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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......

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Another catch-up

...since posting regularly just isn't going to happen right now.:)

I posted a pic of our beloved rattie girl Violet because she died a couple weeks ago and we miss her a ton. Freebie is missing her too and acting pretty depressed. Other than that, we've had a really fun January:

Let's see...
we've visited Biltmore estate and now have a yearly pass so we can go visit anytime we feel like making the drive over the mountains. Sierra plans to go once a month, but this month isn't looking too good, February is definitely on the scope though. It will be awesome to see the change of seasons at the garden.

We all went ice skating up in Bristol one day earlier this month. It was nice to know I could still skate just fine in spite of having missed many, many years. I grew up skating in Alaska of course, as it was a winter (and sometimes summer) ritual. The kids think it's totally bizarre that I used to skate and ski during recess at school. Heck, even in high school we did cross country skiing for P.E.! Different world up there.

Both Jared and Sierra informed me that if we ever get rich, they want an ice skating rink in the house. Personally, I've got my eye on a lovely wind turbine.;)

I've been working in bits and pieces on a project for MAC, to enable me to step into the "product specialist" position. I spent last night hanging out with the photographer that helped me with the photo shoot I set up, choosing and photoshopping the pictures I want to use. He's such a totally creative and amazing photographer, he's got me inspired to learn more and do more with my pictures. I'm really excited about how the project is coming together. I'll make sure to post some pics when it's complete.

On another work related note, I head down to Chattanooga next week for training. The best part is that I'll get to see Mindy (fellow unschooler) for a quick visit the night before. One of the cool parts about my job is getting to visit other parts of the region and getting paid for it.

Today is extra special because we're celebrating Jalen's Birthday. He officially turns six years old on February 2nd, but we're having his party today. Sierra and I made some pancakes this morning and brought him a tray with pancakes, strawberries and cream and a cuppa tea. The pancakes had a candle of course and we sang to him while he was still rubbing his eyes waking up. He looked a bit baffled, but enjoyed breakfast immensely! He's decorating me with a Spongebob Birthday hat as I type this. I feel so glamorous.:)

Jalen shares his Birthday with a special friend of ours, Ben Lovejoy. So Happy Birthday Ben and Jalen (a bit early) and happy groundhog day everyone!

dungeons and dragons

I got a good laugh out of this one. My only question is, why in the hell didn't the dude do a tumble check!! Duh.

Oh, and just in case anyone is disturbed by the guy getting shot in the leg...he didn't really get shot. Reno 911 is just a spoof, not real cops.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Catching up

Wow, I haven't blogged in so looooongg....I feel like something's missing lately without my blogging time.:) Hope everyone had a marvelous Christmas/Yule/New Year/Whatever-you-celebrate season.

Things were (as usual) close to home and simple, but very fun and sparkly at the same time. There aren't as many gifts to unwrap anymore, because most of the family sends the kids money now (life changes have made this easier) but the kids were thrilled with everything they got (and of course they love the money too). Sierra has been crooning into her Karaoke machine again tonight, Trevor happily teases us about our small computer screen now that he had a new computer and monitor (19" flatscreen, darn him), Jared can't decide whether to play on his new Xbox 360 or be on my computer playing World of Warcraft (he and Sierra got their own account finally!) and Jalen has been busily building and destroying cities and tracks on his new train track table.

Oh, and there was the Christmas kittie. Bella is still here and seems to have decided she's staying, we've been adopted I guess.

Working 30 hours again has been a lot less stressful this time around. I love, love, love working for MAC and am acting as Product Specialist currently (must turn in a big project to make it official) which is a fabulous challenge and exactly what I love doing (training people and sharing product knowledge). We're actually going to have medical insurance again, since 30 hours is considered full-time. I feel a bit ambiguous about the whole insurance thing, it's such a scam. At the same time I don't like having no protection in such a jacked up system. sigh.

Markus is staying busy, and thankfully can do a large majority of his work right here at home. I have a great feeling about this coming year!

We ushered in the New Year by singing Trevor Happy Birthday (like we do each New Year!), my tall, lanky first-born is now 17. I can hardly believe it. He's such a neat guy too.

Sierra and I went downtown for "First Friday" a couple nights ago. Found several friends and after picking up a handthrown mug for her, we met a group at Acoustic Coffehouse for more talking, drinking and eating. A guy I'd met down there previously showed up. He splits his time between here and the Peruvian jungles, bringing back handcrafted items by the tribal people to sell. Sierra made her own purchase of a handwoven bag, all of the embroidery on it was made from cotton they grow, dye and weave in Peru. She was tickled. My girl loves to hang out with me and my adult friends...they all think she's such a neat kid (and they're right). It was so cool watching her asking this guy (don't even know his name) about all the items and how they were made. On the way home she asked where Peru is. After a brief explanation she says "well I want to go there!!"

Peruvian dude takes very small groups into the jungle occasionally. We may have to join him sometime.)