We headed down last month for a long weekend. My sister and Dave met us there. We explored rainbow canyons, hoodoos, slot canyons and big slickrock domes that curve down to sandy paths between smooth and curving walls of yellow silica sandstone. It happened to be Valentines Day while we were there and a place with pink, red, orange, yellow and white rock seemed like a perfect place to celebrate love. Lilah spent some time making sand art with all the various hues of sand she found. We squeezed and climbed our way through several slot canyons. We sheltered in a little alcove from a sudden rainstorm. It was good to explore together.
We spotted desert bighorn sheep, a zebra tail lizard, some birds and tracked bees, lizards, birds and we think, a fox.
We started on the trails and then explored out and beyond which is where most of us feel the most at home. It was beautiful, all the swirling different colors of rock and the carved shapes. We chatted about which rock formations would be good for bathtubs and cat beds and where a nice hot tub spot would be. We decided that the rock colors were probably flavored. Grape, lemon, strawberry. Mmmmmm.
We ended the trip the same way we ended the last one here, deciding we should return again to explore more.
On our drive we listened to some more of the Heartstriker series by Rachel Aaron. We’re enjoying the story. I am particularly enjoying following the story of a dragon who believes in peace, kindness and negotiations instead of fighting to the death.
Gavin is working on building a custom designed hovertank made with Lego after some weight lifting. Lilah is putting together ingredients for a chocolate cake with chocolate orange frosting while singing. Later we will read more of and talk about the book Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH during our tea party with cake.
We found a frozen waterfall in the hills in our neighborhood. It was lovely. We might go hunt other frozen waterfalls now that we’ve had a taste.
We’ve been working in the elf workshop, dreaming up and hammering together gifts for friends and family.
We’ve been going on walks, nearby and a little further out, with and without Juniper the cat.
We’ve been reading a lot. Gavin is working his way through The 13th Paladin series and Lilah has been working on reading the Snow Like Ashes series. I’m trying a few books at Gavin’s suggestion and keeping up with my library books in digital format. We’re listening to The Trials of Morrigan Crow series in the car, refreshing our memory of the first two in preparation for listening to the newest one.
The kids spent an hour on a walk one day coming up with a plan for a video game that was food themed. Lilah created a kingdom inside with an Alice In Wonderland focus and Gavin was working on a Pizza Factory basement level. It was so creative and fun and they put a lot of experience and thought into it together, just for fun. I was struck by how in this case, computers and games inspired creativity for them rather than stifled it.
We baked spritz cookies, vegan and gluten free for the first time. The kid enjoyed watching the shapes that come out of the strangely decorated plates and Lilah helped decorate them. I had to adjust the recipe on the spot as it just wasn’t working, not coming out properly, or holding together as well as not sticking to the baking sheet but with the addition of a bit of aquafaba they were working like they should.
The kids have both been working on their typing through a program called TTRS which is fairly enjoyable and they are making good progress! It’s a good thing to work on while at home more than usual.
Gavin is working on learning about the code language Java. He’s trying out Codecademy.com this time. Right now he’s working on running a lemonade stand in his course.
Lilah’s been spending a lot of time drawing. Here’s one of her latest creations.
We went snowshoeing in the mountains. There hasn’t been enough snow lower yet to do much snow play but we went up higher and found some nice fresh white stuff coming down and enough already there to play in. We found some cozy spots under the pines and spruces that felt like hideouts and wove between the trees and the stream where the kids enjoyed pushing bits of snow into the water and watching them tumble and very slowly dissolve. We spotted some rabbit and squirrel tracks along the way. Another day we went again with my parents and sister and Dave. There were fewer squirrels spotted but we did find a snowwoman.
We played the card game B.S. with they kids, where you bluff and call others bluffs. We ended up playing about 6 games because they enjoyed it so much. It was fun and we all laughed a lot.
On the winter solstice we took a walk and decorated some trees with dried orange ornaments that we’ll take down later.
We celebrated the holidays on Zoom this year due to the corona virus pandemic. It’s gotten worse here in Utah during the colder months and the holidays so getting together in person and inside is just not a smart move. So, we had a call with the local crew Christmas Eve, the Johnston family on Christmas and the Reynolds the day after. It was so good to see faces and hear voices of loved ones but so unsatisfying when I really want to be there and be able to hug people. We made a big batch of spritz cookies and molasses cookies and delivered them to my sister and my parents earlier to munch on while wrapping and unwrapping and zooming. We took a socially distanced walk in the hills with my sister, Dave and my dad after the calls on Christmas evening and looked out over the city, watched the sun set and the stars appear.
