Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Camp Meme Day 4, Knives and cooking

Today at Camp Meme we went to Degray State Park to hear a lecture from a ranger-interpreter about knives. I thought since I was dealing with boys, that they would appreciate this part of Camp Meme. After all if you lived in the colonial era you would have to have a knife to help you with all kinds of things. One of the things I am always looking for are crafts for boys. These boys like to do crafts, but it seems that most of the crafts I find are geared for girls or are really non "real life" crafts. I try to get things for them to do that will last longer than a ride home in the car.
Wy seems interested and seemed to know a lot about the knives that were presented. The lecture was "What is the best knife to have for survival?" There were big knives, little knives, pointed knives and blunt end knives. Wy was of course knowledgeable about so many and how they were used in military campaigns.

But, I wasn't prepared for how much this young one was enthralled with the knives. He must have spoken out a dozen times as the interpreter asked questions. He couldn't keep his eyes off the wonderful world of knives.
The heat gets everyone and thank goodness for brothers.

One must look at the gadgets that accompany knives. A compass could help you find your way out of the woods.
Did you ever see such love? This picture takes the cake. Do you see how his eyes sparkle at the ability to hold this knife. It was like he was looking at his one true love. His future wife should read this blog.
"Wow, just look at all this gear!" You could really go hunting and get all kinds of animals with these. Ok, girls I always said this to my daughters "Don't work to pay for his bass boat." So if you have a daughter about 4 or 5 tell her not to work to pay for his knives.

I had to call a halt to all the knife wielding. On the outside I was just as calm as could be, but on the inside I was thinking "YIKES." I didn't dare turn my back, but both boys were careful as young boys can be. Still they were "nervousing me."
We ate lunch in the cafe and Obi took us into the belly of the workplace so the boys could see the great dishwasher that cleans in a matter of minutes.
Obi shows the boys how it gets done.
A time for baseball is a summer must.

We had reservations for a cruise on the lake, but a thunderstorm cancelled it. The nap that was supposed to have happened earlier obviously happened in the car.
Go Yankees. One of the things I admire about the male species is the loyalty to a team. Women just don't seem to have that same loyalty. The only way a woman is loyal to a team is if she percieves it as her family. The men I am around are loyal to a team that will never know them or have a 'relationship' with them. I don't mean that members of the teams aren't appreciative of loyal fans, but they know that they themselves will never know on a personal basis all the fans. And yet men are still loyal to those teams. I love that about men.
So instead of going on the cruise the red box delivered a movie. The fact that these two stand so much alike is really weird.
Time to make apple pie. "Wait don't eat the apples we gotta cook those."
The lessons we learned at the knife lecture were used in cutting the apples for the pie.
Paying attention is one of the most important points of cutting with a knife.
Now we can mix the sugar and get ready to cook those apples. Remember we must wear our hats to cook.
Mmmm looks good.
Let me show you how to do this.

The pie will take 1 hr and 30 mins to cook, so it is time for the reading of Wilderness Journey and to see if Flan can survive the river raft.
Then watch the movie Bedtime Stories.
End of day 4 at Camp Meme.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Camp Meme Day 3

When I was working as a substitute teacher in the High School I always loved the library that Paul Sivals runs. He always has had a great respect for books, (which are just being pushed out of librarys to make room for "media" items.) Most of the students I had that had to do some kind of report never looked in a book, but only used the Internet to get their information. I love that my grandsons love books. They love to read them and look at them and learn from them. Must be great parenting.
I noticed that Mr. Sivals had a great collection of large books of the battles of the Civil War. Even though we are studying the colonial time period I know Wy loves the info about that war. He knew so many of the battles and what happened. I was really impressed and impressed that he took the time to look at the books. Also, I wanted to take them to the High School to show them around where I had worked. They are so good and polite especially in the morning, that I knew they would enjoy seeing other places where there are great books. Of course having the library all to ourselves was just fantastic as we soon had a maze we had to run round in.

These boys are just amazing and so ready to help out.
Well almost ready to help out. At Wally World I saw a friend and we began to talk and this is what I saw when I looked back at them. Very patient, but still "please Meme, enough talking already! We have Mac & Cheese to make and we are hungry boys!"

As the water was boiling for the mac & cheese, the boys put the pictures from Day 2 into their notebooks. I had covered some writing tablets with wallpaper and each boy has a pack of colored pencils. They can use the notebooks to draw in or write in, but I like that they can use them as a scrapbook about Camp Meme. What I mean is they can glue (this we ran out of the first day because glue needs to be spread all over the back of your picture don't you know, so we opted to use tape instead) all the day before pictures into their books. I try to give each boy some of the same pics and some different pics so they have a variety of pictures in their notebooks.
Really this kind of scrapbooking is my kind of scrapbooking. Very down to earth, no frills or bells. Just pics and drawings.
At last the mac & cheese is done. Ain't it great!

