The most exciting news for me: I wrote my first-ever review for The Curriculum Choice website! I reviewed Spelling Power, which we've used for almost two years. If you are looking for an effective and easy-to-use spelling curriculum, pop over and read my review. I highly recommend Spelling Power. I'll be contributing regularly to The Curriculum Choice, so look for me (and other great reviewers) there.
In other exciting news: earlier this week I had my first-ever unqualified bread-baking success when I made sandwich buns. Of course I blogged about it; I had to brag and I also included a link to the recipe. If I can make these well, anyone can. Trust me.
The girls are playing "Fur Elise" for their piano practice this week. I never get tired of listening to that piece. Tiny Girl has selected it for one of her recital pieces. She'll often plop down at the piano and play it. Both my daughters play well, but Tiny Girl plays for enjoyment; Miss Priss plays out of duty.
The weather has not been conducive to riding, so we've stayed home more this week. Today was pretty but chilly, and Tiny Girl opted to wait until tomorrow to ride. We're still searching for a medium pony for her. It's hard to find just the right thing.
The girls have been reading a lot this week. Miss Priss read Savvy, by Ingrid Law; The Wish, by Gail Carson Levine; and In the Face of Danger, the second of Joan Lowery Nixon's Orphan Train Quartet. Tiny Girl read The King's Equal, by Katherine Paterson; Ginger Pye, by Eleanor Estes; and The Mysterious Miss Slade, by Dick King-Smith. I'm thrilled that they are readers, but it can get in the way of actual lessons. Miss Priss in particular is loathe to interrupt reading a "fun" book for something so mundane as lessons. I can empathize, but school must go on.
For Christmas, Miss Priss gave Tiny Girl a Michaels gift card, and with it she purchased a triops kit. Triops, for the uninitiated (which included me before she bought the kit), are freshwater crustaceans (shrimp) that one raises from tiny eggs. Their scientific name is Triops longicaudatus. Some websites refer to these creatures as "prehistoric monsters," which I find hilarious. They are not monsters; they are small shrimp. One of their names, in fact, is "fairy shrimp," a name which does not strike fear into the hearts of humans. Several eggs hatched initially, and the biggest one, whom she named Lionel, after Lionel Hardcastle in the britcom "As Time Goes By," ate up all but one. The remaining victim, Leonardo, was moved to another tank to keep him away from Lionel. This isn't a great photo, but here is Lionel. As you can see, his water is a tad yucky:
See him down in the corner?
Here's a better photo from mytriops.com. This is not Lionel, of course. But he looks just like it.
Tiny Girl keeps both small tanks in her closet with three lights on: the overhead, a lamp, and a fish tank light. Needless to say, it's warm in her closet. Just right for egg hatching!
Tiny Girl also took time to tackle a puzzle. She and I enjoy puzzles, but not the insanely difficult 500-piece (or more) variety. We bought this one at Dollar Tree (350 pieces), and she did 99 percent of it herself pretty quickly. It's amazing to me how she can pick up pieces and just know where they go. Sometimes she has to play around a bit, but most of the time she simply fits pieces in like magic. It's kind of weird.
Did I mention she's also a natural with math? Did I mention than I am not? Here's the finished picture. It's called "The Wishing Well." My guess is that the kitten is wishing he could snag those titmice before they fly away.
Look for posts this weekend about my yogurt-making and rustic bread-baking adventures. I've lots to say -- both good and meh -- about those topics.