Tag Archive | Mars

Long Weekend-ish

The brilliant part about homeschooling is the ability to take on or not take on a long weekend. In this case we decided to forego the Labour Day weekend and start our school year officially on the 3rd. But first… Sunday…

After the excitement of the Abundant Harvest and our exploration of the grounds in front of the Walker museum there was a lot to accomplish here at home. I am still attempting my homeschool organization with limited space for stuff to actually stay out. Our corner with Grandpa’s desk is completed, laptop and netbook and all. I am quite happy with the corner that we have set up. Now the boys can have their time there and do a little bit of fun time on the computer. After all, now that we are in the US we can actually properly use PBSkids.org.



We did take some time out to run errands. Target for school supplies (gotta replace those pens with the spirograph) and dental supplies (where does that toothpaste go?) and then to Home Depot to attempt to replace a broken wheel on Ken’s desk chair. Apparently Staples chairs are not a simple match and instead we got our non soil stuff for the herb garden AND some new duct tape for under 4.00… now to have TIME to work on it! 

That left the rest of the day for naps (Echo) and playing (the rest) and for yours truly to take the yarn in the house and take it from skeins to balls. I definitely do not want to have knots to deal with when I do eventually get good enough for more complicated projects. And there IS something lovely about a stack of tidy ball of yarn put away. 

Boys up a tree… can you see both?

I am so glad that the kids are starting to realize that doing school together full force is not only necessary but could be fun too. They are getting excited about working on their observation journals. I think our herb garden will help as well… and then there is the Wonder Box on its way and Emanuel’s surprise. I am getting excited about all of this as well. I have started my own journal, well sort of. At Target I picked up a cheap scribbler to record what I think we will get done each day, to plan a day or two ahead (after the first week’s trial go) and to have visible progression for myself. That way I can alter lists, carry on things that we don’t get to… make notes. There is something absolutely wonderful about writing stuff down to me. 

Waiting for their mail

Sunday night was prep night. So Ken and I assembled the banner the kids had previously coloured and cut out… you can find it HERE. And of course printed out our back to school booklet (sadly I cannot find an active link for the file I use). 

Our banner

So our first day of the “new” school year and our first school year down in Minnesota… how mean are we to skip the long weekend? The best way to start… colouring our interpretation of the signs I have seen all over the internet for the first day pictures. I made up one for each of the 3 little kids (I especially like Echo’s) and then one for the twins to share… handed the kids crayons and said GO NUTS! I love personalizing things! 

Colouring the signs!

Finished sheets!

With them all dressed and hair brushed it was time to go into the front yard and take some photos. Echo was determined to include the baby doll, stroller AND her paper! 

Our girls

1st Grade


After that, back inside for breakfast and then time with Daddy finishing the Mars book while I snuck in my bath. They discussed how massive the sun must be and the colours things are… lots of gluing and chatter and best of all – time with their Daddy! 

Gavin’s Mars Rover!

We had each of the kids draw a picture with something they would like to learn about this year… we have to add in cats, platypuses and of course Emanuel’s favourite… DINOSAURS! I think we can work on ALL of those over the year! And then, of course, there was the books for the 3 boys… I love this booklet, it includes a goal for the year, things about them… the family… I hope we can do these EACH year!


With lunch approaching and a beautiful day outside we put Echo down for her nap and took the rest outside to start our indoor herb garden! We all helped! I am REALLY hoping this thing grows!!!! We have to water it every second day so I had Ken print out a September calendar page and have marked it with a W for the days to water. 

Herb garden

Add in some extra pictures, a room to clean (and 5 min to lose each boy from their computer time for the day for not doing it nicely) and of course that much wished for computer time… I think we did rather well! And we ENDED our day with popcorn and watching the Labour Day Marathon on Animal Planet – Call of the Wildman.

Popcorn and tv

Yours truly has been busy winding yarn onto balls, working on her… crochet… thing… and hunting for further how to steps… Ok I think I may need a person to show me, (hint hint Shandai) but I have joined Ravelry (as Ayjah) and started doing some YouTube vid hunting (did you know that the UK has different names for stitches!!!)… progress and increased difficulty will be accomplished… eventually! 

