Monday, November 24, 2008

Ella's Birthday

Happy Birthday Beautiful Ella!
I love you with all of my heart. You have added so much joy and love to my life. You have challenged me to be not only a better parent, but a better person.

Sharing the birthday shine

The anticipation....

Hallelujah.... a DS Lite!

Birthday Bowling

Sharing a love of DS-ing

Monday, November 17, 2008

Cold Autumn Days

John's parents came up for a visit this weekend. Alex, Sophie and I collected colorful leaves from our woods to fill the house with some Fall color. It was cold all weekend and we enjoyed having a warm fire. We had an incredible meal out at The Meeting Place. We played some board games and introduced G. Midge and G. Mike to some of our favorite television. Oh, and the boys have just about convinced G. Mike to join Runescape so they can meet up and play together on-line.

Alex's Arrangement #1

Alex's Arrangement #2

Sophie's Arrangement

Mindy's Arrangement

Friday, November 14, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance

We finally got to go. After 2 years of loving the passion that exudes off the small screen, we went to see the top 10 dancers from the 2008 season of So You Think You Can Dance.

Even though we had arguable the crappiest seats in the house (thanks to my unwitting trust in Ticketmaster), it was still fantastic. We fell in love again with some of our favorite dances, and I was blown away by things I saw live that did not impress me so much on TV. Mia Michael's holds a place in my heart as my favorite choreographer, but Napoleon and Tabitha are a close second. No Air, Bleeding Heart, and the whole group black and white circus number were my favorites of the night.

As great as the show was, the prelude and the company were even better. We have not seen these guys since L&L in September, so we were needing a serious fix. We met Madeline, Gillan, and Jesse at the mall to hang out for a couple of hours before the show. We decided on the mall so the kids could be excited around each other, have plenty of space to move, we could be inside, and Madeline and I could get a coffee. We also wanted space to make our giant posters with the names of our favorite dancers displayed on them. The mall was a blast. We made our posters, the kids wandered into a few shops, and then Gillan went in search of prices for a giant bungee thingy. It was only $5! Gillen, Max, Jesse, Alex, and Ella were sold immediately, but Sophie needed a bit more convincing before she would part with her cold, hard cash. It was hilarious, and the kids had a blast! When Max, got off from his first time, I heard him say to Gillan, "Dude, I'm so glad you checked the prices!" After everyone had a go, Max, Gillen and Jesse decided to have another run....I think it was too much of a good thing. They all were really tired and feeling a bit sick and sore after that second go round.

We left the mall for a pizza joint and had the best New York style pizza ever. It was the perfect place for more time together before the show.

The show was crazy! There were so many people there and it was truly exciting. We got to our seats, realized our fabulous posters were not going to work, and proceeded to strain and squirm in order to see the stage. Note to self....never, ever buy floor seats....even if Ticketmaster is trying to tell you they are the best available. Floor seats suck!

The second half of the show was phenomenal. I'm so glad we went and that we got to share something so special, that we love so much, with some of our favorite people in the whole wide world.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


We had a fabulous time this past weekend in East Tennessee. Thank you Ren, for organizing a great gathering of unschoolers. It was really relaxing, and we were all able to connect a bit more with old friends and new. I love these smaller get-togethers for that reason. While some of our favorite friends were greatly missed, we got to know some other really awesome people that I know we'll keep in touch with in the months to come. I didn't get many pictures, and wish I had some to commemorate the following moments... the ladies who came to dance with me; Elisabeth and Marissa who took Ella under their wings; Lexie, Kat, Livie and Ella swinging and hiking and playing together; Gail and her amazing art project; Kass and her sister and their paraffin hand wax; all the fairy god parents and children; Max C. hanging with my Max; Sophie, Sierra, Kiera, and Sadie hanging out together; Alex finally getting to experience WoW under Alec's tutelage; doing the dollar store with Kelli, Abby and Olivia; the great cabins with the front porch swings and rocking chairs...especially with a few of us rocking away, sipping wine, chatting it up.

At the top of Roan Mountain
Ella and Livia palying on the rocks
The last night
Max ready to melt down after a day of hard playing

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Rock Town

We went to Rock Town a while back with some new friends. Rock Town is so cool. It's a little-known bouldering paradise about 45 minutes from our house. You walk on a trail until you find yourself among some of the largest rock outcroppings ever! As opposed to the more famous Rock City, at Rock Town, it is as nature left it...wild. You can climb, scramble, boulder, get a running start, etc. The rocks are gorgeous and provide never ending exploration opportunities. We can't wait to go back...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloweeny!

We watched the best show on the history of Halloween. We all learned some really cool things, including:
Sophie: Originally, giving out candy was a bribe to stop vandalism in the 1920's;
Ella: What to expect in a haunted in, what the designers were doing to elicit fear;
Alex: Halloween is one day where you can just go crazy and express that hidden side of yourself;
Max: What it takes to grow the world's largest pumpkin which was 1450 lbs;
Mindy: Being scared of the dark is a primordial fear, based on things in the night (predators) being likely to kill our ancestors

Alex's Jack-O-Lantern with Voldermort eyes

Ella's can't see it, but hers had ears

Sophie's Jack-O-Lantern

Max's Jack-O-Lantern with cute little freckles

There was a great deal of time spent organizing, seperating, and catagorizing the candy stash. The kids have an elaborate rating system for each type of candy.

The best part of Halloween, at least in my kids' opinion....Bargaining...Trading...Working a deal