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

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.

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Week That Contained "The Perfect Homeschool Day"

The elusive "perfect homeschool day."  It only happens a handful of times per year.  We have a LOT of great days, but when an actual "perfect homeschool day" occurs, it feels soooo great!  The whole week was great, really. Here's what we did:


Today was a little odd because I had to meet my new school friend (!!) at the science lab.  The girls hung out at the condo, and did a little independent school work.  When I got back, we had a quick lunch, and went to globe making class at a friends house.  I'm so thankful for this class, since I'm supposed to be teaching geography this year, but I'm *kind of* falling behind.  It's challenging, and Millie is being forced to think outside her box.  Elise spends her time playing with one of her favorite friends.


Rise and shine!  We woke up early and went to piano lessons.  Afterwards we wen to the condo for a quick lunch (are you noticing a trend?), and then met up with our playgroup at the Science Museum, looked at exhibits, and watched an Omni Theater movie about the ocean.  It was fun!  After playgroup, we went to the library.  While we were there, it snowed the most amazing, lightest, fluffiest snowflakes.  It was gorgeous.  Unfortunately, because of the snow, it took 1 hour and 15 minutes to get home!!  Millie was supposed to have play practice, but I opted out, because I couldn't handle being in the car for another 1+ hours.


THE PERFECT DAY! Here's how it all went down:  The girls asked if they could go out and shovel in the morning while I ate breakfast.  I certainly wouldn't stand in their way of fresh air, so they went out.  They ended up shoveling our driveway, and two neighbors driveways.  They earned $5 and a handful of butterscotch candies :)  They were pumped when they came in.  It didn't take long for the girls to get settled into their school work.  They got their 3 R's done, we had lunch, and then the real fun began ;)  We buckled down and started learning about Afghanistan.  We read 4 Feet, 2 Sandals.  It was such a great book!  It was an eye opener for the girls to see how kids in other parts of the world live.  They learned about Islam.  Then, they learned about the importance of spices, and did a little spice painting.  By now, I should be exhausted, and ready to crash.  But, since it was "perfect homeschool day," I was still full of energy.  Yay!  The girls worked on their 4-H Food Revue projects. Around 3:30, Millie went outside to play with neighbor kids, and Elise played with her tablet.  What did that mean for me?  Two and a half hours of uninterrupted studying time.  It was SUCH a great day!!

A Refugee Village, by Millie
A Self Portrait, by Elise

Painting with spices


Today we spent the morning at home again.  It was an average day of school work, piano practice, and homework.  I had a surprise up my sleeve for the afternoon!  The orangutan at the zoo that recently had a baby, was on display with the baby for the first time!  We went out to the zoo to see the them, and walked around the conservatory for a while.  it was such a great way to beat any winter doldrums that we may have been feeling.  The best part was when we went to the sunken garden, and looked at all the flowers.  After walking around once (Elise was looking for "silver bells and cockle shells"), we walked around again so Elise and I could smell all the flowers.  It was so fun to see the sunken garden through a child's eyes (and nose). It was a pretty sweet day.


This was seriously the most chaotic, longest day ever.  I woke up after only 4 hours of sleep, and immediately had to start running errands.  I didn't even cross off half of them before we had to come home, eat lunch, and drop Millie off at her murder mystery play practice.  While she was there, Elise and I ran...you guessed it...more errands.  Ugh.  When I got Millie at 2:30, we went home, Millie cooked, I had my first cup of coffee for the day, and then we had to bolt out the door to go to 4-H.  I was in charge of set up, snacks, and clean up.  It was a long. long. day.  We got home at quarter to 10.  As I type this, I'm very much enjoying the couch, a glass of wine, and Big Bang Theory reruns.

It was a nice week.  

Find out what other homeschoolers were doing this week, here!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Neighborhood Friends, Lil' Biologist Class, and Play Practice

This is the week where *almost* everything came together perfectly.  I have my own personal studying schedule under control, and we only had two outings this week.  Perfect!  The only thing I didn't "squeeze in" is treadmill time.  Ugh.  Clearly I have to make it more of a priority.  

Here's what we did this week:


Martin Luther King day!  We weren't going to take the day off, because we never do.  Millie found out from the neighbor kids that school is off on MLK day, so Millie REALLY wanted to have the day off, too.  She decided to do all her work on Sunday evening so she could play.  The girls played outside all day with their friends.  Their cousins even came over for a while!  The played Pokemon and had cocoa between adventures outside.  I think the highlight was making forts in a hill.  


City day!  Millie had piano in the morning.  It was her first lesson after the recital, so she got all new pieces.  Yay!  After that, we went to the condo for lunch, and to kill time before playgroup.  At playgroup, the big girls played up in one of the girls bedrooms, and Elise played on her tablet the whole time.  Her friend wasn't there this week.  I think in the future we'll probably skip playgroup if there isn't anyone for Elise to play with.  I feel so horrible that she always plays the waiting game, while Millie has classes, plays with friends, etc.  She's such a good sport about it, but it makes me feel really guilty.


 We woke up bright and early to get Millie to her Lil' Biologist class.  She learned about mammals in winter.  She brought her animal tracks book, which turned out to be really handy when they saw fisher or mink tracks!  While she was at class, Elise and I had a mall date.  We did a little window shopping, picked out the gift she wants to give her friend for her birthday, and had a little treat at Starbucks.  When we got home, the girls did their 3 R's, and I did homework.


