When we had our first daughter Katie in 1997, we lived in NJ and I was involved with La Leche League. We coslept, I nursed on demand, and we were almost always together meeting new people, doing interesting and fun things, and exploring our area and beyond. I became a LLL Leader and met many nurturing parents who homeschooled (some unschooled, but I didn't know what that was yet). In 2000 when my daughter was three, we attended Nancy Plent's Unschooling Conference. Although my husband was already aware of how much learning our daughter was doing, he became more comfortable with the idea of homeschooling after attending David Albert's presentation at the conference which was based upon his book "When The Skylark Sings." Shortly thereafter we went to a Not Back To School Picnic where we met other local homeschooling families who invited us to park days and other gatherings and activities. One park day afternoon, there was a conversation about living and learning with children and a friend said she thought I would enjoy reading about unschooling and should look up Sandra Dodd, Kelly Lovejoy, Joyce Fetteroll, Ren Allen and Danielle Conger. I've been learning and reading ever since. (Thanks Roxanne O'Donnell!!)
In 2001 we had our second child Keli'i. We felt like we wanted a lifestyle change and wanted to Jim to be closer to where he worked. We searched for jobs in the two places we considered relocating to, Hawaii and Camden, Maine. In 2003, Jim was offered a job in Camden, Maine, but turned it down. In 2004, it was offerred again and he accepted it. We moved in 2005 and are so glad his commute is short, that we are surrounded by a more natural environment and that we live close to the water, schooner boats and lighthouses.
My husband Jim (50) has been a fervent lighthouse enthusiast since he was a child. He enjoys reading about them, visiting them, photographing them and sharing information with other lighthouse lovers. He is also a history buff, enjoys reading, being outdoors and loves going on trips - his 1990 soft-top jeep has gone almost 375,000K miles! He has a passion for dogsledding and follows the Quest and Iditarod.
I (Laurie, 43) enjoy ballet and jazz dancing, walks, hikes, biking or scootering with the kids, going to the beach or lake to swim, skip or throw rocks, reading, playing Boggle, logic type games, zentangles, and star gazing. I teach ballet once a week and use my certification in elementary education to do portfolio reviews. I love reading, thinking and analyzing, especially with regard to how to live a more joyful and peaceful life and am still learning and applying better ideas and choices. I share Katie's fondness for chocolate and enjoy Li's tasty desserts! And I'm often Kanoa's dance partner.
Katie (Katherine Leilani, age 14) has chosen to attend public school since March 2011. She has always been such a energetic and positive minded person and sees her cup as half full! She is interested in design and likes hanging out with friends, longboarding, tumblr, video games, reading, shopping and chocolate. I am not sure yet if she will be coming with us or staying with friends instead. Katie often says things to me that I may have said to her years ago at just the right times. She is a dear! And she loves listening to music, especially by "One Direction."
Li (Keli'i, age 10) loves to play Roblox, Minecraft and Wizard101 with Makana and others, especially while skyping. He has been a vegetarian since birth and cares deeply for how living beings and creatures are treated. He enjoys baking homemade chocolate cakes, gymnastics, swimming, drawing and watching favorite shows while he eats. He loves listening to stories before sleeping, especially the Percy Jackson books as he is interested in Greek Gods and Heros. He likes playing Age of Mythology and watching Fairly Odd Parents. He's often interested in what he can do to make money and usually has a list of new items he is interested in purchasing. Currently he is interested in saving money for a big flat-screen tv and learning about bladesmithing. He also hopes to volunteer at the local animal shelter with Jim to help care for and play with dogs.
Makana (age 6) enjoys biking, scooter riding, listening to the Little House series of stories while snuggling in bed, painting flowers, shows and stories about mermaids, playing with dogs, doing crafts, gymnastics, dancing, swimming and playing with friends. Makana likes playing Roblox, Minecraft and Wizard101 as well as other games with Li and her friends while skyping. She likes watching Barbie videos and playing Just Dance on the Wii with her siblings. Lately she has enjoyed drawing and coloring fashion designs. She loves to wear crocs. She also draws hearts with the names of those she loves next to them.
Kanoa (age 3) wants to do many things by himself. He is beginning to use the potty and to sit on the big swing by himself a bit. He likes to race and come in first, loves to watch Fairly Odd Parents and Dragon Tales, play SpongeBob and Angry Birds, watch others play Kirby's Epic Yarn and dance along with his siblings to the Just Dance songs. He is physically active and likes to throw things - watch out!! Some of his favorite games to play are hide and seek, freeze tag, catch, baseball, and kicking the soccer ball around. He often gets frustrated if things don't work out the way he wishes or if we have trouble understanding what he says. One of the sweetest ways he shows affection is holding our heads with his hands and giving us a kiss on the nose and a pat on the head. He also loves to high five when he accomplishes something.
We all think Barney from "How I Met Your Mother" is extremely funny.
Katie on the swing