On The Trail

Homeschool Hiking


After Christmas Yarn Along

What fun I had this year knitting things for Christmas! I think I managed to get pictures of everything except the washcloths I made for my mother in law so here is what I made other than those!


From a previous yarn along….mittens for all my day care kiddos! That would be 7 of them! I loved watching them open the mittens because most of them got so excited. Often they want to use some of Maddie’s old mittens that no longer fit. Kids know when something has built in love!


A hat for my mom. The I-cord can be untied and the hat pulled down over her head to be a neckwarmer! Here is the link to my ravelry page with all the details!


A mason jar cozy and cuppow lids for Brian! I think we need to find a smaller jar. I will admit to using one I already had. It may work for the dip cup but not for drinking!! Here is that link! And many thanks to Ginny at Small Things for the idea!!


That got me searching on Ravelry for mason jar cozy patterns because I thought it was such a fun idea! This one popped up and I couldn’t resist making one for Maddie. I knew that a Lego minifigure would be more her speed than a fairy though! Here is the link. And I love opening the cupboard now to get out a cup!



This is a linen stitch bookmark for my Dad! Here is the link.

I just finished a “regular” pair of mittens for Maddie using the leftover yarn from her felted pair. So far this winter is not a good one for overly warm outerwear! We need some snow!!


Maddie’s sunday school teacher would like to learn to knit so Maddie wanted to dye some yarn for her! We did that using some Knitpicks Wool of the Andes superwash Bare yarn and kool aid. Maddie was so please with how it came out and her teacher loved it!

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Poor kiddo–look at those eyes! The next day we took her to the doctor for an ear infection! Fortunately she was all better for Christmas Eve and Day!


My current project is a prayer scarf. This is for church. We are planning a prayer shawl meeting for January and hopefully will be teaching some people how to knit the shawls. I thought perhaps a scarf would be easier for a beginner as it would be less intimidating. I have read that some churches give them away to graduating seniors. I thought I should try it first though!

I am currently reading Outlander on the kindle. There was a deal on it and I wanted to re-read the series. I am listening to The Black Count by Tom Reiss. This is about Alexander Dumas and his father. I have not yet read The Count of Monte Cristo but now it is on my list! The book is one of Brian’s favorites and now I can understand why!


This is the inside of the green notebook in the picture above. Maddie gave it to me for Christmas. Isn’t that cute! I love it.

How was your holiday? I hope you had a good one! What are you working on and reading in the new year?

Joining Ginny at Small Things for the Yarn Along.


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Nature Trails and Aquascopes

We visited the Nature Center right next to Thatcher Park on the day after Christmas to take a short hike and work off some of the yummy roast beef from Christmas dinner. We really enjoyed the nature center and have marked it down as a place to visit on a rainy day. Today we were more interested in getting outside!



This nature table really made me smile. Not only were things all over the top but in bins down the sides and things that wouldn’t fit were on the floor. Hmmm…looks like our house!

We started down the nature center trail first but it got very swampy very quickly. Maddie was the only one of us with waterproof boots! There were some pretty spots on this trail though!

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We turned around and went back to the parking area. This had a trailhead for the schoolhouse trail. That ended at a 1 room schoolhouse so we headed up there. We didn’t do the entire trail but did make it to the schoolhouse. Things were very marshy and swampy, not at all December weather!

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The schoolhouse has been restored and the ring next to it was kept from the original CCC camp and then a Boys & Girls camp. Both camps used it as a fire alarm!

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The birds have discovered our new bird feeders. I was able to get a fun shot of a tufted titmouse at the new window feeder. I didn’t notice our small defender of the seed until after I took the picture! It makes the shot even more fun.


There may not be enough snow to play with the new sled, new snowshoes or new snowbrick maker but it means the water is open so Maddie could play with the new aquascope! We went down to Collins Park to try it out. There wasn’t much but rocks to see however it worked really good! Maddie can’t wait for spring and summer to do some exploring.

