Sunday, July 31, 2005

Free Summer Activities


There are two words that I love when it comes to activities, well three in the summer. They are fun, free, and air conditioned, on Friday we checked out one of these it was the Hands on Science center at SUNY Oneonta It is located in the basement of the Physical Science building on the college campus. There were tons of hands on activities, from microscopes, to friction and everything in-between. Best of all we were the only ones there for the two hours we spent there. Each of the children I had with me were engrossed the whole time, we even received a complement on how well behaved the children were. We would have spent more time there but it closes at 4pm, so it is defiantly on the list to do again this winter, when cabin fever hits. Here are some pictures from the time we spent there.





Kathryn compareing air bubbles in water vs Karyo syrup.



Husband Don and son Conner learning about static electricity.



Nolan learning about air flow and how he needs more air for a heavier object.


Kathryn learning about friction.



Don and Sarah looking at there fingernails under the mircoscope.


Friday, July 29, 2005

Tramp to the Klondike part 6

May 24- 12 midnight – Boat Mexico leaves Seattle for Alaska. Left Tacoma at 4:30 pm.


May 25- Boat going nicely, everyone delighted, scenery simply grand: not out of sight of land yet


May 26- still nice weather; no storms; some sick. A dangerous route. Saw the remains of several boats that were wrecked. We are in the steerage with the rest of the hogs and cattle. Dirt will not tell it. I had to feed fish with the rest. (My note: this is a nice way of saying he got sick) It was very rough in the night; the old boat pitched and rolled quite a lively.


May 27- Very rainy. We are off the main ocean on the pass. Very smooth; quite different to what it was last night. Several of the passengers saw three whales; did not see them. I was in bed. Had a scrap on board between a sailor and a passenger. The passenger came out second. Both Irish.


May 28- Bad weather today. Yet the water is calm and smooth. We stopped at an Indian village by the name of Metlahkatla. They have a white man for a leader. He has educated the; they think the world of him. They don’t allow only two or three other white men on the island. One of them has a white wife. They have salmon canning factory, run by the Indians. They talk good English. On board we have 24 head of cattle, 50 head of sheep, and 10 head of hogs. They are quite close to our dining room. You can imagine the rest. None of the stalls have been cleaned since we left shore. We rather envy the cattle; they are better cared for then we are in every respect.

Thursday, July 28, 2005




Here is a picture of the Sarah and Nolan at the local town pool. They are the two childern facing the camera. It has been so hot out that we are at the pool almost every day. And I learned how to post a picture , doing a happy dance.

Time spent per subject

Now for how much time, I am letting him decide when to do each subject as he will be the only one I am home schooling this year, and he does most of his work independently.

But I am setting how much time he must spend on a subject each week. So he could do Math all one day, then science or a little each day.


Math – 1 hr per day – 5 hrs a week

Science- 1hr per day – 5 hrs a week

Writing – 30 mins a day – 2.5 hrs a week or when weekly writing is done.

Reading – 1hr per day – 5 hrs

Art History- 30 mins 3x a week – 1.5 hrs a week

Government- 30 mins 3x a week – 1.5 hrs a week

History- 1 hr per day – 5 hrs a week

Latin –45 mins a day – 3.75 hrs a week

Logic – 45 mins a day – 3.75 hrs a week

Typing -15 mins a day – 1.15 hrs a week

Civil Air Patrol studying – 30 3x a week – 1.5 hrs a week

Phys Ed – 30 min a day – 2.5 hrs a week (I don’t count it as time in the day as most of it happens at night.)

Total per day : he will run between 6 to 6.5 hours per day.


Now on some of these subjects he has a set amount of work each week, but others it as much as he can get done. Then he will get a 2-week break from that subject before starting the next book. For example Math, Science, Logic, and Latin are all as much as you can do subjects. While Writing, Reading, Art History, Government, History, and Typing are just certain amounts per week, and therefore if he finishes his work correctly early he is done for the week.

 And with the as much as you can do subjects he has to score at least a 90 or he redoes it agian, this prevents rushing.

In New York State 3 hrs a week per subject is considered a full- time class, for High School.

Curriculum Choices

My choices in curriculum for my 9th grade son are:


Tapestry of Grace Year 4- this will cover reading, writing, history, art history, and church history, American government.


