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“Triad of Felines” Monolith Unearthed in Mexico

After thousands of years spent underground, this “Triad of Felines” has been unearthed in central Mexico. It was carved in the Olmec style somewhere between 800 B.C. and 500 B.C. It took months for archaeologist to put together the 11 pieces in this giant puzzle (5′ x 3’6″). They believe it is just part of what was once a wall crawling with felines.
Triad of Felines.jpg
Because they posed a significant threat to humans at the time, large felines such as jaguars were revered by many Mesoamerican cultures, Grove said. Their frequent occurrence in Olmec art suggests cats were important in Olmec religion and mythology, but their exact significance is still unknown.
For the rest of the story, visit National Geographic.

A Trojan Asteroid Found Sharing Earth’s Orbit

Trojan Asteroid Earth.jpg
A tiny space rock that’s partially tethered to Earth by a gravitational leash is our planet’s first known Trojan asteroid, astronomers say. This space rock is about 1000 feet wide and about 50 million miles in front of Earth in our shared orbit. We share the same orbit, but will never collide.
Trojan asteroids have been found around Jupiter, Neptune and Mars. The total number of Trojan asteroids larger than 1 km is believed to be about 1 million. Trojans are thought to have been captured into their orbits during the early stages of the Solar System’s formation or slightly later.
One scientists likens the odd asteroid to an orange held at arm’s length by a person riding a Ferris wheel. In this analogy, the orange is the Trojan, the person is Earth, and the Ferris wheel is our orbit around the sun. “The orange would be going around the Ferris wheel, but maintaining it out at arm’s length is up to you,” Connors explained.
Even though the Trojan asteroid is relatively close to Earth, it is not a good candidate for future exploration because it follows an unusual tilted path in relation to Earth’s. This makes it either too far above or below the plane of Earth’s orbit and getting to the Trojan would require huge amount of fuel.
For more information
National Geographic
Universe Today
Deseret News

Homeschooling 2011-2012 – A (gasp) Schedule!

So, this year I am doing something I have never done before! I purchased each of the kids a calendar for the 2011-2012 academic year. And then I wrote down what they will be doing every day for this upcoming year. I spent probably about 12 hours doing Katrina’s schedule and now I need to do Jack’s. Just in case you don’t believe me…here’s photos:)
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Katrina is studying the following this year:
Saxon Math 7/6
Draw Write Now – books one and two and more if she likes them. Basic drawing concepts
The Art of Argument – so she can actually win some arguments…Jack will be studying this too
Learning Language Arts Through Literature – The Tan book (she’ll be reading Big Red, The Bronze Bow, The Horse and His Boy and Carry on Mr. Bowditch)
Great Science Adventures: The World of Insects and Arachnids and Discovering the Ocean
Geography through Art
I am hoping that by having the plan written out like this and them seeing when they will have days off and when they will be done, it will help them to stay on track. Fingers crossed!

Awesome Birthday!

I had an awesome birthday yesterday!
It began with a couple of hours at Blue Ridge Community Church. I arrived in time to pray with the Cafe staff. I got all kinds of wonderful birthday hugs and greetings and I was even sung too (but escaped the dreaded birthday spanking!). After a great service, the kids and I headed home.
We went to Choice Hibachi Buffet for lunch (all the sushi you can eat…and good stuff!) Then we went to see Cowboys and Aliens. It was good. A much more serious movie that I had anticipated and an unusual setting for alien invasion!
We came home and watched Haven from Friday night. I love Haven! A great show! Then we watched The Twilight Zone the Movie – there were so many actors in there that I have since seen in other things and they all looked like such kids in this movie! Then Daniel, Jack, Katrina and I played Settlers of Catan. Jack won of course!
I couldn’t have asked for a better day!

45 Years Young and Counting My Blessings

45 years ago today at 9:17 p.m., I opened my eyes and said, “Hello, world! Gee, it sure is bright out here!” Onlookers thought I was just saying ‘ waahhh!’ but that is because they weren’t smart enough to understand newborn baby talk:) It is hard to believe that I am closing in on the 1/2 century mark. In some ways, I still feel like a ‘twenty-something.’
I feel a little retrospective today. I have so much to be thankful for. Life has had its ups and downs, but overall, I consider myself to be very blessed. So here I am to count my blessings!
1. I am the child of a loving, living God. What can possibly be better than that?! He is forgiving, loving, and has provided directions for me to grow into a better, more complete person.
2. I am grateful to be alive. My dad’s side of my family is known for longevity. My mom’s father and grandfather and great-grandfather all died in their early 40’s. My mom and I have both passed that milestone in good health.
3. My parents are both alive and are healthy. Though they didn’t remain together, they are both now in happy marriages. I am glad.
4. I am blessed to have spent the last 21 years with my wonderful husband. It hasn’t always been easy for either of us. But we have weathered the storms, grown stronger through them and our love keeps evolving into something more and more beautiful and permanent. He is my knight in shining armor, my shoulder to cry on, my personal cheering squad, my comedian, and the love of my life. I look forward to our further adventures.
5. I have four wonderful, amazing children:
Bruce: who keeps me on my toes by encouraging me to think outside of the box. Who never lets a Mother’s Day or birthday pass without a call. Who calls sometimes just to chat. Who is always ready to help when I have a cooking question and who is always up for watching a movie at midnight.
Charles: who always makes me smile. Who has loved me even when I didn’t deserve it. Who is trying to figure out his way in this crazy world. Who doesn’t take himself too seriously. Who is always ready to have some fun, play a game or act a little crazy! Who will climb trees, crawl into the crawl space, and who watches out for damsels in distress.
Jack: who loves the Lord. Who will watch SciFy with me at any time. Who is so good with younger children. Who is respected and loved by his peers. Who isn’t afraid to be vulnerable. Who doesn’t kill his sister when she plucks his last nerve. Who has a serving heart. Who is stretching his wings as a leader and who gently reminds me when I might want a better choice of words.
Katrina: who is my only daughter. Who sometimes drives me to distraction, but never ceases to amaze me with her acts of kindness for me and others around her. Who talks openly to me about what she is thinking and what is going on with her (I deeply treasure this). Who loves to help me and help others around her. Who is creative, ambitious and leaves sweet surprises in my lunchbox.

