Monday, May 5, 2008

busy bees

I'm still trying to catch up from having been away for a few days (2 weeks ago!!!). The retreat was incredible! It is so awesome to have 3 days to do nothing but sit at the feet of Jesus (and eat food that I didn't have to prepare or clean up after). I was very refreshed and encouraged by everything I heard and I left praising God for all that He has done in my life in the last year. I just can't say enough about how awesome it was. I had so much fun just being silly and not being responsible for anyone but me! I even poured salt on the table in the restaurant just to play with it!!! I always tell the kids not to do that!! Oh yeah, I was livin' on the wild side lol!! The kids had a blast at my moms and were so happy to have seen some of their friends.

Here's me being silly at the restaurant just because I could!
When we all got home we took a day to relax and then we were off and running again! We went to a homeschool friend's house for "Frog Day" She has a pond in her backyard very graciously invited our whole group to experience the excitement of spring in a frog pond! We collected some frog eggs, saw redback and spotted salamanders, some cool underwater beetles, newts, and a few frogs too. I was very proud of Bella she held the redback salamander and a newt! She's usually a little squeamish about slimy things but she was really excited. She still says worms are gross but newts, salamanders and frogs are cool. She and Isaac learned a lot and have been talking about it ever since. Ian was unfortunately not quite as interested in the delicate natural balance of the pond. He just wanted to slap his net in the mud and stomp around asking (very loudly) why he couldn't catch a frog. Much to my horror he accidentally killed two spotted salamanders (yes, the protected species of large spotted salamanders) with his wild net. I blame myself for not telling him to be more gentle. It was absolutely devastating to see. After confirming that it was indeed and accident and that Ian hadn't even seen the salamanders (alive or dead) I felt a little better that at least he didn't knowingly massacre a protected species... Still I was pretty speechless and felt awful. I don't know if we'll be invited back to Frog Day next year... Hopefully we will because overall it was a wonderful day. Bella and her frog eggs above and holding the redback salamander below

Over the weekend we had a few family fishing outings, we're trying to find a good fishing spot that is easily accessible for a whole family. You would think with all the lakes around here there must be some good fishing...we didn't find it last weekend...we'll keep looking.

Monday should have found us back to work but we decided to keep having fun instead! We went to another homeschool friend's house for Travel Day. This time we traveled "inside the earth." It was really neat. Alison did an amazing job putting together some very yummy and messy crafts that were very educational. What a great combo! I know when we "dig a little deeper" into this topic next year the kids will definitely remember the great experiments and object lessons. The favorites were "mining" chocolate chips out of a cookie, making little edible earths out of Tootsie pops, marshmallows and chocolate and of course the erupting volcano. Big thanks to Nancy who hosted this educational mess!

The rest of the week was filled with lots of other "regular" school activities. Until Friday when we had yet another field trip to a local dairy farm. It was a little stinky but very education and interesting. The kids loved touring the calf barn. One little guy was only 12 days old! Watching the larger cows poop was also very captivating for the group. At the end of the tour we all got bottles of some of the best chocolate milk we have ever had!

Look forward to some T-ball pix in the upcoming blogs and we'll be starting ancient Egypt, if I ever get motivated to pull the lesson together... I'll keep you posted.