Category: Educational play

I CU

Intensive Care for the Christian Unschooler– this will be a weekly meme (you post the questions to your blog each Wednesday that you are able, using one of the buttons to link back here, and hop over here and add your site to the linky at the bottom.)

“This week we want to…” do a whole list of things, literally. The kids made a list at roughly midnight Sunday night. It is long and includes a slew of foods they want to make (on the GAPS diet, learning lots of new recipes so much of learning is focused on that.) For instance today we kicked crossed 2 things from the list– making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (made almond/banana bread) and had ice cream for breakfast (homemade raw milk with honey). Also made the kids lunch meat and hot dogs– two other things on the list. To aid them in this endeavor I made a list of links on delicious specifically for them, so we can quickly look up all the recipes I am finding.

“The kids are…” playing a lot of Roblox and thus learning about bullying and other behaviors.

“I am learning….” to make kombucha! Made my first batch from a scoby I made from bought kombucha. Very exciting. Just bottled my first batch!

“I am struggling with…” too much social interaction. Need to walk away from the computer more often now that so much is going on on the Christian Unschooling group. I get super moody and wiped out if I over interact– it literally drains me. Also need to find some way NOT to be leaving the house EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Too much is enough. I am working on saying yes more often to the kids (not yes you can do something evil but yes lets find a creative way that you can do what you want if not now in the future.) It is adding to the peaceful-ness of the household, and the kids are helping get creative with solutions– great for problem solving skills.
A great example is that the kids love Larabars. They want to eat them all but at $1.25 per bar even for the bulk ones I got so we would have them on hand when we left the house, well, I just can’t let them. These have to last us a long time. So we talked about solutions. I told them that they can eat as many as they want as long as they paid me for them so I could replace them (they have money– gifts and money they earn). Then I said that I would MAKE my own version so they had something similar when they wanted, which they could eat the rest of the time. They loved the idea and all are happy now. (I make them anyway, and they like them, but those packaged ones have wrappers and that makes them appealing.) Here is a link to all sorts of homemade larabar recipes, in case you want to make your own too.

“This week is the first time….” I made my own kombucha and made my own salami-like lunch meat. I have made roast beef lunch meat before but Rach really wanted lunch meat and I couldn’t afford a grassfed roast but I did have plenty of hamburger. This is also the first time Shamus and I have worked together to fix something. I ADORE fixing broken things and problem solving and usually get together with my brother and have tons of fun seeing what will fix random broken things around the house. Shamus….not so much. He just gets angry. This time we had fun tearing apart the mower and applying all sorts of internet and book knowledge and it was the advice of one of his readers that did it! YAH!



 

I CU

I CUWe have a new weekly meme up at the Christian Unschooling site called I CU.  The following are the statements/questions for everyone to fill in (or if you are feeling really inspired share a photo for each:)):


This week we want to…
honestly I don’t know.  My brain is so tired from trying to get the CU site in order, update the theme, get the groups on Facebook organized (and combined) and just keeping up with everything plus the GAPS diet (which is going fine but which I really need to come up with some meals for) and all the other stuff, well, the kids have been really doing their own thing because I have been busy.  Right now most of the stuff that is happening is external.  My grandmother just moved to an assisted living place not far from us which means I am spending a lot of time running errands for her and visiting (we have always gone once a week because she lived half an hour away now she is only 10 minutes away.)  That combined with the new Facebook groups, several sites I am working on for clients, the CU site, and taking care of the house and food stuff (all learning curves) and I am brain dead.  (Shamus is writing his book again, which is AWESOME but it means I have less help as he needs to focus when writing.

The kids are working on different projects.  Rachel and Esther are working on essays for a contest over at Gaming Angels to win a scholarship to National Computer Camp— both of them desperately want to win.  Rachel has spent the last couple days working on it and we are all pretty excited to see how far she has come with her writing– she actually had 900 words and needs to get it down to 500-600.  Oooo, and Issac has found a series of books he LOVES and is willing to help me read (he reads the first page of the chapter, I read the rest).  It is really adorable (though there have been a few things that I skip– like using God as a swear word.  Sigh.)  But the really awesome thing is not only is he asking me to read aloud to him nightly but he is finally asking for “just one more chapter” which my little engineer never does.  So that is pretty exciting.

