Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Getting Out...

By nature, I'm a home body... I love being home.  I can always find another project or something to do... I'm never bored.  I've been trying to get out more... be more active -- get the kiddos busy and expend some of that endless energy!
 This fall has been gorgeous... When Micah gets home from work, we've been trying to go for a hike or a park.
 The other night we got out and went to a park... and then ended up hiking the hill by the park... it was gorgeous lighting... Micah brought his camera and took these pictures... I love them!
 Too cute... love this one...
 I love this pic of Eden... 
Tansy was awake the whole time... well almost the whole time -- she fell asleep moments before we got in the car... she is becoming a good little hiker... so glad she is flexible!

I'm so thankful for this beautiful fall... the colors are bold and beautiful!!!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Field Trip Fun

One of my favorite things about being home schooled is all the field trips my Mother planned.  I can still remember them... where we went, what we saw, and what we learned.  When my friend mentioned she had planned a whole semester of field trips and we were welcome to come along... I jumped at the opportunity... here are the field trips we've been on so far!
 Our first field trip was to a small local caramel shop... we learned how they made their caramel.  Got to see their equipment and their wrapping machine... we got lots of samples... yum!  
 Ethan's favorite part was the huge copper pots that they used to cook the ingredients.  Pretty sure Eden's favorite part was eating all the caramel!
 When we got home - we made our own caramel.  I found a 6-minute recipe and it turned out great... my first batch was more like caramel syrup -- delicious in coffee! My second batch I cooked 6 minutes after bubbling and it was harder like carmel.
(recipe: 1/4 cup butter, 1/2 cup (each) sugar, brown sugar and corn syrup, and 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk.... combine ingredients, cook until bubbly, cook for 6 minutes... pour into a greased pan, let cool)
Our second field trip was to Mystery Ranch (formerly Dana Designs).  We got to tour their little factory that makes all sorts of backpacking equipment.  They make packs for the military, firefighters... etc and all the materials they use are made in America. The factory is a fun - friendly place... the workers can bring their dogs to work!  
 Our third field trip was to a Plastic factory... they make all sorts of plastic part... like for instance they were making the plastic feet of a ladder.
 It was really interesting... they have no waste... they just grind up the extra parts and make them into something else.  Ethan loved the machines... he was so fascinated by them! 
 Our latest field trip was to the Meat Shoppe... The head butcher sawed up a giant buffalo for the kids.  His knife was so sharp... I wish I had one like that!  He showed us his giant smoker and explained he made almost everything he sold in his store... all the sausages, hams, etc. He even gave us some buffalo steaks to take home... we grilled them last night -- Ethan took a bite, but Eden wasn't brave enough... Micah and I didn't care - they were delicious!!!
Tansy has been such a trooper on each of these field trips... she has been mostly happy and slept through most of them... I'm thankful that she is willing to be flexible! It sure makes it less stressful when she cooperates!  I'm so thankful my kiddos get a chance to learn this way... they are lucky kiddos!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

October - Home Depot Kid's Workshop

 This month - Home Depot kids workshop day was fabulous!  The kids got to choose whether to build a fire truck, airplane or helicopter. 
 Eden built a pink fire truck.
 Ethan built an airplane...
 We heard a real helicopter was flying in - so we waited around and sure enough - it flew over our car and landed right in front of us (I got it on video).  The kids thought that was AWESOME!
They got to look inside and all around it.  They had never seen a helicopter up close.
 After the helicopter -- we went over to the fire truck and explored that!
There was a kind firefighter who explained all the tools and gadgets of the truck.  Ethan thought that was fascinating! He kept telling me this was the best day ever!

And it was a pretty darn good day! Did I mention they had free donuts, popcorn and hot chocolate!? We love Home Depot Kid workshops.... 

First Day of Fall...

