Tag Archives: Nadine lebean

The Wandering Market Family is Expanding. This is the beginning.

Yesterday I stared into nine month old Aayla’s potty of her morning excrement. A bright pink balloon was staring back at me as if saying to me again “what are you doing?”.
Even though we were careful, she had somehow found and eaten and thankfully pooped out a balloon.
It reminded me of the video I watched of The Midway Project where they photograph carcasses of birds decaying, exposing their insides full of plastic. This video really affected me as I thought about all the plastic trinkets we have had at birthday parties, festivals, camping and on and on. A party often feels like an exception to be less mindful as we bring out the plastic toys and disposable cutlery to celebrate the event.
I think a lot about discontinuing my use of plastic as a way to support the earth. I know others are doing it and I could too but I haven’t yet.
But this post isn’t about feeling guilty. It’s about finding what inspires you to be better and do better as it leads towards our ultimate fulfillment.
Stick with me.
I have been sitting with these feelings for a while. I ponder them as I haul out massive garbage bags to the back to magically be taken away and be buried into the earth. I can see the overflowing dump from the edge of town. It is surrounded by fields of food growing around the massive heap. Garbage that has flown in litters the wheat and peas and barley and we see each other at the post office and smile as if it doesn’t exist.
This is only a small drop of polluted sand in Saskatchewan compared to the other problems like the chemical runoff into fresh water which is also the water we drink.
My neighbour doesn’t live there anymore but she comes back once in the summer to douse her yard on a windy day with chemicals. It’s just a few feet away from where we grow food. What are we doing?
I’ve sat with this for a long time, waiting to feel empowered by love and not my anger.
The time has come.
I love watching my children playing with such easy joy in the sand. We went to the lake yesterday. I sat with Aayla while she slept. I watched our future unfold as Michael walked around picking glass and other garbage out of the earth where they were playing. I noticed the children begin to follow him around and Nova even began to help him pick up. She came to me curious about things that biodegrade and things that don’t. She began putting various collected garbage in water to see what would break down.
These events inspired in me the thought

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A wee note to my followers…

Hello! Thanks for following me and allowing me into your inboxes. It’s a very intimate thing to give someone permission to your inbox and I’m grateful that you’ve trusted my words enough to do so. I love when you comment and when you like my post, it lets me know that you’re listening and resonating with my words. I love that we are getting to know each other and that you get that I’m often silly. Let’s do this thing; lets discuss and follow our passions while figuring out this thing called life.


Lying to my children about food.

One day I decided to stop lying to my children about what they were eating. I would always try to sneak in a little hemp hearts or cod liver oil or whatever my newest fad food was at the time. I started to wonder if this practice may have been hurting them more than helping. I thought about this deeply and realized that it didn’t feel honest and authentic to me. By lying about their food I was sending them the message that I didn’t trust them to want to nourish their bodies. I was also creating a relationship of distrust in such an intimate way. Food is something that we put inside our bodies. How could I be all gung-ho for food labelling yet not allow my children to know what they were eating?!?!? I’m amazed by my own level of narrow minded thinking but we grow and learn better, right?
Another thing I thought about was how powerful it is to associate what we eat and how we feel. I wasn’t allowing my children that opportunity to make the food/body connection because I assumed that I knew best. I assumed they wouldn’t want to do the best thing for themselves. That’s crazy talk (or thought). All humans want the best.
So, I swallowed my fear and clenched my butt a little, when I said ” there’s hearts and livers in that chili.” and “Yes, I added some raw egg to that”.
When I first started being honest they would often decline to eat because I had trained them that health foods were to be hidden and mistrusted. Things are much different now.
My oldest son was sure that he HATED kombucha because I didn’t tell him that I added into jellos and soups and other things, but once I started telling him, then he knew he liked kombucha and was more willing to try stuff. Everything, he was more open to trying everything!
We are actually coming to a place where the previously hidden ingredients are now prized treasures. My daughter often asks if something is good for her as she knows the value of it. My son looks up recipes for new healthy things to try. He can be heard saying such things into google search as “heallllthy marshhhhhhmalllllows.”. I believe that this honesty has improved our relationships (and our lives) in so many ways. I feel like I can openly talk about what I am fermenting and making with it and they are interested and happy to try it, most of the time. They are still human though and sometimes I wonder when I will have gone too far. The boys did try the authentic headcheese I made last week even after seeing the “ingredients”. 😀

Beautiful headcheese. I was told by a food historian, author, professor guy (Ken Albala) that I nailed it. It’s so exciting to take something that would otherwise be garbage and make food.

Happy Kombucha SCOBY. We don’t eat these. Yet.

