Saturday, January 30, 2016

Our Weekly Wrap-Up ~ 1/30/16

Well, we had a rather uneventful week this week if you don't count the 40+ inches of snow we received this past weekend!!! Yup....I said 40+ inches in 24 hours. I think it set a new record for snow totals here in a 24 hour time span. We were snowed in until the middle of the week. Not too bad until you start to run out of the basics.

During the snow storm

The dog lost in the snow. 
By the end of the storm, the fence in the background was hidden by snow.
Too much snow!

Since we had so much snow the kids did have a few snow days so they could go out and play in the snow. They built a snow fort, made a luge track to sled down, and shoveled paths for the chickens to walk around. 
Last week, school went a little better and we are almost on target for our lessons. Of course since I just said that something will go wrong....someone will get sick, we'll lose a book, an unexpected event will occur, etc. Oh well! If it happens that's life.

In our school this week......
We are now on week 8 in our Classically Catholic Memory curriculum. We are learning a lot. The only subject we are not on week 7 is history. I decided earlier in the year to take history a little slower than CCM takes it this year. We are just know getting into the pioneering days and heading west. We have been using HomeSchool in the Woods 19th Century cd-rom and we love it. I can't wait to share all the fun stuff the kids will create. We even have a pioneer feast at the end...gluten free of course!

The kids have started a U.S. Election lap pack from HomeSchool in the Woods for a TOS Review we are doing. So far it's been fun and we are learning a lot. We have a lot of fun reviews coming up and I can't wait to share them with you.

In our lives this week.......
Well, if you have watched any news this week, you know the east coast was bombarded with TONS of snow. We got lots and lots of snow up here on the mountain. The kids were very excited of course. They wanted to build snowmen, forts, trenches, and tunnels. They did most of those things. The only thing that they couldn't do was build a snowman. The snow was too deep. It was impossible to walk through. The snow was up to my waist in many places. Just walking through it made you exhausted. The kids and the dog had a blast. I stayed indoors....too cold and a certain boy is now wearing my snow pants so I had no snow gear.

On Friday, Therese and her home ec. club made burp cloths for young moms at the local pregnancy center. The made 13 burp cloths total and were thrilled to see their handy work. 
The girls collected items for a gift basket for a baby boy being born in March. I love the Pro-Life message this shows our girls. 

" A person's a person no matter how small."
~Dr. Seuss

After the club, we headed for a fund day of bowling! The kids bowled two rounds and a great time with friends. It was great to get out after being stuck at home all week. I enjoyed visiting with fellow homeschool moms and catching up with friends I hadn't seen a few months. Life just gets too busy sometimes.

What we are reading this week..... 
I read a novel from a new author I picked at the local library..Irish Meadows by Susan Anne Mason
Therese is still reading the Hunger Games. Michael has switched gears and is giving the Redwall series a little break. He is currently reading the The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. After that, he wants to read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I love how he enjoys reading the classics and not all that junk being written now a days!

What I'm praying for.....
our country and the upcoming election
an end to abortion
a friend and her newborn baby
our priests and vocations
my family and friends

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Friday, January 29, 2016

Five Minute Friday 1-29-16 ~ Quiet

QUIET~ Doesn't happen often around here.
Children, dogs, cats, chickens.....all make noise. 
Night time is when the quiet descends upon the house.
Everyone is tucked in and fast asleep.
A moment of piece and quiet for mama. Alone time. 
No needs, no demands, no questions....just silence.
Alone in the living room with a good book and a warm cup of tea. 
Mint Lemon Grass tea.
A gray an white kitty appears looking up with big round eyes. 

She loves alone time too. 
Up she pounces and curls up on my lap for nigh time cuddles. 
The silence is broken. 
The quiet is no the night is filled with the sound of a purring cat.

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Linking up with Kate for Five Minute Friday!

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Traveling Thursdays~ The Arboretum

A few weekends ago, the whole family headed out for a nature hike at our local arboretum. It was a beautiful day. The air was crisp but mild. We had a very pleasant walk.

Our local arboretum is 172 acres. It was started back in the 1930's and now how over 5000 trees and shrubs from all over the world.

It has over 162 different kinds of Boxwoods. There is a ginkgo grove of 300 trees and Ceder alley of 36 trees. In the spring, the dogwood lane is breathtaking. They even have a field of daffodils that are perfect for taking spring photos.

Of course in the fall and winter, the bright colors of spring and summer are missing. If you look hard enough, you can still find a variety of nature life to see.

