"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my Strength, and my Redeemer." Psalm 19:14

Whale Evolution 1

Whale Evolution 2

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Eye and the Heart

Darcy loves to find my science supplies and explore. She found my models before my
students had put them together and I told them I'd bring them one again after they had
done so. She patiently waited. Then she asked all kinds of questions but we didn't have
much time. I'm sure she'll have followup questions so I best be reading up on the parts
of the eyeball and heart so I can answer them! She wants to know what each part is and what
it does. (My students were a bit more concerned with how to keep them from falling back
apart once they were snapped together!)

Creating a Mild Controversy

Not so long ago now (around Easter) Darcy wanted to know about growing butterflies
so I got the idea of doing just that...and so we did. They are now flitting about in a netted
cage at our house. As my son and the family were coming to visit the other day Darcy
excitedly told them that CC and Papa D had "Painted Ladies at their house in a Cage".
WELL, that got their attention let me tell you!

These are "Painted Lady Butterflies"... (I think they might have been afraid I was letting
her watch CSI with me or something...LOL...okay I know they got the story of the butterflies
straight from Darcy before they arrived. I think. I hope...I think Hometrainingtools.com might want to reconsider the TYPE of caterpillars they sell though!)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

At 22 years old, Daniel Wyatt died doing his job.

He did exactly what his government asked of him.
He put his life on hold, squared his affairs away and went into a theater of war.
He did not rescue any civilians, nor save the lives of any battle buddies.
He did not wipe out a bevy of the enemy, nor did he blow up a cache of hidden explosives.
He simply died when a remote controlled IED was set off.
There are no special medals, no books will ever be written about him, no one will be sitting in a movie theater someday, watching a picture done about his time in war.
Daniel, like millions of soldiers, sailors and Marines before him, simply went and did what was required of him.
He served his country in a time of need and died.

While America loves to embrace the hero, the person who, under unrelenting fire runs out to save a small child, another soldier, a mother and her baby, America has thousands upon thousands of heroes from every war who were just doing their jobs, who were just there doing what was expected, what was asked, serving when others were not. While we forever remember the words of the Thomas Jeffersons, Thomas Paine's or even the FDR's of our country, America was built on the bones of the unknown and unsung heroes of it's history. Those who heard their nation's call, answered and died, simply doing their jobs.

There are more Daniel Wyatt's in the world than there are Audie Murphy's or Sgt York's.

Please remember the unsung heroes of our nation.

You are who you are, because of them.

Posted with permission of Daniel's mother, Danette Wyatt, a fellow Army Mother but one
who gave her son. May we all remember every day (not just on Memorial Day) those who
serve and those who have served. And the families of those who have given all.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Note on "To Kill a Mockingbird"

On Monroeville actually - if you don't know - they very much wanted to film the
movie in Monroeville but the courthouse there was still a working courthouse.
So they went to Monroeville and pretty much "lived" there for a bit of time (Gregory
Peck causing quite a sensation!). The courthouse is now a museum but is unchanged - it
is lovely and does look identical to what was used in the movie as they reproduced it
for the film. So the play didn't have to reproduce anything - they just used the natural
set. It was there for them!

Monroeville is about 3 hours south of Birmingham (going towards Mobile) in what we
call LA (lower Alabama). It is directly west of Elamville (where my husband grew up) and
yes there were little Brocks as understudies in the play. As Amy noted on her blog, the
area looks just like my husband's home area. (flat!) Birmingham is in the foothills of
the Appalachian mountains - we have lovely hills but in south Alabama it is flat and sandy.
And hot. Well, it's hot all over Alabama! They have cotton there too and we saw some
growing as we drove down.

Oh and the Mockingbird is a major symbol of the South.

To Kill a Mockingbird

On May 16th, 2009, Amy and I traveled to Monroeville AL to see the annual
local production of "To Kill a Mockingbird" in the hometown of Harper Lee (and no,
we didn't see her). We DID meet and talk with Mary Badham, the actress who portrayed
"Scout" in the movie production of "To Kill a Mockingbird" in 1962. She spoke for about
2 hours and answered many questions. She spoke of growing up in the 60's in Birmingham
and I nodded many times. Later Amy and I went back to the Monroeville courthouse
to tour the museum there and met Ms. Badham once more (quite by accident!) and had a
nice personal chat. I told her I too grew up in B'ham of the 60's and we talked briefly
of the times. It was indeed a different era.
Harper Lee set her book in the 1930's but it was published in 1960. I remember
whispered discussions (this is from a child's memory and may well have been more about
the movie than the book). It only served to make me curious. The first time I read it I
did not understand much of it. I didn't quite understand much of the talk of Scottsboro
when Daddy talked of it either (Daddy was from Scottsboro) but I absorbed it and remember
being appalled by it.
Amy and I read "To Kill A Mockingbird" together in I think it was her 7th grade year.
We had lively discussions on the book. It became our favorite book. So when I saw in
the newspaper this year the ad for the production I wanted to go and she was all for it
too. We made a weekend of it. (Truman Capote was also from Monroeville but only spent
his younger years there - a neighbor of Harper Lee's). His childhood home later burned
and not much of it remains. (See photo). Dill is the character in the book based upon
Capote's character.
The local production was quite good - Atticus was excellent. You can tell the community
takes great pride in the play and we shall try hard to attend again.
It is hard if you are not from Alabama to express what this book means to us. I know
it means much to people all over the world as it speaks to prejudice (and more) but
it is special to us. It is the life of the South - the good, the bad and the essence of Alabama.
Her wonderful people and her awful people (the same all over I know but the life here
is slower and well, you just have to live here to understand...). You wish you could do away
with the rednecks who hate and the racial prejudice and just leave the cakes and love (without
the calories of course) and sitting on the porch and families who care about each other,
long summer days (without the 120 degree heat that children don't seem to notice for some
reason). watermelon!, swimming holes, gardens (with no weeds of course), and I could go on
but I guess that might just have to wait. We still have sin here too.
I'm sure somehow Harper Lee saw this in Monroeville - the good and the bad and wrote
about her people there. It made a wonderful book. And a wonderful play.

