Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Day in the Life

A Day in the Life, Unschoolers Blog Carnival,

In some ways it is hard to describe a typical day, because every day is so different. Maybe in that way, every day is the same. I can give a little glimpse into our lives and how our days form and run together.

This week we were feeling a little detached. Hadn’t seen our unschooling friends in about 4 days, wow writing it like that seems like we see them all the time, LOL, but 4 days without seeing our friends is rare. So we decided to invite a family over to swim and play and just have fun. After a bit of back and forth about day and time etc, we decided on Tuesday evening, swimming and fun and a quick cook out and more fun. Great plan, the boys were excited. We decided to pick some of our blueberries and make a cobbler for the evening. The friends arrived around 6:00ish and Jackson was home from work around 7:00. We swam, talked, played, ate and just in general had a fun time. Moved the party inside around 10:00 and I was introduced to the Disney Channel. I have one son that watches occasionally but not so that I know all the songs, characters and programs. But the two girls that came over watch it more often. It was wonderful to see them singing along to ALL the songs. Something I don’t get around here with my two boys.

My youngest, Phillip, had a small clump of sculpey clay he had been molding all day and retrieved that from the dining room table to make horns for himself. OK you will just have to look at the picture to see what I mean. It was too funny.

Their one son decided to spend the night, at about midnight or so, the rest of the family packed up their swimming gear and miscellaneous things and headed home. The boys stayed up for about an hour more playing and watching TV. I was too tired. I hit the sack as soon as company left.

I awoke the next morning around 8:00, I think, and proceeded with my usual morning routine. I have a cup of tea and answer e mail, work on the computer for an hour or two until Phillip wakes up, he is usually the first one awake at around 10:00. He jumps on his computer and we chat for a few minutes, I make him a cup of tea and some breakfast. This morning he wanted to wait for his company to wake up before breakfast so we watched Little House on the Prairie for an hour before his friend woke up. They wanted pizza for breakfast so I busied myself with the pizza while they went to play a game on the Xbox 360. I also bathed our new kitten that arrived at our doorstep, still no name for her, have to think on that one. She had so many fleas and I think the bath helped her feel better.

I woke my oldest up at 1:00. He likes to be woken 30 minutes before we have to leave the house, we were leaving at 1:30 to meet up with our friends so they could pick up their son. He uses this time to get onto WOW and check things out, get a cup of tea, brush his hair, get dressed and brush his teeth. Then it was out the door.

We met at a restaurant for lunch. Phil had wanted a dish he had ordered in the past. When it arrived it was not as he remembered so he wanted to order just a plain burger. I was pleasantly surprised when the manager said that he would deduct the original order from my bill. Great, so I only had to pay for the burger. Saving money is always a good deal.

After lunch the boys and I had a few errands to run. First to Office Max to pick up a few supplies for the Love to Learn Conference that I co-coordinate. Then to J C Penney to see if we can find pants for Phil. He has decided to change his wardrobe and move from only wearing wind breaker type pants to wearing jeans. But he does not like the color blue, so they have to be black or gray jeans. We have been looking for jeans for about 3 weeks now. Phil was getting a bit discouraged, but I have been reassuring him that we will find what he is looking for in time. That not all stores carry the same jeans, and that not all jeans fit the same and the sizing is different from brand to brand. Well JC Penney had just what he was looking for, he was so excited. It was so wonderful to see that in his eyes, and a bonus…they were on sale. He also decided to buy a couple of sport shirts as well, so he has more of a variety, instead of just T shirts. Dallen also found a couple of T shirts he really liked, so they were both very happy by the end of the trip. Our last errand was the pet store. We needed crickets for our tarantula and Iguana food for Iggy. As we were coming out of Petsmart I realized that this had been a very productive trip, and we talked about the fact that today everything we wanted was in stock and we all found what we were looking for, just a nice day. In the picture you can also see Phil’s new look, he has decided to wear his hair in a ponytail instead of a braid. I think this is the first time ever that Phil has not had a braid. Since his hair was long enough to braid.

