Thursday, March 31, 2011

Nature Connections and Project 2011 Together!

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Would you like to join Project 2011? Click the other badge to the left!

Our Nature Connection this month happened at the happiest place on Earth . . . Disney World!!! We were lucky enough to be there during the Flower Festival. It was amazing the things they made from flowers.

Everywhere we looked, even in Disney World, we were surrounded by nature!

Okay, so remember last week when I said that I wouldn't be posting every week for Project 2011? Well, I've changed my mind. It is a woman's prerogative, right? Right?!

This week I went to the gym again, but since we are on Spring break from Village Home, I couldn't go during Princess' class time. We talked and decided to give the kids' room a try. We were both a little nervous, but Princess loved it! My workout, doing Slow Burn, is quite short and Princess was disappointed at the fact that I was done so quickly. She wanted to stay and play. I promised her that we would go back again this week. She was ecstatic.

Princess had so much fun that she would like me to work out more than once a week, but with our busy schedule, I don't see that happening. Besides, the whole idea behind this workout is that it only needs to be done once a week! Yeah . . . I still think that totally rocks.

And at last check, I have lost 16 pounds. I know that living the Paleo lifestyle wasn't one of my goals, nor was losing weight, but I'm glad that I made this choice. It's easy once you're into it, the food is amazing, I feel great and the bonus is the weight loss. At 46, I was resigned to the fact that my metabolism had slowed down and my body was just the way it was. That is so not true! I have lost my muffin top. My clothes are too big. This rocks!

Nothing new on the photography front, but I'm very much looking forward to my community college class that starts in two weeks. It is a non-credit course, so there isn't a lot of pressure.

As for sewing, well, I'll save that for next week . . . but things are happening, slowly, but they are happening.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Princess and I have developed a love of girlie skulls. This is one of at least three shirts that she owns. Now that I think about it, why don't I have any girlie skull shirts?! That is so not fair! I'll have to be on the lookout.

Now head on over to Aliceson's, Feet Off the Table, to see what all the cool kids are wearing!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Little Reminders

This unschooling life takes quite a leap of faith. I believe in this life with all my heart. Still, it's nice to get those little reminders that this really does work beautifully.

Princess was playing a clothing designer app game on her iPod. Designing her own fashions is one of her passions. She wanted to do a male outfit and told the Lizard King. Always the jokester, he responded, saying something about a mailman outfit. Princess said, "No Daddy! I mean male - m.a.l.e, not mail m.a.i.l." (insert Princess' eye roll here)

No, we don't do spelling lessons.

And today, inspired by my best friend, Freckles, Princess decided to start writing a book of her own. She's written a few lines, and I have to say that I like her ideas. Pretty cool stuff!

We don't make her write, either.

She does these things out of the sheer desire to do them. She learns things from the desire to learn.

I like the view from this side. Being able to live life with my daughter, every single day, is amazing. It may be a leap of faith, but I love that I get to jump off the coolest cliff ever.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday Garden Club Begins!

That's right ladies and gentlemen! It's time for our first installment of Monday Garden Club, sponsored by Aliceson over at Feet Off the Table.

I have to say, I really missed having a garden last year and I'm super excited about having a garden this year. The Lizard King has accomplished a lot the last two weekends, building the most awesome garden beds ever.

We have a lot more yard space now than we did the last time we built garden beds . . . and a lot more sunlight, too. I cannot wait to see the amazing veggies we produce.

The original plan was to do half the beds this year and finish the rest next year, but LK just went for it.Of course, the right tools help. After much deliberation, we settled on cedar for the beds.

They are almost done. All that is left is is to build the fence around the beds to keep the Royal Dog out. The beds, dirt and all, should (hopefully) be done by the end of next weekend . . . just in time for Monday Garden Club. LK hopes to have a young helper with the dirt and stones. At age 50, that kind of work isn't getting any easier.

He was going to finish the beds on Sunday, but decided to start on the deck instead.  I swear, the man is a machine.

You tell me . . . do you think this man is level headed?

I cannot wait to post the photos of the finished garden beds. :-D

Friday, March 25, 2011

This is How Wii Snuggle

Princess sure loves her daddy. And the Lizard King sure loves his Princess.

