Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Cells, Brains, and Stomachs...oh my!

Both of the big kids were studying a bit of human anatomy recently. Princess started with a unit on the nervous system, and Spike learned about the digestive system and a bit about cells. It was not until I was looking back through my pictures that I realized how much stuff we had done with zip top baggies.

Princess did this nice full-size drawing of her nervous system. It was hard to get it all into the camera frame. We traced her whole body onto some paper, cut it out, and then I let her go to work putting in a brain, spinal cord, and some nerves.

In order to understand the size, weight, and approximate consistency of her brain, Princess also made a brain in a bag. It consisted of sand, instant potato flakes, and hot water. To be honest, the smell of those things combined made me gag. Princess was really impressed with just how heavy her brain is. I am not sure it really was a good indicator of consistency, perhaps because she had a fun time tossing it around and calling out, "Brains!"

Here is Spike with his cell replica. The baggie is the cell membrane, the not-really-set-up jello-o is the cytoplasm, and although it is hard to see, there is a grape in there for the nucleus.
To learn about the stomach churning up food, Spike made a stomach in a bag. Inside was a tasty snack of half a banana, some saltine crackers, and water. Yum!

Well, it started out as a nice day...

Yesterday was both nice and tragic all wrapped up into one. We started the day out with our normal schoolwork and then headed over to J&J Nursery for a field trip. I was rather proud of this field trip since I had set it up myself to my kids and some of the others in the area who were interested. This was the first time I have done something like that, but it all went great.

The kids got to feed the resident koi of the nursery. We go to the nursery fairly often and the kids really like the fish, so this was an awesome surprise.
We watched the machine that puts seeds into a little planting tray....and saw the warming tables that help get the seeds germinated.The kids were shown lots of cool plants.When it was time to go, all the kids even got to pick out a free plant. Princess and Spike got some type of neat aloe and Sprout got a polka-dot plant.
So the day sounds quite nice so far, eh? It stayed that way for a while. We had to go run some errands and got home after Brady. We had not been home that long when me and Sprout were in the kitchen and tragedy struck. Sprout was standing on a five gallon bucket that she often is on in the kitchen and she fell off. I picked her up but did not notice anything wrong right away. Brady came upstairs and after a few seconds of trying to calm her down, we noticed that she was holding her hand weird and Brady saw that her arm was broken. It was horrifying. We left for the hospital really quick. The doctors and nurses in the emergency room were wonderful. They gave her some morphine as quickly as possible, which helped her out a lot. She was pretty funny when she was loopy, talking about pink and purple horses and how they liked to eat sandwiches and pizza. Everything was put back into place and she is now sporting a pretty purple cast. It was a horrible night, but I am just thankful that everything turned out alright. She does not even mind the cast (she calls it the fix), although trying to get her to wear the sling is an entirely different matter.

Here are some pictures I took today of her showing off her purple cast. She is such a cute little trooper.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Yeah, yeah...I know

It's been forever...well, not literally, but is has been a long time since my last post. I do have a lot to catch up on, but first I would like to give you my excuse for being away so long. We went on a Disney cruise! While we were not on the cruise the whole time I have not written anything, we did have a wonderful vacation that lasted almost a week and a half. With a family the size of ours, it takes me about a week to get the packing all done, and a week (minimum) after returning to get things back in order here at the homestead. But it was so worth it! Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the trip.

I will leave it at that...although I assure you we took many more pictures. Me and Brady have talked about doing a Disney cruise blog since it is such an experience, and maybe one day we will get around to it.