15 Apr 2008 1 Comment
I mean the kids daddy, not mine, he’s my husband. Now for an accolade or two. You read and see all the fun things we do here in the Carberry house and you may think wow, they sure have fun, and we do, but we couldn’t do it if it weren’t for my husband (of almost 16 years!) You might think we have too much fun and never do any school (see quote to the right) and you may wonder how we do school and have so much fun (see quote to the right and a little further down.)
Well, we can do it all because my husband supports us in ways more than just financial. He supports me emotionally and spiritually (whether he thinks so or not.) He is a good daddy because every day he walks out the door and goes to work for us. He’s not very appreciated at work; they just think he’s the computer guy. Kind of like sometimes I’m just the mom. But, still, he goes out every day and works. He goes to funky vegetables with us (like Mike the headless chicken, that’s Grace at the festival last year), but sometimes he wants to stay home (like I’m sure if you gave me a minute I could think of a festival we went to that wasn’t too great.) He gives me gas for my van (stop laughing) so I can go all these neat places. He supports our Homeschooling by being the principal of the school and laying down the law occasionally.
So, today we are so excited because Daddy’s coming home. We have cleaned and made the house ready, we have cleaned the yard and we are ready to go to the airport today and greet him. So, Daddy, Schnooke, we love you and we’ll be the very loud group by the railing (probably with a sign) waiting for you!
14 Apr 2008 1 Comment
Or what you can do with worms. But first, here is Hannah’s activity of the week, seeds.
Today she looked at them with a magnifying glass, poured them through the funnel, put them in the pot (no dirt yet) and just played with them.
Tomorrow she’ll paint her little pots, then put some dirt in them and plant the seeds. Two of the yogurt cups we planted last week have sprouts coming out of them, no sprouts on the socks yet.
Anyway back to worms. After dance the girls had a class at the library on using worms to recycle.
They didn’t care so much about the recycling part but they did the worm part. Bethany used to have a pot of worms when we lived in Kingwood. She called them Snerglies.
Unfortunately they were earthworms who prefer to live deep in the dirt and don’t eat food very well. Here’s a web site we used to learn about worms. The worms we learned about here were red wrigglers. And if you want to know why they’re called red wrigglers, just hold one.
Grace’s worm was jumping, turning and dancing and she was cracking up. ‘Look, my worms’ a circus worm!’ Hannah freaked when the worm started crawling towards her, but did fine when she had a glove on (until she touched it with her ungloved hand and screamed.) Bethany had 8 worms in her pile, plus peanuts, a few sprouting beans and a few eggs.
We learned that worms don’t have teeth; they wait until the food breaks down into kind of a slimy liquid and then suck it up like a straw. When it comes out the other end it’s compost! Worms are slimy because they need to coat their body with mucus so they can wiggle around in the wet dirt.
They breathe through their skin, taking oxygen from the water as they move around. Red wigglers like to have newspaper in their home, not to eat, but to use for their bed. They eat all kinds of things but you should never put: dairy or meat into their bin. I think milk doesn’t break down right and meat, well it gets stinky.
When we left each girl got a small bin to put their compost in. Grace was very nice and gave one of her worms to Hannah (she only had one.)
I know Bethany’s had some eggs in it so they are on track to making more worms. Right now they are eating lettuce and forging through their container. And to think I was about to pay for a worm habitat! Thank you library! (We did get a lady-bug habitat though.)
Rushing home we got Joel and took him to CAP. He earned a certificate for learning how to operate a robot satellite thingy (no, that’s not the official term.) And I got all my co-op classes posted; I have 1 duplicate, so I have 7 classes in all! Wow! They are: trip to the Longmont cultural museum, duct tape wallets, speed cup stacking, record bowls, poetry slam, and a tour of South America. Fun!
13 Apr 2008 Leave a Comment
Another busy day in the Carberry house (or when Daddy’s away the children will go all over creation and visit places.) We started off the day at the Wildlife experience for the Kids pages fair. Really, I only went because you can get into the museum for a buck today. The kids got cake and bags of crap and some wooden yo-yo’s galore. We saw our magician friend Ann Lincoln doing her show, we said ‘hi’ afterwards. Another magician was impressed with Joel when he let Joel do a few tricks, stealing the show. Hannah had fun with the gymboree bubbles and Bethany talked to Belliston ballet about the leader of her worship dance (they trained her!)
I had 20 people trying to get me to book a birthday or go to a class, and then we headed upstairs. We went through the Jamestown survivor maze.
You got a life board where you kept tallies of your life/health/wealth/morale as you went through the exhibit.
Joel was the only one who survived.
I would have made it but for the ‘wheel of misfortune’ that Hannah helped me on; I got ‘snake bite -9 health.’
After snake bites, well water and smelling beaver musk we were ready to go!
