Monday, November 2, 2015

Family visits and a resurrected painting

 (October 11 - 19)

One of the many things that I love about unschooling is the flexibility that it allows us when we have family or friends come to visit. We had a great time with my family recently. Each driving from a state away to converge on our home and share a fun weekend (plus some) together.
 showing Tio their Minecraft world and coloring with their Tia

cuddle puddle

getting lost in a 20 acre corn maze

potato slingshots

Wisconsin Dells riverwalk

I don't often attempt to photograph sunsets because I feel like I can never do them justice, but this one was too stunning not to give it a try. These are both unfiltered shots from the early and late stages of the same evening's beauty.

strolling the bike path up to the old train tunnel

 After not painting for most of the summer, I've come back to this canvas that was originally just a spot to use up extra paint that I had mixed for other canvases. This autumn I've been inspired by the red-tailed hawks that are often seen in the skies around here. It's still a work in progress, but the layers are coming together to create a painting that I'm quite happy with so far. I enjoy seeing how the layers evolve.
earlier layers during the messy intuitive painting process 
(inspired by a Bloom True E-Course by Flora Bowley that I participated in last October) 

 getting closer and fine tuning

 details
I worked on refining the painting while watching Smoke Signals with my girls on what has been known as Columbus Day here in America. Many places around the country have opted to rename it Indigenous Peoples' Day. We talked about viewing history from different perspectives and discussed who is often narrating the story in school history books. Smoke Signals is an independent film that is an all-Native American production, including producers, director, screenwriter, actors, and technicians.

catching leaves as they fall on a windy day
When the weather is fine we often spend long days outside interspersed with saxophone lessons, library visits, grocery shopping, and any math, reading, or science activities that we are interested in.


My kids often want to know how people know what they know. They question things from many angles and I try to offer my knowledge or opinion, and then dig deeper with them, find out their perspective, google it, find someone else to ask, or offer alternative theories about things. It's not the most straightforward way to learn, but the learning can go both deep and broad depending on the particular rabbit hole of ideas, questions, and new questions that we might be following at the time. Or they might be satisfied with the first answer for the time being, and we'll leave it at that. Not everything needs to be a huge learning experience. Some things don't need to be over-complicated.

 Yellow toadflax


 out for a country stroll


li'l snake

climbing and rolling
 While Camille was at a teen book club at the library and Sylvia and Ayla were engaged at the park, I had a chance to dig into Brene Brown's book, Rising Strong.
"We are born makers. We move what we're learning from our heads to our hearts through our hands."

We also had a visit with Grandma and Grandpa that included some fun autumn activities at Red Ridge Ranch, including a hay ride, petting zoo, hay bale maze, corn maze, pumpkin painting, and croquet and other yard games.  







Autumn is in fine full glory around here and we are making the most of it before we turn more inward for the coming winter months. So much goodness.

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