Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Epiphany in Learning

The last few weeks, learning has come alive in our home. Not just in the kids but in me as well. I am finally grasping what home schooling can look like. It need not be all about work books and seat time. It can be snuggled up reading a book, living a time period through the pages of a story.
This happened to us a couple of weeks ago. A Journey into the Bottomless Pit by Elizabeth Mitchell. In less than two weeks we will be taking a trip to Kentucky to visit Mammoth Caves. I picked up the book to read prior to our trip. Since it was just over 100 pages I figured we would read it by chapters, which could take a week or two. We got snuggled into the chair and began to read. The story is fantastic! It is about Stephen Bishop, a slave who led tours beginning in 1838 through Mammoth Cave. He was so curious about the cave system on his day off he would explore the caves. He is responsible for finding most of the passages still toured today. He was a brilliant man. Who taught himself to read so that he could learn more about the geology of the caves. He will was well respected by the scientist who toured the cave, often teaching them.
Needless to say, we could not stop reading. Chapter after chapter, we devoured the words. We read it all in one day. More precisely, in a matter of hours.
Something about that day, that moment, that book, sparked something within me. We checked out more books about caves, bats and Mammoth. We have learned so much about limestone, formations and animal life within a cave. It's amazing.
Reading about Stephen's life as a slave has sparked me to learn more about slavery and the Underground Railroad. I have read three books about the underground railroad and I can not get enough. Each one has taken me less than 24 hours to read, even keeping me up into wee hours of the morning. I know I will read more. I am hungry to know more.
Hunger. There was a line in the last book I read. Paraphrased: "Hungry, she is so hungry for knowledge she has learned more in three days than my young sister has in three months." And it is true, in the story an adult slave woman is given the chance to learn to read and write and she is hungry for it. She devotes all her energy to it. Knowing knowledge will help set her free. How true is that. Knowledge is freeing. Ignorance is blinding, inhibiting, hurtful. Did you know slaves were most often forbidden to learn to read and write. They were better controlled if they were uneducated. Today in America, in general, we are raising a generation that baulks at school. They have no desire to learn. No hunger for knowledge. It saddens me.
It makes me strive not to kill the love of learning in my kids. I see it begin to set in after a long period of workbooks and seat work. Yet it comes alive in nature and in hands on experience.
My goal for the coming year is to stay on with the text books for Language Art and Math but ditch them when it comes to History and Science. I think we are truly better off experiencing it. Through books, museums and hands on in nature. And not just texts that state the facts but books that engage in real life people, in real life situation, experiencing life in a certain time period or enviroment. That is my goal.
For I truly want to feed this hunger. Both the kids and my own.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Miley

Since we did not have our camera last night we went back to the Dairy Farm to take some pictures this afternoon. I must say Miley is such a cutie. I love the markings on her forehead.

Miley...she is 17 hours old in this picture.

Her mom...Mame

Espn...15 hours old. He was still in the warming house.

His mom...Ellie


If anyone wants to see Miley and the other young calves they are around back in a private outdoor area. Look for her white triangle with the black dot in the middle. Currently she is the furthest to the left. But as more calves are born they will add them to the left of her.

