Friday, October 21, 2005

Cracking Rocks

Got to climb trees and crack open rocks on Tuesday. Katie insisted on bringing home a lot of rocks to create a rock garden. I didn't think it would be a problem, since she dug them out of the beach volleyball court on the playground. These were really sizable rocks, ones I would not want to land on if I was playing volleyball.

We made "Halloween Pie" (a pumpkin pie recipe from the back of the book "Halloween Pie") with fresh whipped cream--which we had to whip by hand since I couldn't find the right attachment for the mixer. It was all sooooooo gooooooood.

We also did an unusual amount of worksheets this week. I needed some proof that they could actually follow directions and I let them know that if they couldn't show me that ability with their actions, they would need to fill out worksheets to prove it. They have been a bit more attentive since then. They can also add up sets of four numbers now, so that was nice to see.

Discovered that leaving a subject alone for a few days to percolate often helps. Katie was driven to tears trying to figure out how to make $1.40 out of a variety of coin choices. After explaining it a few different ways, I suggested she leave it alone for a while. Sure enough, this week she breezed right through it. So, I think we'll let fractions perk for a few weeks now too.

It's turning cold and it's nice to see my warm-weather clothes again. Katie long-legs needs new pants, last year's are all floods now.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

In a Lather

This was a very cool atom/hot air expansion experiment with Ivory soap and the microwave. You put half a bar of Ivory Soap in the microwave for one minute and you get that fluffy stuff. The small piece of soap also on the plate is a different brand of soap that doesn't float and has a lot less air.

The kids were stunned, me too, but not as much because I'd been told what to expect. They were also impressed that you can still wash with it!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Last Thursday and Friday we hosted Hannah, who's mom had to be in school to give her teacher evaluations, but the kids didn't have school. We had a great time and made brownies, played dress up, went to the farmers market, and read to each other.

On Friday it was the Big Apple Circus for us in the evening. It's in a real big top! It was also 12 inches of rain that day and I learned a lesson about putting off buying new tires and riding on a spare too long during the 35 mile/2 hour trip to Dulles to see the circus. I also managed to drop Pete's and my dinner down the back of the tent and had to head out into the rain to replace our concessions. The kids had a terrific time though but if we hadn't bought the tickets in advance, I would have preferred to stay warm and cozy at home!

Saturday it was still raining and I let the kids have a break from cleaning up the disaster in the basement to go play in the river of water heading down the front sidewalk.

Yesterday we made a last minute trip to Fredericksburg with our old friend Suzie, who's working down there this week. We took a tour of the old apothecary shop where Katie and Zack were grossed out by Real Leeches and a description of what they need to do to remove cataracts and unhealed broken arms--yuck!

Suz and I were fascinated by the descriptions of the herbal remedies a many of which are used in some forms today to treat the same ailments. The kids liked being able to smell the herbs and tinctures. The tour guide was great particularly because we were the only people there for the second half so the kids were able to ask questions and see everything up close.

Today we went to the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) for a tour set up by a HS group in Arlington. We ended up knowing one family from Sleepy Hollow Preschool days and another mom and I think we've met before but can't remember where. We split into small groups of about 8 each and we're given a 45 minute tour. The kids and I also stayed for lunch--I had buffalo stew, yummy, and to see the great movie presentation upstairs. It's a great museum and even though it seems like there's not much to it, considering the huge building, we always see something new whenever we go.

When we got home the house smelled great from Pete cooking Loubi all day. The kids begged me to take out the Halloween decorations and we put up all the indoor ones. It's still raining, so we'll hold off on the outdoor ones. Now they're working on some Halloween activity books that I picked up on sale last year, threw in the decoration box and forgot all about.

Hope your neighborhood is getting spooky too!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Guess which is lead by women...

Cub Scouts-Wolf
scarf...uh sorry, neckerchief--$9
Wolf Scarf slider--$4 (after this he'll need the Bear and Weeblo ones)

Dues etc--$50

If he goes onto boy scouts, the uniform color changes and you buy all new.

Brownie vest--$16

Dues, etc--$37

if she decides to be a girl scout, you need to get a green vest.


Monday, October 03, 2005

Butterfly Balancing

Isn't this cool? The butterflies are standing on their heads all by themselves, no glue, pins or strings. Zack's is on the left and Kate's is on the right. The bar graph charts the butterflies we've seen so far.