Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Miss M: Book Report...

Image result for the courage of sarah noble

Title: The Courage Of Sarah Noble
Author: Alice Dalgliesh
Pages: 55

When was the story published?  1954

Who were the main characters? Sarah, Tall John, John Noble, Indians.

What problems did they face? Being in the wild, and bears.

How did they overcome the problems? By reading Bible Stories.  The Indians at first were a problem, but then Sarah read to them and they became good friends.  Then her father left and they took care of her.

When did the story take place? 1707

Why did you like it or not? I liked it because Sarah kept up her courage, even when it was hard.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Easter 2018...

Easter was long-awaited this year for me.  The added stress the last few months of worrying about our upcoming move, homeschool, and (most of all) of trying to sell the house, made February and March crawl past at a glacial pace- before climate change.    

Even the weather acted like spring was never really going to arrive.  We had a warm stretch in February; my daffodils all sprang up; then winter slammed back down.  We rarely got above the 40s for weeks.  Finally last mid-week it started to warm up.  The first warmish day we exploded out of the house like we had been held captive for years.

The yard looks like I've been hibernating for five months.  Which I have.  Thank Heaven for daffs.
They perk up anything.  And this year, of course when we are trying to sell our house, the lawn is taking forever to green up.  I'm sure it's the latest it has been since we've lived here.  

Anyway, Easter this year was special, because it fell on conference weekend.  Such an amazing conference!  Elder, or I should say, President Nelson has such an energy.  He made so many huge announcements.  A temple here in Richmond!  I had hoped for Williamsburg, it would have been such an opportunity to do a cool colonial, red brick temple.  But I know it makes much more sense to have it where the two big interstates intersect.  And temples in India (!!?!?!) and RUSSIA?  I think that Heavenly Father is getting the world ready for the Lord's second coming, whether the world wants to or not.  

For conference we built a big puzzle, which is what my Mom and I always did while we listened to conference.  It really does help me listen and pay attention more.  Miss M was dedicated to the puzzle, and she really listened to all the talks.  Miss A had her nest on the blue couch, and she listened and dozed, but I think she got a lot of it.  Miss R made a tent under the table (moved to the living room for the occasion) and it was torture for her to not be out playing.  Here is the finished puzzle.  A thousand piecer. 

I did the hunt right after the last conference session.  The girls wanted a full on treasure hunt, a different map for each girl.  I told them sorry, I'm not Grandma, you're stuck with just me.  Miss A sighed a big sigh and said "yeah."  I thought it was funny.  I am way past feeling badly for not doing elaborate everything.  So I came up with six places, and made a clue for each one, then hid a small thing from their baskets at each location.  Here are their baskets before the hunt.

 They each got a movie (we're trying to replace all our old vhs disney movies with dvds before the move so we don't have to take our vcr), two shcleich animals, a peg doll, big girls got earrings, and Miss R got a stuffed pony purse thing, and they each got one of those soft little stuffed animal marshmallow things, even though The Daddy has banned more stuffed animals from entering the house.  Sorry! 

Here are the clues: 
1.  Tall, dark, and handsome with a beautiful voice.
(They had a hard time with this one.  I had to tell them that it wasn't a person, or even alive.  Finally Miss EK, a neighbor, thought of the piano.)
2.  Sad, but true, we have to move.  Like this, we're feeling blue.
(To the for sale sign, which we painted blue.)

 3.  With these names, you would think you were in a flower shop! 
(To the back yard neighbor chickens, whose names are Lily, Petunia, Buttercup, Thistle, Chrysanthemum, and Rose.)

4.  Still as a statue.
(To a cement bunny statue in my shade garden.)
5.  Five "Cawk-y" girls.
(To the across the street neighbor chickens.)
6.  Mother of a god, our home away from home.
(To our mini van, whose name is Frigga.  Frigga, of course, is the mother of Thor.  Miss M named our car Frigga Grey Fox when we got her.)
And that is where their baskets were.  Then in to enjoy one piece of the candy.  I had intentions of only letting them have a little bit each day, so they could enjoy it longer and not become sugar crazed lunatics, but I caved today (the day after Easter), and so most of the candy is gone.

Here are the peg dolls I painted them.  I tried to do their likenesses.

And then I thought I better take pictures of their eggs too, just in case the container with our stuff sinks on the way to Japan or something.  The eggs laying down were painted in 2015 by their Aunt Mt, the plaid eggs in 2016 by Grandma, and the other eggs by me last year. 

