Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Remember this little guy?

I thought he was a little grasshopper.
But I was wrong.
When my dad was here he was saying, "I don't think that's a grasshopper, I think it's a....hmmm.. I don't remember what they are though."

Well guess what's around now? not the cute little hopper...

it's a katydid! They get their name from the sound they make. I'll have to go outside and listen really close.

I think he was a lot cuter when he was a nymph. OK, and I like the name too...nymph, hehe..

CBS airs World Series of Video Games

Dang, I missed this. But I see there might be another one in November too.

check it out http://www.thewsvg.com/news/112
Could she look any happier?

You wouldn't think that just a few hours earlier a neighbor dad had her in tears. She went over to our neighbor's to invite his daughter and another neighbor to play. She knew they were over there. He says right to her, "oh, no, she can't play. She had a huge bunch of girls over last night for a sleep over".

ugh....wouldn't you be a little more sensitive to a little girl's feelings? Especially since his little girl gets calls from Kyra all the time to play?

We have our for sale sign in the garage. We pretty much just have to clean a bit and then we're out of here. Don't know where we're going...Tenn
essee, Oregon, Massechusettes? And Kyra hopes for Fargo/Moorhead again....

We might just pick up either a converted bus or camper and go on the road for a bit. Check out all the places for a few months and then decide. Alec has yet to be convinced on that one though. Although if we can stop somewhere with internet connection every so often he might even go along with this option.

I'll miss our backyard ..doesn't it look like a fairy's path back there? look past the downed tree

And this is the path to the tree house in the woods

Friday, July 27, 2007

I have a new count down on my sidebar..... lookie here----------->

Morning happenings

Our last caterpillar came out of its chrysalis this morning. We had 5 in all. It had a bit of a problem, falling to the bottom of the insect keeper. But it's now out on a cone flower plant airing its wings.

Here's the butterfly's view.

Kyra was very excited yesterday. We finally went out and got a sewing machine. I had one years ago but I was never very good with it so I sold it at a rummage sale! I had so much foresight didn't I? Not. That was before we were unschooling. I didn't even think about the fact that maybe my kids would like it.....doh.

I don't really have any material to sew with right now but she's been using old clothes of hers that she's outgrown. She's pretty resourceful!
Here she is this morning, working on embellishing and recreating a new shirt from an old one of mine.

And the end result. She even added buttons up the front.

Can you feel the...

Alec is also a happy camper. His friend Jakob from Minneapolis is here to visit for a few days. We've known Jakob since he was born. Tim has known Jakob's dad since they were both little tikes :)

I heard them late last night beating a game. They sounded pretty happy with themselves :) It is now 12:30 and they are still sleeping, I think they worked pretty hard ;)

Pretty cute, right on the floor. Even though there's a queen bed just a few yards away and another up in Alec's room.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

our summer

Adventures with Hopper

I've never realized how much I like to take pictures!

I love these little green grasshoppers that have appeared in amongst my flowers.

Here's one guy's activity while I watched him this afternoon. I know the flowers aren't that great to look at, they were previously munched on by some caterpillars. But I love this little guy.

Come on you can do it!!

You da man!

And I do have some untouched by the caterpillars :) These day lilies are my favorite right now.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Ode to an Abbi

How can I miss her already?

I hope she has an amazing time.

Waiting to register

Her French name for the next 2 weeks, Gisele.
Smile for your mug shot

Painting her name badge

Home for the next 2 weeks

"Paris" is directly behind Kyra.
This is where the villagers eat and do
a lot of group activities.

1 day down and 11 to go...

Good Begets Good

Why is it so hard for people to see that when applied to children? We must mold, we must sculpt, me must coerce. So not true. I know for me growing up, if I was being forced to do something I didn't want to do, I would do the opposite. Or at least want to do the opposite. Scott Noelle this morning:

THE DAILY GROOVE ~ by Scott Noelle

:: Goodness Is Inspired, Not Required ::

Situation 1:

You ask your friend what she wants for a birthday
gift, and she says, "I would treasure *any* gift
from you!"

Wouldn't you feel inspired to give her something
very special?

Situation 2:
Another friend says, "I hope you're getting me
something *good* for my birthday... I just *hate*
tacky gifts!"

Wouldn't you feel like giving this friend a pile
of fake dog poop?! :-)

The point is that you feel most inspired to
others when you don't feel pressured or coerced
when you don't "have to."

Children are no different. They love to please
especially their parents, so long as their
to share pleasure isn't confounded by implied

of punishment, reward, or withdrawal of approval.

Today, let go of all "required goodness" by
that your child is inherently good, and is *free*
express that goodness... and free *not* to
express it.

Remember that the best way to foster children's

authentic goodness is to let them see how much
enjoy expressing your own goodness.



Abbi leaves for French camp today. 12 days of not talking to her! What am I gonna do? She's kind of questioning why she choose 2 weeks. Yet, I remember her saying she wanted to learn as much as she could while she's there. We talked about it yesterday as she was packing. She's a bit nervous. I told her I remembered being at camp (not this one but a different type)and that most of the time I was pretty busy and didn't have much time to be homesick. Don't know if that helped or not...seemed to though. She's brave, she doesn't know anyone there, yet she still wants to go.
Here she is at Bemidji state park. That's pretty much the setting she'll be in at camp the next couple weeks, it's right down the road from us.

