Sunday, September 14, 2014

Where has the last month gone?

It's been a busy month for our family! We started school in mid-August because we knew we would be so busy with our CSA and two different vacations (but that's another whole post).

 The kids were super sad that our neighbor's moved to California. My kids LOVED playing with Olivia and her brother Joey for the past five years that we've lived in MN. For the past year, they also enjoyed having Olivia as their piano teacher. She was wonderful and I'm not sure we'll be able to replace her with anyone who will be as passionate, caring and understanding of all my kids differences in learning styles.

 We've also been busy taking care of our CSA produce. It is getting to be normal for our house to have piles and buckets of veggies laying all around! We've done the Bluebird Garden's CSA for so long that I forget to take pictures. So far we've processed 10 gallons of onions, 10 gallons of peas, 10 gallons of tomatoes, 10 gallons of cucumbers and 10 dozen ears of corn. I love being able to pull out all this yummy food in the middle of winter.

As I mentioned earlier we've also been busy doing homeschool, but I haven't taken many pictures of that either. I did manage to get some pictures of the kids when we toured Bonanzaville in Fargo, ND a few weeks back with a few other homeschool families. The kids had a great time seeing all the old town things. We would definitely go back again and managed to spend 3 hours there this time!

 I think we wore them all out! They decided to lay down and get some rest in this old airplane.

We've been busy working on science class too and are studying the human body at home. We've done some fun hand-on experiments, but of course no pictures, sorry! A couple weeks ago we were able to get out to the Prairie Wetlands for Monarch tagging. We had so much fun catching butterflies on Saturday that we went back on Sunday with Shawn to do it again. I didn't keep track of how many we caught, but it was at least 20! It was a really good year for Monarch butterflies this year, last year they only caught 50 during their whole season and this year they had 100 the first day. I'm so glad that homeschooling allows us to do all these fun extras! I saw 5 other homeschool families out in the two days we were there.

 Tagging the butterfly and writing down the information.

 The joy of releasing!

In the next post I hope to get caught up on our vacation trip and it was a busy one!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Throw Back Thursday

Here are some class pictures of my cuties through the years! 
I can't believe how fast time flies by and I'm thankful for each day I get to spend with them!





2010 (School of Choice)



Our class was larger this year with the addition of LT. We're really missing him this year. 


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Summer's Not Over Yet

Whew! What a crazy weekend. We finally finished up our last kid activity for the summer with Kolsen's Mets team winning the championship game on Big Friday, with a win in the bottom of the last inning. It was a nail bitter!

 I'm so thankful that Shawn has the time, talent and love to coach Kolsen's baseball team. The parents of the team players couldn't say enough good things about him after the season was over.

Shawn treating the team players to DQ after they win the big game!

We still weren't done with our day yet! After spending a few hours at home to change clothes and eat dinner we headed back out to watch the Red Horse Ranch rodeo. The kids all enjoyed watching and we had some beautiful weather. Karolyn took our camera and took fifty or so pictures!

 The kids loved the border collies and monkeys that were part of one act.

Our garden is still producing...about an ice cream bucket of green beans every day, some tomatoes, cucumbers and a few zucchinis. The CSA box is coming each week and we are enjoying a good variety of vegetables with it. For our second farm pick we headed out to the farm on Saturday and picked 10 gallons of onions to freeze for this winter. The kids have been trying to help. Kolsen and Kaylee are my best onion choppers! Kassidy and Karolyn's eyes start watering when they walk in the room.

This big bowl is all chopped onion and we still haven't made it through our first bucket yet.  Chopping onions may be part of our school day tomorrow.

Shawn decided to organize another Fargo/Moorehead Redhawks day for Kolsen's baseball team. The boys get to go down on the field, be announced over the announcement system and run out to their position. One of the Redhawks comes out and signs their paper. The boys were all really excited and I think they all enjoyed it. I got everyone in the van to leave, but left our camera at home, then my phone died right before we got there so we only have a few pictures from Shawn's phone.

 Kolsen is second from the back.

Kolsen and Karolyn both love watching baseball! And eating snacks!

We ended our crazy weekend with Shawn teaching in the nursery at church, a few kids (and mom) feeling under the weather for a while and a Go Fish concert sponsored by the christian school that meets at the NAZ church. The kids loved watching the concert and danced their way through the whole show. I love that their music has such a powerful message.

