Painted Lady Butterflies

Caitlyn and I had the amazing opportunity and experience to observe almost a full butterfly life cycle. They are truly amazing creatures, and we thoroughly enjoyed sharing our home with them for most of their brief lives.

Our journey began when we received a most fantastic package in the mail. The container held food and five wiggly caterpillars.

Caitlyn was enthralled by the caterpillars, and watched them repeatedly and intently.

Then, finally, they attached to the lid. On their fifth day with us they formed chrysalis overnight. This stage was a little boring, but held much anticipation as we checked and rechecked for emerging butterflies.

 

After three days as chrysalis I transitioned them into their new home. Unfortunately this didn’t go as smoothly as I would have hoped, and two of the chrysalis ended up falling to the the bottom of the habitat. I had no idea how fragile they were or if the butterflies would survive, but I left them alone and hoped for the best.

Six days later the first butterfly hatched from it’s chrysalis. At first I think Caitlyn was a little disappointed. She saw the newly emerged butterfly with closed wings, and it’s camouflage outer wing looked very moth like (and ugly). After a little while it got situated and started to open it’s wings. When she finally saw the beautiful vibrant wings she was thrilled!

 

We never managed to observe one hatching, but we saw some immediately after with their wings still wet. We ended up with all five butterflies hatching too.

It was actually much easier to observe the butterflies than to photograph them. We spent a good amount of time observing, discussing, and researching our painted lady butterflies. It was truly a wonderful experience.

After a week of observation, and about half of their life span, we released the butterflies. Caitlyn decided they should be released into Mimi’s yard, so after a short car ride we were ready to go. Unfortunately the butterflies got very excited by the transition, and flew around so much that when Caitlyn opened the lid to release them only one flew out. The rest took a little more encouragement!

 

Finally got a picture with no netting, of the last straggler.

 

 

 

King’s Praise Ballet

Caitlyn continued to take ballet this year, and I can see her skill and grace growing. She is learning correct terminology, posture and poses, and has begun barre work.

I love that Miriam, her teacher, saw that the girls were ready to move forward and started transitioning them into the next class up. She also challenged them with more difficult yet memorably and executable moves for their spring performance.

King’s Praise Ballet has taught Caitlyn more than ballet though, and it is the more that I am so thrilled by. These girls pray together and lift each other up in countless ways. Caitlyn is learning what it means to be a friend, and how to be a friend or at least friendly to those we may not love. There she is surrounded by people who love her, and will comfort or help her when she is upset.

I am so thankful that she has had the opportunity to be a part of this group of amazing young women!

Field Day 2013

Caitlyn had the opportunity to participate in her first Field Day this year, thanks to our local homeschool group (FHE). There was a great turn out and we had kids ranging from 1 to 17 playing and interacting together. The groups were split for competitions, but it was great seeing families cheer each other on.

Here is a run down of the events and of course pictures of Caitlyn competing:

They started with a race, Caitlyn actually came in 3rd the first time they race. We ended up re-doing the race though and having them run further. Caitlyn brought me a flower when the race was over, and told me she didn’t run “super fast” because she didn’t want to lose the flower she had found for me!

After that they did 3 legged races. Caitlyn was moved down an age group because the numbers were uneven, and she matched up better height wise with them. Her and Elsie were slightly disappointed by this decision, but they handled it well. Caitlyn ended up being shorter than her new partner to though!

Katie and Caitlyn came in first place. Here is Caitlyn with her ribbon:

Next they did a marshmallow spoon race, it was quite entertaining, but no good pictures of that.

Next up, OBSTACLE COURSE, which consist of: stepping through hula hoops, crab walk, balance beam, and throwing a ball. Caitlyn would have had a better time, but like a lot of the kids in her group she forgot to crab walk and had to back up and do it correctly.

We finished up the day with a Tug of War. Although very determined looking Caitlyn’s side lost.

      

I think her favorite part of the day was just getting to spend time with her friends though. Her and Elsie are always so sweet together!

We had a BLAST

Caitlyn and I spent several weeks studying outer space, because of her interest in it. I also added in some Star Wars activities just for fun at the end.

The first thing we did was decorate our school room door. We put up the planets in order and tried to model the appropriate spacing from the sun and the other planets. (Caitlyn was a little indignant that Pluto wasn’t included).

By the end of the first week she knew all the planets, and she learned them in order so she knows that as well. She has managed to hold onto the information even though we aren’t reviewing it everyday anymore.

She also ordered that planets on worksheets and on this puzzle (from before Pluto was demoted).

We read some library books about outer space, and Caitlyn read an easy reader that also reviewed positions (above, next to, etc). Here are some of our fun explorations though:

Playing with homemade playdoh, that she also enjoyed making.

I provided an exploration bin that led to a lot of fun learning. The first question that came from it was “why is there a monkey in here?”. So we discussed how monkeys were used on early flights and we watched some historical youtube videos of them in training and then going into space that she loved!

She wanted to explore in a bigger space so we got out her old baby pool and she made the solar system in the bottom of it.

After a little while she decided that there should be a meteor shower. As she was doing this we reviewed what meteors and comets really are and why they are called shooting stars.

Then she decided that her and baby should experience a “meteor shower”. The verdict – it tickled. We are quite sure that a real one wouldn’t tickle though.