Ah!! Massachuesetts!!!

Oh yeah, I had finally settled in alright.

I woke and needed to go to our favorite spot to relax and chill in the mornings when we lived in MA.  I headed out first thing for Otter River.  One of the oldest National parks in the US.  My little secret hideaway.   There is an enormous tourist attraction forest not two minutes up the road from this spot and poeple have to pass by this one to get there but no one stops in to notice it’s tranquil beauty and its superb rangers and camping grounds.  This place had Yurts!!  I little river flows through this Park and has two spots along it’s widest spot to swim in. Ice cold spring water.  The color of rust from the rivers bed.   It is usually quiet and deserted.  Just the way I like swimming holes.  I got there before the park rangers, but I was used to that.  We used to come here everyday during the warmer months to swim first thing in the morning, until lunch time.  That is when a couple of families might have shown up.  This was my ultimate turning point for this vacation.  I was really getting a chance to have fun and enjoy myself.  I sat in the sun while the kids tortured themselves in the freezing water and digging huge!! holes in the beach.  It was lovely.  We petted dogs being walked by and took a little walk to the dam and looked at all the plants in the garden bed.  It was lovely.

We left the beach around 1pm and went straight to our favorite store to see any deals that we wouldn’t mind particpating in.  Joblots!!  is a subsidiary of Ocean State srtore, such as BigLots.  This store carries all the mostinteresteing items for such littlemoeny.  We found all our Bobs Red Mill Flours and Mixes for our Glutenfree eating at least half off the regular price and some blets to help hold up our pants and some reading and activity books.  It was fun!

Afterwards was hit  a new smoothie shoppe!!  You heard me a Smoothie Cafe!! in Gardner, MA.  I was floored.  It was lovely withfree Wi-fi, comfy couches, fresh fruit and yummy foods for lunch and breakfast.   We each got delicious smoothies for lunch then headed back to the house.

Shortly after we arrived, we headed back out to have a visit with my sister, Sharon.  We hadn’t been able to meet up yet and the boys really miss her.  So we hung out for a while in Newbury Comics before we went over to the Theater to watch “Ice Age Three” .  That waws a funny movie.  Really cute.  It was good to see my sister, but she didn’t have much time to visit.  She was very busy with school and work.  It was a good time.

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Think! Challenge- People

This weeks Think! Challenge: People =  http://kidswhothink.blogspot.com/2009/01/week-nineteen-people.html

Use the following to make a person, preferably one that can stand or sit.

a handful of pretzels (any size or shape)
3 marshmallows
13 m&ms
3 pieces of gum
1 candy of your choice

I won’t post my pics as they will be posted to this site with the many other results from participating families, but I wanted to mention that we have so much fun doing these projects.  They are usally not time intensive and can be done in just a few minitues.  It suites our spontaneous learning moments quite well.  Of course, my boys enjoy the ones that use food, the best, but they are all really creative challenges that help kids use some well needed problem solving and critical thinking skills, all the while having fun doing it.

I think the best part is that the kids get validated for their work by seeing their pictures and creations posted on another website.  They think that is really cool.  When mom posts pictures, it is just corny.

We had fun with this one and some serious challenges to creating standing figures.  It was a great experience.  I look forward to seeing all the other creations from this challenge.

First Playdate of the Year!

Friday Jan. 2nd, T. set up a playdate with his dearest grown-up friend, Bill Thorpe. To our surprise, our dearest child friend, Piran, was to join us! We played Pirates with the many large lego Pirate ships and lots of action figures and islands. Then they played the game Dread Pirate. It seemed like a pretty fun game. It was a lovely afternoon with lots of catching up and yummy cookie treats made by our host, Bill.

playdate-bill-and-piran-01

Recapture the summer

This summer seemed to last forever while in the midst of it, but as Fall weather creeps in a little early this year my perspective has changed.  It feels such a short time has passed.  Where did all my grand ideas go?  Weren’t we going to go swimming everyday?  How about bowling every week?  Hikes?  Playdates? I am sure we did some of what we planned but not nearly as much as I had thought we would.  There seemed to never be enough time not energy to do it all.

