Sunday, September 30, 2012

Diamond the Tadpole

A month ago Lauren brought home a tadpole from her co-op biology class. She decided it was a girl and named her Diamond because it looked like the markings on the tadpole were diamonds. We have really enjoyed watching the metamorphosis of growing from a tadpole to a frog. Today, the tail is now a tiny stub, and Diamond was hopping pretty high--enough to possibly jump out of her container--so we decided to release her into our backyard pond. This was very emotional for Lauren. She was sad and teary, but insisted she be the one to do the releasing. I think Diamond is going to have a great life in the pond! Take a look at the pictures we took of her transformation, and then the video is of the releasing. I know it's kind of long, but you'll see her hopping, and at the end you'll see her swimming in the pond.

Lauren bringing Diamond home.
Definitely doesn't look like a frog right now--more like a fish.
Close up of her face.
We bought a shoe box for her to live in. Adding some rocks from our pond.
Swimming around in her new home.

We went on a week of vacation and some friends watched her for us. When we left Diamond had her back legs. When we returned, she had her front legs!
Still has a tail.
Look at that face. Eyes higher up on head, wide mouth.
Tail is pretty much gone now. Time to release her.
Lauren carrying her to the pond.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pinterest Oatmeal Peanut Butter Pancakes

A recipe I found through Pinterest that I have made several times is oatmeal peanut butter pancakes. I LOVE them. I don't think hubby is crazy about them and the kids think it has too much of a peanut butter taste--I think they're all crazy! I did tell the kids I would cut back on the measurement of peanut butter added, but I keep forgetting to do that. I made them last night and in hopes of hiding some of the peanut butter taste for the kids, I added one banana and some chocolate chips to some of the pancakes. SUCCESS!! The kids liked the taste much better this time. Please give these a try. Click here to get to the original website that posted this recipe:

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Bug Lady

We went on a field trip with our homeschool co-op today to see The Bug Lady. She owns a studio with a whole bunch of different animals that she educates people about. There are insects, snakes, lizards, birds, ferrets, turtles, guinea pigs, frogs, rabbits and a hedgehog. Below are some pics, but they are just a small sample of the many animals she has. Some of the animals were rescued by cruel owners. Most of them are not poisonous, and she only allowed animals that would not hurt anybody to be touched and held.
The Bug Lady said she feels a little awkward when people want her picture taken with them because she's "just a former kindergarten teacher." Lauren wanted a pic with her because The Bug Lady is on TV. I told her she is a local celebrity!

Her background with these animals began with her 5th grade teacher who kept critters in his classroom. She said she never liked creepy crawlies but at the end of that year she changed her feelings. She later became a kindergarten teacher who kept animals in her classroom. When she stopped teaching, her teacher friends wanted her to continue coming with her animals to show their students, and the business just took off from there.

Her studio is cutely decorated with themed posters, and art work. Her apron and tablecloths were made with insect patterned material. She has a funny personality and made lots of comments that made us all laugh.
The lobby area has great wall art as well a jungle/outdoors theme.
She had several animals in containers on the floor that the kids could hold.
Some cages and tanks lined the wall filled with a variety of animals.
Kids sat criss-cross applesauce in rows so she could walk between them with the animals and not trip over legs.
She would walk by everybody and let them either look through the protective containers to view the animals, or she would carry them in her hand and we could touch them. She called on some adults and kids to be helpers. Most of the time she had them close their eyes and then she would put something into their hands. One of the older boys she put about 4-5 hissing cockroaches on him and he walked around letting us touch them. They were crawling all over him and one got under his pant leg and as soon as that happened he brushed it off onto the floor and squeals and a lot of movement began as the bug crawled around on the floor. The adults were more hilarious though. They were more nervous than the kids and provided lots of laughs as they made faces, or even changed their minds and ran away from the critter.

This was one of the best field trips we have ever been on--very educational and very fun. I wish The Bug Lady much success with her business.
Lauren was given the ferret to hold, and she just wasn't sure what to do with it. We just started passing it around to other kids.
Hedgehog trying to hide under cloth.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ballet and Tap

From the ages of 3-7 Lauren was with a dance group called Jazz For Jesus. It was awesome! That company closed in May of 2011 and Lauren decided to try gymnastics and taekwondo. She didn't care for either of those, although she was doing well with them. She decided she missed dance, and so we visited 3 dance companies and chose one pretty close to home. They offer jazz and pom, but Lauren has always wanted to try ballet and tap. She is loving both, but especially tap! For the first semester they teach basic moves, and then come January they will begin routines and have a recital in May. Here are some pics of her in her dance clothes (she is so happy to be in a tutu), as well as a video of her showing some moves she learned in week 1, and just having fun.

She's decided the railing between the dining room and living room will make for a good ballet bar.
The classic ballet hair bun
Tap shoes
She wanted you to see her silver taps on the bottom of the shoes :)