Friday, August 28, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Confession Time

Okay, so here's the plain truth. Science experiments stress me out.

I know. I'm a homeschool mom, and I'm supposed to just love gettin' in there with my kids and exploring new ideas, taking chances, making mistakes, and learning new things in the process.

Our experience has been that science experiments generally mean me buying something I don't typically have on hand. It always involves pulling out a million different things, and at least a fair percentage of the time, said experiment does not work.

I'm grumpy and uncooperative. The kids become grumpy and uncooperative. It's just not a good day.

Enter Apologia Science.

I love this curriculum. We are doing General Science this year with our 7th grader. Our older children have done Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics as well. In fact, our 11th grader and his wonderful dad are doing Physics this year. We have also done some of the Apologia Elementary Science programs. They are all very well done, user-friendly, and pretty much fool-proof.

Although we have had some eventful science experiment days, I must admit that the goofs were more the fault of the experimenters than of Dr. Wile and his experiments. (Sometimes my kids and their friends ask the question, "What if we...," and then proceed to do a little experimenting on their own.) Always read the directions!

One of our first experiments this year demonstrated the density of various substances and objects. It's all about the atoms and how closely they are packed together.

Fill a tall glass with 1/4 water. Add the same amount of vegetable oil. Then pour in the same amount of corn syrup. The corn syrup is dense enough to pass through both the water and the oil and rest on the bottom of the glass.

Next drop in a cork, a grape, an ice cube, and a small rock. Where do they rest?

Now, that's just plain cool and relatively stress-free.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Firming and Tightening

Try this homemade masque for a special treat this weekend.

1 ripe peach
1 t plain unflavored yogurt
1 egg white

Peel and slice peach. Place all ingredients in blender and process until smooth. Apply masque to a clean face and allow it to set for 30 minutes before removing with a warm, wet towel.

Place a couple of cucumber slices on your eyes while you wait and just relax.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Broadcast

Remember our visit to Focus on the Family this summer? Here are our three monkeys rehearsing in the Little Theater.

We were able to attend the broadcast taping which featured Alex and Brett Harris discussing their book, Do Hard Things.

Well, the shows finally aired on the Focus on the Family radio show this week. There are three different broadcasts, but the last one is special to our family.

At the very end, you can hear our daughter asking a question from the gallery. You can also hear guest host Frank Pastore make a crack about where we live. What's up with that?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Off to School

*sniff, sniff*

Today was the day. He was as spiffy as it gets. Heading off this morning, our little guy was uberexcited about starting school.

It turned out he had a great first day, and it is going to be a good thing.


So much of parenting is bittersweet.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Just Chillin'

After a busy week, it's nice to just kick back and take a little rest.

Things have been rolling along with our CLEPtomaniacs knocking out two tests (one each) this week and gearing up for school to begin. Our youngest is about to begin his studies at the classical school our older two attended, and he is oh, so excited.

Apparently it has been busy and tiring for Velvet as well. The life of a dog...that's a whole 'nother story.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Common Sense

"Incidentally, common sense is not so common and is the highest praise we give to a chain of logical conclusions."

from The Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt

Friday, August 7, 2009

Papa and the Snake

My Papa could do absolutely anything. From fixing a car to building a house, he was definitely a jack of all trades.

He and my dad once spent an entire afternoon trying to diagnose the problem with my car. They tried everything to figure out why it wouldn't crank, only to discover I was out of gas. Only I could manage to run out of gas in my own driveway.

He built a playhouse for me one year at Christmas, and I spent countless happy hours playing house and fast-food restaurant in that little dwelling all my own. He was truly as powerful as Superman in my eyes.

Papa was also deathly afraid of snakes. Although he was never a big man, he had incredible strength in that lean and wiry body. He used that strength to kill any slimy, slithering creature he happened to encounter.

I remember once in New Mexico, we came upon a rattlesnake while hiking. Papa picked up a rock and smashed its head before it could strike. He valiantly tried to squash one that managed to invade their screened porch one spring afternoon, but it got away much to our chagrin. The most memorable of Papa's snake encounters, however, occurred one hot summer afternoon while he was weeding in the flower beds.

I was really young, kindergarten-age or younger, but I remember Papa killing that snake with the hoe. After all of the excitement, Mamma and Aunt Lynn got out the snake book, and we looked up pictures to figure out what kind of snake it was. Eventually, everyone went back inside except Papa who continued to weed and me who wandered around looking for trouble.

I was examining the dead snake more closely and picked it up with a stick. I'm not sure where I was taking it, but I started walking across the yard toward Papa who was working shirtless in the flower bed. As I walked, the stick began to bob up and down.

With absolutely no effort or attempt whatsover from me, the stick bobbed a little bit and the snake went sailing through the air. No joke. I was as surprised as anybody...well, except Papa, I guess. His bare back was turned toward me, and the snake landed perfectly on his right shoulder and slid down his chest. There is no way on God's green earth that I could have executed such a precise trajectory.

Already on edge from the recent discovery of that foul creature in his garden, Papa reacted with lightning speed. He leapt from his crouching position and turned to find me, his sweet, precious and only grandchild standing there with a stick in her hand. Everyone in the family said that if it had been anyone but me, the perpetrator would have suffered a swift but painful death. As it was, Papa was eventually able to laugh about the event, but I don't think he ever believed that it was an accident.

Once and for all, I truthfully proclaim in writing that I did not purposefully toss that snake on my sweet Papa. I could not have done it had I wanted to. It was just one of those freaky things that happen to me. I promise.

You believe me, don't you?

Monday, August 3, 2009

God is Good

...all the time.