Day 2 Doors open Denver: WOTR (Wings over the Rockies) flight museum. This museum is housed in Hangar #1 of Lowry. Lowry is a really cool place. It was an AFB, comissioned in 1937 and then was closed down in 1994; whatever shall we do with a retired AFB? I know! Let’s revamp the row houses, officer’s quarters and dorm rooms and sell them to people, let’s make a hangar into a flight museum and make a little community – so Lowry was re-born as a cute little subdivision. Hangar #1 is typical Army air force architecture of the WWII period. Utilizing steel trusses, the structure soars over 90 ft. at the ridge line. With a roof larger than 2 football fields, Hangar #1 is one of the largest structures of its type in Colorado. I realize that I didn’t actually get a picture of the outside of the hangar because we were looking at this.
A Boeing B-52B stratofortress. Inside we were greeted by the X-wing fighter from Star Wars (yes, one of the ones they actually filmed, it’s signed by George Lucas and the staff.)
R2D2 makes squeaks and beeps as you pass by.
It travels around so you may have seen it somewhere else, but it comes home to roost here.
Next up was the flying banana a helicopter with 2 rotors and it’s curved, hence the banana. Here is a pic Bethany took walking inside, there were lots of neat levers and buttons to push.
Hannah and Joel thought it was cool.
Next we waited patiently so Joel could climb inside this bomber.
Hannah was checking the missiles to make sure they were okay.
After that we went to the kiddie planes. There was a baby plane, a mama plane and a daddy plane.
Hannah got in the daddy plane and it was too big, but the baby plane was just right!
Grace was driving like a maniac; she should have her pilot’s license revoked!
Next stop was the communication room. Here is a 1960’s speed dial phone.
You punch out the number onto the card and then slip it in the slot, then you press a button and it speed dials the number. I guess this was an advantage because of the rotary phone. The kids did Morse code, talked into the radio and did a simulator.
In the kids room there were Lego robot arms, solar system games, a light table, arts and crafts and 3-d pictures. By the last plane (that we saw) was a giant globe that was spinning around.
This last plane had fold out stairs that you can see the guy folding back into the plane.
Joel is standing next to the guns. We are definitely going to get a membership to this place, it had something for everyone.
Next stop was the Eisenhower chapel (architect US Army) on the Lowry base.
This chapel was the first one built at the AFB, 1941, and it was dedicated 14 days before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Wonder how it outlasted similar cantonment style military structures of the WWII era? Well, it’s hard to knock down the church where Dwight and Maimie Eisenhower worshipped at!
We couldn’t go inside because they closed at 4 and we ran over at the flight museum, but the outside is nice too.
Last tour (also closed when we got there) the Johnson and Wales chapel (architect Stanley E. Morse, stained glass windows by Gabriel Loire.)
This Gothic chapel (formerly the Whatley chapel) of steel and stone has 39 stained glass windows, it was built in 1962.
Also there is a 72 foot tower that houses one of Colorado’s two authentic carillons (a musical instrument composed of dozens of heavy bells.) Click here to go to a website that has music from the bells and more information about carillons (like someone who plays it is a carrillonneur.) The crown like lantern was also designed by Stanley Morse. Outside the chapel is more proof of Spring.
I just thought this picture was cool.
When we got home Maisy was so happy to see us and try on her new jacket.
I tried it on Sampson, but I couldn’t tie it around his waist!
And lastly, this is a canine standoff!
12 Apr 2008 Leave a Comment
The theme this year was ‘Let’s make sure Liese can’t go on her expert tour of the historic places around the bases and give all the tickets away to people who get to Union station at 7:30am.’ Not that I’m bitter. The theme was really 150 years of Denver architecture because Denver was founded in 1858. They are going to have a real celebration in November, which is closer to the actual city founding date. But still, 150 years is a long time. So, we get to Union station (built in 1881) at 9:15 and all the tours that are left are the crappy ones like, Denver Skate Park and Confluence Park. Even then I can’t take both because they are at the same time, so the kids vote for the Skate Park.
Actually it was cool. The tour guide was one of the architects that was with the firm that built the park. Back in 1999 some youths were constantly getting tickets for skating on the 16th st. mall. They complained that it wasn’t fair to give them a ticket if Denver wasn’t going to offer them a place to skate. So a commission was formed of about 150 young people and they researched skate parks, building zones, liability, and so on. They presented their request to Denver and with the help of commissioners and architects a vision was born. When it opened in 2000 it was the largest skate park in the country. It is 60,000 sq. ft. of poured concrete, steel grinding lips, stairs, bumps, waves, and bowls.
