Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy -- meditate on these things.
11/6 - Noah and I were making rice krispie treats and Noah was stirring. He asked for a marshmallow, but I said no, they had to go in the recipe and he could have one of the finished products. Well, he decided to snitch and got a natural lesson. I, only a few feet away in the kitchen, heard him screaming. He had dipped his finger in the melted marshmallow to taste it! I rushed him over to the sink and after a while of running it under the cold water, I made an ice bath in a bowl for him. His finger turned out fine after a few minutes and he had learned a good lesson.
11/6 - Faith put on her own pants from start to finish all by herself.
11/7 - We could not find Jonathan's wallet and figured he had lost it when shopping with Daddy the Saturday before. This was a hard loss because it was filled with hard-earned money. We now have this system where Jonathan clips coupons and if I use one, he gets half the value in cash. He had earned $5 this way and he was very sad to lose it. We prayed that we would find it, but that was not answered right away. It was quite troubling also for my mother-heart. I really wanted to just replace the money for him, but I knew it would be a better lesson for him if I did not. Grown-ups do not magically get their money returned if their wallets are lost. Jonathan even called the grocery store to see if they had it in their lost and found. They did not. We finally gave it up for lost and a hard lesson learned. Then at evening clean up, Jonathan rushed downstairs - he had found his wallet under some other random thing! I reminded him of our prayer that we would find it and he happily thanked God for helping him find it. Then we put a little card in it with his address and phone number and he is more careful to keep track of it. Whew!
11/9 - Our zoo membership expired on the 11th so we decided to take one last trip after women's Bible study this week. We almost did not go because the kids were so crazy and not listening during lunch before we went. At the entrance, they ran ahead to the elevators and I told them that they must ask before running ahead. As soon as we emerged at the top, Jonathan ran ahead. Noah ran four steps and then stopped and asked if he could run ahead to the bathroom (which they both knew was our destination.) I told them that Noah had saved the day. If he had not asked, we'd be turning right around and going home. That incident did the trick and they were fine the rest of the trip, asking to run ahead and staying when I said no. I wasn't so sure at first, but we did end up having a grand fun time at the zoo.
The day was gorgeous, cool and sunny. The animals were active. We spent a lot of time at the lions because both male and female were walking all around. Usually they're just lazing on a rock. The male roared a few times. We had a great view at the window and got to see just how really big these cats are.
The elephants were outside and one of the babies (who is not really such a baby anymore) was playing with a stick.
A lot of the monkeys were asleep, but the young orangutan came up right to the window and was playing with some girls - that was pretty neat!
At the aquarium, it was penguin-feeding time. That was really neat! Two keepers were throwing little fish to them. The water was churning with the happy penguins swimming fast and furiously, jumping in and out and thoroughly enjoying their meal.
Next we discovered that the octopus was off exhibit. This was very disappointing to Jonathan because that's his favorite part of the aquarium. Then he went ahead down stairs and Noah, Faith and I discovered a zookeeper feeding the pearl stingrays and other fish and turtles in a small tank along the ramp. We stayed there so long that Jonathan came back up to see why we weren't coming down. It was really interesting! She had bits of shrimp and squid and other seafood - sometimes she'd just hold it down in the water a few inches against the glass, and the stingray would slide up the glass and you could see the food suck right into her mouth! (The zookeeper told us both stingrays were female.) Sometimes she'd put it in a long grabber stick and tap the sand with it and the stingray would slide over it and eat it up. It turns out they are trained to come to the food when she taps the sand, it's not a wild feeding habit. The turtles were mostly fed by the time we got there. The fish made big snapping sounds as they caught theirs. Noah then remarked that he'd like to be a zookeeper. I told him that they do have summer programs that he could take to learn more about it and he seemed excited about that. So we'll have to see if he'd rather have a zoo membership or the children's museum. I did not bring up that choice at the time. We also learned from the zookeeper that the reason the octopus is "off exhibit" is that it died. She said they are considering getting another one but it's not guaranteed.
When we left the aquarium, Jonathan asked if we could make an elongated penny with the penguin design and I actually said yes. (: But unfortunately, Noah put it in his pocket as we moved on and then when we got home it was no longer in his pocket.
They were also feeding the polar bear but that wasn't as interesting as the other feedings. The sharks were active, swimming all around the tube. Faith was a little nervous when they swam right by her with all those teeth!
There is a new baby sea lion, very cute. I saw the river otters for the first time, somehow I never went off to that side - they were feeding them also.
