Thursday, June 28, 2007

Friends... :)

Gotta see Big ole Paul Bunyan

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Limit Video Games?

Yeah, here we go again *sigh*. This article was in our local paper recently and it's making it's rounds in other newspapers too. People thinking that video gaming playing should be considered a "formal addiction".

People really need to examine these different situations.

Situations when a child is depressed or does something violent and there's a video game present in their life, people like draw a line of correlation. How about we look closer.

Was the child sad or depressed before? Is the child's life full and happy? Is the chil
d's homelife safe and nurturing? Are those factors even considered? Not usually.

Just blame the video games. Its easy. Everyone is doing it! ugh...

OK, so my kids play video games. And sometimes they play alot of them. I sometimes wonder if its too much. Sometimes little thoughts of doubt creep into my mind, (less and less with time) but especially if I've been around people who limit their children, or if I get in a negative mood. But, honestly, I know deep down that they are getting something out of it. I don't always see what they are getting out of what they are doing, but there is obviously something keeping their interest. They ar
e certainly learning a ton from these games. So I calm the voices and all is OK. Even better than OK.

So the playing comes and goes. Abbi is now playing World of Warcraft again. Sometimes she roleplays, sometimes she levels characters. Today she did this,

all inspired by her World of Warcraft playing. It's a graph of the prices that certain items sell for on the auction house within her world in the game. She needed to make some money and thought she'd farm (hunt for) a certain item. Alec suggested one, so she went and checked the prices. She found that the prices weren't that great and was surprised. So she decided to graph the different ones with the different times of the day. She found out that those prices fluctuate and when Alec had checked and been on the game the prices were high.

Abbi will be posting an explanation of her graph here. If its not up right away, please check back. She's busy right now checking prices and watching the supply and demand curve. ;)

I do believe we've covered almost every "school subject" while playing video games. Today it was economics and statistics *g*, and I believe that is a bit ahead of schedule for a 12 year old.

Colonial Williamsburg

Oooh yeah, we loved Colonial Williamsburg.

Alec was there too, but he was on trial ;)

He was on trial for underage drinking *g* .

And who was on the jury?

Dad and Grandpa, of course.

The real criminals? hehe

Abbi had saved lots of allowance money, so she bought this beautiful period dress.

Hammin' it up

Wow, the daily OMs I get are so in sync with unschooling :)

Check this out:

Little Gurus
Learning To Follow

As grown-ups, we often approach children with ideas about what we can teach them about this life to which they have so recently arrived. It’s true that we have important information to convey, but children are here to teach us just as much as we are here to teach them. They are so new to the world and far less burdened with preconceived notions about the people, situations, and objects they encounter. They do not avoid people on the basis of appearance, nor do they regard shoes as having only one function. They can be fascinated for half an hour with a pot and a lid, and they are utterly unself-conscious in their emotional expressions. They live their lives fully immersed in the present moment, seeing everything with the open-mindedness born of unknowing. This enables them to inhabit a state of spontaneity, curiosity, and pure excitement about the world that we, as adults, have a hard time accessing. Yet almost every spiritual path calls us to rediscover this way of seeing. ! In this sense, children are truly our gurus.

When we approach children with the awareness that they are our teachers, we automatically become more present ourselves. We have to be more present when we follow, looking and listening, responding to their lead. We don’t lapse so easily into the role of the director of activities, surrendering instead to having no agenda at all. As we allow our children to determine the flow of play, they pull us deeper into the mystery of the present moment. In this magical place, we become innocent again, not knowing what will happen next and remembering how to let go and flow.

Since we must also embody the role of loving guide to our children, they teach us how to transition gracefully from following to leading and back again. In doing so, we learn to dance with our children in the present moment, shifting and adjusting as we direct the flow from pretending to be kittens wearing shoes on our heads to making sure everyone is fed and bathed.

I love the last paragraph "we learn to dance with our children in the present moment, shifting and adjusting as we direct the flow from pretending to be kittens wearing shoes on our heads to making sure everyone is fed and bathed".

