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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Dr.Google


Why oh why do I do this to myself?
With the help of Google and Google images, I have narrowed down K's continuing flu virus to be either systemic MRSA or Kawasaki's disease. 
Yep, I just know it.
 He has a weak immune system compared to his siblings and to the average person in general, so when he is wiped out and having a really hard time fighting off a virus, my mind goes into paranoid mommy mode.
I always assume the worst, you know so I can be prepared and on top of things. This way, when the Doctor says " You are a kook, your son just has impetigo" I can jump for joy because I was convinced that he was infected with a rare form of flesh eating bacteria. 
 Well you know, like it's the same with all these medication reactions. They are all minor symptoms but when you add them up can be something quite serious. You know,"If you experience, a headache, frequent urination, blurred vision and random flatulence you should cease taking nonsense drug because you can be having a serious but rare liver pimple..."
Well, it's the same with the symptoms that K is having. You start doing a search on "rash, fever, flu, spots on face, child" and the stuff that comes up are not so good.
 Anyway, I stopped reading after an hour, and decided that if he still looks like doo doo tomorrow. I will just have to go back to the Dr. again. 
I really need to find a good Naturopath for him. His immune system is just way off, always has been. Maybe he is eating something he shouldn't, or his chi is off. I dunno. But every mom just knows when their kid is not right.
Anyway, M and I are going to a town sponsored speaking tomorrow night. It's about how to coexist with wildlife and what you can do when issues arise with your wild neighbors. We live in the woods. Our property abuts 120 acres of woods on two sides, and 60 acres on another.
 We hear noises, and find tracks.
 We are getting livestock.
We really should attend this talk.
M was fired up when I asked her if we should go.
She loves big people events.
Oh, and I found out we have beavers and a huge dam 2 miles from here. Next nice day, we are going! I have never seen beavers or dams. Except on TV, but that doesn't count.
 OK, so that's all. If you have a sick kid, don't use the Internet, you will be convinced your child has rubella. 
If you know of a good ND in CT. Please let me know!-K

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

When bored, shave a head






K had been sporting a shaggy do. He looked like Ringo or someone. I was experimenting with longer locks on him. 
He was starting to look all right, much better than early winter when he just looked neglected.
 In order to achieve the look I was aiming for, he would have to keep growing layers out in the summer.
He would be sweaty and icky, because we all get really dirty in the summer. So I knew that I would never get to see what I was trying to do come to fruition. And plus, I have a thing for little boys and crew cuts with popsicle dripping all down their faces in the summer.
I only intended to snip the part above his ears. He moved, and it just went at an upward angle.
Do screwed.
So, what could I do but buzz the whole lot off? And now I have a new boy. And Grandma will be happy. 
She liked her boy clipped short.
I loved his bedraggled unkemptness. I'll try again next year.
Oh, and I did make it to yoga on time. 
And you know what?
The yoga teacher was late!-K

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Wow


We have been doing lots of stuff. Or rather some stuff has been happening. So I am going to roll it all in here.
 The barn guy's from All About Barns, who are two of the nicest guys ever, have been making progress on the barn. They made some pretty doors today. Really pretty. Just what barn doors should look like, and that is why they are pretty.
Leyla is getting rounder, her udder more filled out. I finally found some hay she likes. She did not touch the mixed grass hay that was 6.00 a bale. NOOO, she likes Alfalfa/Timothy mix that is 17.00 a bale. Of course, I am doing tons of reading about pregnant goats, and kids, and feeding. And of course, now I realize that I bought food that has molasses in it. Not the best for the old Goat rumen. She is like a first child, you know, the ones that you make the most mistakes with.
Chicken is doing well, giving us a little egg a day. Joy! 
No really, joy!
 Took the kids to the doctors today to get a strep test. They just are still so tired. This last virus, which we are pretty sure was the Flu, kicked their Butts!
They do not have strep.
 That is awesome because we were attacked repeatedly last year by that nasty bugger.
We had a great dinner play date with some friends that we only see once in a while. That was great, and it got my kids moving. We had a pizza dinner and about 4 hrs of crazy good times. And cake.
 and they fell a sleep on the ride home.
WHEEE!
Tomorrow we are going to play group. It is my goal to be there on time for yoga and to erase the last fiasco out of my memory. 
 This one:
http://frogcreek.blogspot.com/2008/02/reminders.html
We'll see.
I have not had my camera since the weekend, so I picked a random picture.
It has nothing to do with this post, it's just a picture.
Just so you know.
I am not happy with being way off our normal daily happenings due to this prolonged sickness. I am tired of winter. 
Tomorrow will be a wonderful day.
I can feel it!-K

