Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Science Tuesday

I actually do follow Science Friday on Twitter.  I'm a Science nerd....what can I say?  But today is Tuesday, and Maria had to do a lab.  I had to photograph her because this lab write up has to be turned in to her Science teacher along with a photo of her doing the work.  We did this over lunch.  I kid you not, I was leaning over the table helping her understand taxonomy and getting all excited about it.  Do you know the taxonomy chart from greatest to least?  Huh, huh, huh?  Maria came up with a funny and cute way to remember it....

Do (Domain)
Keep (Kingdom)
Pond (Phylum)
Clean, (Class)
Or (Order)
Froggy (Family)
Gets (Genus)
Sick! (Species)

Isn't that great! OK, so I'm the only one who gets excited about Science stuff.  Here's the photo collage we are submitting...

Have an educational day!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Saint Memory Card Game

I was looking for new Catholic games for my Evening School of Religion class and found this beautiful card set on Amazon.  The vendor is Totally Catholic.  The girls and I played the game at lunch today.  We love the images!  Here's a link if you want to pick up a set, too.

 It was inexpensive and arrived very quickly.  I'll definitely order from Totally Catholic again!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Weekly Wrap Up

1.  2nd Week of School - Well we've made it through another week of school!  K12 went a lot better this week for me and the girls.  We weren't online as much with classroom sessions so we were able to complete more lessons.  The girls are getting into a groove because they're finding out how much time it takes to complete their lessons.  Maria is doing better than ever staying way ahead of schedule, enjoying her classes, and truly being a joy to have around the house.  Molly is easing into things.  There is a lot more expected of her this year so it's a bit of a shock.  However, she's hanging in there with all the assignments.

2.  Cooler Weather - We are definitely headed for fall like weather.  Friday was a perfect day for soccer games.  It was sunny and hovered in the upper 60's and lower 70's.  I'm ready for the change in weather so I can get my fall clothes out!  I also want to get back to hot cups of tea.  Today I was dedicated to the kitchen making chili, cornbread, banana-raisin muffins, and cinnamon swirl bread for the week.  Phew!

Cinnamon Swirl Bread....
I was too tired to pull out the cooling racks so the range top will have to do!

3.  Nick's First Day of Preschool - Wednesday I had an Orientation hour for Nick.  He played in his classroom with the other children for that hour.  However, Friday was his official first day.  He was so excited, ate all of his breakfast, and was proud to wear his backpack.

He loves his preschool room because they have just what he likes!

4.  What I've Read - My Well Read Mom group met last Friday.  I love the ladies in the group....we have a great time together laughing and sharing our insights.  I've all ready read the September reading which is Revelation (taken from Everything That Rises Must Converge) and A Good Man is Hard to Find.  These are not for the faint of heart.  Flannery O'Connor is quite dark, but I love her descriptions and the settings in the South are perfect.

5.  Cable - I bundled our internet and phone package by adding a basic cable pack.  Honestly, the rabbit ears and scrambled channels were getting annoying.  Our house is so big and the cable paths are so screwed up that no manner of rigging was going to get us a clear picture anywhere.  So far so good....the kids like that the shows come in clearly and there is more to choose from for Family Movie Night without being beholden to Netflix or Red Box.

6.  Sports - The girls are in full swing with soccer.  Maria decided to play again this year which I was surprised by.  She's my least active kid.  However, she's really matured over the summer.  She is eating better and is more active because of the dog.  She gets out and runs and plays with him.  She gets plenty of compliments about "her beagle!"

7.  The Doggy - Tup is doing very well.  We're more than half way through with our obedience class.  He's easy to train and good when he wants to be.  Paul has been watching training videos on YouTube for training him to hunt.  It's pretty amazing to see him stand on alert when he spots a squirrel, rabbit, or cat.  He looks like the perfect hunting dog in those moments.  Other than that, he's all nose on four legs.  Hounds are incredible that way.  It's their noses that get them in trouble, and Tup is no exception!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Back to School

Lucas and Gabe had their first day back to school yesterday, but of course I forgot my camera.  So I took advantage of Jane's first day - today - to take their pictures along with hers!

Third Grade

Second Grade

And I did remember to get a picture of all of them on our Labor Day outing.  It didn't come out exactly the way I wanted, but I still think it's cute....

And here are pics of the girls that I'll mark down as their "back to school" photos!

Fifth Grade

Ninth Grade

Seventh Grade

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

I Gotta Show You Something....

I was feeling super overwhelmed with the thought of packing 4 daily lunches for the out-of-the-house school kids.  I just couldn't get the ideas of freezing PB and J's or buying pre-packaged food into my head and accepting that it had come to that.  It was after reading a few things online that I decided to give the frozen sandwich a whirl.  I also read up on pre-packaging food for grab-and-go lunches.  This is what I came up with.....

