Changed for the Good

Only I can change my life.
No one can do it for me.~~Carol Burnett

The weather has been beautiful outside, a little humid perhaps...with a few thunder/lightning storms in between...but I do love the smell of Fall air. The aroma smells like vacation. Duh...I'm sure you all know...everyday is like vacation around here!

It’s probably not very nice to admit this. Life without blogging has been fun for a couple of months. Besides knitting, sewing, hiking, biking, and hanging out with friends, summer is also about reading...precisely Stephanie’s Twilight series. I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed reading these books in the past few years. Now my 12-year-old is hooked on it too. It’s such a compelling story. Like many out there, I am a follower of her imaginary world. I haven't gotten around to the final book, which has been on my headboard idling, crying for my attention for the past month. Perhaps, I'll get to it recovering from five days spent at Chautaugua--our annual family retreat.

We've been back a week now since our vacation. The Chautauqua Unschooling Family Retreat was, of course, our biggest highlight. It is impossible to overstate the difference in our lives attending the retreat has created. The first one was last year. We were curious about what other unschooling families were like in their philosophies/styles and what it would be like living with them on a private island for five days. By the end of the retreat, the intimate experience affirmed our perspective and enhanced our appreciation of so many things in life. We had moved from meeting people to knowing people to developing friendships and finding connections outside of just being unschoolers, too. It affected my children profoundly...they have friends outside of Bend, Oregon and California, friends they are eager to see again. I hardly saw my children. They were living and learning all over the island with their friends. Thanks to my friend Monique, I finally learned how to make a few of Temari, a Japanese toy, which I will share at my crafty blog later in the week. Attending the retreat is like attending a family reunion. I cannot say enough great things about the retreat, only that my children literally started counting the days to the next reunion as soon as they departed from the last one. (And, YES, I have loads of memories captioned to share but can't locate the missing card and connector at the moment~~I'll upload ASA it's found!)

Next year's retreat will be on September 14-18. We would love to have you and your family to join us in Chautauqua. Reserve the dates, mark your calendar, and spread the words! The more the merrier! It is not restricted to PNWers. We have families returning from Connecticut and Canada each year. For more information, click here.

Before wrapping the post, this one is for you, my dearest friends

I've heard it said,
that people come into our lives
for a reason,
bringing something we must learn.
And we are led
to those who help us most to grow -
if we let them,
and we help them in return
It well may be
that we will never meet again
in this lifetime,
so let me say before we part:
So much of me
is made of what I learned from you,
you'll be with me
like a handprint on my heart.

And now whatever way our stories end,
I know you have rewritten mine
by being my friend
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you...I have been changed
For Good.

2 encouragements:

Stephanie said...

What an awesome experience I can't imagine being on an island with others like that.
I'm glad you're back you are so busy girl!

Kaylynn's Mommy said...

The retreat sounds intriguing! Hmmm...I might have to attend!

True learning-learning that is permanent and useful,that leads to intelligent action and further learning, can arise only out of the experience, interest, and concerns of the learner.
John Holt
Real heroes are men who fall, fail and are flawed, but win out in the end because they stayed true to their ideals, beliefs and commitments.
Actor Kevin Costner

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