Trailer Park Unschoolers

Because you don't need to be rich to unschool!


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Little Artist and Growing Greens

Let me first say that I’m so happy with Luca.  For the longest time all Luca’s pictures were pretty much scribbles.  I was starting to think there may be some kind of developmental delay or something.  So far as I’m aware kids have usually graduated beyond scribbles by the time they’re entering kindergarten.  Luca is almost there and still everything is scribbles instead of proper drawings.

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This is the picture I was given by Luca today.  This is “Bear”.  It actually looks like something.  I had only ever seen one face before, but this is a whole person.  I absolutely love this little picture.  I love that he does the eyes like empty orbs too.  There’s something I find so endearing about it.  I can’t help but be a proud mama after looking at the pictures I’ve gotten today.  Maybe Luca isn’t so impossibly behind on artistic talent as I worried he would be.

Then there’s the garden.  Well, I hesitate to call it a garden.  It’s only a handful of plants on our porch, but it’s doing pretty well for itself.  Everything is growing.  I’m not sure how much bounty we’re going to get this year, but it’s at least something that looks nice and will hopefully yield at least some tomatoes for Corde to chow down on.

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Everything is growing so well.  Those tomato plants were at least half the size when I brought them home, perhaps smaller than that.  The two closest to the house are smaller, but I think that has to do with getting less afternoon sun.  These ones are doing fantastically.  One of my tomato plants even has it’s first flower!  It’s so exciting!

And the strawberries already produced three strawberries.  I wasn’t really sure the tiny blobs they produced really counted as anything, since they were so small and misshapen, but apparently they were actual strawberries.  One of them managed to go bad within a day of it getting ripe.  One was stolen.  The third went bad and dropped off the plant just recently.  I think I’m going to have to keep a better eye on those plants.  Growing strawberries is completely new to me.

I’m going to have to invest in some kind of animal repellent too this year.  Last year we had a number of tomatoes, but they were all consumed by squirrels and left half eaten on the railing.  I don’t want to see my tomatoes go to waste like that again.  I’m not here to feed the squirrels!  Hopefully this year we’ll have better luck.

So that’s been our day in the 90 degree weather we’re having.  We’re just trying to chill and enjoy it for what it is.  We may call it before the public schools let out this year.  We’ve certainly been working hard enough at it!


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Our Island Maps

Today we did a bit of art with our homeschool day.  We got a late start on the day, but we got a lot done.  Our art project came from Water Street Academy (so credit where credit is due, now go check them out!)

img_20170201_124158_523In the example they gave, they used beans and rice.  I searched our pantry to figure out what we would use and I decided we were going to do something different.  We had a random bag of barley sitting in the cabinet that never sees use (we don’t use it in cooking), so we decided to use that.

Each of the kids poured out their allotment of barley on their page, then Sander and A.J. decided they needed to reshape their barley to add a little bit of interest to their maps.  They traced their geography, outlined it, and started to draw (or color as Luca’s case may have been.)

At the end of it all we had three very different (but very cool) maps.  Each of the kids showed off their own personal style, and came up with very different ways of doing the project.  I think filling in the maps was the most fun.

img_20170201_130633_465Luca’s map was as crazy and chaotic as Luca.  The whole thing was inspired by someone mentioning they wanted a volcano on their map, so that’s what the map became, a volcano with lots of lava.  Luca’s never much held to conventional art, so I’m not surprised that the resulting image is something that looks like it’s a part of some more modern school of art.

img_20170201_130058_215Sander’s map doesn’t have any labels (because Sander doesn’t much like writing) but it’s definitely got some features on the map.  There’s a large volcano, spewing out volcanic rock, and a giant river that cuts the whole thing in two.  Mostly it’s just plains.

img_20170201_130804_993A.J. had the most detailed map.  His included a volcano, the tallest mountain in the universe, a jungle, a forest, and some grass lands.  There’s also a large chain of mountains and two temples, the Temple of Light and the Temple of Dark.  I’m interested to see what stories he comes up with to go with this land.  I’m sure there’s got to be a story or two behind those huge temples.

