Memories in a Can

Memories in a Can

It is a simple can of spaghetti and meatballs, but with that can come so many memories for me. 

This one little can reminds me of days at the cabin. Great Grandma would always have the pantry stocked full for the grandkids.

This little can reminds me of the date she would write on top of each one. We always knew when she went shopping because the date she bought it would be on top and her pantry was stocked like a grocery store, with the newest in the back.

This can reminds me of my cousin, Derek, and the times we would be together at the cabin. It was a good thing Grandma was always stocked up, because I don't know what we  would have done of there was only one can left!

I remember standing around the stove with Derek and sharing the stories of the week with each other as we cooked our lunch, or snack, because Grandma didn't have the quick microwave.

I still remember the laughing and fun that was had with these two angels over one simple can. I pull the can out to make the meal, or snack, for my kids and I am brought back to the memories. How I love those memories, even if they are from a simple can!



Family Field trip


We went on a family field trip over the weekend. A short (hour drive) from our house, we found a nice little "farm" that allowed our kids to get up close and personal to many different animals. Ray Ray has this fascination with deer. We had gone out and looked for deer on our car ride home from picking up daddy at work, but that just wasn't enough for this kid. When he walked in the gates, I thought he was seeing Santa Clause! 


These deer were so tame. They really didn't care what you did! It is not everyday that your kids can sit and watch out over the water with a deer. Each of the kids got a bag of food and got to feed the deer straight out of their hands. This was so special for each of them.



Even Big Kid had a fun time sitting down and petting the deer. We had never been here before, and found new surprises around each corner as we walked. Not only were we able to feed the deer, but we got to feed goats, llamas, pigs, bunnies, ducks, horses and sheep! They also had an elk pair, a grizzly bear, bobcat, wolves and river otter. However, those that were more dangerous wer not able to be fed or touched like the deer and other animals. (This momma was glad!)




Mommy and daddy had just as much fun as the kiddos! Little Miss kept wanting to feed the babies, but those were smart little deer and didn't let people get too close to them. They did have a sign saying that the fawns would "listen" well to their moms and stay away from strangers. That is good for them, and made for a good teaching moment about stranger danger!


Until next time deer!!


Have you gone on a fun field trip like this? What was your favorite memory? 

Five Minute Friday: Broken

Five Minute Friday


Today I am taking part in Five Minute Friday. I am given the topic and write for five minutes. Here is my post for today:



I look across the floor and see broken toys, "But mom we can't get rid of that. That is my favorite!" Why do boys love broken toys so much? How do you get rid of broken toys? I don't want the kids mad, but I don't want broken toys…


Broken toys are in the sandbox. "Mom, those are for our battle, we can't get rid of those!" Once again my boys won't let me get rid of anything broken!


I am glad we have not had broken bones or anything like that! 


Broken time alone…that is what this mommy deals with. Not even five minutes to "write" and my attention is needed. Off to make sure nothing more is broken!!

Another Week Gone By


In my life this week… Little Miss turned 2 this week!! She is my “baby” and I am just not ready for her to be so big yet.



(I know, her hair is messy. She just woke up and had to open presents)

In our homeschool this week… This week, Big Kid started using Time4Writing and is loving hearing back from a “teacher” and not just from mom! I will be doing a mid-course review in a couple more weeks so pay attention.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing… We are going to hit up some city wide garage sales this weekend. I am hoping to find some good deals on clothes and extras for school. Than we are having everyone over here for Little Miss’ birthday party. It will warm and rainy that day…hopefully the house will be clean enough for the company 🙂

My favorite thing this week was… Being outside in my garden. I loved getting out there and just making it look “pretty” again!

My kiddos favorite thing this week was… Playing outside!! As kids, who could ask for more 🙂

Things I’m working on… I am working on planning out our summer school schedule and next years schedule. What a fun week for mom, but it is worth it!

I’m grateful for… The health of my children.

I’m praying for… All the children in the world who are not healthy. I don’t want to think about what other parents have to go through, and I know they all need some prayers, whoever and where ever they are!

A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…Birthday kisses from her brothers!

Birthday Kiss Birthday Kiss 2









I hope you all have a great week!!

The Top 10 Reasons I Like Summer


Here in Minnesota we are finally getting into summer. I think we completely missed out on spring this year, going straight from winter (including snow storms in May) to summer…in the 80s and 90s today! I really like the summer weather a lot more and here are my top 10 reasons why!!

1. This may be a funny one, but I love a good old thunderstorm in the summer!! Just the washing away of the dirty makes that storm so much better!

2. I love cloud watching with the kids. Finding the different shapes and pictures in the sky is so much nicer when you’re in shorts and a t-shirt instead of snow gear. And it is fun to learn about the different clouds with the older ones!

3. I love having my windows open and having fresh air in the house. Nothing like it in the world!

4. I love sitting out in the sun! (I know, make sure to have the SPF and all the other fun stuff…but really sitting in the sun is awesome.)

Sitting in the Sun

5. I love letting the kids sit in the sun too! Letting them soak up the vitamin D and having fun is what summer is all about!

