Adventures in Unschooling

Archive for April 2009

Diggin’ through layers of flooring takes a lot longer than you’d think but we are almost done now. We just have one small area in the kitchen to do and then the cleaning.

dsc05036Kevin has been working really hard. I went out one evening to get some convenience food since I couldn’t get at my kitchen and I came back to him holding Anna between his legs so that he could keep chipping away at the kitchen floor. Here he is having a well deserved rest.

It has been hard keeping the kids happy but they have been quite well behaved considering the chaos around them.

Here is the living room:

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I really like their new play space.

I haven’t gotten back to posting regularly because we have so much going on. Last night we started tearing up the floor in our house and replacing it with maple laminate.

Here is the before and during photos:

dsc05031I am so glad we are getting rid of that ridiculous carpet. It is so dirty and stained and because it had no underlay all of our attempts to have it clean turned out pretty fruitless.

Every inch of that darn thing was glued down. But that was nothing compared to the four layers of linoleum we found under the carpet in the hallway!

Anyways, back to the pictures.

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dsc05035And this is it all stripped out:

We also bought a new light fixture for the living room and a new unit for the kids’ toys. The living room will be so much better than it was when we get it all finished this weekend.

We are also keeping all of our beds in the same room (like they have been for the last month when my brother-in-law was here) and turning the room he used (our old bedroom) into a gym. We have lots of weights and a multi-purpose bench, an elliptical and two big gym balls. We’ll keep all of our sports gear in there too and my sewing room can go back to being just a sewing/craft room. I am really excited for all of the changes. I will post pics when we get it all sorted out.

There are some other changes that I am not so excited about too. 😦

I am going back to work and my hubby is going to be a house husband. I will keep emailing him crafts, activities etc. to do with the boys so that they can still get that diversity in their day that they had with me. My husband will do the best he can. He is truly fantastic and always strives to do what’s best for the family.

 That means there won’t be near as many posts but I will try to keep pictures etc. loaded up as much as possible.

We are in a transition period right now and like all transition periods it has me a little preoccupied. So, that’s why I haven’t been posting as much as I’d like to but I will make up for it a bit now.

On Friday we went outdoors only for a short playtime as the wind was much chillier than I would have expected.

We played with sidewalk chalk on the front parking pad. And we did some airplane watching as three passed overhead (quite unusual for us) in fifteen minutes.

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What the heck is  this? It doesn’t look at all like what I am used to seeing. Plus, this one is black without markings. The other two I took snapshots off were white with coloured stripes etc. and had visible codes on them. 

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On Saturday we attended a birthday party at the local gym. The kids get to eat food, play in the kiddie play area (which they have always loved) and then go swimming.

Trey has finally come around to the pool. When he jumped in, while I was holding his hand, he immediately started thrashing, trying to swim. He also took quite a liking to the water slide.

Joel took forever to warm up to the idea that the giant pool was supposed to be fun and when he started to finally get comfortable he managed to fall in head first and that was the end of Joel having any fun. LOL.

Anna was hesitant at first. Not quite crying but whinning for a while. After a bit she started to get used to it and even cooed and kicked a bit. That is until Joel fell in and she got splashed, and then she was cranky too. We left after that.

On Sunday we spent much more time indoors than I would have liked. I did make a delicious sweet potato risotto though. Yummy!

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And I also found a bug I couldn’t identify. It has a Maple Bug shape but it’s wings are transparent (you can’t tell from the photo but they are transparent). How strange. Maybe someone here can identify it since my big book’s range is obviously too limited.

I think this picture tells it all:

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Both of the boys were disappointed to see snow outside. Trey looked back at me glumly and said, “No water guns today.”

So yeah, another inside day. Not to mention that I am still dealing with a major headache courtesy of yesterday’s migraine!

But I did manage to get some cleaning done as well as make some more delicious vegan cupcakes.

I made the cookies ‘n’ cream ones that my hubby asked for. I want to make the sexy low-fat vanilla ones with berries on top for myself but I’ll need to get some more soymilk first.

I also tried to do some felting (some balls and ropes). I learned that it’s harder than it looks. I tried doing a tri-colour snake and he didn’t want to hold together all that well. It was nothing that some sewing stitches couldn’t remedy though.

My felted ball came out all lumpy too (I tried a larger ball).

So I saved the rest of my wool for needle felting (whenever I can get around to getting some needles).

