Saturday, October 29, 2011

Two Eggs (2 days in a row)

Things are looking up with the chickens. The last one that died did so almost a week ago.  And the last 2 days, we've gotten 2 eggs each day.

That is still pretty wimpy for 15 chickens that are egg laying age.  But it is better than none a day.  It is better than one a day.

Now, we're holding out for 3 one day.  Go chickens!  Go chickens!


I remember my Saturdays when I was a young child.  My memories go back to about age 6.  I would get up early, like 6:30 a.m.  I would go into the kitchen and get a bowl of cereal. I would go in the basement and turn on the TV and watch cartoons for about 6 hours straight.

Well, let me say that watching cartoons for 6 hours straight is not a good way to spend one's time.  My parents were diligent in many ways but let us watch a lot of TV.  I am guessing they liked me (and my brothers) watching cartoons as that gave them time to get stuff done around the house.  I can relate to that.

 We rarely let our children watch anything on TV "live".  I DVR "The Magic Schoolbus" every Saturday morning, and we watch the occasional sporting event with our children. 

  Ok, back to the theme of the blog...I must admit to a little bit of longing for those childhood Saturdays, not because I want to watch cartoons but because life was obviously mellow and full of extra time when I was a child. And that is as it should be.

  But wow, Saturday is CRAZY now.  Saturday is the day when Kevin and I are both around so one of us can easily run off to do errands.  Saturday is the day I am frantically finishing all the grading from last week, and preparing the children's work for next week. Saturday is the day we change all the sheets on the beds. Saturday is the day I try to do some extra cooking and cleaning.  Saturday is the day when we're out of routine, and the children notice it. :-).

  Oh, Saturday, Saturday, Saturday!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Book Review: Debt Free U by Zac Bissonnette

This fascinating book by Zac Bissonnette tackles that serious concern of many a modern day parent and to pay for college without incurring a high debt load. The book was published in 2010 and the author was 21, and in college, when he wrote it.  He has thought long and hard about college and has come up with powerful arguments and data to support his belief that no student needs to incur vast amounts of debt in pursuit of a college education.

  I advise that any parent whose child might be going to college read this book. I don't agree with everything Zac says, but he thinks so "outside the box" about college that the book is worth reading just to get some fresh ideas flowing about college.

 In a way, this post is a follow up to a post of a few weeks ago when I discusssed some thoughts I have about college.  Among other things, I stated that I highly desire that our children graduate from college with no debt.   How reasonable that is, I don't know.  Our 7 children were born in 11 years so obviously we COULD have many kids in college at once.  While Kevin's salary is good, it isn't enough to pay for college for all of our children to expensive places.

 But then, Zac argues that parents should NOT pay all their children's college expenses.  He himself got zero help from his parents as they were poor. 

There are parents who feel that they have an obligation to pay their children's way through college. My own parents felt that way. I appreciate the thought behind it, but I believe it is beneficial for most students to have a "stake" in college. I was fortunate enough to have scholarships and fellowships that paid for more than 95% of my college expenses. And I needed to maintain a high grade point to keep those scholarships, so I was motivated. I have known some young people who bounced happily off to college, partied a lot and generally had a great time on their parents' money. Other young people are very responsible with their parents' support and work hard.   It obviously depends greatly on the temperament the young person.

Zac advocates that students work to earn money in college, and either go to community college for a couple of years or go to an inexpensive state school.

I have some reservations about both those pieces of advice, but again ... it is thinking outside the box, and that is helpful.  First, I have some thoughts about working many hours in college.  Zac advocates an average of 30 hours a week, with the student working more hours when classes are not in session.  Well, I didn't work much while in college but then my courseload was so intense that it was moderately hard to find time. I was in engineering and many of the classes were challenging.  On the other hand, I started working 15 hours a week on research as a junior in college, and somehow found the time. So I could have worked as a freshman and sophomore.

Zac's love of state colleges is that they provide a large varietyof majors and they are tax payer funded.  Well, as a homeschooler, I've already rejected the idea that we should go entirely for the "bottom line" as it would be cheaper for us to send our children to public school than homeschool them.  I have serious reservations about some state colleges in that they are "party schools."  Actually, I don't subscribe to the idea that a young person must "go off to college" to be well rounded in life.  I believe living in a non college environment while attending classes as a commuter student can be a fine, healthy option for those students who feel led to go to college.