All 5 in a row

Our Weekend!

On our crusade to enjoy Minnesota and be a part of the community we accepted an invitation to an event my friend Shandai is involved in… The Abundant Harvest out on the Walker Open Field. But after parking (super affordable – 3.50 for the day, which since we left early in the day we handed to someone waiting in line to purchase their ticket to park.) and unpacking we were first distracted by the amazing statues and modern art in the park area across the street from the actual museum. 

Ken and the kids

There was a variety of modern art pieces… my personal favourite was the giant spoon with a cherry fountain!!

A unique fountain

The boys loved what they called the slides knotted together!

NOT to be climbed on!

And don’t forget the Memorial Garden with the arches and flowers…

Plants galore!

There was just so much to see! And the weather was perfect when we got there for looking… hot by the time we left. I am surprised at how much EMANUEL loved the art, hunting to find the labels to have us tell him about them. I think that he is going to LOVE his Aunty Shandai’s work when he gets to see it! She is very into the modern art and is VERY creative. 

This was another favourite of Emanuel’s

Of course we took plenty of pictures and actually skipped a few exhibits to move on to the main attraction… well almost! First we got waylay-ed by something very important – making our own craft! These kids are always on the look out for a new craft! Today they got to make their own books/journals using paper, a hole punch, rubberband and a dowel. So easy and easily something I can collect the supplies for to make MORE of. So, maybe for Christmas they can make a few for people to receive at Christmas! 

Craft time

Completed books! Bree told me that these are actually done with cheap chopsticks… so now I just need to source some out… and some LARGE elastic bands!

Ken and Echo got bored with the whole thing and wandered off to pillage a closing fitness themed booth that was giving away balls and flying discs. So Miss Echo got herself a to scale (for her) soccer ball and daddy made sure all of the big kids ended up with a disc each to loose er play with. 

Note the soccer ball!

And THEN we made it to the original outting – The Swatch Team‘s Abundant Harvest! There were performers, fresh vegetables and of course handmade bags with tags and food to take home. Each tag was typed on a traditional typewriter… My favourite on ours was “Try Something New” as that has been our motto since getting here! There were so many beautiful and varied bags, one person was talking about how theirs was made out of repurposed plastic bags… We settled on three… a lovely purple and pink larger bag that had actual food products in it and two smaller ones that just had seeds. So we now have carrot and tomato seeds for our garden next summer. 

I am going to put ALL my event photos in another blog entry to be seen AFTER this one!

Trinity and Echo are BOTH in love with their little pink and orange purse with its lovely flower on the front. I personally am dying to find out if the ones we picked are knitting or crocheted! I am hoping that someday I can be a productive part of something as amazing as the Abundant Harvest! 

We of course had to check out the person in the giant costume… And the musicians. It was getting way too hot for us by the time we saw the belly dancers but I am sure they were amazing! Keep in mind this picture and all the others – next entry!!

Belly dancers

So we wandered back through the garden to the van at this point… 

w A wedding party

It was definitely an amazing visit to the Walker Museum and we still haven’t seen the actual museum! Maybe the next free day? The girl at the book making stall thought there was many different free days and opportunities for crafting and such on the grounds. Something to start looking into to be sure as we ALL had fun! 

The night before we made sure we checked out the blue moon in August! The kids worked with Ken on their Mars mini lapbook that we purchased from Currclick until it got dark enough to see the moon outside. It took a little explaining to get them to understand that the moon is not to look BLUE but that it was an odd occurrence to have TWO full moons in the SAME month. So of course it was observation journal worthy! Our family goal is to fill each off the kids’ books with illustrations and descriptions of anything they feel like drawing. Should be interested to see what they deem important enough to be included over the next year!

Today we also uncovered the kids’ desk. I am slowly working at creating a usable space there. After all we need to have somewhere for the kids to access the internet when they earn time. 

With a lovely visit and drinks thanks to Bree my day was darn near perfect! 

