Sunday, April 1, 2018

Hobbies that Begin with "A" - Blogging from A to Z Challenge

During the 2018 Blogging from A to Z Challenge, I will be focusing on hobbies that I have introduced to my daughters to through their childhood and teen years.

Some were done as part of homeschooling, while others were areas that we explored because we were interested in the subject or activity. These are hobbies that anyone of any age could try as well.


There are seven hobbies that begin with the letter "A" that we have explored: acting, animals, aquariums, archery, arts, astronomy, and aviation.


When the girls were younger, they were introduced to acting by being in the Almost Angels children's choir at church. There were plays that the children did. It was a great way to gain confidence in talking and being in front of an audience.

The girls also participated in a play at the St. Croix ArtBarn and had roles in "The Chocolate Milk Cow."

June 27, 2009

Each year, the children's choir put on a play around Christmas. The girls had different roles each year.

December 16, 2011

December 8, 2013

When they were in a book club that I organized, they brought their love of costumes and acting to the club; and they acted out scenes from the play. All the kids had a fun time.

August 23, 2013


Appreciation and enjoyment of animals; and animal care are what I think of for this hobby. The girls have enjoyed having dogs for their entire lives. 

February 23, 2013

When they were 6 and 8 years old, we adopted two horses from a rescue organization. The girls have cared for them since August 13, 2009. The horses were about 3 years old at that time and from different neglectful situations. 

April 30, 2011

One of our favorite field trips is to the Minnesota Zoo. Here the girls were watching the sea otters. We had an up-close view of this one as it swam right by us.

February 13, 2009

We have taken trips that have focused on animals. In February 2014, we visited the International Wolf Center in Ely (Minnesota) and then went on two different dog sledding trips. 

February 23, 2014

We seek out places to learn more about wildlife. Olivia is fascinated with this juvenile skunk. 

June 16, 2016

An important part of our lives is spending time with dogs and cats waiting to be adopted at Northwoods Humane Society. Sophia plays the harp for the dogs while Olivia and I pet them.

January 19, 2018

We originally brought cats into the room, but found that they are more relaxed in their kennels. The dogs, on the other hand, love getting out of their kennels and getting on-one-on attention while listening to music.


Visiting aquariums and watching aquatic life is the extent to this hobby so far. We have not had fish, though we all would enjoy having them.

January 31, 2008

We have enjoyed learning about sea life - like the urchin pictured below with Olivia.

January 18, 2011

Having the opportunity to touch stingrays and starfish is something that was a highlight of our visit to an aquarium.

September 5, 2011

Being able to observe a variety of fish in large aquariums continues to interest us.

March 16, 2017

There is always something new to see and fish that capture our attention each time we visit the aquarium at the Minnesota Zoo.


Sophia and Olivia both took archery lessons through 4-H in 2016. They enjoyed it and did very well.

May 17, 2016

They liked practicing on the indoor targets and challenging themselves to get closer to the targets at each practice.

May 17, 2016


The arts and visiting museums have been an integral part of our lives and homeschooling. When the girls were younger, we did artist studies where they observed pictures of art work by various artists and would recall what they saw.

September 15, 2011

We would visit sculpture parks where they could walk and run; and have hands-on experiences with large-scale sculptures.

December 3, 2011

We have enjoyed many visits to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. A favorite exhibit was one about China - where the girls were born.

January 11, 2013

A very memorable experience was when we took my mom to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts for a tactile tour since she was essentially blind. We each got to wear gloves and touch the sculptures. Below we are touching a sculpture created by Picasso. 

May 10, 2013

Sometimes two hobbies are combined - animals and art. The bear sculpture is at the Minnesota Zoo. Each time we go there, I take a photo of the girls to mark how they have grown. 

March 16, 2017

Franconia Sculpture Park has provided many opportunities to enjoy seeing contemporary sculptures as well as ways to practice our photography skills. Below Olivia is taking photos of Sophia for a photography class she is in during the 2017-18 homeschool year.

March 9, 2018


Living in the country, we have enjoyed many clear nights where we can observe constellations. The Big and Little Dippers and Orion are clearly visible from anywhere on our farm.

The girls noted this in their nature journal.

October 16, 2011

They drew the star placements of these constellations that they've seen frequently through their childhood.

October 16, 2011

Sometimes we have gone out at night to observe the stars. It must have been a warm night on December 20th because we were headed out to look at the stars. The girls are dressed in pajamas and sweatshirts; and Olivia has a light coat on.

December 20, 2011


I've taken the girls to aviation shows at local airports since the girls were young. They have seen single-engine planes...

September 8, 2007

and helicopters used for medical transportation.

October 14, 2008

They have flown across the country; and to/from other countries from the time they were infants. Their first international trip was flying from China to the United States. Since they, they have enjoyed trips that have taken as far east as New England and as far west as California.

September 11, 2011

Even at 12 and 10 years old, the girls enjoyed looking at helicopters and other small planes.

September 7, 2013

 So, those are some of the hobbies that begin with the letter "A" that we have explored throughout the years.


Laura Roberts @ Buttontapper Press said...

These are some great hobbies! I remember enjoying archery as a kid, and wonder how I would fare now with a bow and arrow. Oddly enough, both of the sports I did in high school begin with the letter B: bowling and badminton! Looking forward to finding out what's on the list for tomorrow. Happy A to Z'ing!

Rita said...

Lots of fun and educational adventures! :)

Haneen Ibrahim said...

Wow! many hobbies and serious history and we are still in letter A? You seem to have had a great time :) I would love to try my hand on Archery, and the animal hobbies were cute too. Can't wait to see what you have next.

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