Indian Food

This semester MD has been working on a report project covering India. Part of the project is to put together a display that will be featured at the home school group’s Cultural Dinner in March. Since it’s a dinner, each student’s family will be bringing sample food from the country.

So yesterday we went out to eat some Indian food. The restaurant served a lunch buffet with Tandoori chicken, Chef’s Special chicken, spinach with mushrooms, potato and waffles, fruit with mango sauce, rice in coconut milk, etc.

Both girls did pretty well. Of course they liked the fruit the best, but they ate (or sampled) everything the tried from the buffet. They even say they want to go back.

For the cultural dinner, MD wants to make nan bread and maybe have some fruit. We’re also considering making samosas if we can figure out how to do it.

Thanksgiving in Myrtle Beach

For the Thanksgiving holiday this year we went down to Myrtle Beach with CDF’s family. They stayed in a condo nearby, while we took the camper to Pirate Land.

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Pirate Land

We arrived at the campground at about 2:00 in the afternoon and soon had the camper set up. When everything was set up we went over to the condo for the afternoon.

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Camp Site

Thanksgiving morning the girls really wanted to swim in one of the pools. Although they were willing to brave the outdoor “lazy river,” I said we would go to the indoor pool since it was heated. It turned out to be a good choice. They had a lot of fun swimming and jumping in. They even made a new friend.

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She’s Wearing “Gobbles”
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The Indoor Pool

Trip to Tryon Palace

For her birthday, CDF wanted to go on a day trip as a family. She picked Tryon palace since we had never been there and the gardens were supposed to be in bloom. It turned out to be a great day to visit, the sun was out and the temperature cool, but not cold.

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Tryon Palace
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Girls in the Gate
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In the Gate House

We purchased the garden pass, so we spent most of our time walking the paths. The girls really enjoyed exploring the more formal gardens with their walls and bricked paths. CDF took a lot of pictures of the flowers.

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Going into the Gardens
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Sharing secrets

The garden pass also included the Kitchen Office, where the servants used to be quartered and most of the cooking for the Governor was done. We had almost a private tour of the office, kitchen, laundry, and bedrooms. Probably the most interesting part was talking to the guide in the kitchen. She was cooking lunch in the wood fireplace, an actual sausage and rice dish that would have been cooked back in the 18th century. She told us about what the people would eat, and how the servants at the mansion were better fed, and better educated, than most of the town folk. A lot of the people of that time wanted to have their sons and daughters hired by the governor.

Christmas Pictures

On Christmas Eve the family got together for a group picture. We ended up taking two different pictures as people arrived at different times. I was so busy checking for a sufficient amount of light, and making sure that nobody was cut off at the edges, that I forgot to check to see if anyone’s face was obscured. Something to remember for next year.

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Second family picture

Sam’s family wasn’t supposed to arrive until later, but they got there before the camera was put away, so we were able to include them in a second picture.

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First family picture

Christmas Cookies

This Christmas we went up to my parents house to make Christmas cookies with my two Aunts. This has been a tradition in my family for a long time, but for a number of years I let others do the baking. This year I was back to being involved, rolling out and cutting the dough. CDF had mixed up the dough and supervised the baking.

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Christmas Sugar Cookies

All the children helped out with the decorating. We used frosting and sprinkles to make many colorful designs. CE decided the frosting was better in her mouth. I’m not sure how many she managed to decorate all the way.

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Enjoying the Frosting

Myrtle Beach

On November 18th we went down to Myrtle Beach for the annual SEDUG conference. The weather was nicer this year and we were able to enjoy the beach more.

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Myrtle Beach Hotel

The girls spent one morning on the beach and later on in the day, when it got warmer, they got in the water. It was quite cold, but enjoyed it anyway.

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Walking on the Beach

Friday afternoon, once the the conference was over, we went over to another hotel, the Dunes, where we had a reservation for the night. This hotel has an indoor water park, and when we found out they were running winter specials we decided to jump on the chance. Everyone had a lot of fun going down water slides or just floating along in the lazy river.

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Water Slide

MD and her cousin spent the most time on the slides. CDF went down one with CE, but they both got soaked at the bottom, so CE decided she would stay in the lazy river. I went down the big twisty slide.

