Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Our Weekly Box

 I haven't been posting our veggie boxes this summer as often as I did last year. We've still been getting our box of veggies from Bluebird Gardens every Tuesday and we love it! The highlight for the past month has been the 2 dozen ears of corn and 5-6 tomatoes we get each week.

I've been busy making salsa and tomato sauce with all the tomatoes from our garden and the ones we've been getting from Bluebird Garden. I can't wait until we get to pick two- five gallon buckets of tomatoes next week.

I was so excited when the UPS man pulled up and delivered this box of FREE stuff that I got from a post listed on the Money Saving Mom blog. Yeah for free stuff, especially healthy food!

Monday, August 29, 2011

I'm Blessed

Please check out other moms who have been blessed on Gretchen's blog He Sows, She Sews and link up if you've been blessed this week.

I'm blessed to have a wonderful mom who is talented enough to sew my girls beautiful outfits! She also loves K-man enough not to sew him a cute K shirt and instead got him a Kansas City Chiefs jersey.

K-baby, K-sis, K-girl and K-man

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sundberg Apiary

I'm so thankful that we have an active homeschool group in our town. The kids and I recently went on a trip to the Sundberg Apiary (a bee farm). I can't believe that this amazing place is just 2 miles up the road from our house. We learned quite a lot about bees and the kids are looking forward to checking out some bee books this week at the library.

There were about 50-60 people on this field trip.

Not the best picture, I guess they thought it was a little sunny out.

This was the processing room for the honey. It was really cool to see how they extracted the honey from the combs. They have 6,000 hives around our area and even take their bees South for the winter on a semi truck.

A view of all the honey dripping down on to the conveyor belt.

another view

Each of us got to stick one finger in the honey! mmmmmm....good!

My crew standing next to a 700 pound barrel of honey.

K-girl standing next to a few of their empty bee boxes.

After we toured the honey factory we got to visit their antique car building. They had around 20 antique cars. Most of them were from the 1910-1920s. Way cool!

We ended our day with a quick lunch play date with some friends!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Football Video

K-man was excited about his second football practice because they told him that they would get to tackle real people. Me, not so excited. They did match the kids up by size for this first practice so he didn't get hurt by someone twice his size. He's still enjoying every minute and makes Shawn practice with him in the backyard when ever they have a free minute.

K-man is #14.

K-man blazes by his tackler. He's on the ground closest to the screen.

K-man gets his man. He's on the ground on behind the coach.

K-man running the first play they taught this season, a right dive.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

School Pictures

I took our school pictures while we were taking a nature hike at Hoot Lake this morning.

K-man my 3rd grader

 K-girl my 1st grader

K-sis my preschooler

K-baby my little busy girly, girl.

The Class Picture

First Day of Football Practice

Fergus Falls Gold Team #14

Can you guess which one??
Count 4 over from the right.

 He's the one on the right. He thought tackling was awesome.

K-man was so excited for today's practice. He had a great time and his coaches were both very knowledgeable. I'm sure we will see him running around with a football every where he goes tomorrow.

We'll see what he thinks after they start practicing live tackling on Thursday. ;)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Bible in 90 Days

WARNING! Bible Usage Can Be Habit Forming. Regular reading can cause loss of anxiety and fear; decreased appetite for lying, cheating, stealing, hating, anger, jealousy, and envy. Symptoms include but are not limited to: increased sense of love, joy, peace, compassion and contentment. Use as often as needed; however, if symptoms persist, praise the Lord!

I started doing the Bible in 90 Days program through Mom's Toolbox in July. So far I'm loving the experience. The Mom's Toolbox matches you up with an accountability group of other moms to help you keep going. I love checking in each week with Mary (who happens to live very close to where I used to live in WI) and seeing how all the other moms are doing. No one is nagging me to get my Bible reading done, but it's nice to know that other moms are out their trying to read through the same parts of the bible and struggling with the same life moments that I am.
I've been keeping up fairly week during the week days, but the weekends have been giving me trouble. I may have to start setting my alarm to get up and get my reading done before the rest of the family wakes up. I've been trying to get up with Shawn during the week days and finish my reading before the kids get up. This gives me about an hour to finish my reading. Right now, I'm about 2 days behind, but I'm sure I can catch up soon.  Day 37 done! I'm almost half way!
My favorite thing about doing this program is that it is helping me to do my quite time in the morning. I LOVE quite time! I'm also loving that I'm reading big chucks all at once which is helping me to put together some of the different stories within the whole big "God Story." I'm so thankful for other moms/Christians who have stepped forward to use their skills God gave them to support others!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

My Life's Not Perfect

I wish that every thing in my life was perfect, but it's not. I'm trying to find blessings in the small things in life. One of my homeschooling friends is hosting an I'm Blessed post link-up each Monday and I'm participating this week.

