Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Happy Birthday to The Emperor!

 We went with a Dr. Who themed birthday!

We made a spice cake shaped like the Tardis.

And Mxyl and Klenda made a nearly life sized wall poster (we've since attached the sign!).
 The Emperor is a big Dr. Who fan: we've watched all the old shows, the new shows, and listened to many of the Big Finish audio books.

He also does the comic books, the Legacy game, and game masters the role playing game for our kids and friends.

He got a bunch of Dr. Who mugs, posters, phone cases, and comic books for his birthday!

He loved it!

Happy birthday, my dear Emperor!  I am so happy to be your companion on this crazy adventure of our life together!

Monday, September 29, 2014

More Bored Games

The Zoomlians having been playing some more bored games.  These are not board games, these are games you play when you are bored.  They are usually done when you have to wait in line, or at a doctor's office, or in the car- that sort of thing.

For some reason they had been going on a Rock, Paper, Scissors jag.  I was getting a little tired of hearing, "Rock, paper, scissors, shoot." (it was making me bored!), and I had heard there were more variations out there.  A quick Google search turned up these pleasing diagrams!

So now they are doing that.

We've also gone back to a game we used to play when they were much younger.  You think of something, then something that rhymes with the first thing.  Then people have to guess by asking questions, and you have to guess what they are talking about.   It goes like this:

"I'm thinking of something that rhymes with blue."

"Is it something on my foot?"

"No, it's not a shoe."

"Is it something a cow says?"

"No, it's not  moo'"

"Is it somthing like soup?"

"Yes!  It's stew."

It's fun because the older kids come up with some pretty tricky things!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Poem of the Week

                   Autumn Sonnet 
 Thou comest, Autumn, heralded by the rain,
   With banners, by great gales incessant fanned,
   Brighter than brightest silks of Samarcand,
   And stately oxen harnessed to thy wain!
 Thou standest, like imperial Charlemagne,
   Upon thy bridge of gold; thy royal hand
   Outstretched with benedictions o’er the land,
   Blessing the farms through all thy vast domain!
 Thy shield is the red harvest moon, suspended
   So long beneath the heaven’s o’er-hanging eaves;
   Thy steps are by the farmer’s prayers attended;
 Like flames upon an altar shine the sheaves;
   And, following thee, in thy ovation splendid,
   Thine almoner, the wind, scatters the golden leaves!
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
HT: Lit2Go 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Natural History

Last week we went to the Natural History Museum with the whole crew.

I know the megalodon jaws have always been there, because I'm pretty sure I've taken this picture before.   

But I had no memory of their fabulous collection of trilobites!  I don't know if these are here because the dinosaur and early life exhibit is closed, or if they've always been here.  I suppose "always" is relative with fossils!

But, seriously, if your mental picture of a trilobite is smooth and "roly-polyish", take a look at this Ordovician personality!

I didn't get to look at them as long as I would have liked because Oob was tugging on my arm, "Moooom!  I need to see the giant squid!  I'm dyyyyyying to see the giant squid! No, really, I might diiiiiiiie if I don't see it right noooooooow!"

Well, you know how I feel about squids, so we went to take a look.  Their main squid is a young female, not too large, only about 35 feet when they got her.  But still... it's a lot of squid!

Then it was on to the gems and minerals.  I'm not a huge fan of the gems.  The Hope diamond is nice and all, but I really prefer the crystals and minerals.  I'm just not a jewelry person (except for my wedding ring and my Dominican medal).  I did like seeing Marie Antoinette's earrings, though.

The minerals, on the other hand, are just gorgeous!  There are thousands of them in this gallery, packed into cases like this one, each more fascinating than the last!
The mineral gallery ends in a mock up of a mine which just happens to be based on the mine we love to visit in NJ!  We spent quite a while playing with this large magnetic rock.
And then they have a large collection of meteorites (including one from Mars which they let you touch!) and some interesting forms of erosion, like this "pot hole" which Leena is sticking her head inside.
We also discovered that they have a special hands on gallery for teens, something we haven't seen in other museums.  Unfortunately, we didn't find it until near the end...so we'll have to come back!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Poem of the Week

September Midnight
Sara Teasdale (1914)
Lyric night of the lingering Indian Summer,
Shadowy fields that are scentless but full of singing,
Never a bird, but the passionless chant of insects,
    Ceaseless, insistent.

The grasshopper’s horn, and far-off, high in the maples,
The wheel of a locust leisurely grinding the silence
Under a moon waning and worn, broken,
    Tired with summer.

Let me remember you, voices of little insects,
Weeds in the moonlight, fields that are tangled with asters,
Let me remember, soon will the winter be on us,
    Snow-hushed and heavy.

Over my soul murmur your mute benediction,
While I gaze, O fields that rest after harvest,
As those who part look long in the eyes they lean to,
    Lest they forget them.

HT: About.com Poetry

Friday, September 19, 2014

Seven Quick Takes: Can You Put This On the Blog?

 1. From Klenda, who found a fly in her soup, and wanted evidence.

So, yes, all those fly in the soup jokes, they're all true!

You have been warned.

You're welcome.

 2.  This is not a picture of a penguin explosion in Choclo's room.

Actually, it's a picture of a penguin pod race, as in the pod race in the second Star Wars prequel which Choclo just saw and loved, and yet was, for me, so forgettable that I can't remember it's name AND I can't be bothered even to Google it.

The three penguin pod won.
 3.  It's me. Hello!

The Emperor was visiting old friends out of state and asked me to send a selfie.

