The Not Back to School Picnic

Today was our annual Not Back to School Picnic.  Yes, school actually started around here last week, but it was really hot and the air quality was bad so we decided to postpone until this week. 

It was a rather small crowd this year, but the kids had fun making up games and just hanging out.

We talked about where we should meet when it starts getting too cold to meet outside and what all wanted from the group.  Turns out most of us just wanted to get together and hang…..several locations were discussed and many rejected.  It seems that it is very hard to find a free place to meet and nobody wants to commit to paying.  We didn’t even stay long as everyone had places to go and people to see.  I was kind of sad when we left 😦  I am hoping all this (lack of meeting space, everyone being busy)  doesn’t drive the group into the ground….I miss my homeschool mom connnections!  I also know that B misses the other kids.  II’m really hopw we manage to hold it together and actually get together this winter!

Field Trip-Apple Picking

We were unable to pick apples at our favorite orchard this year because their crop had extensive frost and insect damage 😦 Though very sad, we still wanted apples so we headed to our second favorite apple orchard which was having a big Labor Day weekend celebration.

We picked some apples:

Looked at the big ole trees,

and visited some farm animals.

We also had some awesome apple cider donuts and saw the bees in the “honey hut”, as well as the door to the cheese room.

At the end of the petting zoo there was an area they had set aside and called a “fairy village”.  Basically the kids were supposed to build houses for the fairies that lived there.  It was cute and the kids loved it…yes even the boy and the nearly 17yo! 

Here are some of their creations;  those of M, K and B respectively

A year of many firsts

This year has been a little hard for me to take as a mother.  I have one child starting up college classes (not full time, just as dual enrollment but still) and another heading off to public high school. 

Yup….waaayyy too much growing up going on around here!

M has done well in her high school class so far which I’m glad to hear because orientation was a disaster with a captial D (but that’s a whole ‘nother story).  She happily, if sleepily, gets up each morning, puts on the outift she carefully picked out the night before, eats her waffles and heads down to the bus stop.  I’m not nearly as cheerful that early in the morning but I get to go back to bed 😉

Here she is on her first day!

K had her first class a the local community college last night.  She already has a paper assigned for next week.  She says she likes the teacher proffessor and since said teacher works with special ed kids during the day I am a lot less concerned about K’s learning disability being an issue.  I know she can do the work, I just don’t know how legible it will be! 

Here she is ready to head out the door!

I think I need to go look at baby pictures now  “sniff”

Frog and Toad……..amoung other things

We’ve been busy this summer but not doing anything all the exciting to blog about. 

K and I participated in  the library summer reading program and got us plenty of free books (I heart free books!).   K also helped out at the end of program party but I managed to forget the camera for that one 😦

M survived summer school and I had a birthday.  It was beach themed, meaning both that we had it at the beach…

and that one of my presents was a beach in a box! 

Pretty cool huh?  My Mom bought it for me from  Old Bottle Sea Glass of Maine and I absolutely love it! You can turn it every which way and new things show up like this:

We’ve been dancing and cheering and I’ve been going to a LOT of board meetings.  Board meetings? (you ask)  Yes, board meetings!  I’ve taken on the job of cheer commisioner for our local youth sports org.  It’s been…interesting.  I’ve learned a lot about how these things (meaning non-profits) work and it’s been a lot more work then I thought but since we started practices I’ve been having loads of fun! 

W did a 6 week stint on 2nd shift which we all barely survived (yuck).  Of course being stuck at home gave us lots of time for exploring our yard.  The kids did a lot of fishing, playing in the blow up pool and in their travels found the following critters:

We think that last guy was a pickerel frog.  Pickeral frogs have toxic skin and are so named because pickerals are one of the only creatures who will eat them…or even bother them.  Seems most dogs even know enough to leave them alone.  Notice I said most?  Yeah…that’s becuase mine didn’t get that memo apparently.  He came in from his potty break one night panting and shaking and unable to close his mouth due to swelling.   After checking with the experts (googling) I determined it was an allergic reaction and gave him some benedryl.  Then I realized I gave him too much benedryl and had to call the emergency vet.  Long story short…it was an allergic reaction, it was not a toxic overdose and the next morning we found hoppy up there hanging out in the dog pen.  Mystery solved!