Elementary Algebra – by Harold Jacobs


Exploring Creation through Biology – by Wile and Durnell


Lantia Christaisa level 1 and 2 – by Cheryl Lowe


Introductory Logic- by Douglas Wilson and James Nance


A typing program – which one yet I don’t know


So he will end up with the following credits:

History – 1

English- 1

Art History -.5

Math – 1

Science- 1

Latin – 1 maybe .5 depends on how much time he spends on it.

Logic - .5 (maybe 1 if he likes it and we do the second book too.)

Typing - .5

Phys Ed - .5 (maybe 1 depends on how much time he spends on it.)

Government -. 5

So he will have at least 7.5 credits possibly of 8.5 credits.


He also will be doing Civil Air Patrol work, but I am not going to give school credit for it except for the PT hours.

Tramp to the Klondike part 5

May 3- Visited the State University and other places of note, could give a full account of the city and country, having had to remain here for some time. We put in our visiting, sight- seeing, church-going, fishing, or at least tried to, but the day was to clear, could see thousands of trout in the water, in fact they were like a moving mass. My boy Heber may think this is a fish story; but it is quite true. The city is full of commotion; people getting ready to go to Alaska. We expect to start in a short time, but as yet have not purchased our outfit.


Have brought outfit as follows:



2 picks, 2 shovels, 1 ax, skinning knife, 2 gold pans, 1 gold scales, 4 pairs spectacles to protect eyes from snow, 3 buckets, knives and forks, spoons, fishing tackle. Half interest in tools to build boat, such as whipsaw, handsaw, bits and brace, nails, hatchets, cook stove, tent, which cost about $20.



2 pair blankets, 2 pair rubber blankets, 6 pair socks, gloves, towels, needles, thread. Boots and shoes alone cost $20. Mittens, hats, mackinaw, 2 pair overalls, 3 overshirts, 2 suits underclothes. Cannot give price of clothing because I brought several articles from home.


Groceries for Two


400 lbs Imperial Flour                         9.50

6 cans baking powder                         2.50

30 lbs pitted plums                              1.80

30 lbs evaporated apples                     2.10

30 lbs evaporated peaches                   2.00

30 lbsevaporatedapricots                  1.20

10 lbs tea                                              3.00

15 lbs coffee                                         4.50

20 lbs salt                                               .20

6 cans milk                                             .65

2-¼ lb mustard                                        .20

200 lbs bacon                                      23.00

100 lbs pink beans                                2.00

4 lbs evaporated onions                        2.00

6 lbs vegetable soup                              1.60

25 lbs evaporated potatoes                    4.90

100 lbs granulated sugar                       5.00

50 lbs yellow corn meal                          .85

40 lbs rolled oats                                   1.00

½ lb pepper                                              .20

10 lbs rice                                                .50

2 packages soda                                       .15

6 packages magic yeast                            .25

1 doz. Extract of beef                            4.00

5 cakes soap, tar                                      .25

3 bars Ivory soap                                     .50

1 bottle Buckeye vinegar                         .50

20 lbs salt sides                                      1.40

Canvas bags                                            3.60

10 boxes matches                                      .25






1oz quinine, 1oz fluid ex jess amine, 2 bottles of one minute cough cure, 1 bottle mustang liniment, 1 sack of Glauber salts.


Fire Arms, Etc.


2 guns, 2 revolvers, 400 shells, 2 big knives, 2 belts, lantern and oil.


The whole outfit weighed about 1,500 pounds.




Tramp to the Klondike part 4

April 29- 1897 Cloudy this morning has indications of rain. The name of the boat that sailed was Topeka. Several have been from here to Alaska and have struck it rich. Seattle is a good place to live in. Meals 10 cents, beds 25 cents.


April 30- Sunshine; everywhere beautiful. They tell us that it does not get as hot here as in Ohio, nor as cold in winter. It is quite the seaport. Ships come

here from China and all parts of the globe. A great many different flags are floating in the breeze.


May 1- Raining. Lots of Damp weather in Washington. Saw a six-seated bicycle. There is here a mammoth hotel not completed; the boom went down and work stopped. It would have been a fine structure if completed. The city covers thousands of acres.


