Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Europe crazed

We're hoping to go to Europe soon. OK, so when ever we get our passports and it's 2008, cuz Tim can take more vacation, we're out of here.

Here's just another reason why we want to hit Paris... The Shins in Paris Thanks to Craig for enlightening me to the Shins... I like them :) Oh, and I've also come across an unschooling family who is in Europe right now...too cool

Last night I was woken up by Tim and Abbi..."come here, come here! Gotta show you an e-mail!" Tim had gotten an e-mail detailing the Holiday Inn type hotels that takes points, all across Europe. Hotels that take our points = free rooms for us :) Most of these roooms are near airports, so not that great for sightseeing, but they can still sure help the travel budget. Get to the location, stay in hotel near airport, then move closer to city for sightseeing adventures.

I love the diversity of the area. Pretty blue skies, and water...and grey misty moisture covered it all!

Back to preparing for the trip at large :) (OK, and that view ain't so bad either ;)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Unadulterated Fun

Another Scott Noelle:

THE DAILY GROOVE ~ by Scott Noelle

:: Unadulterated Fun ::

When parents take their jobs too seriously, they
cease to appreciate their children's childlike
innocence. They start to care more about being
than having fun. They think they're being

but really they're being "adulterated." :-)

"Childlike" is not the same as "childish," which
is when a child behaves like a caricature of an
adulterated adult. Childlike adults seek
unadulterated fun: responsible but light-hearted
and playful.

Today, let your child's commitment to fun inspire
you to relax and be more childlike. And when

tempted to take parenting too seriously -- to
"adulterate" -- just tell yourself, "Thou shalt

commit adultery." :-)

I think this is so true. I think that if we can be unadulterated in our lives, living a free unschooled life can come so easily. Let the fears and worries go. Trust your child and the child inside you :)

I was thinking about this yesterday as I was playing Guitar Hero with Kyra. I'm really not very good but it sure was fun. The joy she gets from playing, so cool.

We're amidst packing and getting ready for our trip down to NC. We'll be going to our 5th Live and Learn Conference. 5th!! I can't believe it.

Some images from past years' conferences

I think I see some unadulterated fun!

Some of my fun lately :P

Go have some Unadulterated fun!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I can't believe you are going to move 24 hours away from us. I'm glad we get a L & L first before you leave.

We will miss you so.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Obsessive Learning

In the last 2 weeks we've learned about England's 1800's, which covered topics such as industry, worker's welfare, union development, class separation and human behavior amidst poverty and death. We then went on to the French Impressionists. Learning about the changing climate in the 1800's French art world, the coming of age of their work, seeing the individuals working and developing their art has all been so fascinating. The artists we learned about are: Monet, Manet, Revoir, Degas, and Cezanne.

Our vehicle to this path of learning?

It started with this~

Continued to an obsession with him ;)

which you can also read about here

Which led us to this:

And this:

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Lego Passion

Check it out, follow those passions!

We are a lego lovin family. One closet is called the "lego closet".

Here is Nathan Sawaya's website.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

What are we cookin' ? Can ya guess?

Remember Abbi was at French camp

And I think we'll try it on rice

And he's not in it ;)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Beautiful Quote

Some one from Unschooling Discussion brought this
to the list today. Wow...1936.

"There is, of course, this matter of being afraid
to give freedom to
young children. I believe they have that within
themselves which makes
it possible for them to meet the world and life,
and interpret it more
nearly aright than can we. They carry with them
that inheritance of
faith and imagination undimmed; and that
tremendous surging desire to
know, to see, to feel and to do, which is rarely
betrayed. In our
desire as adults to lay hold of a child's life,
to grip it, mold it to
our own values, we do unwittingly a great harm.
We confront children
with our own fears, our own lack of faith; to
safeguard them we
attempt to thrust between them and life those
many false illusions
which we have picked up in our own twisting,
turning way. Children
take a far more advantageous highroad. A free
child is a happy child;
and there is nothing more lovely . . ."

-- Ruth Sawyer, in her acceptance speech upon
winning the Newbery
Award for Roller Skates, 1936

Monday, August 13, 2007

Kyra gets it

Kyra found this quote this morning to put on her myspace.

"Sometimes we need to stop analyzing the past
~stop planning the future~stop trying to figure out precisely
how we feel~ stop deciding with our mind what we want our
heart to feel~Sometimes we just have to go with.....
Whatever happens - happens"

Just Perfect

Perfect night for a fire.

Perfect weather, about 60 degrees and no mosquitos! Just like Alec likes it :)

Perfect storytelling time

Perfect roasted marshmellow. We roast marshmellows at our house ;)

Perfect night to play with my camera and no flash

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Holy Caterpillars Batman!

Found this Cecropia caterpillar in our front garden. It's huge! And gonna get bigger, will be around 4 inches long when it's full grown in this stage.

We thought we'd feed it and watch it turn into the cocoon and come out a moth.

This is what moth it would grow into:

It will have between a 4 and 5 inch wing span. Wow!