An at home day!  You'd think I could have found time to use the treadmill on our at-home day, but I didn't.  Blah.  Instead, the kids did school in the morning.  In the afternoon we learned about Jamaica.  As soon as the neighbor kids arrived home from school, my girls were out the door.  I love living in the 'burbs!  I think Millie is going to have major suburb withdrawal when we move back to the condo in April.  


Today the girls did their school work in the morning.  This week we based our 1st grade fun on Frog and Toad Are Friends, so today we watched a really good video about the frogs life cycle.  Here it is:

In the afternoon we ran errands and went on a nature walk.  In the evening, Millie's first play practice! 

I'm excited to start planning for next year.  We're going to study ancient history and earth science.  I've mentioned this before.  I seriously want to start, but I'm forcing myself to wait until Summer.  

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

Friday, January 16, 2015

SciGirls, Nature Study, and Back to School (For Me!)

The weekly reading list

This was kind of a selfish week.  My days normally revolve (very much) around the kids.  This week, I had to focus on starting school (for my first time in 18 years!).  It kind of threw me for a loop.  The huge influx of assignments all at once was a bit of a shock to my system.  It took nearly all week to figure out how to manage my time.  I *think* I have things under control, now.  I have an uncanny ability to put more and more "stuff" on my plate, and manage just fine.  So, here I am, a teacher and a student.

Here's what we did this week:


Piano was rescheduled this week, so we got up bright and early on Monday for piano lessons.  When we got home, we got right to school!  The girls finished quickly so we could do a little nature study in the afternoon.  It was the first of a 52 week project.  We went into the woods to make observations.  Millie picked out a tree that she's going to learn all about over the next year.  I left the kids in the park when we were done so they could sled with friends.  When they got home, Millie made dinner (Chinese pork chops)!  It was delish!


All of our fun Tuesday plans were thwarted by my own personal school orientation.  It was kind of a bummer of a day.  The girls spent most of the day at the condo watching TV and playing with their tablets while I was getting school stuff ready.  The good part of the day is that I got all my school books!  Squeeee!


SciGirls!  Our favorite day of the month!  This week the girls learned about physics and friction, and ended the class by ice skating together.  It was so much fun :)  While Millie had SciGirls, Elise attended nature study class with dad.  She "sort of liked" class, which is a huge improvement from the last time.  The best part was when they found a set of coyote tracks tracking a set of bunny tracks.  It was pretty cool.


This evening was my first class, Earth Science!  It was so much fun.  I'm really looking forward to this class.  My plan is to teach the girls Earth Science next year, so I'm brushing up on my skills ;)  During the day, we just did school, and hung out at home.


Another day that was "ruined" by my schooling.  Millie had a fun sledding event to attend, but I needed to stay home and get my school work done.  I'm so close to being done, and I really don't want to have to think about school over the weekend.  So, we stayed home.  We managed to make some time for a nature hike.  We learned about and looked for animal habitats.  

That sums up our week!  Find out what other homeschoolers were up to, here.

This weekend will bring a piano recital  and play practice for Millie.  

Friday, January 9, 2015

Here We Go Again!

We're back to school after a lovely Christmas break.  We've made one major change since we started our break.  We temporarily moved out of our condo, and are now house sitting for the winter in the suburbs!  The kids love it, of course.  They have neighborhood friends, a sledding hill in the backyard, and a LOT of space to roam around this huge house.  I like it too, except I'm realizing that there are things I love/miss about condo life; endless hot showers, instant hot water, warmth, and being able to walk to the grocery store.  Ha!

We started school on Monday.  Here's what we did:


We did school in our new environment.  It went great!  The kids finished their work promptly in the morning, we had lunch, and then we had Girl Scouts in the afternoon.  It was a special "Happy Birthday Samoas" Girl Scout meeting.  Fun stuff!


Tuesday was errands day.  Millie had piano bright and early in the morning, and we spent the rest of the day running around prepping for our next days activities.


Wednesday was the BEST. DAY. EVER!  We had a DIY.org club meeting at the house.  It was a badge-in-a-day event, where the kids completed 3 challenges to earn the Yeti badge.  At 10, our friends rolled in, and got started with their first challenge:  Make stew.  It was so fabulous to sit with my mommy friends, while the kids worked hard cooking in the kitchen.  We didn't do a thing, the kids did it all themselves.  While the stew simmered, the kids made fire starters out of wax, a wick, and pinecones, and also made "snowball launchers."  It was too cold to go outside, so they used marshmallows in liu of snow ;)  It was a really fun day.

DIY Minecraft challenge

Another stay at home day!  It was great.  The girls did their school work in the morning.  In the afternoon we were supposed to start a big one year project that the girls are going to be working on, but it was way too cold to go outside for a nature study.  Instead, they ended up working on their DIY projects.  It was kind of disappointing (for me), but we'll make up for it this weekend.


Today the girls did their school work in the morning.  In the afternoon, we did something totally new!  Millie joined a group called "The Mix."  It's a group of middle school homeschool kids that get together to work on challenges together.  Millie seemed a little nervous to go, but when we got there, she found that she knew 5 girls from SciGirls, plus a couple other friends.  She loved it!  While she did that, Elise and I hung out at the library, and picked out books.

It was a great first week back!  This weekend will bring 4-H play auditions, Chinese food, and Sunday school (for the first time in 3 weeks!!).

Find out what other homeschoolers were up to this week, here!