Do you sneak foods into your kids?

My goals for my children. What are yours?

WARNING: Rambly and inspiring post.
We all have different priorities when it comes to parenting, when it come to life.
I think a lot about what I want my children to learn, to know when they are adults. It’s often met with curiosity and concern when I tell people. Most just don’t get it and that’s ok. It seems that my goals are quite different than what most people think about. If you’re still reading, hooray! I’ll tell you more about me…
I want my children to be able to take care of themselves physically, mentally and spiritually regardless of circumstance.
What does it mean to me to be able to take care of ourselves physically?
To me this means that as humans we can produce, source and prepare our own food locally. This sounds like an incredibly daunting task but it doesn’t have to be especially if you can connect with other people interested in this. (I will be blogging a lot about how to do this in the very soon future.) My children have followed my lead to real food and take great interest and pleasure in growing and harvesting food, going out to farms, hunting, butchering our own meat and being in the kitchen with me. I see a great value in being able to provide nourishing and convenient foods for yourself. If your food is hurting you, all other areas in your life will be harmed. It’s amazing what people that are well nourished can accomplish. It improves morale, motivation and energy for life. Many, many people do not know how to feed themselves anymore. One of the saddest things I experience is when I go to the grocery store and see elderly people or busy parents with grocery carts full of processed convenient foods. I don’t feel judgmental (anymore) but rather I see what they are missing out on; Flavour and harmony within their bodies. It feels amazing to be nourished by a steaming bowl of homemade soup or stew. It’s something that I wish for everyone. If you’re in need, come over to my house for a bowl and a cuppa. With eating well, we are more aware of our bodies and our needs and it leads us to be able to access alternative forms of health care with great success. It also means that we trust when we need medical advice/help from a doctor.
What does it look like to take care of ourselves mentally? To me this means that a person owns and takes responsibility for their life. They don’t blame and they don’t go looking for external things to make them anything; happy or sad. That’s right, people do that, I do that! I go LOOKING for situations to make me upset so I can limit the good in my life because I’ve hated myself so much. No more. I’ve been saying no to that now and it’s working.
Taking care of ourselves spiritually to me means having purposes that remain a touchstone in our lives to bring us back from our own despair. I often need to re-commit to the process of growth, of love, of good food, sustainable living, peaceful parenting and all the other new age hippy cliches. It’s wonderful to remind myself and rediscover the beauty and the magnificence of my purposes after a spell of momentary mommy insanity. It’s sweetness in action.
Are my actions coinciding with these goals? I ask myself that all the time and often it’s “no”. But I move on, growing and getting closer and seeing the beautiful results. More importantly, I’m enjoying this one life. What else is there to do but enjoy and take it all in?
What are some of the things you think about for your children?



A jade in my kitchen sprouts roots hoping to create more life; abundance is everywhere.

Parental Guilt Anyone?

Five children and thirteen years later, I feel like I’m just starting to get it. There’s been school, spankings, homeschooling, AP, general hippyness, Unschooling and then there is radical Unschooling. What does it all mean and which one am I? We’ve experimented a lot with which labels best define us and I really feel done with that. The uncertainty has been fading or it’s being met with an acceptance of the uncertainty. I know the flow of ups and downs, happy and sad, ok and not ok. It’s all encompassing in this life and one bad moment does not negate a life of beauty. That bad moment is transformed by my state of mind into the beauty itself. I find myself able to enjoy being a parent while tantrums, poop messes and unbelievably extreme unhappiness are occurring. When you’re a parent without expectations and stories, it opens you up to just enjoy being guardian to these tiny beings. It allows you to be an amazing support to your child and to think reasonably about solutions that are loving and patient. Don’t get me wrong, I still experience myself yelling and frustrated. I noticed the other day as out slips things like “what the fucking fuck?!?!?”. But I forgive myself immediately and move on. Does that make me a bad parent? I use to think (unconsciously) that guilt made me good. I thought it meant that I wanted to be better and I should feel bad for being such an ass of a human being to such innocent beings. What a waste that was. Moving on makes me better and ready for what’s next. I’m addressing the stories I’ve told myself. Turns out that I don’t need to worry about raising illiterate criminals who abuse the welfare system and I also don’t need to worry about what other people think. How many times have you told yourself not to, and then went and did it anyways? Times are changing and worry be a fadin’. Now I look and see what is next…what is mine to do?

If you tell yourself one story, let it be that healing happens.

Life Rocks Unschooling Conference 2013: Supporting one another.