6. I love being in my garden, either the flower garden or the vegetable garden. It is so nice to get your fingers dirty in the dirt. I love watching the seeds take root and grow into beautiful plants, kind of like raising kids if you think about it!

7. I love playing games with the kids outside!


8. I love being able to fire up the grill and not needing the extra clothes to wear just to cook supper!

9. I love going for walks and bike rides. Being able to get out and see what is happening around us and seeing nature in action.

10. If you haven’t been able to tell, I love everything about being outside in the summer! There really is nothing better about it. I should consider a state where I can be outside all year, but I do love letting my kids have fun in the snow.


 Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings

Life Lessons

Jordan and Grandpa


It’s Monday, we should be doing school. Instead of sitting down in front of the computer and wanting to get stuff done while the weather was nice outside, we did some life lessons today.

My great grandpa is in his upper 90s and we decided it was a nice enough day to help him out with some of his spring clean up. My kids love being with grandpa and playing outside by the lake. Grandpa also has the fun big kid “toys”. Jordan was put to work helping clean up the garbage and than moving some plants and tree branches.

Our lessons today included learning how to “socialize” with our elders. My kids were able to learn how to show respect to grandpa, and how if they didn’t, he wouldn’t stand for it and take things away…even if it was just a rope and to RayRay that meant the end of the world. But they also learned that if they listened, he would give them things they wanted, like that end of the world rope 🙂 Jordan learned how to work the 4-wheeler some more and found out that steering while in the soft grass was not easy. Grandpa told him that he would have to be moving and turning the wheel at the same time and that moving did not mean speeding across the yard!

We were using the 4-wheeler to move branches around the yard, and Jordan had to load them up and make them stay balanced, since Grandpa didn’t want to teach him how to control the trailer yet. He would balance them on the front and rear racks and have to make them stay while they traveled around the yard. Jordan also had to figure out how to “tow” one large branch that wouldn’t fit on the racks, and Grandpa refused to let him use a saw or ax to cut it.


RayRay and Little Miss didn’t get to skip out on the lessons. They were busy finding different things throughout the yard and deciding if they would float or sink once thrown into the lake. We found out that dead grass, branches and pine cones float and that rocks will sink. We than talked about how heavy the rocks were compared to the pine cones while holding one of each in each hand.

Now that we are home, it is time to do some things on the computer and rest up a little! But before we do that I wanted to let you know that we will be using Time4Writing as a summer writing program for the next couple of months.  We are excited to get started with the interactive lessons.  Our online tutor will correct our work and give us writing tips on how to sharpen our writing skills.  Come visit in a few weeks to see how we like it.

My Great Grandma




It was a long two weeks. My great grandma passed away at 92 years old. She was able to spend her last days at her house on the lake. It was a Tuesday morning after having everyone down and visiting her all weekend. We sat next to her in her room, praying with her and singing with her. We downloaded the song God Bless America and she sang it the whole time :'-) The morning she passed started out "normal". My aunt had been spending the night there and has called to update me on how it went overnight and than she left for work. Shortly after that, my great grandpa (98) went in to give grandma her good morning kiss. He than went and got his breakfast. When he went back in, she was gone.

My great grandma was a special lady to me. I spent many nights at her house on the lake with my younger brother. I loved growing up with her as a strong example of what a wife, mother, friend and grandmother is supposed to be like. My grandma is the only one who would call me "Mrs. Hopkins". I will miss those phone calls. It is because of my grandma that I know what hard work is about and what a praying woman is all about. When spending the night, I would fall asleep listening to her pray the rosary.

My daughter has her great, great grandma's middle name. When people ask what her name is, they always question the "old" middle name and I am even more proud now to tell them what it means and who it is for.

My 4 year old, Ray Ray, has been the perfect example of how open to death we have to be. He has opened my eyes in so many ways and I tear up just thinking about them. The little man tells me that grandpa doesn't live alone in his house, grandma's angel is with him. And he talks about his two grandmas and one cousin who are his angels in heaven that are waiting to spend forever with him. So sweet!

Now that we have laid my grandma to rest (with a send off of tiny bubbles, like the song she loved), we are getting ourselves back on a normal schedule for school. This week will be our first week in over two weeks that we will be on our "normal" schedule. I am hoping we transition back into this quickly and can stay on track to getting everything done early in the day so we can spend time outside, if it's not raining.

I hope you all have a good week!!

It’s A Family Time

My great grandma is 92 and she is in her final days. We haven’t been doing too much school right now and just spending time with her. I don’t have much to write, but will come back full force when we are back in a routine again.

Weekend Is Here

A quick post during the weekend. Daddy has the time off and we are enjoying some time with him. G and A had their first class at Early Childhood and loved every minute of it. It was so fun to see them playing with the other kids and learning while they did it. J had some problems at public school. He needs extra help, but isn’t getting it the way he is supposed to. Mom and Dad are now talking about homeschooling him too 🙂 I really want to, and have found numerous resources to make it work for little cost if any. Now just to decide if we do it now in the middle of the year, or wait until the start of next school year. If anyone has ideas, I would love to hear them. Now off to enjoy the time with the family!!!