July 23, 2010

Visitors Galore

I know it's been ages, but with all the visitors we've been running around like crazy for the last couple weeks. I'm supposed to be packing up to go to San Diego for the week (the boys and I are leaving tomorrow–poor Warren has to stay home to work), but I'm freaking out because I just bought tickets for me and Jerry to go to London (since Warren will be working there) and now all of a sudden I'm in a panic because we're going to be so busy until the last week in August and then we're leaving on September 13! Eh gads!

Anyway, enough moaning about things I should be happy about. We've been loving our time with Etienne, our visitor from France. And since last Friday we've had visitors from Switzerland, too (a mom and her 13-year-old daughter). In the last two weeks we've been to Knott's Berry Farm (twice), gone miniature golfing and go kart racing, spent a windy day at the beach, attended the California World Music Festival in Grass Valley, and spent lots of time swimming in my mom and dad's pool. Now we're off to San Diego with my parents and my brother and sister and their families. At the end of the week we have to hand Etienne over to his parents, but we'll see him again when the whole family visits L.A. in early August.

I'm not sure how much blogging I'll get in while we're away, but I have been posting pictures of our recent escapades on Flickr so be sure to check those out. I haven't deleted anything yet, so it may get boring pretty quick, but at least it will give an idea of what we've been doing lately.

I'm off to pack!

July 6, 2010

July 4th Photos

I just wanted to share a few photos from the annual July 4th party at my mom and dad's house. It was a quick weekend with a long drive in both directions (they live in Sacramento), but the party was well worth it for a the fun, friends and family. Most of these pictures are of my nieces and nephews because they're just so darn photogenic (and I didn't think my family members would appreciate appearing online in their swimsuits).

July 2, 2010

Bedtime and Other Fun

I know this is supposed to be a blog about unschooling. But, since all my angst is gone I've hardly mentioned it at all in the past year. So, today I'm going to start with two unschooly (but, brief) items. First off, my blog was included in a list of the top 8 unschooling blogs! Can you believe it!? Wait a minute–don't answer that. Anyway, it was quite an honor to be included on that list, so I just wanted to share it with you. But, now I feel obliged to write something about unschooling. So here goes:
I had a realization about bedtimes the other day. Jerry has been staying awake most of the night and sleeping until 3 or 4 in the afternoon for the last month or two. I'm not happy about it, really. I miss seeing him during the day and it makes me wonder where I fit into his life if I'm asleep for much of the waking portion of it. Still, I let him make his own choices. If he's not feeling well or of he's very tired you can bet I ask him if he thinks he got enough sleep (not all the time and not in an accusing way, but sometimes I just can't stop myself because I want him to be aware of how and if his sleeping patterns are affecting him). Anyway, I was thinking about the whole bedtime thing and I realized that this is the time in Jerry's life when it's natural for him to seek out independence–to move away from his parents in some ways. And what better place to do that than in our own home? He gets the entire house to himself. He's free to make choices without taking anyone else into consideration. And yet, if something happens that he wants to talk to me about (and that's not uncommon) all he has to do is walk downstairs and wake me up. It's the perfect situation, really. He's safe, but solo. And he gets the added bonus of being able to talk to friends who live in different time zones and might not be available during the day. So, I'm not saying I'm entirely happy with the situation, but I understand it. And I understand that there are benefits. So, I let it be.

On to other topics now! We've had a really fun week. Yesterday Jerry got together with his friend Josh and we all ended up going to see some music together at the Hammer Museum.
I swiped the above photo, taken by Andrew Herrold, off the KCRW blog. The event took place in a really nice outdoor setting. Everything about it was great. The lead guitar player of Saint Motel, the headlining band, is a close family friend of Josh's so we met his family, which was really nice. The guitar player's dad had created this really cool set up that puts cameras on the microphones and some of the instruments. He also created a small hand held camera that his wife carries around through the crowd while the band plays. Then he has this thing that looks like a wooden piano keyboard that allows him to switch from one camera to another–the image is projected onto a screen behind the band. It's really cool. So we got to check out the camera system a bit. We were also able to watch the DJ do some of his stuff (which Jerry loved) because we arrived early enough to see him and the opening band, Kitten (fronted by an amazing 15-year-old singer). And, as an added bonus, Jerry scored an old Apple Airport that he can take apart in his attempt to create remote internet access for his computer while we're on long drives.

As if that wasn't enough excitement for one week, we went to Anime Expo at the Los Angeles convention Center today. We took Jerry's friend Shea and the boys had a great time marveling at all the costumes, watching anime, and shopping in the mega exhibit hall. I didn't bring my camera, but here are a few phone pics:
Jerry and Shea.
Here's a group of people dressed as characters from One Piece.
Lots of Bleach cosplayers viewed from up above.

We bought a few things for Jerry, but my favorite by far was this Pokemon t-shirt.
I just thought it was hilarious and so did Jerry. That's it for now.

Have a happy 4th!

July 1, 2010

Pixel Block Fun

We picked up some pixel blocks at a yard sale last weekend (for 5 bucks!!) and have been having all kinds of fun with them.

Quick update: Tomorrow is Anime Expo and one week from tomorrow our young visitor from France arrives, plus we'll have visitors from Switzerland in another couple weeks. I love summer!