Monday, March 30, 2009

Sometimes he thinks outside of the box

Spark is putting the Reynolds Wrap away tonight and reads the label that says "Trusted since 1947". "Hmm," he says "I wonder why they weren't trusted before 1947"?

After his bath, we all smelled like charcoal after our Roman lunch, he is getting dressed and yells out, "Where is slash"? I don't know I tell him. Not giving up he asks again, and so now I ask who Slash is. He has a ton of stuffed animals and they all have names, I assume he lost one and I don't have a clue which one is Slash. "No.......where...... is........ slash," he says slowly like that will help me understand. He comes out of his room with his underwear and shows me the label. "See, it says made in /." What was really printed on the tag was 'made in / hecho en Bangladesh'. We got that one straightened out and got in a little lesson in Spanish. Now, that is a teachable moment!

A Roman meal

A Roman soldiers lunch was on the menu today. The soldiers had to cook their meals over an open fire when they were on the battle field. A temp of 28 degrees and a brisk wind did not keep us from making our lunch. To make the meal, first we spread a piece of aluminum foil with butter, placed a hamburger in the middle of the foil, put on some carrots, onion, potatoes (soaked in water before hand so they wouldn't turn brown and to have a bit more moisture in the packets so the other veggies could steam), salt and pepper. Think hobo dinner if you ever went to scout camp. Roll up the foil so there are no leaks for the juices to get out. Put them on a Roman fire, we just knew that must have carried a grate with them for the fire. Cook them for about 30 minutes turning the packs over now and then. These turned out perfectly. I have had them before where one side of your potato is burned and the other side is still crunchy. After the packs have cooled for a few minutes eat with Roman silverware, aka your fingers.

With the cold weather it was decided that we must be in the northern part of the Western Roman Empire fighting the Celts. We were also very happy to be wearing pants and that we were not wearing togas for the cold wind to whip up, although perhaps then we would have been wearing a big bear skin coat over our togas. This turned out to be a chilly (I am thinking optimistic here that it was only chilly) but extremely fun project.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


This is the third time this bulb has bloomed for us. It doesn't get blooms everytime it comes back so when it does honor us with flowers we appreciate them all the more.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Feeding frenzy frenzy

Alligator Feeding Frenzy

Shark Feeding Frenzy

Lion Feeding Frenzy

Bear Feeding Frenzy

These are shows we have been watching on Animal Plant (everything I found on the shows said they are on Discovery but I am sure we watched on Animal Plant) and they are fabulous. Spark is really loving them and tells everyone he see that they should watch them. Our favorite parts of the show are when they put out the dummy, Billy, for the animal to attack. We yell for Billy to be careful, how he should have stayed at the hotel and real friends wouldn't have made him stay outside the predator box. Oh, and they are educational as well. Really hoping more of these shows are made.

Friday, March 27, 2009


This afternoon we got together with some homeschool friends to go swimming at a local hotel that opens it's pool up to swimmers. We could have just gone to the park. In this picture the swings are floating so the water must be about 2 1/2 feet. Right before I got the camera out a canoe paddle between the swing set and the play set.
Way in the back of this picture is where the actual river is. The river is usually way down an embankment and about 65 feet wide. Now it is at least 800 feet up on just this side that we could see. The water should peak in about a week or two so more is coming.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Just Thursday - homeschool day

Spark watched a lesson of his Latin study. He uses Prima Latina and it has been really easy to learn the vocabulary, derivatives and grammar using the Cd's, DVDs, workbooks and a bit of us asking him the words now and then.
Dancer did a chapter in this Book of Roots that goes along with her Latin study Latina Christiana. She does most of this study as a self study with me drilling her a bit on vocabulary. I had hoped to learn this along with her but time has not been cooperative in doing that.
We started a chapter in Story of the World, the program we use for history. The kids made these Roman Legion's Signums. These signums were carried into battle by the signifer. These were so very heavy that the signfer was unable to carry a weapon. If anything happened to the signum the whole legion would be punished. The shiny circles are discs covered with aluminum foil and pictures of wild animals, weapons and emperor's picture. The signums were fun to make and they are really quite cool.

We made yummy bread pudding for supper and enjoyed it with ice cream.