May 2- Sun shining. Delightful day. Attended M.E. church; heard a good sermon on the Golden Rule. Attended Young People’s meeting. Sermon in the evening, “ The Good Fight.” It was plain that it was a working church.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Tramp to the Klondike part 3

April 25- Sunday Morning. Nabton, State of Washington. The Sun is shining and it is a beautiful day. Saw a flock of wild geese flying a little way from the train. The country along the road looks more like farming then in Dakota and Montana, though not to flattering. They have to irrigate to be sure of a crop and that is worse then under draining, but as we go down into the state it looks better. Lots of fruit trees in bloom, some very large orchards could be seen but too much sage bush. We are in sight of snow all the time. Further up the mountain the snow is from six inches to a foot over the ground. On the top of the Cascade Mountains we go through a mountain two miles long. As we go to the other side we go up and down, around the hills across the ravines. Zip we go, and here at last we are in Tacoma, Washington about 1pm. We took a room in the Grand Central Hotel. Beds 25 cents, meals at restaurants 10 cents up. Tacoma is a very fine city, 25,000 inhabitants. In the city of Tacoma Mr. Dallas found a relative, but by the way rather distant, an old miner by the name of C.A. Broken. Mr. and Mrs. Broken were very entertaining. In our conversation we found that he was very fortunate in the commencement of his mining career, having made $80,000 the first year and now has an interest in a gold mine in California. This is a good place to live in; several things to interest a person. Fishing is good and any amount of game. The roads are in good condition for cyclers; thousands on the road. It was not safe in the streets. Wheels as thick as bees in a swarm. A boatload of men, women, and children came over from Seattle, and every one of them had a bike. After having spent a very pleasant time in Tacoma, we left for Seattle on the 28th and found it a city of 65,000 inhabitants. The country between Tacoma and Seattle, is the most beautiful we have yet seen, but after all give us old Ohio. Ohio forever. Irrigation to us seems to be the greatest drawback in Washington. Here are very large dairies. We saw hundreds of calves in pasture, orchards in full bloom and garden truck well advanced. Peas six inches high and other truck accordingly. We walked a great deal over the city. The ocean comes up to the town. Streamers come here to be loaded. There is one going to Alaska in the morning.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Planning the School Year

Well yesterday I spent more time on getting my school year planned. Since my son has issues with handwriting I pre- typed his biology vocabulary words out into a worksheet for unit 1, he will only need to fill out the definitions. I also spent a lot of time pre-reading the book 20th Century by Peter Jennings. I found out that Ernest Hemingway was an ambulance driver in Italy in World War I, I always thought of him as a writer only. What I really like about this book so far is the personal stories that are in it, the first hand accounts of someone who saw the foxholes of World War I, or grew up as a black child in the Deep South with Jim Crow laws. I think that this year of TOG 4 will be an eye opener for both my son and me.

I also spent a chunk of time making planners for him; he will have two planners for the year. One to plan his work out on for the week, and the other to record what he actually gets done and how long it takes him as we need to record hours for high school in New York State. I think that two separate planners will be neater by the end of the year, next week I will get them copied and bound at Office Max.

Tramp to the Kondike part 2

Some days I will add one new day from the diary some days more, I hope you enjoy and if you are studying the Gold Rush this will help make your study more personal.

April 24, 1897 Montana is the country we are going through. Ground covered with snow. The mountain scenery is immense. There seems to be very good farming lands. There are two huge engines to our train, larger than I ever saw in Ohio. We passed a smelting mill in Prickly Pear Junction that used to smelt 250 carloads of ore per day, giving work to 500 hands. At present has only 300 owing to depression in sliver. The distance across the plains, what we would take to be a mile or so, was about forty miles. While enjoying the beautiful scenery we longed for the family, were it only to enjoy the indescribable scenery as we glided along.

  One of our fellow passengers is a Norwegian by the name of Rees. His name would indicate Welsh blood. Another is an old gentleman upwards of 70 years old; very good company, has traveled all over the United States;

quite familiar with the scenery as we pass along, having been along the road twelve different times; thinks the state of Washington is the one for farmers to make a home and fortune. We went though two long tunnels; had to wind around the mountain so as to get to the top.

  Canyons were deep. We could look down almost straight, which was anything but pleasant. We thought of the smashup should we go over.

