Kodak Action Cam Giveaway!

20140414_9726 blog Sometimes your favorite image from a session is  an outtake you thought you’d have to delete! 20140414_9727 blog 20140414_9747 bw blog 20140414_9756 blogThese two girls are still besties. So beautiful to see them together!

Things are pretty busy over here (imagine that!) so how about I give away a Kodak Action Cam SP1 and Kodak Zoom Camera? All you need to do is leave a comment!

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The Art of Letting Go in Three Steps

{I want to preface this post by saying, this is how we parent.  I don’t have all the answers for my own children and I most certainly don’t have all the answers for *your* children. This is simply a reflection of our family, not a judgement or suggestion for yours.}teen missions international, attachment parenting, raising teens

When our first child, Adalia, was born over 18 years ago, you probably would have called me a “hover-mother”. I was convinced that attachment parenting (they didn’t even call it that back then) was the way to parent. I held her constantly, she slept with us, she never had a pacifier or bottle or went to the church nursery. And babysitter? As in a teen who would come care for her a few hours? No way.

We didn’t send her to preschool when she turned three (the idea of my toddler spending the day, or a few hours, away from me was unfathomable). More children joined our family, and we did the same with them. No one headed off to kindergarten at age five.

teen missions international, attachment parenting, raising teens

I have been surprised over the last few years, that our friends aren’t nearly as enthusiastic about sending their kids with Teen Missions International as Chuck and I have been. It has become obvious that our friends think we are a bit crazy for sending our kids to far-flung destinations (Honduras, Zambia, Malawi, Guatemala) where we know we will have little (or likely no) contact at all. We got many raised eyebrows when Tilly headed to Colombia with her grandparents last fall.

As I’ve pondered it, I have realized we smoothly go from attachment/keeping our kids close/sheltered, to sending them off on amazing adventures in their teen years. So how does this transformation take place? I’m not sure myself, since it has honestly come so easily, so naturally. Our kids, who we have kept much “closer” in their younger years than many of our parenting peers, have been on many more adventures that those peers’ kids in their  teen years.teen missions international, attachment parenting, raising teens

1. We keep our children close when they are little to focus on attachment (as babies) and obedience and training (as toddlers/preschoolers/young children). There is so much learning/shaping that takes place in the first few years. Chuck and I want to be the primary influence on our children at those ages. We want to shape: their eating habits, their manners, their attitudes. We want to be there when they are sad, to kiss them when they’re hurt. To encourage them when they are struggling. To celebrate their victories. To guide them, to protect them.teen missions international, attachment parenting, raising teens

2. We homeschool because we feel like they get the best education that way (with an exception being made for our special needs kids, who have learned much more in a traditional school setting). We now have a proven track record (man that feels good) with two of our homeschool “graduates” pulling straight A’s in the Community College and Adalia graduating a quarter early with both her High School diploma and general Associate of Arts degree.

3. As our children grow and mature, we embrace the amazing opportunities that have arisen for them. Japanese class, Missoula Children’s Theater, Boy Scouts, Teen Missions.  These have given our children the opportunity to spread their wings, experience more of our community and grow as individuals. By the time they are out in the community, in classes, they are confident in themselves.

Adalia, with no prior school experience, was the  youngest student to ever take doula training at Bastyr University (she had just turned 14). Judah spent ten days canoeing adventure on the Bowron Lakes circuits at age 13.  Enoch and Judah have both been on 50 mile (!) hikes with Boy Scouts. Adalia headed to Honduras at age 15 (and met her soon-to-be-husband), Judah spent last summer in Zambia, Tilly spent two weeks in Colombia this last fall (she traveled to both Bogota and a remote jungle village). Our children have come back from each of these adventures with: new friends, a new confidence in themselves and a stronger faith. They have gained confidence and grown thought difficult experiences and real-life learning. Not from getting a “participation ribbon” or being patted on the back.

You see, attachment parenting isn’t about keeping my children physically “attached” or by my side forever. Its about secure attachment, raising them to know who they are, not who I or their peers want them to be. To go from being taught to truly believing. To accomplish all they were put on this earth to do.




Birth Photography

birth photography, bellingham birth photographer, birth photography bellinghamI got the images from the last birth I photographed up on my Little Earthling Photography site. Please, go over and check it out. Wyatt weighed in at a whopping 11 pounds 6 ounces and was born 100% naturally. No drugs, just his amazing mama laboring to bring him into her arms.

Remember our Kodak PixPro Camera? I’ll be giving one away early next week plus a Kodak camera as well. Be sure to check back in for that!

Parent Fail Friday: Germ Central

11580_734674796583659_4977315516052009132_nRemember our little Ride the Ducks adventure last weekend? It was a great day. A long day. A fun day. A hepatitis and cholera sharing day.

You see, as we boarded the Duck for our tour, we were each given a “quacker”. Quackers are little duck whistles on a lanyard, guaranteed to bring delight to every child and visions of torment and anguish to every adult.

After our tour we headed over to the Seattle Children’s Museum where the children played more or less happily for two hours. Just before we left we instituted Standard Traveling With Children Procedure. You know, we told everyone to go to the bathroom.

Soon my children reappeared telling a tale that would send anyone with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (or common sense) into a tizzy.

Child A was in the bathroom and heard Child B “quacking” in the stall next to him. Next he heard Child B say, “oh, no! I dropped it in the toilet!”.

Then (brace yourself) Child A heard suspicious splashing noises. Child B soon emerged from the bathroom swinging the now-wet quacker around his head like a cowboy about to lasso a head of cattle. Centrifugal force took over at this point and flung droplets of water in a 360 degree arc. As my children  shrieked in horror everything within six feet of Child B was being splashed. Child A was insisting the quacker needed to go in the garbage but Child B insisted it was fine “because I washed it off”. Just then, the quacker went flying off of Child B’s finger and smacked Child C right in the face, sending even more droplets of water/sewage every where.

Child A was exasperated, Child B angry because I would’t “let” him keep the quacker and Child C thoroughly traumatized.

Me? I needed a cup of coffee a valium.

Birth, Babies and Business

birth, birth photography, little earthling photography, bellingham birth photographer

The blog has been a bit quiet, in part due to the fact that I photographed a birth yesterday. Beginning my day at two AM tends to slow me down a bit.

Every single time I photograph I birth I am in awe of women, the miracle of life and so very honored to be invited to such an intimate experience. Yesterday was no exception. Birth photography sprang into my life out of no where…it wasn’t something I ever anticipated or imagined doing. And yet…it seems as if it were meant to be. As if I were just waiting for the moment to arrive. When I photograph a birth I feel alive and energetic. I am so happy to give these families the gift of these images. Of moments they couldn’t capture themselves. I am so happy with the photos from this birth and hope to have them up on my Little Earthling Photography blog later today.

Aside from  that, our days have been busy with school, work, appointments and visiting with Claire. We had a few beautiful, warm sunny days and now the rain is back. Wedding plans and finding appropriate clothing for the event is consuming a disproportionate amount of time. Judah is taking several online classes this quarter (thus hijacking my computer) and Tilly is up in British Columbia with her grandparents for the week.

Tomorrow will be Parent Fail Friday. If you have a story to share, either leave it in the comments tomorrow or post on your blog and leave a link. I know I can’t be the *only* parent who has Parent Fails…