Espana Cani


Daddy’s band has been practicing the song Espana Cani.  They thought it would be fun to have a bull come and entertain some students at a school they were giving a concert at.

SkippingDaddy volunteered the kids. We said sure. Mark was supposed to be the bull, but he was too tall and could not see out of the eye holes very well and the outfit pulled and looked funny while he walked. So Andrea became our bull.

ActorsWe kept playing with ideas and finally decided to portray “Ferdinand”. Megan was a baby bull who kept trying to get Ferdinand and the Matador to fight. It never worked. After a temper tantrum from our matador, Ferdinand apologized, gave the matador the flowers she loved and the new friends skipped happily away with the little bull following.

The students seemed to really watching the girls’ performance. The band was slightly distracted and Daddy said that they made a few mistakes–I doubt anyone else heard!

Bragging on Audrey

TeachingEO A few months ago, Audrey was asked if she would be willing to teach adults about Monarchs. She thought that sounded fun, so today, she presented what she has learned to thirteen adults who are studying to be Indiana Master Naturalists.class

The thumb drive we brought of pictures did not want to work on the computers there.  So while she started her presentation, someone worked hard to get her slideshow working.  She was able to use her pictures at the end as a review and also to discuss some things she had not talked about.

After her presentation and questions, I was approached by a few students who told me what a great job Audrey did.  Not only did she have to “wing it”, she knew what she was talking about and was composed in front a bunch of strangers.  Then she was asked if she would be willing to share what she knows next May and August to two different groups!

My favorite part of the evening was when Audrey was asked if she had done any research on why monarch chrysalises have gold spots.  Audrey answered without hesitation, “God put them there to show His glory in their beauty.”  Excellent answer!

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.

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

World Traveler

MarkAnother nice thing about teaching your children at home, is the opportunities that become available when students are not required to be in a class room to learn.

Mark was born in Swaziland.  He was little when we moved back here, but he has always wanted to visit Swaziland.  He does not remember much of Africa, but he has heard us talk about it.

On Monday, Mark starts his journey to visiting Swaziland.  He leaves Chicago mid afternoon and arrives in Jo’burg the next evening.  Then he will journey to Swaziland to stay for a month with his Opa and Oma.

For school, he is taking some math and books that he needs to read for Literature class.  He will using his writing skills to send me notes and write blogs.  Past that, his job is to learn whatever he can.

We are not really sure what Mark will be doing there.  He is hoping to learn about the transmitter site Opa and Daddy used to work at.  He is looking forward to helping Oma do different things.  Exploring the town and meeting people is exciting too. He would love to visit game parks.  He wants to learn a little siSwati. There are so many opportunities!

Please pray for Mark and his grandparents!  Pray for safe travel and patience during the long trip.  Mark gets to experience jet lag and missing his family. Pray that he can be a great help and an encourager to those he meets.  Pray that so many new experiences won’t overwhelm him.  Please pray also that Mark’s relationship with his grandparents grows as he learns more about what they do and interacts with them on a daily basis.

Most importantly, please pray with us that as Mark leaves most everything he is comfortable with,  he grows in what he knows about the true God.  We would love to see the faith that he has to grow and become stronger.

Flying Kites

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KitepanThis has been a great first week of school.  The kids worked hard and I decided we all needed a break this morning.  We spent the morning at our favorite park. After getting some kites up, Mark rested on the ground, relaxing while he watched the kites overhead.  The other kids played with kites and also enjoyed the playground.

KiteAfter coming home, everyone spent time reading and working on individual projects.  It was a relaxing ending to the first week of school.

First Day of School

SchoolEven though we learn at home all year, during the summer we focus less on book learning, and more on personal projects.  This year the children took archery classes and Mark and Allan worked on a few projects together.  Audrey learned a lot about butterflies.  Adrian learned how to ride a bike.  Andrea did different things she was interested in.

But we always have one special day that we call “the first day of school”.  Today was our official first day of school.  Megan is a preschooler, Adrian is in third grade, Audrey is in sixth and Andrea is in seventh grade.  Mark is a tenth grader!

We are looking forward to a fun year!


For science today we learned about spiders.  We enjoyed reviewing a few things and then watching a video about how strong spider webs can be.  After, the children were told to create a spider using any snack food they wanted.  They found cookies, pretzels, sprinkles and mini marshmallows to use.

After choosing their snacks, everyone “went to their own corner” so no one could see what they were doing.  Each of my children had a totally different interpretation of the assignment.

Adrian Adrian designed a spider.  But a bird came and attacked the spider, causing him to lose his eight eyes and two legs.

AudreyAudrey’s spider had another mishap.  She came to show me her spider while sobbing and crying, “someone smashed my spider!”

Andrea created a wounded Shelob from the Two Towers (Lord of the Rings) with Frodo’s and Sam’s swords nearby covered with green blood. AndreaFrodo is wrapped in a spiderweb and Sam is wearing colorful white clothes (designed by Megan).

I am not sure what would have happened if any of the kids had attempted to turn these in at school.  But I am so thankful that they can be silly and practice their creativity at home.  Best of all,  I love being the one watching their imagination working  and being the one who gets to laugh first at their goofiness.


Frozen bubble

One of our yearly “to do’s” when the weather is around freezing is to try to blow bubbles outside. This morning, we succeeded on our mission!

Bubble Shadow
Bubble Shadow

When we tried earlier this week, it was too cold and the bubbles never frosted very well. But it is neat to watch how the weather affects how bubbles behave.

It becomes more  fun when we imagine what people think as they drive by and watch a bunch of children outside blowing bubbles first thing in the morning in 0 degree or lower weather.  We decided they all drive by and think “they  must be home schoolers!”

Burst Bubble
Broken Bubble