Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Some people are worried about homeschoolers getting enough socialization. We have no problem with this! This week:

Sunday: Sunday school
Monday: gymnastics
Tuesday: gym, art and story-time co-op
Wednesday: 4-H and church
Thursday: storytime at the library
Friday: Travel to Yankton, SD to see Nana, Papa, Uncle Kenny, Aunt Staci and Asher for Halloween

...and somehow we always manage to get in our "school" subjects too. We also boast a supportive extended family who believe and support our decision to education our children at home.

Homeschool co-op p.e. class which all three older k kids enjoy.

k-man making his "art" bagel bird feeder

k-sis and k-girl making their bird seed bagel feeders
One of my favorite things about homeschooling is seeing all of the multi-age activities my kids can be involved in. I love to watch my older kids take k-sis's hand and help her through an activity...warms my mommy heart.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pictures of the week

We had a busy week doing a variety of activities We didn't do anything too earth shattering, but I have uploaded lots of pictures of what kept us busy.
Our church also has a christian school that it runs during the week for preschoolers through 6th grade. This week on Friday they held their annual carnival/fundraiser and so we decided to take the kids. They each got to do a few games, but the cup stacking room was their favorite. The kids were excited to see the cups that Nana Kristi had at her school. Kaylee also enjoyed getting her hair and nails done at the carnival, but I didn't get a picture of that. She chose a different color for each hand. :)
K-man stacking the cups at the Naz School carnival.

K-sis showing off her stacked cups. This was our favorite event at the carnival, besides the prizes of course.

K-girl stacking the BIG cups at the carnival!

K-sis...just to show you that I do get her out of the house every once in a while...but she does have her tutu on underneath her snow suit. :)

K-baby enjoying the leaves. She also got a wagon ride from the kids up and down the block and was able to crawl around after the balls on the ground. I am sure she is going to be lots of fun next summer, but I am glad she is mostly indoors at this age because she wants to eat everything she finds on the ground.

The princesses sorting shapes.

The kids showing off their Sonlight markable map...we looked up the tallest mountain on each continent and labeled it with a picture.

K-sis eating our home-made bread...we ground our own wheat for this loaf while we were at the pumpkin was delicious!

k-girl and k-man eating their home-made bread.

The Prairie Learning Center.

Shawn was able to get off work a few hours early on Tuesday to take the 2 oldest k-kids on a homeschool field trip with our christian homeschool group in town. It rained most of the time and they got a little wet while they were outside exploring, but I still think they had lots of fun. K-man is up front in the red shirt and K-girl is in the back (staying close to daddy) in the navy shirt.
One of my favorite things about moving to MN has been having Shawn working in town. We can have picnic lunch with him (when the weather is nice) and he is also able to enjoy so of our school and fun activities that are during the day. He was able to attend some of K-man's t-ball games which were during the day this summer. He is also able to take a few hours off so I can take the kids to the doctor or dentist which isn't much fun but better than having to get a babysitter for a few hours.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A New Schedule

I just finished a wonderful book by Steven and Teri Maxwell called, Managers of Their Homes. They are a wonderful homeschooling family from Kansas who have been homeschooling their kids for many years. The book had many great ideas about how to organize my day in order to get everything in that I felt God leading me to do with the kids. This was our first week on the schedule and it went great. I didn't stick to my evening plans much, but I was able to accomplish a lot of activities with the kids; school, chores, fun time, naps, art and even preschool time with the middle girls.

I thought that having to cut out all of the little squares would be really time consuming, but it didn't take me long to type every thing up on the computer, print them out and cut them up. Using all the little squares allowed me to rearrange the activities until I came up with something that I thought would work and if nap times change or something isn't working it is easy to move the squares to a different time. I LOVE this book and would recommend it to any homeschooling family. At first I thought I would find it too restrictive, but it provides us with just enough structure that we can get every thing done that we need too and still have time for all the fun stuff too. It also allows me to tell the kids, "no this isn't the time for t.v. or computer because we are scheduled to do ____." and the kids understand that they will get their turn when it is time. :) We even managed to get to story time at the library which all four k-kids love and our schedule still worked.

Each of the colors is a different family member (except Shawn...he seems to always be busy and able to manage his time without my help).

Echoing leaf art from K-man this week

K-girl's jack-o-lantern

K-man's jack-o-lantern

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pumpkin Carving Time!

Since it was snowy and cold for the past two weekends we were pretty excited to get a couple of days with no rain/snow or wind. The whole family managed to make a trip to Fargo for pictures at Sears on Saturday. We got K-baby's 9 month pictures and also the older 3 kiddos school pictures. The pictures turned out great and we even managed to get a picture of all of them together.

The kids were super excited because they were having a safety day at the mall so they were able to sit in a police car and also had their kids i.d. taken. I can remember getting my kids i.d. when I was little and they put your fingers in blue ink to take your fingerprints and took a poloroid shot to put in your file. It was neat to watch the workers take digital pictures of the kids and then they got to put their fingers on a special machine that automatically put their fingerprints in to a computer file. It is pretty amazing how technology changes things.

We also had a great time carving our pumpkins outside. All the kids had fun helping out.

The master pumpkin carver.

K-girl...she wanted to make sure we took a picture of her with her hand IN the pumpkin. K-baby was in the mix the whole time.

K-sis thinking about what to draw on her pumpkin.

Sorting the seeds...we are going to clean, dry and cook them so we can use them for art projects.

K-sis helping with the pumpkin carving...of course she has on her crown.

K-baby checks out a pumpkin.

K-kids all dressed up for church.

