Soap Making

A few years ago, our neighbor, Mrs. Klaussen, taught the children and me how to make soap. It was easier than we thought to learn. Since then, we use her basic soap recipe at least once a year.

Making soap is one of the many projects that we all enjoy. We have attempted a few new soap ideas that looked good. But usually we just experiment with the basic recipe. We are not afraid to swap oils or to add ingredients to our recipes anymore. The kids even request special soaps. Not all our soaps turn out the way we want, but that is part of the fun.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

P.S. Thank you again, Mrs. Klaussen, for teaching us the basics! You are a great neighbor 🙂

Fun Memory

Last night, I started sorting through some photographs.  I hope to weed out the bad photographs and arrange the good ones in chronological order.  One day I may get albums made for each of the kids, but labeling them is much more important just now.

While we had fun looking at all the pictures, this one was our favorite of all we looked at yesterday.  Do you know who this is?



Mark and MeganOnce a month, Megan attends a science class that is just for her.  Because we had some wonderful snow this weekend, everyone came, bringing book work. They did not get much paperwork done during class though.  They passed out materials, helped with some play acting, and interacted with the younger children.  I know they enjoyed Megan’s class as much as she did!

After class, we played on the sledding hill.  Book work is important, but having time to be a kid and just play is needed too.


Bragging on Mark

Mark has been entering the Elkhart Park’s Photo Contest since 2009.Mark While he can spend hours photographing machine parts, such as this year’s Honorable Mention winner , “Whistles”, he enjoys photographing anything that catches his eye.  This year he also earned HM ribbons for his “Garter Snake” and “Boxed In” entries.

Chemistry is Mark’s favorite subject this year.  He is thankful for his daddy who can help him when it does not make much sense.  He enjoys the reading part of literature most of the time. When he finishes his book work for the week Mark likes to spend time programing with Arduino.  Right now he is working on an alarm clock.

Master McGuire prefers being outside, no matter the weather.  He is often found exploring the woods.  Mark also likes to work hard chopping wood,  shoveling snow, or spending time with “his” alpacas.  Most mornings, Mark is up before school so he can run three miles.

Mark would love to find a camera small enough that he can carry around to get unexpected shots but not feel like he has a camera attached to him. His favorite unplanned photograph was of a bald eagle he noticed flying after dropping his sisters off at a friends house.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Bragging on Andrea

AndreaSince 2010, Andrea has been competing in the Photo Contest held by the Elkhart County Parks. While photography is not her favorite hobby, she enjoys going out and taking pictures.

This year Andrea was surprised to discover she won second place in the Capture the Cold division! While she did not win any other ribbons this year, all of her pictures are ribbon worthy.

Andrea loves math. She is eager to start pre-algebra soon. She also enjoys cooking and sewing. Even though she is taking a short break from soccer, she is looking forward to spring soccer starting up again.

When she grows up, Andrea hopes to be a home school mom. She knows that reading will be a challenge, but she is getting better and she knows that God will help her teach her children. But for now, Andrea will keep working hard at school, reading good books to her little sister, and practice her cooking skills to the enjoyment of her friends and family.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Bragging on Audrey

AudreyThis is the sixth year that Audrey has entered photos in the Elkhart County Park Department Photo Contest.  Miss McGuire had six entries and earned an Honorable Mention for “I don’t Need Gates”. Each year her photographs show improvement in composition.

I was granted a quick interview with Audrey.  Audrey enjoys taking pictures of butterflies and caterpillars. She also tries to take pictures that make people smile.

When she grows up, she hopes to be an Lepidopterist, though I would argue she is one already. This year, Audrey plans to continue raising and photographing butterflies. She plans to get better close ups of different butterfly stages.  Audrey also hopes to raise and photograph Luna Moths.

In her free time, Audrey is often found knitting or studying another book about butterflies. She also enjoys the privilege of being able to teach a few classes, telling others about butterflies and how to raise them.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Bragging on Adrian

Adrian 2nd Adrian entered 5 photos in the Elkhart Park’s Photo Contest this year.  He earned his very first ribbon!  He earned a second place in the youth division for his photo he named “Green”.

In an exclusive interview, I learned that Adrian enjoys taking pictures.  His favorite things to photograph are frogs and toads! He wants to practice a lot more this year so he gets better. When he grows up, he wants to be a zoologist, so taking pictures is very important for when he discovers a new species of animal.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.