Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Lackluster New Years, Enderman and Other Fun Stuff.

 Sam got a Nintendo/Super Nintendo and some Mario games for Christmas and we've been having so much fun with them!  He loves Mario and Russ and I love re-living a part of our childhood.

This is what our New Year's Eve celebration looked like.  
Actually, Sam asked to go to bed around 8:30pm, so I lay in with him and read my book.  I came out a bit later (around 9:30pm) to find this.  Russ was reading White Fang out loud and she was out cold.

But don't worry, we celebrated the next morning.  :)

Celebrated the new year with some Uno.

(This is Sam's Woo-hoo-I-Kicked-Your-Butt-At-Uno-Again look.)

Sam loves his Creeper shirt so much that we picked up some black shirts and paint for Enderman shirts...

...and they turned out awesome!!

Russ picked Munchkin up for us awhile back, but after attempting to read the rules...holy cow.
I need someone how to show me how to play this.  I'm in over my head!!
But Sam and I had a blast looking through all of the cards and laughing at the images.

We were watching something on TV and Brook asked which number was bigger (I don't remember what they were), so I put numbers up on the wall.  We have a ones column, a tens, a hundreds, a thousands, and a ten thousands.  But then we were watching The Lorax and Brook said, "He's a trillionaire.  How much is a trillion?"  So we had to add more columns and are currently up to ten quadrillions (a 1 with 16 zeros) before I ran out of ambition.

I've been wanting some LEGOs for awhile, so the kids humored me and let me go pick some out at the store (I've since found that we have a local store, woot!).  We've had a lot of fun, but...I want more.  :)

A day or two later, Russ was reading one of his Geek Dad books (which are so much fun!) and it had the idea of making your own comic.  So Sam and I put this one together (click to make it larger):

And then Sam said he wanted to make a LEGO movie.  I'm a bit biased, but I love it.  :)

Watching his work of art.

Random photo...picked some thick hiking socks up for Russ at Costco...they're getting a LOT of use this winter!  ...just not by Russ.  :)

Tesla, the Hot Wheels eating cat.

At the ALL Unschooling Symposium, Joyce Fetteroll made us Unschooling Toolboxes to take home--they were tin boxes filled with lots of reminders and quotes.  I pull a new one out each day and put it on the fridge.  When I pulled this one out, I laughed so hard!  It spoke volumes to me.  :)

We went to check out the local indoor trampoline park, thinking we could just show up and play.  Um, no.  You had to schedule a time.  DAYS in advance!  They kids were pretty bummed, but at least there was a small play place close.  They did some jumping and crawling and giggling.
And kicking their mom's butt at basketball...  hmph.

Luckily, Gravity Park had an opening the following day!  We were so excited!

Unluckily, both kids weren't feeling 100% and spent a lot of time doing this...  Come to find out, both were sick.  Sigh.
Perhaps we'll try again another day.

Russ has been making a lot of cheese lately.  He made some squeaky cheese!  YUM!
He currently has 3 pounds of cheddar aging in the other room.

The kids picked these straws out the week that we moved to Albuquerque, and I'd totally forgotten about them until I found them in a cabinet.  They were quite fun!



Who says learning how to tie a bow has to be done on shoes??

We went out and did some duck and goose feeding at the local ponds, even though there was a layer of ice--it was pretty fun to watch the birds trying to walk and land on the ice!

"Mom!  There are letters on this wood!  Look, they feel funny, feel them!"

Showing off his muscles.

We had so much fun getting big chunks of ice and throwing them out onto the pond--the would shatter and watching them go scattering across the surface of the pond and hearing the odd sound that went with it was awesome!

They were mining.  Looking for coal.  :)

Tesla looks at everything as potential prey or a toy...she was stalking Russ's pencil as he sketched.

That's it for now, folks!  ...gotta get back to editing photos!

ALL Unschooling Symposium!

Wow...soooo behind.
A couple of days after Christmas, we were able to attend the Always Learning Live (ALL) Unschooling Symposium.  And here in Albuquerque!!

The kids had a blast!  There was a play room with toys...

And LOTS of gaming--computer ones, card and board ones and imagination ones!

This is a group of nearly all adult unschooled kids.  They are awesome!!

The speakers were great!  Sandra Dodd, Pam Sorooshian, Joyce & Carl Fetteroll, Renee much information and in such a laid-back atmosphere was AWESOME.  Their talks were great, but kicking back and playing games and just chatting with them was invaluable!

So much fun playing games!  And with so many fun and interesting people.

The take-away message from Joyce's talk--as long as kids are Engaged, they are Learning.

Rose Sorooshian did a presentation on television.  It was SO much fun!!  We listed a good 40+ TV shows, put them up on the wall and then they handed out sticky notes for people to write things they've learned from each show.  Very interesting stuff!

I loved the panels that they had--this is the Dodd family!

We had so much fun and are really hoping they do it again next year, as it's looking more and more like we're going to be able to stay here in Albuquerque.  YAY!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Jingle Smells, Jingle Smells...

...jingle alllllll the way!!

Santa came!  Santa came!
He even overlooked the fact that our stockings are in storage 2 states away!

Our tree in all it's Christmas glory.

More switch balls!

Christmas morning was comfy cozy with a mattress, pillows and blankets on the floor.

This has been awesome--a skateboard without wheels!  Sounds kinda silly, but the kids really like practicing their skillz without the risk of falling smack on their butts.

The one thing Brooklyn asked for for Christmas was a mermaid Barbie.  Woot!

We were all excited for presents!  I was just as excited for the kids to open theirs so I could play with them.  :)

This year is the first that Brooklyn wanted in on the gift giving.  So we took the kids to Toys R Us and split up.  This is what she found for Sam and it's probably The Most Played With Toy.  Success!
Actually, we all use it...even the cat.  More photos of that later.

Grampa Jerry, The Cat Whisperer.
(Tesla on his lap and Simba the traveling cat on top--note that these cats do NOT like each other, so the fact that they are less than 5' from each other is nothing short of a miracle.)

Brooklyn opening the gift that Sam got for her--Nerf guns!  They are SO much fun!!  We play spy games--turn off all the lights at night and run around the house (our house is arranged like a big circle, which makes it challenging).  Sometimes there are shields and flashlights involved.  Sometimes even the kids are involved...hehe.

Opening the gifts that Grammie and Grampy got them while Skyping!
The fishing lines were tried out the next day, without any success, but they both still had a lot of fun.

"Put 'em up!"

I got Russ a slackline.  Unfortunately, there is nowhere to use it at home.  Fortunately, we have a great park for it a few blocks away.

We all have fun slacklining!

I snapped this right before a big spitting match broke out...Tesla was teasing Simba and Simba was just plain pissed.

The day after Christmas we hit up The Museum of Natural History.  We all kind of split up and did our own thing, so Sam and I wandered around and found the kid room.
This is a big sand box with molds that make different animal footprints...although Sam was mostly interested in smoothing out the surface for the pretty little girl to his right. :)

Aaaand more slacklining!  He's getting better and better!

Tesla LOVES this toy.  She will grab the cars right off the track.  But her favorite part is laying between the jump part and snagging the car out of mid-air.  Makes for lots of giggles!

We got snow!!  Not a ton, but enough for snow angels and snowballs!

Gah, love these three!!!

Russ and Bubs brought a Hexbug home to see what the cat thought.
She LOVED it. did Sam.
This is Sam putting it in his pocket, and Tesla going crazy because she can hear it but can't find it...

Throwing snowballs at the window...

I know this was a late post (what's new?), but hope you all had happy holidays!!