Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sunday Afternoon

Hello.  I am so glad that we are all tucked in for the day at our house as the temps outside are so very, very cold.  With wind-chill they are supposed to be close to -40! 

I'm spending my Sunday afternoon freshening up the learning room.  A beautiful piano cd is playing and I'm enjoying some hot tea.  I've just finished the lesson plans for the next week and am taking a little break.  The bookshelves still need straightening and my desk, which became a landing pad for every stray ornament, Christmas card, picture, scissors, tape, Christmas name tags, etc. over the last 2 weeks, is in need of some serious de-cluttering. 

It sounds all cozy and peaceful but every few minutes a loud shout or groan floats up the basement stairs where my "guys" are all watching the football game.  :o)

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas time with your families.  We did and are so thankful to have spent it with so many of our loved ones. 

Have a blessed Sunday.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

December Daybook

FOR TODAY ~ Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Outside my window... The sun is shining, the yard is covered with snow and winter is in full swing.  :)  The bird feeders are empty and I must remember to pick up more seed when I do my marketing.
 I'm wearing... Jeans, an orange shirt and socks. 
I am hearing... the boys finishing up their lunch and discussing football.
  I am thinking... about the last month and all that I've been through.  I am feeling better, Praise the Lord, but I also know that I cannot push myself right now and need to learn to stay quiet and rest.  Not an easy thing to do in this season but I've found that our Christmas season and anticipation of celebrating the birth of our Savior has been richer because we have been forced to hibernate at home.  It's a good thing!  Because we've been home so much we've been able to be consistent with our Jesse Tree devotions and nightly reading of Jotham's Journey.  It has become a very precious time for me to close our day with this time together.
I am thankful... 
  • The many prayers of friends over the last month.  May the Lord Jesus richly bless you as you have done for me.
  • A deeper walk with Jesus through the affliction and pain.
  • God's Word, which has become so dear to me. 
  • My husband - he's awesome!
  • My boys who have worked so hard around the home keeping up with the tasks and chores that I've been unable to do.  They might not do everything exactly like I would and often need more than 1 reminder but they never complain about helping me.  I'm blessed.
 I am going... to spend the afternoon crocheting.
I am pondering... how to keep things simple, my eyes on Jesus and extend grace.
I am reading... my Bible.  Alot.  :o)  I've also been reading a book book by Dodie Osteen called Healed of Cancer.  A short book and testimony of her healing from metastatic cancer of the liver.  It has been a boost to my faith.  I found it in pdf form online and have it bookmarked on my ipad to read.
 Around the house... Things are simple.  We put up the tree and decorated it last night but decided to forego all the other decorations but a few. 
In the kitchen... Chicken taco's for supper tonight.
 From the Learning Room... Our "Morning Time" time is going well.  We started the Continent of South America this week and are learning about Brazil this week and studying Rain Forrests for Science.
We're Creating... I have been copying verses from my Bible on healing and faith into a small moleskin book.  I read through them twice daily to keep the Word before me and to keep my faith for healing strong.
The boys will be making their gingerbread houses tonight and I have a snowflake/painting craft that also needs to get done.
One of my favorite things...  thick fuzzy socks.  :)
A few plans for the rest of the week:  I have just a little bit of shopping to do (our regular marketing and a few more Christmas gifts to pick up).  There are no other plans for our weekend and church attendance will depend on how I am feeling. 
A peek into my day...  
 Our Advent Calendar this year was pinned up to the bulletin board rather than hanging from branches in a vase.  It keeps the kittens from playing with it.  :)
On the back of each snowflake is a small activity, outing or surprise.  
This post is linked at The Simple Woman's Daybook

I am Willing

"And behold, a leper came and worshipped Him saying, "Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean." Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, "I am willing, be cleansed." Immediately his leporsy was cleansed. Matthew 8:2-3


Everyday when I read through my healing Scriptures this verse touches me deeply. This faith filled, diseased man who was so used to rejection put aside every social boundary that had been placed around him. Falling in worship before Jesus he humbly but boldly asks the Lord if He would be willing to make him clean. Think about that for a moment... You don't risk yourself like that unless you have lost all hope and yet have full confidence that the One you are asking is able to look past the outward and love you to wholeness. That took guts! And Jesus... Jesus reaches out and touches the untouchable and says, I am willing! Oh my Jesus you are such a loving Savior and Healer. Thank you that we can come to you with all of our ugly sin and disease and it doesn't revolt You. I stand amazed that I can come to You and receive your loving, cleansing touch.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Sweet Potato Salad