It is graffiti free (ruling by Denver, they said you graffiti it, we’ll take it away.) It cost 2.5 million dollars to build (including sidewalk space and trees.) The architect showed us the lips of steel on the bowls. They had to take off the top layer of concrete, install the steel and then pour the concrete over the steel to a template so it would have the right lip. Also engineers had to figure out a way to pour that much concrete with no spacers (imagine that ride, bump, bump.) So they put re-bar in 12 inch squares and then poured the concrete. This allows it to crack, but only slightly (spacers are the joints between the sidewalk, put there so the sidewalk will crack there when it expands and contracts.) Bunny was wishing he could skate here.
We thanked our guide and went back to Commons Park to see this.
It’s sad, but we’ve only been on one side of the hill at Commons Park. I didn’t know this was on the other side of the hill. It’s a concrete hill/path/art thingy.
After climbing all over it we went back to Union station via the millennium bridge.
Now I tell the kids to look around everywhere for art. This bridge is art, it also serves a purpose.
I love the lines and the way it reaches up to the sky. Bunny likes the bolts.
Even this sewer cover looks like art, cool.
Back at Union station we went to the basement to see the model railroad.
Bunny liked the free rice krispie train treats.
Pictures don’t do it justice, this model railroad is 6,500 sq. ft. It has been added onto since 1933 when the model railroad society started it. These pics don’t really give you a feel of how big it is, here is a video of the model and there’s more behind me that I didn’t get. Some of the track is hand laid and the models range from 1950 depictions to modern day. This is the oldest and largest O scale layout in the country.
The narrow gauge rails include 500 linear feet of track, the standard gauge rails include 1,600 linear feet of track. I don’t know what they’re going to do with it when they refurbish Union station. I think there is a petition to sign to help save the railroad; really it would be a shame if this were gone.
What better way to celebrate Denver’s 150th birthday (click here to read about Denver’s founding) than with a hot dog from the hot dog man. Do you know we’ve been coming to this hot dog man for almost 4 years now? (Wait, is that possible since we have only been here for 3 ys? Don’t forget we were up here in 03/04 too and we ate at his stand a lot then.) Nothing tastes better than a hot dog on the 16 st. mall.
After we ate we went to the Daniels and Fisher tower because it’s the only 2 days of the year that you can go up to the observation deck.
When it was built in 1909 (architects Frederick Sterner and George Williamson) it was the tallest building west of the Mississippi.
Originally it looked like this.
Shoppers in the store were able to go to the 14th floor and look out on the city. I bet it didn’t look like this below in 1920!
Soon progress came and the store was knocked down, a public outcry saved the tower from being demolished too, yeah for people who want to save history!
Now you can look out and see a 360 degree view of Denver and the mountains (well, during Doors open Denver anyway.)
If you’re wondering why there is a Smoky hill road in Aurora and where it leads, here is your answer. There used to be a Smoky hill trail and it ended right here at Colfax and Broadway. Here is the fountain to prove it.
The sign says, in case you can’t read it, ‘Immigrant and stage road extending from the Missouri river to Denver. Traversed by pioneers in 1858……Route of Butterfield overland despatch and Wells-Fargo express. The trail took its human toll – death by thirst and Indian raids.’
From here we went to the art museum. On the way there we passed the Greek theater in Civic Center Park. Doesn’t it look nice in the foreground with the old art museum behind it?
The Denver art museum was founded in 1893 (no the building isn’t that old, this one was built in 1971 by architects Gio Ponti and James Sudler.) At the museum we played in the kids section, built a Mayan stone puzzle, stacked blocks, played a shell game and Grace stuck 10 killer whales on the magnet board.
We were all pretty tired by this point but I had to make one last stop, the Byers-Evans house. Mainly because it’s right next to the art museum and because every time we pass it James asks me if we’ve gone. Now we have!
It was built in 1883 by William Byers (who was the publisher of the Rocky Mountain news, which is 149 years old.) It is now 10,000 sq. feet of old school Victorian architecture. He owned the house for a few years before he sold it to a friend, William Evans, a governor at the time. He made a few additions, like the library and removing the walls in the front room.
We saw the library, the parlor, piano room, dining room and kitchen. What is really neat is that the last member of the Evans family that lived in the house gave the house over to the historical society when she died. She never married and lived in the house her whole life, and apparently never got any of those new fangled notions past 1940. The house was donated with all original furniture, lamps, toys and such. There are a few items that are replicas, but for the most part it’s all real and belonged to the Evans family. In the front room on the wall is the original wallpaper (most Victorians used cloth or silk on the wall.) It’s in remarkable condition, but it was at this point that I was told no flash photography (the earlier volunteer hadn’t said anything.) So I have no pic of the 125 year old wallpaper, but I did get this pic of the really ugly 1910′s wall paper.
Some fads never do come back in style.
This chandelier was from the Daniels and Fisher store (on 16th st.) and these stained glass windows were added in 1920.
This stove looks 1900 ish to me and I assume it still works.
The kids typed on an old typewriter and then it was time to go.