I am learning Hebrew, how out of website ideas I am (working on the CU site and my brain is dead), a new technique for sketching out my paintings.  I am also learning how to get regular meals going for the GAPS diet because I keep forgetting due to all the other work I am doing.

I am struggling with change, people, and fears.  In general I like change but sometimes it makes me uncomfortable:

For instance, right now we are dealing with the very real possibility of losing our house but we don’t know and maybe God will step in and provide yet again (as He has throughout this whole time we have been living off what He provides– and He HAS provided, everything but the mortgage.)  And it is really the potential change combined with fear and not knowing that is getting to me.  So, I need to be leaning on Him here instead of trying to solve the problem on my own (which almost never works.)

Sometimes change makes me disappointed:

Like today when I realized my husband was, after a frustrating day of not getting work on his book done due to interruptions, up all night writing which means a new change of rhythm for the household.  Every month or so we have to adjust to a new rhythm and we had just gotten comfortable in this one and had hoped it would last. So I am sad knowing the kids are disappointed (less time with Daddy when he is working all night and sleeping all day) and that their sleep is going to shift so they can get more time with him, not to mention it will ruin potentially plans already made, especially if it shifts anymore (unlike most he finds it impossible to stay up for something and be coherent unless his body is doing the shifting– so more fear as I realize he might miss Rachel’s piano recital after all– which will devastate her.  SO, changing subject before I think of more fears…..

People.  I am currently angry at several people (and not liking them very much) because I feel they have been unreasonable, which makes me want to avoid them.  I am praying about this because first, these people do tend to suck the life out of me and even when we are on good terms I come away drained.  

This week is the first time…. Rachel has written something long and been willing to really go back and edit multiple times so she can get it right.  I am so proud of her.  Keeping in mind that she is severely dyslexic and this is the first time she has willingly submitted to editing and has done multiple drafts.  In fact she was up early , all excited because she wanted her daddy to help her edit.

So, having written all this I realize just how overwhelmed I am and I hadn’t even realized it.  And no wonder, really.  On the other hand, I need to hand all the worries over to God (really) and STOP IT.  Just STOP IT.

Now, its your turn. And when you do I CU on your blog, link up so we can all be in it together.


Unschooling Life: A trip to the museum

On Sunday we celebrated Purim though not in the traditional way. There are no Messianic Jewish groups nearby and we don’t actually know anyone local who is Messianic in their thinking. So, when I heard about the free day at the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum and remembered how the kids had been begging to go, I thought it was the perfect way to celebrate God’s quiet intervention in our lives. It worked out beautifully because I actually had gas in the van, we had visited my grandmother the previous evening (we usually visit on Sundays), and everything just fell into place.

We do have a membership for the Science Center and Art and Natural History Museum but it doesn’t include the Children’s Museum (despite including all the other big museums in Pittsburgh.) This is really funny because this museum is tiny and more expensive to join than any of the others– it only gives about 3 hours of entertainment versus the others where we can spend the whole day. It is, however, included if you come into Pittsburgh and have a science center membership so make sure to hit it if you do.

I was surprised at the lack of crowd (though it was a beautiful day and the zoo had a free for under 13 day as well– I suspect the zoo was a lot more crowded.) I found it interesting that the vast majority of children there were under 6. There were a few older kids but they mostly hung back and were there with littles. It was also interesting to watch the little s immediately become interested in whatever my bigger kids were doing and that my kids immediately began exploring everything, applying the knowledge they accumulated from my dad, general discussion, books (they love the Dangerous Book for Boys as well as pretty much any experiment book), and tv (mostly Myth Busters, Dirty Jobs, and Rough Science).
Heading to the entrance

I love this shot of the kids. Esther has been waiting a whole year to go back and has been excitedly asking when the next free day was so she ran ahead. Meanwhile Rach (wearing a Hello Kitty Barbarian hoodie) decided to hang back and spend some time with her little brother.

