Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Garden of Your Mind

I grew up watching Mr Rogers' Neighborhood. Did you? Well, today, I received a link to this "remix" which I thought was WONDERFUL! It reminded me of the things he taught me as a little girl...   Enjoy!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum

Last week I read Michelle Moran's book Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution. With our trip to France coming up soon, I'm very interested in learning about French history. And, this was a terrific book to learn more about the French Revolution.

Madame Tussaud is a historical fiction book about the famous wax sculptor who lived in Paris during the French Revolution. Born Marie Grosholtz, she learned the art of wax scultping from her uncle. Their museum, Salon de Cire, was better than a newspaper... it didn't just tell the news, it SHOWED the commoners the people MAKING the news. As the Revolution began, the Salon was updated frequently to reflect the quickly changing political changes.

Madame Tussoud, a wax figure (from Wikipedia)
Marie and her family walked a fine line between the Royals and the Revolutionists. And, as the Revolutionists started their murderous rampage, they started 'demanding' that Marie make death masks that they could parade through the streets on their pikes. It was a GRUESOME, deadly time. And, though it was hard to read about some of the realities of the Revolution and the Reign of Terror, it was also incredibly interesting! I highly recommend this book. (Note: there is a short 'bedroom scene' in this book between Marie and someone before she is married.)

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Got Dung?

We were out at our ranch today, and I saw a little roll moving along the ground. I went closer... and saw two dung beetles and a ball of... well... dung! They were busy rolling it along. WOW!

(mage from Wikipedia as I don't have a way to upload my photos right now)
Well, I got online and did a little research. I really enjoyed the Kids National Geographic site. First of all, I found out that our dung beetles are 'rollers'... they roll the dung into balls. (And, our beetles looked just like this photo.) They will bury these balls and use them for food or to lay their eggs in!

These beetles are helpful for livestock! They bury dung that might otherwise attract pests like flies. Also, they are returning useful nutrients to the ground! So, I was thrilled to find these two little helpful creatures on our ranch!

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

When I Grow Up... (Camp Day 2)

Kids are always being asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" For years, Alex has been answering "A vet." And, I think it's likely she'll be one! My sister was the same way as a child... and she is now a veterinarian! And, Alex has watched (and even helped) my sister several times. She hopes to spend even more time with her this summer! But, for now, she has camp... and the junior veterinarian program!

This was my favorite photo taken from Monday. It's part of her Jr Vet course and she's listening to the heart beat of a real dog. I believe this is probably the same black lab puppy that she got to bathe on Sunday. Besides her Jr Vet course she is also taking an "Adopt a Pet" course... where you get to take care of an animal all week long! Well, at least during your hour. Her chosen pet: a chinchilla! And, I've already done research... they can't tolerate our humidity so we won't be getting one. Sorry, Alex! Enjoy while you're at camp!!!

Monday, June 04, 2012

Cub Creek Science Camp

Alex is away at summer camp this week. This is the 3rd summer she's done a week-long camp, and the second one where she's went and hasn't known ANYONE when she's arrived! To me, that's pretty brave! I know I wouldn't have been able to do that as a child!

The camp posts photos each night and I found 3 of Alex today. This first one is of her (back row, 5th girl in greenish yellow shirt from left) and her cabin mates and counselors. I got to meet two counselors and four of the girls when I dropped her off yesterday.

Here she is (in white jacket) enjoying the campfire. It looks like she's having fun!!

And, here she is writing... it looks like she's writing on her jacket instead of her paper?!? :-) Anyway, from the newsletter, I think they are writing about their dreams & their fears & what they hope to accomplish this week.

Since this is her 4th week away (she also took a week-long trip with school this year), I'm really getting used to it and didn't cry a single tear! I am covering her in prayer and pray she has an incredible week. This sounds like a really neat camp, and I'll tell you more as the week goes on. By the way, it isn't even in Texas! Yep! She is at an out-of-state camp for the week!

Friday, June 01, 2012

Book Review: In the Reign of Terror: A Story of the French Revolution by G. A. Henty

I recently finished my second book by G. A. Henty - In the Regin of Terror: A Story of the French Revolution by G. A. Henty. I downloaded a FREE version from Amazon on to my Kindle app.

Image is of a MP3 version
Harry, an English boy, moves to France to live in the chateau of a French Marquis. The Marquis hopes that Harry's English ways will influence his boys. But, the French Revolution has come and there is danger to all French aristocrats, including the Marquis and his family. The Marquis and his wife move to Paris to support their king and imprisonment and death will await some of the family while Harry tries to protect the Marquis' three daughters.
Image from Wikipedia
Of course this is a very violent book given the topic it is covering. The violence begins with the horrific September Massacres of 1792. The massacres started with the slaying of 24 priests who were being transported to a prison named L'Abbeye. Five days of massacre followed as the mobsters emptied prison after prison, giving 'mock' trials and then executing the prisoners - male and female, young and old.

This book really helped me to understand the French Revolution and, more specifically, the Reign of Terror. However, I think it was incredibly gruesome and I don't think I'll share this particular book with Alex for a few more years. It might be better suited for high schoolers and adults.
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