Tag Archives: mom camp

MOM CAMP Days 24-27

When mom volunteers to help decorate the school for the new school year, the kids get recruited to help. Thankfully, my kids love arts and crafts so it was an easy sell.

Our school’s theme is Timeless Journeys. So we attempted to make each section of the school represent a different time period.  We move all the way from the cavemen to the boundless future ….

The first time period is the pre-historic. We decided to make a cave in the hallway. Some of the moms did the cave walls, while the kids and I worked on a few ‘cave man’ hand prints.  

The next stop on our journey through time is Ancient Greece.

Once again, I put the kids to work making a few columns.  We decided on two different styles…  A broken pillar and one still intact.  We also didn’t paint them—originally in Ancient Greece they would have been brightly colored.  But, it’s a big school and we had to keep moving to get our decorating finished!

Next up is life in the Middle Ages.

The kids and I began making a few things at home so it would move faster when it came to decorating the actual hallways.  We started with a few accent pieces for the Middle Ages hallway.

my first try

My first try at making torches was a little rough. I took old grocery bags and rolled them into cones and stuffed them with tissue paper ‘flames’. I didn’t love my first attempt and the comments from The Princess didn’t help. She declared they looked like flowers!

Cinco’s Improvement

Cinco came to my rescue when he told me we needed to crumple the flames up and not allow them to fan out.  It was a good point and the final torches looked pretty good.

The next step was to crate a few larger more distinguished pieces.  We decided on ‘stained glass windows’.

Then it was time to skip ahead to the colonial period!  I have to give credit to another amazing mom who made a very cool looking Mayflower.

Next up was the Wild West, which I sadly didn’t photograph.

Then I put the kids to work again!  This time we made the Berlin Wall.  Instead of traditional graffiti, we wrote famous Cold War quotes on the wall.

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Mom Camp Days 12-13: Summer Solstice 

Yeah, yeah I know the summer solstice was almost a month ago.  It’s been a crazy summer and we haven’t had enough time for either Mom Camp or blogging about our Mom Camp.  But, better late than never. 

We made our traditional fairy houses.  Although they were on a smaller scale than years past. Coming home from Ireland with jet lag and only a few days to work, we did our best with the limited time. 

  As you can see, we used silver spray on the grasses field. We also made a pond next to the house and even included a few shells all the way from Ireland.  Cinco used cammo duct tape to create two military post look outs. We also added a rainbow and a ‘Welcome Fairies’ sign.  The fairies brought their traditional gift of sparkle fairy dust and left candy sprinkles in their wake.  They also left a note and gave each child a mood ring! 

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Ashford Castle: MCD 9

This would prove to be an especially exciting day!  We awoke in the castle and headed down to the formal dining room to have our breakfast complete with hot chocolate for the kiddos.  At breakfest we met the boat captain who offers tours of the lake and he talked us into a delighful one hour boat tour.  We had to be back on shore by noon sharp because we had a special appointment at 12:30.

Castle View from the Boat

  The tour lasted an hour and The Princess even got a chance to steer the ship.  Those of you who have watched John Ford and John Wayne’s Quite Man will recognize the name Inisfree! 

The next stop was the school of falconry.

The Captain it would be cool if we scheduled our own falconry lesson for the family. While I personally wouldn’t have chosen this activity, I wasn’t against the idea and booked it.  It turned out to be one of the best experiences of the whole trip.

We worked with Red Tail Hawks, not Falcons.   It seems these hocks do better with people they don’t know because unlike

Just a little something the birds caught

Just a little something the birds caught

Falcons and most other birds of prey the Red Tails hunt in groups.  Another funny thing about this bird, is that it’s from the American Southwest not Ireland. And when we got home to America and we’re visiting the Las Vegas Springs preserve we actually saw a plaque about the Redtailed Hawk!

Our guide was delightful and gave us an almost 90 minute course on the Hawks, other birds, and falconry in general. He was truly passionate about the subject and a delight with which to work.

me and the hawk

Everyone (both Cinco and The Princess) held the hawks and took a turn sending them out to hunt.  I think the kiddos were a little nervous at first, but they never shied away from the birds even one.  The hawks were named after famous Irish writers– Wilde and Stoker.  Our guide told them apart based on the color of their claws (something I never really got the hang of in our 90 minute lesson.)

Post hawking it was time for a walk of the grounds.  IMG_1881  Including a number of hidden gardens.

Next stop was a stroll into town for a little something to eat.  A pretty good day, I’d say

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ASHFORD CASTLE: MCD 8

Leaving Galway we decided to make a stop by Athenry before heading to Ashford Castle.  Like any good Irish family, we are fans of the song Fields of Athenry.  The Captain and The Princess often play the song on the guitar and sing together.  With a little extra time on our hands we decided a trip to Athenry was in order.

