Monday, April 27, 2009

More Dissecting Fun....

We dissected grasshoppers 2 weeks ago....they were a little tricky but Truman and Torsten really took their time and were precise about it.
This week's specimen of choice was: the starfish (or asterias rubens to be scientific about it).
Have you ever wondered what the inside of a starfish looks like? Probably not, but here you go: (And just remember, you can click on the picture to get a better look)
All right, my apologies to any of you who may be eating breakfast while reading this. No more pictures like that, I promise. :-) Here are some photos that are a little easier on the eyes: look at these cute future scientists having fun with scalpels and probes....handsome specimens, aren't they?
And here's Hailey and Lili- the women scientists of our group. It's funny how the topic of conversation around their dissections always seems to revolve around the "meatiness" of that particular specimen. Or its tenderness, or juiciness,'s almost enough to make one hungry if it weren't for the pervading formaldehyde odor in the air! Next week's specimen is a perch, but maybe we should just plan a fish fry instead.......just kidding!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bill's Eulogy

Bill. He will be missed. (well, a little) Bill was quite proud of his voice and made a very vocal addition to our little chicken flock. His colorful character and personality was enjoyed until the day he discovered his "true manliness" and decided he was "cock-o-the-walk". We hear he made a tasty crock pot meal at the Hansen's house Saturday night.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

No tulips again this year....

I went outside this morning and a group of 9 deer was just finishing up their breakfast of almost-ready- to-bloom tulips from my freshly weeded flower bed!!! I'm so mad at them! The war between me and the deer is starting all ready......

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Lovely, lovely day. I finally got around to planting the bleeding hearts in the shady bed by the house. Also cleaned out the hollyhock/lily/iris bed of last year's growth and all the nasty little thistles trying to establish themselves.

School was outside at the picnic table- well, after the kids morning routine of chore, piano practice, and Rosetta Stone Spanish and D.I.V.E. math lecture on the computer. At the table we worked on Winston Grammar, made maps and country flags for Australia and New Zealand and continued working on "Alice in Wonderland"- our current read-aloud. Being outside for school was a wonderful change of pace!

After schoolwork was done, all the kids jumped on the trampoline with the sprinkler. It seems crazy that we had 2 inches of snow 5 days ago! The boys set up the tent the other day and are sleeping in it for the 3rd night in a row. That's one reason I'm up so late, I kept hearing their voices wafting in through the open windows..... ahhhhh... summer is close, I can almost taste it....
My friend Jenny posted pictures of the TEA Party that our families attended last week. Thanks Jenny for bringing your camera! That day was a great learning experience: especially making the posters and talking about what it all means with inquisitive kids.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Snow, baby ducks, etc.

After that beauuutiful weather this weekend, we woke up to snow on Wednesday morning. At least the little kids were excited about it. They got on their snowpants and mittens and probably did their final sledding for the year. :-) At lunchtime all of us dressed in our scarves and winter hats and went with our signs and American flags to the TEA party protest outside the courthouse. Taylor was interviewed and ended up being on the 6 o'clock news!

Here's the big trailer load of fencing we picked up Monday from various Craig's List ads. ALL the metal t-posts and rolls of wire fencing were free! Yay! I'm amazed because it's all in really great condition. That probably saved us 500 to 600 dollars in fencing. We brought home 18 used hog/lamb panels too. Now we just have to get working on putting it up.....
This week we also picked up 7 baby chicks, (we call them chickie babies) and 2 ducklings from D&B. The kids love them and Heidi even sleeps by their box at night.

Here is Hailey with one of the ducks.
Heidi snuggling one of the chicks. She checks their food and water at least every hour and gives them new wood shavings a couple times a day! Pampered little chickie babies....
Taylor snapped this photo of the apricot tree yesterday. It warms my heart just looking at it. Much better than snow pictures. Thanks, Taylor.l

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Shoshone Falls

The falls are absolutely gorgeous right now! The family went for a Sunday walk to enjoy them and we took some pictures. The flow was at approximately 7 to 8000 cfs (cubic feet per second) when these photos were taken but it should be increasing in the next couple days to 12 or 13,000 cfs! You have to come out and revel in the view!
We can hear the thundering roar when we lay in bed at night. What an amazing amount of water.....They call this the Niagara of the West. Tourists who come in the summer are probably very disappointed because the average flow is just 1,200 cfs- but NOW is the time to visit.

Even though it was fun to get some family pictures, it always about gives me a heart attack having 5 kids running around multiple cliffs and waterfalls. Those who know me, know I am afraid of heights even with guardrails. :-)
Taylor peeking over the edge right before I yell at him to get back over here!
This pond at the top of the falls looks so calm and serene. Looks can be deceiving.It is a 50 second walk to this pond from our back door. I timed it when we first moved here because Reagan was 3 and I was worried.....boy am I so glad he has never been a wandering child! I had another discussion on Sunday about the consequences of coming over to the falls without Mom or Dad. Here is our exact conversation:

"First of all, Reagan, you would die. Second, Mommy and Daddy would take away your bike and the trampoline and give them to D.I. Any questions?" No seriously, that's what I said. I'm not sure which threat sounds worse in the mind of a 4 year old but hopefully one of them sounds alarming enough to be remembered.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A little mixed up...