  We are now on the highest point of the Rocky Mountains, 5,583 feet above see level.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Bound for Alaska

Bound for Alaska


April 20,1897 – Started from Ottawa, Putnam County, Ohio, at 1:16 pm; arrived at Chicago at 9:20 pm. Found good board at reasonable rates.


April 21- reached the fiftieth milestone on the journey of life kind providence has watched over me thus far. What awaits me in the future we shall see, or someone shall. Brought tickets, I say tickets because the party was made up of two, a Mr. J. T. Dallas, a young man of 22 years of Ohio State University. Paid $ 57.30 each for tickets to Tacoma, Wash. Left Chicago at 11:22pm.


April 22- Arrived at St. Paul at 3:15. At daylight could see the mountains of Illinois and Wisconsin. All along the banks of the Mississippi River is very mountainous and looks to be very poor land. The river of late has been very high, several miles of track being washed out, making traveling dangerous. We had to go very slow so as to avoid upsetting into the river. It looked quite scary as we went along. On board was a woman in great trouble trying to smuggle her pug dog on board. She succeeded.


April 23- Found us in North Dakota. Nothing much to be seen but snow. Drifts eight feet deep. Saw one horse on a hillside nearly covered over. We crossed the Missouri river, which was very muddy. All streams are high, making it very dangerous to travel. The land was anything but inviting, stock thin and seemed to have suffered, and they would get on the track, so that the train had to stop often to avoid running them over; had to get off and clear the track in order to proceed. Saw several colonies of prairie dogs.



Tramp to Klondike

I have decided to type up a diary that was written by my great great great – grandfather wrote when he went to the gold fields in Alaska. I will write a little more each day so come on by for a look. This book was written around 1899.


Tramp to Klondike

By R.W. Roberts






When the United States government purchased Alaska from Russia, European powers and diplomats in general were of the opinion that the sum, of 7,200,000 was far in excess of what would ever be realized from the transaction.


    But the two cents per acre paid was a good investment.


    It is true that Alaska is a country that offers but little inducement to the farmer, mechanic, or laborer. The snow and glaciers are not at all inviting of those of warmer climates. Yet not with standing all of this, the purchase of Alaska has already proved to be paying investment. The fur trade alone has paid back the purchase money in royalties. While the salmon industry has been simply enormous, and not only proved sufficient to supply our people, but has found it’s way to foreign shores.


    The output of Alaskan gold mines until recently has not attracted much attention, though the Treadwell gold mine and possibly a few others, have turned out more gold then had been generally supposed.


     But today “ Alaska”,” Yukon”, “ Klondike”, and gold in connection with those names almost demand the leading place in newspaper columns and occupy the uppermost place in the minds of thousands of not only Americans, but of those of every civilized country on the globe.


     There are very few things, if any that can create such an excitement as the discovery of gold. What is there that man will not endure in order to obtain it? And the only thing needed to reach the North Pole is the assurance that there is gold there; ready to yield to the miner’s pick and shovel. If from any credible source such assurance should come, then in less than six months there will be a highway cut out, even on glaciers if needs be, and a fair sized mining camp established and taken possession of, but the North Pole actually changed to a May Pole with the American flag waving on top.

       This little book contains the history of the journey, trials, hardships, and endurance of one of the many who have succeeded of late in reaching Dawson City, the haven of the Klondike gold seekers.


      Mr. R.W. Roberts, the gentleman who wrote the diary, is a farmer, born a few miles north of Vaughsville and six miles west of Columbus Grove, in the county of Putnam, Ohio. He has always lived on the farm on which he was born, until he left for Alaska. His family lives there now.


      The writer is well known, not only in his own county, but also is known to many in the adjoining counties. He has devoted considerable time and care to the raising of thoroughbred cattle, and he is very well thought of by those who have known him since a boy. He was Justice of the Peace for six years and has filled other positions of trust to the satisfaction of all. Since his visit to Europe, he has felt a stronger desire then ever to see the more romantic sights of his own country.


Whatever is written in his “ Little Red Book,” as he calls his diary, will be most readily believed by all who have known him.


He did not write it for publication, but simply for the benefit of Mrs. Roberts and the children.


