Saturday, February 28, 2009

Are Earthgirl and Pluto Boy Space Cadets?

Where did my family get those spacy nicknames?

About 4 years ago, Earthgirl and I went to lunch at Fazoli's. {We will now observe a moment of silence as we mourn the closing of our local Fazoli's.} .....OK, I'm better now. Anyway, with her child's meal she received a little plastic space ship. I thought, and in fact said to my husband, that I'd be tossing it out in a few days. Instead, my husband "flew" it in to visit Earthgirl, complete with 50's-style space movie sound effects. "Pluto Boy to Earthgirl. Come in Earthgirl," he radioed. "This is Earthgirl," she replied, and a conversation began that has not let up yet.

As Pluto Boy chatted with Earthgirl, they discussed his travel route through the planets. He would buy candy bars at Mars, stay at the Jupiter Motel, tell her about weather on Pluto, and in a short time, Earthgirl could name and spell the planets in order.

Pluto Boy sometimes has trouble with his homework (he goes to Pluto School), and his teacher has always a encouraged him to work with Earthgirl. He has gotten her help with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and will probably need some help with his division, too. Last year, their separate Sunday School teachers used the same curriculum, so Pluto Boy and Earthgirl worked on memory verses together. Pluto Boy is in AWANA at his Pluto Church, too. As Pluto Boy soars above our atmosphere, he asks Earthgirl about the geography he sees. Today, Pluto Boy asked Earthgirl how a "pick" works in basketball on earth.

She introduces him to EVERY new toy she receives, and a few of her Earth friends have had a chance to talk with Pluto Boy.

You may wonder if I have any voice in this fun conversation. I'm a bit player; sometimes I am Pluto Mommy, sometimes Earthmommy, occasionally I am Suki, or Scrimshaw, or one of Pluto Boy's buddies from Neptune and Jupiter. I am the artist who has captured Wilson, a Jupiterian friend on paper. (He has a zippy little flying saucer, a striped shirt, and hair that stands on end. Thanks to Mark Kistler's books for teaching me to draw friends from outer space)

I wish I could see, when a toy comes into this house, what it's value is going to be. Some of our most expensive toys have been temporary distractions, while some cheap little giveaways have been most valuable. But it's pretty clear to me that the very most valuable "toy" for one little Earthgirl is her very own Daddy.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Friday Night Forty-something Date Night

Last Friday: Cappuccino from Kangaroo, then watching our little girl at Upward basketball practice.

Tonight: Probably the same thing, then pizza and shopping at Staples. We need - get this - staples.

K-Sue and Pluto Boy

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dolly things

A while ago, Earthgirl spied this book in the Library.

She has had lots of fun making goodies for her American Girl dolls. We will check this one out again soon.

Nellie is modeling her fairy crown Earthgirl made all by herself. And Samantha's swimsuit (which took a little adult assistance) is made from a sock! Pretty cute, huh?

DISCLAIMER: Samantha can't swim.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I was created for good works

Created for Good Works was a working title when I first put this blog together. I did not mean for it to be permanent; I thought it would be hard to live up to this title, and feared others might think I thought more highly of myself than I ought. But the more I looked at the title, the more I liked it. As I put words out there for friends and strangers to see, I want to remind myself that even my words are supposed to be good works.
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2: 8-10 NASB
In the passage of Ephesians preceeding this, the Apostle Paul tells the Ephesians and us that God set His love on us, that He reached out through Christ's sacrifice (his very blood!) to draw us to Him. Then in this little section, he tells us that we were created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them... The rest of Ephesians fleshes out these truths - God's love for us, who we are in Christ, how we ought to behave as Christians.

I'm going to read Ephesians two or three times over the next few days. I'll read it once fast, to get the big picture, then I will read it again at the savor pace. I want to remind myself of Who I belong to and how I ought to live. God is creative; He created me; I am created in His image; therefore, I am creative. This blog is a creation for me. It had better be a "good work."

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Ditto with a cold snake

Right after I read Sciencegeek's comment, I looked out on the back porch and saw this:

Friday, February 20, 2009

Two Truths

1. A broom handle makes a pretty good tool for transporting a snake from indoors to outdoors.

2. A cold lizard is easier to catch than a warm lizard.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

And the stash became...

...little Valentine bears!