So that’s what we did today.  As if that wasn’t enough, we also did our math, got some phonics in for Sander, did a couple workbook pages with Luca, did work on the computer, and read a book about frogs.  Yesterday it was a book about turtles.  We have two more books to go about frogs and turtles and then it’s going to be back to the library with us.  Thankfully the library is on the way to jujitsu, so that makes it easy to stop in on our way and do the book return and selecting thing again.  I’m feeling pretty accomplished for the day.  I hadn’t expected to get near this much stuff done!

Three days in and I’m feeling pretty good about our homeschooling/unschooling routine.  I guess you’d really call us relaxed homeschoolers at this point.  We’ve gotten a lot of work in during the day, which is turning out to be more than I thought we would.  I’m feeling pretty good about what we’re getting done with our time.  We’re absolutely flying through this stuff.

And the best part about homeschooling?  Sander was tired in the middle of the day.  He was super cranky and had a major meltdown.  I suggested he go lay down for a while until he was no longer cranky.  Wouldn’t you know it?  He fell asleep.  That’s one thing he could never do in traditional school.  And all of it got done (and a nap filled in) long before he ever would have stepped off the bus to come home in the day.  I’m feeling pretty good about that all in all!


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An Accomplished Day

Today I feel like I really got stuff done.  Luca didn’t nap, so I didn’t get much done that way, but I still managed to get a lot squeezed in, at least considering how easily exhausted I’ve been lately.  I’m feeling pretty good about today.

img_20170110_102710_087Today started with a little bit of workbook time.  Yes, this picture actually is from today.  We worked on more letters, more sight words, and some shapes.  Luca really seems to like working in the workbooks, so I think it’s officially become a part of our unschooling routine.  I try and keep it on a pretty good schedule of working in the workbooks in the morning and leaving computer work until after nap time.  We also take some time to review the previous days letters and sight words.  I think we may put together some flash cards with the sight words and make a game out of it.  That might be a good way to get some of those words to stick.  It’s not as good in my mind as phonics, but at least Lica will have a foundation of words to start from and can hopefully begin the process of exploring books.  I know Luca will love that.

img_20170110_162255_587After the workbooks (and a failed attempt at napping during a few episodes of The Flash) we got some time in on Time 4 Learning.  Luca particularly likes the science program run through Science4Us.  I think all totalled that added another hour of time to our homeschooling.  I love this program because it’s fun for Luca.  Currently Luca’s working at the Kindergarten level after blowing through all the Pre-K lessons in all of a month.  We bumped Luca up to Kindergarten in hopes that it would provide a little more of a challenge, and it does.  I think we’ll easily be working at this level until the end of the year.  Next year we’ll probably bump it up to first grade level and see how hard that is.  It might be worth it.  We may also add a little bit of language through their deal with Rosetta Stone.  I think that would be a valuable expense for each of the kids.

img_20170110_152342_629While Luca was doing school we decided to start prepping to take down the tree in the living room.  That means all the stuff under the tree needed to find a home.  There’s a lot of stuff under there right now, so that meant starting to organize.  One of those steps was moving all the workbooks onto my shelf.  Well, they all fit.  That shelf says quite a lot about my family.  Starting at the left, we have two binders for character sheets.Then we have World of Darkness role playing books.  I have a couple of knitting books, then there’s The Art of Slush.  All of the rest is made up of workbooks.  I think this picture gives you a pretty good idea of what I’m about.  A little role playing, a little guitar (I picked that up in my absence), a little knitting, a little bit of yummy, and a lot of school stuff for the kids.  Oh, yeah, and then there’s the Monster sticker and the cute little sandals on the bottom next to my only pair of black heels (that I will probably never wear…)  It says mom doesn’t lose her style because she’s a mom, here are some things mom does, oh yeah, and mom is a little kid-focused.  You should see the rest of the bookshelves in our house.  Almost none of them have adult books on them.  It’s all stuff for the kids.

img_20170110_172025_083After all that crazy happened we had some art time and dance time with the kids.  This is Beekee/A.J.’s creature.  Apparently the blue is the mouth.  I’m still not clear on what it does or what it even is, but he created it and he had fun doing it, so that’s what really matters.  I think it looks pretty cool.

img_20170110_172720_850Sander drew a pizza, his favorite kind, pepperoni.  He even added his “frog face” to my photo so you’d all know just how much he likes pizza!  He’s starting to have real fun with the idea of breaking circles up into fractions.  Maybe it’s time we start teaching him how to do fractions.  Pizza math sounds like it could be a fun way to do it!

img_20170110_172904_418Then there’s Luca’s picture.  Luca wanted Sander in the picture.  I was told this is a picture of the bad guys crying because they don’t want to be bad guys.  While I never would have guessed that was the story here, I can really see how he would get to that point.  Luca’s certainly got a style going on.  Maybe Luca will grow up to be our next little artist.

