Monday, March 31, 2008

Elephant Painting...



This elephant is a better artist than I am!
Watch this video and be utterly amazed.

Orville and Scout 2008

If you have been reading this blog for over a year, you may remember my fascination with the peregrine falcons. It's that time again. The falcon cam on Rhodes Tower in Columbus is once again live streaming the clutch of Scout and Orville. Last year was Scout's first clutch so while she did lay eggs, they did not hatch. This year is anticipated to be a successful clutch.
Over the weekend she laid her first egg and she will most likely lay another 2-3 over the next few days. Here's a look of egg number one.

To check out the blog for the Rhodes Tower falcons see here, http://ohioperegrinefalcons.blogspot.com/
To check out the live feed falcon cam see here,
http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/wildlife/dow/falcons/columbus.aspx

On occasion the live feed is down. Click on the still image feed to still get a view of the nest box or ledge.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

My Bracket's

are officially dead.
Never in my years of doing bracket's for the NCAA tournament have I ended my run in the sweet sixteen. Never.
I ended up with 36 correct wins.
Hubby's bracket lives on with North Carolina.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Field Trip To Grand Rapids -Part 2

After leaving the Meijer Gardens last Thursday, we headed out for lunch. A quick pass down Beltline and we all agreed on Applebee's. My kiddos love Applebee's. Especially Orange Chicken. The boy surprised me when he ordered Chicken Noodle Soup with a Shrimp Spinach Salad. Yummy!
Next, we broke our 3 month drought of caching and hit 4 geocaches in the area. Quick and easy ones.
Lastly, we went to the Grand Rapids Children's Museum. Fabulous place. $5 per person unless you hit Thursday Family Night, then it is $1 per person. If you have young children, I highly recommend you get to this place.
Here are many pictures for your viewing pleasure.
The Post Master...

The dentist...

The Bank Teller...

The Carpenter...

My fabulous sculpture...

Shopping at the Grocery Store...

Acting in the Theater...

Muscle Triplets...

And a lovely shot of the Bee Keeper...

Hands-on experiences are around every turn. Making my kids happy explorers. And ending our day in Grand Rapids with smiles all around.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Follow-up

Today the little girl and I go to see the Pediatric Urologist. Things seem to be back to normal but I want answers and knowledge should it ever happen again. In light of our day, today's quote of the day, fits perfectly.

Alfred Hitchcock

"The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder."

I do agree.

Update:
It appears little girls condition may have been a viral infection. Which is why meds did not help and nothing showed up on the ultrasound. She has fully recovered and chances of a reoccurance are slim. Very thankful for everyone's prayers.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Field Trip To Grand Rapids- Part 1

The kids and I had a fabulous day in Grand Rapids.
Our first stop was Meijer Gardens to see the butterflies. They are currently featuring Foremost's Butterflies Are Blooming. With over 40 species of butterflies, totally more than 6,000. In an open 15,000ft conservatory, the butterflies flit around you as you walk through beautiful landscaping and see them in action. It is an awesome sight. With guide in hand we excitedly identified the different ones we saw. My favorite was the Common Morpho, a brilliant blue butterfly, rather large in size. It mostly flew around, rarely stopping for a sip of nectar. When it did stop I noticed it was a rather boring brown on the outside. Great camouflage!
Here are a few shots I got along the way...
As the guide did not have every specie in it we did not get a confirmed ID on this fellow. We believe he is in the Postman family.

This beauty is an Asian Atlas Moth. It was HUGE. Easily an 8inch wingspan.

These two are a type of Swallowtail

Inside there was also an arid room and a room of carnivorous plants.
Check out this Tropical Pitcher Plant.

While I had never been to the Garden's, this trip will definitely not be my last. The grounds are gorgeous with sculptures lining the pathways. After our visit to the conservatory we bundled up and went outside to the Children's Garden area. I want to go back and see it in all its Summer glory. The kids enjoyed playing in the tree house and checking out the log cabin. We walked only a small fraction of the various outdoor garden areas. So when we return we will have much to explore.

While in the Children's area we warmed up in the information area while playing dress-up and doing some arts & crafts. Little girl was adorable as she tried on the various butterfly wings. And the craft they made turned out great as well. An old fashioned clothespin with tissue paper for wings, pipe cleaner for the antenna and legs.

While leaving the building the kids stopped to smell the many flowers that lined the wall in the main hallway. Smelled like Spring. Smelled so sweet.

Stay tuned for Part 2

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Snopes is My Friend

Crazy, I know! Three post in one morning after a blogging drought.

This morning I was reading through my Bloglines and found this on Snopes. WooHoo!

For those of you that will not click on links. Let me break it down for you.
If you are a good tax paying individual who submits their Federal Taxes by the April 15th deadline, you will receive the Economic Stimulus payment. If you indicated direct deposit on your return you will receive this Stimulus payment on either May 2, 9 or 16th depending on the last 2 digits of your social security number. All others will be snail mailed between May 16th and July 11th also depending on the main filers last two digits of SSN.

