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Thursday, March 27, 2014

An overdue recap of our unschoolin, homeschoolin, freeschoolin, life-learning days

We are all still anxiously awaiting spring's arrival. Will the snow ever end? I think the experts got global warming all wrong, as this year we are definitely suffering from global cooling everywhere!

We all are slipping into the winter blues as spring teases us with sunshine but still gives us a coldness that is not Spring weather. I am trying to find the positive in each day but really I am so done with winter.

Over the past few weeks we have stayed inside for the most part and I am missing our walks...maybe by May Spring will be here :)

It must make the Easter Bunny happy as he won't have to decorate eggs this year for outside hunts...he will just have to plop undecorated white eggs out in the snow...that will be like finding a needle in the haystack!

So what have we been up to? LOTS! This is a lonnngggg post and if you missed any of the individual posts that go with the pics you can click on the highlighted links to see the activities in more detail instead of my duplicating them here.

During the Olympics Sierra took an interest in watching snowboarding and curling. She asked to try snowboarding so we went to a snowboard shop to have a look around and so she could familiarize herself with the equipment she would be renting. She picked out a board that she wants to buy when she becomes a pro-snowboarder :)

She did go to try snowboarding but it wasn't as grand as she thought it would be and wants to wait a few years before trying again. She is a flip flop and sun dress girl so wearing all the snowboard gear was too much for her to bare at this time and wasn't ready to actually hit the hill.

Sierra has been selling some of her Littlest Pet Shops that she no longer plays with so that she can buy new older collector pet shops that are hard to find. We went to a little toy store in Collingwood to window shop and Sierra fell in love with this blue bear.

 He had a hefty price tag of $20 and we told her we weren't buying the bear as we were just looking today and $20 was too expensive in my opinion (I'm a treasure hunter and hate paying full price for anything). We also told her that if she wanted to she could spend her own money on it. She shed a few tears but in the end decided that buying this bear was worth spending her own money as she really, really loved "Blue Bear". Since buying Blue Bear he has been her perfect sleeping companion (along with the other dozen or more stuffies she already has). She was happy with her purchase and we were pleased with her thought process when weighing the pros and cons of buying her bear with her own money.
Sierra is actually quite good when considering spending her own money. Some days we go to the thrift store and she fills the cart with items she wants to buy. Then she sorts through them. Last time I told her I would buy her the dress and boots she really wanted and she would have to decide on the toys and buy those with her own money. She sorted, added, subtracted the totals, switched piles around all deep in thought. It took her about 20 minutes of spread out piles on the floor but she got a $44 pile down to $12. I really should have snapped a pic as it was quite the sight, but didn't. I was proud of her thought process though and her end decisions of what to buy.

We learned a lot about Matryoshkas (see THIS post). We used them to sort by colour, size and shape.  We coloured, we painted and we counted. We also made Matryoshka suncatchers.

We mixed and measured, poured, stirred and kneaded to make my all time favourite playdough recipe. Then we made playdough cookies and had a teaparty.

We watched Turbo, and then created a snail to have snail races. This was a great math game which we played over and over and over again.
We have played many games. UNO is always a favourite (Monopoly and Hideaway Haven are the next favourite choices here). I did a post HERE on over a dozen ideas of ways to use UNO cards. Card houses are always fun and Sierra was very pleased to make her first ever triple stacked house.

Stacking the cards is really difficult for Aayla but a few days after Sierra made her big house Aayla finally made her own unique card house. She has to stack groups of cards together to get them to stand but after a few days of trying she came up with this idea all by herself and was so proud of her accomplishment.


Our blocks continue to be another favourite activity and we have constructed many different block towers.

Imaginative play is a another favourite past time. Both Sierra and Aayla like to create little scenarios for their toys. Here Aayla's Weebles are pretending to be Team Umizoomi and they save the day!

We have enjoyed some fresh air and had fun tobogganing and the snow continues to keep falling and leaving a fresh covering every couple of days.


There have been walks with friends around the yard, exploring the snow covered landscape.