Seeds, pine cones, birds, berries, and animal tracks are just a few of the things you can spot.

The whole family went, so this included the dog too. She found herself a pond to splash and play in. She is truly a water dog. I think the best part of her rump in the water was when she decided to lay down in the water and just hang out. Silly puppy!

and the highlight of the walk.....


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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Traveling Thursdays~ Smithsonian's National Zoo

Today, we are venturing into the wonderful world of animals! During the fall, we took a little trip to the Smithsonian's National Zoo located in Washington, D.C. The National Zoo is part of the Smithsonian Institution, a museum and research complex. It's HUGE!

The National Zoo is 163 acre park home to over 2,000 animals from 400 different species. Their best known residents are Tian Tian, Mei Xiang, Bao Boa, and of course the newest addition to the panda family Bei Bei! When we visited Bei Bei was still rather small so we could only watch her on the Panda Cam.  He was a cutie! He is now out and about for the world to see.

Tian Tian hanging playing in the fallen leaves.

Bao Bao, the big sister, put on quite the show for us that morning. She loved playing it up for the crowd. They are such amazing animals. They are beautiful, strong, and gentle all at the same time.

Of course, we couldn't spend all our time at the Panda yard. We did explore some more and were thrilled to see a variety of animals. The zoo is broken up into 6 different exhibits. You'll find the American Trail, the Asia Trail, Amazonia, the Think Tank, the Cheetah Conservation Center, and the Kids Farm. You will get to see the Big Cats, Great Apes, Pandas, Asian Elephants, Reptiles, and Birds.

While you travel down the American Trail, you will see California Sea Lions, Gray Seals, Harbor Seals, Bald Eagles, Gray Wolves, Ravens, River Otters, and more.




The Cheetah Conservation Center was wonderful. The cheetah was enjoying the warm fall day and was prowling about in all her glory. She is absolutely beautiful.


Along the Asia Trail, you will be able to see Sloth Bears, Fishing Cats, Red Pandas, Clouded Leopards, Panda Bears, and many more animals. 

At the Think Tank, you will get to think about thinking. The interactive exhibit explores 3 different cognitive areas: tools, language, and society. This exhibit combines fun loving orangutans and hands-on activities for a great learning adventure! Unfortunately,we didn't see any orangutans while we were there. They must have been hiding from us.

Amazonia takes you deep into the Amazon River area. This was a must do for Michael. Here you will get to explore the very diverse world of a tropical rainforest. You will discover tropical fish, amphibians, reptiles. and birds.

The Kids Farm is like a petting zoo. It's great for younger kids and children who live in the city. Kids can see cows, pigs, goats, alpacas, donkeys, and a barn! The kids didn't want to head over there since we've had a few of those animals. Living in the country allows them to see all of those animals.

In another section of the zoo, you'll find the Big Cats! Lions and Tigers....oh my!

It happened to be feeding time when we were walking by. The ladies seemed to be enjoying their lunch!

The tiger was passed out. He didn't raise his head the whole time we walked around the enclosure. He must have had a late night.

We love heading to the zoo. The staff is amazing and share so much information with the kids. They walked around with educational displays and are always ready to answer their questions. 
Next time you heading to Washington, D.C, be sure to check out the zoo.
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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Traveling Thursday~ Antietam Battlefield

Back in November, our Catholic homeschool group had a chance to visit a local civil war battlefield. We were lucky enough to have Father visit Antietam Battlefield with us! It was wonderful that Father could tag along with us on his day off. He is a huge civil war buff and provided the children with a wealth of knowledge. 

We had a terrific guide who was great with the kids. He shared a ton of information but made it interesting for the kids. No boring tour guide here! The kids, Father, and all of us moms learned a lot.

Maryland Monument

The battle at Antietam is the bloodiest one day battle in American history. So many lives were lost. 23,000 soldiers were killed, wounded, or went missing after a long and bloody twelve hour battle. It is truly sacred ground.

Dunker Church

Burnside Bridge

Bloody Lane

We were blessed to visit the battle field on All Soul's Day. We were given special permission to hold Mass in the historic Dunker Church. Father held Mass and the children (and the moms) were able to experience a wonderful opportunity. I had never experienced Mass outside of a Catholic church. It was a the first time the kids and I had ever seen the black vestments used. Many of of us had never seen the black vestments used. They were beautiful.

After Mass and our tour, we headed over to the National Cemetery with Father to pray for the souls buried there. We felt honored and humbled for this time to reflect on the people who fought there, died there, and paid the ultimate sacrifice for our great nation.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May the souls of the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
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