20170110_184230Speaking of our resident artist, she’s been up to a lot of artwork lately.  It’s still very much her thing.  This picture is of a fox girl, or more accurately, a kitsune.  She says it’s an awful picture, but I’m inclined to disagree.  I think it’s pretty good, especially for a girl with no formal training in art.

20170110_184249Then there’s her snake.  Again, she says it’s awful, but I’m inclined to disagree.  For her first picture drawn from a How-to-Draw book, I think she did pretty well for herself.  The colors make it look like a snake my friend used to have.

20170110_184303Finally there’s the guinea pig.  I think this is my favorite, and it just so happens to look the most like the one out of the How to Draw Pets book.  She’s definitely coming right along as an artist.

In other news, sometime soon I’ll be posting a link to a blog written by Corde herself.  She’s going to be writing some fan fiction and posting it.  It’ll give you a chance to see her own work and not just view her through my eyes.  Once she’s got her computer up and running again, she’ll be starting a blog for her homeschooling portfolio too.  Then you can keep up on all the latest.


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It Started with Books

The other day when I was at the library I found an incredible book.  It was on making Fairytale Quilts.  I thought it could be a fun read for me so I picked it up.  I’ve always wanted to learn how to quilt, and I’ve never been one to start at the beginning.  I always jump in head first.  I figure I’ll start with something too hard, muck it up, find an experienced knitter to help me restart with something a better speed for me, and then eventually I’ll get back to the original project, tear it to bits, and do it right.

When I got home I felt the need to share my find with someone.  I tried to share it with Oz, but he wasn’t impressed.  I mean, he thought some of the art was beautiful, but he couldn’t share in my excitement over the find.  I wanted someone to really appreciate it, so I showed the book to Corde.  I figured she’d appreciate it, if nothing else, for the artistic quality of the pictures and the beauty of the finished products.  I was certain she would love it.

This is where unschooling moms everywhere can surely understand how I felt when this happened…Corde wasn’t interested in the least.  She said, “That’s cool, mom.”  It was totally dismissive.  She didn’t care in the least!  I was heartbroken!  My art child wasn’t interested in some of the most beautiful fabric art I’ve ever seen!  Clearly this wasn’t happening.

I moved on to Beekee, who has a slight obsession with quilts.  He thinks they’re the coolest things ever.  Since they did their project on quilts at the co-op a while back he’s been crazy for quilts.  I was certain he would be interested in these beautiful quilts!

Nope…  Nothing.  He didn’t even want to look at it.  He said he was over the quilt thing and he just wanted to go play.  Apparently some time between the day before when I was talking about wanting to quilt and actually picking up the book, quilts became uncool.

Then trying Sander ended up with much the same result.  He’s majorly into fairy tales right now, so I figured it’d be a sell, but no.  He didn’t want to look at it because it was too boring and there weren’t enough animal pictures.  It just wasn’t his thing.

Today, while reading the Princess and the Pea to the kids, I came to a realization.  The love fairy tales.  We should make our own fairy tales!  I bet that would be a fun project!  This was something I had to suggest to the kids.

Sander decided his fairy tale would have to be about a frog and a dog.  We have no idea what the story is going to be about beyond that, but he thinks it will be fun.  I think Minket will make an appearance too.

Beekee wants to make his fairy tale sound more like a comic book with lots of action, and I’m okay with that.  I guess the main character is going to be a princess that fights zombies.  I had a feeling it would have to do with princesses and zombies.

Corde, however, picked up that quilting book and started looking at it.  When I asked her what that was about she informed me that if we were going to be making up fairy tales, maybe we can make some quilts to go with them.  She was trying to get some inspiration.

