Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Birthday to the Girl Who Loves to be Blogged

 The Girl who Loves to be Blogged was born 11 years ago today.  Here's how I looked that morning, waiting for the hospital to call and say we could come in for our induction.  I had graduated from Wheaton College Graduate School 3 days before.  Her actual due date was December 23rd, but we weren't willing to wait and let her come on her own because 1.) her older sister weighed in at 10 lbs, 3 oz. and 2.) we were planning a cross-country move on Jan. 1, Y2K.
Do you remember Y2K?  Many people were concerned that all the computers in the world would spontaneously implode at  midnight on New Year's Eve, because their internal clocks weren't programmed for a year larger than 1999.  Do you think we wondered whether it was safe to bring a brand new baby into such a world?  No, instead we rented a Ryder truck!
The Girl was born at 10:34 p.m. at 10lbs., 12oz.  December 21st was also my Nana's birthday, so it was nice to share.  Her birth was somewhat dramatic, and she entered the world a very purpley shade of blue.  Like many "larger" babies she had low blood sugar, and because of the drama she wasn't breathing well, so they put her in the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit.
In the NICU, she was the biggest baby they had ever had!  The nurses had to go the the pediatrics floor to get diapers and clothes to fit her, since they were used to premies.

It all turned out just fine though and she came home at 3 days like most newborns.  The only problem was, we'd been mistakenly informed that she might be a boy!

Drama continued in her life, as she spent only 10 days in her first home. On day 3 there, her loving older (18 months old) sister reached up to look into her bed (a suitcase) on top of the dresser (I know!  Not too smart!) since we were in the middle of moving.  She tipped the suitcase and the baby over, onto the floor!  I heard one loud cry from the baby, and a panicked cry from the toddler, and rushed into the bedroom.  Lifting the pillow and suitcase from the baby, I found her sleeping peacefully on the floor, right where she had fallen.  I was frightened and kept checking her for damage, but she never felt a thing.  As it turned out, she had a penchant for crashing.

 By day 5 at home, we were wondering when she was going to wake up and start crying.  This baby seemed to sleep all the time!  On her 10th day of life, I got onto a plane with these two precious girls, leaving their father and grandfather to pack a moving truck and bring it all the NY.  Both girls slept the entire plane ride!  What a mercy for Mom!  her middle name is Butterfly, and if we'd stayed where we were, I feel quite sure she would have been called that all her life, it got so much attention.

Our new home was at a Christian camp where we worked.  I worked part-time for a couple of months and then full-time, and Grandma was there in the afternoons with the girls.  During the summer, when camp was in session, they had a babysitter. Consequently, I don't have many pictures of this particular season of life.

She's cute though, with big blues eyes and a bald head.  She was a thumb-sucker, so she slept well and long.   When she was tired, which was often, she would rub
her nose on the shoulder of the person holding her, and she loved to rub something silky with her fingers.
Before her first birthday, we left the camp.  After a few weeks stay at a temporary house, we moved into an apartment in SGF, making four residences in a year.

That's about when the crashing started.  I could fill a photo album with pictures of black eyes, fat lips and dented foreheads, all her own.  At one point I took her to the eye doctor to make sure she didn't have a vision problem, such a depth perception.  (If you're wondering, you can do this simple test at home:  hold up a paper towel tube and ask her to stick both fingers into the ends at once.  If she overshoots, there's a problem.)  She was fine though; what she lacked was risk aversion and luck.  We visited urgent care and the emergency room several times, for household accidents of various sorts, and called poison control at least twice (she ate Vicks Vap-o-rub, which is dangerous in large quantities, and drank hydrogen peroxide, which is not)!  In spite of herself she made it to her second birthday, and managed to sprout some hair, too!

