Wednesday, June 27, 2007
On Monday I made my first large mistake on the quilt I'm sewing for our bed. Turns out I didn't make my pieced border long enough and so in trying to cover up my mistake by skimping on quality I made the problem even worse. If I thought the quilt project was a big undertaking, I was wrong; righting this mistake will be even bigger.
Tuesday, I took our new kitten, Diamond, for her first emergency visit to the vet. It all began with an early morning check on Diamond; she sleeps in a kennel in the garage. Grace and Ray were playing with her and some how everyone's feet became entangled causing Ray to trip and fall squarely on Diamond. Ray had a bloody nose and a dime sized abrasion on the side of his nose. I quickly cleaned him up because everyone was crying that something was wrong with Diamond. Indeed something was wrong with Diamond. I knew immediately upon seeing her laying on the concrete floor that I needed to get her to a vet fast. As I drove to the vet I thought for the first time, Why can't we find a vet closer than a 30 minute drive? After the vet checked her out it was determined that she had a fracture in her right front leg, misalignment in the jaw, severe concussion and major lung trauma. After evaluating the options for care and cost, I chose to have the vet give her IV fluids, a steroid shot and an antibiotic shot and to bring her home. The first 24 hours were crucial. I am happy to report that she survived. It's now 36 hours after the initial accident and she is walking, pottying, eating, drinking, meowing, purring and generally in good spirits. She isn't walking completely straight, nor is she cleaning/licking herself. But she's alive and we all survived our first big incident with Diamond.
On a lighter note and in the area of nature study, we have been amazed for the first time at the size of a toad's stool. It's BM. It's #2. For a 2 1/2" toad, I think a 1" turd is quite large; we all think it's quite large. Think about that. If we pooped one proportionately, it would be about 2 feet long.
For the first time Lou told me about her cantering cat. Can you tell she also loves horses?
I also had my first realization as to how the sand got into my bed sheets. Last night when I climbed in I wondered out loud why I felt sand. DH felt sand, too. Must not have been too bothersome because I woke in what felt like a couple minutes to find it was morning and I was still sleeping in sand. I'm assuming it came from the tractor/loader that was on the sandpile yesterday and was found in my bedroom today.
While shopping at Goodwill yesterday, I was told by Lou for the the first time that see through, leopard print tanktops were not my style. Good thing!
Also, while shopping at Goodwill, Lou almost lost her first tooth. It did finally come out today in the van. I can't believe it could hang on by that thread for so long. Anyway, tooth fairy tonight.
Ray traced numbers for the first time. He knows how to make a mama smile.
Grace and her friend Sara harnessed up Twig to a mini pull cart for the first time.
Lou had her first piano lesson.
Lee played at his guitar teacher's house with her nephew for the first time. And rode his bike to the beach for the first time. The bike riding is a big deal to me, because as a kid I rode my bike everywhere - to the gas station, to the city pool, to all the parks and playgrounds in a 8 block radius, to friend's houses, to work, to the icecream shop, to school. We live in a rural area where the only place they can ride to is Grandpa's. And although I love living where I do, I have to admit I miss being able to ride my bike to a real place. So, when my kids get a chance to take their bikes to town and ride to a real place and leap for joy. They are experiencing something from my childhood.
A week of many firsts. Some great, others required a bit more from me. Taking each one in stride and thanking God for each opportunity and experience is the only way to get through it all.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Time in the garden always refreshes my soul. Weather forecasts are showing high 80's and low 90's starting Sunday and continuing into midweek, so I figured best do the garden work now when it's fairly cool. The breeze today made it so we could weed and hoe in relatively pleasant conditions. I headed out this morning after I'd started the dishwasher and laundry, started a loaf of wheat bread in the bread machine and read a chapter in Guerrilla Learning, which I'm finding to be fascinating. The kind of stuff you know, but need to be reminded of, especially as you plan for the upcoming school year. At the end of each chapter I absolutely love the for the parent and for the child exercises. Really makes one think about being a learning role model in a learning environment. Anyway, I started out alone in the garden, humming a tune as I hoed. Gradually the kids congregated around me. Grace came with a second hoe and pail for pulling big weeks. Ironic that Grace would be the first one out, but the first question out of her mouth was, How long do you think we'll be doing this? Until it's done, I said. Lee came next and plopped down in the shade with stories of escaping deer flies, dead stag beetles and a new bird with a yellowish breast at the feeder. Lou came down with Diamond and Ray showed up with a tractor. I managed to coerce Lee into getting the wheel barrow so we could pick up some trash I raked from the garden edge. He did that while Grace and Lou pulled weeds from around the electric fence and Ray played with his tractor near the entrance to the garden, near the tomato plants. I hoed the entire garden and managed to only step on corn twice. That's a record for me, especially with all the commotion surrounding me.
The pictures are not from our garden, but from around the yard. Enjoy!
Now comes the Super Summer Science part. Using the Golden Guide Reptiles and Amphibians guidebook we identified it as an American Toad. We also read info about toads from, Northwoods Wildlife: A Watcher's Guide to Habitats and The Kingfisher Illustrated Animal Encyclopedia. But the most exciting part of keeping a toad is watching it eat. Lee and Grace caught two deer flies this morning, one got away in the transfer process and the other was quickly spied by the toad. How incredible to watch as the toad focused intently on the deer fly as it flew around the terrarium. The toad would hop once, stop and watch, then hop again in the appropriate direction. The deer fly didn't seem to notice is was being preyed upon. Then in two quick flicks of the tongue the fly was caught and gone, all in a split second. The toad tongue was larger than I'd expected. Well wider than expected and it was pink. Not an experiment type of science today, but definitely interesting and very informative. So, find a toad, put it into a terrarium, clear rubbermaid container or gallon size glass jar and then feed it some insects. Definitely worth watching.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Monday, June 18, 2007
This is AWE-SOME!
