Friday, November 14, 2014

Making Mountains out of . . .

Hey look! It's me! I'm back online! 

Today, I'm going to tell you how mountains are created. I know you've probably heard that mountains are formed when tectonic plates move against each other and force the earth upward. But that's not exactly the case. Mountains are made from chicken wire and newspaper. Well, that's how Juliet and I made a mountain for her science class.

We shaped the chicken wire into a jagged mountain shape. I'm sorry I can't show this to you. I didn't think to start taking pictures until we were pretty far along. Then we covered the frame with papier mache. It looked like this:

It's important to let each layer of papier mache dry completely before adding another. We made the last layer out of plain white paper. That's much easier to paint than newspaper.

Then, we painted it gray.

Juliet added snow to the peaks (I would have made it snowier, but it wasn't my mountain). The project was supposed to be about mountain ecosystems, so she also put some animals on it. Look out, little chipmunk!

Every once in a while, I am captivated by my children's homework. It's very tempting to take over and do it myself. This was a fun one.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Terror in the Hamster Cage!

I had settled exhausted into bed following a church event recently when a sobbing child knocked on my door. "I can't find my hamster!!!"

Oh. No. 

I ran downstairs to inspect the crime scene. Definitely no hamster. We keep Pip in a glass tank with a screened lid. When we came home from church that evening, the lid had been pushed aside and Pip was missing. The evidence suggested that our cat, Cupcake, had taken him from the tank. There were no remains. 

Cupcake is a fierce hunter. She likes to slip out the back door to catch and dismember mice, rabbits, and birds. We figured Pip had received this treatment. 

Paul and I spent the rest of the evening grieving with our daughters, offering them whatever comfort we could. Eventually, they all fell asleep.

The next day was a sad one, but we held onto a small sliver of hope since we hadn't found Pip's corpse. Usually, Cupcake leaves behind at least a bit of the deceased. 

On the second morning following discovery of the hamsterless tank, I saw Cupcake chasing a tiny blur of white and brown. Could it be?!? I grabbed the cat and tossed her into the basement. I would have to lock her up for a while. The blur ran into the bathroom. This was more than I could handle on my own, so I burst into Juliet's room, "Wake up! Come quick!" She followed me to the bathroom, "Is that Pip?"

"Yes!" Juliet was delighted, "It is" She grabbed Pip's hamster ball and shut herself into the bathroom with him. It took some time, but eventually, she coaxed him into the ball. 

Pip has returned to the comforts of his tank and appears to be just fine. We have placed bricks on the lid. Cupcake is allowed to visit only when another member of the family is in the room. We hope she will no longer terrorize our little guy.