Good Day

Good Day

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Busy, busy, busy...

It's been a couple of very busy weeks!  We got to babysit little L, big L, and little A for an evening.  While Erik and I were engaged in the childcare aspect, Bob meandered outside to play on Andrew's wheeler. 

Once they heard it start up, the kids all ran towards the window to watch it go by, and everytime Bob zoomed on by the window, the kids would jump up and down with exitement, waving and yelling, "There goes Mr. Bob...Mr Bob, come back!"

The kids had a great time playing together. 

Big L. is showing off his biggest smile.

Little L. is trying to figure out my thumb-drive.!

The very next week, Andrew and Erik spent the afternoon tearing down an old barn for the beams and boards. At the end of the day, they had a pile of scrap wood that was no good, so Andrew decided to have a bonfire. 

We brought sausages and the musical instruments, and they brought hotdogs and all the fixings for s'mores.  Yum!

Abi came up with a great idea!  Instead of messing with chocolate squares, she bought cookies with chocolate on one side.  All we had to do was pop the melted marshmallow into the middle and voila!  One wonderful, yummy super delicious s'more.

The funny thing is that I was soooo tired and frustrated earlier that day, that I almost stayed home.  I'm so glad I didn't because we had a blast.  The fire was so hot that we had to keep moving out seats back. 

Bob caught his marshmallow on fire.

The best time was when the sun went down and we were singing in the firelight.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Erik's Project Continued...

We spent the night working on his project again.  Here are the updated pictures.

A bombed out factory.

A semi bird's eye view of the town.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Project Time!


As of Erik's WWII project. 
This is the terrain for his WWII German Town.

This is the part that he needs to paint tonight.  Then, after the paint is dry, he will add sand, grass, etc...  I also finally got a better idea of just how long this model is. It's about 3'x 6' (a bit longer than our couch).

This is the town center.  Those are sandbags surrounding the town fountain.  It still has to be painted.

This is a farmstead.  I love his little garden! 
The river is in the background.

He is making this for the homeschool fair.  Every year our homeschool support group (The River Valley Home Educators) hold two project fairs.  Usually they assign a subject to the fair (We've had science, geography, history, hobby, zoology, culture, etc...) but this time, they are holding an "open" fair (at Erik's request) so the topics will be varied.  Erik has had his "ups" and "downs" during previous fairs.  There was the year that he brought the violin that he was making from scratch.  That was very impressive.  Then there was the year he forgot his notes and couldn't recite his speech (no, he hadn't memorized it), so we improvised by having the audiance ask him questions about his topic (which he knew very well and was able to answer them all)...and the year he had a run in with the podium and the podium won (picture Mr. Bean, if you will, trying to get the music stand at the right went waaaaay down, it went waaaay up...repeat until the audience is in stitches).  Although sometimes frustrating and other times embarrasing, they have really been very good learning experiences.  Over all, we really enjoy these fairs.  As a homeschool group, we are aware that our children may not always have the opportunity to get up in front of an audience and present a speech or a project, so we make sure that they have that opportunity twice a year at these fairs.  It's been great to see young kids just starting out in Kindergarten or grade one, shyly get up and whisper a poem or have Mom or Dad up beside them feeding them their lines.  Fast forward three years, and you see them confidently presenting their projects with Mom or Dad sitting in the audience.  It pays off.  Not too long ago, Erik helped out with a Medieval presentation to 450 middle school students at UMPI (University Maine Presqu'Isle).  His confidence, knowlege of the subject and poise so impressed the professors with who he was presenting that he came away with offers of College recomendation letters.

Okay, I was having a little fun with "Godzilla Rat" last night. The stuffed rat isn't really part of his project.


Breakfast of Champions...


This morning:  Bacon and Beethoven


Monday, April 12, 2010

The Burdock War


I declared war on the burdock population today. It was touch and go for a while. They attacked ferociously and without mercy...attaching themsleved to my shoe laces and jacket. They particularily liked my wrists. A couple of brave ones jumped onto my head, and I had to (insert touchingly sad music) sacrifice a small lock of hair.

