The kids and dh made a really cool catapult together while I was at a one day conference for LLL. When I came home, they were so excited to show me what they had built. They reported how they had used a rubber band at first, but it had broken after just a couple shots. Dh then canibalized a bungee cord, which has great strength and elasticity. They can launch things pretty well with it. The big thing now is trying to launch food bits from the top deck all the way to the chicken run for the ladies to eat--about 100 feet or so. There hasn't been any success on that, so they're starting to think bigger. Oh no!
Our chickens finally began laying the day after Thanksgiving. The first was a beautiful blue-green egg from one of our Americauna hens. They are lovely, though the color is washed out here from the flash. You can see them compared to a store-bought egg in the upper right-hand corner, which is larger and whiter. When hens first begin laying, their eggs are smaller, but they will gradually get larger over time.
I bought some window markers during our visit to the Franklin Institute, and the kids had loads of fun with them. They're quite vibrant and wash off easily. Unfortunately, they also rub off easily, so there is a great temptation to scratch a bit off each time one walks by. Nothing will stay very long, I'm afraid, but the kids sure have fun during the process.
This Thursday, we went to the Goddard Space Flight Center with our 4-H Rock Hounds club. The kids had fun, with a few rough moments here and there. They watched a short video, showing a simulated landing of the Mars Rover, Spirit; then, they had a chance to build and launch pop rockets. Emily's, sadly, exploded at the launch pad twice, but went for a fabulous flight on the third try. The favorite part of the day, however, was the replica space pod. The kids played astronaut for a solid half-hour. I'm always impressed by how great these kids are together in our 4-H group. They all played, taking turns in the small space, with each child participating and creating a role to play. When Emily's rocket blew up, they were all so kind to her as she was crying (Em and Julia are the only girls in the group), rubbing her back, offering hugs, finding the pieces. There's a core of just super kids that we're really lucky to know.