We had fun this weekend, but I'm looking forward to spending the whole day at home tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

First Day of Homeschool 2014

I decided to get a head start on school this year, so on Monday we had our first official day of the school year. I say official because my kids have been sneaking into the school room all summer to grab school books to work on. Weird, I know!

Our annual 1st day of school pose on the front porch. I need to go back and find the one from the first year we were here!

 My stair steps, I love everyone of them and I know we are going to have a great year!

 Yep, it should be fun!

 I spent a few weeks organizing and cleaning out the classroom so we can start fresh. I went through my closet and got rid of old and broken craft supplies, switched out our old curriculum for the new one and put stuff back where it belonged. I ended up with a few loads of trash and a few totes full of stuff to garage sale when we get around to it.

 The littles, Kaylee is is 2nd grade and Kassidy is so excited to be doing Kindergarten officially!

 The big kids, Kolsen is in 6th grade (I can't believe we'll be doing Junior High stuff next year) and Karolyn is in 4th grade.

The first day went really well. The kids were all up by 6:30 (I was going to wake them up at 7:00) and we enjoyed breakfast with Shawn before he left for work. I didn't push the kids to get through all their subjects on the first day (we'll have plenty of cold, wintery days for that), but they did complete quite a bit of work. 

I know the first day was a success because they had to show dad all their work when he got home and as I tucked kids in bed, I had two kids make me promise to wake them up early the next morning for school. Kolsen also commented, when we had finished day two and he was filling out his checklist of completed work for the day, that there was so much more he wanted to do. :) My kids are weird and I love it! Then when my girls finished school today they choose to play school in the tents with our neighbor kids all afternoon. 

The hardest thing for me is just jumping in and starting out new curriculum. I always find my rhythm, but it takes a while. I also scheduled out a few of the subjects that I've added on top of the My Father's World curriculum and hopefully this will help me keep on top of how we're progressing through those subjects this year. It is also hard figuring out the balance of when and what to do with the big kids and finding time to squeeze in stuff for Kassidy. So far she has been highly involved in all the character study, bible lesson, history and science stuff I do with the big kids and then we do her kindergarten stuff after lunch. She was upset with me today that I didn't make her a copy of the map that the older kids were doing on the ancient Roman Empire. Next time I'll know! She constantly walks around with her new math book and handwriting book.

 Our school location for day two. We've been having beautiful weather!

 Kassidy working on reviewing some phonics lessons from last year in her tent. I can tell she is going to do an amazing job and grow her skills a lot this year.

The big kids working on math on the deck.

We started early this year because our life is crazy busy full of activities. We've already had a dentist appointment, picked up our CSA box for the week, went to the library, returned a pitching machine battery, had a playoff baseball game, baseball practice and are taking care of our garden between school subjects. We're looking forward to taking a week off later this month to visit family and also in September to camp in Duluth.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

2014 Hoot Lake Triathlon

Last weekend I competed in my annual triathlon race at Hoot Lake. Someday I may get around to doing a different triathlon (ideally one on a flat course). I was definitely missing my training partner this year, but I suppose having a baby 3 weeks before the race was a good excuse to not participate. Next year, I'm hoping she'll be back!!!

 Getting ready for the swim. It was much warmer this year and I didn't need a sweat shirt while I was waiting to start. I was pretty excited that Bruce and Yvette were able to be there along with my normal cheering crowd.

The swim was 1/4 mile and I managed to take around 2 minutes off my swim time from last year. My time this year was 8:23.

 We swim out on the left side of the swim docks and then back on the right side. I'm always in the last heat to get started which gives me a chance to pass lots of people who start ahead of me.

 The bike exchange area.

 I even managed to get on my bike, with my new bike clips w,ithout injuring myself! I took off 2 minutes from my bike time last year. My 15.7 mile bike time split was 49:21. My mile splits averaged to 3:15/mile. 

 My favorite kiddos! One of the ladies that was biking around me told me she was pretending that they were cheering for her since they followed us all around the course.

My cheering squad on the back of the bike route.

Coming down the hill for the finish.
For the first time ever I ended up puking during a race and of course this happened at the beginning. My run  time was about 4 minutes slower than last year, but I did manage to finish with a run split of 28:19 for 3.3 miles.

 Overall, I did better than I thought I would and ended up with a 20 second PR. 
I finished with a time of 1:28:32. I was the 8th woman and 48th overall.