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New Shrews found in Indonesia

One of my favorite things to ‘report’ on is the discovery of new species. Seems like the news is always full of stories about species that are disappearing, but they somehow neglect to share with us new species that have been discovered. My personal thoughts is there is an ebb and flow in wild life. I have seen that here at my own home. Some years there are squirrels running rampant for instance and other years, we don’t see any. But I digress…
So, up to four new species of shrews have been found in Indonesia. Now, these little guys aren’t the cutest in the land…unless you like critters with big ears and long noses (the better to hear and sniff you with my dear), but they are an important part of our environment!
stretched out shrew.jpg

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Mouse Infestation

So, a few weeks ago, we saw a mouse scurry through the house…then there were signs… chewed up Qtips under the bathroom sink, dropping under the stove… so I looked at Sam’s for mouse traps. But, alas they don’t carry them and the mouse got a reprieve of a week (I only shop one day a week as one effort to conserve gas).
Then I picked up glue traps. I shy away from the snapping traps for two reasons. 1) I have had many instances where the mouse triggers the trap and doesn’t get caught or eats the food and doesn’t even trigger the trap and 2) the regular old mouse trap can be a bit messy.
The first night I got one mouse. Success! But then no more. I thought we only had one mouse, but then we saw one scurrying across the floor. I checked the other glue traps I had set down and couldn’t believe my eyes…they had mouse footprint on them! Some of them had so many, it looked like the mouse had been doing the cha cha on them!!!!
So, Tuesday, on my way home from work, I stopped at Food Lion to pick up the good old fashioned mousetrap. And guess what! Food Lion only sold decon and glue traps!!!!!! Wednesday Katrina and I were in town and we got the old-fashioned mouse traps from Wal-mart. Last night, I caught three more mice!!!!! They were all smaller than the first, so I think it was a mom and her children. Hopefully this will be the end of the problem.
I hate killing anything, but I have had clothes ruined and then there are the germs from mice. So, mice…you are on notice. Live in the woods all you want, I am happy to have you there, but please, please, please…stay out of my house!!!

I’m Back……

Well, I have been hankering to write on my blog again. The problem has been that I have two working blogs and I am not one of those people that can carry on multiple blogs. I like all of my thoughts in one place. On top of that now that I am back to work, life has been busy and I haven’t really had the time to write.
But life has been kind of calm the last week and a half and I decided to see if I could bring all of my articles from Homeschool Blogger over here to this blog. And guess what!? I could! It was easy peasy!
So now I am planning to blog again on a regular basis. Whatever comes to mind or tickles my fancy. If you decide to drop by, be sure to say hi:)

A Letter from a Grateful Daughter

Dear Heavenly Father,
I am a weak, wounded, selfish, irritating, nagging, worrying, annoying, addicted, judgmental, flawed, and sinful human being. I am in awe that You love me even so. I am flabbergasted that even when I am disobedient, fall away, try to run things my own way and don’t talk to or listen to You for days, weeks, or months on end that You still love me; that You are still here….waiting.
When I think of the sacrifice You made of your son/self, I find myself unable to comprehend. I couldn’t sacrifice my own children that way.
Thank you, God. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for being there for me even when I wasn’t reaching out to you or looking up. Thank you for so many wonderful people you have placed in my life: Virginia, Randy, Mary, Tess, Sheryl, Tracy, Amy, Kristin, and Emily. And that’s just to name a few. Thank you for the ones you put into my life whose Christian influence I didn’t even recognize.
Thank you for the traumas and the difficult times. These things have made me turn more to you. They have made me stronger. They have given me experiences so that I may help others.
Thank you for being here, for always listening to my heart, even when my mouth is closed and my eyes are looking everywhere but up, and my will is mine, not yours. Thank you for loving me, for wanting me to walk in fellowship with You.
Thank you for molding me into a better person, for filling my life with love, health, and so many friends and so much beauty. Thank you for Your Word to guide me and for imparting wisdom to others so that I can read their insights, hear their insights and understand You and Your plans/will for me better.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart, from every nook and cranny of my soul. You have given me so much, Lord, that I hesitate to ask for more.
Help me to be a beacon to others. Let them see You when they look at me. Help me to still my busy mind, to listen to You, to follow You, to trust You completely. Give me courage when needed. Fill my mouth with the words You want me to say, fill me with the love that only You possess. Fill me with peace, joy, and understanding. Make my marriage stronger. Make me a better parent, daughter and friend. Continue to place wonderful people in my life and continue to mold and shape me to Your purpose.
I love You.
Your daughter,
Melissa