Corn Maze at the Jones’ Farm

This past Saturday we went out to a farm owned by some friends to participate in their fall activities, especially to go through their corn maze. This is the first time they’ve done something like this on the farm, but they did a great job.

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Welcome to the Jones’ Farm

Since the tractor was getting ready to leave when we got there, we went on the hay ride first. It was basically a tour of the farm. We got to see what they were growing and harvesting. We stopped at the first pig field (not a pen, a field), and fed them some corn. Then we moved on past the hen house where they keep almost 500 chickens. Then on past another field with pigs, and a cow on the other side, to the barn where they have goats and a baby calf. One of the daughters brought the calf out to show everyone — lured out with a big bottle of milk! CE wants to go back some time and help “milk” the baby cow.

Just outside the corn maze is a small pumpkin yard. We didn’t get a pumpkin, but took advantage of the decorations to take a family picture.

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Fall Family Picture

After that the girls led us through the maze…

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The Corn Maze

Animals at the Museum

Yesterday we all went to the NC Science Museum in Raleigh for Homeschool day. We got to select two programs that were being put on by the museum staff. So the girls picked one on animals and one about the butterfly garden outside the museum along Jones St.

The first session was about animals, and after the first stuffed owl, all the others were live animals. They showed us a box turtle, a corn snake, a bullfrog, a cotton-tail rabbit, and finally a chinchilla from South America. After learning about the animal, the staff brought most of them around for us to touch.

First was the corn snake. It was still cold from the night, but was starting to warm up and move around. The girls both touched the smooth scales.

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Petting a Corn Snake

After we had seen the other animals and heard stories, they got out the bunny. Then, realizing they were almost out of time, the staff decided to let the children pet the bunny on their way out. Another lady said she wanted to bring out her favorite animal too, and they could pet both on the way out.

So we got to see an animal we’d never seen in person before, this cute chinchilla. One thing I noticed was that its whiskers were vibrating rapidly as it sniffed around. We also found out that it fur is as soft as is reported — one of the softest things I’ve touched.

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The Chinchilla

The bunny was waiting out in the hallway for us as we left.

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Petting the bunny

The second class was outside at the front of the museum. The lady talked about all the insects that visit the wildflower garden. The most interesting were the Monarch caterpillars crawling on the milkweed plants and the dragonfly nymph skins that were in the little pond (a lot like cicada skins).

January Snow

It actually snowed today. The forecast was predicting snow for our area, but we almost never get snow this far south. I was already at work when the temperature got cold enough for the rain to turn to snow. It started out as big, soft flakes, but now it has slaked off. The temperature is still dropping though, so we may see more.

I walked to the bank, as I normally do at the beginning of the week, and had fun going through the flurries. At home, the girls got bundled up and went out to play.

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We’re supposed to get around 2 inches of snow in our area, but I don’t expect we’ll get much more than we already have. The biggest thing to look out for will be the ice when the temperature starts to fall again tonight.

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Update:

Apparently for those of us in North Carolina, snow is getting almost as much attention as the President’s inauguration. The local newspaper noted that our area has not seen snow since 2003! Others were busy blogging with pictures and comments. 🙂

Christmas 2008

We had a Christmas party at my brother’s house on the 23rd. Then went up to my parents house for Christmas Eve. Then came back to town on Christmas to spend time with CDF’s family and have a Christmas dinner.

Once the Christmas decorations were done at our house — around December 1st — we started taking pictures around the tree, hoping to get one we could send out in the Christmas cards.

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Then the weekend before Christmas we went up to Jacksonville to bake cookies and help decorate my Grandfather’s house. The two girls got to help with hanging ornaments. CE enjoyed it a lot — though she tended to hang a bunch of ornaments on a single branch, which is a lot like my siblings and I did when we were young.

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Christmas Eve was celebrated at my Grandfather’s house as is the tradition. We got there around midday so I would have time to play a World War 2 game with my Dad and brothers, and also give the girls time to visit with their Aunts who were in town for Christmas.

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That evening we enjoyed the usual fare of Christmas treats. My little nephew was also enthused about eating the cookies — though it looks like his Dad was eating more than sharing!

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