Five Medals 2017 (Part 1)

The weather was perfect for this year’s Gathering at Five Medals.  I appreciated the time each person took to tell their story of life in the Midwest between the 1660s and the early 1800s.

I  talked with a spinner who explained what she was doing and said she loves the chance to relax and spin while her children did chores or read out loud.  I learned about caning chairs.  We were instructed on how to make birch wood homes and how easy they were to pack up and move. My favorite though was a little boy who told Megan, “We just slept here all night, we are not really Indians”.


This is the first year that the children did AWANA at church.    They learned verses and worked their ways through books teaching them more about the Bible.

Each of the children did very well.  Adrian did one book with all the extra credit. Andrea and Audrey both finished two books.  Megan, with the girls help, went through two complete books and the extra credit books reviewing all she had learned!

They enjoyed the challenge and had fun!


Today the children helped with alpaca shearing. Each year, they learn something new or do something different.  As I was watching, I realized that, depending on Mark’s school schedule, this might be Mark’s last year helping.  He has already said that he plans on coming home for the day if he can though.

Then we realized how much Mark has changed in the few years he has helped. He went from just leading the alpacas to the shearers until now he leads the alpacas in and then helps get them to the ground to be sheared. His muscles are appreciated!

Mark is not the only one growing. Megan now helps clean up and can help with the alpacas instead of just holding the dust pan.

Andrea and Audrey have learned new jobs.  They started out wrapping the fiber, but now they help flip the animals and take the fiber as it is being sheared.

And even though Adrian is does not have a big job, he is learning different parts of alpaca shearing. He helps calm the animals and is around if needed. What he does helps everything run smoothly.

This year, we all learned something new.  We watched some Angola goats get sheared. Then, we compared the different fibers.  The Angola fiber is very heavy compared to alpaca!

Sweet Surprise

Megan wanted to share a sweet surprise today. Here it is in her own words.

I surprised Daddy by asking him if he could teach me how to ride my bike. And I surprised him by showing him how good I was doing on riding my bike.

The girls and Mark taught me how to ride my bike without training wheels. We have been practicing a few weeks sneakily with out Daddy knowing. I wanted to surprise him. I surprised him a lot!

He was like “how do you do it so well without practicing?”

It was hard to learn to ride. I was scared of falling and I wanted my sister to always hold me.  Sometimes they would let go and I would fall. Then I wanted to stop! They would make me get on my bike and try again. I would pedal and steer and my legs got stronger and I got better.  Yesterday I could ride just a tiny tiny bit without help.  Today, I did very very good. I could even ride down the hill.

When I learned how, everybody rode their bikes with me to celebrate!

It has been very sweet watching the kids work together to teach Megan. I know that she will still “hitch” rides with them on their bikes, because they can go so much faster, but I love that they all worked together to encourage and help her learn.


The nice thing about homeschooling, is that you do not have to stay at home to learn new things. You can play with your cousin and talk with your friends while writing your journal. You can listen to live band music while working on math if you want to also. You can  dress up and help put on a mini show for your grandparents’ friends.

But usually, it is more fun just to play with your cousin while listening to your Grandfather play his french horn during a band concert. And count it as child development with music appreciation.


After watching Adrian make a potholder, Megan decided she wanted to learn how to make them also. With just a little bit of help, she can create an entire potholder by herself now.

They love weaving a potholder one day and then taking it apart to use the elastics in another potholder later. It is fun to see all the unique designs they come up with.

Sewing Project

From an oversized Goodwill buy to an adorable Thanksgiving outfit!

We were looking online for some fun thanksgiving crafts to make.  We found a few really cute shirts, but Megan liked the one with her hand prints the best. Andrea and Audrey helped me design this dress by picking out the material and then learning how to make a circle skirt to attach.

Audrey Teaching First Grade

Audrey was invited to teach three first grade classes on butterflies. She prepared a slide show sharing how she started and some things she has learned about Monarchs. Then she read one of her favorite butterfly books, Gotta Go! Gotta Go! by Sam Swope and Sue Riddle, had a question time and interacted with the students for 45 minutes in each class.

All three classes were completely different.  The first class knew a lot about Monarchs.  They had raised a few and were bringing in more caterpillars and “critters” for the class to enjoy.  The caterpillars in the other classes had stopped growing and the students never got to see their full metamorphosis.

All of the children were curious about Audrey’s butterflies, even students we saw in the hallway as we walked between classes. It was a good morning for us as Audrey was able to pass on her love of butterflies to a new group of children.

Today’s Smile- Fighting Pirates

Megan gave this to me yesterday.  Then she told me the story about it.

two-princessesThis is a picture of a girl who is a very good sword fighter or with any weapon. She is fighting a boy pirate who is not so good a fighter as her, but is a bad guy. He robs people. Then he tries to escape in his ship. She got on his boat, even though it was sailing away, on a rope she had made. She rescued all the treasure.

I think we have been reading too many pirate stories out loud and watching too many versions of Treasure Island.

Secrets to Better Photography Class

I often ask the library to order photography books for me through the interlibrary loan program.  The last time I ordered some books, the librarian asked if I knew that I could take online classes for free through the library.  So I signed up for my first photography class.

There were lessons to do and homework assignments twice a week.  Even though the class was basic photography, I still learned a lot. Each lesson we posted a photograph of what we learned and the instructor commented on it.  We could also ask questions and I asked a few 🙂 .

Here are the assignments I turned in.   What we were studying is underneath along with the title of the picture.

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