One of the Best Days Ever

Yesterday started off ordinary enough. Breakfast. School. Lunch. Dr. Appointment. Then it got good. Really, really good.
Since we were already in East Lansing, we decided to go to the butterfly garden on campus. We love it there. I find myself, immersed in the life cycle. I search out eggs, caterpillars, chrysalis and delight over the flitting butterflies. I can stare a long time at any one thing, soaking it up and learning from it. My kids can too.
As we left the butterfly garden we decided to go the back way so we could see the pond. As we walked around, we came upon a compass rose. We had talked about them last week in the boy's Map Skills book, so we took a moment to figure out all the directions. Then we headed East to the pond. It did not disappoint. Frogs poked their heads through the lily pads, a turtle was soaking in the sun and tadpoles skittered around the bottom. We circled our way around the pond, looking for frogs, who were cleverly camouflaged. We saw strings of eggs and yet again I marveled at the cycle of life. Especially for the butterfly and the frog. So unique. So complex. A miracle.
I had brought along a book with me to the doctors office, I was nearing the end and was longing for a moment to finished it. I thought about the park where the kids could play as I read nearby. Then I thought about the horse farm on campus. I suspected there may be some foal's. The kids could watch the horses for a bit, while I read, even if it would only be a chapter or two.
On our way we remember the dairy cows and decided to check the calves out as well. The dairy farm was closer so we headed there. First the milking parlour and to our delight, the cows were milking. The kids asked question after question about the milking process. Using the signs around and some previous knowledge, I answered their questions. We sat there 20-30 minutes watching the cows being milked, cleaned and sent out of the parlour.
Next stop, the pregnant mamas. We walked down the length of the barn, reading their due dates. Then they discovered their ear tags. We talked about the numbers and then read off all their names. Back up and down the barn. All sorts of names. I am so very thankful we did not rush through, with a seen that mentality. If we had, we would have missed it. "Mom, what's that? It looks like she's bleeding." The heifer was in labor. She was indeed bleeding as her mucus lining had ruptured. We stood there watching her amazed. "Here comes a contraction." We watched as her body tightened and did it's work. It was obvious she was in labor. "Mom can we stay and watch?" "Sure, I don't know how long it will take but we can stay." So stay we did.
The workers came along and we asked how long the process may take. He said anywhere from an hour to four hours. They moved her to a birthing stall, where she could roam around. They laid out fresh straw. As she adjusted to the new location, we decided to go check out the calves. They were a few barns over and eating their dinner. One named Spice did not shy away and allowed us to touch her nose. The kids laughed as he tried to taste their sweatshirts. Again we read all the names. Then headed back to check on the laboring mama. One thing was for sure, my kids did not want to miss the birth.
We checked in on her and found that she hadn't progressed any. One of the residents checked her and the baby was in the proper position but it would probably be awhile yet. I presented the kids with their choices. 1. Stay and watch. Even though it looked like it would an hour or more. 2. Go to McDonald's, eat dinner and then come back. They went for option 2. We ate and they played. Yet they were slightly concerned that we should not be too long. I set my watch and as soon as it went off, shoes were on and kids were ready to leave. I don't think we have ever been ready to leave McDonald's Playland so fast.
When we returned it was obvious she had progressed but not too much. We didn't miss it. The kids were relieved. Bob, the manager had placed bales of straw for the kids and I to sit on as we waited. So that's what we did. We waited. She was progressing and with each push you could see her bag of waters with hoofs sticking out. After a few good pushes she would stand up and take a break. Sometimes for just a minute or so, other times for long stretches. I didn't blame her, I remembered wanting to change positions and take breaks after I had made progress. Then she would lay back down and let her body do its work. Soon there was two hoofs. With each contraction, her eyes would bulge, her tail would lift and her body would push with all she had. The staff would check every so often on her progress. On one such check the boy announced that another cow was ready for the birthing stall, and she was. The kids helped lay out the straw and maneuvered the gates to help bring her down. They were completely absorbed in the process and the staff was great to us. Telling us about the whys and the hows, answering our questions and allowing us to help where we could.
As we waited I read and finished my book. The kids patrolled the barn we were in, checking on the cows. They moved th bales of straw around so they could hide out in a little fort. I was amazed at their patience. They were most definitely committed to seeing the birth. I was also amazed at their maturity about the matter. They weren't grossed out. Not like the group of inner city high schoolers that had stopped by early in the labor process. They jumped about, pointing and "Ew"ing, with Oh mans, and more "Ews". Not my kids, they watched in fascination and wonder.
Then the time came. She was actively pushing and I could tell she was close. I stood up and leaned against one of the fences to get a better look. I called the kids over and propped them up. Moments later we saw the hoofs out front, like superman. Next, the tip of the nose. Then the head. Once the head was out, it was one more push and she was out. The workers came just as she was giving her final push. They helped get the final hoof out and announced, "It's a heifer." A girl. Little girl smiled at the pronouncement. The time was 8:18pm. Next, they tickled her nose with a piece of straw to get her to sneeze. Then they loaded her up on a sled. Just like you would take sledding on a winter's day. And moved her down to the warming house.
Currently, there is a disease at the farm that is spread from mother to calf. For this reason, they are separated at birth. The mother didn't seem to mind, one bit. But I found it sad.
We followed the workers and watched the process of drying the calf, cleaning the umbilical cord, administering the antibiotic and placing her in the warming house. They talked as they worked, telling us what they were doing and why. We asked how they named the cows and they said they use the first letter of the mother's name and come up with something. They use baby books and try not to duplicate a name. Usually a staff member will do that the next day, when she would be tagged.
Then the workers went off to thaw the colostrum and record the birth.
At this time the other heifer was looking close to birth and the kids wanted to stay longer to watch that one too. It was nearing bedtime but they were wide awake and completely enthralled with the cows so I consented. Bob moved the bales of straw closer to the birthing heifer. They moved the new momma back to her stall and she made not a sound in the direction of her baby. We sat back down and once again waited. The second cow seemed more distressed about the little cow being away. As the worker later told us, she thought this baby was hers. She would look over to the warming house. Then she would lay down, push and stand back up, like where is my baby. She would look around the stall and then finally lay back down and push some more. She was definitely distracted and this slowed down her progress. Then Liz came, another worker on the farm. She wasn't on duty that night but she is a sucker for births so she stuck around. She was awesome. She took the kids under her wing and told them all about the birth process. Another worker Matt came to check on Mama #2 (Ellie) and ended up breaking her water. He attempted to pull the calf out but decided he would give her a little while longer to push it out on her own.
Then it was time to feed little girl calf. Liz asked the kids if they wanted to name her and of course they did. Her mom's name was Mame, so it would have to be a M name. While she got the colostrum around, we thought about a good name. Millie, Molly and then we found one we all agreed on, Miley. After Miley Cyrus, you know Hannah Montana. Both Bob and Liz did not think they had a Miley and Liz boasted that it was a perfect name for this cow. Liz brought out the smallest gloves she could find and the kids put them on. Then they tried to get Miley to stand. She wobbled about, still very wet, and fell time and time again. So Liz had her kneel while they gave her, her first bottle. The boy helped, then little girl. The kids, giggled, so excited. Then they went to climbing on the bales of hay and straw. They found the best look out to keep an eye on mama number 2 (Ellie). She was now actively pushing and was ready to have the baby. Liz kept watch from the warming house across the aisle as I watched from the bale of straw. A hoof, Then two. This time the bag of water had already broken so there were two perfect little hoofs sticking out. A few more pushes and the head was out. Now, the Ellie had made her final resting spot right next to the bars of the stall and the calf had hooves sticking through the bars and then it's head. Liz, came over to help free it from the bars. Once she did that it was another push and the baby was out. This one, a boy! 10:15pm
I grabbed the sled and Liz went in to tickle the nose and place the baby on the sled. Ellie was a more in tune mom. She began licking her baby clean. Liz let her for a minute then placed the boy on the sled and took him across the aisle to the warming house. Where he too was towel dried and his umbilical cord was cleaned. My boy readied the gates to bring Ellie back to her stall. We named the boy Espn, after my sons middle name. Liz liked that name too. However, it would be unofficial as they do not name the boys. They will be sold.
With Ellie back in her stall and Miley and Espn in their warming houses we set to our good nights.
But first Liz called the kids into the office to watch her write Miley's name in the record book. It was official. A perfect ending to a amazing evening. It's not every day you get to be a part of something like that. And we are so very grateful to the staff for embracing us and letting us come along for the journey.
If ever you find yourself at the MSU Dairy Farm and a friendly cow named Miley, wanders over, tell her hi for us. We will never forget her or the night we learned about cows and the cycle of life. Ever.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Connection

