Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Today was one of those days that was satisfying right down to my dirty bare toes.  Not because it was exceptional in any way, but it just felt right.  Know what I mean?

I got to sleep in.  'Til 10.  The two littler ones slept in with me.  It was glorious.
 After eggs for breakfast we picked wild raspberries in the yard.

 Camille has been wanting to add some fun color to her hair and today was the day for it.  I didn't have any experience doing this sort of thing before, but she loves the way it turned out and I think it's pretty fabulous!

 I spent some time in the garden.  I weeded enough to give my poor veggies a good chance.  It was so satisfying, and I even had help turning the compost pile!

There was more, but not much, and maybe that's why it was so satisfying to me.  It's time to go watch more Wicked Science and draw faces on balloons with my girls.  I hope you have a satisfying day.  In your own way.  In your own life.

*Some days are big, and full of GO! and that can be fun and exhilarating and full of learning and excitement, but I also love the slower days where I can be close to my family and really look them in the eyes and appreciate the little things about them.  Those days are so valuable to me.  I really do revel in the satisfaction of a slow day well-spent.

Monday, June 25, 2012

just monday

Just another Monday in this unschooling life....
 The girls climbed in a city dump truck, street sweeper, cop car, fire engine, and digger at a library-sponsored activity this morning.  Camille's least favorite part of the event was all of the kids pulling the horn on the city truck.  Sylvia's favorite part was pulling the horn on the city truck.


 The raspberry plants that we planted last year have a couple of berries already this year!  They are descendants of my grandmother's sister's raspberry plants via my parents raspberry patch.

 Who knew balloons and sharpie markers could keep a girl occupied for hours?  I posed for this balloon portrait that Camille drew and she took a picture of me with it.

After a picnic at the park, we dropped Camille off at play rehearsal, and Sylvia, Ayla, and I went to library storytime where the girls fingerpainted together.

 We have yet to drive by these li'l cows and their mamas without stopping to admire them and imagine what they might be saying to each other.

 Camille cut and designed this dress that she's modelling.  I helped her sew it on my machine.  It went something like this:  
"Mom, I want to sew a dress."
"OK.  Do you want help?"
"Not really."
"You can use any of the fabric in this big basket."
An hour later she had a new dress made from an old bedsheet..

Right now, Camille's listening to the audio book, Curse of the Blue Tattoo: Being an Account of the Misadventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman and Fine Lady, Sylvia's rollerskating around the living room while watching iCarly on netflix,  and Ayla is petting our puppy, Carly.

It's a bit random, but I love this life.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

'til the break of dawn

We celebrated summer solstice this weekend with a lovely group of unschoolers in a beautiful setting.  There were crafts and games and delicious potluck food

  henna art

 bubble printing on paper

group games

After several fun- and friend-filled hours we headed into the city for another solstice celebration!
 the whoosh of the massive bonfire

 *photos by my good friend, Ronda 
We brought a box of floating lanterns to send our solstice wishes into the sky. (Thanks, Mom. We saved some to light with you :)

  As the fire mellowed, the drummers, hula hoopers, dancers, and fire twirlers took over. The girls were enraptured.
 If that wasn't enough excitement for us, we brought a couple of my girls' closest friends home with us and they all stayed up until sunrise!  I tried to doze, but I kept finding myself up, offering snacks and drinks, offering a quiet movie, smiling at their exuberant silliness.  They jumped and danced, watched youtube videos and sang, put together puzzles, built wooden train tracks, giggled and talked about their dreams.  After a few short morning hours of sleep, they were up in admirable condition playing with the chickens and gathering wild raspberries.  Playing, climbing, and digging.

 ...or trying to train baby chicks to perform a play in Camille's room :)
We ALL need to catch up on sleep (well, some are right now), but I'd say the magic of watching a near-solstice sunrise with good friends is a summer adventure worth having.

I guess I'm the kind of Mama who lets her little one play with a bowl of wet sand in the car because she's loving it so, and drives her daughters and friends home around midnight, and lets them stay up 'til the break of dawn, and believes that sometimes a chocolate milkshake can be a delightful breakfast.  I break so many of the parenting rules that we are often told are necessary, but sand vacuums easily, tired bodies sleep, and joyful children deserve magic in their lives.

There are enough natural limits and constraints in this world and society that we live in.  I ask my children to be respectful and kind to the best of their abilities in their interactions, but I love to find ways to enable them to find magic and joy in their lives.  So, while I don't consider that anything goes in my parenting philosophy, I choose to live by principles rather than rules.  (This links to a page from Sandra Dodd's unschooling site about rules vs. principles).

*This post is linked over at Owlet's unschool monday.

Friday, June 22, 2012


Elderflower cordial getting ready for the pantry

The last of the local u-pick strawberries made into honey-sweetened jam
Another way to serve eggs from our hens 

Making local friends, pretending to build a campfire to roast their plantain leaves over :)

 local swimming hole

more locals
(Ayla especially loves to see the calves nursing on their mamas.)