being all low-key

A lot of boring old regular life stuff has happened lately. It's wonderful.  It feels good to have nothing dramatic happen as of late and to finally, finally start letting go of our time.

I am slowly learning the secrets to balancing outside activities with homeschool.  It seems like we have tons of time to set up extra evening classes for the kids - climbing, two theatre groups, skating - and still keep up with my own obligations and even try to eke out some sort of social life for The Man and I with friends and family.

Haha.  Extra time is an illusion.  Whether you are at home, at work, at school.  There really is no such thing.

Our homeschool facilitator likes to tell a story about one of the families he visits.  Whenever someone asks the homeschooling father, 'What about socialization?' he responds with, 'Oh, yes, we're trying to cut down.'

I hear that.

How true it is that homeschooler is an oxymoron because homeschoolers are never at home.

But I am not well suited for the endless busy-ness.  I also believe that children should have a great deal of time on their hands to dally about and daydream.  Unstructured time keeps our creative side well nourished, not to mention also helps get the laundry and dishes handled so that we don't all have to run around in clothes picked off the floor in haste whilst running between activities.

So, here we are, idle.

This is girl child idly sewing a pocket for her birthday gift to her brother.     

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I love the look of serious concentration on her face.  It is tremendously difficult for her to control the machine's speed and keep a straight seam.  I am nearly bursting with pride at her increasing mastery.

And here is boy child, idly showing off yet another Lego set he has built.   That would be a mechanical shark eating a diver. Of course.

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That boy has been completely gobsmacked by Lego lately.  I've started figuring out how to handle our embarrassing large Lego collection.  We have Lego from The Man's childhood, plus much that has been collected and given and found for us over the years.  There may be some sort of genetic Lego thing happening.

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I should tell y'all about the Lego building activities at the library boy child has been attending.  There is much I've learned about organizing and helping kids expand their building repertoire.  Another post, perhaps. Because this post I'm taking about how we are all busy with activities.  So we have time to fold out the hidabed, eat treats, and watch musicals.  Boy child's current favorite is Mama Mia (there is a whole other post in that too, I'm sure).  Girl child is particularly favoring Little Shop of Horrors as of late.  I am totally open to musical ideas - both of my childs are nuts about them and I've watched Crybaby so many times that I want to cry. 

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This is my favorite.  I become insanely pleased when the kids paint stuff.

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The little pre-fab suncatcher kits from the dollar store are a favorite at the moment. They require little planning or creativity, but they present some tricky dexterity challenges for the preschooler, trying to keep the paint from glopping into the wrong spot. 

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Then you just pop 'er up in the window and done.  A tidy break from emotional investment in arts and crafts. 

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Here is boy child with our new favorite toy.  Actually, I've decided to refer to it as a math tool, having to do with planes and dimensions, but what it is is the coolest thing to play with.  I had one when I was younger and quite pleased to find them growing in popularity again.  Whatever these pin things are called.

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Another thing we've managed to find time to figure out is those darn Rainbow Loom things.  Well, the basic bracelet.  We haven't managed to make unicorns or minions or anything, but, hey, baby steps.

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Of course, in my post about how we've haven't been doing much at all, I actually photographed the kids doing stuff (except for maybe boy child sprawled out watching a movie, but he was actually quite busy memorizing the lyrics to Dancing Queen, which will obviously serve him well in his adult years) but what I am not showing is the best part: The hours upon hours that my childs have spent outside playing with the neighborhood kids.  Building forts in the snow, arguing, putting on shows, arguing, unearthing forgotten toys as the snow melts, arguing more, playing with the building blocks, kicking around balls, having massive arguments that involve projectiles... it's all good. 

Except the arguing.  That stuff gets right up my nose.

But I do recognize it as a normal part of learning how to get along with other and I find if I stay out of it, it becomes resolved quickly and everyone moves on.  I see it as my role to provide water and snacks whenever somebody becomes upset or overheated and other than that, make sure the projectiles aren't skin piercingly sharp.

Ah.  These are the best times.

Soon enough I'm sure I will forget that we like to stay unbusy and enroll the kids in too many programs again.  It seems I have another costuming assignment coming up involving some Victorian wear for a production of Sweeney Todd.  Which is kind of exciting, so I'm sure I'll get all wrapped up in that too.  And there is always more programs being developed that are interesting, theatre productions, roller derby to play, special exhibits and events happening around town that we will all want to be involved in.  In the meanwhile, however, I'm enjoying having a bit more free time to spend at home. 


  1. Dancing Queen lyrics will probably prove essential. Two of the most popular guys in my college crowd (Not the whole college, mind you, but the artsy type crowd I ran with) had Dancing Queen as the theme song for their room at the frat house.

  2. Ooh! Musicals!!!
    Meet me in St. Louis just for the amazingly creepy little girl.
    Not really a musical but if you can find Strictly Ballroom it's almost a musical except dancing.
    and the absolutely terrible but very brightly colored Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band with the Bee Gees

  3. My in-laws gave my kiddo the soundtrack to Mama Mia but we haven't seen it yet.

    I can't wait for some downtime!

    Enjoy it while it lasts.