Sunday, January 31, 2010

Full Circle

In the beginnng, when I started this blog, we embraced the (slightly radical) unschooling life. It was working well for us. Princess learned to read without being taught how to read. She is an amazing reader. She learned so much and she loved it.

Then one day I decided to change things. We still kept it pretty relaxed and it worked. For a while. Until it didn't.

I began to feel stressed and I dumped that all over Princess. I have been struggling with this for the last couple of months. The more I pushed, the more Princess pulled away, spending more and more time playing Wii or computer games or Nintento DS or watching TV or DVDs. We've never set limits on these things and Princess has always found balance. But the more I pushed, the less balance there was.

A couple weeks ago I emailed Colleen at The New Unschooler because well, she's not so new at it anymore. Her words were so helpful, but the simple act of emailing all that I had been feeling caused a major shift in me and in Princess. We are now coming back around, full circle if you will, to (slightly radical) unschooling. It works for us. Princess and I are both so much happier. This may not be the path for everyone, but for us it seems to work quite well.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The dog has gone and lost her mind

This is Sophia Rose. Yes, she gets a little excited when people come to visit, but all in all she's a good girl. Yesterday, however, she went a little insane.

While Princess and I were upstairs getting ready for the day, Sophia Rose was downstairs shredding an empty carton of heavy cream. This adventure was followed by shredding a used (EWWWW!!!) tissue. As if that wasn't enough, when Princess and I went out to run some errands, Sophia Rose dug through my basket of stuff, that I take with me almost everywhere, to find a Clif Bar with chocolate in it. She ate the whole thing. Chocolate is poison for dogs. After calling the vet, my dog guru friend and researching on the internet, I determined that the level of chocolate was low enough not to worry.

Did you think she was done? Oh no, no, no! Once the chocolate panic/drama was over and I was finally relaxing, I turned around to find the dog standing on the dining room table!!! What the heck?!?! Can we get back to our regularly scheduled dog now? Please?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Do you see it, too?

This is on a children's toy in the Village Home nursery. Freckle and I got hysterical when we noticed it. Are we completely childish? Well, maybe just a little.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Crossword Creativity

Princess loves crossword puzzles. I've found picture crosswords online that are fun, but sometimes I can't find ones with pictures and the word clues they use simply aren't helpful for my 6 year old.

I found the perfect solution at! Once I made a crossword for Princess, she insisted on making one for me.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wardrobe Wednesday in Afghanistan

Ever wonder what to wear for that unexpected Afghanistan snow storm? Something tells me the dude in the shorts was completely unprepared.

Head on over to Heathen Family Revival to see what they're wearing this week.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


The Lizard King and I had our annual argument. At the first construction meeting for our new house one of the choices I had to make was which doorknob style we wanted. I chose lever style.

Here were the metal choices. (excuse the cell phone quality photos)

This is the metal I chose.

I love the way the dark metal plays against the white background.

I'm not sure how it happened, but one thing led to another and before we knew it we were arguing...via email. It ended quickly when I asked if this was, in fact, our annual argument.

What was your last argument about?

P.S. Thank you, Freckle. You know why. ;)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wardrobe Wednesday - Sick Day

We have made it through the whole cold and flu season...up until today. Princess doesn't feel well at all. She even wanted to stay home from Village Home classes. That is unheard of! Poor baby. :( We'll stay in cozy jammies and take it easy.

Head on over to the Heathen Family Revival to check out what their little princess is sporting today.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Challenge: 20,000 people donate $10

Remember when I told you all about my friend Danny and his non-profit that he started? Well he has got a challenge for you!

Click here to visit the website.

Click here to visit the challenge blog post.

Find Each One For Us All on Facebook.

I donated $10 to this cause, but I wanted to do a little more by spreading the word. Imagine if everyone donated $10!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

45 @5:02pm EST and Wardrobe Wednesday

Not just older, better. At least according to the beautiful email from the Lizard King. He rocks my world.

For Wardrobe Wednesday details, click the badge on the right to head on over to Heathen Family Revival and get the low down.

This week for your viewing pleasure, I present Princess in the first sweater I've ever knitted to completion.

It should fit her for quite a while! Of course it's pink! What do you expect?!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Going Home

A while back I was bitching whining blogging about wanting to go home again, to stop moving from rental to rental, to own our very own home...a place for Princess to grow up, a place to make memories, a place to live for ever and ever and never stop.

Well guess what?! =)

Yup! It's pick your own stuff new. They break ground in March.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Mexico Exploration

The Shady family is going to Mexico!! We meet the Lizard King there in 43 days. LK's best friend has a condo in Cancun and we are using frequent flyer miles for Princess' and my flights. The only cost with this trip is food and some spending money. Who knew a trip to Mexico could be so affordable?!

In preparation for our trip, we are learning about Mexico through DVDs, books, crafts and a lapbook. Fun!!

Look what I found:

Lapbook Links
Hill of Fire book with a related lapbook
This great site and this site
and a Magic School Bus site with more volcano information (relating to Hill of Fire)

and this treasure trove from the library, with more on the way!