Allusions to family matters here and there in the diary (though omitted here) prove that he never meant it to be published. The neighbors and friends of the family advised Mrs. Roberts to publish it, and with the assistance of Rev. J.G. Thomas, of Lima, who was for some years a neighbor of Mr. Roberts, the diary was prepared for the press. And now will tell the story of how Mr. Roberts succeeded in reaching the Klondike, where gold awaits the lucky prospector.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Setting up TOG Year 4

This year I am using Tapestry of Grace Year 4 with my 13year old son; this will be our first time using this curriculum. In the past we have used sonlight, and some abeca that did work well .But I wanted something that used lots of reading real books and I could use full time with my older son and after school with my younger children. TOG looks like it will do this for me and at a price we can afford. I really like the way the writing program was written, with grading rubrics and everything; great for writing challenged person like me.

 So I spent today setting up my binders; I am placing everything in sheet protectors, as I tend to read while I eat or am drinking tea. I am also making my own planning book for Patrick to fill out not only for his TOG, but his other studies to. I am also trying to design a calendar for him to fill out the time he spends each day on each subject, as I need to track hours for him.

I have started reading unit 1 and I am thinking to myself this child is going to have a better understanding of 20th century history then I ever had. I am starting my list of books that I will need to get from the library and which ones I will need to buy and when. I am getting a handle on things I think, and by September when we start working on schoolwork each day I should be ready.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Filing away Life

Filing is a chore that I hate to do, but when done the rewards are great. Yesterday I went through the school files from last year in preparation for this upcoming school year; it was hard not to cry. As I saw in writing and in pictures the growth of all my children.

On a deeper level filing is also a reflection of our life. When I file I see the big picture of what we think is important to us. Whether it be receipts for our puppet ministry or Boy Scout and Girl Scout awards. I see all the military paper work, the dental bills, the medical bills, and I think what a life we live. To have a husband who has a steady job, food on the table, and the ability to share Christ with others as a family. I also see the busyness that sometimes takes over; I think do I need to pare down some of the extras, what is really important to God. But then I see our family and think God has blessed us with this life, and as long as we serve God, then I will live the busy life that my family blossoms on.


And now a little about what I saw in my childern's school life as I went though the files. Patrick once again with little effort was able to bring home A’s from the local school, and seeing this reaffirmed the decision we have made to once again home school. Sarah in her first year at the local school worked so very hard and to see her September work compared to her June work is proof of that effort. Conner’s reading just grew this year from a 2.2 at the beginning of the year to a 3.8 at the end, not bad for a boy going into 3rd grade. Nolan well you really cannot put this child into words, one more year of public school for him and he will be home schooled as his learning rate is higher then most. He received an award for straight A’s in all subject’s all year long, and in reading alone he went from 1.1 to 4.0.And last but defiantly not least we have Kathryn the baby, she did a ½ day pre-k and went from a child who was spoiled by her older siblings to one who wants to help.


Since I have a mixture of home schooling, after schooling, and public school, for school filing I do the following. Each week I file a sample of writing, math, photos, and sometimes an art project the rest I toss when they are not looking. Then at the end of the year all of these papers are looked at, some I do toss but most I place into a big envelope label with their name and place in a tote in the garage. I keep in the file their report cards, end of the year testing, and a list of goals. I hope to someday to make a book of their work with samples from babyhood to graduation.


Monday, July 18, 2005

Why Eagle's Nest

Three years ago we moved from a city were you could say pass the salt to your neighbor though the window, to 7.5 acres in the country. Well my husband said that a house with this much land needs a name, so after much thought it became The Eagle’s Nest. The reasons being that not only are we an Air Force family and are active in Civil Air Patrol. But the verse in the Bible Isaiah 40:31 “ But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. “ 


We view our home as a haven for children, not only our own but also their friends. This summer we have 2 extra children with us my niece and nephew, and I can say they are growing. Not only taller with the amount of food they consume, but as children. They love to play outside, climb trees, swimming lessons; even chores and schoolwork are getting done. A big thank you to my sister Sabrina for letting me borrow her children this summer to enjoy.


That is were the word nest came, I want my home to be a nest were all children are welcome to rest, learn, and grow. A place were children feel safe and loved, and grow not only taller, but as future adults. For now that means having nieces and nephews during the summer and school breaks, but in the future maybe children from other lands.