Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Bragging Rights


Oh yes, I am going there.  But first, I'm patting myself and giving myself a high five because you know what, I took a chance.

I took a chance on this



...and it resulted in this


And THAT is a big fricking deal.

So, now, I'm a Published Photographer.

I have one of my photos published in a magazine that I adore, with photo credit and I was paid for the photo.

RIGHT!!??

And, right now, I'm floating about on cloud nine.

And, all of these small acts of uncomfortable that I have been grabbing and taking and being accepting of the chance of being told NO are really, really great.  Because seriously, being told NO isn't that bad of a thing.

Doors close for windows to open.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Morton Arboretum Illumination {spon}

Last week we my boys and I had the opportunity to attend a behind the scenes event at The Morton Arboretum for their Illumination experience.



Hailed as a "must-see event" by the media in its debut season last year, Illumination brings lights and nature together to transform a wintertime walk in the woods into an awe-inspiring experience.  From November 21 - January 3, walk a mile-long path to marvel at trees illuminate in colors (every color is represented), and interact with lighted trees that respond to voice and touch.
On the Illumination trail, sing to trees to make them change color and hug trees to see how they respond, then warm up at one of the toasty fire pits.  Or stop at the warming tent to grab a snack and a warm beverage.

And - The Morton Arboretum listened to all of you suggestions last year and has updated this years event by offering not only more kid-friendly features, but also. more live entertainment.

One of the cool things to point out is that they have a multi-tier microphone at Tree Harmony.  This will allow different family members to sign to the trees, interacting with the lights, to make them change colors.




Some neat things to note
-this is the 2nd year that Illumination will be taking place
-last year, over 88,000 visitors experienced Illumination
-the Illumination path (which is a one-mile walking trail) includes more than 1,000 trees
-there are more than 390 carefully-placed LED and Arc lighting fixtures used
-20 miles of cable connects and coordinates the lights

We found out from John Featherston of Lightswitch that they started planning for the 2014 Illumination event about 1 week after the 2013 Illumination event closed.

Illumination is open each night at 5pm and runs until 9:30pm, with the last entry at 8:30pm.  Tickets are available at mortonarb.org, the Arboretum's Visitor Service Desk or by calling 630-719-2066.
The calendar of events happening during Illumination can be found here.

We got to meet with John and were given a behind the scenes peek at how they try to immerse visitors into the Illumination experience.



When planning out the lights for Illumination, they were in agreement that they did not want this


But, rather, something like this - to highlight and showcase the trees instead of using them as a frame to hold lights




We had a lot of fun walking around a portion of the Illumination path with John and members of The Morton Arboretum team.

And, John was wonderful answering all of Cody and Chris's questions about the process and how they become lighting designers.



The boys and I all agreed that Illumination was a really cool experience.  We are very excited to go back and walk the entire 1 mile path and see the entire event.

I found the path to be easy to walk with Will in the back carrier and would likely not use a stroller when we return.  Definitely dress for the weather!  Even though there are fire pits and warming tents located along the path, dress appropriately - and wear walking shoes or hiking boots, forget heels with this one.

I was fortunate to host a giveaway on the blog for 4 passes to Illumination.  I truly hope that the winner will enjoy the event as much as I did with just a sneak peek. 




*the opinions are mine alone.  I attended a blogger event at the Morton Arboretum for a sneak peek at this years Illumination event.  I received 4 passes to return with my family at a later date, and we were treated to warm beverages and cookies while there*.  
 




Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Burdens

A burden is defined as "a load, especially a heavy one"

People are not a burden, in my opinion.

Our loved ones, they are not a burden.

The weight of a situation may be heavy, but it is not the person who is.

So heavy that one needs to pause and reflect on what is really, REALLY important.

My Mom started chemo today...



I had to tell her that she is not, nor would be a burden to me if I was wanted or needed.

That wasn't a given, and that is sad.  It's a sad state to be in where older generations are thought of as being a trouble, a chore, a burden placed upon younger generations.  That simply is not the case.  We have so much to learn from them, so many histories and stories.  So many tricks and tips.  So many memories to share.  Yet, little time.

