March 30, 2015


Hi there.  I bet you forgot I moved in November....but we did.  And we still haven't made it to our new city.  We've been camping out at my aunt's in South Dakota since mid-November.  Finding a house in Minneapolis was hard.  We started looking right away in November and after five attempts at getting one, we finally found the one.

I'm excited.  And tired.  And the thought of unpacking again makes me more tired.  But we're almost home...almost. 

Tomorrow. Tomorrow.  Tomorrow we'll be home.

March 26, 2015


With every birthday I can't help pushing my eyebrows together in confusion as to how my kids got that big.  Last Thursday was no different with my baby girl.  She's seven and I don't know how, but I love it.  I see so much goodness coming with 'seven.'  She's growing up into such a little lady.  She confides in me and asks a million questions a day.  We're tipping our hat to you, Seven, you are one of our favorites.
Celebrating birthdays during this weird time of in-between homes and without Daddy has definitely been harder.  My kids miss their North Carolina friends.  Birthdays with them was so simply and cool.  Since we lived in a self-proclaimed 'commune,' it was a matter of sending my kids outside with a handful of invitations.  They would return empty-handed and full of smiles because, of course, they would all be there.
It's different here now.  We're moving, but we're not quite moved yet.  Sophia has had the most difficult time of my kids with this move.  She misses her friends something fierce.  But with her lemons I squeezed out some pretty sweet lemonade last week.  With a house full of family and strict instructions from me to act like little kiddies, we rocked out one of the most fun parties we've had to date.
I give you, our Cupcake Party.

We set up an "Apron Decorating" station with plain canvas aprons and fabric markers for everybody to decorate an apron.  I loved how Grandpa and Uncle got so into it too.  Grandmas and brothers made some creative aprons and Sophia was so happy to have all the artist companions.


Jack is obviously really enjoying fractions in math right now.


My mother-in-law is a cake decorator by trade.  She's been making cakes since before I was born! She brought over her frosting bags and tips and showed everyone how to create beautiful flowers and swirly frosting.  I have to say, we came up with some pretty amazing creations.

This truly was one of our favorite parties.  So much hands-on going on and everyone was so involved.  The baker's hats helped a lot too. 
Happy Bakers...

Happy birthday, my sweet seven-year-old.

March 23, 2015


This is a repost from last year.  I wanted to share it again because this is one of my favorite spring projects we've done and since Easter is right around the corner...her ya go!

Natural egg dying is SO much fun and such a great learning experience for you and your kids.  Also, they're beautiful.  Enjoy!

repost from 4/18/14

Wednesday we did an awesomely fun art/holiday/science project...natural egg dyes.  I have wanted to do this forever.  The beautiful natural shades looking ever so elegant on my Pinterest boards compared to our vividly electric blue from our Paas kits.  We went for it this year. Let me warn you though, this is not a project for the faint of heart.  I felt like I could have used a stiff drink after all this, but it was so worth it.  At one point, all four burners were occupied by bubbling fruits and veggies, there were Cheerios all over the floor, grape juice spilled down the cabinets, and a pile of cracked eggs quickly accumulating.  I would suggest you put on your organized pants this day...a pair that were definitely in my ironing pile on Wednesday, and have things set up before the project starts.  It is fun for the kids to make the dyes too, but maybe have things chopped ahead of time.  Either way, we got some pretty fabulous eggs....

Our favorite concoctions were the beets, the purple onions, and the turmeric.  The purple onions produced the most beautiful jade green. 

Here's the things we used and the ratio of water to veggie to vinegar.

I think its important to tell your kids these dyes are different than Paas.  They might be disappointed if the colors aren't as vivid.  We had lots of cups of dye and took turns with the different colors and some were left in for even ten minutes.  When we got done, I had them leave their final eggs in for about 30 minutes.  These are the results...

...natural Easter egg bliss.

We decided the beets was the worst smelling dye, but it did produce some gorgeously dark pink eggs.

There's still a few days to try this! Have fun and Happy Easter!

