Category Archives: Family Happenings

Here comes the rain again- Hurricane Musings

So here we are a new school year! I was about to start us my first entry back about what we are doing this year when I was sidetracked by Mother Nature. Not only were we hit by a 5.8 earthquake, but we are also in the process of preparing for Hurricane Irene. Don’t worry, at the time of me posting the hurricane is actually 3 hours away and we are currently safe.

Here are some links if you want to know how you can be prepared for a hurricane:

FEMA’s Hurricane Guide

Hurricane Center’s Pet Preparedness Plan

This past week, I managed to purchase a lot of batteries, waters and since we are campers so I have a camping stove and lanterns in case we lose power. One thing I could not find was lamp oil for my hurricane lamps. So after googling alternatives I found the following:

Make Your Own Olive Oil Lamp

I couldn’t wrap my mind around what I was reading (it had been a long week) so I found visuals on YouTube which lead me to this interesting video. The person says you can eat the tuna after, but I think I might pass on that if I am ever in the position to try it out.

After the earthquake, BrainPop featured a video about earthquakes. For the weekend the featured video is about hurricanes.  I let Gilbert re-watch those along with the news to properly prepare him for the weekend’s event. The last time a hurricane hit our area he was only 2.

I am hoping the next time I post, I can report clear skies and minimal damage to our neighborhood. To anyone who is facing the coming storm, good luck and stay safe!

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Still here!

Quick update points:
Gilbert took his end of year test. Waiting for the results.
I believe I have now have CVC reader.
I am getting ready to map out what I want to accomplish next year with both boys. I may lean heavy on the CK Month by Month Guide while using WTM resources.
I decided to take a class over the summer.
I received the first 3 Oxford books in the mail. I really, like them. I would like to have Gilbert start a timeline book next year but I don’t know what method to use.
It is strawberry season.

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Buying and Wrapping and Wrapping and Buying

It has been a quiet few weeks on the home front. The temperature has dropped and we are finding ourselves staying home and nestling on the couch reading books and watching movies rather than going out and walking around.

Me and the boys put up our first live tree and I even managed to string the lights to the house all by myself. There was lots of hand raising and fist pumping on my part. I wanted the boys to see how easy it was to do these things if they had the right tools and the right motivation.

I have been spending my online time at they always have really great deals around the holidays. Not only for Christmas presents but also for our schooling endeavor. Case in point:


Regularly $70+ right now $17.99

Regularly $30+ right now $12.99


I snagged the above for future science experiments.  December is also the time of the year that Snap Circuits go on sale for really cheap. You can usually get the 300 kit for $30 and the expansion kits for under $20 each. Today there is apparently going to be a sale on the Snap Circuit Alternative Energy Kit:

Regularly $45 on sale for ???


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Wordless Wednesday: Autumn


Fall has arrived!



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Now for something a little different

After spending the last 3 days at Colonial Williamsburg, I thought it was time to expand out horizons. Today we took our very first trip to the Jamestown Settlement.

This week Jamestown is also having their homeschool days, homeschoolers have 14 days to take part in different programs and tours both outside and inside of the museum. Since Sullivan is very fidgety and I believe (and I need to call to confirm) parents need to be in the room, I thought it was best to spend our time exploring independently.

First we walked through a re-created Powhatan village. What I loved about this was that visitors get a chance to actually touch things and walk through the huts. When the boys heard this they walked into the nearest hut and began investigating.  Gilbert enjoying pounding corn into flour while Sullivan enjoyed investigating the beds and animals skins.

pounding corn into flour

"tickle, tickle"

After we completed our time in the village, we walked over to Jamestown ships. During our visit the ships present were the Susan Constant, Discovery, and the Elizabeth. While the Godspeed replica was there, I believe they are repairing it.

Susan Constant

Sullivan was convinced it was a pirate ship and it was off to the side because the pirates were naughty.  The boys enjoyed the Susan C0nstant the most, I however have learned being tall in the 17th and 18th century must have really sucked.

We then walked to the fort area. This was a treat for Gilbert. We have been working on a paper replica of the settlement so it was nice to see the real thing. During our time in the fort we had the chance to not only look and hold different muskets and swords, the armory guard also put on a shooting presentation.

I was told that they were very heavy

Overall a very nice day.

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Day Three: The Talk That Wasn’t

We returned to CW for the mythical creatures talk. Unfortunately, the line getting onto the shuttle was too long and we did not get on the bus that would have gotten us to the talk on time. Arriving 15 minutes later, Gilbert felt very uncomfortable slipping in. It also did not help that when I sheepishly asked, the normal nice curator, if she had an extra sketch book  she pointed out that we were late and if we wanted a sketch book “you should have arrived earlier if you wanted you child to have a sketch book”. Blush. At that point Gilbert got up and slinked away.

Do not frown dear reader! This was actually a blessing in disguise. For we decided to wander the museum. This building is deceptively (like most of CW) huge. You enter a small building go down a few stairs and then BAM! You are in a huge (for the area) museum. We walked around and saw a lot of really cool exhibits.

Let's make lemonade!


Hidden treasure: There is a children’s section that has a few older toys and books  on display. The boys and I took some time to color and then after walking over to the quilt exhibit tried our hand at building quilt patterns.

We spent a good 2 hours in the museum and left fairly pleased at our adventure. I will say since this is day 3, we have finally figured out how to navigate the shuttles and the different points of interest. Special celebrity sighting. On the way to revisit the Governor’s Mansion we noticed this family was in attendance. Interesting to see them in person.

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Day 2: A Trip to the Gardens

Today we spent the majority of our time at the plantation and the Governor’s Palace.

Great Hopes Plantation
This is one of the first stops before you enter the town. It stands as a reminder that once upon a time neighbors were far apart and the land was mostly farms with few to no towns for miles.  They also teach the land was all you had, so you had to learn to do most things at home. Yesterday, when we arrived most of the interpreters were gone for the day so we just wandered around. Today, most of the buildings had interpreters so we got a chance to listen to life on the plantation before, during and after the revolution from an owner to slave’s perspective.

Remember the oxen from yesterday? Today, we saw them in action leveling the fields of corn. The boys had a chance to stack, corn stalks. I had a problem pulling them away.

Manual Labor!

Next we headed over to the Governor’s Mansion where we decided to walk around the garden.  From the outside, you expect a small plot, but once you go through the gate area, there is a very large a beautiful plot of land in the back, with a pond with koi. There was even a maze that the kids ran around in.

Garden View from the Governor's Palace

View from the Mount showing the maze

After the maze we walked down Duke of Gloucester Street again. We walked into the shops and enjoyed listening to the interpreters.

At the end of day 2, we are just in love with Colonial Williamsburg. Tomorrow I am hoping to bring Gilbert to the Mythical Creatures talk at the museum.

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