Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Contests

Since I am expecting a my first grandchild, I have an eye open for contests featuring prizes for mommies and babies. I have wanted to purchace a ring sling, but the good ones are so expensive! Today I saw this contest, and I am entering with hopes to win a prize.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Eye of the Forest - Review

The Eye of the Forest is the fifth book in the Children of the Lamp series by P. B. Kerr. The Children of the Lamp is a series of books about djinn (genies) aimed at 9-12 years olds. The main characters are twins, John and Philippa Gaunt, who upon reaching puberty discover that they are djinn. Djinn are of fire, and have powers such as being able to grant wishes and being able to travel outside of their bodies.

As far as series go, the Children of the Lamp is superior to many that I have read for this age group. The characters are well developed, the situations are unique, and the plots are interesting. I do not feel that the books are stand alone reads though. This is definitely a series to read in order, and most likely, after you have read one, you will want to read more. I have not noticed any inconsistencies from book to book up to this point.

Some particularly strong points that I have noticed from an unschooling point of view is that there is no focus on school in these books. The books take place in exotic locales, and the author includes fairly well researched information about the settings. Also the children are independent and interact well with adults forming friendships with people outside a limited peer group. In general, the books have a lack of ageism with people being treated as individuals regardless of how old they may happen to be.

The Eye of the Forest takes place mainly in the Amazon rain forest. The twins along with their Uncle Nimrod and a friend are trying to stop someone (they don't know who) from discovering the "Eye of the Forest" which is a mystical doorway leading seemingly to nowhere. In order to divert disaster, they must find the eye themselves. Of course, this involves lots of adventure and use of their particular djinn capabilities. There is a side theme involving the good and evil in all of us, and another dealing with rain forest deforestation. I was pleased that the ecological story line presented a well balanced picture showing the struggles of people who do participate in industries that can lead to deforestation as well as the obvious arguments against it.

All in all, I would recommend this book to those who enjoy series with a fantasy element and a lot of adventure. These books are suitable for all ages, but please note that the evil characters tend to be truly evil and truly bad things happen to some of the characters.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Blogging for LGBT Families Day 2009

As most of you know, we are a two mommy family.  It has been a busy weekend in a busy month, and today is a busy day, but Diana and I thought it was important that we do a post in honor of Blogging for LGBT Families Day.  Since she is working outside the home today, and I am not, I have the honor of writing about our family.

When I met Diana in 2003, I was the single parent of five kids, Emma 15, Ant 11, Esme 9, Josie 7, and Lia 5.  Were the kids in any way a hindrance to our relationship?  Well, Diana had been trying to conceive for several years without success, and I couldn't help worry that she would be both overwhelmed and saddened by my large family.  The kids' reactions varied.  Some were very, very supportive.  (It is wonderful to see your mom happy!)  Others were surprised, but none were negative, and as our relationship progressed, with the exception of my oldest daughter who wanted to remain in the same city/neighborhood that she had grown up in, we all decided to move in together and become a family.

Adding five new people to your family is not that easy!  Diana was an only child with no cousins close to her age.  She was not use to having a lot of kids around.  She was use to privacy, peace and quiet, and having a lot of control!  Well anyone with a big family knows that privacy, and peace and quiet can be in short supply.  Also, it tends to work best if you learn to let go of trying to control too many things and trust instead.

We worked it out though.  We did our best to listen to and learn from each other.  We have tried to honor each others' needs as we grow together.  Diana now loves her "gift children" very much! 

At this point, it seems more that this is an entry about blended families than about GLBT families.  But you know what?  That is because as GLBT family is just a family!  I don't feel like we are any different from other families.  Each family is formed in its own way!  The members of our family all love each other.  We work together for common goals, and we strive to help each other to meet our own individual goals.  We strive to live consensually.  We aren't perfect.  We sometimes argue.  We all sometimes make mistakes.  In general though, it works, and we are all better together than we would be individually.

Remember, a family is a family.  Ours isn't better or worse than anyone else's simply because it is led by two women instead of a woman and a man.