There may yet come a day when I can take a selfie without being photobombed by a kid, but that day is not today.

Thanks be to God!

4. Not to be freaky, but we are another big dissection kick!  I thought I'd skip the picture on this one.

You're welcome.

Seriously, though: Choclo asked if he could dissect a snake, and a pigeon, and a piggie (are you creeped out yet?), and all the organs (cow eye, sheep kidney, heart, and brain).  And then Oob, not to be outdone, wanted the starter pack of all the basic animals.

When the package came in, we had everything except the sheep brain, so I called them up and told them they had lost my mind, and to please send a replacement.

Which they did. Thank you Home Science Tools.

5. The Lord provided a little extra money, and then provided a few things to spend it on.

I unexpectedly needed (and got) a new washer and dryer, new glasses, a new windshield washer pump, a new alternator, and a new crown.

In the process of getting the royal treatment, my dentist let me watch his robot create the new crown.

I live in the future!!!

And I don't have to worry about that pesky extra money!

 6.  Speaking of the Lord providing, I got to go on retreat for the first time in several years!

It was the regional retreat for Lay Dominicans, so it was all Dominicans all the time.  Great preaching and lots of quiet time.

It was a silent retreat.  As an introvert who usually has a large family around, I didn't have a hard time with that, in fact, I really enjoyed the silence!  I know it's much harder for extraverts.

Near the end I started to wonder how many days of silence it would take to make me actually want to break the silence.  The answer is: more than just one weekend!

But it was still lovely to come home to all the noisy hugs and kisses!!

The retreat house is near the Basilica, so I walked over one evening and got to spend a little time visiting my Mom.

7.  As you probably know, it's International Talk Like a Pirate Day!  Arrrrrrrrrrrr! It's one of our favorite random holidays!

That's Choclo's treasure map, you can tell by the Angry Birrrrrrds.

More fun with Jen!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

It Be Talk Like a Pirate Day Tomorrow, Matey!

Ye've been warned!

We've been making maps and playing around with pirate stickers, mad libs, and  doodles all week.

The maps are drawn on regular paper, soaked in tea, then (when dry) singed with fire.
The doodles are half drawn pictures where you need to draw the other part.

In this case, you had to draw the sea monster that is attacking the pirate ship.

I love doing this with all six Zoomlians because they come up with hilarious variety!

Here, Klenda draws an unfortunate giant merman, and Oob draws a sniffy fish that also kisses (run away!).

Choclo drew a megalodon with stripes (as well as a another shark).

Mxyl drew a terrifyingly cute little rubber ducky.

"It can bite off an entire nail with every mouthful, " he explained, "and with enough nails gone, you'll be treading water."

So, there's that.

Hmmm.  I might have boys.
Not pictured, Leena drew Gamera, and Zorg drew Larry Boy.

And we got a little silly with stickers!

Tomorrow we'll do a treasure hunt, and probably make pirate hats.

More piratey stuff, including web resources, from our earlier adventures, here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Air and Space

 September really is the time to hit the big Smithsonian museums without the crowds.  Last week we went to Air and Space, something we skipped last year.

We had to touch the moon rock, of course!

And we always love their hands on demonstrations of the principles of flight.

Here Zorg and Leena are helping to demonstrate how the airfoil shape helps provide lift.

 And we had fun in their little Cessna.

Actually, we had a LOT of fun in their Cessna.

It's one of the few times we've been there where there wasn't a line waiting for turns.

We did some space stuff, too.  We went through the Skylab at least twice (some of us more). 

Klenda, Zorg and Leena found a docent with parts of real space suits who enjoyed chatting with them about how everything worked.

One of the nice things about being home schooled is that you can be interested and ask questions.  My experience in school was pretty different.

All the docent/reenactors/museum people I've seen love to talk to people who are genuinely interested, and, since there weren't many people around, the Zoomlians got to ask as many questions as they wanted.

They left the docent with a big smile!

We also saw the new (to us) exhibit on navigation.  They started with sextants, and went up through GPS - it was a fascinating exhibit!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Mums the Word

Yes, I know the autumnal equinox is still a week away, but it must be Fall: the mums are here!

I had a Behnkes gift certificate and a coupon, both burning a hole in my pocket!

I always pick  mums that are just starting to bloom so that I can watch them open up.
My doorway will get prettier and prettier for the next month or more!

And, of course, that meant it was time to get the Fall tablecloth out.

And I grabbed some bulbs for Spring...

Yes, I know, I did plant more than 300 bulbs last year.  And they were fabulous!

These were to plant for my folks when I go visit next!

Although I always wonder if I can't squeeze a few more bulbs in somewhere around here...

Maybe a few more fancy tulips.  I love fancy tulips!

And daffodils, I love daffodils!

And that is how I get into trouble!

You know what else I like?

Bonsai!  Behnke's now has hundreds of bonsai, including these beautiful groves.  Their bonsai master is amazing!

At least I know I am not in the time of my life for bonsai.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Poem of the Week

Hazel Tells Laverne

last night
im cleanin out my
howard johnsons ladies room
when all of a sudden
up pops this frog
musta come from the sewer
swimmin aroun an tryin ta
climb up the sida the bowl
so i goes ta flushm down
but sohelpmegod he starts talkin
bout a golden ball
an how i can be a princess
me a princess
well my mouth drops
all the way to the floor
an he says
kiss me just kiss me
once on the nose
well i screams
ya little green pervert
am i hitsm with my mop
an has ta flush
the toilet down three times
a princess

By Katharyn Machan
HT: Ithaca College
Picture by Mr. Jack