Or I could share the photo montage that the kids did for Ron last Father's Day. It was really sweet and if you want to take a little visual walk down memory lane with us, I'd love to snag this opportunity to share it again! So here you go:
But I didn't really feel like that was what I wanted to share. Sure, Ron's a good parent - he's involved, he listens to them (sometimes), he has helped, driven, chaperoned. Heck, once he even agreed to be in one of Katie's plays since he was waiting for her during every rehearsal - probably sleeping in the back row of the theatre. But they needed a Mr. Slugworth in Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, so he took a deep breath and stepped up onto the stage.
|Double Piggy Back Rides|
|Ron & Michael|
I continued to connect on the internet, reading and learning about this new world we were stepping into. But all the while, he was simply connecting with our kids on topics that interested them. It was just the natural thing to do. And once they were home so much more, he had a lot more opportunities. More reading, more game playing - more adventures out in the community and out in the world!
|Ron & Katie hiking in North Carolina|
|Never too young to hike Enchanted Rock!|
|Typical evening...or anytime|
|Backyard Hockey with Katie & Michae|
When we lived in Alaska, where our homeschooling started, Ron took up hockey. He always enjoyed watching the sport, but he was born and raised in Mesquite, Texas. Not a lot of hockey there. So even though he was 20 years older than most of the guys playing, at 44, he signed up for a little boot camp, and figured it out. He started going to pick-up games, the kids tagging along to watch. Next thing you know, they're all signing up for hockey teams, we're trekking across the state to tournaments, and even building an ice rink in our back yard!
|Dry Ice Experiments turned into Mad Science!|
Next stop would be California. Sadly, the ice rinks weren't nearly that important to Californians, so it was time to shift gears. Alyssa and Michael were really interested in horses, so Ron took them to find a stable that offered lessons. He picked the brains of the ranchers and horse owners every chance he got. The kids were always with him out there, so they watched and listened and learned. He helped Alyssa figure out how to drag feed through the stalls to give to each horse. He bartered for horse leasing, and agreed to help build a giant riding arena. So he and Michael climbed ladders, measured and sawed for weeks until it was finished. All three learned so much there.
|Michael learning to ride Gilly|
Once when they were out riding horses together, they found a little injured barn owl. He showed
them how to wrap it up in a towel and get it to the local raptor center. A few weeks later he was taking them out to see it be released back into the wild.
|Learning to sail with Katie & Alyssa - Folsom Lake|
Light, a 50 foot Schooner - what a trip!
|Helping Alyssa pet a Bat Ray (Monterey Bay Aquarium)|
I could list one adventure after another that Ron experienced with each of the kids. But that might take a little longer than a typical blog post. Suffice it to say that Ron did not stand on the sidelines. He was a hands-on, involved dad. Not because someone told him it's good to do that, but simply because it was the natural thing for him to do. The kids were curious - about everything - and so was he. So when opportunities presented themselves, he was right there with them - guiding, listening, and stepping up to "give it a try."
Learning is simply a part of life for him.
For Ron, unschooling the kids was just a natural extension of that.
|Just a cute picture of Ron & Michael (1991 Welcome Home)|