Christopher and I made up this Sweet Potato Salad this afternoon.  It is my favorite holiday salad to bring and is a crowd pleaser with everyone; that is unless you tell them before they eat it that it has sweet potatoes.  :o)  
Below you see the main ingredients (sweet potato, pineapple, apple and raisins).
Food 014
And mixed with the dressing and a few pecans crumbled on top.
Food 019
Sweet Potato Salad
3 cups peeled and shredded sweet potato 
1 cup pineapple tidbits (fresh is best)
1 medium sweet apple, diced
1/4 cup raisins
Pecans (to top the completed salad)
** I don't really measure when making this salad but throw everything in and make it look even.  :o)  Three cups of sweet potatoes is not quite 2 normal sized sweet potatoes so I shred and use all of the sweet potatoe.  I added a bit more pineapple and raisns this time too.
1-2 Tbsp. raw unfiltered honey
1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice (I use only 1)
1/2 cup Veganaise
lemon zest
Top salad with chopped pecans.
** I had to let my honey soften up before mixing the dressing as it starts to solidify more this time of the year.  Mix the dressing in a separate bowl and when it is throughly mixed pour over salad and stir.  
This salad is great fresh but works well made the night before (I add the raisins and pecans before serving).  
I did enjoy a bowl right away.  Mmmm.  :o)
Food 022

Broccoli Slaw Citrus Salad


I made this salad today for lunch. Delicious! You can find the recipe {Here}.

Thursday, December 5, 2013


It has been awhile since I have given an update on my back and I know there are a few of you who have been wondering and praying.  I sure appreciate the prayers as it has been a long ordeal.  Twenty days already.

I think my immune system is over taxed because I came down with 2 unrelated illnesses this last week.  A quick 1 day stomach bug and a 5 day head and chest cold which has now run through our entire family.  Graciously God gifted me with almost 7 hours of good health on Thanksgiving day and we were able to travel to my parents house.  Around supper time Thanksgiving day the pain started returning and we left for home.

Monday morning I woke up very sore but determined that we were going to get back to our schooling routine.  I had about 3 hours of productive school time with the boys and then headed to the chiropractor for an appointment.  Monday evening the pain was so intense.  I cried out to God for help and deliverance and was convicted that for the last 16 days I had been so focused on the pain and length of this ordeal.  My eyes were not on Jesus, my healer.  I cried out to God believing that my sickness was bought and paid for by Jesus over 2,000 years ago.  I repented for my lack of trust and told Him that I would praise and glorify Him no matter how long I had to walk in this valley.  I went to bed that knowing that I would fight a battle.  In my spirit I knew it was not going to be an easy day on Tuesday and I was right.

Tuesday morning I was in the most excruciating pain I've ever had.  I could not move, could not lift my arms up or even sniffle and cough without intense pain.  I spent about 90 minutes crying from pain and then called my spiritual mama for prayer.  My son took me to the doctor and we worked out a new treatment plan.

When we got home I went to bed to rest and stared at my blank walls... if I was going to be spending time in this bed I wanted to have something encouraging to look at so the boys helped me to make a faith wall.  The Lord had given me a Scripture Monday night when I called on Him and we put that verse along with some cards and Scriptures that the boys found for me.

Every step Tuesday and Wednesday was a walk of faith as I called out my praise and thanksgiving.  Step... thank you Father that not one Word from You has failed.  Step... I praise and thank you that by the stripes of Jesus my Savior I have been healed.  Step... Father thank you for sending your Word to strengthen me.  Despite the pain my faith grew with each step.
Today is Thursday and I am happy to say that I am beginning to feel better.  Priase God!  I no longer need the walker to walk but am very slow.  :o)  I know I still have a ways to go but I am confident that God's Words to me these last few days will come to pass.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013



I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD. Psalm 27:14-15

Thursday, November 21, 2013

On the Mend


Good morning!

Isn't this picture just darling?  And it so perfectly depicts my life over the last week. Lots of resting, reading and warm comforting tea.  :)

Last Thursday morning I woke up barely able to get out of bed and over the last week I've been to the chiropractor 3 times, my doctor once and have tried two powerful but different medications with no relief.   I spend most of my day in bed as that is the most comfortable position.  Although I have not had an MRI to say 100% what is wrong it is the conclusion of both my chiropractor and doctor that I have a herniated disc at the sacral base which is also affecting the nerves to my legs.  I hobble along here at home with a walker for extra support.

