Oak Island Beach- West Point

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Wednesday Jan 11, 2012 Under Claire, Cobey, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, Travel, Uncategorized



We rented this beautiful house at the point of Oak Island for two weekends  and the week between. It has 12 bedrooms and 9 baths and it has been awesome. Every room has a view of the ocean or the ICW and sometimes both. It has a lot of room between the house and water for the kids to play. We set boundaries and they have played outside for two days!  Last weekend we had moms scrapbooking, doing homework and just relaxing. During the week we had lots of kids (13 I think) having lots of fun playing. The house is big enough that you can always find a spot to get away from everyone else if needed. It is a great house for a church retreat, family reunion or to get some friends together. Here is more info about the house:http://www.rentabeach.com/1148110. If this house is two big for you then my friend John Hamilton can help you find something that will be perfect for you.  Below is a photo of the kids.  Tomorrow we are off to Fort Fisher Aquarium.


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Bennett Place

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Monday Nov 7, 2011 Under Civil War Sites, Claire, Cobey, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, NC History, Travel, Uncategorized

Last week, we took a field trip to Bennett Place in Durham. This is the site of the largest surrender of troops during the Civil War. I really did not know much about the site and had never been. We started out looking at the small visitor center and then watching the movie. The movie was gave a great background of what was going on during the time period and the significance of the site. We then took a tour of the site where they have rebuilt the home, kitchen and smokehouse that once stood there. The tour was mostly about how the family would have lived during that time. The last part of our visit was when a Civil War solider taught the children how to march. I have never seen that group stand so straight and be so quite. The parents decided they all need military school. The solider showed the kids how to load and shot a musket to end his part. The field trip was free and very well put together. It is an interesting part of NC history and recommend you check it out.


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Camp Arrowhead

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Saturday Jul 23, 2011 Under Cobey, Uncategorized

We picked Cobey up from Camp Arrowhead today. This was his first overnight camp experience.  Last fall, we visited four camps and talked with the directors at each. I would have felt comfortable with him attending any of the camps but Cobey picked Camp Arrowhead. He had an elaborate spreadsheet and gave points for each activity he wanted at a camp. Camp Arrowhead won out with the most points by far.

When we picked him up, he was excited to see us for a minute but then he got grumpy and started crying. He did not want to leave. Sam Pollina, the camp director talked to him and he seemed to be better. Cobey showed us around a little bit and then we got his things and  headed for Kings Mountain State Park.

Cobey said his favorite activity was blacksmithing. His favorite night time activity was the camp’s version of Capture the Flag.  Each camper gets placed in one of two tribes and then the tribes compete throughout the summer. He seemed to really enjoy the competition between the tribes.  He shared with us a lot of other memories but these were the highlights.

I like that the camp is small. They only have up to 130 boys per session. I like that it is all boys camp. (They do have a sister camp  that they had a Wild West Day with on one of the evenings.)  I was impressed with the director the day we meet him and continue to be. The camp is unique in that you learn a skill then go out on a field trip. You may learn to kayak in the lake then go out on a river and kayak. It was the only camp that we visited that had blacksmithing which Cobey loved.  Those are a few things I really appreciate about the camp.

If I had to do it over, I would have tried to send him two weeks. I think they have more time to  progress through the activities and learning. The director tried to tell me but I could not image him being gone that long. We will try for two weeks next summer.


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A Day at Mount Vernon More Than I Expected

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Wednesday Jun 15, 2011 Under Homeschool, Revolutionary War Sites, Travel, Uncategorized

We arrived to Mount Vernon a little after 10 this morning. I was thinking we would spend a few hours there and then head up to Pennsylvania. We stayed till five and we rushed through parts of it. There is so much to do there that you can easily spend a whole day or more.

We purchased the President’s Package, which gave us access to everything on the estate and an audio tour. We started with orientation film, which I was a good introduction and give a good tip about the movie we would have missed later. We then headed to the wharf to catch out boat ride on the Potomac River.  On the way we stopped at Washington’s Tomb and the slave memorial. Claire was very interested in the were the slave graves where.

The boat ride was my least favorite part of the day. I like boats so that part was fine. The narrative was recorded and only a few brief little segments. It was a little disappointing after other boat tours we have been on.  If you don’t like a lot of talking and just want a nice leisurely ride then this trip is for you. If you don’t have a full day to spend at the estate then this would be what I would skip.

After the boat ride, we went to the demonstration farm. You can find the crops that were grown by Washington., slave quarters and the highlight – a 16-sided barn. This barn was the invention of Washington to help separate the seed from the wheat.

We took the forest trail from the farm area to the house. The trail had some interesting signs along the way describing how the forest had changed since Washington’s time.  It was steep but not too long and a nice walk.

We waited in line less than thirty minutes to see the house and honestly that was not my favorite part. I felt rushed through the rooms and I prefer other house tours that really take the time to tell the stories of the house.  I understand that they are trying to get a lot of people through the house though. Cobey liked seeing the room where Lafayette slept and Claire like Washington’s chair with a fan above that you moved by pressing a pedal.

We then went to the many outbuildings. The Dung Repository made us laugh. Claire liked the Blacksmith Shop. But our favorite was the building where we got to meet Martha Washington.  She sat and just carried on a conversation. We learned what the first Presidential pet was. We learned how being called First Lady came to be. I thought it was interesting how much time she spent with George during the war.  We could have stayed there longer but by this time we were starving. We went to the car and ate quickly then returned to finish up in the museum and education center.

The museum had some interesting pieces including Washington’s bed that had hinges so he could take it with him to battle.  I liked some beautiful pieces of Martha’s jewelry. Cobey liked George Washington’s swords of course. We finished up with our audio tour. I listened to the kid’s one mostly to know what they were learning and I thought it was done quit well. It had stories and was told from the perceptive of the cat at the plantation. I highly recommend it and think your kid will get much more out of their visit with the audio.

We then went to the education center.  We had to rush through this part but it is well put together and lots of interactive pieces.  We did stop to go the movie, which was one of the kid’s favorite parts. The seats moved and even snowed when Washington was crossing the Delaware.  They have an interactive play area for children under eight with a huge dollhouse that Claire would have loved staying to play at and dress up clothes.  The kids also liked the display of the inauguration where you placed your hand on the Bible and repeated the oath.

We stopped in the gift shop where the kids turned in their scavenger hunt and got a souvenir penny as their prize. It is one you can’t get from the machine. How cool is that?

The last stop is about three miles down the road and is a relatively new attraction. It is Washington’s Distillery and Gristmill.  We learned and saw how the corn is made in to cornmeal. The kids really enjoyed seeing the mill in action. We then learned how whiskey was made and the story of how Washington got into the business.  It was a good tour and not too long. I would definitely had this own if you have time.

It was an overall amazing day and more than I expected. I would love to go back and take the kids on the National Treasure Tour and see parts of Mount Vernon not seen in regular tour including the basement. I also want to look into having the kids do the flag raising in the morning. It is on my repeat list for sure.


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Response by Chairman of Lee County School Board

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Thursday Jun 9, 2011 Under Politics, Uncategorized

Here is the comments by the chairman of the Lee County School Board:


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Update Mellow Mushroom- Southern Pines

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Friday May 20, 2011 Under Uncategorized

The general manager has been in contact with me about my visit. He has handled the situation to my satisfaction and I wish them nothing but success.

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