Thursday, 15 March 2018

Friday, 9 March 2018

Mysteries of the Universe

A few months ago we were talking to Papa John (Lisa's dad) about his experience as a soldier during WWII.  At the end of the story Lisa said, "We're all so thankful Papa John got home safely from the war!" And Nathan said, "If he hadn't the rest of wouldn't exist!"  I was quick to point out that I would exist, but not as happily as I do now.

This exchange has gotten Eden thinking quite a bit, and she's been trying to imagine various scenarios and their natural consequences.  Yesterday driving home from school she said, "Mama, if Papu (my dad) had married Amah (Nathan's mom) then their kids would have been you and Daddy.  So then you wouldn't be able to get married, because you'd be brother and sister!"  I said, "Hmmm, interesting.  Or, probably, their kids would have been not me and not Daddy, but some completely new kids that don't exist now."

Eden thought that one over for a minute and then said, "Existence.  I just can't figure it out."

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Zooworld with the Ancient Sloth: A Story by Eden

This is a story by Eden and Nathan - but mostly Eden.  It started as a dream she had last night.  We have filled out the details to make it especially compelling.

The Japanese scientists had been studying ancient creatures for many years.  Now they were going to China to see if they could find the animals themselves.  In particular they were on a quest to find the Amphibiandon, a legendary creature from the past.  The scientists heard about hunters in the remote provinces.  These hunters were hunting down rare animals and killing them or selling them to zoos.  According to the report, the hunters were tracking down the Amphibiandon, which everyone assumed was already extinct.  The local people also claimed they were hearing strange noises deep, deep down in the forest.

The researchers left Japan and got on a plane for China.  The flight did not take long, but the rest of the trip seemed to take forever.  There were long, winding dirt roads.  Their truck got stuck in the mud a lot of times.  Finally they reached the village where the report came from.

They went into the village and they talked to the people.  At first it seemed like they would know about the Amphibiandon, but when they talked it was clear that none of them knew.  Then an old woman, with a face like a catfish, came up to them and said, "When I was a little girl I thought I saw an Amphibiandon down by the southwest edge of the great forest.  It was bigger than a horse or a cow, and it was bony, like something I've never seen."  The scientists asked for specific directions.  Before the old woman left she said, "Take this, it will help you on your journey."  And she put into their hands a rock.  It was half ruby, half emerald.  She said, "It is the sorcerer's stone."

In the morning they went to the place the old woman described.  When they got there, they heard an unusual noise.  Actually, many noises.  They turned a corner and found hunters with guns surrounding a group of animals.  The researchers probably should have turned around, but they decided to try to scare off the hunters.  They honked the truck horn and one of the scientists, a small woman, began yelling at the hunters, telling them to go away, telling them that they should leave the animals alone, that the animals were just trying to protect something in the forest.  The hunters did not move at first.  But then an even stranger sound came from the forest.  It sounded like a rooster's crow, but stronger, fiercer and more powerful.  The hunters looked at each other and ran for their lives.

The animals scattered too.  The scientists were talking to each other, trying to come up with a plan, when they heard the terrible noise again.  They were scared but curious.  They got out of the truck, grabbed their cameras and their backpacks and went into the forest.  The forest was dark and shadowy.  The ground was hard, with no blade of grass in sight.  The noise came again, this time louder.  The scientists then knew they were getting close.

Then then saw something behind some bushes.  It was a giant cave covered in moss.  They went inside the cave and, to their surprise, found a small house.  It was made out of wood and branches and looked very, very old, like it had been there for thousands of years.  The researchers opened the door to the house.

Inside the house they found two skeletons, human skeletons that appeared to have been there for a very long time.  More surprisingly, they discovered a giant cage, and inside a sloth.  But it was not an ordinary sloth.  It was as large as a grown man.  It had two big eyes that were all white - and it had no eyelids.  It looked extremely old.  The scientists did not know what to do.  They stared at the creature and it stared back.  For five minutes straight it stared at them, not blinking once.