Finally!  Someone who can appreciate the book!  Now all the kids are excited about the book because they want to make quilts of their fairy tales.  I think we might do it with fabric or paper glued together instead of by sewing.  Corde might sew hers because she’s got the skills to do so, but the boys won’t.  Now I’m going to have some quilting companions too.

Who says you just have to bring home cool things to strew in front of your kids to increase their field of interests.  I’ve never done that strewing thing, mostly because I’ve never needed to.  Instead I just need to flop down, intensely interested in a book or project and they flock to me with some unknown magnetism, like the kids just instantly know I’m doing something cool.

In our house, it all started with a book.  In this case, it started with a book I wanted to share with my kids, but it also started with a fairy tale book.  Then the world just opened up from there.


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Four Years Is A Long Time

Today Oz and I celebrated our four year anniversary.  I know for some of my fantastic readers, that’s no big deal.  For us it’s really a big mile marker.  His last marriage barely lasted at all.  My last marriage had already started to turn bad by this time.  The fact that, sure, we’ve got our issues, but we’re still going strong is really something for us.  We’ve both heard the first five years you live together are the worst.  It’s really the make-it-or-break-it kind of phase within relationships.  We’ve got one year left, and after the trials we’ve faced, I’m pretty confident we’re going to be fine.

We were lucky enough to have Oz’s aunt babysit most of the kids for us to go out to lunch.  We went to this cute little Italian place that the whole family loves.  It was just the two of us and Luca.  He came along because we didn’t think he’d last without getting hungry.  He had almost a whole dinner roll, half a fried ravioli, and a few bites of meatball.  Oz got stuffed mushrooms as an appetizer and I chose fried ravioli, an incredibly good choice.  Then we both got a side salad, though I didn’t have much time to eat mine before the meal arrived.  He had spaghetti with meatballs and mushroom sauce, which was okay, and I had their pasta sampler, lasagna, manicotti, and canneloni.  Okay, I probably butchered the spelling of the last two.  What can I say?  I love my stuffed pasta!  The three of us were completely stuffed.

After that Luca was dropped off with Oz’s aunt so we could have some adult time.  In this time we went to the library.  I know!  Exciting anniversary trip, huh?  It was actually kind of nice though.  We got to go hang out at the library and take our time without having to worry about what the kids are getting into.  They can get a little wild at the library, or anywhere, really.  The library is small and doesn’t have much selection, but I got to enjoy the craft books and found a couple of books that directly relate to a project I’m working on.  I picked up a book on writing too.  It should be a good read.  It’s a thick book though, so I’m not sure I’ll have time to finish it, but that’s what book renewals are for.  I found another book that might inspire some quilting projects too!  It’s on fabulous fairy tale quilts.  I’m probably going to take some notes and work on some ideas for myself.  It’s a bit complex and probably above my skill level, but I’ve always been one to dive in to projects head first, even when they are beyond my skills.  That’s the kind of quilt I’d love to make.  I like patchwork quilts and traditional quilts, but they really don’t suit my sense of style.  If the kids are interested, I might even see if they’d be inspired by it too!  After all, quilting is kind of an art.  Well, it’s a craft, but close enough.

IMG_20130115_155903(1)On our way home we saw a fantastic car that Oz had found previously and it made him think of me.  I can totally see why.  The car was fantastic.  It’s also fantastically for sale.  It’s unfortunately a little two door and not big enough to fit the whole family.  For $750, I’m not sure what kind of condition it’s in either, but it’s worth a look.  The low price might just be due to it’s age and all of the artistic additions.  Sadly, art devalues a car unless it’s a legitimate paint job, which this is clearly not.  I’ve been toying with the idea of finding a way to afford it because Oz is right, this is totally the perfect looking car for me.  It would make for a great A to B car, which would be great for grocery runs, visits to the library, and other errands.  We may just be able to fit all the kids if Corde sits in the front, though it wouldn’t be ideal.  It could be a practical solution until we can afford something bigger, which would probably end up looking much the same in the long run.  If it sounds like I’m trying to get my readers to encourage me to buy it, that’s probably what I’m doing somewhere in my mind.  Oz is going to call to find out what condition it’s in and how it runs.  We saw someone else stop by to look at it too, so I’m not sure we’re even going to stand half a chance at getting it anyway, especially as we don’t have the money for it right now.  Its just a dream, and a dream that I find particularly inspiring for my own vehicle at some point in the future.