So, mark a few more things off my list of things to see. Tomorrow: Wings over the Rockies museum, Eisenhower chapel, and Johnson and Wales chapel.
Here is proof that Spring is coming.
11 Apr 2008 Leave a Comment
Having done our workbooks in advance this year, we were able to enjoy the workshops without scrawling all over the place. Joel went to the teen workshop and I can’t tell you what they talked about because I wasn’t there. I’m sure it was about how to make government good, why HS’ing is important and how to impact our leaders. To start with we prayed and sang these verses of the ‘Star Spangled Banner’. In case you don’t know, the first verse is a question and the last verse is the answer:
Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro’ the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watch’d, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro’ the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov’d homes and the war’s desolation;
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserv’d us as a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause. it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
There were probably 300 people in the church.
Our speaker started by talking about the founding of America and why it is important to see the link between God and government. They did this exercise of the 3 umbrellas.
One is civil govt., one is the church and one is the family. Then he added papers to the umbrellas when the kids shouted out where they belonged. Whose job is it to catch criminals? Civil govt. Whose job is it to send missionaries? The church. Whose job is it to educate and discipline children? The Family. He added about 3 things to each (like defend borders, take care of grandparents, and appoint pastors) and then we talked about what makes a government good or bad. We talked about anarchy and tyranny.
In this skit the lady experiences tyranny; the government doesn’t protect her from the bad guy and the govt. takes away her money (that was stolen) from the bad guy and keeps some of it.
We talked about America in the 1600’s when the puritans and pilgrims came to our shores. The speaker asked each person on stage what they were contributing to. This girl is serving her parents and by being a good daughter she is contributing to the Godly foundation of America.
The person behind her was a widow who taught women at the church, she was building Godly foundations by teaching the word of God and telling young women how to be good mothers and wives. Then we fast forwarded 400 years and the same people came out in today’s clothes. The girl that was serving her family now serves herself.
She is selfish, rude and hates her family, on the way off the stage she kicked over the blocks representing Godly foundations. And so on it continued until there were no blocks left. The speaker told us that we can rebuild the foundation, but we must have the cornerstone of Jesus. We can reclaim a good government, but we must raise up Godly leaders in our children. It was a very good presentation. We were sitting in the upper deck at the Pillar of Fire church.
This is a very cool, old church; I think it was built in the early 1900′s, I tried to find more info. on it but couldn’t. Here is the dome ceiling and here is a beautiful stained glass window.
It is very appropriate that we were sitting in a church, reading God’s word and being encouraged in the path of Homeschooling. We got the patches for the workbooks and then went over to Subway. An hour seems really fast when you have to walk 3 blocks, eat and then walk 2 blocks back.
We made it back to the Capitol steps just in time for the rally. This pic doesn’t do it justice, but there were about 1,500 people there.
We again opened in prayer and the ‘Star Spangled Banner’. Click to hear that second verse.
The CAP mustang squadron posted the colors and our speaker introduced some senators and representatives that are on our side, yay! (And I’d like to add more there than 2 years ago.)
Among them was Sen. Ted Harvey (whom we met at the cyber school day at the capitol.) He was awarded the statesman award for being so in tune with Homeschooling and helping to pass legislation that helps us. Like the House bill that was passed this morning. It’s basically the same bill that already allows Homeschooling, but there is a sentence in there about ‘the parent not being required to have teaching credentials’, put in there specifically because of the whole CA thing. Also did you know it’s the 20th anniversary of the Homeschool law in Colorado? Me neither! Before 20 years ago Hs’ing in Colorado was a different thing. You had to request permission to teach your children, be beholden to the choices of others in your curriculum, be worried about whether a truant officer would knock on your door during the day, keep your kids inside until the school kids got home for fear that someone would find out you were HS’ing and you could even go to jail!
We need to wake up everyday and say Thank God we live in a country where people have pressed their leaders to allow Homeschooling as a basic right of families. Even the decision in CA is being looked at again and in all probability will be overturned and made only to be attaché to that specific family. We are blessed as a nation, but we must not forget the roots we came from. Those who came before us and trudged the hard path to make it easier for us. We must not give up rights and think that it won’t ever become like it was in the 1980’s, it can, but hopefully as we raise up children who are HS’ed and more and more people find out that we aren’t crazy, legislators and judges will take note and be on our side. Colorado is a very HS friendly state and CHEC did a wonderful job again at HS day at the capitol. If you live in Denver you are blessed with the ability to go see your representatives in the capitol building. I encourage you to find out who represents you and go meet them. You can look here to find your Rep. and here to find your Senator. Maybe they have never met a HS’er and you will show them that this is something you deeply care about and they should too. We must not forget that we are in the minority, but that with a strong voice others will have to listen to us.
