Well today started off exactly as planned until 8.00am when the doorbell rang. There I stood in between the postman and four eager children, just waiting to get their hands on the newly arrived parcels. I knew, as I signed my name, that my plans for the day would be pushed aside as the children would be unable to concentrate with ants to re-house and a cool grown up microscope to 'play' with. Indeed, their little hands were struggling to open the parcels before I had even shut the front door.
First we set up our ant farm; collecting some soil from the garden, sieving it with our hands (have no idea where the sieve is!) and mixing it with the sand provided. Then adding water to just the right consistency. The funniest thing was getting the sand mix into the farm through the tiniest of gaps and then getting the ants into the farm from the little observation box they arrived in...... it would have been much easier if we had read the instructions that came with the ants but the kids couldn't remember where they had disregarded them (it's just like the male of species to go charging ahead without reading the instructions, even at this young age). Eventually I managed to suss it out and attached the chamber to the side for the ants to make their own way out inshaAllah. SubhanAllah, the kids have spent literally hours watching the ants working busily away. They have observed how ants care for each other, dig tunnels, protect each other and how inquisitive they are. If only I could get them to keep them in the dark for a while so that they can settle into their new home inshaAllah.
In between we have been collecting lots of stuff to look at under our microscope; a great eBay bargain. More blood, cheek and onions cells to be found. In addition we looked at the front and back of leaves, stamens, petals, hairs etc. We described, compared and discussed things that we saw whilst looking at specimens. I also purchased some ready made slides from the Internet for us to look at; fish (for our fish project), insects (including ants) and flower parts - can't wait for them to arrive inshaAllah. The boys also had a friend come and play for a few hours so lots of running about in the garden and building shelters with the branches from our old tree.
All good stuff but it doesn't sound like we have done much today but subhanAllah there has been so much learning going on. It always amazes me at how much you can do in one day..... and usually when it's unplanned!
Parenting is still stressing me out a bit, I have not had my medication for a while so I am in pain and feeling exhausted. Which in turn makes me very, very short tempered, especially without DH here to lighten the load. But I am trying and the boys still seem to be making progress mashaAllah. 'A' has really grown up and is enjoying being the only one allowed to stay up and pray Isha mashaAllah. Oh well, time to put the ants, and me, to bed!