Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Summer Vacation Part 1

We headed north to Pittsburgh for a couple of weeks to visit family, celebrate a birthday, hang out, and do things we love to do there and can't here.

One of the great excitements is driving through the mountains of NC.

They are very pretty going from NC into TN

A picture from Fireball Coyote's window.
The Welcome to Tennessee sign was missed by a camera boy.

But they got Virginia's.

They LOVE going through the tunnels from VA to WVA.
This time we clocked the miles in between. Eighteen miles from one tunnel to the other.

Then we are in Wild and Wonderful WVA.

Then after five hours through WVA. we hit PA.
As we get closer to my mom's the boys know to look for the Blue Belt signs to get closer.

They ABSOLUTELY LOVE driving on the cobble stone road at the end of my mom's street.

The first day we visited my friend/ their aunt's house.
We played a cool game called Boccini, (which we LOVED and are on the hunt for) Frog Pond, Uno, then 

Dairy Queen Blizzards, and a few minutes at a local park.
The boys were feeling the mugginess of the north and decided to go back to her house.

We looked at her pictures from Haiti, where they put in new water systems. (pg. 6&7) 

Time for one more game of Frog Pond.

I have a picture of the boys in this swing when they were much younger.
I tried to get another shot ...

 But they got silly.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Little Summer Fun

Sunday, Pumpkin made pancakes for breakfast and dad liked them better than what he makes. :-)
The boys then alternated with the PS2 and helping dad around the yard and shop.

Pumpkin was jealous that Fireball coyote went to the corner gas station without him, so he made pudding, "NOT to share".

But he shared.

 Later that night we were able to get PBS in (trouble with the antenna since I accidentally sunk the remote and we can't "update" the channels)  and watched Rick Sebak's Great Old Amusement Parks and Nature's Invasion of the Giant Python.

Monday, the boys worked with the PS2 a bit in the morning, then we ran a few earns.  Then it was back to the PS2, Rolblox, and a conversation about quad, tri, bi, and mon.
Pumpkin was on dinner duty and made Stouffer's lasagna.

Tuesday was more computer work and playing with the neighbor.

Wednesday, they got a bit of PS2 in then we headed to Greenville to see the $1 movie, Mr. Popper's Penguins.  By the end Fireball Coyote couldn't understand why he didn't want to see it last year.

The rest of the day and Thursday it was a BIG battle of attitudes. (ugh!)  I think it was a combination of too much PS2 and that they were excited about our trip to PGH on Sunday.

Friday, was a packed day.  They started with PS2, went to stopping by a friends on the way to dad's work, and then heading to Pumpkin's best friends for a 4 hour lunch and swimming playdate.  Followed by a bit of shopping at a great all natural store.  Going home and working on packing.
Nothing beats eating ice cream poolside.  

Musgrove Mill State Park

This is the day we were to go to PGH, but it was delayed by a meeting of the minds and to get to know more unschoolers/life learners/interest led learners/ ...  that live (from us) an hour and a 15 minutes away.

We were the first to arrive, so 

we checked out the ranger house.
Inside we had a lesson on the area and how the Patriots beat the Red Coats in the area.
Learning how to fold a map.

We worked on part 2 of the Jr. Ranger badges.
She was SO nice!!! She even printed out the sheets we needed, since I left ours in the car.

Just as we were finishing up, the others had arrived.  We all headed over to the lake for a picnic lunch. When we were walking to the table I noticed baby frogs.  It wasn't long till the boys noticed them too.

We tried HARD to watch out step!

Fireball Coyote snapped this shot of a black and yellow dragonfly and a baby frog.  Can you spot them???

After lunch we caravanned to the waterfall.

The kids worked on the dam.

There was an upper part too.

I noticed these little black spiral shell like creatures 'swimming' around in the water.
Pumpkin said they are water beetles. 

Looking on Google, I found a link that says they might be Whirligig Beetles.
I don't recall ever seeing something like them before, interesting!  

The upper part had a deeper part too.

I noticed some tadpoles.

Working on another dam.

This was too cute!

Traveling up stream.

I noticed some trash on the ground.  Part of our Jr. Ranger duties is to help keep the parks clean.
The boys and I were given gloves and a bag to gather trash.

What is the BIGGEST pollutant in the parks?!?!?

Cigarette butts!

Fun with my glove.
Home to finish loading the car for our big road trip!