10 Apr 2008 Leave a Comment
Finally the weatherman was right, well, sort of. He said it would snow 8 inches, we got about 3. The sledding hill got 4 so we decided to go sledding. But, before you sled you need a good breakfast…..cupcakes!
Nice and warm. Maisy had already gone outside, man that dog loves snow. I couldn’t just take the kids, so we all got in the car and went to the hill. It was still snowing a bit but that didn’t stop us from sledding, eating snow and chasing Maisy.
Back home I fed the kids and rushed out the door to the library for Grace and Hannah’s ABC class. Turns out it was cancelled (people, it’s just a few inches of snow!) But, I did talk to the lady doing it. Apparently it’s not put on by the library, it’s just a lady who made some pre-school curriculum and she’s trying to sell it. It looks like fun though. I think next co-op time I’ll have a few classes and use it. Back home Joel and Bethany were working on their workbooks for the Homeschool workshop tomorrow. They almost finished everything by the time we got back.
We left again for another library to do a class on blueprint photography, but since the sun wasn’t out they changed it to: make a play dough character and take pics of it. Hannah put play dough over her Dora drawing, Grace did a killer whale and a tiger, Bethany did a funny colored dog and Joel did a space guy (the other picture was just lying around and we thought it was cool.)
After they were done with the play dough they were given digital cameras and went around taking pics of their creations and others. They were trying to get neat angles (not just plain flat pics like these.)
Joel had some interesting ones, they didn’t get a CD this time of their pics, they just put the pics onto their library computer. I think they are going to upload them to some site later.
Tomorrow is homeschool day at the capitol and it should be partly cloudy, no snow.
09 Apr 2008 3 Comments
Bethany was reading her science while I helped Grace this morning and all of a sudden she said, “Orgasm, well I know what that means!” I whirled around and said ‘What??!’
“It says here that an orgasm is a living thing, I already knew that.”
‘Oh, that’s organism, not orgasm.’
A few minutes later she says it again. ‘Ok, Bethany, you need to stop saying orgasm and say organism, or don’t say it at all. You don’t know what an orgasm is, I’ll tell you later. But, please, don’t go around telling people you know what an orgasm is, ok?’
I’m sure it will come up again, in public, with a large group of moms. “I know what an orgasm is!”
Sigh, and they will say, “See, this is why we don’t homeschool!!”
09 Apr 2008 1 Comment
Yesterday I had my seed class. We started off by talking about what is in a seed. I put on my coat to show them that a seed has a testa, or seed coat. Then I pulled out a fake egg and said what does this stand for (I was going for endosperm-food.) ‘an egg’, ‘a yolk’, ‘bacon’. No, it’s an egg that stands for food. Inside the seed is a root, an embryo, and food. We read a little story about 2 seeds growing, then we went over to the food table and cut open an apple, grapes, avocado, grapefruit, bell pepper, banana and strawberries. We looked at the different seeds inside each item.
We saw that not all seeds are inside the fruit or veggie and that not all fruits will grow that same fruit (banana-a cultivated banana won’t grow a banana tree because it has sterile seeds.)
Back at our circle we talked about how seeds travel. By air, water, animal and I threw in fire too. We said that maple trees and dandelions (and cottonwoods as we are about to have here) all travel their seeds by air. Some seeds float away on the water to get planted (like a coconut) and some are eaten by animals or hooked onto their fur or buried by animals to get the seed planted. Some seeds don’t open until there is a fire! We went to the bean table and looked at the lima beans. They had been soaking so everyone could push the seed coat off and open the bean to see inside.
Inside we saw a root and some of them had white leaves, the other white space was the food. Then the kids made seed pictures.
We had corn, pea, flowers, squash, watermelon and carrot seeds.
They just glued them onto construction paper while we talked about how the seeds are different colors and different shapes and sizes.
Back at the circle I read the book June 29,1999 by David Wiesner. He also wrote Tuesday and Freefall, which are just picture books. This one was about a girl doing a science experiment. She has vegetables float up in the sky to see if the atmosphere will make them grow. A few days later giant vegetables start falling to Earth. She is confused because some of them are stuff she didn’t plant. At the end of the book you see a spaceship that has accidentally dropped all their food to Earth while her experiment floats into their ship. It’s pretty funny to see what people try to do with the giant vegetables. For the last thing we grabbed a yogurt container and filled it with dirt and then planted a few seeds. Then we went outside with a sock on our foot and walked around the grass to collect seeds on it. We came back inside and planted the sock on a layer of dirt. It was very dry outside so I don’t know how well those will grow. Next time I would wet the sock first so it would get more seeds.
The kids had fun; they went home with a sheet about seeds, a diagram and a poem about planting. Plus they have their yogurt cup plant and sock planting. Hopefully in a week I will hear that something has sprouted from both.
I took a little seed one day
About a month ago.
I put it in a pot of dirt,
In hopes that it would grow.
I poured a little water
To make the soil right.
