10 Fun Ways We've Learned and Played Lately

Oh what a busy week!

Jack is now 8, Victoria is now 13, Alex is now 4 and I am now really tired!  🙂

Here’s a few ways we’ve been learning and playing lately…

1.  We had a joint birthday party for the boys in Mankato.

The kids were in charge of most of the cake decorating!  So much for my usual all natural cakes!  😉

2.  We got together with some of Victoria’s best friends at the mall for her 13th birthday. Grandma also took us out to dinner and I took her shopping at a trendy consignment store for teens to round out the fun.

3.  The girls got their white belts and their uniforms for Tae Kwon Doh (I have no idea how that’s spelled!).  They are really enjoying the classes!

4.  I cooked up 8 jars of apple peel jelly and 3 1/2 jars of spaghetti sauce from goodies in the deep freezer from last harvest.

It helped heat the house (we went without heat during April and it has been down to the 30’s!) and it’s also so satisfying to make bunches of tasty food for nearly free!

We get organic apples every fall from friends and neighbors who don’t spray their trees (they’re not intentionally organic, they just leave them alone) and this year I had Daryl save two gallon bags of apple peels and cores for me to try making jelly.  I hadn’t ever gotten around to it until now and it worked marvelously.  There is a ton of sugar involved though!  Yikes.  As with most jelly, this is not a diet food.  🙂

For the spaghetti sauce, I tossed in bags of tomatoes that I froze whole at the end of the season, along with frozen green and red peppers, garlic, onion, sea salt, herbs and the usual goodies.  I cooked it all day long and then put it all through the food mill to get the sauce.  The peels and seeds stayed behind and went into the compost pile.  Jack helped and had great fun milling!

I really want my kids to grow up knowing that healthy and organic food can be incredibly inexpensive, so part of our homeschool life definitely involves gardening, preserving, cooking from scratch and other skills to help them in that regard.

Besides, it helps the house smell heavenly and tastes fabulous!

5.  Anna finished Script Frenzy and wrote her screenplay, even though she joined with only 10 days left to go. She just finished in time just before midnight on the last day.  Her certificate of participation is proudly hanging on the fridge!

6.  Jack and I have been playing PyraMath. He loves it and asks to play constantly.  Even I like playing it, actually.  The company sent me three decks of math card games to review and I’m going to try the next two with the girls next.

7.  Daryl and the kids auditioned for the Wilder Pageant and all got cast. Daryl is once again playing both Reverend Alden and the mayor.  The boys (in it for the first year ever) are playing some of his children as the mayor.  The girls have small parts in other families.  They get to sing, dance and be in lots of scenes, but they really love the bigger roles.

On the bright side, it gives them lots of time to visit with friends on set.  😉

8.  Daryl is still taking the kids bird watching and for other nature studies. They see some pretty amazing birds and animals on their jaunts and they’re really good at identifying a huge number of birds, from waterfowl to birds of prey to song birds.

9.  Victoria had an appointment with a dermatologist. She had some questions about a couple of moles last time we were at our family doctor, and she sent us to a specialist in Mankato.  The doctor wasn’t worried, but as the perfect family doctor for a bunch of homeschoolers, she told us, “It’ll be fun to go talk to a specialist!”.  😉  The dermatologist checked everything out, ruled everything fine, gave Victoria a book to read about and answered questions.

She also invited Victoria to come shadow her sometime if she liked!

10.  Daryl, Anna and Victoria went to see a CSI director speak at the local school. They really liked the talk and the slides.  It’s very cool to have a little bit of Hollywood keep coming back to our tiny town!


I am still plugging away with the pregnancy and so far “Sticky” seems to be defying odds left and right and hanging in there.  I have Braxton-Hicks contractions constantly and they don’t let up, but the nausea is very slowly getting easier to bear.  I am even feeling little bits of movement, which is great fun!

Here’s a few articles I’ve put up lately…

10 Ways to celebrate Children’s Book Week

Homeschool 101: What is deschooling?

Art Day for homeschoolers scheduled for May 10 at the Jeffers Petroglyphs

25 Green gifts for Mother’s Day

Fun and easy ways to get little ones to cooperate

What’s on the baby screening test for autism?

Ten edible flowers and how to use them

From capers to pesto to flavored vinegars: Great ways to cook with nasturtiums

Oh yes, there was also our little adventure to the emergency roomLuckily that turned out okay too!

I am definitely ready for a little down time. I think the odds are pretty slim that it’ll happen, but one can hope!






2 thoughts on “10 Fun Ways We've Learned and Played Lately

  1. Happy birthday to all!

    Those cakes were cute. Loved the Angry Birds one.

    Sorry you still have “morning” sickness but glad everything is going well with the pregnancy overall.

    Given that I am 7 1/2 years away, I will be taking notes on how you handle the teenage years! I know I have some teenage karma coming my way. Eek.


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