Sunday, September 24, 2006

More soccer pictures

The soccer season continues. They've played three games now. Gary said they played hard at yesterday's game. Dan scored a goal! He very excitedly told me 'they even had nets at the goal' and that his team won. No official score is kept at his age, but I've always heard the kids do keep score. Best of all he's really enjoying himself. Earlier this week, he said "Now I like soccer. It's fun!" After his first game, he'd said he wanted to quit. We talked about it and he decided to give it more time.
The Tigers' 06 team photo.
Dan says, "you know how I fell? The other team (member) slipped in the mud and I tripped over him." And I thought it was intense fight for the ball.

Dan in number 5.
Dan at a pre-game practice session.
All chasing the ball during Game 2. Dan's team in the yellow socks.

The Corn Pit

For all the time we spent at the fair -- we were there 5 hrs! -- much of it was spent in the corn pit. It's a screened- canopy tent (which explains the poor photo quality) filled with feed corn instead of sand. We first found it just as the rain started and the kids were kicked out. Later it re-opened and they spent the better part of an hour in the corn.

Eliza, intently burying her duck in the corn.

Dan dumping corn down his shirt.
Andy half-buried in corn.
Andy with a shirt full of corn.
Scotty & Dan catching rain from the downspout during the rain delay. That's the corn pit in the background.

Scotty buried in corn, Dan lounging in the corn next to him.

The State Fair

We had a great day at the fair this past Weds on dollar day. Andy & I spent some time at the adult midway, watching all the rides, deciding to ride only two -- the Tilt a Whirl (twice) and the Himalaya. We stopped by a booth to see and touch some sting rays and horseshoe crabs -- Andy really enjoyed that.

After we caught back up with Jenny, Scotty, Dan & Eliza, we had lunch, and got rained on, where the kids danced and chased around under the canopy.
Two best friends at the State Fair. Dan & Scotty climbed up to the top of the bleachers under the canopy to hear a band play, and share a bag of Doritos.

We also saw the petting farm and spent some time at souvenir booths, looking for just the right souvenirs of our day. Our best finds were in the dollar box, as Jenny and her kids left for home. We finished up with one last ride on the Tilt-a-Whirl for all three of us -- both boys were grinning ear-to-ear.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A day at Explora

Andy made some smaller bubbles when he wasn't chasing the big bubble.
Andy almost succeeded with a full-body bubble - you can just see it at the top of the poles around him. I got this shot just as it popped.
Dan at the finish line with his sail car -- always one of our favorite areas at Explora.

Yesterday, after a lazy morning, we headed out by bus to Explora. The boys had hoped, being closed all of last week, there would be new exhibits. We did find one new thing, in the last few minutes before the museum closed, but I forgot to get any pictures of it. Next time we go, they'll have changed the whole area now about electricity to exhibits on sound, I'll get pictures of it all.

We spent almost 4 hours there -- trains, gears, domino lines, a new exhibit on sound, the water table, and outdoor huge bubble set-up are the things I remember, tho we did so much more. Gary joined us there and we stayed until closing time.

Andy and I spent time at the puzzle cafe, doing several puzzles he'd recently solved and wanted to show me. We also spent a long time trying to solve another puzzle -- one he'd managed to do before, but which involves so many steps it's impossible to remember it every time.

Live & Learn picnic in Tiguex park

The old brick hill slide was very popular
Eliza at the conference picnic
Jackie Baptista, daughter of Kathryn & Beth, on the parachute slider swing -- with the other unschoolers lined up for their turn.
the picnic music jam group, Chris Altenbach in the tie-dyed shirt -- they played Eight Days a Week
James Coburn's nitrogen ice cream was a hit
Dan on the parachute/slider swing

Beth's creative use of the parachute on a slider at the playground was even more popular with the kids. A couple of us Moms spent a good bit of time making sure everyone got fair turns on it. I had no idea how hard it is to explain the concept of standing in line -- and returning to the right spot in line -- would be to unschoolers!

It was a great picnic. We had missed last year's post conference picnic for travel plans, but never again. It was a wonderful goodbye to the past 4 days spent together with friends, new and old.

The whole conference was amazing, with great funshops, inspiring talks and lots of pool time, too. We can hardly wait for next year.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Live & Learn Conference 06

One advantage of the conference is that the kids are so well entertained and companioned that we found lots of opportunities to hang out with other adults. It also helped that Gary came along prepared to spend lots of time with the kids. Several times, he found himself watching other kids too -- Sorscha, and Garrett & Connor joined our boys at the pool. Gary's presence made it possible for me to join Jenny & Danielle for drinks Weds night. While there, we were joined by Cameron, who dropped by our table, met everyone and helped us polish off our food.

I spent time with other Moms, both local and out-of-towners, and heard many stories about other kids and families. I had a great time getting to know Diana better and left with a little piece of Hannah to spread somewhere special.

I sat in on most of Diana's talk about life & death, and cried along with everyone else as she shared Hannah with us all. I am so inspired by Diana's story -- both for the reminder that each moment we spend with our kids is so precious, and for the joy she shares with everyone she meets. She took an amazing picture of Dan & Scotty on her camera phone -- I can hardly wait for it to arrive in my email box! She encouraged Andy to get up on stage and share his jokes -- and he did! As she said goodbye to me, she managed to totally embarrass Gary as well.

