Monday, June 29, 2009

A Moment of Silence, Please

Sophie's moth died today. She spent the better part of the afternoon taking detailed observations of it's winged corpse with her big brother's magnifying glass. When her Dad got home, she informed him that she needed to email the entomologist at the UofM to let her know what happened and invite her to the funeral. I wonder if I need to provide the refreshments?

Eagan Art Show

On Saturday, late in the afternoon, we zipped over to the Community Center to tour the Eagan Art Show. I love art shows - so many talented people! This year we knew one of the artists, Brother Clark from church who makes beautiful pottery.

I love these mirrors with handmade tiles - one of these would be beautiful in a guest bathroom!

This artist makes jewelery with vintage maps and images. Love.

The kids shared a cup of gelato and we called it a day!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Where You'll Find Us

. . . once a week, all summer long. Free movies!! We take a bag full of water bottles and Tupperware bowls to share the free refills large popcorn. As long as I don't have to sit through Rugrats or Barney, I'm good to go!

Sophie's Art

Yes, I realize school ended weeks ago, but I am just getting around to recording some of Sophie's favorite works of art before they hit the recycling bin. If you really want to know how things work around here, I still have two bags full of Max's school papers to go through. They are still sitting int he living room. I have set a goal for myself to go through them before the 4th of July!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Big News in the Bug Realm!

Big, happy news in one little girl's life this week! On Friday both Sophie's butterfly and her moth hatched from their respective chrysalises. So much excitement! Luckily, Sophie had a butterfly house to put them in and she has been fussing non-stop about them ever since. She sent a cute email to the scientist at the UofM announcing their arrival.

Sophie's email to the entomologist:

"Dear Ann,The Butterfly and the moth just hatched! Luckily, I got a Butterfly Treehouse last Christmas,so I was prepared for this sort of thing. By the way,THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU for all the bugs I got to keep, although the water bugs disappeared the day after my AWESOME visit.Then, a couple days after that, the moth flew away and the tiny white bugs turned to mush.All that I could save were the chrysalises, which,as I said before,JUST HATCHED! (But before that,the moth chrysalis used to do the boogie woogie when you squeezed it slightly at the bottom) So,basically, all I did was get out my Butterfly Treehouse and threw some food and some flowers dipped in sugar water in.Let me know if I can do any more or if I can throw in some better food. With love for bugs,Sophia"

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sophie: Bug Scientist

Last Thursday was a special day for Sophie. She was practically levitating with anticipation on Wednesday and woke up - by herself - on Thursday anxious to get ready and leave. She went to work with her Dad, spending the morning reading Harry Potter and watching movies on the couch in his office. After going out for daddy/daughter pizza, they drove to the U of M St. Paul Campus. I'm going to let Bryan tell you about the visit - just know that these photos give me the heebie jeebies.

Hi, Bryan here. I had been working on setting this up for a while, and we finally got a private tour of the U of M's insect collection -- the 19th largest in the world, with over three million insects -- by its curator, Dr. Ann Fallon, a real live bug scientist, along with lots of live insects in her own office that she had ready for the occasion. Ann was a wonderful hostess and could not have been more delightful in teaching Sophia all about the insects we looked at. She had also arranged for a special assistant, a ten-year-old daughter of another entomologist, to be there as well to help show Sophie around.

We saw more truly amazing insects than we could believe, including the largest moth species in the world, some really gargantuan stag beetles, and an astonishing variety of butterflies and beetles with the most unbelievably iridescent colors and intricate patterns. An entomology lab technician, Anna, visited for a while to help explain work they are doing right now on mosquito genetics that affect the mosquitoes' capacity to spread malaria, to help prevent the spread of malaria in Africa, so we saw that doing science can even help save people's lives.

Ann and Anna both urged Sophie to come back and visit them again, and were anxious for Sophie to bring in her bug house and show them the insects that she has collected. And, Ann sent Sophie off with several live bugs to bring home! The pictures above show a sample from that collection, a large moth and a chrysalis that will hatch into the same type of moth in the next couple of weeks. Sophie also received another chrysalis that will soon hatch into a butterfly, a petri dish filled with thousands of tiny proturans (actually a type of non-insect hexapod), and a bucket of pond-water filled with many types of aquatic insects, and her own pipette. Sophie was thrilled with the trip and while cradling her new bugs on the way home discussed with me her plans for an upcoming expedition to the park to search for new insect species that no one has discovered yet.

I had a real blast going on this trip with Sophie. As long as she has come up with this special interest in insects, I am keen on encouraging it. Even while the number of women has equaled that of men in business school and even surpassed men in law school, there remains a profound gender disparity in science and engineering, which all the research indicates is due to persistent cues in our culture to otherwise scientifically inclined girls and women at all stages of life that this is not something for them. I think it's really important for Sophie to grow up seeing and interacting with women scientists, and to grow up understanding and taking for granted that girls can understand and can do absolutely anything they're interested in.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My Kids Believe in Safety First

Views from my Window. It's Hot.

Last week was hot. This week is hot. Yesterday the temperature hit 96. Our sprinkler has been getting quite the workout and water guns are a frequent past time. Summer kids are sticky at the end of the day with sweat, popsicle drips, sunscreen and the sand that sticks to the sweat and sunscreen.

The air conditioner was turned on the for the first time and it works! Hallelujah! The relatively new dishwasher however has decided not to work. It's been added to the "fix this soon" list.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Seen and Heard Today

Seen: This girl watering our flower pots, in the rain with an umbrella over her head.