I had to remind my Mom that family always comes first.

I had to be reminded by my Mom that family always comes first.

I'm not saying that it would be easy for me to up and travel to Texas, it wouldn't.  But that doesn't mean that it's a burden.  It doesn't mean that it is not what should be done.  It just means that I need to pause and reflect.

Time is something that is fleeting.

And, our time is the most precious thing that we could possible give.

It's not a burden.

CONGRATULATIONS!

Congratulations to Kathleen Webb, with the winning comment for the 2nd ChiTAG Giveaway 


my favorite board game is The game of life!!! i know its outdated but love to play with the grandkids. !!!!



You have won a Free Weekend Family Pass to ChiTAG!  I will me contacting you this afternoon with the information you need to get your pass. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Chicago Toy & Game Fair (ChiTAG) {GIVEAWAY #2}

You can read all about the first giveaway here

This is GIVEAWAY #2

Let's cut to the chase and focus on the details, shall we?



Founded in 2003 by the Chicago Toy & Game Group, the ChiTAG Fair commemorates the toy and game industry as the global hub for consumers, inventors, trade, and media to preview, play, and purchase the hottest new toys and games, while rediscovering the classics and meeting the inventors behind the ingenuity of play.
Come out and play at the 12th annual Chicago Toy & Game Fair (ChiTAG), arriving in the Windy City on Saturday, November, 22, 2014 and Sunday, November 23, 2014. As the only fair of its kind in the United States open to the public, ChiTAG Fair returns to Navy Pier in Chicago, the world’s top city for toy and game inventors, for a weekend of fun-filled discovery, interactive events, and of course, play.
For $10 per adult ticket and $5 per children’s ticket, fair attendees can explore the booths of more than 150 toy and game exhibitors, participate in engaging contests and tournaments, enjoy live stage entertainment, and much more. 
The Chicago Toy & Game Group, Inc. is a family of toy industry initiatives designed to encourage and promote the power of play and invention in social, educational, and professional environments.
Here are some highlights that I think are cool and should be pointed out -
{Saturday, November 22}
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.mOfficial Illinois State Yo-Yo Contest on ChiTAG Stage- Perfect your technique with a dynamic performance competition featuring hands-on tips for all skill levels. The immensely entertaining contest is open to all ages with the longest standing yo-yo participant taking home the title of champion.
10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Legoland Discovery Center Girl Scout Program- Make your own scene using LEGO® bricks and mini figures and snap photos for each frame of your comic. Edit each photo to make your visua
12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.mStar Wars Character Luncheon in the Lakeview Terrace Room- Meet and eat with your favorites from Star Wars 501st Legion: Vader’s First. Registration required. | Cost: $30 per child, $36 per adult | Tournament for children ages 6 to 14.http://www.chitagfair.com/star-wars-luncheon

A STAR WARS CHARACTER LUNCHEON!!! 

{Sunday, November 23}
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Grandparents Day- ChiTAG celebrates fun at all ages and on Sunday grandparents get in for free! Bring your grandchildren along and enjoy the fun together.
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Legoland Discovery Center Girl Scout Program- Make your own scene using LEGO® bricks and mini figures and snap photos for each frame of your comic. Edit each photo to make your visual story come to life. http://www.chitagfair.com/girl-scouts-and-boy-scouts
TBD Mayfair Games Boy Scout Badge Design- Join Mayfair Games for a special workshop on Game Design. Participants will receive a special design kit from Mayfair containing components.
http://www.chitagfair.com/girl-scouts-and-boy-scouts/


For a full list of event, click here.

Also, Mayfair Games is offering FREE admission to all Boy & Girl Scouts who attend in uniform 

I love companies who support Scouting!  