But I do appreciate Zac's concern about private colleges and how expensive they are.  There are cases where students get huge grants and scholarships. That's great.  Other times, large loans are lumped in with the financial aid package and students are encouraged to "go to school now, worry about paying it later" and that can lead to disaster and discouragements for decades after college.

Zac also discusses the financial aid issue at great length, including the infamous FAFSA.  This document is full of complicated formulas for determing what aid a student can earn based on family income and the student's own savings. One interesting and sad fact is that students with a lot of personal savings through working hard in high school are penalized compared to those students who have almost nothing in savings.  So a student who sits around all summer playing video games has an advantage (on the FAFSA) over a student who works 40 hour weeks to save for college.

So again, if you will likely have a child going to college, I heartily recommend this book.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Perfect (Chicken) Storm

Years ago, a movie came out called "The Perfect Storm".  I haven't seen it. Not my kind of movie.  Most of the main characters die, apparently.  But I guess the idea was that 3 weather systems came together in such a way as to generate a truly horrific storm, which did BAD things to ships out at sea.

Ok, so we are in the middle of a perfect chicken storm.  Poor chickens.  They were uprooted from their homes. They are sick. They are being fed weird food, in weird containers, and therefore haven't been eating well.

Yesterday we lost a 5th chicken.  We are down to 19 chickens, 4 of which are a bit younger. The 15 that are almost a year old SHOULD be laying, but are not.

I guess it has been educational.  Our previous 2 batches of chickens just ... laid eggs.  The ladies we have are so stressed and messed up that they mostly are not laying. We got one egg today and had one a couple of days ago.

I thought that chickens that were the right age would just do their business, but this has been too much for them. We have taken steps to help them out.  We're giving them antibiotics and vitamins in their water.  We bought a tub that sits on the floor of the coop, and bought them some scratch food (a different kind of food) yesterday.  So we are hoping that we won't lose more chickens, and that the ones that are alive will grow healthy and strong.

In the grand scheme of things, this isn't the end of the world.  But it is frustrating...lots of extra work and care, five dead chickens, and very few eggs.  Next time we're in the same situation, we'll wait until spring to get new chickens.  I guess the weather changes and shorter days are another part of the "perfect storm."

Sunday, October 23, 2011


I turned 42 a couple of days ago.  Kevin got me these flowers from Sam's Club for my birthday.

We joke about how cheap I am.  I have said more than once, "Please DO NOT buy me really expensive flowers from a flower shop."  I love the fact that Sam's flowers are reasonable and beautiful. Isn't this a lovely bouquet?

I had a splendid birthday. Kevin came home a few hours early so we could both rest before an exciting NIGHT ON THE TOWN.  Yes, our wonderful babysitter came and watched the kids so we could go out on a date.

We went out to eat at a barbecue place, went to a dollar store, roamed the mall and found that Chick-Fil-A sells lemonade sweetened with Spenda (yummy!), and then went to Kohl's. So, a lot of shopping, obviously.  We usually do go shopping on our dates though rarely buy much.

I have been a bit under the weather the last week but was feeling well that evening, which was great.

I always like looking back on my birthday. What I thought about this year was my 30th birthday.  Kevin and I had just moved down to Ohio. I was 7 months pregnant with our first child.  My big job was getting the house unpacked and I seem to remember feeling moderately busy.

Now, of course, I am mother to 7 children and homeschooling 4 or 5 of them (depending on if we count Miriam.)  Life is SO much more complicated and busy than it was back when I was 30.  But it is ... splendid.  Blessed. 

God is good.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Science with Joseph

I said in a previous post that I was going to try to do regular science experiments with our son Joseph, age 7.  He loves science and especially loves hands-on science.

The little book I've been using, Simple Science Experiments with Everyday Materials by Muriel Mandell, has been invaluable.  Most of the experiments really do have everyday materials that we have around the house.

Here was an incredibly simple experiment.  I boiled water and poured it into the bowl on the left.  I put water in the one of the right and added ice cubes until the water was quite cold...then I removed the ice cubes.  Joseph chose green food coloring to test diffusion properties as a function of water temperature.  You can see that the food coloring in the hot water bowl diffused far more rapidly than the food coloring in the cold water bowl. I talked a bit about how hot water molecules are moving faster and bouncing around more, so that the food coloring spreads quickly.

