Monday, December 31, 2007
Sharing with Wrapped Emotions, as it is indeed a gift to be able to walk again! The Theme this week is "Gift of every moment".
This is my Best Shot Monday. I've recently discovered Picnik through Flickr, where you can do lots of editing on your photos, even selective color! Lots of fun & easy to use
For more BSMs go check out Tracey's blog Mother May I.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Spent our 10th anniversary in Cabo San Lucas and had an extremely wonderful time. I think we really needed this to reconnect, get romantic, and remember why we fell in love 11 years ago.
Came home to a safe, intact, home and to our 2 beautiful daughters, who seem to have grown a foot in a week's time! And thankful to my mom for evacuating them and our pets to safety and keeping a cool head, we can never thank her enough!!!
A new job for Dan, which enables me to continue to stay home with the girls and enjoy them eveyday as we live and learn and create.
Our first Unschooling Conference in Corvallis, OR in April, the Life is Good conference that Mary Gold at ZenMomma's Garden organized. A life changing experience that clarified and helped me to realize that unschooling was definately the path we wanted to commit to. We will definately be making the next one in May 2008.
Making new friends......we've made many new friends this year. And, some folks I feel that I've gotten closer to. I really miss my old friends from the Temecula Valley area, but it's also nice to become closer to those I have met in this area over the last two years that we've been here. It used to be so hard for me to make friends. I think that by blogging, it has actually made me friendlier and more open to new possibilities in the "real" world. I don't know if that makes sense to bloggers out there, let me know what you think about that....
Finding some really neat blogs that inspire, allowed me to meet new people, go to new places, see new things, hear different perspectives, make me laugh, make me cry, connecting with people, reconnecting with family.
Also, meeting and making friends through Flickr, and helping me to grow with my photography.
Looking through my posts from this year I just really got to reflect on all the fun things that we've done together. It makes me appreciate my health and anxious to get back on my feet again! I'm looking forward to 2008 and all that it brings and hope the best for my friends and family. Looking forward to the new babies on their way too!
Check out Flaunt it Fridays, and feel free to join in the fun!
btw, Violet had a Best of too, go here to see it, it was pretty exciting!!!!
Violet's Best of.
Violet bowling on Wii
Look at that excited face, when she opened the Webblaster
We were all pretty tired the next day......including Domino, who got a present too: a catnip filled teddy bear!
Many more photos in my Christmas 2007 Flickr set.
Monday, December 24, 2007
Here's my "real" BSM. I just had to get permission from her mom. But, I thought this was a really fun Christmassy photo that I wanted to share. (thank you to my friend for letting me share this!!!)
More Best Shot Mondays can now be found at Tracey's other photo blog, Mother May I
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Theme Thursday (previously hosted by the lovely Tracey Clarke at Picture This) has moved to Stacey's The Land of K.A. Another talented photographer, Stacey has changed it up a little and is offering some fantastic photography tips and prompts that are sure to help many improve their skills! I'm looking forward to Tracey's move to Shutter Sisters as well as continuing to visit her Mother May I blog. There's sure to be many more exciting fun times after she makes this transition, and I for one, am planning on continuing my support and admiration for her!
So, for this week's Thursday Theme we are taking "window" shots, be it a shot of a window, a shot utilizing some lovely window light, or wherever else your creative juices take you. I had some fun taking some window light shots of my girls by my favorite spot in the front room. Be sure to check it out and join in the fun!
How can these cute gingerbread houses not put you in the mood? The girls are all so creative and it's fun to see them enjoying themselves.
I've done more in this last weekend than I've done in a month. It's been great for the girls too. I've made a few playdates for them here, and it's been so great to have friends over. Thanks to all those that have come and visited, we've really enjoyed having you here!!! Still not sure when I'll be driving so we'd love to have more......
Monday, December 10, 2007
Even though Violet (now age 8) only went to "school", and that was as a homeschooler through a charter, for 1 1/2 years, I felt than it did affect her in several ways. For one, once we were "required" to provide documentation of math skills based on state mandated standards she started to feel stress and came to dislike "math" greatly. When she started to express that she "hated math" to me it became clear to me that the public school system way of learning was affecting her negatively in this area. Prior to enrolling in school she never hated learning anything. In fact, she had a love of learning that, looking back, I really honestly wish had never been tampered with.