Aslan Helps by Grading Papers

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Some of my "Science" students (okay they are artists primary) show off their

musical talents and they are excellent musicians!

Monday, May 11, 2009

There Be Butterflies Here

Around the time of Easter this year Darcy asked me quite seriously, "CC, how do
caterpillars make their chrysalis?" And I really didn't know. So I told her I would get
us some caterpillars and we would watch them. And I did. And I still don't know - it is
a miracle. But Darcy has watched with me.
The caterpillars arrived around April 30th in a plastic jar with food in the bottom that
I had to assume the loved. After about a week they began to change just a bit (note photo)
and 3 of them climbed to the top and "hooked" themselves head down into a J position to
make ready for a cocoon. The other two were just a tad slower. A few days later they did
the same thing. After a few days, the chrysalis had formed around all five caterpillars.
(I could not get a really good photo of the cocoons - they were not all that pretty anyway -
these are Painted Lady Butterflies - others may have prettier cocoons.).
Sunday afternoon I was cleaning my bedroom a bit and looked over and thought, "The
cocoons look a bit different" and went over and we had 3 butterflies - they weren't yet moving.
Darcy came over (with everyone else) for Mother's Day and was excited to see them. We
cut orange slices and prepared sugar water for them but they were not flying yet.
Today (5-11) they began flying. Two still have not come out of their cocoons so we're waiting.
I hope they arrive by Wednesday as I would like to take them to Biology class.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

My Mother's Day Present

An almost complete bedroom do-over by Nicole, Amy and Jessica (with supervision by Darcy).
Includes pictures, various do-dads, candles, new bedspread, and window treatments, cleaning,
and where did they put my books?? (I'm sure I'll find them!). I LOVE my new mattress.
I was SO SO SO surprised. They got my mother to get me out of the house all day Friday (she
made me take her to Boaz to go shopping - I could NOT understand why all the sudden
she wanted to go to Boaz shopping and she kept me out all day too!). It all made sense once
I got home. Wow! Sneaky!!
The photos do not do it justice.

My Kids

Happy Mother's Day

Remember -every child is different but all are special! Some days you may not
know what to do with them but God has big plans for them.
I love my children (and now grandchildren!)

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Making Soap in Chemistry

The Chemistry class did a great job making soap this year - definitely the best
smelling class of the year. (They picked out Eudoria Essential Oil). We used Palm Oil,
Coconut Oil, Olive Oil and of course Lye. They did the careful measuring required, got
the temperatures of the fatty acids to match that of the lye (100 degrees) and the mix
was perfect. It looks good enough to eat! It should be ready to cut into bars by next

Dinner at Aunt Amy's

The old owners of Aunt Amy's and Uncle Matthew's house had children
and they also had a very nice swing set with slides (2) in the backyard.
Now Jacob, Jeremiah and Darcy just think Aunt Amy and Uncle Matt put
them up just for them and that they are very very cool for doing so (it is
so much nicer than the single slide at CC's and Papa D's house).
We did finally get them to come in to try to eat supper. My mother came
over too. And a lot of Amy and Matthew's friends. Nice evening!

Putting Numbers in Perspective

I had a friend email to ask why more people she knew weren't excited that
the President had cut 17 billion from the budget (of 1 trillion dollars).
Well, I can't get excited about 1/3 of 1% myself. (And I don't know were he
cut it yet anyway - I have to go find out...).
I guess it's a start.

BUT I went to an excellent ministry training today. And I'm just not that
worried. Our Prayer leader made the comment that we needed to "look up,
not out" when things were tough. Trite saying perhaps but a very true one.

And on this day of Prayer we need to repent. And turn back to God. Get our
own houses in order and not worry about our neighbors.

Our ministry's motto is "to reach the unreached within reach" - I kinda like that.

rambling, Pax

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

EOD Training

Just please tell me you have not tried this on some other poor soldier....
Love, Your Mother