Welcome to TwoCowgirls, the blog about our crazy life in Downtown Saint Paul!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Owl Pellets, Share the Fun, and Syrup Making

"You know you're a homeschool mom when you have rodent
bones in a baggie in your purse."

Is it really Friday?  This week flew by!  It was cold and snowy again, so I'm glad the week went by quickly.

Here's what we did this week:


The girls had farm school at Gale Woods Farm again.  It was fabulous as usual.  They love that class so much!  Since it was so cold and snowy, I went to Starbucks to do homework.  I got so much accomplished!  Before Gale Woods, I met up with a friend for breakfast, which was super fun.  I honesty felt like I ate all day, though.  Breakfast with a friend, lunch in the car, a treat at Starbucks...  I'm ready for warm weather so I can go on walks!


Millie had piano lessons in the morning.  The girls wanted to forego playgroup today, because the neighbor kids were all on spring break, and they wanted to hang around the neighborhood.  Understandable, since we'll be leaving in a week or less!


Today we were back in our normal school routine.  The girls did all their school work in the morning.  In the afternoon, they had a class at Dodge Nature Center, where they learned all about bones.  They even got to dissect owl pellets!  For the second part of class, they got to explore several stations in a barn.  The most popular station was definitely the "knuckle bones" game station.  Good times.


This was the first day all week that we didn't have to leave the house (until evening).  It was so nice!  The girls did their school work in the morning, and spent the afternoon playing with the neighbor kids.  I had the entire afternoon to do school work and clean the house.  In the evening, the girls had their first Share the Fun play practice.  It's always fun for them to see their friends.  I am so happy that we happened upon this particular 4-H group.  The kids are all really great.


Academics?  We don't need no stinkin' academics!  (I don't really mean that, but that seems to be our philosophy right now.  We're still doing better than last year, so I'm OK with it).  Today we thew caution to the wind, picked up cousin Patrick, and went to the farm.  We needed to boil the sap that Grandpa Howard collected from his maple trees.  It took so long, we weren't able to stay for the whole process.  It was so nice to sit by the hot fire!!  The kids spent a lot of time playing "veterinarian" with Grandpas vet medicine books and Millie's stethoscope.  They had a couple (willing?) victims playing along :)

Well, I have next year *almost* entirely planned out.  I have earth science and ancient history detailed out in two future blog posts.  It has all the links I'll need to refer back to throughout the year.  I just need to make my supply list so I know I'll have all the supplies on hand (you know, so the experiments and projects ACTUALLY get done).

The big thing I have to work on is a homeschool group.  I need something similar to what we were part of when Millie first started homeschooling in 2nd grade.  It's the part of our homeschool journey that we're missing right now.  I know, I know, how could we possibly add anything into our week?!  I'm not too worried.  Next year will be different.  I'm known for making everything work out, so I imagine I'll do the same thing next year ;)

Have a great week!  Find out what other homeschoolers are up to, here.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Farm Class, Lil' Biologist Class, and the First Day of Spring

The best part of this season, is that our weeks are filled with nature study.  I may teach a little, but there are classes aplenty that are taught by others, which is fabulous because I can't answer many of the kids questions: "What kind of fungus is this?" "What bird is making that sound?", for example.  Oy.

Here's what we did this week:


The girls had farm class again.  It was a cool and windy day, and I wasn't prepared for it, so I ended up sitting in the car for 3 hours (THREE HOURS!).  If I had been prepared, and brought a coat, I could have walked around the farm, but I didn't, so I got 3 hours of 2015-16 planning done.  At least the time wasn't wasted!  It was actually pretty fabulous.  Anywhooo, back to the kids and their farm class ;)  Millie's group drew blood from rams, testing for OPP (sheep pneumonia).  Each kid in her group got to pick out a pregnant ewe to observe and monitor throughout the rest of her pregnancy.  Millie is going to bring her stethoscope next week so she can listen to see if she can hear the lamb's heart beat.  They made sour apples, which Millie did not like.  Elise's class learned about and took care of the chickens, and made maple syrup popcorn.  I'm guessing she did more than that, but she can't remember.  Ha!


