Art in April

Expanded Moment: The boys worked together to choose something to take a silent video of. A picture, but longer. They chose to give the guinea pigs some bits of tomato and then videoed the girls for 2 1/2 minutes.

Exquisite Corpse: The boys had to take turns adding to a picture. Cameron started it and left a clue and then covered what he drew. Fritz went next and then covered his part as well. Adrian drew his giant last.

Imprint: The boys had to select an object, cut it in half, dip it in paint, and press it on paper multiple times to make an imprint. Cameron used a Celtic knot he made a while ago. Fritz used a plastic Easter egg. Adrian used a stick.

Under the Influence: The boys had to look at art by any artist or creator they liked and then create something in that artist’s style. Cameron chose Jeff Agala (Don’t Starve), Fritz chose Vincent Van Gogh, and Adrian chose Toby Fox (Undertale).

Physical Therapy

Yesterday Ani started at least a month of physical therapy 2-3 days a week. Her therapist is experienced with people with Ehlers-Danlos (really important to prevent further injury). Her neck issues appear to all be totally related to the EDS.


When she moves her neck, her vertebrae don’t work together, but instead twist in opposite directions. This equals pain. Her front neck muscles are much weaker than her back neck muscles. This equals pain. She has craniocervical instability. This equals pain. So much pain. Doctors laughed at her for saying her neck felt too weak to hold up her head. Well, the physical therapist isn’t laughing. Ani was right about that all along!


The goal of the physical therapy and (so many) exercises she has to do in between visits is to strengthen her neck and retrain the muscles to keep her vertebrae in alignment and moving properly together. The ultimate goal is to get her back on the mat training at taekwondo. For now, though, after her first two visits, her neck is really hurting. We are hopeful that in a few weeks it’ll be much better (me more than Ani to be honest – she’s pretty much resigned to being in horrible pain for the rest of her life).

I Read a Lot

I ran across an old journal entry from several years ago where I wrote about how happy I was to have read 5 whole books in a single month and how I wanted to spend more time reading. Old me really amused current me.

And I have definitely increased the amount of time I spend reading.

So far this year I’ve read 51 books. That’s 11 in January, 12 in February, 20 in March, and 8 so far in April. I think old me would faint to know current me reads that much (granted, old me had much littler children and so had a lot less time to read!).

More Lesson Planning

A few days ago Facebook’s On This Day thing told me that I had finished my lesson planning for the 2016-17 school year on that day last year. This year… Not. Even. Close.

But I have been working on them!

I’ve got grammar, spelling, and vocabulary for all of them and Adrian’s writing all done. Now I’m working on Cameron’s creative writing. We’re going to use The Well-Trained Mind’s Creative Writing I and it just has the lessons divided into 36 full weeks all at once so I’m having to split it up into daily activities however it makes sense to me.

I made a list of what subjects I still need to plan and I’m pretty sure our 2017-18 school year plans will be done sometime before 2019.

March Science Experiments

We drew food webs for our backyard (including our dog and lizards… she really eats lizards).

We looked at a torn blade of grass under the microscope.

We looked at rhizobacteria under the microscope.

We made a terrarium in an empty pickle jar.

We picked two identical leaves off one tree. We put 1/2 cup of distilled water in one jar and 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar in another jar and added a leaf to each jar. We let them sit overnight. The next day, the leaf that had been in the water was bright green and still looked healthy while the leaf that had been in the vinegar was very dark green and a bit shriveled.

We planted four radish seedlings and watered one with pure water, one with pure vinegar, one with 4 parts water and 1 part vinegar, and one with 4 parts vinegar and 1 part water. The one with pure water kept growing, the one with pure vinegar died within a few hours. The one with mostly water tried to keep growing, but wasn’t healthy, and the one with mostly vinegar grew for a couple days and then died.