I meant for them to get an egg every Easter, but I exhausted my egg painting ideas last year, so had to resort to pegs.  Although I did do a cool thing, and put petals on the big flower on their eggs to match their age that year.  But next year I'll have to find a new relative or friend to paint their eggs...

Monday, March 26, 2018

Last Trip to the Zoo...

Three Christmases ago Grandma gave us money to buy a membership, and I chose to get a zoo membership.  The Christmas after that my brother S told me he planned to get us a National Park pass for Christmas, but when I informed him that we get that free since we're military, he was happy to do a zoo membership instead.  We have had a lot of fun at our little zoo.  Our membership expired in March, and since we're moving overseas soon, we aren't going to renew.  But on our last day we went to say goodbye.
 The obligatory statue photos.
 Luckily it was a cool damp day, so we had the zoo to ourselves.  And it was a great day.  The baby lion cub, Emery, was out with both his parents, and he was pouncing on his mom, trying to climb trees, and splashing in the water.  The crash of rhinos was trotting around, play fighting, and pushing each other all over.  The tiger brothers were being so funny.  It was cold, right?  And close to the end of the day, and you could just tell those cats were done.  They took turns going up to the door that would let them in from the weather,  and they would paw the door, get no response, and kind of huff in disgust.  Then the other one would try while the first paced around looking cold and annoyed.  The meer cats were acting crazy too.  All in all, a good zoo day.  Nothing will ever live up to the time last summer when we watched the lioness catch a raccoon and play with it while it was still alive then kill it, but still.
 Finding the chameleons before Mom is always a fun game, and they always do it.  Especially Miss R.  She has sharp little eyes.

 The zoo mermaid. 

Field Trip: Smithfield...

Friday we took an explore to Smithfield.  No particular reason, just headed there.  We had been told about Windsor Castle Park there, and that it is a great place to take a walk.  It is!  I'm jealous- Portmsouth is lacking in walking trails and paths.  Most of our streets don't even have sidewalks!  (Which is fine in a little town like the one I grew up in, but not in a busy city of 100,000...)  I read that Windsor Castle Farm was originally part of a 1637 plantation settled by Arthur Smith, an ancestor of the town's founder, Arthur Smith IV.  The plantation was called Windsor Castle Farm- I haven't been able to find out why...  In 2010 the founder and former CEO of Smithfield Foods (they make ham), wanted his town to have open space similar to Central Park, so he bought and donated the land. 
We only walked about a mile- it was freezing!  And as usual, some of my small children made poor wardrobe choices considering the death grip winter has on Virginia at the moment.  After that we walked into downtown.

We went to the Isle of Wight museum, which is really great, although small.   If you want an overview, please watch this video from the Museum Dance Off here (If you don't know about the Museum Dance Off, you should!  It's amazing fun.)  They have an old country store set up, complete with checkers.

 And a penny drop game.  The girls could have stayed here a lot longer.
 I looked at all the old labels and fabrics and quizzed the girls on old times.
 Then on to the rest of the museum.  They have the world's oldest peanut.  And....  The world's oldest ham!  Which I took a picture of, really I did, with the girls in front of it of course.  I mean, what kind of mother would I be if I didn't take my kids' photo in front of a hundred plus year old piece of meat? But I can't find it anywhere.  But here is the official Ham Cam, so you can see it yourself.  And we got ham pressed pennies to add to our collection, so it's all good.

 I had always wondered what the town of Poquosin VA was named after, now I know!
 As you may have guessed, Smithfield Virginia is quite big on pigs.  So their street statues are, of course, pigs.
 We ate lunch at an old fashioned diner.
 And walked around a lot.  And had to wait turns for climbing trees, which was very vexing...

 We went to a one room schoolhouse museum.  It was really good for the girls to see first hand what school used to be like.  This was an African American school, so of course the kids had no buses or new books or paper; in addition to all the "usual" hardships of school back then.  It is always good for our, realistically, spoiled children to see and imagine what other lives were like in my opinion, so this was a great stop.  Unfortunately the outhouse was locked, so I couldn't show that to the girls.

 Smithfield is full of amazing OLD buildings.
 We went in lots of shops.  I want to keep this garland in mind for the future.
 And when my husband finally starts welding things, I will put in an order for a chicken wind vane just like this.
 Pigs painting pigs on a painted pig.
 A treat at the bakery.
Pig cookies!  Of course.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

China: Books by Grace Lin...

I LOVE this author.  The books by her that we have read are captivating, gentle, and wonderful.  Searching the library for this study of China I found her picture books, which are fantastic.  I had only known about Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.

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