That "dance", I love it put that way.

You can get your own daily OMs here

And while you're there, there's a page on joy that I thought was beautiful.


So, what have we been doing?

Our days have been filled with warm weather, our pool, caterpillars, friends, World of Warcraft again, and Harry Potter. (I'll post pics soon :D )

We are getting ready for friends from afar to visit, which we are very excited for--Roxy from NY is coming tomorrow and then we have the Lovejoys coming this weekend. They are our friends from SC.

~fun, fun, fun~ :)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Happy Summer Solstice

A bit about Summer Solstice:

Ancient Celts : Druids, the priestly/professional/diplomatic corps in Celtic countries, celebrated Alban Heruin ("Light of the Shore"). It was midway between the spring Equinox (Alban Eiler; "Light of the Earth") and the fall Equinox (Alban Elfed; "Light of the Water"). "This midsummer festival celebrates the apex of Light, sometimes symbolized in the crowning of the Oak King, God of the waxing year. At his crowning, the Oak King falls to his darker aspect, the Holly King, God of the waning year..." 13 The days following Alban Heruin form the waning part of the year because the days become shorter. The winter solstice, observed on December 21, was the shortest day of the year. The name 'Arthuan' is interesting in relation to Arthurian legend, as King Arthur was believed to have been born on the Winter Solstice in Castle Tintagel in Cornwall. Alban Arthuan ("The Light of Arthur"), also was referred to as Yule, Mabon, Jul, Saturnalia, or Christmas. This feast took place on December 21 and marked the longest, darkest night of the year. Alban Arthuan was a festival of peace and a celebration of waxing solar light. Many honored the forthcoming Sun child by burning an oaken Yule log, and honored the Goddess in her many Mother aspects. The Father God was also honored in various forms: as Santa Claus, the Old Sky God, Father Time, and the Holly King.

The key, I think anyway

Man, I love Scott Noelle. The Daily Groove today: Joy is the key :) I"m convinced~

THE DAILY GROOVE ~ by Scott Noelle

:: Is Joy Knocking On Your Door? ::

She knocked on the huge palace door. The peephole
cover slid open, revealing the grim face of the
palace guard. "Who goes there?"

"I am Joy," she answered with a smile, "I'm here
visit the Queen."

The guard shut the peephole abruptly. A few
later, it slid open again and the guard said,
Queen is upset because her children are

You may not enter until conditions improve."

"But I bring good tidings, and if she would let
me in
the children would surely abandon their

"Sorry," the guard grumbled, "I must do Her
Majesty's bidding." Then he locked the door and


But Joy did not leave . . . She just kept

Today, if you feel upset for any reason, ask
yourself this: "Am I using these conditions as an
excuse to disallow my natural state of

Decide that when JOY knocks on *your* door,
you'll let it in... no matter what the

See also:

Kyra picked this picture as joy. She and Hayden were swimming
amongst the wild rice at Itasca State Park. She says they
were having so much fun, swimming and picking up stones with
their toes.

Yep, joy.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I'm sad because some green caterpillars found my delphiniums and decided that they were a nice meal. The little critters looked like this

Here are the flowers last year. You can see the other ones farther down, they're eaten also. :(

But I did find this and it cheered me up.

A quick and quirky ‘Top 20′ list of the most common rules broken in the English Language.

  1. Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
  2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
  3. And don’t start a sentence with a conjuction.
  4. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
  5. Avoid cliches like the plague.
  6. Also, always avoid annoying alliteration.
  7. Be more or less specific.
  8. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually) unnecessary.
  9. No sentence fragments.
  10. Contractions aren’t necessary and shouldn’t be used.
  11. One should never generalise.
  12. Don’t use no double negatives.
  13. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
  14. Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary.
  15. Never use big words when a diminutive one would suffice.
  16. Kill all exclamation marks!!!!
  17. Use all words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.
  18. Use the apostrophe in it’s proper place and omit it when its not needed.
  19. Puns are for children, not groan readers.
  20. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

Alec has been so frustrated with the English language lately-- the rules, the irregularities of it all. He's thinking he might like Japanese better.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Our Unschooling Fix

While out in the DC area we were thrilled to get an unschooling fix. We (except for Kyra, who opted to stay with her cousins) visited the Weis-Corbley bunch and had a wonderful time.

