Friday, December 31, 2010

Royal Goals

I don't like New Years resolutions. I never really have. I think I made some last year because...well, I'm not sure why. Don't ask me what they were, I forget things. This year I have some goals I want to accomplish. We are unschoolers and we are always learning. I want to be the example for Princess that learning never stops, even when you're an adult. She has seen me learn to knit, something I wanted to do for years. There hasn't been anything else "big" since then.

This year, I am ready! I have 3 goals for the new year.
  1. Learn how to use my camera to its fullest ability and take better pictures. I have this really nice camera and no clue how it really works. It is time to figure it out. I found some help here and here. I've already started playing around with some settings and (gasp) reading my manual. I was thinking of buying photo editing software, but my awesome photographer friends recommended Picnik for FREE photo editing. How cool is that?!
  2. Learn how to sew. This is something I've wanted to do for a long time...decades really. It is time. I have a sewing machine that needs to be cleaned and serviced. That's not in the budget so I need to figure out how to have this done for free or trade or learn how to do it myself. Any locals who can help me with that? RasJane? =)
  3. Start doing this weekly workout. I figure I can find 30 minutes a week for a workout...maybe even twice a week at some point. I have got to do something to help my back. I also want to be a better example for Princess. Yeah, I know, this one borders on resolution, right?
Princess and I talked about my goals for the New Year and I asked her if she wanted to think about any goals she would like to set. She told me that she already had two goals and is thinking about more.
  1. Learn to sew! What a perfect goal for us to work on together. 
  2. Learn to knit. Well, I can help with that!
Both of these goals are steps she wants to take toward becoming a fashion designer. She did say that she wanted to build her design house in the new year as well. We talked about maybe starting her design business at home and expanding once her business grows.

Finally, the Lizard King. What are his goals for 2011?

LK plans to achieve a dream he has had for most of his life. He plans to build a Harley and he's got the engine already. I am really excited for him to finally realize this dream. His abilities always amaze me. I will be sure to post pictures as he progresses.

So there you go...the royal goals for 2011. How about you? What are your goals? Or do you have resolutions? Please share!

Happy New Year!!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

You want me to go where?

Did you notice the new button to the left? If you click it, it will take you to Living and Learning blog hosted by my bloggy friend Sherry. She isn't an unschooler, but more eclectic. Click the button to check out her photos. Here is what she has to say about Nature Connections:

I've decided to host a new link collection beginning in January--Nature Connections.  
At the end of each month we would each post/link our favorite photo(s) taken during that month of our children interacting with nature.  The purpose would be to encourage all of us to get outdoors more. 
What do you think?  Would you participate?

If so, share this post with your friends & get excited!  
Go outside and snap some pictures while you're out there.
The January 2011 edition of Nature Connections will be ready for your links on January 31.
Feel free to grab a button.
I can't wait to see all your children enjoying the great outdoors!

Uhm....I am so NOT an outdoor girl. I'm perfectly happy with a big picture window and a lovely view of the outside. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a day in the park or a day at the beach as much as the next girl.

I've just never been a big outdoor girl. My first camping experience was a year and a half ago and that was in a yurt. For me, that was roughing it. I think that pretty much says it all.

I so wanted more outdoor experiences for Princess. Sadly, I haven't delivered. She was an outdoor girl when she was very young. We would walk for hours and hours...still she would cry when we finally went inside. More recently she has developed a fear of bees and the like, which minimizes her outdoor time. I would love to find the joy in outdoor time. My hope is that by getting out once a month (maybe even more?) we will find the joy.

Sounds like fun, right?! Even for this indoor girl. Won't you join me?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Disney Junkies

Where do the Unschooling Royals vacation? Disney World!!! Yes. Again. That's right folks, we are heading to Disney World again. Something tells me that Disney may be an annual thing for a while. You probably think we're crazy, but we all love it there! 

The Lizard King is going for a conference, so the trip is partly paid for which makes it oh so much more affordable...well, that and free Disney Dining Plan (which we upgraded to Deluxe Dining Plan). We will dine with all the royals. It promises to be fabulous fun for all! We will even get to meet up with some old friends and a couple of royal grandparents. 

Photo Courtesy Walt Disney World 
Let the countdown begin!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Spontaneous Sorting

Princess was suddenly inspired to sort her animal collection. She started collecting these years ago and they often sit untouched for months and months. Every once in a while they all come out to be part of imaginative play. This time it was just for sorting purposes...or could it be that she had the need to create some order? 

The horses are Princess' favorite. She really wants to ride a real horse. This summer I am going to have to make that happen.

Do you need to find some order in your life? Or perhaps to ignite a passion? The new year is coming. I don't do resolutions, but this year I have some goals. I'll be sharing them later. Will you have any goals for the new year?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Game Time!

