Monday, February 28, 2011

Saudi, Skunks, and Snowforts

We finished our unit on Saudi Arabia last week.  We still have a few books/read-alouds to finish up so will plug away with those as we continue our journey through Asia.  We learned quite a bit about Islam and the different culture in Saudi Arabia, and decided it would not be our favorite place to visit.   I read a book by Carmen Bin Laden which was quite interesting regarding life in Saudi.  I am thankful I am raising my girls in the U.S.!   In science we took a break from studying a particular biome and are finishing up a unit on pollution/conservation/global warming--basically man's impact on the environment.   In a few days we will start a study on mountains and specifically look at the Himalayas and Mt. Everest as we enter our new country study--India.  We also plan to do a small unit on tigers.  I am excited to learn more about India and will let you know in a few weeks what we all studied and what activities we did.

After several cold days it was nice to have warmer temps yesterday and today.  On top of the 8 inches we had last week Sunday we had another maybe 5-6 inches throughout the week.  This was great for "fixing" the snow forts that had almost melted the week Grandpa and Grandma were here.  Nicolas begged me to take some pictures of them so I went out this morning to take a few pictures.   The kids have spent hours outside helping each other with their forts.

  The fort is actually deeper than the walls indicate since Nicolas dug it down somewhat.

Nicolas made a table for his fort

Nicolas, sitting in the chair in his fort

Nothing too exciting about Seth's fort except the cool icicles.

Anna's fort.  She is proud of a slab of snow that is in the shape of Africa.

Other "exciting" happenings for the week:

-A skunk walked right by our back porch when I was letting Mookie out a few mornings ago.  I hollered for Russ and he tracked it a few houses down where it went under a porch.  It is still wandering the neighborhood because we often smell it at night and this morning Russ saw tracks again.  No skunk pictures here, but the kids wanted to show their cousins where Mookie and Smokey sleep in the home school room while we have school in the morning. Yes, Smokey actually sleeps in the bookshelf.   Oh, and did I mention there is a heat vent located in the wall right next to Mookie?  Smokey used to chase Mookie away so she could take over the coveted spot in front of the heat vent, but now that she found her own little nook and cranny things have been pretty quiet.


*Our street wasn't plowed until Wednesday morning.  It has been quite awhile (never?) since I have attempted to drive through 8 inches of snow with a mini-van.  I got stuck twice, both times with Nicolas, both times able to get myself out.  Nicolas told me "you just have to gun it, mom."   Lest you think I am just a bad driver or don't know how to "gun" it, Russ also got stuck, as did many neighbors.

*We saw lots of birds on our new bird feeder!  I managed to capture a few on film for dad to see.

*We (particularly me) had a few lessons in humility.  I won't go into detail, but suffice it to say it involved a the eye doctor, medicaid, and a disappointed little girl.

*As we have heard various reports of accidents, tragedy, and trials within our church family and among friends we are so grateful for the reminders in Isaiah which we are studying in BSF.  What a comfort it is to know that bad or good, everything is under God's control.  And if we are one of His, all that occurs is for our good, even if we cannot see it at the time.

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