Out & about

Up to Red Butte Garden.

Lilah took along a pen and notepad and drew some observations and fascinations.

Exploring.  Enjoying.

Off to Kingsbury Hall to take in American Tall Tales by the youth theatre group.  It was a fun performance and we sat on the second level for the first time, which the kids were excited about.  My favorite part was that they included part of Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind Crockett, a tall tale we’ve read many times in Steven Kellogg’s book, where a little girl is more powerful than all her brothers and sets off to find challenges in the wild.

A haircut for Gavin. “When it’s long it bothers me during soccer.”


Over to the Leonardo museum with friends, playing with electricity, motion, giant blocks, goo, and a green screen.

Biking to the park.


We pulled out our pvc pipes that we used once upon a time to build a Magic Treehouse fort for Gavin’s birthday party years ago.  They’ve been asking about fort building and this was perfect for some building fun.

Enjoying a fort.


Visiting the cat sculpture park.


On a hike we’ve never tried before.

Enjoying each other.


To the botanical center.

Magic playing.


Digging rows and planting carrots.  Finding the first roly poly of the year.

Playground with friends.

In between we cuddled and cried and snuggled and built and played Pandemic and practiced gymnastics and finished Island of the Blue Dolphins and began Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder and listened to Harry Potter and picked flowers and played with modeling clay and ate huge sticks of celery like bunnies.

Things are good.



spring means kites and the spiral jetty

In between reading The Island Of The Blue Dolphins, building forts, talking about leprechauns, drawing treasure hunts and building with Legos, we got to spend a lovely afternoon flying kites with my parents

and another afternoon exploring the Spiral Jetty out at the Great Salt Lake (a work of art by Robert Smithson that is sometimes submerged, sometimes surround by the lake and sometimes, like now, is completely dry.  Lilah, noticing others had left messages and drawings in the sand nearby, added her own message, “Love.”

and the Ghost Pier, close by.

It was warm out there and we saw pelicans, a lizard, and what I think might have been sandhill cranes flying by.  It was fun to explore.  We also got to listen to Harry Potter aaaall the way there and back again.  I think we made it through six or seven chapters!


Up Storm Mountain again

We haven’t been on our favorite hike up Storm Mountain since last fall but it’s been so nice that we ventured up today!


We also played with Lego elves sets, started reading Island Of The Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell and Lilah made me feel so special and loved by making me a necklace with pages that read: Mama, I love you to the moon and back, I love you infinity and beyond, etc. Am I lucky or what?


After lunch we headed up the canyon. It took us an hour or so more than it could have to leave the house so I was feeling grumpy by the time we left but when we got up there and breathed in the piney air and felt the sun on our skin I felt great. The kids were very excited to get to the stream where they love to climb, but it’s a steep path up.


We made it with a few short stops and they spent the next quarter of an hour throwing rocks into the water and watching them splash. After that we had a snack on a sunny boulder, discovered a rock that drew colored lines on other rocks, collected sparkly rocks and arranged them on the boulder, we continued up, climbing, splashing, leaping, balancing. We even tried putting some snow balls into the icy stream and watching them float down over waterfalls.

It was so wonderful to be there and watch both kids reveling in the challenges and explorations of the mountains!


plural noun: bagels

We played with MadLibs and were all enjoying it very much until Gavin wrote something wrong twice and there wasn’t space left to fit it in and got really upset and decided to take some time on his own.  I am happy that he’s beginning to develop strategies to use to deal with situations he’s having difficulty with.

They built with Gavin’s physics set.


They built with Magformers.


We played at the park.

Lilah and I did some yoga.

We tried a new kind of flour in gluten free bagels: cassava (which is the same thing as tapioca except it includes the whole root).

Bagels have a lot of steps. When we put them in the simmering water with sugar, they dropped the bottom and then slowly floated up to the surface. Gavin tasted the water, realized it was sweet and asked if it was the same as what we put in the hummingbird feeder. I told him, “Yes, pretty much except that doesn’t have flour from bagels in it.”

The kids each sprinkled their own bagels with poppyseeds, then we put extra cornmeal and poppyseeds on some and left a few plain.


They came out a bit gummier than I’d like, but everyone else was pleased. I’ll try without psyllium husk powder next time. This time I added it in case they started coming apart in the water, like they did in our last bagel making attempt.

We watched Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind together. It’s one of our favorite Hayao Miyazaki animated films. Lilah is very drawn to the main character who works to bring peace, understanding and respect of all living things about.

All four of us walked over the local school playground, kicked the soccer ball around and played on the playground.

The kids and Chris went to scouts and made kites and crowns while I had some time on my own. It was good for everybody.


word play & other play

We read some Dr. Seuss books.


Lilah and I shoveled snow.  It was very exciting since it’s been months since we needed to.


She requested that I make Energy Bites for a snack – a cookie dough like snack made with coconut, peanut butter, flax seed meal, oats, a bit of honey and chocolate chips, so I mixed a few up.

We had a friend over.  They dressed up fancy and built with Legos and had a fashion show and jumped on the bean bag.

Gavin organized his squishy body parts organs.

At the park we found a large tumbleweed and explored that for a bit.  It has prickly parts but is fun to roll.


Lilah hula hooped with two hoops.


We talked about genes after I made a joke about how Lilah has red hair since I only ate carrots when I was pregnant with her and then Gavin asked, “But really, why does Lilah have red hair?”

The kids talked about things they are proud of themselves for: kindness, smartness, playfulness.

Gavin and I played Roads, Rivers and Rails.

We enjoyed our sprouting cucumbers.  No Thai Basil or Blue Kale visible yet.


We ventured out to the Jordan river parkway, saw some ducks, a submerged shopping cart and visited two playgrounds.  There was quite a bit of soccer ball passing and kicking along the way too.


We finished The Wizard Of Oz and read The Sneetches and Other Stories.  Our current favorite is the story of the pale green pants with nobody inside ’em.  Lilah has just latched onto my ongoing joke about nobody so she was particularly enjoying it.

me: Who’s in the bathroom?

L: Nobody.

me: Nobody’s in the bathroom?

L: Yeah.

me: What’s Nobody doing in the bathroom?

L: No.  NOBODY’S in the bathroom.

me:  I know, but what’re they doing in there?

L: There is not anybody in the bathroom!

me: Well, if Anybody’s not in there, where is Anybody?

L: There is NO person in the bathroom!

me: Well, you just said Nobody’s in there.


We worked on the bird puzzle some more.

We dressed up with friends and danced together.


They played Rivers, Roads & Rails.


I’m slowly learning a few things about our unschooling life and how I fit into it.  I’ve learned that all that time I thought I’d just have in the day without needing to drop-off or pick-up isn’t there.  If I want/need time to do my own projects I need to schedule it.  Otherwise it won’t be there.

I thought of unschooling much like most parents do the summer break every year, as unlimited in time and resources and possibilities.  In some ways that’s true, but it doesn’t feel that way in the midst of it.  There are still so many ideas and projects that never get finished or in many cases, started.  Most importantly, I’ve learned that’s okay.  It’s okay to not do it all.  To begin and leave it.  To say, “Not today.”

We’re getting better at this.