Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Birthdays, Authenticity & Abundance

 Yesterday was Lee's birthday.  Damek knows he likes birds, so requested a trip to Backyard Birds store up the street to find a gift, which he did indeed find, a statue of an owl for the yard.

The previous night Kyan made a Minecraft head depicting Lee out of Perler beads,

 which was his gift to Lee along with a stone with the word DREAM on it that he spotted at the bird store.  Both boys created cards to give to Lee as well, which is what they are all smiling about in the photos below:)

Kyan's card had a voodoo doll on it, purely for the reason that he accidentally drew a line on the paper while making his card and after drawing another line across it got the idea to draw a voodoo doll. 

 Damek drew a bird in a tree on his card and also wrote "HAPPY BIRTHDAY LEE LOVE DAMEK" in his own version of cursive writing.

I love how authentic both boys are when it comes to birthdays for others.  We usually have a budget with a little wiggle room when it comes to buying birthday presents, so we're always willing to spend a little over our budget if it is indeed what the boys want to give, and if it's a lot over our budget, both boys have contributed money from their allowance, purely by choice, to make up the difference.

Both boys usually like making cards as well to go with their presents, on occasion they haven't, but for the most part they do, and it usually either depicts something that the person receiving it would like, or they draw a picture purely out of their imagination as a gift to the receiver.

Seeing how the boys have evolved in terms of giving gifts from their hearts & having the leeway and help from us (either in terms of a little extra money to spend or the time/help to create something with their own hands), I've become aware at how giving can be just as cool as receiving, and sometimes moreso:)


Right Now

What we are up to currently:

Damek (age 12)

'Ender's Game' book series (currently on book #9)

Cartoon Guide series of books (currently reading 'Cartoon History of The Universe' book II)

'The Five Kingdom's' series by Brandon Mull (currently on Book 1)

Dungeons and Dragons board game (Damek is attending a Dungeons and Dragons Meetup with a friend once a week).

The Binding of Isaac Rebirth, computer game available on Steam

The Legend of Zelda - Hyrule Warriors, Wii U

Cooking/Making food

Watching various Youtube channels on a plethora of different subjects

Patiently making friends with a stray cat in the neighborhood who had kittens as he wants to take her in.

Kyan (age 9)

Perler Bead creations

'Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing' by Judy Blume

'Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library' by Chris Grabenstein (finished last week)

Minecraft & Skype on occasion with friends

Current favorite Youtubers:  iHasCupquake, TheDiamondMinecart, & REACT

Current favorite mobile app - Crossy Road

Current favorite DS game - Tomodachi Life

Cats & kittens (he is getting a kitten in about 6 weeks, something he's been wanting for about a year now).

All of us

The Simpsons
Basement Remodel
Board games (current favorites:  Killer Bunnies, Bohnanza, Munchkin, Prime Climb)
Movies:  Last week Damek & I watched 'Cast Away', this week we have the only 2 Hayao Miyazaki movies we haven't seen on hold at the library - 'Princess Monanoke' & 'Kiki's Delivery Service' (we have seen this one, but it's been a couple of years and Kyan doesn't really remember it, so we're watching it again) & Pom Poko (watched 2 weeks ago).


Friday, October 03, 2014

Thursday October 2, 2014

Yesterday morning as Kyan and I sat on the couch snuggling under our heated blanket playing games. Yes I did type heated blanket, I think it was the coldest morning since last spring;)

Kyan has had a touch of the flu this week so we have been doing lots of this:

Kyan, trying to get some clarity with his "perception" glasses as we near the end of the game:)


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Kyan's Chalk Art

Kyan's chalk art drawing that he did on the trampoline yesterday.


Monday, June 02, 2014

Rock Hounding

A couple of months ago, per Kyan's request & Damek's approval, we signed up for a few free rock hounding trips through the Rockpick Legend Co.  

On saturday the boys and I got up very early & drove out to the desert near Bonneville/Wendover to meet up with others and go hunting for Agate & Jasper.

Damek was collecting rocks without attachment saying that anyone could have them, that he just liked hunting for them.
Kyan was putting the ones he thought were extra special in his pocket, then at the end just dumped them in with all the others that we all found.

We saw these funnel shaped spider webs all over while rock hounding.
An older couple spotted this horned lizard and told Damek about it while he was down at the car getting some water.  Later when we all came down to get a snack he/she was still there hiding from the sun under some sagebrush.
We found lots of cool rocks with Agate, crystalline & jasper in them.  

A view while rock hounding, the tall peak in the distance is Pilot's Peak in Nevada.

When we were just getting about ready to head out, Damek spotted this beautiful lizard, that once we were back home looked up and identified it as a female Great Basin Collared Lizard.
Can't believe she let me get so close!  Yes, I did have my 100m macro lens, but I also took a very close up one as well with my iphone.  As we were collecting out rocks she ran up the hill.
On the drive out, you can see the Bonneville Salt Flats
Kyan spotted this really cool mountain and thought it was so cool it almost didn't look real.
We decided to drive out on to the Salt Flats while we there.  Almost too bright to look at while your out there, but beautiful none the less.
 Our car and shoes were caked with salt by the time we headed for home;)

I love driving in the car with the boys, especially when it is a longer trip, the conversations we have could not be replicated in any other place and we talk about all sorts of things.  On our drive home we were lucky enough to catch an episode of one of all of our favorite radio shows 'This American Life', and lucky still that since it was a rerun it wasn't one we had heard before.

Kyan took a quick cat nap and then he read Damek & I a couple of books that we had checked out from the library early in the week 'Henry Climbs A Mountain' and 'Henry Hikes To Fitchburg' by D.B. Johnson.  We checked out all the books in this series, which are based on the work and ideas of Henry David Thoreau and Kyan really enjoyed all of them.


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Unschooled Life

A great description of unschooling.

Astra Taylor on the Unschooled Life


Dreamathon Art Exhibit

Yesterday we heard about a themed/interactive art exhibit titled 'Dreamathon' near to our house in an old building that was previously a high school and since it was the last day of the exhibit we decided to attend.  Wish we would have heard about it earlier so we could have attended on one of the other days where there were speakers and/or live music as well, but it was definitely worth what we did get to see.

Photos of a few of the exhibits


 Fun with confetti and a fan:)

 Trying out different voices on a microphone

"the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams" - Eleanor Roosevelt

 Kyan especially had fun with the mirrors;)

 Human kaleidoscopes



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