Thursday, April 28, 2011
I think this is one of my favorite gardens. It has a classic elegance which reminds me of Jane Austen novels.
The kids, of course, see it as a runway.
At the end of the garden there is a lovely fountain that has the most beautiful...
This was the first year Choclo was able to catch a few for himself!
While we were returning to the car, Oob had me sit down on a bench to "tink." When I asked him what we we should "tink" about, he told me, "Let's tink about how much God loves us."
So we both sat there and looked at all that beauty and the kids soaking it up til it shone out their eyes, and we thought about how much God loves us.
What a beautiful day!
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Here are the kids in their Easter finery.
And here they are running around like crazy people near the lake behind the house.
And here I am, getting my third outrageously good hand (in a row) at Pigs Knuckles (Pinochle). Mumpy is so embarrassed, she's edged out of the picture (not really, a kid had the camera. Mumpy thought it was funny!).
I'm not sure I've ever won against my mom before, definitely not by that much, anyway, but we had a great time. Should I mention she had hurt her back and was on some powerful medication? Probably not.
Leena enjoyed playing the Dummy.
The kids built domino houses, which was very fun, although, eventually, Choclo decided an invisible person was blowing on his house and knocking it down. Ummmm. Actually he kept kicking the leg of the card table.
I wish I had gotten pictures of the egg hunts and the pinata.
Oh, well, we had a great time with lots of family memories and that's what counts!
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Here you can see our "bean tent" near the bottom of the hill and our tomatoes tucked safely in their wall o waters.
I've noticed that when I don't baby the transplants with these, I never get many tomatoes.
I haven't used them in a few years. In fact, I think they are over 10 years old and still going strong.
In Klenda's garden, her parrot tulips are blooming!
It never ceases to amaze me what strange plants the kids find when I ask them to pick out something.
Mxyl and Leena found these Pocketbook Plants.
Here are Choclo and Oob's gardens.
They're kind of at the front of the shrubbery.
Yes, I have a shrubbery. The Knights who Say Ni should have looked here.
Last Fall, I bought a big bag of pastel tulips and planted some in the cutting garden and some here and there.
So far, my favorite juxtaposition has been this one with the sky blue grape hyacinth.
I love this one, too, even if the lacy green backdrop is actually my kale plant going to seed...
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
They have these African Black Footed Penguins.
Choclo watched with this look of intense concentration.
We saw them waddle, swim, and hop about.
After quite a while, I asked if he were done watching the penguins and he answered, "Mmmmm, not yet." About 5 minutes later, "OK, I'm done now. Thank you for showing me the penguins, Mom."
We even saw these rare two-headed penguins with hair. Very strange, but fun!
Monday, April 18, 2011
You wouldn't think that would be a funny subject, but Fr. John is the funniest moral theologian I know.
Hmmm. That doesn't sound great, but, trust me, he's hilarious! Who else would use Plan 9 From Outer Space to explain the existence of God?
Anyway, it was a great talk, I'll have to remember to post the next time we have a talk coming up instead of telling you about it after the fact!
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Yum! Yum! We got this one really huge one, and a few smaller clusters.
When we cut up the big one, we were fascinated by the spiral structure.
We ate them on pizza and in another stir fry.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
First off, or Girls' Night, we broke open the Tasty Science Kit.
Best tasting chemistry ever!
I pretty much let the girls run with this. It never ceases to amaze me how intense kids are when experimenting on their own.
They did a bunch of the experiments in the kit and then came up with the idea of creating pop rocks. Tasty science, indeed!
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Recently, we've been trying to figure out an appropriate balance of TV/Computers/iPods/etc. I think this is something every family in our society has to make decisions about, and the answers will be different for each family.
I'm always interested in how others solve this, so I thought I'd post our "rulebook," a work in progress.
