08 April 2015

My Surreal Life

We woke up to a thunderstorm this morning, and Brynning has been sitting at the table counting seconds between flashes and rumbles.  He kept asking what x was divided by 5, (division being still a work in progress).  Apparently current childhood lore holds that one calculates the distance to the storm by counting the seconds between flash and rumble, then dividing the result by five for the number of miles.

Now, when I was a child, I was taught that the number of seconds equals the number of miles, no division required.  Having explained this, I was just about to say "Let's google it and find out which is right" when my husband announced "Let's derive it.  We know the speed of sound, so we should be able to figure it out."  And then proceeded to sit down and do just that.

What makes this even more surreal is, that every scientist who reads this is probably thinking "Of course; that makes perfect sense" and not even realizing how totally bizarre that is.  Because the speed of sound (or light, for that matter) is not something that the average person just knows off the top of his head, let alone how to "derive" the answer to the previous question.

P.S. The Mad Scientist has concluded that dividing the number of seconds by five is essentially correct.

24 January 2015


The end of a long journey, the beginning of another.
Everyone has been asking "Where's Iain?!"  So to assuage the curiosities of all, and set rumors to rest, let me reassure you that my sweet 2-year-old was, indeed, present at my Confirmation.  He held my hand during the entire ceremony (all 15 or so minutes).  Then when the camera came out, he burst into tears and ran, and refused to be comforted, so we took the picture without him. 

27 October 2014

A New Unit Study

     We've finished studying the American Revolution, and are moving into a new unit on American Government; quite appropriate, it seemed, with elections only a few weeks off.  So today we discussed the three branches of government and the concept of checks and balances.  We're making a lapbook, so Brynning put together a mini-book on the three branches:

     His concept of the function of the Executive branch may be more accurate than he knows.  (For the record, I did explain that "to execute" in this instance is supposed to mean "to carry out".  He came up with the firing squad on his own.)

10 March 2014

He's going to elope

Today the Yarn Harlot posted about her book signing in Phoenix.  Benjamin is supposed to be in bed, sleeping, but he wandered out (he does this at least once a night) and happened to be looking over my shoulder when my jaw hit the floor over Hannah's Chuppah.  (It's towards the bottom.  Scroll down and think to yourself "This is what knitters without children can accomplish.")

He wanted to know what it was, so we followed the link to the wikipedia page, and I showed him the pictures.  See the one that taken during an actual ceremony?  He wanted to know why there were so many people there.  I explained that it was a wedding, and lots of people come to weddings.  He said "Why would you want so many people at your wedding?  I think that would be a little disturbing."

29 December 2013


Brynning attempts to slide his plate under his toast (still on the toaster rack) so as not to have to put down his book.  Discovering this is not possible, he moves to the next obvious solution:  Find someplace to set the plate.  (Never the book!)

13 October 2013

Compare and contrast

And with that title, you know I'm going to talk about my two oldest boys, because really, how could two people with the same two parents possibly be as completely opposite as these two are?  I remain stunned and amazed.

David was doing some carving earlier, and decided to try a technique for roughing out the bowl with a chainsaw that several other carvers have recommended.  Benjamin shared his thoughts on the best way to do this and, when David looked skeptical, struck a casual pose, donned a professional expression, and said "Here, Daddy, give me the chainsaw and I'll show you how to do it."  (This is the five-year-old.)

Half an hour later we were sitting at dinner when Brynning suddenly looked up from his nachos and said "Non-existence is so hard to think about."  And quietly went back to eating.

The whiplash is killing me.

16 September 2013

Funny, funny

My children have been rather hilarious lately.  I've been especially impressed by the very dry, sarcastic sense of humor being displayed by Brynning recently - wow.  So I thought I'd share some things that made me laugh in the last few weeks.

First up, Iain, who made his first joke two weeks ago.  And this isn't so much funny as just a chance to brag, so skip to the next paragraph if you don't like cute stories about other people's children.  The older three monkeys are taking an art class one morning a week, and I sit in the studio with Iain and keep him out of stuff in the meanwhile.  He discovered a shelf full of gallon jugs of acrylic paint, and I figured it wouldn't hurt anything if he pulled them off and put them away a few times.  I seized the opportunity to begin teaching him his colors.  First he pulled the blue jug off and I dutifully announced "Blue!"  Next was yellow, which I also labelled for him.  After a few times I asked him "Which one is blue?" and he picked up the yellow jug, announced "LOO!", and laughed.  I replied "No, silly, that's Yellow!", whereupon he picked up the blue jug and proclaimed "LE-LO" before laughing delightedly.

So, Brynning.  Yesterday I finished up a long day by doctoring a puncture wound in Audrey's foot before sitting down and hauling through a scientific paper that I promised to edit for a friend.  Sometime around suppertime I announced that I was pretty certain I deserved a super-hero cape and leotard, and was sternly informed "Yes, you can wear that...into the bathroom, and then lock the door until you change into something else."  I thought I had another year or two before he was old enough to be embarrassed by his own mother.

And speaking of my sons, Benjamin and Brynning had the most fascinating conversation with me in the car two days ago, that was just such a perfect illustration of the difference between my two oldest boys.  We were driving down the main road when a guy pulled up next to us on a fancy motorcycle.  Brynning announced "That's what I want!"  "Those kinds of motorcycles are called Crotch Rockets" I informed him (not without wondering if I would regret having dispensed that particular piece of information).  "Oh," he replied, "never mind.  I thought it was a scooter."  Simultaneously, Benjamin cried with delight "YES!  That's what I want!  A CROCK POT!"

When I stopped laughing enough to re-enunciate the title (No, dear, it's a crotch rocket.) he tried again.  "Oh, that's what I meant.  A Crock Pocket." Regardless, he is all about fast, and dangerous.  Oh, mercy!