Saturday, September 28, 2013

Kolsen's 1st Cross Country Race

Thursday was a very exciting day for our household because Kolsen competed in his first cross country meet. Since Shawn and I met in college while running for Southwestern College, running is a pretty big deal for us. We have been hoping that our kids would love running as much as we do.

The cheering squad

 The kids had to go up a pretty large hill right after the start. 

  He finished in 5th place right behind one of his friends with a time of 6:42.

Shawn was really proud and we had a blast running around the course to cheer for him! We are hoping for many more years of running fun in the future.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Ancient Egypt

 mmm...sugar cube pyramid

We learned a lot about mummies and pyramids this week.

A few changes happened this week around our house and the biggest one is that I'm no longer doing daycare. Lincoln's last day at our house was today and we were all a sad when we dropped him off at his house after lunch. My kids were pretty upset when I told them he wasn't going to continue coming. Between homeschooling, kids activities, and starting up a new homeschool co-op, our schedule just got to busy to work with LT's nap time and there is only so much of me to go around. I'm also hoping that cutting out daycare will allow me to spend more time doing school work with my little girls too. We are still on call for back-up babysitting, so we are hoping to see him when his regular daycare is sick or on vacation and at church each weekend. We will definitely miss this little man!
Kassidy also had her first dance class and LOVED it, Kolsen went to his first cross country practice and we managed to attend all our other activities which are too numerous to list. The kids are definitely keeping me on my toes.
Shawn and Abby left tonight for their annual trip back to WI for duck season opener. Shawn hunts with his friends and old boss from WI for the weekend and he is planning on coming home after he finishes hunting Monday morning. The kids and I are planning on eating out, cleaning the house and having lots of fun outside. 

Monday, September 16, 2013


This past weekend we took our first camping trip of the summer. I know, it's fall already! I don't know where the summer went, but I am glad that we finally made it out. We had a fabulous site right by the lake and we enjoyed a peaceful Friday evening settling in to our camping spot.
 The big kids were excited to be sleeping in their own tent. Maybe next time Kassidy will get to sleep in "her" tent too.

 The view from our camp site.

 Our camp site while it was still dry! There were only a handful of other families at this particular campground so it was pretty quiet.

 The kids all loved the red leaves on the sumac.

 Looking for frogs while on a hike.

 Up, up and away! We completed some very hilly trails! We ended up hiking about 7-8 miles over the weekend.

 Walking sticks made everything better and they may have been using them as magic wands to "poof" their siblings into different objects.

 As you can see Kassidy is in her final summer of using the hiking pack. I can't believe how big she is getting! She walked most of the time, but when she fell too far behind the big kids she would want to hitch a ride with Shawn or I to catch up.

 Our Saturday ended up being very rainy, but we managed to cook lunch before the 8 hours of rain started. Totes make great tables while eating in our tent. The kids did a great job entertaining themselves for the 6 hours we tried to wait out the rain, but we finally gave up and headed back home to sleep for the night. The park ended up getting 3 inches of rain.

 On Sunday morning after sleeping soundly in our own beds we headed back up to Maplewood and did some hiking, geocaching and met with some families from our church for a picnic.

 The kids loved geocaching!

Despite the rain we enjoyed our camping trip and the time we could spend together as a family. I'm hoping we'll find a weekend to rent one of the state park cabins this fall. And I hope to include all the things on our "do not forget list" that we made for the next time we go camping. :)

Week 4 of School

 The Pharaoh's of Egypt fighting over who will control the kingdom.

Exploring cubes and pyramids.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Poor Kassidy

Kassidy came down with a horrible virus this past week. Her temperature stayed up around 102 degrees for 4 days and Tylenol and Ibuprofen barely seemed to help. She pretty much slept for 4 days straight on our couch and only drank Pedialyte. I knew she wasn't feeling well when she didn't want to eat anything and she slept through the other three kids doing school on the coffee table two feet away from her. On Wednesday she bounced back and only needed one nap. Amazingly she was the only one from our family to get sick! I'm knocking on wood right now.
Now I just have to catch up on all the housework that didn't happen while I was taking care of a sick kid.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Who Needs Angry Birds?

After attending an angry birds birthday party a few weeks ago, my kids decided they needed their own version of angry birds live. I'm so glad my kids think this live version is better than sitting in front of a screen.

Their updated ball launcher. They decided to use Shawn's boat motor stand and launch balls at hula hoops, and all sorts of other things they found in the garage.

Monday, September 9, 2013

God Bless America

My girls went downstairs to do some crafting this week and they came back upstairs with homemade flags, singing God Bless America. I thought it was a good use for an old curtain rod.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Bringing Home Food

Sorry, yet another food post! I pretty sure our lives revolve around eating food 24/7.

Do you know where your food comes from? This year we know exactly where our chickens came from and what they ate. They lived a short, happy eight weeks on our friend's farm and then last weekend we helped to process them. It was a beautiful day and I think food tastes even better when you process it outside in the fresh farm air.

All the chickens plucked and halfway processed. The kids liked helping deliver the chickens to the different stations. 

 This was the plucker machine. I'm sure that isn't the official name, but that's what I call it. You put 3-4 chickens in and a few minutes later they come out perfectly plucked. I'm sure Nana Yvette wishes these would have been invented during her childhood. It was really cool to watch.

 Kolsen and Karolyn worked on weighing the chickens and then sorting them by size. Most of them ranged from 4 pounds to 5 3/4 pounds.

 Kassidy and Kaylee had to get in on the sorting action and picked out which chickens they wanted to take home.

 Abby tried to help out with our food and found a rabbit in the backyard. Sorry Girl, this one went right in the trash! She did have fun toting it around for a while until Shawn got home to take it away from her.

 Shawn took Kolsen out for their 2nd youth waterfowl day. On this special Saturday only kids get to shoot and Shawn and Kolsen saw thousands of ducks! Of course they had to go back to the same place as last year, Neuman WPA.

 Kolsen managed to shoot two ducks, a blue wing teal and also a shoveler. I think he may have shot 20 or so shells during the morning. Shawn told me they kept saying, "In 5 minutes we'll leave if you don't shoot at a duck" and Kolsen kept seeing more ducks and getting additional shooting opportunities. They finally just and to leave. Don't worry, he's still got a box or two of shells left for later in the season. 

Kolsen and his 410. I think he's hoping for a new gun in a couple of years. 

This week I was able to get a free five gallon bucket of food from Bluebird Gardens. The kid and I brought home 5 cantaloupes, 4 cukes, 5 heads of cauliflower, some carrots and also a few more potatoes. We ate all the cantaloupes and froze what we didn't eat.

With all of our extra activities starting this week I knew I wouldn't feel like cooking so I decided to do a quick freezer cooking session on Sunday. Kassidy ended up coming down with a fever and felt pretty bad most of the day so between taking care of her, teaching Sunday school and cooking most of the day I'm pretty worn out. The good news, I shouldn't have to cook for a few weeks. YEAH!!!

I didn't get any pictures of all the yummy meals I made, but I did snap a quick picture of my counter during the process. This wasn't even half of the dishes I got dirty and I had to wash a few of them two or three times for different recipes. I'm glad that I have 4 big stainless steel bowls because I used all of them!

I ended up with a good stash of food in our freezer!
2 Biscuit Beef Bake
2 Lasagna Toss
2 Chicken Tetrazzini
2 Sopa De Maiz
2 Chicken Rigatoni Bake
2 meals of Twice Baked Potatoes
Beef Chimichangas

And to eat this week I made:
granola for cereal
granola bars
banana bread
chocolate zucchini cake
9 pints of homemade salsa 

And surprise of all surprises I made out a meal plan for the week that I hope I can stick to! Karolyn was pretty excited that I wrote out what snacks they would be having each day. We'll see if works.