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Mesopotamia Curriculum Resource

We’re packing for our Mt. Rushmore/Devils Tower trip this next week, which has turned into a bigger deal than usual because we aren’t staying in hotels this time. This trip, it’s KOA Kamping Kabins all week! Some without kitchens and bathrooms! Will I survive! I don’t know!

I’ll leave you with a great video resource on the Fertile Crescent, Mesopotamia, and it’s ancient leaders. I think it should be included in all Ancient History Curriculum.

We’re not really studying this stuff, but that hasn’t kept us from picking our favorite Mesopotamian and storing this good info for later. Naturalist likes Gilgamesh, I like Ashurbanipal, Golfer likes Hammarabi, and Sassy thinks that Mesopotamia is a freaky place and refuses to pick a favorite.

KOA has internet access, so even though I won’t have a bathroom, shower, or basic cable, I think I’ll still be able to update. If you haven’t heard from me after a few days, you’ll know I’ve turned to dust after undergoing major internet withdrawl.

Back again.

We took a hastily planned, last minute trip to celebrate my younest sister graduating from college. Yay!

It was an 8 hour drive made more complicated by the DVD player in our minivan breaking as I pulled down the driveway. A happy perk to having kids that adore TV in any form is how smoothly the DVD player makes a long roadtrip. I’ve tested this theory to see if it’s the movie or just watching a picture of any sort–I picked a huge selection of science & history DVD’s from our library and played them for the kids to get any feedback. Will they stop watching if it isn’t ‘entertaining’ or ‘cartoony’? The answer: my kids will watch anything as long as it’s a moving picture.

So, I was disappointed when all my Bill Nye & historical non fiction DVD’s sat, unwatched, for the entire drive there and back. Luckily their ipods were in good working order, and Naturalist had a few books from the ‘Warriors’ series to read from. Golfer gets really carsick, and so passed the time looking out the window and thinking some kind of boy thoughts. Sassy kept from boredom by eating all the fruit from the cooler and making her stuffed animals talk to each other.

We shared a hotel room with my other younger sister…Sassy, Golfer and I in one queen bed, and my sister and Naturalist in the other. I spent 3 nights fending off body blows from errant elbows & knees, wresting the blankets back up after my bedmates kept kicking them off, and pulling my bedmates back into a vertical sleeping position (rather than the ‘across the bed’ horizontal position of choice). I got a bigger workout sleeping between Golfer and Sassy than I do in my Bodypump class at the rec center.

While there, my younger sister confirmed that what I had previously thought was my fatigue and lack of confidence stems, as it turns out, from a case of pre-teen attitude from Naturalist being tossed in my direction. Fun plans are met with eye rolls and unhappy sighs. Inquiries into how the fun plans worked out at the end of the day are met with shoulder shrugs and “I guess it was OK”. Until now, these havn’t ever been big issues between Naturalist and me, but combine them with a slumpy posture, tears at the drop of a hat, and an aversion to being hugged or touched, and I think we’ve started into some preteen angst.

Now we’re back, getting cleaned up and repacked for an existing family vacation we’ve been planning on, to Devil’s Tower and Mt. Rushmore. Let’s hope I can figure out what’s wrong with the DVD player before then!

How we spent Earth Hour

So, all day we’d planned on how we’d spend Earth Hour tonight, starting at 8 pm. Golfer and Hubby had tickets to the Nuggets game, so Naturalist and I decided to read by candlelight (with Sassy hopefully sound asleep for the night).

We ate lunch, had friends over, cleaned up, ate dinner, blah blah blah, it’s now 8:45 and when I booted up the computer it hit me that WE TOTALLY MISSED Earth Hour. Or, half of it. We have lights on, TV on (Battle of the Bulge on Military Channel), we just blended up some chocolate shakes using our electric blender, and I’m surfing the Net. Oops.

Naturalist looked out the window and saw that one of our neighbors still had their lights on, too…but many others had candles flickering.

