Why Lemony?
(the “About Me” page)

July 30, 2005

shiny happy

Here are a few pictures from our House of Worship trip a few weeks ago:

Happy to be here. Maya really loves this place. She likes to find the Greatest Name symbol inside the dome- ever since Liza did a treasure hunt for it at Baha'i school. She knows it as a treasure now, from the very beginning. Good job Liza!

Maya likes Teresa's ear and Teresa likes that grass on her toes.

She also like playing with daddy.

Georgia likes it here too. Good climbing trees. And she likes the big pictures of people from all over the world in the visitor's center.

Here's a pile of happy people. A Baker totem pole. About to depart for Amia's first birthday party where the whole Mitchell clan was assembled. Wow, they would have a really! tall totem pole if they were all stacked on top of each other. Seven 'kids' plus three spouses, one grandchild, two parents, and even a grandmother was there.

Here's a bunch of them squashed on a couch. Sort of a sideways totem pole?

Posted by Bahiyyih at 02:27 PM | Comments (1)

July 23, 2005

how it's going

I've noticed that I have almost no time for one-on-one instruction with Georgia, and if we're going to homeschool, I've got to figure out how to deal with that. Especially for reading. I'm sure this will always be a need because when you get to the edge of what you know and start looking at unfamiliar things, I think you need a guide, especially when you're five...but also when you're thirty-two. I could certainly use a mentor for all this. Not a pushy one, just a good listener that's knowledgeable about homeschooling. Anyways, we've taken advantage of well-timed Teresa naps for reading lessons, but those don't come often enough for me. I have been feeling like she needs more time. I want to keep up the momentum with it and let her know she is supported. So one idea we're trying this week is to use weekend mornings for focused work on reading (and phonics for Maya) since mornings are good fresh times for the kids and Billy can be there for Teresa. Like all new ideas, it is taking some getting used to to feel our way through the weekend differently than normal, but I think it may be a good habit for us so that Billy can stay connected to what the kids are doing during the week. This first year of homeschooling, and I'm sure parts of others, will be dedicated to figuring out how to tailor a workable schooling experience for our family and each child's needs.

Back to the mentor idea, I'va always just wanted a person to show me how to do things, instead of sitting in a class and hoping that the parts that I want to know get covered. This desire has grown over the years to the point where I find normal school settings almost intolerable places to learn things. I remember wanting a mentor in graduate school, and luckily I found one in Dr. Wayne Dickerson, an academic leader in pronunciation research and a really wonderful teacher and person. I loved all the immediacy and real life applications of sounds in language and ended up teaching pronunciation for him. He showed us exactly how to teach the material and we got to practise right away in our classes. That really worked for me because even though we didn't have much creative input in lesson planning, I really got to understand his system very deeply and then I could decide later whether I would want to teach that way or not in the future. I just wish I had gotten such great hands-on experience in the other areas of language learning.

Posted by Bahiyyih at 02:18 PM | Comments (1)

July 10, 2005


Happy Birthday Heartland Baha'i School! You've played a major part in the lives of this family in your twenty years. Billy and I met way back in 1988? at a summer session. I must have been 15 and Billy 17. We were both way too shy around the opposite sex then to really know each other. Billy sort of remembers that there was a girl there named Bahiyyih but I really don't remember Billy very well. Oops! We must have been in youth class together too! Oh well.

A lot happened in the intervening nine years before I met the famed big brother of David and Zivar again (and found him to be completely unforgetable). We both went on years of service, went to college, became disillusioned with college and/or had a hard time at college, survived parental divorces, worked for a while, went back to college wiser and poorer and finished up, sang in choirs, worked at our first real jobs and/or started graduate school, lived in our first apartments on our respective own, had serious relationships, and learned to cook for large numbers of people in group houses.

Then I started helping out at and devotedly attending Heartland under the tutelage of Jan Harper, friend and housemate, and had many 'Heartland moments' where my whole social orientation would turn upside down as I experienced a really loving and growing Baha'i community that taught me how to have a spiritual focus to my life. Beautiful! And very hard to leave!

