Sunday, July 31, 2011

Transparent eggs

We were playing a rousing game of Brainopoly, and Sarah landed on a "Why did?" space, which requires the use of imagination to answer a question.  When Mike lands there, I give him the lowest level question, because we older folks haven't used our imaginations in so many years that they've mostly died.  After I give him the question, he thinks about it for awhile before giving some sensible, banal answer.  I give the kids the higher level questions, because their imaginations are amazing.  Noah used to be the king of imagination when he was younger, and he's still pretty good, but I see it dying a slow death.
Sarah's question was, "Why did the girl look surprised when she saw the eggs that the hen had laid?"  Sarah didn't even have to think.  She immediately answered matter-of-factly, "Because the shells were clear, and she could see the yolks inside them."

Lamb in heels

We were driving on a country road yesterday, and I mentioned that the clouds were pretty.  Sarah gazed into the sky for a full minute without saying a word, and then she announced, "I see a huge lamb on its back with its feet up, and it's wearing high heels."  I followed her gaze and immediately saw the lamb with heels.  I never would have seen it that way without her description, but she was right.  I didn't have my camera with me, so you'll just have to imagine it. 

Friday, July 29, 2011

This is what happens when school gets cancelled

This has been an unusually bad week of school, and everyone has had bad attitudes (especially the teacher).  As I was awake in the middle of the night thinking about it, I decided to take the day off and just enjoy each other.  Unfortunately (or fortunately), a big pile of dirt was delivered yesterday for the never-ending grading project around the house.
Notice the cat on top of the dirt pile.
He played mudball and even built a mud wall for his back foot so it wouldn't slip while he was batting.

Heading for the creek to wash off (Mom's orders)

Noah plunged right in and washed off all the mud.

Sarah was reluctant to go in, but Noah helped her.

And now for the hands and feet series....

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Making a raft

We were so happy to finally see rain today.  The creek rose up high, and we were inspired to figure out a way to raft down it.  We couldn't find anything around here that would work, so we went to Farm & Fleet.  I wanted to buy a horse trough, but Mike said it wouldn't float with people in it.  I really wanted to buy a kayak or a canoe, but that was too expensive.  We were thinking about buying an inflatable waterski tube, but they were pretty expensive too, and I was afraid it would get punctured on the rocks.  Finally we ended up buying two inner tubes that are supposed to go inside truck tires.  They were very heavy duty but cheap.  After stopping at the gas station to inflate them, we were ready to go.

Mike tied the tubes together, and Noah and I took off down the creek and had a good time.  When we came back, we tried hooking a sled onto the tubes with bungee cords. That made a nice raft for Noah, and he went on a solo trip down the creek.
Jason ran along the bank all the way, keeping an eye on his buddy.  He loves to be with us wherever we are, so I thought he and Noah could go together.
Jason didn't really like that very much.  He didn't freak out, but he meowed a lot, so I pulled the raft over to the bank, and he scrabbled right out.  He still walked on the grass all the way downstream with Noah.

Epic failure

Last week, it was unbearably hot.  People always say you could fry an egg on the sidewalk when it's really hot.  I wanted to test the theory, but instead of frying an egg, I wanted to make dinner on the driveway.  I was planning to make pizza bread, and it was too hot to turn on the oven. So I put a piece of foil on the driveway in the direct sun and covered it with a glass pan.  I let the "oven" preheat for half an hour.
Then I put the pizza bread in the oven.  Twenty minutes later, the cheese wasn't even melted.  I don't think frying an egg on the sidewalk is really a possibility.  I brought the pizza breads inside and microwaved them.  I left the glass pan on the driveway and forgot about it, until Mike was backing out of the garage and we all heard a terrible shattering sound.  Glass went in the grass, into the street, and all over the driveway.  Eating soggy microwave pizza bread and cleaning up glass shards in the heat was not how this fun experiment was supposed to end.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Sarah is watching Teletubbies on Youtube.  Just as I'm thinking, "Why is she watching the most asanine show ever created?", Noah comes in from outside, wearing his Star Wars clone trooper helmet.  It's 150 degrees out there, but he doesn't seem to notice.  What he DOES notice is what Sarah is watching.  He's saying, "I just sent the neighbor kid on a sniper mission, and...Oh! Teletubbies!  Can I watch with you?"  He whips off his helmet, and she scoots over to make room for him on her chair, and there they sit, fascinated by the unintelligible fat furry blobs.  What is the big attraction?

Meanwhile, Jason has killed a sparrow and left it on the doorstep. I go out and wrap it in a paper towel and throw it away before the garage gets full of feathers and the stench of death.  Jason doesn't appreciate my tossing his kill, and he punches me in the leg as I walk by him.  (This has nothing to do with Teletubbies, just thought I'd throw it in here).

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Noah's interview

What are five things you love to do?
baseball, Wii, computer, watch TV, Legos

What are five things you don't like to do?
brush my teeth, shower, school, pick up toys, clip my nails

What story do you enjoy hearing us tell about something you did or said when you were little?
I'd rather hear about Dad's childhood.  My favorite story is when he went to the dude ranch.

What are three things you would like to accomplish in the next year?
put siding on the house, get way better at baseball, get Donkey Kong Country Returns for the Wii.

What do you like about being 9?
being able to ride bigger rides, and a lot of things rhyme with "nine".

Of all living people, who would you most want to have a three-hour dinner with, and why?
Mariano Rivera, so I can learn his cutter pitch.

What is the greatest misconception people have about you?
 that I was born in China.

How do you get in touch with God?
pray, read the Bible.

What are three things you believe without any doubt?
that God is real, that baseball is fun, that Earth is round.

What are your biggest questions about your relationship with God?
How do I hear Him?   How do I know if it's just my brain or God talking to me?  If we're God's children, then who is His wife?