Monday, February 25, 2008

soldiers and eggs






Not the breakfast dish. But I do want to make that. Soon. I ate that a few times and loved it.
Actually, I was referring to our weekend.  Look at me a day behind again!
Saturday was just another Saturday. Then I went to feed the Chickens, the Nankins, These guy's right here:
http://frogcreek.blogspot.com/2007/12/meet-bockers.html
And lo and behold, There was a very small egg. I ran around the house with the egg, Then I cooked and ate the small egg. 
It was very tasty in a teeny tiny way. 
She has layed an egg a day since. She is not broody, so I'm not sure if I will ever get chicks from her. That would be lovely though.
On Sunday, we went to the General Israel Putnam house in Greenwich, CT. :
http://www.putnamcottage.org/  
They were having a public event reenacting a few battle scenes from the revolutionary war. In full soldier uniform with loud shooter guns that smoked. It was good and loud. It was also a tavern at the time where General George Washington ate. So we were able to tie that in to our OSV (http://frogcreek.blogspot.com/2008/02/osv-was-good-time.html) visit.
Life and unschooling are great like that. One big infinite web of facts and ideas connecting together to create the big picture. 
 Anyway, after the reenactment, we were able to walk through the house and view various artifacts. Such as furniture, hearth and cooking implements, old P.J.'s, muskets, arrowheads, children's belongings, old shoes, and spinning wheels. 
They also served us cookies and cider. That was E's big deal. He loved those oatmeal cookies.
Then since we were in that era, we decided to have a tour of the Bush Holley house. The boys were pretty much cooked, so they opted to snooze in the car with A.  My parents, M and myself, had the whole house and the tour guide for ourselves, for an hour. We heard the whole history of the Bush's ( not THE Bush family) and the Holley's. We saw many of the wonderful art pieces from the time that it was boarding artist as an art colony. 
See that's what bugs me about school. Everything is taught as seperate subjects. I had no idea what art was popular of the time of the revolutionary war, or that it was important to the people at that time. Or that there was a lovely little happy artist colony thriving at the same time as General Israel Putnam was having a battle a mile across town. But M does. She'll get to see the whole picture instead of seperating and alienating these facts as a subject instead of as a whole time period.  
Back on topic now.
There were great artifacts in the Bush/Holley house as well. There were some wicked cool venetian carpets, and old wallpaper, a taste of how the wealthy at the time lived, slave quarters, and art. 
It was just a really neat day. 
 There are lots of great and interesting places to explore, if you look for them. And it's true, you learn something new everyday. -K

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Snow Day = Hot Chocolate



and speaking of hot chocolate, I must share this. You know how Chocolate is supposed to lower blood pressure, cut heart attack and stroke risk, and be very high in antioxidants? 
Well, it has to be a certain type of chocolate. Unprocessed chocolate. Not the Hershey's extra dark. Not the Greens and Black's Organic chocolate bars. But true unprocessed, no sugar added, cacao.
You can get the nibs, or the powder. I got the powder up there in the picture at Wild Oats, now whole Foods. I have no clue how much I paid. There was no visible price at the display, No price sticker on the bag and I forgot to check the receipt. 
 I do that a lot when I really, REALLY want something. This way, I won't change my mind, and I'll get it with no guilt.
 I knew that everybody was buying chocolate and eating it for health, but it was totally the wrong Chocolate. Then, The Thinking Mother's blog post covered it well.This one right here!: http://thethinkingmother.blogspot.com/2008/01/about-cacao-and-my-homemade-cocoa.html  You should really read it. She is the most thorough well read Mother that I know of in existence. 
The honest TRUTH.
 She orders hers from Dagoba directly. I will try that next. To see which I like better. I was sweetening it with honey slightly. Then I switched to blue agave sweetener. Lately, I have had it with out sweetener. It's gooooood. The kids drink it up too. I have to sweeten theirs a tad. 
 It is really snowing here today, or it might be yesterday as I already posted today or that would be yesterday if you read this tomorrow.
What? 
I am a day behind. That's my usual pace in life. I am comfortable here. 
We have at least five inches now. It's like living in a snow globe. I wonder how much we'll get? I know that I could turn to the weather station, or check on the internet, but I never do. I like the surprise.  I think, I'll stir up a chocolaty medicinal drink, and sit back and see what happens.-K

