Downtown Fayetteville

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Thursday Feb 26, 2015 Under Claire, Good Eats/Not So Good Eats, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, Travel

Lafayette Statue We have not officially done Cumberland County yet but we have been spending some time downtown working on Claire’s history project.  First, let me say if you have not been to the Cape Fear Regional Theater- check them out. We have been to several play there and we are NEVER disappointed.  I have really been surprised with downtown  and growing to really like it. They have some great restaurants, interesting history and  it is relatively clean. Claire is still not over the condition of the Lafayette statue. Take another look at photo above.  The first place we ate at was across the bridge from downtown at Riverside Grill which is attached to a bait shop. Claire got a hot dog and chili fries. I got a cheeseburger. The food was quick and good and we were pleased.

Circa 1800The next time we were in the area we ate at Circa 1800. It was opposite end of the spectrum from the grill.  Claire and I split a salad and crab cakes. We also got bruschetta. It was all delicious. The service and atmosphere were great. We really loved this place and would go back for sure. The last place we have tried is The Sweet Palette. We took home mini cheesecakes, cake pops, and cupcakes. They were all delicious.



Caesar Salad Crabcake

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Roberts-Vaughan House Yesterday, we made quick trip to Hertford County. We are working on Claire’s project on Lafayette and decided to explore the county at the same time. I was quite surprised what the county had to offer.We first stopped in Murfressboro. They have so much history and many preserved buildings. We first stopped at the Roberts-Vaughan House (1790-pictured above). We got a tour of this house and learned a little about the town history. We next went to the Agriculture/Transportation Museum. It is small but fascinating.  We  got to see a replica of a flying machine that was built 30 years before the Wright Brothers flight. We also saw the corn husker that gave Gatling the idea for rapid fire gun. We saw a few other houses and buildings from the outside then went for lunch.

Flying Machine


We had lunch at Tavern 125. Cobey had a burger (pictured below), Claire had clam chowder and I had philly steak.  The kids had key lime pie(pictured below)  for dessert. The food was very good and reasonably priced.

Tavern 125

Tavern 125


We then went to the Parker’s Ferry. It is one of the last cable ferries in NC. It can only carry two cars at a time. The kids actually thought it was fun!

Parker's Ferry


Chowan CollegeWe then drove thru Winton which was not very impressive. They had one museum that was not open and a few old buildings but many were in disrepair.  We stayed a few minutes then after some searching headed to Chowan College for our walk in the county. It was the best we could find. The ponds on campus were nice and we walked around for a bit then headed home.  It will not make the top of our counties but it will not be at the bottom either. We will be back for sure either for a field trip I set up or one of their second Saturdays that they start in April. Lafayette visited here and you should too.


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Tips for New Homeschool Moms

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Sunday Feb 1, 2015 Under Carmen's Favorite Things, Homeschool

This was a post from my facebook page.

Tips for New Homeschool Moms
1- DO NOT try what I call school at home. This is when people  try to duplicate what school does at home with desk and textbooks and stuff. They are not in school for a reason STOP!
2- Your two year old DOES not need curriculum. For that matter, your 3,4,5,6 year old does not need it. READ, PLAY GAMES REPEAT
3- If you pull your kid out of public school, DON’T start book work right away. They need time to decompress and adjust. When you do start, start with a few subjects and then add.
4- You do not have to “have school” 180 days. The whole attendance think is laughable to me. Homeschooling is a lifestyle not a school day so I count everyday as “school”.
5- School should not take all day. If your early elementary students are going past lunch then that is too long unless you don’t get up to lunch which sometimes happens in our house.
6- DON’t prepare your kids for testing that is what is wrong with the system. Test them glean, what you can, and move on.
8- The beauty of homeschooling is the relationship. Don’t miss it by putting them in front of a computer all day or worrying about getting them in to Harvard. You will miss the best parts.
9- Speaking of Harvard, don’t worry about getting them into college at all. They will get into college and not because you worried about it. Instead focus on finding out what your kids are passionate about and fan the flame. Tailor what you do around what they love.
10- Don’t try to prove to the world you did the right thing by trying to prove they are smart. Don’t try to push them in to classes they are not ready for. Don’t have them study for the hours for  the spelling bee, Geo Bee, History Bowl, etc if they hate it. Let them spend the time exploring THEIR interest. If you stop trying to prove yourself, then people will see this homeschooling thing is working.
Bonus- Stop asking dumb questions. FIRST, do a little research like all of us veterans did, then if you have a question ask it. You are driving us crazy. My guess is the people who I am talking to have not read this far. They are off posting another question on Facebook

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Hoke was our 13th county and the first county visit that it rained the entire time.  I am glad our main activity was indoors.  We decided we would fly a mile instead of walk a mile.

