Saturday, April 21, 2012


Christian has been doing some work down at Tyler Arboretum, which he loves, and took the camera down to take a few shots in the woods.  Picasa recently updated the program's editing options and I had some fun tinkering around with these.

Meanwhile, I am happy to report that our love of nature has rubbed off on our progeny.  We got this book for Aiden's birthday and he and Naomi have been busily scouring the yard for the proper leaves, twigs, seeds etc to complete the projects.


Science and Art.  I love it when the subjects are combined.  
Future Andy Goldsworthy perhaps?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


There has been so much going on lately that I need to combine everything in one post since I am not one of those people that has time to post everyday.  The day after we went to the Landis Valley Museum I took the kids to the Allentown Symphony to hear Gustav Holst's The Planets accompanied by a spectacular video and introduction to each planet by an astronomer.  It isn't too often that you can check off science and fine arts at the same time!

This past weekend Christian and the kids performed in our church's children's musical.   We enjoyed doing this with the kids last year but this year there was only one adult role.  That worked out though since I don't know if I could have done it with the baby.  Aiden had the main role as Jonas and Christian was the nutty professor.

I think he does the nutty professor look pretty well.  Don't you think?

We celebrated Aiden's 9th birthday yesterday.  He had a great time spending the night with my parents and visiting Battleship New Jersey.  He has been quite busy playing with his Snap Circuits and Flexeez ever since.

Today we visited our favorite castle Glencairn for a special home school day.  We really enjoyed watching the glassblower demonstrating his fascinating art.

Grace has been trying her eye at photography.

Nice shot Grace!

The first person who knows why I titled my post as I did, WITHOUT GOOGLING IT, wins a copy of my favorite book.  You know you want it.  It's a classic.   If you already have that book, which there is a good chance you do, then you can win a copy of my second favorite book instead.  Remember, no cheating!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Landis Valley Museum

Today we went to the Landis Valley Museum in Lancaster with my mom and sister Amy and her kids.  This was a last minute decision so I really didn't know what to expect but we were more than pleasantly surprised.  Our PA Heritage membership included admission to this museum as well so I figured we should at least go once since it was free.  We loved it so much we will definitely be going back.  To me it seemed like a mini Williamsburg, but since I have never been to Williamsburg you shouldn't trust me on that. 

I was not sure what to expect since the website wasn't very clear but what we found were beautifully kept, neat and tidy grounds with about 25 buildings demonstrating any number of different colonial type professions, activities or displays.  Today there were 7 different houses open with live demonstrations but I am thinking that more would be open in the summer.   What was open was plenty for us though.  The demonstrators were super friendly and knowledgeable and we learned a lot even though we have been to quite a few of these colonial history things already.

The tinsmith shop was something new for us. 
Did you know that your 10th anniversary is your "tin" anniversary (like your 50th is your golden, 40th silver etc.)?  One tinsmith made his wife this tin bonnet for their 10th anniversary.

Pet squirrel cage!
The original sippy cup.
My mom in the country store.  I loved this store.  It was like Little House on the Prairie except that the shop keeper was much friendlier than Mrs. Olsen.

Learning about the tavern and colonial food.


There were a lot of animals on the property; horses, sheep, cows and pigs later in the spring.  There were also lots and lots of gardens around the property that I would love to see in the summer as they are home to the Heirloom Seed Project.
The Blacksmith has always been one of our favorites and we recognized this guy from one of our other field trips.
"Under the spreading Chestnut tree the village smithy stands...."

This really made our day.  This term we memorized Longfellow's poem The Village Blackmith and this blacksmith shop was under a huge old spreading chestnut tree.  Christian informed us when we got home that Chestnut trees are very rare because of Chestnut blight that wiped out very nearly all of the species in the early 1900's, and to find one this large is a really big deal.

This was one of those "gotta take Daddy back for this one!" kind of places.

The museum is open daily. Hours are 9:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M., Monday through Saturday and 12:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. on Sunday.  Adults are $12 and children 3-1 are $8.  

In this case the PA Heritage Society membership that we got with our Daniel Boone Homestead membership was well worth it.  This saved us a lot of money on field trips this year.  I highly recommend it.
  That is if you enjoy field trips as much as we do anyway.  :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Growing up

I have never had a baby even remotely interested in food this early.  All of them choked, spluttered and gagged on everything until they were at least 10 months.  Claire however has decided that she marches to her own beat, and has declared that she is famished and would please like to be included with the users of utensils please.  Since grains are not a friendly first baby food around here avocados are her new best friend and she will quickly eat 1/2 of one at a sitting.   I never thought I would have to be feeding a baby in the Bumbo seat because they couldn't sit up on their own yet.

In the meantime we have been terribly busy with schooling which is the reason for my lack of posts lately.  I am having Grace and Aiden go for Memory Master with our Classical Conversations group this year so we are spending a lot of time reviewing for that on top of our regular lessons.  Being that Memory Masters memorize the following you will see that it is no small task.... 

-A timeline of 160 events from creation to modern times; 
-Twenty-four history sentences of dates and events in U.S. history; 
-Twenty-four science questions and answers covering human anatomy, chemistry, and origins; 
-Multiplication tables through the fifteens plus squares and cubes, conversions, and math laws; 
-All fifty states and their capitals plus seventy physical features on the U.S. map; 
-Twenty-four definitions or lists from English grammar; 
-Latin vocabulary lists and John 1:1–7 in Latin;
-The forty-four U.S. presidents.

For some reason that list looks short to me itemized like that but it isn't, trust me.  They learned a lot this year.  Having worked on it all year they pretty much have it with just some minor slip ups here and there but I want to keep up with it regularly so it is committed to their long term memory.  We have a little over 2 weeks left until testing time so hopefully I will be back with the good news that they did it!

In addition to that the kids and Christian are also participating in a musical that our church is doing this weekend.  Christian singing, you say?  Don't worry he has mostly spoken lines.  He is a pretty fabulous actor though if I do say so myself.  Maybe he missed his calling, swinging around up there in the trees with only the squirrels as an audience.  I think he would say no thanks and he will stick with church plays, thank you very much.  Besides, the squirrels seem to like his singing.  At least they don't hold their ears anyway.

After typing most of that one-handed while nursing the babe I think I am done. 
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