Thursday, February 21, 2008

moon, kids, tag






We had the playdate yesterday. 4 girls and 6 boys. We hung OUT.
Ev recovered for the most part, fever free for 48 hours. I really think my concoction of Airborne, Emergen-C,  Astralgus, and Echinacea has really paid off in speedy recovery, and avoidance for K, M and I. However, K is looking a bit ragged, and I have been dosing him every few hours, we'll see how this goes. I am keeping the faith though.
 The first guest for today arrived around noon and they all left around 6:15p.m. Except for one special friend who's dad works with A. She and her dad joined us for dinner and ice cream and then parted around 9 p.m . It was an awesome, awesome day. It was great for me to touch base with Mamas that I haven't been with in a while. It's was great to rekindle the bond that time and family constraints can sometimes cloud. Best of all I got my James fix. James is that luscious baby boy in the photo. We have a special bond. He will always be deep in my heart. And when I see him or smell his hair, my ovaries throb.
 The kids played really well. There was no fighting or tears. Well, until the end when they were past their expiration date. 
Ev went heathen on some kids.
"That baby is beating me up!"
Typical.
So we watched the moon the other night. That was cool. K was the most excited about it. M liked the eclipting part, she felt it stayed red for too long.
Hmmm.
I tried to take pics, I tried.
If you want to see nice pics go here: http://regularmom.wordpress.com/2008/02/21/theres-always-the-moon/
See Reg, my moon really did look like an orange blob. You must have a different moon in your state.
My friend tagged me,
http://wehavebeenblessed.blogspot.com/
 I will answer a few questions in this post and a few in the next because, they require thought and I am running low on the thinks. That's probably not proper "you have been tagged" procedure.
But I am so creative like that.
Then I have to send it to other people. But the other people who's blogs I read, some I have never commented on, so they might think it's wacky that I tag them. Then some others that I read, have been already tagged.
I never accomplished chain letters either.
Here we go:
I have to tell you 7 random things about me.
Well, I am so random, so what am I supposed to say?
1)
I have OCD, kind of. Not severely but it's there. Mostly about house cleaning and vacuming and organizing, but it's only with the house. Clutter and messes just make me uneasy and I can't concentrate or move on to other things unless it is tidy. I love to vacuum. If A offers to vacuum, I just can't let him. I have too because he misses crumbs. GASP! It makes my heart flutter to suck up debris.
2)
I LOVE the smell of wet dirt. Like in the summer after a rain, or walking in a humid forest and the smell of wet wood is trapped under the lush canopy of trees. I like dirty feet in the summer too. Like when you have dirt outlining your toes. I love for my kids to get messy. Totally contradicts my OCD.  We probably have tons of parasites. I actually made the kids sleep naked last summer and tried to see if I could spot pinworms with a flash light. I was sure if any kids would have worms, clearly mine were at risk. I did not see any. I think I was actually bummed that I didn't.

Hmmm.

3)
 I could never buy a dog. I have to rescue them. I just can't do it.  I feel so strongly about this, that I can't go near a store that sells puppy's. It's very hard for me not to lecture people when they tell me how much they paid for their puppy. They could have saved one from a shelter or rescue group. Maybe they never saw this:


Really, that video may be sad but if you see it, you will never get a dog any other place.
OK then! I'll finish up another time. Better think twice about tagging me. I'll screw it up!-K

 

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Common ground farm day





























So, there is this amazing high school in New Haven, CT. called Common Ground High School. The New Haven Ecology Project:  http://www.nhep.com/index.htm
I totally dig it's vibe, and would love to get my kids in it, if they wish to attend a high school. It has a working farm, and animals such as sheep, goats, turkeys, chickens, and rabbit. They run a farm stand, they have green houses, a huge planting lot, and hiking trails. The students spend as much time outside learning as in. They even have bird feeders outside classroom windows, so while day dreaming the kids have something interesting and beautiful to catch their eye. 
I wish I went to a school like that.
 More schools should aspire to be like this. Instead of artificial learning boxes, with fluorescent lighting, and text book based lessons. You know, it's just not all about the test scores folks!
Ok, before I head down a long rant filled road, let's talk about what Miss M is doing today! She is doing this:

