Friday, July 09, 2004

We had such a great 4-H meeting yesterday! It was our first gardening club meeting, and we came up with lots of great ideas for the upcoming year. During the meeting, we explored the gardens, ate fresh-picked blackberries and cucumbers, examined a zebra swallowtail chrysalis, found a white tussock moth and a black swallowtail caterpillar, and caught a red-spotted purple butterfly. The kids checked out the fish, caught a frog, looked for tadpoles and found some black snails. Everyone planted some seeds to take home and grow. A resounding success!

After everyone left, we decompressed a bit. The kids watched a movie, and I began working on the 4-H webpage. Afterwards, the kids went swimming. Then, they did some experiments with oil and water; Sam even managed to make an emulsion! When Jim got home, everyone but Sam played on the climbing wall--he was busy playing Bob the Builder online.

Emily's still really into X-Men, and we've had lots of interesting conversations about mutation, evolution, chromosomes, genes, and DNA. Wow! Loads of learning fueled by one movie! Not to mention all the drawing and role playing she's been doing.

Today, we went to the Dunkirk Park for La Leche League's World Walk for Breastfeeding. The kids had fun playing with all their friends. When we got home, they watched a new movie from Blockbuster--Scooby Doo and the Arabian Nights. Afterwards, we had some snack and did another science experiment--this time mixing vinegar and baking soda. Em started out with just water and baking soda, so I pulled out the vinegar for them. We talked about acids and bases. I told them how lime was a base, just like baking soda, and if you poured some vinegar (I think soda works, too) on limestone, it would bubble in the same way--a good field test. We've been climbing on schist, a metamorphic rock, but some of the climbs in the videos are on limestone.

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