Both are ;) park and camp.

Have a great time Abbidoo!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Hold on, Deathly Hallows is here

Yep, we got our book. (not the above one but I like the cover shot on this one) And CD, since it was $20 cheaper than we thought it would be. Since Tim drives so much, he'll now get to listen to it :)

We didn't stay up last night. Only Alec is on a night time schedule right now and he was busy so we waited til morning.

Abbi gets to read it first since she's heading out to French camp on Monday. Then I'm not sure who will read it. I suppose I will get to while Alec is asleep and then if he wants to read when he gets up, we'll pass it off.

I'm excited :) And I might go reread Half Blood Prince. I cruise through them so quickly that I often will miss details. Time to go savor the experience.

Good reading everyone~

Monday, July 16, 2007

Learning at night

So what does one do when one gets up in the middle of the night?

Well, in our house, you could end up quizzing your 14 year old son on his first Japanese lesson. :)

I couldn't sleep so I thought I'd go downstairs and see what Alec was up to. He was farming on WOW (World of Warcraft). Farming on WOW means-- doing, finding, or killing something over and over to make money. His dwarf character does engineering and mining, so he was mining and doing some engineering. I sat with him for a bit and we talked and he mentioned that he had finished his first lesson to learn Japanese.

I had bought a "how to learn Japanese" CD/book set a couple of years ago for Abbi. She had wanted to learn Japanese. She didn't get real far, listened to the first CD and then decided to do something else. She might want to do it some other time, is what she's said, but not now, it's on to French for her.

But now Alec wants to learn. He's decided that it would be really convenient for him to know Japanese in order to play games right when they come out. You see, many video games that he likes come out in Japan first, so... there ya go.

A couple of days ago he said he decided to learn Japanese and I'm like.. "well, cool". I helped him find all the books and he sat down with the CD player and headphones and started listening. An hour or so later I didn't see him in the living room. I wondered where he was? Turns out he's up in his room studying the text and listening to the CD some more.

Now tonight he asked if I would go over the first section of vocabulary with him. Wow. He really is remembering it. I had to laugh though, (at me) I wanted to highlight some words in his text for him and he was vehemently against it. He doesn't want to write in his book. I explained to him that it really helped me, when I was studying the material later. Especially if something wasn't right in the list area, if it was kind- of hidden. I could just glance at the page then and find the info. I told him about how my Shakespeare book (from college) actually had notes in it from the previous owner that really helped me to understand some stuff. But nope, no jotting down notes in the side margins for him or highlighting points. He files it away in that brain of his and it's there.

He's also mentioned that he'd like to go to Japanese language camp, but I'm not sure that can happen this summer. I think there is one in August but I'm not sure if we could sign him up this late. We'll see....

sayonara for now :)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

They switched hair color!! :)

Saylor wanted dark and Kyra wanted light

You think Kyra was excited about it? hee hee

And pretty darn cute, man, my kids are so brave :)

I think this would be the "Blonde Ambition" troop

Friday, July 13, 2007


made his reappearance this morning. He's the first of 5 monarchs that we are raising.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


We went to the Headwaters Science Center yesterday.



Gotta pet the tortoise

And play the pipes

And while we were at the Science Center, Abbi was at Bemidji State University participating in a Tech day.

She was in the newspaper this morning :)
She really liked the part where they learned about Photoshop and 3D Studio Max. Pixar and other movie studios use that program to make their movies and she was excited to try the green screen tricks. Just like Gollum! :) She got to make a poster of herself using that technique.

Here she is, purple hair and all!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Stepping in to the Box?

OK, so would something telling me to think outside the box mean for me to step back in to the box? *g*

My horoscope:

Unconventional Individuality
Scorpio Daily Horoscope

You might be entertaining ideas that go beyond conventional norms which may compel you to allow your view of the world to expand and evolve today. Seeing things in a different light may be a way for you to express your individuality – allowing yourself to say and think things that could even deviate from what others traditionally think. This yearning to break free from the ordinary can provide you with a wonderful opportunity to say what is truly on your mind. Should you, for example, find yourself thinking something that is out of the ordinary, you may want to release any misgivings you have and express what is truly in your heart and on your mind. Being able to think outside of the box could provide you with the perfect opportunity to view the world in a completely different way today.

Viewing life on our own terms often means going against prevailing ideas and instead embracing our own uniqueness. While it may be uncomfortable to speak our minds when we know that our thoughts might conflict with the more accepted notions of what is true, if we truly are able to welcome our innovative thoughts and ideas we are stepping onto a path of personal transformation, for evolution only really comes when we are able to delight in the joy that comes from being who we truly are. By letting yourself express your individuality though your progressive thoughts, you will infuse your life with innovative and exceptional ways of looking at things today.



Our life is soo out of the box that I can't imagine thinking further out?
Yet maybe the whole moving thing.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The 4th

We went down to the lake to watch the fireworks last night. I was reminded why I was excited to see our friends.

Just beautiful.