Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Blue Angels and Porch Railing?

The only visible progress at the house this week was starting to finish the front porch railing.  About a year ago we removed the previous railing since we were moving the steps and sidewalk.  Since then, it's been not quite safe for little kids to come in and out of the house (at least the drop is only a few feet!).

Here is how it's looked for the last year:

Last weekend I primed and painted all the parts that need to be installed.  Chris was able to do a little bit of the work on Sunday.  There's still much more to do but it's progress at least!

We had a very busy and wonderful week here.  Samantha had some fun activities during the week.  We went to a Tae Kwon Do class at the library and Samantha did really well with all the running and kicking.  A couple other fun outings included a trip to the nature center and another to the tire park (a playground made of tires). 

Since the school year started, a lot of Samantha's friends started 2 year preschool recently.  We feel that it is too young to start formal schooling at her age but we don't want her to "fall behind" the other kids.  So I decided to try homeschooling for preschool.  I've dedicated each week to a different theme and have at least a couple activities planned each day.  I'm trying to have a good blend of activities each week and base the themes off of other events coming up. 

This was our first week and it was all patriotic themed.  We put together a US map puzzle, listened to patriotic songs, did several crafts for the flag and state and US animals/plants, and did some finger painting.  Of course we also threw in some books and other activities too.

The culmination of the patriotic week was attending the Star Spangled Spectacular in Baltimore.  Chris took off work on Friday so we could go as a family.  We had a great day - wonderful weather and tons of fun! 

We started by going to the Science Center for a little while before walking from the Inner Harbor to Fort McHenry.  While there, we had a nice picnic lunch, walked around the fort with the period reenactments, and got to watch the air show rehearsal. 

We would have stayed at the fort a little longer but unfortunately Obama decided to visit so they kicked everyone else out.  So we walked back to the harbor to visit a few of the tall ships before heading home.  Samantha really enjoyed the ships and I wish we had been able to visit some more of them before we had to leave.

I would consider our first week of homeschooling a success - the activities all went over well, she learned a lot, and had a good time in the process.

Saturday dawned a little overcast but Chris was able to take Samantha on the BikeAbout through town.  The town's archive group puts this ride on every year to showcase some of the history of the area.  The weather was questionable and did rain for a little while but they were able to do most of the ten mile route before Samantha called it quits.  Josh and I went to pick them up to head to the end of ride picnic. 

I'll end with a couple random things.  A few days were a little chilly in the morning so I put a blanket over Samantha's legs in the car.  After we arrived at our destination I went to get her out of her seat and she had covered her whole body with the blanket.  Here is the conversation:

Me:  Samantha, are you hiding?
Samantha:  Yes, I'm under cover!

Here is a photo of her drawing on the terrapin we made out of sand (Maryland's state animal).

And speaking of animals, this guy has been around our yard for the majority of the year - hopefully taking care of the critters we don't want finding their way into the house or garden!

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