Saturday, February 11, 2012

Dash out the door - Hurry Quick!

This morning I was enjoying my morning cup of coffee, checking my facebook and all of a sudden I see the North Carolina Home Educators post about field trips. They were headed to Rising Meadows Farm for sheep shearing! What??!!

If you were to be a fly on the wall at that particular moment you would have witnessed three kids vegged out in front of the tv and Jon still asleep! No food had been consumed as of yet but this Momma let out an all call for everyone to get up and get ready! We all threw on some clothes, Jon wandered out from our room dazed and confused, I quickly filled him in on the plan and a quick breakfast was eaten. We were off...

Now, I would love to tell you that we made it there and there were rainbows and unicorns but alas, we got lost. Note to anyone going to Rising Meadows Farm, there is another William Dairy Road in the country in Greensboro... not Liberty! So we entered the new address in the Garmin and we were off again. Needless to say we saw some interesting sights along the way. One being a huge house totally out of touch with the rest of the neighborhood. Looked like a dollhouse mansion. Jon's theory is that someone won the lottery and spent all of it on this house!

30 minutes later, we finally made it. Rolling hills, sheep, chickens and barns... Ahhhhh... A couple from New Zealand came to shear the sheep. It was amazing to watch him work. He was able to clip all of the wool off of the sheep in one big sheet.  They didn't use the clippers like you see some do, but used large scissors instead. They said it calmed the sheep and left some wool on their skin to keep them warm.

Sorry about the pics - if you remember in the last post, my camera died and my phone is about all I have... 

Jake was trying to climb over the fence to get to the nice sheep. They loved being petted!

Luke admiring all of the sheep who were either waiting their turn or already sheared.

Such beautiful pasture land!

Kylie in front of the many bags of fleece. You could buy them there to clean, card and then spin. 

After we finally made it, we had a great time. The people were super nice and informative. Next time we go out there though I hope it is a tad warmer! The wind was cutting!

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Anyone who has been keeping up with us on Facebook has known that we were knocked over with a fun case of strep. The Thankfully the antibiotics did what they do and worked wonders. It is sooo great to feel alive again! The natives were restless (ok, I was getting restless with the natives!) and we still hadn't had our 24 hours under the medicine so we ventured out where people were few. The Piedmont Environmental Center has been a favorite quick go to for outdoor fun since we have moved here. Small trails, the Greenway and the Tee Pee!!! 

It had been down for awhile so when the kids spotted it, they were so excited to be able to check it out again. 

We had a quick picnic inside and enjoyed being inside away from the wind.

We finished Little House on the Prairie last week so being inside a Tee Pee naturally called for a war dance. The kids had a great time chasing eachother around the fire pit area.

Love it that there are a few little animals we can check out inside. The people are always really nice to talk to us and give us a few facts. 

Nothing like a little boost from a big brother to check out the "nake!" (snake)

I don't know what it is about my crew but they love to re-create the familiar. When we first moved here we discovered this huge map of North Carolina. It explains all the areas of our state and so now each time they reteach me about the topographical highlights of NC. 

His newest pose. For all pictures... ;)

We haven't been hiking that much this winter it seems. Well maybe not here so we were happy to set off to go see the sights. There is a beaver dam down by the lake that we like to check out so it is easy to get the kids to venture forth!

Love the trees without leaves! 

Found this little treasure on the way. Doesn't it look like a heart? Perfect, just in time for Valentines Day!

So beautiful! Loved the way the light was hitting the other side of the lake. 

Thank goodness Mr. Jakers had a safe distance from the water. 

Totally cracking up because about 5 seconds before this picture, Luke was looking at tracks in the mud. Of course Jake found some too! Haha!

Already finding signs of spring. Wait, did we have winter?? I will really work hard at not going on and on about how we haven't had any snow... Sigh...

Logs across any small amount of water have to be crossed!

And at this point we were wondering where we were! We were a bit more adventurous as I normally stick to one trail (or at least have the little handout map!) but I decided to get all "Jon" on this hike and wing it. The nice part about hiking in winter is that the view around us was more bare and I could see where we were in relation to the center. I think in this picture Kylie was having her moment as the sun was setting behind us and I was of course saying we might have to camp outside!

And at this point, my camera decided to give me trouble. My lens is crazy stuck but thankfully it worked for one last picture of Kylie rescuing Jake. He had a brief moment where he wanted up and of course Kylie does whatever he wants! LOL! Needless to say the backride didn't last long. Jake is a pretty good hiker for his age overall!

We made it back to the car safely and it was before dark. We had such a great time getting out without infecting anyone! Thankful for my little adventurers and my goal is to get them able to go farther as they get older. We have so many wonderful places to explore here and I hope this summer brings some really great trips!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Hmmm... Is this Winter?

When the weatherman says it is going to be in the 60's in January, you hi-tale it to your favorite park and play like there is no tomorrow. Blue skies, warm sun and a giggles from kids stuck in the house for too long. Stretching legs and running free....

 City Lake Park has special memories for us as a family. It was the first park we went to when we were wondering if we should move up to North Carolina. I was about to pop with Jake - in actuality, I think I still had a month or so to go! Oy!

And we were lovestruck with the beautiful fall color and view of the lake...

So when the kids said they wanted to go to the park with the "zip line" we had to go.

I am thinking this needs to be on my bucket list of things to do. Kayak, still lake, cool breezes, what is there not to like?

Well, while I contemplated the quiet, the kids made up for being indoors for the past few days. They ran, yelled, played and were well, kids at a park. We needed some family time out of the house for sure. I equate these outings as sort of hitting the reset button on our life. Just makes everything ok and right again.

Love static hair in a slide - but not the shock it gives you!

These two together are a mess!

Remember what I said about hitting the reset button? I guess as a homeschool family, we are used to being around eachother 24/7. I love that it creates many opportunities to have to work things out since there are no opportunities for respite. As a parent, I need to foster creative ways to teach them to resolve conflict in a healthy way. Also when the kids spend a lot of time divided with friends, I can see their attitudes change drastically.  While I think that time with friends is so important and needed, it does effect their relationships together as siblings. When we take time away I see more of this - helping. 

And this - laughing from sister chasing...

And this - wide eyes of wonder, watching brother on another plaything. While it isn't always perfect, I make time to allow them to be together. Just us. I know other parents see us as a bit unusual, but pulling away really does make a difference. For us all...

As we were getting ready to leave I heard this fwap, fwap, fwap each step I took and Kylie made a quick comment, "I didn't know they made boot flip flops?" Yep, I didn't either...
My oh so comfortable yet not stylish boots had given up. I can't tell you how old they are, most likely from my college years which was about oh, 16 years ago? So sad...

But we moved on and fwap, fwaped our way out of the park. Luke was laughing hysterically at me and my dysfunction... Then Jake caught a glimpse of these berries. I was loving the contrast and totally missed that he was wanting to eat them but thankfully he didn't. 

One last quick climb on the old fire engine...

The next morning it wasn't as sunny out so we decided to do something artsy. Anything! I told the kids, quick! Run outside and get some rocks. So they did, and throw in some paint and it is a winner for all. 

What is it with paint and mixing everything into black?

Moving on from his rock to paper. Wait, isn't that a game??

If you give a toddler some paint and paper, you are bound to get it on hands...

And if it gets on hands, it must be on sisters  hands too!

I loved the care and focus he had while he painted Kylie. They had a blast. 

Day wrapped up with a nice hot bath for all and clean clothes! I am reminded that when I schedule time for play and creativity, the days really do become a lot smoother. 

Enjoy your day!