Homeschool Co-op!

I’m so excited to be starting up a new semester of co-op next week! I’ll be leading a STEAM class (like STEM but with Art now.) and a Speech and Debate class but we have so many exciting classes. I want to take most of them! American Natives, Anthropology (mostly because the teacher is so excited about her class!), Life Skills, Drama, Writing, Art, World Religions…. I’m trying to talk them into having the classes one at a time so I can attend them all. I think I’m outside the designated age range for the classes, though. Sigh…. isn’t that always the case?

I’m making the boys take the writing class because I think they both can use that the most but I let them pick the other ones. Little brother is excited about Drama but big brother is mostly along for the ride. I hope they both enjoy the classes they’re taking.

Is anyone else out there homeschooling? Have you found that most homeschoolers are turning to co-ops lately? I think they’re great but I’m missing all the field trips that we used to go on. I might have to hit up the field trip coordinator and see what’s available in the area for middle/high school that we haven’t been on yet and get a couple planned. Who has time for actual book work anymore??

Here’s to a great second half of our school years!

Out with the old an in with the new!

Well, it’s a sad day for the mom. We just gave up our spot at the park for volunteering. We did turn it over to a good family, though! I hope they have as much fun as we did and we hope to still get out to the park sometimes. 🙂

As for this blog, it will probably become a bit more personal and I’ll tell you about our co-op days and other homeschool adventures or just things I’m doing around the house. Care to hear about the fizzy toilet bombs I might be making soon? LOL

Here’s to a very happy new year for all of us!

~the mom




Thank you! (And Thousand Year Flood update)

The park has been cleaner this year than it was last year so I want to thank all of you who litter less these days!

We finally got back to the park after they had been closed down by the flood. There were some changes! I think the greatest change was the park office that has been emptied out. They had to remove the flooring because there was about an inch of water covering the entire office. So yay! They get to do a little remodeling!

The Splash pad is still being worked on and I didn’t see any damage to that.


There was this tree down in the park area that took out a couple picnic tables. It always amazes me at how strong a bit of Mother Nature can be on things. Our favorite ranger told us how her husband had walked down towards the lake during the flooding and he couldn’t even make it to the office because the water was so deep and moving swiftly.

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The ducks and the geese were still there. We didn’t hear many other birds, though. The water was very low and really brown. The ranger said that it was done on purpose so that the engineers could come out this week to examine the waterfalls – which have been fenced off because the ground is unstable.   IMG_20151019_115218844_1 IMG_20151019_115722340_1IMG_20151019_120110943_1IMG_20151019_115821640_1

Here’s where part of the trail gave out near the culvert:


And here you can see dirt piled up on the platform in the middle of the lake:IMG_20151019_130632925_1

There was very little color in the park, but it’s coming! (I think there was more color in the Walmart parking lot today! LOL)

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There were spots where it looked like they might have brought in sand bags, but our ranger said it was just the white sand being relocated during the flood.

A few of the trails have been blocked off, but the good news is that the main trail is just fine! We hope you get out to enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer soon!

Until next time,

~the mom

September visit

Oops! I was reminded today that I forgot to post our last visit to the park. The little brother was sick so just the big brother and I headed out. It’s been raining here for the last two weeks so we’re hoping to get back out there next week.

I suspect that with all the rain, the waterfalls will be a bit bigger when we get there.


It was such a beautiful day. Autumn is my favorite season and it was just starting to cool off a bit.

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I guess this was our fun find of the week. We weren’t sure what they were doing with the logs here. It’s normally a fishing spot.


The birds are gone from the nests. We were worried that this one didn’t get to hatch all their eggs. The construction of the new splash pad seemed to have scared them off. 😦


But, the splash pad is coming along nicely! I hope it won’t be too expensive to get in there. It would be nice just to be able to walk through there after a hot walk through the park. IMG_20150914_095255600_1

There’s still something stinky at the park…

A couple of things actually. One being the same stench we smelled before. I’m not sure if it’s the low water tables or if something died but PEEE-EWWWWW! And, someone(s) broke into the construction crews equipment! How mean is that??

The splash park is coming along nicely. I keep wondering if they’re going to stop at some point since I’m pretty sure they won’t be done before the weather starts cooling off.


The water isn’t as low as it was, but it’s still pretty low (and still pretty!)IMG_3644_1

Can you believe that we still have baby birds?? We think there were six eggs in this nest (laid over a several week period) but now it looks like there are only three bluebird babies.


We had a dangerous find of the day but didn’t get a good picture of it. Someone was shooting blunt arrows in the forest! Who does that?? We also found a couple interesting finds. One was some sort of dog tether. There was a hook attached to a chain, tied to a rope and then tied to a metal stick that probably went into the ground to keep the small dog (or maybe cat) close by and then there was this water logged boot.


