Saturday, February 27, 2010

Becoming Annie

With a bottle of semi-permanent hair dye and some hot curlers, she becomes Annie!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Some Annie Videos from Eugene Weekly Blog

Eugene Weekly's Entertainment reporter is covering the Annie rehearsals on her blog. She put up these two videos.

First one is Annie singing "Maybe" in rehearsal, and Jaya (the other Annie) singing "Tomorrow":

Then a tour of the whole operation, with Asa trying on the dreaded curly-mop Annie wig at the end. She has since decided just to dye her own hair red and has been given a promise that she will NOT have to wear this wig!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

What Does Unschooling Look Like Today?

After breakfast, Asa and I play Scrabble in our pajamas. Mackenzie is at the dining room table making a claymation movie. In a few minutes, Asa and I will head to the Performing Arts Center where she'll be appearing in a teaser of Annie - a selection of songs and scenes - performed for about 200 - 300 people. After that, she'll go to her Mime class.

Mackenzie will head out just before noon to go to an internship he's doing with a man who has his own web design business. This has been a terrific opportunity for him to not only learn skills like HTML programming, but to see what it really takes for someone to run their own business.

After a late lunch, I'll take the kids to the homeschool resource center where they're both taking a 5-week short course. Mackenzie's is in web design from his favorite computer science teacher, Asa's is a craft class where they'll make and embroider a purse. Then Asa will go to her dance class and rehearsal for Annie. She more or less lives at the combination dance studio/theatre these days (lucky for us they are in the same building!).

Mackenzie will go to a gaming night tonight, it's a group of adults who play a wide variety of board and card games, from strategy to storytelling to whatever. He really looks forward to Thursdays because of this! I'll pick up Asa at 8:30 and Mackenzie closer to 10:00.

Not all of our days are this busy, in fact Thursdays are the busiest on our schedule right now. But the theme that runs through our days is interest-driven learning, interaction with a wide variety of people and places, and best of all an amazing array of people who have chosen to share their time, energy, talent, and teaching with these kids. From the director of the play to the computer science teacher to the guy who invited Mackenzie to the gaming night to the man who is mentoring him in web design to Asa's encouraging Mime and Dance teachers, their lives are filled with so many wonderful adults. I feel that we're very blessed. Some people see homeschooling as a mom at a kitchen table with her kids and their workbooks. In our case, it is an interaction with the world at large and all of its exciting possibilities.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Feelin' The Love, The Fun, The Exploding Volcano of Pudding

This has been one of the sweetest Valentine's Days ever. Oh, I know it's a big commercial day to sell lots of candy, flowers, and stuff, and people bemoan its "Hallmark Holiday" status, but I say there's nothing wrong with taking and entire day to celebrate those you love.

My day started with a card and a present from my sweetest little girl. She made me this heart herself, and holding it you can just feel the love sewn inside.

Then after breakfast Mackenzie decided he was going to make some special chocolate pudding for the day. My grandma has a super-easy recipe that she loved to make, so we took a minute to remember her as we got the card out of the box. Unfortunately, Mackenzie got confused about the small fact that cornmeal is not the same as corn starch. Needless to say, the first version of the pudding was a bit... gritty.

Second time around, he neglected to keep a watchful eye on the microwave, so he ended up with the Exploding Volcano of Pudding. As you can see, he didn't mind cleaning off the microwave by hand! What didn't explode all over the place tasted great though, we all enjoyed some topped by whipped cream, agreeing that it wasn't near as disastrous as the Great Smoothie Explosion of 2008.

Asa had a Valentine's Day party to go to, I got to take a run that wasn't in the rain (always a blessing here in February), and then we all went to see the movie Twilight New Moon, which was thankfully at the $1 theatre, since I'm glad I didn't pay more than that to see it! But it was okay, and we had a good time dishing about the bad parts afterwards.

Out of the 25 years I've spent as an adult on this planet, 18 have been together with Wayne and 13 have been with kids in my life. Over half my adult life! That's really amazing to me. All I can say is I'm feelin' the love!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Those Dang Invisible Milestones Again

Milestones are easy to spot, the new things that your kids do, from walking and talking up through their first sleepover or learning to drive. The invisible milestones slip by us: the last time they crawl or babble, the last time they climb in bed in the middle of the night or ask us to drive them somewhere.

Somewhere in the last two weeks, the very last mis-pronounced word passed from my teenager's lips. When they're little, they use those cute mistaken words all the time, from pasghetti to hostible, it's so cute you can't stand it. I've never understood the adults that correct those verbal boo boos, because all too soon you turn around and they're gone. Very few survive the last years of childhood. For my big guy it was "specific", which always came out "pacific", until now. I don't remember the last time he said it wrong, but all I know is that now he says it right. I guess it goes with the fuzzy little mustache. Sigh.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Gummi Bear Cage Fighting

Mackenzie's been on a roll lately with making videos. Largely he has concentrated on how-to videos for some of the more complicated stuff in the game "Blockland", but we were on a hike Sunday with a friend of his and the two of them started dreaming up ideas for funny videos. They came up with Gummi Bear cage fighting as the theme, and on the way home from the hike I stopped off at the store and bought them some supplies in the form of large amounts of molded and shaped high-fructose corn syrup.

They got to work making sets and then on Monday Mackenzie filmed the stop-action sequences. Here it is in all its gummy glory, look for a sequel soon!:

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Mackenzie Humor for the Day

Mackenzie tells about a million jokes a day that he just comes up with on the fly, and every now and then I remember to write some down. Here's a couple from today that had me chuckling:

What do you call a buffalo when he's being annoying?
> Jerky

What kind of priests make the best cooks?
> Friars