[Summer Break] Day 1: Good beginnings

[Summer Break] Day 1: Good beginnings

Don’t let the title fool you. I’d be completely overshooting myself if I claimed that I was going to write a post each day for Summer Vacation. HA. Dream on.

Regardless, today IS day one, and so far not much past what I expected. Olivia’s needing work on her attitude and already has lost her electronic privileges for the rest of the day. Welcome, Summer. Welcome.

We’re also starting our new Summer Check Lists and went over how the NEW (and improved, of course) allowances will work. I got the idea from Β a blog called 71 Toes, which is a modified version of the plan in this bookΒ – and of course Pinterest led me there! So anyway, they pay their kids their age, ie child is 10, so he/she gets $10 a week. We, however, cannot afford $21 a week in payout to the kids! (9 + 7 + 4 + 1 = 21) Eesh! We’ve made our own changes to make it work for our family and I’ll share more on that when we have some more experience under our belts with the method and how it’s holding up.

In other news, we saw two birds out the window this afternoon, “being cute”. The first thing I noticed were the brilliant colors on the darker bird’s shoulders. After a quick Google search and upon entering our bird’s characteristics, we discovered the one bird was a Red-winged Blackbird.

red-winged blackbird illustration

The illustration really does not do the bird justice, the wing color is outstanding – makes it easy to spot, too. What we couldn’t understand, was what the bird was doing. He’d fly out into the field and then come back to a bird that sat on the fence post. He did this three different times. It almost looked like he was bringing her food. But the other bird, the one on the post, looked NOTHING like the Blackbird – I didn’t think birds of different kinds [ETA: GENERA, plural for genus. GO GOOGLE!] would mate. [ETA: From what I’ve read, it looks like closely related birds of the same family and genus can mate and create hybrids.]

So we took some pictures, watched them for a few minutes and I sat down to post while the kids ran around doing their normal craziness. It wasn’t until I went to find a better photo of the Red-winged Blackbird, and to figure out if there was maybe a slight visible difference between sexes, that I stumbled on these two photos further down the page:

Just a LITTLE different, wouldn’t you say?! The kids are now convinced that the brown bird (also known as, the Red-winged Blackbird FEMALE bird) is a mama and that the daddy must be bringing her food because she’s so tired with all those egg-babies in her tummy. Sure! Why not! Needless to say, we’ll definitely be doing more of this this summer.

The kids then turned their bird-watching into some Naturalist Playdoh molding:

Duncan, as you can clearly see, was VERY particular. He wanted his bird photographed from the top, the front, the back, AND the side. He was proud of his details. Rachael started making snakes, then the kids claimed they MUST be worms for the birds to eat. She wasn’t too into that idea.

More chaos tomorrow.

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