Another angle of the spoon

A Weekend in Semi Repose

I think that this was our first truly slowed down weekend since we officially moved to Minnesota! And even then on Saturday we were out and about. I think this is also the first weekend we have experienced that was a little on the cold side. Ok, not cold really but closer to low 20’s instead of 30’s (Celsius of course). We actually brought a couple sweaters out on Sunday! 

Anyway… Saturday… leisurely morning of doing nothing ate up our time. Which of course is not really a BAD thing. But in the late morning/early afternoon the ladies of the house (all 4 of out) left on a mission – to find shoes for two little girls while Kohl’s had not only their clearance racks out but an added coupon for those lucky enough to be credit card users (store card of course). Two stores later and we had two very happy little girls with shoes befitting princesses. In fact, Trinity got the very last pair of her light up sandals as requested and Echo finally stopped saying ow to the shoes 6 pairs in! 

Note the lights

Not to mention we rocked those clearance racks! With stuff already marked down 60 percent and then an added 30% for using the credit card and coupon combo… items were down super low! Dresses for under 4.00 and yours truly with two pretty striped tanks for 1.90 a piece! Now our girls are decked out in style! And Echo has OPTIONS for that special dress for not only her party (when we finally settle on a date) but also for her 2 year pictures tomorrow! 

Some of the Kohl’s booty

Well with all that shopping done and the boys back from being at the park (no pictures as the menfolk were too busy climbing and playing and then eating ice cream at Dairy Queen) it was time for some relaxing quiet time, naps for some… tanning for the Nana and Baba in preparation for their next big trip in the beginning of September! 

Oh and did I mention… last night I FINALLY got to play my birthday present… that’s right – LITTLE BIG PLANET 2 on the PS3! Finally!!

Another exciting moment… yesterday I got an email (or 3 really) alerting me to the fact that I won a draw! That’s right, 25.00 to spend on a lovely downloadable site that has tons of resources for teachers and homeschooling parents. I found out about the draw through a wonderful blogger called The Moffatt Girls! And the site to note: Teachers Notebook. So now Ken and myself have some shopping to do for resources that fit our plans for the children this year. This ties in wonderfully with the fact that a lot of these stores have back to school sales going on to begin with. Maybe something seasonal? Or something to help along our big goal of learning to multiply and divide? Or a reading resource?? I will be sure to share what we purchase!!! Definitely a godsend with our tiny budget available right now. 

I am actually going out of my way to enter as many school related draws and contests as I can to help supplement our supplies as well as continue the hunt for freebies. After all freebies are helpful to EVERYONE! So be sure to check back… I am hoping to make this school year much closer to a free homeschool year than ever before! Start with Education.com though, that one I can already suggest with absolute certainty. 

Anyway… Sunday… well of course we had to bring out some of the new clothes… the boys had Angry Birds tshirts that two chose to wear… Trinity her dress Ken and I got her (on clearance) from Walmart and Echo one of the Kohl’s finds. Can you believe a size 9month dress! Fits absolutely perfectly.

Waving to Nana and Baba

Dressed so pretty

Of course Ken put his foot down and said NO GOING OUT! So while Nana and Baba did the biking thing and tanning we made Perler bead creations as presents for our Echo who turns two tomorrow, total creativity.

Working on presents

 And then in the afternoon we had cousins descend upon us. They had all be out camping and had to return the tent trailer. They came with an educational surprise. Our very own butterfly chrysalis which in time will become a monarch butterfly! Talk about instant move to a focus on learning there. 

Butterfly to be

While the tent trailer was emptied out and put back in its parking place the kids ran their hearts out, climbed the trees and generally made mischief of a rather controlled nature. I do love watching them all play together. 

The call of the tree

Ken couldn’t resist either

Our dinner for the evening with late lunches and breafast?? Baba made popcorn add to that a movie – Dragon Hunters and our evening was complete. 

 I have been hard at work with my stitching. I love the wings on the butterfly. Creating them has been so much fun! 

Loving this one

This coming week should be interesting… we have a butterfly to watch, Mars to continue talking about… there are friends to connect with, a birthday to recognize and of course Ken’s job hunt to support. Life certainly is anything but boring!

Miss Trinity