My face lit up when I saw her, an unexpected sighting of an old friend. She had moved away a few years ago and was in the area for the day. We chatted for a bit before my meeting was to begin and she needed to head out. But before she left she said, "Sarah, you don't know how much it means that you even talked to me. Where I live right now I am some weird commodity. I am not Catholic enough for the Catholics, rich enough for the wealthy or crunchy enough for the granola crunchies."
Her words pierced me. Here is a lovely woman, longing for connection and not finding it.
My meeting was the steering committee for the new Westside Enrichment Day that will be starting in the Fall. There was five of us there but the heart of the meeting was connection. We want our kids to connect with other like-minded kids. We want them to know their names, their interests, who they are and develop long lasting friendships. In order to accomplish that we decided we have to be very intentional in our planning to create that environment.
The meeting was wonderful. In just under 4 hours time we mapped out what classes will be offered, the focus of each class and arranged the enrollment form. But more importantly than all the physical stuff we accomplished, I witnessed the budding of relationship. In the time we were there we accomplished more relationally than we did the whole 10 weeks of Enrichment Day prior. And so did our kids. While the moms discussed, the kids played for hours in the McDonald's Playland. And they enjoyed themselves. It was truly a beautiful afternoon for me.
It looks like I found my place to fit in. A new community. A solid connection with others on the same path. I pray my friend can find the same.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Liberty


