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Learning in Freedom

Welcome to Learning in Freedom, a blog all about the learning adventures (and mishaps) of the Allen family. My four children are unschooled, following their interests and passions every day and living the lives of their choosing. The purpose of this blog is to share our every day lives (and my not-so-humble opinons) with anyone interested in stopping by. We hope this will give a glimpse of how natural learning unfolds from day to day......

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Jalen's fourth Birthday

Jalen's Birthday! We took him shopping this afternoon and let him pick out his own presents. Sounds strange, but he really loved doing it this way. He's watched Power Rangers, played with hot wheels tracks (thanks to Trevors set-up skills) and shot everyone with his new gun that covers his arm up to the elbow. He decorated a small ice cream cake with Kit-Kat bites, then added the candles and let us sing to him, giggling all the while. As I was leaving for work, the Armstrong's stopped by with another gift for him. I came home to a pop up tent being carried around the house and figured out what they bought. I was searching around the internet tonight to find out what was going on at Unity and Unitarian churches this Sunday, as Sharon and I plan to attend one and then go out to eat. I found a little article at the Unitarian site about the MLK parade that Trevor and Jared marched in while we shivered on the sidelines. Thought I'd save it here for the scrapbook one day:

Martin Luther King Parade Follow Up, Thanks to Many

" Thanks to all who contributed time, energy, and equipment to UUCP’s participation in the King Parade. The circle is wide. Hugh Ed Turner lugged materials down from and back up to the attic. Our friend Sheldon Seuzeneau lent the pick up truck; neighbors, Orrin and Carol Clement lent the trailer; and Cerex Company supplied extensive fabric from, free, by way of Albert Ortega, my brother-in-law. Kate Wolverton dyed the material in multiple colors, to reflect our theme, “We all help weave the human rainbow.” Ron Berthelot built a wooden framework on both truck bed and trailer, to hold the decorations on and the people safely in! Many helping hands put decorations together Sunday (and took some of it apart Monday after the parade and a shared lunch). In the parade, Jack, Steve, and Eleanor livened us up with drumming while Nathan and Ian Wolverton and their friends kept the puppets moving, all to the crowd’s delight. Although we missed some of the past MLK Parade “regulars” (out of town, no longing living here, still coping with Ivan, or otherwise unavailable), it was great to involve many newcomers. A nice mix of people walked and rode in the parade, from 20-year members to more recent members and friends, young children and teens through retirees. We are grateful to every one. UUCP was well represented and Dr. King was appropriately honored. "
By Dolly Berthelot

The Woverton's are good friends....Kate is the one that we do our tie dye with every year and Nathan plays D&D with the boys. We met them four years ago at the Harry Potter fan club that Books-A-Million sponsored. I remember liking them right away. I'm hoping my Dad gets to meet Jack on a visit one day..they both play steel drums, I think they'd enjoy each others company.
Sierra has discovered a video game that she loves. I think mostly because her and Jared enjoy playing it together. She's finally been accepted as an equal in the video gaming world in the basement. I'm seeing less of her upstairs though.

So Jalen turned four today. My little Groundhog baby is not going to be a toddler much longer...sigh. He created a lovely...hmmmm...I'm not sure what it is....a water bottle filled with an assortment of pens and crayons tonight. It's stacked artfully atop two cups. It's up there with the orange/soda bottle sculpture he kept building last week. He carried it around for a while, shaking it and showing it off to me several times before stacking it up with the cups. There it sits, a reminder of my creative, energetic boy that brings both smiles and frustration to his family.
It was a perfectly wonderful way to celebrate his day today...just doing the things he wanted to, buying the gifts he chose.
Happy Birthday little Groundhog..don't grow up too fast, I need to kiss those chubby cheeks and smell that sweet breath a bit longer.
I'm not sure I know how to let go of this stage, knowing another toddler won't be coming along to hold my cheeks with grubby hands and drape a leg over my belly at night. I think I shall miss our nighttime snuggles the very most. But Happy Birthday for now...I'll tuck this day, this very moment into my assortment of sweet memories.


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