Friday, October 21, 2016

Busy Busy schedule

Until the end of this month, we've been busy running around five days a week.
  • Mondays is riding lessons for the youngest three.  This ends next week.  I'm amazed at how well they ride after two years of lessons.   This is an expensive activity but well worth it to see their improvement and confidence rise.  And they all love it!
  • Every other Tuesday night is American Heritage Girls.  We also have other activities scheduled such as service days and fun events so sometimes we're headed out on a Friday or Saturday also to an event.
  • Wednesday the little girls go to the church after school program.  From now until our Christmas play, the older girls will also be going and helping out with the practice.  I arrive at 5:30 and we eat dinner at church and then do the Wednesday night bible study at 6:30.
  • Thursdays are a little crazy right now.  The littles are in a gymnastics class in the am with other homeschoolers.  That ends next week.  It's almost turned into more of a playgroup so it wasn't really what I wanted.  They would love to do lessons though, so its been a good intro for them.  Later on that day, I run Bug-a-bug up to banjo lessons.
  • Fridays are for the teens.  Our church runs a teen program open to the community Friday nights from 7-10.  They have a ton of fun.

We've all been getting used to hubby's schedule.  He leaves about 5am and gets home between 6-8pm.  He has an hour drive each way to work, which he does not enjoy.   A trucker is a much more relaxing job than being in the Navy.  He's really enjoying not having that responsibility anymore.  

We've been getting ready here for fall/winter.  I have to go out and finish up the garden tomorrow and rake leaves.  Today I have to make some caramel apple jam and do something with the squash and pie pumpkins.  (this means bake and puree the pumpkin but I'm not sure about the squash yet).  

We only did three days of school this week.  MN takes Thursday and Friday off and we do also.  I usually find that I am finishing up fall or canning projects and use those days wisely.  Plus, our church is doing the fall cleaning so I was there for five hours yesterday.  The big girls are at the MN Youth Conference with our church.  They are having a blast.

Enjoy your weekend!!

I'll be outside cleaning out the chicken coop, getting ready for the arrival of some pigs, and raking!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Week five under our belts

This week was pretty busy with different activities.  Monday and Tuesday were normal school days and Wednesday we went to Oxbow Zoo and Park to see the animals and play.  They don't have many animals there; about twenty different kinds but its fun to view them.  We arrived right at feeding time so it was fun for the kids to see the different kinds of animals and what they eat.  They also have a nice sized buffalo herd and it was fun to see the animals up close.  Last time we were there, they were off in the distance and it was difficult to see them.  I of course, forgot my camera.

Thursday was gymnastics and library for the littles.  The big girls stayed home and did their assignments. Friday we went to the Mankato History Fest.  They have re-enactors from different time periods.  It was a ton of fun.

It is very important for your dragon to also have armor during medieval times. 
This guy was the best.  MN's own Captain Jack Sparrow.  He was absolutely fantastic with the kids and put on a neat show.  He's a historian at heart and gave us a ton of information about pirate history.  Makes me want to run out and get a book on pirate history to read.

Captain Jack and his wife took a picture with the girls

Civil War-they shot off the cannon several times.  Very loud and smelly but neat

Trying on some chain mail

Princess was arrested when trying to enter the saloon.  It took this poor boy quite a while to get those handcuffs on.  They have to be screwed in. 
They hauled her off to jail and I told them to throw all the kids in.

Civil War cannon is very loud!

And we had to get a little face painting in.  We waited for all the school buses to leave and we pretty much had the place to ourselves.  It was great.

 It was freezing yesterday when we went but warmed up a little during the day.  It was in the 40s/50s the whole time we were there and the sun was blowing but it wasn't too bad.  There were a few building so we could come in and get warm at the stoves.

The re-enactors spend Wed through Friday night at the campground; camping out in old fashioned tents.  The frontier men were literally laying in the ground with a clothe over top of them held up by a few sticks.  It poured the night before we went, almost an inch of rain, but the frontier men said that they were dry.  Everywhere they were cooking over campfires for their meals also.  Smell of campfire smoke everywhere.  It was great and we will definitely head back there next year.

Friday, September 30, 2016

A very successful first month

2nd grade
This first month back to school has been very busy indeed.   American Heritage Girls has started up, riding lessons continue through October, the littles started a gymnastics class with a co-op, Friday night teen nights started at the church, and soon the Wednesday night programs start.

I've been tweaking some of our lessons this month but for the most part have stuck with my original plans.  It certainly helped having everything ready to go at the beginning of the year.  I feel so much more organized this year!

