Thursday, October 13, 2011

Week and a Half Wrap-Up

Obviously, I'm behind again, sigh . . . oh well, such is life!

Last week's highlights:

  • Apple picking at Hopewell Furnace. The apples were about gone, but we had fun anyway. Sassy and MiniMe thought it was great fun to use the big long apple picker contraptions to pick the apples, and Little Bit enjoyed getting the apples out of the picker contraption once one of the big girls picked one. Then Little Bit and I examined it, and if it had "holes in it" she got to throw it down the hill. 
  • To make sure our apple picking adventure was educational, the ranger who sold us the apples we picked gave the girls a quick math lesson, it went something like this . . . 
    • Ranger: You get a free apple for coming, so if you came every day all year, how many free apples would you get?
    • MiniMe: (looking abit disgusted) You don't HAVE apples all year, just during apple season, so how could you give me one every day?
    • Ranger: Ok, so IF we had apples every day, how many apples would you get if you came every day all year?
    • MiniMe: I don't know
    • Ranger: 365, there are 365 days in the year. So, if you came every OTHER day, and we had apples, how many apples would you get?
    • MiniMe & Sassy spent a few minutes talking it out, but did come up with the correct answer. Ranger expressed approval at how well they figured out how to arrive at the number (divided 300 in half, then 60, then 5)
  • Extra baking and cooking to put in the freezer to get us ready for the busy month we have planned. There were more math lessons hidden in all that measuring and doubling recipes :-)
  • We've been learning about Van Gogh, for art, so we spent time discussing some of his paintings, the girls each chose a painting to "copy", and did a pretty good job, all things considered. They also added the Van Gogh stuff to their Famous Painters lapbook.
  • We wrapped up our ladybug study by making apple ladybugs for lunch one day. 
  • This past Sabbath was Yom Kippur, so we learned about Yom Kippur, and discussed how Jesus was the Atonement for our sins. Since we weren't home on Sabbath, we weren't able to have a candle burning all day. We did listen to the story of Jonah (which, I have to admit, I didn't figure out WHY, but one thing I read said that traditionally the story of Jonah is read on Yom Kippur) as we were driving.
 Which brings us to this week . . . 

The girls and I left after church on Sabbath to go to Mama & Papa's house for a few days.  The girls were thrilled to see the progress Papa has made on their playhouse. He has the roof on all of it and is beginning to put siding on it. He also set one of the windows while we were there. 

Sunday was jam-packed! the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore was having Steam Days AND a Civil War encampment, so we headed down there for the day. But on our way down we stopped at Monocacy Battle Field to get the Junior Ranger book for the girls to work on as they had time. It's an awesome little Visitor Center and the ranger was super informative, we'll definitely be heading back there when we're learning about the Civil War next spring.

Once we got to the train museum we headed straight for the steam train. We rode the steam train out to a mock Civil War Encampment, where we saw the oldest running steam engine in the United States (there's one a year older in . . . I think he said somewhere in Europe) they were driving it back and forth on a side-rail. Pretty cool. The girls also found some of the reinactors who were willing to answer questions and proceeded to learn about what a soldier would have carried, what he wore, what the letter on his hat meant, and a brief history of photography, including the tax on photography.  The "benefits" of steam days also meant that Mount Clare Mansion was open without it's normal additional fee. So we also got to tour it.

After riding the steam train back to the railroad museum we saw a blacksmith's demonstration, and MiniMe got to try her hand at making a "hippo" using clay instead of heated iron.

When we got home from the railroad museum we quickly loaded up the motorhome and headed out again, this time to Fort Frederick for a couple days of camping.  The fort isn't completely open during the week this time of year, so we'll have to visit again sometime when we can see inside the barracks, and visit the CCC museum, but we still had a good time. 
  • Little Bit loved the playground with lots of slides.
  • The naturalist had the nature center open on Monday, and I'm not sure who had more fun, the girls asking their thousands of questions, or him, having such a willing and interested audience LOL. 
  • The girls learned abit about fire-building
  • We were excited to see a trail marked "beaver trail" but couldn't find any real evidence of beavers, at least not that we recognized as such. And while there were several numbered markers along the trail, we never managed to find where one would get something telling us what the numbers represented. It was still a nice walk and on our way back we collected some sticks to use for roasting hotdogs and marshmallows.
  • Papa taught the girls how to whittle points on the tips of their roasting sticks.
  • During Little Bit's nap on Monday, everyone else rode their bikes 11 miles (give or take) on the rail trail and C&O Canal. Originally MiniMe was hesitant about riding on the canal, with the canal on one side of the toe path and the river on the other side, but she did it.
So all and all our first trip in the new motorhome was a total success. 

Tuesday we went back to Mama & Papa's house and Mama finished making the "Williamsburg dresses" she promised the girls at their birthday, the girls helped Papa gather fire wood, rode their bikes, helped put siding on the playhouse, etc.

Wednesday we headed home, and today we've been playing catch up on laundry, errands, etc. 

Today is also the first day of Sukkot. Bad weather and all our traveling means we don't have a sukkah built or anything, but we read about the holiday today, and will read more about it throughout the next week. The girls decided they want to build a sukkah for their dollhouse people. We also got some artificial branches/leaves at AC Moore today to make our own lulav. So we're continuing to enjoy learning about the Jewish Holidays in the midst of all our busyness.

So that's what's been going on around here. Most of the pictures of our adventures are on my dad's camera, which I forgot to get before we headed home, so pictures will come eventually.

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