It’s been a week since we left Life Rocks. I’m feeling ready to start writing about it more in depth. Everyone has been asking me about it. I’ll break it down into topics and moments when they strike me.
While driving home, I have been repeatedly asking myself:
What has impacted me the most?
The answer is clear and easy.
It’s how much we need each other.
The week at Life Rocks was not only fun and inspiring and joyful, but it was healing. I could feel myself opening up and releasing fears and deep seeded beliefs in such a free atmosphere. I felt like I could walk up to anyone and ask them for help. I felt supported to express my flaws and dysfunction, and I did! I saw many other people go through this as well.
For many, the usual fears would come up surrounding our children’s behavior. There were a few “fights” in the beginning between children. I could sense within me that old feeling of “I should leave. Disconnect. Feel shame.”. Life Rocks proved for so many to be the perfect place to work through these. There were many inspiring speakers who touched on this and morning mom’s groups where it could be discussed freely with a person designate to keep the group on track. It was said repeatedly that freedom is NOT treating our children in a way that is intended to change their behavior. That’s a hard one to learn, especially if your child is aggressive.
But what do you mean? Do we accept their bad behaviors? Oh, it’s so much deeper than that. It’s about acknowledging where someone is at and loving them regardless. It’s about being our authentic selves regardless of another’s actions. It’s about offering clear and open support for the child, or anyone. Forcing someone into joy or peace is NOT freedom. I learn to live this mostly with my acknowledging words and with silence. I am loving being there with my child and understanding and I can say peacefully “You really wanted to smash that window with a rock.” And he looks at me and nods and cries.
I don’t feel that I’ve totally developed these thoughts. I mean what do you do when there is danger? You stop it. You change the outcome, right? I’ve learned that I don’t really need rules or guidelines. I can take each moment at a time and ask it “what do you need from me?”
These revelations come when in an open and beautiful coming together of love and freedom. It happened. It felt so natural. It felt safe.
I told people things that I’ve never spoken and they did the same. We had moments of tears and stress and releasing “what do I do now?!?” Because it is not always easy or comfortable to take children from home and put them with strangers and foreign foods and activities. We worked through it and it created bonds that will continue to grow and last a life time. We know how we are all going through a lot of the same stuff. It’s not easy to be different. Or rather, it hasn’t been easy. But we’re working to make freedom and joy easy. Future generations won’t have to fight for it because it will be common and feel natural.
These Life Rocks feelings have translated into all of life as we journey home. We’ve been meeting people along the way and I am continuing to share wonderful connections. We’ve stayed with two Unschooling families. One which we met at the conference an another that I met online. I’m so in awe of their generosity and openness.
As I write this, I am seeing a mom point to one of those huge, chemical ridden hotel make-your-own waffles and she tells her child “Eat this or you’re not swimming!” And “People won’t like you if you talk like that.”
I breathe and smile at her. I can appreciate the journey it takes and I can see her pain and fear. I can also see her kind intent and human nature.
It really makes me think about how much we need to fully support and love one another.


Big Family Trip: Many Days Passed…

It’s been days and days since I’ve last documented our trip. Mostly just because I didn’t feel like it. And I don’t do what I don’t feel like.
“It’s kinda like stopping in the middle of amazing sex to discuss how good it is.” Says Michael.
And We’ve been tired. So tired in such a good way. We pass out face down on hotel beds while the kids jump on the other bed and explore hotel hallways and open doors.
We left the conference and went to Quebec; Old Quebec. We took many walks, swims and frequent naps. I love Old Quebec. I feel the nostalgic presence of canons going off, people walking in streets, children around the corners and the smells of real food wafting from windows. I bet they had fresh bread and hearty soups. And there would be horses. There’s horses now! The thing that struck me the most about Old Quebec was the gigantic stone wall I drove under to enter the “city”. They’ve kept it so old. A restaurant on the corner was a house built in 1627 and they serve wild game. $60 a meal and we didn’t eat there but I sure enjoyed taking in the aromas and the menu posted outside. Sometimes a menu is enough. It fills my heart and crowds out my belly, especially when they use words like “slowly roasted wild boar”.
We stayed at the Chateau Frontenac in all it’s glory. It’s mighty glorious with the cost to match. I knew the hotel would be a bit more but what I didn’t factor in was how expensive it would be to sustain ourselves in such a place. Parking, valet, eating are all a lot and everyone needs a tip. 🙂
The pool was nice with its free apples and loving acceptance of our child with the anarchy symbol spray painted on his chest from a Life Rocks Dance past. Michael danced so hard with that symbol and no shirt that he injured his neck. I love it all.











This was where they use to train all the horses for war.



Telling our stories.


