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 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;

Your Top 11 Posts from 2011

I got the idea for this post from Anne of Quick and Easy, Cheap and Healthy. I really like her blog and thought wrapping up the year with favorite posts was pretty clever. Reflecting on my blogging has been very interesting to me!

Since I switched blogging platforms (from Blogger to WordPress) half-way through the year, what I’m writing here is only true from July, 2011 on. But since July, these have been the most viewed posts on Simplify, Live, Love (I didn’t include any giveaway posts).

#11. If Someone Offers You a Free Barn ~ The first post on my series about our barn restoration efforts, this post shows what terrible shape our barn was before we moved it. It really makes me wonder what the heck we were thinking. Do you ever do things you look back on and just shake your head about? Don’t get me wrong, I love our barn, but the audacity to think we could (should?) rebuild it! Holy Moly!!

#10. Eggy Breakfast Muffins ~ This is a recipe for an interesting take on a quick breakfast! The best part, it can be made ahead of time and frozen! I’m all for saving time.

#9. Master Bread Recipe  ~ I bake all of our bread and this is the recipe I deviate from! I love creating new recipes from this one base recipe. Apparently, you all have enjoyed it, too.

#8. Muffin Mixes for the Freezer ~ Can you tell I’m all about freeing up time in the kitchen? Here’s the recipe I use to make my own muffin mixes so I can quickly whip up a batch of fresh muffins in the morning.

#7. My Grocery Price Point List ~ Feeding my family of 6 a healthy, whole foods diet for between $250-$300 a month takes careful planning. Here are the prices I use as a guide to help me stock up when prices are at their lowest.

#6. Amish Produce Auction Purchases ~ All three of my posts about my expereince at the Amish Produce Auction were very popular! This posts shows what I ended up winning.

#5. Stringtown Amish Bulk Food Store ~ One of my favorite stores is Stringtown in Kalona. I get raw honey, raw nuts, bags of wheat berries and other goodies for much less than I could buy them elsewhere. This post talks about the store.

#4. September Freezing Cooking Wrap-up ~ I was super productive in September and this post outlines all of the goodies I made for my freezer and includes links for some of the recipes! I still have one Spinach Mozzarella Meatloaf  and a few bags and jars of spaghetti sauce left.

#3. Produce Auctions – also one of my favorite 11 posts! I love the pictures my friend Michele took and graciously allowed me to include on my blog. I love watching Amish people! I can’t wait for spring to hit up these auctions again. They are a fabulous way to get quality produce for little out of pocket.

#2. 100% Whole Wheat Everyday Bread ~ This post describes how I bake 5 loaves of bread from start to finish in about 1 1/2 hours! YUM!

#1. Italian Zucchini Pie ~ My most favorite post of 2011 is the recipe for Zucchini Pie! I’m shocked, really. I thought I was the only weird person who liked zucchini! :-) Thanks, Amy, for the recipe that so many people like.

What do you think? Did you like these posts, too?