The first day of Fall was ages ago, but I'm still playing catch up!  I'd love to be able to blog every day - recording our little lives, but it is just not doable... my hands are full!
Fall is my favorite time of the year!  And so we always try to make the first day of fall, special!  This year we made scare crow faces... Our Jr Club house magazine gave us this idea and the pattern to cut out... I made a copy so that each kid had one and they loved making it!
They are getting so good at cutting things out (by themselves), gluing and coloring. I love to watch them develop these skills. They always beg me to do it for them - saying it turns out better, but I keep encouraging them that they need to do it themselves and it will eventually turn out the way my does... I have 34 years of practice! It's not about the end product -- it's about the process!
 We also did our favorite leaf-shaped sugar cookies... so delicious!  
 I have to be honest... I think I ate most of them... *sigh*
I love how pretty they turned out!
Fall is such a fun time of year... we have been collecting all sorts of fall stuff... my fireplace mantle is full of seed pods, leaves, twigs and everything fall-ish... it is beautiful! 
This year we've tried to learn as much as we can about fall... we've studied about why leaves change their colors - we've collected leaves all over our town and studied their shapes - we've done leaf rubbings and tried to make leaf skeletons (soaking them in washing soda to get off the leafy part... it didn't work!)... It has been fun!  Happy Fall... or what is left of it... it is really starting to feel like winter in our part of the country!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Fall Beauty!

 I'm loving this fall... I love every fall! Last Saturday we took a stroll on our favorite trail... the fall beauty surrounded us... it was so REFRESHING!
Here are some pics from our adventure in the woods!






 (if you are wondering what the bump is in his hat... it is a pile of snow to cool him off... look at that smile... silly boy)



I love it!

(favorite memory... Ethan found little "hitch-hiker"... it was a good chat about the guy who invented velcro and how those seed creatively spread themselves... the kiddos love them!)

Monday, October 7, 2013

First Snow, Missing Teeth, a New Garden, and 2 Months...

Life is whizzing by me a hundred miles an hour... it is hard to note all the amazing things in our life! We've had a very busy week!  
 We woke up to snow Friday morning!  I had to swallow and remind myself it could be hot the next day (it was)... I'm not quite ready for snow, but it sure was beautiful!  I'm so thankful for our new view... I feel so blessed!
 The kids wanted to play outside and they did ALL morning!  I realized it is such a blessing to have early snow like this because it is still semi-warm... perfect for playing!  In the real winter it is really too bitter cold to play out for very long!
 Ethan built his first snowman by himself... he came running in at one point to get a carrot for the nose... how cute!  I love how big the carrot is and how small the snowman's head is!
 On other news... Ethan lost his first tooth in August!  I wasn't ready for him to grow up like this!  Not only did the tooth come out of his mouth, but HE LOST it... he thought it was a piece of apple and flicked it.  My Mom and I searched the whole room on our hands and knees trying to find it... we couldn't.  I didn't vacuum that room for a whole month hoping to find the missing tooth... I finally gave in and pulled out the vacuum. My first stripe down the carpet I heard something fly out of the vacuum.  I stopped and searched on my hands and knees.  I picked up a little piece of "paper"... it was HIS TOOTH!!! YAY!
 A few days ago at homeschool co-op, Ethan lost his 2nd tooth... biting into another apple... I tell you apples are the way to go when you are trying to lose teeth!  The tooth fairy was a little bit more prepared this time around... and thankfully she "gave the teeth back to me" so we can experiment on them (according to Ethan's request)!
 Other exciting news... a new garden is underway!  Gardening has been a frustration to me.  We finally finished the garden up at MWSB... then we left.  I made a garden at our trailer, we moved.  We had better not move from this place for a LONG time!  I wasn't planning on putting in a garden this fall, but I got an email from the 1,000 Gardens Bozeman project (they helped me put in my garden at the trailer!)... I explained that I moved and was hoping to put in a garden in my new yard at some point.  He wrote back asking if they could help.  I was so excited!  The day they scheduled to come it was so cold and rainy out, but they STILL CAME... and they helped Micah and the kids put in the first bed.
It rained the whole time they were working... the kids got so muddy and they LOVED it!
Yesterday they came again and put in the second bed.  We are planning on putting four beds in and they want to help with all of them!  They are bringing all the soil, compost, and bedding hay! I'm beyond thankful and excited for the spring!
 The kids worked right along side of them.  Moving sod, getting their fingers dirty, and discovering bugs... I love that they get a chance to learn about gardening in this way!
Plus hard work is good for them!
Last but not least... sweet baby girl is now 2 months old.  Since I've gone completely off dairy, she has really been nothing but pure sweetness again... It is really hard to get her to sleep at night and she still loves lots of nightly visits, but I'm getting use to the lack of sleep.  She is such a joy to have around... I'm so thankful for her.  She has really been a game-changer in our life... I probably wouldn't have home schooled Ethan and life would be really different right now... God knew and He sent her.  What a special gift!