All of the sudden, it opened its mouth and let out a fierce scream.  It was high pitched and deafening.  The whole cave shook.  The researchers looked at each other and, as scared as they were, decided to let the creature out of the cage.  They grabbed keys that were hanging nearby and opened the rusty lock.  The door swung open.

The sloth moved out of the cage slowly.  So slowly, like a turtle.  But then the scientists heard something behind them.  Animals from the forest were coming into the cave.  There were bears and lions and wolves.  There were birds flying in: hawks and eagles.  And most amazing of all, the Amphibiandon walked into the cave.  It was terrifying.  The monster was all blue and had four necks on its back.  On top of each neck was a brachiosaurus head.

The scientists peed their pants.  One of them said, "I think the sloth called these animals with its scream."  They decided they needed to run that very second.  But the animals started to block the cave.  "We must do something," said the woman.  One of the scientists fumbled in his pockets and pulled out the gem given to them by the old woman.  The sorcerer's stone gleamed dimly.  The white-eyed sloth turned its head and looked at the stone.  Its eyes appeared to get even wider than usual.  The sloth moved ever so slowly nearer to the scientists, reached out its claws, and took the stone from them.

The sloth let out another call, this time softer.  The animals fled.  The stone appeared to be the thing that the sloth needed the most.  The scientists watched in wonder.  To their surprise, the sloth opened its mouth again, this time speaking in a human-like voice.  It simply said, "Thank you."  The scientists backed away, and then ran from the cave.  Would anybody ever believe what they had seen? 


Saturday, 24 February 2018

Kids' Stuff

I was cleaning my room this afternoon and found some of the fun stuff the kids have done in the last few months.

The above picture is of some marriage vows Eden wrote last fall when she was pretending that her gerbils were getting married.  It is in English, but the phonetics are Spanish, which makes it a little hard to read.  It says, "If you are going to marry this lady then marry her in love.  If you are going to marry the lady then marry her in love.  Do you take this lady in your love?  If you do so then love her with your heart."

Eden wrote this one at Christmas.  It's called, "The song of Christmas to Learn for Christmas" and says (as translated by Eden),
Learn the songs.
Eat your food because today is Christmas
There are presents Grandma and Grandpa and Uncle and Aunt
Here and there.
It is like your birthday
But there is family and a tree with candies.
But the most important thing
Is Jesus the Son of God
And the Father of all the world and all of us
And one day we will go to the new earth
And everyone will arrive and be happy.

This one is from last fall.  Eden writes, "Hello!  My name is Eden and my favorite color is blue and my favorite food is macaroni and cheese and my favorite bird is an owl and my brother's name is Z and his color is red and his favorite food is pizza."

 Eden is working on this book about animals right now.

Z filled in this paper for English class at the beginning of the year.  I think it is very sweet and very ambitious (with his reading! -- The Fellowship of the Ring -- and his science goals!).

Friday, 2 February 2018

Semester Calendar

I recently had the following conversation with Eden about upcoming fun events for our family.

Me: So school starts tomorrow for me, and then in a few weeks we'll have a little vacation to Omaha.
Eden: Will we get to go to the zoo?
Me: Probably, if we want to.  And then in March we'll have spring break and your birthday, and the first day of April is Easter!
Eden: And there's the gun show.
Me: (with a little chuckle) Oh, yeah, right, the gun show.
Eden: It's on March 10 and 11.
Me: Wait . . . what?  There's really a gun show?
Eden: Yes.  It's on March 10 and 11.  And I'm going.
Me: You're going to a gun show?  What?  When?  Where?
Eden: (patiently) I told you, it's March 10 and 11.
Me: (stupidly, trying to figure out what is going on) How are you going to a gun show?  Is this a field trip?
Eden: No.  Daddy's taking me.
Me: Daddy's taking you to a gun show?  When?
Eden: (a little frustrated): On March 10 and 11.
Me:  How do you know about a gun show?
Eden: I saw a sign for it.  Daddy's taking me and I'm going to get a pocket knife.
Me:  Oh. . . . ok.  Well, ok.  On March 10 or 11 you're going to the gun show.  I think you should make it March 10, that date works better for us.
Eden: Ok.


Sunday, 28 January 2018