And then Billy and I met again, went to summer Heartland while 'getting to know each other's character', got married in short order and went to winter Heartland together as a new couple (we were in charge of the music and tried to teach everyone sort of complicated gospel songs). We felt so supported there and saw families with young children there supported so well by the group that we caught a glimpse of how Baha'i family life could be. We had just decided we were ready to have children and that was a wonderful confirmation.

I got to help out planning the youth program for a few years when Georgia was a baby and little person and that helped me stay in touch with some really excellent friends during those years of adjustment to the sometimes isolating work of parenting. Our family kept going to the summer and winter schools as often as we possibly could afford, both in effort and money, as we had Maya and now Teresa. And every time, our kids were treasured by all the grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, and even little cousins of the Heartland family. Recently, we've realized that there are a bunch of homeschooling families that come and have just started to connect with them on that level.

We just got back from the summer school yesterday and this year was even more special as our 'family' welcomed Teresa and we got to see old friends and their new babies. And Billy and I fely completely embraced by all the loving help we got with our kids. There were wonderful teachers for the older ones and a loving nursery helper for Teresa and we were absolutely shocked to be able to actually attend some adult classes here and there. (that's a sign of growth for Billy and I as parents too- I remember the first few Heartlands with kids being such a struggle because we expected to be able to actually attend adult class) Kris Merkle made a great little movie scrapbook about the last twenty years at Heartland and it reminded me of all this great stuff. I wonder what will unfold in the next twenty, and what our little family will do to help it grow.

heartland 0016.JPG
One of the founding families of Heartland, the Martins (Debbie, Scott, and daughter Luella)

Here are three of the Heartland babies this year- Timmy, Amia, and Teresa, playing in the nursery. Timmy was very sweet and gave out lots of kisses. I got more good Amia time there- I gave her apples and took her to mama when she was crying. I think she remembered because she said 'where mama?' the next time she came to me. Oh! That reminds me that Georgia said her first word in the cafeteria at summer Heartland when she was nine months old: dada. I didn't really believe it when I heard it but Bahia Quinlan (ever the defender of the small child) heard it too and insisted that she really did.

Posted by Bahiyyih at 06:01 PM | Comments (0)

July 04, 2005

mimosa festival!

The 3rd Annual Mimosa Festival/Maya's Birthday went beautifully on Saturday in our backyard. I think that was the first real big party we've had since Teresa's birth. There were many friendly faces and lots of bubble blowing and silly stories and firefly catching and it was great to see people from different parts of our lives- Baha'i friends, neighbors, family, frisbee friends, all getting to know each other and enjoying a happy evening together. Behind the scenes, Billy and I tried really hard to make it a reasonable experience for the kids and for ourselves so that we would still be happy and energetic at the party. We did as much as we could ahead of time and relaxed and took the kids swimming before the party started. And it really worked! We sailed through the work of hosting, dealt with poor Teresa'a misery (she has her first cold and was feeling pretty yuccy that night), and really got to enjoy talking with everyone that came. I was so extremely happy to see everyone that came and played with us. At the end of the evening, we all put our chairs in a circle and had a silly songs contest and Billy served everyone his homemade popsicles. Isn't he a sweetie? Here are a few pictures.

The celebrated mimosa tree. It was a love shack that day with soldier beetles getting their groove on all over it. Ahem!

What is Maya holding up? A piece of bark? Anyways, lots of lovely bubbles being blown by neighbor Polly.

This one is so funny. Help me with a caption here. Dan's expression is priceless.

I love this picture! And the people in it! They look like kitties hiding in a box, which is appropriate since they just took in a mama kittie that just had her babies in their pantry.

Maya! Insisting on doing this weird posed thing in front of her watermelon 'cake', she must be thinking 'mini meee' about cookie monster there.

Don't Billy and I look all relaxed like we've been lounging poolside all afternoon?

Maya and cousin Amy upsidedown. Yeah!

Posted by Bahiyyih at 10:14 PM | Comments (2)