Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Tallahassee Homeschool Group's Service Project

Today was the Tallahassee Homeschool Group's service project at Wakulla Springs State Park. Ranger Jackie Turner gave a short, impromptu lesson about local and introduced insects

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and then talked about the importance of keeping the park clean for the wildlife. The parents and children were all given gloves and plastic bags and spent about an hour cleaning up the picnic area.

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So excited about finding trash!

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After doing a great job of cleaning and getting all hot and sweaty, the children were able to go swim in the spring.

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A manatee was swimming very close to that platform.

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Costume Updates

Blaze has been growing out of all his old clothes, so we're working on some steampunk wardrobe updates before Dragon*Con.

The striped pants that he wore with his Tesla Ranger costume are too tight. Even cutting two pieces out of the waistband only lengthened their life by one wearing.

Blaze helped spray paint stripes onto a new pair, which are gray and black striped, instead of brown and black like the last pair.

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I guess the Telsa Ranger is being retired, at least for now, because Blaze asked for me to make a gray hatband for the top hat not the cowboy hat.

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Speaking of "growing out of clothes," this coat is not going to fit much longer. It's getting tight in the shoulders.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Blaze's New Prop: The Victorian Smart Phone

Once upon a time, this was enough to keep Blaze happy while we waited in long lines at Dragon*Con,:

but my iPod is now obsolete and won't play any of the newer games that Blaze wants, and he has become nearly inseparable from his Kindle Fire. It's time to build something new: a backpack that will hold the Kindle and reflect the teenager that Blaze is becoming.

This is the Intelligent Mobile Telephonic Devise, a Victorian smart phone.

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We started with an unfinished wooden box from the craft store.

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Blaze helped with the wood stain and painting.

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Kitsu helped, too.

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The "speaker horn" started off as a child's tin party horn that I painted with brass Liquid Leaf. I removed the noise making part of the horn before painting, so unfortunately, we still have that for the children to play with.

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The "Retro Phone Handset" was supposed to plug into a cell phone, but it does work with mine. We have discovered that it can be used like a set of headphones for the Kindle, though.

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Black velvet lined interior with a pocket that holds a cloth placemat and a holder for a thermos, so that refreshments can be had wherever they are desired. There is plenty of extra room inside to pack a lunch. There is also an emergency bow tie.

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The padded back, to make it more comfortable to carry. Pillow stuffing, covered with black vinyl.

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The straps are two matching belts from Goodwill (they had an entire rack of identical belts, so finding two that matched was not as hard as I feared it would be). There was originally a reflective silver stripe down the middle of each belt, but I painted over the stripe with the same brass colored Liquid Leaf that we used on the PVC pipe and some of the other pieces.

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Friday, June 20, 2014

My Costume Contest Entry

I have entered my steampunk Ghost of Christmas Past costume in a costume contest.

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Please go vote. I am number 10:

Thank you!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Learning About Fossils at Wakulla Springs

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This morning, we went to the Tallahassee Homeschool Group's lesson about fossils at Wakulla Spring.

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I really enjoy going to these programs! They are free to attend, are entertaining and educational, and they end with the children going swimming.

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Saturday, June 14, 2014

World Cup Fever

Yesterday, I discovered that "Watch ESPN" was a Roku channel, on which we could watch the games of the World Cup. Today, the children caught World Cup Fever.

Blaze and I watched the game between Columbia and Greece, until just after Kitsu arrived.

Kitsu loves Pocoyo and has all kinds of World Cup related printables. This game was a big hit with her, although I'm not sure they ever figured out the rules:

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This afternoon, they went to play soccer in the park.

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Food Truck Thursday Around Lake Ella

I kept hearing ads on the radio for Food Truck Thursday around Lake Ella, but tonight was our first time going. The event is scheduled from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. every Thursday.

We headed over to the lake as soon as we picked DH from work, so we got there early enough to find decent parking and to let the kids feed ducks before dinner.

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Our dinners came from the Valhalla Grill truck and were excellent, but very messy. 

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If we go again, I will definitely bring something to sit on. We tried sitting on the grass, but after awhile I was brushing fire ants off my leg and picking them out of Kitsu's french fries.

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Crafty Crow