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Stranger than fiction


This is actually what we read during stories last night…We’ve been reading The Lost Princess of Oz by Frank Baum, straight from 1917. I paused, after reading that page, and Emmett and Glory’s eyes got rather big before Glory stated the obvious.


Autumn days are finally here (sort of)


Check out those boots!


We spent so much time outdoors this week. Above is the seasonal classroom…is there really reason to whine about having to do math when it looks like that?

There was a much-awaited trip to the Sunflower Farm. This is a fabulous place for kids to play (really anyone…I had a nice time on the zipline). There are farm animals roaming, trees and old tractors on which to climb, a bonfire, long rope swings…and hardly anyone there on a brisk weekday morning.


DSC_0646 DSC_0662

We also went to Osborn Farm in Loveland for squash and pumpkins. It’s a pumpkin farm…no corn mazes, bouncy castles, or other autumn tackiness, just pretty squash. First on the menu is squash soup and a pumpkin pie!


One of our art projects was to draw large contour drawings of leaves, and then color them in with chalk pastel.


The Longmont Museum has a free day the second Saturday of each month, so the kids went to see the robot exhibition. It was a little overstimulating with lights and sound, but very fun and interactive. It is open through the beginning of January, so for you locals, go see it! The annual Day of the Dead exhibition opened that day too, which is always exciting (recommended: the festivities later in the month at the museum).

We got a pie cherry tree that will fit in our little yard with the removal of a lackluster tree; Matt is digging the hole right now, and I’d rather dig than be on a computer, so off I go!

Baked Oatmeal

This is our Saturday breakfast, and is evolving a bit week to week, but the current version is so good.

2 c. rolled oats
1/4 c. yogurt
2 1/2 c. water
1/4 c. chopped nuts (e.g., pecans)
2 T. butter, melted
1 c. milk
2 eggs
maple syrup
large pinch of salt
cinnamon, vanilla, or other flavors
2 apples, sliced

Soak the oats, yogurt, water, and nuts overnight. Mix in the rest of the ingredients except apples. Butter an 8″ square pan and layer the apples in, then pour the rest on top. Bake at 425F for about 45 minutes, or until it is set. Let it cool a bit. Serves 4-6

The soaking helps break up enzyme inhibitors, making the grains and nuts more nutritious. In a pinch, you could eliminate this step.

Make it yours! The apples are optional (or you could add a different fruit, dried or otherwise). You could switch out the grains, nuts, or spices, or eliminate the syrup and use dried fruit instead.

Reflections on the last two weeks

School stuff: the workbooks are a good level for both of them. Since we only do them four days a week, but they are designed for five days, we skip parts of some lessons, or an entire lesson. Emmett would rather not write out any sentences in his grammar lessons, but it is good handwriting practice, so we still do it. The first grammar test is next week! Spelling is not too challenging, but is another chance to practice writing, and gives them a weekly quiz with which they can feel successful.

Things to improve: I love mentoring them with art, but it is so difficult with a baby trying to grab things (like jars of watercolor, yikes). Lots of sewing projects, which will have to get done in bits here and there in the evenings (as if Sulien goes to sleep before us). Finding time for exercise (note: bringing Emmett on his bike is fun, and gets him some exercise). Getting a plan (menu, things in the freezer) for lunches, especially on Thursdays.

Kitchen efficiency: Successful meals included baked beans, having a daily breakfast plan (we soak the grains the night before): Monday (hot cereal with compote), Tuesday (fruit and yogurt and nuts/seeds), Wednesday (chia pudding, or other raw pudding), Thursday (hot cereal with fruit), Friday (see Tuesday), Saturday (baked oatmeal), Sunday (eggs and toast). Making dinner right after lunch, to cut down on cleaning up time. Making yogurt right after picking up the milk on Fridays, and separating cream out then too.

Repurposing/thrifting: redoing our sturdy screen door for another door (McGuckins has galvanized screen!), looking for thrifted winter boots and snow pants BEFORE winter, finding a wool sweater to turn in to pants for Sulien (except Matt snatched it up for himself, so doing this will have to wait), finding a backpack to keep stocked with hats, diapers, etc for trips to town, hiking, etc.

Nature Fridays

We went to Gold Hill for a coffee at the Gold Hill General Store (they have lunch and pie, too!) and then for a lovely little hike off of Rainbow Lake Road. We went home through Nederland, so we had to stop at the carousel, which Glory recently announced was her “favorite place in the whole world”.

Jill, Sulien, Emmett, and Horsie in the little Aspen forest.

Jill, Sulien, Emmett, and Horsie in the little Aspen forest.

Glory on the trail.

Glory on the trail.

Emmett and Horsie next to a tiny Christmas tree.

Emmett and Horsie next to a tiny Christmas tree.

August 23 reflections

Flowers on Gold Hill's Main Street seen on Nature Friday.

Flowers on Gold Hill’s Main Street seen on Nature Friday.

Successes this week include: Glory delving in to her academics and loving it, juggling teaching kids with a busy baby-toddler, getting out there for Nature Fridays, and sitting down with a latte to plan the next week and reflect upon this one (thank you sweet!)

Struggles: getting Emmett to do his work, which is not too long, boring, or too difficult. Everything gets easier with practice, as Glory has already seen, so we will forge onward and hope he will realize this soon!

Awesome things: Sparkle Stories (you can subscribe, plus listen to lots of free stories!) my planner (Mead weekly/monthly planner)

Projects/places: papier-mache, library, horse riding, mountains, Dougherty Museum, Sunset pool.