The Farm in Winter

Wednesday, February 20, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Explore the farm in winter and learn about winter farm foods and products.  We will take a walk in the woods to see Common Ground’s maple syruping process, use winter veggies from the farm to make delicious soup, and use wool and other farm and forest products to make crafts for taking home. Program fee: $35/child

Doesn't that sound like a really fun way to pass a really cold day! K was a bit miffed that he could not stay, but he was not old enough for the program. He will have his day though. Both boys were sad to leave M to all the fun, but it was nothing some DD therapy couldn't fix. You know I'm not one for medicating the children, but sometimes it's so necessary. These weren't hard pills to swallow. You know a spoonful of sugar and all that. I'm sure you have used DD therapy or whatever your family seeks out to placate a bad or elevate further a joyous occasion, on your kids as well. Our special pill is pink with sprinkles. I choose Dunkin donuts because you can ALWAYS find one, they are junky delish for the kids, Mama gets a Latte, and they have a drive through. 

That was so anticlimactic, eh?

 Anyway, E is feeling swell right now, I think he is still on a sugar high though. The nights are the problem. Last night, his fever was a raging, and he was talking about the sky and birds with wings. He was in a very happy place. The Motrin is a wonder drug, pulled that baby right back to earth. He was fever free for the rest of the night. I was not having such good results with the Tylenol. It just was not working any longer. I'll reserve the Tylenol for daytime fever management. The Tylenol is slightly more convenient because they have those melt-away capsules that the kids can't resist. Motrin needs to get on that, because making E swallow the liquid is not a pretty event.

The goat is still pregnant.

That is all I have for today. Maybe something amazingly exciting will happen, it's early yet. But it needs to happen in the house, because it's too cold to go out. That narrows our chances a bit.-K


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Fun Day, not for E!



Ok, We were supposed to have a big play date with all of M's public school buddies, or I should say kids who go to public school. They all met as 3 month old babies, and we have stayed in touch ever since. We met every week until they headed off to school. Anyway, E is sick with I think the Flu. 
The real deal. 
So of course, no one wanted to come over to the house of germs. Well, except two brave souls. But one does not qualify as she did not check her morning e mail. 
Everything went well. E was kind of perky and did not act too sick. 
He harassed the goat and ran around the barn.
 He yelled at a girl "Who are you, get out my house"
 He was a clingon mostly, and I kept him from playing with the other kids. I think it was better for him to have something to look at, it kept him from feeling too miserable. M and K had a blast! Anyway the other Mama's have rescheduled for Thursday, but by then M or K will be inflicted, I bet. 
That's how we roll.
As you can see from the photo he is back in sickyland. He always does worse at night. Poor boy. I feel so bad for him, but he is much easier to handle right now. Sounds bad, but it's true. He is an ANGEL when he is sick. I still feel terrible for him and do hope he is back to his old self soon. If you are a mother of a high energy boy, you would understand my POV. Sick, quiet, hmmm
Anyway, K smashed his toe the other day. Badly. I had to drill a little hole in his nail to release the pressure.  The hematoma underneath was so large his toe nail turned totally black and swelled 1 1/2 times the size. That picture makes it look mild that was 2 hours post injury. It got much uglier. I was supposed to snap a picture but then today I ran over the toe with the vacuum. 
My bad.
I ripped half the nail off. Not pretty. It needed to come off though. 
I am helpful like that.
We soaked it in hot salt water and bandaged it. He was braveish. He thinks it's cool that his toenail is now like a door.
Open shut them, open shut them, here a little clap, clap clap.
Sorry. 
When I typed in door, that just popped in my head. 
M goes to a cool class tomorrow, it involves barn chores, maple sugaring, soup making, wool working. She is excited.
 So am I. 
Post about it tomorrow!-K

Monday, February 18, 2008

Goat!






