Last year, I applied for a grant from ECO-Life Conservation and was thrilled when I got news that the Nook was going to receive an aquaponics set-up. A little back and forth with duties and customs annoyances, lots of scanning of ads for used aquariums, some trips to the pet store and more than a couple nights spent combing through the included science curriculum—and here we go! Well, nearly there.

Last week, the kids help me set up the aquarium and aquaponics hardware at the Nook. We got all the parts assembled and the older kids are learning how to test the water quality and chart their results. This morning, I loaded up my car with five excited kids and drove to the pet store to pick up our tank’s first inhabitants. Today, we also named our three fish. The results, by drawing, are Elsa (blue gourami), Nyx (sucker fish) and Topaz (sunset platy). So nice to see life in that tank! And next week, we’ll start some plants.

djembeBack from the fish store, we arrived just in time for djembe class. Zahira taught the kids a great, more complicated rhythm today. I had trouble keeping up in the beginning, but it was thrilling for me when I finally got it! I just couldn’t look at or talk to anyone else at the same time. Zahra, who claimed she didn’t want to participate today, was drawn in anyway; and I handed the djembe over to her to join Kristin and talk about the schedule for the Spring Session at the Nook. I can’t believe how fast this session is going—and yet I’m really excited for the spring’s classes!

Zahra had theatre practice tonight, and after dinner, Noah wanted to wait up for her. I put Leila to bed and, while we waited, we read together from the second book in the series A Series of Unfortunate Events. When Zahra got home, she and I talked while she ate a late dinner, but Noah was busy in the work room. When he came back upstairs, he showed me this: it’s the beginnings of a pop-up book on DNA. Let the boy stay up late, and he starts projects about DNA. Love, love, love.