To recall this summer seems like a fruitful idea to me.  What did we do?

To kick off the summer: June; B. and his Friend Tim attended a Dungeons and Dragons event at a local gamer shop, while T. and his friend Ben swam in the local YMCA pool.  The next week T. was dedicated to the UU church and we attended a wonderful theater production at Hanger Theater, “The boys who could Talk to Penguins”.  That same weekend I and T. attended out first Spin-In Fiber Fest at the Black Bear Winery and checked out his horseback riding camps Open House.  The Third week in we celebrated my birthday and B. and T. and I, had a fun trail ride.  Every weekend we have tried to attend the Farmer’s Market at Otsingengo Park.  For a month or so, every monday we attended a Spinning/Fiber group.  The fourth weekend started of our week with a Recorder Recital by several homeschooling families.  B. was surprised when he was given the task/job of animal sitting for our Ministers family for two weeks.  Daily we traveled there to feed the animals.  The proved very fruitful for B.  T. that same week had a fun playdate with the Chens.  Every Wednesday we tried to attend our homeschool Playgroup that was strategically placed near large masses of water. 🙂  The end of June arrived with broiler chicks arriving in the mail and Homeschool Paperwork due to the Local school disctrict. 

July:  Started out with a yummy Tex-Mex Potluck.  Then off to MA we went.  Missing a Hanger Theater Production of Pinnocio was a bummer, but the boys had a great time with their father.  I met up with family and freinds that I hadn’t seen in what seemed ages.  The next week started with our first organized summer activity: Archery class.  That was super fun and ran every Sunday through mid August.  B. and a group of his friends spent an entire day playing D&D, while T. and Piran got to go to the big movie theater to watch WALL-E.  We spent the next day picking Raspberries with Grandma Adams and the evening with out 4-H club.  The next day T. got to have fun at a playdate with Ben.  All the third week T. was at Horseback riding camp.  The week ended with a big mandatory County Fair Grounds clean up day.  We attended the Summer Program of Religious Education almost every Sunday, in which I taught a few sessions.  The next week was extremely busy as B. was attending Kopernik Science Center Camp from 9am to 3pm daily and we had to show our Chickens at the County Fair.  That weekend ended with Chicken baths, Judging, ribbons and Rides.  I still feel like I haven’t receovered from that week. 

August:  First thing, S. left for Tennessee for a week.  That same day I was having a Potluck with the theme of Berries.  We spent to entire day picking blueberries and the evening eating all sorts.  The next week we attended out last 4-H Cluck Club Meeting by making Flan and exchanging pictures of the year.  We attended our second production at Hanger Theater, “Charlottes Web”.  Yeah Steve’s Home!  The third week consisted of a big Birthday party for the boys friend Avery,  an all day playdate with Piran for T. and another all day playdate with the Raynes, then swimming at Cole Park.  We even snuck in a dentist appointment.  Now we are up to date.  This week we plan on attending Les Miserables at Hanger Theater, going to playgroup, the Farmers Market, and possibly a Library run. 

Throughout all the summer happenings B. had Tae Kwon Do three days a week, I had a small group ministry meeting once weekly, Daily feeding of my Goats and Chickens, maintenance of my overflowing Garden, random visits with folks and a few lectures attended, preperation for schooling 2008-2009, reading books galore, a few new purchases, and some fun Ice cream runs!

We were busy but I guess I thought we would be more structured this summer.  We had fun times and hard times, but overall I say it was a good summer for all.  I hope it doesn’t end on such cold weather as we are having currently.  A few more days in the sun would be nice, especially for my tomatoe plants in which won’t ripen if not for some warmer days ahead. 

Going through my summer like this was fun and not as hard as I thought it would be.

Summer experiments

We are having fun using ideas from Mind Games blog and Unplug Your Kids Ideas.

Below are some pic of what we did this week.