It has taken about 2 years of deschooling math for her to even have an interest in anything resembling math. In fact, today I try to avoid using the word "math". I can now see math occurring almost daily in so many different ways. I have completely let it go, and am now pleased to see it happening very naturally and on a self-motivated, need to know basis. My mom, who has been a great supporter of our choice to unschool, recently picked up a little addition practice chart board. I initially thought that Violet would have no interest in it at all. But, she started going through it, and I think she surprised herself, and found that she already knew many of the answers by heart. I recently read this page on Sandra Dodd's list of "math" in real life. There is a great link called Math A Few Words About Unschooling Math that I found myself nodding my head as I read it. Math is so much a part of normal life that I'm really surprised to see how someone could not learn it naturally.
I'm glad to say that her love of learning in other areas were never affected. She still is an avid reader, and from that alone comes everything else. She enjoys watching on line videos and playing on line games, reading strategy guides, magazines, catalogs, collecting & trading Pokemon cards, watching W.I.T.C.H., Avatar, & Pokemon on TV. They both enjoy a science group that we go to. We started an American Girl club based on the American Girl book series (historical fiction). Going to 4H, where she helps out with craft group, scrapbooking, & photography. Girl Scouts. Several different park days, one being a wide mixture of homeschool types, and one an unschooling group.
Recently, we've been watching this program on TV called Kids Nation. Most of the kids showed a dislike of school, and when given the option of a video arcade or a library, preferred the video arcade. One little girl flat out said that she hated books, hated learning. We were really surprised and saddened to hear a child say that. One must wonder what made her dislike it so much. I thought it pretty ironic though, that the kids all seemed to be learning so much in an unschooly kind of way. It was funny too, that when they were initially given the video arcade many of them spent all of their time in there, disregarding their chores. I think that when a child is restricted from something, when given the opportunity they will do it all day. But as I have seen and other unschoolers can attest, eventually the attraction of it goes away, when they are not controlled from playing games and watching TV whenever they want. When Violet initially got her Nintendo she did play it all day, every day, for some time. Eventually, she got bored with it and wanted to do other things. She still plays with it on and off, sometimes several days go by without her playing it, other times she'll play with it for hours. But, I don't see it as negative thing. It's just one of her many interests. And she amazes me with the things she picks up from playing it, and the interests that it leads to. She also recently asked me to remove her TV from her room. She wanted her desk clear for her laptop and some other stuff.
Olivia (age 4) has never had any type of formal schooling. She lives life fully. Full of joy, full of interest and creativity. She's never been instructed to do something "this way" and therefore comes up with many beautiful, interesting creations. She is a highly motivated self learner. I constantly find her eager to learn. She likes to write letters, cut paper and create things from it, build things, loves to read stories with me, play games on the computer, sing, dance, play with friends. Where I see Violet hesitant sometimes, and often asking permission for something, Olivia just goes head first into things. She is sometimes fearless, but is learning about risks as we let her know what the consequence may be and assist her in making choices that are right for her. Violet was more controlled when she was younger so she usually asks first and is much more cautious. I now, often tell her that she does not have to ask (food, watch TV, etc) but she still does out of habit, I suppose.
I think that mostly unschooling looks different in our home now, because my outlook has changed. All of the things that I've read about unschooling have come true for us. There were many things that I was not sure could possibly be true, and yet when I trusted and allowed myself to be open to the ideas presented, did come true. My children (& I) are learning all the time. It doesn't resemble the learning that occurs in school, it doesn't occur during any specific hours, but I think it is learning that more closely resembles what living an authentic life looks like. Enjoying learning. Having fun. Making friends. Interacting with all types of people. Developing and pursuing new interests, letting them go. Having real life experiences. And so much more.....
For more takes on Unschooling through the ages go to Unschooling Voices. More articles to be linked on January 1st.
Olivia wasn't so cooperative about Christmas photos this year but the outtakes were a lot of fun! Sometimes those are the best! I wanted her to wear a hat like Violet, but she didn't want to. So I ended up using one wear they are at least both looking forward. I thought this one was kind of cute, though. Go to
Picture This for more great Best Shot Mondays.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Unfortunately, there's only one winner of the beautiful camera below, and it is the 10th commenter which is......(drumroll)
An HP Photosmart M547 Digital Camera!!!
Betty at WAYA!!!!!
Congratulations Betty!!!! You'll be receiving your camera directly from Hewlett Packard.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Monday, December 03, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
An HP Photosmart M547 Digital Camera!!!
It takes 6.2 megapixel photos, has a 3x zoom lens, red eye removal, 2.4 inch display and much more!!!!
It retails for $109.99! All you need to do is leave a comment and a random winner will be announced next Saturday, December 8th 8 pm pst!!! I will notify you by blog, or email. It is not necessary for you to have a blog, though!