The mending is coming very slowly and although it is frustrating I'm trying my best to see the good in it.  Yes, I've found some good in all of this pain.  I know many of you have been praying and I so greatly appreciate it and humbly ask that you continue to do so.
Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

8 Random Things

Good Saturday afternoon!  It is quite dreary here and lightly raining.  I am cuddled under a warm fleece blanket and icing my back..  I woke up Thursday morning barely able to walk.  I've been to the chiropractor who says that I have a slipped disc.  :(  Sometimes the pain is excruciating and I obviously haven't been sleeping well.  The over the counter pain meds I've been taking are not even touching the pain so I did agree to a muscle relaxer which did help some.  What it did do was make me amazingly tired and I was able to sleep.  I took a 4 hour nap today!!!

As near as I can figure, I did this from vacuuming on Wednesday.  I don't usually vacuum because that is my son Christopher's chore but he had a busy week so I did it for him.  I felt the pull in my lower back but dismissed it and kept going.  Then off to the kitchen to peel potatoes and carrots which had be bending that the low back.  Other than these two activities I can think of nothing else that would have contributed the injury.  Thankfully my husband is home until Tuesday morning so he is running boys to their activities, cleaning house and cooking.  
I saw this idea at a friends blog and thought I would do it here on my blog too.

8 Random Things About Me:

1.  I once ran away from home.  I don't remember how old I was but I hid in our neighbors large bushes in front of his house.  I am sure my mother knew where I was because come supper time she opened the front door and yelled out that we were having spaghetti.  I came out from hiding and that is all I remember of the incident.

2.  I've always wanted to be a librarian.

3.  We have 6 cats, 2 dogs, 1 rabbit, a guinea pig and fish!

4.  My favorite meal is cream of turkey on biscuts (homemade of course).

5.  In 2003 I flew to Los Angels to sit in the audience of the TV reality show, The Biggest Loser.  I flew home the next day.  It was a fun experience except for the flight home which was very turbulent.

6.  I played the flute all through highschool and really enjoyed being in the marching band.  In the summer, when I was a child I would ride my bike and follow the marching band around our block when they would come by to practice.  I couldn't wait to be old enough to march too.

7.  I lived in Arizona for 2 years.  It is there that I surreneded my life to Jesus and he became Lord of my life.

8.  I only sleep in nightgowns.  I do have pajama pants but I only wear them around the house and switch to a nightgown for bedtime.  :)  I've always wanted a sleeping bonnet like Laura and Mary Ingalls wore to bed.

Monday, November 11, 2013

November Daybook

FOR TODAY ~ Monday, November 11th, 2013

Outside my window... The sun is shining but I'm not fooled - it is cold!!  

 I'm wearing... A kahkai skirt, red turtleneck and a brown quilted vest.
I am hearing... the boys finishing up their lunch and a meowing, Charlotte who is locked in the basement while they eat.  
I am thinking... about quiet time after lunch.  :o)

I am thankful... for the men and women who have served or are currently serving our country to protect our freedoms; especially my dad through his active service in the Army, and later the Army National Guard and now with his role in Beyond the Yellow Ribbon for Brown County.

{1966 - in Germany shortly after being drafted}

{Before deployment to Bosnia - 2003}
{Dad receiving recognition for his work with Beyond the Yellow Ribbon}
 I am going... to brave the cold and go for a quick walk outside after I finish this blog post. 
I am wondering... how to keep my lettuce and spinach from getting all slimy.  Any suggestions?  I buy organic spring mix and spinach and don't usually wash it as the container says that it has been triple washed but I'm wondering if I should remove it and let it dry fully and then re-box or bag it?  Suggestiosn?

I am reading... I am half way through First We'll Have Coffee, reading just a little each night while in bed.  I am also half way through What Do I Know About My God. 
 Around the house... Monday is laundry day and I need to go throw in another load and get the first load in the dryer.  The kitchen and back hall are cluttered with leaves that have blown in and desperately need to be swept up.  
In the kitchen... BBQ's for the boys' lunch and a salad for mine.  Dinner tonight is yet to be determined - most likely spaghetti.
 From the Learning Room... We met together for what we are calling "Morning Time' around 9 am and finished around 11 am.  After our morning time the boys worked on their individual work (math, science, english and reading).  I believe Christopher still has some work to finish up but is currently out playing football with Andrew.  
One of my favorite things...  warm drinks - coffee, tea, hot chocolate.  Mmm  

A few plans for the rest of the week:  A quiet week for me.  My dad will come up to take Christopher to his Civil Air Patrol meeting and Joanthan will take Christopher to Cyber Patriot training.  I love it when it works out for me to stay home! 