I set the pot upon the sill,
Where the sun would give it light.
I checked the pot most every day,
And turned it once or twice.
With a little care and water
I helped it grow so nice.
05 Apr 2008 Leave a Comment
No, you don’t eat them. My kids have always called festivals – vegetables. It’s pretty close. Anyway we think it’s cute so now we always say we’re going to a vegetable, they know what we mean.
Arvada had their 6th annual kite festival today and it was a gorgeous day for it. You never know what you’re going to get in April, it might snow, rain, or be very windy. Today it was sunny and windy, perfect. We got there and set up our kites. It was too windy for the Dora kite, it broke. So, Hannah had the rainbow kite and the girls shared the sponge bob kite.
Look at them go! Bethany had such a wind one time she was able to lie down and play the kite from there.
There were big kites, small kites, box kites, dragon kites…..all kinds, even a 7 ft parasailing kind of kite.
After flying our kites for awhile we headed over to the food and ate hot dogs while watching the competitors fight it out for a prize.
There were lots of dogs at the park, but someone actually brought their pet lizard.
Yeah, I took a pic, because otherwise who would believe me?
We wandered back around and said goodbye to the kites, Hannah was sad to go, but she fell asleep in the car. Now that we’ve been to this festival it means it’s almost vegetable time again: headless chicken, cherry blossom, rutabaga, pinecone, strawberry, dragon boat, the list goes on. Know of a wacky vegetable we can go to? Send it to me (must be in CO though) we love ‘em!
While the dog is away the cat will………….
04 Apr 2008 Leave a Comment
They were our presentation at GS today, here is their website. Allison came with a puppy in training named Boyd. She talked about how the center takes puppies and trains them for about 1 ½ years, then they go to get trained specifically for the guide dog duty they will perform (like blind, deaf) for 6 mos., then they go to their partner for another 6 mos. of training. What you end up with is a dog that can lead a blind person, help a deaf person, turn on light switches and open doors for a person in a wheel chair and more. Boyd is a 5 month old golden retriever. Allison told us that they usually use labs and retrievers. They have used poodles and collies too, but they think retrievers and labs do a better job. Boyd knows to sit, stay, dress (you hold his vest and he walks into it) and ‘do your business’ (any guesses on that one?) I may teach Maisy ‘do your business’ not that she goes in the house, but when we take her in the car it would be nice if I could command her to pee before getting in.
Allison talked about puppy care. They have to eat right, get exercise and get their teeth brushed.
Boyd seemed pretty happy to be licking liver flavored toothpaste off the brush, yuck! She talked about how you should always ask if you want to pet a guide dog, because they are working. She said that guide dogs for the blind have to know when to stop even if their owner says go (like crossing a street and they see a car coming even though it should be safe to cross.) I think Boyd will be a very good helper when he finishes his training. We asked questions and then they left and we started on our puppy vest. All the girls brought stuffies (dogs or otherwise) and they crafted helper vests to go on them. Here is Grace with hers, a very nice tie-dye number.
Here is Hannah’s with lots of stickers (which she eventually took off.)
Here is Bethany’s dog Spot with a vest of feathers, he’s a multi-colored coat dog.
After they were finished we played a blindfold game where one girl was the blind person and one girl was the guide dog. They had to lead their girl to a stuffed dog without hurting them. It went well till the last person, their guide dog forgot to tell them there was a table above the dog and bonk, right on the chin (she was fine though.)
We talked about disabilities and how you should talk to someone if they are blind, deaf or handicapped (like not leaning on a persons wheelchair because it’s a part of their body.) We took home a recipe for dog treats, we haven’t made them yet…Maisy might like them though. We also took home a sheet to color a picture about guide dogs. So everyone there earned the puppy or guide dog patch and we learned a lot. I don’t think I could raise the guide dog; it would be very difficult to give it away. Allsion said it is a very rewarding job though.
Before we went to GS we went to Chatfield botanic gardens.
We fed the chickens grass and soon had the whole flock by the gate.
I mistook the farmhouse for the ranch house so 1 person couldn’t find us, but we met up at the picnic tables. Oh, and I learned that there is a farmhouse, I just couldn’t see it because of the trees last time we went there (wow, that was a year ago almost!)
03 Apr 2008 Leave a Comment
We went with some of the DDC’ers (double-digit club) from our HS group to the Art Deco exhibit at the Aurora history museum. There were dishes and lamps, refrigerator and posters, beds and art all in the art deco style.
There was leaded fiesta ware from the 1930’s (caution don’t eat on it!) They had posters with pictures of Denver buildings built in the art deco style (not the Paramount theater though.) All of my kids had paper and pencil and chose an object and started drawing it.
Hannah threw her paper into the exhibit and I had to retrieve it (last time she threw her baby in one of the exhibits and I never did find it.) Grace drew these orange plates and so did Joel.
