Friday, September 26, 2008

Random Stuff

I'm so excited:)

I made homemade rice milk yesterday. Ridiculously easy, I don't know why I didn't think of it before! So much cheaper than buying it in the store. My critters love it, so everybody's happy, yay!

I'm starting an outdoor photography class in a couple weeks. I'm excited and nervous. Excited about photography, nervous about meeting people and driving (and parking!) in the city the class is held in. Hubby told me he'd signed me up for a class. Then when I quit freaking out and told him I would do it...he sat down at the computer and signed me up. I yelled at him that he was a liar!!(all in good fun) Then I noticed critter #1 staring with big eyes and had to back-pedal a little lol!

We're visiting cousins today--yippee! Mamas will sit around talking crafts and life in general while the kiddos make as much noise as humanly possible. Great fun:) I invited hubby's sis to come today too. I remember havin a new baby and wishing for the company of other mamas:)

Hubby wants to take critter #1 paintball-ing tomorrow. I think Yikes! he's a bit little to be shot at!!! I'm thinking about ski pants and giant coats and wondering how warm it's going to be tomorrow etc..... :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Packed up and ready to go...
Police station...

At our favorite park...

Lookin at fish


Friday, September 19, 2008

A "Relaxed" Approach

So lately I've been using these phases a lot-- "we're just going to be relaxed right now" "we're not going to push him" "we're really not in a hurry" etc. These phrases result in a flicker of panic in my dear mother-in-laws eyes, which she valiantly covers. Why? Because I'm talking about teaching our 7-yr-old to read.

Hubby and I are in total agreement on an "unschooling" type approach to our homeschool. The reason we are not fully explaining this to my honeys parents at this time is because they are already completely panicked about us homeschooling in the first place. In fact grandfather has to try really hard to even be nice about, which I must admit he is doing a great job at. I know what he really thinks about it though. He is convinced that his grandsons will grow up ignorant, unable to attend college or get a decent job. He completely exploded the first time his son mentioned homeschool (I know this was out of worry for his grandkids). Grandma is not quite as panicked, but still unsure. She wants to know lesson plans and how much progress we are going to make this school year etc.

So for now we aren't revealing our real master plan for our children's education. I envision near-future pointed questions about our plans for the year. I also imagine using an approach I recently read on someone else's unschooling blog. Pointing wildly over the questioners shoulder and shouting "Is that a UFO!!!!". When they look I can run in the opposite direction...

I personally think "unschooling" is such a negative name. We should rename it something positive like "Life Education" or "Living Learning" or I'm drawing a blank. I know these are cheesy and sound more like organizations than a way of life and learning. I'm pretty sure I came up with some better ones yesterday and now I've forgotten them.

I'm praying for wisdom about how to talk about this subject when it becomes unavoidable. If we lived farther away we could just say "We love you, we're raising our kids how we want". But, living on the same piece of land we are definitely in each others space daily which gives plenty of opportunity for meddling. I don't think my father-in-law will ever agree with our choice to homeschool (although you never know, miracles happen) but I want there to be peace in our family. I hope all our parents can trust us to raise their grandkids well, even if we make decisions that are vastly different than their own were.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Family Fun

I've been meaning to blog about an especially fun day we had the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, so finally here we are:)

First some mini-golf. The boys love to go and volunteered their yard-sale earnings so that was our first stop of the day...

Now here are the the three cutest guys I know:) (Don't worry bro, you come in a close 4th:)

Critter #1 works on his swing...

Critter #2 posing, yes he's holding his pose as the ball rolls down the green, hee hee...

"Can we go swimming?"

Then lunch in a very nice park on our way to scienceworks. Critter #2 led us down many trails until we found a picnic table overlooking the creek. I Love these gluten-free wraps! Yay! I can actually taste the filling instead of it being completely overwhelmed by dense, gummy bread. Of course I made my own version according to what I had on hand...

And ScienceWorks!! Pretty cool family portrait, huh!?

Building a track for a wooden ball. Usually the biggest challenge is making it so the ball doesn't fly off the edge of your track and go rolling across the room.

Now this is creepy! After staring at that spinning circle for a few seconds then looking at your hand it really does look like your skin is "crawling".

The earthquake table. Can you build a building or wall that will stand up to an earthquake?

Building a dam...

How few blocks can you use and still have a dam that won't come crashing down?

It is very cool to pull oneself up the pulley, but we don't really want to know how it works and we definitely don't want to sit and wait for the chair to come SLOWLY down. So, we have to jump off as soon as we are done pulling...

Powering and electric train(or a light, fan, or radio) with pedal power...

Giant magnetic puzzles, cool idea.

After ScienceWorks we stopped at a fancy chocolate store and everybody got to pick a treat. We don't usually eat sugar and this turned out to be a bad idea as Critter #2 cried for three days solid afterward, yikes!!
Then it was on to Toys r us, where Critter #1 was looking for a very specific Lego set. He sure had a hard time not spending his money when he couldn't find the set he wanted. He was really desiring some instant gratification (not that I blame him:). And we went through the whole "it's your money and you can spend it on whatever you want, but here are the reasons we think you should wait..." Then we gave him some space and let him make up his mind. He chose to wait and when we got home we looked at pictures of the coveted set online. Critter #2 spotted a big plastic baseball bat that came with two balls and was delighted to discover he had just enough mulah to make the purchase. If I get permission to post pics of the cousins I'll get some baseball pics up pretty soon, they're all soooo cute:)
What fun! I'm so glad we have the membership to ScienceWorks, the kids absolutely LOVE it. It is a perfect family outing, and school trip rolled into one.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Cooking Adventures

We've been trying out some multi-cultural foods lately, mostly to assuage the boredom of the same black beans and rice several times a week. We talk about the country the food is from and the boys seem much more open to trying new tastes after looking at pictures of a different culture and finding the country on our globe.

Earlier this week we made onigiri, a Japanese food that is basically a ball of rice with a little salty filling in the center. I think some of the most common fillings are Japanese pickles. Not having any of these handy we used another common filling--salty canned salmon. We also added chopped red bell pepper (and mama had cooked mushrooms, too). Sadly, our rice balls did not stick together and we ended up dumping the leftover fillings onto our plates and eating the rice with a spoon. :)

Today we tried some recipes from India. We have cumin rice, curried lentils, and mixed vegetable dumplings(deep fried). I've never tried curry before. My mom doesn't like it, so I guess I grew up with a prejudice against it:) I smelled curry powder in the grocery store and thought it smelled yummy, so I decided to get a little and try it. At home we can add a much or as little spice as we like and I felt fairly safe trying something new.

The boys gobbled up the rice and lentils(a first for the lentils, they usually turn up their noses). The vegetable dumplings were too strongly flavored for the kiddos but papa and I gobbled those up! The veggies didn't start out with too much spice and lime juice but once they cooked down the concentrated flavor was quite strong.

I'm looking forward to posting more of our new food adventures in the near future.