Monday, March 28, 2011

I'd Rather be Spinning!

You may have noticed that I haven't been putting much effort towards blogging lately. I've been spending all my spare moments at the spinning wheel, and I finally have some handspun yarn in the etsy shop. My sister-in-law also has some adorable handpainted owl chicks made from upcycled jeans that you've just got to check out.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

More This and That

I downloaded some pics from my other camera. Some are from several days ago - back when it was sunny and warm. It's been gray and chilly again lately. But these are happy spring pictures - enjoy!

Peach blossoms.

I used sticks that had been pruned off our bradford pears for stakes in our garden. They were bare branches that had been laying next to the burn pile for about a week. Now we have a garden full of bradford pears!

There are patches of this clover with purple leaves in our yard this year. I don't remember seeing any there before.

Oh look. White henbit. Four thousand times better than yesterday. I forgot I had taken a picture of it with this camera.

The chase.

The capture.

The escape!

We started a unit on birds this week. Actually, I should say we started back. We started this unit a couple months ago and left off to finish up the American Revolution. Before, we read stacks of library books about birds. Now we'll be doing some more hands-on type stuff. We tried this experiment of making little gliders to determine which wing shape is best for flying. Unfortunately, it didn't work, because the gliders just didn't fly at all. The kids were filling out scientific speculation sheets and for the conclusion they had to write, "Some experiments don't work." Not exactly the lesson we were trying to learn, but I suppose it counts for something.

Here, Larkin's working with Jeremiah to replace the van's brake light.

Friday, March 25, 2011

This and That

Larkin started baseball practice a couple weeks ago.

While Larkin has fun practicing, the other kids have fun playing.

We found this white henbit in the field. I've never seen white before, only purple. (Yes, I know the picture is awful. The camera refused to focus on the flowers, but I wanted to show it anyway. Anybody else seen white henbit before?)

We've finished up our study of the American Revolution. Here are the kids in their tri-corner hats.

Jeremiah made the kids some new swords from the limbs he pruned off one of our trees.

We made wreaths out of the pruned wisteria vines, and the little ones painted them.

Finger knitting.

We got together with friends and traded crafty knowledge. We learned straw weaving and how to make friendship bracelets, and Miah taught finger knitting.

Dressing up. (He he!)

Just playing.

Rohan's learning to ride a bike with training wheels.

We've been reading Mathematicians are People Too during our family reading time. Today we read that Blaise Pascal discovered that the fastest distance between two points is a cycloid. I decided to conduct an experiment to see this principle in action.
Drawing the cycloid.

Bending a piece of copper in the shape of the cycloid.

Since we were measuring the fastest distance between two points, I made the starting point and ending point for both wires the same. However, when we did this, the bead on the straight wire won every time no matter what angle I held the wires at.

Then I found this animation and tried setting up my wires differently. We did see the bead on the cycloid beat the straight line bead a few times. Most times, it looked like a tie. So, the reason I'm posting this is because I want to know - Why didn't it work?

Just found this video of the experiment actually working.
Perhaps this video can explain things a little. The balls just travel too fast to really see which one wins until we watch in slow motion. Maybe I just wasn't good at judging the winner? Any ideas?