Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Great Turtle Rescue

Being such a beautiful autumn day yesterday, we headed over to the park (and pond) after music lessons.  While the girls played at the park, the boys as usual headed over to the large pond for frogging and "turtling".

Within about ten minutes, both boys were back with an injured turtle (aptly named Hook), that they had rescued from the side of the pond.  The boys of course had their pocket knives with them. (You never know when you might need to cut fishing line!)

After most every kid at the park had looked at and pet this little creature (and hopefully washed their hands), we decided that he needed to head to the vet.  The hook was through the roof of his mouth and was bothering not only his mouth, but his eye as well.





Off we went to a local vet, and friend from church.  It was the very end of the day, and he had gone home, but the assistant was thrilled that we had brought him in to them.  She explained that the kids had no doubt saved his life because he wouldn't be able to eat.  She talked with the kids for a while and explained that UBC had just done a study on the turtles from this pond.  She took our number and told us that they would call us so that we could release Hook back to his home the next day.

So this afternoon we went back to the vet to pick up Hook.  The assistant had gone home and printed out information for the kids about this kind of turtle.  A red-eared slider.  How great are some people?  So you can guess what we'll be doing more research on.

The vet had the kids all put gloves on before they would give the turtle back to them.  And off we headed to the pond for the big release.


Look Ma, no hook!




Teigan is actually hugging Hook here, and I'm the only one who finds that funny!  Everyone said their goodbyes, told him not to eat strange shiny things, told him they'd look for him next time.  (We marked his shell with nail polish - H for Hook.)





And off he swam.  Back home in his pond with a new lease on life.  I can't even remember how many animals we have rescued, or tried to rescue.  We've had a few not make it through the night.  (Abandon baby quail are very fragile - we have yet to have one live.)  But these experiences, the ones that are rescued and released back into their homes, are so rewarding.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Papa and the Rocks

This is my dad... an amazing man in my life.  An amazing man in my kids' lives.  I find it somewhat amusing, ironic maybe, that this man who has been an absolute rock in my life has always had a fascination with rocks.  He is now passing that down to my kids.

They are two weeks into a six week process of polishing a bunch of rocks.  Today they had to take them out, rinse them and put in some different kind of grit or something.  (They were listening, I was just taking pictures!)

Here he's showing the kids the new stuff that they'll be putting in this time and explaining why the change.  I love Teigan's little eye's peeking up beside Papa's arm.


The rocks when they first took them out of the polisher today.


After the rinse, with the new grit... for the next round of tumbling.  It's a long and hard process to get the rough edges down and get to that beautiful reflection stage.  Ever feel like you're in a dark, gritty tumbler with the pounding coming from all sides?  Imagine the beauty and changes when it's all over.



Inspecting other partially polished rocks.  Which ones to take all the way?


Sealing it back up for the tumbling.



I absolutely love this last picture.  That is SO completely my dad.  The hard working hands, so strong, yet so tender.  The only two pieces of jewelry he would ever wear.  His wedding ring of fifty years, and his Jerusalem cross ring.  His wife and family,  and his Lord.  Yes, this man is my rock.

(My husband IS my other rock on this earth.)

Kids and Flight - and a lot of paper airplanes

Our co-op had a great time learning about the principles of flight at the Okanagan Science Center.  The kids first learned about the different forces on an airplane in flight, as well as Bernoulli's principle - remember that one?  Bernoulli's principle works on the idea that as a wing passes through the air the  shape makes the air travel more over the top of the wing than beneath it. This creates a higher pressure beneath the wing than above it. The pressure difference causes the wing to push upwards and lift is created. Or something like that!

In small groups the kids worked to follow directions on four different paper airplanes; predicting which ones they thought had the better designs, and which would go the farthest. Then they tried them out, marking the spots of the different planes.


Waiting to throw and test out the planes!




Testing out the different principles that we learned.  When you blow under the paper, the lower pressure "pulls" the paper down.  When you blow over the top of the paper, the lower pressure over the top causes "lift".


Checking out his plane before flight with the basic forces and Bernoulli's effect on the board behind him.


All in all, a great day with the co-op at the Science Center.  Lots of fun, learning, and friends.  Good times.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Wood Worker and the Ponderer...

We are so blessed to be a part of an amazing home learning co-op. This was a wood-working afternoon at some new friends' home.

Samuel spent most of the time whittling along with another kid. They ended up with swords and spears! So very unlike ten year old boys, I know.


Teigan was very focused on her project. I had no idea where she was headed with this, but she did all the cutting, sanding and hammering herself. You have to enjoy little girls with tools!


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Liam was so focused in his work. Long after every other kid had finished whatever they were working on and run off to play, he pressed through. Cutting, sanding, shaping... he had a plan in mind.




A picture frame. The finished product in the hands of the builder.


I am so thankful that my Builder has a finished product in mind.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Handy Work

This is the rebuild of the fort that the boys worked so hard to build. (Including my "other son" - our neighbour "Big Liam". The first one was really great, and looked fantastic. But some kids destroyed that and wrote some "swears" on the inside. The swears being, "JERK" and "LOSER". Actually it said, "Alex you're such a loser." With the retort of, "You're a jerk" underneath that. The kids were so upset. So this time they decided that they would make it look like a junk pile so no one would know that there was in fact a fort underneath. Huh. Good thinking. So far it's worked. It's getting colder, but they are still out there many days; hammering, building, laughing and playing. Because after all, every boy needs a fort.


Ariana and Teigan on their way to visit the boys at the fort. I absolutely LOVE the friendship that these two share. I pray that this will be lifelong for them. I have an incredible friendship that began when we were less than a year older than these two. The thought that Teigan would have a friend like that makes my heart swell.


Teigan can not get enough crafts in lately. She is sewing, beading, weaving... you name it, she's doing it. She has learned how to make friendship bracelets, so that's what she is working on here.


Does every little boy love to build? Mine do. Give them a saw, hammer and nails and they are occupied for hours. Samuel built himself a little shelf for his room out of some of the scrap wood that he found around. I'm not sure if he was practicing, but there are an awful lot of dents no where near the nails! He enjoyed making his project and as of today - it's serving its intended purpose in his room.



Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Kids of Steel Triathlon

Having just cheered a friend on in Ironman, Samuel and Teigan both decided that they wanted to do the Kids of Steel Triathlon. Liam said, "I could be wrong, but I don't really think it sounds like that much fun." Ha!



Teigan's little set up at the transition area. We are first time triathletes (not me - them) and boy we learned a lot for the next time. And yes, they both want to do it again.


Little bitty... it was only 13 degrees when the race started and they had to get into the lake. She was cold before she even got in the water. I was SO crazy proud of her; all 37 little pounds of her. At one point, I didn't know if she was going to get in there or not.






Ya, we also realized through this experience that both the kids - actually all three of them - need new bikes! They are way too small. And while Teigan didn't notice, she was the only little girl on a hand-me-down boys bike. I do love that she didn't give a lick. Especially since the next one coming is Liam's old one - however it is just way too big at this point.


Crossing the finish line!







What a great experience. Liam even says that he MIGHT do it next year.