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30 June 2011

Welcome to My Living Room...

This is what you see when you walk in the front door. Good thing it's just for today. I think we'd have a hard time finding anyone to be house guests!

27 June 2011

Pelican Narration

Photo courtesy WikiMedia Commons.

What with all the water damage and clean up, school is wee bit disrupted. But we did a few things today, including finally getting around to learning about pelicans and watching the videos I chose a while back. We've actually seen these beauties in action on our nature study trips, but I think we may go back and look for them some more, though looking at the maps on All About Birds today I wondered if they were just visiting during migration. We'll see. Anyway, Monkey did an awesome narration for them:

I like pelicans. Pelicans can stick their head under water. They do that to catch fish. They dive in head first. They just put their head underwater. They are trying to hunt for fish, and most of the time it’s very tricky for them, but pelicans will get the hang of it.

As far as the house, we're in a quasi-normal lull in the work right now. The main floor tear out is finished, but we're waiting on asbestos testing before we can tear out the damaged stuff upstairs. We even had the electrician come back and our power is back to normal so we had air condition this afternoon. It was 86, and Monkey talked me into a bike ride, so you can bet I was counting my blessings to have the air back! So far, there isn't any rebuilding going on. It's nice to have a bit of a break before the craziness comes back to my house full strength again.

22 June 2011

Showers of Blessing

And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.
-Ezeliel 34:26

I'm still feeling so blessed. They started tearing out the ceiling in my kitchen hall today. They're going to take away the popcorn ceiling and we'll have something that doesn't eat the light like that. And we're going to get a new light fixture. We'll have to buy that ourselves, but there's no sense in putting back an old, broken fixture onto a lovely new ceiling. It's going to be great. Right now it's looking a little rough.

But there is more to life than unexpected home repairs. Like, today it rained. Good drenching rain. The sort that even if you run from the car to the door you'll probably be more or less soaked. Monkey and his Daddy headed to the theater and watched Kung Fu Panda 2. I took the baby to a bookstore. Bliss. I browsed like I haven't been able to in a long time. Years, maybe. And the baby slept through most of it. I even sat down on the floor and read for a few minutes. I brought home a biography of George Washington and a book about dinosaur fossils. That one is cool; it's got a cardboard model of a T-rex skeleton we get to build. All I have to do is convince Monkey that while the house is torn up is not the best time to be building a model.

When I was just about done at the bookstore, my husband called me and wanted to know if I'd come have dinner at Applebee's. Sure! In all this popping in and out of places I noticed that Raven was really loving this whole water from the sky thing. He'd turn his face up to the rain and just laugh. It was adorable. So when we got home, I let him play. Told Monkey to go take off his shoes and leave them on the porch with his socks, and we ran and splashed in the rain. Splash and laugh. It was amazing! I haven't had so much fun in ages! Monkey was running across the lawn and the puddles on the sidewalk - our sidewalks make some first class puddles. He'd yell for us to follow him, and Raven would try, but the little cutie has short legs, and he tends to cross one foot in front of the other when he walks, so running isn't quite working yet, and we'd only move a few feet in the time it took for Monkey to zoom across the whole yard.

Splash. Zoom. Laugh. Splash. Stomp. Zoom. Giggle.

I hope it rains again soon.

20 June 2011

Drama Made From Drips

I have 29 industrial fans in my home, and 2 super-capacity dehumidifiers. True, some of the fans are now turned off. But still. That's a whole heck of a lot of fans. They're noisy, and they make a lot of heat. It's about 99F upstairs this afternoon. And humid. Yep, that's where the bedrooms are, in case you were wondering. We decided that air mattresses and the living room couch were more palatable for the time being, and we're camping out in the living room.
You know, the industrial dry-the-carts-at-Walmart kind of fans.

The carpets are torn up upstairs, so the fans can be tucked under them. The pads in those areas are gone. The nice workers drilled some holes in our ceiling. That's so the wind can get in there and dry things off. My husband enjoys telling folks it looks like someone took a 50-cal anti-tank gun to out home. He's not far wrong.
The gray dots are the holes. There's tons of them.

