Monday, July 30, 2012

Busy! Busy! Busy!...even if we don't leave the house.

Another two weeks gone, *poof!!*  Crazy.
But what a great two weeks it's been!

The kids asked to go to the skate park two days in a row.  The first day they spent the majority of their time running up and down the ramps.  They would gather rocks at the bottom, run to the top, and chuck them off the other side into the dirt and weeds.

This was one of those "I wish I could remember this for forever" moments.  And of course I don't.  Sigh.
They were just laying there on their backs with their heads hanging off the edge, discussing life--the sun, how it warms the ramp, why it is so difficult to get up the ramp and how much easier it's gotten for both of them.
The conversation ended with silence.  Then giggles.  Then, "I love you, Brookwyn."  "I love you too, Sam."
And more rock throwing.

The next day they were a bit more adventuresome.  They went into the cement skate park and another kid showed them how to go down one side and back up the other.  We were there for THREE HOURS!!  And THEN they asked to go to Rockin' Jump (the indoor trampoline park)!  Unfortunately, Rockin' Jump was closed, so instead they voted that the next best place to be was the play place at McDonald's for a rousing game of Spies.

While helping me do some laundry, Sam thought he was pretty "ridicleelous".
Brooklyn is standing behind me with a pack of wipes cleaning every visible surface in my room...she's requested another box of them from Costco, lol.  Who am I to deny my kids cleaning supplies?!

Another day, Brooklyn decided out of nowhere to put together a package of items that Bubba's cat would like.  Items included a self-made toy (plastic bread bag with a long string tied to it), hats, balls, paper, etc.
Then she decided that it would be a GREAT idea to make the cat a shirt!!
I haven't sewn any clothes much less FOR CATS in quite some time.
But she did a sketch of what she wanted and I did my best to imagine of how a t-shirt might fit on a cat.
Brooklyn was thrilled with the results, the cat I'm not so sure about...

For this upcoming school year we joined a charter school that specifically deals with homeschoolers.  Essentially we meet with our Education Specialist (ES) once a month to discuss what we've been learning, sign some papers, etc.  For grades 2-12 there is yearly STAR testing (which is how the school gets funding from the government--based on test scores), but we don't have to worry about that this year.
Anyway, in return we are given $800/semester to use for school supplies and classes.

I wasn't sure how our unschooling lifestyle would fit with our ES, but after a couple of back-and-forth emails (and me directing her to this blog to show her what our lives entail), it's apparent that she is more than agreeable to this style of learning and is happy to either help us or just leave us be as much as we want.

Anyway, we are really excited because Brooklyn has been wanting to try out different types of classes--voice lessons, swimming lessons, gymnastics, art classes, boxing...  AND the charter school gives us an unlimited budget for fine arts stuffs.

We we did do a trial voice lesson which did NOT go so well--hoping the guy didn't scare her off of it completely.  Oh well.

We also did a trial boxing lesson (which Sam ended up joining in with AND they both ended up staying for the following class--Brazilian Jujitsu!).

We have more trial classes to take, but for now, we have been having a LOT of fun with all of the goodies our ES has been dropping off for us.
Here is our first delivery:

All of the typical supplies we'll need:  markers, tape, pencils, paper (LOTS), petri dishes and agar, hole punchers, 25 pounds of clay...

...pencil sharpener

You can't see it very well, but this is Sam's rocket ship.

We also joined in the Minecraft world.  It's been fun as everyone from Sam to Russ enjoy it.

Putting her new 1000 ft. of paper to use!

Brooklyn ADORES her My Little Ponies.  She called me in to see their boat she'd constructed (in her hand is their hot tub that she attached next).

While searching YouTube, Brook stumbled across a tutorial on how to bake rainbow cupcakes.
I've never tried them, partly due to the fact that there is SO much food coloring used, but also because I just don't enjoy baking...but this was a LOT of fun to do with B!

While they were cooking, Brook and I went and jumped on my bed and when I came to check on Sam I found this...stretched out on the kitchen island playing Angry Birds.

She was SO proud!

We have a change jar and Russ decided to donate all of the pennies in it to Sam's new Crayon bank that he picked out at The Dollar Store.
He was SO excited!!

Both kids have been BIG into swimming lately.  Brook decided to purchase a pair of goggles at The Dollar Store (despite my warning of them possibly not working, lol).  They work about as well as I'd thought.  Although irritating, the kids don't mention it as much as I thought they would, lol.
Given the amount of use the goggles are getting, I have 2 good pair coming in the mail.