You can often find them snuggling together playing the Wii, usually Lego Star Wars or Lego Indiana Jones. Yes, she's a girly girl who also loves Star Wars and Indian Jones. Children don't fit into boxes, do they? Go figure . . .

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Project 2011 - Week ?

I've missed quite a few of these, I know. The thing is, I'm finding it a little challenging to post updates about this weekly. So, (hopefully with Cate's blessing) I will post monthly updates. What do you say, Cate?

If you want the lowdown on Project 2011, click the button over there on the left.

How about a little goal reminder!

Shady Lady:
1. Learn how to use my camera to its fullest ability and take better pictures.
2. Learn how to sew.
3. Do the Slow Burn workout weekly.

Then I added another goal.
4. Spend more family time outdoors, exploring nature.

Princess had two goals, learn to sew and learn to knit. At this point I think these goals have gone away. Her new goal? Learn to ride a horse. This is something we hope to make come true this summer.

The Lizard King, well, he is building a Harley. At the moment, he is gathering parts. He fits this in between all the other things he does around here. His list consists of doing our taxes, building garden beds and building our deck. Yeah, he's a busy guy.

You can get all the goal details here if you want to know more.

Now, on to my update!

1. I have signed up for a digital photography class at our local community college. I am super excited about this! I have learned some on my own, but I hope to learn a lot more (and really think I will) from a class.

2. I dropped off my sewing machine at a sewing store for a tune up. I hope to have the fabric for Princess' nightgown cut and ready to sew by the time I have the machine back. Hope . . .

3. I missed my workout for 2 weeks. The first because we were in Disney World and the second because we were recovering from Disney World. I am back on track and last week decided to join a gym for a more effective Slow Burn workout. I did my first gym workout. Wow! It rocked! Oh...and I've lost over 14 pounds living the Paleo lifestyle. Yeah, that rocks, too. I also signed up to do a 10K walk in April. I have not done a thing with the Tai Chi DVDs I mentioned a while back. Oh well!

4. I don't know if you would describe it as nature, but we spent a lot of time outside exploring at Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios. On our last day, we played with our friends at the hotel beach.

It's man-made . . . does that still count as nature?

Now head on over to Cate's Moments of Whimsey to check out all the Project 2011 participants!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hip Hop Wardrobe Wednesday

Okay, so the photo is super grainy, but I couldn't help it. I had to crop it from a group shot since I don't have permission to post photos of the other kids. So, please forgive the poor quality. Okay, on with the post.

Princess took a Hip Hop class at Village Home this past term. On the last day of class, the kids did their performance to Boom Boom Pow by Black Eyed Peas. I so wish I could post the video publicly! They were so flippin' cute! As Freckles put it, Princess "rocked the show".  I have to agree! The kids all wore hoodies and sunglasses. 

Of course, Princess was all in PINK!

Now head on over to Aliceson's Feet Off the Table to see what all the cool kids are wearing.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Artist Trading Cards

I love how things happen.

Remember the LIFE is Good Unschooling Conference? One of the "funshops" they are offering this year is Artist Trading Cards, or ATCs. I had never heard of them before, but they sounded really cool. I did a little online research and found this website and this one.

In short, Artist Trading Cards are simply pieces of art that are made out of cards, measuring 2 1/2" x 3 1/2". You can use special paper pre-cut to that size or better yet, use any sturdy paper. Old file folders, card stock, greeting cards -- any paper that is not flimsy -- can be cut to the right dimensions and used as an ATC. Once you have your 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" card, what you do with it is up to you! Draw on it, paint, collage, sew embellish, write words. Use your imagination. The options are endless!

You can keep your little works of art or trade them with other artists.

After learning about this, I was inspired to propose a new member activity at Village Home, our homeschool resource center. Starting in Spring term we will create these small pieces of art and I am super excited!!

Princess and I started working on some basic cards so that we have some examples to share.

These are simply done with cards cut from colored card stock and magic markers. That's it! I can't wait to try some new techniques! We have only a couple weeks until classes start again!! For now, we will enjoy our nice long Spring break.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Happy Purim!

This past weekend we celebrated Purim. This is the holiday centered around the story of Esther. Princess and I sat down to read Queen Esther the Morning Star when I realized that I should check the historical accuracy of this story. I found this article and then this, this and this . . . oh, and this. So, I told Princess that it seems that the story is a fairytale, but isn't it so cool to celebrate a holiday that is based on a fairytale?!