I thought this was an interesting view over a fallen tree.


It was a pretty day, but we’re sure looking forward to some cooler weather!IMG_3666_1

Until next time,

~the mom

Something rotten in Denmark

Whew! I don’t know if they have skunk cabbage at the park, but there was a big old stink going on near the waterfalls. Otherwise, it was another beautiful day at the park.IMG_3627_1

We’re confused about box #1. We didn’t get a good shot of the eggs last week, but it looked like there were five in there last week and now there are six. But, they’re not hatching? That might not be a good sign. 0803150959_1

It’s fun to see all the geese hanging around. They always think we have some food for them, but we’re out there to pick up the bits of trash that wouldn’t be good for them to eat. Today, we saved them from half a sleeve of styrofoam cups among other things.


We found tracks…


Okay, they were people tracks but these are a little more interesting… Geese tracks!IMG_3617_1

I wonder if the stench was just from the water being so low. IMG_3624_1

I should have taken another picture of the splash park before we left because they had a lot of 2×4’s up by then. I hope we can use it when it’s finished! It seems to be taking forever to get built! 0803151000_1

Until next time…

~the mom

It’s getting to be the end of the season

I don’t think we’ll see any new bird nests until next year and all the babies are gone already. 😦

The splash park is coming along, though, slowly.

Splash park (2) Splash park

I’m worried that progress of the splash park has chased away the last of the nesters.

Two weeks ago, this nest only had two eggs and I’m pretty certain that 2 weeks is longer than the eggs normally hatch. They’re still pretty eggs. We’ll check again to see if there was any progress.

Bird house #1

And this partial nest hadn’t even been there but with all the noise and activity from construction, I wouldn’t be surprised that it still looks like this next week.  I guess it’s hard to tell that there’s still a hole at the bottom to show it’s not completed.

Bird house #2

The poor waterfall is even slowing down. I think it means we need more rain! You don’t normally see the rocks at the bottom of the second falls. (And yes, son #1 did climb down to get the bag of trash down there.)

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Our fun find of the week… Does anyone even play badminton anymore?


And, the ultimate ‘catch and release’ in the fishing program. I caught him with my camera 😉


Stay cool everyone, Fall hasn’t even started yet!

Until next week..

~the mom

Sorry I’m late blogging this week!

But, we still had fun out there. It was another really hot humid day so we didn’t make it the whole way around the lake, but we did find these in two of the bird boxes:

I think these didn’t hatch from the last time 😦


And look how the baby on the left is cuddles around an egg. I’m guessing that one might not hatch either 😦

20150713_22_1The splash park is still a long ways off…


And there were a couple interesting finds…

Anyone need a pen or a Fishing and Hunting Guide?

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Mom? Is that you?


It was so hot, the water wasn’t even running over the waterfall… How’s that for hot??


Stay cool people!

Until next week…

~the mom

Another beautiful day for a walk in the woods…

It had been over 100 for the last two weeks so getting out in the woods on Monday when it was about 75 was blissful! It did seem pretty hot and humid by the time we left, but that’s okay.

We found two baby Carolina Wrens in one of the boxes. It’s almost spooky at how quiet some birds are. We didn’t see mama (or daddy) and thought they might have flown the coop already but here they are…


We saw a lot of Cardinals flying around this picnic table. I did catch two in this picture – one under the table and one on the left side of the picture but you have to enlarge the picture to see the red spots that are Cardinals. I wonder if they’re attracted to any sort of bird box.


I’ve never seen the bluebird flying around the park, but I finally saw one. Here she is outside her box and then a picture of her pretty blue eggs she laid for us. 🙂

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Our fun find of the day, a party blower! Or the tiny frog?

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It’s very interesting to get out here each week or at least every other week and see that the same things happen every year (we found the tiny frogs about this time last year too.) But, it’s always changing, always different. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Until next time…

~the mom

I think it’s melting season!

Yeah, not mating or molting, just melting season. Even though I had to brush the pup twice last week and she’s molting and there are currently two active nests at the park so they’ve been mating…. I think I’m going to melt if I have to step foot outside again – 100+-degree temps all week! Ick.

Anyhow, after the melting, we did get out to the park yesterday. We’ve decided to leave dive-bombing mama alone. They’re putting a splash park up and the prepping started yesterday so I’m sure that will be enough trauma for her. The boys and I are wondering if we’ll be able to walk through the water every now and again or if we’ll have to pay extra for that. It would be a nice way to cool down.

Geese and babies:
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Pretty lake
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Lilly pads with flowers

Trash we can’t pick up 😦

Until next week…

~the mom