 I perservered, though and managed to round them all up.  They were thrown into the pile and I got ready to dispose of them, once and for all.  I lit the match and...nothing.  Hmmm.  Back over to the house to get newspaper, and attempt to light the fire again. 

It starts this time, but the fire stays small, only burning in this one area.  I start clipping and adding dead-fall branches to the fire, trying to build it up without success.  Just as I was about to give up and resigned myself to feeding the fire for the rest of the afternoon...Whoosh! 

It finally caught and the burdocks are now ashes.  It worked out well though, as the branches made a nice hot fire, so we roasted hotdogs over it for lunch.  Yum!


Saturday, April 10, 2010

My Little Working Man


My son Erik has a challenge getting a regular part-time job.  He's a hard worker, but we live out in the country, own only one car, and he doesn't have his license yet, so anytime he gets a call to work for the day, he usually jumps at the chance.  He's actually getting a lot of experience in many different areas, from plumbling to carpentry, to farming to mechanics.  Today was one of those days he was offered a few hours of work cleaning out seed potatoes out of the back of transport trailers.

Isn't he such a nice looking drowned rat?


Friday, April 9, 2010

Bach and Bagels


Today I saw a CD, titled “Bach & Bagels”.  Does that mean I need to start listening to Chopin when I eat my cereal or Tchaikovsky when I have toast?


Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Letter "K"


Tomorrow, our theme for Storytime is “Kites”. I love storytime. I love watching their little hands make the motions for fingerplays. I love seeing their happy faces. I love watching them colouring and pasting their crafts together. I love seeing them bounce in the door, excitedly announcing, “Kate, Kate...I’m here!” So, in honour of tomorrow’s storytime, I will leave you with a list of my favourite words that begin with the leter “K”:







And last but not least...



Quote of the Day

"...It is your place to be humble, and to try to make yourself agreeable."  From Jane Eyre (by Charlotte Bronte)

Erik's Norman Soldier's Kit

As promised, these are the pictures of the rest of the items in Erik's Norman soldier kit.

His bottle, drinking bowl, eating bowl and wooden spoon.

His slingshot, stones and carrying bag.

Flint and steel, for starting fires.

Leather pouches for gaming dice and marbles,
coin pouch and horn comb.

Writing gear...which his persona probably wouldn't have had, but he likes to write at events, so he carries a bag of ink tablets, pen nibs and a pen nib holder.

Teeny, Tiny Houses

Erik has been working on a homeschooling project for the next homeschool fair, coming up on the 16th of April.  He had decided to make a model of a German town during WWII and use it to show Urban Warfare during WWII.  The terain for this model town in almost done and the whole town is on a piece of styrofoam that is apr. 2' x 4'.  Tonight I was giving him a hand painting houses for the village.  Since I have a pretty steady hand with the finer painting, he had me paint the grocery store's name, the church (including stained glass windows), and window panes.   Most of the houses are made out of the styrofoam that you use to arrage flowers in.  Here. take a look!

Here he is, working away.  He cuts, glues and
paints every individual shingle on the roof.

A house and a grocery store.  Notice the quarter I put
 beside the house to give you an idea of the scale.

Erik had me paint the German name for "grocery store"  I couldn't believe it was so long! 
Do you see the side of the building,
under the window?  He even put little posters up.

Propaganda posters, which would have been very
authentic for the time period.

Here's another house...this one has stilts in front
holding up the overhang.

He made the church, but I offered to paint it, since I love detailed work and he doesn't.  I wanted to try and paint it to look like one of the old Gothic stone churches.  A quarter is placed beside it for scale.

The model soldier standing in front of the side door
of the church is from a Flames of War set and they
are less than an inch tall.  Erik painted it. 

The "stained glass" windows in the church.

I will post more pictures once he finishes his terrain.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

High Speed...

I'm lying here on the couch and my brain is just buzzing.  That is the problem with me having body could be exhausted, but my brain is running on high speed and won't slow down.  Some of the topics that I am thinking about are

How do you teach your teenager to stick to a job, even if it is boring?
Why does cheddar cheese taste so good at bedtime?
Are these bad allergy symptoms or do I have the start of a spring cold?
Why do Amish dresses look so pretty to me?
What does "honouring your parents" really mean?
Do I have any Lindor chocolate in the house?
Should I get up and get more cheese?
Will I get up on time?
Why does my neck hurt?

