Saturday, August 28, 2010

Memories and Ant Lions

Memories. I love sharing special things with my children. I like to tell them about the crazy adventures my siblings and I had (or created) as a child. I like doing things with them like collecting cicada skins and squeezing the buds on a crepe myrtle to make them bloom and catching ant lions.

Mr. Big
Ant lions are so interesting – I like using a blade of grass to disturb their home and watch them throw sand to rebuild it. So, the little guys and I went out yesterday afternoon and caught a couple of ant lions. Little boys are not very patient and ant lions do not build very fast when those little boys are blowing on the dirt and ‘helping’ the ant lions by digging in the sand. So, leave those ant lions alone overnight and …
Two ant lion funnels! At the top of the picture is Mr. Big's funnel and the small, shallow one at the bottom of the photos was made by Wanderlust.

Black ant struggling at the bottom of Wanderlust's home. Of course Wanderlust was not at home, so we "rescued" him from the funnel and put him on a path straight to Wanderlust!
Now to feed them. Sure, ant lions eat ants - that part is easy enough, but these ant lions are INSIDE my house and as far as I can tell, ants are NOT! So Kirk and FRitW went outside with explicit instructions to catch no more than TWO ants and definitely not fire ants! So a quick return with two tiny live black ants and one tiny dead black ant and we were in business. The first ant we shook in ended up right at the bottom of the smaller ant lion funnel, but that ant lion was not at home. The second ant took a bit more work and some chasing on the kitchen table before it ended up in the larger ant lion funnel where to the delight of our bloodthirsty crew it was promptly caught and eaten!
See those two dark lines at the bottom of the funnel? Those are his pinchers, spread open.  The tiny ant is actually touching the pincher on the left in the picture.

Then we noticed movement in the bowl and found the first ant lion just cruising around checking out the scenery. We also noticed two live ants. Wait! Two? Yep, turns out that dead black ant just wasn’t so dead! Ant #1 had been freed from the empty ant lion funnel and was cruising around headed for the same scenery Wanderlust Ant Lion was enjoying, but Mr. Not So Dead Ant was free and out of danger. So, we pushed him into Big Ant Lion’s funnel. Immediately Big Ant Lion attacked! Whoo-ee! We thought we knew why this guy was so big, until…he threw it back out of his funnel! These ant lions can throw things pretty far. I guess one ant is enough and he didn’t want this ant messing up his funnel. Or maybe he is watching his waist line?
Enjoying the show!

The single living ant has disappeared, hopefully into the stomach of Wanderlust or Mr. Big and not into my kitchen. Tomorrow, we’ll think about returning them to the dirt outside – after one more ant breakfast.


Friday, August 27, 2010

The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew

If you read my blog regularly you know that I like to craft, I like to share photos of my kids, and that I am a homeschool mom. You might also have noticed that there have been 3 reviews of homeschool products. Well, as much as I enjoy talking with my friends about the curriculum and teaching tools I use with my children, I thought I would enjoy being on The Old Schoolhouse (TOS) Homeschool Crew. So I applied and I was accepted!

Now, what is the TOS Homeschool Crew you ask? Well maybe you didn't, but since I am writing this blog I asked for you! The Homeschool Crew is a group of blogging homeschooling parents that receive products to review with their children. After trying these products out - and we use them for quite a while (not just a week or two) before sharing our thoughts - we post a balanced and fair review about the product.

I have been reading the TOS Crew reviews for a year now and it is wonderful to get the opinion of other parents before buying curriculum, games, or tools. I am excited to be a part of this group and hope that my opinions and the opinions of the Crew are helpful to you.

Be looking for my first official review early next week!


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Anybody Else?

Maggie started this - but it is really working for me, so I'm passing the idea along.

I have a temperature gauge in my car that shows the current outside temperature. So as we drive into town for football practice I have to look at this:   
Actually, this temperature is pretty tolerable - we just had a 'cold front' move through (Yes, the meteorologist laughed as he announced this!). But it is definitely better than the 104 degrees with feels like temps of 112 that we had on Monday.

Since the 6 degrees between Monday and today made such a difference outside, wouldn't 60 degrees make me feel soooo cool? Well, that is a simple adjustment. Maggie just pushes the Celsius button on my car and instantly it is:

Yay! Isn't that wonderful? I feel cool and refreshed!

Too bad this doesn't work in winter. We know, we tried it and all that Celsius button does is make it colder! Oh well - in this part of Texas this works 8 out of 12 months!


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Papertrey August Blog Hop Challenge

I am participating in the Papertrey Ink Blog Hop this month!

The challenge this month is Brown Paper Bags. "In honor of school going back into session everywhere, we thought it would be fun to issue a Brown Bag Challenge. We want to see what you can do to dress up, alter, change an ordinary brown lunch bag into a paper crafting work of art. You could modify it to become a gift bag with handles, create a card base by folding it in half (complete with a slide out tag), add a window to it or whatever else you can dream up. After the hop is through, we should all have plenty of inspiration to help us create amazing projects with inexpensive brown bags! "

Every year my mom and I put together Fall gift baskets for friends and family. After seeing Papertrey Ink's new fall stamps this month, I knew they would be perfect to make some fall packaging for our baskets.

I used my Papertrey Ink Leaf Prints dies to cut a leaf shape from my brown bag and filled the window with a stamped and embossed leaf on Rustic Cream cardstock. I also cut several leaves for the notepad and tag and used the Leaf Prints stamp set and a red, yellow, orange, and brown inks to stamp variegated leaves.

Some Polka Dot Parade paper, Terracotta Tile paper, and sentiments from the Friendship Jar Fall Fillers stamp set complete my gift bag. The tag is made with the Bookmark die.

I bought a Zutter Bind-It-All recently and made the notepad out of a corrugated cardboard box and some cardstock. I thought the notepad and a couple of Yankee candle votives would fit perfectly in my gift bag.

Click here to enjoy the rest of the Papertrey Ink Blog Hop!