There have been snacks of icicles dipped in snow.

Pillows and blankets are great sources of fun in our house.We use the couch pillows and stack them up ontop of dad and hop hop hop on top. The perfect activity to go along with the book Hop on Pop!

We have pillow fights in the bedroom which can turn into hours of fun,

 and blanket forts too for some flashlight fun which usually leads to flashlight tag and in the dark explorations.

 

Sometimes we create obstacle courses and walk the tightrope (aka broom handle).

We've had a lot of fun on many days watching movies on Netflix or Minecraft parodies and music videos on YouTube through the projector which almost always morph into Zombie dance parties.

Sierra and I picked up an old doll house we have started to renovate.

We made paper shamrocks for St Patrick's Day.
Told stories with our wonderful wooden pieces by Mamakopp. Here pictured is our set that goes with Jamie O'Rouke and the Big Potatoe.

And I won this little beauty in a contest from Mamaroots (on her blog) who should arrive any day now. I can hardly wait she is so pretty!

Our favourite coffee shop has their Roll up the Rim contest going on. Most years I win many coffees. This year I have only won one...and not for lack of trying!
 Mark (Ian's brother) keeps winning and winning and winning and doesn't mind rubbing it in my face!



We had a fun day at Legoland Discovery Centre in Vaughan where we played and had fun but also learned a lot about the size of wheels, weight of vehicle and how those aspects affect speed and distance in races.

We spent an evening at Comicon Toronto. My favourite part was watching the girls explore the booths of steampunk jewellery and watching Sierra discover and appreciate the beauty of handmade swords which I explain more in the Comincon post.
Sierra may like Zombie dance parties but she isn't a fan of zombie babies!
We also had fun "trying" to roller-skate. The post "trying" explains how we all tried, learned and grew while learning to roller-skate. It's a prime example of how we learn every day in every way.
Sierra is still really into Minecraft and this week she explored learning about how to defeat the endor dragon. She ran into an obstacle while implementing the research she discovered on YouTube. With a little help to activate the portal she made, she was able to defeat him. She was extremely happy when she did but realized that the fight to do so was kind of boring as it took a long time to defeat him (She defeated him in creative mode and it is apparently a lot harder to do in survival mode).

Sierra has a hard time most days having patience for Aayla when Aayla tries to learn to play. So on days when Sierra says, "Mom playing together is so much fun" it makes my heart smile :)

We have had a couple different visits from the tooth fairy and Sierra has had a lot of self growth when learning to deal with the complications of flipped teeth that won't go back into place. Also with dealing with how seeing lots of blood made her feel. She learned a lot through loosing one tooth so a couple weeks later when the second one occurred (with lots more blood) she handled it way better and controlled her emotions much better.

Recently we came across a flocks of wild turkeys a couple different days in different areas. They always remind me of the first time we saw them when Aayla and I had a small conversation that went something like this:

Me: Aayla look at the turkeys
Aayla: EAT them!
Me: They aren't cooked honey, they are just wild turkeys over there in the field.
Aayla: MICROWAVE!

Oh my! I can't imagine a microwaved turkey!!!

With this new snowfall we have received in the last couple of days we have stayed even closer to home 

Having snowball fights...

Using the sleds in the yard....


Cleaning off the trampoline for a winter bounce...


and daddy and Aayla built a BIG snowman on our neighbours front porch when they went away for the weekend as a welcome home surprise.

Aayla struck gold with a Kijiji find with this bag of trains. She is a huge Thomas fan and we spend hours playing with all her trains.

Aayla is also taking an interest in helping to make her own food. One day she asked for egg sandwiches but wanted to do it all herself...
So after I boiled the eggs, she peeled them, mashed them, mixed them and spread them to make herself a sandwich.

So as you can see we have been busy busy busy even though I haven't posted a lot about our individual days and a lot less crafty than usual, we have still been very busy.

Oh I almost forgot! One day we found a surprise by the mailbox...
Isn't she/he beautiful!

What has been your favourite thing you have done lately?