K-man is now in-charge of reading aloud before nap time. He loves reading. :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Homeschool Uniform

We have a very strict dress code for homeschool which is enforced by K-sis everyday. All girls MUST wear a leotard or princess dress! It is a very serious offence if you try to get around this dress code, even if it is only 30 degrees out. I have had to pry K-sis out of her leotard or dress each evening to put on p.j.s for bed and she hasn't wanted to go outside for the past 2 weeks because she would have to put on winter clothes and take off her prized outfit.

Luckily she has allowed me to change her when we go out for errands, but not before asking if she can just put something over the top of her leotard. Can you imagine taking a 2 year old to Target and have to go to the bathroom with who knows how many layer of clothes on that all must come off to simply go potty???

K-girl in her black leotard :)

K-girl in her princess dress. Notice her new earrings :)

K-sis in her princess dress with new clip-on earrings and crown which she has claimed from K-girl.

another day....same dress
The good thing about our homeschool uniforms is that I don't have to do as much laundry because they want to wear the same thing everyday (as long as we don't spill). K-sis has also decided that she is tinkerbell (she has a dress-up outfit for this too) and K-girl also has a couple of more leotards she uses so at least they aren't wondering around naked when I am washing the dirty ones, but K-sis doesn't let me forget they are being washed and asks at least every hour if the laundry is done yet. :)

Winter has arrived!!

We could hardly believe our eyes when we saw it snowing out the front window on Friday afternoon. By the time we went to bed we had gotten about an inch of snow accumulation. The kids got up early on Saturday and HAD to play in the snow before breakfast. The snow had melted from the drive way so K-man had to settle for scooping the front yard. I guess if it has to be cold there might as well be snow on the ground to play with. K-sis even took off her leotard long enough to wear winter clothes and gear for a short trip in the snow.

Our yard before K-man scooped it. :)

K-girl, J (a neighbor boy who the kids LOVE playing with) and K-man

K-man, K-sis and K-girl showing of their winter gear.
Lincoln Log tower - As the weather is getting colder we are starting to spend more time in our wonderful basement. The kids had a great time using these lincoln logs I bought at a garage sale to make a tower taller than they were.

Freezer Cooking with the 4 K's

Freezer cooking is one of my favorite ways to cook. I love being able to spend one day cooking and then enjoy the benefits for the rest of the month. I used to get together with my good friend Heather and we would each cook different meals while we talked and them would split them up to take home. Food and Fellowship, what could be better? I have also doubled recipes when I cooked dinner and then frozen what we didn't eat for future use. Doing the cooking that way fits into my regular cooking schedule and doesn't take much extra time.

This was my first time to freezer cook since we moved to MN and the kids and husband were all at home (inside too, because of the cold). I had LOTS of help which I knew I would have because my kids all love to help cook They were really helpful...stirring, cutting, peeling, recycling the cans and washing dishes.

We completed 20 meals this afternoon and have a few more planned for tomorrow. The girls have been begging me to make big pretzels and I also want to make some homemade granola. Shawn requested coconut cream pie, but I don't know if I will get to that this time :) although I may have the girls make chocolate chip cookie dough to freeze which will make him happy.

We made: black beans and rice, minestrone soup, linguine a la anne, hearty hamburger stew, chicken and broccoli casserole, chili, meal in one potatoes, chicken soup, potato soup, lentil rice soup and sopa de maize. It must be cold out...I was craving lots of soup recipes this time.

Tomorrow we will work on: Baked Herb fish fillet, balken meatballs, chili verde, cookies, granola, pretzels and bbq chicken pasta.

Some of our meals.

K-man was super happy because he got to use a knife.

K-girl using the peeler.

K-sis aka tinkerbell stirring ingredients.
My two favorite freezer cooking books are Once a Month Cooking by Mimi Wilson and Mary Beth Lagerborg (who I have actually met). Her book has delicous recipes and I have liked everyone that I have tried so far. The other book I use is The Freezer Cooking Manual from 30 Day Gourmet by Nanci Slagle. Her recipes are very frugal and can easily be modified by adding additional spices and some ingredients.

The best bonuse for the end of the day was when Shawn helped me clean up the counters, stove and then finished all of the dirty dishes that were on the counter! What a wonderful husband. :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Growing Fast

It always amazes me that a baby can grow from egg into a beautiful baby in just 9 months. Then it only takes another 9 months and they are crawling around, pulling up on furniture and climbing the stairs. This is a short clip of K-baby's new obsession, the stairs. She will crawl all the way across our basement through a maze of toys and end up on the stairs if I leave the gate down.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Nana, Papa and the Pumpkin Patch

After waiting for Nana and Papa Papon to arrive a day late due to bad weather, we kept them hopping for the whole visit. We enjoyed a wonderful day at the local pumpkin patch after Papa and dad went duck hunting early Sunday morning. The grandparents took K-girl to her gymnastics class, k-man to the museum, and we even enjoyed some outside playtime between rain storms.

We were also lucky enough to get the grandparents for an extra day because of rain on Tuesday. All the kids (and Nana) jumped around like wild hooligans when Papa decided to wait another day to go home. :)

We were at the pumpkin patch for about 3 hours so between Yvette and I we had TONS of good pictures of all the activities that we did. The pumpkin patch wasn't quite as nice as our the one we used to visit in Wisconsin, but the kids managed to stay busy the whole time.

K-girl feeds a baby calf

k-man feeding another baby calf

Nana and K-baby hanging out.

K-man and K-sis cleaning her pumpkin.

Picking out the perfect pumpkin is hard work!

All the Papons at the farm.

The MN Papons

Looking at the baby cows.

K-baby LOVES animals, especially this cute baby goat.

Load of K-kids

Cornbox (instead of sand) was a huge hit with all 4 kids.

Papa with 2 of the girls

Papa and daddy shot 3 ducks on the second day of duck season.

K-sis getting close to Papa in the airplane. I think she wants a ride. :)