This week at the FPL

The Front Porch Library’s 3rd annual read-a-thon got off to a wobbly start when the kids arrived with a mangy, bony stray on an improvised leash (animal related distractions are pretty common at the FPL). We fed him and gave him water, then stared at him, wondering what to do. In a twist that never happens, his owners drove up while we stared. After that the kids went from station to station: Biology, History and Geography, Practical Stuff, Picture Books, Chapter books, answering questions that required reading and collecting stickers for their efforts. Not a record setting day, but plenty of reading, logical thinking–and then someone remembered the leftover homemade icecream sandwiches from the library’s third birthday party.

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This week at the FPL

It was “Battle of the Library Redux,” today. This time the weapon of choice was not cardboard swords, but water balloons. Given the heat I felt fortunate to be a frequent target of choice. Meanwhile, inside Kary had the kids making and binding blank journals in which to record their summer experiences–and we finally finished the last of the frozen FPL third birthday cake. Thirteen kids, all wired and soaked to the skin and quite a few of them with places to write it all down. I’d call that a success!

This week at the FPL

With Craig’s return from China the library kids had some interesting math to do. How many renminbi does it take to make a dollar? (6) and how many of these strange coins and brightly colored notes equal 6 renminbi? The incentive was great. Figure it out and you go home feeling rich with a pocketful of Chinese money. Each rich kid had about eleven cents worth of foreign gelt in their pocket when they left–and all left satisfied.

This week at the FPL

Celebration of the library’s 3rd birthday began at ten when the girls came over to bake (we have only worked slightly less hard on this than those preparing for the Queen’s 60th anniversary). We made ice cream sandwiches, even baking the cookies, garlic bread and birthday cake. When the time to party finally came we fed 40+ people. If you are ever called upon to perform the miracle of loaves and fishes but are less than divine go for spaghetti–cheap and bounteous.

This week at the FPL

Next Sunday we celebrate the third birthday of the Front Porch Library, so what did we do today? We made the spaghetti sauce for the birthday celebration dinner. Imagine kids with knives, kids sauteeing, kids weeping over onions and every available vegetable from our collective gardens going into one giant pot–now take a deep whiff of that great aroma because the kids of the FPL can really cook!

This week at the FPL

It was the last Sunday of Rube Goldberg month at the Front Porch Library. We all had a good understanding of simple machines–all six–and we’d built a catapult that threw rocks, although as Ryleigh pointed out, not very far, but we had yet to build a crazy machine. Desperate, Ray nailed plywood to the front of the library and we built a water wall (think recycled bottles, duct tape and water flowing through the whole caboodle. Voila!

This week at the FPL

In a sign that summer is coming we had a watermelon seed spitting contest at the Front Porch Library today. Contestants stood in a chalk circle on Marcia labelled “SPIT SPOT” and let fly. Winning distance? Twenty-four and a half feet. We kept the measuring length of yarn as the benchmark for the next time we decide to spit competitively in the street—or challenge some other guerilla library to a spit off.

This week at the FPL

Today at the Front Porch Library we were trapped inside by a storm–the sentiment was strongly in favor of a power failure since we had candles. We put together a Mousetrap Game hoping to gain insight into our Rube Goldberg project, identified the simple machines in the game. I told a ghost story (although the lights stayed stubbornly on) and of course we ate cake. Another good day at the library.

This week at the FPL

Today at the Front Porch Library we began to build a Rube Goldberg machine. So far the marble only travels down the toilet paper tube, across the pickup sticks, hanging a left to enter the paper towel tube before jetting up the ramp and into a cup with a satisfying ping. Next Sunday, with a few addition, it should begin generating power. We hope.

This week at the FPL

Hot tip from the Front Porch Library: do not buy watercolors at the Dollar store. There is not enough paint in one of those things to paint even one decent color wheel. The plastic Easter eggs are good though. we decorated them with markers and stickers. The ones we bought (mysteriously) had two holes in the end. Poke sewing thread through and you have a fine, if ridiculously large, pendant.

This week at the FPL

It took them 60 years but the oaks finally managed to collapse the sewer pipe under the driveway at the library house with their insidious roots, causing expense, the loss of a driveway and a mud-bog cancellation of library hours yesterday. The plumbing is up and running but we have to recreate a driveway before next Sunday’s library hours. Sigh.