IMG_20130115_155913(1)The rest of the day was spent at his aunt’s house chatting with her.  The kids all chilled with a couple of movies.  Beekee told Oz’s cousin she needed Clean House to come in and organize her room, which was kind of funny.  Sander managed to go the whole day through without a nap, and though he got a little cranky at the end of the day, he did pretty well.  It was nice to be able to relax with other adults for a little while.

Now it’s the end of the day and the kids are all settling down for bed.  We’re going to watch a movie from the library, another advantage to going there.  It may not have been the perfect anniversary, but we got some snow, had a good time, and were at least able to actually go out last year.

Best of all, we learned some things about our local library.  Tomorrow morning I might try and get the boys up early, weather permitting, so we can get them down to the story hour at 10.  Then two Saturdays a month they have a knitting and crocheting group, and the women want to learn sock knitting!  I love sock knitting, so this will be a good excuse to bust out my sock yarn, needles, and books to knit and help other people learn the fine art of making socks!  I might get to learn to crochet out of the deal too.  They have video game competitions.  It looks like they hold them every month, which is good for Oz.  They might even be looking at starting a Pokemon league, which would be awesome for Corde too!  Our local library also accepts donated books, so if we’ve got books we don’t want, we might be able to get them a home that way.  And the best part?  Everyone in our library is so nice and there is no limit to the number of books you can take out.  They don’t have a huge selection, being a tiny, country library, but they’re all really nice there and try to do what they can to acquire things you’re looking for from other libraries.  If we can get there for story times and knitting days, we should never have a problem worrying about things getting back late!  And Corde can be very excited to get a new library card.  Beekee might even be able to get a card himself too.  All he has to do is be able to write his first and last name clearly.  He might want to learn just so he can get his own card.

All in all it was a great way to mark 4 years.  We were able to look back at some of the great moments, share our interests, and best of all, we were able to do a couple of grown up things that we really love.  It was calm and enjoyable.  It wasn’t the fancy, exciting, and interesting like we hoped.  It wasn’t some super special occasion, but it was what we needed.  Maybe we’ll go bigger next year.  For the time being, I think we got exactly what we needed.


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Or Maybe Culinary Arts?

Last night was another night of laziness.  Actually, it’s been almost a week of being lazy.  My knee has been swollen and acting up.  My ankle hasn’t been much better.  Then there’s my elbow, which tends to scream at me since I broke it nearly seven years back now.  On top of that, my back has been aching too.  I don’t know what’s going on here, but it seems everyone with joint problems or any kind of arthritis has been in rough shape since last.  We actually moved family day from the doughnut shop to the house last night because I couldn’t make the walk.  Corde and Oz went to pick up what everyone wanted and we ate in the living room.  I’d hoped that this would be over soon.  I’ve never had this last more than a day or two.  Still, it’s lingering on, so I’ve been trying to do as little as possible that may cause aggravation to the joints.  It’s meant I’ve been really lazy about doing things with the kids.

Instead of getting down about the whole thing I’ve been trying to make the best of it.  The kids have been out with their friends almost every day, which is good.  They should probably get that time in before the homework load gets heavier and the weather isn’t as good for going out.  I know they’ll still be running crazy around the neighborhood even when it’s cold, but there will hopefully be plenty of rainy days, and maybe even some snow.  We definitely could use the water.

It all started yesterday with the kids helping me play Plants vs. Zombies.  I should really stop wondering why Beekee has a thing for zombies, I guess.  I’m starting to notice it’s obvious.  It all started out with me playing it because it’s a puzzle game.  I’ve watched Oz play it a good deal and figured it looked pretty easy.  I was right.  I got a bit sucked in, mostly due to the kids’ encouragement.  Corde, Beekee, and Sander would call out the plants they thought I should use.  Sander generally just said whatever the older two did.  Then Corde and Beekee would call out reminders to help me complete each level.  It was a lot of fun, and it meant I could be free to hold Luca, since he was a little fuss butt all day yesterday.  I have no idea why he was so cranky.