Dancer worked in a workbook about sequencing. This is more of a fun puzzle book for her so it doesn't feel so much like learning. Spark worked on math, he uses Singapore. No math for Dancer because she finished her book yesterday. Hurray! she is done before the end of the year! I will get her a new book right away because if I wait until next fall we will be doing a lot of review. Math we keep up year around, well at least we try.
We also got in a chapter in our unit study of Series of Unfortunate Events using a book called Fortunately for You. This included reading a chapter, writing, a bible study of biblical people who have suffered from regret, a lesson in manner and answering review questions.
We do not always get this much done but today the both of the kids were very focused and skipped through the work without me having to say "Get er done". They hate that saying by the way.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I don't think I heard you right

We were working with misnomers, something with a name that doesn't fit it, and here are some the ones the kids came up with. Spark really got into this activity and a lot of them are his ideas.
  • Football - not played with feet, we thought tackleball would be a better fit
  • Egg plant - doesn't come from an egg, doesn't look like an egg

  • Star fish - not a fish

  • Clown fish - got the fish part right but where's the clown

  • wagon - nothing wags on it

  • flea market - that would be called a dog

  • shooting stars

  • peanut butter - not butter

  • firefly - they are really beetles

  • kitchen counter - doesn't count anything

  • computer mouse - a no, our mouse doesn't even have a tail

  • killdeer - a bird and they are are too little to kill a deer

  • hog wash - what a grandparent says and they aren't washing a hog when they say it

  • funny bone - yeah right, there is not laughing when that baby gets banged

  • Beanie Babies - they have plastic beads in them not beans

  • pigtails - whoever looked at a hair style on a cute little girl and thought it looked like a pig tail?

So as Glenn Beck puts it, "say what you mean and mean what you say"

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

How to fix a rain gutter

Our rain gutter has broken to where all the water from the roof is running through where the break is. It has been raining for two days and we have had all the snow melt. Yesterday was 3 inches of rain fall and I haven't heard today yet but it was at least the same as yesterday. The forecast is for rain or rain/snow mix at least through next Monday so we needed to do something to keep all these gallons of water from being deposited next to the foundation of the house until we can get something done permanently. Here is our high tech system. Hey, at least it works!

Monday, March 23, 2009

The chickens are coming, the chickens are coming

Spark and I set up the incubator and put some chicken eggs in there with high hopes that they will hatch. Our track record with chicken eggs is not very stellar. We have had lots of success with duck eggs, but not chickens. Ideally the hens would sit on the eggs and hatch them, however, our hens tend grow weary with the sitting part and do great for the first couple of weeks and then abandon the eggs. In 21 days we will see if we have chicks or not.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

We thought we were frugal - turns out we're green

Many of the things we do to save pennies have shown up on lists of ways to live a greener lifestyle. Some of the things were do are:

  • use cloth napkins in stead of store bought paper ones - when we use paper napkins they seem flimsy
  • use rags instead of paper towels - mostly we use old socks, t-shirts and receiving blankets
  • in the winter we keep the heat set at 64 degrees - we heat with fuel oil and wearing slippers, sweaters and snuggling under an afghan is much cheaper than extra gallons of oil
  • shut the outside doors as quickly as possible - I can still hear my dad yelling "I'm not heating the outside"
  • in the summer we do have central air, which we set at 80 degrees, and in the bedrooms we have little window air conditioners so we are only cooling the bedrooms at night
  • if it is hot in the house in the summer but cool outside in the shade, we eat and relax outside and turn the air off
  • grow most of our vegetables and freeze and can
  • recycle - the more we put in the recycle bin, which is free from our garbage provider, means we get by with the smallest garbage can they offer
  • buy in bulk and products with the least amount of packaging - this cuts down on garbage which cuts down on the size can we need
  • cook from scratch, not only is this much cheaper but there isn't as much packaging
  • use bar soap - this one surprised me because I never thought of all the packaging with liquid soap, only how expensive it is
  • don't let the water run, the pump has to run to get the water out of the ground and if it goes into the septic tank we have to pump it back out - the less we put down there the longer we can go between pumpings
  • hang out our clothes on the clothes line - we have a propane tank for the dryer and water heater - we can make the tank last almost a year
  • wash laundry in cold water - again, saves on the propane tank usage
  • catch rain water for watering lawn and filling the duck pool - again that running pump, I can just hear the money fly out of that thing
  • reuse plastic bags, aluminum foil, gift bags and other packaging that is still good/clean
  • combine errands in town - this is big for us because to the nearest big town is at least a 30 mile round trip and to the closest little town, which has a few stores, is 10 miles round trip. When gas was at it's highest the cost was about $12 to go to town, what do we really need that warrants a trip more than once a week? Not much
  • compost - well not compost exactly, we feed most of our veggie peels etc. to the animals which in turn cuts down on our feed bill a little bit
  • turn off the lights when not using them, again I hear my dad "who do you think we are the Rockefellers? TURN OFF THOSE LIGHTS! I practically grew up in the dark lol
  • buy used or swap with friends - we buy almost no clothes because we swap with friends (I have a friend my size who buys new clothes because she is tired of her old ones - how lucky is that!) - most of our furniture is also either used or from others who were getting rid of it - our only new furniture is a coffee table, kitchen chairs, one living room chair, a couch, a computer table, one bed frame (the mattress we buy new) and a couple cupboards

