Monday, December 11, 2006

New pets or science experiment?

Yesterday Nick left his sermon notes at home, the fact of which he discovered when he got into the pulpit to preach. As is his usual way of things, he had gone over his sermon early in the morning before leaving, so it was all quite tightly in his head, which meant he could actually preach it all from memory. Since he had preached the same message twice in the morning, he did it sans notes again in the evening, and didn’t falter. Meanwhile, I rearranged the lounge and we have now put out the “Christmas Fireplace” to get the boys in the spirit of things.

Today was the usual - school, lunch and Lorna for beading. The afternoon was just relaxed, finishing the ironing and sewing buttons on to things and stuff like that. The boys played in their room a lot today, in games of “soldier soldier fairy fairy” or “policeman policeman fireman fireman shoot the bad person shoot the bad person take them to hospital take them to hospital”. Apparently any game can be called a game if its title contains double words or phrases.

This morning I noticed that the flowers Jean gave us last Monday were ready for throwing away. I also noticed a caterpillar on a rose petal which had fallen off. I showed the boys, all excited to be the practical homeschooler, and they got right close up looking at it. After a while we took it outside and threw it in the garden, still on its petal. Then the boys noticed two more caterpillars, one quite big, which had crawled along the sideboard and down the side. Oh dear. While I was scooping up the smaller one, another even smaller one got scooped up. A closer inspection of the flowers revealed a colony of the worms, now being displaced on the shedding petals. Nick said to throw them away in the dustbin because they eat plants and so weren’t suitable for the garden, but Caleb begged me to keep them because he wants to see them turn into butterflies. So I found a jar, put in twigs, leaves, rose petals and more caterpillars, covered it with a superwipe and elastic band (so they could breathe), and put the jar in the diningroom. We now have our own caterpillar farm. After we had all gone out to town and come home, we saw that two caterpillars were now on the outside of the jar, having eaten a hole through the superwipe. Therefore they got more firmly enclosed with a piece of material covering the jar. Let’s see them eat through that. Ultimately we’re hoping that they will go into pupa phase, because that will be really exciting to see. I’m not sure if there are silkworms available on the island, but that would be a great thing for the boys!

Nick started scraping the old paint and cement off some of the blocks around an outside window yesterday, uncovering the original stonework. Then he mixed up some concrete and filled in some bigger holes elsewhere. We would love to paint the outside of the house at the back, and have paint available, but would need scaffolding or a tall ladder. Today Nick did a bit more work on the wall which he and Paul were doing – he’s getting pretty good at concrete and enjoys doing that sort of manly “Bob the Builder” stuff. Maybe it’s genetic?

No comments: