Where does he get these ideas?

Cameron is too curious for his own good. A couple years ago he stuck the end of a pair of scissors in an outlet. It made quite the fireball and tripped the breaker for half our apartment. Tonight he took a wet piece of paper and rubbed it on a hot lightbulb to see what would happen. The lightbulb exploded. If only we can convince him to ask before he tries an experiment like these (of course he knows we’d say no…).

Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

Since today is Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, Jamie took the big kids to work with him. They were just so excited. They’ve been wanting to see where he works for a long time now and they were just beside themselves that they not only get to see where he works, they get to “work” with him, too.

I told the kids at dinner last night that they’d be going to work with him today. Ani has trouble being civil when she is looking forward to something so if possible we don’t tell her until just before it happens. The kids, on their own, got ready for bed at 7:30 last night. They were asleep by 8 or 8:15. That’s a big deal since they generally aren’t interested in sleeping until at least an hour later. As a result, though, they woke up at 6:45 wanting to get going (leaving time was almost 8).

Ani packed her composition book, a crossword puzzle book, a pen, her HP, Sarah, and Mim dolls (two are little Williamsburg dolls, Mim is a Bitty Baby), and a chapter book (Karen’s Lucky Penny) in her backpack. Cameron packed his science notebook, a box of crayons, two stuffed animals, his Woody doll, and three books to look at in his library book bag. I talked to them around 8:30 and they were happily working. Jamie was printing something and they were waiting for it to come off the printer so they could use the electric stapler to staple the pages together.

Sour… like lemons

So yesterday my big kids were playing outside like usual. They came in and happily informed me they ate some ants. Apparently Ani ate two and Cameron ate three. They tried them live (Ani insists it died the moment it hit her spit). They prefer them pre-squished however.

For this I blame my brother-in-law. At Christmas their uncle’s stories were very popular among his own son and all the nieces and nephew. The most popular were the survival training stories. Eating ants was discussed. So my kids just had to try them (after all, that uncle is Cameron’s hero).

The verdict: Ants are a bit sour and taste kind of like lemons. I am not planning to try one to see if they are right (though they must be since my brother-in-law says they taste like lemon drops).

I’m just glad they just tried ants and don’t even want to catch a rabbit and eat the eye like their uncle did.

I guess they’ve been busy

In Virginia we have to send in our notice of intent to homeschool by August 15th each year. The school system is not required to acknowledge it though most do. But, since they don’t have to, I didn’t worry about not getting an acknowledgment letter. I sent in my letter in early August, and, having complied with that part of the law, went on homeschooling my daughter.

Today Ani brought in the mail and was holding a letter in her hand and told me it was addressed to her parent or guardian. She thought the parent or guardian thing was really funny for some reason. It was our acknowledgment letter. I guess they’ve just been busy for the last 8 months. Wonder how long next year’s acknowledgment letter will take.

Old Town in the Green Groves

Today I read Old Town in the Green Groves by Cynthia Rylant. I enjoyed it. It is definitely a fast read (I read two chapters last night and the rest today). It is the story of the “lost” Little House years. For some reason Laura Ingalls Wilder never wrote about the two years when her baby brother was born and died, Grace was born, and they lived in an old town in Iowa. This book fits the time between Plum Creek and Silver Lake.

There is a lot of sadness in this book and I wonder if that might be why she chose to skip writing about that time period. The crop failures due to grasshoppers continued for a third year. Caroline got very sick with some liver ailment and nearly died. And, of course, saddest of all is the birth and death of her always sickly little brother Freddie. There was happiness in there too, though. They lived a summer with their cousins. They made good friends in the town they lived in. Laura enjoyed school greatly. And, happiest of all, Grace was born and was always healthy.

I very much enjoyed the descriptions on Freddie’s and Grace’s births. In both cases the girls, Mary, Laura, and Carrie, came home to find Jack bristling, a neighbor in the kitchen, Charles home and happy, and Caroline in bed with the new baby. It just seemed so realistic yet so different from how it is today. My great-grandparents had seven children. The oldest was pretty much grown and dating the woman who became his wife when the youngest, his first sister, was born. One day Uncle Joe told his then-fiancee, “Mama is going to have a baby.” She asked him how he knew. He told her “I saw her hanging the wash and the wind blew her dress and I could see her stomach and I know she has a baby in there.” He never mentioned knowing to his parents and a few weeks later the baby was born. The midwife who delivered Cameron also delivers many Amish babies and she told me the older children usually do know know (or at least are not told) that their mother is having a baby before she actually has the baby.

And, so, the births of those two babies made me smile as I remembered the story from my family and what my midwife told me. So different from my own homebirthed baby with siblings who were there when he was born and knew he was coming for months beforehand.


Yesterday Ani and Cameron made a train track for Fritz’s Thomas toy using Math-U-See blocks.


I never quite understood what the pretzels and potato chips in the center were for. Something about a refreshment stand or something like that.


The biggest problem with the train track was Fritz’s great interest in the Math-U-See blocks. For some reason he leaves the blue 10s alone, but he grabs all the other colors of blocks.


The scientific method is a way to solve a problem…

We recently got the first volume of Lyrical Life Science from Lyrical Learning. We got the Lyrical Earth Science CD some time ago and decided it was time to add to our collection. So far we haven’t even looked at the workbooks, and won’t until the kids are older, but we love the music on these CDs!

Jamie even found the Lyrical Earth Science to be useful for his geology college classes. Earlier this semester he was in class and the teacher said something he didn’t think was right and he quickly listened to one of the songs from Lyrical Earth Science volume 1 on his iPod to confirm the teacher was wrong and then corrected her mistake. Last semester he let his teacher listen to the CD and she played a couple songs for the class.

The songs are sung to catchy tunes (folk songs, patriotic songs, oldies, etc.) and teach science things. I like them so much that I’ve been turning on the CD we just got even when the big kids aren’t around. Earlier today Ani and Cameron were doing a little math and playing with their Math-U-See blocks and I turned on the Lyrical Life Science volume 1 CD and they both started singing along. Fritz gets very excited and “dances” (as much as a 9 month old dances) to the music.


I’ve recently gone through an interesting situation. I lost a friend. I really don’t know why, but I guess it’s just time for her to move on. But at the same time, while the one was on her way out, another was on her way in. I have gotten closer to a different friend. I am sad the first friendship has ended, but I am thrilled that the second friendship has bloomed.