CrossTrails Homeschool: September 2012

Sunday, September 30, 2012

BBL Hike 09/30/12

 We went over to our local park for more Sunday Exploration to relax after the work we accomplished yesterday on our barn. (more about that later)

We had a friend's son with us on our trip, and the neighbor boys also wanted to come along - making for a total of SEVEN kids on this hike! Everyone was well behaved and had a good time. They all explored around and tried to be the first to spot things along the trail.

We hiked around the north side of the creek and found where they hold wilderness survival training. We took a few notes on what we saw! The girls thought the shelters were cool and had ideas about how they were going to build their own survival shelters in the woods out back.

 Sam with his "Bur-Gun" he made from items found on the hike. I think he was about to eat a bur...
 This is the largest shelter we found, it was quite nice.
 Joslyn was picking sticks up off of the ground to be like the older kids. A "ribcage" shelter is behind her.
 This piece of wood had a deep hole burned into it, I am not sure of its exact purpose, but surely it served one.
 Another shelter, deep in the woods.
 The girls thought these trees played tricks on your eyes and made it fun to play tag there.
 Cecille sitting on vines hanging from a leaning tree.
 Allix on an old dead tree trunk.
 An odd nest under a bridge we hiked to. We assume high water in the spring brought a few large limbs up there, and the birds just continued building on that... Otherwise, that was one strong bird!
 One of the remaining salt springs at Big Bone Lick. Salt and Sulphur come up together and it doesn't smell the best!
 Jack with his Garter Snake.
 Joslyn wasn't afraid to hold the snake either!
 Cecille found a walking stick by the museum.
Jason & Josyln

Hiking Sticks Project

 For an art project we decided to make some hiking sticks, since we keep seeing them all over for sale for high prices. We figured that this would be a practical project, since we hike so much we will get good use out of them.

(From left-Right Jason's, Cecille's Allix's)

We went out back and selected a few nice straight saplings for our hiking sticks, and chopped them off with a hatchet on the tops and bottoms.

Then we brought them in to the basement and got to work on customizing them. We chopped them off with the sawzall to make even bases and shorter tops once we decided whose was whose. The girls had their dad do the carving and chose accessories to go on their sticks from their beads and nature collection.

We got them out for last weekend when we hiked at Big Bone Lick's "Grand re-Opening" and went on the Owl Night Hike at Mills Park. Everyone thought they were neat!

They turned out pretty nice, and the girls got a lot of compliments on them. I think we may add polyurethane to coat them for longevity, but otherwise they are finished.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Nature Hike at Big Bone Lick 09/16/12

We wanted to learn about some of the edible plants in our area, so we headed over to the closest park to see what all we could find. We have been reading about Sassafras, cattails, arrow root and more. There are a LOT of edible plants in our area that we walk by every day and never even notice. Some of these plants we usually weed out of our yards or mow over them.

We found cattails at the pond there at Big Bone Lick, but none of the others on our list. The girls really enjoyed the hike; Joslyn stopped and threw her fit at the same time as our last time hiking there. Then she got back into it and hiked again.

The girls were really getting into the edible natural things and Cecille caught a cricket on the trail. She asked if they were edible, and we explained how people eat them around the world, but not many people here in America eat bugs. (not that we know of anyways, lol) 

They knew Jason had ate a cicada a long time ago and kept daring each other to eat it and chickening out. Finally Allix threw it in her mouth and started chewing, she's not one to turn down a dare. She chewed it up and swallowed it down. She said it was "very sour" and she didn't care for the taste.

Cecille, not to be outdone, later caught a small grasshopper and ate it! She said it tasted "like grass" but not that bad. We asked her if she thought a butterfly would taste "like butter"? (Our children know to ask before eating something new in the wild.)

Kenton County Farm Tour 2012

We decided to go to the Farm Tour this year, last year we wanted to go but we were moving to our new house then! So this year we were excited to see all of the farms in the area and learn about.the farms in the area.

We started out with Stop#9 Triple J Beef & Goat Farm. Cecille wanted to see someone milk a goat - but they don't milk the goats there. They are meat goats. They had a LOT of goats and some of them were huge goats. They also had some donkeys there. The girls had fun herding (chasing) the goats around their pond and back again.