March 20, 2015


It's birthday season at our house.  Noah's in February, Sophia's in March (yesterday!), and Vera's in April.  We had a super fun cupcake party yesterday in honor of the freshly crowned seven-year-old, and it was seriously one of our most fun parties ever (do I say that every time??)! I'll share the details from yesterday next my camera cord is currently in a different state.

In the spirit of birthday season, here is a list of a few of our favorite birthdays in the Hutchinson Home.

1. Jack's CAMP JACK party was oh-so fun! Everybody got a Camp Jack t-shirt and trail mix to take home.  We played camp games and did arts and crafts.  Also, s'mores...of course.

2. The party my kids talk about the most is Jack's CARNIVAL PARTY.  Oh my word, did we have fun! My dad "sold" popcorn, we had a ticketbooth, carni games, and way too much sugar.

3. I love nature and any chance I get to plan a party around it, I totally will.  Gardens? Rabbits? Veggies?? Yes...all the yeses!! I adored planning Vera Mae's first birthday, a PETER RABBIT PARTY!

4. Our BACKYARD TEA PARTY wasn't technically a birthday party, but it could easily be adapted to be a birthday party.  We put this one together pretty quickly but it was so great! The girlies loved it so much! 

5. And last but not least, is Sophia's WOODLAND FAIRY party from last year.  Again with the nature...I loved this one.  Everything was magic...the woods, the hidden fairy trinkets, the sweet and tasty much fun!

I hope you get some inspiration from these parties...even if it's not birthday season at your house!

March 18, 2015


This school year has been interrupted time and time again with traveling and moving and lots of unknowns.  It looks like we'll be studying the Middle Ages again next year, but honestly, I'm kind of ok with that.
With all our shenanigans this year, I am proud to say we did finish one pretty thorough unit study: on Vikings! These guys were fascinating.  This post is all about what we read and what we did.
A Few of the Books We Read:  
Projects are always a large part of our unit studies.  We usually end our study with a project or a group of projects.  We love having these on display for a while and remember the fun things we've learned.

For the Viking unit, I had the boys each make a long ship and Sophia make a long house with my help.  Of course, there was a ton of other projects and fun ideas I had on my list, but considering the month we're having, moving, and all that comes with having four kids, we only did a few of what I had planned.  It's ok though. I am really happy with what my kids came up with.

How to Make a Viking Longhouse

You will need:
  • cardboard
  • small dowels (cut into three inch segments)
  • brown and white paint
  • paintbrushes
  • hot glue gun
  • raffia
  • and craft moss
Start by cutting our your pieces of cardboard.  You'll need:
  • a front and back piece (the front will have a door cut out)
  • two identical side pieces
  • two identical roof pieces
Paint your sides and front and back pieces with the brown paint.  Add white to create dimension.

Add pieces of dowel over the door frame and on the sides of the door as well using the hot glue.  Add three pieces of dowel to the sides of the house on the ends and one in the middle.

With all four pieces ready to go, hot glue them a base a little larger than the house structure.  Glue all four sides together and then glue to the base. 

Make the roof with your roof cardboard pieces and raffia.  Cut the raffia into pieces about the same length and work in sections to attach to the roof pieces with the hot glue.  Glue the roof pieces on the house.
Add the moss to cover the cardboard base using the hot glue again. And you're done! 


How to Make a Viking Longship

I was lucky enough to find a great tutorial for this online.  The boys used cereal boxes to create their longships and they were so simple to do! You can find the instructions here.


 Viking Village Model

This was a really fun on-going project.  The boys worked on this in their free time and it was perfect because they could work on it on their own.  I purchased Usborne cut-out models: Make this Viking Settlement and it had everything we needed to create this model (except for a piece of cardboard to put on the bottom.


Viking Explorer Maps

I love having the boys draw maps for our unit studies.  This one shows the routes of different Viking explorers.  I make sure they go really slow on these and don't rush through.  I haven't done it yet, but I will laminate these so they stay nice.  

The kids also watched some documentaries on YouTube as well.  And that's it for our Viking unit study!  I am pretty proud of us for finishing this study despite all the craziness lately.  It was more spread out then I had originally planned, but it turned out pretty great.  Hope you enjoyed!

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