We'll be spending two whole weeks in Mexico in order to keep LK out of the country. Spending less than 35 days in the states allows us a big tax savings.

LK's next leave will be at home here in Oregon. Stay tuned...soon I will share what we will be doing in June when he comes home. And we're hoping for a visit from Tatt-man (LK's son), his wife & the new grandbaby in July once LK is home on leave and we're settled in!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Knitting Pirates

My two best friends, HerbiFaery and Freckle.

Is this not the coolest t-shirt ever?! We are such dorks so cool!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wardrobe Wednesday

Poor puppy! It seems Sophia Rose has developed an infection. She is on an antibiotic, which she loves because she gets to have peanut butter.We're also applying ointment to the area (which she hates with the fire of a thousand suns), thus the lovely fashion accessory, to keep her from removing the ointment. She looks so sad, doesn't she? I can hardly get her to go outside. Seriously! I think she's embarassed.

Head on over to Heathen Family Revival to check out their fashion statement.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Real Salad Dressing!

I stopped buying salad dressing 2 years ago when I changed the way I eat. I have yet to find a bottled dressing that contains ingredients I am willing to consume myself, let alone feed my family. We've been sticking to oil and vinegar, using a variety of vinegars, but gets kind of old.

On Christmas eve, Freckle invited Princess and me for dinner and festivities. I stood by and watched very carefully as she made dressing for the salad. Wow! That's it? That's easy enough. Of course, I made some of my own adjustments, but MAN! is it good.

I don't think it's a secret, but I'd better not share unless she comments and says that it is okay. Of course, my recipe isn't exactly the same as hers, but the base is the same. So it okay to share? If it is, I'll post in the comments so be sure to comment and subscribe.

Oh...a quick update on the workouts. Today is the 5th and I have officially worked out for 5 days! The EA Sports Active 30 day challenge works you for 2 days and then you get a day of rest. Well, my day of rest is walking on the treadmill while watching Netflix Instant on TiVo. Thanks to Sherry over at Living and Learning and Secret Mom Thoughts and another show suggestion from Lisa over at 5 Orange Potatoes. Thanks, ladies!

Healthy eating and living to you all!

Saturday, January 2, 2010


This year at Village Home we learned a little bit about Kwanzaa. Princess was intrigued. She wanted to learn more and to celebrate the holiday.

On the internet I found a lot of fun activities here and here and a lapbook here. I copied and pasted the pages from this

to make a mini book.

We made a paper kinara and "lit" the appropriate candle for each of the seven nights of Kwanzaa.

We did worksheets that Princess loves to do.

We learned about Dr. Karenga, the founder of Kwanzaa.

Unscrambled some Kwanzaa words
(Why is Blogger doing this? Does anyone know?)

Our mkeka (straw mat) for placing the symbols of Kwanzaa.

Our unity cup

We learned the meaning of Kwanzaa colors and talked a little about slavery.

And read this book.

Princess loved learning more about Kwanzaa and our (very basic) celebration.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Get up off your a%#!

Who knew that eating crap all day, every day could do this?! Oh...wait...I did. I don't like New Year's resolutions, but yesterday I got on the scale for some bizarre reason. I knew I had gained some weight because my clothes weren't fitting quite right. How did this happen?!

It seems my food intake went to hell hasn't quite been pristine since the Lizard King left the country. Okay, fine. I need to get back to my healthy Weston A Price/Nourishing Traditions way of eating. Done. Maybe it's even time to pull out my copy of Eat Fat, Lose Fat. Done.

Now to figure out how to incorporate a workout into my daily life. You see, I have this love/hate relationship with exercise. First off, I hate to wear shoes. Putting on big, clunky sneakers is a big deterrent to my working out. Going to a gym is out. That takes even more motivation than putting on sneakers. So not going to happen!

So that leaves a home workout. Perfect! I've got lots of fun workouts here. I have this awesome, gym quality, treadmill that I got for free (thank you Law of Attraction). I have the Wii Fit, but that started to get boring. I hated having to choose each exercise and wait for the annoying bitch narrator to finish talking. So what else is there?

I was out on my new favorite shopping site, Amazon (Amazon Prime rocks, by the way. Two day shipping!) and discovered EA Sports Active. The reviews were great, so I decided to give it a try. It was FUN! There are workouts, continuous workouts, that are put together and are customizable. You can create your own workout. And there is the 30 day challenge with 3 levels.

I did one pre-designed workout and loved it. Then I put the box away and hadn't touched it since. That is until today. I put new batteries in the Wii Balance Board (not required for this workout), pulled out the EA workout box and decided to try the 30 day challenge. I loved it! It was really fun and no annoying bitch narrator! Yes, you have a "personal trainer", but I wasn't annoyed by her at all. The music is cool and you can even choose what type of music you want in the 30 day challenge. The scenery changes and, for working out in cartoon world, is pretty. You'd think that would be enough to inspire me, right? Right?!

Unfortunately, no. I have even been known to work out for a year and then suddenly stop for five years. So people, I know you workout fanatics are out there, motivate me! Inspire me! Help me find a way to keep going! Ready, set, go!