The Pavlat Preservation of Society Rulebook:
- No flatscreens between 6 PM and 8 AM (Saturdays: 6 AM) without specific permission
- Maximum flatscreen time = 2 hours a day, plus level treats, parent-led educational videos, Saturday pre-breakfast TV, special occasions, sick days, and watching others play games
- No flatscreens with guests without specific permission
- Additional time for Wii, Plug and Play, Didj, iPod, websites, and other computer time may be “bought” with time spent doing approved useful stuff
- iBreviary may always be used and does not count as flatscreen time
· Educational use with permission
· Saturday mornings (unless specifically prohibited on Friday night)
· Sundays (in 30 minute increments; timers must be used)
· Educational games during Fun Blocks or at other times with permission
Plug and Play:
· 30 minutes on Sundays (timers must be used)
· Other times with permission
Didj and iPod:
· Educational games with permission (standing permission for Mind Snacks)
· 30 minute time limit on useful apps or eBooks
· Other games may only be done with “bought” time or with Mind Snacks time
- Total computer time may not exceed 60 minutes a day
- Laptops may only be used in the living room, dining room, or library
- Word processing does not count as computer time, but as flatscreen use
- Computer games:
o 30 minutes on Sundays (timers must be used)
o Educational games during Fun Blocks or at other times with permission (standing permission for Rosetta Stone)
· Websites or Robotics Programming:
o Request specific permission to use the Internet or robotics programming
o All requests must include reason for use (i.e., tell what you will do and why)
o Websites from bookmarks list only (websites approved upon request)
o 30 minute time limit (timers must be used)
· Other computer time (including customizing Windows):
o May only be done with “bought” time or with Rosetta Stone time
o 30 minute time limit (timers must be used)
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
I like daffodils in general, but these peachy pink blooms are my favorite.
Outside, everything is in bloom!
At the top, we have two cherry trees and a plum tree. At the bottom, our pear tree is also in full flower.
Last Fall, I splurged on some bulk bulbs to make a cutting garden! I love tulips, but I never want to pick them. We'll see if I have the nerve to pick these! I think I might as a gift to a dear friend...
I found this little Johnny-Jump-Up peeking out from beneath a tulip in Mxyl's garden.
Choclo wanted to pick the hyacinth in his garden. He picked two for his room - very fragrant!
He's really been delighted by all the flowers coming up in his garden. I'm not sure how much he connects it with the rock like objects he planted 6 months ago.
I've been enjoying the beautiful new leaves.
These are my roses (yet innocent of black spot!). After a long winter, the flowers could hardly be prettier than these leaves!
Below the roses, my coral bells are leafing out.
This morning, we took a gratitude walk. We walked around the neighborhood, down into the woods, enjoying things and thanking God for them.
For me, I just need to walk around my garden!
Monday, April 11, 2011
Leena said, "Sharks!" So in the line of the infamous Squid Day, we had Shark Day. This is Leena's picture.
We started off with some shark websites. We liked Enchanted Learning a lot. This shark page was free! This page had great pictures. I also found a page with lots of printables: a wordsearch, maze, shark anatomy sheet, and one graphing shark sizes.
After the websites we did a packet of those printables, then read some library books: an Eyewitness Shark book and another really great one I can't remember.
I pulled our shark jaw out of the museum so we could look at exactly how all those rows of teeth work. Since the jaw is cartilage, we talked quite a bit about the plusses and minuses of having your skeleton be cartilage or bone.
For one thing, sharks can't really move their fins, so they can't move backwards the way a fish can. Cartilage is just too weak to support moveable fins. On the other hand, a cartilage skeleton is quite flexible and sharks can turn around really quickly... so it's really not advisable to tease a shark about not being able to swim backwards.
We moved on to an art project. My plan was to have the kids draw sharks participating in the food chain. The idea was to have them draw the animals in heavy crayon and then do a watercolor wash for the water. They had so much fun, they never got around to the wash. Here we have sharks feasting on luminescent squid.
That was the morning, and the rest of the day was spent Down by the Bay, collecting shark's teeth! I wish I had brought my camera for the actual collection.
It was the perfect day to go: too warm to be standing around turns into just perfect when you cool water lapping at your ankles! It was too early in the season for biting flies and jellyfish, and the beach wasn't crowded.
Best of all, everyone found plenty of teeth!
Sunday, April 10, 2011
The chunk in front is the stone sealing the tomb. Can you see it?
Saturday, April 9, 2011
He took the name Michael, after, you know...
The ceremony was really beautiful and several of his friends were being confirmed with him.
The bishop was great! He was an amazing combination of reverent and down to earth. Very welcoming and friendly with the kids while still conveying great solemnity about the matter at hand. We were really blessed to have him.
You could really feel the presence of the Holy Spirit!
Thank you to all who prayed for him!