Here's some photos of my girls this year:
10th Grade

8th Grade

Fourth Grade  


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

A very busy summer indeed.....

What a crazy busy summer!!  We started off with a graduation party for this handsome guy.  It was so much fun!!  My mom, uncle, dad, and Kevin's family came in for the event.  I was glad we were was plenty warm out.

TL is off to college now.  He's attending the local community college to save some money and in his words, "why leave home with free food and rent?"  He's doing pretty good in school, although my OCD is twitching because he tends to wait on his assignments.  He'll learn on his own and waiting may work for him.  I was always too stressed to wait until the last minute.

The week after the graduation party, we headed to my stepson's wedding.  It was a wonderful and fun event.  We met so many wonderful people.  We have a fabulous time.

Then in July, we headed to Tennessee to hubby's retirement ceremony.  It was sooooo hot and humid.  100 degree temps with high humidity.  It was awful weather wise.  We were blessed that we had so many friends and family come into town for the event.  We were so surprised at how many made the trip.  We went with family to the zoo (did I mention how hot it was?) and also to the Bass Pro Shop.  The rest of the week was spent spending time with our family and friends.  

 The rest of the summer has been just as busy.  We had hiking, archery, and camping with American Heritage Girls.  We came home at the end of July to a garden bursting with goodies.  I've been canning up a storm.  Spaghetti sauce, chili, pickles, jams, pizza sauce, and beets.  We've also cut up and frozen 50 dozen ears of corn and more zucchini than I can count.  

This week, life has moved back into a routine; although I still have tomatoes to can and next week apples will be in.  School is much easier this year.  Last year, TL suffered senioritis and I had to stay on top of him all year.  This year, I work with the littles in the morning and then the big girls in the afternoon.  Day two was completed today and we were able to finish both days by 2 and I had all the grades recorded.  Not too bad.

I'll be posting school pics and our curriculum later this week!

Have a wonderful and blessed day!


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Last year: Blogging Bust

I didn't blog at all last year.  Homeschool mommy burnout was in full swing.  On top of that, the senior was being a bit difficult in getting his work done.  It seemed that I was always dealing with him instead of focusing on the girls.  In retrospect, I really wasn't but it sure seemed that way during the year.

Our graduate celebrated his homeschool finish with a small graduation party.  Family and friends came from all over to celebrate with us.  It was a wonderful day.  We are truly blessed!  The graduate starts at the community college in August.  He really wanted to go off to school but after looking at the cost, he determined it was better to live at home which is free and have homecooked meals.  I think he thinks his favorite, chicken pot pie, will be on the menu often.  
The week after the graduation party, we celebrated my stepson's wedding to his beautiful and very sweet bride.  It was a wonderful event and we had a fabulous time.

My garden wasn't quite finished this year.  I never did plant the green beans.  I made some other areas larger but that meant building a new green bean bed and I literally ran out of time.  I have been sorting and dumping all kinds of junk in the house and was busy painting for the graduation party so it was never done.  I'm disappointed but there's nothing I can do about it now.

Another major even this month, is hubby's retirement ceremony from the US Navy.  We are very excited and I'm busy working on his scrapbook for this event.  Did I mention that I had to do over ten years of scrapbooking photos for the graduate's event?  ugh, Never again.  I plan on starting to work on the girls this winter.  I don't want to go through that again!

I am just starting to work on lesson planning this week.  I gave myself a much needed and well deserved break from homeschooling.  I have found that I am now more interested in getting creative.  The last two years we've been doing textbooks and workbooks.  Homeschooling was accomplished but not really fun.  I plan on amping up the fun this year.  

As usual, I am utilizing Homeschool Tracker for my lesson plans.  I really really love Homeschool Tracker.  I can insert all of my lesson plans and then move them over to the assignment grid when needed.  It is so very nice!!  This year, I will include chores on their daily schedule and give the older girls a login to check their assignments off when completed.  No more printing out the daily schedule.  I'm excited about that part.  

Enjoy your summer!!  I'll be back soon after the retirement!!  I'll be busy finishing up lesson plans and canning!


Sunday, March 13, 2016

The days that we pioneered.....

So last Saturday our water starting come back up into the basement.  Everytime we used a sink, tub, or toilet.  Thankfully, I discovered it after one toilet flushing so it wasn't too bad and it went down the drain in the basement.

So for the entire weekend, we used a bucket or the great outdoors as our bathroom.  Showers were done at a friends or we washed up in a little tub we emptied outside.  Good times.

