Are you Smarter than a 6th Grader Finale

This is it kids. No more after this one.

Please Match the following Country with its capital:

1. South Africa Cairo
2. Liberia Addis Ababa
3. Nigeria Tripoli
4. Madagascar Antanarivo
5. Ethiopia Monrovia
6. Libya Abuja
7. Egypt Pretoria

Fill in the blank:

_____________ was a country which was the butt of many famine jokes in the 1980’s.

______________ was created by the wealthy diamond merchant, Cecil Rhodes, who thought the British was the best culture on earth.

_____________ was created by American ex-slaves after the American Civil War.

_____________ used to be called the Gold Coast when it was a British Colony before 1957.

____________ is the home of Africa’s highest mountain peak, Kilimanjaro.

Short Answer: (Please use your composition notebook)

1. Africa is sometimes called the ‘lost continent.’ Explain why this is so.
2. What religion greatly influenced Africa? Who was its founder and what are some basic elements/beliefs of that religion.
3. Explain how gold was traded in the ancient kingdom of Ghana.
4. Explain the 3 types of experts that make up groups of Somali pirates.

Three Paragraph Essay: (Please take a position of pro or con and prove your points. Use your composition notebook)

Ending racial apartheid was beneficial for South Africa.

The Sparrow Who

I think is Emilio in the book. He is flying a long way from home to find God. His ecstatic experience of meeting the Runa (intensly social, technologically underdeveloped hybrids of humans and deer) borders on theophany--I was right there with him. And when the book jerks me back with him in front of the Jesuit committee, I can't understand how he went from saintliness to being a broken, emotionally defeated man. I still don't know why he killed the interpreter child, Askama, who was his constant companion on the other planet, or why he turned to prostitution--was it to protect Sofia somehow? Was it an economic thing? I have an idea why he chose to get his fingers biologically altered (to belong, to get into the socially higher status of the Jana'ata). Please Vicenzo (the Father General, son of a mafia boss, who also happens to sail like a pro) fix him. I would rather he have DW's theology (he thinks God is a comedian since he made DW a gay, ugly poet-pilot to be born in Waco TX). And Behr and Candotti are my models for good Christians, while Voelker (the binary, judgemental, sad excuse for a spiritual leader) can take his letter of the law and shove it. . . I digress. The scene where Emilio and Sofia and Askama are sitting in the tree shelter together--that's heaven for me.



Ready for church. Do you ever make your kids get ready quickly for church only to have them resent the fact that they have to lay around trying not to mess up their clothes, waiting for you to get ready?

Memorial Day BBQ with the Hall, Miles, and Wheaton families.

Becky and I taking pics for our respective blogs. Please don't post mine Becky--the concept of a white elephant comes to mind when I saw me on your camera--(and I don't mean the fun hand me down Christmas gift.)

Man and grill. Although Bo grilled and Soren made the marinade. But Cyler cleaned the grill--that's a chore!



Today, Soren's science project was due. He decided to make a scale model of the solar system (a sixth grader and he hadn't had the chance to do that yet). He chose his own layout design, materials and scale: 4 inches= 100,000,000 kilometers. It turned out totally different than what I would have done or expected. That's what made it cool to me. The ball of white paper with orange facets and black dots are the sun. The tiny white point at the end of the red ruler (he ran out of dowels, and floor space) is Pluto, which, depending on who you are, may or may not be classified as a planet. The paradigm shift is moving as we speak.
Soren's body to give scale to his scaled model. He kept peppering me with interesting facts, "Did you know Uranus has invisible rings?" (my answer was no). "Did you know that the Galileo probe to Jupiter was a suicide mission?" (no again). "Did you know Pluto shares Neptune's orbit every once in a while?" (of course, no again) This conversation made me realize more learning went on during this project than I could have hoped for.

I was told that my idea of a cooperative art project for an Enrichment night probably wouldn't fly because "what do you do with it afterward?" Sometimes, especially for art and creative projects, it's the process that is supreme. Where do we put this stuff? Who cares?

This is the crew on the Hubble space telescope servicing mission that just took place. I love the female's zero gravity hair!!! Check the link for incredible photos of their work. Looking at this picture and thinking about Stephen Hawking (who has an IQ of 160!!) I found an article about the youngest member of Mensa. She said that after watching "Beauty and the Beast," she didn't like Gaston because he was "mean and arrogant." She was dressing herself and putting the right shoes on the right feet at 14months. You go girl!


Casual Thursday

What if your music theory teacher came to work in this. . .
and her hair was like this. . .

And this is where you had math class once in a while. . .

You would know that it was Thursday at GlobalHomeschool.
Some things that brightened my morning today-

I am not great at math but I think this recycled toilet paper is a pretty good buy (Costco). Have you tried it? And, I just cleaned my chandelier--purdy. When I'm in the mood, cleaning is really fun. Did I just say that?


Storm's a'Comin'

My band is coming!!! My band is coming!!! The windows of heaven have opened and daylight is breaking through. I hear bodrans, pipes, and didgeridoos (or however you spell it--I don't care--I'm in ecstasy!) June 14th. House of Blues in Dallas. I. am. so. there.