We bought a house when she was 3, where she crashed down the basement stairs and broke her arm above the elbow, requiring surgery.  Shortly after that she crashed her bike on the same arm, leaving a huge scar.  After that, the crashing seems to have slowed down.  We sold that house after 5 years, and in quick succession she obtained addresses 6, 7, 8, 9 10 and 11.  That's an average of once per year!
Home schooling began after 2nd grade, and move 6.  I never realized until I brought them home how much it would change our relationship.  I think I know them better and have insights into their personalities and needs because they don't spent 8 hours or more per day in someone else's care.  This led to some discoveries about the Girl's work style!  She never had a hard time in school, and at home we are still figuring out how to make it work.  She's truly a people person in that regard because she wants me to do everything with her.
This beautiful young lady is mine?!  She would rather do something distasteful with a group of people, than be left alone.  She's a morning person who can't hide her exhaustion in the evening, but she hates to go to bed if everyone else is still up.  She's a cookie baker, likes her room neat, and loves to help put the Little Princess down for naps and wake her up again.  As far as school work goes, making connections between words seems to be her thing, and she inspired me to add Latin to her curriculum last year.
This summer, she found a new hobby, though it still involves some crashing:

We hope she'll be testing for her Yellow 2 belt in tae kwon do soon.  She goes to lessons several days a week.  She's been baking and selling cookies, returning bottles and cans, and rolling change to make money for her own lessons while we go through a rough patch.  I'm so proud of her for finding something she enjoys that is all her own, and working so hard to make it happen. 

In the crazy all-around-the Northeast life that we have led, one never knows what a year will bring.  Some possibilities for the new year:  oral surgery and braces?  Another move, this time out of the country?  Probably another 5 inches in growth, making her taller than me?  She'd like some more friends, since we seem to be settling down for a few months.

Happy Birthday, Girl.  Can't wait to see what the year brings.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Long-Awaited Light-hut Blog Post! Also, Gourds.

It's here!
My camera, which I left in a New Jersey church back in September, arrived in today's mail.  I've been using my Insignia video camera, which also takes stills, but it doesn't have a flash to it's been hard to get good shots indoors at some events.  I'm excited to have my Kodak back.

Now, I can post about the Botany Light Hut!
I am using Apologia Botany with the Girl and the Mayor.  Back in August we built the light hut to grow plants all year round, we live in a cold climate.  I've since discovered that the plants can't really survive in there, but it's good for getting them started and it's used for several experiments in the course of the year.

The mayor actually took these pictures, and he's only 7, so they are what they are. I let him take them because I was busy and the Girl was kind of hogging the procedure.

This was our school room and project area back on August and September.  *Sigh.*  Things have changed...

The light hut is made from a simple cardboard box. 

Then we glued aluminum foil all over the inside.

There is a hole in the top on the right in this photo.

The light source is a "work light kit" I purchased at Ace Hardware.  It's not what's recommended but was a handy-dandy solution for me!  I just tied a knot in it so it couldn't slip through the hole into the light hut.  We put in a low- wattage compact fluorescent bulb (it is supposed to be 15, I think), and voila!  Light hut!

There is an aluminum foil curtain over it to help keep in warmth and light.
It is blindingly bright.

At this time we planted basil and chives.  We also put in some lima bean plants the Mayor had been growing since last Spring.

The light hut was moved to NY in the first trip last fall, so it wasn't along for the ride when we rolled the house over in September.  We succeeded in harvesting chives, but everything else died.  It may have been overwatered.  Recently, we started some wildflower seeds, but they also died.  Currently, we're growing two bean seeds, one in a white Styrofoam cup and the other in a black cup with a black lid, so that we can watch it grow towards the light in a pencil hole poked in the bottom of the cup. 

In non-Botany news, we made a brief visit to the Mayans of Central America and Mexico during our history studies.  We were supposed to make a gourd birdfeeder.  I had not planned ahead well enough to have a dried gourd on hand to paint, but guess what?  My mom had some!  Nana comes through again.

Gourds are so gross looking (when they have been out drying in a dusty garage), that the Little Princess wouldn't use the bathroom when I had put the gourd into the sink. 
But I washed them off and scrubbed them with steel wool, and then sanded them.  We cut a hole in the big one, and let the others speak to us about what they wanted to be when they grew up!
Then, we had to cut them open, which required a saw.  There was a hole saw involved in putting the hole in the big one.

After that the insides were scooped out.  The fibers, which used to be flesh, reminded me of loofah material.  I wish I had thought to keep the seeds, because they could have been made into jewelry.

Since we'd gotten them all wet, we left them to dry overnight and called Nana again to get some shellac to coat them.  She actually brought liquid plastic.  I did this part myself, with one assistant, in front of an open kitchen window, as it was smelly and super- sticky.  That had to dry another day, after which we sanded some of them.  Finally, we went to work painting them with tempera paints.

