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Holiday Highlights: Visitors, Puppies, Museum, a Concert, and More

Week four of our holidays has been one highlight after the other, and my head is spinning.

On Sunday we were blessed with a family of expected  visitors, and two families of unexpected ones.  We had twenty-three people for lunch!  Unfortunately we  couldn’t spend as much time with anyone as we really wanted to, but it was still a wonderful time.  What did we feed them, you wonder?  Well, brownies and juice and coffee.  Then cornbread, gazpacho, and salmon asparagus bisque.  And one family brought a huge basket of fresh, juicy peaches, the kind you just can’t get in a store.  Yum!   

Our puppies have settled in quite well.   (Photos coming next week!)  They are great friends and cry if they are left alone.  Apparently this is not a good thing, but we’ve found it very convenient.  When Chester escaped from their ‘playpen’—a trampoline frame lined with chicken wire—Rex let us know right away.  

We’re looking at dog-training books from the library and will soon begin a new adventure.  Right now the question is:   How do we choose a dog-training method that will work for us?  (If you have any advice or experience, please leave a comment.)

In the formal learning department, the three younger girls are busy with Time4Learning.  Miss 17 just started ALEKS chemistry to help her with the Advanced Apologia Chemistry.  Miss 7 spends a lot of time in a big chair reading Amelia Bedelia books.  At least we think she’s reading, and we’re not about to interfere.  Miss 12 has been experimenting with new recipes, sewing, and spending a lot of time playing the organ.  Mr 15 has downloaded the trial version of Adobe Photoshop and is learning Java as well as more HTML for his website. 

A photographer friend gave us a photo tour of Spain.  Fascinating stories accompanied his stunning pictures of nature, towns, cathedrals, and people.  We also learned about Newfoundland—the colors of the houses, the birds in Witless Bay, whale sightings, and more.  Actually,  most of the things I know about China I learned from his pictures as well.   Same goes for Russia.  Perhaps someday he will  publish his photos and stories so more people can enjoy them. 

Since the weather was fine, we drove into Ottawa for a free outdoor concert, given on the grounds of the War Museum.  That same afternoon the War Museum was free, so we also enjoyed it. 

At the War Museum we learned about tanks, cannons, and even a wall-climber, as well as General Crerar’s portable office.  Apparently, General Crerar wanted to be near the front, so rather than living in a mansion far away, he set up his office in trailer close to the action.  Eisenhower, Montgomery, and even Churchill sat around the small table that we saw, or perhaps on the little couch.  (Sorry, no photos.)

We also visited the special exhibit Camouflage, a fascinating eye-opener.  It covers everything from land camouflage patterns, to the wildly-different technique of naval camouflage called dazzle, to dummies’ heads peeking out of the trenches, to fake hollow trees stealthily put up in place of real ones at night.  If you ever have the chance to see it, do go.   

And then, of course, the concert.  The orchestra was up on a huge covered stage, and the audience sat on lawn chairs, picnic tables, and blankets. Food vendors lined one side of the field and a kid zone, first aid tent, and more lined the other.  Miss 7 got her face painted with the prettiest pink sparkly heart, and was the happiest little girl there.  During the concert she lost most of the sparkles on my shirt while snuggling, but she hasn’t washed her face since.  The concert itself was stupendous, although it did start with a silly modern classical piece.  Miss 7 asked why the lady was screaming.  It does fit in with a certain worldview, I suppose, to have soaring notes end in a harsh scream.  We preferred Beethoven and Schumann. 

I got a hand-me-down laptop last night and will now be able to post photos easily, although I’ll still limit them for my dial-up friends.  To my husband’s astonishment, Mr 15 was able to do all the cleaning up and setting up of the laptop—no professionals needed. 

To see what other families are up to, visit Canada Girl and Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.


  1. Lydia says:

    For a few pics of the puppies you can go to http://holsteinfriesian.blogspot.com/

  2. Stacy says:

    Isn’t it nice how we can take a “virtual vacation” through the internet of distance lands which we’d never see in person?

    Are you getting pumped up for the official start of the new school year? DD will start next week (at her insistence.) Gotta love it when the dks are ready to get things started.

    1. Annie Kate says:

      Well, I’m not at all ready for the new school year to start, but I have done a lot of planning. We all need a few more weeks off, though. I’m glad it is possible.

      Besides, the children are learning too much on their own to stop for formal schoolwork. LOL

      Annie Kate

  3. Canadagirl says:

    Sounds like you had a GREAT week. What neat things you all are doing ! And congrats on your laptop. [0= I love using mine. Even though I don’t use mine on my lap. I have it parked at the dinning room table during the non meal times. [0=

    Pray that the rest of you summer continues to be great. ((HUGS))


  4. joelle says:

    Sounds like some fun things for everyone this week.

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