A peek into my day...  
November 301 {lazy Emily}

Sunday, November 10, 2013

~*~ Sunday Greetings ~*~

Blue flowers
It is such a dreary afternoon, I do wish the sun was out.   Regardless, I'm enjoying a cup of tea while curled up under a warm blanket this afternoon catching up on some blog reading and going over our school plans for the week.  We are adding our Morning Time to our school day tomorrow and I'm excited. .  We'll gather together in the mornings for 1.5 hours and then the boys will be on their own to finish up their work.  Of course I'll still be available to oversee and help as needed.  You can see some of the resources we'll be using in the right hand sidebar.
I've begun Christmas shopping and hope to have it completed before the end of the month, except for a few homemade gifts which I'll finish up through December.  The biggest of these projects is an afghan that I am only about 1/4 of the way through.  Yikes!
Until next time, Sunday blessings!

"Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is
fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."
-Psalm 16:11

Monday, November 4, 2013

November Daybook

FOR TODAY ~ Monday, November 4th, 2013

Outside my window... The howling wind of yesterday has been replaced with gentle breezes and steady rain.  A cool, cloudy day; perfect for staying indoors.
I'm wearing... A blue tiered skirt, red turtleneck and a white fleece zip up vest.  I'm quite patriotic today.  :o)
I am hearing... quiet - I can actually hear the hum of the refridgerator.

I am thinking... about leading a quiet and peaceable life for the next month.  For the last 2 months life has been moving so quickly and I feel a bit like I'm being forced along for the ride.  My prayer for November is for my life to be small and quiet at home. 

I am thankful... for life, my sons, snippets of time with my daughter, quiet evenings, candles, the Lord's direction in my life and His Word spoken and confirmed to me.

 I am going... have an eye towards God's blessings, this month as we, as a family, journal 30 things each day we are thankful to the Lord for.

I am wondering... If I could do all of my holiday shopping online and not have to battle the crowds and advertisements of instore shopping.  :)  I'm sure I will not be able to, but it was a nice thought.

I am reading... I have a new stack of books waiting for me to read!  I finished reading Women Living Well (I read it twice!).  I just started a book that I found at the thrift store called First We'll Have Coffee.  The title is what really grabbed my attention.  Coffee!!!  It is a collection of short stoies about a Scandinavian pastors wife. 
Also in my bedside basket waiting to be read are What Do I Know About My God and The Secret Diary of Elisabeth Leseur: The Woman Whose Goodness Changed Her Husband From Atheist to Priest.  The sub title of this book caught is what really caught my attention, I opened to read a few pages of the book and after reading the following, put the book in my cart: 
"My beloved wife, Elisabeth, prayed incessantly for my return to the Faith and to the practice of religion; day by day for this intention did she accept and offer up all her privations, sacrifices, trials, sufferings, and at the end, even her death. 
But she did this secretly, for she never argued with me and never spoke to me of the supernatural side of her life, save by her example.  She carried out herself the advice that she gave in her Journal:  "Let us not think that by our personal action we can hasten the coming of God's Kingdom in souls.... let us make this appeal to Him with the humble conviction that He alone will do what must be done, and will bring life to the souls for which we care and pray."

 Around the house... Jonathan is working today until 3pm and Christopher is still sleeping.  Andrew is with his dad in the semi for a couple of days, thus the "quiet".  
In the kitchen... I am using up the food we have in our cupboards and freezers and slowly transitioning to a simple, God created menu and going to avoid as much processed, sugar laden foods as possible. 
 From the Learning Room... a treasure of resources gathered together in a basket to be enjoyed daily.  More on this basket of liturgy soon.
One of my favorite things...  My children.  A days gone by photo:

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Praying for a quiet week of rest for my anxious spirit. 