I'm so excited to be giving this away, and wish each and every one of you the best of luck!
Happy Holidays to you and your families!
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Kirsten wins the 8 1/2 x 11 book
and Betty, Cynthia, and Dawn each get a 5 x 7 book! Yes, I actually have an extra 5 x 7 so nobody's a loser!!!!
Congratulations to you all! If you don't have my email, and I don't have yours, just shoot me a Flickrmail with your address by going here and I'll get it out to you!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
He brought him to our house one day, where he met our golden retriever Bone, and played with him in our back yard.
He also rather enjoyed playing tetherball. Which yes, he did eventually pop!
The girls dressed up pretty for Nana's house for Thanksgiving.
Olivia loved hugging and cuddling up with her Uncle Martin, while he read stories. Even though they don't see him often, they always start up where they left off when they see him. They both really enjoy his company.
Here's a photo of my roboleg!
Violet took this photo of my robo-leg this morning. I ended up getting about 10 stitches, a metal plate and about 7 screws in my ankle. The pain has finally subsided, but I'm not supposed to put weight on it yet, and have to go back in 4 weeks. This is a removable "boot" that goes over a sock on my leg to protect my ankle. Biggest bummer is not being able to drive. We're getting a little stir crazy here!!!
Friday, November 23, 2007
Anyway, if you happen upon my blog and would like to win an HP photobook (in prior entry), Please just post a short comment indicating that you've been here and I'll have a random drawing from the names and have 3 winners! Feel welcome to post here on this post or in the prior post and I'll pull a winner next Wednesday! That easy.
Hope your Turkey Day was great! We had a great one at my moms just us and my brother came down from Monterrey. The girls had a lot of fun playing with his dog Lester. Quite a bundle of energy, he is. Post photos soon!
Monday, November 19, 2007
Please just enter your name in the comments if you'd like to be entered to win an HP Photobook! Winners to be announced next Wednesday!
WooHoo, I reached 10,000 hits sometime today, so exciting to see. Interesting to see since I get about 5-15 comments on some of my entries, I would love to see who the rest of you are and read your blogs and find out more about you, don't be shy! I also have a very special incentive for you (see below)! Also, I really think that you would enjoy some of the fun challenges, and other fun stuff that goes on such a MamaSaysOm, Wrapped Emotions, PictureThis, Wordless Wednesdays & Flickr. Would especially like to get to know other unschoolers out there. There's some great Unshooling blog rings, check them out on my side link buttons. It is really a great way to make friends out there in the blogging world and you'll never know where it takes you...............(like here, or here, or here!) Also, through blogging, I was asked to participate in the HP Photograhics Memories Interviews with Mom Bloggers. I was interviewed by Susan Getgood at Snapshot Chronicles and received some HP Photobooks to give away!
So, in celebration, and to share the blogger love, I have a contest to announce:
Please leave a comment in the comments and I will put everyones names in a hat and pull 3 lucky winners. The 1st winner will recieve a 8.5"x11" book, and (2) 2nd places winners will each receive a 5"x7" book.
More details about the HP books:
Photo Books are a fun, easy way to create a customized, professional quality photo book at home with your inkjet printer. The innovative binding system – think of a big binder clip – lets you replace or rearrange pages and add mementos like ticket stubs or invitations. The included software has a variety of professionally designed layouts, or you can create your own with your favorite graphics package. Two sizes, 5x7 and 8.5x11, multiple colors.
An easy, fun way to create customized, professional quality photo books at home.
Professional looking two-toned linen photo book and software
Innovative binding system lets you replace or rearrange pages, add mementos
Photosmart Essential 2.5 software features a variety of professionally designed layouts
Two sizes. 5x7, $14.99 MSRP and 8.5x11, $24.99 MSRP
Available in the US at the HP Home and Home Office Store, Best Buy, QVC, Amazon.com, Staples, Office Depot and Circuit City (online only).
Through December 31, 2007, HP is offering a 20% discount on the purchase of the HP Photo Books.
If you don't win one here, there are other opportunities to win them, just check on Snapshot Chronicle's sidebar for other contests listed.
I've rethought the contest please feel free to join by just leaving a comment that you've been here and I'll consider you as entered in the contest, and I'll have a random drawing next Wednesday night!
I haven't really been able to take any shots this week, other than from where I'm sitting, so I pulled this one from last weekend when we went camping at Silverstrand State Beach.This one is of my friend's cute son closely inspecting a little crab that I found during low tide. I like how you can just see his eye poking in from the corner so I chose it for my BSM. Check out Picture This for more BSMs!
