7 years old. His son Aidan "Ned" came to live with in June. We also have my sister Phyllis who lives with us, so we live in a very full house. We live in New Orleans, LA, yes we moved here after the storm! We love the city, and have adopted it as our own.

We unschool all of our children, if you do not know what that is, please go to this website to help you understand.
We are into natural parenting, we do not follow mainstream for child-rearing. We believe in attachment parenting, and in treating our children as humans, not as a object we own.

I am a stay at home mom, yet I also make things to sell. I am currently selling photo's, jewelry, ceramic's. Aidan is a teacher and writer. He is currently working on a new book.

I am into nature religion, I believe that everything is connected, and that there is female and male energy is the universe.
I am currently involved in making altered art, and the kids are having blast doing this as well.