We ended up with two bowls with lids, two ladles and the birdhouse.  No hammers, in spite of the way he is holding that one in this picture.  There's actually another coat of paint still planned for the birdhouse, but I will let you see it anyway.

I think this project counts for both Botany and History, because the birdhouse was heavily influenced by Birds and Blooms magazine.  This month's edition happened to feature homemade birdhouses, with instructions in what colors to paint it and where to hand to attract certain types of birds.  Birds are pollinators, and pollinators are necessary for botany.  I kept getting confused and thinking we were doing it for Botany class, anyway.
I'm so glad to finally be able to show you the light hut.  Mostly I am glad to have my camera, and chip full of pictures of my kids, back in my possession.

We are now studying Ancient Greece, so for coming attractions I will mention that we made plaster frescos according to Minoan style a few days ago.  The Sleeping Giant is very proud of hers.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Of Spelling and Bees

A few weeks ago The Girls participated in the Spelling Bee at Crandall Public Library, sponsored by our local weekly newspaper, The Chronicle.

We had one in each age group.  The Girl Who Loves to Be Blogged scored 4th in her age bracket, and the Sleeping Giant came in third in hers.  She also placed second a year and a half ago, winning the dictionary we really needed.  Her picture was printed in the newspaper.  The Girl who Loves to be Blogged was master of the pregnant pause; she had the audience on the edge of their seats every time, thinking she didn't know her word. 

Homeschoolers were very well represented at the library bee.  I believe one homeschooler won the younger age bracket, and another placed second.  Either that or second and third.  One of the public-schooled kids' moms talked to me afterward about homeschooling.  It's funny, I never planned to like doing this (homeschooling), but now I find myself wanting to talk strangers into it, and coach them through the first scary choices.  I remember how overwhelmed I was when I first had to choose a curriculum and attempted those first scripted lessons.  But I digress.   I actually spoke to the editor of the Chronicle right after the bee about covering more homeschool events and homeschoolers.  The paper publishes a senior student of the week from local schools weekly.  I may have missed it, but I haven't ever seen a homeschooler of the week.  So I have a little crusade on where I plan to point out fun local things our scholars are doing, until Mr. Frost gets on board.

Today, there was another Spelling Bee for the six-county area (or was it 9) covered by the  Times Union newspaper.  In order for a student to go to Regionals for Scripps National, they have to win a local school level bee.  A homeschooler needs to have an association with which to participate in a bee equivalent to the local level.  This was it.  And there was  a cash prize!  We watched Akeelah and the Bee in the van on the way down there this morning, to get into the right frame of mind.

We had to drive an hour to get to the church where the Bee would be held.  Only 17 students came, in grades 4-8.  I certainly hoped there would be more, but I guess not every homeschooler is a much of a nerd as I am, and certainly not all in English.  The Girl who Loves to be Blogged learned how to spell 'pseudonym' this week, and joked "I should have put a pseudonym on the registration slip."  She kept spelling this word to herself, hoping it would be asked.

The competition was tough!  Only 4 of 17 students dropped out in the first round, mostly the younger students.  Only 1 in the second round.  The word that got him: auburn.  3 students dropped out in the third round, and here was an interesting word:  yippee!  This is the way that I would spell this word, and it's the dictionary spelling, but I have to say I am a bit surprised that this word has a 'correct' spelling.  So was the girl who spelled it 'yipee'.  My girls made it to the 4th round, where they were foiled by 'desirability' and 'sensibility.'  At the sixth round, we finally went down to two students, who battled it out through 4 rounds, spelling:  pedicure, vintage, sanitary, counterclockwise, versatile, semester, exoskeleton, gimmick and finally, enzyme.  My Girls were frustrated because they could easily spell most of the words that were asked after they dropped out!  There really is some element of luck to this process, getting the right word.