People use to laugh at our frugal way of life and now we are politically correct green! Who knew!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Is this comfortable?

Our cat, Vidalia, is sleeping in a long, narrow planter. She doesn't fit and has her head all bent around. How can this be comfortable?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Tortilla Banana Roll

We visited friends this afternoon and the host served these tasty treats. They were so good we came home and made them for our night time snack.

Take an eight inch tortilla, spread with peanut butter, sprinkle granola over peanut butter and put in half a banana. Fold the bottom up and the sides in like a baby in a receiving blanket.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Just Thursday - around the barn

Milking Elizabeth. We call this the Udder Buddy, others would call it a milking machine. The Udder Buddy has made milking so much more enjoyable. Both the Dad and I had terrible hand and arm pain from milking by hand so we invested a couple of years ago in a milker. Also, we drink our milk raw and the milker cuts way down on the amount of contaminants that could get in the milk.
This little guy, Sebastian, couldn't wait until we could get him out of the stall before needing a bit of breakfast. He eats about twice what the other goat does. He had a lot of trouble sucking or swallowing the first three days so our thought is that he is making up for lost time.

This is Eeyore thoroughly enjoying his breakfast. Dancer usually feeds him and he follows her around like she is his mom. If she gets out of his sight he cries and runs around looking until he sees her and then runs right over looking relieved that she is near.

This is one of the little bunnies that was born last week. We hadn't looked at them before so that the mom wouldn't stop feeding them if they had a foreign smell. Some rabbits are very sensitive to that and others could care less if you handle thier babes. This is her second litter, but the first ones that she has kept alive, so we decided to leave them alone. They are born bald and don't move very well. These are already fully furred and they are moving all over in the nesting box so we checked them out. The eyes aren't quite open yet but they should be in a day or two and then they will start coming out of the box on their own. When they are little like this you can really see that they are part of the rodent family. I don't think they are very cute until their ears start standing up.
And this was huge shock to me today. I came in from the barn and Spark was doing some school work on his own! He also asked if he could unload the dishwasher for me tonight. What is going on here?! Maybe I should just enjoy it and not ask any questions.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Impressed me, he did

Often when I read to the kids they pull out either paper and colored pencils or play doh so they can keep their hands busy and listen better. We were reading "Journeys with Elijah Eight Tales of the Prophet" by Barbara Diamond Goldin, a good book by the way, and I looked over at Spark and saw what he had created. This is what he had. The middle section is a dug up treasure with a piece of the treasure on top of it. This part went with the story, normally his creations are just random pieces of whatever. On each side he made a water vessel, one complete with a stopper. I was impressed with his undirected efforts and thought they were quite good for an eight year old.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Frolicing Fun

These are the two little goats we have been nursing along inside, Eeyore and Sebastian. They were outside jumping and playing with each other.
Eeyore is chasing Dancer, who he thinks is his mom, around the yard. They both had a wonderful time and enjoyed the warm sunshine. Afterward, Eeyore needed a little snuggle and a rest. Both the little goats were worn out and slept for a long time after they were brought back in. They were both moved out to the barn today as they are getting to big to live in boxes in the dining room.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Goat milk galore

We milked all four of the moms this afternoon and got almost six quarts of milk! That is a lot considering that one is nursing a two month old and two of the other goats each have one baby with them. The goats only give a lot when they have just freshened, as the spring/summer goes on they will give less. If the moms and babes were separated we would really have a fridge full. We only use about a quart a day so the Dad will have to start making cheese. Any leftovers we feed to the chickens, cats, dog and the two little goats we are bottle feeding.
After the goats are milked, the milk is brought into the house, strained, put in quart jars and place in cold water to cool it as fast as possible. We put ice packs in the water to get the temp of the milk down faster. It sits in the cold water for about half an hour and then we cap the jars and put it in the fridge. It stays good for about a week.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Shamrock Pizza

