Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hands-on Homeschool Day

We had lots of extra, fun activities to catch up on this week so we did a full day of nothing but hands on activities. It was a busy day and we had loads of fun!!!

These were to pizza bagels that the kids put together.

Sunflowers that we made at our first homeschool co-op day.

Needless today say, one of the things that I was most worried about when we decided to move to MN was if there would be any homeschoolers that we would be able to connect with in our new town. It is amazing how many connections we have already made...my neighbor two houses down the street homeschools her three kids in the public school homeschool co-op. On one of my first play dates in town I met another two homeschool moms, one of which helps run the WATCH homeschool group in town. This homeschool group averages over 60 families in its membership every year. I have also had the opportunity to attend a wonderful Mom's Night Out with other homeschool moms once a month. God does watch over us and provides for us in amazing ways as we move through life.

Our volcano project, right before Mt. Papon erupted!

The building of Mt. Papon volcano.

We created fossils with all of our backyard treasures.

The making of the fossil dough.

K-baby trying to use the laptop.

Using the jump-o-leen

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Papons return to WI for the weekend

All of the Papon family members had a busy weekend this past week. The 4 k-kids and I (mom) left on Thursday morning at 3:30 a.m. (the best time to travel with kids) and drove all the way to Waupun, WI to stay the weekend with my good friend Heather. The drive went better than I could have hoped and after 9 hours of driving the kids were ecstatic to drive by our old house and the chance to meet David and Adam at the bus stop.

Heather and I spent most of the weekend stamping and chatting. We made a ton of cards. The kids enjoyed running around, playing the sandbox and on the play set, and also riding their bikes up and down the sidewalks. We also were able to visit our old church and see many of our old friends. One of the high lights of our weekend was picnicking at our old park with Christy and her daughter Callie (who I used to babysit).

By the way....look at my new hair cut. I had about 5-6 inches cut off last week. I don't seem to make it into many photos so this may be the only one that shows it for a while. :) It feels great to NOT have Kassidy yanking on my hair everytime I hold her.

Don't know how I did it, but if you click on the linked text above you will see a beautiful picture of Shawn's boss rowing his boat at sunset.

Monday, September 21, 2009

homeschool folder games

The kids are enjoying all of our homeschool activities so far this year. Today I got out all of my folder games and the kids had a great time doing them. Luckily, I have them in all different levels so even K-sis got in on the action.

K-sis matching her catepillars

K-man matching up the rhyming words.

K-girl lining up her humpty dumpty numbers.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Chores and helping out

My kids are great!

How do I know?

They love helping to do chores any chance they get. It seems that they can always turn any chores they are asked to do into a game. I think that it is important for the kids to learn how to help out around the house so they can see how much work it takes to keep our house running smoothly. Helping out gives them a sense of accomplishment and belonging because they are doing something meaningful for their family. I am sure that their spouses will also appriciate this when the kids are old enough to have their own households (way, way in the future!). I also think that teaching them to have a willing and helpful heart now will carry into their teenage years.

Today we spent a lot of time in the kitchen doing some cooking and of course all of the kids had to help do their own recipe. Kolsen helped to make a big pot of crock pot chili, but I didn't get any pictures of him. The kids also helped Shawn out back hauling off the extra grass and leaf clippings.

K-girl making daddy's breakfast burritos

K-sis painting the butter on her made from scratch cinnamon rolls. YUMMY!

Daddy and the kids mowing the grass.The kids love hauling the leaves and grass to the pile in their sleds. It always amazes me how much use our sleds get all year round.

1st haircut for K-sis

K-sis finally finally got her first haircut today. She will be 3 in December so her hair was getting pretty long. I didn't cut off much, just an inch to get rid of the ends. I tried to hold off giving her a haircut because I didn't want to cut off her little baby curls, but finally had to take the plunge because her hair was really uneven at the bottom. She has really fine hair so it didn't take long to cut and she was happy to finally have her turn in the big chair just like her brother and sister. K-man, K-girl and Shawn also got their hair cut today...maybe with all of the money I saved I will go get my hair cut this week :)

K-sis 1st haircut
K-man mid shave

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Steam trains and tractors...need I say more?

After we took Shawn down town donut shop for a delicious breakfast we headed to Dalton, MN for a threshers/tractor show. We arrived at 11 a.m. just in time for the parade down main street. The kids had a great time watching all the tractors go by and mananged to snag a sack full of candy which they then snacked on for the rest of the afternoon. We had a great afternoon touring the antique buildings, looking at steam tractors, riding the steam train and tractor barrels. K-man asked about a million questions and Shawn got his fix of corn dogs, so I think we can declare it a sucessful day.

We also enjoyed meeting with two of our new neighbors on our block who also have kids our kids ages. We did a pot luck/grilling lunch and let the kids play out back. They had a wonderful time running around like crazy and meeting new friends.

K-man watching the antique steam trains puff by!

Steam wheel used in a car factory. It was huge and really neat to see it moving.

Pounding nails with daddy.

harvesting the garden

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Mom's Night Out

Tonight I went out on the town...nothing wild mind you, just a meeting at the library with the local mom's homeschool group. I had a wonderful time! It was great to meet with other moms who are living similar lives and sharing our wisdom with each other. It was definitely a time of refreshment for me and a great reminder of what my goals are for my children and my family. I am looking forward to forming some great relationships with this group of moms.

