Sunday, October 30, 2011

What's wrong with this picture?


It's October 30th.  The grass is green, the leaves on the trees are still green and the children are building snowmen.   Pour the eggnog and roast some chestnuts while you are at it!

And as if the tree business wasn't busy enough, everybody and their neighbor's Bradford Pear has been damaged in the storm and they want it removed NOW!   That's what happens when snow lays heavy on trees with their leaves still on.  It just isn't meant to be.  Sure it's fun to have snow in October but what a mess!  I can't complain though.  We would take being swamped with work over having no jobs any day.  Especially in this economy.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fall is for......walks in the park

Not that we don't go for walks in the summer but it is so much more pleasant during the fall when the air is cool and crisp.  Plus long walks are supposed to jump start labor right?  Not for me anyway.   That idea has been marked off as failed long ago along with the 101 other ways to induce labor.  I could probably hike Mt. Everest and still not induce labor.

But still, walks are pleasant ways to spend Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
Milkweed seed pods are way more fun than any old dandelion.

Sunday night we had a wonderful treat in that a hot air balloon floated directly over our house, close enough to yell hello to the riders.


We have seen them in the distance before but never this close.  What fun!

The past two days Naomi and Aiden have had raging fevers combined with some sort of stomach bug so I am thankful that the baby has not decided to make his or her appearance yet.  They seem to be better today and Asher already had it last week so we are hoping and praying that the rest of us stay healthy and the bug will be out of the house before the baby comes.  

Sick time around our house is spent in the family room listening to stories.  I am so thankful for the volunteers at Librivox.org.  Our children get so many more stories read to them than I would ever be able to.  Just during the last two days they listened to our favorite reader on her blog read them 3 whole books, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Cricket in Times Square, and The Saturdays.  It is so much better than watching movies all day and they honestly enjoy it more.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Simple Things

(Amanita flavoconia or "Yellow Patches")
Some pictures just really make me happy.  This mushroom growing in the woods in Maine being one of them.  I smile everytime it scrolls through on the screen saver.   Isn't it just adorable?
(Hypomeyces lactiflourum or "Lobster Mushroom")
Christian has been highly intrigued with studying fungus lately so we have a plethora of pictures of mushrooms from our vacation.  It's fascinating stuff he tells me as he curls up in bed with his mushroom book or when he brings home various and sundry mushrooms from tree jobs such as a "chicken of the woods" mushroom that he tries to tell me will taste just like chicken if we cook it and eat it.  Yes, dear.  That's nice.  You go ahead and do that.
(One of the many many types of polypores or shelf mushrooms)

I know the obsession is really getting bad when he starts using the Latin names and dreaming about taking graduate level classes on fungus.  That's o.k. though, that Amanita flavoconia still makes me smile.  Come to think of it maybe I am the odd one for thinking a mushroom is cute.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Hans Herr House and Biblical Tabernacle

It must seem like all we do these days are field trips, doesn't it?  With the baby coming in just a couple weeks now I am feeling like I need to cram in all these field trips before that happens.  I don't know why.  It isn't like I am never going to get out again.  Maybe it's a homeschool mom's way of educational nesting. 

I did talk Christian into going to this one with me though as it was going to be all day and almost 2 hours away so don't be too impressed.  I didn't do it by myself :)  It was nice to have him with us since he has been working a lot of Saturdays lately trying to get in all his side jobs before the baby.  

The first stop was the Hans Herr House, the oldest homestead in Lancaster Country, established in 1719.  We were there with our homeschool field trip group for one of their school frolics which included lots of hands on demonstrations having to do with colonial life and culture of the Swiss-German Mennonites that lived there.
The kids favorite stop was the blacksmith.  They loved the blacksmith shop at the Daniel Boone homestead as well.  I am not sure what they like so much about it but we had to drag them away.
Just look how enthralled Asher is.

I personally was pretty fascinated with this lady spinning flax into linen thread.   They grew the flax on the property and showed us all the steps they went through to turn it into fabric.
Christian ended up talking to this very informative fellow about spinning yarn and how much better quality clothes made with hand spun yarn are and how much longer the fabric will last.
Asher got to try his hand at a wringer washer.

Everyone tried a little scherenschnitte.  Try saying that 5 times fast!

And the kids enjoyed a covered wagon ride.


The next stop was the Mennonite Information Center to see their representation of the biblical tabernacle.  This was one of those places where they don't allow you to take pictures but if you are in the area it is definitely worth a stop.  The tour guide was very informative and I thought it was very helpful to have a visual now for when we read through the old testament about the tabernacle.

