Wacky Wednesday-Landsford Canal State Park

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Over the years, I have made a list of the places that I would like to visit near by.  We live in a very unique area.  We are between the Appalachian Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean.  We have a lot of really amazing opportunities nearby.  Landsford Canal State Park has been on my list for a while.

The park is known for its rocky shoals spider lilies.  I have heard that they are beautiful when they are in bloom.  So back in August, we put a plan in place to visit the lilies in May-little did we know that we would be contributing to our Wacky Wednesday list!

This trip required some preparation.  We had eight people kayaking so we had to rent a U Haul trailer in order to get the kayak down to the drop in point.  The park is on the Catawba River which has a fairly slow current typically.  We put our kayaks in one by one.  The kids immediately went off exploring.  Unfortunately, on our way to catch up with them, my friend hit a rock and capsized her kayak.  We spent an hour trying to get the water out of the kayak with out getting taken by the current.  Once we got back underway and found the kids, they were playing on some rocks and a fallen tree trunk.

The downside was that their kayaks got hit by one of our paddlers.  Paddles, life jackets and kayaks went floating down the river.  Another rescue effort-I retrieved all of the items and got them to the kids.  We were off again.

We found out quickly why the area is called rocky!  The adults got stuck on rocks almost every 30 feet or so.  The kids flew right down the river.  Luckily, most of the river was shallow enough that we could get out, dump out the water and get back in.  It sounds much easier that it was!  The current was far from slow as we had anticipated.

By the time that we made it to lilies, we were exhausted and ready to get off of the water.

Of course we always learn things from our trip and here is our list from this trip!

  1. Not only check the weather but also the water depth/current.
  2. Take a pump (using a McDonald’s cup takes a really long time to get water out of a kayak)
  3. Have your plan in place before people get in the water (uhm, where did the kids go? Oh-they are WAY OVER THERE!).
  4. Rope is always useful when paddling-why didn’t we bring any?
  5. There is a reason that there are different types of kayaks.  Lake kayaks are not meant for any type of white water, or rocks, or current.
  6. Laughter works much better than freaking out when stuck in a bad situation (we spent a lot of time laughing because it is all we could do in our minds.  We helped a lady who also hit a rock and began freaking out.  She could not calm down.  We all realized from her example how important it is to remain calm in order to problem solve.)

I am positive that we learned a lot more from the trip, but this is all that I can come up with right now.  We decided that next week, we will stick with something closer to home!

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We made it back all in one piece!

Wacky Wednesday Update

Wacky Wednesdays sort of came to a halt in March.  The flu and pneumonia took the first two Wednesdays of March.  The third Wednesday of March wasn’t so wacky as we headed to the climbing gym.  The fourth Wednesday of the month, Sims went on a tour of the local high school to see what it is about.  The last Wednesday, we headed out on the boat to enjoy the lake.

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Getting out on the lake

April only had one Wacky Wednesday and it was only with Parks.  He and I headed to Raleigh, NC to check out a freestyle BMX complex-the Daniel Dhers Action Sports Complex.  Parks was in heaven.  He spent the day jumping ramps, playing in the bowl, and playing on the pump track.

May is going pretty well.  The first Wednesday, we hit the lake.  Sims is enjoying driving everyone around now that he has his boating licence.  The next Wednesday was a prep day for the weekend as we all had big plans.  Last week, we went to Landford Canal State Park.  You can read about this trip in my next post!

A Day in the Life 2017- Wacky Wednesday

I am posting our activities each day for the week in preparation for the Day in the Life series on Simple Homeschool.  I always enjoy reading through these posts.  Yesterdays post is here.

Hump Day!  Thank goodness for Wednesdays.  Today was nice and slow-the way homeschooling should be, if I believed in should be’s.

715 I woke up and showered ate breakfast and read the new Reader’s Digest that came in.

745 Parks woke up and ate breakfast

800 Everyone is moving.  Everyone came in and ate breakfast and rummaged around.

900 I called a quick meeting to discuss the weekend and do some planning.

930 15 minute clean up.

945 We met in the sunroom to do our group work.  While I was reading, Parks worked on art projects-aka, paper airplanes that flew over my head while I was reading.  Little did I know that he was passing notes.  I guess when you don’t sit at desks or have cell phones to text with, you still will find a way to communicate with your fellow students.

