Wednesday, October 06, 2004

We've had a quite a week! We've been doing some really fantastic things, learning and growing as a family in so many ways.

Some Highlights
The girls and I have been having several conversations about friendship, how friends act and what we seek in our friendships. We've been learning quite a bit about human nature and the choices we make.

Sam has been teaching all of us about the importance of family and taking life a bit more slowly. We're working to scale back a bit and focus more on our lives together and less on outside obligations.

We've been playing chess and coloring and gardening. The kids (as well as dh and I!) have realy been enjoying their gameboys; Scooby-Doo and Star Wars seem to be the favorites.

Dh found a really cool program on the Chronic Logic site, that simulates bridge engineering, and he and the kids have been playing with it several nights in a row. They've been playing with the free download and having a blast. You can click to create different kinds of support structures and shapes then have a train ride across. Different colors indicate where the stress load is placed, and the bridge will either hold or collapse, depending upon the structure.

They had made several bridges that would hold and several that would immediately collapse, but it took some trying to get a bridge strong enough to allow the train on but weak enough to collapse while the train was crossing. When that happens, you get to see the bridge break and the train fall into the water. They were having loads of fun with this!

After watching Cyberchase one day, the kids got way into tessellations. They kept repeating the problem from the show: how to make a bridge over lava with "no gaps and no overlaps." Sam immediately went and got the big bowl of wooden shapes, and we began creating our own tessellations.

Emily and I looked up the word on the internet and found a really great website on tessellations and MC Escher. We had just been talking all about positive and negative space in artwork a few days before, and I'd brought up Escher, trying to describe how he used the negative space of a shape to make the same shape. Emily and I had great fun clicking through all of the different samples of his tessellations, and I'd never even known what they were called!

The kids spent the next several days making their own designs, and came up with some really beautiful examples. Here's one they made by taking turns each completing one layer around.

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