History, Homeschool, Nature, Travel

Week in review: gardening and a virtual tour of China

It is so fun to see things growing in our garden! The boys had fun designing cute little signs for our vegetable garden. Our lettuce, spinach and kale are looking just beautiful and our peas, carrots, tomatoes and peppers are looking awesome too.

I ordered all my seeds from an online company recommended by a friend, Rare Seeds which carries heirloom, non GMO seeds. Most of them are perfect for growing in Europe. And you know how you usually drop 3-4 seeds in a hole *hoping* that one may sprout? Every.single.seed sprouted. I can’t bear to destroy food, so I had my husband build me another box to hold all my lovely plants. Hopefully we’ll continue to get lots of rain so they won’t die when we travel!

Our school room/office got clean (as clean as it’s ever gonna get!)

And all my souvenirs from China finally got put to good use! We got to the section in Story of the World talking about China. The boys practiced painting a few Chinese strokes and symbols, had fun using my Chinese name stamp and looking at all my pictures.

When we were there we got a kick out of all the English translation signs and I especially loved the 4 star toilet at the Imperial Palace. It amazed me to see little old men on bicycles carrying enormous loads and I wonder how on earth they could keep their bikes balanced. And of course the terra cotta warriors were amazing. I have a few replicas the boys got to see up close (they are never allowed to touch my souvenirs so this was a huge treat for them).

And best of all, the Great Wall. We went to the touristy part of the wall, but our favorite was when we went on a tour out in the country- the Jinshanling to Simatai portion of the wall. It was truly amazing. First of all, the drive down there was about the scariest ride I had taken up to that point in my life (I had an experience in Russia a few years later that was much scarier). We got there, the driver dropped us off  what looked like the middle of nowhere and left. We couldn’t even see the wall from where we were. Once we found the wall and started hiking, the view was absolutely amazing.

The wall in many places was crumbling and towers could be seen for miles and miles. It gave me a much greater respect for how these people had to haul rock out to the middle of nowhere and build along these steep hills without any modern machinery. Truly impressive.

This is one of my favorite pictures. There’s this alley in downtown Beijing with stalls of people selling all kinds of meats and produce and unusual things like bats, scorpions and starfish on sticks. I snapped this picture and (back in the day of 35mm film!) got a good laugh when I noticed what the man in the photo was doing 😉

Of course I can’t neglect to share a few pictures of the princess and snails. Snails are my boys’ new best friends. They have been collecting them by the dozens and every evening they bring in at least one or two to show me.

We also made these yummy brownie bites from the Marathon Mom site. AMAZING.
Homegrown Learners
Teach Beside Me