Friday, February 1, 2013

Catching up...

From Thanksgiving 2012 at nanas
I haven't blogged here since May?!!! Holy Schmoly! So Sorry! Well....I've been very busy with Soaring over San Diego, a blog where I post about all the great places and activities to do in San Diego. If you haven't checked it out, be sure to pop on over and also follow me on  Facebook where I post more frequently, events and things to do as they come up, all family friendly and mostly affordable or free! I know my family appreciates a good deal on some fun family times. I've also been very busy lately with my photography business, Sweet and Sassy Portraits. I don't think I've mentioned it anywhere, but I named it after my kitty, Sassy, who passed away a few years ago, but who I loved very much. She was my first "baby", having rescued and raised her from a baby kitten and having been bottle fed, she was very much my baby. I still miss her. I love to capture family's, kids, pets in mostly natural settings, outdoors at parks and such. Feel free to check out my website, Sweet and Sassy Portraits on SmugMug and shoot me an email if you live in the San Diego area and would like your family portraits taken. I love to capture special occasions, I was honored to take photos for a friend when her husband retired from the military earlier this year. I've also donated my skills for the  Rosebud Society, a no-kill, exotic cat rescue that a good friend fosters for. I've also done many family photo sessions recently for friends. It's been a lot of fun and has kept me very busy. I also enjoy very much taking nature shots and places that we visit on our outings. I almost always have my camera with me. I enjoy taking photography classes with a wonderful husband and wife duo, whose business is called IFLC and are located in San Diego.

We continue to unschool, living life freely, learning all the time, playing with friends and having lots of fun and interesting adventures. It continues to amaze me how busy we are and how many friends my girls have both in real life and online with skyping, texting, facebooking friends from afar. Also, gaming has been big lately. Olivia's a huge Minecraft fan and we finally set up a server so that both she and Violet can play with friends that they know.  Violet loves skyping friends, drawing, cooking, baking, hanging out with friends. Olivia took a short break from parkour because her asthma was acting up. We'll probably rejoin once she's doing better.
Something really interesting is that Olivia has really started picking up her reading and writing skills, and I would say it's mostly from playing Minecraft. She likes to watch the videos about Minecraft, and picks up ideas and how to do certain things in Minecraft, then applies it to Minecraft. She skypes with friends while on there but she is also chatting with them online by typing. I'm close by so she often will ask me how to spell something, and quite often she already knows, she's just verifying the spelling. There was a wonderful (& very funny!) article on Sandra Dodd's website about skills kids learn while playing Minecraft. Actually, there's a couple of good ones, if you're interested, here's another one.  I don't really worry about the learning skills, but I'm really excited to see it happening especially in such a natural manner.

One thing Olivia really wants to do and I want to try to make it happen for her is making and narrating (or commentating, as Violet says) videos about Minecraft. She narrates out loud as she's playing (much like the videos that she watches), and she's very knowledgable and articulate. It's fun to hear. I'll need to get a mic and a video capture program. Any help with that would be appreciated! : ) ( I will google though and shop around for the equipment).

From Nana's tea party
Violet cooks so much!!!! I hardly ever have to do the cooking myself. She makes pretty much anything. She enjoys baking and oftentimes volunteers to make birthday cakes for friends. She also helped my mom with Thanksgiving dinner this year. She made a dairy free green bean casserole, a trifle,  and some spinach rolls which were all really good. She also set a beautiful table! We recently had a tea party at nana's and she made some mustache cookies!! So cute! She helped nana with the egg salad and cucumber sandwiches.
From Nana's tea party
A couple of months ago she took a cake decorating class. While she did enjoy decorating, she did not enjoy the prep or clean-up! She decided she wouldn't like to own a bakery, afterall. ; )  You never know though, that might change someday. But, she has so many interests, I'm excited to see where she goes with it all.

From Nana's tea party

From Thanksgiving 2012 at nanas
One of Violet's specialities is pizza! We get to enjoy homemade pizza on a weekly basis! YUM!! She often helps me with a weekly menu and with the grocery list. It's a huge help to me.

From Dec 3, 2012
I just have to share some of Violet's drawings. Here's what happens when  a kid has the freedom to draw any and all of the time. Her art continues to get better and better. The passion she has for drawing is something I envy. I remember loving to draw as a young person and somewhere along the way I felt it wasn't "good" enough and gave up. But she doesn't have to and just continues to grow as an artist and continue to love drawing. As you can see in some of her pictures one of her other passions right now is "The Hunger Games".

From Collages
From 12/5/12

This was sitting in my "drafts". Gonna go ahead and post it, and try to keep up with blogging. I so enjoy going back and reading old posts and see what we were doing, I'd hate to miss out on this part of the girls' lives. 

Mandy
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