Today was music and play group day.  Millie had a great piano lesson, and continued to work on her recital pieces.  Here's a little snip from her lesson:


After lunch, we met up with friends at Silverwood.  The moms sat inside and drank coffee and chit chatted, which is always so SO fun.  The girls played outside with their friends (doing what?  I don't know.  I hear there were dogs involved).


In the morning, Millie had her Lil' Biologist class at the Wildlife Refuge.  Elise and I went home, since the house we're staying at is only 10 minutes away from class.  It was nice to have that alone time with Elise.  :)  At class, Millie learned all about raptors, and went on a raptor walk.  She got to see a barred owl in the wild (her first wild owl ever!).  After class, one of the teachers walked a couple of us down so we could see the owl, too.  It was so cool, and so much bigger than I expected!  In the afternoon, we did our regular school routine (math, reading, etc).  The neighborhood kids started spring break today, so the kids spent much of the afternoon running around, playing.


Fun with congruent shapes

Today was a full, stay at home, focus on school work day.  It was SO nice to stay home and not drive anywhere!  The girls got through their work quickly so they could play with friends in the afternoon.  In the evening, I had school (earth science).  I love that class!


Happy 1st day of spring!!  We started our day with a walk in the woods.  We didn't get very deep into the woods because the kids were distracted by a tree with woodpecker holes, several varieties of fungus, fallen trees, and pretty mossy logs.  It was a magical morning.  When we got home, we did a little nature study about buds and tree growth.  We all learned a little something this morning.  We spent the rest of the late morning/early afternoon working on school work before the kids left for an afternoon of fun in the neighborhood with the neighbor kids.
Never leave home without your rocks
and minerals book!
Flying through the sky on a

Elise can spot a fungus from a mile away.

The weekend will find us prepping our condo for sale, taking Millie to a Ukrainian Egg class, attending a birthday party, and SNOW!!

Find out what other homeschoolers are doing this week, here.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Farm Class, SciGirls, and Lots-a Playing

Oh Spring, you're such a distraction!!  I'm very happy to be able to spend these early days of the spring-like weather outside with my kids.

Here's what we did this week:


The girls sat down and did some school work, finally!  Last week was a blur, and they didn't get much accomplished.  Monday was difficult because it was like getting back at it after a long break.  Oops.  Anywhooo, they finally did some work.  It was a challenge.  Around 11:00, I threw together some lunches, ran to Fleet Farm to get rubber boots for the girls, and left for an hour long drive to farm class.  It's their favorite part of the year!  It's 8 weeks of fabulous farm lessons.  They are in separate classes (by age).  Since it was the first day of the class, they toured the farm, looked at all the (pregnant!) farm animals, and spent time in the kitchen.  Elise's class made pancakes, and Millie's class made cinnamon scones.  I can't wait for them to bring home the recipes so they can cook for me!


Tuesday the girls did some school work in the morning, and the we left for piano lessons.  Millie's recital pieces are coming along nicely :)  Afterwards, we went to the condo for lunch, and then went to playgroup.  The weather was so nice, we were finally able to meet at a playground.  It was fabulous!!  It was so nice to be out in the sun without a coat!!  Millie started working on her big science project.  She's testing the water in two fish bowls.  One has one goldfish, the other has a goldfish and a snail.  Her hypothesis is that the water in the one with the snail is going to be cleaner ;)  Only time will tell!


SciGirls day!  Elise spent the day with her good friend.  I'm so thankful her family was willing to watch Elise; it's hard to find a sitter during the day.  They did some science experiments, cooked lunch together, and went to the park.  Fun!  SciGirls was awesome, as usual.  The girls did some taste testing, and tried to figure out why some people like certain veggies, and some people don't.  Then, we had someone from Mad Science MN come in to teach the girls about chemistry.  The experiments were really cool!