I am also still working on my knitted/felted bowl. Slow and steady…

Here’s hoping the sun comes out and chases all that snow and wind away.

UGH! I had such great plans for my Monday…then the migraine arrived. It’s just as well as today was a dreary, rainy day and there wouldn’t have been much to enjoy outdoors anyways. But still…the residual headache I get after the episode is enough to ruin the rest of the day. Thank heavens I have such a wonderful husband. My Kevin took off from work so that he could take over the day’s child rearing so that I could rest and recover.

It is hard enough dealing with the intense pain of the headache part of the migraine, it’s a whole other story when you literally can’t see straight and feel nauseated.

This is has finally encouraged me to try to give up chocolate. I know that chocolate over-consumption is the main trigger for my migraines. I’ll still drink my chocolate Silk but that is it!

Speaking of too much chocolate…this weekend was the Easter weekend.

It was so beautiful outside and we tried to sneak outdoors as much as we could. My fantastic hubby cleaned up the yard so that we could all go play in there. We played some soccer and he even set up some make shift goal posts for soccer/football/whatever.

He also picked up some small, cheap water guns and we had a family mini-water fight.

While my mom was at my place she brought me a new art book. I often find that these books are full of overdone ideas but this one had lots of fun, original ideas that I am dieing to try out.

She also taught us a new craft.

dsc04873First you shave crayons onto a piece of paper (which is pre-folded in half) then you iron it. You need to place some fabric between the ironing board and the paper and the paper and the iron (this prevents your iron and ironing board from getting messy if the the crayon happens to (and most likely will) seep through the paper).

dsc04875When the crayons shaving are all melted you open the paper up and it makes these colourful blots.

The top one was my mom’s, the middle my own and the bottom one my sister’s.

They make lovely sun catchers.

I finished a larger felted bowl this weekend as well. It didn’t felt as I had wanted it to. I have guessed that it was because my needles were too small so I am knitting a new one with some larger needles. We’ll see how this one turns out.

I never thought I would ever knit but now I am even contemplating making a pair of socks. We’ll see…

And, in my last post I talked about how I couldn’t wait to make some cupcakes. Well, I found time to do that this weekend. I made the cappuccino cupcakes. They were very good even though I didn’t get the icing right. I tried making it without agar (I couldn’t find any) and it seems to be a very essential part of the recipe. Oh well, next time I will choose an agar-free recipe.

Why am I bouncing in my chair with glee?

dsc04841Because I bought my very own copy of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. The recipes look so delicious that they kept me up last night! OK, not really but they certainly look so delicious that I am getting anxious to get my hands on some ingredients that I am short on and make about three batches of these bad boys.

I was showing Kev these last night and he was pretty enamoured by the cookie one and some of the ones with icing on the inside. He loves icing for those of you who don’t know Kevin that well. When I am done icing cakes etc. he will grab the bowl of icing, sit down with a spoon and eat the leftovers. Gross!

But yeah, I took a trip to the busier part of the city with the boys today and hit the clearance sales at Chapters and picked these up.

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I was ready to dump knitting forever but I was so thrilled with my bowl yesterday that I have given knitting another chance and I am more eager to learn how to do some different kinds of projects.

I am also giddy because my sister is coming today which means we might be able to get some scrapbooking done. At least we will have someone to talk to whilest we knit.

I am hoping to do two more bowls and then maybe making something with the left overs. And L, I kind of thought that my multicoloured yarn is thick enough to use for felting so next time I see you I can give you some of the scraps and you’ll have some oranges, greens and pinks etc.

There likely won’t be much learning and exploration (unschooling wise) until my sister gets here because I have a messy house that needs attention…again.

But for once I have the motivation for cleaning. Let’s hope Anna is OK playing on her own so that I can actually get some of what I need done done.

My sister taught me how to knit so that I could make those lovely felted bowls I keep seeing everywhere. I also saw patterns for felted purses etc. that looked really cool.

Anyways, so today I started looking at some online knitting sites and found one that had a video on circular knitting (using the four needles) and I self-taught myself to do the knits.

Here is my finished bowl before felting:

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And here is my felted bowl:

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Now I realize that the bowl is small, I just wanted to try a sample first, and I also realize that the bowl is not fully felted. I hand felted it and got lazy and left it semi-felted.

The next one I will let my washing machine do. Ha ha ha.