Saturday, July 23, 2011

Pioneer School


In early June, Clara and Aidan had an opportunity to participate in a pioneer school experience at the West Riverside Museum School through the Isanti County Historical Society in Cambridge, Minnesota.  For one week, they toted their tin pails filled with old-fashioned lunches, delved into their textbooks from the early 1900's, and enjoyed schooling in a one-room school house.  There were about twenty-five students in grades one through eight taught by a volunteer schoolmarm.

The kids especially enjoyed spending their recess time playing "Red Rover" and "Annie, Annie Over".  The first day home, Aidan said, "There's this thing called 'recess'."  I had to laugh at the fact that my home-schooled son had never heard of recess even though he's sent outdoors every day!  At the end of the week, families were invited for a presentation of poetry and other selections followed by a picnic...cold fried chicken, biscuits, watermelon, and lemonade prepared by Mom.  

Outside the Historic Schoolhouse

 A schoolboy at his desk

The "Annie, Annie Over" Shed 

A cabin on the historical site.  The kids made pancakes here for breakfast one morning. 

A class photo

With the schoolmarm

 Enjoying the water pump

This is the kind of experience I would have loved as a child, so I admit to living vicariously through my children that week.  Rather than make the trek back and forth the other kids and I spent lots of time at parks, the local library, and yes, Caribou Coffee.  Eleanor looks forward to joining them at pioneer school next year!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Giving Twitter a try


As you can tell, posting on this blog has been a difficult task for quite some time. Neither myself or Molly has enough time to post much, and it's not a priority now that the house (phase 1) is finished. God calls us to more immediate and spiritually-important ways of spending our time right now. However, because I do occasionally have something to share, some news or little tidbit, I've decided to give Twitter a try. I'm not a Facebook guy, and likely never will be. Twitter, on the other hand, makes some sense to me as a micro-blogging site. With Twitter I am released from my perfectionism; I can't format text in certain ways or get picture widths just right or do other things exactly the way I want them. And I can't write a long novel. It's just text (pics and videos are options but more like an attachment), and it's only 140 characters per tweet. So everything on this blog that causes me to take a long time to author a post that meets my standards, well... it's not available on Twitter. So, it's very little effort and it's very fast, which means I'll actually use it instead of waiting until I have perfection to do a blog post. That's not to say I won't be doing blog posts in the future, I will, but tweets are a good way to keep things moving in between. And there's also the advantage that I can use Twitter easily on-the-go using my phone, which I wouldn't do with the blog.

One question might be, why am I such a perfectionist on blog posts? The truth is, I am a perfectionist (for certain things, though Molly would point out that cleanliness of my car is not one of them). But also, throughout this whole period of blogging I've known that eventually we would want to gather all of the posts we've done and put them into a book, just for the sake of family history and posterity. So little updates and trivial subject matter just haven't made the cut for blog posts. I am in fact currently working on putting our blog posts, from start to finish, into book format in order to self-publish it using It's an exciting endeavor; we've spent so much time writing on this blog, I don't want it to go to waste, and it will be great to have a hard-copy for posterity and for our kids.

But, for the foreseeable future, I'll also be on Twitter at @BrendanKoop. I've set up a widget on the right-hand sidebar of the blog that will pick up my tweets, and you can always look me up on Twitter itself to see what's going on.