If you are wondering why I am thinking of Amish dresses, well we had a small group of Amish drop by yesterday afternoon for a few minutes...horses and wagon and all.  Today we had a guy from church, his roomate and his dog drop by for a visit.  You just never know who will drop by for a visit in the country.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Feast Of Fools 2010

Saturday afternoon and evening found us at the "Feast of Fools".  It was a fantastic event!

Here I am practicing a form of medieval painting, called "Illumination".  Illumination is found in ancient
medieval manuscripts and books.

Master Henry was awarded a rooster.  Everybody should be awarded a rooster once in their lifetime.

There was storytelling, sound effects, men on stilts...


Playing games (and sometimes loosing)...

Playing the fishing game. 
In french, April Fools Day is known
 as "Poisson d'avril" (April fish)

This man was amazing! 

Friday, April 2, 2010


We are part of a medieval history group called the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA).  In the society, each person develops a "persona".  A persona is an imaginary character that they pretend to be from Medieval Europe (or sometimes from further afield)  some where between the fall of the Roman Empire to the start of the renaissance.  My son is really starting to get into his persona and is on a real "authenticity kick", which I heartily endorse.  He is a 12th Century Norman Crusader.  Here are a few of his recent projects:

This is his Norman kite sheild that he designed and made.  His heraldry is painted on the front.

This is his kit.  It contains items that a crusader would have carried with him.  He has been researching this for quite awhile.  I'll post pictures of the inside of his kit soon.

Ouch! Did it again...

We've been on a spring cleaning binge at our house this week.  It started inside, necessitated by an unexpected babysitting visit from our friend's two sweet kids.  This week, after a four days of rain and a day of sun,  the snow has pretty much melted away, with the exception of a patch out back where the trees keep the shade on it. The outside yard was a mess, between the regular winter ravages (deadfalls, leaves and garbage in the ditch) and reno mess left over from the fall.  We were tackling it for most of the afternoon, when my son popped up from the basement witht the dreaded words, "Dad, there's water all over the basement floor".  Arrrggg!  So we hopped over to the dollar store for a bucket, scrub brush and cleaning supplies, and then over to Kent's Hardware for a Sump-pump and hose.  Water was quickly drained out the back window of the porch and so, (with great misgivings on my husband's part), the two of them went off to bible study.  I, being the dutiful wife (stop your laughing now...) , would pop on downstairs on a regular basis to make sure that everything was draining, that the hose was still in place, etc...  Bob called during breaks to make sure things were fine.  They arrived home and I was on my way back down to the basement when, jumping down the 2' drop at the bottom of the stairs, I went over on my ankle and fell down, resulting in a scraped knee, cut finger and sprained ankle (thankfully, not too bad).  I called Erik (since I knew Bob was out of hearing range, and he came downstairs to help me hobble back up and to the  couch, where he wrapped my ankle and knee in wet, cold cloths and got me a pillow to put up my foot.

I've done this before and even have my own crutches, but I am a little anoyed with myself, since we have so much planned for this weekend.  It's Easter, my dad's B'day, Feast of Fools and Church Poluck, all on the same weekend.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Tuesday night found us getting together at a
friend's house to play music together.

Nine of us all together (with various musical abilities): playing, trying to play, humming along, singing and clapping to the beat. Abi was playing "If I were a Rich Man" from Fiddler on the Roof. We were all accompanying her..

It was so much fun. We were in tune, out of tune,
making up our own tunes.

Big L: "I just LOVE singing songs about Jesus!"

We had various guitars, a viola, piano, drums, tambourines, a clarinet, and (of course) some maraccas.

Here are some more pictures:

So that's how you do it...

Now I want to try!

Katie looking through the music...

Little L and Nich hanging out.

Bob, Andrew and Erik rocking out on the Guitars.

  I can't wait until the next one!