Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I spent all day yesterday cleaning and organizing, so today I determined to spend some time doing activities with the kids. They chose science, so we worked on several projects.

1) Made a new Astronomy notebook by decorating the cover of a blue binder with stickers of stars, space ships, planets, comets, etc. We will be studying Apologia's Exploring Creation with Astronomy book, and a notebook is one critical element.

2) Got started right away with a Magic School Bus astronomy kit. We made a constellation view box (the constellations are punched holes in cards, you look through the box to see them--it's sad but so few stars are visible around here that this is about the only constellations my kids will be viewing until we go camping!) We built a small telescope (lenses and tubes were included in the kit). We made a solar system model (not to scale) with Styrofoam balls. We used balls and a flashlight in a dark room to model the Earth and the Moon. And Lily drew and colored a beautiful picture of the Earth.

3) Luke still wanted to do more science so we pulled out a magnet kit to explore. He had fun finding out how magnets attract and repel each other, what things they stick to, and how to make a simple working compass.

Of course I should have pictures of all this, but my camera battery is dead and I don't know where the charger is. You'll just have to use your imaginations!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Love is Exponential

Kids can squabble over anything. Today, the issue was who got to be unbuckled first when we were getting out of the car. Which led to a discussion of whether Mother loves one child more than another. Lily claimed that, because she is oldest, I have to love her most, and there is less love available for each child who joins the family. I explained that, in fact, the more children a mother has the MORE love she has to give to each one.
I told the children that if we pretend love is made of apples, when you have one child you have 1 apple of love. With each additional child, the amount of love the mother has available to share out among the children doubles. So with two children, there are two apples of love; with 3 children, there are 4 apples, with 4 children, there are 8 apples, with 5, there are 16 apples, and so on. If I am doing my math right, my mother must have had 512 apples of love to share out among her 10 children.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Kindergartner in Charge

Lily just called out to me from the bathroom:
"Mother, the red bottle you have by the bath says keep out of reach of Children. You must move that, 'cause a little child like Esther could easily get into it"

I have removed the offending bottle (my carpet shampoo) to the cupboard above the washer. It's a good thing I have Lily to keep things under control around here...

My best friend

This carpet cleaner has been one of the best investments we ever made. Right now, I'm using it to battle the Invasion of the Fleas. Yes, those adorable kittens we fostered left a flea infestation behind them...if anyone has experience with flea elimation I'm open to advice. I'm trying to tackle the problem using least-toxic methods first--lots of vacuuming, carpet cleaning, washing bedding, etc. I have ordered diatomaceous earth and plan to try that once it arrives!
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Little Hands

Earlier this morning I was entertaining Esther with a little finger play:

Here is the beehive, where are the Bees
Inside the hive, where nobody sees
Watch and you'll see them come out of the hive
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, they're alive!

Later I was trying to put her down for a nap, she was nursing sleepily on my nap, and trying to talk through the nursing: aah eeh aah eeh uh, oo, ee, oh, ih, aaaaaaaaa---as her bees came out of their hive. It made me think about how quick a toddler is to imitate everything we do.
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Saturday, June 13, 2009


We arrived home this week after a wonderful trip to Utah, where we had the great pleasure of celebrating A and D's wedding and mingling with various aunts, uncles, grandparents, parents, cousins, and siblings from both sides of the family. Both Nathan and I come from large, scattered families, so family gatherings are somewhat rare. Weddings, of course, are an excellent draw--they should be held more frequently! Actually, I was figuring that between the two families there are enough marriageable siblings that we could have a wedding a year for the next 5 or 6 years, by which time there may well be nieces and nephews getting married so the family gatherings could continue indefinitely.
The Picture is of my Grandma P. playing with her little namesake. Esther is named after two great-grandmothers--both wonderful examples to follow!