Dry Snacks...granola bars and packaged cookies (3 minis to a baggie)

Sandwiches.....this is a terrible picture, but rest assured there are 3 types of individually packaged sandwiches in this bin.  I made ham and cheese (labeled HC), turkey and cheese (labeled TC), and cheese (labeled C).  I'm so genius with my labeling!!!

Fruit Bin & Dairy Section......individually packaged apples that were soaked in lime juice and pre-packed blueberries that I found at Costco.  I also caved and purchased Yoplait and Gogurt.  Ugh!  But the kids like them.

Cheese and Veggie Bins.....3 different kinds of cheese (cheddar, string, and Baby Bells).  The veggie bin has pre-packed baby carrots I found at Costco and cherry tomatoes that we packed ourselves.  

Frozen Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches.  You can see the process at this link.  I did exactly what she said and so far, so good.  The kids really like them!

Frozen grape packs.....the jury is still out on whether or not these are a go.  I figured we'd try and see if the kids eat them.  The feedback I received from fresh grapes is that they get warm and mushy over the day so that was out.  I wonder if starting with a frozen grape will make a difference.

The idea here is that the kids can pack their own lunches if things are pre-packaged for them.  With a little instruction and a trial run on our Labor Day outing, the kids were able to see what they could actually eat in one sitting.  Taking one of everything was too much so I told them to pair it down and only take the things they think they'd actually have time to finish.  I don't want a lot of waste and yet I know there will be some.  Kids get distracted eating with other kids.  And then there is the "gross out" factor.....when kids talk and chew with their mouths open.  My kids can't stand that and have gotten sick more than one time.

Now my job is to keep all the bins, compartments, and the freezer stocked with food.  But for this week and maybe next, we're good to go!!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day-Trip

We decided to have one last hurrah before the school year starts tomorrow.  Yes, that's right....MN waits until after the State Fair to send the kiddies back. Actually, Minneapolis school district and St. Agnes school started last Monday.  

Our day trip was an outing an hour south of the cities to Redwing.  It's a cute little river town with beautiful landscaping, bluffs and scenic overlooks, well groomed parks, and antique shops.  We packed lunches for the day and picnicked near the river.  It was cold this morning.....60s so the kids donned pants and sweatshirts.  

We had fun at Universal Park playing and walking along the river.  It started to warm up and is now back in the 70s.  Yippee!  

Wrapping up last week since I haven't posted in a while, we went to the state fair last Monday.  It was a lot of fun until we left for the afternoon and noticed Gabe wasn't with us!  Paul actually left the fair and took the other kids home because they were so tired.  I stayed back with the police for at least an hour longer waiting and hoping to find Gabe.  We finally decided to wait at one of the offices across the fairgrounds since that's where he would be returned if found by an officer.  I was very worried and felt sick that I had lost him.  As we walked back in desperation, one of the officers helping me thought he saw Gabe in an arcade.  Sure enough it was Gabe!  He had gotten distracted while we were all standing at a performance.  When he turned around,  we were gone.  He decided to walk back to some of the places we had last visited and finally stopped by a tree along the main road to wait for us to pass by.  When we didn't, he went into the arcade to watch people play.  He stayed along the doorway so I would see him.  When asked why he didn't go to an officer, he said he was scared.....understandable.  Police officers are big and can seem scary to little kids.  I never though of that!  He cried.  I cried.  We went to get him some dinner.  

I guess that's why I didn't blog about the fair.  I wanted to forget that day.  I also didn't blog about the rest of the week because I've had a lot of emotions around the start of school.  We had two Meet & Greet/Parent Nights at the Spanish immersion school and the high school.  I was sad most of the day Thursday because Jane will be starting Kindergarten at the Spanish school while Monica will be starting as a freshmen at the high school.  

Talk about a roller coaster of emotion for the week!  Plus I had to get excited about my two homeschooled girls that will still be home with me for the school year.  I just couldn't get in the groove enough with that to get fully organized.  I did get our school area organized, looked through books, and set up online accounts, but I just couldn't get excited about it enough to help the girls anticipate their first day of school.  

So here's the breakdown of what everyone is doing this year:

Mon-local high school freshmen
Mar-Minnesota Virtual Academy (MNVA) K12 - grade 7
Mol-MNVA - grade 5
Luc-Spanish Immersion grade 3
Gab-Spanish Immersion grade 2
Jan-Spanish Immersion grade K
Nic-Preschool down the road 2 days a week

So we've really taken a turn at trying a lot of different things for our schooling this year.  The kids are excited, and I'm happy with where they'll be.  Looking back at our full-fledged homeschool days, there are a lot of great memories.  The kids are very good friends as well as siblings.  We enjoy being together as a family.  We even made matching shirts for the state fair!

I'll try to be better at updating this blog to show the progress and fun, ups and downs of our school year.  Today has been a great time for us to reconnect and spend a day together before all that begins.  You know, it will be more of the same....it's just large family life being lived!
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