Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Dangerous Book for Boys

While at Borders today, I ran across a book setting in the wrong location. The cover intrigued me so I picked it up. This big red book is called "The Dangerous Book for Boys" by Conn and Hal Iggulden.

This book has everything.
Go to the official website to learn more. I love the way this book is written. It has the feel of a vintage Boy Scout manual but all the information is up to date. It has all the trappings of a classical education (Latin, Grammar, Science, Geography) but doesn't feminize, infantize or get bogged down in all the PC stuff that we've become accustomed to! The first thing it tells you to get on the first page is a good pocket knife! It also tells you not to try and put live mice in your pocket. The part that made me grin ear to ear is the chapter entitled "Girls". Is that great or what?!
Here are some excerpts from the table of contents:

The Greatest Paper Airplanes in the World

The Seven Ancient Wonders of the World

Five Knots Every Boy Should Know

Making a Battery

Building a Treehouse

Making a Bow and Arrow


Questions About the World- Why is a summer day longer than a winter day?, Why is it hotter at the Equator? What is a vacuum?, What is latitude and longitude? How do you tell the age of a tree?

The Fifty States

Understanding Grammar (Parts 1, 2, and 3)

Sampling Shakespeare

First Aid

Geography of the United States

The Golden Age of Piracy

How to Skip Stones

The Declaration and the Bill of Rights

How to play Marbles


Latin and Poetry that Every Boy Should Know


I could go on and on but that is just a small sampling! The boys are completely enamoured with it and have been making paper airplanes ever since we came home! I was telling my husband that this is the PERFECT summer book! We are going to be very busy this summer trying all the wonderful things in the pages of this book. We're going to learn stuff too, but don't tell the kids!
You've gotta see this little video for the book!

If you decide to buy the book (and I highly recommend you do!) please do so through the link below. I paid $24.99 for it at Borders and it's $8.99 at Amazon. If I had only known!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Monday, May 21, 2007

LONG weekend.

Long weekends can be fun, and exhausting.

My husband competes in the North-South Skirmish Assoc. This requires frequent road trips during the warm months of the year. We try to make it to as many as life will allow!

The N-SSA is essentially a black powder shooting competition. The participants also form teams and dress the part. It celebrates the civil war in much the same way that re-enacting does. In recent years it has become much more family orientated. There is a women's dress competition and a BB rifle competition for the under 16 set!

We estimate that there was about 3000 people in attendance this year. Black powder for as long as you could see!
This past weekend we traveled to Winchester VA. We did so via the Maryland route and it took us just under 6 hours. The weather was wonderful while we were there! We like to camp with the rest of the team, so the good weather was definitely welcome! We also got to try out our brand new tent. WOW was it nice to be able to stand up and get dressed for once! Trying to put on a pair of wool slacks in a short little tent is a site to behold!

While we were there in Winchester we hit a nice little miniature golf course with the kids. It was so much fun! Everyone played pretty equally but Daddy won with score of 76 on an 18 hole course! We also went to the Apple market. I bought a 1/4 peck of Fuji apples and man..... are they YUMMY!

Here's a video of one relay of the competition

We didn't think we'd ever get home. Why is it that the trip back home seems to take so much longer? There was also a bad traffic snag above Charleston (big surprise!) that tied us up for over an hour. We were on the road for probably 12-13 hours this weekend. Too much if you ask me!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Just. One. More.

Do you want a delectable bite sized brownie lovingly decorated by yours truly? How 'bout a wonderful butter pecan mini cup cake with a whipped cream cheese icing rose?

Then you MUST come to the Tri-state Home Schooler's picnic at Barboursville park tomorrow at noon! I made about 250 mini bite size little treasures this evening! Not all of them fit in the baker's boxes so there were some strays. Read- there WERE some strays. Oh. My. Goodness. If I eat one more I will explode.

I let T2 decorate the strays. See? So easy a kid can do it! My back does hurt a bit though from bending over them and making all the little leaves and buds.

See ya there!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Have I mentioned that T1 is obsessed with beavers? We're learning all we can about them. A few days ago I posted mysteriously boring video on some phenomenon we saw happening directly behind the beaver dam we're watching. Since then we've learned a few things.
  • Beavers don't actually live in the dams
  • Beavers live in lodges
  • Beavers often share their lodge with muskrats
  • Beaver actually do eat wood (the tender inner wood)
  • Baby beavers are called Kits
  • Even the kits practice dam building by trying to dam up little rivulets of water with leaves and mud
  • Beavers dam making is a community project
  • Beavers make dams so they will have more area to hide and it makes it easier to acquire food
  • The largest dam was 2,140 feet long, 14 feet high, and 23 feet thick at the base
  • Dams are very beneficial. They often create Wetlands.
  • Beavers slap their tails to make a loud sound and vibration to warn other beavers of danger
  • otters often bore through the dams to allow fish to flow through to shallower water, making it easier to fish.