A peek into my day...  a poetry selection to be memorized
Little Drops of Water

This post is linked at The Simple Woman's Daybook

Friday, November 1, 2013

November Begins

Shalom and Happy Lord's day to you!  I am currently cuddled up in my living room under a blanket and enjoying a hot cup of coffee (with cream!) while listening to this new mp3 download.  I thought since the rest of the family is hanging out in the basement watching football it would be a good time to put up a quick post.
We celebrated Andrew's 11th birthday this past weekend.  I can hardly believe it has been 11 years already.  Time truly does pass so quickly and I need to be more intentional about my days so that they don't slip away with regrets.  
Thursday night after I tucked Andrew into bed I got out the party streamers and ballons and decorated his door.  When he woke up in the morning and opened the door to his bedroom he was "locked" in with party streamers running criss cross across his door way and balloons hanging from the top.   He thought it was a pretty neat start to his day.  :o)  He also got a special call from one of our favorite familes who sang to him.  Watching the smile on his face as they sang made my mama heart happy.
Later Friday morning Andrew's aunt Wendy came to pick him up and took him to lunch and shopping.  He came home with a box of over 400 football cards, quite a bit of candy and a happy smile on his face.  I'm glad he was able to enjoy his time with his aunt.  It was a special time for him.
Friday evening we had some cake and he opened a few presents.  One of which was more football cards that his brother Jonathan had given him.  Oiy!  Saturday morning we woke up early and headed to St. Cloud for a day of shopping and a special lunch and party at Chuck E. Cheeses.  We've never been there before and Andrew has always wanted to go.  He had a great time playing the games, spending time with his sister and opening the rest of his presents.  Can you guess what his sister got him?  Yes... more football cards!  We visited J.M. Cremps on the way home and Andrew bought more airsoft pellets and a small gun with his birthday money from the grandmas.  
It was a full and wonderful weekend celebrating our son.   Happy 11th Birthday Andrew, we love you.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Thursday's Bits and Bobs

Good Thursday afternoon to you!  It sure is a chilly one here today.  It was a crisp 28 degrees out this morning when I took our little Lizzy to the groomers this morning. She was shaking all the way to town even though she was wrapped in blanket. I even put the seat warmer on for her!  :o)  I can only imagine how cold she'll be with her new haircut.
We are now spending a cozy morning at home.
October2 013

The boys are working on school but Mr. Farmer showed up to harvest the corn about 30 minutes ago and is distracting Andrew.  :o)
October2 017
October2 020 - Copy
Andrew and I did take a quick break to walk outside and see the equipment up close.
Here are a few shots from around our fall yard.
October2 023
October2 025
October2 022
The above picture is as far as we got with our house project this year.  We'll finish up the windows, siding and garage doors next Spring/Summer and then Scott and the boys will tackle shingling the roof.  Lots of hands on learning and experience for the boys.
The groomer just called and after lunch we'll go pick Lizzy up.  Before I go though, Andrew wanted me to post these pictures of our cat Boo who is taking a nap and using Andrew's racoon hat for a pillow.  
October2 001
October2 002

Have a lovely day!

Monday, October 21, 2013

End of October Daybook

FOR TODAY ~ Monday, October 21st, 2013

Outside my window... after a cloudy morning the sun finally made an appearance.  Although sunny it is still chilly out.  Poor little Lizzy does not enjoy going out in this weather to potty.
I am hearing... my cd by George Winston playing (December)

I am thinking... that I love quiet afternoons.

I am thankful... for God's wisdom and direction through His Word.

In the kitchen...  Meatballs are in the crockpot and I'll be making mashed potatoes and green beans soon.  Andrew and I made chocolate chip cookies this afternoon and he's eating one now.  He has warm chocolate smeared on the sides of his face.  :o)

I am wearing... a jean skirt, red turtleneck and a cream colored fleece vest.  

I am creating... I'm still crocheting hats for my little nephew.  I'll share pictures soon.  
Andrew is creating pirate paraphernalia.  I love when he is inspired by an idea.  Watching the creative process and excitement build brings joy to a mama's heart. Today while I was making cookies (and after he had thoroughly licked the beaters) he was looking through our book basket and pulled out an Usborne book called Pirate Things to do and Make and got to work on creating!  I'm thinking this will keep him busy for a few afternoons this week.  As I'm writing this blog post he is busily making a treasure chest and plans to bury it.

I am going... to enjoy a quiet evening at home.

I am wondering... when we'll have our first significant snowfall.  We bake cookies to celebrate the first snow of the season and bring out our winter snowman cookie jar from storage to keep out all winter long.  We were at church yesterday when it snowed big flakes (and distracted Andrew) but thankfully it didn't stick!  I am not ready for snow yet. Although I'm making cookies today we aren't bringing out the cookie jar until it snows and sticks. 

I am reading... Women Living Well by Courtney Joseph,  I bought a copy for myself and one for a friend.  *update... I am really enjoying this book and have read portions of it more than once.  It reminds me very much of the very first Christian book I bought, A Woman After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George.

