hearts and brains

This week we’ve been making a lot of Valentines Day preparations.

We built a heart shaped box for Lilah and decorated it and decorated a MineCraft creeper box for Gavin. Lots of hot glue was used to make the heart box and we all helped paint different shades of green squares onto Gavin’s creeper box.

Gavin made Valentines to hand out to friends


and so did Lilah. She made fortune tellers, decorating each corner, and making up several fortunes to include:  you will laugh and will not stop, you will fall in love with a cat and a cat will fall in love with you, you will become a king/queen, you will turn into an icicle, you will transform into a cat, you will eat a lot of candy and not get sick, you will fly on a balloon, you will get eaten by a tiger.

We’ve been talking a lot about the government and elections and how things work, who some of the people in our local government are and some in our federal government and how they got to those roles. We all participated in a Utah March for Refugees to demonstrate our support of refugees and our local city’s stance on people coming here from other countries.


We went ice skating.

Lilah was so fascinated by sign making for protests/marches that she made her own sign a few weeks back. It reads, “Cat’s are better then dooog’s.”


We’ve been hanging out at home, playing, too.


We had a pirate themed play day at our house with friends including dressing up, a scavenger hunt, treasure finding and lots of other play. **Photo of all the kids dressed up by my friend, Teri.**

Gavin made his own hunt for the little ones after finishing up the one I prepared for the group and they were so happy.

We’ve been reading The Wolfling by Sterling North. The kids are really enjoying it.

We spotted cedar waxwings in our yard and watched them eating berries from the mountain ash and apple remains and juniper berries along with the robins and starlings.

The kids are rereading the Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi on their own and together.

We went on a Valentine delivery run about town and the kids put Valentines for friends we don’t see often into their mailboxes.

We spotted bulb shoots coming up outside our kitchen windows and were very excited to see them and keep watching to find out what kinds they are and watch them grow!

We went to an aquarium with lots of opportunities to feed animals and the kids enjoyed it but I was not happy to see their really small enclosures and think of all the stress that being handled all day must cause the animals. We all decided after talking afterward not to go back. Feeding the parakeets was really fun though.

We’ve been watching the big hawk that sits on a post near our yard.


We went to a Valentines Day party with lots of unschooling friends and the kids loved roaming about in groups, especially enjoying the bouncy balls that Gavin’s Valentines had on them.

I’ve been painting sometimes in the evenings. I am so thrilled to be making and motivated by the challenge of trying a new medium: acrylic paint.

We roller skated and the kids played arcade games, trading in their tickets for a best friends forever necklace that splits into two necklaces. They put them on immediately. They really are best friends and I’m so grateful for their enjoyment of each other.


We went up to the Veteran’s Medical Center to give out Valentines to veterans. The kids were not comfortable giving them to people so I handed them out and then when we were done the kids covered the chairs in the waiting room with Valentines and candy.

We went to the park with friends and climbed trees and explored and hung on bars and talked.

The kids have been spending quite a bit of time playing Roblox and MineCraft on the computer together and separately but next to each other. Even when they playing different games they are chatting about things together.

We went to play at a friends’ house. The kids played all afternoon and the moms worked on craft projects. I’m trying needle felting for the first time ever. It’s pretty fun and I think the kids and I will try making some little critters together.



moments lately

Here’s a glimpse of what we’ve been doing:



Playground visit.


Roller skating.  Climbing.  Bouncing.

Math puzzling.  Addition, subtraction and division.  Finally, exploring fractions!


Walk by the Jordan river, counting birds and recording them for the Audubon’s national backyard bird count.  We saw red winged blackbirds, mallards, coots, starlings, geese, robins, and chickadees.


Putting together many pieces of furniture for new craft storage, game storage and moving Chris’ workspace into our room so he’s not in our living space trying to concentrate while the kids and I play.  One of the biggest things I worried about when we began seriously considering unschooling was how to give the kids access to resources at home.  We had and have a lot of resources but they weren’t easy to get to, they weren’t organized, and we didn’t really have good spaces for activities as I wanted to provide.  So we thought about it and thought about what we wanted and then began to reorganize.  There are storage units with tubs for toys in our living room.  One of them doubles as a bench for cuddling or looking out the window.  We just added craft supply storage in bins, so that our supplies are not crammed in cupboards, forgotten about for months because they are so inconvenient to get out and find what you’re looking for.  We also added game storage, open boxes so that games can be seen at a glance but still out of the way.  We adore games so we wanted a good size place to keep them safe but handy.  Not many days go by that there’s not a board game or card game (or three!) played in our house.  Here are the kids putting together a drawer.

Here is our game storage, newly built and populated! Yes, we have a lot of games, and that’s only about half.  The others are out of rotation in the closet.



Here are the storage items we put in over the summer to better prepare our space for easy exploration and enjoyment.  The first picture shows toys in bins and the bench by the window.  The second is more toys, dvds, photo albums, the tv.