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!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

J's Sewing Adventure begins

I've been busy working on some Beloved Buddy orders, so the kids have had free reign in the studio.  Alex started an incredible project (to be unveiled at a later date), and Justin was not going to be left behind in the dust!  So...... he wanted to make a quilt of his own.

 First he selected and carefully ironed his fabric.  He fell in love with a space-themed fabric at Jo-Ann, and was inspired by the colors on it.
 I drew each letter for him on construction paper-- he used the light table to trace it (backwards) onto the fusible interfacing.  Then he cut out the letters, peeled the backing off and ironed them onto his quilt.

 The next step was to use Sister's sewing machine (with a VERY slow treadle option) and stitch the letters down.

Wow!!  That is a LOT of work for a 4 year old!  We have to go to the store and find some batting and a backing, then he'll get to free-motion quilt it all together.  

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Space Station Dreams

OK-- being a Waldorf-inspired homeschooler, I have to admit that I think the little plastic blocks known as "LEGO" are absolutely amazing!  Both kids spend hours each day constructing really neat things.  Most of the time they create scenes from their favorite books or stories.  Today Justin made an entire space station with launching pad and shuttle.  We've been grabbing lots and lots of space books from the library lately.  Apparently he's been thinking a lot about going into space!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Playing in the Rain.....

It rained ALL DAY today, so I shoved the kids outside to play.  They were actually quite happy about it--
 Justin was so excited for me to see him go down the "water-slide"......the mud puddle at the bottom became quite deep, but it was totally worth it :-)

Monday, August 17, 2015

Chilly Zoo morning

It was delightfully, unseasonably chilly this morning.  The kids got to break out their new fall jackets and we headed to the MN Zoo for some exploring.  We made a beeline for the new natural playground, and spent nearly the whole morning climbing ropes, shimmying up tree trunks and exploring the wetlands walk.

 I am so excited that Justin loves suspenders!  I happen to think they make EVERY outfit look ten times cuter on a little boy!

 We lunched at the boulder playspace.  This zoo keeps getting better and better!  After lunch, we decided it was getting a bit too crowded, so we made sure to say 'hi' to our favorite animals and headed home.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

IA State Fair

We made it down to Iowa for a quick visit to GranMama, GranPapa and the Iowa State Fair!  Of course, my real camera ran out of battery about 15 minutes into our adventure, but I got some cell phone shots that will give you a good feel for the day.  It was hot, but the kids were troopers and we saw a lot!
Justin's favorite activity was 'driving' the combine with GranPapa.  Alex enjoyed the animals and the fruit on a stick...

 Justin also really enjoyed the 'little farmhands' activity station because he got to drive a ride-on tractor!
 This picture cracks me up...... she didn't really trust that gentle cow not to nibble on her ponytail.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

"They Have TRACTOR Clubs Here???"

We attended the annual IA State Fair parade this year.  Justin was floored to find out that they have TRACTOR clubs in Iowa.

Alex and the picnic spread--
 Pointing out the details of the pre-parade activity.  Police cars and camera crews were of special importance.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Sheepherding Clinic

Kolachi and I have been on a herding hiatus as I've tried to de-schedule our summer.  While this was great for the kids (and lets face it, me, as I didn't have to add 2 hours in the car every week to my to-do list), our herding has definitely taken a backslide.  We attended a two day herding seminar to brush up our skills and determine if we are going to continue this sport.

While we had a lot of fun, and Kolachi loves sheep, I think I've decided to stick to sports we can practice a little closer to home.  It's just not fair to expect the kids to come with us once a week, K isn't advancing as quickly as I'd like, and we want to get back into agility and start actually competing for titles soon.  So-- this was our 'farewell for now' to herding.  If I had unlimited time (maybe someday when the kids are in school during the day), or a small hobby farm with my own livestock (hint, hint, Dave...) I would take it back up in a second.  So, for now, enjoy these photos of K working her sheep!

Also, we were featured in the photos accompanying this article on the AKC website!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Swimming Update!

We love our swimming teachers-- Justin has progressed SO much this summer-- he's technically swimming all by himself (for short distances)!

Alex has been working on perfecting her strokes, and has also enjoyed lessons.  Between rainy days and vacation, it seems like we didn't have as many lessons as normal, but they learned a LOT in the time they had.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Summer Bunnies

The bunnies are loving summertime.  Alex and her friends are really good about letting them out in their runs whenever they are outside playing (and putting them back in their hutches when they go to another yard!).  While Victor and Basil still cannot be together in the same pen without fighting, they seem to enjoy each other's company when boundaries are clearly marked.  We're currently working on plans for winter housing (the basement?), and I know they will miss their daily graze during the snowy season.