AND - Educators with ID are FREE as well.  That includes all of you homeschooling parents who happen to have Educator ID's *wink*

Okay, for the giveaway - comment on this post and tell me what your favorite board game is. Deadline to enter is 11:59pm on TUESDAY, November 18th and I will randomly draw a winner at 7am on WEDNESDAY, November 19th.  The winning comment will receive a Free Weekend Family Pass to attend ChiTAG with no limit on the number of family members.  The pass is good for both Saturday and/or Sunday.
Oh, but wait - if you don't win the giveaway I do have this to offer you.  Click on the photo below to print and receive $2 off your admission.


Good Luck!!

CONGRATULATIONS!!

Congratulations to Valerie Johnson, with the winning comment

I'd like to take my kids so we can all see if winter can be beautiful and make you Doggett the cold. Christmas lights are really the only thing I like about winter. :)

My question is, how do they protect all the wiring and such so that when there is heavy snow there are no shorts in the lines?

You have won four passes to Illumination at The Morton Arboretum!  Your passes will be mailed to you this week.

Friday, November 14, 2014

CONGRATULATIONS!

Congratulations to Chris M., with the winning comment
We love board games--it's hard to select just one favorite! :) One that we really enjoy is Forbidden Island. (But I have to say I still like some of the classics, like Scrabble.)



You have won a Free Weekend Family Pass to ChiTAG!  I will me contacting you this afternoon with the information you need to get your pass.

I will have another ChiTAG Free Weekend Family Pass giveaway go live on Monday, November 17th with a deadline on 11:59pm Tuesday, November 18th that I will draw a winning comment at 7am on Wednesday, November 19th.
Good Luck!



Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Chicago Toy & Game Fair (ChiTAG) {GIVEAWAY}

I'm going to be really honest here.  I adopted my current blogging schedule so that I could meet the criteria necessary to secure the credentials that would allow me to attend this year's ChiTAG when I went to apply last year, around this time, and realized that I didn't even come close to what they were looking for in a blogger.

NOT EVEN CLOSE

That was a bit of a wake up call for me as a blogger. Now, I love this venue as a way of being able to share what we are doing here at Indian Boundary Line Homestead; the thought rambles that run around in my head; and just sharing a little bit of me, really.

I also like the perks, too, and I'm quite picky about which ones I will go after and/or accept.  Because, really, I don't want this space to become a place to shill stuff.  That's not what it's about.

I've been very fortunate to be able to attend some pretty amazing events as a blogger, as well as offer opportunities for my readers to experience some pretty cool things as well (that's really only as of late, and I'm hoping that I'll be able to keep that up).

So, here it is ChiTAG season - and I applied to attend as a blogger months ago, and I just got cleared to attend yesterday - YIPPEEE.

Like, really - YIPPPEE!!!  I am so geeked about going to this event!

And, AND!  I have a giveaway *insert big smile*

Okay, here is the link to learn more about ChiTAG if you are not familiar with it.



Founded in 2003 by the Chicago Toy & Game Group, the ChiTAG Fair commemorates the toy and game industry as the global hub for consumers, inventors, trade, and media to preview, play, and purchase the hottest new toys and games, while rediscovering the classics and meeting the inventors behind the ingenuity of play.
Come out and play at the 12th annual Chicago Toy & Game Fair (ChiTAG), arriving in the Windy City on Saturday, November, 22, 2014 and Sunday, November 23, 2014. As the only fair of its kind in the United States open to the public, ChiTAG Fair returns to Navy Pier in Chicago, the world’s top city for toy and game inventors, for a weekend of fun-filled discovery, interactive events, and of course, play.
For $10 per adult ticket and $5 per children’s ticket, fair attendees can explore the booths of more than 150 toy and game exhibitors, participate in engaging contests and tournaments, enjoy live stage entertainment, and much more. 
The Chicago Toy & Game Group, Inc. is a family of toy industry initiatives designed to encourage and promote the power of play and invention in social, educational, and professional environments.

Seriously, what is not to like about this event?!

