On The Trail

Homeschool Hiking

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And we finished…..

We finished the last Harry Potter book this week-Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. So that meant we watched the movie tonight! Well, part 1 any way. We will watch part 2 on Friday. So we had the same dinner we ate for the first movie. Sausage and peppers and fries or as we like to think of it, an Americanized bangers and mash.

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Lego Harry was enjoying the movie and checked out dinner too!

Since tomorrow is Father’s Day we got Brian an English beer to enjoy along with dinner and dessert was ice cream pops. Chocolate to keep the Dementors at bay, Peanut Butter for Father’s Day.


And now Maddie and I will have to search for a new series to read! Maddie enjoyed this one so much as I knew she would! Currently we picked up A Nest for Celeste and are really enjoying it. The format is very interesting. It is a chapter book but there are lovely illustrations as well. It will be fun to find something new to read.


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Rangers, Owls and Shakespeare! What we’ve been up to!

Maddie finished her PASS test on Saturday morning. As a reward for completing it we headed up to the Saratoga National Historic Park to see a program with a wildlife rehabilitator. She brought raptors for everyone to see! Maddie was delighted and took many photos. They were so neat and some of the information the rehabilitator shared was so interesting. Did you know that the barred owl’s hearing is so good that he could hear everyone’s heart beating in the room? I couldn’t imagine the noise inside that poor owls head…the room was packed!

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screech owl                                                falcon


Maddie and the barred owl-her favorite!


Snowy owl named Oz. He immediately coughed up an owl pellet much to Maddie’s delight and several groans and “EEEEEUUUU”s from the audience.                                     .


Harry Potter display! Snowy Owl on the right and a European Eagle Owl on the left.


European Eagle Owl which is Draco Malfoy’s owl in the Harry Potter movies! Maddie got shots of him flying across the room to his perch!






Then we headed out to check out a used bookstore and have some dinner at The Farmer’s Daughter. I couldn’t resist this shot!


After that it was back to the park for a walk with the park naturalist. We were supposed to be seeing woodcocks but unfortunately we only heard them. Our big news of the night was spotting a Great Horned Owl sitting in a tree then flying across the field. We were thrilled. Unfortunately we weren’t able to get a good shot of the owl as it was too far away. We did try but really it looks like a blob in the tree! We did see a lot of other birds, heard a symphony of wood frogs and saw 3 deer.

Here are Maddie and Brian before the walk!


Here are some of Maddie’s photos. We were out in the park until 9pm so we got to watch the sun go down while waiting hopefully for a woodcock to “dance”.


Proof that Momma was indeed there!


Can you spy the bird in the tree? It was a yellow bellied sapsucker.


Maddie loves shots of trail or roads leading around the bend. At least they seem to show up often in her photos!


It was a beautiful night. We could see all the way to Vermont!

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The photos above were all taken by Maddie at the Barber’s Wheat Field stop while waiting patiently for the woodcocks to put in an appearance!

We got home late, very tired but happy despite the woodcocks staying hidden!

Tonight we celebrated Shakespeare’s birthday (well, maybe…a best guess is April 23 but we haven’t had time until now). Maddie made some signs to hang up for Daddy when he got home.

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I made shepard’s pie which was the closest thing I could think of that would be easy on a weeknight to make for the time period. It may not have been exactly the right thing but meat pie was at least in the area! I used my new favorite recipe for shepard’s pie from The How Can It Be Gluten Free? cookbook. We also read some questions about Shakespeare’s life and some quotes from the plays to determine what the meaning might be. So many of our phrases and words today come from his plays. We had fun with that! Especially since many of them had some very silly incorrect answers.


I also made cupcakes for dessert. The activity pack I purchased had the cards with questions, the poster and these cupcake wrappers among some other things.

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After dinner Maddie used her finger puppet theater to do parts of A Midsummer Night’s Dream for us. That was a lot of fun to watch!


(yup, I know she spelled his name wrong! We need to work on that I think!)

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I am quite please with how the Shakespeare unit turned out! Maddie is picking up the book by Charles and Mary Lamb to read the stories on her own now. She has read 2 of the plays using No Fear Shakespeare and liked them too. She is asking to read more of the plays so we will keep right on going! Brian was researching some of the plays that were made into movies so we can watch some too.

That has been our busy week! We are looking into more busy fun ahead!

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Spaghetti Dinner Time!

Yesterday we baked cakes and pies for the annual spaghetti dinner at church. The dinner helps raise money for scholarships for our kids to attend Camp Fowler. We always have a lot of fun! Maddie helped with the cake decorating at home. I made an “eating cake” and an auction cake. My auction cake was actually a chocolate bottom peanut butter pie. Yum!

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Then we headed off to church to see how Chef Brian was doing with the spaghetti, check out the other cakes and get busy ourselves. Maddie helped to serve and I helped with the auction cakes. We ended up bringing our dinner home to eat.

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As you can see some of the cakes were amazing! One was a replica of our church building. As always a good time was had by everyone and we will be sending lots of kids to camp!!


Yarn Along!

Joining Small Things for the yarn along today!

In the last 6 months or so we have attempted to be gluten free, or at least really close to it! Its helping with a couple of health issues which is great but learning how to eat this way is a challenge. I’ve been reading a lot of cookbooks while trying to learn this new way of thinking and I think I have found a new favorite. Its called Gluten Free Girl EveryDay. Its full of good ideas and the flavors we like plus, an added bonus, the author married a chef! Reading their stories is taking me back to when my husband was in culinary school. The other book by the same author is Gluten Free Girl and the Chef. I like that one but the recipes are fussy and generally not something I will get Maddie to eat! We all enjoyed a recipe that included beans, roasted tomatoes and pesto last night so I can’t complain too much about what Maddie will eat or not!!

I am still working away on socks for myself. The yarn was in my stash and I am using a basic sock pattern that I love. I keep trying to cast on a sweater for Maddie but I have to start with a provisional cast on. Its making me nervous and I keep avoiding it!