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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Great Wolf Lodge


It was lucky for us that there was a GWL in Niagara falls.
What an outstandingly fun place to play and sleep.
The hotel was really nice.

And Magical.

Best of all there was a warm,
amazingly fun,

ginormously huge,

wet and sprinklery,

all kinds of slippery slidey,

wave pool, lazy river, and other area kind of park right there IN the darn hotel.
Huzzah!
We had so much fun.
These were captured on the waterslides camera. It was a stomach drop kind of fast.
I think it's funny how M is all kinds of smiles and the adults are all wahhhhh!But really, great wolf lodge was hands down, the best hotel we have stayed in so far.
Well Disney was pretty darn good too....

It will be hard to top.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Niagara Falls!


I guess I will just start right at the beginning!
The falls were insane. It was an incredibly loud, misty, turbulent, but the most lovely and amazing thing.
I am so glad we were able to go. I guess one would get the same feeling after seeing something like the grand canyon, or old faithful.
Going on this trip just reaffirmed my desire to see for myself and share with my kids, all that we possibly can, of the amazing sights, places, and people that this diverse planet holds.
It was so, so, cool.
And for all that my mere mortal words can not describe....
Getting ready to stay sort of dry. So that we could venture out on the Maid of the Mist,
to be able to see this,
up close. The kids loved rockin and rollin on the boat. They had a pretty good time!

It's not sight that I'll forget anytime soon. It was a great place to stop and see. They also had this 4D movie called Niagara's fury. That was a ton of fun. moving floors, water in your face, wind, huge screen... what's not to like?
It was just another amazing adventure for us on this wonderful path that we have chosen together.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Amazing!

That is what our past week has been.
I mean there was Niagara Falls, a flippin huge water park, a freaky cool Ripleys Museum. Then there was Toronto, a huge food market, a theme park, and dinner theatre. We moved onto to Ottawa for a killer Thai dinner, and an amazingly cool museum. Finally we drove into Montreal to see it's history, check out the beatiful Notre Dame Basilica, a horse carriage ride through old Montreal, we tried Poutine, we toured the biodome. We car ferried over from upstate New York to outside Burlington, VT. and ate the most delicious flatbread and some very great beer. After 6 days and 1400 miles, we arrived home one day early to catch the birth of some awfully cute baby goats!
Just as soon as I get myself organized, back on track, and my pictures uploaded, I will share all the lovely things we saw and did while exploring Canada. It was one great road trip.

Monday, September 14, 2009

here be me


I am still here, haven't died, not in a foreign country (yet), or any such sort of occasion.
I, my freinds have been taking it easy, following the ebb and flow of our days.

My kids have been super busy in the mornings lately, and then it's lunch.

and then I have to do something with the house because it isn't pretty by then.
And you never just can tell when Dept of child welfare will show up to check on the freaky homeschoolers.
Ha!
I think?
The kids have been liking to do little projects lately. So that has been floating our boats when we are home.
We mostly have been playing around with MBTP stuff.

They are so diggin it, and it's been getting us to the library more and getting the kids interested in so many new things.

All good, says I.
I have been trying to figure out some way to keep the house in pretty good shape.
Turns out, the only way to do this is to actually clean everyday.
Take a day off and you are screwed.
Not fair.
The kids have been obsessed with riding their bikes
Super

fast

at the top of the drive way on our street.

They have gotten to be really good riders and our long drive way is baby stuff now.
All three are starting skating lessons tomorrow.
That should be fun. I really hope they all like it.
I remember skating when I was a kid, and it was so much fun. I am fairly certain that K will adore it, M when she gets kind of good, and Ev is a crap shoot for sure!
So we are preparing for our big drive to spend a week in Canada.
I love road trips.
LOVE them.
The first night, to reward ourselves for 8 hours in the car, we are spending a fun fab water filled night at the Great wolf Lodge water park/hotel.
The kids are going to be so excited!
We are going to see so many cool places, and eat poutin.
With some sort of ice cold canadian beer.
We will go to Canada's wonderland.
I am going to order a Canadian bacon, egg, and cheese.
We will ride the maid of the mist at the bottom of the falls.
We have all kinds of canadian things planned.
You will kindly help me hold out luck that Leyla the big fat preggo goat will not birth her babies with in this week.
PLEASE.
AND then two days after our return to the state side, The Heart Rockin Family will spend the weekend here with us down at the creek!
Now that, Folks, is some kind of wonderful thing!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Rally at the park


for

not

back

to

school!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Long weekend


No Labor!

Just some friends,


amazing food,

and plenty


of good


times

spent being together.

