Travel Dates: August 27 – Sept 11, 2015 The “North Shore” is the section of Minnesota from Duluth to Grand Portage along the Lake Superior coastline. I had heard amazing things about this section of Minnesota and had been ready to visit it since we first set foot in the state. After some plan changes and a […]

View full post »

Life is always harder when Sam is gone. This was true back in our sticks and bricks, and even more so on the road. He always gives me my second wind around 5pm when I’m about to crash, and I love sharing responsibilities, fun, and chores (those pesky things) with my best friend. Occasionally he […]

View full post »

  • Bruce Kendall Madsen - Loved this post! But… Where’s a picture of the caterpillar? :-)ReplyCancel

    • Jess - I totally got in trouble with Andrew for not taking one!!ReplyCancel

We’ve had some problems lately in the home school department. Our road schooling/home schooling curriculum is fairly lax. We don’t have a strict schedule, and will often have more field trips than book days. Since I absolutely loved field trips as a kid, my kids learn the best with hands on exploration, and there is […]

View full post »

  • Betsy - Is Beast Academy working out? I’m starting a kid in our school on 3A. I’ve never taught that one.ReplyCancel

    • Jess - Yes! Thank you so much for introducing it to us. Rachel is finishing up 3D, and Andrew (I think is on 3B?). Sam does most of the math, but I really like how Beast Academy teaches the concepts. We have 4 ordered and ready for Rachel to start that one!ReplyCancel

  • Crissa Boyink - I thought I saw wings peeking out of your shirt on Sunday.;)

    Good for you on figuring out what works for the kids and You.ReplyCancel

  • Garrett Tershel - Hello, we are hoping to be a fulltime family next spring/summer. We have been homeschoolers for 2 years. When my oldest now 9 was in 1st grade ( 2 years ago) in a catholic school she was in the habit of getting up early. When we moved her to homeschool she would still get up early. I would leave self guided assignments out for her and she would do them sometimes.
    For better or worse both of her parents have relaxed work hours. In fact the only reason we used to have to get up was to get her to school. Now we, her parents, still stay up late 1am-2am, for lots of reasons, work, fun, undisciplined Netflix binging. Our kids go to sleep about 9pm or 10pm. They sleep till about 9 or 10am (about 11 hours of sleep) and play or have their time in the morning. They have the ability to make breakfast but rarely do. Our first meal is brunch. I laughed when you said you said that your school stared at 9ish our usually doesn’t start till noon.
    I hate to admit it but it is not productive to start at noon. We sometime have school till 6pm if it is a full day and I am strict about the curriculum. Some of our more productive days are field trip days. I am forced to set up the day before hand to make sure we set our at a reasonable hour. I will set up the assignments they can do themselves and leave them out for them to do in the morning before I get up. Of course with the stipulation, “Once your morning work is done, we can leave.”. I usually also get a wake up call.
    As alway with homeschool, I find your final line to ring most true, “I definitely have some scheduling that I still need to work out for me!”. Isn’t that always true.
    I like the Magic School Fairy, I don’t think I could pull it off, but I am glad it works for you.ReplyCancel

We discovered these delectable treats as I was looking for a way to pack a dessert in to the Apostle Islands for Andrew’s birthday.  Made with whole wheat flour & ground flaxseed, I can at least pretend they are more healthy than regular chocolate chip cookies, right? At least until we add the marshmallow. Whole […]

View full post »

  • Mary dunbar - Having grown up and lived in Wi and MN I have loved reading about your discovering out favorite places. Can’t wait to get back there in our airstream. The cookie recipe looks yummy and healthy, but I didn’t t see the ground flaxseed that you mentioned in the blog???ReplyCancel

    • Jess - Thanks!! We really did enjoy our time up there. And THANK YOU for catching my mistake! I added the flaxseed into the ingredients list now. :)ReplyCancel

We’ve recently completed a circle tour of Lake Superior, and we had a great experience. One surprise in our journey was the shipping traffic on the Great Lakes. I knew shipping on the great lakes was a thing, but I had not considered how we might learn about it or experience it during our journey. Fairly […]

View full post »

  • Boyink - When we had our house in Holland, we were just close enough to the water that we’d hear the ships sounding their horns coming into drop off loads of gravel and again on the way out.

    It became a game – we’d hear the horns, drop whatever we were doing, jump into the car and try to find the ship.

    Ideally we’d catch them going through the channel back into the big lake – where you can stand close enough that they pretty much block the whole horizon.ReplyCancel

  • Betty - We just got back from visiting the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie. Although we did not know about the phone number to call for ship schedules, nor about the Boat Nerd website, we were blessed to see a lake tanker, RCMP boat and a Soo Locks Dam Tour boat go through. Fascinating! The visitor’s center was also worth going through, especially learning about the depths of the various lakes. Lake Erie is the lake closest to us and we were surprised to learn it is the shallowest at an average depth of 62 feet. Travel is so educational! Love following your adventures!ReplyCancel