Here are some highlights that I think are cool and should be pointed out -
{Saturday, November 22}
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Official Illinois State Yo-Yo Contest on ChiTAG Stage- Perfect your technique with a dynamic performance competition featuring hands-on tips for all skill levels. The immensely entertaining contest is open to all ages with the longest standing yo-yo participant taking home the title of champion.
10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Legoland Discovery Center Girl Scout Program- Make your own scene using LEGO® bricks and mini figures and snap photos for each frame of your comic. Edit each photo to make your visua
12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Star Wars Character Luncheon in the Lakeview Terrace Room- Meet and eat with your favorites from Star Wars 501st Legion: Vader’s First. Registration required. | Cost: $30 per child, $36 per adult | Tournament for children ages 6 to 14. http://www.chitagfair.com/star-wars-luncheon

A STAR WARS CHARACTER LUNCHEON!!!

{Sunday, November 23}
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Grandparents Day- ChiTAG celebrates fun at all ages and on Sunday grandparents get in for free! Bring your grandchildren along and enjoy the fun together.
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Legoland Discovery Center Girl Scout Program- Make your own scene using LEGO® bricks and mini figures and snap photos for each frame of your comic. Edit each photo to make your visual story come to life. http://www.chitagfair.com/girl-scouts-and-boy-scouts
TBD Mayfair Games Boy Scout Badge Design- Join Mayfair Games for a special workshop on Game Design. Participants will receive a special design kit from Mayfair containing components.
http://www.chitagfair.com/girl-scouts-and-boy-scouts/

For a full list of event, click here.

Also, Mayfair Games is offering FREE admission to all Boy & Girl Scouts who attend in uniform 

I love companies who support Scouting!  

AND - Educators with ID are FREE as well.  That includes all of you homeschooling parents who happen to have Educator ID's *wink*

Okay, for the giveaway - comment on this post and tell me what your favorite board game is. Deadline to enter is 11:59pm on Thursday, November 13th and I will randomly draw a winner at 7am on Friday, November 14th.  The winning comment will receive a Free Weekend Family Pass to attend ChiTAG with no limit on the number of family members.  The pass is good for both Saturday and/or Sunday. 

Oh, but wait - if you don't win the giveaway I do have this to offer you.  Click on the photo below to print and receive $2 off your admission.



Oh, and I'll be having another giveaway for a Free Weekend Family Pass go live on Monday, November 17th as well.
Good Luck! And, thank you for your comment.

Monday, November 10, 2014

We Only Have Today

Today is November 10th

It is the last day of unseasonable warmth before the cold rolls in

Today, in this month dedicated to gratitude, I want to be reminded that I only have today

That it is when I stay focused on today, just this day, I am more able to truly see what is around me. To soak it in, and feel true gratitude.

Gratitude does not come when everything lines up nice and neat, when checks are ticked off on lists or when everything is so.

Gratitude is an action

When I act in gratitude I am more able to think with gratitude which results in me being able to speak of gratitude.

So, for today, I am grateful for the day.  I am grateful for these 24 hours and all that they hold - the possibilities, the wonderment, the awe.  It's there, honest.  It really is.  How are you viewing it though?  Is it with gratitude or are you expecting gratitude to come as a result of.

I am grateful for this season, I love fall.

I am grateful for this month, I am focusing on November.

I am grateful for what is to come, traditions and new beginnings.

Gratitude is an action, I need to be reminded of that.

We are preparing to celebrate Martinmas tomorrow.  We have our lanterns out, and a special meal planned.  It is by carving out this day, by maintaining a tradition in our family which we started only a few years ago, that we are able to stay focused on the season and to be reminded of the abundances we do have.


We are also preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving.  We will come together with family, not once, but twice, and we will start new traditions that we hope will stick in the years to come.




How do you stay in the now, in today, in this season without fast forwarding in wrap speed to the next?

Friday, November 7, 2014

An Artist

...more like An "Artist", complete with air quote.

Or, at least, that is how I THINK it should be viewed.

The reality, though, what I really want to strive for, is, just that.

To be known as an Artist.

I am, though, my worst critic.  I have what I like to call an itty bitty shitty committee that holds court in my mind, at the ready to tear apart most of what I think or desire.