So now if you want to know when your check will be arriving, go look at the chart. Note not the first chart in green, this is outdated from 2001. Scroll down to get the accurate dates for the 2008 Economic Stimulus. You can also go directly to the IRS site with the chart, here.

Woohoo! I am very thankful that these checks will arrive before my summer travel plans. Now I don't need to worry how I will pay for the ever increasing gas prices to get to my family reunion in the UP.

Unfortuantely, these checks do not solve Americas budget and economic crisis. But hey if they are handing it out, I will gladly cash it.

First Song

The boy's first rendition of Cat Scratch Fever.
video
Enjoy!

Choices

I mentioned here a week or so ago about the struggles I am facing with one strong-willed child. While I do believe she has always had the tendencies of a strong-willed child, I feel that they are most definitely taken to new heights in light of the current medical frustrations. I was talking with another mother at church on Sunday, her daughter saw the same specialist we are seeing next Monday. We talked about the doctor, what to expect and behavior. I asked her if she thought her daughter had acted out when she was out of control with her body. And her response was YES YES and YES. I asked what she did and while it sounds so simple, it seemed so profound at the same time. "We offered at lot of choices." More choices than normal. Giving the child a sense of control over reasonable aspects of their lives.
Without realizing it, I have been doing this. What do you want for breakfast? Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? What are you going to wear?
I have been trying to eliminate battles and sometimes choosing not to fight certain ones. Especially in the what will you wear department. And let me tell you people, we have had some interesting combos going on in this place. Most days, she starts out wearing WHATEVER she wants. Bright pink sweatpants with a purple striped shirt was the outfit of yesterday. We went out in public in it. Some days I ask her to change before we go out. Lately, I have not been even batting an eye. Check out what we went out in the other day. A beautiful black felt dress complete with burgundy flowers. White tights. Bright pink boots. A rainbow sweater. And a swim cap. Yes ladies and gentlemen, I went into Dick's Sporting Goods and Wal-Mart with this child and smiled all the way through the stores.

The old ladies especially gave me winks behind suppressed smiles. I kept smiling. One thing that you can say about my daughter is she has a sense of independence.
This is what little girl is wearing today. Hot pink sweat pants. A pretty pink floral skirt. And a white long sleeved t-shirt that says STAR in fraying sequence.

Yes, we all have choices and sometimes it is good to allow a little more than normal.

Sometimes the result is simply adorable.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Impression 5 Museum

Last Thursday we went on a field trip to Impression 5 Museum. It is a great children's science museum in downtown Lansing. We went as a part of their home school science day, with a class focusing on circuit builders. Since my boy is very much into circuits and all things electronic it was a great class for him to come and get connected with. My hubby gave him his electronic board from when he was a boy and my son has loved making the wires connect. I know the boy can focus when he wants because he will literally sit focused on that board for over an hour. Putting all the wires from point A to point B, then to point C and so on until 25 wires later he has made a siren or a light sensor. So this class was one we definitely wanted in on.

While there we explored the museum and had a great time. I did not take pictures of everything we did so some things you will need to use your imagination. First we went to the bubble room. I think the kids could have spent their whole day in this room. Encasing themselves in a tunnel of bubble. The wall of bubble. The giant bubbles. The weird shaped bubbles. The what happens when you use a tube of air in bubble mix? The loved it.

Next up was laws of physics. A softball pitch that recorded the speed of your pitch. DS pitched a 28mph. We launched 2 liter balls into the air. Built pressure and launched tennis balls at targets. Fun stuff.

Then we hit the water room. Sending a boat down the locks. And building a pipe line.

Then it was time for the boys class. Little girl and I stayed in the class for the first half and then decided to go check out the new room for 4 year olds and under. It was a room completely designed with little ones in mind. A water table just their size. Tree house. House with kitchen. Magnet light table. A area for crawlers. It was a great addition to the museum and we enjoyed spending time exploring it.

When the boys class ended we hit the next area, motion. We skimmed this ever so swiftly before making our way to my favorite feature which is the shadow wall. This has been a part of Impressions-5 since I was a kid and I still love it. You press a button and the beeps count down until it flashes leaving a shadow of whatever was in front of the screen. Through the years I have tried to be as creative as possible when the flash goes off. Jumping, swirling, hand stands. Anything crazy and fun to get a cool shadow.

Then we hit the health center. We checked out a few things but nothing really struck an interest for the kids. But the music room. They were totally into the music room. A piano that you can see the inside of. An assortment of percussion instruments. Xylophone. They thought it was cool.

As we were getting ready to leave we noticed one area we had completely overlooked on the way in. The media center. A progression of radios from the very first ancient model to modern day. A DJ booth that shows how the DJ's select songs and add sound effects to their broadcast. Then there was a green screen and a weather screen that the kids could make their own broadcast. I leave you now with little girls first ever meteorologist report.

video

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I Like This Quote

Pablo Picasso

"I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it."