My favorite moment of the evening was when one of the moms shared with us about her changes she is implementing this year in her homeschool. She said last year she had focused so much on the academic side of things and completing assignments just to check off the box that her family was stressed to the max. This summer she decided to think back on what she learned from her school experience through high school and she tried to decide what information she REALLY used when she moved onto college and real life. This year her family is focusing on the important things; a relationship with God, life skills such as cooking and cleaning among other things and also reading, writing, and math.

I think that sometimes we get so stuck in the moment and focused on what society says we have to do that we forget to look at the long term goals and what is really important in life....We are trying to grow our kids to love and serve God, be good citizens, hard workers, love for families and to be life-long learners. No goals are too lofty right?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Busy Week

This has been a crazy week already and it is only Wednesday.

So last week we didn't quite get done with all of our homeschool assignments, but that is the great thing about homeschooling, I can move things around to fit our schedule and interests. I have added some extra curriculum on top of the Sonlight Core K so we have been trying to balance out what to accomplish each day. K-girl and K-sis are still totally interested in doing school so I have been busy creating activities to keep them interested...they love doing their alphabet binders and any crafty projects. :) K-baby loves to be held at this point so we do a lot of the read alouds while we are snuggling on the couch.

Yesterday we finished up our extra science activities (K-man wouldn't want to miss any of the optional activities!) and caught up on our language arts too. I am hoping to finish up The Box Car Children #3 this weekend before we start The Apple and the Arrow next week. I think we are finally getting into a routine, but it is hard to keep the kids inside when the weather is so nice. Today we took a trip to the park after lunch and also read books outside by the sandbox.

K-man and daddy playing Sequence

The girls playing with the cards and tokens they swiped from the boys :)

K-baby's first boo-boo. She fell on against the coffee table and got a bruise on her forehead. :(

K-sis and K-baby in the bike trailer after our family bike ride around town.

K-man and K-girl working on their science journals

Watching the beads change colors (more details below).
These beads are from one of the experiments we did. The beads turn colors in ultra-violet light. The kids enjoyed watching them change outside (even on a cloudy day). We covered one with sunscreen and it didn't turn colors, but the one under the 100% UV protection sunglasses did. A good lesson for the kids about the importance of using sunscreen to protect their skin.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

We had a busy Labor Day weekend this year. Shawn did some home improvement projects, I did some major organizing and clean-up, the kids played and we also managed to attend a rodeo, visit a state park, swim at the beach and have some friends over for supper. I think I am ready for the work week to start so we can get back to our normal routine.

Our big family trip for the weekend was to go to Glendalough State Park. They had some wonderful hiking trails and beach. We enjoyed the 83 degree weather even though it was a bit windy for the kids swimming on the beach. Mainly the kids played with their sand pails and shovels building castles on the beach. We also drove by the campsites at the park and hope to get out camping sometime...if not this summer then next summer for sure.

K-kids swimming at the beach

K-kids and mommy eating picnic lunch at the rodeo.
K-girl LOVED all of the horses and wanted to pet all of them. Shawn pointed out a couple of horses to her and asked if she wanted one like that when she gets older and she said she wanted a Blackie horse, just like nana. We also saw a couple of girls riding double that were K-girl's age and she wanted to know why she couldn't ride a horse too.

My new living room curtains.
Okay, so Target was having a 50% off clearance sale in their home decorating section. I saw these curtains and liked them right away. I didn't iron them, just hung them up so they look a little bit wrinkled, but I like them. The only problem is that Shawn doesn't like them. :( I think he just doesn't like that they are made with shiny fabric, but I was tired of trying to find something that I liked that I wouldn't have to spend hundreds of dollars on. I think they will slowly grow on him. I did point out that they matched the blue in his duck prints we have hanging on the wall right next to the window. Let me know what you think....but only if you like them. :)

K-man wearing daddy's shirt that Nana Yvette had saved for 20 years. It is amazing to think that Papa Bruce has been running his own building and roofing business for such a long time. Hopefully, someday he will get to retire to play pilot and hobby farmer.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Lots of Pictures....we've been busy!

Our family has been super busy this week working, playing and just having fun! Even though we took Tuesday off from school we were still able to complete most of our school work for the week. K-man and daddy have 2 science experiments to complete this weekend...making a weather vane and also a windsock. He also has a little bit of writing to complete. It amazes me everyday how quickly kids can learn. He loves almost every aspect of homeschool and I can't get the girls to go play with their toys because they want to be doing school too.
K-girl is excited about starting gymnastics next week. She is showing off her new gymnastics outfit that I got her at Target.

K-sis is showing off her princess dress that mommy made her...and the hat she HAD to have that Nana Yvette bought her when she was visiting this summer. She loves wearing them together. :)

Child labor...a great reason to have lots of kids. Hopefully they will be this eager to help out when they are teenagers.

K-baby...already after daddy's money!

Homeschool recess at the park. We love spending time together as a family. I enjoy seeing the kids play together, they have such creative imaginations.

Shawn was able to take Tuesday morning off of work this week, which just happened to coordinate with the start of dove hunting season here in MN. K-man is going to be an avid hunter, he loves hunting with daddy. This picture shows the dove that Shawn shot. They probably would have gotten more, but I think Shawn enjoyed getting to sleep in and so they didn't go hunting until 10 o'clock.

K-man testing out his knowledge that hot air rises. He was excited to see his whirling snake twirl around. He also learned that the wider the snake surface, the better they would twirl...this was his second try, after the first one was too skinny and didn't twirl very well.