Gavin and Lilah are so tall now that Gavin is less than an inch shy of me. It’s a really weird but good experience to look at your kids grown as big as you. Gavin and I are sharing a flannel shirt we like. It’s weird to think that they will have grown so much during these months (years) of isolation that when we are able to see people again there will be a huge difference in their sizes.
We headed out to Utah Lake to see the ice there. It gets windy enough that often there are ice pushes, where ice is broken into shards and blown up toward or onto the shore in drifts and piles. It made for some beautiful textures! We walked out on the ice where it was thick and solid and we saw some raccoon prints in the ice. We discovered that rocks skidding across the ice there makes lovely exciting sounds too. When it gets colder the whole lake freezes and you can walk all the way across. Maybe we’ll get that chance sometime.
I’m anxious to tie dye and ice dye again. We didn’t do much this last season because of my knee injury so I am really looking forward to playing with the colors this spring. I’m working on listing the rest of the items we have already made in our Etsy shop PossibleOctopus so we will have room for more come warmer weather.
We are working on a new time organization method for our family, where we each set goals for the week and then check in about how we’re doing on those. We are hoping to help the kids practice taking responsibility for their own time, projects and goals more by giving them support in practicing those things. So far we’ve only just begun but it is exciting to hear about what things the kids want to accomplish or spend time doing.
The world is not puddle wonderful but icy wonderful here, at the moment.
We went camping with my sister and her boyfriend and my parents down by Flaming Gorge. It was so lovely to get outside for a few days.
We walked (and some of us climbed in crevices) along the edge of the gorge.
We took a hike in the forest to a lake and spotted deer and elk (and maybe a fox) prints on the way. I walked two miles on a trail with rocks and mud and logs and hills… a first for me after my surgery. I had just gotten permission to put my full weight on that knee about a week before our trip so it was perfect timing!
We read in hammocks and chatted with family.
We took a raft and kayaks down the river. It was Lilah’s first time on a raft and she really enjoyed it. Gavin loved it too!
We spotted kokanee salmon swimming upstream, bright red and orange.
Lilah worked hard on her fire starting and tending. With some help she started two fires with a fire striker and some cottonwood seed fluff and lint. She got quite frustrated but kept at it and was eventually successful.
We roasted marshmallows and spotted shooting stars.
We spent the last evening around the fire finding animals and other picture in the flames and coals. There were several alligators in there.
On our way home we listened to an audiobook called The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. It was an excellent listen, young adult fiction about race relations in America today.
We’ve been snowshoeing and cross country skiing, most recently with my sister and Mom!
We’ve been sledding.
We celebrated the New Year with Chris’ parents who came all the way out to see us!
We’ve gotten back into the ninja class and our nature classes. Here we have Gavin doing the spider jump/climb, Gavin running up the curved wall, Gavin swinging on the giant wheel, then Lilah swinging from the smaller wheels, Lilah doing the spider jump/climb up to the bar at the top, Lilah hanging upside down.
It’s been snowy and cold out but still beautiful. I have been enjoying getting out, even though it’s hard to get motivated to get out the door unless we’ve made plans. So we’ve made lots of plans to get out!
We’ve been tracking animals by looking at prints in the snow. Here are tracks from a rabbit, tunnels from a vole, another vole track that looks like it just leaped into the snow and made a print of itself before tunneling away, a deer print and a squirrel print.
We’ve been reading The Complete Farside and the Wings of Fire books.
We’ve been looking at the golden ratio in nature and drawing it with our compasses.
Gavin’s been working on setting up a raspberry pi with camera on his 3D printer so he can watch and adjust it remotely.
Lilah’s been drawing a portrait of her new Dungeons and Dragons character, a deer ranger character.
I’ve been dreaming of sunshine and warmth but enjoying the sparkling snow and the quiet of winter.
We took a week and made a trip to California, to visit the ocean.
On the way we stopped and explored Zzyxz, an old mineral springs spa town which has been taken over by a school for wildlife research but still has some abandoned buildings to roam. It was so incredibly hot, but still worth a short detour. The bath house was there, with an outdoor pool and some window frames looking away toward the mountains.
Here Gavin is “swimming” in the pool.
Nearby is a lodging house with tiny rooms in a long row. We found the whole area fascinating.