Falling Letters
And this is what Essie had been waiting for, above all the other things there. She spent a good half hour catching letters, which made for some very fun photos (yes, that is me with the camera).

Magnets
Rachel and Issac exploring magnets in the Creativity Lab.

Magnetic sculpture

Rachel’s magnet sculpture ended up being posted at the museum’s Creativity Lab Blog here. (It is the second photo down.)

Electromagnets
Issac, who adores his Snap Circuit sets and spends quite a bit of time playing with electricity loved attempting to make this electro magnet work.
Wind

While Issac and Rachel explored magnets in the garage Esther played with sound and wind.

slide
After half an hour or so exploring magnets Issac and Rach climbed the net, tossed some parachutes and then played on the giant slide a bit.

building
The building area was what Rachel had waited a whole year to use. She loves to invent and build and couldn’t wait to start on the house sshe had designed in her head based on her experience last year. When she started this area was empty.
building
Within minutes she had help.
building
Lots of help.
wind
When they were finally tired of that room we went next door to experiment with wind.
ant hill
We then had to head to the next favorite– the human ant hill, where Rachel was immediately overrun with littles again.
Issac found fish
In Mister Roger’s Neighborhood we found the fish tank.
Trolley
The trolley
castle
And the Neighborhood of Makebelieve.
play
Tree
castlenoisy stairs
We then headed up the very noisy stairs (they sigh, and ow, and make other noises as you walk up them.)
Young Children Only
In the nursery area (where we had to explore because there were BABIES!) we found this little teeter totter with the massage “Young Children Only” to which Rach replied, “That means we can use it forever,” and then insisted on a photo with it.

water
We headed upstairs to the water area, where the kids quickly went from this to this:
getting soaked and making friends
Where they made friends with the only other older kids willing to play and got thoroughly soaked.
getting soaked and making friends
The making friends was the best part– I loved watching them quickly find like minded kids to play with without being shy (unlike myself and their dad at their ages.)
drying off
Sure it meant plenty of this and this:
drying off
But it also meant they had someone to hang out with the rest of our visit which made my extroverted oldest very, very happy.
clock pendullum
For those who went to the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum as a child, the pendulum clock is still there and Issac quickly found it and had to explore it.
clock

paper making

Meanwhile his sisters were having fun in the art room with their new friend, making paper

painting
painting, and print making.
attic
Issac wanted nothing to do with the art room (which he feels he can do readily enough at home while he really wanted to go to the Attic or “the sideways room” as he calls it.
build
And Rach went back to build in the Garage with her friend.
Esther, on the other hand, went into full performance mode which meant I got tons of incredible photos of her playing with the slow motion camera.
Many Esthers
light
Where she and her new friend spent a lot of time twisting, twirling
light
and doing the robot dance.
sound
In the attic are all sorts of cool illusions, from optical to sound, to shadow, and gravity. Here the kids play with sound.

slide

Mr. Roger's front porch
Finally they posed for some photos on Mr. Roger’s front porch swing.
swing
Then on the actual front porch swing (which is HUGE).
silly
silly
gategate
Then because it was a beautiful day they posed for some more rather silly photos on the way to the car.

 

 

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Click here to see the rest of the photos.

Rachel and Piano

Rach trying on hats at Walmart.

Rachel loves playing piano and has always been interested in learning. (We have photos of her at 4 months banging on a keyboard.)

This last year through a total God thing (Essie made friends with a piano teacher’s daughter who also had a son just a little younger than Issac) Rachel started taking lessons. Chris, the piano teacher, charges less than the other teachers in the area and is lovely and laid back– which makes her a perfect match for Rachel. The downside was that due to our current financial position (living on what God provides instead of a regular paycheck) we still couldn’t afford the lessons.

So she had to stop but that hasn’t stopped her from practicing what her teacher had taught her, getting a full size keyboard with pedal (another gift from God) so she can play right and going each Friday to practice on a real piano at my mother-in-law’s church. Plus, occasionally her teacher would ask her to come babysit during lessons and give her a lesson as well.

Rachel laughing while dressed up for Halloween.

