Thursday, October 30, 2008

My Camera

A little mommy aggravation here.

Yes, I'm going to vent.

My camera had been missing for days. I looked high and low for it and even asked the kids if they had used it for anything. Of course the little angels knew nothing of the whereabouts of my camera. My 2nd daughter's birthday was Tuesday and that morning, I was looking feverishly for it all up until the moment we walked out the door for her party.

That evening, I started looking for it again. Dh got irritated that I couldn't find it ( I guess I complained a little about the camera being gone.)
Well, he found it. Guess where.

It was in the chicken coupe out back buried in straw.
Here are the last pictures taken on it.

When I was looking for the camera, I specifically asked the children if they took pictures of the chickens and they insisted that they hadn't. Hmmmmmm.
So my conclusion is that while we were gone, those chicken broke into the house, took the camera and just had the time of their lives taking pictures of each other out there. When they heard us come home, they quickly buried the camera in the straw and said they'd blame the kids. Pretty amazing considering they don't have opposable thumbs.
Grrrrrrr. Crazy chickens.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Mount St. Mary's Grotto and mosaics

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been preparing for a Charlotte Mason Discussion Group that I will be hosting at my home. It's good to read back through CM books and notes I've taken previously and websites, etc. It reminds me of where I should be in educating my children. Last Friday I had the thought that we needed to take a field trip. We are studying Ancient Rome and I kept trying to think of a way to get mosaics in. I have a hard time with the construction paper cut in squares glued onto other construction paper. I guess it gets the idea across of making a picture with little squares.

In the back of my mind, I remembered that Mount St. Mary's University in Emmittsburg, Maryland has mosaics in their Grotto of Lourdes. So last Friday, I checked the weather for Monday - Perfect! - and we were off on Monday morning. It's only about a 30 minute drive from my house, but well worth it with no admission fees for the grotto.

We took our lunches and picniced at the Grotto. That part was so nice that, after an hour, we were still sitting there eating and chatting. I had to force the children and myself to get up so we could go see the rest of the Grotto.

It was so beautiful. We were able to stop at the different mosaics and the children narrated the bible story that was depicted.

Here are some pictures from our day.

This is DS4, exploring a seed pod that had fallen from a tree. This is nature study at it's finest.

The mosaics:

It was tricky to get photos of the mosaics because there was plexiglass over all of them. I was surprised at how interested the kids were in them. They got up close and studied the individual tiles. Also, these pictures don't do the mosaics justice.

This mosaic stands about 10 feet tall.

Risen Jesus

Dd9 next to the Baptism of Jesus

Gabriel visiting Mary

Ds4 looking at the Nativity

This is a spring in the Grotto. The verse on the stone says:

"Let anyone who thirsts come to me and drink......rivers of living water will flow from within him." John 7:37-38

This is a beautiful field trip and I would recommend it to anyone. We were able to cover art, nature study (science) and narration (languagle arts- oral language).

Monday, October 6, 2008

Niagara Falls

Isn't it amazing how when you return from a vacation, even if the vacation was only a couple of days, that it takes time to "recover" from it? We went to Niagara Falls, Canada two weeks ago for four days and I feel like our household is just now getting back to "normal". Weird.
Our vacation was great. It was sunny and 70 degrees the entire time. We stayed at Embassy Suites that overlooks the falls. The price of the hotel was a little more that what we might normally pay, but we got so much. We stayed in a suite that had a living room area, a small area with a microwave and refrigerator and a bedroom. With 3 children, that was nice because the oldest slept on the pull out sofa in the living room. Plenty of room for everyone.

The hotel included a breakfast buffet that was out of this world. There were omelet chefs and you could get eggs, sausage, bacon, pancakes, fresh fruit, yogurt, etc, etc. We took the kids to eat breakfast around 10 or 10:30 and that lasted through lunch. For dinner we went to a local grocery store and got frozen dinners and stuff for salads and sandwiches and sat in our room looking at the falls while we ate. Since we did that, we didn't feel the need to go up in the Skylon Tower and have dinner. That was $35 a person!

Yes, we did go on the Maid of the Mist. "Maid of the Mist" sounds so delicate, but it was quite the adventure. Despite the perfect weather, when we got to the base of the falls, the boat rocked and we were pelted with rain. My 4 year old son will tell you right out that he hated that ride. The rest of us loved it. My daughters brought home their blue ponchos for souvenirs.

We also got to see a rainbow on the falls every day.

We had plenty of opportunity to stand and look at the falls and just marvel at the enormity of it all. We were reminded of God's power every time we stood there and heard the thundering of the water pouring over the edge to the depths below. In his own words, my 4 year old son explained to the rest of us that God spoke the falls into being because that's all God has to do if He wants to make something.
I could go on rambling about this trip. It was one of the best vacations of my life and it was one of those where I didn't want to leave. So I'll just add a few more pictures here and stop typing.
Hubby got a picture of me doing what I always do - taking pictures.