Beautiful day, wonderful conversation, fun times.

The Hollow

Go Cart Crazees

And they were gone

You can't tell they're related, can ya?

Great minds think alike eh? cool Blizzard shirts!

So happy together..

Our bunch that day, minus Geri and Jack

The moms

Miss you guys~

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Back in DC

Yeah, I'm starting at the end, to begin telling you all about our trip :P

I'll do more when I get home, but I had some time to recap our last day.

We had a great day today. Very calm, reflective and exciting. Can it be calm and exciting both? Yep. :)

Started out visiting the Vietnam Memorial. Here are some of the kids at the Remembering Women in Vietnam.

We then headed over to the Lincoln Memorial.

Yes, can you say..."JENNY!" "FORREST!"

The fam

Then over to the Korean Memorial. That's for you Dad!

The ducks were so much fun to watch. Sometimes more fun than the memorials, who can blame them!

Here's the WWII Memorial. The fountains were amazing.

Minnesotans by the Minnesota section.

Waiting to see the Planetarium show at the Air and Space Museum within the Smithsonian. Look behind their heads--it's the Spirit of St. Louis. Minnesota native, Charles Lindberg's plane.

So that was our morning. :)

After the planetarium show we split up. Kyra, her cousins and Grandma and Grandpa went to the zoo. The rest of us (Tim, me, Alec and Abbi) decided to hang closer to the Smithsonian. Tim and Alec were anxious to spend more time at the Air and Space Museum. Abbi and I decided to head over to the National Gallery of Art. (OK, here's the exciting part, hee hee) We found works by these artists!!
Renoir, Manet, Monet, the only work by Da Vinci that is in the Americas, Boticelli, Rubens, Van Gogh, Degas, Rembrandt and I'm sure more. I was almost hyperventilating when I saw the Rembrandt work, and the Monet piece. I'm still trying to take calming breaths ;)

I didn't have my camera with me in the museum but here's Abbi in front of the museum.

And finally after that we met back up with Alec and Tim and walked through some of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Again I was thoroughly excited *g*, we saw a Rodin sculpture and a Picasso! Here's Alec by the Picasso, too cool.

More of the sculpture garden.

Can you see my excitement??

Relaxing on some sculptures :) inside the Hirshhorn.

While Abbi and I were drooling over the art pieces, Tim and Alec were reading about planets and learning about physics from Einstein, (ok, a claymation Einstein). Einstein was telling them about how some TV shows and movies aren't quite accurate ;) Now, here's a connection, Abbi and Alec just found a show on the History channel about the physics within the Star Wars movies.

What a day ~

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

OK, yeah, we're still here and I had to link this article

The robot is appropriately named Kansei, which means sensibility in Japanese.

Check this out:

TOKYO, June 5 (Reuters) - Kansei frowns when he hears the word "bomb," smiles at "sushi" and looks scared and disgusted when someone says "president" -- and he isn't even human.

Yeah, I like this robot, hehe..

Monday, June 04, 2007

Heading out in a couple days

We'll be leaving in a couple of days to take a trip with Tim's parents, his bro and his bro's 2 boys. Where are we going? Well,

I hope it looks like this when we're there...

And I know I won't be able to help myself , but I'll be thinking of Forrest Gump when I look at this. :)

And I better not get very close to this place, I don't know what I'd do if I saw a certain President...grrrrrr. Probably not a whole lot but be really sad.

Of course this picture got a lot bigger.... (my least fav)

And we're also going to Colonial Williamsburg.

Lovin this pic...

Not lovin this one...

I'm not big on guns.

So I'm off to organize, pack and check off the to do list. See you all in a couple of weeks. :)