After that, we went to Stop#8 the Little Cruise View Farm, it was a "tree farm" or "mini farm". The owner had a lot of different small animals like us (chickens, duck, turkeys, potbelly pig) and had information on the trees in the area. We all learned about some of the trees. One tree we learned about Sassafras is one we will talk about in a later post!

Then, we went on to Stop#7 Hickory Ridge Farms, they had a hayride and lots of cows around their property. The girls learned about how a cattle chute works by going inside as the cows do.

They also got to sit on their horses before they put them out to pasture. Allix's hand shot up first when he asked if anyone wanted to sit on a horse, so she got up on the first one. Cecille got to sit on the next one. Cecille's horse got spooked by a little kid screaming up the hill, and the horse jumped and took off and she almost fell off - but one of the people there helped catch her before she hit the ground! Needless to say, that didn't scare her, lol! He asked if she wanted to get on the other horse, then realized she wanted back on the first horse, so he put her back on that one. Then, it took off again! This time she held her balance and stayed on until it calmed down. Allix was on the other horse the whole time, and it was calm for her. The owner was surprised that these two girls who had never been on horses before weren't afraid of the big horses.

After that stop, we went on to the next closest one, Stop#6 Poverty Hollow Farm. This stop had a LOT of different kinds of pumpkins for sale. They had a couple of cows in their barn also, and had some good ideas for keeping the feed safe that we took note of. They grow all of their own pumpkins here, and said that they even give some of them calcium injections for different results. They had a problem in the past with pollination of their pumpkin flowers, and decided to start beekeeping near their pumpkin fields and say that it really increased their pumpkins this year. The hives were neat to see with all of the bees flying around - but we didn't get too close!

We met up with our homeschool friends here and painted some pumpkins. Then we decided to go on to the shrimp farm to see what that was all about.

We drove on down the road towards the shrimp farm, and turned in when we saw the tour stop sign. We were pretty confused when all that we saw was wine tasting, so we walked around their barns, and saw how they kept their chickens and potbelly pigs. They also had a donkey and a couple ponies. They also had some Halloween decorations up, they have "Boofest at Redman's Farm" there next month, we thought the huge spiderweb was cool. Sometimes the spiders here are almost that big! We kept waiting for our friends to show up, and were thinking the only way to see the shrimp must be to go on the hayride, but we were tired of hayrides by then! So, we decided to just call it a day and go to the truck.

When we got in the truck, we looked at the map again to see why it was described as a shrimp farm, when all we saw was wine - then we realized we had gone to the wrong stop!

So, we high tailed it to the "correct" stop that we were supposed to be going to - Stop#4 Bluegrass Shrimp and Fish Farm. Our friends we just about to give up on waiting for us when we arrived... they must have some patience, cause we had been at the last stop for quite a while!

The kids thought the shrimp were super cool, but weren't allowed to see them much cause kids had been scooping them up all day... They were some BIG shrimp. The ponds were neat, wish we had some ponds to grow shrimp in here, but we'd just eat them all there wouldn't be any left to sell!

After that, it had been a super long day and the little girls were whooped, so we headed back home for an "easy evening".

Monday, September 10, 2012

Homeschool Group

So Cross Trails has been meeting up with some other homeschool families ~> we have been meeting since the end of the school year last year. All summer we met for the educational events. We have met several times already this year and have the whole year planned with FuN EventS... Who was concerned about my childrens socialization  again?? PLEASE!!
So to respect the privacy of our friends we won't post pictures of them and their children ( unless given permission ). I will post pictures of the girls... I'm gonna have to remember to take more pictures!! We have 15 children who meet each week. Pretty good amount I think ;)
They all get along thats what counts!! So here are some pictures taken at Big Bone Lick :

 While at Big Bone Lick we did a few Fall some books... and learned about the different types of apples...The kids tasted a few different types of apples : They each agreed the homegrown tasted the BEST!!   Also as you can see we hiked! The kids got to got to see some Bison up close! This was the first time we had seen them right along the fence line. Usually they are way out in the field. It was a FuN filled day. This week we are meeting up to play some KICKBALL!!