30 June, 2010

Nature Moment ~ Hatched Butterfly #2

She would not sit still for a clear photo.

She was ready to get out of the jar and be free.

As a caterpillar, she had different colored spots than the first one I collected. Her chrysalis was also dark brown instead of green.

Silly mom that I am, I have five more of these up on the piano waiting their turns to hatch. Stay tuned!


24 June, 2010

summer schedule - this time for me!

I have to do this, otherwise my day gets frittered away, especially in the summertime.

8:30-9:00 (depending on late night reading or talking) Up and around, make bed as I get out, (yadda yadda) ~ make coffee

Do you ever really feel like some things just do not even need to be on the schedule. They are automatic! Especially after years and years of doing them.

Next: kitchen and laundry chores

~ Two married kids later, the ones still at home already know how to do this and they help when they need to. It is mostly my job; they are not my slaves. They rinse their own dishes and laundry and during the school year, they have more duties. One of the two left at home has an outside job, so he is already quite busy. He also does the yardwork. The point is that they 1) learn and know how/when to help serve others, and 2) how to take care of things when they move into their own place someday. I don't want them to hate doing it "because I said so." I want them to love the process and the good feelings that it brings about to restore what was cruddy and messy into something that is pleasing and relaxing! (and also not a health hazard :-).

*They also do a great job of keeping their own rooms clean all the time. I never have to ask them to do that. They keep up with their pet chores, as well.

~ Go check the garden and water when needed, weed when needed.

~ light b'fast

~ check e-mail and messages

~ answer inquiriries and e-mails

~ tidy bathrooms

~ work on getting Spanish lesson plans re-organized, categorized for fall classes. Toss old materials that can't re use. Research products, update wish lists. Organize resources for first lessons.

~ Work in bookbinding studio (restoration of old books and bookbinding is my summer, part-time work).

~~~ Late Lunch - pretty much always,because we eat dinner later ~~~

~grocery shop as needed. In the summer, I am less rigid about errand day. Part of this is due to son's work schedule and sharing a car.

~ read and research any new needed techniques or products in bookbinding and Spanish, or even things for Charlotte Mason Bookclub

~ work a little bit on Fall syllabi in multiple classes

~ blog about any new discoveries, photos, etc.

~ write or look for videos/music appropriate for Spanish classes

~ work on any prep for family night(s)

~ work on rearranging one area of a (specific) room, dust

~ note any needed minor repairs or paint touch-ups

~ make sure items are ready for dinner prep

~~~ 7:30 p.m. ~Dinner & Family Time ~~~
* the kids do go hang out with their friends from time to time

~ kitchen clean-up, sometimes with everybody's help

~ check messages

~ final laundry folding, when needed

~ personal reading which right now is my Spanish Bible (yes, I have personal time at night, not in the morning) and _Twenty Chickens for a Saddle: The Story of an African Childhood_ by Robyn Scott.

~ lights out

When company is scheduled to come over, I also make sure that the bathroom is cleaned up and the floors are swept. Especially in the summer, I don't have an assigned day for this, I just do it when it needs to be done.

How do you shift gears for summer?


14 June, 2010

Chrysalis to Butterfly!

Sometime in the night (Sunday a.m.) The lady emerged from her shell. Notice the split in the above photo.

from this angle, you cannot see the crack in the shell from which she emerged. In the shot below, you can observe the little "sling" keeping the chrysalis shell attached to the stick.

Papilio Polyxenes, and it is a female!

The white spots on the male are larger and more decorative, it seems.

Otherwise known as a Black Swallowtail :-)

I released her onto our huge rosemary bush ~ Her back side

Her colorful spots on the underside of her wings

She did not stay long, so I was lucky to capture these few shots, slightly fuzzy as they may be with the small canon powershot that I'm using this spring.
While checking the garden this afternoon, I spotted a new and almost microscopic caterpillar
...Maybe I will do this again!
Enjoy your summer,

05 June, 2010

Caterpillar to Chrysalis!

It has been a couple of years since we have captured a caterpillar in order to observe it's metamorphosis, so I decided to collect one from the dill in the garden, in order to watch the process all over again. It is a fascinating one! These days, one can find all sorts of information on the web to help inquiring minds know what to do.

When we first began homeschooling in the early 90's, we bought the book Pets in a Jar by Seymour Simon to help give us direction. I highly recommend this book!

Notice the little "rope" hammock this 'pillar has made while it 'hangs out' during the metamorphosis ~

This way, it can spin and change while it it suspended from the stick. In the past, we have had caterpillars attach themselves to the lid of the jar for the big change, but usually, they attach to a stick. This process seems to happen very quickly, going from nothing to green shell before one even has a chance to notice it. I think we caught the change one time, and it was bizarre and magical!

Behold! Change has begun.

Another view ~ I think it is fascinating how the yellow spots from the caterpillar have now been replaced as bumps in a hard shell of a chrysalis.

View from the other side ~

We've been homeschooling for a long time, our two oldest are married and have their own homes, but this process (and the subtleties of God's creation that we oft-times miss) never, ever cease to amaze me!


03 June, 2010

Hand-cut, Hand-bound Journals

It is graduation season, and you know what that means? Graduation gift time.

I like making these because they are so unique and can be personalized.

These are called Coptic Stitch journals. They are made with linen book cloth and hand cut papers, sewn with Irish linen thread.

journals and photgraphy by Javamom

02 June, 2010

Black Bean Enchiladas

This is what I made from leftovers. It is a mixture of black beans, Hatch Green Enchilada sauce (from tomatillos), chopped onions, sour cream, cheddar and monterey jack cheeses, and one has rice in it as well. Once has fresh cilantro inside, the other sprinkled on top.
It was amazing. What are some of your favorite leftover creations?