Archive - May 2007

1
From There to Here
2
Reminder
3
Pentecost Celebration
4
Fruit Mummy
5
Giving Credit Where It’s Due
6
Computer Corner
7
East or West…
8
Hmmm
9
A Little Excitement
10
Overheard…

Reminder

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Pentecost Celebration

After Saturday’s Mass, our homeschool group put on a Pentecost play, followed by a potluck and party. The kids were really pleased when our priest and a few of the parishioners stayed for the play and even the food. The children wrote the play themselves and came up with the games for the party.

apostles
Above: The Apostles and Mary (as played by Pumpkin Girl, wearing the blue veil in the center) are gathered together.

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Above: Mary and the Apostles have received the Holy Spirit and tongues of fire appeared over their heads. As the Holy Spirit walked behind each child, they each said something like “Jesus is the Messiah” in a foreign language. My children chose French and Spanish, to reflect their Franco-Hispanic culture. 😉 The littlest children said their lines in English. At the end, the children sang “Happy Birthday” to the Catholic Church.

At the party, we had a church building contest using blocks and legos.

basilica
The older boys built the winner of Best Basilica. Most of them are altar servers, so they paid great attention to the details of the church.


Winner of Best Native American-Inspired Church

modern
Boo and Pumpkin Girl worked on the Winner of Best Modern Church. From the top you could see they also built an altar and pews inside. Their altar server fell down:
inside

Pumpkin Girl remembered a recipe for cookies with crosses in them from a Clubhouse Jr magazine. Most of them turned out really well.
cross cookies

We also played “Pin the Cross to the Steeple” and “Saint Tag.” A great time was had by all.

Fruit Mummy

Yummy, yummy!

To go along with our studies of Ancient Egypt, today we started making a mummy out of fruit.

First, we carved the face out of an apple:
head

Then we pulled the internal organs out of the orange body.
guts

The Egyptians used wine to clean the body. We used rubbing alcohol.
cimg2013.JPG

Next, we sprinkled the body with sweet smelling spices to help with the odor. cimg2015.JPG

At this point our cinnamon covered apple-orange mummy is smelling delicious!

But now Pharaoh Fruitenkahmen is covered with natron to dry him out.
natron

We’ll wait a week or two for him to completely dry out, then complete our project by wrapping him in cloth and making him a coffin.

Project supplies and instructions from Hands and Hearts History Kits.

Giving Credit Where It’s Due

I wrote earlier about our poor experience at Bethesday Naval Medical Center. Several people assured me that Bethesda has good customer service, but we maintained a sort of “wait and see” attitude. We’ve already been in touch with our pediatric urologist who reschedule our remaining test to be done at Walter Reed.

The patient advocate did call us back and Philip told her our whole story, minus how we wandered around through downtown DC, that wasn’t their fault! She was very sympathetic, of course, but pretty much what we’d expected. We dismissed it, knowing we would not be going back there, but sad for the children who would follow.

Then, to my surprise, the patient advocate called again the other day. They had followed through with our complaint, talked to our pediatric urologist and they have now decided that they will no longer being doing VCUGs on children at Bethesda! From now on they will be going to Walter Reed, where they have more experience with children and this test and are set up to handle them better! Can you believe it?

So a shout out to the Big Guy, who can take any situation and use it for the greater good! And a big “Well done!” to the folks at Bethesda who listened, took action and corrected a poor situation!

Computer Corner

For this week I’ll share with you my computer table. Actually it’s a computer cabinet, but because of the way the wire and cables have to be run out the front, the doors never close.

Before:
computerbefore.jpg
Lots of papers jammed in around the moniter. Not one, but 2 scented candles sitting there. One of the speakers is buried in the back. Lots of stuff that doesn’t even belong here. Now, in our defense, we don’t have any other kind of desk to work on. It’s either the pull out shelf in the computer cabinet or the dining room table. So there are lots of things here that don’t have a proper office home.

After:
computerafter.jpg

Much better! Everything not plugged in got pulled out of the main area. All the papers are gone – trashed or filed. When that happened, the other speaker revealed itself. I added a little tin can with a flag motif for pens and pencils. The top shelf only needed a little straightening up. Only a few things up there didn’t belong.

This little area of the house has been bugging me for awhile. It didn’t take much effort really. Most of my time went to taking care of all the paper stuffed in there. Now, when our internet connection goes down as it does once a month, I won’t be so embarressed when the Comcast guy needs to check the computer.

Hmmm

cimg1909.JPG

Apparently, I didn’t know whether I was coming or going. Either that or I have a toddler who is obsessed with Mama’s shoes.

