Friday, November 4, 2011

Nice to Meet You!

     Before we get into our blogging, we would like to introduce ourselves to you.  We will provide a quick intro today……and in the future we will each share about our upbringing, as well as our lifetime relationship with books.  We will introduce our families to you in yet another post.

     We drew virtual straws and Chari will go first......

     Hello, my name is Chari and I have been a compulsive student as long as I can remember.  To continuously feed this addiction, becoming a homeschooling mom was a must.  Of course.  I think I was born wired to be a homeschooling mom.  :)

     We are currently in our 23rd year of homeschooling, if you count the year my first child was born….since I knew before then that we would homeschool.  It is at least 18 years since we officially started “kindergarten.” 

     I live with my family in northern California, in the mountains, about an hour from the Oregon border.   We have lived here for 22 years, and in the same house…..the one my husband built for us…..for the last 18 years.  We have two acres of land at about 3,700 feet above sea level with views of mountains in both the front and back yards. We call our home: OUR HEARTS' HAVEN.  One of the mountains is a particluarly famous one, a member of the Pacific Ring of Fire......those famous volcanos that surround the Pacific Ocean.  MY mountain is a dormant composite volcano.  I am sure to post pictures of my beautiful mountain.  Actually, I am sure to post many pictures of the mountain this year because I have just started a year long photo journal of it though the four seasons.  I started doing this in September and have three photos so far.  I will share those later.....for now, here is one of my favorite views, taken from under a tree on our property.

     Our winters tend to last anywhere from 5-7 months, with about two months of spring and fall each…..and a lovely 3 month summer.  I live.for.the.summers.  We get a nice amount of snow here every winter……usually up to 8-12 feet per winter.  I always chuckle when my online friends think it does not snow here because I live in the state of California. Our summers make up for all of the snow by being low in humidity, temperatures between 75* and 95* and lovely cool evenings. Did I mention that I live for summer???  It is my favorite season. : )

     One of the benefits of where we live is the constant availability of nature study…..simply by walking out the door of the house.  There are numerous hikes, lakes and waterfalls here for our enjoyment. Feel free to come by for a visit yourself!

     In addition to the 8 humans who live here, we also share the place with 2 friendly golden retrievers, about 39 chickens, 3 roosters and at least 10 barn-cats.  Actually, since we do not have a barn….we refer to them as “garage-cats”.

     Speaking of humans, my husband and I have 6 kids, aged 10 years to 23 years.  The older two are away at college the majority of the time.  The third oldest is away in Europe for the year.  Our kids have always been homeschooled.  I will share the story of our homeschooling journey soon.  My kids love living here and love being homeschooled.  The three who have graduated from our homeschool often reaffirm and validate their style of upbringing.  I really appreciate that.  : )  They are all lovers of learning; they are as addicted as their mom is to learning and literature.

Taken August 2009

     I am a Catholic convert, 26 years last April 1st.  I have always attended the traditional Latin Mass.  I LOVE the Catholic Church and I LOVE being Catholic.  I am so grateful for the gift of my faith.  Deo gratias.  I will share the story of my conversion someday.

     I work part-time in a local hospital as an obstetrics nurse.  Actually, it is less than part-time……I work about 3-6 times a month.  I also teach five three-week childbirth classes a year. My husband has worked in management for most of our married life.

     I usually have other things of involvement as well.  For the last two years, I have been teaching a writing workshop using Institute for Excellence in Writing resources.  Of course, I am frequently putting in hours as chauffer and chaperone.

     I have various hobbies: praying, reading, writing, playing with my camera, decluttering, scrapbooking, traveling, reading, chatting on the phone or in person with Willa, childbirth, reading, movies, music, theatre, learning with my kids, or on my own, planning studies, reading, hanging out in nature, art (both viewing and doing), hanging at home, having adventures, Facebook, blogging…….and reading. I am open to most anything.

     I love, love, love to read….. I like most genres. I MUST have something to read at all times…or meltdown could ensue. I guess that makes me a reading addict.  : )  Just today I was laughing at myself as I picked up a new book to read, recommended by a kindred spirit who is a senior at TAC (Thomas Aquinas College) and a friend of my son.  I am already reading FIVE other books right I really needed another!  The worst part?  Three of them are based in London.......I feel British saturated right now and I getting some of my characters and stories mixed up..... : )

     As for scrapbooking, I am only 23 years behind.  Since my oldest is 23 years old, you can see that I only have my kids’ lives to chronicle.  And thousands of hardcopy photos.  And at least 10, 000 digital photos. Yikes. The good news is that I finally have a plan of how to catch up a bit faster......I hope to get that started shortly.

     Writing is something I wish I could find more time for. I used to publish a newsletter for Catholic moms, THE CATHOLIC FAMILY HOME (back issues are here, though the group is not active anymore).  It has been about 8 years since that last issue……I really miss writing. Since my mind “thinks in articles,” I am very much looking forward to the opportunity of writing again with this blog.

Thanks for being here with us!

Have a blessed day!


PS You will find that Willa and I reside in the same state. Sadly, this does not mean that we live anywhere near each other.....  California is long!

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