Squishy mud!

It wasn’t quite as cold as I thought it would be on Tuesday, so we headed outside for a bit to wander and splash in puddles. Conrad and I spent some time saving worms, though, geez, I had forgotten what an earthworm bloodbath it is when it rains in the suburbs is……

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Great Goats!

On Friday, we headed on over to Angelics Organics, an organic farm where you buy shares and thus receive a weekly box of organic goodness. They also have animals and sell eggs and milk and a wonderful learning center (it’s a straw bale house, it was cool!) where you can learn lots of basics – how to milk a goat and turn it into ice cream, how to keep bees, how to make your own soap with goat milk, and so on. They also want to get families involved and so they offer classes for the whole family! We signed up for two (I posted about this a long while back) and we experienced our first class, Great Goats! this past Friday. The farm is wonderful and crazy easy to NOT find unless you have GPS (we actually turned on an unmarked gravel road to get to their driveway….). Conrad was desperate to see the baby goats and be with the baby goats, until we were in WITH the baby goats….haha, oh well. Natalie was an old pro, since she is so ridiculously comfortable around Odie, although she was not a fan of petting zoos when she was Conrad’s age, so apparently this runs in the family. We ended up meeting a homeschooling family and learning that most of the onsite educators are also homeschoolers!! This was exciting and we’re looking forward to making some connections and heading back for our Brilliant Bees! class at the end of May.

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Nat can read!!!

It’s official!! I noticed that Natalie was sounding out some words in a book and so i wondered if she simply had them memorized or was actually, honest to goodness, reading them…so I wrote out a bunch of words and she sounded them out all by herself!! Folks, we have a brand spanking new reader in our house!! We’re really excited and we’ve been SO close to this for a while now, so it’s pretty awesome!! 

Please ignore the mess in the background and instead, focus on the lovely Park ladies – where two us are readers and only one of us (thank goodness) is blind!!

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Dubuque

Really, Iowa, you say? Yes!! We’ve switched gears and are heading west for our Park Family Vacation this year! It’s crazy hilly, thanks to once upon a time glaciers, and we’re excited to go on a paddleboat ride down the Mississippi, explore the Smithsonian affiliated National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, ride up the steepest narrow gauge funicular railway in the world (disclaimer: several others claim this as well) – the Fenelon Place Elevator, and just do some general wandering!  It’s also only 2.5 hours away, score!! We’re looking forward to exploring a new place and have some new experiences as a family.

Sometime this summer, we’ll head on over there and check it out. We’re excited!

In other news, Natalie transformed my cooling rack into a race track ramp and fashioned some vehicles from their Duplo blocks. I came downstairs and this is what I found! I love when they come up with stuff all on their own!!

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Sunday

The screened in porch is finished!! It’s beautiful and the kids are out there having a ball! I remember having so much fun in empty rooms when I was a kid, so we’ll let them jump around for a bit and then James will set it up. We’ll see how it goes, although we don’t really expect any issues about it. Even when we’re all in our bedroom and James is on a phone call, the kids will whisper when prompted! It looks fantastic, Dad and Pat!!! 

We’re laying low today. In light of the rainy week ahead of us, I thought I’d leave you with a pretty flower to remind us all of spring blooms on their way! Thanks to Nat for this loveliness!

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Friday

 I’ve started deleting all the photos, so beware! Some of the posts won’t make a lot sense either, minus the photos, so eventually I’ll go through and just delete those as well. Not high priority, however, so it won’t happen anytime soon. Here are all the photos from Easter, as they should have been posted! Enjoy!

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36 pencils

Our colored pencil set came with numbers on them…Natalie noticed while we were coloring the other day. She also noticed that they had gotten out of order and wanted to organize them, so since this would have to be something done while Conrad was asleep, we put off our task until the next day. She dutifully dumped them all out and went through them one by one, reading the number and checking before placing it back in its tin. However, I started helping her and noticed that there are indeed 36 pencils, but that a lot of numbers were missing….so we talked about skipping numbers, but still being able to put them in order and which number was larger or smaller, etc.

Things are good here otherwise, we’re looking forward to experiencing the summer here and all its festivals. We’re considering doing Girl Scouts in the fall (technically Nat would be a Daisy) and the art museum in Rockford (which shares a campus with The Discovery Center) offers weekly homeschool art classes from October – May! You don’t have to sign up for all 16 and they are two hours each in length, so this would be something we’ll look forward to for the spring of 2015, and we’ll choose a local art class for the fall. The winter drive to Rockford is treacherous at best…..snow drifts blow across open farmland and onto the road, making the road look identical to the surrounding landscape….blech. So spring it is!!

I’m going to start deleting photos this Friday, so if you haven’t done all your oohing and aahing yet, fit it in! I have some new photos waiting to be posted!