Well, this week her teacher asked her to come babysit regularly so she could have regular lessons, offered to pick her up each week, AND someone donated the next level up of books so she can move on to the next set.

Rachel was tickled pink!  God is so amazing!  We are so very blessed.

The Surprise Revealed

On Rachel’s birthday I got an email from a friend who said that they had sent money to my paypal account as a special birthday present for Rachel, being that 13 is such a special birthday. I thought, “Oh, how nice, she will have enough to finish saving for a replacement screen for her Eee PC.” Then I looked in my paypal account and realized that no, she now had enough to buy both the full size midi keyboard she wanted (the “big” thing she was saving for) and the foot pedal for the midi keyboard. After thanking our friends profusely, Shamus and I decided to surprise Rachel by ordering the keyboard instead of giving her the money.

As you can see, it was the right thing to do. The keyboard came this morning (which is funny itself because the pedal shipped first and isn’t here yet, and the keyboard itself shipped yesterday. She is in seventh heaven, even though we could only afford a full size that has to be plugged into a computer with the proper program running (full size keyboards with built in speakers and software are EXPENSIVE.) After we got everything working on a spare computer we moved it to the kitchen where her 66 key keyboard was. Now we have a full size midi keyboard plus computer in the kitchen and all three kids are thrilled (especially Rachel, who spent much of the day practicing.)  So thank you again to Jethro and Roberta– you made for a very happy girl!


Rachel sees the box. She knew a surprise was coming for her birthday but not what or when.
Rachel finds out what is inside the box.

Appreciate a Dragon Day 2011

It is Appreciate a Dragon Day!

Around here dragon appreciation is a daily thing. We love our dragons. Last year I posted pictures of the dragons around the house. This year the kids got excited and made dragons and I have several new dragon paintings to share.

Rachel started making a dragon with plastic forks and coffee filters but realized that idea wouldn’t work and started making a sculptural one with a marble track Issac has. That worked– it has a rotund body, a round head, a ribbon smile, and wings from the netting of Issac’s pirate ship. Only thing is she used tape to hold it all together and it fell apart before I could get a photo. So that was a sad dragon.

Issac was going to make a dragon but got distracted trying to build the Empire State Building with his railroad track pieces.

Esther attempted to make a standing dragon from Issac’s old dragon costume (which is very too small on him). She used wire clothes hangers and old blankets to fill it. After several attempts she gave up on the clothes hangers and stuck with a plain stuffed dragon.

Finally I did a few dragon paintings (mostly asleep, I should note:) I like sleeping dragons) over the last year that I thought I would share:


Let sleeping dragons lie.


Long Winter’s Nap

Dragon’s Day Off
Dragon’s Day Off

Now go forth and appreciate the dragons in your life. 🙂  (And if you did a post about it leave a copy of the link in the comments so we can come check it out.)

Where we are: November

So it has been a month and I have had nothing to say.  Too much going on, too much social stuff irl so not enough energy to share elsewhere.

Rachel, waiting and reading, at Esther's practice where she would later help paint the set.
Waiting for practice to start.
Ready to go in.

*Esther’s show went wonderfully.  She loved it.  She is not passionate about the stage but enjoys the social aspect of it.  When asked if she wants to do it again she says absolutely.  When I am asked whether I would do it again, I say I will consider it.  It was exhausting.  I did not enjoy dealing with the sort of grownup who wants to be involved in such things– the nastiness, backbiting, shoving, and shouting were all way too much for me (not me, I avoided it like the plague but it was a constant undertone in the whole thin despite it being a “Christian” organization though it didn’t phase Esther in the least.  So, we will see what the next show is and if it falls during a time when there is not much else going on.  Oh, and no photos from the show because we weren’t allowed to take ANY photos of the kids in costume on the campus at all– so we would buy the not so great cd of photos for $10.

*Esther turned 11.  She wanted a birthday party, which we had 2 days after Thanksgiving (her birthday was the day after the last day of Oliver! and I needed to recuperate after having to have her at the college EVERY, single, day for 3-6 hours for a week so we waited for the party.)  The party went well (family party overlapped with a friend party–we had family there and invited a few friends and their families), she is thrilled that she finally had a real party and everyone is happy.  And I forgot to take photos because the kids had my camera batteries in use in the Wiimotes.

