Friday, April 18, 2014

Learning Without Books Part 2

After spending a week at my parent's house we traveled down south, two hours further to Shawn's folks. They kept the kid sand I busy the whole week long! I want to thank Nana for the early birthday gifts of a haircut and massage.

 Nana gave Karolyn a new art book from Usborne for her birthday so we had to try out a new painting technique while we were with our favorite art teacher (Nana Yvette).

 Watching Nana demonstrate how to make a sky backdrop.

 Karolyn working on her mountains and ground. I love how these paintings turned out!

  Kassidy was able to complete a painting with a little of Nana's help.

Papa Bruce put Kolsen to work as the foreman on one of his guttering jobs, so Kolsen was busy bossing Papa around and making $$$ while we were being artists. He even had to pack Papa a lunch and figure out the bill. Could there be any better way to learn math??? I don't think so!

 The girls helped Papa plant a few rows of onions. I really wish we had a big garden like Papa's, but since we live in town I'm thankful that I have a great CSA to participate in.

 Karolyn did some riding on Cheyenne, but she ended up getting injured. She didn't get to ride as much as she wanted. Poor Cheyenne, we hope she heals quickly! Karolyn will be heading back with Yvette and Bruce next month for a special trip, so I'm hoping she'll get some cowgirl time then.

 The girls all worked on a couple of baby flannel projects for a special someone we know. 
We can't wait to find out if LT is getting a brother or a sister.

 The best part about helping Nana clean out the barn stalls, is getting to drive the tractor at the end. More driver's ed. practice.



 We travelled with lots of weapons, three bb guns, our bow and arrow and tennis rackets. Yes, tennis rackets can be a weapon, just ask my brother. 




Papa took us to our first ever cattle sale in Fairview, OK to watch his calves sell. We were all amazed at how fast the cows came in and out being sold in under a minute.


 The princesses show off their new homeschool uniforms (I mean Easter dresses).

 Karolyn managed to sneak on Cheyenne for some bareback riding.

 The girls played in Papa's prairie.

And the weather cooperated for airplane rides!
 Karolyn

 Kaylee

Kassidy's first solo ride!

Kolsen rode too on another day, but I didn't get a picture. He pretty much followed Papa around all week long, so I didn't get many pictures of him.

Thanks Papa! The girls had a blast!

We also toured a real sod house on its original location. My camera was in the vehicle so no pictures. We stopped in Freedom, OK to check on Kolsen and Papa and visited the town museum. Bob, a man from the town gave us a personal tour of the entire museum. I'm not sure if he thought we would break some thing or what, but he knew a lot about all the things in the museum and even put some of the ropes down so we could walk around things and try out the old vacuums. Think fire puffer (I'm not sure what the real name is) on wheels, with a wooden box.  Bruce met a really neat couple while he was putting gutter on the museum and we were able to tour their meat locker turned renovated house to see all her quilts! She had quite the stash of quilts, fabrics and even a long arm machine. I'll be praying for her as she fights her battle with cancer.

We also managed a quick trip over to Mulvane to visit with Shawn's brother's family and watch Kelton and Katie play soccer. Kelton scored a goal for his team and Katie did an amazing job defending her team's goal. Again my camera was in the car, but the kids had a blast and were totally bummed when we had to leave. 

Whew! I was totally worn out by the time we made it back to my parent's house, where we ended up spending an extra day because of snowy weather on our route home, before making the 11 hour trek back home.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Learning Without Books Part 1

Shawn had to head out to the east coast for three weeks of training for work, so the kids and I headed south to spend some quality time visiting family. Since we homeschool, it wasn't a big deal to leave home for a few weeks to take a vacation. I love the flexibility homeschooling allows! The kids did miss a few activities, but we love visiting with our families and try to make that a top priority. I always take some homeschool work with us, but we never get as much done as I think. This time we did quite a bit of book work, but most of our learning occurred without books. 

The kids had a blast playing outside playing with their cousins and I even got to attend the Midwest Parent Educators homeschool conference in Kansas City while my parents watch the kids. My sister-in-law, Staci was able to attend with me and we stayed at her mother's house for a couple of nights. It's nice to have family connections around the area.

 Building and construction

 The kids got lots of driver's ed. practice on Papa's farm.



 The kids spent hours building forts with bark and fallen limbs in Papa and Nana's trees. I love their creativity and cooperation.


 We explored building bridges across the dry creek with old boards and fallen logs.

 P.E. at its best! I can't tell you how many times they ran across these bridges.

 The kids loved rowing up and down the creek in Papa's rowboat and I burned some calories while I paddled.

 The Kansas wind is really good for flying kites!


 Easter Egg hunt at the Cook's house.


We did get to visit the Konza Prairie Museum in Manhattan, KS with my parents, brother's family and sister-in-law's mom. Shawn did some research at Konza Prairie before we got married, so it was fun to see pictures of a place where he used to work. We will definitely have to go back there with Shawn someday.

The girls made flowers for their hats that Nana bought for them, made quilting projects, did some baking and Papa put Kolsen to work cutting down saplings. We had lots of fun that I didn't capture on camera. I'm so thankful that my parents are able and willing to host us for extended amounts of time. We had a blast playing all week long!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Hen Houses

Shawn and another homeschool dad spent an afternoon with the kids rehabbing some hen houses on a local WPA (waterfowl production area). The kids had a blast and even managed to do some sledding. 

 They found some eggs that didn't hatch.

 some really cool ice

 did some work putting hay in some hen houses for the ducks

 a leaf fossil


 they put up a wood duck box


video

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Dancing!


The girls have been enjoying our new deck this week! They love for me to open the window and turn up my kitchen radio so they can dance outside. I've heard that our neighbors love this too! We're all for entertaining the neighborhood. :) 


The girls love their dance classes this year too! They performed at a retirement home this past weekend. I'm always amazed at all the new dances they learn between performances! Our week events are often kept track of by how far they are before or after dance class. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sharing His Passion

This week Shawn organized a day to plant a prairie in town. The kids had a blast and weather cooperated!

 Examining a hen house used by a duck to brood their eggs.




 The nesting material.



 The seed used to plant the prairie.

 Shawn explaining the proper technique for spreading seed.

 the prairie

I love that my husband can share his passion for nature with our kids and other people! He is one amazing biologist and loves what he does every day.