Life and Learning

Baking Christmas Cookies together

When I was younger and in school, I vividly remember homework-filled nights of tears and struggle trying to learn to use fractions. It always makes me smile when my kids are baking with me and I see them happily manipulating fractions all over the place to measure ingredients, double a recipe, or make up for missing measuring cup/spoons.  Happy, purposeful, life learning.

I don't bake with my kids in order to provide a lesson on fractions and measurement. We bake because we like cookies.  And cake.  The math involved is a tool to get what we're after.  It is real and relevant.  

I don't have a checklist of skills for them to master by a certain age or date. I don't quiz them. When they were littler, I talked through the calculations out loud as I did them myself.  As they've grown, they've each come into being able to make the calculations and adjustments on their own, in their own individual times.  It is as seamless as a child learning to walk and talk.

How do I know they're learning?  Because it is right here before my eyes everyday.


Weekend in Massachusetts

Up early (for us) for a hike through the woods around Walden Pond in Concord, MA.  I was really excited to be there!  It was cold but beautiful. We also bought a book about Thoreau and Walden and read it together.

 Site of Thoreau's cabin

 Hanging with Henry David

 Thoreau cabin replica

 "I served my apprenticeship and have since done considerable journeywork in the huckleberry field.  Though I never paid for my schooling and clothing in that way, it was some of the best schooling I got, and paid for itself."  ~  Henry David Thoreau
 After our hike, huckleberry jam on toast

After leaving Walden, we drove on to Salem, Massachusetts to tour the Salem Witch Museum (no photos while inside) and learn about the history of the witch trials.

Finally, we drove on to the coast to see the Atlantic and maybe stick our toes in the cold water.

At first it was cold, 
as we were walking back to the RV it became painful!

caught raiding the dog food

Allentown and Bethlehem, PA

Happy to be traveling in our RV again.  Feels like coming home!  Most campgrounds in the area were closed, so we boonedocked in a parking lot again.  This time, though, we were low on running water as many places in the area had their water supply turned off for the winter.  We ended up having to drive about 40 miles to a campground and pay $40 for water and to dump tanks (this usually costs about $5).  Also, while we were out eating one evening, Matt's rental car for work was hit by a tractor trailer and destroyed.  On the plus side, because needed to drive him to work and pick him up, we looked for and found a really nice park to stay at during the day just around the block from where he was working. It was cold, but the kids enjoyed the playground anyway, Pablo enjoyed the space to run offleash, and I even got to go running.

 Razz adjusted quickly to riding in the RV

Using a sleeping Seth as a perch

 Just enough space inside for a yoga mat!

Our temporary "backyard" 

We went to nearby Bethlehem, PA where Matt and Riley went to the skatepark and then we all overindulged at the amazing Vegan Treats Bakery.

New Addition to the Family

About a month ago, we adopted Razzleberry, a rescue kitten from our local animal shelter.  I've never been much of a cat person, but, wow -- totally in love with this one!

 Bonding with Pablo

 Bonding with Seth

Flashback: Election Week

November 2012

Flashback: Leaving California

Halloween Week, 2012

 Packed for home and really tired

We had some great views on the flight home. 
Here are pictures by Riley.

 Pacific Ocean