I heard most of the Dad's Panel, and really enjoyed their stories. Mary Gold's talk about teens was great. I missed a few talks, too, but I'm hoping to get those on CD as soon as Kelly has them ready.

It was so good to spend time with Ren and Danielle, getting to know them better, and to hear real-life stories about the joys and challenges of other families. To watch so many happy packs of kids roaming freely everywhere -- teenagers, pre-teens, and smaller ones, too. That's the best part of a Live & Learn conference, all the joyous, fun kids who are so much fun to be with and watch. That is the best testimonial to our chosen lifestyle for our kids -- for the sheer joy of it!

other conference hightlights

Andy got up at the talent show on Friday night and told two jokes: Why did the orange stop rolling halfway down the hill? It ran out of juice! Why did the toilet paper roll down the hill? It wanted to get to the bottom!
He had told these jokes to Diana Jenner earlier in the evening, and she insisted he should get up on stage to share them with everyone. We'd made the same suggestion earlier, but he declined. Diana's encouragement was just irresistible. By the time we were heading home that night, he said he'd like to show his juggling. We had to tell him that there was no talent show on Saturday! He regretted he'd missed his chance. Maybe next year, he'll bring along a talent and sign up for the show.

Just a few more pictures of the kids.....

The three little boys spinning are Dan (orange conf t-shirt), Scotty Altenbach (Dan's best friend) and Connor Phelan (yellow shirt) who got along famously (most of the time anyway) and are all local Albuquerque boys. These shots were taken on Friday afternoon, following a rainstorm so they were wet, spinning boys too

Dan starts soccer

Also this weekend, amidst all the conference goings-on, Dan started soccer this Saturday. We all went to his first game. I really enjoyed watching him play -- my only chance this fall, since all his games happen on Saturdays when I work.

He played for 3 quarters, and twice almost re-directed the ball and almost made a goal. He really does run like he could go on forever. At his age, they don't keep score, tho Dan tells me 'no one on my team even scored a goal' -- I'm not sure the other team scored more than two (both by the same boy). It was clear the other team had at least three players who've played soccer before, where our team has only one returning player. At least one boy on the other team was the tallest 5yo I've ever seen. Dan's team didn't get any practice, and did well enough for their first time, I think.

Dan said just last evening that soccer would be more fun with no bench-time (each player gets to play, and with 5 kids, two kids are out-of-play at any given time). I pointed out that he had played 3 quarters, so he hadn't really had much bench time. And, hey, they got two snacks. He was a little discouraged by losing (at least from his perspective) but we've assured him that with practice, they'll get better and make more goals. He wants us to practice with him and set up a goal so he can practice.

Kids at the dance

Serena Tucker danced on stage for a while.
Rhiannon Tucker dragged her Daddy back downstairs to dance some more.
Sheila Jorgensen, with her bottle and balloon, popped up all over the dance floor thru the night.
While some of the younger kids at the dance were up dancing all night -- Asher was onstage well into the night -- my kids were sound asleep.

Cyrrene looked great in a red dress dancing to tunes played by her Dad

Andy -- who is usually up past midnight -- somehow passed out by 11 pm, resting his head on the speaker system!

conference dance fun

As pointed out by Allison Broadbent, Danielle Conger is one hot mama!

Ben Lovejoy in a sarong, with Danielle Conger, sitting on stage for a break in the action.

Ren & Jenny spot Gary taking their picture

We had a fabulous time at the dinner/dance on Saturday night! Lots of adults and kids up dancing the night away. Ren led dance lines around the room.

Actually there were lots of kids who danced the night away. John Florez, local DJ and Dad, did the honors for music at the dance. The dance floor was full all night, with folks dancing in groups and in couples. We had a great time dancing with the teens -- I even danced with Holly Dodd for a bit! Some stage-diving/mosh pit happened. Have to say it's pretty brave to be willing to catch stage-diving Marty Dodd or Trevor Allen!

L&L 06 funshops

The boys spent some time at the funshops this year. They both made rain sticks; Dan also made a wind kite, a steam engine out of duct tape (!) and fired a water rocket given to him by another child.

I joined Dan for a wikki stix funshop, where we made a steam engine on a sheet of paper, and a wind kite funshop.

I went to the henna funshop done by Brenna, put a spiral sun tattoo on my ankle, and had Lisa paint one on my chest for me. She also did one for Mindy on her leg. They all turned out great, and we had lots of fun getting to know each other better.

Friday, September 08, 2006

L&L conference colors

Several colorful Moms at the Live & Learn Conference ice cream social on Weds night. The conference opened with the ice cream social -- the weather was beautiful. There are many more colorful heads than in this picture -- Moms, kids and a even a few Dads. Pink, blue, purple and green everywhere you look!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Tribal Colors

Today, we had our tribe hair-coloring party. Thank you thank you Crystal for your expertise -- the colors and cuts are great! I don't even want to think about what Jenny & I would look like without you there.

Jenny chose to go with purple and green, done in three sections at the back, and she's promised that when she gets home, she'll add a strip of each color at front, too. Mine is fuschia under at the back and some on top, in strips and tips. I love it! Jenny's looks so good -- the purple is fabulous. I also love Crystal's party on her head colors.

The kids even joined in, painting my hair. Gary was great with the girlfriend invasion, screaming laughter, people sitting ON the table, and doesn't even seem bothered by the purple shower stall he'll be using for days (maybe weeks) to come.