This is the pizza we made for St. Patrick's Day. We are celebrating a bit early. The Dad forgot we wanted a picture of it and cut it up and had it on the table before we even got a look at it. Here we piece it back together for the picture. To made the four leaves we just cut a wedge out symmetrically around the pie. It looks more like a cross after it's reconstruction, before the leaves were more round, pretty cute. The pizza was so good, sausage, orange and red peppers, fresh mushrooms, green olives and tons of cheese.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Beware of dog

Nikki bounded up on the back of the chair to glare out the front window and scare off the garbage truck. All her ferocious barking worked because the truck drove off! She does this week after week without fail and always looks so self important afterwards. We don't have the heart to tell her that they aren't stealing our garbage.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

We interupt this homeschool for more goat babies

The other night the weather forecast was for -6 degrees. Unfortunately, that forecast was wwwwaaaayyyy off, it got down to -24 degrees. Two of our little goats did not make it, so last night we brought in the other little one. This morning when we went out there, there were two new ones laying there extremely cold and hardly moving. We brought them in the house, put them in the bath tub with warm water, blow dried them, rubbed them vigorously, sat them in front of the space heater and tried to get them to eat. It took over 5 hours, but we got them up walking and eating! A good reason to skip school don't you think? Tonight, just to be safe, we have four of them in the house. It's like a little goat nursery in here.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Eat like a Roman - honeyed dates

At our house, the last Roman Emperor Romulus Augustus has been dethroned, the Barbarians have taken over, Rome has fallen and we finished our study of the history of ancient Rome. To celebrate the end of our study we made a Roman treat, Honeyed Dates. This is from the last chapter of the Story of the World 1 activity book changed a bit for the way we made them.

Honeyed Dates

Pitted dates
chopped nuts
1/2 cup honey

Slit each date but don't cut all the way through the date. Stuff a small amount of the chopped nuts into each date. Lightly sprinkle with salt. Melt the honey in a pan on low heat. Fry the dates in the honey for about 5 minutes, turning them once in a while with a spoon. Take out, put on a plate and sprinkle with more chopped nuts.

These are good, but very, very sweet. We assumed that they must have been the equivalent to candy in the Roman times.

Now we are on to book two of The Story of the World. Look out middle ages here we come!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Homeschool testing

Our yearly testing is done, in the envelope and ready to be mailed back to be scored! Whew! In our state we need to test once per year. This year I ordered the tests as soon as the catalog came because last year I put it off until July and we were sitting here trying to get these test done when we would have rather been outside.
In our state, by law, we need to test once per year. We can use what ever test we want from the national tests. We choose the Iowa Test because it seemed the most convenient route when Dancer had to start testing in 2nd grade. Since she started with the Iowa test we kept on with it so that we can at least compare from year to year how she scores nationally.
I absolutely hate these tests for several reasons. For one, they are expensive. Spark has to start testing this year too so we buy two tests. The two of them were almost $90. That money would have been so much better spent on other homeschooling curriculum. Some families I know this year who use the same test are having to test each of their kids at different times because they can only afford to buy one test at a time.
I also find them a huge waste of time. Each one takes about five hours to administer. Since much of the 2nd grade test is read to the student they couldn't really test at the same time. I can't expect Dancer to concentrate when reading questions aloud to Spark. This time could be so much better spent actually learning something instead of filling these tests in.
When the tests come back they tell us how many they got right and wrong in each area and how their scores stack up to other their age and grade level. Dancer has always scored way above grade level and often in the 99th percentile. This is irrelevant for a couple of reasons. My kids have a one on one tutor, I would hope they do better than kids who are sitting in class room with 20 - 30 kids in them. Secondly, it compares them to school kids who are taught to the test. The results would be much more meaningful if it compared them to other homeschool kids who use the same curriculum that we do. I would assume that would be impossible because there is probably no other homeschooled kids who use the exact same combination of curriculum that we do. So I find it comparing apples to oranges.
Here is the real kicker with these tests. We don't have to report the scores to anyone. Not that I am complaining, I certainly don't want the school involved in our homeschool anymore than necessary. Good grief, I have to pay for, take the time to administer, and get results back on tests that really don't mean much to us. I know how well my kids are progressing for them, I sit next to them every day. This homeschooling law must have seemed logical to someone at the state government that they made it in the first place. I wonder if they don't want to know the results because then they would have to admit that homeschooling is a much more effective way of educating our children.