So, we're not going to the Regionals at Proctor's Theater in February. But we'll keep at it!  I believe that avid reading makes many a good speller, but we also study Latin, so that will help too.  We've got one more year for the Giant and 3 for the Girl.  I also got on board for another challenge:  The Geography Bee in January. I knew it existed and I met a mom today who, I hope, will be e-mailing me about the local one.  Yippee!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Botany Project- Soap

At the beginning of our homeschool year back in August, The Girl who Loves to be Blogged and The Mayor made a light hut.  The idea is to create a warm and bright space for plants to grow year round, especially since we live above the 42nd parallel.
The first thing we were supposed to plant were herbs.  The herbs were supposed to be dried and used in cooking, teas and soaps.
I already had some basil growing, and we added to that.
A few weeks ago we harvested basil and chives, tied them together and poked the string through a brown paper bag, hanging this contraption from the curtain bracket near the Girl's desk in the school room.  So her desk has been a fragrant corner.  I also harvested some dried lavender from my mother's kitchen, and comfrey from her front yard.  Other additives we had around the house were olive oil and oatmeal.
Last week, while on catch-up time for other school work, we made our soaps. 
I got some fragrance from the dollar store, and a kit from the craft store which contained soap, dyes and plumeria fragrance.  It had molds with embossing tools, but I also used some shapes my mom had around.

We melted the glycerin in the microwave, though I eventually changed to a poor-mom's double boiler so we would have more time to think about what we wanted to do.  Soap dries/cools/hardens pretty quickly!
The Mayor only made two of these, and then wandered off.  That's Ok.  The Girl enjoyed doing this with just her mom. I think.
 This is the little tin my Mom provided. You can sort of see how the soap is puckering up in the process of drying.  In the end we made a handful of soaps and still had some supplies left over, but I had to reclaim the kitchen for lunch.
This plastic mold that came with the kit had a little embossing plate in the bottom of it, so that the soap came out with flower design pressed into the top of it.  It was pretty.  We discovered was that it would take quite a bit of the dye powder that was provided to make the soap anywhere near as dark as shade of red or green pictured on the box.  We were reluctant to throw all that in. So our soap is pink instead of red.  Luckily, I stopped myself on the verge of throwing in some blue food coloring to make the lavender purple instead of pink...the user of the soap will thank me!

These are intended as Christmas gifts for my Secret Sister as well as several family members, so I am not going to reveal the finished product right now.  But my husband did say that if this is all that goes into making soap, the people who sell it at craft fairs are over-charging!  It was that simple...though he had no idea what I spent on the soap base, etc. from the store.

All in all though, a simple and quick craft for Christmas presents, making use of something we did for school.  I win, she wins, receiver of gifts wins.  Oh, and it made the house smell nice.  That's a good day.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Making Kites

We were studying Ancient China this week, which lends itself to a tremendous array of hands-on activities!  I studied Chinese in college for two years and lived in Western China for about 6 weeks in 1996.  I also visited in 1992.  DS really got into looking at my photo album from 1996, especially since I had lived along the banks of the Huang He River, which is where China's Ancient civilization began.  I told them about how when we saw it we noted that it wasn't Huang He, it was Hong He- the River appears more red than yellow.  It's something that stuck in my memory.

My older girls took a summer language class last summer (not this most recent one) and did an on-line course afterward, but we decided not to keep up with it.  We are after all focused on moving to a very different country, and it was a little confusing to be learning bits of both. But it was nice to go back to China for a visit this week.

Among the projects we didn't get to were brush painting/calligraphy, and making jiao-zi, or dumplings.  I have a vegetarian dumpling recipe made with tofu that their teacher gave me last year, and I have most of the ingredients, but we just didn't get to it.  Next week we are going to have some catch-up time as well as some work-ahead time, so I know what I need to do!

But we did do kite-making.  I combined two sets of instructions found on the Tapestry website, but basically ended up doing our own thing.  I bought 2 tiny 48" dowels at the hardware store and had a man there cut them in half for me.  At another hardware store, I was given a bunch of teeny tin(ier) dowels.  They had all broken and the person helping me said I could have them since they weren't salable, and escorted me out the door.  Score!  I was able to trim these down to 20" each, and these formed the crossbar.

The roll of white paper I got from my mother.  I don't know where we would be without Nana's never-ending storehouse of craft supplies, but it certainly has made our homeschool cheaper!  This week she even delivered!

The next step was to tie the two dowels together with string, in the shape of a 't.'  We laid them on a square of paper (about 26" square) and marked the endpoints.  They drew the diamond shape with a sharpie.  Then, I sent 'em off to draw their design.  Some chose markers, some chose paints, some were given fingerpaints. 
DD12 helped the Little Princess draw a princess, of course, but a Chinese-looking one based on the illustrations in our Upper Grammar Dialectic literature selection, Fa Mulan.   I think it's important to point out that we did the drawing and painting before we cut them out.  Allowed for...overflow.

