Geodes, Butterflies, and A Cultural Exchange

We had such an amazing last day off-- though you'd never know we weren't "doing school."

I love when I see my boys learning; especially when they don't even realize it.

We started our morning rather late with everyone sleeping in (finally!).  Then we laid around watching Harry Potter and The Half- Blood Prince until mid- morning in our jammies.  It was nice and lazy.

While we all ate breakfast I read a few more chapters in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and we're now more than half- way through it.  The boys were pointing out parts that weren't in the movie or some of the parts that had been changed for the movie.  They didn't really have to make any predictions since they know how the series goes but they're building on that knowledge and we're learning a few more details about the wizarding world.

We headed outside after a bit (with a few off us still in our pajamas) and the boys broke open their geodes that they had gotten for Easter.  They love using the hammers and seeing what surprise lays inside since every geode looks a bit different.  They compare stones with one another too. 

One box for each so there's no fighting

Breaking open his geode

"Look at this one!"

We managed to find one thin shard that was see through

This geode is black inside

It's hard work to get the geode to stay in place!
Since I only have two hammers, I also brought out a few boxes of party snaps and the boys had fun flinging them at the ground and hearing them snap.  Alec pretended they were smoke bombs and that he could disappear when he threw one at the ground.

Evan tried experimenting and seeing what happened if you stomped on them, hit them with a hammer, tried to throw them at the grass, the house, the garden, etc.

Once they were all done, Alec made sure everyone picked up any papers that were left around so the birds didn't choke on any.

It was sunny and warm (warm enough to release our butterflies!) so we brought out the butterfly cage and prepared to let them go.  The boys wanted to bring them over to the garden to release them and as soon as we unzipped the case 4 of them flew away.

The fifth butterfly was eating and Ian was able to pick up the entire container of food and we got a real close up view of the butterfly, it's proboscis, body, and feet.  She must have been one hungry butterfly since she drank for a good long time.

We then walked around the yard trying to spot some of the butterflies that hadn't flown very far.  The boys named them all-- mimic, mimicry, mimicer, butterfree, and yards.

 Of course, once they started flying we had no idea which was which since they all looked the same.

They were all anxious and ready to get out of the net

Evan opened it up and a few flew right out

Watching one butterfly eat

Finding butterflies on our lawn
We played sight word hopscotch, rode bikes and played on the swing set.

 Ian jumped off of the swing in mid-air and then tried to measure how far he jumped using his feet-- he counted out 14 feet.  I told him he should get the ruler and see how far he jumped for real.  He went in and brought out the tape measure.  I showed him where the feet and inches were labeled and we found out that he jumped 12.5 feet!

Working together to measure his jump
It started getting cloudy and windy so we headed inside.  The boys played video games on the Wii, DS, Kindle and computer.  They played Harry Potter and read about all the different characters they could unlock and how much more money they needed.  They played Mario brothers, jet pack joyride, and words with friends.

Ian was anxiously waiting for the mail to arrive since he had ordered himself a new toy excavator with his birthday money.  As soon as the mail lady arrived he went out to bring in the mail and we had a bonus waiting for us-- our culture swap box arrived!

We had signed up through Worldwide Culture Swap for a mini swap a few months back and were paired up with a family from just outside London.  We excitedly dove into the box of treasures and looked at all the wonderful English treasures we were sent-- toy buses and cars, key chains, fresh clotted cream fudge, English breakfast tea, postcards, travel books and brochures, maps, a small wooden puzzle, a magnet, an adorable stuffed animal and headband.

We looked through all the postcards and opened the maps.  We sampled some fudge and packed it all back up to show my husband when he got home from work. 

Evan took a picture of the box as soon as I opened it

He also took a picture of the box of fudge we got

His final picture was of his favorite --- this stuffed teddy!

Our box of "England"

Evan was the only one willing to wear the headband.  I love it!

The boys all agreed on how to divide up the toys and things and Evan was off playing.  He brought his stuffed animals into the bathroom and took turns weighing them on our bathroom scale.  Many were too small to even register but he found a few of his larger animals were over a pound.  He weighed himself too and we talked about the differences in his weight versus the stuffed animals.

Ian and Evan played in Ian's room with his new truck and Lego sets.  They made up boat races, pretend tubes for the Lego guys to get pulled behind the boats and they had a blast laughing and giggling together.

It was, what I would call, a perfect last day of our "vacation." 


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