*My muse left me completely and I have a few illustrations to finish for the project so I can call it done so I am very frustrated.  Instead my brain went completely left brained and I spent the last month suddenly finishing all the websites that have been waiting for me to work on them (other than my own).  So those are mostly done, which is good, and now I am at a place where I am almost ready to pick up my paint brush again.

Rachel as Susan from The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.

*Rachel is adoring piano.  We are praying that we will continue to have the money to pay for her lessons (we pay about half what the other classes in the area cost but are dwindling down to the dregs financially and unless we get the check owed us soon are going to be worrying about where the next meal comes from let alone piano lesson.)

She and Issac also spent about a week making stop animation Lego videos– or at least taking photos for them (I have to find a better movie maker that will let me throw all those photos in for them–haven’t found a simple one for Ubuntu that works with stills.  They took over 300 photos.  They made a house building movie, a roller coaster ride, a sword fight, and a few others.

Building a House
Building a House

Preparing to record.

The Sword Fight

*Issac wrote a post on his blog, finally (it only took him a year).  Actually he was nervous of actually typing it himself but he answered the questions and told me what to write.  http://www.elasah.com/Issac/ He has also been getting really into Esther’s new Scribblenauts game (as have all three in fact) which is awesome because in Scribblenauts you have to write in anything you want or need to solve the puzzle and you have to spell it correctly (the other day Rachel wrote Duke instead of duck, and got a duke, and wrote plan and plane instead of plain and got both of those– which of course did not help her solve that particular problem.)  He is going around with a huge list of words on a sheet of paper so he can spell them corerctly and reading, reading, reading.

He also has thoroughly enjoyed the huge piles of leaves this year.

Happy leaf pile
Adding leaves
Raking
Very tall leaf pile

*We finally managed to figure out all the stuff the mortgage company wanted  (lots of no you don’t need that, oh wait yes you do, oh you forgot to send us that thing that you sent us twice sort of business since April) and are now plugged into the next step in project maybe they won’t foreclose on our home after all.  We keep praying about this and trying to decide how best to manage it.  If God wants us out of this house then the bank will probably have to take it because it needs to much work done for us to sell it at what we would have to in an area where houses aren’t really selling.  If He wants us to keep it then He needs to help us make more money (down to just the Escapist’s random checks and my random bits of income which only pay for extras) or provide some other way.  Either way we are trusting him but it is a relief that something is happening, finally and knowing that if we DO have to move it won’t be until June-ish. That said the roof is leaking again. Praising the Lord that it does or we never would have been able to afford the house in the first place.

Some pumpkins.

*We are thoroughly enjoying having more time with Shamus now that he is down to working a normal work week (he worked 60-80 hours before).  We actually got to watch a movie together last night (How to Train Your Dragon–hilarious).  Esther has used her birthday money to get a WoW account to play with him (as he works on his new Let’s Play series– his best work yet.  He is working on a game, and a book, and another video series and much calmer and happier, or would be if the whole where will the money come from thing would get settled.  I think that if the Escapist paid regularly– either on the quarter instead of some unknown time after or maybe even monthly, he would be much calmer and able to just enjoy writing for a living.

Esther Cat picking a pumpikin

*A dear friend gave us a copy of Restoration: Returning the Torah of God to the Disciples of Jesus which has changed our view of The Bible in amazing ways.  It has really been eye opening.  I read it myself, sharing some choice passages with Shamus and now we are reading through as a family (having finished our yearly through the Bible reading as a family early.)  It is so exciting to discuss and share and see the Bible from this new point of view.  I do not yet feel like I am up for discussion about it but we are now celebrating Sabbath and the Biblical holy days and it is so much more “real” and true than all the made up celebration days that have felt empty.  Not only that but God is really blessing us through it– the kids even get excited when it is near Sabbath each week.  In fact just a few weeks ago Esther realized it was Friday and shouted with joy, “Mom, tomorrow is Sabbath! That is my FAVORITE holiday!  And we get to celebrate it EVERY week!”  Not only has it changed our viewpoint but it has made us eager to start the new year and dig into the Old Testament scriptures and find the things we have been missing.  It also made reading the New Testament (we read straight through this year) make so much more sense!