Did you know that by the end of some days I eagerly hand my cranky kids off to my husband and lock myself in the bathroom for a nice long bath and a little peace and quite? I may or may not be heard saying "I'm tired of YOUR kids!" I'm blessed that I get to spend each day with my kids.

Being at home with my kids puts my house in a state of constant disaster, but I love being at home with my kids. God has blessed me with 4 little helpers who love to help out around the house (sometimes bribery has to be used). If you come by please don't look to closely at my kitchen floor.

I'm always behind in my devotions reading, but I'm blessed to have the freedom to read my Bible when ever and where ever I choose.

There always seems to be things at the store that I really want to buy that aren't in our budget. I'm blessed by a wonderful husband who is willing and able to support our family on one income and provide for our families needs.

We live really far from our families and don't get to see them very often. I'm blessed that our families are willing to travel long distances to see us and that we have been able to "adopt" friends as part of our extended family.

I'm not the best wife, mom, friend or sister in the world. I often do or say the wrong thing. I always feel that I have lots of room for improvement, but I'm truly blessed that I worship a God who loves me just the way that I am.

I think it's all in a matter of perspective on how we look at our lives.
Is it all drudgery?
I can see my blessings in disguise.

Thanks Gretchen for coming up with this wonderful idea and sharing it with others.

Updated Horse Wall

Yesterday I worked on adding a horse outline to K-girl's room while she was at the rodeo with Daddy. She was so excited when she got home and saw it. The beautiful tan paint I had picked out looked orange on the wall so I went to the store and got a tube of chocolate brown. I think this looks MUCH better! And you can even see it in the pictures now.

K-girl- my little cowgirl!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

K-girl's Cowgirl Room

I've been working hard on K-girl's room in my spare time. We finally had a weekend at home so I followed Shawn around and had him fix things that were broken, hang things on the walls and move big furniture around some. K-girl is so excited about her room. She moved in to her own room sometime around March and I didn't really take any before pictures I liked besides this one as we were getting ready to paint and remove wallpaper.
Before- ugly pink border

 I'm so excited with the results! K-girl is enjoying an antique desk that she got from Papa Bruce's mom. Nana Yvette bought her the chair and we spray painted it white. K-girl and daddy made the shelves for all her treasures. We also found the iron horse sculpture at the craft show down town. The only think we have left to work on in this corner of the room is building a bookcase where the white plastic drawers are sitting. I've added this to Shawn's extensive to-do list and I'm sure it will get done sometime soon.

 Bigger view of K-girl's room. I got the curtains at Walmart and they really darken the room in the evenings and mornings which is great since it is light until after 10:30 in the summer here.

 This is currently housing K-girl's books, horse toys and a few other treasures. Shawn and I made this toy holder together when we lived in WI. We are planning on moving this to a different room and adding a white dresser when we find one we like in our price range or when Shawn builds one. Yvette made K-girl a beautiful horse quilt that she loves on her wall.  Shawn is also planning on making some hat hooks for K-girl out of some horse shoes from his parents house next time we visit KS.

 I knew that I wanted to do a horse on K-girl's biggest wall and that finally happened today. I emailed Yvette a clip art picture that I liked and she enlarged it with her artistic skills on butcher paper and then gave me her cutout that she made. All that I had to do was trace around the outside with pencil and then follow the lines.

It's hard to see the horse outline painted on the wall in this picture, but it shows up really well in her room. I didn't want it to stick out too much so I picked a light tan (which looks more peach on the wall). I may go and get some chocolate brown paint and go over it again so it matches the curtains. I'm waiting for Nana to come and add in a few details. I can follow lines, but I'm definitely not an artist. Nana Kristi made K-girl the cute cow boot quilt on her bed and helped her make a matching pillow. She is using the bed that my parents bought me when I was in elementary school. I did take the brass knobs off and paint them with a brushed nickel spray paint.

Interior decorating is NOT one of my talents. I've never been good at it so I was pleasantly suprised that everything pulled together as well as it did. I'm always trying to balance out using things that we've been given and treasure with things that we can afford to buy. I'm grateful that we have wonderful parents who are willing to pass on wonderful furniture to us that holds a meaningful story. I'm also thankful to Shawn's mom and my mom for their willingness to spend time making things for my kids.

I'm sure my cowgirl is going to be happy for many years to come. I know I have two cousins who would be totally jealous of this horse themed room (that's you Anne and Katie Beth) ;) I'm sure she would love for you to come and visit anytime. She may even let you play with her horses! 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


K-man is getting excited because this fall he is going to be playing tackle football! I'm sure he's going to have fun!

He starts next Tuesday with 2 practices a week and games on Saturday.  

Trying to look tough! I told him football players weren't supposed to smile, but that just made him grin even bigger.

I Can Almost Taste The Salsa and Corn!

