Wednesday, September 9, 2015

First Day of Farm School!

After waiting ALL summer to return to 'His' Farm, today was the day!  We were so excited to arrive and see who and what had grown up during the summer.
What a surprise to discover a new "Little Free Library" in the drop-off area!
 We gathered inside and met a few new friends (parents were invited to stay for this first 'preview day').  Justin was excited to find his favorite books again, and show off his new number writing skills to his teachers.

Then it was time to get to the real work.  Justin decided to take care of "Shadow" the bull calf first thing.  Shadow has grown so tall during the summer, but he was as friendly as ever and really appreciated his feed.
 His water trough was pretty low.  It took three trips to the water pump to fill it up!

 Then Justin topped him off with a bit of dry hay to munch.
 Our little lambs grew up, too.... just look at that face!
 And there were two NEW litters of kittens to observe.  Mama was just feeding the littlest babies when we peeked in!

School starts officially on Friday, but as a second-year student, Justin feels like he owns the place.  What a gift to be able to dig, haul, chop, pound, climb, run and plant through preschool!  We were so blessed to find such a fantastic place in our neighborhood.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

First Day of School (kind of....well.....I guess....)

We've been way far behind on the blog updates, which I chalk up to a very busy summer.  Stay tuned, I'll hopefully work my way through August in the next few days.  So-- all of a sudden, it's time for "Back to School"!  Alex decided that even though we were informally schooling here and there through summer 'vacation', we'd officially go back to school the same day that the neighbor kids did.
So-- here we are.  A 2nd Grader and a Pre-Kindergartener.  Justin will be attending The Children's Farm school again this year (which we are both really excited about), but he is definitley showing more and more interest in Sister's lessons as well.  Luckily most of the curriculum we're using is a 'family' curriculum that is adaptable for all ages.

We got the day started off right-- the plan is to offer porridge (overnight slow-cooked oats) every morning for breakfast, but to have different toppings each day.  Tuesday is brown sugar and craisins.  They were super-excited to be allowed to serve themselves the toppings.
 After bunny chores and a nature walk, it was time to head to the classroom.  Last year we spent more time schooling at the kitchen table, but now that Kolachi can be trusted to roam the main floor on her own, I feel way less guilty about leaving her by herself while we study.
 Justin got right to work with his Spielgaben block set.  He participates in Science, History and Spanish classes, and works on his own things while Alex does Math, Handwriting, Form Drawing and Reading.
 Alex chose handwriting as one of the first subjects of the day.  I found a great website that allows you to print your own practice sheets-- so I typed up a bunch about dragons and hamsters for her to practice with.
 The only complaint we had was that the substitute teacher had apparent personal space issues.  Sheesh, Percy!

This year we spent quite a bit more focused time on our studies than last.  Stamina has increased and so has the intensity of the work.  Alex did proclaim "I love homeschooling" over her lunch, though-- so I call that a win!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Hiking on Labor Day

For our quiet Labor Day, we headed to the Cottage Grove Ravine Park to do a little hiking and (hopefully) geocaching.
 The kids were really excited to find some caches, but it was just too dense to forge with only shorts on.  We decided to raincheck the treasure hunt until the fall, when it will be comfortable to hike in long pants.
 Either way, we all had a nice hike that ended with a picnic lunch in the shelter.  Beautiful park, nice rolling ravine :-)  Happy Labor Day!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Kolachi takes the MN State Fair!

Kolachi and I were able to participate in the GSD Day at the MN State Fair.  We descended upon the Pet Center along with approx. 40 other German Shepherds and their owners, and spent the day hiding from the rain, roasting in the sun, doing agility demonstrations and showing the crowds what therapy dogs do.  It was an ALL DAY event, and this 2 year old girl was a champ!
 Hanging out in her crate--- basically all day long.  She was a complete goof during the first agility run and not only went out to greet crowd members, but decided to make her own course and hop up on the table to proudly pose for the people who were photographing her.  The next run was much better (perhaps because I saved part of my steak-on-a-stick to use for treats), but by the third she was too hot to do too much.
 It got really, really, really hot.  Luckily I had prepped and had her cooling mat to lay on, a battery-operated Ryobi fan, a sunshade for the side of the tent and some frog toggs for evap cooling action.  Coupled with a few frozen water bottles, she weathered it like a champ.
 Hopefully we have many agility weekends in front of us.  A fun way to spend some time (as long as they're not THIS hot)!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Early Morning Rainshower Hike

It was supposed to get pretty muggy later today, so we got out of the house early to try and beat the heat.  What we ended up catching was an early morning shower instead!  We headed down to Carpenter Nature Center to do a little hiking and pick up the first apples of the season (Zestar....mmmm)

 Alex is getting quite good at moth-catching!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Meeting Loki

My furry little nephew (Odin) recently welcomed a baby brother into his home.  The kids and I had to get to Auntie Rorie's house to visit a little teeny kitty!  Meet Loki-- who is certainly living up to his name :-)

Justin and Loki playing--

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Justin cans peaches

My farm boy loves to help in the kitchen and make sure "we have food for the winter".  Today he helped me can peaches so we can have a taste of summer in the frozen months that are right around the corner.  He did a great job slicing an 'x' into each peach so that the skin falls off after blanching.

 Now to hide these before Dave gets home, or they'll all be gone in a matter of days!