Friday, August 20, 2010

Metamorphosis: Take Three

The monarch has emerged!

These caterpillars ate voraciously! Luke captured eight of them, and I wondered whether my milkweed would survive the constant picking of leaves and branches! It was amazing watching them eat the leaves -- chomp, chomp, chomp, row by row, like little corn on the cob munchers.

Watching them enter their pupa stage was also amazing. They hang upside down for hours, and finally, with much squirming, burst their outer skin and peel it off, revealing this green, featureless blob.

And then a monarch butterfly comes out! It's incredible!

It astounds me that God chose this means for butterfly development. He could have just had adult butterflies give birth to live baby butterflies. Why egg, larva, pupa and then adult? Perhaps metamorphosis exists, at least in part, to give us a glimpse of just how creative, powerful and mind-bogglingly sovereign our creator is.

Communication Breakdown

Elijah, pointing to a spider: "I believe that is a spider."

Me: "That is a true belief."

Elijah, looking at me quizzically: "Who's ever heard of a troobeleaf?" He eyed the spider again and declared, "I saw another troobleleaf in the van."

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Getting Old Ain't for Kids

"I just don't know about growing up. I don't know what I'm going to do, where I'll live, where to get my groceries or how to pay the gas bill." ~ Isaac, age 8

Friday, August 13, 2010

Plan "B" is for "Breakfast"

A funny thing happened in the kitchen this morning (and thankfully it had nothing to do with the caterpillars, grasshoppers or crickets). Isaac asked if he could make muffins for breakfast, which I delightedly agreed to. This was his second time making this particular recipe, so I stood back a little and let him take the lead. Perhaps I should have led (or at least paid attention) just a little more than I did though. After he got the batter all spooned into the muffin tins, he swiped a finger around the inside of the mixing bowl, licked it, and pulled a pucker face.

"This tastes weird," he declared.

I also tasted the batter and WHOO-EEEE! That was some batter!

"Isaac, do you remember how much salt you put in?" I asked.

"Let me look. It says right here. Three-fourths cup."

Oh dear, that says three-fourths of a TEASPOON!

We cooked 'em up anyway and served them to his brothers, just for kicks, and then pulled out the cold cereal.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

More Metamorphosis

Another miracle has occurred in the kitchen, and I'm not talking about Wade making dinner, which he does with enough frequency as to negate it being a miracle. Luke's second caterpillar has emerged as a butterfly!

Sorry about the lack of clarity. Taking sharp pictures through a mason jar is a challenge beyond my photographing capabilities.

After he formed his chrysalis, we did a little on-line research and read that this type of caterpillar winters over in its chrysalis. Oh boy, I thought. This pupa is going to live on my kitchen counter until next spring? For the sake of science and my son, so be it. So imagine my delight when it emerged after only nine days rather than 180! (Guess whoever wrote that internet article hadn't done quite enough research. Perhaps the late summer chrysalis-makers winter over, but not this one!)

It's a black swallowtail, and Luke discovered its emergence early enough that it wasn't yet ready to fly when we released it from its jar, thus allowing plenty of time for some fun shots of Luke and his little beloved pet.

Stay tuned for more metamorphosis news as we currently have another three chrysalises and eight caterpillars living in jars and an aquarium on the kitchen counter (or should I say in our science lab).

Monday, August 09, 2010

Moving mountains... or not

Sometimes I wonder why we don't see more mountains moving, when all it takes is a mustard seed's worth of faith. I can think of a few figurative (and one literal) mountain I'd love to see move (actually I'd like to see the literal one replicate, because I don't want it gone from where it is; I just want it visible from here as well). And I have absolute (at least mustard seed-sized) faith that God can make it happen. So why doesn't it?

I know, God's ways are so far above my ways that I get dizzy even trying to look up that high. But it does make me wonder whether my faith is really much smaller than I think it is.

I've noticed, with disturbing frequency, that the more my faith grows, the punier and more pathetic it appears to be. It's like I'm hiking in the mountains, and just when I scale a massive cliff and think I must be getting near the top, the mist lifts and I realize that I'm only just clearing the foothills. Although I've come so far, the top is farther away than ever.

I don't say this in a whiny way. I'm not complaining that the journey is long. It's encouraging to reach those points when things become clearer, even when what you see isn't what you expected or perhaps wanted. But it does make me wonder whether my faith, which I feel is maybe almond sized, is actually so so so much smaller than I know. Perhaps it still has a whole lot of growing to do before it's able to move mountains.

Overheard in a house full of boys

Isaac as he came to the breakfast table: "My boogers are extra crusty this morning."

Levi's exclamation on finding a cucumber as big as a dinner glass: "Pokey fright!"

Elijah's favorite way to preface something serious he's about to address: "You might notice that..." (as in "Dad, you might notice that my owie is getting better," or "Mom, you might notice that my shirt is very dirty.")

And this sympathetic doctoral advice from Isaac to Luke, who was complaining of a tummy ache while we sang the national anthem at Saturday's rodeo: "It's okay Lukey, you're supposed to put your hand right there anyway when we sing this song."

Thursday, August 05, 2010

A well-thought-out plan

Isaac: I've been thinking of running away.

Me: Where would go?

Isaac: Well, I was thinking that you should drive ahead of me and put little paper arrows in the places I should turn, all the way to Nana and Papa's.