Around midnight, as we were laying in bed, Princess announced that she wanted to make a game the next day. She told me all about the ins and outs of the game, the rules, the prizes and that we needed to have three people. The next morning she spent quite a bit of time working on this game she created.

drawing the forms

adding some color

and celebrating the final product

Then we had to wait for the Lizard King to come home. The questions tested our memory of Princess' life. The first question was to me, asking the date she was born. The second question to LK? She asked him what her birth flower is. He swore the game was fixed. Of course, I knew the answer but only because she and I had been researching birth flowers. Poor Lizard King...

I was winning, but in the end LK pulled ahead and won. We both got prizes. You can see them drawn on the papers. That's what the scissors are for, so we can cut our our choice of prize: a blue ribbon, a gold medal or a trophy.

If we had to label it, what subjects would this fun project cover?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Something Completely Different

I don't think I have ever posted anything like this on my blog. My dad sent it to me and I just loved it and wanted to share. I hope you enjoy this little bit of something completely different!

Polar Bear: "I come in Peace."  

Norbert Rosing's striking images of a wild polar bear 
coming upon tethered sled dogs in the wilds of Canada's Hudson Bay...

The Photographer was sure that he was going to see

the end of his dogs when the 

Polar bear wandered in.  

It's hard to believe that this polar bear only needed to hug someone!

The Polar Bear
Returned every night that week to play with the dogs. 

May you
Always have love to share,

Health to spare

And friends that care.



"Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened."

Wishing everyone a Happy Solstice, a Cool Yule, a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Only Seven

Princess amazes me! Since starting her blog, she has done one really cool post about dogs. On Monday she decided to add a couple more posts about fashion.

The first shows designs that she made with one of the fashion kits she received for Hanukka. The second post offers some fashion advice...likely the best fashion advice you will ever receive. When I saw the fashion tip, I was overcome with emotion. She is only 7 and gets what most adults do not. Go check it out.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wardrobe Wednesday

Santa Bell? Tinker Claus? It's time for Wardrobe Wednesday again! Last December we visited Disney World. Disney certainly knows how to do the holidays. Tons of festive lights and decorations are everywhere. There are also endless ways to spend money at WDW and even more at holiday time. When Princess and I saw this hat, we just couldn't resist!

Head on over to our Wardrobe Wednesday sponsor, Aliceson at Feet Off the Table, to see what they're wearing today.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Growing Up

When I shot these photos, it was an attempt to capture the Barbie caught in a rainbow colored funnel cloud. It seems we were experiencing some rather tumultuous weather in our house. Looking at the photos, it's not really obvious. :-/

What I did notice was the belly.

I noticed that Princess' baby belly is starting to go away. I haven't told her. She doesn't want to know. We've talked about building strong muscles and that strong tummy muscles are important for a strong and supported back. She knows all too well about my back problems.

When we talked about ways to make her tummy muscles strong she asked, with a worried look, if she would lose her belly if she had strong tummy muscles. She loves her belly.

And I wonder if she would feel the same if she were in school.

I've had people tell me about their second grader going on a diet because she was too fat. I've heard about girls desperate to look different, have blue eyes, blonde hair, a smaller this or bigger that. In schools you have to wear the right shoes or the right clothes or there is no hope to fit in. Does that happen in all schools? It makes me sad to think it does.

I love that Princess loves her baby belly. And I'm a little bit sad that it is going to go away.

Monday, December 20, 2010


The other night at dinner Princess brought up the subject of evaporation. She knows that water outside evaporates. However, she wasn't certain that water inside would evaporate. I suggested that we conduct an experiment to find out. Princess thought this was a fabulous idea.

Notice the black line marking the water level.
I bet you all are waiting on the edge of your seat with anticipation!! We are making daily observations and have found that, yes, the water does in fact evaporate even when it is inside the house!

We will continue to monitor the progress until all the water is gone...or we lose interest.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Royal Helper

It seems that when stoves are installed, leveling is not included. I've been dealing with a slanted stove for months. Today, the Lizard King decided to fix it. Princess was still asleep, but the Royal Dog was on hand to help.

She is a very attentive supervisor. I don't know how LK could have done it without her!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Photo Shoot

During our visit with family over Thanksgiving, we had Sarah of Sarah Gunn Photography come to our house.  It was truly a pleasure. Sarah took her time and worked well with all of us and was not at all overwhelming to Princess and her baby niece. We all really had a lot of fun!

Sarah is offering a special to my local blog readers:

If they look at my website, they'll see my prices are $125 for family/couple shoots, and $150 for boudoir shoots. But I'm doing a word-of-mouth special for $99 for each shoot. And, of course, am offering the multiple booking discount of $20 off the second shoot if booked within 60 days of the first. Just have your readers mention the code "Shady Lady" if they contact me, and they will be sure to get the $99 deal!

I really like her work and I'm looking forward to my boudoir shoot. However, I will not be posting those photos here. ;-)