We also spotted some bighorn sheep along the road there.
The tide wasn’t super low for tidepooling when we were at the beach but we looked in them anyway and found a bunch of creatures roaming. We saw anemones, an urchin, a few ochre stars, mussels, barnacles of several types, hermit crabs, bigger crabs, fish, sea hares ranging from the size of a finger to the size of a melon, periwinkle and moon snails, a keyhole limpet, and some serpula.
The kids spent a bunch of time bodyboarding and wading and Chris and I got in a bit too. One afternoon we spotted a small bunch of dolphins off shore.
I had a lot of fun trying out my new macro lens that attaches to my phone! It was tricky to use on tidepools because it needs to be so close the subject so I mostly used it on dry or recently washed up items. These are a lobster tail, a crystalline iceplant seedpod, kelp, driftwood, seaweed. I really enjoyed messing about with it and am looking forward to doing much more. Thanks, Mama and Daddy!
Several nights, Chris and I got to take night walks on the beach as there was one a block from the place we stayed. It was lovely. We watched the waves and the birds.
On the way out of town we stopped at a sculpture garden to see “Bunny Henge.”
Farewell for now, Ocean. We’ll see you soon.
On our drives, we listened to the first two books in the Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander, The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde, and began Rivals, Frenemies Who Changed the World by Scott McCormick.
We took a little over a week to explore part of Florida.
It’s cold at home and much warmer there which was a nice reprieve. The kids had never been to Florida and Chris was traveling to Sri Lanka for a work retreat. It is so incredibly hard to be left behind when he travels internationally because I love traveling and have always wanted to travel more of the world and have had not any opportunity to do so in twenty years. It’s also hard because I also become a single parent for that time and have to be on duty 24/7 with all the needs of the kids and household. I’m lucky to be in a relationship where we are partners and do our best to share the load for most things so it’s a big deal when he’s away. And to be completely open, being a “stay at home mom” is hard. So hard! I love it and want to do it and am so lucky to be able to choose to but there is no validation, respect, appreciation, recognition for all the things you do, or all the progress you make or the things you really try hard at or excel at. It feels so lonely and so unseen and so endless. There’s no time off or work hours or bonuses or kudos. I miss when I had people who “saw” what I did and how well (or not) I did it. There’s a tiny bit of that from other moms and friends, family and my partner but it’s simply not the same. And our culture has no other value system for accomplishments, time spent, effort that what is there in school or work. Anyway, that’s a whole other post about my personal experience with the isolation of being a full time parent and home educator, how difficult it is and how I struggle and make do.
So, to keep myself from going mad, we went to Florida while Chris was away. He made it easier on me by getting us a great place to stay and flying out with us to get us settled in. We stayed in Cape Coral which we learned is the burrowing owl capitol of the world! Whoa! Gavin’s face lit up when I told him that. We looked around but had no luck but it so happened the Burrowing Owl festival was going on while we were there. Of course we had to go. The festival itself was fun, sort of like a fair. They had some rescued owls of different types and a butterfly pavilion.
Here are some pictures Gavin took of the owls at the festival:
Gavin says they’re an albino pygmy owl, a great horned owl and a barred owl.
But they also had a bus tour to see burrowing owls! We signed up and went with twenty other much older folks to see owls. We learned that in Cape Coral, they mark burrows. So, just like that, our owl spotting opened up! We stopped at several burrows and some were occupied, some weren’t and some the owls were inside and not visible as it was warm and the middle of the day. We learned that CC owls are the only ones who dig their burrows as the sand is soft enough there. In other places they use other animals’ old burrows. They were pretty cute little owls! There was usually one out guarding the entry to the burrow though at one burrow we saw both. After our tour we took our own tours and found many owls including a pair only two houses down from where we were staying! Wow! They are nearly invisible so without some serious location help or the markers they put around each we likely never would have spotted any even though there were thousands of active owl burrows in Cape Coral.
We went to the beach and the beach and the beach. Fort Myers beach was warm and shallow and the kids had a lot of fun paddling around there.
Sanibel Island was beautiful and there were lots of shells to discover but it was quite crowded and hard to find parking.