1040 Everyone made a snack/early lunch? Parks and I worked on the computer looking at old maps of our area.

1115 I took the dog for a quick walk while the older two worked on math.

1135 (very short walk) I met with Sims about planning his project on US History and helped Sawyer with her math.

1230 We headed out with some friends to see the movie “Hidden Figures.”  AMAZING movie!!  It had everything-good actors, education, music, math, and a feel good story.

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330 We got home.  The kids headed out on their bikes with their friends while I worked on laundry and putting away items from being out of sorts the past couple of weeks.  I could use another whole day to catch up.

500 Sims and I headed to the market to pick up items for his dinner.  When we got home, he went to work cooking.

545 We ate dinner and played the game, “Ticket to Ride.”

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800 Nick and I watched a movie and the kids got ready for bed.

900 The house was quiet except for our movie and our laughing.

Wacky Wednesday-Charlotte Museum of History

We started our new block off on Monday.  Then on Tuesday, we had to temporarily move out of our house to get floors put in which, as excited as I am to get new floors, caused a bit of stress to the family.  Luckily for us, Wacky Wednesday was only one day away!

We headed to the Charlotte Museum of History where we looked at the history of Mecklenburg County and the historical Alexander House (circa late 1700s).  The museum itself, unfortuIMG_1037.jpegnately, does not have a lot to offer anymore.  Evidently, it closed down and reopened about four years ago.  It has SOOO much potential!

The items that we loved inside the museum included a full-size replica of a traditional Catawba bark house, which the Catawba tribe used before learning about the log cabin, and a nice diorama of Charlotte in the 1700s.  The diorama included many of the buildings that we have read about in the North Carolina Parade book that we are using for NC history.  Parks loved getting a visual of the buildings and the placement of events.

The best part of the day by far was visiting the historic house.  We have visited several historic houses in our area but this one is the oldest.  The family were farmers, black smiths, and government officials (of course, there were only about 100 settlers in the town).  The family learned from and traded with the local Catawba tribe based on artifacts found.  Things I did not know that I learned: early settlers made their clothes from flax and wool.  I knew about the wool but not the flax.  They would use the blue paper that the sugar came in to dye other fabrics blue.  Canvas sail cloth was used as rugs.  This house was a MANSION of the day and it housed a family of 12, a teacher, and anywhere from 6-13  slaves at a time.  Everyone lived in the house.  That is a minimum of 19 people!  The oldest boys would go to the town to barter and trade their furs for other goods.

Can anyone tell what our three blocks are this month?  This field trip did a nice job of including all three blocks!  That is a rare find.

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Wacky Wednesday-Kayaking LKN

Before the cold weather sets in, we decided to get in a kayak.  We paddled over to a blue heron sanctuary to explore and look for bones.  It is one of our favorite spots to explore.

Wacky Wednesday-Old Salem

Today we headed to another NC treasure-Old Salem, North Carolina!  We started the morning at a Home Moravian Church for the school version of their Candle Tea.  WOW!  The church does an amazing job with the activity.  We began inside the Single Brother’s House learning about the Moravian Star.

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Moravian Star

We then moved into the next room to watch candle making.  The candles will be used at the Christmas Service.

Then we moved into the kitchen to learn about the single brothers and some local history.

The final stop was the basement filled with an amazing replica of Old Salem and a nativity scene.

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After the Candle Tea, we explored around the town and were awed by the beauty of the Old Town.

 

Wacky Wednesday-Rock Climbing

Our  Wacky Wednesdays continue!  We planned to go island hopping and exploring.  Unfortunately, the wind and low water levels kept us off of the lake.  Luckily, we have inventive kids who can come up with ideas that ranged from-let’s drive to the beach to let’s go to Starbucks- who decided to hit our area’s new climbing gym.

Everyone had a quick orientation to the gym and then started climbing.  Sims, who has been climbing a the gym a good bit lately, decided to sign up for a belaying certification class.  When he completed the class, everyone got the opportunity to explore some new climbs that were only open to people with be-layers.  Once again our plan did not go as planned, but the day was complete with adventure.