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.
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The boys are working on school but Mr. Farmer showed up to harvest the corn about 30 minutes ago and is distracting Andrew.  :o)
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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.
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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.  
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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.
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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)
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One of my favorite things...  quiet afternoons stuyding God's Word.
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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.
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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?
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{Christopher trying to only use two colors until he had to switch to a new color}

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{Jonathan starting on the east coast}

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  {My map}

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{Andrew's map}

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{Christopher plotting out his colors}

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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.

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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!

Monday, October 14, 2013

October Daybook

FOR TODAY ~ Monday, October 14th, 2013

Outside my window... It is cloudy and drizzling.
I am hearing... Andrew complain about writing facts about Mexico into his notebook.  If he could go through school never having to write he would happy.

I am thinking... that we should skip winter this year.  I really am not looking forward to cold fingers and toes all the time.

I am thankful... for church yesterday.

In the kitchen...  We seem to be having a bit of a fruit fly problem.  I haven't given much thought to supper yet.

I am wearing... sweats, a t-shirt and warm socks.  I am in need of a shower but the morning got off to a busy start before I made it there.

I am creating... hats for my nephew Brennan

I am going... absolutely nowhere today!  Ahhh bliss!

I am wondering... how it could possibly could be the middle of October already!  I would like to start our summer over again, it went by too fast.

I am reading... Women Living Well by Courtney Joseph,  I bought a copy for myself and one for a friend.

I am hoping... that this week will be slower paced than last week.

I am looking forward to... staying home ALL DAY today.

In the Learning Room... We are finishing up our unit study on Mexico  this week.  I finally had a chance to update our current book basket books.  You'll find our selections with links in the left sidebar.  Christopher is working on his country report this week and we have a few craft project this week in preparation of our fiesta celebration this weekend.
  Our memory verse for this week is Proverbs 13:13  "He who despises the word will be destroyed, but he who fears the commandment will be rewarded."  I sum it up as LOVE THE WORD.

Around the house... lots of chaos!  Sheet rock went up in the dining room and no matter how many times I sweep it is still dusty.  We'll be sheet rocking the living room this coming weekend.

One of my favorite things...  hot coffee with cream on a chilly morning.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  I am hoping to get my fridge cleaned later this afternoon and then go grocery shopping tomorrow.  We have gym time tomorrow afternoon and Christopher has both Civil Air Patrol and Cyber Patriot training this week.

A peek into my day...
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Last week the boys went out to play football and Lizzy sat looking out at them the entire time.  


Acorn collecting... a fun harmless fall activity you and your children enjoy or so you thought!   Cue creepy music!  :)
  Acorn family
 O.kay, it might still be harmless enough but you could definitely be getting more than a natural/woodsy decoration for your fall table.
Last week Andrew collected acrons at my mom and dads house and was happily occupied looking for weevil holes.   What is a weevil hole you ask?  Well before you collect acorns and bring them indoors you might want to watch this interesting video.  If you still decide to bring acorns in you might want to place them in a container.  :o)

Sunday, October 6, 2013


Greetings!  It has been a busy couple of weeks for our family and I've wanted to update here on the blog but we had a storm come through over two weeks ago that damaged our modem and router and what should have been an easy fix has turned into a 2 week ordeal of very minimal internet.  Think dial up only worse! 

My newphew Brennan was born and is such a doll!  Look at all that hair.  His older brother Kessler had just as much dark hair when he was born too.  The blanket is a knitted blanket that I made for him.  It was my first time knitting a blanket and I love how it turned out.  It is very soft and I love the stretchy feel that knitting gives to this baby blanket.

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Hopefully now that our internet is working I'll get back to regular posting here on the blog.