Adventures in Unschooling

Last weekend we took the kids for a walk inside some of the city’s wilderness areas.

My real motivation here was to hunt for morels and while I did find many mushrooms I wouldn’t eat any of the ones I found.

See for your self:

 

Earlier this week I took a trip to my local reuse centre. And as usual I came home with a whole big bag of loot.

There were art kits, vintage patterns (stay posted), miscellaneous supplies for Native American studies, some sponges and ice cream pail lids for painting, a big sun lantern and some rolls of fabric of course.

In the mix I found a small stack of these unfinished pirate masks:


We painted them using watercolours.

To be frank they haven’t gotten a lot of use but with the small fee of the reuse centre they were technically free! So… Ships ahoy matey!

We were near the Chinese Supermarket so we decided to pop in. Boy am I glad I did.

We found some special items:

We were able to try mangosteens and lychees and I found some raw nori as well as oyster mushrooms for half price. They also had wolfberries (goji) for a fraction of what health food stores and grocery stores sell them. Can you believe that that bag only cost me $3.50? I couldn’t!

The only thing I knew about mangosteen is that the health food store sold big bottles of mangosteen juice for about $30!

Turns out they are not only cool to look at but also pretty sweet. We were all pretty happy with the mangosteen. They are a bit pricey though. Three of those beautiful apple looking things cost me over $3.00.

The lychees are a bit more starchy tasting and not near as sweet but they sure are juicy. When I would break through the shell they would squirt everywhere.

By and large, this was a much better experiment than the durian and dragon fruit.

I love exposing my kids to new tastes and textures. I also love teaching them about food and animals and I like exposing them to different cultures and this was a way to do all of those things.

This grocery store had a very broad live seafood department. My kids got to see live king crabs, regular crabs, lobsters as well as a variety of mussels etc. Right up close. They got to see a mussel’s “tongue” go back in when I touched it and see big cod fish and smaller fish of other variety.

After seeing the fish dead by the tanks Trey told me that he didn’t want to eat fish. Good! But that doesn’t deter him from his carnivorous taste for beef and chicken. Hmmm…

The bright “star” is actually the planet Venus and the moon, well, I am not telling you which one the moon is. You should know that much. Ha ha ha.

That was taken on May 15th.

On May 16th the moon would have been seen above Venus. But I couldn’t see it because my sky was too overcast.

This astronomy stuff is fun!

I don’t get to post as much as I’d like these days. I guess I am just too busy working and living to document it all on here.

And we have been busy.

We have been:

1. Working: I am working full-time and even the hubby is pulling quite a bit of hours. But with all that we still manage to always have one of us home with the kids.

2. Cleaning: With our place on the market and us hoping for a quick sale we have been cleaning a lot. The yard, the shed, the floors, the dogs…even the kids seem to get dirty 30 minutes after you clean them.

3. Exercising: I have been working out very hard and I have been losing weight. I have hit a roadblock though and the last five to ten pounds are proving to be very difficult to burn off. Here are some pictures of the kids doing yoga with me:

4. Painting: We have been painting, making necklaces, colouring, crafting in general. The kids also really like play doh and moon sand. Here are some pictures of their play table (yesterday’s painting project):

5. Frolicking: Playing at the park, playing tennis, playing board games, wrestling on the couch, signing and dancing to Raffi and just generally enjoy the sunshine (when we get it) and fresh air.

6. Enjoying the little miracles: The Universe has been pretty good to us. My husband’s police recruitment is going well and we are nearing the end of it all. Through all the downs the ups come back around. And the ups are much more special. Also my computer seems to have miraculously healed itself. I had a very invasive virus on my computer that made it virtually impossible for me to even check my email much less blog and today my computer is clean, clear and back to its original speed. My anti-virus finally decided to do its job I guess??? And my washing machine broke on Sunday night but a friend who is moving and currently needing to unload one has been able to offer one to us at a VERY reasonable price. Thanks so much L!

7. Learning: We are all learning. I am trying to learn to be more patient with life and to be a better mother. I am far from the ideal mother and that frustrates me because I like to excel at everything I do. Mothering, though, has been the hardest task I have ever undertaken and I have much learning yet to do.

In general, I am happy with life. I can’t wait for our life to really get going though. We have been living in limbo for quite a while and I can’t wait to get some financial stability and to be back home again.

I have been off the radar these days. I have been really busy working, parenting, working out and occasionally socializing. I am ten pounds away from my ideal weight and I am looking great already! I am down another pant size and am starting to get some nice ab definition. My progress has been mostly documented on my other blog: www.theworldismysoyster.wordpress.com

But even though this blog space has been relatively inactive we have not. We have done Easter egg hunts. We have played t-ball and both of the boys are signed up for t-ball this year.

We have played tennis and played at the park. We have gone for walks and observed a robin in the back yard. We have shopped, played at the library and built Lego structures.

We have played with buttons: 

And played with markers and loved our “baby.”

And painted:

And actually, we’ve done oh so much more. We levelled the back yard and are reseeding it. When that all comes in we have many plans to be out there for meals and for play.

It certainly does add something. I love the improvement. It’s not as amazing as if we had replaced the cabinets but the old countertop was disgusting. It was who knows what colour originally but all we can tell is that it was painted bright blue once and then repainted this gross beige colour. Now it has some spank to it!

Below are the pictures that include the new curtains. They were taken at night so the lighting is quite dim.