Tea Time

We are at week three with our Tea Time and Poetry or as my daughter calls it- Poetreets! The kids helped me pick up special cookies for this week and we had one of their friends and my mom join us 🙂 My mom even brought strawberries and a new mug to share.

We picked fresh flowers from the yard and added a candle to the table this week.

My son read the camel story from “Just So Stories” to get us started and then we moved on to the poetry and chatting. It is really neat to hear the conversations that the poems spark. I an really enjoying these tea times and I am glad I found Brave Writer!

Some of this week’s books:

Our First Tuesday Tea and Poetry

I have been slowly gathering up supplies for our first “Tuesday Tea and Poetry” day in the tradition of the Brave Writer Lifestyle. Lots of books have been purchased and we are continuing to gather tea cups and fancy dishes as we come across them in thrift stores or on other outings.

Today, my son helped me get everything set up while his sister was playing with a friend. He was very excited and thought we should call it “Fancy Day!” We used an old quilt for a tablecloth and brought in flowers. We put out snacks and books and then let the girls in on the surprise. They had been on their way outside to play, but agreed to try it out.

Success! From the moment we started reading, they loved every minute! We took turns sharing and listening. We heard poems about a drumstick, a werewolf, William Tell, a man with clothes made out of food and dead animals, summertime and a baby cow, pranks played on a dad, and more. My son surprised me the most. I wasn’t sure how he would like it, but he seemed to enjoy it best of all and wanted to stay and read stories when we were done.

So he did read to me – “Just So Stories” by Rudyard Kipling. He has listened to the audio book many times (all 3 1/2 hours of it) and he liked reading the first story and poem to me in his fancy, expressive voice with a bit of a Brittish accent.

Everyone is looking forward to next week! I will need to dig up a stash of special snacks.

J is turning 40!

My husband is turning 40 and we are having a party!

The kids helped me make a big sign so people would know that our house was hosting a bday party vs. the Estate Sale being held next door.

My son helped mix and paint the blue background. My daughter helped paint and glue on plastic gems 🙂

We had a clown/ magician/ balloon guy! J. Was a great sport!

So was his dad…

We had tons of food. And cake.

It was nice so many friends and family members could come!

Akron Zoo

Today was a bit chilly, but it turned out to be a perfect day for visiting the zoo with friends! The animals that were out were quite active and the girls spent considerable time at several of the exhibits, especially those for the lemurs and the sloth bear.

We were there at just the right time for the keepers to bring in food and toys!

Both girls took lots of video as the lemurs put on an acrobatics show.

We moved on to see other exhibits.

There should be a bat in the picture. It was pretty dark in there. We caught the bat exhibit while a keeper was spraying down one of the enclosures, so the bats in that area were flying around like crazy.

Colorful frog from the rainforest.

Here is the sloth bear. He put his nose up to the glass and seemed interested in the girls.

The lion was out today too.

We finished up at the penguins.

Inside the gift shop, my daughter noticed these carvings from rainforest nuts. My mom brought one back from the Panama Canal on her last vacation! It was neat to find them here.


We just got back from the annual homeschool gathering at the Kalahari Waterpark. It was busier than ever for us with both kids attending lots of stuff.

Swimming in the wave pool.

Carnival with face paint and hairspray. Zombie tag was that night as well.

Playing in the room. The kids took turned being “stuck” in the trash can until the other kids tipped them over so they could get out, lol.

Minecraft funshop.

Monday was the opening speaker. my son and I went and we met several people there, including the family who ran this funshop.

Hula hooping funshop.

Gangnam Style Just Dance funshop.

Lots of water slides! Everyone has done the toilet bowl ride now but me.

Henna night.

The marketplace. My daughter sold over 25 of her things and both kids eagerly supported the other vendors!

Birthday party for a friend 🙂

The dance. It was dark, lol.

We also had lots of good food, visited the arcade, played games, and hung out with wonderful friends.

Can’t wait to do it again.

Here are 2 more pictures from the sale:

Around the House

The kids did lots of random stuff around the house.