Another game of baseball minus one.

For our craft, I suggested we make whistles out of clay.Because in the colonial days (are you tired of hearing me say this phrase yet?) they had to make everything for themselves. First we have to make the clay. This involves mixing, which involves machinery. See, this is what really attracts men to be chefs. They get to use power tools in the kitchen. Varoom, Varoom.

" The glob will take over the world!"

Rolling, rolling, rolling keep those pins a rolling.

" My whistle will be the greatest." It is now an official race to see who can get their whistle done fastest. (It is just genetics. the sooner you learn to deal with it the happier you will be.)
The whistles have to dry so tomorrow we will see if we have been successful in our musical instrument making.
video
Press play to see how boys turn jars of cream into butter. Like the song says, "Why didn't I think of that?" When you are a Meme you work smarter not harder.

We finally get our butter made and all this time I thought I would have to teach them how to make it, but lo and behold boys will be boys and churn their own way.

The mad scientist must find out why, why does water go down!
Obi's old cell still has some games on it. Kool! Boys are in free time as Meme toils over a hot stove of fried chicken, homemade biscuits, fresh gravy, & roasted corn on the cob. Oh and fresh sweet tea, yes sweet tea is a hit at Camp Meme

Swimming at OBU. The warm up pool was shallow enough to use as a small person private pool.

The noodles provide a lot of fun.

Meme is enjoying being in water and swimming and having fun with the grandsons, but we must go home to get ready for bed. The camp counselors are feeling like they have been camp counselors forever!
Back at the ole home stead, we must read two more chapters of Wilderness Journey to see what does Flan do in his perilous situation.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Camp Meme Day 2

Camp Meme Day 2 and the campers are already in gear to learn about the USA history in Colonial Times. Since they are both lovers of dress up and imagination it is easy to teach them about different eras. Wy loves history and whatever Wy says Mi says also.
Mi and friend in Sunday School. Today's topic was about praying. Jesus prayed and taught his disciples to pray. Oh and then we can draw monster machines and bad guys getting into battles.

Mi always goes to the music where ever we go. He loved listening to the organ as he played it. He didn't pound on it like some kids do, but was curious how do you make the music come out.
Caught Wy's hand in the "cookie jar." No not really this is a posed shot.

Since we are studying Colonial times I have tried to get crafts and cooking to help them understand that everything the colonists had they had to make themselves. There wasn't a Walmart or any other store close by unless they lived in a town and even then it all had to come by train or buggy. So I thought making bread would help get them to understand that even such simple items as bread had to be made by hand. You never know if what you do with them will trigger a curiosity about learning some more. You just have to throw it all out there and hope some of it sticks.
They loved pounding the dough to make bread. It was fun and they really got into it. I mean they really, really got into the pounding and rolling and almost throwing the dough. Here is a hint: You gotta be in the room watching at all times.
One of the living history actors yesterday at the Arkansas Heritage Museum had a spindle and said that we could make our own yarn by using cotton balls and a potato and a pencil. No such luck. We tried and tried but the cotton wouldn't stay together in one piece. Maybe we will get a real spindle. I think Mi's face says it all!
One of the other things we did today was start making a quilt. I found online a suggestion to get some embroidery hoops and a piece of fabric, add square pieces for the children to sew onto the fabric using the hoops as a way to handle the awkward fabric. The boys really got into it. We talked about quilts and what they used to make them. Using a needle for young 'uns was something I was wary of, but a couple of times being stuck, and they listened to my instructions on how not to get stuck.
I think Mi wanted to play Pharaoh instead of sew.

Good thing I had the star fabric and bandanna fabric. I think that gave the idea a little more masculine feel.
The dough has to be punched down before being put into the pans. I mean punched down.
Punched down warrior style. "You will submit you dough you!"

Time for recreation. Obi and the boys take to the all American game of baseball. What could be better than a 3 man game?
"I can stare down any pitcher!"

"OK, I don't see anybody there, but Obi says there is a fake man on second." "Guess I gotta make sure he doesn't steal a base."
Supper time and wow isn't it great to have breakfast for supper on a Sunday night. Juju helps out with feeding the young men.

Oh yea, here is the loaves of bread made by hand. So delicious with butter.

Time to read the book we have chosen for Camp Meme. Wilderness Journey, by William O. Steele, illustrated by Paul Galdone. We have to read two chapters a night so Obi and Meme take turns.
One of the things that I noticed was the wonderful illustrations in this book. We have been so conditioned to believe that only color will attract young kids, but these boys couldn't wait to see each illustration and studied them when shown.

End of Camp Meme Day 2

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