I'm working on silencing that committee.

What works is surrounding myself with like-minded and supportive people.  I don't have many of them, but they are there.

And, then there is my husband.  That sweet man.  When he introduces me I am his wife, the writer and photographer.

I want to believe that I am a writer and a photographer.
I want to be a writer and a photographer.

More than anything, I want to create.

It is the fear of judgement and not being accepted that holds me back, though.  The fear of failure as well.

I'm letting go of those defects of character.  I'm putting myself in scary and vulnerable places, like writing and submitting a job proposal, and then following up on it to make sure that it was received. Writing and submitting a personal essay on Postpartum Depression.  Like calling myself an Influencer through my photography & writing and...AND being okay with that and just letting it go.

It is

And, then, the other night my husband says to me that he wants the home to be the top priority because it will allow me the most flexibility to be an artist, because art can't be constrained.

An Artist

Freedom to be


Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Morton Arboretum - Illumination {GIVEAWAY}

Oh yeah, you read that correctly - GIVE-A-WAY

This is my very first giveaway here at Educational Anarchy, and I'd like to thank The Morton Arboretum for the opportunity to offer 4 complimentary passes to their Illumination event.



Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum is an interactive light experience that engages your senses with dazzling projections, trees that respond to touch and sound, and vivid, electric colors throughout. 
From November 21, 2014 through January 3, 2015, the grounds of The Morton Arboretum will glow again  with dazzling LED lights and trees that respond to touch and sound, as Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum makes its return.

See trees in a different light.

  • Don’t miss the return of this groundbreaking, interactive spectacle
  • Stroll over a mile of innovative lights and projections
  • Experience trees that respond to your hug or voice
  • Enjoy the new Symphony Woods with music from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Share this one-of-a-kind family activity or romantic date




SCHEDULE AND LOCATION: 
November 21, 2014 through January 3, 2015
Doors open: 5:00 p.m.
Last entry: 8:30 p.m.
Lights out: 9:30 p.m.
Illumination is closed Thursday, November 27; Monday, December 1; Monday, December 8; Monday, December 15; Wednesday, December 24; and Thursday, December 25.


Illumination Live Entertainment Schedule 2014-2015
Saturday 11/22 Second Time Around
Sunday 11/23 Elmhurst College Jazz Band
Friday 11/28 Frozen Robins
Saturday 11/29 Frank & Dave and Frozen Robins
Sunday 11/30 Rat Pack Jazz
Saturday 12/6 Guitarra Azul
Sunday 12/7 Bopology and Eisenhower Jr High School Choir
Saturday 12/13 Classical Blast and Frozen Robins
Sunday 12/14 Jim Gifford Quartet and Wheaton Warrenville South Acappella groups
Friday 12/19 Frozen Robins
Saturday 12/20 28 Days and Frozen Robins
Sunday 12/21 Rat Pack Jazz
Tuesday 12/23 Frozen Robins
Friday 12/26 Frozen Robins
Saturday 12/27 Frank & Dave and Frozen Robins
Sunday 12/28 Rat Pack Jazz
Saturday 1/3 Frank & Dave

REGISTRATION INFORMATION: 
Tickets are limited. Advance purchase recommended. Please choose your date carefully as all Illumination tickets are date-specific and cannot be refunded.


FEES AND ADMISSION: 
For Illumination dates November 21-26, December 2-19, and December 29-January 3:
$12 member adult/ $6 member child (ages 2-17)
$17 nonmember adult/ $11 nonmember child (ages 2-17)
For Illumination dates November 28-30, December 20-23, and December 26-28:
$15 member adult/ $8 member child (ages 2-17)
$20 nonmember adult/ $13 nonmember child (ages 2-17)

The boys and I will be going on a behind the scenes tour of Illumination where we will go on a guided walk and get to meet members of the design firm, Lightswitch, where we will be able to ask questions about Illumination.

