Monday, February 20, 2012

Lancaster Science Center

I had planned on going down to Valley Forge National Park today with the kids for George Washington's birthday party but when I got down there it looked like I had picked the most busy day of the year to visit and since I avoid crowds like the plague we turned around and came straight home.   Since that left me with a little bit of time on my hands I finished this post from last week and added a tab to my blog which lists all the field trips we have taken in the past year, making them easier to access in case anyone else out there is interested in visiting some of these great places.

Our DaVinci science center membership includes free admission to the Lancaster Science Factory as well which is near my sister Amy, and since I want to make the most of our membership we went there with Amy and her kiddos last week.

It is smaller than the DaVinci science center but we loved it.  It was all hands on exhibits and we spent about 3 hours exploring everything.  There were lots of exhibits that reinforced what we have been learning about recently such as Newton's laws of motion, magnetism, electricity and circuits.  It was great for the kids to be able to see first hand how these thing work.

Naomi and Chase building a dam.







(They loved this one.  You put a little plastic man with a parachute attached into the tube and it shot him up in the air.  Not super educational but it kept Asher busy for a while.)
As you can see it has a nice big open floor plan which means I could sit and nurse the baby and still keep an eye on the kids wherever they were.  It also was not crowded which is a big plus in my book.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Son'Spot

I feel like we have been so busy lately and it just has not slowed down.  It's all good stuff but I hardly have a moment to catch my breath.  This past weekend we took a trip down to Ocean City, MD to visit Son'Spot again.  They needed a little bit of tree work done while the season was slow but really I think it was just the Lord's way of getting us down there for refreshing and to slow down and rest.

You never know what will be  happening there on any given day which part of the reason we love it so much.  When we got there on Friday we helped clean out the old bread that they had set out for people to take as they had need, and refilled the shelves and store the new bread that had just come in.

The kids had a lot of fun feeding the birds the old moldy bread.
It is miraculous how the Lord continues to provide for this ministry.  While they do serve a lot of food there and deliver bags of food to many needy people's homes in the area, their main goal is preaching the gospel to the many people who come to Ocean, City, MD every year.  The free meal draws people in but hopefully they won't leave without hearing about Jesus, the Bread of Life.

We participated in a couple different bible studies and sharing times, were greatly encouraged by some amazing spirit filled believers and heard stories of incredible conversions.  We shared at one meeting about our marriage which hopefully benefited some and the kids and I helped lead worship on Sunday morning.   You never know what is going to happen at the Son'Spot or who will be there but it is always a blessing.  We felt very refreshed as we traveled home.

I have no other pictures from our time there except this one.
Nice, huh?
Christian thought it would be a good idea to wrap some floss around that poor girl's dangling tooth and yank it out once and for all.  It didn't really work too well, so we had to cut off the ends and let it dangle there a little longer until it decided to come out on it's own.  Funny thing is that it ended up "disappearing" while she was eating lunch so she most likely swallowed it.  She is now the cutest little toothless 6 year old ever. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Medeival Festival

On Sunday we headed to one of our favorite local field trip spots, the Glencairn Castle, for their Medieval Festival.  We had been there this past spring and the kids were very excited to be going back.  The castle, house, and cathedral were all built by Raymond Pitcairn in the beginning of the 20th century to look like authentic medieval architecture.  Everything was hand-made using medieval methods.  It is absolutely gorgeous and I highly recommend visiting this very unique spot in the Philly suburbs.


We didn't get very many pictures of the inside this time but you can see more on my last post.
It is stunningly beautiful though.

This guy was demonstrating many different types of medieval instruments that he had hand made himself.  The kids were fascinated listening to him talk about and play them.
We also got to go on a "pilgrimage" to Santiago de Compostela, the legendary burial place of St. James and popular medieval pilgrimage site.  Here the kids are donning their pilgrim garb and learning about life as a christian pilgrim.

After our pilgrimage we had a chance to tour the rest of the castle and explore the many different rooms that housed John Pitcairn's extensive collection of medieval and Egyptian artifacts.  I was a happy homeschooling mom to hear my kids say "Mommy look!  This stuff is from the 2nd intermediate period!" and "Hey!  It's Hyksos!".

Nice mummified aligator.


The also tried their hands at quill pen writing.

Weaving and spinning demonstration.



Stained glass demonstration.

One thing about this trip that made me very excited this time was seeing the kids make more connections and be more interested in certain aspects of the tour due to our involvement with Classical Conversations this year.  There were many things mentioned from our memory work such as Constantine and the Edict of Milan, the crusades, cathedrals in Europe, various periods in Egypt, Hyksos, the industrial age and tycoons, the Renaissance, and more that I can't remember now.  It was really fun seeing their eyes light up as they recognized the different words and phrases and then pay better attention to what was being talked about because of it.  Hooray for CC!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Baby faces and a birthday

Claire laughed for the first time this week.  We were a funny little bunch, all crowded around the baby trying to get her to giggle some more.  She is the superstar in this house and every little new thing she does is met with ooo's and awe's and calling the rest of the family to come see what she is doing.


I love her cooing face.

We also had a fun field trip to the Mercer Museum in Doylstown this week.  The kids participated in 3 different programs about colonial life in Bucks county and also got to play in the fun folk toys exhibit that they currently have there in the new addition to the building.
The museum, with the exception of the addition, is built entirely of concrete because Henry Mercer did not want to risk having the building burn down and losing his gigantic collection.
I didn't get a lot of good pictures because the lighting was so poor (don't they think of photographers when they plan lighting?) and because I was carrying Claire and all the stuff.  I wish I had though because the eccentric Henry Mercer had quite a massive collection of very interesting artifacts. The kids had fun running around the narrow passages and winding stairways of the museum.

In other news, Asher turned 4 this week.  Yes he has the same shirt on and yes we were at the museum on his birthday, because that's how we roll. 
He was very excited to be turning 4 for two reasons.  One, because he could start a new school book for 4-year-olds and two, because 4-year-olds run faster than 3-year-olds.  Now he is saying that he can't wait until he is 5 so he can run even faster!
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