My crew (Issac is Batman, again) with Kayla (Snow Princess).

*Shamus and I got each other Walk It Out for Christmas thanks to Janel’s review of it.  We love Wii Fit and the kids and Shamus love Dance Dance Revolution but we needed something that would be  low impact for me and let us walk with lots of goals and variety (walking outside here doesn’t happen much except in the summer since we live in Western PA where the weather and roads are not designed for walking– unless you like being forced into the mud/snow by cars whizzing by at speeds well in excess of the speed limit on blind curves while trying to trudge up a hill.) So, Walk it out is good and fun and as Janel pointed out here you have to use will power to STOP working out.

On the road again: part 2

So it is October and I am only just now, finally, finishing this series, except that this isn’t the finish because I am just doing part of a post because I have to leave in a few minutes to take Esther to her 2 and half hour Oliver! practice (during which I will sit and paint– the project is progressing and Sunday afternoon practices have been a huge help since I get to sit there for 2 and half hours without kids hanging over me– “Whatcha doin’ Mom?  I’m hungry!  Can I …..”)

So, the second stage of our trip to Alexandria we  used our wonderful gift of the museum membership to go to the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore (which just happened to be on the way to another friend’s house.) On the way there, which entailed driving the bypass for DC, Rachel recorded my running commentary regarding the crazy drivers off DC. Mostly she just took pictures which are not nearly as funny as she thought they should be. And at this point all I remember was how silly it all was, and how silly the roads are down there with their constant attempts to remove you from the road you are trying to stay on and the GPS constantly jabbering on about staying left, stay right, take the right lane to turn left.
Me.
And this is me. No, I am not angry, just sweltering hot (100 degrees), and concentrating on the craziness around me.
Maryland Science Center
We mad eit with no trouble, except that the GPS thought the Sceince Center was a mile down the road on a bike path, which was nice. Oh, and there is no actual parking so you have to do road side (just so you know– Pittsburgh has cheap parking for the Ar tMuseum and Sceince Center– which I never appreciated until this where I had to pay $15 for 6 hour parking and had to run outside every 2 hours to pay (remember that I had to park AWAY from the Science Center entrance and it was 100 degrees outside? Yeah. Oh, and I was alone with 3 kids? Which meant at the very least dragging the youngest outside with me each time and being very nervous about leaving the older two with very strict instructions to STAY TOGETHER and call if they need me.)
Maryland Science Center
At least it was pretty.
Maryland Science Center
As usual we headed to the top first (beat the crowds going the other direction. In this case the upstairs was kind of dull though the Chesapeake Bay area and blue crab bit was cool if short.)
Maryland Science Center
The next floor was much, much cooler. We actually got to go into the chemistry lab and experiment (ours showed us how enzymes worked, which is awesome because we have to take food enzymes daily for most foods.)
Maryland Science Center
Really awesome.
Maryland Science Center
Then there was the physics section– which the kids adored. This particular contraption was after my marble loving boy’s heart.
Maryland Science CEnter
All three loved this experiment with pullys.
Maryland Science CEnter
Maryland Science CEnter
Maryland Science CEnter
Also awesome was this section– here the kids had to build an arch from these foam blocks as quickly as possible.
Maryland Science CEnter
Maryland Science CEnter
Building flying machines to put in the wind tunnel= awesome.
Maryland Science CEnter
Black lights right outside the bathroom.
Maryland Science CEnter
Obligatory “dress up as astronauts” photo for my brother, who has worked at NASA from the last 9 years and has wanted to be an astronaut since he was 4.
And about here my camera batteries died or something because I don’t have photos of the other areas– like the dinosaur dig– which Essie adored or the astronomy section. And none of the human body/cell area– which freaked out my two preteen girls to no end. (We have hit that” too much information about the human body being learned out of necessity and therefore want nothing to do with blood cells and all that” stage.)