A Little Excitement

We had a little excitement here yesterday. It started off when I lit a very nice scented candle from my mom.

I want you all to know that I practice safe candling. I trim my wicks. I keep the lit candle on the safe, heat proof stove top. I light them with one of those red, clicking lighter things, which I carefully leave on the counter so that the hot tip won’t damage anything in the drawer. And I never leave a lit candle unattended. No siree, I sit there and watch the thing burn. Ok, maybe not that last one. But in general, I’m very careful with my candles. After all, we’ve already had to move once because we flooded our house, I can’t imagine the housing office being too pleased with us if we burn down this one.

Anyway, my candle is burning safely in the kitchen, wafting lovely smells of cookie dough through out the house. Boo and Pumpkin Girl had been playing upstairs, then came down to tell me what they wanted for lunch. Mac and cheese, of course. So I set some water to boil and walked away. A few minutes later, Boo said, “Ew! What’s that awful smell?” Now, we don’t call him Melodramatic Boy for nothing. He’s also very particular about smells and Pumpkin Girl and I couldn’t burn our favorite Christmastime scented candle because it would cause Boo to writhe around on the floor in mock agony. So I’m sceptical about this “awful smell.” I don’t smell anything, besides the candle, but I go check it out.

surestart_utility_rdhr.jpgDo you remember how I very carefully set the red lighter thingy on the counter to cool? Right next to the stove? Well, it’s handle was thisclose to touching the boiling pot of water and was melting and smoking and sending the most obnoxious smell into the house.

You know those things are filled with lighter fluid, right? Flammable lighter fluid.

Now I happen to be extraordinarily calm in the face of disaster. Except for one incident when I was 8 and ran into a building during an earthquake. But that was 20-odd years ago and I’ve learned a bit since then.

So I very calmly turned off the stove. I used a wooden spoon to move the hot, melting lighter thingy away from the pot. I got a clean, metal pot, filled it with water. I licked my finger to touch the lighter, which wasn’t too hot, so I stuck it’s melting end, which happened to be the part with the fluid, into the water. Szzzzz.

I shooed the children outside, turned on the fan and opened all the doors.

I don’t have a picture of the melted lighter thingy to share with you, mostly because I’m kind of embarrassed.

You’d think that would be enough for one day. Sadly, no.

Later in the evening, one of our hermit crabs decided to trill_symbiont.jpgbecome a nudist. This is very, very bad for crabs. While they are hard and crustacean-y on the parts you can see, they are soft and weird looking inside their shell. Kind of like those symbiont Trill things from Star Trek Deep Space Nine. Not that I ever watch that show. My husband is the Star Trek Geek around here, thank you very much. And I most certainly was not upset that Counselor Troi and Worf never got together and he ended up marrying that Trill-host girl. Not that I know who Counselor Troi or Worf or Dax the Trill-host girl are.

Anyway, so I found one of our hermit crabs sitting naked on top of the rock structure that the children gave the crabs for Christmas. Being the picture of calm in the face of disaster, I calmly told my husband that one of the crabs was out of his shell and I needed his help. Calm is one thing, but no way was I touching the weird looking naked crab.

I quickly went to the Hermit Crab Association message boards and found out what we needed to do. The folks on this message board are great, by the way, even if they are crazy in love with their hermit crabs like some people are with dogs and cats.

As soon as we opened the crabitat, the crab stuffed itself into one of the crevices of the rock structure. I found it’s abandoned shell, which I put into a small pyrex measuring cup. Philip tried gently prying the crab out of the rocks with a chop stick, but in the end we just picked up the rock structure and shook the crab into the cup. We added a couple of more shells for him to choose from and left him alone.

He picked a different shell for awhile, then moved back into his original one. We set up a little isolation chamber for him in the tank, just in case he’s sick. We used empty CD cases as walls because they are slick and too high for the crabs to climb.

When crabs go naked, they very often die, but so far ours is ok. The thing is, crabs don’t go naked unless they are bothered by something. I suspect the noxious fumes from the melted lighter.

Overheard…

Pumpkin Girl: Don’t shoot the baby!
(Mama’s eyebrow shoots up)

Boo: Well, it’s going to be a hard shot to make.

<insert Boy-Made Gun Noise here>

Boo: I missed the baby but got the snake!

You’ll be glad to know that Pumpkin put a cap over her baby’s head to protect her and Boo was able to shoot the head off the snake without hurting the baby. And seeing as how they were all 2 feet away from me, I have also lived to blog another day.

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