Bethany drew this lamp and a TV.
Hannah drew circles! My kids are familiar with art deco in that we watch a lot of Poirot with David Suchet as Poirot (He is to Poirot what Basil Rathbone is to Sherlock Holmes.) The sets are all 1930ish art deco in the movies. Even the opening credits have an art deco flair, so it was neat to see this kind of art form up close. Now when we drive around town I’ll point out a building and ask if it looks like it was inspired by art deco. My friend Jen who came along has a quiz on her site entitled: Art deco, Art Nouveau or cheese (I’m not sure why cheese is coming up so much lately!) To end I give you an ad from the history of Aurora exhibit, ahh the days of $55 mortgage payments.
After the museum we went to Mcd’s with a friend and played. Mcd’s thought they would keep me from ever getting a caramel sundae again (have you tried to get one there? They haven’t had caramel as a topping in a year or two.) But, I got the better of them! You know how they have that caramel dipping sauce for the apples? Well, I ordered a plain sundae and got 3 of those caramel packets, perfect! Never again will I have to choose fudge if I don’t want it. I can’t believe I didn’t think of it sooner though, they’ve had those apple dipper things for like 3 years now……
It’s almost time on our group again for co-op sign-ups. Right now I have 3 or 4 in mind. One is, of course, a trip to the Longmont cultural museum. It’s free and fun! Joel got an idea last night when listening to the radio to do a competition of this. He’s also hosting a duct tape wallet making class, because he can make one in record time now (thank you library for making me invest in duct tape stock.) Tomorrow it’s GS and we have the canines of the rockies coming in, I can’t wait to see their puppy (or dog, I don’t know which they’re bringing.)
02 Apr 2008 Leave a Comment
What do all of these things have in common? We did something with them all yesterday. First we had a co-op at the Celestial seasonings tea factory. Yes, I know we went there a few months back, but it’s tea! The girls think putting on hair nets is so much fun.
Hannah couldn’t go on the tour (she’s under 5, don’t tell her though.)
But she had a good time sampling teas while we waited. I scrounged around in the discount bin and found: red zinger, blueberry, green, mint and vanilla apple teas. Now we have a good supply for Tea Tuesday. We looked around the gift shop, which makes me nervous because there is lots of breakable stuff in there. Then we went back to the tour center to drink yet more tea. I tried hot apple plum something, it was pretty good. We had cold strawberry tea (which I have at home, but we’ve never had it cold.) After giving some stuff to those who missed my African safari co-op and who are participating in Joel’s project we headed to Longmont for lunch.
The whole reason I wanted to stay in Longmont was for the marine biology class at 4pm. If you don’t think I can kill 4 hours, you’re dead wrong. After eating at Mcd’s we went to the museum. I told the lady there that I was 4th on the list, but that I would come by at 4 to see if anyone hadn’t show up. We went through the new gallery exhibit entitled contemporary quilts. These aren’t your grandmother’s quilts.
(Prairie flowers by Judith Trager, Autumn in the Rockies by Gretchen Hill, Don’t fence me out by Anne Theobald.)
They are smaller and are meant more as a piece of art or a way to make a statement. They are very pretty though. They had a set up where the kids could make their own quilts out of flannel.
Then we went around to the permanent gallery and sat next to the old radio listening to the great depression news and music. Hannah wandered around with the accordion; I don’t think I want her to take it up.
I was reading an old magazine about the field workers who were shipped into Longmont to help with the pea harvest. I couldn’t believe my eyes and had to read the sentence twice, they were spraying the workers down with DDT before they let them onto the fields! I also read that in WWII German and Japanese POW’s were housed in the defunct sugar building and bussed out to the fields to work (that sentence comes into play later in this story.) I pried the kids out of the museum and we went to Kanemoto Park.
The attraction at this park is the 5 level pagoda given to the city of Longmont by a Japanese resident.
He was treated very nicely in Longmont when America was rounding up Japanese who lived in this country and sending then to camps during the war. He and his family fought in the war in a Japanese unit for us and had a farm in Longmont.
The five levels represent: Love, Empathy, Understanding, Gratitude of all things and Giving selflessly of oneself for the happiness of others. Longmont has ‘The city of compassion’ as their motto. Bethany said they weren’t very compassionate to those prisoners, making them work in the beet fields (told you it would come up.) But, Bethany knows nothing of the atrocities of war, I think that letting the prisoners work in the beet fields was just something for them to do, better than staying in the prison and doing nothing (or maybe I am wrong.) The girls found a creek flowing by the path and went to investigate.
My kids are attracted to water like flies to a jelly biscuit. They can find it anywhere. I warned them not to get wet, and they didn’t! I don’t know what plant this is, but I think it looks cool stripped down to it bare thistles.
Grace found a little stick and made this cross (which she lost right after I took the pic.)