I bet you can't guess, so I'll just tell you.
I let him use the new rechargeable weed trimmer. He's trimming around the swingset and the house and his little cranberry bed and anywhere he feels the grass is too long. And then, finally, the battery was drained. More fun awaits tomorrow when the charge is full again.
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007
- Lee released Tordy the turtle, completely scrubbed the terrarium and readied it for the next toad to cross his path.
- Lou helped me plant tomatoes and we talked about germination and pollination.
- Grace attended a 2 hour Horse Science class at an area horse stable sponsored by the UW-Extension.
- We all witnessed the miracle of life by visiting and holding (oh he's so cute) the newest cousin in the line up.
- Lee checked all his toad houses for signs of visitors.
- I read Pick, Pull, Snap! Where Once a Flower Bloomed by Lola M. Schaefer, a lovely book focusing on the fact that before any fruit or vegetable is beared, a flower bloomed. We discussed pollination by bees and wind and then went outside to look at the cranberry bloom. Here's what we saw:
More Cranberry Bloom
Diamond the Kitty
To recap: I will be posting one Super Summer Science idea each week. Of course, there will be so many other observations, but I will post one fun idea each week of the summer. I believe summer is the best time to do science because of the unhurried pace (on most days). Summer days allow for the uninterrupted observation time necessary to develop a love of science. And science is best done outdoors and summer is the perfect season to be outside. Still, school year science has its place, snowflakes and frost patterns come to mind. But check out a few backyard science books from your library and join in on the Super Summer Science. If you have any ideas that were just super fun (Lou's favorite phrase), please leave them in the comment box. Happy observing.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
June 8 - Grace spent the afternoon at the horse stable. Lou had a surprise ride on Twig, the miniature horse. If only I had had my camera. DH and I went to a movie Friday night and then out for a drink and a taco to boot. I'm almost embarrassed to say I saw KnockedUp. The pregnancy, baby, shopping for baby, labor was all cute and brought back so many memories. But the movie didn't stop there. The swearing and drug use was unbearable. At one point I leaned to DH and said I can't believe I'm watching this. I still haven't checked to see if it's rated PG-13 or R. I can't imagine a thirteen year old seeing such a film. *Edit: I just read the linked review and it says it all and it's definitely rated R.
June 9 - Grace had violin and then we went grocery shopping. The afternoon was kinda lazy until it was time for Zack's graduation party.
June 10 - The highlight of today was getting the long awaited kitten, which Lou named Diamond. I planted the garden, late and slim in the area of variety, but none the less it's in and hopefully in a couple months we'll have something to harvest. Here's what I planted: Yukon Golds, red potatoes, yellow onions, carrots, cucumbers, pie pumpkins, corn and a couple rows of flowers. We had a "last dinner before baby is born" dinner at my father-in-law's, in honor of Rod and Jan and their soon to be born baby.
June 11 - The baby was born this morning. A boy. 8 pounds 1 ounce and 21 inches long. Healthy. Grace and Lee went to Parade of Pets at the Humane Society. They combed cats, walked dogs and toured the facility. After dinner the kids set up the tent and camped for the night.
June 12 - Here we are at today. I made dinner rolls from frozen dough. Grace started on a couple of bibs for the newborn cousin. Now Ray's napping and the others are swimming trying to beat the heat. It's 86 here today.
These are just some of the highlights. Of course, there's been the marsh work and daily living stuff like fishing, turtles, kitten care, dog care, chicken care, reading, housework, watering the flowers and yard and keeping up with mail and magazine reading. I just got Faith and Family and Family Fun within the last couple days and now I'm full of ideas, we'll see what comes to fruition.
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
#1 - It's so good that when your sister puts her head on your floor pillow, the one you got for yourself from the corner, you don't even realize you're sharing because you are so engrossed in the movie. It's so good that when your other sister takes half your blanket, you don't even realize your legs are uncovered and you're cold until the movie's over.
#2 - It's so good that I cried, clapped and sat on the edge of my seat during the last quarter of the football, yes, staged football, game. I'm not a big football fan and have never considered crying over a win or loss of any football game, much less a small town highschool football team in a movie.
Now go rent this movie; you won't be disappointed.
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Our recent reads
Charlotte's Web read by E.B. White himself. He has a soothing voice and played up the part of the geese wonderfully. The story of course, is so sweet and when it was over we talked about living up to the labels given to us and how important it is to be encouragers and not discouragers. As I say almost everyday to at least one of the kids: Are you helping or hurting the situation?
Because of Winn Dixie by Kate Dicamillo and read by Cherry Jones. I'd seen bits of the movie, which I thought was good and something I had wanted to see in its entirety, but it definitely can not compare to the book. And the storyteller's voice is absolutely addicting. The general storyline is this: a little girl in an unfortunate situation finds a way to feel better about life by befriending other unfortunate souls and bringing them together, all the while learning how to not be judgemental. Lots of lessons are addressed in this lovable book, even ones that us adults need to be reminded of now and again.
Sunday, June 3, 2007
while watching Extreme Home Makeover
Me: Wow, look at that hummo limmer.
That's hummer limo in case you couldn't figure it out.
Friday, June 1, 2007
Mom, Ray let out all the chickens.
Mom, Ray threw the feed scoop at me.
Mom, Ray stuck out his tongue at me.
Mom, now he threw his toothbrush on the sandpile.
Mom, Ray's trampling the new grass.
Well, now he's off the grass, but he's drowning the flowers.
How old is Ray? 2 years, 10 1/2 months, enough said.