I drive a burgundy red Yukon XL. It's not the most unique vehicle in town by any means, but I do see a lot less "twins" of ourselves driving around than I did when we had a white suburban for our family vehicle. (I sure miss that suburban by the way, it seated 9! and was paid for! - can you ask for anything better? But then the engine went out....stink.)
So anyways, the other day I'm at Costco with Hailey and we come out of the store with a big cart of stuff and go over to our burgundy Yukon and open up the back to start unloading.

Weird. There's a blanket I don't recognize spread in the back with a couple toolboxes set on top.

"Why is this blanket in here?" Hailey asks.

"Ummm....maybe Dad put it in here since we just cleaned and vacuumed the car and he doesn't want to mess it up again", I reply. "But where did he find that blanket? I've never seen it before," I ponder out loud.

Then I start looking closer at the toolboxes and dig around in the small cardboard box full of miscellaneous hand tools that's back there and come to the conclusion that Joel must be bringing all this stuff to my parent's house this weekend. We're always doing some kind of project on their farm and toting tools back and forth.

Okey-dokey, better quit messing around and start unloading the groceries.

At this point, I'm turning to get the stuff out of the cart and something catches my eye. It's a person and they are sitting in the driver's seat watching me in the rear view mirror. Oh my. Suddenly everything starts to make sense. *Deep Blush* Luckily, he's a nice old gentleman and thought the whole scenario was quite entertaining. He was waiting for his wife and had seen our car drive into the parking lot earlier and thought, - my car has a twin. So when Hailey and I came out of Costco and started unloading into his car he knew why. I couldn't stop laughing and apologizing-- how many groceries would he have let me unload before he spoke up? Sheesh. How embarrassing. But I'm glad he got a good laugh out of it too.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Black Eye

Reagan got in a fight with the trampoline and I think the trampoline was the winner.

Poor little bugger...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Dissecting Worms

We had our first day of dissecting! It was lots of fun, especially because the Whitney's were able to join us, which meant each of the kids had a lab partner. Cutting up stinky specimens is always more fun with a friend, don't you think?

The smell of formaldehyde always brings back old memories of high school Anatomy and Physiology class. Unfortunately my lab partner was pregnant and would have to run out to throw up every class period. Not so fun....for her in particular. Anyways, no one at our house was grossed out enough to even think about throwing up- in fact, I think everyone learned a lot and had an enjoyable time in the process.

I was amazed how neatly Taylor and Henry were able to open up their worm. Pretty impressive for 4th graders!
Taylor decided he could get a better angle kneeling on the table.

Hailey and Lili hard at work.

Taylor was very proud of how his worm turned out. He asked if he could hang it on the wall in his bedroom. Mmmmm.....I don't think so. Come back when you've skinned a bear or something and we'll talk....

Monday, April 6, 2009

Starlight is gone....

"Mama Cat" as Joel always called her, has gone missing. She was our family's first real pet. We couldn't have asked for a sweeter, quieter, more well-mannered cat. (A well-mannered cat in my opinion, is one that doesn't ever climb screens, or claw little kids, or wake you up at night.) Starlight would trot faithfully behind Heidi and Reagan as they explored the hillsides around here or lay in the raspberry beds among the mint plants to keep me company while I weeded. She would let Heidi tote her around in the most awkward position- feet straight up in the air, without protest. But besides all that wonderfullness, Starlight was beautiful. Look at those blue eyes.
She had 3 baby kittens, not quite 2 weeks old, who were waiting in the window well for her return. But it's been 2 days now. I cried last night realizing how much I will miss her and wondering if we'll ever have a cat as perfect as her again. I also worried what would happen to her babies because they were not responding well to bottle feeding. Heather, a friend of mine, has a cat that is a first time mother to six kittens. Lani brought my 3 hungry mewing kittens over to Heather's today and they put them all together while the mama cat wasn't looking. She accepted them!! I am so happy! Starving kittens, on top of the loss of our favorite cat ever, was not a pleasant picture. Thanks Heather, for being willing to let your cat mother 9 kittens! Your mama cat's a real "woman". :-)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Sew many projects....not enough time (or energy)

Note to self: I want to do these projects when I muster up the time and energy.....

*A Notebook/crayon kit - I originally meant to make this for Heidi for Christmas. I could make it and give it to her for a happy June gift. :-)
*Another bag Why do I need another bag?? Well everyone could always use another cute bag, right? Especially one this darling. But, I should probably finish designing and sewing up the one I started this winter before I start into another new bag...
*And these cute bibs looked like so much fun that I've all ready cut out 2 sets. Now I just need to sit down and sew them.

But I think I'll start next week.....why do today what I can put off for tomorrow? No seriously, I am going to get my rear in week.