We started our visit at The Mill at Puppy Creek for lunch. The food was a mix of Italian and bar food.   My side salad was not so good but the lasagna was good. The bar food was good also. The service was good but took awhile to get our checks. We really liked the atmosphere – big windows overlooking the old mill and river.

Old Mill at Puppy Creek

After lunch, we were unsuccessful in finding another place to have dessert or something interesting to see so  we headed for the main attraction in Hoke- Paraclete XP, Indoor Skydiving. It was a homeschool field trip and we had 15 flyers – age 8 to adults. The staff was awesome. We first went to a classroom where they  explained everything and taught hand signals. We then went and got all our gear and suited up. Once we went in the tunnel, I did get a little nervous. We each got 2 one minute flights.  It was fun and everyone had a BLAST!!   The staff is so patient and professional. We could not have had a better first flight. Claire is begging to go back.

Claire Skydiving


Cobey Skydiving


The kids were not impressed with the courthouse. They thought it was to tall for the width but at least it was not one from the 80s,

Hoke County Courthouse

Overall, this kids put it last on the list. They absolutely LOVED skydiving but overall not much in Hoke County.

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Another Visit to Winterthur

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Thursday May 29, 2014 Under Claire, Cobey, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, Travel

Downton Abbey Costume Exhibit

Mary's Dress We got a membership to Winterthur and this was our fourth visit. We joined in October. We went again in December for the Christmas Tour which we all loved. We went in March to see the Downton Abbey Costumes which Claire and I enjoyed. We were also hoping to see the March Bank in the garden but we were too early. And then we went today. We went thru the Downton exhibit again, we did the Architecture and Antiques Tour and we went on the Garden Tour. The Architecture and Antiques  tour was interesting showing a wide variety of furnishings. Our Garden Tour was okay. It was nice to see some blooms in the garden but we have had better tram guides.  Claire and I loved going the Downton exhibit again. Claire’s favorite dress is still the one Mary wore when she got engaged.


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Day Four in NYC- Financial, Fashion, Food and Fun!

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Wednesday May 28, 2014 Under Claire, Cobey, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, Travel

Trinity Root

Financial Tour This was by far the best day in New York and now the kids really want to come back. I planned the day with the kids interest and passions in mind. We started with a Financial Tour – The Wall Street Experience.  The tour was two hours and excellent. It included great revolutionary history in the tour. It included background information about what caused the financial crisis. I would recommend this tour even if you are not that interested in finances.  Cobey really wants to go into the New  York Stock Exchange and already working on this for the next visit.

We then headed straight for the 911 Museum. We only had a little over an hour and we did not have near enough time. Our friends went and stayed six hours. The museum is intense powerful and thorough. My only complaint was there was too many people allowed in at one time. Despite the crowd, people were quiet and introspective more so than any museum I have been to. The kids want to go back when we have more time to spend. This time we had to go for  Clare’s part of the day

Claire at Fashion Tour

I signed her up for a private tour with SEEK. We got on the subway going the wrong way but we made it to our meeting spots only a few minutes late. The tour did not disappoint. Our tour guide Liz started with giving us background about the fashion district and fashion history. Some of the history went along with our tour the day before at the Tenement Museum. After the history part, she then took Claire shopping. We went to a bead store, three trim stores and three fabric stores. Claire had a ball and we had the best guide.  Liz gave great advice and encouragement. They became instant friends.  The tour was a little over two hours and since we skipped lunch and it was now almost five,  we were starved. With advice from Liz, we headed to John’s Pizza. It was a great meal. They have gluten free pasta but I had a wonderful salad. The kids loved the mozzarella wedges and cheese ravioli. Cobey was disappointed with his wings but otherwise good meal. We then headed for Dylan’s Candy Bar. The Dylan’s Candy Bar was a very sweet ending to a great day.