As we arrived home I had a little work to finish, for the upcoming conference, and the boys dug out all the sculpey stuff. They set to work creating, and talking for a few hours. After sculpey they worked cleaning out their dresser. They realized that with their new purchases their drawers were too full, and there were T shirts in there that they could no longer fit into and some they had lost interest in. They brought all the discarded clothes into the living room so we can donate them or use them for rags.

Jackson was home from work at this point and Phil noticed that Jaws was on. Which is kind of a funny coincidence, because as we were watching the beginning of Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, he had mentioned that he would like to see Jaws sometime. So we all sat down to watch Jaws and talk about the technology of the time, things like that. During Jaws 2 (yes it was a marathon of Jaws…LOL) Phil decided to see how many of his old clothes he could get on at once. Dallen was helping him straighten out the clothes as he worked them down over his head. And they had so much fun. Turns out that he can get on 19 shirts and 5 pair of pants at once, before he can no longer move, we counted as he disrobed.

The boys at that point decided that they wanted to read The Hobbit (the book we are reading aloud right now) as well as watch Jaws, so I read during the commercials, and then we all watched the movie when it was on. During Jaws 2, I was about at the end of my rope, too tired to go any further, we turned on the TV in the bedroom, Jackson was asleep as soon as he was in bed, I watched Jaws 2 for a few minutes with the boys and then I feel asleep, Dallen was working on some drawings in his note pad. I am not sure if they watched the entire movie or not, I will find out when they wake up.

Now it is morning again, I am again drinking my cup or tea and working on this blog post, I did cut up one T shirt into one long ¼ inch strip, to see if I can crochet it into a bag, earlier this morning.

Dallen has an intricate story that go along with his Sculpey creation, so I will have a couple more posts to share when they are finished dictating.

That is a “normal” day for us, as abnormal as it is. You can see how things flow, come and go, move and come back again.

If you want to read more, Day in the Life of Unschoolers visit the Radical Unschoolers Network, sometime after August 5.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday Fill-Ins

1. I believe whatever doesn't kill you __has a lesson you were meant to learn____.
2. If you're good at something, _consider sharing your passion with someone___.
3. Why so _____many hard Friday Fill-In questions this week____.
4. Something is out there, it's __wonderful and worth exploring____.
5. If my life were a sitcom, it would be titled ___(no idea)____.
6. Sitting on my back porch [if you don't have one, use your imagination] I see _____The pasture and hills beyond______.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to __some quiet time canning tomatoes at home___, tomorrow my plans include __roofing and gardening___ and Sunday, I want to __relax a bit and maybe go biking___!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I just read this online today: "I don't understand why a parent would choose to separate a child from the rich and varied world that a public school offers, or shelter them from the very society that they will ultimately have to live and work in." It was in a column by Kelly Flynn The Flint Journal. She does goes on to say: "...I do believe, emphatically, that parents should have that choice." So she does come around a bit. You can read the whole thing here.

But that first statement got to me. I mean I, grew up in the public school system. I know what it was like. I did not have a rich and varied world there, not at all. I mean I was stuck in a class room all day, reading from the same books my older brother did 12 years prior. There was no richness, no variety at all. Once a year we got out of that stuffy building for a field trip, usually to the state house. And once a day we were allowed to go out on the play ground (up until 9th grade anyway) and play, fenced in like animals. No variety but the changing weather of the seasons. Same thing day after day, year after year. And there was no "world" involved. It wasn't a rich and varied world. I am just not seeing how anyone, even if they HATED the idea of homeschooling could go so far as to say public school offers a rich and varied world.

And I am really not sure how homeschooling shelters children from the very society they will live and work in. OK if you are against homeschooling you might say that. But even if you have never heard of homeschooling and all you know is the public school system, do you really think that the public school system does NOT shelter children from the greater society? I mean come on I was there, I was stuck in the school all day every day. No interaction with the grocer, the postmaster, the store clerk, the power company, or the bank was found there. Not only was there no interaction we didn't even SEE anyone outside of the walls of the school. NO ONE. So the only interaction I had other than my peers was the janitor and the teacher, and yes occasionally the principal. But do I interact with these people today? hmmmm....nope. They are not part of the very society I live and work in. And only if you have children in public school would they be part of the very society you live and work in. It just isn't there.