I am hoping... that my friend and her children recover quickly from being sick.

I am looking forward to... teaching my sister in law how to crochet.

In the Learning Room... Today we started our study on Canada!  I still need to order our library books for this study!   Most of the books in our studies have to be inter-library loaned but I'm hopeful I can find a few at our library to use until the others come in.
Andrew is reading a book on my Nook.  It really is a win/win situation for both of us.  He gets to use my Nook which is not normally allowed and I get peace because he reads without complaining.  
Andrew loves any type of hands on learning.  If there is a craft project or science experiment he is anxious to work on it.    Last week Christopher had an experiment and of course Andrew wanted to be in on the action.  The experiment involved soda cans so we sent Jonathan to the gas station to pick up couple of cans.  :o)
Christopher got two bowls of ice water ready and then placed a small amount of water in each can and set them on a pan to boil.  When there was a steady stream of steam he carfully removed the first can (with tongs) and placed it right side up in the ice water.  Nothing happened and the can fell over.  The second can was placed upside down in the ice water and crushed when placed in the bowl.
October2 002
October2 005

October2 006

Around the house... The dining room and living room are sheet rocked and mudded!  It looks so different.  It will be fun to paint soon and put up the stained cedar trim around the windows and ceiling and then DECORATE!  :o)
October2 029
October2 023
October2 024

One of my favorite things...  quiet afternoons stuyding God's Word.
October2 037

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Gym time, Civil Air Patrol and a trip to the library.  We are visiting with friends one afternoon this week and everyone is looking forward to that.  

A peek into my day...  bare trees.
October2 040
This post is linked at The Simple Woman's Daybook

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

United States Challenge


Acorns01Greetings!  Happy Wednesday to you!  The sun is shining here in Minnesota this afternoon and it is a welcome sight after a couple of windy, dreary and rainy days.  Our yard is littered in bright red, yellow and pale green leaves.  I think half of the trees in our hard are now bare!

This afternoon the boys are finishing up some work in their Geography notebooks and then we'll begin a craft project to help decorate for our Mexican Fiesta on Saturday night.  Today's project was to make a pinata but the afternoon is quicly getting away from us and so we might post-pone that activity until tomorrow and make tissue paper flowers instead.  Everyone is excited for Saturday!

We'll be starting our Canadian unit on Monday but first I wanted to share some photos with you from a fun United States Map Challenge we did a couple of weeks ago.  If you remember, we were having some internet woes and I was unable to get the pictures posted to the blog.

United States Map Challenge:
  • 1 blank map for each student to start with, however, have a few extra copies for starting over in case someone makes a mistake.
  • 4 colored pencils per person - choose contrasting colors such as red,  blue, green and yellow.
  • A good attitude :o)
The challenge is to color each  state a different color without having any two states next to each other with the same color.

We called Jonathan down to participate in this challenge with us.  He enjoys strategic thinking so I knew he would be good at this challenge.

We all had a different strategy for starting.  Andrew started more on the west coast, Jonathan started on the east coast and Christopher and I started in the middle.  I chose to start with Tennessee which has 8 different states surrounding it.

How do you think we did?  Do you think any of us completed the challenge the first time?
September 2013 048
{Christopher trying to only use two colors until he had to switch to a new color}

September 2013 053
{Jonathan starting on the east coast}

September 2013 059
  {My map}

September 2013 060
{Andrew's map}

September 2013 062
{Christopher plotting out his colors}

September 2013 057

Yay, Jonathan!  He was the first to finish and did it on his first try!
By this point Andrew and I had both made mistakes and had started over.  Christopher was still going strong and almost finished.

September 2013 063

Yay!  Christopher is done.  But wait!  While I was taking this picture Jonathan noticed that Christopher hadn't colored the portion of Michigan that sits on top of Wisconsin.  Christopher flipped over his map to look and couldn't believe it when he had both Wisconsin and Michigan colored in black!  Coloring the top portion of Michigan would disqualify him.  


He had made it ALL the way through with no problems up until that point and had to start over.  Christopher was a good sport about it but wasn't happy that I wouldn't let him use his first attempt to help him.

The final challenge results:
Jonathan - 1 attempt
Christopher - 2 attempts
Mom - 3 attempts
Andrew - 5 attempts

There was quite a bit of laughter and groaning as we worked on our maps.  It was a fun challenge and we have a copy waiting for daddy to try too!