What makes you feel loved?

Interview with Sarah

Sarah woke up long before Noah, so I had time to have an interview with her this morning.

What are five things you love to do?
draw, hug my mom, play Legos with my brother, pet Jason, play piano

What are five things you don't like to do?
play Wii, do school, hug Dad when he comes home (I like to run away from him so he'll chase me), make Marty get off my bed, play in the hot sun

What story do you enjoy hearing us tell about something you said or did when you were little?
The one where I said I wanted to be three forever.  It's actually fun being seven.

What do you like about being seven?
I can draw and write better, I get to do fun stuff that I couldn't do when I was three.

Like what?
like go to the pool party, reach high things, play with Legos.

What are three things you would like to accomplish in the next year?
go to the October Extravaganza, sled down a hill, go to Maddie and Zoe's

Of all living people, who would you most want to have a three-hour dinner with, and why?
the Stones, because they're fun.  We could spend 15 minutes on dinner and then play the rest of the time!

What is the greatest misconception people have about you?
There's none about me, for all I know, but I do know a misconception people have about Liza.

What's that?
People say she's a redhead, but she's actually an orangehead.

How do you get in touch with God?
pray, draw pictures, to go church

What are three things you believe without any doubts?
I believe that God is my Lord, Noah is my brother, and Mom and Dad are my mom and dad.

What are your biggest questions about your relationship with God?
Why do I have to go to church?   Why do we have to pray?

What makes you feel loved?
My mom and dad's love.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Laundry surprise

Sarah left a whole package of pocket tissues in her pocket, and they went through the laundry.  Also in her pockets were a crayon and a notebook.  She was the one who started the laundry, so I didn't notice all the "extra" items.  But I did notice a gigantic mess when I opened the dryer.  I moaned something like, "Oh, Sarah..." and stood there staring at the disaster area, wondering where to start.  Then Sarah scampered over, kissed me, and said, "I love you more than you think." 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sarah's recipe

I just found a piece of paper with this written on it (spelling was atrocious, so I'll translate):
Recipe for Sarah's crunchy chocolate delight
chocolate eyeballs (or anything else chocolate)
ice cream
Melt chocolate.  Put on ice cream.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The telltale tip

I made forty bucks today. Usually, when I spend money, it's for necessary things like groceries and gas, and I spent it very frugally. My husband never makes me feel like it's solely HIS money, even though he's the one who makes it, but I feel that way anyway. So today I decided to blow my very own income on a couple unnecessary, unfrugal things.

I bought a nice, luxurious bed for my spoiled cats. I saw it last week and wanted to buy it but couldn't justify spending the money. It's big enough for both of them, and it's so soft and cushy. They certainly don't need it, but I just wanted to do it for them. It makes me happy to see them all cozy.

And I took my kids out for lunch at our favorite place. I hardly ever undertip, because I've been a server before, and I know how hard it is and how meager the pay is. But the service was so remarkably bad today that I left a pretty small tip. I did it at the last possible second and then rushed the kids out of there, because I was ashamed to be leaving such a pitiful tip.

As we were hustling through the parking lot, I heard the server yelling at me. I glanced back and saw her chasing me! She was kind of a burly woman and could undoubtedly squash me like a bug. I started wondering what was going to happen to my poor innocent children, who didn't even know I left a small tip. I thought, "I should have just given her 20%, even though she got the order wrong, never came back to check on us, and I had to finally track her down to even get the check. Would a couple more bucks have been that much to ask? And now my children are going to see their mother assaulted in a parking lot..."

The whole time I was thinking this, I was shooing the kids into the van. I turned to accept my beating and saw that she had my box of leftovers in her hand. I had forced myself to save some food for tomorrow's lunch, but in my haste to escape, I had left it on the table. She panted, "You forgot your food!" I thanked her profusely and wished I had some cash so I could augment her tip, but I had charged the tip on my credit card and didn't have any cash.

The whole thing reminded me of Edgar Allen Poe's The Telltale Heart. Guilt is a powerful thing.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Another bird rescue

Baby robin in the garage this morning.  I carried him outside, put him under a tree, and kept Jason in the house.  The bird hopped around in the yard all day.  I kept watching for a parent bird to come and feed him, because he was screaming about how hungry he was, but nobody ever appeared.

Finally, I went out to feed him myself.  Marty was curious and followed me.  She's not the brightest bulb in the pack, and she's very sweet and gentle (in fact, she reminds me of Lenny in Of Mice and Men), so I didn't think she would hurt the bird.
She hovered over him while I fed him,
and then she sniffed him, nuzzled him, and even licked him!
After I fed him, he leaned against me and went right to sleep.

I haven't been sleeping much at night anyway, so now at least I'll have something to do all night: feed little Cheepers!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Future Jaywalker

This morning, I was making a flag cake with Sarah, and having a chat:

Me: Do you know why we celebrate the 4th of July?
S: Nope.
Me: Well, I'll give you a clue.  Another name for this day is Independence Day....
S: Oh!  Martin Luther King?
Me: No.  It's the day our country declared its independence from....what country?
S: George Washington!
Me:  George Washington was the the first president of our country.  But what country used to own us?
S: (blank look)
Me:  They drink lots of tea...
S: England!

So I'm feeling like a total failure as a history teacher.  How can my seven-year-old not know this stuff???  To reassure myself, I track down Noah (who didn't hear any of that conversation).

Me:  Do you know why we celebrate the 4th of July?
N: Because on July 4th, 1776, we signed the Declaration of Independence.  Did you know that George Washington didn't even sign it, because he was busy fighting the English? 
Me:  No, I didn't know that.  How did you know that?
Sarah: Oh! Oh! Abraham Lincoln signed the Declaration of Independence!

Wow.  Looks like I have some work to do.