Schiele Museum of Natural History

DSC_0003DSC_0006DSC_0013DSC_0014DSC_0016DSC_0020DSC_0022DSC_0026DSC_0030DSC_0032DSC_0033 (1)DSC_0034DSC_0043DSC_0045DSC_0049DSC_0050DSC_0055DSC_0058DSC_0061DSC_0062DSC_0065DSC_0066DSC_0067DSC_0069DSC_0070DSC_0071DSC_0075DSC_0077DSC_0081DSC_0084DSC_0089DSC_0092DSC_0093DSC_0094DSC_0097DSC_0098DSC_0100DSC_0103DSC_0106DSC_0110DSC_0119DSC_0122DSC_0127DSC_0133DSC_0135DSC_0136DSC_0138DSC_0143DSC_0145DSC_0150

Recently, a good friend and I did a day trip to the Schiele Museum and Planetarium in Gastonia, NC, which is a couple hours drive from us.  It was a field trip I had been looking forward to all school year.  For our science work, we have been focusing on earth science, rocks + fossils, dinosaurs, and outer space.  I visited this museum as a college student either for an ecology class or field natural history, and it left an impression on me!  I thought it would be so neat to share this with the kids, to let them see the constellations in such a neat way in the planetarium, the life size dinosaurs, and all the other exhibits.  Of course, the kids thought it was a blast to skip our regular school day and do a day trip.  They absolutely loved it, especially because we shared the experience with friends we love.  My only regret was that it felt pretty rushed and the kids were flying through and not taking much time to read and learn as they went, more so just taking it all in.  We can always make another trip!

The outdoor exhibits weren’t open but we had fun running through the woods and exploring it all, reading the placards when we could.  It would definitely be neat to go back when these outdoor exhibits are open!  Wren eventually lost steam and by the time we were due for the planetarium show at 12pm, she was pretty much done.  Needless to say,  I stepped out with the screaming baby while the others enjoyed the show.  We ate a picnic lunch that was hurried/interrupted by the rain and then we scooted off to nearby Ikea.  It was a bit of a feat taking 8 children into Ikea between my friend and I, and we were hurrying because it was a Friday and we wanted to do our best to avoid weekend traffic in the rain.  We ended up taking longer than expected, and the bed frame I was looking for for Philippa was out of stock 😦 but I would say it was still a success and really, really fun.  We returned home tired but also energized.  It was a fun way to culminate our science work for the year and a reminder of some of the best parts of homeschooling–experiential, hands-on learning together as a family + with friends.

fresh mountain air

DSC_0030DSC_0032DSC_0033DSC_0036DSC_0037DSC_0039DSC_0040DSC_0041DSC_0042DSC_0044DSC_0045DSC_0046DSC_0047DSC_0049DSC_0053DSC_0055DSC_0057DSC_0062DSC_0066DSC_0068DSC_0073DSC_0086DSC_0087DSC_0097DSC_0075DSC_0099Nothing clears my head like escaping into the mountains, even in the smaller capacities that we are able to manage in this season of raising little ones.  A friend and I got together last week for a day trip to Mt. Mitchell, which is now a pretty decent drive away from where I live (versus college days when I was in this area all the time).  We took the day off of formal schooling and enjoyed getting out and away without much agenda.  My children so enjoy playing with hers, and they were busy drawing in their notebooks, hiking, climbing around, picnicking, and gathering scattered down trees to build a fort.  It gave my friend and I some time to catch up and just be away from our normal routines.  Breathing that fresh mountain air and connecting with friends did wonders for all of us, but probably especially me.  I was needing the cool air and the break away from As I was loading the stroller back into the van I forgot that my DSLR camera was tucked in the bottom of the stroller with all the coats and it fell out and clattered on the pavement.  It no longer takes pictures and I’m hoping to get over to the other side of town sometime next week to drop it off at a repair shop for a diagnosis.  I’m sure it will be okay, one way or another.  At first I felt panicky because as I’m sure you would guess after years of blogging here, I kinda sorta can’t live without my camera now.  (I mean, that’s an exaggeration.  I really could if I had to, but it’s a pretty big priority.)  I do also use it on the side for some very part time work.  I’m sure we will find a way to have a functioning camera soon.  If the blog goes quiet for a bit (or at least less picture-heavy) you’ll know why. 🙂

Ps. Wren is wearing a sweater knit and gifted to me by Natural Earth Farm.  They make beautiful things and she has similar baby sweaters in her shop right now for such an affordable price, if you’re interested!  She gifted me some of her hand cream too and it is the nicest I have maybe ever used.  Also, wren’s hat was gifted to me by Ruby.  Knitters are such generous folk. 🙂