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30 August 2009

Sunday Scripture

Sing unto the Lord; for he hat done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.

Cry and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.

-Isaiah 12:5-6

28 August 2009

Nature Study: Children's Farm

The llama decided to check out the Monkey. Who is in the zoo here?

Apparently, llamas are related to Gumby.

This one was a crabapple with some very cool trunk curves, so we took a more detailed picture of the cool part. We also picked Monkey up and showed him the winding trunk & helped him trace it out so he could see where it was going.

We decided that this is probably "Early Goldenrod."

26 August 2009


I recently found the Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History at a used bookshop in town. Very exciting. It's one of TWTM's recommended grammar stage (elementary) history books. I, having never taken a world history class, decided to go through it and see what I can see. I started on page 109 - before that is mostly about evolution. I already wrote about evolution; I skipped that part. We'll likely skip it when Monkey's in elementary school too. But about page 109 things start to get interesting.

First, there's Jericho. Joshua's Jericho. It seems that they lived in igloo-looking homes and buried their dead under their homes. But even more interesting than Jericho is this place in Turkey called Çatalhöyük.

This being an internet-linked encyclopedia, it linked to a page with a pronunciation for that big word: Çatalhöyük. It sounds surprisingly normal, for as strange as it looks to me. They also had a helpful map, showing where in the world Çatalhöyük is located. Very nice. The website also has some more information:

Archaeologists are excavating the remains of a Neolithic town. 9,000 years ago, this place was one of the world's largest settlements. At a time when most of the world's people were wandering hunter-gatherers, as many as 10,000 people lived at Çatalhöyük.

Çatalhöyük means 'forked mound' and refers to the site's east and west mounds, which formed as centuries of townspeople tore down and rebuilt the settlement's mud-brick houses.

Apparently, in Çatalhöyük they opted to use ladders rather than front doors. They climbed up on the outside, then entered the house through a ladder through the roof. So far, I haven't seen anything that offered any guesses as to why that might be the best way to get into the house. All I can think of is that it's much more defensible than a front door. You pull up the ladder and the house is a lot harder for bad guys or predators to get into. I imagine that they got very good at climbing those ladders!

One interesting thing about Çatalhöyük is the clay balls. They found them all over the place. Sounds like there were thousands of them, in three different types: Balloids, Mini-balls, and "weird-shaped." There's a lot of theories about what they might have been used for. Cooking, hunting, war, kids' toys. A woman names Sonya Atalay is studying them, but the page about her ideas has many more questions than answers.

When Çatalhöyük was discovered in the late 1950's, one of the reasons that it became famous was the murals the archeologists found. Those murals are still an object of iterest, and you can see pictures of some of them on that website the encyclopedia recommended.

The photographs are pictures from the actual dig site in Turkey, used with permission from their Flicker Photos. There's also this official website, done in cooperation with Cambridge, that you could look around.

Letter Books

We've been using Happy Phonics to teach Monkey to read, and with good results so far. Monkey enjoys the games, and it's entirely games-based, so it's gentle enough to use with a 2 year old who has already learned his letters and their sounds. But when we first started trying to move from individual letters to finding sounds in words it quickly became apparent that Monkey wasn't quite ready for that yet. (We played more with numbers during our break.) So we put the games away and waited for a while.

Now, he's starting to tell me "p-p-pillow" and other such sound games, so we're getting the phonics games back out and looking at what comes next again. These books are going to be one of the next things we do. I got my sewing machine out and sewed up some fun colors of cardstock (scrapbooking rejects, mostly) to several pages of white paper, and now we have fun books. Monkey says that he wants to do "D" first, so we'll be making a book of D sounds over the next few days, with plenty more books when that's done.

25 August 2009

We Made Cookies!

We did fancy cookies for the open house we had for Moosbeere & his bride. They turned out great! Miss Kate also blogged the cookies.

23 August 2009

Sunday Scripture

And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me.

Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land;
Doctrine & Covenants 98:5-6

"The Constitution of this land is part of every Latter-day Saint's religious faith." -Ezra Taft Benson

21 August 2009

Bountiful Temple

Learn more about the purpose of the temples.

Not Christian?

Mr. Obama says that we are not a Christian nation. Hmmm. I think he needs to recheck his facts. Try, for instance the Declaration of Independence:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator..."

Or, perhaps check any one of the prambles to any of the 50 states' constitutions, as listed by Mother Hen.

Or, if you wanted further, more "current" information, try this list of places that Americans voluntarily self-report they attend for worship. Funny thing. The vast majority are Christian denominations.

Perhaps Mr. Obama is not as in-touch with the American people as he would like to think he is?

20 August 2009


This is a picture of Monkey and his Aunt Heidelbeere looking into his great-uncle's horse trailer while we were on the wedding trip. He was pretty charmed by what he saw:

16 August 2009

Funny Clip

What I Want to Know

If he'll stick his face in like this at the park, why is a shower such a problem?

