Thursday, February 17, 2011

Excitement on the Country Hill

With a house of 3 rowdy boys and a very loud, talkative little girl, most days on our country hill are quite exciting. Yesterday was more exciting than typical. First, going back to Christmas, we got John an anthill (like this one) to go along with his school studies. We waited until spring was just around the corner to send off for the ants. Yesterday was their highly anticipated day of arrival. John invited Lydia to trek down to the mailbox with him to check the mail. When he found a manila envelope addressed to John, you could not imagine the commotion. In fact, it took me a few moments to even understand what he was talking about.

I opened the pack and found the ants in what looked like a short test tube. Leaving out some minor details, we got the hill ready for our new friends.

These are red harvester ants which, compared to our local ants, are enormous. Our most common type of ant is only about 2-3 mm in length, whereas these harvester ants are between 5-7 mm. I'd hate for one of these to bite me!

The ants were rather disoriented for a good while, but that didn't damper their curiosity. Almost every single question asked by John from this point forward revolved around the ants. Are they alright? (they were very inactive and confused) Are they dead? How long will they live? Can they be a pet? What can I feed them? When will they start tunneling? And about a billion more.

I'm requiring him to keep a journal on his observations regarding the ants, which he hotly protests. He absolutely loathes writing...even copy work!


Switching gears a bit, does anyone remember Ethan's note that he wrote in the beginning of the school year? It read, "God wil tak car uv as." Very out-of-the-blue he presents me with this note.
I was particularly proud of this on many levels. For one, only two words are misspelled: one is just two letters transposed and the other is "Joshua." It's mostly written in cursive. Plus, he remembered the correct Scripture reference! Anyway, I really love these little notes from Ethan.

Lastly, a playful jab at all my up-north readers. We've had temps of 70-75 all week this week. It is completely beautiful outside. We've been outdoors and had the windows open most of the day. We also turned the garden over yesterday, preparing to plant potatoes!

7 edifying expressions:

char said...

How fun! We had that ant farm a few years ago. Our ants didn't live very long but dug lots of tunnels. So much so that they packed the sand down to about 1/2 I was scared to add more and smother the remaining ants. The kids liked watching them while they lasted. About your weather-we are in the 70's this week. It is so pretty outside now however last two weeks we had 2 blizzards (10 inches and then about 7 more a week later) and temp was -21(not counting the wind chill). Some parts of Ok. have had a 100 degree shift in the weather from last week to this. Thats oklahoma for ya!

Kimberly said...

OH, warmth! It's just our usual; mild and in the low 40's, we do have some snow flakes in the forecast though... For whatever reasons this wintery season has seemed long... What fun learning you've had going on at your house- I just jump for joy when one of the children has a break through, like your little Ethan!!!

Aliene said...

Red Ants? The red ones we have hurt if they bite. We mostly have little army ants. sounds like a good project for a little boy.

I have notes my children wrote when they were children. I love those little scribbles and mis-spelled words. Sometimes as you grow older that seems, at times, to be all you have. So precious to be able to go back and remember those sweet little angels that are now grown with families of their own.
We are close to 80 degrees here in South Louisiana near Baton Rouge.
People up north cannot imagine that no more than we can imagine being snowed in.

Sarah said...

What fun ant farms are! We bought one for our daughter a few years ago...unfortunately they all escaped! i hope John has a little more success with his!

I love Ethans note, how sweet! It is so wonderful when children start to find Gods word in their hearts! We bought an audio Bible for our family at Christmas time and our children are really starting to remember the verses!

Thank you for your comments on my recent post Elizabeth...had to laugh that someone said "You have your hands full" when you just had two of your children with you!

Elizabeth said...
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Elizabeth said...

I thought we had extreme weather! 100 degrees in a week?! Wow. :)

Sometimes it would be nice to get some of the white stuff though.

You'd said, "Sometimes as you grow older that seems, at times, to be all you have." Thanks for the gentle reminder. I am not very good at saving things. I have thrown away stuff I'd wished I'd saved. One day I'll be glad I saved it.

I enjoy reading your blog, maybe that's why I comment so often. :) Maybe I like reading how things are on the other side of the "pond." haha

Lori said...

I'm glad to know that my son is not the only one who really hates writing. I feel like I'm losing a battle with him at times.

Jamie has asked for an ant farm, I may have to just break down and buy one along with a butterfly garden. Both are so neat!