The kids enjoyed this science center but there has been quite a bit of debate about which is their favorite so far– I think Carnegie Science Center still wins– the Maryland Science Center had some really impressive exhibits but felt too wide open and empty compared to all the awesome stuff at the Carnegie. Also, I think the exhibits at the Carnegie have more replay value than those at Maryland.

A few minutes after leaving the Science Center we were well on our way to another friend’s house but you will probably hear more about that sometime in November if current trends continue. And now I have to leave as it is work time for me and practice time for Essie.

On the road again: Part 1

This summer, due to all sorts of graduations and other activities that were planned for us, we didn’t get to go on our usual trip until the beginning of August.  Now let me just say that when you live in Western PA you forget just how HOT other parts of PA and below get.  And since we were planning on stopping by some other friends’ places and are back on the Candida diet (which by the way is making a huge difference in all of us–not a single RA flare-up for me this whole trip despite the temps and humidity and no one got sick!  YAH us!) we brought our own food.  Note to self: Make sure you keep lots of ice in that thing– 70-80 degrees temps is very different from 90-100.  And since the one friend, whom we often visit, is very near multiple Whole Foods and Trader Joes we stocked up as well–so most of our money spent was on FOOD.

Some highlights of our trip, educational and otherwise:Read More

I’m that Mom

Joining in on an awesome, impromptu blog carnival over here.

(I am deliberately not reading everyone else’s until I have finished writing mine, except for the 2 I saw that made me realize that this is a cool thing that I actually want to join in on because I suspect a lot of us overlap and I want to share who I am without worrying about that it may be a “YEAH, ME TOO.”)

I am that mom who, when the kids ask if we can please go visit our friends 5 hours away tomorrow, says yes, starts packing, and goes.
Rachel and Kayla

I am that mom who upon finding out the the oldest’s best friend (who lives 2 days away) might be able to come stay for a week says YES.

I am that mom who on 4th of July goes fireworks chasing with the kids, driving all over tarnation looking at everyone’s awesome displays,  instead of taking them to sit in a huge crowd and watching one display.

Fireworks

I am that mom who would rather take the kids to the pond to swim or sit and watch hours upon hours of anime, Dr. Who, favorite movies, or As Time Goes By with the crazy, wonderful kids than worry about what the neighbors think of her children’s nearly dead flower/veggie garden and too tall grass.
I am that mom who when the kids decide to build a tent/tree house/whatever in the back yard says nothing or helps them find the needed materials, knowing that again the neighbors will wonder about the people next door ruining the view from their perfect yards.

I am that mom who runs outside with the kids in the pouring rain to look for rainbows.
rainbow


I am that mom who, when the kids find their long lost roller blades and ask if they can go somewhere to roller blade, suggests they roller blade in the house on our fake hard wood floors and allow them to continue to wear them for everything for the next week.


I am that mom who lets her kids turn her entire kitchen into a restaurant for days at a time and play with their food.
Larry the Cucumber

I am that mom who, when her son asks to take all the blankets from all over the house and use them to jump on, says yes.

I am that mom who takes a camera wherever her kids go and takes pictures of all the awesome things they do.


Super straw

I am that mom who, when her kids want to mow the grass says yes and then says nothing about the stripes of extra tall grass left behind and the odd, rather like a maze, style of cutting grass her oldest prefers.

I am that mom who, when a kid says “come see this cool thing” stops what she is doing to go see (and it always IS really cool!)

green

I am that mom who realizes that her middle child loves the stage and when she asks signs her up and takes her to a performing arts camp the very next week.

I am that mom who still loses her cool, who still gets frustrated when the kids have totally trashed the place (not a problem) and then don’t clean it up (a problem), who has bad days and does not cope so well when the kids are fighting, again.
Issac room

I am that mom who still has a long way to go but loves where her kids are exactly where they are regardless of the stage they are in, loves being with them, and thinks they are totally awesome and fun.
Alameda Park 2010
Yes, this is an extended version, I got started and kept going (which anyone who knows me in person knows this is VERY typical.)