Why the Tree of Life?


Painted Ladies

Dunagan gave Kirven a butterfly farm for Christmas, and we waited until it was a little warmer to order our caterpillars. They came a couple weeks ago in a little plastic jar. They had plenty of food in there, and we weren't supposed to open them until they made chrysalides. Wow, do they grow fast. They literally were bigger every time we looked at them, and it wasn't long before they climbed up to the lid and got into chrysallis-making position. We kept trying to catch seeing their bodies change, but we missed it somehow. We would look and another one would no longer be a caterpillar, but a chrysallis. We then moved them to their hatching habitat, and they hung there for about another week.

We thought we would get to see them emerge one by one during the day, but at breakfast on Saturday, Daddy looked over and noticed that four of them had emerged during the night. One of the caterpillars had just turned black and didn't make it. Interestingly, that caterpillar was the first by a long shot to head up to the lid and start the change... wonder if that had anything to do with it?

We watched them for a day and then let them go. They didn't want to leave their habitat at first, but then each one flew away. Maybe we'll have more painted ladies in our backyard.



The chair wars have begun. Look who's so proud of herself, sitting on the table and eating a candle. She was ever so quiet.

Time to put the chairs up on the table when not occupied. Maybe I could bungee cord them against the table?


First Piano Lessons

Thought I'd share a picture of Kirven having his piano lesson. He has been enjoying the DVDs from Simply Music. We have the first set in the "Learn at Home" series. In theory, I really like the method, and Kirven has been asking to do them without any prompting. He has happily been repeating Lesson Two and really seems to want to take it slow and really get it right. I'm trying to stay in the background and not hover and correct (and squash his interest in the process). When we make it through both of the first two sets of lessons, and if Kirven wants to continue with piano, then we will talk to the Simply Music teacher in town. Until then, I think he has more than enough to work with.


Austin Space Day

One of the reasons that I have been very delinquent on updating the blog is that while Evan was in Germany, I somehow zoomed out on my blogger dashboard, and it somehow stayed that way. The whole screen was postage stamp size, and I couldn't for the life of me figure out what I had done. It was too small to see what I was typing, let alone post any pictures. When Evan got home, it only took one click, of course, to save me.

This is the post I would have posted a couple weeks ago. We went to the homeschoolers' day of Austin Space Day, which was held at the LBJ Library on the UT campus. The rocket above is one that high schoolers have made, and if it passes muster, they'll get to fire it off at White Sands. The name of the rocket, apparently, was 'Ignite Me'.

Posing with the space dude.

LEGOS robots are always a hit.

There were plenty of hands on things for the kids to do. Kirven got to try working some simple tools with oversized gloves to see what it would be like in a space suit. Both boys make paper rockets that they shot off with alkaseltzer and water in film canisters. Kirven saw everything there was to see and was not timid about going to the front of a group to get a better look or to step up to a table and interact with a strange adult. On every front, the day was a huge success and enjoyable for everyone. Grammy and Grandpa went with us, and we wouldn't have been able to do the trip without them, and we all enjoyed an ice cream treat at the end of the day. I was mostly mesmerized by the enormous and gorgeous fountain behind the library.


Happy Birthday, to me

It's my birthday tomorrow, and if it wasn't for my boys and my mom (who made me my favorite dessert), I think I would have clean forgotten it. I'll be thirty-three. I can't say that I feel like I thought thirty-three would feel like, and it's becoming harder and harder to actually remember how old I am.

What have we been up to? House hunting and house hunting some more, and when we're not house hunting, we're thinking about house hunting.

What are the boys doing during all this obsessive house hunting? Mostly making mud pies. And watching The Little Travelers: Japan. And watching painted lady caterpillars grow at an amazing rate and turn into chrysalids. And working on the right hand of Kirven's first piano piece via Simply Music. And reading our Enki stories, but struggling with the crafts and movement work due to baby interference. And building enormous rocket ship tents in the living room that must remain intact for days at a time.

We've been sleeping a little later these days and spending more of the afternoon outside on these beautiful days. Sometimes we have been having smooth sailing days, and sometimes we've been having days filled with challenging moments (a parenting euphemism for mommy yelling and screaming and/or children yelling and screaming... and etc.) mostly due to mama not getting enough sleep the night before. Funny how you can be aware of the situation and still act in a way you would rather not.

But overall, we're having many more good moments than bad moments, and definitely all good days.

Now, if we could only get our future settled. Anyone have a crystal ball? Because the uncertainty and suspense is killing me.


Yarn Dolls

We made Yarn Dolls out of the Enki Kindergarten Crafts binder. Kirven really enjoyed making his doll, and he has been trying to get Ayla to play with it ever since. Dunagan wanted one as well, so I made one for him, too.

I can't remember now whose is whose.


Dusting Off

Well, we've definitely fallen off our Enki horse. Between house hunting (which is proving to be completely distracting to me) and nasty, violent, exhausting (but blessedly quick) stomach viruses, I barely know what day it is, let alone what we are supposed to be doing.

It was looking like Evan was going to miss getting the virus, but he got sick last night. We had been planning a trip to the ranch to set up a water tank, but one obstacle after another prevented us from being able to go, and we called it off on Friday. But, truly, thank God we weren't up there, because it would have been miserable for Evan to have been sick away from home. And hey, we still had gatorade, saltines and chicken noodle soup left on hand from when the boys and I were sick last week. Things have a way of working out, don't they?

I think I'll stay here on the ground for another day (or week) or so before I dust us all off, and we try to get back up on the horse. That saddle just seems pretty high right now.