Here is a really good diagram on how the whole beaver dam/lodge/community thing works! Click on it if you need a better view.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Year end portfolio

Ugh, nothing like putting something off to the last minute. I'm completely fried. Wanna see what I've been up to ? Check out the highlights from our home school portfolio. Please be gentle with us,, it's our first year. We'll do better next year I promise!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Saturday Hike

I realize that a lot of these pictures are starting to look the same. I apologize for that but it's our favorite place to go on a Saturday! This week when we were checking out the beaver dam, we had high hopes to see Mr. Beaver. We didn't but as we were standing there very quietly observing we thought it was going to be our lucky day! Check out the video! Chris and the boys say it's the "worst youtube video Ev-ah!"

Here's the actual dam. I'm not sure if I've posted a picture of it before.

After going to Greenbottom we drove up to Mason Co. We took the boys to the McClintic Game Reserve for a hike (of Mothman fame!) We didn't see much. We did catch a glimpse of some kind of water mammal. It could have been a beaver or a muskrat or even a fresh water otter, we couldn't really tell. I couldn't get a picture, it was kinda far away.
After that we drove into town and took a few shots by the statue.
T2 wouldn't stand by it. He was totally freaked out!
I got another cute picture of that giant frog at Greenbottom. I love this frog!

Awwwwhh,, Goslings!

Check this little guy out! He had NO fear of us. If you can't see in the picture, he's dark blue. According to the Field Guide to the Birds of North America

He's a Male Spring Coated Tree Swallow.
Oh, and on the bird front,, I saw 2 heron, 2 cranes and 1 turkey buzzard. Ok, Turkey Buzzards, NOT my favorite but they are a really big bird so I can't exclude them completely.
Last but not least, I just loved these two shots. The sunlight was really pretty early yesterday morning.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Just to promote my "side blog" a bit, please check out
To understand why we're still stuck in our house and can't sell it. Enjoy.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Garden

We have delusions of grandeur when think of our homesteading skills! We put in our first garden last year and it was a real learning experience. (Read- it didn't turn out so good!) I already know this year's garden is better. It's amazing what little things that you don't know how to do when you are an entire generation away from a skill. My parents didn't garden and neither did my grandparents that I can remember. So I guess that I'm at least 2 generations away. I remember seeing my husband's grandmother's garden when we were first married. I hear her thumb was very green!
Today I asked my friend what to do about all the little sprouts of grass coming up. She said "uh,,, you gotta a hoe?"
:::Smacks forehead:::
Of course.
Here's another problem we've been encountering.

Farmer T2 watering some wilty broccoli while Dad puts in the fence. That old watering can weighs a TON when it's full!

T1 was taking the pictures this evening. He can't help it, he's my kid. An "artsy fartsy" picture. I call this one "Thirst". LOL

Maybe this will deter the deer?

The "Fence Master"

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Co-op picnic

The weather was GORGEOUS today! We could not have asked for a better day to have the Co-op picnic! The guys had a blast. I think all the kids did. There was nary a cross word spoken by any of the kids that I know of.
I didn't think to hit T1's face with the sunscreen and man is he burnt to a crisp. The child is ghostly white anyway. Blond hair, blue eyes, transparent skin = melanoma.
hmmmm,, Note to self,,, order T1's surf top for the pool this summer.

There was this "suspended disc" thingy there that the kids LOVED. Of course they did, I mean,, it is the scariest looking thing in the whole park! Ha Ha.

One of the Dads got on too! It's a good thing he's such a brave soul, he is our new gym teacher apparently!

Somebody cool brought bubbles! The pic below is T1 and T2 blowin' bubbles with their bud!

There was even a little trampoline. TOO cool!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Knitting is part of the header at the top of the blog, yes? I haven't been posting what I've been knitting lately! Today I finished up a helmet liner
During the winter months the guys and girls overseas really covet these! I hope to have a few to put in a care package when the weather gets colder. T2 is modeling it for me. It doesn't fit him real well but it's perfect on an adult head. It seems like a weird thing to be knitting now! It was in the upper 80s here today! It was an easy knit but seemed like it took me forever! I'm going to take a little break before I knit another.
On other fronts, I went back to work yesterday. My old job (boss) called and asked me to come back and help her for a while. I'm glad we're about done with school for the year! If we hadn't been, then I could not have agreed to do it. Seems that everyone at work is pregnant! Two of the girls that I worked (work) with are expecting. One is on bed rest now at 31 weeks and the other is in her first trimester with TWINS! I have a LOT of knitting to do!