Saturday, August 29, 2009

Visiting the past

We spent most of today at Har-Ber Village, visiting the past. I love history, antiques, and stories about what once was.

Don't you feel blessed to live in this day and age?
Yikes-- these were their medical instruments and "mouth gag."
Here we have the old Har-Ber school house.
The desks inside look just like ours!

I love this bell and the sign...
Amen. Let's do our best to preserve our country for future generations.
Oh, I have so much to say about that

The "stuffed animals." Yes, some are rather scary looking!!
Then home to finish up some work on the chicken's nesting box, clean out the van, play with the kids, pick up a cake, and dash off to my folks' house for Ethan's second birthday celebration. This was another just-family-gathering, but with extended family this time.
My beautiful, sweet-spirit little 8-year old
In other news, my darling hen Victoria laid an egg while free-ranging today.
Is it weird to say that I love my hens?

Thursday, August 27, 2009


New Definitions for the Wendy Dictionary:
egg-onomical (economical)
egg-static (ecstatic)
egg-citing (exciting)
egg-ology (ecology)

The kids were egg-static about using eggs in our earth demonstration today. Boil the egg and leave shell on. Cut in half. The shell of the egg is like the crust of the earth. The crust is actually a very narrow layer, only 5-22 miles in depth, which is even thinner by comparison than the shell is in proportion to the egg.

This "shell," or crust on the earth, is broken into plates that are in motion. Where these broken plates collide, there are earthquakes. Hot melted molten rock spews out of volcanoes. And where does the molten rock come from? From the upper and lower mantle (white part of the egg!) The mantle is about 1,780 feet deep and is made up of this molten rock. The yolk of the egg represents the inner and outer core. The outer core is made of molten iron, and the inner core of mostly nickel and iron, and is nearly a solid ball. The temperature of the core is estimated to be 11,000 degrees F, about the same temperature as the sun.
And God made all of this work just as it should: plates of earth, burning core and layers of molten rock, a crust of land and sea... and this earth is wrapped in the perfect blanket of atmosphere to support life.
How can anyone deny the existence of God?

Then, for snack time, we ate our "earths."
Heh heh. ;-)
Lo, and behold, after snack time we did some chicken-checking, and our new hen had laid her first egg!! EGG-citing, indeed!!! Nature Man (above, with egg yolk in hand) spotted it first. I reached in and picked up the newly-laid, still-warm egg and felt like a true country girl! Food doesn't get any fresher than this!

Here is our new egg, in the "Fresh-Egg-Coop" in our fridge. I'm gonna take Shan's advice, and pin-prick it, blow it out, eat the egg and decorate the shell to save! :-) We'll eat the egg with garden greens for a truly organic and fresh, home-grown meal. I feel Little Prairie fuzzy warmness creeping over me. :-)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

God's Promise: Studying the Rainbow

Light! Everyone wants it! There are skylights, sun roofs, "Natural lighting" that attempts to replicate the sunlight. People go tanning to imitate the sun's effects. Those who suffer from depression are often advised to get more fresh air and sunshine. Architects strategically place doors and windows to bring that "outside look in." Home decorators focus on window treatments and special lighting. Ah, yes, we all love light.
Kids run carefree, soaking up the sun.

"So, what is it?"
I asked the kids today.
Nature Man says, "the sun." True enough. So let's expand, shall we? What are some others sources of light? "Candles, flashlight, stars, nightlight."

First they used a flashlight inside a dark room, and then outside in the sun. Of course, outside you can't even tell that it's on, which illustrates why we cannot see the stars when the sun is shining. They're still there, all around us, but the sun is too bright for us to see them.

(stop and think about that for a second. Doesn't it just make your jaw drop when you think about what we are, who we are, where we are? Just this little speck called Earth, with millions of stars all around us, and we have only a faint glimmer of the universe's vastness... and yet He cares for us.)

Then moving on to color waves. A rainbow is a beautiful example of how light waves are bent.

Let's Make a Rainbow!
Place a pan of water in a sunny spot. Lean the mirror into the water at an angle that catches the reflection of the sun below the level of the water. Hold up a piece of white paper to catch the reflected light.

Rainbows galore!
Our book has a nice little poem/ rhyme to remember the order of the colors in the rainbow. Here's the first line (which is really all you need...)
Rainbows Over You, God's Blessed Vow.
Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Violet

To read about why God made rainbows, check Bible Gateway's entry.
For some beautiful photos and more reading about what "causes" rainbows, check Wikipedia's entry and HowStuffWork's entry. Yes, we touched on photons, particles, waves, and Einstein, but kept it pretty "light" this go around. Pun intended. ;-)

Another busy day in store tomorrow, and my materials are not yet prepared!
I'll need boiled eggs for the next science section!
Fred hates the smell of them, so I'd better take care of that while he's asleep!