The next step was to cut out around the rectangle but wider- about the width of a ruler.  Then we folded that in on the line and glued it down, with the sticks inside. 

Attaching the strings (also provided by Nana), we had a little trial and error.  I punched two holes on each corner with my scissors, and threaded the string through, tying it on the back.  But I ended up doing four strings, tied together in the middle loosely.  DD10 did two strings tied on two ends which was neater.  Then she tied them together with the roll of string that she would use to fly the kite.  I tried to get a picture of the strings pulled away from the back so you could see it, but I had an interloper!

There it is!  Sadly, I didn't get a good shot of his dragon design.  I assure you it was quality work and very original. 

This Girl Loves to be Blogged, can you tell?  Her dragon design came off a website, but she did a good job of coloring around it so that it blended in, and then designed round it.  She was the first one outside to fly it this morning, and her assessment when she came inside was, "That worked better than I thought it was going to."
I hope that some day the weather will cooperate and we will get outside somewhere more spacious to really give them a try, but then I would risk breaking them...that's a tough call!  They will make such nice decorations for our Unit Celebration.

One more design for you, from the Girl who Hates to be Blogged.  This came out of her dialectic History Resource, which she really likes, The Usborne Encyclopedia of World Religions (Internet-Linked). 
At times like this I am glad that Tapestry forces me to emphasizes arts and crafts like this.  For one thing, these crafts become so much more meaningful because they relate to the time period we are experiencing. 

But additionally, I would've skipped them.  I also would've told you that I had only one 'artsy' daughter.  But this year I have seen DD12 get totally absorbed in these artistic expressions.  I have watched DS sit carefully focused with the tip of his tongue sticking out of his mouth while he works those scissors.  And all of them have produced items they feel genuinely proud of, and which carry a story as well.

I never really set out to enjoy homeschooling- it was just something we had to do.  Someday I could write about that.  But this year I do love it.  I feel like we've grown into it bit by bit.  I probably couldn't have done Tapestry in our first year, but I am so glad I found it now.

I'll be back next week to let you know how the jiao-zi turned out.  I might have to hunt down some gluten-free wrappers.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Rename My Kids!

I'm aware that the DD3, etc. codes are annoying people.  I thought it was pretty common internet-speak, but I've had to explain it so many times that I've decided to go with nicknames.  So, here's your chance- rename my kids!

I don't use their names because I want to protect their privacy- we can't have strangers walking up to them on the street and calling them by name and saying that they are a friend of Mommy's, right?  I also want to be careful considering our security circumstances with travel overseas in our future. 

I already call DD3 the Little Princess on occasion.  Always have.  Might use that.  Or I could go with her home nickname, which is Bear, but that doesn't help people know which kid I am talking about. And what about the rest of them?  Big Kid, Little Kid, Middle Kid?  DS wanted to be called Little Prince, but that doesn't quite fit. 

What do you think I should call them?
And play fair, if you already know their names!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Unit Celebration #1

I've been sort of reluctant to blog this, partly because it is our first celebration and partly because it's just a ton of stuff!  Grab a cup of coffee because I want to show all the details of the hard work my kidlets put into this first unit of Tapestry of Grace.

So, our invitees were Grandma and Grandpa, Nana and Woody, and Pastor Dawn.  We asked them to come at 11:00.  Daddy also came in mid-Seder.
This is Moses.
Moses met guests at the door and led them through the wilderness (or, our kitchen and dining room).  This was a last minute addition, when I realized that Moses led the Israelites, yadda yadda!  Her costume is her daddy's old bathrobe, which has probably been used more often as a costume than otherwise!  Underneath she is wearing one of his white undershirts, which makes an excellent tunic on a three year old!  I will explain the Ten Commandments tablet at the end.

Moses led the guests to the first stop in our tour of the Ancient past, Ur and Mesopotamia.  Here, visitors had an Egyptian tour guide telling them about ziggurats, cylinder seals, and the Royal Game of Ur.  I am sorry that this picture is so dark.  Here's a closer one so you can really appreciate his costume:
On his bottom he was wearing a ripped sheet, the leftovers from one of his sisters' costumes.   At the beginning of the year we thought the directions for a pectoral collar looked too complicated, so he had nothing to wear on top.  We remedied that with...face paints.  Yes!  So simple, so easy!  So still on the back of his neck four days later because he showered without help!

