I am always intrigued by the enthusiasm which intermediate students have towards science. Every single student without exception seems to have a curiousity and fascination with conducting experiments, especially if there is some kind of chemical reaction that takes place. For the past month or so I have been teaching our fifth graders about mixtures and solutions. Today was kind of a finale where they created their own experiment. I required them to submit a detailed plan, including constants and variables. They did a great job and had a blast! It has been an effective unit in preparing them for the science WASL (state test).
Every winter after Christmas, Esther decorates the living room with an African theme. She hauls out all of the old curios from Nigeria which were handed down to me by my parents. It always stirs up old memories of my childhood. I had always dreamed of returning someday with my family, but as the boys slip steadily off to college, the realization of this dream slowly fades away. I do try to keep up on what's happening in my 'motherland.' The internet is an amazing resource for finding information and images of even an obscure place like Mkar. It has been disturbing to read of the massacre of civilians that occurred at a former mission station a few years ago-the same staion that my family first lived at when arriving in Nigeria. It is hard to understand how tribal differences can create such hostility.
This week at the Macworld Expo, Apple announced the new MacBook Pro, featuring the Intel core duo. For the last six months, I have been waiting for Apple to release a new laptop model to replace my faithful five year old iBook. As I consider making the leap for the latest, lo and behold, my son cautions me to not be too impulsive, but wait for some further releases. Somehow, I feel a little awkward receiving this advice from my oldest son. It feels vaguely familiar to my father's voice. Being a responsible son/father? I will refrain from my consumer instincts and patiently wait for the wiser purchase.
It has been great to have both Bjorn and Jenny around for a few days before they start school again. Last night we went out to dinner at Twetens restaurant. I received a gift certificate from one of my happy deck customers, and was glad to share it with the 'younger couple.' This week has been a back to the routine kind of week. It was great to have the break for the holidays, but also good to feel productive again. Now, if only this dreary rain would stop!
This past weekend we celebrated a Christmased New Year with the Eides. The Eide celebration follows a prescribed mealtime menu. Evening supper before gift exchange is a choice of clam chowder or fresh oyster stew for the hardy, along with croissants and sliced meat. This is preceded, of course, by lots of appetizers and followed with desserts. The morning brunch includes sausage balls, (hard boiled eggs wrapped in sausage and flakes) whipped peppermint jello, fried potato and cinnamon rolls. The culinary indulgences help give the celebration a unique and enjoyable experience year after year.