Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Poor Blog

This poor blog address hasn't had much luck, has it? It has been my private journal- so I don't mean in terms of readers- but I haven't been very true to it. Do I like blogging? Is this who I am? I am not sure but I am thinking of giving it a try yet again. Here I am.

 That's Georgiana, my sidekick. She will be two soon. She's the youngest of five and a perfect joy. She loves Toy Story. Woody the best and Buzz second. Below is the rest of the crew.

They are 13, 11, 9, & 7. Good kids, all of them. As a group they love games (both video and otherwise), cooking, role playing, legos, and outdoorsing. They do a large part of the work around here and for that I am grateful. 

Tristan, 13
Our family is 'huge' for the area we live in and we are often told so. We live in a hundred-year-old house in Berkeley, CA. It needs a lot of love and we happen to have an abundance, but time and money set the pace. Right now it is the kitchen. Next, solar hot water and radiant heat. Or the upstairs bathroom. Or the roof. Our experience shows us that what is needed next will reveal itself- usually in the form of a crisis. 

Kassiopeia, 11
I'm 35 and my Kaiser Permanente doctor says everything about me can be explained by that. The really amazing thing is she doesn't even know       anything about me but she still knows that. If I sound bitter, it's probably because I am. I just had a yearly visit and was entirely unimpressed.

I am always struggling with a diet protocol that is similar to GAPS intro or AIP. It makes me feel better but it is mighty hard to stick to. If I share a lot of food photos, this is part of the reason. The other part is that all of my children are great cooks. Even G can crack eggs. 

Since G's birth I've been sick. I am not sure how to explain, but it has involved a crippling anxiety disorder (that is under control now), depression, and probably hormonal issues. It hasn't helped at all that when G was 7 months old, our youngest son had brain surgery. He is over a year out from it now and this year has been hard on us all, especially him. We are surely hoping for 2016 to be better. 

Anatoly, 9
We're Orthodox Christian converts of only 4 years, so while I often share things about our church life I want to be transparent about that. Our church is OCA. 

We are also a homeschooling family, perhaps that defines us more than anything, if only because of the ages of our children right now. Were our children in school they'd be in 8th, 5th, 3rd, and 1st grades. We aren't radical unschoolers and we aren't doing school at home. We are just O'Melays, I guess. We're very happy to be part of  a very rich homeschooling community where it is not whether the kids 'get enough' but whether they have too much going on. We make a bit of a practice of opting out. 

Romneya, 7
There is so much going on at home. We have 13 hens that supply us with eggs and compost while consuming our wasted food. We garden a bit in raised beds. More often than not, it is more than a bit- this winter is an exception because renovation is taking all our time. We are dedicated to healthy food, which means there is always something cooking, cooling, fermenting, or being prepped around here. This all keeps us busy just being us, and in turn necessitates discernment when it comes to taking up outside activities. 

One thing is certain: More of our kids are foil fencers than not. Tristan has been fencing for 5 years, Kassiopeia 3. Anatoly took it up this winter and loves it. The others will likely follow- but our salle has a starting age of 9. We are committed to fencing. It can be hard sometimes, with all the classes and tournaments. The kids have had to take breaks at times, too. I'm just glad that the three can all agree on one sport! 

My husband works in the solar industry. He is a passionate environmentalist and the best man I have ever met. I forget how spoiled I am by him as both husband and father to the kids, and then I go out into the world and remember. Karl keeps a blog better than I do.  He is also doing all our renovation himself with occasional 'help' from us. He is truly amazing. 

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