  This experiment was a bit more complicated.  Joseph collected 15 pennies and we added vinegar and a pinch of salt.  After a few minutes, the vinegar and salt had removed the outer corrosion products and left a bunch of shiny pennies.

  Then we got a plain ordinary nail.  I scrubbed it with a wire brush to remove any dirt on the outside, and dropped it into the solution of vinegar and salt.

  15 minutes later...

  Voila!  Copper was deposited on the nail!  The nail on the bottom is the one that sat in the vinegar/salt solution. The one on the top is an untreated nail for comparison purposes.

  Why did this happen?  The acid in the vinegar dissolved some of copper into solution.  The iron in the nail is less chemically active than copper, so the copper deposited onto the nail.

    I didn't think it would work so was very pleased when it did!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Chicken Drama

Well, the chickens aren't doing very well.  We hope that we've turned a corner, though.

We lost another chicken Sunday morning.  On the way home from church, I stopped at Tractor Supply and talked to someone about getting medicine for the chickens.  An employee kept saying, "We're not vets, but..." and recommended antibiotics that go in their water.  She also said, cheerfully, that "chickens get sick so easily and you should always give them antibiotics when you acquire them." 

  We read up on chickens some before we got our first batch, and I knew chickens can get sick.  But our first 2 batches were very healthy, so this is all new and  discouraging.

  As of this moment, we don't seem to have lost another though I've not checked the coop yet.  We are HOPEFUL that most who were sick have gotten better.  Now that we know we have an illness, we can see they weren't doing well last week.  A healthy chicken struts around and pecks and scratches the ground with her feet.  Last week, all the chickens looked strangely immoble and sluggish. They spent a lot of time just standing still.  Now most of them are looking lively, though a couple are obviously sick and one was (as of yesterday) apparently on death's door.

One aspect of the illness is that the really sick ones don't open their eyes. We don't know if it is photophobia or if their eyes are gunky. Probably the latter. Yesterday, our older 3 children worked on gently wiping the eyes of a couple of birds to try to help them open their eyes.

This is the sickest of them all.  We of course were cautious about washing hands carefully afterwards though I don't think people can usually get bird illnesses.

One last highly discouraging thing is that the chickens aren't laying. We've not gotten an egg in 2 days.  That is strange because most of them are looking quite lively.  Perhaps they are still recuperating their strength after being sick.

So...we'll see what happens.  In the large, grand, scheme of things, this isn't that huge but it is not what we hoped for when we got our new, handsome flock of chickens.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

And Then There Were 23

Ok, I admit it. That is not the world's most catchy blog title.

But yes, we are down a chicken. Kevin went out this morning and the sick chicken was dead.  Not a surprise.  I'm not  heartbroken, but do hope that it didn't die of some nasty illness that will result in more dead chickens.  Kevin says that three other chickens aren't looking good, unfortunately.We'll see.

In much better news, our big girls are home!  They had a great time with our grandparents but we are very glad to have them with us again.  We missed them!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Eye Updates

Isaac and Sarah had appointments with the opthalmologist this morning.

Isaac has amblyopia, more commonly known as "lazy eye".  His left eye had almost completely shut down becuase his brain decided the information from it was useless.

He has been patching his good eye for 6 to 8 hours each day for the last 6 months.  Isaac is not one of the world's most mellow, compliant people, and I prayed before we started that the patching would go well.

Wow, God answered that prayer!  Isaac has been SUCH a trooper about wearing the eye patch.

We saw dramatic improvement the first 2 months, almost no improvement the second two months, and good improvement today.  I was so relieved that he did improve.  His left eye started at 20/150, and now is at 20/50 WITH glasses.

Sarah is very far sighted with both eyes and is wearing glasses when she is awake. The doctor did a bunch of simple tests since of course she can't talk yet :-).  Sarah is responding well to visual stimuli and her eyes are not crossing at all.  So she is doing well but needs to be monitored carefully.

We are thankful that the results have been good so far, and that we can have access to an excellent opthalmologist.

Chicken problems?

We purchased 20 10 month old chickens, and 4 pullets, more than a week ago.