Of course if you know about homeschooling you know that this reporters perception of homeschooling is not based in fact but in some myth in her head. That's OK. I run into people all the time that do not agree with the idea of homeschooling. But don't often run into people who feel public school is a "rich and varied world" or that public school does NOT separate children from the very society the will live and work in.

As just an aside, I found the photo on the web, random google search, and it is titled "Kids at School". And ironically you don't see any kids.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Our New Friend

We had a surprise arrival at our house yesterday. Not sure how this poor thing ended up here but it appeared outside our window. Meowing and meowing until the boys went to see what the noise was. We fed it although the dog food that we had at midnight was not exactly what she was looking for. But we made her a bed outside for the night. She was still hanging around the next morning. Just a purring away. So soft and cuddly. We have decided to keep her as long as she wants to stay, we bought some kitten food for her, and will see what happens. She can't come inside. We have three large dogs, one would love to snack on a small kitten. But she has a nice soft bed. So cute. No name yet, but that will come. Right now we are enjoying all the snuggling and have to take her to a vet to get her checked out. How cute is that. With our dogs we haven't had a cat around our house for years, so this is a welcome treat.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday Fill-Ins

I can't believe I haven't posted to this blog in a whole week. I have so many things to share, just need the time to get them down.

1. Oh, I can't wait until I have a __medicine wheel in my upper garden____
2. __The tomato spill on the bottom shelf. (I don't clean it because it reminds me to be grateful for my children as they are growing up and can now get their own food.)__ is the first thing I see when I open my refrigerator.
3. I never leave home without _____my keys (usually)____.
4. If I were a condiment, I would be __ketchup____ because ___ketchup saved me during my childhood. My mom was a clean your plate club charter member, and ketchup made everything palatable, even cold green beans.___.
5. ___(Can't really think of one at the moment, so none must he high up on my list.)____ is really high up on my list of pet peeves.
6. The last thing I thought of before I went to bed was _____Today we are seeing "Meet Dave" with some dear friends including LOTS of children-whooo hoooo______.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to __baking cakes for the birthday party tomorrow___, tomorrow my plans include __our annual multi person birthday party, where anyone who wants to celebrate brings a cake___ and Sunday, I want to __relax and get in my garden___!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Friday Fill-Ins

1. Holidays in the summer are ___for staying home and enjoying family, as a homeschooling family we have the pleasure of being able to travel when others are not___.
2. __Zucchini burgers__ are my favorite things to grill.
3. My thoughts are ___calming and organized______.
4. ___gardening with dh___ is what I'm most looking forward to this weekend!
5. My favorite book so far this summer is ___The Omnivores Dilemma____.
6. _____Taking a minute to be still______ is the best way to begin a day.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to __shopping for pool toys and deck furniture___, tomorrow my plans include __gardening, swimming, relaxing___ and Sunday, I want to __maybe see Hancock___!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Attitude of Gratitude

Attitude of Gratitude
OK more attitude of gratitude. This is such a fun, easy blog post. I have so many things I am grateful for. OK so finding the time to write them down isn't always easy. Today i am grateful for multi-purpose games.

A few days ago I spied the Uno cards by the TV and asked my boys if they wanted to play. Phillip was so eager, LOL, we have been playing Uno for the last few days, with Dallen on the computer. Last night Phil got out the Uno cards while I was out to Mom's Night Out and when I came home he had a large tent type structure made out of the cards, he had been stacking cards for the past few hours. This one didn't quite make it to photos as our dog cinnamon nosed it down just prior to the flash going off. Phil was not disappointed, he had plenty of other photos of smaller structures to share. So I am grateful for multi purpose games, and sharing that joy with my family.