Thankfully Monday afternoon I was able to get the guys out to pump out the septic.  We had it done last year and knew that our septic was on its last legs so I assumed that was the issue.  I was wrong.

On Tuesday, the plumbers came and discovered that there wasn't a clean out valve down in the basement so they took a line through the bathroom toilet.  It worked and we were good to go.....for about six hours and then it happened again.

On Wednesday the plumbers were able to come back and cut all the pipes downstairs, clean it out, and put in a new clean out valve.  There was feet of gunk in the pipes.....apparently its never been cleaned out since the house was built 80 years ago.  The previous owner also used to pour grease down the drain which added to the gunk.  Last year we had to replace the kitchen line because it was filled with grease. 

So after five days of using a bucket as a latrine, we finally are able to flush and use the sinks and tubs.  Thank goodness!!  That was exhausting and yucky!

Monday, February 29, 2016

Literally on the go.....all the time....

Or so it seems anyway.  We currently have activities Tues through Friday nights and will be adding riding lessons on Mondays.  Thankfully Tues is only twice a month and Wednesday nights are only for a few more weeks, we'll take a short break, and then start again with a different bible study at church.  Thursdays is banjo lessons for Bug-a-bug so that's not really a big deal and Friday night is youth night at our church and I just drop off, someone else brings them home.  Its still tiring though.

School is going well.  I'm enjoying the year so far.  I'm a little behind in lesson planning some items so I hope to get on track this week.  We have eye exams tomorrow and that will take a few hours with buying glasses also.  So I'll use the remainder of the day to take care of some homeschooling items.

I started working on writing a high school government class for Schoolhouse Teachers.  I'm still just on the second unit and hope to have the class done soon for them to be able to start it up.  I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes and hopefully doing another class or two for them.

I'm sorry for the short post but I must run.  I'll try to get on here later this week and write a more detailed post.  Until then God Bless!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

update in pictures

So we have been incredibly busy here.  I've already decided next year in Sept and Oct we will only do school four days a week.  There is so much canning and gardening work that needs to be done, I just can't keep up with it all.  Plus, we have to get everything ready for winter.  I'm still not done but thankfully its been really really nice out; in the 50s which is unusual for us. Yesterday it was in the 60s and I opened the windows. 

Here's some pictures from the girls' rodeo that took place in Sept.

Princess Buttercup with her ribbons; two first and two second place

Careful around the cones

Princess Daisy riding Moonshine

Being careful not to knock over the cans

Bug-a-bug riding Windsor; her favorite horse

Princess decided not to participate this time.  The girls have been taking riding lessons since March.  They each participated in four different games.  It was a long but fun day.  They absolutely love Morning Glory stable and so do I.

TL has bought a guitar and started taking lessons.  He's doing really really well and enjoying learning an instrument again.  He did piano and violin when we were in Japan.  Bug-a-bug wants to learn "country instruments" like violin (fiddle), guitar, and banjo.  We'll have to see if we can get something going next year for her.

The youngest three are still in American Heritage Girls.  Princess didn't want to but decided to try it again on Tuesday night.  I'm hopeful that she will be want to join us again.  A lot of really wonderful girls for her to be with.

TL is still in taekwondo although a foot issue had him miss many classes this summer.  He went to Philmont with his scout troop but has decided that he's pretty much done with scouts.  It saddens me that he won't make eagle but I understand that with the issues with leadership and the lack of organization with our troop has changed his attitude towards scouts.  Still he's working a lot and doing okay with his school work so he's a pretty busy young man.  And of course, he's very helpful around the house here.  I depend on him a lot and am very grateful that he does whatever I ask of him without questioning or complaint.

School is going well; although we are a little behind where I wanted to be.  Not too bad considering all that has to be done here to get ready for winter.  We're really getting into some good stuff now and the girls are really enjoying their lessons.  The littles are learning about volcanoes now.  I can't wait to pull out the rocks from our kids from Northwest Treasures.  I'm loving the books that come with the kits.  Full of some really fun things for the kids to do.

We had our two pigs butchered and now our freezer is literally stock full of pork.  I'm excited about that!!  Hopefully the chickens will start laying any day so we'll have fresh eggs once again.  And the pantry is getting full with the sales items I've been buying.  My goal is to have several months worth of food on hand.

I'm busy making some items for Christmas gifts now.  Doing some knitting and making some quilted items.  I hope to get some done for around the house also.  I never seem to have enough time!  After Christmas I will be focusing on scrapbooking;  TL  is graduating and his book is done through age six and hubby retires and his hasn't been started yet.  UGH!