So on Saturday, E's birthday, we picked up Leyla. I'm sure you have seen a post or two on her, haven't you. I mean I'm not excited about the addition of a pregnant goat or anything. I don't even like goats. I think they smell. They make disgusting cheese, and who in their right mind would drink their vile milk?
I am really grossed out when I see her belly wriggle from baby goats inside kicking. I hate the look on my kids faces when they feel the babies. I really dislike that when we take her on hikes on the deer trails throughout the property, that she follows us better than the dogs. I thinks she is so ugly with those icy blue eyes against her black hair. I totally hate that she has a little white patch on her side that looks like spilled milk.
 I hate that she nearly bowls my kids over when she wants her head scratched. I am so sad that my  kids love her so much. I hate having to drive up to the barn to see her and care for her. I think it's so annoying that she makes weird goat sounds. I hate that we now have to save veggie, fruit and grain scraps from the kitchen. That I have to drag the kids up to the barn against their will, kicking and screaming to give her a snack that I have to force her to eat.
I seriously do not like this goat. I LURVE her!-K

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Happy Birthday, E!





Well, E is three today! He sure is growing fast. I can remember clearly the day of his birth. Time really does fly by.
We celebrated last night with a small family party. We will have a bigger birthday with more friends and family in March. K's Birthday is at the end of March, so both boys will have a party together since they share all of the same friends. Plus, the kids can run outside and we can BBQ.
 He had a good time. He was having a difficult day, so he was being a PIA. At first he would not accept that it was his birthday. Then he was in a bad mood.  He liked his cake, and his gifts, so he changed his tune a bit. 
He recieved a bike and a mini golf set. He sits on the bike all day. It's in the house. He kind of won't let it leave. It's causing issues between K and E. He LOVES his "Motorcycle" and finds it very hard to share it. It's getting better, and soon, like tomorrow; I am putting it out! 
Today, his real birthday, he got a goat. He is very excited with the goat. Who is so pregnant we can feel her babies kick!  I'll post on her tomorrow!
 Anyway,  I am happy today reflecting on our last 3 years with E. He was such a calm baby, I never imagined what a punch he would pack! I'm glad E is healthy and growing as he should. He is a handful, and a ham. He can be sweet, and loving. He makes my life interesting everyday. He also makes me laugh. We love him a lot, and I can't imagine our family without him.  He's the boy who will always keep me on my toes. 
Here are some quotes that have me thinking of E:

“Of all the animals, 
the boy is the most unmanageable”-Plato

You are worried about seeing him spend his early years in doing nothing.  What!  Is it nothing to be happy?  Nothing to skip, play, and run around all day long?  Never in his life will he be so busy again.  ~Jean-Jacques Rousseau,Emile, 1762

There was never a child so lovely but his mother was glad to get him to sleep.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


A child is a curly dimpled lunatic.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

While we try to teach our children all about life,
Our children teach us what life is all about.
~Angela Schwindt

There's nothing that can help you understand your beliefs more than trying to explain them to an inquisitive child.  ~Frank A. Clark

Before you were conceived I wanted you
Before you were born I loved you
Before you were here an hour I would die for you
This is the miracle of life. -Maureen Hawkins.

Happy Three, baby boy.-K


Friday, February 15, 2008

Barn is going and Valentine's day recap.