A salty taste is still in my mouth as I type. The taste of my own tears. My son laughed as I choked my way through the story, tears streaming down my face. The story, Dreaming of America by Eve Bunting. The tale of the first immigrants to arrive to Ellis Island. We read it after watching an hour long documentary on the Statue of Liberty. In which I shed a few other tears.
Liberty-
1: the quality or state of being free: a: the power to do as one pleases b: freedom from physical restraint c: freedom from arbitrary or despotic control d: the positive enjoyment of various social, political, or economic rights and privileges e: the power of choice

Liberty! Freedom to do, be, say, worship and live, in any way we choose. I can scarcely wrap my brain around it. I am free! Free to read my bible and assemble in the church of my choice. Free to speak what I want and publish it for others to read. Free to own property. Free to vote and elect government. I am free to do these things and more.

Growing up here I don't think I fully appreciate this fact. Today I am. And today I shed tears, recognizing I am free. Not only here in America but in the eyes of my Lord.
John 8:36
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Jury Duty

Not that long ago my son learned about Our American Freedoms in History. Personally, I never knew we had so many freedoms. How many can you come up with?
Will I will help you out and give you one. We have the freedom/right to a trial by jury. It's a great thing in our country that we are innocent until proven guilty and that we have the right to a fair trial by jury of our peers.
Last week I was summoned to jury duty. Six months ago I turned into the questionnaire and last week was my week of service. While the timing was not the most ideal, as we are still in the thick of schooling, I was excited about seeing what happens in our local judicial process. The summons was for one week or one trial. Last weekend I called in and the recording stated I was to go in Monday morning.
I have never had a substitute teacher before. Ever. In the past if I was not available, there was no school for the day. With school already pushing until the end of June, each day is precious in completing our curriculum. Sunday night I got all the lesson plans around, thankful that it was already a lighter day than normal. I took them over to my mom's and showed her what was what. Complete with post it note instructions. I saved the actual Phonics lesson for when I got home, even if it meant after dinner home work. Monday morning, we got up earlier than we ever have as a family. Out the door before 7am. With hubby to work and the kids at my parents,I headed downtown to the court house. I have a dear friend who lives a few blocks from the courthouse so I parked at her house so I did not have to worry about paying to park.
Before my appointed 8am time I was nicely seated in the jurors assembly room with 100 or so other jurors. We went through an orientation and then waited for a judge to call us up for the selection process.
When the judge called us up, they crammed 55 of us potential jurors into the court room. We swore to tell the truth and then we were seated. The judge introduced the prosocuting attorney, the defense attorney and the other court staff present. Next, the computer randomly selected 13 of the 55 to be seated in the jurors box. I was not one of them. Instead I remained seated and listened to the process of selecting a FAIR jury. To make sure that the defendant is given a fair jury, many questions were asked of the jurors to make sure none had a bias one way or the other. The questions were interesting. After the long questioning session, each lawyer was alloed to excuse jurors in the box with or without a given reason. As each juror was excused another name was called into the box and they went through a questioning period, much briefer and usually ending in an immediate dismissal of that person. This process went on until both lawyers were content with the jury and then we were dismissed. The whole process of selecting the jury took about two hours and forty-five minutes. At 12:15 we were free to go.
Here's the great part, I am getting paid for going in and learning about the judicial process. For my 4 hours and 15 minutes of my time I will be receiving a check of $25. Most people when they are summoned to serve jury duty take a pay cut to serve. Not me, it was a pay raise. And since it was after noon, it was considered a full day. Yippee!
After I left the courthouse I walked back to my friends house and had lunch with her before going to pick up the kids.
They were so excited to find out what art project grandma had planned that they were finished with the school stuff I had sent for them by 9:30am. They cruised through school. I was able to finish up the Phonics lesson when we got home. So it all worked out very well.