Lovers Key was amazingly gorgeous though we got attacked by tiny biting insects at dusk. If you go, do not stay till dusk and do not stop at the washing station! We spotted osprey nests and enjoyed the beautiful white sand and turquoise water. Here’s our picnic spot:
And here some shots from the beach:
We headed to the Everglades twice. Once we walked and once we biked the paths. There were so many birds and fish and turtles and alligators! We saw tiny baby alligators hanging around their moms and big ones submerged so they looked like rocks in the canals and big ones sunning themselves on the side of the path. We saw blue herons and white herons and night herons and ibis and spoonbills and wood storks and anhingas and hawks and tiny diving herons. We spotted a pair of nesting anhingas with babies. It was beautiful. The kids loved biking there and it was fun to yell, “Stop, there’s an alligator!”
We headed to Manasota Key to look for sharks teeth. We found so many! It was really fun figuring out how and where to look for them and then picking them up. We found tiny ones and pretty good sized ones and some were black, some were golden brown and black and some were almost bluish or orangish tinted in places. It was also an excellent place for shelling! Lilah loved looking at the shells for treasures. Gavin spent several hours looking for all the butterfly clam shells he could find in different colors. He theorized that they are different colors in different places. We even spotted some butterfly clams alive in the sand and we watched them bury themselves back up after getting washed off by the waves.
Here’s Gavin searching for butterfly clamshells:
And hunting for sharks teeth:
We admired the patterns of the coral on this big hunk:
Here’s some of our haul of treasures from the beaches:
Lilah learned the names of a bunch of shells we’d never encountered before.
We passed a bunch of mini golf places while driving so that was on Gavin’s wish list. He chose a pirate themed place and we went there one afternoon and enjoyed the course. They had an old smugglers ship turned into a hole which was pretty neat. They even had alligators we could feed. So, of course we did! We put the kibble between pins on a fishing pole and lowered it down and the alligators caught it and ate it. It was fascinating to watch. They looked like they didn’t even notice but then suddenly would jump and catch the food. They hung onto the end of the string for a while after catching the food too. I wondered how many golf balls they’ve eaten. No pictures were taken of the feeding because there was too much fencing in the way to get a decent shot.
I did a lot of yoga to stretch, strengthen and relax my body and mind. It helped ease my intense feelings a bit and felt good.
There were lots of little lizards living by our place, running up the trees and in the trash cans and on the windows. They were fun to watch. One evening we spotted a bunny grazing at the side of our place in the evening. The kids enjoyed watching it munching and then bounding away.
It was really fun to be in very different climates and biomes than we usually enjoy at home. It was fun for me to remember trips to Florida to visit my grandparents a long time ago.
While driving around lately we’ve listened to Hellen Keller’s autobiography: The Story Of My Life, Changeling by Molly Harper, The Hazelwood by Melissa Albert. Now we are listening again to Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi in preparation for the second book coming soon.
Lilah is already talking about our next trip to Florida! I’m not sure we’ll go again soon as there are so many other places to explore but it was a good week.
We headed over to the redwoods forest and the beach in Northern California.
The salt flats of Utah are on the first leg of the trip and we got out to see for a few minutes. It looks like snow but it is all salt and it is hot out there!
Our campsite was in the redwoods. It was cool and beautiful and so, so green. We even had banana slug and millipede visitors along with sweet singing birds. After 95-100 degree days in Utah, it was lovely to have mid 60s weather there.
The beach we love nearby was closed due to landslides on the trail so we had to adjust our plans. We headed to Crescent beach for some walking and shell collecting.
We really wanted to do some tidepooling so we found a few other possible places and tried one out the next day. The area the rangers were setting up was very slippery and hard to maneuver and we couldn’t find much of interest besides the most common shallow critters like anemones and crabs so we headed to the other side of the beach and we found sandy pools that Lilah could easily get around and so many fun things to see!
There were ochre sea stars in a rainbow of colors
and leather stars
and another kind I’d never seen before except at the aquarium which some research indicates may be a blood star.
There were crabs, both hermit and bigger.
There were barnacles and limpets and mussels and anemones and snails.
There were several types of fish.
There were nudibranchs! We found lots of one type with orange tips and one of another that was beige, flat backed with dark brown polka dots.
There were baby sea stars!
And best of all, we even spotted a small live jellyfish flowing in the currents
and an otter!
I spotted the otter in the ocean looking at us and then as I yelled, “It’s an otter! Loooook!” it swam up toward the beach near us and then galumphed up, rested, then galumphed more into a pond up at the top of the beach where Gavin spotted it! We think it was a river otter.
Here’s the “I just saw an otter!” face on Lilah:
And here she is, looking at fresh otter prints.
