Welcome, winter!

Today started with a freshly stocked AND cleaned fridge (happens about twice yearly)…

and while I was at it, thought I’d better clean out those cupboards, too…

To everyone’s excitement, this was right outside our front window:

Daddy’s special Saturday morning breakfast, complete with eggnog, bacon, and chocolate pasty, not to mention CHRISTMAS MUSIC (courtesy of Mia’s Connie Talbot CD from the library)…ahem…

Anna told Grandma and Grandpa all about the snow in the best way she knew:

“Gappa! NO!”

Mia built this snowman all by herself.  I just came out to help with the finishing touches…

Welcome, Winter!

a date with my biggest girl

We spent most of the day with a long-overdue surprise Mama Mia date.

It was an awesome day.

the first surprise: these curly things in her hair (she's been asking for them for probably a year).
the end result: "phone cords", quoted by Mia.
the second surprise...
...which little sis thinks is the most amazing thing she's ever seen.
the next surprise: homemade lemonade...
...with a side of freshly baked gluten-free chocolate cake and whipped cream.
lastly, and my (our) favorite surprise of all, a new tradition started: The Family Journal!

I love this girl.

summer sun and sand

We spent a perfect summer afternoon at the beach.

It was Anna’s first time (that she can remember).

She had to taste the sand, of course...
...and wash it down with some mama's milk.
Meanwhile, big sis played...

...and watched the waves, the kids, the dogs.

It was a good day.

Picking flowers and unschooling

In our garden, flowers are for picking.  We make sure to leave some for the bees, too, but what fun would it be to have flowers that can’t be picked?

Here is what Mia did with (while I took pictures of) our pick-able flowers the other day:

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This was Mia's plan from the beginning. Isn't it lovely?

Watching Mia independently satisfy her curiosity and plan and execute her own projects is thrilling to me.  No parental instruction or judgment (praise, criticism, or otherwise) was involved in this flower bowl project.

I told her I thought the bowlful of flowers was beautiful–a sincere comment that came from my heart.  I consciously avoided saying “Good Job!” or giving her a grade for a job well done. Mia was completely satisfied; her motivation and her reward were purely intrinsic.

And that is why we unschool.  To let her carve her own path.  For herself.

Mia learned all kinds of things doing this project.  Do I have any idea what those things were? Not really.  Not because I am lazy or because I don’t care. But because it doesn’t really matter. Because unschooling is about trust.

Unschooling is trusting that life and learning cannot be separated.  I trust that Mia’s desires and motivations are stepping stones to her ultimate destiny. I trust that she needs to draw for hours every day for weeks on end.  I trust that sometimes she needs to daydream and be lazy instead of help prepare dinner. I trust that as long as I am closely tuned in, give her love, support, and space, that she will learn what she needs to live whatever life she chooses.

I am delighted to be along for the ride.