Since starting this post I have now acquired a 3 year old little buddy here who is asking me a million questions so that's all for now!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Rembrandt

The Philadelphia Art Museum has been having a special exhibit entitled Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus and I was pretty excited when someone offered us free tickets to go down to see it yesterday.   This was the first Rembrandt exhibit in Philadelphia since 1932 and the first time since 1656 that 7 paintings of the series were seen together.

So we brushed up on our Rembrandt history and I did my best to convince the kids that this was really exciting and we headed down to the city.
Look how excitedly they are running up all those stairs!  We can't wait to see Rembrandt mommy!!
Of course what's a little art museum stair running without a little Rocky history?
Totally uncultural but it had to be done nonetheless.

So anyway, once that was out of our systems we went inside and spent some time perusing the American art wing while we waited for Rembrandt to open up.
(L'annonciation by H.O. Tanner 1898)
Grace likes to look at art from all angles!

Then we stood in line with about 100 people to wait to get in.  Now this is where I started to get nervous because most of the people in line looked wealthy and the average age was about 60.   So I gave the kids the please be on your absolute best behavior talk before we all got outfitted with our audio tour and tropped in.  I just was not in the mood for negative comments.  Come to think of it, I never am but especially 37 weeks pregnant with #5.

Of course no pictures were allowed in that part of the museum but can I tell you how awesome it was to see all those Rembrandt's in one place?  All of it was his religious art as well which I think made it more interesting for the kids.  Many depictions of the Face of Jesus as well as scenes of Lazarus, Jesus blessing the children, Jesus and Pilate, Mary and Martha, The Supper at Emmaus and more.
 (The Supper at Emmaus, normally on display at the Louvre in Paris)

I was so pleased with how well the kids did in there just walking around inspecting the art as they listened to their audio tour.  The elderly "nose looker downers" turned out to be not so snooty after all and let the kids up in front to look at the art up close.  Plus I had more then one comment about how well behaved they were.   I tell you what, that just made my day.  It isn't always like that and sometimes certain children make me want to hide in a hole but thankfully yesterday wasn't one of those days.

If you are interested in seeing the exhibit it is only showing through the end of October.

After the museum we went over to Reading Terminal Market for lunch.  This was on my list of "things to do with the kids before the baby is born" so I was glad to check it off.

They thoroughly enjoyed looking at the chocolate everything including chocolate hearts, kidneys, livers and noses.  Only at Reading Terminal Market!  I could have taken a ton more pictures in there since it is such a fascinating place but taking pictures while trying to keep an eye on the kids in there didn't go too well.

After feeling like I was going to go into labor last night and having a pretty serious contraction that thankfully stopped at just one, I decided I probably over did it yesterday and am trying to take it easy.  Pretty hard for me when it is gorgeous outside today and I am dying to clean up the flower beds.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

School and Millions of Hats

Yes I am still here.  We were having some annoying computer issues that made it difficult to do anything on the computer recently and I just got that fixed.  Two other things have also been keeping me very busy and I just couldn't make the time to post.   However time will just keep slipping away in a big blur if I don't make time to post so here we go.

School started up here for us in August but has really been going full bore since the beginning of September.  I am trying to get as much done as we can before baby arrives.  I see on my widget on the side bar that I only have 28 days left and I know it is just going to fly by.

We also joined a Classical Conversations homeschool community this year which means one day every week we are out all day.  It is a tiring day but very much worth it.  The kids enjoy it immensely, they are learning an abundant amount of new things (and so am I!) and I appreciate the help and accountability.  

This year I finally set up a school room in half of our living room.  I was really hesitating on this for a while thinking that school should be everywhere and learning should not be segregated to one room but really, who's kidding who?   It's helpful to have everything in one place and the kids think it is fun to have a school room.  We don't do everything in there anyway because all our read-alouds are still cozied up on the couch in the family room.  But in the morning we generally head into the school room to do our Classical Conversations memory work, math and handwriting.



As you can see, everyone has their own desk and I splurged on a big white board for all our memory work.

The other thing that has been keeping me off the computer are the millions of hats I have been crocheting for our church fundraiser.  They are raising money for a literacy project and training for pastors in India and each year the church is able to sponsor many Indian pastors through the fundraiser.

I have been having heaps of fun making these hats as I just ordered some new patterns as well as embellished and fancied up some of my older patterns.
 I adore the new animal hats.  They take a bit longer then the newsboy caps but are so soft and cute!

Seriously, just look at that snuggly goodness!
(borrowed baby model)


Asher loves his hat and wants to wear it everywhere!

So as you can see I haven't had the crochet hook and yarn out of my hands much these past couple weeks and it is a bit difficult to type and crochet at the same time.  

We do have some fun stuff coming up soon though which I should not neglect to post about so hopefully you will hear from me soon!

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