To make up for our oversight, we are planning another Blackout day like the one I blogged about in December. Golfer will be thrilled.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Kevin Garnett

What better way to wish you all a happy and lucky day than by sharing a pic. I took of Kevin Garnett when he came in to town to play the Nuggets. Get it? Boston Celtics…clover on the back…green uniform…

My love for KG deserves it’s own post, but has origins back in 2002 when hubby invited me to participate in his Fantasy Basketball League. Anyone with him on their Fantasy League has to fall in love, because he’s got mad skillz.

Anyway, this isn’t about KG, it’s about St. Patrick’s Day, and we all here chez Child’s Play can’t wait to see what the Leprechaun does while we’re sleeping.

Usually he creates havoc by overturning chairs, turning anything liquidy-ish green (milk, sour cream, yogurt, the mashed potatoes we’ve already made for our traditional shepherd’s pie), sticking crepe paper on everyone’s doors so they have to break through in the morning, and leaving behind a video game and a box of Lucky Charms cereal.

This year he’s also bringing about 8 inches of snow with him. Thanks for that!

Before the snow covered everything over with a blanket of white, I noticed that my tulips were starting to push through the ground. Pretty soon we’ll be doing more of this:

But for now we’ll celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by eating green, wearing green and thinking green…but seeing white.

48 hour days.

If days were 48 hours, rather than 24, I think I’d be right on track to getting everything done. As it is, I leave about a days worth of stuff undone at the end of my day, and wake up knowing I’m way behind!

I’ll say one thing for life…it always keeps you on your toes, yes?

So here are the things that are keeping me busy:

Golfer started Scouting. They don’t tell you, when you fill out the forms, that it is a full time job to have a Boy Scout as a son. Getting the proper uniform. Getting the proper uniform all patched up correctly. (A little easier, I must say, now that they have sewless, ironless backing to attach all the badges,etc. I asked the Boy Scout store lady if it were proper protocol to safety pin the badges on, as I did not sew or iron or have the strength in my arms to hand stitch each one on. And voila! The miracle cure!) Then there are the pack meetings, and the workbook, and the Pinewood Derby coming up…it’s only been one month, and I’m exhausted. He loves it, and is doing some really cool stuff…I’m just having to juggle a few more responsibilities into my day.

Sassy Princess has claimed my right arm and hand as her special ‘lovey’. She clings to it constantly, and calls it her ‘Tickle Bug’. As in, “Oh, Tickle Bug! I love you!”, “Come here Tickle Bug!”, “Tickle me, tickle bug!” and while I am accustomed to multitasking, I am unaccustomed to lugging a 40 pound weight around by my right arm-leaving it unusable and an irritable kid who would rather I stop doing anything and focus all my energy on her. I suggested she hug her blankie or get her favorite stuffed animal, but that was a no-go. I invited her friends over to play, and there were issues surrounding whether two princesses had to be girls, or if one could be pretended to be a boy. Drama ensues. The one time I managed to get my hand free she said, “My little toes can’t find their mama! Mama! Mama! Where are you toe mama?!” Sliding her foot across to stand on mine, she squealed, “TOE MAMA! We found you! Awwwww!” and so, while I was free to cook lunch with two hands, I had to walk around like i was in a game of Twister with her constantly underfoot.

Now that the weather is heating up, more and more people are coming through the house to see if they want to buy it. This means keeping it in a pristine condition, ready to be shown to strangers with an hours notice. If February doesn’t kill me, this might. I am not, by nature, a clean freak. I’m not, by nature, an organizational whiz. I am, by nature, laid back, easy going, and unstructured. Lazy, if you prefer to call it that. Hubby is completely opposite and he stresses out thinking that I am in charge of getting our house in ship shape during the day if someone calls last minute. He’s been giving me tutorials on proper cleaning procedure. I am expending massive amounts of psychic energy being hyper aware of the clutter in each room. It’s exhausting! And, it makes me really cranky.