Hey there! I took Valentine's day off. I was all about the love. Hmm, HA!  I woke up on Valentine's day and A was gone.  I was thinking, Oh, maybe he went to the deli to get me a bacon egg and cheese and coffee, and he will serve me like a queen in bed. Then time passed and I made my own damn coffee, with love, and gave it to myself. The kids were asleep still, that was nice. 
Half way through my cup, E woke up. " Where my Daddy? I can't see him. He gone, Oh, my daddy!" So we call him.
"Hi! Where are you? 
Oh, I had to go to work early, people are sick, it's busy"
Oh, see it's Valentine's day and I thought maybe you were off getting me a surprise!
Oh, hee hee, no, you were all sleeping, I didn't want to wake you...
 Ok, I was just thinking, Happy Valentine's day! We love you.
 Yes, love you too. I will see you tonight, bye.
So that was that!
Our day went on. On the way to K's class. We saw an old lady crash into a mailbox, then a tree. Her airbag blew. I was right behind her. So I turned the hazards on, and told the kids to stay put. She stumbled out and I reassured her, made her feel OK. The neighbors there called the cops and we were back on the road. As I was driving off, I said that I had to drop my son off. That I would swing back to talk to the cops. As the window was down, K yells" Happy Valentine's day, Glad you didn't DIE!" Thankfully the old lady was confused and and didn't hear. The neighbor just sort of looked at us. I started giggling, and drove off. We always look like such Kooks, even while being good samaritans.
So on to the barn. As you can see by the pictures, there is not much of a functional barn to speak of. When we first got the estimate to return it to a pristine, beautiful barn condition, we were blown away. 23,000 smackers. 
Oh Hell.
So, A started hacking away at it, trimming extras we did not need; or things that could wait a year or two. He is so good at this stuff. We arrived at a much more manageable figure of 10,000 for a very functional barn to fit our needs.  
The barn guys arrived today to totally gut it. They will also make a temporary place for Leyla, our pregnant goat who is coming home. 
TOMORROW.
We are such last minute people that it is not even funny. 
On the left side of the barn there will be 4 horse stalls, each with it's own door leading out. On the right side there will be a chicken coop, a goat pen, another goat pen to separate babies, and tack and storage room. I will probably use one of the stalls as a milking area. 
Anyway, I'm excited that it is finally happening and most excited to pick up our goat tomorrow. I am nervous about the impending birth. Nervous that there will be a still born or a bad birth for the mom. I want it to be perfect. We'll see. I'll post progress pictures soon!-K

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Reminders



You know how life gives us reminders sometimes of our infinite lameness. I'm not down on myself. I have secure self confidence and the ability to laugh at myself. Sometimes I am just so not bright.
Like the other day. I had to sign up to bring a snack and stickers to K's class Valentine's party. I signed on the wrong sheet for the wrong days and wrong time of class. Then after the teacher told me about it, I went to change it and I signed up at the right day but for the wrong time again.  Then the class Mom points out my error, I finally get it in the right space. But my name is crossed out on 2 of 3 lists. 
Funny. 
 Then I tell the teachers that I will bring a snack on Tuesday for Thursday because K won't be there, he will be at OSV. Umm, OSV was on Tuesday. I remembered my error on the ride there. So he was a no show, and I didn't call in, and no snacks appeared. So he will be there on Thursday, and my name is crossed out all over. Not a big deal, but I must look like the most organized Mom ever.  And I will probably forget the stickers.
Then there is today. I have known about our homeschool groups Valentine's day party for more than a week. I needed to make or buy 22 Valentine's day cards, bring craft supplies and a snack. That's all good, except when you put it off for 10 days.
 I really did want to go shop last night, but the snow... 
This morning I had to round up the crew, and go to Walmart. Of course I was so timely. I had to be there at 12:30 for Yoga before the party. It was 10:45 when we left. We flew around and gathered all the items. Cards, candies, Toll house instant bake cake crappy cookies, candy, crafts. We got home at 11:45.  I still have to bake the frigging cookies, fill out 22 cards, feed the kids and take a 15 min drive. 
I am flying around filling out cards and taping candy to them. Started baking cookies, and I forgot the timer; so I have no clue how long they are supposed to be in there. I toss left over sandwiches from yesterday at the kids. Literally. And cheese sticks. That was my good fortune in all of this. Ready lunch. The cookies look brownish, so I take them out to cool. I load the kids up, and go back to retrieve the cookies. 
In my haste, I never greased the damn pan. Now I am chiseling these horrid cookies of the sheet. Middles stuck down, edges chipped off. Whatever. I will not go cookieless after all of this! Finally, I get the last cookie on the plate, foil it and prepare to leave. I get in the car thinking maybe I can still do half the yoga class. 
I smell Poop.
Damn it.
Back in and change E. Then back out to the car and strap in. Survey our stuff to make sure we have everything. I have no clue where my keys are now. A lot of grumbling and going back and forth, I finally remember we do have a spare set. Ok, on the road and headed out. It's overcast and the GPS is giving me crap. I can't remember exactly how to get where I am going. Luckily 3/4 of the way there, at the most critical off crossroads it finds it's silly satellite.
I show up late, a yoga no show, with screwed up cookies. 
Lovely.
And my kids do not have festively decorated shoe boxes in which to receive cards. 
We have a Walmart bag.
Lovely.-K