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I wonder what adventures tomorrow will bring!

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We had a lovely Christmas Eve and Day. Maddie participated in the pageant at church as Gabriel. We enjoyed watching her and all the little angels who couldn’t stand still! I did a video of one of her speaking moments but managed to take it sideways! Here are the pictures we took though!

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When we got home we did the traditional by the tree picture then Maddie opened her Christmas jammies box. This year I added in A Christmas Carol and a jiffy pop pan. We already had the movie but hadn’t watched it yet. Maddie discovered Jiffy Pop last week and currently thinks that is the coolest thing ever.

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Christmas Day we woke up early and headed downstairs. Maddie is “in the know” about Santa but that didn’t stop her Dad from making a “cell” and writing from Santa on it! What is a “cell”? A cell is small present, usually something like a nut, piece of candy or button or coin, that gets wrapped over and over in ever increasing box sizes. Maddie lucked out and there  was a lego minifigure at the end of it all!

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Some other fun presents were a new mug for Brian and the marshmallow shooters that are in use right now! In fact there is a lot of running back and forth in front of my window by the computer!

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The photo above was fun! Brian and I got some things Maddie would find useful at winter camp and wrapped it all up together in one box. I had Maddie’s name tag from summer still downstairs on the china cabinet and made a copy of it for her tag! She loved it!

I slacked off with the camera after that! We had a nice breakfast with Poppa Jim & Mamaw Louise followed later in the day with a lovely roast beef dinner cooked by Brian with Poppa Bill & Mamaw Mary. Then we pulled out of some the new games in the evening and had fun playing them and snuggling in! Today we are heading out for a hike to get some fresh air and work off some of that roast beef dinner! Not to mention the marshmallow warriors might need some more ammunition! Maybe I should’ve bought 2 bags……


Christmas knitting!

I have been knitting mittens! Lots of mittens. I think I have the classic pattern memorized at this point but all my day care kiddos will have toasty hands! I decided last year to go with mittens and a book for a Christmas present. Its something they can all use and won’t add to the clutter in their homes. Well, I am assuming that 1-there is clutter and 2-mitttens won’t add to it! I also finished a pair of Snow Country Felted mittens for Maddie. Somehow one came out larger than the other but both fit! She loves them which is great. They are keeping her hands warm and in the last bit of nasty, heavy and wet snow they also kept them dry! Its a winner!

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I am currently reading North and South by John Jakes. Maddie will be doing a unit on the civil war soon. While North & South can’t really count as research I am enjoying getting into the time period with it! As you can see Maddie is re-reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone along with another book about fairy tales. What are you crafting, knitting and reading? Joining Small Thing for the yarn along.

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We have had a busy few weeks so I thought I would take a minute to catch us up!

Maddie really enjoyed her last time out trick or treating as a trick or treater! She dressed as Lucy from Narnia. The costume easily thrilled every little girl we met and quite a few big girls too!


Of course we also made a pumpkin! A large pumpkin!!

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Maddie also had a great field trip with Poppa Bill and Mamaw Mary to watch a farrier at work. I have one shot of her on the way and will need to get her to put some of her photos into a post of their own later on. She loved learning something new, meeting the horses and getting some more photo lessons with Poppa.


We made another trip to the Albany Devils with the homeschoolers and another to the Christman Sanctuary with 4H.

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We helped at the 4H table at the local Science Museum, MiSci, when they held their science fair. We ended up helping 200 kids make and launch rockets. We were exhausted after that afternoon! I was proud of Maddie and her friend though, they were troopers and a great help.

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We also attended the 4H recognition dinner and worked on crafts to pack into our shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child to be sent at the end of the month.

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We woke up this week to some beautiful snow! We had a lovely Thanksgiving and are now working on getting ready for Christmas! More to come about that….it might involve one of us being Gabriel in the church pageant. I’ll give you one guess who that will be! Enjoy some of Maddie’s snow photos!

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