They are still coming

Lots of births around here! Maggie had these two little cuties today. I saw her mate with the buck so we knew she had been breed but she just didn't look pregnant. We commented the other day that her udder maybe looked a bit bigger but she was still slim. Our thought was perhaps she was infertile this year or didn't get pregnant until much later in the year because other years she has been so big she could hardly get up when laying down. The kids went out to check the barn this afternoon and Dancer came running back in. I assumed she was going to tell me that Elizabeth, the goat who looks like she is about a month over due she is so big, was kidding. Nope, she says that Maggie had twins. Sure surprised us, I think goats like doing that. She still looks the same as before she had them and they were both quite good sized. The last two years she has had major problems with kidding so I was very pleased to go out and see that she had delivered both and was doing wonderfully. I guess third time was the charm for her.

While we were wiping off her babies the rabbit Dawn was frantically pulling out her tummy hair and stuffing it in her nest. Tonight I felt in there and it was full of baby rabbits. I didn't feel around too much because I want her to take care of them as the last time she didn't.

Of course, with all these new babies we are having a snow storm and it is cold, -11 with the wind chill. Tomorrow is suppose to be -6 with just the temp but after that we are expecting upper 30's and 40's. If they all get through the next couple of nights they should all be fine.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Visions of seedlings danced in their heads

We went to the farm store today to get some milk replacer for the little goat. The mother is just not taking to him. She paws at him and butts him. What a mean momma. She talking care of the little white one but not this dark one. He will live in the house the first few days here until we can ready a spot for him in the barn and we will have to bottle feed him.

While we were there, I looked over the garden section. By this time of year I just get this longing to start digging in the dirt and get things going. Since we market garden we usually mail order all our seeds in large bulk lots which come in plain paper packs, not the fancy, shiny packs with alluring picture on the front. I did pick up a pack of Swiss chard seeds, I just couldn't help myself. Oh spring, please get here soon! And here is the real kicker, the forecast is for a foot of snow tomorrow.

Two down and two up

Sometime in the next couple of days we are expecting baby bunnies. Three rabbits are due to have kits in the next days to a week. One of the rabbits is the only one who managed to raise babies this winter and she only had success with rearing two. We have no where to put the two when we put the nesting box in for her later this week and if we left them in with her they would kill her new babies. So today we butchered both of them. They were getting on to five months so were full grown and at this point would only being putting on fat. We put them in the freezer. I would have made them for supper but the kids had named one of them and serving him tonight would have just been too soon.

The rabbits are no sooner in the freezer and a goat starts acting oddly in the corral. After checking on her, sure enough she was in labor and her water was about to break. Once we got out there she had them quite readily, but she must have been pushing for quite some time. Perhaps she just needed a bit of cheering on. The first goat needed help to be born. I pulled his legs and Dancer pulled on the doe because that little guy was stuck like Pooh in Rabbits hole. Once his head started coming out we could see that his tongue was sticking out and that is not a good sign. After him, she had another kid without any problems or assistance. The first little guy's tongue was blood red as were the insides of his nostrils. His gums were so swollen that they covered his teeth. He also could not stand on his back legs nor would he even put any weight on them, just let them hang. We brought him in the house and Dancer started to mother him. She got him standing, then walking and finally coming over to her to nuzzle. We are bottle feeding him at least until tomorrow when we hope he will be strong enough to go back with his mother and nurse. He made a visit to her tonight so that she won't forget him and hopefully get him to nurse from her but the nursing was unsuccessful. Tonight he is getting better coloring in his tongue and nose and his gums are not near so swollen, even his teeth are showing through. He is resting in the recycling bin, we didn't have anything else to put him in, and tomorrow we will work with him and his mom again. In all the goats we have had here over the years we have never had one alive that has had such trauma from birthing. We assume that she was pushing hard for a while and it was too hard on his poor little head. They also looked like they were over due. Glad to have them here safe and sound. We have at least two more does to kid this season. It is always an exciting but stressful time. Here is the mother, Cecelia, and her two newly born babes, both of them are bucklings. She had them outside in good light, with plenty of room, and in the middle of the day. That is miraculous all in it's self. Usually they have them wedged in the corner of a stall and if there are problems, they are delivering late at night when you are tired and can hardly see in the dark.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Dance, Dance, Baby!