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

OSV was a good time






We had such a nice, eventful, tiring, cold and now snowy day! 
My day started early. Up and at 'em at 5 :20 am. I was wired and excited for the day, so I did not sleep that great anyway. I slowly got ready, loaded the car, enjoyed my coffee, then woke up the kids. 
M was in a pretty good mood, but picky about her clothes. K woke up like a grumpy bear, E was similar. We got everybody fed and dressed. Happiness was not plentiful, but whatever. Waldorf Julie and Ryan arrived around 7 :45 and we were on the road. 
The ride up was smooth. The kids chatted, so did Julie and I. We arrived at Old Sturbridge Village (OSV) at around 9 :15. We got our hands stamped and killed some time walking around, as our first class did not start until 10:30.
 First, we visited the blacksmith shop. The Blacksmiths were chatty and showed us some of the things they made. They spewed various Colonial facts and showed us burn marks. The kids liked to look at those. Next, we found a house with a huge pottery kiln, but we just passed by because it was very cold. 
So cold. 
In the 20's cold. 
My nose was numb. 
We found the school house, which was heated, we went in and found a school master. The kids had fun sitting on the old benches, and talking to the teacher.
We headed to class at that point. Celebrations was the theme. The kids learned a dance and about colonial celebrations, made paper dolls.
It was lunch time and we headed to the tavern for music and story. That was cool! The tavern was beautiful and cozy. There was a fire and fiddle music. We found a table right up front. The fiddle player was multi occupational. He also was a story teller. He told a "scary/funny" story that E found to be very amusing. He was so into it! All of the kids, myself included, were very entertained. 
 I wish there was a tavern that replicated this kind of dining and entertainment for real, like in my neighborhood. I might become a tavern regular. Or something. It was great.
 Back to class. We had to walk a little ways to all of this. M did fine. E dawdled and was carried, and K was DYING. If it was not so cold, he would have done sit down strikes. He was crouching kind of, but his pants would let drafts in, so he had to stand up. I guess that was the one positive for the cold. He has low stamina, so he really was not happy. It took us so long to get back because I had to keep threatening his very life if he did not keep moving. Finally, with a lot of dramatic trudging we made it.
It was two classes back to back. Colonial games, and home life. I guess they learned what games kids played, and they made a Washington looking hat. In the Home class, they learned about what home life would be like for Martha Washington, and they made a cake. A Washington cake. It was ok tasting. 
It had a baking powder aftertaste. 
NOT being critical. Just telling you how it was.
Also, it was unique because it uses three eggs and most cake recipes call for two. I know this because M told me.
Twice.
Three eggs.
Not two.
 Thankfully there was a playroom area and space for E to walk around, play and explore. He was really very good. And thank goodness for Waldorf Julie. She kept track of the bigger kids and I could just watch E. He needs a lot of attention in situations like these.
 We were going to drive over and tour the other half of the village that we were unable to see. But K and E were beyond tired. E was drooling and K was physically unable to continue blinking. 
I think.
 It was going to snow, and we had a longish ride, so we headed home. 
That worked out great because there is another homeschool day in April, it will be warmer and we can continue with fresh explorations. 
It's going to be great.
Check out our day in pics!:
-K

Monday, February 11, 2008

Getting ready to meet the Washingtons.


 Tomorrow the kids and I, along with Waldorf Julie and her son Ryan, are hitting the road to meet the first president and the first, first lady.
We are going to Old Sturbridge Village in MA. for homeschool day. 
Here:  http://www.osv.org/
We get an amazing discount, a smaller class size, and a whole town of fellow homeschoolers. Everything is sold out, so it should be fun seeing all these other people doing what we do.
M and K will be taking the following classes:


Home School Studios - Celebrations

(Ages 5 and up)
Learn about the personal special events, and local and national holidays that people chose to celebrate in the early 19th century. What traditions were established? George Washington has been celebrated as a national hero since his death. Attend a Washington Birthday Party. Learn a dance. Make George and Martha Washington paper dolls and two articles of paper clothing for each.
and this:

Home School Studios - Games
(Ages 5 and up)
What did children do for fun? Participate in popular children's activities from the 18th and 19th centuries. Learn some new and old games. Play Silly Old Goose. Make a General George Washington-inspired thaumatrope and a three-point hat.


and this:

Home School Studios - Home I
(Ages 5 and up)
As mistress of a large plantation, Martha Washington managed all domestic affairs on the estate. She supervised everything from house cleaning, to washing and ironing clothing for family and guests, to meal preparation and service, food preservation, and planning the vegetable and herb garden, to overseeing the care of poultry and the dairy, to making clothing for the slaves. Experience cooking over an open hearth, using common household tools and recipes. Compare family life then and now. Make and share a Washington Cake. 