His favorite part of manning this station was telling guests all about the Royal Game of Ur, which we just found last week (three to six weeks too late), in a 15 game set Nana had given us at Christmas.  Right under our noses!  It's a pretty simple board game which he was playing non-stop.

The next station the guards visited was Ancient Egypt.  Their tour guide was Jochabed, Moses' mother (actually, her sister!).  Rabbit-trail:  My kids actually suggested naming Moses this when she was on the way, and they were told she had to have an Old Testament name.  That, or Percy. 

Jochabed demonstrated her King Tut mask (she actually made that last year when we were doing another program), her mummified Barbie with accompanying
sarcophagus (take note, Mattel!), some jewelry and sandals.  She was actually a bit of an art fiend during this unit, a tendency which I never knew existed.  I blame my mother.  This is another reason I am glad I discovered Tapestry, because all that hands-on stuff really reinforces what they are learning and excites them, even if it sounds like a hassle to me.

Jochabed made her own tunic and robe, with a belt, from a scrap of fabric she mooched back in September.  This was her first adventure with my sewing machine, an she didn't love it, but there it is.  The flowing tresses she purchased from the Halloween display at K-mart.

Finally, the guests proceeded to the wilderness.  Here, Aaron the priestess was wearing full Tabernacle dress.  Tunic, an old sheet.  Ephod, a dress she owned, with jingle bells pinned to the hem.  Take a closer look a the head-dress: it's a grocery bag. 
At the front of the wilderness station, you can see the "snake-on-a-stick," which the Israelites looked to for healing when they got snake bites in the desert.

Here's a close-up of the breastplate:  thanks to Nana, the button collector.  It was fun trying to decide which button most closely represented the precious stones.  The neck band is made of yellow pipe cleaners spray painted gold.  This item was Aaron's pride and joy.  
After this, guests had a few minutes to visit the Botany table and observe a  Science experiment in the kitchen.  I didn't get any pictures.  I also had several of our books on display.

Next we had our Seder meal.  In all honesty I didn't pay much attention as Jochabed was planning this, and I should have.  It was L-o-n-g!  And the Powerpoint slides with the guests' lines on it weren't quite right. She gets an "E" for effort though!  We drank our grape juice from styrofoam cups and put the candles in model magic holders. 
I didn't even know that we had to serve lunch in the middle of the Seder, but I had heated up some lentil soup as part of the demonstration so we served that right up.  I'll just say it was an interesting procedure, and may the Lord forgive us for some of it.

Moving on- a set change took place during the Seder, so the guests went to market.  Moses handed out gold chocolate coins for currency.  The guests could visit a scribery, with clay jewelry and carefully gift wrapped.

We also had a grocery with bakery, offering roasted pumpkin seeds, delicious locust biscuits with honey, challah bread, figs, pumpkins and squash.  The costume, again, is daddy's old bathrobe, an old staple in many the church Christmas pageant, accompanied by a hand towel and a headband. 
And a smile.

Guests could also avail themselves of the town doctor, who had a cure for whatever ailed them, as long as it was a toothache, snake bite or wound.  I heard he charged exorbitant rates, though.

Here is everyone, the full effect.  I am proud of them!

Regarding the Ten Commandments, the tablets actually say.
1. Up.
2. Down
3. Up
4. Down
5. Left.
6. Down
7. Up
8. Down
9. Up
10. Left.

These were memory clues that I learned from a storyteller back in September.  I quickly packed it away in my brain because I knew we would memorize the Ten Commandments during this Unit!  I am not sure how I would have done it without them!  I wish I could remember the name of the storyteller and give you a link to his products, but I can't.  Maybe someone who was there will comment and tell me his name.  But the device worked well and they can tell the Ten Commandments pretty well, if not perfectly, and have fun doing it.

I have enjoyed this first Unit of Tapestry of Grace and I think the kids are more engaged with what they are learning about.  I also love that we work together on the same time period.  We have now moved on to Ancient India, China and Greece, after which we will come back to a alter period in the Bible.  Our next Celebration won't be until February due to all the vacation days that come with Christmas.  Stay tuned for International Night!

And someday, I will get my other camera back and do a Botany post on the uses of a light hut.  Really.  That compact fluorescent bulb is still burning.