Although I had to call in every night for the remainder of the week, I never did have to go back in. Oh and just in case you were wondering, I never did get called into the box. Although I know I would have been dismissed had I been called in. I knew one of the witnesses and the plaintiff was a 7 year old boy, the same age as my son. So there you have my adventure exploring one of our American Freedoms. Anyone want to guess how many freedoms we have?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Information

I attended the meeting on the proposed Park Trail and left quite encouraged. Here's what I learned:
Benjamin Davis Park has a trust. Since the community has never requested monies for improvement of the park, it has sat there untouched for years. No longer. The proposal I mentioned in the previous post, will make use of some of that money for phase 1 and 2 of the Davis Park Project. This will make a shared use path around the park as will as develop some of the rustic trails through the woods. They are planning on using asphalt removed from current Lansing roads as they make pot hole repairs as a base for the pathway. This could begin as soon as July with the hopes of completion in August of this year. Budget approvals will take place in May. From there they will work with engineers to finalize plans and then set it into action.
They are hoping for the community to take part in the process. By attending meetings and giving feedback. At a designated time there will be opportunities to participate in brush clearing. Of course, we are all free at anytime, in any park to help in litter clean-up.
By making Benjamin Davis a more family friendly park, they are hoping that the community will embrace it, use it and help to keep it a safe and pleasant place for every one.
Phase 3- Sidewalk extension from Miller to Jolly is something MDOT is working on. It may be constructed as soon as July 2009.
Phase 4 is probably 3-5 years out. Which is the connection of 19 city parks using the Consumer's Energy Right of Way. Possibly sooner if citizens would voice there favor of the trail. They are looking at bridges to crossover major roads and light crossings. There is a lot of things still to be worked out but progress is being made to make this dream a reality.
Also, I did not previously mention but they have applied for an MDOT Transportation Enhancement grant to construct a shared-use pathway on the east side of Waverly. In my opinion, this pathway is WAY OVERDUE. They are still working out a couple of right away issues.

What I took away from this meeting is that I have opportunities to get involved in my community. I am considering starting a neighborhood group. Things happen when people come together. So let's get together people.

Oh, and while I am passing on information. There was a myth debunked at this meeting. There has never been any sort of proposal to sell Fenner Nature Center. It is a City Park and nothing can happen to that park, nor ever will, without the vote of the people of Lansing.

If you are interested in knowing when the next meeting will be, leave a comment and I will try to pass on information as I receive it.

Evidence of Spring


Song of Solomon 2:12
Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.

My daffodils are here and they make me want to sing of Spring. Praising God for the flowers and new life all around.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Attention Southside

For those of you living on the South side of Lansing the following information may be of interest to you.

This Saturday, April 19, 2008 from 1-3pm at the Fire Station on the corner of Jolly and Pleasant Grove there will be a community meeting.

The topic of discussion? The Benjamin Davis Park Trail, Information and Design.

I don't know about you but health and fitness are one of my passions. So when I heard about the proposal for Benjamin Davis I was thrilled. Don't know what I'm talking about? Let me fill you in. There is a 4 part proposal to improve the park and connect 19 city and county parks to the river trail.

Phase 1
12ft shared use asphalt path around clear perimeter of Davis Park.

Phase 2
Reclaim rustic trail through Davis Park woodlot.

Phase 3
12ft shared use asphalt path connecting Davis Park with Southside Community Center (located within Harry Hill) and extensions north to Jolly rd and South to Miller.

Phase 4
12ft shared use trail along Consumers Energy Right of Way from Waverly to Aurelius. This will connect 5 neighborhood parks in south Lansing to the River Trail on Sycamore Creek near Jolly and Aurelius.

I am excited about these proposals as it would allow us access to many miles of running and biking paths. I plan on attending the meeting. I hope to see you there.

