Friday, July 21, 2017

Biological insults

Yesterday, Noah learned in his biology book that there's a bacteria called euglena that uses light to create its own food.  If no light is available, it will feed on dead organisms.

Today I was scolding Noah for leaving all the lights on in the basement.  His defense was, "I didn't want the euglena to have to feed on dead organims."  I said, "They'll be feeding on YOU if you don't go down there and turn the lights off."  He then called me a parasite. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Time flies when you're having fun!

We had such a great day that I actually lost track of time.  I'm pretty sure that's the first time that's happened.  The funny thing is...we didn't do anything spectacular, just a regular school day at home.  It's horribly hot and humid outside, and we didn't have anywhere we had to go (until evening when Sarah had gymnastics).  No phone calls, no screens, no friends at the house.  We started the day with our usual Bible reading and prayer, then we started our new read-aloud book, which is Davy Crockett's autobiography (finally finished The Scarlet Letter -- hooray!).  Since we had plenty of time, we decided to make a nice dinner together.  Sarah said she wanted to make Asian envelopes.  They are pretty labor intensive and time consuming, but we all love them.  I didn't have everything we needed to make them, so Sarah and I went to Kroger while Noah finished his biology and math.  Here's the recipe:

I haven't made it since I've been vegan, but I realized it would be easy to veganize it.  I just used vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, and chickpeas instead of chicken.  Sarah wasn't able to help, which I'll explain later, but Noah and I worked together and got it done in less than an hour.  He made the sauce while I chopped the vegetables.  He also helped wrap the filling into envelopes. They came out great, and he said the vegan version is just as good as the way we used to make them. I agree.

We also had this delicious salad I found at Kroger.  It had a lot of terrific ingredients that you just shake up in the bowl. It even came with a fork.  The regular price is $3.99, which I would be tempted to pay in a pinch.

And now for the best part of the day and the reason I lost track of time and Sarah had to go to gymnastics without dinner (Noah and I made it after she left).  I've been working on teaching the kids to read Korean.  It took less than a week, and today's the day they both started reading!  It was SO much easier and WAY more fun than teaching them to read English.  I started with teaching them consonants one day, reviewing them the following day, vowels the next day, and another day of review.  Then I taught them how to put them together to form syllable blocks, and today we could all sense that they were on the verge of reading.  They broke through and started reading at the same time, and it was just beautiful.  I got out their adoption paperwork and showed them their names in Korean, which I've done before, but this time they could read them themselves!  We spent some time writing their Korean names, and then all the sudden Mike was home from work and we hadn't even started making dinner.  I couldn't believe it was that late already! 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Sarah's going to school

It has been decided that Sarah will be allowed to go to public school this year.  She thrives on the social interaction and independence that she gets when she's away from home.  She proved that by working at Camp Good News this summer.  I think she will do great at school.

She's been ridiculously excited about going shopping for school supplies and locker decorations.  Today a new restaurant in Peoria was offering free lunch, so we went there to fuel up for the shopping trip.
 My lunch bowl at Core Eatery. 
 Look how excited she is.
 Back in my day, we didn't decorate our lockers (or at least I didn't).  It was just a utilitarian thing that held my supplies.  Now there are $15 DISCO BALLS for your locker!  Absurd. 
 There's her disappointed face when I told her I was only paying for supplies that are necessary, which does not include things like disco balls, magnetic wallpaper, shelves, locker rugs (!), and color coordinating magnets.  She put back several items at that point, but she spent $20 of her own money on magnetic wallpaper, magnets, and a couple other frivolities.  I did buy her a pair of gym shoes and promised her that I would make sure she has all the actual supplies needed before school starts, but I'm not just paying whatever Target is charging.  I have to research the back-to-school sales and get the best deals.  She told me I was taking all the fun out of it.
 Spiderman watched her do a handstand at Target.
 Then we came home to do our regular schoolwork.  Noah is taking a biology class, and he had an experiment today that involved studying bacteria under a microscope.  He had gathered specimens from a lake several days ago, and then fed the bacteria things like egg yolk, hay, rice, and soil.  He stored them in the
 hot humid garage.  When he opened those containers today, the smell almost made us sick.  It was truly disgusting what was growing in there.

 Even Shiloh covered her nose,
but she still wanted to get her paws on that bacteria-water!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017


At 6:45 a.m., my little buddy arrived for the day.  She was tired and not very pleased about the fact that her mom was leaving.  My teenagers would be sleeping for a few more hours, so I took Zoe on a walk to the park.  She cried most of the way.  She screamed when I put her in the baby swing.  She was not interested in learning U.S. geography:
 She perked up a bit on the way home, so we came inside and read some books and played quietly with cups until my kids woke up.
Zoe also enjoyed waving at Marty and identifying her ears (by poking her finger deep inside them).  Marty was extremely tolerant of this behavior.

I fed Zoe, and then she did what people do after they've been fed.  While I was changing her diaper, I turned around to find Sarah in this condition:
Then Sarah rocked Zoe while we had devotions and read our daily chapter of The Scarlet Letter, which did the trick, and I put her down for a nap.
During the two hours that she slept, the kids and I finished most of our school work.  She woke up before we got to our Korean lesson, so we planned to tackle that during her afternoon nap.
When she woke up, she was in a fairly jolly mood.  As I was feeding her broccoli, I was inspired to  sing my favorite broccoli song from the good old days of Saturday Night Live. Zoe seemed thrilled by the captivating lyrics:

There's a lady I know
If I didn't know her
She'd be the lady I didn't know.
My lady, she went downtown
She bought some ber-ra-ccoli
She brought it ho-ome...
She's chop'in broccoli
Chop'in brocco-li
Chop'in brocco-la
Chop'in brocco-laa-aa
 I performed it with much dramatic flair, and every time I got the line about "ber-ra-ccoli", Zoe gave me this look:
 which made me laugh out loud.  She did it every single time.  And every time I hit the high note at the end, she laughed.

After some more play time, I started the process of packing up all her stuff.  I went to break down the pack & play and fold it up.  Ten minutes later, Sarah came along, so I asked her if she could do it. She said, "Nope."  Our 11-year-old neighbor girl was here, so I asked her if she'd ever broken down a pack & play before, and she said, "No, but I can try."  We all tried.  We pushed, we pulled, we huffed and puffed, and we even resorted to reading the directions, but we were still wrestling with it when Zoe's daddy arrived to pick her up.  He folded that thing up and had it packed away in about 5 seconds. I explained to my daughter, to the neighbor, and to Zoe that we are liberated women and don't need men to do everything for us and assured them that we could have done it if only we'd had a little more time.