3 Things 1/21/2017: Ski Snow Star; Hopper App; Homeschool Room

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Happy Saturday, dear friends. Thank you for taking a few minutes out of your lovely weekend to enter my world. I hope you have some fun plans lined up this week and that you enjoy this post. Today, I’m sharing pictures of our homeschool room and our recent ski day at Ski Snow Star, and a fun travel app called the Hopper App.


3 Things 1/21/2017: Ski Snow Star; Hopper App; Homeschool Room

Ski snow star 1


Ski Snow Star

Last week, I took seven kids (five of whom had never skied before) to the Midwestern ski slopes of Ski Snow Star in Adalusia, Illinois. Now, I used to be quite a skier, having grown up in Europe and dated a guy in college in Colorado (who happens to be my husband and home builder now). 🙂 But I hadn’t skied in about 12 years and I was quite nervous. I’m pleased to say, though, that skiing is similar to riding a bike, and I can still do it!

ski snow star

It was quite amusing to watch my kids ski. They took a little lesson and learned a few basics, and then they took off. Cora (9 years old) just took off without fear. Anna (12 years old) was very afraid and wouldn’t leave the bunny slope, though I really thought she had the best command of the basics. She says she never wants to ski again, but I think we can get her back on the slopes. Ben went sking once last year with his dad and thought he was an expert. I didn’t see him much at all. And Sara (6 years old), well, Sara was content to ski between my legs and let me do all the work. Controlling four skis took mad skills – and is infinitely more difficult than controlling two skis. I’m just glad we were in Illinois and not the Rockies or the Alps. 😀

Ben at Ski Snow Star

If you’re in Eastern Iowa, Western Illinois or the Quad Cities area and enjoy skiing, Snow Star is a nice little slope for beginning skiers – they have three chairlifts, a bunny slope with a rope tow, and a beginner area with a magic carpet. They also have a Terrain Park for snowboarders and skiers who like flipping and jumps, and a fun tubing hill which we have enjoyed for many years.

Trip to Europe


Hopper App

After years of dreaming about taking the kids to Germany to see where I spent my childhood, we are finally making it a reality! I totally blame the Hopper App, by the way. If you like to find cheap flights, I recommend downloading and using it. It’s free and you can get it here. Simply put in your dates and airports and it color codes the months showing you the cheapest time of year to fly.  Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for where you might end up, but I’m pretty sure you will enjoy wherever you go, so it’s all good. LOL!

I happened to glance at my Hopper app on the way home to Iowa from our Christmas in Missouri and realized that the cheapest tickets to Germany are over my kids’ spring break. Isn’t that convenient timing? That just meant we had to buy them – seriously, one flight to Germany cost as much as my flight to Seattle in June. They were under $500 each (with cancellation insurance!). I can’t wait to head to Germany in March to show my kids where I grew up and introduce them to important people from my childhood.  And we’re heading to Paris for a few days too. Stay tuned for posts about traveling to Europe with an impossibly large family.

looking up at the homeschool room

3-things-3 Homeschool Room

I’m not ready to make another video tour just yet, but I thought I’d go ahead and give you a peak into the upstairs of the Passive-Aggressive House! This is the Homeschool Room, a little ironic since we are not currently homeschooling. I suppose we could call it the project room as the kids do their stop motion animation and build awesome lego sets here – and most often leave this space in a huge mess.

stairs to second floor of the passive-aggressive house

The homeschool room is that the top of our stairs. It’s a large area and is under our Big Ass fan. Yes, that’s the brand, I’m not just swearing at you. 😀 If you missed the video tour of the first floor last week, head over to watch it. It might help you understand how this area fits into the layout of the house.

homeschool room in the passive aggressive house

We put the homeschool area together using furniture we bought at IKEA. We have three KALLAX storage pieces – one 25-cubby unit, and two 4-cubby units. We also built desks using two Alex Drawer Units and three Linnmon Table TopsIn the future, I think we might lose the middle table and add some comfy bean bag chairs and a rug. But for the most part, I really like this room and look forward to using it as my office because I have decided to steal at least part of it away from my kids. 😀

Well, that’s it! I hope you enjoyed the weekly 3 Things Post! Thanks for reading and have a great weekend.

About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

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1 Comment

  1. Fun post! And that is awesome you’re going to Germany with the whole family. I can’t wait to live vicariously through you!