My daughter made some decorations.

My son hung out with a friend.

My daughter made pancakes by herself.

We grew a chia Homer.

More duct tape things were made.

My daughter painted pottery.

We played with glow in the dark putty.

The kids played in the snow.

My daughter painted more pottery.

The kids made cute Zoomorph animals.

Potions and Milkweed

The neighbor kids came over today and the girls split off and headed out to the yard to find ingredients for a potion. They came back in with a container full of berries, grass, sticky leaf stems, and a really neat, soft pointy pod. I thought it might be milkweed, so to Google images and Wikipedia we went.

I was right! We looked at the plants and talked a tiny bit about Monarch butterflies and then they moved on with their potion.

In progress…they added vinegar, corn starch, paint, and baking powder to the plant mixture.

Halloween is Coming

So we need to decorate! The kids did our windows with plastic cling film decorations and then some neighbors came and helped us with our stuffed skeleton, some little ghosts, leaf pumpkin bags, and polyfill spiderwebs. I hung the garland from last year.

It was a really nice fall day and the kids wound up playing in the backyard. We met some new neighbors and they have a boy and 2 girls, all 7-11. The 9 yo girl came to play and she and my daughter hit it off.

Renaissance Festival

Yesterday we went to a Renaissance Festival south of Columbus. The site where it was held was magnificent- several acres of stone and wooden buildings, roadways, games, and human-powered rides.

We started off with games and rides.

The costumes people were wearing were spectacular and many folks stopped and chatted with us and showed off their claws, swords, helmets, etc.

The shops were full of unique finds. The kids settled on wooden swords and shields for mementos.

Here are some of the buildings and a yarn-bombed tree.

The kids ran through a giant maze that ended with a slide and folks shared some funnel cakes.

My son met an early death.

And had a magical reawakening.

J. and I became royalty.

And we exited the castle with plans to return.


A friend posted a link on Facebook a while back about a Lego Kingdom exhibit At COSI in Columbus. We headed down to check it out with some friends.

While the pre built Lego displays were really cool, the hands on parts were not that exciting for my kids as we own tons of Legos. Lucky for us, the rest of the museum was great and they found lots to explore and do. The 5 kids checked out the “Adventure” puzzle exhibit while us adults had some time to chat. Inside were obstacle courses and codes and helpful volunteers. All of the kids came out jumping and happy and wanting to try it again sometime.

We had beautiful weather to hit the courtyard.

The “Space” section was well done, especially the remote control rovers and mechanical arms. The kids worked together to gather up little balls.

We saw how particle size changed the way iron bits were affected by magnets. The nano particles acted like a liquid, flowing in blobs and jumping from one magnet to another.

The kids were happy to make fun of the things us “old” people grew up with in the section on the past.

We stayed till closing time and then headed out for dinner and then back to the hotel for a swim.

Akron Zoo

We headed to the zoo for a quick trip with friends on Saturday. It has been almost 2 years since we last went and a few things have changed. One thing was the new carousel. It is pretty darn cool with all the different animals that you can choose from.

We got to see most of the zoo before it started raining.

The girls really enjoyed the touch tank. There were 2 kinds of rays, a shark, and horseshoe crabs.

Homeschool Hike

The kids and I went on our first homeschool hike at one of the Metroparks today. We joined several other families in learning about different leaves and the signs of fall.

It was hot and humid when we arrived and then several minutes into the hike, it began to trickle. A few minutes later, the skies opened up on us and drenched everyone. It was a quick hike back to the car.

Before the soaking, we did get to talk about leaves, practice using a dichotomous key to identify some, and learned about several tree species on the trail.

As an added bonus, this hike counted toward the Fall Hiking Spree 🙂

The above is a burle on a tree. It is like a scar that forms when a tree is injured. I never knew that was what it meant when woodworkers used burled wood.

Heading out.

Cottonwood tree.

Sycamore tree.

Beech tree.

Soaked and heading home.

Leaf collection. Each kid received a leaf press and a pencil to take home.