To RSVP or for more information contact: South Lansing Community Development Association at 374-5700 or email SLCDA@comcast.net

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Happy 7th Birthday

Dear Son,

Can it be you are really 7? I know it's true but the year seems to have gone by so fast.

First grade. You have developed into a great reader. It warms my heart when you curl up with a book and read to your sister. I pray that you will have a life long love of reading. I know this year was so important in that regards. It amazes me how many sounds and blends there are in words. You are doing so well. I know there are still tricky words and things that don't sound like they should. Don't worry, you will have those figured out soon enough. And Math, you are a math whiz. You grasp these concepts so quickly. It seems like the words are barely out of mouth and you already know how to do them. It makes me wonder what you will do when you grow up. One thing I know, you love learning what makes things work. You want to know how everything is made and how it does what it does. I think you could live your life watching the Discovery Channel. Especially, How It's Made and Survivor Man. I am not sure where you learned to make traps out of downed branches. But I do know that you mastered the art. Not that I am thrilled that you cut down so many branches out of the pine tree. But I do understand. You are a boy that is growing and discovering in everything you do. And your trap WAS really COOL.

You are one of the most observant people I know. You have the ability to see what others walk right past. On car rides we love to look for wild life as we drive. You love spotting the deer, hawk and any other creatures that comes into view. Remember the coyote that walked right in front of us on his way to the turkeys. Or the day we saw 24 deer, 2 hawks, 4 sand hill cranes, 4 geese, black birds? I love that you love nature and animals. Another one of our favorite past times in the car is "I'm Thinking of an Animal, Do You Know What It Is?" We have so much fun, guessing different things about the animals and figuring them out. I'm not sure there are many other first graders that know words like nocturnal, echolocation, carnivorous, mammal or marsupial.

And the weather! One of your favorite people is Rob Dale the meteorologist. You love to turn up the radio when he gives the report. Some days you don't want to get out of bed until you have heard the weather. And man when you prayed for snow this past winter, God heard. He sent more snow than we have seen in years. Next year do you think we can pray for a little less. Please!

Lately you have gone into training. You want to do the triathlon for kids coming up next month. I know you are going to great. You often ask to go over to the track to run. And now that the weather is warmer we can ride our bikes. I'm glad you love your new bike, I know you will get a lot of use out of it in the years to come. It's fun watching you take care of yourself in such healthy ways.

I think you have a secret crush on Hannah Montana but you don't come out and say it. I think I have watched every single episode of Hannah Montana and the Sweet Life of Zach and Cody, a couple times each. Sweet niblets.

I am so thankful that you and your sister are growing closer and closer each day. You started out the year not wanting anything to do with her because she was a girl but now, you two are almost inseparable. She's going to be your best friend in the years ahead. Whether you know it or not, I think she already is. Oh, I know you would say your cousin is your best friend and he is but it's good to know you have one in the bedroom next to yours.

While I am being thankful. Thanks for all your hugs and sweet kisses. I am so thankful you are not too old or too cool to show your mom some love. I hope you you never are.

Thanks for an awesome year. You are an incredible, awesome kid. It is a privilege to be your mom. Have a great time being 7! Just no more branches off the old pine, OK?

Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze!
Mom

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Riding Milestone

Little girl did it! She rode all the way to my parents house on her own bike. It is 2 miles one way, crossing one major street and many smaller streets. She did so well. Making sure was all clear before she crossed. She never complained about how far it was. She was too busy grinning from ear to ear.

After visiting with grandma and grandpa for just over an hour we made th return trip. 4 miles in one day on her own bike while still 4 years old. YEAH!

I forgot to take my camera with me. But just before we left, we gave the boy his birthday gift. A new bike. He loves it!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ceative Uses of a Hula Hoop

The boy creatively tied a piece of string to his hula hoop and made a lasso out of it.
This video is of target practice. Watch out, it appears we have a cowboy in training.
video
And he ropes a cow.
video

And pictures of little girl trying to make it twirl.

Technology Fast- Worth It!