There is some more from our camping weekend in one of my flickr groups here, and a couple of sunset shots on my Mailboxes etc photo blog. Have a great week all!!!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Here are the specifics:
For this week's prompt you will need to set aside a small block of uninterrupted time. *gasp* You can do it. You need to do it. Allow whatever amount of time you think it will take to complete the project. Get any art supplies ready ahead of time. Open your art journal to a clean page, date it and begin listing the things you love today...or whatever day you do the project.No typing on the computer and printing words. It should be done in your handwriting. Make it neat, make it sloppy, make it uniquely yours. Doodle the words, fine line print, bold line print, scribble. Write horizontally, diagonally, backwards, upside down. Give the page some color and pop...paint the page first...collage the page first...color the page with marker. Do not be limited by these suggestions. But WRITE the lists...no typing and printing. What is important is that you know what you love today.One more twist...in a creative way include a wrapper from one of the things you love today (or the day you do this). Remember, if a week's project is not completed on an actual journal page, take the time to lovingly place each one into your art journal.
Being that I'm not very mobile right now, I just decided to write it on some cardstock with some regular markers. I would have loved to paint and embellish and play with it some more, but most of my art supplies are out back in the barn, and I wasn't up to trekking out there on crutches! Anway, it was still fun, and was actually a really good thing that I was able to just sit and really stay in the moment and love and appreciate the things that were right there in front of me. My girls playing nicely together, a nice quiet view through the front window, relaxing in my favorite room of the house with some of my favorite things, with my leg propped up. So here it is. Violet also decided to participate, so I'll link hers here as well as on the Wrapped Emotions page.
***oops, I forgot to add my wrapper. But my favorite wrapper would have to be my Yardley's English Lavendar talc, but since it's on a tin, I couldn't put it on anyway.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
There was definately much "GIDDY-ness" going on last Thursday night. We were so very, very lucky to be invited to go see the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus Best of Both Worlds concert in San Diego. This was Violet's first time to a concert and what better concert than this. In addition, the Jonas Bros opened for her! We love to watch Hannah Montana's show on tv as a family, and love her music as well. She is as talented live as she is on the show. An excellent voice, and an excellent stage presence.
We were forunate to be guests of Hewlett Packard, who sponsored the concert, and were invited by Tracey Clarke over at Picture This. She was the official photographer for the HP guests and is promoting the My Concert memory books. I am so excited about them and can't wait to see how they turn out.
Thank you so much Tracey, we had such a truly wonderful time!
For more "giddy" go to Picture This!
I'd love to share some of the HP love, so be on the lookout for an upcoming contest!
BTW, my surgery went well. Just call me the Bionic Woman. I now have metal in my ankle. Since I now have the plate, I was tempted to ask for microdermal studs......LOL just kidding! I have to go back in 14 days for another xray, to see whether I'll need a cast or just a boot. Boot would be better because, then I can take it off to take baths/showers.
Thanks for all the well wishes..........
Monday, November 12, 2007
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Some HUGE memories will be made tonight, thanks to a very special person who I am so very thankful to for making my girl so very happy! Violet says a big "Thank You!" and we'll see you later!
Hey! It's Spidey Montana!
Gosh! I hope he doesn't kill me when he sees this!!!!LOL
Update after tonight, on another post!
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Monday, November 05, 2007
Wrapped Emotions prompt this last week, was Enjoy your family. Being that we are unschoolers and I am with my girls pretty much all the time, I am very fortunate that I get to enjoy my family quite often! But, even more so when Dan is home too. He started a new job 2 months ago and is working longer hours. It's a real bummer and the kids miss him being at home at 430 in the afternoons. Recently, Olivia wanted to know the days of the week, in order. She'll say some of the days and try to put them in order out loud, so I've been helping her try to memorize them, because that's what she wants (natural learning occurring!). I wasn't sure about her motive for learning it, or whether there even was one, until she asked "what day is daddy home?" Aha, she wants to know so that she can know what days she can expect daddy to be home. Cool. So, with daddy home this weekend, she, they both, got to spend lots of time with both of us and I got to enjoy my family, that much more! We had been spending more time in doors, due to the air quality from the fires, and this weekend it was finally very clear and beautiful outside. So they got to spend some time on the trampoline, riding trikes and bikes, and playing "Tarzan & Jane" (Olivia's favorite pretend game-you guessed it, she's Tarzan, I'm Jane!)
We even had family time with the cats. We had fun watching them wrestle around!
(Photo courtesy of Olivia)
For more entries, go to Wrapped emotions or go to the link below