Sunday, June 15, 2008

Time for an update post

We have been SO busy, I've not had the chance to post like I would like to! It's kind of funny, when there's interesting stuff happening, I don't have the time to blog, and when it's a really slow period in our lives, I have time, but nothing really to say...

So here's a brief update on what's happened since my last blog post:

Coming of Age:
We had a wonderful Coming of Age celebration for Bekka at a rented beach house in Lincoln City. We had treasured friends and loving family surrounding her with the wisdom they wish to pass on to her to help her through her teen years and on into adulthood.

Steffi's 12th Birthday:
On the 31st Steffi turned 12. We took her and her dear friend, Aspen, to the AC Gilbert Discovery Village in Salem for the day, and spent a bit of time shopping at the nearby mall as well.

Bekka Made the Team!
On the way out to the coast for the Coming of Age, we stopped in Portland for Bekka to try out for the Irish Dance Team. We just found out on Thursday that she made the team! (This team has many of the same dancers that placed 6th in Ireland last year at Worlds.) She's very excited to be on the team. This will give her lots more dance experience than she is currently getting, allowing her a second solo class each week in Portland in addition to the team class. They will most likely be going to the All Ireland competition in February and worlds in Philadelphia in March.

Live & Learn!
Originally, Bekka, Steffi and I were going to go to the Live and Learn Conference in NC in September, but we weren't able to get our frequent flier miles converted to tickets. So Bekka switched from session 1 to session 2 of Not Back to School Camp (NBTSC). Well, after hearing about all the people we missed at LiG in Vancouver, Steffi and I both decided that we weren't going to miss another unschooling conference. Well, guess what? It's much easier to get two tickets than it is to get three! We were prepared to pay for the airfare, we missed conferencing so much, but we happily didn't have to. We'll see everyone in September for the big Last L&L Bash!

Girl Scouts:
Our Girl Scouts are working hard to earn their Bronze Award (the highest award a girl can earn at the Jr. level). They are collecting supplies to deliver 400 Hope Kits to Medical Teams International by the end of the summer. They've been calling service organizations in town to present their project (surprisingly with little response from the organizations) and they presented to all the local GS leaders at the service unit meeting.

At the last leader meeting, they held a Brownie Try-It Workshop to earn their Jr. Aide Award. They had so much fun doing this, they've decided to take it on the road and bring their workshop to Brownie troop meetings around our area.

They have also been invited to speak at the upcoming Fund Raising Breakfast. They are so excited.

Feisiana (pronounced fesh-na):
In just the last month the girls have competed at both the Seattle Feis and the Portland Feis. They are both doing really well! Bekka has moved two of her dances up to Novice and Steffi has moved one to Adv. Beginner (would have been two, but there weren't enough competitors in one of them). We aren't allowed to take pictures, so the Feisiana reports will always be sans photos.

Homeschool Central:
For the last five months or so a few local homeschooling parents have been working with the Boys & Girls Club to start a homeschool program during school hours. Well, about a week ago we had our first Open House and it was a huge success! We had somewhere between 125 and 150 homeschoolers attend. It was completely joyous! Our vision was to bring the diversity of homeschoolers together and we definitely succeeded - we had all different types of homeschoolers attend, and play together.

Unschooling United:
I started the Oregon State Unschooling United group here in Corvallis. We had our first meeting last Tuesday night and it was so GREAT! It was wonderful to talk with other local unschoolers in a focused manner. We talked about connecting with our kids through their interests (as our "topic") and of course, morphed into all kinds of other unschooling ideas. This is the first time, in all my years of unschooling where I've been to something specifically to talk about the details of unschooling. It was like going to one of the great unschooling emails lists - live! It has already enriched my life so much, and we've hardly begun! I loved that Bekka participated in the meeting and Steffi came in at the end and talked with the parents who were still there - about unschooling!

In addition to all that, I've been working again. I just completed a custom "thank you" album for our folk dance teacher, I'm working on a large custom heritage album project, and I'm working on two super secret surprise projects! I'm just loving the Storybook Creator Plus Software and can't recommend it highly enough - everyone NEEDS this software! I've done so many projects with it in the last month or so and they've all turned out so great. I've made 8.5 x 11 certificates for the girls' birthdays, 12x12 page prints for Bekka's Coming of Age gift (that I framed with a CM Page Frame), I easily formatted our passport photos (which have to be precisely formatted), I made 4x6 invitations for Bekka's celebration in addition to the album projects!