For one week, our family successfully unplugged the TV. Strike that rewind. The kids and I successfully unplugged the TV. As Dad was out of town on business for the sermon last week, he watched TV. And when he came home he did sneak a couple hours of viewing in while we were sleeping. Oh well.
If it were not for my husband I would totally ditch the tube. We had a fabulous week. The kids were active and imaginative. They played outside for hours. We explored. Saw some cool wildlife. Visited newborn kittens. We went places we have been wanting to go. And we read lots of books.

More on our adventures throughout the week.

I have so much to say...

That I can not possibly include it all in one post.
So over the course of the next few days, you will probably see many mini post.
But first things first, finish school.
See you soon.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Technology Fast

Interesting term isn't it...technology fast. You may be asking yourself, what does that mean? Well, I am glad you asked. For the next week my family will be taking a fast from technology. Turning off the TV, unplugging the computer and leaving the cell phone on the charger.
Next, you may ask, why? Again, good question. At church this morning, the pastor spoke about the distraction in our lives. The pace of the American people. We are a busy people that dread silence and slowing down. We live our lives at full speed with more distractions than we know what to do with. I personally feel like it contributes to the physical and emotional state of our nation.
So the pastor challenged us to turn off our TV's for the week. To literally turn them around and hid the remotes. A technology fast.
For my family, I have decided this will include all forms of technological distractions. The computer, this blog will be silent for a week. Fear not, they still make paper and I will attempt to journal our adventure. The TV is quite literally turned around, the dish card removed and placed with the remote, out of sight. The video games and Leapster, unaccessible.

The kids response-
Little girl- WHY? That will be so boring.
The boy- Attended service and heard the message. He willingly embraced the challenge.
Little girl is now open to the idea since it is only a week. But I am sure she will feel the effects of it.

I am thrilled! I look forward to a week of learning, playing in the outdoors, reading books and cleaning house. And perhaps even a nap.

If anyone wants to get a hold of us, call, write or drop in.

See you all in a week!

I Nominate...

My cat, for the Cat of the Year!
This morning I woke up with bad cramps. I decided to stay in bed as the rest of the house was still sleeping. As I lay there debating what to do, my cat comes over. She plops herself onto my belly and began kneading. She started in exactly the spot that hurt the most. For 10 minutes she gently kneaded and massaged her way across my abdomen and back. It felt wonderful. Amazingly, my cramps are now gone. My cat is the greatest!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Imagine the Divorce Rate

Little girl came to me with her princess dress.
"Mom can you help me put it on, I want to get married today."
I help her with the dress and she goes about playing.
45 minutes later she comes back.
"Mom can you help me take this off, I am DONE being married."
I suppressed a laugh, could not withhold the smile. I went on to explain to her that when she really gets married she can't just take off the dress and not be married anymore.
"I know Mom, I'm just pretending."

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Webkinz Crown of Wonder

Alas, I finally got my Webkinz Crown of Wonder. I have been trying to find my last gem for 4 months. 4 months people.
Introducing Queen Lucy Goosy, please excuse the dimness of the picture.

Now, I am only 5 gems away from earning my second. :)

Why You May Want To Wait

to ride and/or walk on the River Trail.
video
We had so much fun watching people as they got near and decided what to do.
3 out of 6 continued on.

Random Pictures From My Camera

MSU Butterfly Garden
The boy loves it here because they allow you to handle the butterflies. As long as you do not touch their wings.


Can you imagine giving birth to this?


Little girl gets her OWN library card.
I love that happy face.


Little girl asks to wash her feet this morning.
OK?


And the boy takes a self portrait.


Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Amazing Pics from the Zoo

The kids and I went to the local zoo today with my parents.
My dad got some incredible shots of the animals.
Check them out!




Are those not beautiful? Nice job Pops!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Daily Plate

After being SO diligent during the month of January, I slowly stopped tracking on My Daily Plate. In February, I did track half-heartedly. Then I got bronchitis and workouts were more sporadic. ARGH! I have been floating around the same weight all of Feb and March. Give or take a pound, I have been at the same weight.
So Daily Plate, I am back. I am going to be as diligent during the month of April as I was during the beginning of the year. I have to be, the triathlon is 2 months from today.

OH YEAH...my sister won the weight loss challenge at her work yesterday. She has lost over 30 pounds since the beginning of the year. Conrats, sis! You rock.