Claire and Liz Dylan's Candy Bar

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Tenement Museum This was our last day with Carolina Homeschoolers. We started our morning at the Tenement Museum. We had walking tour of the East Side.  The guide did a great job incorporating photos to show what the area looked like at what time and what life would have been like.  It was a a hour tour and very  informative. We then did a short  program where the kids got to identify artifacts. The last activity was  a tour of two tenements  and hearing the story of two families that lived their.  One was a family from 1880 and the other 1920. It was great to compare the two homes. We then walked to Katz’s Deli. It was a fun place and they were fast.

Moai Cast and Claire


We had free time that afternoon and the kids picked the American Museum of Natural History. The place is huge and we only had two hours. We decided to do the National Treasure Tour. We found all the exhibits from the movie which were throughout the exhibit. Cobey and I  really liked Margaret Mead Hall of Pacific People.  I would love a guided tour of that area.  After this museum was when Cobey decided we had to come back. There is so much more to see and learn there. We can’t wait to go back!





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Day Two in New York City

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Monday May 26, 2014 Under Claire, Cobey, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, Travel

Statue of Liberty

View Of The City Last time we were in NY the pedestal was closed for renovations, We spent a long time in the museum and the pedestal we really enjoyed it.  Claire listened to the kid and adult version of the audio tour. It was a great morning/afternoon.

I would not come again during Memorial Weekend. One of the reasons we homeschool is to be able to travel in non peak times. The New Yorkers may have been away but everyone else was at the Statue Liberty today. It took almost an hour to get back on the ferry to go Battery Park. It took an hour and half to see the Empire State Building last night.

Claire Found the StateionWe walked around the financial district and grabbed a late lunch early dinner. I then gave the kids a map and told them they had to get us back to our hotel. I told Claire to get us to the bus terminal and Cobey to get us to the right bus. They could not ask me for help but they could ask other people.  Claire found the right subway stop we needed, bought our tickets and then got us to the track. She had to ask which train on the left or right but she did great. Cobey guided us to the bus stop, got bus tickets and then got us to the correct gate. He almost let us get off one stop early but other than that he did great. I was very proud. And they were back in time for Claire to swim.





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Day on the other Broadway

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Sunday May 25, 2014 Under Claire, Cobey, Homeschool, Kid's Corner

On Broadway



We had a wonderful full day in New York today. Last night we joined up with Carolina Homeschoolers which was great to have someone else do the planning. The best part was joining up with our friends – the Johnson Family.  The theme today was Broadway. We started with a tour of the New Amsterdam Theater. The theater is beautiful and the history was interesting. The best part was when the  kids got to try on the props from past shows.  The next stop was a theater workshop where they learned part of a song and dance from the musical Aladdin which we got to see after lunch. The workshop and play were Claire’s favorite activities of the day. Cobey’s favorite part was lunch at Ellen’s Stardust Diner. This is a diner where the waitstaff sing the entire time. They are all trying to make it on Broadway.  My favorite activities were Aladdin Musical  and the tour of the theater. I thought the workshop was a great experience for the kids. We ended the day with Empire State Building.  We had a great day!



Claire at Empire State Building




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MOST and Fort Stanwix

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Saturday May 24, 2014 Under Claire, Cobey, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, Politics

Fort Stanwick

Flying a F-16



Yesterday we made two stops on the way to NYC. The first stop was the science museum in Syracuse- Museum of Science and Technology (MOST) . We spent about two hours there. It was much smaller than Pittsburgh. We watch a Planetarium Show called Zoo in the Sky which was good. The kids favorite exhibit was where they could fly planes.

Fort Stanwix


The next stop was Fort Stanwix which was built at the end of the French Indian War and  where a siege took place during the American Revolution.  There was a reenactment going on so the fort was full of folks in costume which made it even more fun. We spent about two hours which was rushed. I wish we had time for tour also but we had to head out.

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