Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sam DID turn 11 :)

I just realized that I never put up any pictures from Sam's birthday. They are few, he's wearing swim clothes and my camera dies at the end, never to recover, yet, I will post them to prove that he did indeed turn 11 at the end of July.Sam and his gifts.

A West Virginia bird guide.

A book that he had been asking for.

An airsoft gun that he also had been asking for. It comes with plastic pellets that it shoots. The neighborhood boys have wars around our house with these guns (wearing protective eye-gear, of course).

This is the point where the lens of my camera ceased to adjust itself to focus for pictures. Only blurry pictures from here. You can tell here that he is smiling, though. And perhaps vaguely that there are 6 apple dumplings in the pan for his birthday dessert.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Art Project: Egg Paint

We did our first art project from this book. Copying the technique of artist, Giotto, from the 1200's, we created our own paint by mixing egg yolk and a little water with some finely ground up minerals, berries, etc. (chalk, in our case).
The boys searched out some round stones to use for grinding. We got out different colors of chalk ends that had collected in the bottom of our bag of sidewalk chalk. We used some old bowls and the boys had a great time grinding, grinding the chalk into powder.

We had six different colors by the time we were tired of grinding.

Mixing in the egg yolk and stir, stirring.

The boys were delighted with this idea of making "our own" paint. They enjoyed it much more than I anticipated. Something about childhood, I guess, that is fascinated with figuring out the origins of things. On their own they have "made" many things that I remember making when I was little too (perfume, clay bowls from clay they've dug up, etc.)

Displaying the egg paintings. Didn't the red come out nice and bright? Ben wasn't feeling well and didn't paint a picture. Amelia sort of did and wanted to be included in this picture even though (ahem) she dressed herself and did her own hair that day!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Little Something to Show Off

Ben has a neat, new cast to show off!
He randomly twisted his foot last week upon hitting a chair while running in the basement. We waited a few days, thinking it was nothing, but the swelling and pain didn't go away. Sure enough, he slightly fractured a bone in his foot and the Dr. decided to cast it to avoid the risk of him hitting it and causing a complete fracture that would require surgery. Really not a major injury, but he gets all the appearance of one! He's doing just fine. :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Tour of Completed Projects On Our Home

I thought I'd post some pictures of the changes to our home and some projects that got finished over the summer. I took these with things as they were. I did very little, and in most cases, nothing, to fix up the rooms before photographing them. If you came to visit me, this is what you'd see, so....welcome to my home!
I'll begin upstairs. You've already seen the new paint on the girls room. We also painted the third upstairs bedroom, that used to be the boys' room. The walls are now a lovely light blue. It is the same color as the boys' new room. The can of paint we used was left over from that painting job. Currently, I'm doing the seasonal clothing shift and all the boxes of clothes from the attic are relegated to this spare room. I haven't fixed up this room at all yet. It does have and will continue to hold a guest bed and my sewing machine and sewing supplies. I plan to move the crib in here when we move Cecily to a bed. It should provide a quiet space for the new baby to sleep until he/she is big enough to move into a room with siblings.
There was some wall paper to scrape in this room, so that took a little time. Then we shampooed the carpet and primed and painted the walls. It's very ready for me to situate the furniture and hang some curtains when I get around to it.

The next change is downstairs. Again, I haven't really worked at fixing up this room yet, but it is functionally arranged and is serving as very useful workspace for Peter and for Sam and Will to do independent school work. This is the "office."

One helpful change done here was this built-in bookshelf that has replaced the old doorway to the unfinished storage space that used to be on the other side. Peter is able to have a lot more of his commentaries and study helps near his desk because of it.

Around the corner is the laundry room. :) New flooring. Though insignificant to all but, perhaps, myself, the sturdy laundry sorter is new and a welcome addition as well as the drying rack. Both allow me to avoid the look of clothes laying all over the room!

Nothing new has been done to the bathroom here, but you can see a bit of the new ceiling and lighting in the laundry room in this shot.

Continuing to the right is the hallway to the boys' new room (used to be unfinished storage space) and the new doorway.

"Welcome to my room!"

Looking to the left.

A desk behind the door. It's all-purpose writing space for anyone who needs to do schoolwork in there or another activity on their own (writing letters, etc.). This door is an outside door and is just kept locked and unused for right now.

Looking to the right.