We played on the slides and then went to Hannah’s favorite place.
The cheese factory! Well, it’s not so much a factory as it is a warehouse and café. They have coats by the door for you if you think 40 degrees in the cooler is too cold (obviously the girls thought it was too cold.)
We looked at cheeses from all over the world, here is one from France.
Hannah thought the cheese wheel would be delicious, but I couldn’t afford it.
Judging by the prices I think that wheel would cost about $500!!! So, we sampled some cheese, Bethany said the room stank (it didn’t), bought some chocolate and a postcard with French cheese on it and sat outside.
Then it was back to the museum to wait and see if Grace could get into the marine biology class. Yes, they had 2 openings and the first 2 people on the list said no, so she got in! While she was in class we went upstairs and played with the magnet boards.
I was reading the Longmont scrapbook again. The first time I read it I was surprised to find out that you could make sugar out of beets. I mean I guess you could make sugar out of almost anything if you squeezed it enough, but it would have to be something that grew well here, so sugar beets it is. I saw this ad from Great Western Sugar Company, funny isn’t it?
(If you can’t read it, it basically says that Sally gets her energy from the 18 calories per tbsp. of sugar that she eats. She doesn’t need artificial sweetener because they don’t give energy and they don’t make you thin. Play it safe and make sure you get sugar every day!)
Here is a picture of the sugar factory in the 1930’s.
Now look out the window and what do I see?
Pretty cool. Also this was on one of the pages about canning peas, an article about the loss of life in WWII.
I don’t know the exact date of the article, but to those who think 4,000 Americans is a heavy toll (and I am not saying that those are 4,000 lives that don’t count) look at this: 63,958. I know this is a different kind of war than back then, but pause for a moment and let it sink in, 63, 958.
After waiting on Grace for an hour we went in to get her. Guess whose hand shot up in the air when they asked, ‘What is this?’
Yep, Grace’s hand. Notice her shirt; it’s a whale saying, ‘save the humans.’ She disagreed with the lecturer on the statement that the octopus is the smartest ocean creature; she thinks it’s the whale (any of them!) The lady pulled me aside and said that Grace really knew a lot about whales, yeah because she’s been studying them for 4 months. We went home from this and chilled out the rest of the evening.
I still need to go back to Longmont for the following: the farm open space that we didn’t see, the train museum in Niwot (close to there), the rose garden and some old houses. A very cool day indeed.
01 Apr 2008 Leave a Comment
It was the first day for Joel and Bethany ‘cuz they started earlier than Grace. Does that make sense? We school year-round, which makes COVA uneasy in July. It’s the end of the school-year for them and they have to take extra precautions not to wipe our on-line work. But that’s what they are there for, to bend to my will. Anyway our reading cozy corner is enjoyed by more than the humans in the family.
Hannah now has 2 aqua-doodles at her disposal.
Joel was reading Martian Chronicles, I might have to re-read that along side him.
Grace was reading 36 pages of her phonics booklet (and doing very well for having 2 weeks off.)
Bethany was supposed to be doing science, but she was eating pistachios.
I don’t like taking more than 2 weeks off at a time. We get to do cool stuff almost everyday, so it’s not like we’re in front of a workbook or computer for 8 hours a day. Plus, I find that my children lose a lot when they spend too much time away from learning. I know that everything can be learning, but if you have someone who doesn’t like math, they aren’t just going to get up everyday and figure out 35% discounts on shoes just to keep up on math.
Today Joel got all of his papers ready for his science experiment. He has 10 kids from our group (9 plus Grace) who are going to write words on different pieces of paper to see if one particular piece works better than others. He prepared 10 sheets of each paper (there are 7 total papers.) He glued blue sand to the bottom lines of 1 paper, marked over the bottom line in yellow and black on 2 others, 1 paper has raised lines, one has green lines on the bottom, etc. The kids will write his 18 words (like Dakota, Got, Sandbox) onto the different papers and then return them to him later this month. Then with his collected data he can graph how the different papers did. We started this back in November when we were looking for a paper that Grace could write on with her lacking motor skills and farsightedness. Joel thought it would be neat to see if others came to the same paper we used, or if different kids just need different writing paper.
Today is also Tea Tuesday and tomorrow we’re in Boulder for a co-op at the tea factory. This will give me a chance to buy some more tea, we’re almost out! I have Grace on the wait list for the marine biology class in Longmont tomorrow too, so hope that 4 people don’t show up! Thursday we’re going to the Aurora history museum for the art deco exhibit and Friday at GS we’re having a presentation by Canines of the Rockies. We’re going to see how a puppy gets trained to be a helper dog and make vests for our stuffed animal friends. Should be a good meeting. So, that’s my week. Yeah, I thought we didn’t have much, but it turns out I just hadn’t put it on the calendar yet!