Saturday, September 20, 2014


Call me crazy, but we're starting to homeschool Hudson this fall.

Honestly, it's nothing we're not already doing really except it's a tad more organized and intentional.  Of course, our kid's a genius already.  Kidding.  Not really.  In all seriousness he can sing the ABCs, recognize a handful of letters, count to 10, recognize several numbers, count items to ten, knows all his colors, and all the shapes. All this he's learned without any intentionality on my part so I'm excited to see how he'll progress with a little planning on my end.

I found this curriculum online through a pinterest search.  I liked it because it was basically free (wahoo) and was easy-going.  My two-year-old doesn't need to sit still and look at flashcards all day.  He needs to run, play, manipulate things, read books, do arts and crafts; basically play with an emphasis on learning along the way.  My sweet friend Melanie was gracious enough to gift Hudson with the curriculum book.  She's using it with her son and her in-home preschool.

Because we were on vacation last week, we started a little later than Labor Day.  But who cares?  I'm loving the flexibility of this.

Tuesday was our first day.  We do school Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for a total of about 45 minutes.  Though so far, it seems to be accomplished throughout the day in 15 minute intervals.  Again, loving the flexibility.

The obligatory First Day of School picture.

 We started Tuesday by getting Hudson his very own Library Card!  I forgot my camera sadly.  One thing I like about the curriculum is that she recommends a book or two each week.  I have about 17 boxes of books from my classroom library down in our basement, but even so I don't have all the books she recommends.  So off we went to check it out.  And the library didn't have it either!  Ha, life in a small town.  So we got some other ones and requested it from a neighboring library.

Each week focuses on a Bible story, a color, a shape, a book, fine and gross motor skills, and life skills.  This week it was creation Days 1-3, the color red, a circle, the book Llama Llama Red Pajama which we watched online, pouring, painting, and sitting still.  It was fun all around. Enjoy some random pictures from our first week.

This tiny glue bottle is the perfect size for Hudson's little hands.

Painting his circle red

Check out the concentration.  

Adding One apple to his tree

Letter & Number Fun in the bath!
Our friend Julie got Hudson this at his baby shower and I put them up until now.
Here's to 35 more weeks!

Friday, September 12, 2014


I said it last year and I'll say it again; James is good at  planning vacations to get away from the pressures of full-time ministry and just spend time together.  This year, thanks to groupon, we went to the Chestnut Mountain Resort in Galena, IL about 4 hours away from home. 

Hitch-hiking a ride into the resort.

The view from our room.

Eating supper at the resort

Tuesday we drove into Dubuque, Iowa to go to the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium and take a steamboat ride down the Mississippi River.

Lots and lots of Mark Twain stuff

Feeling the pelts of a coyote, wolf, and red fox.

The aquarium guy showing us a crayfish.

Hudson's reaction to the crayfish.  Hahaha

Waiting to catch and pet a Sturgeon fish.

Dressed in Civil War era clothing.

On the Miss Dubuque Steamboat

Those eyelashes....


Tuesday evening we headed into downtown Galena to eat supper and walk around downtown.  Galena is a lot like a midwestern version of Gatlinburg.

Dancing in the lobby of Vinny Vanucchi's Italian Restaurant

At the Galena Rocky Mtn Chocolate Factory

Wednesday we drove Kenosha, WI to see our friends Lenny and Angela and their two sweet boys.  Somehow I managed to not take even one picture. Sigh.  Afterwards, we went to the Jelly Belly factory for the free tour of their warehouse.

Waiting for the Jelly Belly train

We weren't allowed to take pictures during the tour as they told us all the secrets of making Jelly Belly jelly beans.

Thursday we started the day in Galena with a Trolley Tour.  Hudson was super-stoked and kept calling the Trolley Bertie the Bus from Thomas.  

This is a balcony on the DeSoto hotel, the second oldest hotel in IL.
Abraham Lincoln stood on this balcony and addressed the citizens of Galena in his senatorial campaign.

Lots to see....

Until Hudson finally passed out.

Then we drove up to Platteville, WI to go to the Mining Museum.  It's an old lead mine that takes you on a tour.  We were basically the only people there so we got a nice private tour and were able to ask many questions.

Killing time on the player piano while we waited for the tour to start

Mine tram

Safety first!

Our tour guide, who was excellent!

We ate at Fiesta Cancun in Platteville and it was seriously the best Mexican food I've ever had outside of Mexico.

This is how we get Hudson to eat.  Eat a chicken nugget, get an M&M

On the way back to the resort, we stopped in Cuba City, WI because they had this random little railroad photo op set up.

Self-timer time for family pictures.

Thankful for a week of fun, good food, and time spent together.  Now it's back to the grind in northeast Missouri!