One of the days of the year Dancer can hardly wait for came today. It was the first dance competition of the year! She has been so excited that she has spent the last two days making lists of everything she needed to bring with and then packing and checking to make sure she packed everything over and over. We went to St. Paul to the Excel Center so it was a long trip and we had to be there at 8 a.m. Early, early morning and our family does not do mornings too well but we all bounded out of bed by 5:30 a.m. at the excitement of a competition. Her dance team did very well. They won three golds and three first place trophies! Dancer was chosen to go up and get the award for their ballet dance and here she is with it. We are so proud of her! On the way home we drove by a store that had these big cement sports balls outside of it. We pulled over and she and Dad hopped out to take her picture with the basketball. It was all so fast I didn't even see what the store was. It was a long but fun packed day.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Bedtime reading goes "boink"

Spark is a very good reader, he just doesn't find much pleasure in it. Because of this, whenever he does read we let him even if it is at night after bedtime. Calvin and Hobbes comic books (his book of choice here) he reads over and over and colors in the strips. He also sleeps downstairs on the couch most nights in his self declared man-cave. Our shower is also downstairs. The Dad was going down for a shower and saw that Spark was reading in this position. By just glancing at Spark while quickly walking through, he just assumed that Spark was awake. He came out of the shower and through the family room and saw that Spark was still in this position. Upon further inspection it became obvious that Spark had 'fallen asleep at the book'.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Just Thursday 4

The morning started so nice with Spark coming in to snuggle on the bed with me. Mmmm, he is so sweet. Then he says "Mom, are you going to get up, it's 1:00?" After I spun over faster than a pig on a BBQ spit to look at the clock, he says "just kidding!" and zooms off. He is getting more like his father every day.

Going out to the barn there was a long trail of these foot prints. We are guessing them to be fox prints. It is time to get out the live trap or it will be back every night for his duck supper until they are all gone. Last year we lost a few to a raccoon until we caught him.

The ducks seemed to be on cloud nine with the spots on the yard that have no snow on them. Once they find a puddle they turn it into a mud puddle. We are going on our fifth month of snow so they are probably thinking that migration thing other ducks do is not such a bad idea. Actually, ours are domestic ducks so they don't fly all that well.

Dad started the spring cleaning in the barn. In the sub zero winter temps everything is frozen down so we can't get do much cleaning in the stalls. Here he is putting some on one of the flower beds. By the time he tills here, if spring ever comes, it will be mostly composted.

The warmer temps have made the snow sticky enough to make snowballs. Spark and Dancer made a snow fort. Snow fort play has come a long way since I was a kid. Video games have seeped into every part of their lives. Their game had three levels of play, easy, medium and hard. There was a set amount of money and buying snowballs was determined by how much money one had. They can also 'reset' the game. The game was quite creative and I know they are retaining the history we do. They were Rome attacking Asia Minor, Britain, Greece, Spain and Cesar's son-in-law Pompey's head came from Egypt on a Fed Ex truck.
Nikki played Queen of the Snowball.
We got a little science experiment in while we were outside. Dancer threw ashes out on the yard to see if the dark color from the ashes will attract heat from the sun and melt the snow faster or if it doesn't matter and white snow melts at the same rate.

We came in and made guacamole for lunch. Here is our recipe.


5 ripe avocados
3 Roma tomatoes
3 sweet peppers
3 garlic cloves
1 onion
cilantro to taste
3 tbsp. olive oil
sea salt to taste
lime juice
Mash the avocados. Dice the tomatoes. Run the peppers, garlic and onion through the food chopper. Mix everything together and get out the chips.

This is so good, I am hungry just looking at the picture again.

Spark looked up how to grow an avocado tree here - He got out a glass and started his right away.
Dancer changed the laces in her new tennis shoes from white to blue. She got new ones last night and we bought a size 7. Her old ones were a size 5. Why she never complained how small the old ones were is beyond me. She just got new tap, jazz and ballet shoes because her toes were coming out of her old ones and I should have thought then that her street shoes probably didn't fit either. The picture shows that there is quite a significant size difference between the two shoes.
Spark grew another head. All this and we got some "real" school work done!