Are you interested in experiencing The Morton Arboretum's Illumination?  I have 4 passes to pass along to a lucky Educational Anarchy reader.  
To enter to win simply tell me why you would like to experience the Illumination event at The Morton Arboretum AND give me a question to ask Lighswitch about Illumination by 11:59pm on Sunday, November 16th. 

I will randomly pick the lucky winner on Monday, November 17th  - Good luck!  


Allergy Test Results

I went to the doctors on Monday to go over the results of Chris's allergy test with our family doctor.

I'd like to just pause here a moment and just share how happy we are with our family doctor.  It has taken us years to find one that, well, doesn't treat us like incompetent fools.  There was even a stretch of time where the boys weren't seeing a doctor, because I couldn't find one that met my criteria.  It was fine, they weren't sick during that time, and they didn't need shots during that time.

But, with this awesome doctor comes a "price", and that is time.  It takes us exactly 50 minutes, traveling by 3 different expressways to get to this doctor.  And, I am fine with that.  If that is the "price" that I have to pay in order for my children and I to see a doctor that fits our beliefs & lifestyle. She challenges me at every turn to try something different and to do better, in addition to validating my hunches and current best practices.

Sign that is hanging in our Doctor's waiting room.


Okay, enough doctor love, onto the results -

Chris is not allergic to anything

Nothing

Na-da

BUT

He is highly sensitive to the following:
Dairy Casein
Beets
Soy
Garbanzo Beans
Mung Beans
Navy Beans
Alternaria tenius (environmental allergen aka plant rot - found in soil, compost, and decomposing plant matter)

He is moderately sensitive to the following:
Bean Sprout
Flax Seed
Pinto Beans
Walnuts
Buckwheat
Lettuce
Sesame
Watermelon
Coconut
Lima Beans
Sunflower Seeds
Wheat Bran
Coffee
Pecan
Tomatoes
Zucchini
Celery
Fennel
Mustard
Parsley

...so...yep, this is what we are dealing with.  

BUT, but he is NOT ALLERGIC TO ANYTHING.  
Can I just say how really grateful I am for that.  What that means is that we will not have to carry an EPI pen with us.  What that means is that I will just have to continue to pack benadryl and aleve, just in case.  What that means is that he can consume these items, just in moderation and on a limited rotation basis.  Really, it's NOT THAT BAD.  You know, because he is not allergic to anything.  We truly are counting our blessings over here.
And - fennel?  beets?  lima beans?  
*exhale*
Whatever - 

We have also been instructed that he should not be eating gluten free processed foods.  Now, this is something I tried to really stay away from while he was on his elimination diet to begin with. I'm not a big fan of chemicals in foods.  BUT, he did need to go to school with a lunch, and so I choose to make the sandwiches he ate with gluten free, soy free & dairy free bread.  I also purchased gluten free, soy free, and dairy free snack bars which he was allowed to eat one every other day (again, not a fan of chemicals in foods).  Our doctor recommended that he go back to a good whole grain bread, eating a sandwich every other day - we can do that.  We are also cutting out the snack bars, and he is fine with that.  We will continue to focus on whole foods that are dense in nutrients and thus, more filling.  

For a child who lives on celery, the news of his sensitivity to that was a bit of a concern for me.  We will just rotate that veggie in his lunches and will mix it up with some carrots and cherry tomatoes.  

For those of you who may be curious, we had that IgG Food Anibody Assessment done.  It was a blood draw, and the test took 4 weeks to come back.  We had all foods, fruits and veggies, and environmental allergens tested.  We received a really nice packet that breaks everything down in addition to a booklet of suggested courses of actions.  It was not a cheap test.  We are thankful that our insurance did cover a large portion of it.  It is VERY thorough, though.  And, in my mind, worth every penny we did have to pay out of pocket.
So, going forward, it's just more of the same.



Though, realizing that I have a 10 year old boy, and moderation in all areas is what is needed, even with his Halloween haul.


And, we will continue to focus on food as a means to nourish and sustain our bodies and follow our families 70/30 rule (70% good, 30% junk).  It works for us.