9/03/2014 Our Day and a Vegan Hot Chocolate Recipe

We seem to be moving really slow in the mornings. It is a wonderful luxury to not have to wake up early and be somewhere, and I am savoring it. The kids have all been sleeping in and waking up wanting electronics. I am not inherently opposed to it, but we are trying to not go there immediately everyday. It seems to set a tone of low motivation for the rest of the day. But Z is getting better at self-motivating. He has been picking up books instead of his DS and being really patient for electronic time. We have to do some limiting, as both of the boys would stay on all day, and I am not okay with that much radiation, noise, and utilizing only one area of the brain for that long. I know, I know, I am not a true unschooler…but it is what works for our family.

We had another delightfully busy day. We made some yummy cinnamon applesauce that tasted like apple pie with no crust. We have been dreaming about driving up to Julian to pick apples- and may even go early next week! Last year we didn’t go at all, and the year before not until the end of the season. Maybe I’ll even do some canning this year.

While the boys were busy building block towers, I used a little nightstand to create a nature table and put a few summer/fall transition items out.

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Wes was excited and when asked who had put it out, proudly proclaimed, “I did!” We have plans to craft more items, focusing on the present season. Dad just got some new tools to work on our tiny house with, so he will cut out some wooden animals and trees and we will sand and paint/stain them. I am also planning some needle felting, sewing, and knitting of fairies, gnomes, etc. And…I am buying some silk scarves to dye and batik for playsilks!!! Yay! I have been wanting to do this for so long. I am so grateful that I now have time to devote to my lovely little ones and create a beautiful space for them to play and learn in.

Speaking of beautiful spaces- I finally reorganized my yarn collection!  My plan is to whittle it down over the next six months, so that 1)we don’t have to carry it with us when we move up North, 2)we can have nice items to use over the winter, 3)I can buy new yarn and not feel guilty because I already have so much, and 4)clear out the old energy and bring in the new.  Some of the yarns I have now are quite old- handed down from a little old lady who couldn’t knit or weave anymore.  Now I just have to figure out projects for them all…

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I am already working on a few knitting projects- I will post pics soon and maybe even some tutorials.

I have to brag a bit.  11 year old Z helped a lot with breakfast- chopped the potatoes with our handy crinkle cutter and prepped and cooked the scrambled eggs. He has been having a difficult time focusing over the last year, but finally seems to be coming into his bigger boy body and mind.  His birth Papa was a chef, trained at the Culinary Institute in Portland, where we are moving in 6 months!  We talked about what it means to be a Chef, and how he ad a lot of the qualities needed and how if you want something, to work at least a little bit on it everyday so that you can achieve it. We talked more about money value and counting by’s/multiplication as extended addition. We were inspired by a Faceboook post to look up information on Jellyfish, who are apparently taking over the Northern coast of Japan. This happens regularly around the world, and is called a “bloom”. It happens when currents meet and push the drifting jellyfish into one area. We learned that they are trying to make medicine out of the jellyfish mucus, and that they are basically stomachs with tentacles.

Form drawing at night with Z. The Shifting Sands with both boys, The Giving Tree again with Wes- this time in a song version to keep it interesting.

I even got DD to come hang out with us for a while today. Normally she just does her own thing during the day and comes out at night for some math work and to hang out once the boys are down. But she has been quite nice to the boys and even playing with them some. We did a first Calligraphy lesson by the pool. I loved Calligraphy when I was younger, and was relatively good, but it as been a long while. And DD is generally low on patience. We also went over some geometry- area and perimeter and started looking at advanced form drawing with Celtic Knots. I am so excited to see her starting to come into her 14 year old self. She has been really uncomfortable in her teenage skin this last year. I bought her an embroidery hoop and we are planning a few other projects- quilting, knitting, jewelry, etc.

I also…cut DD’s bangs. We were both hesitant, as I tried to cut W’s hair before, and it did not go well and I tried to trim DD’s hair a few years ago and it was disappointing. But it went okay. A little short, but they will grow quickly and they are even and a nice shape.

Recipe of the evening: Almond Mylk Hot Chocolate
I have not been able to do dairy lately, so have been experimenting a lot with dairy-free options. Here is one that worked well:
1)take a cup of almonds and soak for a few hours or overnight.
2)blend in VitaMix or other strong blender with two cups of water.
3)strain into a bowl trough a kitchen towel.
4)put the strained Mylk into a small pot with a couple tablespoons of cocoa powder, a quarter cup of sweetener (or more if you need, or use a 1/2 tsp. of stevia), and a 1/2 tsp. of vanilla.
5)heat through, stirring to mix.
6)do not let boil over.
7)pour, cooling with ice if necessary, and enjoy.

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