The soap business has taken on a life of it’s own this past month, and while it used to be something I could do at night or during the weekend, it’s become something that demands my attention daily. And, it’s taken over my blogging time here, as I spend effort on the blog there to educate inquiring minds about what is in commercial soaps and bath products. All the ‘me time’ I used to have for a few hours at night has been hijacked by soap. I love it, I want my soap to take over the world, I have big plans for expansion and soap domination…but a successful business is like having another newborn. Disruptive, needy, demanding, and in constant need of attention, only not as cute.

American Idol has taken hold over here. I’d forgotten how much stinking TIME it takes to watch AI in the beginning season. 2 hours Tues. & Wed., then 1 hour Thurs. We are helpless to stay away. It blows our existing schedule to smithereens. Last year around this time the kids and I had been reading a book a week together and then BAMMO! American Idol started, we got our reading time preempted and that was the end of it. Trading literacy for cheesy reality TV show? Check!

I’m burning the metaphorical candle on three ends, as it were.

And now, I must go, because Sassy’s toes have now found my tickle bug and are wanting it to come play with them AND her other hands. And she just announced she’s hungry for breakfast and needs to “go eat some meat!”

Air Pressure and the Jar of Death

I have so much fun watching my kids pick science experiments to do together. I, personally, never liked science in school–not because I didn’t like doing the experiments, but because I didn’t like doing all the exhaustive worksheets and essays afterwards. So, when I hear the word ‘science experiment’ I have this feeling of boredom sweep over me.

However, I’ve noticed that because worksheets and essays are not required here chez Child’s Play, that the kids are free to simply experiment, experience, and wonder. This isn’t boring! They have no negative associations like I do. Sometimes they do an experiment and let it go, not thinking of the ‘who, what, when, where, why’ of it all. And then sometimes they really stop to wonder just what the heck is going on. In those cases, they research a little more into it. They write out a script so they can share it with the internet. They practice until they get it right (but the bloopers are the best, so I included them at the end) and add some of their own flair while doing it.

When all is said and done, they do a lot of work…but it’s so fun they don’t notice. They are teaching me how to learn about science, and really like it.

Overheard…

(The following conversation was held after a week without Nesquick Chocolate Milk mix. I forgot to pick any up on our last trip to the grocery store, and made the kids wait a week until I could get to Costco to pick up a jumbo-Costco-sized-super-ginormous-345345345 servings per can-Nesquick.)

Golfer: “Hey, Naturalist. Do you think The No Chocolate Milk Crisis is as bad as the Cuban Missile Crisis was?”
Naturalist: “Oh, yeah. Definately.”
Me: “Uh, you guys realize that during the Cuban Missile Crisis, everyone in North America was afraid the Russians would send missiles over and blow up everything in the US, right?
Them: “Yeah.”
Me: “And you seriously are comparing that to going a week without Chocolate Milk?”
Them: “Yeah.”
Me: “And do you seriously believe going a week without Chocolate Milk is worse than an impending nuclear attack?”
Them: “Uh…………yeah.”

*****************************

Today, Golfer and I were playing basketball at the rec center. The game of Horse was going a bit long, and I needed to pick up Sassy Princess from their kindercare, so I suggested we shorten the game.

Golfer: “We can play ‘Ho’ instead?”
Me: (giggling a little) “OK, sounds good. First to ‘Ho’ loses.”
Golfer: “Actually, can we play to ‘Hor’?”
Me: (dying with fifth grade mentality giggles) “First to ‘Hor’ then.”
Golfer: “You are at ‘Ho’, so this should be a quick game! You’re only a letter away from ‘Hor’!”
Me: (hoping the people that just walked in don’t think poorly of my parenting skills) “Can you shoot the ball now?”

I lost. On the way out, while checking the ball back in, Golfer announces loudly: “We should play ‘Hor’ more often!”

************************

Sassy Princess, while checking out my Library ID card.
SP: “Hey Mom! Look at you in this picture! Your hair isn’t freaky!”
Me: (trying to recover from a bad haircut last week) “Uh, is my hair freaky right now?”
SP: “No. You don’t have freaky hair.”
Me: “Who has freaky hair?”
SP: “Daddy. Daddy has REALLY freaky hair.”

************************

With comedy like this, is it any wonder I enjoy having them home rather than at school?