And when we aren't doing those, we'll be perusing these:
9:30 to 12:00 Visit with the Shoemaker
in the Shoe Shop 
10:30 Bright Eyes, Kind Hearts, and Cheerful Fires: Enjoying Winter in the 1830s - An Extended Tourmeets at the Friends Meetinghouse 
10:30 Another General’s House
in the Towne House 
11:00 Carding Mill Demonstration 

12:00 Meet the Animals at the Freeman Barn
12:00 Stew and Story
in the Bullard Tavern (main floor)
1:00 Meet the Schoolkeeper
in the District School
1:00 to 4:00 Visit with the Printer
in the Printing Office 
2:00 Splitting Rails outside the Freeman Barn 
2:00 I Cannot Tell A Lie: Songs and Stories About George Washington in the Dennison Building 
2:30 Bright Eyes, Kind Hearts, and Cheerful Fires: Enjoying Winter in the 1830s - An Extended Tourmeets at the Friends Meetinghouse 
3:00 Carding Mill Demonstration 
3:00 Another General’s House
in the Towne House

Looks awesome, eh? 
We have been reading a lot about George this past month. We have been reading about Colonial times in general. It all started with the Little House series. It's been fun, and this should really make it pop.
Old sturbridge is about an hour and a half from here, so we are going to hit the road mighty early. I'll update tomorrow night with photos of course. I hope it's not too, too cold though, or rainy. I guess I should check on the forecast, huh?-K



Sunday, February 10, 2008

Bodies and Monster trucks! Saturday, part one
























Well, Saturday came and after K's swim we had nothing to do. I found a homeschool discount for tickets to see "Bodies the exhibit" in Hartford:
 http://www.bodiestheexhibition.com/intro.html
So after a quick lunch, we headed out.  After a few mix ups with the tickets. Should read " Don't call it the will call line, if my tickets are really at the box office, dumb asses!" We headed in. The kids were excited at first. The first part of the show were bones. K found this totally boring. I was not allowed to take any photos, so I stole photos off the net for examples. 
M was really into the spinal cord. She has always been fascinated by the spinal cord. She loves to feel them on the dogs and people. I always catch her stealing glances at people in wheel chairs or walking devices. So she really looked at them in all forms of presentation.  
The next room was our first glance at a body. It was so artistic and amazing,  in the pose of shooting an arrow, all the muscles, organs. It had lips and eye brows, it was freaky beautiful. In that room we got to see lots of large muscles.  The next room was organs, and it went on like that with one or two whole bodies in various forms highlighting different sections.  The boys were bored except for the bodies. M took some good long looks at the brains. She wanted to know how all the thoughts fit in such a tangled small space. She really was baffled. Aren't we all?
There was a room of fetuses. That was my favorite. I'm not Macabre really. I just find the act of sperm and egg developing into a fully formed human, beyond fascinating. They were displayed in order of weeks. It was amazing to see the developmental changes with in a few weeks. M really dug this as well. So if anybody benefitted from this show, it was M. She asked some good questions, and saw somethings that will always stick with her.
As we were exiting, we heard some roaring engines and saw boys with monster truck memorabilia. K looked at me with huge eyes and said, "MONSTER TRUCKS!" repeated verbatim by a smaller E voice. So we walked over. 
Next show at 7:30. 
It was 5:00. 
We told the kids we would see what happens. We headed over to Cabelas. It's like a Bass pro shop. It has a walk through Aquarium and mounted animals and fish all over the place. It also has a walk through informational trail with a robot man talking about all the species of animals displayed.  We killed a good amount of time there. A bought new boots, the boys got these extremely annoying popper guns, M got a chocolate moose. I oogled at the fishing gear. But I refrained. I am spending this summer and probably next, trying to get the kids up and running on the fishing thing. So that in a few years, I can concentrate on fly fishing and they can do there thing. We'll see how that turns out. 
On to part two.