Read more and found out it stays in its cocoon alllllll winter...dang,

it's back in the woods.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

What you'll hear in our house right now. Either from the computer or from the's here..

I can't get it out of my head so thought I'd put it in your head too! Check out the second to the last line of the song. "enlargen your world" I like that. (although the world "enlargen" isn't grammatically correct, I had to look it up ;) I still like it :P

We love music

yeah, we do. It's usually going on one way or another in our house. Right now I have Patty Griffin's latest cd playing in the kitchen and I hear Abbi working on the piano in the living room.

Abbi's decided to give the note reading thing a try again. We had tried out a piano teacher this last year but it wasn't a good fit for us. So learning to read music came to an end for a bit. She really wasn't very excited about the books that we had gotten from the piano teacher. They were really boring to her. She plays by ear a lot. She can pick out a tune like nobody's business, but you can just see how she wants to do more.

This week Alec found the song Mad World. Someone had made a video with scenes from Serial Experiments: Lain (one of his fav anime shows right now) and Mad World is the background music. (OK, and now I see lots of people have made videos using that anime and that song ;) He asked me if I had ever heard of Gary Jules, I'm like... hehe, yeah. We found him from watching Donnie Darko. I thought Alec had heard us playing it after the movie but he hadn't. He loves the song. We sat and looked at the Gary Jules video too. I keep thinking I've heard Carly Simon sing it.. am I going crazy? I can't find that version anywhere...anyone else ever heard it sung by her?

I started thinking, hmmm.. I wonder if I can get the sheet music for it. I found a web site that you can download music from it and its about $5.00 for Mad World. Well, heck, had to try it out. So I printed it out and started playing it on the piano. Alec and Abbi were downstairs at the time and they both come running up with big grins on their faces. So I've been playing it and Abbi has been playing it and learning to read music from it. She gets a bit frustrated, and I'm like, "Yeah, it has 3 flats girl!" :) She has no time for boring beginner music, she's gonna learn how to play the piano her own way and it will be to Mad World or Final Fantasy X :) (I also found that music, free on the computer. Such a pretty song.) Here's a longer version that isn't what I got ;)

Good job Alec, you've inspired us yet again.

Monday, August 06, 2007

It's Abbi time

Kyra is in Moorhead at her cousins, Alec is sleeping so it's..... Abbi time.

And you all know how glad we are that Abbi is back.

Not only do I love sitting with her, drinking coffee with her and talking and playing and doing stuff with her---she also makes us yummy things to eat! This morning she made us chocolate chunk cookies :) They were going to be chocolate chip ones but I didn't have any chips. Dang, we thought. But, wait! I did have this big chunk of Ghirardelli chocolate that Karen was so sweet to gift to us. So thank you Karen! We will be enjoying that chocolate in Abbi made cookies :D

Baking cookies, reading blogs, playing a bit on WoW, looking through the unschooling lists, spending time with my Abbi...pretty darn good livin. :)

Oh my GOSH, they are soo good....mmmmm good.

Abbi says, "those cookies were a spawned product from heaven". Hehe...

Gotta run, now Alec is up and we're gonna watch a new anime series that he found.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

I'm giddy, we're all very happy, she's HOME! And she loved it and she missed us and she just wants to keep talking and she's exhausted and she's..... now sleeping. :)

Here's some photos, of course! And I'll work on getting a video downloaded too.

Here she is with 2 of her monos (counselors)

Below she is with Antony. She loved graffiti, or mural drawing time. They picked her painting/drawing to make poster size and put it up in Paris (the big building where everyone gathers). She was very proud of her creation. Isn't it cool?

All dressed up for the show. They put on some skits to show us what their days were like. She even had some very nice red boots to go with the ensemble. (Amy would have been impressed! ;)

And Alec and Kyra were so happy to see her. Can ya tell?

The counselors told me they loved having her there. They said, "she has to come back next year!" Several told me that they loved her enthusiasm to learn and her level headedness and maturity level. OK, I'm bragging, but so what, a mom's gotta do that right? We're so glad she's home. And so glad she had a great time. We were laying on my bed together and she said she hated to be away from us and home but she also loved being at camp. She wishes it was easier but is glad she loves home and has the home she has. It is mighty painful sometimes, homesickness. Yet, she knows she can come home and she also knows if it isn't worth going away we'll make the language learning happen one way or another. It's all up to her.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

My heart goes out to the people in Minneapolis right now. We've had an awful event occur in our state. A bridge collapsed that goes over the Mississippi River , at rush hour. :( All our family and friends that live down there are OK. We do have a very good friend who is a fire fighter down there. He was working it last night, I'm sure he'll be affected deeply. Scary stuff. Right now we're all thinking about the 20-30 people who are missing...

I'll get my fill of news coverage before Kyra gets up. She gets overwhelmed with all the images of this type of tragedy. As do most of us.

Peace and comfort to all those people who were affected, either in the crash or helping to recover.