Thursday, April 16, 2015

Okee Dokee Brothers- exploring Minneapolis

The kids and I shared a really fun experience this morning.  What seems like ages ago (probably last April), I got three tickets to a concert in the MN Orchestra's Music for Young People series.  It featured the children's band the Okee Dokee Brothers.  I meant to get a cd or two and train my kids up before we went to the concert.  Fast forward a year later and we'd forgotten to do the pre-listening activities.  We almost skipped the concert entirely, but after I showed Justin a few of their youtube music videos, he rallied to go.  I am SO glad he did!

We arrived about a half hour early and were rewarded with what are easily the best seats in the house-- a box right up close to the stage.  Alex enjoyed identifying the instruments of the orchestra as the musicans came on stage.  Justin enjoyed having his own little space to dance/fidget/play in before the concert started.

Did I mention it was AMAZING to hear bluegrass folk music backed up by a full orchestra?  I really hope that they will release a recording at some point, because it was such a treat!

Because we were in walking distance of Daddy's office, we were able to visit with him, too! He had a lunch meeting to run to, so we decided to have our OWN lunch meeting.... at The Melting Pot.
It was admittedly a bit nerve-wracking to have two kids and a hot cooktop sharing the same table, but they were really good direction followers (as always) and let me do the majority of the cooking and dipping for them.

Except for the chocolate dessert.  They were experts at dessert.

 It was such a gorgeous day that we spent some time exploring downtown Minneapolis before heading back to the suburbs.  The kids were fascinated with the window display of a wig store!
And my nature-loving kids found a little green spot to play in.  Minneapolis certainly is a nice city!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Easter Egg Hunt- Preparations for Israel-

Grandma Mary came into town a few days ago in order to help me before Dave and I take off on our grand Adventure to Israel.  She was able to come with us to our church Easter egg hunt this morning!
One of the games was "roll the stone away from the tomb" on Resurrection Sunday-  It's pretty surreal that Dave and I will hopefully be attending Easter sunrise service at the Garden Tomb!
 Justin waited patiently in line for 20 minutes before getting a turn.  He had so much fun that I think we might need to find one of these little inflatables for a birthday party in the future!
 After decorating bags and working through the different Easter activity stations, it was time to HUNT eggs.  Unfortunately, I got no photos of the hunt itself, as there were 215 children hunting in a controlled chaos!  The kids had fun, though, and are all ready to do some fun Easter crafts with Grandma Mary this week.  Papa Bob will be flying in for Easter proper and the kids will get to spend some great time with family during the next few weeks.
Alex is all set to care for the bunnies all on her own every day, Kolachi is safely deposited at her herding instructor's ranch for two weeks of boarding and training, Percy is ready to receive some quality one-on-one time with his kids and Dave and I depart tomorrow (along with Brad) for Holy Week in the Holy Land-  a very exciting time for all of us! 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Speaking Spanish with Miss Mason and Francois

So, last week I reported that Alex was thinking about trying out public school next year.  That notion has now passed.  Once she realized that there are SIX classes of second graders in the local school, she also realized that the chances of being in class with her best neighbor friend were not great.  We talked about what she wanted from the public school, she determined that she wanted "Spanish" and "to go to school from 9-4pm all day."    We compromised by ordering a new Math, history and Spanish curriculum that we're starting immediately (we're pretty much through 1st grade work, so this lends itself perfectly for a new school year).  The first day of Spanish lessons were really fun. 
 I remember a LOT more Spanish from high school than I thought I did.  The curriculum is from Charlotte Mason theory, and focuses on teaching through language use and copywork.  Our first lesson was "Take the book, open the book, close the book".  Then we went through the same sentence formation for the words wallet and notebook. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Mr. Puff visits

"Mr. Puff" (formally known as Odin) came to visit for the weekend with his Mama, Auntie Rorie.  Alex, Justin and Kolachi all had so much fun visiting with our little furry friend.  He is such a calm and collected young cat that Kolachi can totally hang out without resorting to the "chasing game".  She tends to want to play with him by rolling him over with her nose, and he just lays there and lets her.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Dreaming of High Tea

It's just spring-like enough to start dreaming of all our summer 'must-dos'.  High Tea at Naniboujou Lodge is definitely on the list (we're headed back up the North Shore in early summer).  We decided to have a fancy tea today (using my wedding china for the first time in about seven years) in honor of one of our favorite vacation memories

Cream cheese sandwiches, stuffed dates wrapped with ham, cucumber and tuna salad crackers, apricots and fig bars made for a nice teatime spread.

But the BEST part is mixing as much milk and sugar in your tea as Mama lets you! 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Geometry 101

Alex has really been rallying to 'try' the public school down the street for second grade.  I think we're going to let her enroll in the fall-- just so she has an idea of what it is like.  It's only fair to let her sample it.  (Of course, I'm secretly hoping that she will want to continue to homeschool, but being that she is such a self-motivated learner, she'll most likely do well wherever she is).  

So-- I grabbed a Houghton Mifflin 1st grade textbook to make sure that we are covering everything that the public school is-- and decided to jump into geometry lessons.  Such fun to combine art and math!
 We learned how to count points, sides/edges and faces and then how to draw the 3-D shapes.

 Even Justin got in on the fun-- he focused on which shapes could roll, slide and stack.  It's pretty amazing what he could pick up just by listening in on her lesson!
 Then there's this guy.  I'm not sure he's ever going to grasp the concept.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Art Institute visit

We started off the day with a puppet play- "The Biggest Little House in the Forest" at the Children's Theater Company.  Alex and I were excited to don our puppet socks, but Justin refused.  Too silly, apparently?
 Waiting in the lobby for the performance-- it was a one-woman puppet show in the side theater, which I'd never been to.  Very nice!  Recommended for little ones (Alex was a tad old, but she was a good sport as bubbles and feathers flew around her)
 As we often do, we hit the Art Institute afterwards.  This time I zeroed in on a fantastic painting-- I haven't updated with Kolachi's herding progress, but we've been taking weekly lessons, and someday, when it's warm enough to have Alex out taking photos, we'll get you up to date!
 Justin really likes this puppy--
 But the hit of the day was a digital installation that looked like "floating moon rocks covered with paint and gum" (per Alex).  This was the perfect spot to relax and kick back for a few minutes.
 In fact, these guys enjoyed it for about 10 minutes!  You can tell they get very limited screen time!