We baked Hamantaschen, triangular pastries that are said to be in the shape of Haman's hat. Haman was the villain in the story, who wanted to kill all the Jews.

We made these grain free, using almond flour and coconut flour.

This flour was rather crumbly and challenging to work with, but we did it.

Hamantaschen are one of my all time favorite treats (even the grain free version)!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

We're back!

I know. I know! I've been missing forever! And yes, we've been back for a while.

I took a lot of photos on our Disney World vacation, nearly 400. After weeks of work, I narrowed it down to 67, then down to 24 and was only able to do that by making a lot of collages. Here is our vacation in order (mostly . . . deal with it ;-).

The Lizard King had a conference the first two days, so Princess and I met up with some old friends who have moved very close to the most magical place on earth. Princess and I were thrilled to be able to spend time with them. The girls had so much fun. And so did the moms!

Day 1, breakfast at Crystal Palace with Winnie the Pooh and friends.

After breakfast, we caught up with our friends. We had a great time exploring Magic Kingdom and even did a scavenger hunt in "It's a Small World".

Day 2, breakfast at one of our favorite spots, Chef Mickey's. The Lizard King was able to join us for breakfast . . . he made the time. It's one of his favorites as well.

Over in Epcot, Princess got to meet Terrence! They had to move the fairies to Epcot because Fantasyland is going through a major expansion that will double its size! This is the biggest Magic Kingdom expansion/renovation that Disney has ever done.

We found Rapunzel's tower . . .

and the girls saved the world in a Kimpossible Mission, using Kimmunicators! Here they are saving Mexico from the evil Dr. Drakken.

Dinner that night was at 1900 Park Fare, our favorite dinner spot. We met Prince Charming,  the step-sisters, Anastasia and Drucella, and step-mother, Lady Tremaine. The step-sisters are always a hoot and are our favorites by far.

Cindy's not so bad either . . .
The castle photos were taken from our balcony.

That night, the Lizard King surprised Princess with a Minnie dress that she had been eyeing since the first day.

Day 3, breakfast at Akershus in Epcot. We got to meet Belle, Snow White, Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Ariel and Cinderella (again).

The Flower and Garden Festival started. Walking through the fairy garden to meet some more fairies, I snapped these. They had characters and flowers like this throughout Epcot. It was so cool!

Princess' drum teacher asked for one souvenir, a photo of Princess with her drumsticks in front of something showing where she was. We went to three parks, so we snapped three photos - Epcot, Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. We'll go back to Animal Kingdom next time. Yes, we are already planning next time. And yes, we started talking about next time on day 3 of this trip. I told you we were Disney junkies!

(This is where things start to get a little out of order.)

Day 4, Hollywood Studios

Princess went on the Tower of Terror and LOVED it! My parents met up with us for the day!

Carousel at Magic Kingdom (day 3)

We didn't get to meet Tink, but I was able to snap this photo from afar. The fairies are out of Pixie Hollow due to the Fantasyland renovations, so we were only able to meet one or two at a time. The fairies' schedules made it impossible to meet all the fairies and go on rides. (Day 3)

We did get to meet Vidia and Rosetta. They were a total crackup! (Day 3)

Day 4 breakfast at Hollywood & Vine. Princess met Oso (the bear . . . I have no idea who he is), Leo (who wrote "glasses rock" in Princess' autograph book), June and Handy Manny.

We had a lovely time with my parents.

Princess had a blast playing in the Honey I Shrunk the Kids, until she got lost for her first time ever. LK and I got a little worried when she went into a cave and didn't come out for a long time. She had taken my iPhone to use the flashlight app, so we tried to call her. LK finally crawled in to look for her. A few minutes later Princess found me and ran up to me, obviously shaken. After that, she was done with that attraction. LK came out a little bit later, having smashed his head. It seems the caves are not designed for adults.

Day 5, our last morning, we had breakfast at 1900 Park Fare where we met Alice and the Mad Hatter.

Mary Poppins . . .

and took a family photo with Tigger.

And yes, not one single photo of me. That's what happens when you're the one with the camera! Maybe next year. Now, I hope to get back to regular posting and reading! I've missed you all!