We've been disappointed with egg production so far. I believe we've gotten 9 eggs total since we got them.

We knew they'd be stressed by the move and were hoping that as time went on, their egg production would pick up. And we still hope it will. chicken is dying of something respiratory.  Ugh. That is NOT good. Besides the fact that we feel sorry that we have a dying chicken, it may be that we have some respiratory virus that will sweep through our flock.

Some of the chickens have been looking quite sluggish. 

So...we may have a chicken disaster on our hands. Stay tuned for the next exciting installment of Chicken Adventures.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


I'm thoroughly the weather and scenery this week.  Temps in the low 70's.  Sunny skies.  Beautiful trees.  Ah...

Our chickens seem quite content but still aren't laying much. We got them 5 days ago and we've only gotten 5 eggs...however, 3 of those were yesterday and today.  The chickens should "come on line" soon, and then we will be inundated!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Weird Week

Our 2 older girls are in Michigan this week visiting my parents.  It feels strange around here with only the younger 5!

I know they'll have a great time and we'll have a pleasant time here as well.

I will have more chores to do than  usual.  Our big girls do a lot around here.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Sweet Potato Harvest

Kevin harvested our sweet potatoes last weekend.

The good news is that we harvested many fine sweet potatoes.

  Aren't they nice?

  The bad news was that some nefarious rodent-like creature chewed on a number of sweet potatoes. But as you can see, we still got a lot to eat ourselves.


We are very happy!  We have new chickens.

Loyal blog readers will remember that our last batch of chickens got old and stopped laying much. So we took them off to the butcher.  Two of them are in the crockpot right now.

We wanted more chickens, but the closest reasonable place to get chickens was some 2 hours north. This weekend, the big girls are visiting their grandparents and we are meeting my parents 2 hours north, close to the chicken farm. Ok, fine, we thought. We'll go get chickens this weekend to combine trips.

Except that earlier this week, we discovered the chicken farm wasn't selling chickens anymore.

Kevin did another Craigslist search and found a place an hour away with 10 month old chickens that have been laying for about a month.  PERFECT!

We were originally going to get all Golden Comets, which is a breed that lays eggs like crazy. But it turned out their were only 8 Golden Comets available.  So Kevin did a little mix and matching, kind of like when you get doughnuts at the doughnut shop.  A couple Auracanas, a few White Rocks, a few Barred Rocks, perhaps a Buff Orpington or two,  some Black Sexlinks, and we were in business.

 We bought 20 ten month old chickens, and the seller threw in 4 younger pullets for free. So now we have 24 chickens and a very grateful, very happy, very relieved guinea hen named Cookie.

 Cookie has been ours for years and was disturbed by the removal of her flock. Very disturbed.  She took to standing mournfully on our back deck all the time and peering through the double doors into our breakfast room.  Kevin would sometimes go outside and chase her around to give her a little social interaction, but it wasn't enough.  Now she has a flock and she is delighted.

 And so are we.   The chickens are really attractive and we hope to get many eggs from them. So far, we've only gotten one egg (and we brought them home 2 days ago.) That is not surprising as when chickens are moved, it takes a while for them to get back on track with egg laying.

   Here are they in the minivan.  They were obviously packed in quite tightly but didn't mind too much. It was after dark so they were mostly asleep.

 Here is one of the white chickens.

  Here is the happy guinea with a variety of chickens near her.

The first egg!!

Naomi wrote a great post about the chickens.  Here it is:

Budding Book Enthusiast?

  There must be some kind of genetic component at SOON as one of our babies starts locomoting, she (or he) starts yanking books off the bookshelves.  I like this picture because it almost looks like she is solemnly paging through the book, when of course she is just engaging in wanton messiness.

  It is fun that she is moving now, but we have to be on our toes to keep her safe, and there are more messes to clean up at the end of the day!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Been Thinking About...College

So the issue of college has wafted across my consciousness the last couple of weeks.  There was a lively discussion on Facebook about whether it was good for girls to go to college. Then my blog friend Annie Kate had a discussion about college.

Our eldest daughter, Naomi, is 11.  So she's ONLY 6 or 7 years from potentially being ready to attend college.  And given that many homeschooled teens start attending community colleges during high school, it could be earlier still.

Here are my perspective and my thoughts right now.  I'm sure they will change and adapt as our children grow.

