Miriam got a geode exploration kit for Christmas and decided today was the day to—quite literally—break into it. She invited her siblings to join in (and even shared the geodes once they were broken open). Things were a little bit damp from it having rained all day, but we were glad for at least a little break in the weather ad all rushed outside to enjoy the fresh air.
Here's Alexander with his little broken-open geode:
Here's Miriam and Zoë trying to open another one. Some of them we were able to open fairly easily. Other were really tough...nuts...to crack. Later—when I found out there was an activity guide that had been left inside, unread—I found out that we were supposed to kind of score the rock using a chisel so we found a chisel and set to work scoring our rocks but that didn't really help and they still seemed to break open however they wanted to.
Here's Miriam getting ready to smash that rock with the hammer:
I like this next frame because it looks like the rock simply disappeared. She looks so shocked about it, too! (It really just bounced out of the frame.)
Here are the little ones watching. Zoë took her safety goggles very seriously.
Here's Zoë showing me the bits of her geode that Miriam smashed:
Here's Miriam showcasing the lovely geode that Benjamin bust apart. It had a lovely cavity inside:
Here she is, still swinging at those rocks:
Here's Zoë examining the inside of her geode with a magnifying glass:
Alexander and Zoë were bothered by all the noise from the hammer so they kept their worried faces locked and loaded.
Benjamin thought it was hilarious to hold the pieces of his geode together and pretend to rip them apart with his bare hands:
Zoë wasn't very interested in hitting rocks with a hammer (that's loud and scary), but she did remember the little dinosaur egg she got from a friend's birthday party (back in, like, October) and which she's been trying to incubate (since, like, October). Today she decided that although the dinosaur egg was real (or, you know, real-ish) the dinosaur inside was probably not going to hatch on its own and she would, in fact, have to dig it out (which is what we told her back when she got it...because the egg is made out of chalk and came with a little plastic chisel/brush combination excavation tool). So she finally set to work freeing the little baby dinosaur from her egg.
Here she is just discovering it:
It took her awhile but she did eventually get the dinosaur out and it's now her favourite toy (and if you're wondering what she's wearing the answer is everything).
Rachel joined our little party when she came home from school. She and Benjamin used the chisels quite a bit (not that it actually helped matters much).
Eventually we'd worked our way through eleven of the dozen geodes and had flipped through the accompanying booklet to identify the insides of the geodes. The kids were thrilled to find a couple of geodes with amethyst interiors (though those geodes pretty much crumbled).
The last geode was incredibly difficult to break open. Noting that it was somewhat heavier than the rest had been, I posited it was probably solid rock. No one could break it open. We scored it, we pounded it, we chucked it around. Our efforts were entirely fruitless.
Then Benjamin says, "Give it to me," and he stalks out to the middle of the driveway, places it on the ground, lifts the hammer high above his head and brings it smashing down onto the geode, breaking it clean in two. It was terrifying to watch. I thought for sure he was going to miss the geode and hit something else (the driveway, his foot?) or throw the hammer or...a million things could have gone wrong. But he just cleft that apart and then told us some tough-guy story like, "Yeah, I break things apart all the time, so it's really not that big of a deal."
Comet to find out, it was just about solid inside:
Oh, look! I did get a picture of Zoë with her little dinosaur:
Once the geodes were all opened the big kids all scattered leaving Alexander and me to colour with chalk together.
I drew a beautiful rainbow for Alexander and he coloured it green for me.
And here's a picture of one of the blossoms on our magnolia tree:
Our Japanese camellia had just stopped blooming, which I was a little sad about, when this tree started blooming in its place (so that was lucky)! We still need to do some major landscaping around here (I know for a fact I'll have to plant some daffodil bulbs because I've been a little jealous seeing those cheery yellow flowers in everyone else's* gardens) and I'm all about adding more colour, but that sort of planting will have to wait until the fall.
We like to remind ourselves to be very forgiving of ourselves for about a year after we move because it takes time to figure things out in a new place, so I'm having to remind myself about being forgiving about any sort of garden as well. We haven't even seen all the seasons play out here in Georgia yet, and that sort of information is very important to know before one starts planting things. So perhaps by next spring we'll be ready to do some spring planting (and it's perfectly okay that we're not ready for such things this year).
* Okay, not everyone else's.