Wednesday, June 02, 2004

We had a delightfully long holiday weekend. It's so nice to have a three day weekend with dh! We really miss his alternate Friday off schedule that he used to have in Albuquerque. He finished building the climbing wall this weekend, and we've all had a great time bouldering around on it. Here are some pictures of the kids climbing. We enjoyed our annual Memorial Day party despite the rain. It's always fun to get to know the folks dh works with and to put faces to names. I had the chance to talk to a new mom about homeschooling, and she left with my homeschooling books. I do hope I was a good ambassador! *g*

Yesterday, we had some friends over. They tried out the new climbing wall and set free their tadpole-turned-frog to live in our pond. We're hoping they'll be able to come to visit him. I also got another free chicken consult, since this is the friend with whom I ordered the chicks. They'll be delivered to her house on either the 10th or 11th of June! We're getting very excited, and she's given us valuable advice on brooding and building the coop.

Today, I had my 4-H leader training, and I'm really looking forward to putting together a Community Club geared towards homeschoolers. We're planning on putting together project clubs for poultry--raising heirloom breeds and layers--and rock hounds--geology, rock climbing, orienteering. I'd also like to do something with wildlife gardening and herbs/ natural remedies. We'll have to see how much energy I have and how much interest I can generate. Right now, though, I'm very excited about the possibilities and look forward to growing into 4-H with Em, Julia and Sam over the next several years.

On the way home from our 4-H meeting today, we stopped at Walmart to pick up a brooder for the chicks and look at toys. The kids did their budget last night, since it was the beginning of the month. They each get $40 income each month, out of which they pay bills, put money into savings and have left-over spending money. We figured out the percentage of our household income that goes to large categories like mortgage, car, utilities, groceries and savings, and the kids each put the same percentage of their budget into appropriate envelopes. What ever's left over (a little more than $6 each) is theirs to spend. They all got some fun toys, and Sam's still coming to terms with the concept of losing all his money at the end of the shopping trip. He likes the toy he picks out and wants to take it home; he just doesn't like the idea of having no money left afterwards. I'm guessing that he'll decide to keep his money instead of spending it pretty soon.

When we got home, we made some lunch, then went outside to watch the Water Works guy flush the fire hydrants. The county flushes the water system periodically to purge the pipes of the iron build up. It's really cool to watch the water come out dark reddish-brown and eventually run clear. We talked about why they flush the system, where the iron comes from, the water pressure and the different nozzles used to release water from the hydrant. Very cool! Of course, the kids couldn't resist throwing leaves into the flowing water and watched all kinds of things get carried away by the current. Magnolia leaves were by far the best floating objects after much trial and error.

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