We woke up to a wicked storm, all rapidly swirling wind and torrents of water. We did a series of experiments with sound. We looked a picture of a stone bas-relief panel from Assyria featuring a royal lion hunt. The boys then sketched drawings in a flat piece of clay and then pushed down the clay around the drawing to create a bas-relief effect. Katie helped Quentin make a "V is for Valentine." The boys watched me work on our violin project. I told then what I was doing every step of the way. They are learning about the parts of the instrument as we go.
Steven had to take James to his allergist today (a 2 1/2-hour trip each way), so they left in the morning and were not due back until dinnertime or later. These are our discoveries while they were gone. Doing Chores can be much more fun when you do them together. Katie washed the windows inside and out. I helped Alex make Sprite Chicken. Katie showed Quentin the "veins" in a stalk of celery, and then helped him set up the experiment with cups of colored water and celery stalks. They will check them out later on this week to see the changes. We completed some table work. Quentin was so proud of the fact he could write alligator all by himself. Then he became fascinated with the idea of color mixing. All on his own he experimented with what colors mixed together to make different other colors. We played many games and before long James and Steven were back home again. I worked on my violin. Steven helped me put in the screw eyes and I added the strings. Not too much longer now and it will be done. Sam and Katie went Square Dancing.
When Katie did the colored-water and celery experiment yesterday, it reminded me of a similar one in Sam's 7th grade science text. In his, however, it used limp celery. It made sense to do it now. After limping up some celery overnight, James and Sam put it in Quentin's colored water cups. The boys colored maps of the Babylonian empire that was taken back from Assyria, and they found that the Babylonians took back more than they had the first time, making a larger empire than before. We talked about the differences in all types of space rocks (asteroids, meteoroids, meteors), and then they worked on their astronomy lapbooks. Katie and Quentin made V-is-for-Vegetable soup. Quentin is getting quite good using a knife. His favorite part was snapping apart the snap peas and adding them to the soup. They made a nice, satisfying snap. Katie helped the boys with our first St. Valentine's Day activity, candy bracelets and necklaces. We played many games, and pretended much and worked on our violin, adding the fingerboard, f-"holes" and the tail piece in black. The last step was adding the bridge. All I need now is to make a bow.
By the warmth of the fireplace, we read about the Hangings Garden of Babylon and put together puppets of Nebuchadnezzar. The boys completed their first sewing project -Valentine Mice. Steven had read them this book last night so they were eager to make their own mice puppets. Of course Sam made a Cyclopes mouse. We took turns naming it...cymice or miclopse. Once they were complete, with the glue for the eyes drying, we settled down to listen to Peter and the Wolf. Then we got a phone call for a last minute bowling game with friends. They would be having pizza and soda there, but it wouldn't be serving it until 2:00, so I quickly got together some snacks to hold them over until then. Then they were off for some old fashioned fun with a whole bunch of friends, along with pizza and video games.
In the morning the snow began to fall, soft and quiet. Inside we played games. Felt mice ate felt pasta. Electricity was learned about through experimenting. Later when the snow stopped it left the world so beautifully white inviting little ones to play. So coats, hats, snow pants, gloves, socks and mittens had to be found to layer one by one.