This Week

I’m still working on writing about all the holiday fun but I’d better get something up about now before I am further behind!

The three of us went to the hot springs with our unschool friends and enjoyed the cold air and the warm water, a few raindrops, lots of steam. It was relaxing and the kids were okay in the warm pool this time, enjoying some pool noodles to paddle around with. On our drive we listened to the end of Starry River of the Sky by Grace Lin. It’s such a beautiful, rich story. I highly recommend reading this one and Where the Mountain Meets the Moon to anyone, at any age. Next we’ll be listening to the the third in the Redwall series by Brian Jacques. Gavin is particularly enjoying the stories about animal societies and heroes.


We spent quite a bit of time sorting Legos and trying to find pieces for a few sets that we are putting away to make room to display new sets. The kids enjoy the process but need a lot of assistance from me because we have so many little pieces. We’ve made a lot of progress and are trying a new storage system, keeping the tiniest pieces in smaller drawers to find more easily. We’ve rediscovered some treasured bits and inspired some new building fun in the process.

We went grocery shopping and then went to the Indian convenience store where the kids helped pick out some snacks and some lentils and beans. Then we visited the library and picked out some new books. I picked a few, each kid picked a few and we came home and read. And when it was bedtime they were still reading.

We started a new puzzle, a holiday gift to the kids. It’s a puzzle of our neighborhood with our house in the middle! It’s very challenging but so, so fun to piece together the streets we drive on and the condos we pass and the traintracks near our house.


We scheduled a trip to Southern Utah, to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary to volunteer taking care of the animals there. We will help with cats, bunnies and parrots this trip. I’ve been dreaming of going there for years and am so excited to go and take the kids too! We watched a video today in preparation for volunteering to learn about expectations and safety.

I also shared this video of a dog unwrapping his gift with the kids:

They loved it as much as I thought they would. Life is good.




November was full of fun. We spent more time inside this month as it’s been getting cold. I miss the time outside but the cozy indoor activities are really fun too.


A check up at the veterinarian’s office.  All is good. The kids helped comfort Luna in the exam room.

Aquarium visit. The kids were excited to see some carnivorous plants!



Lots of reading.

Lots of drawing (lots of cats).

Playing games.

Building with circuits.




Enjoying the International Peace Gardens.


Out and about with friends.


Feeding and watching bird visitors and a bit of snow!


Lots of cooperative story telling/playing.

I love these kids!


puzzling and patterning and owls

It’s getting colder and darker and we are feeling inclined to do things like go through our board and card game collection and give away those we are done with, make designs with our pattern blocks, and drink tea. (“Whatcha making?”, I asked him. “A track for the hotwheel cars!”)

We got a brand new puzzle that Chris got for us because he knows how much we love puzzles and we haven’t done one for months but we were so excited to get down to matching designs and colors and letters and creatures today! It’s a really fun puzzle with monsters of all kinds and monster stores of all kinds. It’s fun to hear the kids sounding out “calamity” and “scalawag” and “wriggles” from the monster store fronts on the puzzle.


We put on some glitter tattoos.


We’ve been having some fun doing math puzzles on the whiteboard. One of us writes a question and someone else solves it. Gavin’s learning it can be much harder to write than to solve! He tried some simple algebra this week and enjoyed that. Lilah and I talked about multiplication in terms of muffins and cookies on baking sheets. That was fun!


We got out a Crime Catchers Spy Science kit that Gavin has had put away since last winter and started doing science experiments to solve the case. Here they are testing the pH of different solutions and checking for secret messages with red tinted glasses and then writing down the message clues.

Lilah made me this wonderful love note. It’s a cat thinking of cat love and saying “meaw”.


We went to visit some Great Horned Owls, collect their pellets and dissect them. There were two owls, high up in the pine trees looking down at all the commotion from time to time. I couldn’t take a picture worth anything of them with my phone camera but a friend took this one! We were able to see them pretty well with our eyes and binoculars though.


We found dozens of pellets, and dissected them to discover lots of rodent and possible mole and shrew bones.

In addition there was a whole lot of playtime with friends!