Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Never a Dull Day (or Night)

That was SOME storm that rolled through last night!

The girls and I were enjoying the almost-end of The Enchanted Castle by Edith Nesbit, a free Kindle download  (Parts of it are hilariously funny, but parts of it do drag on....), which something caught my eye outside the window in the storm.

At first I thought it was a streetlight.  But, then, we don't have any streetlights.  THEN, I thought it might be the moon.  But, I reasoned, we were in the middle of a very strong wind, rain and electrical storm.

Only then did I holler out for Andy to come look at the fire on the power line.  Eeesh.

We called '911' and Appalachian Power, and both made it out in great time.  By the time they got here, though, the fire was out (I tell ya, that was some heavy rain!), but we wanted them to look it over just in case.

Its not much to look at today (look at the brown leaves), but the result is that that AP has put in an order to get all of the trees down that side of the yard trimmed up and off the power lines.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

math laugh

OK, so I had Han finishing up the (Virginia) third grade SOL test this morning....you know, the most recently-released one on the DOE website?  Even though she's only finishing second grade, I wanted to get an idea of where she is; there's a couple areas we haven't learned yet.

Anyways, she got to number 42*:

A girl placed eight blocks like the ones shown, in a bag:
She pulled one block out of the bag without looking.  Which color block is she MOST likely to select?
a.  red 
b.  green
c.  blue
d. yellow

*not copied exactly so I don't get in hot water with the DoE

Hannah stared at the problem for a minute, before she said,

"uh-uh!  I'm NOT puttin' MY hand in THAT bag for NOTHIN'!"


"You can't get ME to put my hand all the way in that bag for NOTHIN.  NO way."

"Han, what are you talking about?  Read the problem again."

"I DID.  And I'm not putting my hand in ANY bag without looking first.  There might be a scorpion in there."

(Allow me to point out that I had prayed for patience this morning, because I knew we'd be doing many many possibly difficult math problems in this test and she tends to go balky during long math sessions.  THIS is how God answered my prayer.)


[Laughing so hard] "What do you mean?  Why would there be a scorpion in the bag?  Look at the problem and just do the problem."

"Nope, I'm not putting MY hand in THAT bag.  Maybe there will be another hand in there that will pull me in."


"Hannah, its a lunch bag. She brought it from home.  Its new.  There are no scorpions or hands in it."

"Then why can't I look?"

"Hannah," (trying not to get exasperated) "its not you doing it."

"But there might be another one of those caterpillars in there that would bite me.  Or a scorpion.  Or fire ants."

"You're not actually the one doing it, though.  The girl is."

"OK, then, it would be blue."

"Why did you choose blue?  (I only asked on this one problem, as I was devastatingly curious!)

"Because its at the bottom and on the side and if I kept my hand on the side to avoid whatever is in the bottom of the bag....."

OBVIOUSLY, probability needs to be included in our curriculum for next year.

Monday, May 14, 2012


The end is in sight!

Less than one month to go for Hannah's second grade year, and WHEW, what a pull these last couple weeks will be!

We were interrupted by a major household move this year, and that, in addition to the various trips and illnesses, as drug our school year out much longer than I'd planned.  There was a point when I thought we were going to be finishing in April ~ ha!

("For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord)

As it is, we're planning to school right on through the summer, although with a different schedule.  We'll probably keep on going with math and grammar, but we'll put more emphasis on science and art.

There is a homeschool book sale coming up in a couple weeks that will help me fill in any missing holes.  I'm looking for a few books and a few other things for our "classroom."

WHICH is on my to-do list.  Our current setup doesn't seem to be working as well as it could be.  I was so used to schooling at the kitchen table that when we moved into this (huge, to us) house, we kind of kept close to the kitchen and living room.  But that is proving to be so very distracting to Hannah.  I'm planning to convert part of our basement into a school room, encouraged by the models I've seen in some of my friends' homes and online.  I'll start on it soon, but probably won't finish it until later this summer.

In the meantime, co-op wrapped up for the year with an end of year party complete with a moms vs. kids kickball game, pizza and popcorn & cotton candy.

What a great group of moms and kids we've met.  I'm looking forward to many years of learning and growing with these Christ-seeking and Jesus-loving folks.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


THIS is the hat that won FIRST PLACE in the Awana Crazy Hat contest at church last week.  

THIS is the girl to whom the idea occurred to use cicada castoffs on her hat and who spent only a very little time collecting their exoskeletons (science lesson!).  

We just witnessed the Magicicaida Brood I emergence....of 17-year cicadas.  Fascinating.  If you click on that link you can scroll down to a recording of the sound with which we've been deafened for the last two weeks.  They are quite melodic.

We turned this project into a homeschool science lesson (of course!), and learned that these little critters, whose "shells" she collected, emerged from underground after seventeen years of feeding on the roots of deciduous trees such as oak and tulip poplar (with which this region is well-supplied).

Typical cicadas with which you might be familiar don't emerge until later in the summer and are completely green with shades of brown.  These beautiful babies have startlingly red eyes and an orange tint to their body.  Hard to see on this picture, but THIS little girl is wearing one as a ring:

But back to That Hat:

When I saw the finished product, I kinda knew the other second graders didn't have a chance.  And I think she knew it, too.

Of course, I warned her:  you will forever be known as The Girl Who Wore Cicadas to Awanas.

She can handle it.

And had the Cubbies held a similar contest, I think you'd be looking at a picture of the winner.  Talk about a fascinator!