But playing video games, while fun, isn’t exactly what I wanted to be doing all day.  When we decided it was time for a change we put on Netflix to watch something.  There was, as always, a huge discussion on what we were should be watching.  Corde wanted to watch a movie.  Sander wanted to watch a cartoon.  Beekee didn’t care, as long as it had super heroes or zombies.  I wasn’t much interested in any of that, so I decided to throw out some suggestions.  Though it rarely happens in our house, it only took one suggestion, and I wasn’t even trying.

While scrolling through our Netflix cue, Corde stopped me saying, “That’s the show where the guy ambushes people in supermarkets and cooks for them, right?”  She was talking about Take Home Chef.  While Curtis doesn’t exactly ambush people, he does catch a lot of them off guard.  Corde saw a few episodes with me back when we used to have cable and loved it, so this is what she wanted to watch again.  All the kids agreed.  Corde wanted to watch it because she’s started to have an interest in cooking.  Beekee wanted to watch it because he thinks it’s cool that he comes up with all his ideas on the fly.  He can’t plan for any of it before he meets the person, which means he’s got to think quick.  Sander loves it because, “It’s food!  Num, num food…”

So, there we all were, aside from Oz who was tired and decided to sleep, sitting in front of the television, zoning out on Take Home Chef…  Wait…no…that’s wrong.  We weren’t zoning out.  Let me revise that.  So there we all were, drooling over the food in Take Home Chef, and Corde says, “He’s an awesome cook.  I want to meet him some day.  Do you think we’d have to be on the show to meet him?  Do you think he’d come all the way out to Texas, or would we have to go to California to do it?”  We started talking about television shows, incredibly good chefs, and all of that.  Then, out of nowhere she said, “I want to learn to cook like that.  We have to get our oven fixed so I can do it.”

Looking at his dishes I can definitely see why she said that.  While our meals tend to be just thrown together on plates or serving dishes with no care taken in presentation, he plates up everything so beautifully.  It’s definitely an art.  Some of the food is so pretty I wouldn’t even want to touch it.  He takes so much time and care with his presentations, but at the same time it’s nothing at all.  Beekee said, “He cuts things up like a crazy person!  He’s crazy fast!”  Beekee was right.  He flies through each of the things he does because it’s such habit, yet it still looks fantastic.

Then came the big shocker for Corde.  She saw Curtis just toss some ingredients in together without even measuring.  Suddenly she gasped, “What?  He doesn’t measure anything?”

To this I replied, “He’s been doing it for a really long time.  It’s kind of intuitive for him.  He knows by sight about how much of each ingredient to add, like I do with milk and butter in mac and cheese and mashed potatoes.”

I guess this is the first time she’d realized I’d done that, even though she’s helped me make them both dozens of times because she had to question it, “But doesn’t that make it taste different every time?  What happens if he doesn’t put in enough of one thing, or too much of another?”

“That’s when we get to my favorite part of cooking,” I answered.  “The great thing about cooking is being able to taste everything as you make it, that way you know what it’s supposed to take right, and if you get good, you can recognize what’s missing just by taste or smell before it’s too late to fix it.”

Her eyes lit up at this idea.  She always thought it was like science where you have to be “so perfect with everything” and you won’t know how it turns out until it’s done.  I guess she’s never paid much attention to me cooking at all because I always taste my food as it’s cooking.  I’ll grab a tiny ball of dough to test it out, or I’ll spoon out a little something to taste.  I picked that up from watching my grandfather cook.  I remember my mom saying he never eats with the family because he eats while he’s cooking.  Then again, I also found out when I was older that he rarely ate with the family because he wanted to make sure there was enough food to go around because he’d rather go hungry than see his family hungry.  I guess when it became a habit it stuck for life.

Now she’s feeling conflicted.  She loves art in all forms, but now she thinks she might like to study culinary arts.  She loves all the beautiful things you can do with food to make “art you can eat”.  It doesn’t have the same permanence as other forms of art, but it’s less clutter to take up space.  There is something to say about making art that disappears the way food does.  There’s only so much space to hang and put art projects.  Eventually they need to be cycled out to make room for new stuff, but food?  Food gets eaten, and if you want to mark the presentation of it as something to remember, take a picture and let it take up digital space.  With all the picture storage places online, like Flickr, Photobucket, and Picasa, there are plenty of ways to keep records without filling up your hard drive too, which is wonderful.