We hiked to Hidden Beach, a beautiful walk with wildflowers, ferns, views of the ocean below, a few seals sunning themselves far out on the rocks.
The kids built forts, with Chris’ help.
We spotted more amazing animals during low tide there too. Here’s a limpet that had come off it’s rock.
A couple of things I’m still working on figuring out what they are:
these orangey red blobs, which were further down in the tidal zone, which look like they may be red ascidians (commonly called sea pork) which the nudibranchs above particularly like to eat
and this, which may be a tunicate, but I’m not certain.
We also did quite a bit of hands-on (feet on) research about which seaweed types are slippery, or good for gripping while maneuvering through wet rocks in the tide pools.
In between our beach fun, we played Hero Realms, Yahtzee and Dragon Farkle, roasted marshmallows, explored the campground and while driving we listened to The Land by Mildred Taylor, a book about race relations and a young man with a white father and a black mother finding his way in America right after slavery ended, some short stories and The Land: Founding by Aleron Kong, which is a role playing game themed series with some crude humor that I’d prefer was left out but otherwise is quite entertaining.
We tripped up to Oregon to go to our first unschool conference and see friends and the ocean.
The conference had so many fun activities but was kind of hard for us introverts to make connections without knowing anyone beforehand. Lilah spent most of her time in the art room, drawing, painting, making a masquerade mask, a leather gauntlet and bracelet. Gavin spent most of his in the game room. Gavin did a self defense workshop. Chris and I got in a few hours of listening to panels and speakers as well as accompanying the kids. Most of the speaking was geared toward new or prospective unschool parents, which was bit disappointing. It was so nice to be surrounded by educationally like minded families. Lilah was delighted to see many other kids sporting tails and ears and both fit right in with their candy colored hair. It seemed to me that if we went again, we’d do well to find friends to go with or wait until the kids are teens in desperate need of other teen group connections.
Seeing friends was fun. The kids picked up right where they left off, playing games, petting cats, swimming and putting on impromptu performances at the open air amphitheater in the Rose Garden. Chris made a new friend at the garden.
The ocean was lovely. I terribly awfully wish we lived near it. It’s my happy place, along with many other nature scapes. We dug in the sand and watched birds and crabs and spotted animals in tide pools. We also found a local shipwreck that is now part of the beach scenery at Fort Stevens.
During all of our driving hours we listened to The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman and got a good start on a new favorite: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi.
We’ve been baking. Brownies, cinnamon cake, cookies with two colors of dough. YUM.
Lilah’s been playing her ukelele and writing songs. I adore seeing her play and create and enjoy.
They started their own spur of the moment Dungeons and Dragons style game with Lego dragons as characters. Here are their supply lists:
The supply lists read: (Gavin) 1 medium pack, 1 ruby, 1 bag of herbs 2 loaves of fresh bread, 1 cat, 1 awesome sword, 2 gun parts, 1 gun, 1 owl hunter. (Lilah) 2 medical packs, 2 rubies, 2 bags of herbs, 4 loaves of fresh bread, 2 cats!!!, 1 sword, 1 owl, 2 gun parts, awesome bow and quiver of ice arrows.
We saw Black Violin, a musical group that was amazing! The group has two classically trained violinists, a drummer and a DJ and they play everything from classical pieces done over in new ways to contemporary music done in more classical overtones. It was energetic and fun.
We’re listening again to The Thirteenth Child series by Patricia Wrede. It’s such a wonderful story, a personal exploration and growth story with a female protagonist who does things her own way and learns that there are always multiple ways of looking at things.
Gavin’s been going on his own to the library several times to get books on MineCraft building.
We celebrated my Dad’s birthday and tried to help him come up with ideas for a deck or patio.
Lilah’s been drawing, drawing, drawing. Here are an owl, Lilah’s version of herself as good (cat) and evil (cat), and a cat. I’m proud and happy to know that she has thoroughly learned that if she tries drawing something and it doesn’t come out the way she likes, she can just try and again and practice instead of getting incredibly upset by her first attempt.
The kids got out their hexbug sets and built an epic track for their bugs.
Gavin saved up and bought himself a copy of MineCraft Story Mode, a game based on the MineCraft world where he gets to work through big adventures.
It’s been snowing and springing, both so we’ve been trimming some plants, planting some beets and carrots in between shoveling snow. Gavin swept the deck on one of the warmer days so it’s clear for swinging and lounging.