I like the way they cover their eyes when you pin on their little ears.

I think this pattern minus the ears would make a cute gingerbread man at Christmas time. You can get a copy of this pattern at Bunny Hill Designs' site has several free patterns.

A Beary Sweet Mystery

What is this little stash going to be?

Homeschool Resource: Homeschool Freebie of the Day

Here is a site I check regularly:
The Erskine family relishes in presenting a variety of materials via download - curriculum samplers, electronic copies of old books, radio dramatizations, coloring pages, homeschool how-to's - you never know what you will see next. This week's offerings are typical:
Monday, Feb 16th:
Great President's Day Resource Links! (links)

Want to make the most of President's Day? Check out these
Lesson Plans, virtual tours, poetry & the actual papers
of presidents Washington & Lincoln!
Tuesday, Feb 17th:
A Chinese Wonder Book (PDF ebook)

This fascinating collection of Chinese stories and legends,
edited by Maggie Hogan of Bright Ideas Press, is a great
literature-based introduction to the rich history and
culture of China. Includes a read-aloud guide.

Wednesday, Feb 18th:
"Harriet Tubman & the Railway to Freedom" (MP3 audio)

A classic old time radio dramatization of the story of
Harriet Tubman and the activities of
the "underground railroad" during slave years.

Thursday, Feb 19th:
Blessed Is The Man: High School Unit Study Sampler (PDF ebook)

"Blessed is the Man" is a wonderful High School Unit Study
geared to Christian young men, and based on Psalm 1.
Today's resource is this extensive 74 page preview
of the complete four year curriculum - normally $10 on the
publisher's website - but yours to download today!
If you have growing boys in your household, DON'T MISS THIS!

Friday, Feb 20th:
Creatively Simple: How to Make Butter in the Blender (PDF ebook)

Learning to make butter is something everyone should do at least once.
This simple ebook by Penny Raine can teach you how, using items you
probably already have in your kitchen. Detailed instructions and lots of

You can get all of these on their respective days at
Check it out!

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I found a fun little free photo-editing site, The tilt-shift edit makes your photos look a little like miniatures. There are real tilt-shift cameras that have a special purpose, but this site gives rank amateurs like me a chance to play. It works best with wide distance shots -- beach scenes, stadium scenes, etc. Tilt-shift turned my Daddy's antique tractors into toys! Here is the "before" picture, from their front yard this Christmas:

And here is the edited picture. Lots of fun.

Saturday, February 14, 2009 a little child

A few weeks ago, I was a helper during children's church. One little girl, a smart, effervescent little ball of energy...disobeyed. She disobeyed her teacher, then she diobeyed me twice, by continuing what she was doing when told to stop. {a note to say that I love my friend, Crispy's phrase on obedience: the right way, right away, and with a happy heart} I took the young lady out into the hallway for a little chat, which ended with her realization and acknowledgment that her actions were, indeed, disobedient, and that a little Christ-follower should obey.

So far, this has been a lesson for a little girl, but now the lesson began for the big helper. I expected a cool grudge from her, a refusal to meet my eyes. This would be my reaction as a child. I was ready to treat her as normally as I could (i.e., the grown-up perspective - it's over and forgiven), but I expected to be rebuffed, and I was going to give her a little space. Instead, at the next opportunity to obey her teacher, she obeyed immediately, looking sideways at me with a little smile. Then near the end of our time together, she presented me with this.

When I do something wrong, I can be uncomfortable even when forgiven. I can hold a grudge for years. I can just plain not learn obedience. But I am going to try to remember this lesson - to learn from my disobedience, to obey God, to present Him my heart. Happy Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Inpromptu Science Lesson

On cold mornings, the warmest spot in our house is the front window. Earthgirl enoyed the static electricity that resulted from sitting in the sunshine over carpet near polyester (probably) curtains. Her hair stood straight out all morning.

A teeny red string came from nowhere to adhere itself to the curtains, inspiring a little experiment. How strong was the static pull? She pulled it away, then released it again and again. We got out a ruler to see how strong the pull was. At about 10 inches, the string would fly right to the curtain. At about 14 inches, it would drop down, but still wind up stuck to the curtain before it hit the floor.

Now I know the next step should have been internet research on static electricity, maybe a search at the Library, but sometimes we just ought to say, "Isn't that cool?" and enjoy the science.
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