The day before we were suposed to leave for our IA trip I got the email that the corn pick was starting. Mark, the owner of Bluebird Gardens mentioned that the corn goes really fast and I didn't want to miss out so I left the 3 girls at the neighbors and took K-man with me to pick our share of corn. It only took us about 20 minutes to pick 10 dozen ears of corn! The longer part of the process is shucking, cutting it off the cob and freezing it all in baggies.

 A few of my favorite Cornhuskers!! There were 2 more, but they were too busy playing to take a picture.

 The boy Cornhuskers!

 The girl Huskers (Notice that I get free labor from the neighbor's kids?? Who knew chores could be so much fun?)

We started school last week too, so K-man and K-girl were working on some of their work while I cut the corn off the cob.

 Daddy and K-baby picking the last of the raspberries. I don't think any came in the house. K-baby LOVES raspberries and I think it's wonderful to be able to say go pick some berries from the bush if you are hungry. :) The 2 bushes on either side of them are some of our tomato plants.

 K-man showing off our sunflower!

A few of the tomatoes from one of our bushes. It looks like it's going to be a good crop this year. I'm hoping to make salsa, tomato sauce and some spagetti sauce.

One of our other plants. We planted 6 tomato plants total and I wish We'd planted more. Our pepper plants look beautiful too, but there aren't any peppers on them yet. I don't think we get enough sun in our shady backyard for them so we probably won't plant those next year.

Now I just have to find some good salsa and spagetti recipes to can for this winter. YUMMY!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Visiting More Friends, Missouri Addition

Another busy weekend in the life of the Papons! It's been 8 years since we moved from Columbia, MO to WI and then on to MN. I love Facebook since it has really given us a chance to keep in touch with some of our friends who we had to leave behind.

This past weekend we were able to meet up with some of our MO friends who we attended Small Group Church with. It amazes me that we only had K-man and he was 3 months old when we moved. Some of our friends cute little kiddos are now beautiful teenagers and growing boys! A big thanks to our friend Heidi for organizing this reunion. We definitely would love to do this again!

 Our first stop on our trip down was to Walnut Grove, MN. Does that sound familiar?? Well if you watched Little House On The Prairie you know that is one of the places that Laura Ingalls Wilder lived. My whole family loves the Little House On The Prairie books and we love listening to them on CD when we travel. The kids were super excited to be visiting the actual place where one of her books took place. It was funny to listen to K-man talking about different parts of the book that he remembered.

 Runny up the path on the far side of Plum Creek.

 Posing before the hole where their dugout used to be. I can't imagine having to live like that. We also learned some great information from the signs that wasn't in her books.

 The old dugout location.

 Mom and K-girl walking along the table top land from Laura's book.

 The kids standing on the rock that Laura and her sister Mary stood on while playing along the creek. How Cool!!!

 We also got to visit a Laura Ingalls Wilder museum. It was a wonderful museum and had lots of different little buildings to walk through.

 Posing in front of the Little House set mural on the wall. We will definitely have to look in to getting some Little House episodes.

 Shawn and K-girl posing at the museum in front of the prairie. All the buildings in the background were part of the museum.

 K-sis by some prairie flowers that Daddy pointed out to her.

 The kids with Shawn down by Plum Creek.

 K-girl trying out a washboard. I'm very thankful for my washing machine!!!

 The exploration room, trying out some hands-on toys.

 Visiting a dugout. I don't think there is room for all our stuff!

 The dugout from the outside.

 Visiting the one room school house. Look at that smart looking class of kids. ;)

 We napped on the go!

When we arrived at the Christian Camp near Dayton, IA we had a fabulous weekend with a few of our Missouri E-Free friends. We were busy from morning to night and I wish we could have had more time together. Maybe next year we will have a few more families attend who weren't able to make it this year.

 Some of the kids playing kickball.

 The really cool play set which my kids loved!

 K-baby loved the twisty side!

 We played miniature golf. I'm not sure who won, but we had lots of fun.

 They had a fabulous pool which we spend hours in!

 K-girl and one of the boys that now lives in IA. The Kisers used to live our our route home when we lived in WI, but since we moved we havent' seen them. It was nice to be able to see them again and our kids loved chasing each other around.

 Paddle boating and canoeing with Dad.

 K-baby loved the lake. She pretended she was an alligator and crawled around at the edge happy as can be.

 The bigger kids enjoyed making rivers and wetlands in the mud shore. The boy on the right was a cute little Kindergartner when we left MO and now he is a fun, loving, boy scout. The kids loved wrestling with him.

 The men enjoying some time to chat.

 We weren't ruffing it. We had a wonderful facility with bathrooms, showers, separate rooms for each family and a kitchen to cook our food.

 Canoeing with Dad. The little lake was beautiful and the kids had a blast with all the activities they could do.

 The kids found some time to play catch with dad.

 Learning to build a boy scout fire.


 K-girl taking a turn being the pitcher for her kickball team.


We came home tired and happy and we are looking forward to seeing these wonderful friends again. If you get up to the MN area we would love to have you spend some time with us!