Plus I want to start painting tonight.
(shhhh-- I haven't told him yet!)

Night, night!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Great Eight

Look Who's EIGHT Today!!

Nature Man, we've loved you from the beginning...
(two weeks before he was born)

And we love you through all of the cuteness and mischief...
(posing as a cowboy when he was 2-years old)

We love you when you sleep and when you play,
through make-believe and daily life...

We love you through the coats of mud and dirt,
even when we have to dig you out and hose you down...

You've brought so much joy with your sweet spirit,

compassion for others,

love of nature...

For 8 years and 9 months, you've been an absolute delight, a beautiful gift...

You will always be our oldest son, our first boy

(aiyaya--potty training was new to me for little boys!!),

and my baby forever ...

We love you soooo much, little Nature Man!
Happy Birthday!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Monster meals on rainy days

Today started out all rainy and booming. Actually, I've been enjoying the storms. We haven't gone swimming much this summer, and I'm longing for fall now. I miss firepit nights, bread baking in the evenings, long walks, playing in leaves...

This morning we felt the air tinged with that kind of fall crispness. Soooo, all before 8am, we baked Focaccia, wheat bread, and lemon pound cake. Mmmm....mmmmm... the house smelled so good!

Thanks again for planting the rosemary for me, Papaw! It has been delightful to have!

I found a new cookbook that I LOVE, The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook: Your Guide to the Best Foods on Earth. Yes, Fred is thrilled. (Okay, you'd really have to know him to understand just how sarcastic I am being.) He watched me stuffing those beautiful green bell peppers yesterday and said, "you know I'm not going to eat that." And he didn't. (Ah, but my feminine wiles may overtake him yet.)

I'm veering off of my intended path, but you need some background. We've been married for almost 12 years, and my husband has never eaten a salad. And I mean NEVER. He shuns all condiments, but especially salad dressing. (Go figure, he loves chips and dip!) He does NOT eat lettuce, spinach, or anything else healthy-sounding unless you put one of the weak white pieces on a cheeseburger. Tomatoes are never accepted unless they are in sauce.

It took me about 5 years to get him from whole milk down to 1%. Then I eased into skim milk sllll-oowww-llly. It took about the same amount of time to get him weaned from that white bread fluff. And straight Velveeta. (A unison EEWWWW please) He coated fruits with sugar to eat them. Ladies, make your sons eat well NOW, so their wives don't have to do it later on. C'mon, good foods are GOOD.

He's okay with the changes now, but this was a process. Why do I bother, you ask? Well, for one thing, I didn't want him to leave me widowed. For another, he feels better when he eats right. Plus the kids watch him... AND I don't enjoy cooking multiple meals for supper.

So, anyway, I try to compromise now and then. He buys chips when he goes shipping and I say nothing (well, I try to say nothing.) When I shop, I buy tons of fruits and veggies, and only healthier-alternatives-to-heart-attack-foods.

Take hot dogs. He loves them. And not just any hotdog, but the cheese-filled, extra-large Ballpark hotdogs. One has about all of your calories for the day.

My compromise? I buy turkey franks and make monster meals (or threaded dogs, depending on the child you're talking to.) It's not exactly something a foodie would endorse, but it's progress... And it's fun.

We sprinkled fiesta-blend cheese on the finished product.

I found this idea (and many other great ones) at Plum Pudding. :-)

Check out how Simply Stork made hers look like googly monsters with legs!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Country Living in the Cottage

We're trying something new!!

My kids love animals. (All pictures were taken today!)
They love ALL creatures!
Me? I don't mind most animals. I even like some (not big dogs!!)
We have a fish that I am quite fond of.

But I L-O-V-E fresh yummy foods
(like these fresh-off-the-plant bell peppers, that are getting stuffed with yumminess....)
What's the best of both worlds?
The kids get new creatures to care for, and I get fresh eggs!!
Here's my hero, building the top of the coop. :-)

And, here are my ladies
(as a friend so sweetly put it, when she got her own chickens.)
Meet Lucy and Suzie.
You'd better believe that one of my aprons will be used solely
for the purpose of gathering seed and throwing it to my hens. Ahhhh....
My Father-in-law just bought some land adjacent to his property, and he plans to get cows in addition to his chickens soon. I'll have my "own" farm to visit, only 10 minutes away.
Photo credit: Goodall Artists

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Retreating to the wilderness

A fitting place for my family...

I usually hang on to the camera, but this time the kids took over for awhile. Fred and I aren't often in pictures together. We plan to have a custom pen and ink sketch done before long, but we couldn't find a good recent picture of us together!

A little crooked, but not bad!

Shave and a haircut? Apparently Nature Man thinks Daddy is a bit too tall...
A little better. Now he has two eyebrows at least!

I hope your weekend was just as relaxing and wonderful!