Wedding Trip (Part 1)

Monkey was very interested in all the goings-on at the airport. He asked TONS of questions about what was happening out there. Anybody know a good book about what all those trucks and things are doing? We found a Richard Scary book, but it's a bit on the silly/cartoony side. Though its as fun as all his books are! But I'm not sure that it leaves me any more knowledgeable about what's going on at the airport!

This is the view from ABOVE the clouds on our way to the wedding.

The first order of business was to visit with some friends. It was completely non-wedding related, and completely delightful.

Sunday Scripture

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:

And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

-Malachi 4:5-6

After this vision had closed, another great and glorious vision burst upon us; for Elijah the prophet, who was taken to heaven without tasting death, stood before us, and said:

Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi—testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come—

To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse—

Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors.

-Doctrine and Covenants 110:13-16

15 August 2009

How We Do It

Question from Trish:

Question for you. On the Nature Hour blog on her sidebar where it has all the lessons or challenges. Do you print these out each time you use them or do you just follow what she says on her blog? Basically, I'm asking exactly how are you doing it? And to what degree?


Most of the Outdoor Hour challenges are geared for older kids than my Monkey, so we end up modifying them quite a bit, and many of them we're waiting to do until he's ready for more formalized "school" activities. I've done some of them myself, and Monkey and I have done some of them together.

The first several challenges are easy to adapt for the young participant. We did the "Using Your Words" challenge over the period of several trips outside. This mostly consisted of me being aware of what Monkey was interested in and feeding him words to describe what he was playing with or looking at. We did this in the Spring of 2008, and it's developed since then into an awareness of things outside. My desire to be able to tell him about things outside has lead me to work on my own knowledge so that I have the ability to tell him about what we're seeing.

Looking through her list, I think there are some more that we could try, now that Monkey is a little bigger: the Magnifying Lens, and the Picnic, both of which could be done over a period of time, rather than just once.

Looking at all those beautiful notebook pages I wanted to do something similar, but Monkey's too little to do that kind of thing yet. So we got him a photo album - just one of the ones with pockets that you slip the pictures into. And when we're out if we notice something I will often be taking pictures anyway, so I'll say, do you want to put this into your nature book? And he's starting to ask me to take pictures of things, rocks mostly, that he wants in his book, so I'm feeling like it's working. The other cool thing is that he's starting to point out clouds and flowers and bugs and feathers and things that catch his eye. His powers of observation are really quite good! I often feel like I have to work hard to keep up with him sometimes.

08 August 2009

Sunday Scripture

...He which made them at the beginning made them male and female,

And said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh[.]

Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
-Matthew 19:4-6

05 August 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window...
The moon is full and beautiful. Summer is beginning to fade, the tomatoes will be on soon, not long after that the leaves will fall. It is beautiful.

I am thinking...
About my brother's wedding and the wonderful woman who will be my new sister by the end of the week.

I am thankful for...

flowers and the jogging stroller which I'll be using again after the wedding, and for my new mixer & the instructions that "Cookie Craft" has for making cookies, which make making cookies TONS easier. Oh, wait, that's the kitchen entry.

From the learning rooms...

Monkey is playing sound games more and more, "C-c-cookie" "M-m-moon" and seems to be getting closer to making that connection between the letters and sounds we play with and the written words in his books. We are definitely making progress. At least, on his stuff. For myself, I'm reading "1776" with my sister and "John Adams" by myself, both by David McCullough, I'm stalled on Les Mis & America's Constitution, as it takes so much time to do those with the notebooking that I want to do, but I'll be back to them. I also read several of the YA books I got at the thrift shop: a biography of Anne Sullivan and one called "Hatchet" that was pretty enjoyable.

From the kitchen...
Canning is temporarily susspended until after the wedding. Somewhere between now and the end of July I need to make another 150 cookies so we can decorate them for the reception at the end of the month. So no more blueberry jam this summer. Probably. Some people have eyes bigger than their plates. I have plans bigger than my calendar. Someday I'll get this all down to a science, so that I can plan the amount of stuff that I actually have time for. Key to that skill is deciding what to let go of, which I am NOT good at.

I am going...
to bed soon, I hope.

I am reading...
Oh, I answered this one already, up in the learning section. I can tell it's been a while since I did this.

I am hoping...
to get pregnant soon.

I am hearing...
nothing. It's a rare thing.

Around the house...
I see more evidence that I've filled my schedule too full (again). It's messy. Fixing that is on the agenda for tomorrow.

One of my favorite things...
is tickling Monkey. He wiggles and giggles and says, "You make me laugh!" Which just delights me.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Meeting with old friends, getting together with LOTS of family, meeting the bride's family, going to the Temple with Jake (mission prep), and then with the bride & groom.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

03 August 2009


Sunday Scripture

Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed Thy commandments.

Thou art good and doest good; teach me Thy statutes.

The law of Thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.
-Psalms 119:66, 68, 72

01 August 2009

More Blueberry Jam

It's a tough job, but somebody's got to lick the scoops and spoons at the end of the process! Good thing I have Monkey to help me out.


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