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Learning in Freedom

Welcome to Learning in Freedom, a blog all about the learning adventures (and mishaps) of the Allen family. My four children are unschooled, following their interests and passions every day and living the lives of their choosing. The purpose of this blog is to share our every day lives (and my not-so-humble opinons) with anyone interested in stopping by. We hope this will give a glimpse of how natural learning unfolds from day to day......

Friday, May 19, 2006

My Birthday

Today I turned 37 years old. Today I began my 38th year of life and it just keeps getting better.:)

In spite of working today, it was a wonderful Birthday. Heidi, Mary and Helen met me at work for a Birthday lunch. I took an extra long lunch, we laughed and sniffed our way through some bath stores after eating at Ruby Tuesday's and then it was back to work. My manager brought me a huge basket filled with my favorite Pepperidge Farm cookies and crackers. Later, one of my co-workers took me over to the MAC counter and there was a Baskin Robbins ice cream cake they'd quietly brought in, lighted candle and all!! I felt so honored that anyone at work even noticed.:)

When I pulled into the driveway tonight, it was pretty dark in the house. I wondered if something was up. Upon opening the door, a shouting, screaming crew sang (if you can call it singing) Happy Birthday and threw confetti on me as all the kids ran down the stairs and hugged me. It was quite a greeting!! There was a beautiful strawberry trifle on the kitchen counter, with more lighted candles to blow out. I'm not sure I've ever had two birthday cakes in one day...how cool. The strawberries were from the little produce stand Heidi and I visited earlier today.

I was honored with sweet gifts the kids picked out....a small stuffed skunk and butterfly bookmark from Jalen and the Egyptology book from Sierra. The rest of the crew gave me a wonderful wine/truffle gift basket including a book titled "2001 things to do before you die".
Callista made me a ladybug crown from pipe cleaners (I have a most amazing collection now) and another lovely creation that is yet unnamed. Sierra's card had a drawing of me on a horse with balloons that say "I love you" several times. Callista's crawing was a wee rattie girl and a unicorn, two of my favorite creatures.
The boys are still working on something and Markus wants to celebrate with me on Sunday when I'm not working. Hey, we can milk this whole Birthday thing for at least a week, can't we?:)

I went outside to just stare at the stars and feel the cool breezes later and was greeted by twinkling lights all through the grass and trees. The fireflies put on quite a show for my special day!! The kids joined me as we all stood in awe. I asked Heidi "How do people ever lose their sense of wonder? This world is so full of amazing things."
"I don't know" she answered, "It's so magical"
The kids collected fireflies in jars. Callista accidentally squished one in the lid and it absolutely broke her heart. I hugged her as tears streamed down her face and sympathized. "I don't like hurting things" she wailed. So sweet.

I hiked down to the trampoline and started jumping. It was one of those rare and PERFECT moments. Children traipsing over my yard chasing fireflies, laughing and chatting happily. I was alone in the dark, surrounded by beauty. The stars shined gently through a few drifting clouds and I decided it was about the best birthday ever. I had a crew of bubbly, noisy kids join me shortly thereafter. A few streaks of lightening moved closer and we decided that indoors sounded much more safe.

It's now raining, everyone is in clusters doing something they enjoy. A small group out in the motorhome with Heidi, Martin and Markus in the basement watching sports and a few gamers in Jared's room. It's peaceful and stormy...a perfect end to the day. I am absolutely grateful for this life of mine and the people I share it with.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Late Birthday! I have never seen fireflies, having lived on the northeastern plains of colorado my entire life, but they sound magical. :o) ~Angela Woerner

1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow - had a moment today (ooops, no it's 2:22 A.M.!) and decided to check in on my fav unschooler bloggers...and lo and behold you had a birthday (and a lovely one to boot!). Happy Birthday, Ren! It made me feel so happy just reading how bubbly your day and evening was...and I know Sunday will be nice, too. YES - MILK IT, CHICKIE! ~smile~!

OH, and I happened to catch a digest on the Shine List and read about you guys in People last week. Of course, I now own a copy. I thought it was a pretty darned good article (and you all looked great!). That's the way to represent us unschoolers! Thanks...sending you a great big birthday hug! xoxo, denise

3:30 AM  
Anonymous Lesa said...

Happy Birthday, Ren!!!!

8:11 AM  
Blogger Sandra Dodd said...

We knew it was your birthday here. Fat lot of good it did YOU, but it seems your day couldn't have been made any better anyway. Holly came in the kitchen and said in all perkiness "It's Ren's Birthday!"

And I said "Oh!" And I thought many lovely thoughts and intents to write you a note, and that all took four seconds, and then I finished the dishes and now it's Tuesday.

Happy whole big year.

7:07 AM  
Blogger Louise said...

Belated happy birthday Ren xxxx

2:53 PM  

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