The kids played at the kids' kingdom playground for quite a while (I think that's where Noah lost the penny) and then it was closing time. It had been a great day at the zoo!
On the way home, the check engine light started blinking at me, and I called Jon to ask what I should do. Pretty much right when he said I should pull over, I noticed that the car was no longer accelerating, so I pulled into a restaurant parking lot, but I didn't really park. I used the computer diagnostic to find out that the error was "random misfire detected". Jon looked it up and found it could be anything. The people I had parked in came out from their dinner but were able to get around me without having to push me.
Jon said to go ahead and try coming home, but the car stalled right after starting and then wouldn't start. So I called AAA and Jon borrowed the neighbor's minivan and headed down. They both arrived at about the same time - we barely had time to transfer all the kids/seats/stuff before it was time to put our car on the tow truck. Then Jon drove with the tow truck and I drove behind to our mechanic (back to Pittsburgh!). Then Jon drove us home and returned the neighbor's van. We had a quick late dinner and the pretty much just collapsed into bed.
The next day, it turned out that the real problem was that the car had run out of gas! I was planning on getting some on the way home, but did not think we were that low. (Our gauge is broken and always says full, so we have to go by mileage.) The restaurant I stopped at was just yards from a gas station. If I had not had that check engine light, I might have figured out right away that it was a gas problem. So it cost us a bunch of money and a lot of time (and borrowed car juggling). ):
Thursday, 11/11, was a midwife appointment. As per my usual, I measured 4cm above my 24 weeks. My iron is still low, but I had not been diligent about my molasses. So now I am working more at that. Everything else was just fine.
It turned out that that day was chicken processing day at the midwife's farm. We decided to make a field trip of it and stay to watch. C (the midwife) had all her kids out helping, and two teenage neighbor boys who had done it before. We got to watch the whole process: boy catches live chicken, head down in cone, head off, plunge in rinse water, plunge in hot water to loosen feathers, plucking machine, finish plucking by hand, gutting, hold in ice water, weighing, final rinsing, and finally to freezer bag.
I now know first hand what it means about the chicken running with its head cut off. Though I'd call it jumping rather than running. Most of the birds stayed in their cones as they convulsed, but a few were small enough to slip through and go fluttering and hopping all around the yard. The plucker was kind of neat, a small drum on a motor attached to the side of the picnic table. The drum had little rubber fingers that rubbed off the feathers as it spun around. Feathers went flying all over when they used that. Jon and Noah ended up helping with that part at times. Jon did the plucker and Noah finished off tail feathers with pliers.
We got a little anatomy lesson, but C was not so sure on some of the organs. She cut open a gizzard for us and we saw the little gravel pieces that help grind the food. The windpipe looked to me just like the neck of a clam.
We stayed for lunch (Noah wanted the chicken, but it was not ready yet!) and did a lot of talking and playing during the process. It was a very interesting and even fun time, though I'm glad I didn't have to cut any heads off.
In the car on the way home, Jonathan's other front tooth came out. So now he has the big gap! It does make him talk a bit funny and I was wondering if the slight lisp he had before will go away once his big teeth come in and can hold his tongue back more.
11/13 - Jon helped church people rake leaves and take down a tree. In the evening, we went to another bluegrass jam. The boys had a blast in the barn - they went in the upper part this time and got to jump down into a pile of hay. Someone had made a strawberry rhubarb pie, oh yummy! Elaine said I could take it home at the end, since amazingly there was some left. (I guess some people aren't so hot on rhubarb.)
11/14 - Faith said, "Noah" clearly and correctly. She also had clean underwear all day long, with a major success in the potty.
We also went over to our former pastor's house to get a bunkbed and freezer they had offered us (they're moving to where he got a new job.) We ended up getting several other things that they were just planning on putting in a dumpster. The bunkbed is very sturdy and will be great. It's a double on the bottom and a single on top. It does take up a lot of room upstairs but it fits and it will be great as our family grows.
Today, the kids got a letter/package from Grandma in the mail. In it was an old photo id card of Dad's. Faith saw it first and immediately said, "Dad-o!"
These next couple of days and weeks will be busy with Grandma and Dad-o's arrivals and Jonathan's birthday and Thanksgiving. Probably you will get more info on the happenings at Mom's blog. (link on sidebar, Lift Up Your Hearts.) But my pocket will be filling up with notes and they will get posted eventually. (: