This past week we met Tracy and Oakley at a campground with a water park.
It wasn't quite as great as I thought it would be but we still had fun!
The biggest disappointment was that the swim to the slide was too far for the boys to make it out there by themselves and even if it hadn't been there were large fish that would have kept them from going!
So instead we found a sandy hill that went right into the water and the boys ran up and down it!
Sweet Oakley! Neither he or Isla were in the mood to play in the water which was a bummer.
These guys had a blast though!
Isla worked a little on her tan.
It's a rare to find a hill in Florida!
Maybe that's why my kids aren't that skilled at traversing them!
At least they had a good sense of humor about it!
With his sandy beard the boys all thought Evan looked like their Uncle Jay!
Over and over and over again.
Even Isla face planted!
I tried to get the boys to take a group shot but it didn't go so well.
This was right before Isla warmed up to the water and went wild, seriously I had to put down my camera and my phone so I could focus on her! She was determined to charge right into the water and go under! She came up coughing, sputtering water and laughing! The highlight was swinging her around in the water, splashing and listening to her giggle and squeal, "MOOORRREEE!" whenever we stopped.
She threw a fit when I put her in her car seat and she realized we were leaving but with in seconds fell sound asleep.
In our most recent Science lesson we studied about Mercury. We learned that while Mercury is like the Earth in that it is terrestrial opposed to jovian, unlike our home planet it does not have much of an atmosphere for protection. Making one of Mercuries most distinguishing features, it's crater covered surface!
Our project gave us a bit of an idea of how those craters are created.
First we started out with a pan of flour.
I had the boys go outside and find small rocks to replicate asteroids. Ford ended up finding a fire ant hill instead so after helping him recover from that I let him pick out one of the gems from the kids extensive collection.
Then we dropped them in.
It was an ok project when I was leading it but when I texted Jed this picture of the boys, he responded with, "Tell the boys that daddy wants to make craters with them when he gets home." I set the flour and rocks aside.
After we had dinner I was able to slip away and finally get some down time for the day. When I came out I found this! Daddy took the project to a whole new level!
The next morning Ford asked if he could drive his cars through the flour (it was still sitting on the table for a project I had planned for later that day) I said yes.
I walked away for all of 30 seconds and I come back to this! What have you done child?!
After cleaning up Ford's mess I showed the boys how to make play dough and they showed me how to make faux facial hair.
After we took Wilma i,n 4 more ducks were abandoned near our house, including one that had been rammed by one of the adult ducks until its legs were broken.
(Wilma, Beatrix and Quill)
I realized later that there was a change in dominate males and the new male was getting rid of the old male's offspring.
Our new ducks were, two males, Jasper and Quill and, two females, Myrtle and Beatrix. I noticed right away that they were much bigger than Wilma which wasn't a shock considering she only ate if I syringe fed her and even then probably burned more calories fighting me than she took in.
After 3 days Wilma died. It was sad for the boys but I had warned them ahead of time that she was sick and despite our efforts might not make it.
(Bea and Quill)
Fortunately we still had four more ducklings!
Beatrix, the duckling with broken legs, ate well and was still able to move around. For the next couple weeks we had four lively ducklings. Again we noticed that Quill, Myrtle and Jasper were getting bigger while Baby Bea was not.
Last week despite syringe feedings and creating her, her own warming area, we lost Bea. This was a bit harder on the boys. We had had the ducks longer and each one of the boys had claimed one of the ducks as their own. Bea belonged to Evan.
(Jasper, Myrtle and Quill)
He handled it well though and still wants to help out with the ducklings.
The big boys feed the ducks, let them out either to run around and forage or put them in the kiddie pool for a swim, they clean the ducks bin out once a day and are always on the look out for storms, so they can bring the bin and ducks in the house!
It was hard at first balancing both duck care in the mornings and homeschooling but we have a great rhythm now and they're getting used to caring for something besides just themselves which is probably one of the most important and useful lessons a child can learn.
Last week one of the female ducks had a whole new brood of 11 ducklings in tow! This week she's down to 9 but they're doing well, and none of the other ducks are bothering her!