Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My Favorite Quizzers

Kolsen and Karolyn participated in AWANA quizzing this past weekend in Fargo.
Kolsen was in book 3, Karolyn in book 1 and Shawn was a coach. Their teams both finished in 4th place.
 Karolyn is in the back left.
This shows the multiple choice section. Kolsen got a 10/10 and Karolyn 9/10.

This picture shows Kolsen answering a speed quizzing question. This is the hardest part! You are competing against all the other teams to answer questions and only 2 teams get to attempt to answer each question. You have to be fast and most of the kids would buzz in before the question was finished to answer. You also have to be WORD perfect! Kolsen answered one verse and said "do not" instead of "don't" and it was counted as wrong. Whew! They are tough! The kids a good time and I'm so proud of all the time and effort they put in to learning all their AWANA sections.

Now they are moving on to learning their Silver sections since they are both finished with their books. In the Silver section you have to say 8-10 verses at a time.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Tabernacle

I love My Father's World! This year we've been studying Creation to the Greeks. Last week Kolsen and Karolyn each built a tabernacle and this week we learned to play an ancient Egyptian game called Senet. I love that my kids can see how Bible history is connected to other events around the world.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Warm Weather

We are so exited to be having a warm snap with weather in the 30s this week. On President's Day we did school in the morning and then spent the afternoon at Spidahls Ski Gard. The little kids have improved so much from last year and were able to do a lot more. The big kids did a couple of longer blue trails with Shawn and I and the little girls had a blast on the warm-up track and two green trails. It was warm, but the wind picked up in the afternoon so we tried to stay in the wooded areas. The conditions in the woods was perfect and we were able to unzip our jackets and take our hats and gloves off. We skied for an hour or so and then would head to the lodge for a snack and drink break. It was hard to believe that everyone lasted the whole afternoon without wanting to stop. 

 I'm always amazed at the beautiful countryside in Minnesota! We loved the hills.

 This was the best one of the kids together. I guess it's hard to smile when the sun is so bright.

 Heading up to the woods.

 Kassidy and Shawn
I wish we would have been able to take more pictures, but we usually crash on some of the hills so our camera is safer in the van!

School Time
The kids rushed through most of their school work this morning so they could head outside after lunch. What a beautiful day! We've got to enjoy it while it lasts because next week we are supposed to have days with highs of 5 and below zero. They'll play outside for an hour or so and then when they come back in for hot chocolate we'll finish up our last school subjects.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


I think all moms know how to multi-task. There always seems to be more for us to get done than there are hours in the day.

My new favorite way to multi-task is listening to Andy Stanley from North Point Church while I'm riding my bike. I'm listening to his newest sermon series, "Just Ask It." The only problem is when I want to write down something he says and I can't because I'm busy pedaling. I did manage to write down the main question for this series and thought I would share it with you!

In light of your past experiences, current circumstances and future hopes and dreams what is the WISE thing to do?

I love his down to earth wisdom and practical advice. He's a great exercise partner! If you ever have a few free minutes to fold laundry, wash dishes or go some where by yourself I would highly recommend listing to one of his sermons.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Winter Fun

It's been a pretty cold winter this year. We've got quite a bit of snow on the ground, but it isn't much fun to go out and play when it is -60 out. This past week we've had some days above zero and even in the teens. The kids don't go out for very long, but they love creating snow forts. Kolsen keeps telling me it's way warmer in his tunnel fort and when I went out with them today and definitely noticed a difference.

 I couldn't believe how much snow they dug out to make this huge fort. I could climb inside with no problem and I'm pretty sure all our neighborhood kids could fit in there!

 Snow art for Nana!

 Kassidy likes to walk on the top of her fort's walls.
I think daddy may have helped build this one.

Kaylee was somewhere out there, but  I didn't manage to snap a picture of her before I headed back in.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Pantry Challenge

I got back from vacation and decided to do a pantry challenge.

This is my first ever attempt at doing a pantry challenge for the entire month! I love reading all the blog posts across the web in January and seeing all the money that people are saving, plus they are using up food that they already have. The hardest part for me is the totally empty fridge when we return to when we come back from vacation. I mean TOTALLY empty! There was butter and condiments and that was it! I suppose I could do it a different month, but for some reason I haven't.

Besides saving money I also start getting emails from our CSA about signing up for the coming season and I still have two fridge freezers full of misc. food, one deep freezer full of duck, chicken and hamburger and another one full of our CSA vegetables. I suppose I shouldn't sign up again if I have two freezers full, but we enjoy the healthy product from the farm. It always takes me a month or so to stop hoarding all the food I froze and canned and start eating it. Then December flies by and in January I feel the need to start using it all up so I can sign up for the CSA again.

The first day we got back I had to spent around $110 to restock the fridge and snack cabinet so we could live. Since we got back on January 8th we were actually only home for three weeks and that's probably the biggest thing that helped us save money. Usually if we have extra food cash it usually gets spent on eating out so I tried to be extra conscious of not eating out and cooking in for all our meals. As I made meals trying to use up food from the freezer I ended up putting up some yummy freezer meals. Some days I felt like I was doing great using stuff up and other days I felt like I was putting more stuff back into the freezer than I was taking out (at least it was in the form of meals). I'm sure it was partly God stretching and multiplying our food.

At the start of the third week, I realized I hadn't spent any of our second week food money so we put that on our Christmas Fund (I may have got a little bit over this year, but last year I did so good). I spent some of the third week money on eggs, milk and butter to cook things over the next few trips to the store. At the end of the month I managed to squirrel away another week of food money that we put on our mortgage. I know fun, fun, but it feels so good to pay some extra off.

The hardest part of the challenge was all the cooking I had to do when we ran out of prepackaged snacks. My kids like to eat all the time! We still have TONS of food, so I'm thinking I'd like to try it again this month. Shawn even defrosted a couple bags of duck breast and we enjoyed two different meals. Only a million more bags of duck/goose to go. We ran out of fresh fruit and veggies at the end of the 3rd week, but I had lots of peaches and blueberries put up so we weren't feeling too deprived. Overall, I would say my pantry was a success and I can't wait to see how the next month goes.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Another Busy School Week

Well, last week we got our new carpet! I'm so excited! It's perfect for life with four kids with all the speckles and it's so soft too. We've been busy doing school since we got back from vacation and daycare for LT (since his normal daycare lady has been sick). We've enjoyed having him back in our home again for these past three weeks.
 Kassidy's desk for the day! I love her striped dress and floral pants.

 Kaylee working on her clay volcano for science class.

 On Wednesdays we always get together with some other homeschool families to do field trips or fun activities. This week we went to the indoor ice skating rink and had lots of fun.

We also made it to co-op, story time at the library, book club, swim and gym at the YMCA and AWANA games day. We also managed to get in a lot of school work between all the fun.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Last Weekend's Dance Extravaganza

Last weekend we travelled out of town for our first girls event! All three girls got to dance at the local high school dance competition as the "half-time" entertainment. They had a fabulous job and we were all impressed with how good the high school teams were. I uploaded another video of Karolyn's dancing for the Nanas. She did a different song this time and I was impressed how great she has been doing with only a few practices. She is in the back left corner and hard to see at the start of the video, but she's in there and she did a fabulous job.