Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Raising Butterflies

A project we did this summer was raising painted lady butterflies. We bought a kit with a pop-up netted butterfly house and a coupon for mail-order butterfly larvae. The caterpillars arrived in a plastic cup with their food already added. We watched them grow for about a week, then all 10 of them crawled to the top of the cup and made chrysalides. We carefully removed the liner on the lid of the cup and pinned it to the netting on the house. When the butterflies emerged about a week later, they were so fun to watch! The girls spent hours feeding them sugar nectar and fruit, letting them crawl on their hands, and watching them sip with their proboscis'. After several days we set all the butterflies free on some zinnias we had growing outside. This was a wonderful hands-on learning project. Click on the video below to see the butterflies in feeding action.


We have an aussie mix puppy that we rescued from the pound. She's about 7 months old now, so yesterday we had her spayed. She's doing fine, although not her usual over-active self. She's very smart and needs lots of stimulation. If we don't give it to her, she will terrorize the kittens. OK, even when we DO give her stimulation, she terrorizes the kittens.

You may be wondering where the name Flomar came from. It came from the movie The Martian Child. It is about an orphaned boy who believes he is from Mars. He is adopted by a fantasy novel writer, and their relationship developes sometimes in reality and sometimes somewhere else. It is one of our very favorite movies. You've got to see it. Anyway, the name Flomar is Martian for "warm, furry friend".

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Jehovah's Witnesses?

Saturday, I was doing some yardwork when the Jehovah's Witnesses stopped by. I always drop everything and chat with them (Mormons also) when they approach me. Now before you condemn me as giving ear to heresy, please listen to my reasoning: First, you must realize that as a homeschooling mom, I spend a lot of time with my children, and don't have a large sphere of influence outside the home. So, when the mission field comes knocking on my door (literally), I view it as a God-given opportunity to share my faith. Secondly, I believe these misguided people are not the enemy, but people deceived by the enemy and in need of a Savior. When they find out that you are a "Bible Believer", they want to talk about eschatology and the end of the world. Now, the J.W.'s have been predicting the end of the world for almost a hundred years now. They also have a problem with God being a Trinity, an issue which we should never yield. And they have their own weird translation of the Bible, obviously to support their weird theology. Apparently, door-knocking is one of the requirements in their faith, because they all seem to feel the need to do it to be a "good christian".
I try to explain to them that salvation comes through Christ alone, through faith alone. It is a gift from God, not something anyone could earn. He gives it freely to all that have been chosen to receive it. Do you believe that Jesus is God? that when He died on the cross He took the punishment for your sins? Do you believe that He then rose from the dead? If you do, tell Him. He wants to have a relationship with you.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Drunk Bees

The bees around here have been acting rather strange. Ricky discovered the reason-- they are getting drunk from eating fermenting pears. You can poke them with a stick and they just stumble around. Some of them are just huddling together on the ground, I guess trying to stay warm in the 70 degree weather. It was such a beautiful day today, the little girls and I went for a lovely horseback ride this morning. (And we caught the pony on the first try which made it extra lovely.)
These are pictures of C with her kitten baby. Who needs dolls when you can cuddle a warm, furry, purry creature?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pears and Perseverance

We had an over-abundance of pears this year. We have just one tree but it was a boon. The thought of canning bushels of pears was daunting to me, so my resourceful husband decided to take over the job. He used a sweet cinnamon and clove sauce and filled several cans tonight. Let me tell you they are soooo good! This is the first time he's ever done any canning and I am so proud of him.
I am also very proud of R, my 7 year old. Here's the story: We have three horses, only one is really a welsh pony. He is very smart but very naughty and he does not like to be caught when he is at leisure in the pasture. I needed to treat him with wormer this morning so I send R out with the halter. Although she is the only person the pony usually will come to, today he would not be captured. So I had to join her in the 4 acre pasture and spend about an HOUR chasing him around until he surrendered from fatigue. R was ready to give up several times, but I would not let her. "We can't let him get away with this," I told her, "We've got to win." So through tired tears she persevered until the victory was won. What a wonderful character training lesson for both of us. I thought, if we do nothing else today it will still be a successful day in the eyes of a homeschooling mom.