Heard: This boy in primary sharing time - the teacher was talking about Korihor.
Teacher: what is an anti-Christ?
Max raises hand and answers quite seriously: Is it a Christ made out of antimatter?

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I have no one to watch this with. Sad. So, if you were sitting next to me by the computer, this is what I would say.

Evan and Randy -
Cute couple - love both of them.
Jazz - great - beautiful lines.
Jive - very fun, very energetic.

Melissa and Ade

I never remember him. I love her since the show started - she did not stand out to me in the auditions. She is beautiful, great hair and dimple - stop plucking your eyebrows so much!
Contemporary - my favorite number of the evening. Beautiful. The leaps were lovely.
Jazz – Really good. Could they have given her a less flattering outfit?!

Vitolio and Asuka
Why don't I like her? Is it the layer of cattiness, how she did not seem to be very nice to her partner in the auditions? Vitolio is charming and definitely has the most interesting back story coming into the competition.
Broadway - bleh. It was OK, but they don't seem comfortable with each other.
Waltz - Holy crap, she is THIN!! There are very few women who could pull off that dress! I thought the dance was very pretty, but they still come across as uncomfortable with each other - maybe because she told him she was not attracted to him – rude.

Kupono & Ashley
She is really cute - great eyes. I'm not sure why that is important. I like his quirky little to-do list, but this couple is not very memorable.

Jazz - Hello? Wade Robinson? Not my favorite number of his.
Hip-Hop - Meh.

Phillip and Jeanine -
I was kind of disappointed he quit last season, but I am glad to see he got some training and came back.
Hip Hop - Loved this though it reminded me a lot of last season’s dance with Chelsie and Mark. On a side note - how cute are Tabitha and Napoleon?
Tango - It was crappy. There was a lot of thudding and that dress made her look plump.

Max and Kayla -
I have a bit of a crush on Max. Kayla is a wonderful dancer and seems very sweet.
Samba - They nailed this number. The dress was a bit distracting and her make-up made her look a little wonky (kind of reminded me of Heidi Montag) - or maybe it was her teeth? Could Mary scream a little more?
Pop-Jazz- Funky. Kayla is very, very strong. Max was a little weaker - not as sharp. I worry about the judges praising her so much . . . could turn the audience away.

Brandon and Janette -
Love this couple. Both of their original auditions were amazing!
Foxtrot - Ususally a pretty dull dance – this was great.
Disco - HOT! Amazing lifts and they really worked the whole routine! What the */?# was Lil' C saying? Can anyone understand his ramblings?

Caitlin and Jason -
I loved Caitlin and her sister in the auditions and Jason doing MJ as a kid is adorable!
Bollywood - Very fun- her handstand was so strong.
Hip-Hop - It was OK - I'm not sure I loved the choreography.

Jonathan and Karla -
ChaCha - No no. The costumes were tacky and the dancing was horrid.

Contemporary - G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S. One of my favorite songs - they really danced beautifully.

Card Class June

All supplies are from Archivers. Classes are next week Tuesday and Wednesday at 7pm. You need to bring adhesive, small glue dots and pop dots as well as your supplies (already cut). Please bring all of your scraps as well to make flowers. Thanks!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Friday Fieldtrip

The day after the last day of school, we went to the zoo - along with half the population of Minnesota. I am not a fan of crowds. They make me antsy and it is exhausting to be constantly counting heads to make sure none of the five kids with you has fallen into the prairie dog exhibit.

There were visiting animals to meet and a very perplexing threesome (one guy and two girls - obvious sisters/cousins?) that Kelly and I found both creepy and yet fascinating. I wish I had taken a photo. People watching is sometimes more interesting than the animals.

We had to take photos on all of the statues - as usual.

Max tried his darnedest to not actually view any animals while at the zoo.

The camels were shedding - I love that look.

And, we managed to leave with all of the children we arrived with. I call that success!

For you, Dad

Is everyone watching this?! - this weekend on PBS!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The End Has Come

The last day of school arrived last Thursday and the little kids helped me throw together a Welcome to Summer party. I saw the idea for the poster on a blog somewhere and thought it might be nice to actually make the day special this year. It was very little preparation or cost, but tons of fun. We found flower leis at a yard sale that morning for $0.25, picked up ice cream, root beer and balloons at the grocery store, painted a quick poster and that's about it!

The little kids were in charge of handing out the leis and watching the candy. They ate a lot of candy and picked up the straws every time the wind blew them over.

Everyone seemed to have a great time, ate a lot of sugar and then played hard. Summer really feels like it has arrived with long, hot days and plenty of sun this week. Max spent all day Saturday at a free fishing camp where he caught 36 fish and today he is at Scout Camp. I am taking the rest of the kids out for a hike. Summer is definitely here!

The Market Returns

The Farmers Market is back in Eagan on Thursday afternoons, once again conveniently timed for an after garage sales stop. Speaking of garage sales, I found the most amazing sale this week near my home where they were selling designer baby/kids clothes for CHEAP (like $1.00 for a Baby Gap dress, matching bloomers and matching sweater set). I spent about 2 hours there sorting through enormous piles for Kelly, Gina, Susan and myself - score!

Kelly bought some of these Strawberries which were d.i.v.i.n.e. Incredible flavor. We picked up onions and salad greens and beautiful flowers. I bought the kids some kettle corn which ended up dumped all over my car within minutes of leaving the market. Sigh.

Teacher Gifts

Last Thursday was the last day of school for my kids. They left in the morning with gifts for their teachers - handmade cards, chocolates and scrabble tile necklaces with either a vintage apple or initials or for a sick teacher, Keep Calm and Carry On.