This is our friends' pool (at their apartment complex).  We met them there and the kids all played amazingly for 2 1/2 hours.  When our friends decided to head in, I was planning on heading home but Brook and Sam were still having SO much fun...we ended up staying another 1 1/2 hours!!  We finally had to leave to go pick Russ up from work (thank heavens--I'm thinking they would have swam all night!).

Here is Brooklyn swimming with her mermaid tail.

And here is what 4 hours of non-stop play in the pool looks like 5 minutes after getting into the car.
One starving child (thank heavens for that Tootsie Pop I put in the glovebox over a year ago! lol), and one completely unconscious one.

A couple of days later we ended up heading to the city pool, where they don't allow floaties (we have avoided it up until now because of this issue and the fact that Sam FREAKS about it).  There is a pool that is only 2 - 3 1/2 feet deep, but he was still super nervous.

Come to find out when we got there, the pool was closing in 20 minutes.  The kids still wanted to swim.  They both jumped right in and wouldn't you know it, Sam was doggy paddling almost immediately but much preferred swimming under the water.  In that 20 minute period he learned how to swim 5' underwater!  This is the kid who doesn't even like to put his face in the water!!...excuse me, didn't like to put his face in the water.

Our ES dropped off our second shipment of school goodies.  The super fun ones!!
Beeswax candle making kit, build your own clock kit, body crayons, origami paper, high quality paints, henna kit, spin art, a mounting board for insects, and a giant calendar to go in Brook's room.

The spin art has been a HIT!  I always wanted one when I was a kid and it's no wonder why!  Paint, glitter, sand, and a platform to fling them all off!

The kids made some really neat artwork and now we have a really cool collection on one of our walls in the family room.

The body crayons ROCK too!  This is Brook's first design.

Then I did a few doodles on her leg.

Then she did her face and one side of mine--it looked quite cool, actually.  She had vines swirling all along my face from my forehead down my neck.

We found a new game--Spore.  Actually, we haven't tried the actual game yet, we've been having too much fun with just the Spore Creature Creator!

The other night I *had* to get to the farmer's market--we've been eating our way through produce like a bunch of banshees.  The only problem is that no one else (minus Russ) wanted to go.  Sigh.  Actually, Sam was in his carseat in nothing but his undies because it's as much as I could get out of him just to get in the car to go pick Russ up from work!

While sitting in the car in the driveway we brainstormed how we could all get our needs met.  Finally Brooklyn said, "I KNOW!!  Mom can take me on a surprise date--DON'T TELL ME WHAT IT IS MOM!!  It could be Rockin' Jump or the movies or bowling or to frozen yogurt BUT DON'T TELL ME!"  And then she looked at us like, 'Problem solved, let's go.'

So Russ and Sam headed in the house (with exhausted Sam screaming, "NOOOOO!!!!  I want Momma to staaaaaayyyy!", which we eventually got settled) and Brooklyn and an exhausted Momma headed to the grocery store for our date.

We pulled up to the grocery store, "Ooooh, we're at Nob Hill!"  She was so excited.  We walked in and I told her she could pick out any one thing that she wanted.

We were there for 45 minutes!!!  First perusing the novelty items aisle (I got nervous when she started looking at price tags and then walked over to the $50 plant pot!), then the bakery, then the drinks and chips aisle.
"Can you take me to the toys?"
We found the small aisle of toys, where each and every toy was inspected and deemed not good enough.

As we were walking to the baking items aisle, this giant bag of Tootsie stuffs jumped out and almost bit her.  It was love at first sight.

I don't know what this video is because my computer was being dumb.  So here it is.
Whatever it is.

The last Saturday of the month is the 1/2 price sale at my favorite thrift store.  So Brooklyn, Shelan, Shelan's friend and I headed out in search of goodies.
And goodies we found!
Along with some clothes for B and I, Brook picked "Don't Spill The Beans" game out for Sam.

I found a jacob's ladder for $.50 and a pinata for a few bucks (which now proudly hangs in the middle of the living room).

Brook found a neat large horse and a bag of smaller horses to add to her collection.  She is SUCH a proud momma.  She built them apartments, a corral, has made them all bridals, has washed and dried them all, has given them all haircuts...

In our future I see much swimming, $1 theater movies, a much-awaited homeschooling conference, and lots of camping! 

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