The two closets on the end are so nice. This one is full of shelves.

And this one is for clothes storage.

I just labeled sections for the boys' church clothes recently to help them keep them separate and organized.

One last look down the length of the room from the closet end. I still have several organizational and aesthetic changes I'd like to make, but I didn't want to wait to get that done to post some pictures of the room. We're SO grateful for the room and the space it provides for the boys.

Here's a view of the back of our house, the way it looks now. Peter finished dismantling the portion of the deck that was around the pool. Kent, from church, built the stairs to the new room, planted grass where the old deck used to be, finished up the side of the remaining deck so that it is complete and also painted the deck for us.

Here's a look at how the deck looks now.

And last and definitely least, Peter put sand in the bottom of the playtower to create a sandbox. This has been highly enjoyed by all, but especially the toddlers in the last several weeks.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cheery Tulips Today

It isn't spring, yet we made tulips today. It was actually a project from Calvin's phonics curriculum for the letter 'T', but I thought all of the younger kids would enjoy doing it. Cecily received a substantial amount of assistance, but the other three traced, cut, and glued all on their own.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Do I Look Different?

Guess what?!! We are now picture-able again! I was starting to get pretty itchy to start posting pictures again, so it worked out at a good time. :) First to welcome you back is Cecily. She's first because she's the one whose behavior and words daily remind us that she is growing up. She got a little haircut and I've been wanting to update the grandmas on her new look. Her 2nd birthday is less than a month away and I guess she's having a growth/development spurt. She's talking so much more. She said her first sentence. (Even if it was, "This is unders.") And her comprehension is amazing.
She's showing you that we removed the side of her crib to turn it into a toddler bed. She's doing very well adjusting to her new freedom to get out of bed on her own.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

B17 Flying Fortress "Sentimental Journey"

A couple of days ago Samuel came into the house from playing outside and said, "I just saw a B -17 Flying Fortress fly over our house." Hmm...we weren't sure what to make of that claim. But sure enough, the front page of the newspaper the next day had a picture of the World War II plane and a brief explanation that it was visiting the Morgantown Airport for two days, tours available. We made our way out to the airport this morning, not knowing what to expect, but giving it a try since it was our last chance to see this restored plane. The picture above is one I found on the web. This is the same plane we saw, but there weren't this many people there. In the end, we didn't get a tour inside the plane because they were preparing it for a flight. They allowed people to see it from the outside though, for free, and Samuel walked his brothers, sisters and I through a marvelous, informative tour of the outside. I had NO idea he knew so much. I think I enjoyed hearing all of the information he knew more than seeing the plane, but the plane was truly amazing and interesting to see.

The B-17 is over 74 feet long and has a wingspan of 103 feet. It is also bristling with offensive armament. The latest B-17 model carried 13, 50 caliber machine guns, and could carry about 8,000 pounds of bombs. This model carried one major attribute not found in the others; it had a Chin Turret. This is located under the front end. This was added to protect the plane from head on attack.

This is the same model.
Mom: I see so much in the above picture that I never would have noticed before. Notice the ball turret on the bottom, dorsal turret on top, chin turret below the nose, all with guns sticking out, not to mention the tail guns, the waist guns in the middle and the cheek position guns. There are 13 machine guns sticking out in every direction to protect this plane. It makes it so interesting to walk around it and see all these positions where the gunners would have perched. The bombay doors on the bottom of the plane were open and we could walk underneath and look up into the compartment where the bombs were stored. Just in case this is at all interesting to you, I'm including a link to a picture slideshow tour that shows the inside from nose to tail.


Mom: Above and below are blueprint pictures for a different plane, the model that my Grandfather, Frank Vernon, flew in and loaded: B24 Liberator. We did a little comparison to see the differences.
Samuel: The blueprints above are for the kind of plane that was more commonly flown in the Pacific theatre. Grandpa Frank probably would have been more likely loading something like this. It has a wingspan of a 110 ft. and it's length is 66 ft. It would have been very well armed with about 10 guns and 8,800 lbs. of bombs.

This plane looks a little less graceful than the B17 and the wings are a lot higher up on the fuselage (that is the main trunk of the plane). In the Pacific, especially during the later part of the war, bomber squadrons with these planes would have operated off islands such as Iwo Jima, and Chichi Jima.
The above blueprint pictures were all obtained from www.the-blueprints.com.