10 Ways We've Learned and Played Lately

It’s been far too long since I’ve done a 10 things update so here goes.

Here’s a bit of how we’ve learning and playing hereabouts lately…

1.  We’ve been finding lots more shark teeth, neat rocks and artifacts. Daryl and the kids have found some pretty amazing rocks, shark teeth, petrified wood and artifacts lately.  Daryl found one shark tooth still in the limestone, which was really cool because of the conversation Victoria had with the geology teacher who said she couldn’t find shark teeth here because they’d have only been preserved if they were encased in limestone.  And they’ve found some arrowheads and other artifacts, including one that they dated back 1500 years!  They also found uranium glass and lead glass, both of which glow differently under UV light, plus a beautiful cobalt blue piece of decorative glass at a beach near an old settlement.

I don’t have pictures of a lot of it but here’s a few treasures…

2.  Daryl taught the kids how to find micrometeorites on the beach.

3.  Books, books, books. With the cold, we’ve been leaning heavily on libraries again and reading piles of fabulous books.  I have also received piles of books free to review, and have been busy reading (and cooking, trying recipes).  I have to say I like any gig that involves lots of free books.  😉

4.  We had a blast at Geology Day at the Petroglyphs. We had some really fun families come and it was a gorgeous, fabulous day.

5.  Victoria went on a raw food diet for a while, which she has now amended to be a vegan (and partly raw) diet. She mostly enjoyed it and says she felt much more energetic and healthier, but it was tricky to work family meals and on-the-go snacks.  It’s funny that I have gotten to a point in life where cooking vegan food is the easy option.  🙂  Luckily, I’ve gotten really good over the years at making comfort food that happens to be vegan and I’ve had a lot of new cookbooks to review that have provided even more recipes.  I happen to absolutely love this one (even if you’re not vegan and not in a hurricane!).

6.  We’ve been studying a lot of Minnesota history. We went to the Birch Coulee battle site and several other sites related to the Dakota Uprising.  We’re learning about the Fool Soldiers right now and I plan to write at least one article about them because I find them so inspirational.  I really think their story should be in every American history book, and am saddened that it doesn’t seem to be in any.  They were remarkable heroes — young Dakota men who risked their lives in the harshest of winter, wartime conditions to go rescue white women and children who had been taken during the uprising and return them to their families — in danger from all sides in the process.

7.  Victoria and I are about to finish up German class. For many of the classes, we’ve been the only students and we’ve really enjoyed our time there.  The teacher has promised German food for the final class on Monday!

8.  The kids and I went hiking with fabulous friends in Mankato. It was full of nonstop drama (She killed a grasshopper!  I saw it!  I did not! I don’t want to go this way!  Me stay and throw rocks in water!  You’re not in my club anymore!…) and still utterly, delightfully fun.

9.  We’ve been doing lots of art. Forms have included sketching, coloring, computer art, photography, hot rock art, color mixing, bathtub painting, and even face painting for the food coop’s grand reopening.

10. This and that… Various kids have also been bike riding, blogging, talking to friends on the phone, playing with neighbors, climbing trees (with Anna getting stuck in one!), making smoothies, coloring multiplication grids, learning letters and numbers, going on walks, writing letters, saving to donate to an animal shelter, building with LEGOs, making block towers, playing solitaire, wrestling, tickling, helping Daddy fix up an old settler’s cabin owned by the historic society, running bike errands, researching, chatting online, playing Quizzie’s Corner and other educational games, talking about Veterans’ Day, wataching movies, having long talks, doing chores, forming organizations and designing Barbie dresses.

And this morning…. we got our first real snow of the season.  I have a few ideas on what we’ll be doing next.  🙂

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