Wednesday, April 30, 2014

PWOC Bookends

We KNEW we needed to do lots of school on Monday, Thursday and Friday this week.

The day began with three of us heading into to Protestant Women of the Chapel (all the girls).  We just have a few weeks of Bible Study left of this semester.

We followed PWOC with a lunch meeting with two gals who are future leaders in PWOC. It was fun to share our hearts for women's ministry. I look forward to working with both Jennifer and Rebekah...and I did not take a single photo - those the PWOC logo. ::wink::

I came home for a bit and then headed back to base with all the kids this time for Family Bible Study. Michael and I were take over teaching this one - so far he's taught and I've raised havoc with well-timed questions.

I ran right out of the study and directly home. I had a date to Skype with a Bible Study at Camp Zama, Japan about parenting. It was a wonderful time to share with the gals.

A full day - bookended with  PWOC.

Choosing Joy!
©2014 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Lunch at Bidwell Park

We've tried a couple of things for lunch after field trips. We've gone to restaurants together when the weather was bad and we've done picnics. I much prefer picnics. At the restaurant my kids were at a table by themselves, I found another Mom sitting alone and joined her....but at a park....much more opportunity to interact with each other. This is an unexpected bonus to our field trips.  

There are various groups and play groups on base - most aimed at younger kids. April had a heart to create a group which would plan trips and "play dates"  "socialization opportunities" for those of us with  homeschool kids who were too old for the other groups.  It's been fun to watch her vision grow and bear fruit in the past six months. I look forward to seeing how God uses it to bless homeschooling families at Beale in the upcoming year. 

This was an odd trip-the only families able to break away mid-week were April's and ours - plus one young gentlemen.  Bidwell Mansion is booked months in advance and they didn't have any Fridays open this year.... I missed the "group," but  I loved watching my older children have the chance to interact with April's older boys. I liked the mommy socialization as well. ::wink::

We lunched at  Bidwell park. April is a rock star to have FOUND it given the directions we were given. There are walking trails, big open fields, swings, a very dirty outside pool and BATHROOMS. The park also boasted a few adults who seemed a bit alarmed at KIDS showing up at the park - but they need to broaden their experiences. ::snort::

In the absence of basketball courts, the  kids enjoyed playing frisbee

 Eventually Stacia opted to play badminton and house with Aneisa. 

This moment cracked me up. We found a deserted swing set.....note all the big kids are swinging and our two youngest are standing in the corner watching them. They did get a turn. 

The older boys scouted out the other side of the park for us. They had hopes of finding a basketball court; instead they found an amazing Kids' Park. We spent a bit of time there as well - within minutes something floating in the air had April's allergies going crazy. 

Check out THIS car which is for sale. I would be tempted to buy it for the artwork, but the overall message was a bit liberal for Arielle or I to be driving around the state. 

Choosing Joy!
©2014 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Panning for Gold at Bidwell Mansion

After our tour of Bidwell Mansion we went to a lecture on the CA Gold Rush and tried our hands at panning for gold.

Rather than writing a lot about the Gold Rush, I'll just post the photos of the slides I snapped. 

Doesn't he look a bit like a gold-crazed 49er? 

The kids did enjoy this experience. I've decided it was worth the cost. ::snort:: 
Choosing Joy!
©2014 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Bidwell Mansion

Today was our last field trip of this school year with our Beale group. We visited Bidwell Mansion in Chico, CA.  There were only two families plus one boy, but it was a great trip. Arielle was thrilled to get more highway time in.  

The day began in panic mode as we realized my camera bag (and wallet) were not at home. I didn't feel I could be the "licensed driver" for Arielle for a long trip without a license. We caught the M family before they left base and they swung by the lab to find Michael and get the keys. My bag was in the back of his car. We met up on a hwy heading out of town. I helpfully stood on the corner so April would see me...but wasn't a great area of town....she pulled up and threw the bag out the window and drove off.  I jumped in our van and drove off. ::snort::  I was happy we always leave lots of margin as we ended up making it on time for our tour. 

The Bidwell mansion was the home of John and Annie Kennedy Bidwell, built in the 1850's. Their story was fascinating and the home is gorgeous. I love the cupola so John could see all of the 26,000 acres he owned from his lair. More info in the last two photos. 

The antiques were amazing.....

150 years old - Annie's piano took 6 months to ship from DC to CA

 John and Annie

Check this out. See the wheels? It converts from a high chair to a stroller! 

Annie was a suffragette

Gramophone in the library

Annie's dressing room - she was 4'8" and John was 6'1"

One of the first homes with indoor plumbing...check out the elephant toilet

Toys in the nursery

An 1850's laptop ::snort:: 

I loved the kitchen....loved it!

Not so crazy about the laundry room. ::snort:: 

Can you read the dinner menu? 

Like Downton Abby. ::grin:: They had handles on the walls in rooms to ring the various bells in the kitchen. 

I love how the counter slopes down to the basin.

A dream stove.

Can you guess what this is? Some guessed stairs for Annie....
 Pies would be put here to cool!!

Choosing Joy!
©2014 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...