First, some background. Kevin and I both have Ph.D's in engineering.  You don't get a Ph.D. without an amazing amount of time in college.  We each spent close to 10 years attending college.  (Ack, ack!  Just writing that amazes me!)

The good news was that we both graduated with comparitively little debt.  We were both blessed to have substantial scholarships as undergrads, and graduate school was paid for.  Kevin went on the Air Force's dime.  He committed to many years of working for the Air Force in return for them (it?) paying for his Ph.D.  I got fellowships and assistantships in college, so while I had to live modestly, I did not  incur any debt.

Kevin has spent the last 11 years working as an engineer on base.  His salary is good, and he is able to comfortably support our large family. 

I got my Ph.D., got married, worked full time for 2 years as Kevin finished his Ph.D., and then had Naomi.  And then had many more babies.  I have actually worked on a very part time basis most of the time I was a mother.  I taught one class a quarter at a local university for a few years.  For the last 7  years, I've worked one day a week at the Air Force base where Kevin works.

So, some questions. 

1.  Do I think that college is necessary for everyone?

NO!  I do not.  Some young people have skills and gifts that are not best served by a college education.  I love the idea of apprenticeships for some young people.  I would say that MOST people would benefit from some kind of post high school training, however. There are jobs out there that require a high school diploma, but they generally (not always) don't pay particularly well. I am not obsessed with salary, I really am not.  But I know that if a couple of blessed with many children, it is a struggle to get by on poverty level income. It can be done, but it is really tough. 

2.  Do I think that girls should go to college?

  Well, maybe.  See #1...obviously I don't think every young woman should go to college.  There are those who argue, however, that a young woman shouldn't go to college at all because she should be focused on being a wife and mother.
  I resonate with that a little.  I don't remotely think that a woman being "only" a wife and mother is a demeaning thing, like some feminists imply . That is absurd.  Being a stay at home mother is a wonderful calling.  I am SO thankful that my husband is commmitted to me being home most of the time. And he is very happy to have me here.
  Having said that, my argument for women pursuing some kind of career has a lot to do with not "testing God".  Let me explain THAT.

  It seems to me that if parents are focused on training their girls up to be wives and mothers, they are making the obvious assumption that the girls will get married, and get married relatively young.  I personally have known more than one godly young lady who greatly desired to get married, but it didn't happen at all or until the lady was much older than she desired.  I have a dear, dear friend who longed for marriage in her early 20's, and God led her to her husband when she was 37!   The timing was perfect from God's perspective, if not for my friend's perspective.  (They have 3 children, praise God!  That is one dicey thing about late marriages, in my view...the possibility of not being able to have children.)

  So, I would prefer not to have all our eggs in one basket for our girls.  One of my grandmothers married at age 30.  My parents married at 20 or 21.  I married at 26.  Sometimes a woman doesn't get married young, and in this day and age she may need to support herself in some way.

3.  But what about college debt?

  Ok, here is where I want to jump up and down and scream.

 Yes, I think college can be appropriate for young women. But, but, but!  They should do everything possible not to have a huge amount of debt when they graduate.  That's true of boys too, but maybe especially for girls.  Because what if a young lady does go to college and graduates with lots of debt, finds the man God has for her, and gets married? 

  With lots of debt?

  I think she is stuck to some degree, or at least she and her husband are greatly burdened.  They may be led to have children right away, but the debt will drive them towards the wife working full time and/or delaying childbearing. 

 That's an unpleasant situation.

  I'm definitely not of the view that a young person needs to "go away to college" to be fulfilled in life.  Jesus didn't.  I mean, we don't know for sure what he did until age 30, but he was still in Nazareth so was probably living as a carpenter with his mother.

  There seems to be this idealistic view that college is the place where a young person matures and "finds" him or herself.  I think college can be a positive experience but it isn't necessary that a young person LIVE on campus.

Also, what do we look for in a college?  There are books and articles that have discussed this far more superbly than I can, but let me say this...many so called "superior" universities are not providing a particularly good education.

I'm going to gently slam the University of Michigan, where I got my Ph.D.  The graduate school was very good.  I would argue the undergraduate engineering programs have their flaws...namely, most professors put teaching at the bottom of their priority list and sometimes it shows.  Add to that the truth that many classes are taught by graduate students (yes, I taught classes) and sometimes those grad. students (through no fault of their own) had major communication issues because English was not their first language.

