Monday, February 26, 2007


After our recent fishing trip, Grace is convinced that there are no fish in the lake. She says the lake is filled with worms. We can't convince her otherwise. (So much for our angling skills!) We brought the leftover bait home and let them loose in our flower bed. She and Sam spent many afternoons digging up the worms and observing them. Grace named one of them "Wormie."

Grace has been making up stories about Wormie ever since our trip. Wormie has gone swimming, accompanied Grace to Knott's Berry Farm, and gone looking for his mommy in the dark woods. Sometimes he is represented by a string that Grace has found around the house. Once I inadvertently threw Wormie into the trash (there were tears aplenty after that mistake--how was I to know that the string would always be Wormie?).

Wormie has also inspired Gracie's desire to write. She wants to write Wormie's name. This has blossomed into a desire to write the names of all our family members. We currently write the names together, but she will soon begin to write them on her own. What an exciting time! And it was all started because of a worm.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Photo Op

This is a fairly recent photo of our kids. The rodent isn't ours; however, some people think he looks like my husband. [Love you, Honey;).]

Friday, February 23, 2007

Dogs, Uvulae and Geography?

We went on a mini-vacation this past weekend. When we got home we discovered that one of our dogs had mysteriously received a 4- by 5-inch gash on his side. We rushed Poncho to the vet. Sam was fascinated by his wound and began investigating it. Poncho yawned, and, in full scientist mode, Sam peered down his throat. "Hey, Mom. I don't think Poncho has a uvula!" [Note: the uvula is the little thing that hangs down at the back of your throat.] We began trying to see Poncho's uvula each time he opened his mouth. We couldn't get a really clear look. Later we did a little research online. We learned that dogs do not have uvulae--except for one breed of wild dog known as Singers. This type of dog has a uvula-like piece of flesh at the back of its soft palate. (See the link below for more information.)

Singers are native to Papua New Guinea. Sam asked what Papua New Guinea was. I replied that it was a country. Then he wanted to know where it was. We located it on a world map. Over the next several minutes he pointed to countries, and I provided their names.

Poncho is recovering nicely after a $700 surgery.

For more information about Singers go to

Monday, February 12, 2007

Toast and Science

Today Sam buttered his toast while it was still hot (a rare occasion) and was very excited to see that it melted. A lively discussion about things that melt broke out. Everyone had something to add to the list of melting things (except Abby, who was just happy to be with us all). Sam said that sugar was his favorite thing that melts. Then I asked if sugar melts or dissolves. Sam put sugar on his toast and placed it in the light of a sunbeam. Sam and Grace observed the sugared toast. Meanwhile, Mom and Dad continued debating the melt vs. dissolve issue and researched it online. (Sugar dissolves, by the way. See the info. below.)

Sam and Grace wanted to try out melting experiments. We filled plastic tubs with water and a few toys and placed them into the freezer. Tomorrow the experiments continue.

What's the Difference between "Dissolving" and "Melting"?
"When a solid dissolves into a liquid, it does not melt since no heat has to be added. It does not change phase, but simply gets broken apart into invisible pieces that are mixed into the liquid. In order to melt a solid, heat must be added to raise its temperature above its melting point, and no other substance is added."

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Charlotte Teaches Us to Slow Down

I've decided that one of the most delightful things about homeschooling is reading to my children. What a joy it is to start our day snuggled up in bed reading. Sam (barely 5 yrs. old) is sharing the journey through Charlotte's Web with me. He has adopted a quote from the story that is quickly becoming a family motto. As he and Daddy scurried about running several quick errands his comment was, "Never hurry, and never worry. That's what Charlotte says." Now we're all using this nugget of wisdom when we are feeling a bit frazzled. Even Grace (3 yrs.) is using this phrase.

I love the way a good book can etch its mark on the heart of a family!