Oh…and we’ve been busy with another little creature, although we didn’t find this one in the backyard.

His name is Angus Obsidian Bottomless Pit…Angus for short 🙂  He is completely adorable and not taking an guff from the other cats (or dogs for that matter).  I think he may be the reincarnation of my beloved Johnson…haven’t decided if that’s good or bad 😉

Well….that’s our summer wrap up!  We start our school year next week so I’m sure I’ll be back soon!

Field Trip-The Beach!!!!

Saturday it was just. too. hot.  We decided the best course of action would be to head to the beach figuring it would either be cooler there or, at the very least, there would be water to swim in.  Turns out both things were true!  There was very little traffic at the big beach because most of the riff raff tourists were either at the smaller beach where the shops and clubs are, or at the harbor where some sort of event we didn’t care about was happening.  Worked out well for us let me tell you 😉

Despite the fact that M swore she “was NOT going to swim” and  claimed “I hate that dumb ocean!”  she did, in fact, venture in.

B learned to use his new boogie board.

Eventually everyone went in

Once we had all cooled off, we headed off to the tidepools!  K was very interested to see what we could find after having taken Marine Bio this year!  We found lots of interesting creatures.

lots of snails:

a tiny crab,

barnacles and itty bitty  muscles (aren’t they adorable?)

B found a giant clam that W, M and B witnessed standing on it’s foot and burying itself.  K and I were at the tidepools so all we got was squirted when we dug it up LOL!  I’m glad we were at the pools though because we saw a barnacle feeding which was amazingly cool .  I manged to get a pic, but it’s really hard to see the barnacle in it 😦  Unfortunately by the time we dug up Clammy (yes they named it) the camera was low on batteries.

It was dark before we headed home and we are already making plans for the next trip!

B’s 11 1/2 Birthday Party

B usually has a 1/2 birthday since his real birthday is so close to Christmas.  This year we had a small party (cake and ice cream and a small gift) on his actual birthday with the understanding that he would have a “real” party on his 1/2 birthday. 

That day was today!

We went to the local rec area for cake, presents and pizza under the gazebo and then some swimming. 

Happy birthday to BEEEEE!

He loved his gifts…

Everyone had fun with the goody bags too!

Their favorite part was the swimming though.

which for us included some water stunting…

Oops!  That one fell 🙂

Chicken Mummies-the wrap up

Today we decided the mummies had been hanging out in the natron long enough and it was time to wrap ’em up!  First thing we did was to clean them off and rub them with the cinnamon oil.  Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures of that because they wouldn’t wait for me to find new batteries for the camera….darn love of learning! 😉

I did get a picture of them wrapping up the mummies.  They used cheesecloth and some rolls of gauze we had laying around dipped in Mod Podge. 

They decided to wrap the wings (and in the case of C the legs too) so that the mummies would be recognisable as chickens.  They also named them…behold!

King Bobantamen!

and Queen Cluckopatra!

After wrapping they were gilded and entombed.


The gilding was achieved by spraying the mummies with gold spray glitter (did you know they card when you buy spray glitter?).  The tombs were gladware first spray painted (black for King Bob, blue for Queen Cluck), the spray glittered, then handpainted and bejewled by the kids. 

They also made canopic jars…

This one contains the kidney of King Bob

and this one the liver of Queen Cluck (which by the by STINKS-that one went home with C)

The canopic jars are old jars (spice and olive respectively) that they paper mached and then painted.  Notice how each of them matched the jars to the tombs?  Totally not my idea..did that all on their own!

Chicken Mummies-the beginning

Chicken Mummies-week 1