And here's another pet peeve I have about U of M.  They put tons of money into their atheletic program. I actually like college football, but the truth is that while football MIGHT make money, most athletic programs in college are totally money sinks.  All those salaries and scholarships are being paid for by the common student.  And are athletics remotely vital for learning a profession?

U of M of course isn't alone about athletics...many top tier universities spend a lot of money on athletcis.

So my thought, for now, is that yes... probably our kids will go to college. But likely they will go locally and live at home.  Likely they will go to a community college for a couple of years. 

I pray that they can avoid going into much debt.  We can't afford to send them to Harvard.  But perhaps we and they can work together to pay for a local school with modest tuition prices.

Well, that's probably enough cogitating for now...

Trip to the Air Force Museum

We live near the United State Air Force Museum.  Yesterday, I bundled all the kids into the giant van and we went to the museum.

When we got there, the parking lot was full of large vehicles, even some 15 passenger vans like ours.  That seemed odd. There were a number of large families heading into the museum with us.

When we stepped through the doors, a courteous museum volunteer mentioned that it was Homeschool Day!  Ok, I didn't know that. 

In actual fact, I wasn't delighted. There were a great many people at the museum and that made it a bit harder to keep track of my children. There were wonderful classes going on for homeschoolers, but I hadn't signed up ahead of time for them, obviously.

But still, we had a great trip. And it was fun seeing all those homeschoolers roaming around.  I fell into conversation with a fellow homeschooling mom who has 9 children. She and her husband have 2 year old twins AND 3 year old twins!  Ok, I thought I was busy.  But of course she is delighted and said it is great fun that the little ones each have a twin to play with.

Angela in space!

The children were able to walk through the body of this military aircraft.  There were oxygen cylinders lined up and various other paraphernalia.  And it was bright yellow!  So cheerful!

  This time around, I found a couple of annexes of the museum I had never seen before.  The first annex had Cold War military aircraft.  The second annex had space vehicles like this one.

Isn't it impressive?  That's Lydia standing in front of it.

The museum is free, but they have this ride where passengers sit in what appears to be a cockpit -- and it isn't free.  There is a giant screen and the ride moves around.  I splurged and let the kids go on it. They were excited. I tend to be a super cheap mom (kind of need to be with our family size) but I decided to go for it.  The tickets were cheaper because it was Homeschool Day, so we benefited from HD that way!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Review: Simple Science Experiments with Everyday Materials by Muriel Mandell

I was complaining commenting a few days ago that I don't like most "experiments at home" books because they require esoteric ingredients that I don't have around the house, even though the books assume that I do.

I was going through my shelves last week, and came across this little gem.  There are many experiments in it that really and truly use simple materials.

I've been trying to do at least an experiment a day with our son Joseph, age 7.  He is a science nut and I realized we needed to do something fun to mitigate the struggles he is having with reading and math.

The experiments have been a hit. 

Here is a fun one!  I put 1 inch of water in the cup.  I cut a long strip of paper towel and put the bottom inch of the towel in the water.  I dripped one drop of green food coloring about an inch above the water line.  Then we walked away.

When we came back 15 minutes later, the water had wicked up the paper towel and was carrying the food coloring with it.  But here is the really fun food coloring is made of yellow and blue dyes mixed together. And blue wicks faster than yellow. So the green food coloring started to separate into yellow and blue!  You can see the blue clearly, the yellow much  less clearly.

I have been praying about Joseph and school, and know God answered by directing me to this book and our new approach to school. Joseph is only just 7 years old.  I want him to find school interesting, not drudgery.  These science experiments are helping.

She's (Finally) on the Move!

Sarah is 10+ months old, and has mostly been content to sit and look at the world around her.

But all that is over.  She is not crawling, but she is scooting around on her bottom.  4 of our previous children did the same thing.  We have laminate floors and they are slippery, so most of the children have found it easier to move along with arms and legs while sitting upright.

I've looked forward to this, but then again, I haven't.  Now things get exciting as our sweet little pumpkin decides to get into everything. I already stopped her from pulling books off one of our bookshelves.  What IS it about babies and bookshelves??

But obviously this is an important developmental stage and it is fun to see it.