Today it continues at the park!

I think?
If it does not rain...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Not back


This week is back to school week for many children across the nation.
Not mine.
And this is most excellent.
We did not do anything terribly exciting, although we will attend a big picnic next week with fellow learn at home'rs.
We did not get into a new rhythm, or put noses to the grind stone.
But we did appreciate eating breakfast together, in our jammies, at 9. We listened to M read us pages from Diary Of a Wimpy Kid. We dug fossils out of plaster,


we baked, we met and approved of a couple to adopt our baby boy goat. We tangramed away while listening to finding truth in/or the debunking of greek myths.

We feel the crisp air and dying tall grasses among us, and note that a new season has begun for us, for the earth.
K is all about habitats this week.
M reading.
E learning letters.
It's self driven and intense at times, waxing and waning as other things pull them away.
We vowed out loud, to each other, to visit the library more.
We look forward to visiting Canada.
We look forward to the winter, and our annual journey inward.
It's almost time to breathe in, and dwell inward for a while.
I wonder what each of us will discover there?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Slideshow!

Conference and Massachussettes









We had a great time at the conference! It was pretty much how I thought it was going to be. Lots of interesting talks, lots of kids, lots of meeting with friends, old and new. The talent show was great, and my kids had a very nice time.
We also got away from the hotel and explored downtown Salem! This time we focused on New England Pirates, at the Pirate Museum. That was a great place. Lots of tales and scary figurines. We also hit the Peabody Essex Museum. That was quite a lovely place. Probably one of the nicest and prettiest museums I have been in. Plus ,they had this exhibit called the China house which was a large Chinese house you got to wander through. It was very, very cool! Before heading home we spen some time in Boston. Mostly driving around. But we did hit the Boston Children's Museum, which was fantastic. It was the best kids museum we have even been to. Then we enjoyed a lovely, lovely seafood dinner at a place my Boston savvy friend recommended, The Barking Crab. It was delish.
Now the negatives. C'mon you new that there would be a few! And I need to be balanced and true to what I saw. Well, first in my opinion, there needed to be some more activities for the kids, cause a whole lot of them seemed bored and running rambunctiously to amuse themselves. My kids wanted to just get out of there and go to pool. I have no problem with running happy kids but it was out of hand at times, and disrespectful to the hotel. I saw some damage to moulding and other things that would have left a sour taste in my mouth if I was the venues host. Also kids were running up and down my hallway, speaking very loudly, waking me up. I am pretty laid back, and understood that these kids were so psyched to see each other. But not everyone is me, and I am sure it pissed off the average Joe who was not part of the event. I also know the management received complaints over the kids abusing the elevators. Or people disappearing leaving little kids scared and alone, some the same parents kept doing this multiple times after being approached, kindly. Grrr... unschooling is not unparenting! There should be a talk at the beginning of these conferences, about respecting the place, and other people who are guests there as well. Watch and parent your kids! It's not lord of the flies. Saying yes to your kids is a wonderful thing! But it's mostly about opportunities and following their passions, not about them doing whatever they want. I got quite a few surprised looks when we had to tell E a big fat NO! because he was being quite obnoxious in the restaurant.
I think A won't be as excited to attend another one as I hoped. Oh he will probaly go for me, because we have friends there. And because he knows we can bail and sight see when it gets to be too much. But he gets miffed as I do, that we represent unschoolers when we (collectively) are at these events. And well, it's just a mess sometimes.
BUT, I did see lots of wonderful things as well, lots of respectful parenting, responsive to their kids needs. At first I thought maybe A and I were alone in our observations, but as the weekend drew to a close, there were quite a hefty handful who were on the same page. Even the organizer thought that having a chat about what Unschooling was not would be a good idea at the beginning of next years event.
But anyway, it was really great. I gleaned a few things, had a great time exploring Boston and Salem.
And I would probably do it again. The only issue is that I read a lot, and know so much of this in my heart. So there were only a few talks that worked for me, and weren't redundant. It would be more of a social networking thing for us. I think A would rather use the money toward traveling and heading out on long day trips to see a few people. We'll see... I always wanted to attend one, and now I did. So that in itself was a great thing. Don't get me wrong. Coferences are a lot of fun, they are full of cool people, great conversations, and opportunities top connect with old and new folks. I just wanted to present both sides of the coin, in our experience, and our own opinion. I am sure each individual had their own experiences, and thoughts that may not even come close to mine. And that's the spice of life. I am off to put together a slide show of our weekend, as I am still on A's comp and have picture posting issues. So there will be a ton of photo's to check out later!