Family Fun Friday ~ Mother-Daughter Book Club

Most of my Family Fun Friday posts have focused on things I’m doing with my homeschooled kiddos, and I think it’s time to show you some fun I have with my public-schooled child as well!

We are really lucky to have a fabulous library in the next town over that hosts Mother-Daughter Book Club once a month. This is the second year we’ve participated in it, and we always have a blast. The ladies who run this group are so creative, nice, and fun! This group is such a great way to get some one-on-one time with my oldest child.

This week was our monthly meet-up.

We read About Average by Andrew Clements. Anna and I really enjoyed the book, but we haven’t read any of his other books yet. Some of the people at the meeting who had read his other books said they were a little disappointed with About Average, but we still enjoyed it.

If you’re curious about the book, it’s about a girl who feels like she does a lot of things semi-well, but nothing really well or really poorly. She’s an unfortunate victim of mean-girl bullying which is a bit distributing. I’m actually shocked by how young it seems that girls in school get mean. This seems to be a sad fact of life. Anyway, a series of events enable the book’s heroine to prove that she does have quite redeeming features after all.

The two women who run our book club decided the girls should have a talent show to showcase some of their own talents.

I was surprised when Anna volunteered to go first! Last year, she didn’t even want to talk at Mother-Daughter Book Club. But this year, she is participating with everyone. And she did a great job playing on the piano for a while. She really does seem to have a bit of talent and I sure hope she will continue her piano lessons.

We also built Jenga type structures out of wafer cookies. Anna’s structure was pretty impressive.

I did get blamed though, when hers finally toppled over. I guess the click from my camera was all it took?!

Overall, I have been so impressed with this library! Everything’s free and it’s all wonderful. Mother-Daughter Book Club is an activity that Anna and I really look forward to each month. It’s so nice to have some dedicated time with just her. I know she appreciates it, and I do to! Sometimes it’s hard to give kids in a many-kid family the individual attention they deserve, and I am very thankful for this great group!

Do you have activities like this as your local library? How do you show your children they are special?

Family Fun Friday ~ Harvesting Corn

When my husband and I first made the decision to move back to his hometown in 2006, one big draw was to be able to raise farm kids. Dan’s parents are farmers, his grandparents were farmers, and his great-grandparents were farmers. We wanted our kids to be able to experience life on a farm. We currently live in town, but we are pretty close to breaking groung on our own home in the country. We won’t be farmers, per se, but we will be one step closer to the more self-sufficient lifestyle we are working toward. Dan’s parents, though, are still active farmers and our kids “help” them harvest the crops every fall.

A few weeks ago, our kids went out to the fields to help.

While we were waiting for the tractor and combine to get to us, I seized the opportunity and pretty red backdrop to take a few pictures of my kiddos! I love old barns.

My little ham. She’s 2 1/2 now and talking up a storm. This is one opinionated little pipsqueak. She has a definite idea on just about everything.


My husband’s sister drives one tractor and his mother drives the combine. His dad drives the other tractor and they run grain back and forth between the fields and the bins.


Riding in the combine is the most fun because you can see it picking the corn, watch it fill up in the big hopper on the top, and see it dump into the waiting wagon.


This is the view from inside the combine! It’s a bumpy, slow ride, but it’s still a lot of fun. Sometimes we see foxes and rabbits and other animals. The kids really enjoy riding in the combine and so do I.


And this is the corn dumping into the wagon. They dump on the fly – that means the combine is still picking and the tractor and combine keep driving. It’s a little tricky sometimes, as both machines need to move at a constant rate and on a constant path.

Harvest is always an exciting time around here. I have really conflicted feelings about commercial farming, GMOs, and Monsanto. Actually, I’m not really conflicted. I don’t like it at all. And I really wish GMOs would finally be labeled, but that’s not what this blog post is about {Although if you’re reading from California, I hope you will vote YES on Prop 37 next week}. Harvest is still an exciting time and I’m really glad my kids get to participate in it with their grandparents and extended family members. Harvest is over already for this year. Everyone is excited about doing it again next year.

Family Foto Friday ~ Iowa 80 Trucking Museum

Since starting up with homeschooling again, I feel like we’re not leaving the house as much. It’s really busy around here and I have to make an effort to get out and enjoy life or we all end up bickering at each other at home! It’s honestly not that pleasant to sit at home and fight all day long, yet that seems to be what we do when we don’t get out.

I was happy for the diversion earlier in the week at the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum in Walcott, Iowa! We drive by this place all the time and I never even knew it was there.  But it was really quite neat. Not at all what I expected, but very neat nonetheless.

Let me give you a quick tour of some of the things we enjoyed most.

An electric milk truck from the turn of the century – it delivered fresh milk in Chicago for many years. Why could they succeed with electric trucks in the early 1900s but we can’t figure it out today??

A US Mail truck on skis… 😉 I love to ski. This really cracked me up.

THE wrecker from the movie Fried Green Tomatoes! I don’t really remember the movie much, but it’s still pretty cool, eh?

Peg wheels made out of wood, anyone? Eh, no thanks…

Three of my super cute children. I can’t resist an opportunity to show them off! I can’t believe how big they’re all getting!!

In case you’d like to head to this neat museum, which features a lot more than I’ve shared, here are there hours! And their website has a lot of great information.

Have you been to this museum? What did YOU think?

Linking up: Field Trip Friday;