I’m trying to stay neutral on this.  I honestly think there’s much more of a future in culinary arts than there is in becoming another kind of artist, but she’ll become what she wants to be.  If she wants it bad enough, she’ll find a way to carve out a future for herself.  Who knows?  Maybe she’ll end up being a tattoo artist some day.  That would also be cool.  With all the options available I don’t want to pressure her, but if for now she has an interest in the practical art of cooking (even if she wants to learn to dress it up with all kinds of fancy presentation), I’m all for it.  Even if she decides a career in culinary isn’t her thing in the future, at least she’ll know how to cook some good meals, which is more than I had when I got out on my own.  She’ll never have to think the only place to get a really good meal is from someone else’s kitchen!


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Is Making Cupcakes an Art?

We’re having a chill day.  No one really feels like doing anything mentally stimulating, at least obviously so.  The kids just want to kick back and veg, and, honestly, so do I.  We’ve had a lot of things going on the past few days.  We’ve had friends over.  We’ve done lots of crafts.  There’s just been a lot of stuff going on in general.  Sometimes a day of kicking back and watching Netflix really is the order of things.

Netflix has apparently changed it’s system.  It used to log in and send you straight to the informational section.  Now it has an option of choosing to browse “Just for Kids”.  I was hoping to find some educational entertainment on there, but most of the listings were general cartoons and stuff geared towards preschoolers.  There were a few PBS shows that my kids loved, but I didn’t see them while I was scrolling around today.  I didn’t feel like looking through everything like I did last night, so I was ready to give up and start scanning documentaries and other things I might like watching.

Of course, just as I was about to give up, Corde cried, “Cupcakes!  There’s a show about cupcakes!”

I looked at the currently highlighted movie, squinting a little because I’m a bit on the blind side without my glasses and I don’t have the money to get new ones right now.  Sure enough, she was right.  There was a show about cupcake bakers.  I selected that and off we went, watching all about these cupcake bakers.

DC Cupcakes is really a great show for anyone who wants to be a creative baker.  My daughter thought it was cool because it was about cupcake bakers, so she didn’t expect to be drawn in for more than one episode.  Instead she found it to be an incredibly entertaining show and both she and Beekee have been sucked in.

It’s not just about baking cupcakes, though that’s pretty cool.  Corde now wants to learn how to bake cupcakes.  I think I’m going to have to see about getting her a cupcake maker because it’s so much easier than setting up for baking.  I really liked the cupcake baker that her friend had.  Then we can work on cupcakes.  I just have a feeling I’m going to have to search for some really good deals on stuff for my baker with big dreams!  I have a feeling we’re going to be buried in cupcakes and fondant if I let her run with this.  I hope she makes a lot of friends so she can give them all away!  Otherwise we’ll all be getting fat!

The wonderful thing about DC Cupcakes is the way it’s inspired my kids.  She’s learning about baking.  She’s learning about the things that go into making new cupcake flavors.  Best of all she loves the crazy art pieces they create in each episode.  They’ve made a Mardi Gras mask, a glow in the dark guitar, a fire truck, all out of cupcakes.  She said they’re like crazy cupcake artists.

Not only that, Corde is getting some ideas on what they go through to run their business.  These women both quit their regular jobs to pursue their dream.  They’re living the life they want to and have taken a huge risk in the process.  It’s not a small thing to give up “success” to start a business that realistically could fail.  It’s more important to live the way you love than to do what the conventional world calls “successful”.  She thinks this is the best show ever.

I think after this I’m going to have to be prepared for Corde to take on a whole new direction in life.  I know she hasn’t really found a strong focus in her life.  She’s just interested in art in any and every form.  First it was traditional art and drawing.  After that it was painting.  She found knitting and sewing after that.  Cross stitch was her newest love until now.  She’s now stuck on cupcakes.  I have to wonder if she’s going to find some way to string it all together into some fantastic new vision.

I guess I need to start thinking ahead for Christmas already.  I wonder if I can get figure out some way to make sure she’s got a  cupcake and craft themed Christmas this year.  I’m going to have to do some price shopping.  I’d love to inspire her to try as many forms of art as my little artist can take!