We’ve been talking about garden plans this year. Gavin wants to try garlic again and Lilah wants lettuce. I’ve never grown either so we’ll see what happens!
Lilah began asking for egg hunts several weeks ago so we pulled down our plastic eggs and have had several hunts. Yesterday it was warm and dry enough to hide and hunt outside so Gavin set up a hunt with 60 or 70 eggs for us to find.
We went to an RSL soccer game with my parents. It was an awful game for our team, but fun anyway.
We spent a full Saturday with Gavin’s Odyssey of the Mind team, who have been preparing for months and months for the state competition where they competed in their problem, a skit they put together, designed and performed which met certain criteria and solved certain problems and in spontaneous problems where they work together to come up with solutions to puzzles/problems on the fly. Here’s Gavin in his costume, designed and put together by the team:
He is a soldier in a Star Wars world. Here is Gavin putting together part of his team’s set:
They had a lot of fun and it was great to watch all their work over the last several months come together!
We had an egg hunt party with a big bunch of friends. The kids hid the eggs and then later found eachother’s eggs, opened them and enjoyed their spoils. We put balloons in the ones we brought and there was a whole half hour of balloon music, as the kids blew them up and then slowly or quickly let the air come out and made loud, weird and awful sounds. So fun!
Lilah has been doing silk aerial classes for a while now and sometimes Gavin joins in. She loves it! They give the kids a lot of freedom to play and enjoy but also support to learn new moves. She was recently invited to participate in a several month long prep class to prepare a routine to perform for an audience and she turned it down. Sometimes I wonder if she will regret not taking opportunities like those later on but I am happy that she feels comfortable with herself and us enough to say, no, I like to have fun but not to compete.
We started getting the local newspaper delivered. Mostly it’s me reading it, but Gavin will sometimes look at an article or two. We felt it was a good time to have a more neutral source of news than online news available in the house and especially about local issues that we can connect with more easily. The kids have been very much enjoying the crosswords, sudoku (which they learned to love from Grandpa) and comics. Most of our recent lunches have seen them both working on crosswords or sudoku at the table.
We’re at a new bend in our unschooling journey, trying to re calibrate how much to stay home, go out, meet with friends, do as a family. It seems every season we have to balance these things again, and after years I’ve come to see this as an ongoing process not an end goal I still haven’t mastered. We are trying a few new group meet ups and trying some new activities on our own and trying to find that sweet spot where we get enough time with other people as well as enough time to do the important work of being at home. The current plan is aim for two days a week at home, one just at our house and one to take trips or adventures as a family, two days for meet ups and friend gatherings and one day that can go either way.
All of us went to a science night at the library. They showed us a whole lot of really great experiments including this fire tornado. Lilah built a leprechaun trap for St. Patrick’s Day. We did not snare any leprechauns.
We spent several afternoons walking and scooting along the Jordan River Parkway, spotting birds and muskrats, watching the river.
Both kids worked on sewing a gift for a friend who is turning two.
The kids and I are very interested in wild foraging so I have been slowly trying to find resources to help us learn about what can be eaten or used and how. It’s slow going to find good sources. Gavin in particular is interested in mushroom hunting which I’ve never done.
I’ve been talking about and watching videos about brain development, adolescence and emotions and their purpose with the kids quite a bit, working on being more self aware and having strategies for dealing with hard moments. They are both growing so much in their understanding of the world and themselves.
Gavin’s been talking about and beginning work on designing a Lego set that could be voted on by fans and if supported enough, eventually could become a Lego set sold by the company. He was thinking about a Ranger’s Apprentice set or a Hayao Miyazaki movie set.
All four of us went to the Holi celebration Festival of Colors near us, with Indian food, colored powder to throw at others, into the air, music, yoga. We also enjoyed seeing the llamas and peacocks who live next to the temple.
Three of us went cross country skiing. It was the kids’ first time and they loved it even though we were only out for an hour and a half and spent most of our time on the flat trails. They asked to go again the next day! It’s expensive and we already had plans but I’m hoping to go again at the same place (with lots of flat areas and rentals right there) before they close for the season. It’s been years and years since I’d gone and it was really fun to go again and to introduce the kids to it. Their favorite part was a tiny hill that they could go up in a few strides and then slide down. They did that ten or twenty times at the end of our ski before turning in our gear and heading home.
We spotted the first butterflies of the season this week! An orange beauty and a black beauty!