Thursday, May 09, 2013

science class

This year for science we have been learning about flying creatures. From birds to bats to butterflies and every other flying insect. So what better way to really absorb all the different facts about these amazing creatures than to grow as many of them as we could in our house. Our home for the past 3 months has been incubating, hatching, molting, growing and metamorphosis-ing (don't think that is the scientific word for that). At times a bit crazy and a bit zoo-y but I can guarantee you my kids have loved every minute of it. How amazing to see God's amazing handiwork in real life...not just out of a book.
We started off with ladybug larvae and watched them pupate and then emerge into their adult beetle stage. This is when I wish I had a fancy, schmancy camera so I could really focus up close to see these little guys but this is as good as it gets with what we've got. 

butterfly chrysalis'

At the same time we were fattening up our Painted Lady butterfly caterpillars and watching them make chrysalis'. After about 10 days they emerged into beautiful butterflies and with their long proboscis' slurped on slices of watermelon that we set out for them.

Next we incubated some chicken eggs for about 21 days and out of 12 eggs we ended up with 8 that actually hatched. We intended to let them grow for a couple of weeks and then pass them on to someone who would want to raise them. But the more we started thinking about it the more we wanted to raise a few in our backyard. Crazy I know...but what a great experience for the kids right? 

Jason is in the process of building a chicken coop out of free pallet wood (later post to come) and the kids are so excited to go and collect the eggs (in a few months when they're big enough). Ansley is just glad that she doesn't have to say good-bye to Chubbie, Alice, Weak, Tiger or Rainbow (unless they are roosters of course).
 And Bella has enjoyed "guarding" the chicks for us. Thankfully she is declawed but she still loves to watch them in their brooder box.
I should have taken some more recent ones because they are much bigger than these cute, fuzzy ones a few weeks ago. So if the rain would hold off for a fews days we can finish our coop and get these chickens outside and in their own house...and more importantly out of mine. They're kind of noisy, dirty birds when they're all cooped up in a brooder box.

And our latest insect we are waiting to hatch are Preying Mantises...which we've learned are also great for gardens. So in a few weeks we will be proud owners of about 100-200 mantis nymphs. Yep, a bit nervous about that one.

And because I am my mother's daughter, once she told me about a huge puddle at the park that had hundreds of tad poles in it, I ran over and gathered about 5 so we can see them grow into frogs. New life in the spring is an amazing thing to see and experience. To be continued...

Monday, May 06, 2013

best cat ever

She lets my kids put her in this baby doll stroller and push her around. Can you get a better pet than that?

Friday, May 03, 2013


And the very next week we had sunny skies and didn't even need a jacket. Gotta love the mid-west weather. This is our Easter family portrait. Used the timer and propped up my camera on the deck. Doesn't make for good photography, but since we were all dressed up I couldn't pass up the chance to get a family pic.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

now catching up

This was from our last big snow, which happened to be the most (inches wise) we had all winter. It was just a little late in the season where I was wishing and hoping for spring at that point, so I wasn't so excited about this one...although it was still beautiful. Our birds appreciated the food.

 I think we ended up with 8 inches total.

 Enough to make a snow igloo...

 and snowmen