Monday, April 24, 2017

Learning is A Part of Living

Random homeschooling moments come all the time.  This one was of a bird that must have stunned itself hitting a window.  Bug was in doing her vision therapy to correct insufficient convergence and Bubby was in doing PT.  I have never seen Bud so tender with an animal (except our current rabbit) while he and Pumpkin kept the bird safe in this box.  Eventually the bird flew away and they enjoyed their time with it.

Bug attempted some mixed media art using yarn, and whatever nature could provide.  She's not so afraid to try unconventional things anymore and that makes me happy.

Music therapy for Bubby and everyone got to try some new instruments. After struggling to get any noise out of the trumpets we watched a few videos later of  famous people like Louie Armstrong and they had a greater sense of respect for their musical ability.

Bubbalicious is particularly fond of guitars.

A snake we found in our backyard that we followed to it's hiding place.  Of course it lead to an extensive internet search to try and figure out what it was.  We never positively identified it and sadly it has since decided to find a new home.  

One of our hikes and our Bug in her element.  Aside from finding her favorite ladybugs, we must have hit upon a mating season for this following beetle.  She was so fascinate by it we went back later that afternoon so she could bring some home to watch.  It was our trip to the Natural History museum that helped us identify it as the Blister Beetle.  We were lucky on our capture of it but have since learned that this insect will pop a blood vessel in it's joint causing it to ooze a yellowish blood that can cause skin to blister painfully.  The reason for the numbers we saw was due to the flowering brittlebush found all around those hills.

Our crazy engineer!  I am rather impressed sometimes at the tunnels this boy can create.

We've had two geodes that we've been dying to get open and thankfully we have an awesome remodeling firend who also owns a wet saw.  This is the result!

Another Bug find, this time in our own garden.  We solicited the thoughts of other bug loving friends and wondered between it being a cicada or a moth.  It turns out my guess of it being a 'cutworm' moth was right in the end.

We learned about and organization called Produce on Wheels.  It came about due to a TED Teen talk we watched as a family that showed how much food is being wasted by our society. 

It was really enlightening and as a result I looked to see what was being done in our area.  Produce on Wheels is a organization that takes produce that is being thrown away and distributes it once a week at differing locations.  For $10 we get nearly 60lbs of veggies and fruits.  The money really goes to the cost of trucks and gas, everything else is run by volunteers and so I signed us up so my kiddos could get a first hand look of how much waste might happen without our help.  We were kept super busy bagging peppers and tomatoes into recycled grocery bags for those passing through the lines.  It was a really good experience on many levels.

Many of the volunteers were retired people on fixed incomes.  Through volunteering they were able to get their veggies for free.  Many of those in line who paid were also on a fixed income, others were immigrants who had very little English, some were young families who had the look of hippes with peasant skirts and carrying the babies on their backs - earth friendly if you will.  Clearly vegetarian and eager for the break this would give on their budgets.  I have to chuckle that despite not looking like them, our family clearly falls in this category now. 

All in all, they were happy people, grateful for the food and our service in distributing it.  I was warned in advance by another volunteer that there would be some who would 'nitpick'.  I was surprised by this, after all it was an amazing deal and with the massive amount we were trying to quickly pick through and package I figured anyone would just be happy with what we got.  We met up soon with such an individual.  Seeing my daughter hand out the tomatoes she opened the bag and began to intimidate her.  "This has a spot, give me another!", "This one is bruised, change it out for me!", "This is terrible, just give me another tomato!"  At this point I intervened.  I picked out the nicest one I could find, held out my hand for the offending fruit and exchanged it with the words, "That will do." 

We talked about it later.  We gave tips to Bug how to handle such situations and most of all we wondered what would make an individual so unhappy and ungrateful. It was a good lesson in perspective and how to handle difficult people.

It was neat to give back to our community and help make a difference with the things we have learned about.  It's the follow through with what we learn and using it to make a difference.   We love homeschooling!

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