Looking for rare stones in the asphalt ;)
Finally, a day to stay home!  We did our regular school in the morning, took a nice walk in the afternoon, and then hung out until the neighborhood kids came home from school.  Once they were back from school, the kids were gone for the rest of the day.  Millie & Elise love playing with the neighbors!  It's a perfect little group of kids.  We're going to be so sad to break up the group when we move back to the condo in less than a month!


Well, this was the day that I found out that we need to spend more time on math, with Millie.  She had a math test, and couldn't even finish it.  Grrrr.  I'm not sure what's going on, but I think the answer is to do math every.single.day.  Even on weekends.  Bud took the afternoon off from work, and we went to the MN Zoo.  It was such a nice day!

This weekend will bring a fun 4-H event for Millie, Share the Fun auditions for Elise & Millie,
 and probably a lot of playing in the neighborhood.  If I have it my way, we'll go to the condo and start packing up our things to get it decluttered and ready to put on the market soon!

Find out what other homeschoolers did this week, here.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Globes, Murder Mystery, and Tuesday Funday


Well, I think I've finally reached the part of the school year in which I'm sick of doing school.  The sun is coming through the windows, e-mail ads are tempting me with adorable spring clothes, and when the sun hits just right, the snow turns to puddles on the deck.  But, alas, the temperature is 5 degrees, and I must do a reality check.  There are only 12 weeks of school left (not that I'm counting down, or anything!).  I have to keep plugging away at this thing called school.

This was a great week, as far as school work went.  The girls did their 3 R's 4 days this week!  Usually it ends up only being 3, but we actually made it 4 this week.  Amazing!

Here's what we did:


After the girls did their regular school work, we had a quick lunch and ran out the door to globe class.  The class is almost complete, and we really don't have a product worthy of painting (in 3 days from now).  I think we're going to get some plaster and have Millie do the mountain ranges, at least.  Class was fun, of course.  Elise loves this day because she gets to play with her favorite friend.


Tuesday is a non-book work day.  We eased into the day, and left for piano lessons.  Millie got a couple new recital pieces.  One of them, in particular, is really really cool.  After lessons, we went to the condo for lunch and to hang out.  Being away from the condo for the winter has made me realize how much I love it there.  It's so bright and sunny, the flooring is so pretty, and everything is exactly how I want it (I think I'm home sick.  House sitting for the winter doesn't agree with me).  After lunch, we left for Tuesday Funday.  Elise did crafts and played in the gym with her friends, and Millie did the same thing, but in the older kid group.  I got some quality grown up chit chat time.  It was nice!


Today was super, extra fun!  We did our school work in the morning, and then before lunch I ran out to the grocery store and then to the Chinese place to pick up lunch!

You know you're a homeschool mom when you're giddy with excitement about an impending geography lesson, and you know you're kids will feel the same way!

I surprised the kids with Chinese food.  During lunch, they watched a tutorial on youtube about how to properly use chop sticks.  It was fun to watch them try to figure it out.  In the end, they ended up using forks.  Oh well.  I tried.  Afterwards we:


Today we did all our school work in the morning.  We were supposed to work on the globe, and do nature study, but we didn't.  I did some school work and the kids played.  In the evening Millie had to perform her one act play at family night at a local school.  One of "the fiddlers three" was sick, so Elise had to come up and fill in!  I wasn't there, but the pictures are adorable.  She's half the size of the other fiddlers.  He he.  Why wasn't I there?  Because I had Earth Science.  We learned all about earth quakes.  It was fun!  I love that I'm going back to school.  After class, I went back to the condo, took a midterm online for my Family Communications class, drank a lot of coffee, and took a nice relaxing bath.  It was so nice!!  Then, I went to work..(not relaxing).  


