Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Still August

And I am clinging to summer with grim determination. We are starting back to school at (fairly) full force on September 1, but I am pretending that that date is not looming. I have enough of a roughish idea of what we are doing to get started on, and, Lord willing, once we actually start I will be filled with passionate enthusiasm for the whole learning/teaching thing. If not, faking it works too.

The pictures here are a hodgepodge that give an idea of what we've been doing. 
These are the brownies that Katie made for the Kate Campbell concert we were given free tickets for. She was lots of fun, and the reception, afterwards, in the church hall, was very nice. Katie's brownies were a hit, which was great, and Katie enjoyed Kate Campbell's stories about how she had started singing and writing music with a ukulele (Ed is currently on the lookout for a second hand ukulele, which Katie says she wants to learn.

Cats. Harry is still wicked.

Travis. Panda Cart (though the panda is no longer actually in a cart) is coming nicely.

Katie has been leaving me poems, either at  my place at the table, to find at breakfast, or on my desk. I think she is incredibly gifted.

Katie's very marvelous, amazing cousin (Ed's niece) sent a surprise gift (gifts, actually). This was the first part.

We went to the local pool. Hardly anyone there, which is the way we hermits like things.

And here Katie is opening the second part of her amazing surprise gift...
 (You can't tell from the pictures, where she is looking very composed (because she is self-conscious about smiling and showing her teeth), but she was very excited!)
 She saw these Doctor Who TARDIS/Dalek ice trays/chocolate molds on Amazon and wanted them. Ed said "no," being the reasonable man that he is, but I posted them on FB because I thought they were a hoot. And Katie's sweet, indulgent cousin decided to indulge her!
 Not only did she send TARDIS trays, but she also remembered that Katie had wanted Spotted Dick after reading about it in Harry Potter, and sent that too! If it were up to me, I would save that can, unopened, forever, just because the label makes me laugh, but Katie has already found a recipe for the custard that is suggested to go with it, so I suppose we will be opening the can and eating it soon.

Did you wonder what all those chocolate bars were for? Katie sure did! I let her open and share a couple of the KitKats and Reeces cups, but I made her wait, though I wouldn't tell her what for, to open the Hershey bars. They are now transmongified into delicious chocolatey daleks and TARDISes.


 The face off!

Today we meant to go back to Virginia, to Hungry Mother State Park, but there was a miscommunication and it turned out that they only have very short beach hours this late in the summer. Too short to be worth the drive. So...
Ed found us this wonderful pool/recreation area in Mount Airy! Closer to home, and, aside from the lack of a walking trail and my favorite ice cream store, quite perfect.
 There was a diving pool down the far end, beside that liveguard house.

 The kids had a great time with this thing -- a rope set up to swing out and drop into the water! Travis eventually scraped the dickens out of his foot on it, somehow, but up to then it was excellent!

And both kids climbed more stairs, thanks to this slide, than they do in months at home! There were only a couple other people there, and they had babies, so Katie and Travis had all the slides, diving boards, and rope swings to themselves. The place was a bit pricey, by our cheapskate standards, but we definitely got our money's worth!

Me. Ed cut my hair. It is still a mess, but there is less of it, anyway.

Afterwards Travis treated at the Dairy Queen. That is a happy expression, if you can't tell.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Lake Day!

Today was gorgeous, and we drove up to Hungry Mother State Park, in Virginia! There were very few other people there (maybe Virginia schools have started?) and it was lovely

The kids pooled their money and bought this excellent sand bucket!

And Ed surprised us by renting a paddle boat! We've talked about it, but now the kids are finally big enough to be useful "paddlers!"

The duck. Travis was very fond of this duck, and we followed it a long way up the lake!

The beach from the paddle boat.

Travis turning Katie into sand art.

She wanted to be a mermaid, but she wound up looking more like a turkey drumstick.

Me. It was a bit chilly by my (Floridian) standards. But that's why God gave us flannel.

We had a great time, and I think I've talked Ed into maybe taking us back next week!

And this is a drawing Katie made last week. We've been reading and discussing The Lord of the Rings. This is Treebeard holding Merry (or maybe Pippin, but probably Merry because Katie favors Pippin.). In the book he mentions that he initially took them for orcs and might have "trodden on them" if he hadn't realized they were not, but in Katie's version he has decided to squeeze the little orc's juices out into his goblet.