What happened? Our 2nd floor sink was clogged & got left on a little while we were out for 11 1/2 hours on Friday afternoon. Things were damp completely soaked when we got home. Down the stairs, then through them and down the basement stairs too. Nearly every room in our home is affected. All those fans are using up all our home's capacity for powering things, so our AC is unplugged and our washer and dryer are out of commission, my microwave trips the circut breakers, and I haven't dared try the dishwasher.


The living room was least affcted, so we have a flat, dry spot, large enough to sleep the whole family. And it's got the best windows and the best circulation in the house.

Speaking of circulation, it's been unseasonably cool this weekend, so the air our little box fan is pumping into the living room is not only cooler than than the indoor sauna this has created, it's cooler than what we would have set the AC to. So the living room and computer room are pretty bearable to be in.

Speaking of the weather, it's been rainy, so we haven't needed to think about the garden. But not so rainy that we couldn't get outside for the boys to play in the only "normal" area on our property: the yard.

With all that water, which was in nearly every room in our house, we didn't loose any personal items. Not.One.Thing. Not the books on the bookshelves, not the scrapbooks placed on the top of bookshelves located directly under the upstairs bathrom's sink in my main floor music room. Not the stuff in the boxes under the stairs (though most of those boxes are trashed, the stuff inside was no more than damp). Not the pictures on the walls. Nothing. Only the house is damaged. I find that simply miraculous.

This process is proving to be massively inconvenient. Massively. But that's all. I feel so blessed. And I'm trying so hard to appreciate the blessings and stay cheerful. Wish me luck on that - I'm pretty short on sleep. But still. How can I be too upset when the hand of the Lord is so clearly evident?

12 June 2011

American White Pelican

We're learning about American White Pelicans this week. When I searched for coloring sheets to go with it, I found this whole cool packet that includes an oiled feathers activity that I think we'll be doing. I'll need to pick up some craft feathers, but I've been meaning to do that for a while. We'll probably also go see if we can't observe them at the park again. There's a flock of them hanging out down on the river. But that's far away for observing how they eat,, so before we go we'll watch a couple of clips to see what we're looking for.

10 June 2011

Let's Pretend

"Let's pretend to be dirt. And the excavator will cover us up with dirt for naps, and then when we wake up it will scoop us up and the dump truck will dump us down the stairs."

09 June 2011

Dating History

Next week we start our formal study of history. We'll spend a week talking about the roles of archaeology, scripture, and revelation in knowing what happened in the past, then we'll start with Creation the following week. I'm very excited, except for one thing: the dates in ancient history give me a headache. I'll be starting with Creation, placing Adam & Eve's expulsion from the Garden of Eden at 4000BC, but from there things get very tricky. The Bible Dictionary's "Chronology" entry says this:

Bible chronology deals with fixing the exact dates of the various events recorded. For the earliest parts of the O.T. history we rely entirely on the scripture itself; but the Hebrew Bible, the Septuagint or Greek translation, and the Samaritan Pentateuch do not agree together, so that many dates cannot be fixes with certainty. From the time of David onwards we get much assistance from secular history, e.g., inscriptions on monuments and other state records. Much work has still to be done in this direction. The dates found at the top of many printed English Bibles are due to Archbishop Ussher. Some of them have been shown to be incorrect...

Saul's reign is listed at 1095BC, with David's reign beginning around 1055. There's a whole lot of time between 4000BC and 1095. And I need to come to peace with some kind of dating system so as to not confuse my munchkin with the nuances of dating. Ugh. The Story of the World,starting in chapter 2, has dates that at least fit into the 4000BC - present timeframe. We may just go with those dates, and fit the Biblical history in the best we can; I'm no kind of expert and for a lot of the things we study in history I'll be learning right along with Monkey.  I already have a Book of Centuries that I made several years ago. Now I'm printing out this one for him to use. I love a lot of things a BoC does. Keeps things in order, brings perspective to time, helps to see what different areas of the world were doing, and helps me remember and relate stuff I've already studied to new topics of study. But a BoC does require dates. And right this minute that's sort of stressful.

03 June 2011

Barn Owl Babies!

We actually missed the big moment; the babies finished hatching last week. But the nest cam people were kind enough to post a clip of the 3rd baby hatching on YouTube.


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