Athenry Castle

We toured the castle… Which really wasn’t much compared to other castles in England and Ireland. And we tried to go to the Athenry priory.  But, it was closed.

Then it was on to Cong home of Ashford Castle and the town were some of the John Ford film The Quite Man was filmed.

In Cong there are a number of deep caves and caverns.  We decided on a nature walk before checking in at the castle.  Our first stop was Pigeonhole Cave.

view looking up from the bottom of the cave

We also took the Pigeonhole Cave walking loop–without the actually researching how long the loop was!  It seemed to simply never end.  It was alively walk in the woods along a stream, but the kiddos started to get a bit grousey after the 1st 45 minutes.

One bonus was the path lead us to Cong Abbey. It was located right on the river and the ruins included an old stone fishing house the monks used.

Cong Abbey cloister ruins

When we finally made it back to our car it was time to head out to Ahford Castle!

The castle welcomed us with personalized cookies and tour.  After discovering welcome gifts for the kids (a bear for The Princess and a sword for Cinco), we set work exploring…

   

The Billard Room

  

watching Ben Hur in the movie room

 
After dinner in the Dungeon it was bedtime for all!

 

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Ireland Day 4: Things go sideways

Mom Camp Day 4: This was one of those days when things just seem to go sideways on you. We spent the night at a rather odd hotel in New Ross (a town founded by the Marshal) and we overslept.  We had a full day’s agenda that had to be majorly altered.  We skipped the Dunbrody Famine Ship as well as Waterford and made our way to the Irish Tintern Abbey.  

We made a trip the parent Abbey in Wales last year, (for those interested in the original Abbey).  For those of you who don’t know, the Irish Tintern Abbey was founded by the Marshal.  He had a pretty rough sea crossing to Ireland.  He pledged to found a new Abbey if he made it to shore.  Thankfully he made it and he was as good as his word and founded the Abbey.

Personally, having been to both, I prefer the Irish Abbey.  The grounds at the Irish Tintern are far more lush and evocative of the past.   Unlike it’s parent abbey in Wales, the Irish Tintern is surrounded by lovely forests and walking paths.  It also features a lovely bridge that crosses over a small river near the abbey.  It is very picturesque!  My only complaint was that we didn’t have more time to spend there!

inside the abbey 

Next, it was off to Kilkenny another Anglo-Norman city. In Kilkenny we stayed in the castle’s old carriage house that has been converted to a hotel.  Very nice.  It had an English style garden between the carriage house and the castle across the way.

Kilkenny also prides itself on maintaining a lot of its medieval history.  They have the medieval mile you can walk and imagine what the city might have looked it. In town there is also a pub that date backs to the 1300s.  Back in the day it was run by a witch!  Of course it’s a tourist trap.  But with two kids, who could skip it?  We were treated to an Irish drum circle lesson.

The Captain also discovered Kilkenny is where Smithwick’s Beer is brewed.  So we stopped into the shop for a t-shirt.

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Mom Camp Goes Abroad, Again  (Part One –The Dublin Days)

This year Mom Camp set off across the pond one more time.  This year we took advantage of the cheap Euro and made our way to Ireland. 

Hello cold weather and shamrocks!  

Day 1: On arrival, it was off to the races.  I am a believer in never giving into jet lag.  No rest for the weary! 

We hit Dublin Castle and saw the underground Norman Castle section of the old place. 

We went to Christ Church as well as St. Patrick’s and walked the old Viking portion of the city. 

Next stop was a little shopping for father-son matching Irish caps. 

The final experience of the day was a visit to the book of Kells. 

Day 2: We took a walk to the famous Kilmainham  Goal.  The jail held prisoners who stole nothing more than a loaf of bread during the famine as well as the Irish rebels from the 1916 rising.  We saw their cells and the place they were shot. 

    

Next, we had lunch in Temple Bar and walked around the area.  A stroll through St. Stephen’s Green followed.  Cinco made the observation that it seemed a lot like St. James Park in London.  I had to agree.

At the National Museum of Archeology we entountered ET… 

 

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Mom Camp 2015 is back!

I know many of my loyal followers were concerned that this might be the summer that  I ended Mom Camp.  No such luck.  It’s just that we took a quick trip to Ireland as soon as school ended and Mom Camp got a slow start.   

However, there are quite a few odd ball activities in store…  HONG KONG HANDOVER DAY!  We will also be revisiting our old favorites—  Dino Days, fairy houses…  And more.  So start tuned for all the Mom Camp glory! 

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