Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Awesome American History: 1846-1848

This was a super fun one, and I completely forgot to get any pictures! Well,  this covered Thoreau, the Donner party, and the Gold Rush, pages 87-98 in The American Story by Jennifer Armstrong.

We built cabins out of Popsicle sticks for Thoreau (for his cabin at Walden Pond),  panned for gold (sieved for fools gold in sand and water) and ate jerky (which the Donner party lacked).

I explained to the kids how to tell the difference between fool's gold and real gold (smash it with a rock: pyrite will shatter, gold will bend), and I let them keep the pieces they found.  The kids wanted to know how much the pyrite (fool's gold) would be worth if it were real, so we weighed it and looked up the answer: if it had all been gold, it would have been about $200,000!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Leapin' Lizards

 We went for a walk around the block and found this cute little lizard!

He's a little hard to see in the grass, but he's dark with light stripes.  In fact, he's five lined skink!  When they are young, they have bright blue tails, but this one had hardly any blue, so he must have been a bit older.

Leena and Zorg spotted it and were trying to catch it, when it hopped on Oob's sock, giving us a chance to get a better picture.

It was the coolest thing ever!

Right up until it ran up his shorts!

He asked me to shake him so that the lizard would fall out, but I was laughing too hard to manage more than feebly waving Oob back and forth.

Fortunately, just then the lizard popped out of the collar of his shirt, scurried to the top of his head and jumped off.

Leena wanted to catch it, but Oob said, "I think I've had enough lizard for one day."

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Poem of the Week: Leisure


                                           by William Henry Davies (1871-1940)
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

HT: Holy Joe

Saturday, May 20, 2017

NJ Trip

 Klenda and I went up to NJ to see my folks last weekend.  We had a lovely time when we finally got there - I discovered, 2 hours into the 6 hour trip, that I had forgotten my wallet at home.

Unfortunately, I found out when we stopped for gas...and didn't have enough gas to either go on or go back, and only $6 to our name!

That was exciting! Thanks be to God, Klenda had her wallet and was 18! Mxyl was able to wire money to Klenda (I couldn't receive money without an ID), and we got on our way.
Because they are further North, they are just starting Spring.

The geese on the lake had 6 tiny goslings.

And my mom had a garage full of sheep.

 Crazed, maniacal sheep, by the look of them.

Which she wanted to send home with me for some reason.

Which I did not want to bring home for some reason.

So she hid them in my car.

Fortunately, I found most of them before I left and hid them in her garage.

Unfortunately, she hid one with a bunch of cheese in the trunk... Wait, are you still reading this? I feel sheepish.

Uh, anyway, We had a great time, and we celebrated Mother's Day and Mumpy's birthday, and my birthday, and we planted their summer garden.

And we got Pa telling stories of strange things that happened to him in stranger places, and that is always amazing and fun!

Friday, May 19, 2017

27 Years Ago Today

Sonnet 43
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Happy Birthday Oob!

Oob is 10!  Double digits!

For his cake he wanted a wither storm. We can do creepy cakes!

 Did he love it?


10 Great Things About Oob

1. He wants to see all of the birds in the world.
2. When I am sick, he prays the Rosary for me.
2. He's a Minecraft master.
3. He is always willing to help out.
4. He's a very loving brother.
4. He likes to build contraptions.
5. He's a job thief!
5. He tells funny jokes.
6. He's an expert snuggler.
6. He's a Lego master builder.
7. He's a Webelo.
8. He likes to cook.
8. He loves taking care of cute furry things.
9. He's really good at drawing complicated things.
9. He knows a LOT about birds.
10. He has an eye for detail!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Awesome American History: 1821-1835

 This covered Johnny Appleseed, the Erie Canal, and the Moon Hoax, pages 78-86 in The American Story by Jennifer Armstrong.

If you're not familiar with the Moon Hoax, it was the fake news of 1835. A newspaper wanting to boost circulation began "reprinting" a Scottish science journal detailing the amazing sights a new telescope had found on the moon.

 They had an endless supply of amazing finds, including furry winged people!

For our art activity, we did our own version with plain paper replacing a circle cut out of construction paper. 

Some of the kids did pictures on the front and back of the white paper, so that you could put it up to a window and see more things. 
 For our active activity we went on a bird walk like Audobon (from last week's activities).  We found about a dozen kinds of birds, and had a great time!

For our snack, we went with the song 15 Miles on the Erie Canal.  If you haven't heard the song (I had to sing it in grade school, and we did not sound anything like as good as that link), the chorus mentions that they hauled some lumber, coal, and hay.

So we ate lumber (pretzel logs), coal (chocolate chips), and hay (shredded wheat).   Possibly,all those years of doing gingerbread houses has warped my mind.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Back in Glorious Technicolor!

We're back in the blogging game, thank you Bill!  Many posts coming up!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Update on My Sad Photo Loading Problem

It was my network settings!  We have a complicated double network in our house, and, evidently, I can only print on one network, and only load photos on the other.  But that's ok, I can work with that.

Until my computer updates the next day and I can't load photos on either network again. :(

Working on it...

Poem of the Week: Pershing at the Front

    Pershing at the Front

    The General came in a new tin hat
    To the shell-torn front where the war was at;
    With a faithful Aide at his good right hand
    He made his way toward No Man’s Land,
    And a tough Top Sergeant there they found,
    And a Captain, too, to show them round.

    Threading the ditch, their heads bent low,
    Toward the lines of the watchful foe
    They came through the murk and the powder stench
    Till the Sergeant whispered, “Third-line trench!”
    And the Captain whispered, “Third-line trench!”
    And the Aide repeated, “Third-line trench!”
    And Pershing answered- not in French-
    “Yes, I see it. Third-line trench.”

    Again they marched with wary tread,
    Following on where the Sergeant led
    Through the wet and the muck as well,
    Till they came to another parallel.
    They halted there in the mud and drench,
    And the Sergeant whispered, “Second-line trench!”
    And the Captain whispered, “Second-line trench!”
    And the Aide repeated, “Second-line trench!”
    And Pershing nodded: “Second-line trench!”

    Yet on they went through mire like pitch
    Till they came to a fine and spacious ditch
    Well camouflaged from planes and Zeps
    Where soldiers stood on firing steps
    And a Major sat on a wooden bench;
    And the Sergeant whispered, “First-line trench!”
    And the Captain whispered, “First-line trench!”
    And the Aide repeated, “First-line trench!”
    And Pershing whispered, “Yes, I see.
    How far off is the enemy?”

    And the faithful Aide he asked, asked he,
    “How far off is the enemy?”
    And the Captain breathed in a softer key,
    “How far off is the enemy?”
    The silence lay in heaps and piles
    And the Sergeant whispered, “Just three miles.”
    And the Captain whispered, “Just three miles.”
    And the Aide repeated, “Just three miles.”

    “Just three miles!” the General swore,
    “What in the heck are we whispering for?”
    And the faithful Aide the message bore,
    “What in the heck are we whispering for?”
    And the Captain said in a gentle roar,
    “What in the heck are we whispering for?”
    “Whispering for?” the echo rolled;
    And the Sergeant whispered, “I have a cold.”

    HT: Holy Joe

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Still Here

I'm not trying to take a break from blogging, I'm having problems getting Blogger to upload pictures.  Hopefully I'll be able to sort this out and I'll have a ton of posts for you!