Archive for April, 2010

Impromptu science lesson on various bees…

Posted by KK on Monday, 12 April, 2010

We don’t kill things here….like, not anything. Even bugs. We breed bugs for Pete’s sake (good kinds for feeding to our pets) so bugs are our friends here. We only recently began using actual store-bought ant killer when our sugar/borax solution wasn’t quite doing it for us anymore. So a huge dilemma we’ve had lately are the bees. We have an enormous back deck. It is like oddly huge almost like our previous owner was compensating for a lack of something. Every time we go out on the deck we are gravely annoyed by the bees. Today was no different when I decided that if we’re gonna finish school lessons this year it HAS to be outside in this gorgeous weather. So we packed up everything and set up camp on the picnic table and got to work. Within minutes came the distractions.

Hence the impromptu science lesson whereas science wasn’t even on the schedule for this day….another beauty of homeschooling.

Here’s the skinny on bees…

What are these huge bees that almost try to fly directly into our faces? Are they bumble bees? honey bees?

They are most likely carpenter bees but here’s how to be sure…

Carpenter bees resemble bumble bees, but the upper surface of their abdomen is bare and shiny black; bumble bees have a hairy abdomen with at least some yellow markings.

Male carpenter bees are quite aggressive, often hovering in front of people who are around the nests. The males are quite harmless, however, and since they lack stingers their aggressive behavior is merely for show or bluff. Female carpenter bees can inflict a painful sting but seldom will unless they are handled or molested. (yes, we’re still talkin’ ’bout bees here…)

Lesson learned: I love honey bees and know their population is dwindling away. It’s easy to identify these as they are much smaller than a carpenter bee or bumble bee but larger than a sweat bee. I also know bumble bees largely burrow in the ground. Bumble bees don’t store their honey in large enough quantities to make it practical for commercial purposes and they do a great deal of pollinating our beautiful plants and flowers so we leave those alone.
Carpenter bees…well…I’ll go ahead and admit that I just sent 4 to live with Jesus and am feeling no guilt whatsoever. Bottom line: My quick research has concluded that they are useless and when I am out trying to school my boys on our back deck while enjoying the sunshine and a bully male carpenter bee hovers in my face….Imma grab my badminton racket.

A quick talent audition turned into interview…

Posted by KK on Monday, 5 April, 2010

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I could make videos of this child every single day. He is the funniest kid we’ve ever known. He knows lyrics to songs we’ve never heard…apparently through his cousins and/or their Lego Rock Band video game. Yet still he all but refuses to memorize his alphabet and other simple pre-kindergarten activities. I won’t worry. He’ll come around.

He is risen indeed!

Posted by KK on Sunday, 4 April, 2010

We hope you all had an amazing Easter Sunday with your families! We did with our boys! We went to an 8 am service at church because we taught our 2nd grade class at 9:30 so we were up and out the door very early. The only family photo we have was taken by a friend as we were rushing in to the early service. After church we went to my moms for lunch and lots of playing with cousins. We didn’t do an Easter egg hunt or anything this year. We do not do baskets or anything with our boys and most of their cousins if not all know there is no bunny. I did do something neat with our boys this Easter. I grabbed an inexpensive vine wreath at a craft store, one about the size of someone’s head, and we stuck toothpicks all in it to resemble the thorns they pierced Jesus’ head with. We asked the boys to remove a toothpick from the vine every time they made a sacrifice for someone else throughout the weekend. It was neat to hear what they viewed as a sacrifice for another. After they all went to sleep on Saturday night, I removed all the toothpicks from the crown and replaced them with shiny white and silver ribbon. On Easter morning, after we read the passages about Jesus’ resurrection, I showed them the crown. It was beautiful and it really gave them a sweet visual about how Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for all of us.

I should mention my baby niece was in town all weekend so this was a huge treat for me! I can’t get enough of this child. She is so precious.

The Great Smoky Mountains and Good Friday

Posted by KK on Friday, 2 April, 2010

How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Jason and I took the boys to the Smokies today for a quiet hike in the mountains to reflect on what Jesus did for each and every one of us on this glorious day. Apparently many others had the same idea so it wasn’t very quiet in the mountains but still gorgeous. We’re so thrilled to live so very close to such a beautiful landscape. Our good friend, Matt, owns and operates his adventure company called Adventures Beyond and also teaches Lake gymnastics. We gave him lots of free advertising hiking through the mountains wearing his shirts. Check him out at ~ We adore him and his wife and their three boys!