Sunday, April 15, 2018

Family Schooling: Soccer Season and Space Exploration

A big dead tree at the corner of our house has been making us a little nervous ever since we moved here (2 years ago in February!). We finally decided the time and the price were right to get it down.  Getting the wood all chopped and chipped is another task added on Daddy's ever growing "to do" list. 
 Soccer season has begun again.  The littles play on the playground while brother M or sister A have practice.
 Miss L got her nails done at Big sister A's "Spa" (and so did the boys!).

  It has been a cold couple of weeks. Brother M is wearing a sweatshirt and fleece pants because it is only about 45 degrees.
 Brother S and Miss L are NOT dressed appropriately for the weather.  I was freezing with my winter coat and hat on.

  We do the "Mystery Science" labs as part of our science curriculum.  The one they wanted to do this week, not surprisingly considering the National Science Fest last week, was about space.  This particular lesson is called "Wandering Stars" (aka - planets).
 We drew the spread of the planets to scale, but not the planets themselves.
We played a game where they learn the order of the planets by racing to whichever one I call out.  
 The kids have been doing a lot of wildcraft/pioneer type activities. They are sharpening their own arrowheads, whittling sticks, and building little "homes" in the wood sheds -- like their own log cabins.
 I took and texted this picture of what big sister A was doing with my Cutco knife to spur hubby on to get them some real pocket knives (and a lesson on knife safety).
 What hubby did with the boys on conference Sunday:

USA Science and Engineering Festival

We went to a HUGE science festival downtown at the Washington Convention Center. First up was an amazing laser light lesson and show put on by SPIE.
 We had 4 hours to spend at the festival and we decided to focus on the two areas that seemed most interesting to our crew: Space (NASA) and Oceanography.

  Virtual reality tour of the Orion mission rocket.

 Soft circuits made at the FERMI station (Gamma Ray Space Telescope)
 This year's American girl doll is an astronaut. She had a lot of cool space tools and toys.
 The kids did the NASA scavenger hunt cards. They had to go to 9 stations and talk to the reps at each one in order to get a stamp.  The reward was pass through the fast track line to try the simulator.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Travels in Lancaster

We went up to Lancaster this week to visit the Amish farms, shops, and restaurants. 
We met our friends at a tiny local diner called The White Horse Luncheonette for a delicious breakfast of plate size pancakes and a veggie omelette for me. It seemed to be a local hang out as several Amish families were eating there too. 
Then we went down the road a little way to the White Horse Dry Goods store. It was lit with propane lights and had a little of everything.  We purchased a fun board game that I had read about in some Amish books - Life on the Farm. It is a little like monopoly for farmers - the winner is the first one to buy 60 cows. 
We went to a couple of local grocery stores (Esh's discount grocery and Miller's Organic) and Esh's Hardware and Farm supplies. Esh's Hardware was selling some of the cool Amish scooters that we saw lots of people riding. 
Like this: 
(Note the source. I did not take out my camera much while I was there so as not to offend anyone).  We went to a little petting zoo next to an ice cream shop at Lapp Valley Farms.
 We visited Misty Creek Goat Dairy and I bought several lovely cheeses and homemade goat soap to try.  The counter there was unmanned! all done on an honor system with an open till so that you could make change and everything. 
 All the kids loved the goats, especially Miss L. She wants to get one asap... when our fence is ready.
 We finished off the day with an all you can eat buffet of delicious local fare like beets, sweet potatoes, scrapple, pies of all varieties, and plenty of soft serve ice cream.  I was worried about being able to drive home with such a full tummy without drowsing off.  We will definitely be heading back there many more times. We have a lot more places in the area that we wanted to visit.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Happy Easter 2018

 Thursday after ice skating - it was a warm day and everyone played outside all afternoon.
The church Easter egg hunt was Saturday morning. It was so cold - about 40 degrees. 
  We love Daddy's holiday spirit!

In the evening we had the cousins' egg hunt.

And finally this morning -- the Easter Bunny brought them some books and peeps. They already had plenty of other candy from the Easter egg hunts.

 And Miss L did not want her photo taken: