Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Beer Can Physics and Other Experiments

In the past few weeks, the kids have been discovering some really cool physics experiments, along with dh's help at times.

Of course, we've done the wine glass sound wave experiment and the beer bottle pitch experiment, but we've recently discovered more alcohol-vessel fun for the whole family! Nothing like debauchery in a scientific context to lend it an air of respectability. As we were sitting in the kitchen, visiting and noshing, dh discovered that he could balance his bear can on the little concave lip around the bottom once the right amount of liquid remained to aid balance. The kids immediately joined in, trying to figure out what was helping it balance and retrieving empty cans from the recycle bin to figure out that empty cans didn't work and to proceed filling them with water to test them out. One thing led to another, and eventually, dh and the kids were poking holes in the bottom quarter of the can, balancing and trying to predict which way the can would fall as the water level drained out the hole. What fun!

We had some gorgeous weather recently, which translated into entire days spent outside playing and exploring. The kids took the old garden hose and started trying to rope the tree, creating "jungle vines" to fuel their imaginative fun. Pretty soon, the jungle vines became swings, and before long the kids had figured out how to create a rudimentary pulley system that enabled them to raise and lower themselves by pulling on the hose. Pretty cool, eh? Jules, possibly the strongest climber of us all, could pull herself all the way to the top of the branch--of course it helps that she has a crazy strength to weight ratio, weighing maybe 40 lbs. sopping wet.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Getting My Goat

Or goats, I should say. Two weeks ago, our baby goats "Pumpkin Pie" and "Latte" arrived. They are Nigerian Dwarf Goats, a miniature dairy goat originating in West Africa and characterized as a rare breed that's growing in popularity. Pumkin is a "wether," a castrated male goat, and Latte is a doe. They were born just after Thanksgiving, and Latte will be ready to breed this Fall.

The goaties have settled in quite well and are becoming quite tame, considering they were not bottle raised. We've been feeding them by hand, holding and petting them as much as possible to socialize them to our family. Nigerian Dwarf goats are known for their calm, friendly temperaments, and these two are proving that true. Pumpkin and Latte are siblings, so staying together made the move a bit easier, and becuase goats are herd animals, they need the company of other goats.

Julia has been wanting goats since she met the goaties' dam, Strawberry Flip, a little over a year ago. These goats are Flip's second round of kids, so Jules has been waiting a long time for her baby goaties! Jules feeds them twice a day and takes her responsibility very seriously; she loves going out to feed them and pet them, talking to them, as does the rest of the family. We're all in love with our new additions and look forward to adding some babies early next year!