The girls did their school work in the morning, as usual.  After lunch, Millie went to Murder Mystery Play practice.  It's such a cool group.  The kids do some acting exercises, and are collectively writing, directing, acting in, and creating a murder mystery play.  I can't wait to see their finished product!  While she was at practice, Elise and I went to visit Aunt Kim, and played with the dogs.  She only lives 5 minutes away from where play practice was held.  Woo hoo!

In the evening, we went and looked at a house.  A house!  It's super tiny.  I mean, I don't even know how one would fit furniture in the living room.  But, despite the tiny size, I really like it.  See what I found in the closet?  I had this exact same doll!!  It's a sign...  Also, it has a bomb shelter.  How cool is that??

Find out what other homeschool families were up to this week, here.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Week Off!

I thought we'd go to Florida this week (way back when I made my plan for the school year).  But, alas, we did not.

I did, however, allow the girls to have the week off of school.  I needed to do a LOT of my own personal school work, and well, we just needed a week off.

We cancelled most of our plans this week because I needed to get caught up on my school.  Our only outing during the school day was to the Science Museum with our playgroup.  We saw Hubble at the Omni Theater, and explored the museum.

Millie had play practice on Tuesday and Wednesday evening, and her big one act play competition on Friday night.  Her 4-H group came in 1st place!  It was so much fun!!

We'll be back to our regularly scheduled school week, starting Monday!  I have some planning to do.  I'm really looking forward to it!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Tuesday Funday, SciGirls, and Valentines Day

Love is in the air!  Happy Valentines day :)

We woke up this morning to a table full of goodies from Millie.  She's just so sweet.  She had me leave her at Target a couple weeks ago so she could shop alone.  Now I know what she was up to.  She bought chocolates for Bud, Elise, and I.  She also drew cards for us.  Sweetness.

It was a fun week, again.  I just need to take a moment to say that I'm so so very thankful that I'm not in a slump like I was last year.  It's mid-February, prime "winter doldrums" time, but things are going great.  Phew.

Here's what we did this week:


Our globe making class was cancelled today because the mom that hosts, broke her arm :(  That's the 5th person I know who has broken their arm recently.  What's up with that?  Since, our afternoon was suddenly free, Millie decided to teach deer class to us.  She taught us all about them, we made food to set out for the neighborhood herd, and we checked out the wildlife camera that she had set out.  She captured pictures of deer, a raccoon, and what looks like a fox or coyote.  Exciting!


Today it was raining ice chunks, so we skipped piano.  The roads were horrible.  We stayed warm, and did our regular work at home.  By afternoon, the roads had cleared up, so we went to Tuesday Funday, which was Valentines Day themed!  Both girls had so much fun!  Elise made cards, Millie made a valentines box, they both played in the gym, and had valentine cake with their friends.


S c i G i r l s...we need you!  Scigirls, our favorite day of the month!  It was different this time because we met up at the Science Museum of MN.  The girls had an archaeology class, and then got to explore the museum on their own.  Elise got to come with, and hang out with her friend Ben.  She thought it was pretty cool that she was included in a SciGirls event!


We stayed home today!  It was great.  The kids did their work in the morning, and I spent much of the afternoon doing my own school work.  It was nice to stay in.


Valentines party day!  We went to our friends house for lunch, valentines crafts, and free play.  It was so nice for me to get to chit chat the afternoon away with other mommies.  Everyone had a great time!  In the evening, Millie had play practice.  Only 3 practices left before the big competition!

Well, summer is 3.5 months away, but I have pretty much the entire summer vacation planned out.  Ha!  Millie decided that she wants to do overnight camp again, so I signed her up for that.  In addition, both girls will both go to Farm Camp, MN Zoo camp, and 4-H camp.  The only thing left to schedule, are swimming lessons.  The rest of the summer will be spent playing, playing, and more playing.

Find out what other homeshoolers were up to this week, here.