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Swoosh

Where did the weekend go?
Chrysalis was yet again a beautiful time with God. Lives were changed, hearts were healed and some got a new beginning.
For me this weekend was about seeing myself as a parent. There were so many different speakers that spoke about how their lives were forever changed by their parents. The bad, child abuse, sexual abuse, longing for affirmation that was never found, the lack of loving words, the absence, lack of protection... the list goes on. The number of both speakers and girls in attendance that had been harmed by their parents was astounding to me. It left me praying, I hope I do not screw up for my children's sake. Things I say could drive them to an eating disorder. The things I do, could drive them into the arms of an abusive mate. The things I don't say or don't do, will affect my kids, perhaps eternally. I shudder.
And then there is the good. The mom that spent every morning in prayer. So that the daughter had to tiptoe up the stairs as not to disturb her. Knowing that her mother prayed for her and her sister without fail. This has eternally blessed her. And still another mother's close communication has allowed her daughter to make wise choices. Walking on paths of righteousness.
The contrast was so vivid and so extreme. A life of goodness or a life of pain. And the common denominator was the parent.

As I have come back home and tried to settle in. I have been head on with illness in the home. My boy crawled into bed with me in the night and I immediately felt the heat radiating from his body. The thermometer read 104.3, add the degree and it was determined HOT! I took him in today and he has started a round of antibiotic. Little girl has a low grade fever and not quite herself. There were moments today that were scary for me as a mother. My boy, laying there lethargic. Barely conscience. He slept the first half of the day away. Literally. I had to wake him periodically to get liquids in him and access him. His eyes glassed over. Scared the crap out of me. I had to ask him questions to make sure his mind was still there. Praise the Lord he still knew that 8+8=16. As he went to bed tonight he was back to himself. Eating and smiling. Still has a low fever but it sure beats the lifelessness of the first half of the day.
Not sure what the remainder of the week will look like for me and the kiddos. No school today and I have decided to take it one day at a time. If I get 3 or 4 days behind on my curriculum, so be it. I just want my kids to be healthy again.
If you think of us, say a prayer.
Our verse for this week is Psalm 136:1
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.

Thank you Lord, for my children. For your blessings. For doctors and medicine. For your Holy Spirit that is with us. For songs of praise.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

I'm Ready To Fly

Amazing what 2 days on antibiotics can do for you. I am feeling much better. My voice has returned. And I am ready to fly.

This weekend I will be participating in a Chrysalis weekend. Where high school girls will hear the amazing love of Christ and draw closer to him. I am excited for all God is going to do this weekend. Lives will be changed. Hearts renewed. Hope for the weary.

Have a blessed weekend! If you think of me, say a prayer for this flight and the girl's who will be touched during it.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Diagnoises-

Bronchitis.

Did I mention I am leading worship for a three day even this weekend? Please pray that God restores me back to full health.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Character Development

Yes Ladies and Gentlemen, we are in the thick of character development.
It appears as though little girl is fighting for control. I think with everything that is going on with body right now she is feeling more and more out of control. And human nature screams to have control. It's tough stuff.
Prior to this current medical situation she was my strong willed, with a purpose kind of a child. I think she started out her fourth year on this earth thinking it revolved around her. Which I can relate to as I can clearly remember in third grade thinking that the world truly was run by ME. I remember thinking that it sure was a lot of work for everyone else to simply exist for ME. Of course reasoning came and I would not have choice to have this or that so maybe the world (gasp) did not revolve around me. A sad but great revelation.
As the year has played out we have been working on kindness toward others. Respect for others, especially those in authority. We were making good progress, or so it seemed. Enter this last month.
In the doctors office that first trip I saw a side of her never seen before. The "I am not going to do THAT", get out of my face, I will not do it Sam I am, I will NOT pee in a cup, NO Ma'am!
Then came the voice from within the my normally quiet in public child, was screaming at the top of her lungs that under No circumstances was she going to let them poke her with a needle. Who was this little girl? Well, by all physical and legal standing, this child is mine. The one birthed in my bedroom. Carried in my womb. But something was happening, still is happening. She was finding a voice of opinion, strong opinion. And while I found out from the doctor that this can be a good thing. A perpetrator would have a difficult time getting her to cooperate with some unwanted action. It is difficult as a parent.
It is boundaries 101 all over. She is testing and fighting boundaries all around. Not only with me but for the last 2 weeks she has been testing those in authority outside of the house. Our enrichment day with our home school co-op she has been blatenly disrespectful to the teachers. Telling them she does not need to listen to them. So frustrating.
There have been other fights for control. The oddest for me is her want/need to have the puke bowl with her every night. If you recall a month or so ago when we had one night of sickness. Enter the puke bowl. Handy to have in moments of sickness. Somewhere over the course of the last month she has taken to having it with her every night. Claiming she needs to have it near her, that she feels warm, or thinks she might get sick during the night. Yesterday when we cleaned her room, I took it out and put it out of reach. At bedtime she was super upset that she did not have. She woke up in the middle of the night, upset wanting the puke bowl. Not that she was sick, she just wanted it. Still this morning I had to hear about how she wants and needs it. I think it is all about her fighting to have control when she feels like her body is out of control. I understand that. Yet I can not let her rule this roost. I am still the parent and I need to maintain control of this household. Meaning right now we are in the thick of some serious character development. Yes we are.