Lately I have been seeing people post links to my blog when asked which blogs people follow and loved. I am always surprised by this! It feels so natural and not a big deal for me to share my thoughts and stories. I don’t put a lot of thought into the blog posts exactly as I am not focused on editing or having a perfect blog. I put a lot of thought and heart into life and that’s what I am hoping to convey in my writing. I type my raw stories on a smartphone wherever the moment should strike. So I am always surprised when people follow and adore my stories. I forget how much our stories mean. Storytelling is what makes us so uniquely human. Everywhere I look I see life tangled up with our love of stories.
I’m downtown Gravelbourg right now after a snow storm, as you see in the picture above. I can see old men at coffee with their stories, probably the same ones they have been telling for thirty years. We can become so attached to our stories…
Deep snow tracks through main street along with the sound of shovels on cement and humming of snow blowers tell me the story of mother natures delivery last night. I can also predict a future story that says the fields will be wet and nourished for the spring planting. The dug outs will overflow with their watery life willing and ready to complete the cycles once again.
We have so many stories. Which ones of mine would you like to hear? We all have our tales of disbelief, and I am no exception. Many tell me to put my life in a book, but even at nearly 30 years old, the book would be too long.
I’ve lived many lives, tried on many faces.
The things that have really shaped me are the things I’ve loved so easily. Like when I was gifted a pair of rabbit fur mukluks as a child. I loved the softness and the warmth but mostly I loved how real the snow felt beneath my feet. I could feel all of its texture and contours.
I spent most of my teenage years seeking a place for a place to belong. No one had ever told me that where we are, we belong. And so I searched..
I was lucky enough to have one friend who truly felt like home after my parents separated when I was twelve. But my home was not often homey feeling even before the separation despite my amazing parents. Their stories had been too painful and it shadowed the natural instincts to raise a child, or two; my brother and I.
My mother was born on a reserve, the oldest of six children. She was moved to an orphanage when she was nine, I believe and then a foster home at twelve. Can you imagine her stories?
My father was a child of five children and one mother. I can see his story of brotherhood is deep and his admiration of a mother that gave everything with multiple jobs to show them every bit of her world. Art and music was, and still is, important to them. The story of the non-existent alcoholic father always lingered in the air, it still does. My Aunt, the only girl has sworn to never touch alcohol because of this. They are all do strong and amazingly unique with their stories. They could each be a book too, we all could.
So, my teenage years… I found a place with kinship and cooperation. It was a whole other world and I became obsessed with it.
It was a Mexican Circus.
For the next nine years I would dedicate my thoughts and heart to being a part of this circus. I didn’t realize that it was the thing we are all missing and truly desire: To feel like we belong.
The story gets even more interesting but I’m not quite there yet…
Thank you for listening to my story.
Tell me yours so we can be human.




Soon I’ll be leaving this stupid online life.

How did you react to the title of this blog? I’ve been noticing a lot of people making comments about how they shouldn’t be on the computer and that they are now returning to real life. Some people go as far as to create an online life and then comment about how stupid it is and how they will be removing themselves from it. It leads me to think that they do not enjoy our fb banter, sharing of photos and liking of favourite quotes. It means something to me. I love mornings with hot coffee and an update as to how my friends are doing, especially the ones far away. It is fast and easy to stay connected to my community with ten minutes online.
I wonder if we have just been told too many times that an online life is anti-social, not spiritual and a waste of time? Even those of us who do not complain, I think often feel guilty and think we should be doing something else; something real. I wonder if this type of attitude towards computers and technology in general is not allowing us to experience it to it’s full potential. Technology can be a wonderful tool to facilitate learning and relationships. If the computer is a problem for you, I imagine that it is only a symptom of a deeper issue. Lack of connection? Lack of passion? Everything is perspective. I am seeing my screen time as being productive and life enhancing. I use it to connect with people, as entertainment, to find recipes or write silly little blogs.
Why do we complain about the things that we choose so much, so often? Let go and enjoy it. Enjoy everything.


This! (On Child Development)

I am imagining all the ways that I will love them today. I will put Emmett up on the counter to inspect his infected toe. He will say " this " in a low voice as he points at it and then looks up at me with those huge brown eyes.
Oh, will I please remember how he used only one word word to convey so many different meanings. It's really quite brilliant. He uses tone, expression, body language and "this" to say what he wants, what has happened or is feeling. Happy, sad, curious, hurt or angry… He can say it all with a this. I love it. I feel no desire to push for more words. I know that they will come and I'll feel a pang of sadness as this leaves us as fast as it came. And so I'll go on loving this and I'll avert my eyes from the development charts because they just really don't understand the intelligence required to use only one word to meet all your needs.