Sparrow Suprises

This Mary Russell writes comedy so well!! The repartee between the characters at dinner are intelligent and hilarious. I want to be Anne's dinner guest. I already love Emilio the reformed Puerto Rican drug dealer who was saved by entering the priesthood. I have had a fascination with Jesuits ever since studying their inception of and involvement in the Sandinista movement in 1980's Nicaragua. Bad-Ass Holy Men! And Anne, the MD-agnostic-braniac with a mouth of a sailor and a heart of gold--what can I say--I love her too-an older woman who is still very much sentient and sensual. I love how she cooks food from the ethnic/cultural background of her guest. And Sophia, the Sephardic Jew intellectual slave (what a creatice concept),--I want so badly for her to get kissed by Emilio! She needs it desparately. I also like the way Russell shows the media frenzy/misinformation surrounding the discovery of the Singers. The whirl of rumor/skepticism, conflated with the inability of established power to act efficiently enough to form a mission that took the Jesuits relative moments to put together, was so ironic, yet believable. You gotta know the Jesuits. This book has more cussing in it than I have ever read. I am not comfortable with the amount (cuss words should be like salt and pepper-used sparingly for the best effect) and not sure why she adds so much--is it to give emphasis to the beauty of imperfect reality? Is this how people she knows really talk? What do you think so far?


Sorry little blog

I have been neglecting you. But I have kept you in mind so here goes a week's worth of life in one tidy post. And a peek at why the below pose is Cyler's favorite.
Chocolates in bed Mother's day morning. Soren made me a Borax crystal heart and Ellery wrote and performed a song for me. Cyler found Celaborelle Phoenician Buffet and we ate there. Check out the Shabeit, Labni and Khubez--$8.95 pp all you can eat, fresh from the menu. M!

African Arts night at Ellery's school. They just received 50 African drums from grant $ so I donned my Ghanian traditional dress and entered the tasting table recipe contest--and won. yay

Moroccan Chicken Tagine al Janna
Serves: A hungry nomadic family and a few guests visiting their tent. Their beloved Arabian horses who sleep in the tent with them always try to eat the apricots!

5 lbs chicken pieces
2 lg yellow onions, chopped
2 sticks butter
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp salt
2 cinnamon sticks
1 lb dried apricots (or less if you prefer)
10 Tbsp honey (more if you like it sweeter)
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ peeled almonds
1 Tbsp sesame seeds

In a large pot, melt butter. Fry chopped onions till soft, and add chicken pieces, salt, pepper, turmeric, and cinnamon sticks. Add enough water to cover chicken (about 2 C). Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer till chicken is done, adding water if necessary. Remove the chicken pieces.

Add apricots and simmer for 15 min. Add ground cinnamon and honey, stir and cook till sauce has honey-like consistency. Add more honey if necessary.

When sauce is almost ready, sauté almonds in oil over low heat. Drain most of the oil from pan and toast sesame seeds in the remaining oil.

Return chicken to pot and reheat. Place chicken in a serving sheet, pour sauce on top. Top with almonds and sesame seeds.

Serve with couscous!

My friend Becky had a bday lunch at Sushi Sam's--we laughed and ate and laughed. I wish I could do that everyday. How is Sacramento Becky?

Thursday is gymnastics and then Irish Dance. Does 2 consecutive, demanding hobbies in one night constitute as abuse? I wonder. But it's convenient.

Irish Dance tip--to help little ones keep their arms in place, put a piece of 8 1/2" x 11" notebook paper under each arm. They have to squeeze their arms against their bodies to keep it from falling while dancing. Also, have them hold a quarter in each hand so they keep their hands in a soft fist.
This weekend was our church's men's camping event. When I asked Cyler why he didn't want to go he said that only 1/2 the priesthood was going to be there (ok, now roll eyes at the subtle non-complicity with systematic gender segregation). When pressed about why he really didn't want to go, he said it was like camping in an ant infested Walmart refugee camp. He's somewhat (ok, a lot) of a camping snob. So our gender integrated family went to Cleburne State Park with our friends the Miles'and I saw fireflies for the first time! Magical.

We also did the safari drive through Fossil Rim and fed giraffes from our car.

We swam and hiked and sang songs around the campfire while Cyler or I played the guitar. "I can see clearly now," "SpongeBob Squarepants Campfire song," "Hey Lolly," "Brown Eyed Girl" was the repetoire. This was the first time I cooked mainly on top of the fire.
Camping Menu/Tips:
Grilled chicken legs--tip: At home, place drumsticks, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and fresh rosemary in a ziploc bag. By the time you get your site set up, they are ready to grill over the fire.
Tinfoil veggies--tip: At home, cut up veggies (potatoes, onion, corn, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli) and put in Ziploc. At campsite, drizzle olive oil, salt, garlic and rosemary in the bag and shake. Place 1C in each double folded foil "nest" and partially close top leaving a small opening for steam to escape. Both are done in 30 min on a grate over the fire.
Eggs, saugage, hashbrowns (on the propane stove)
Hoagies, chips, pickles (take 3-sided costco box for dry goods like bread. Put in the car at the end of the night to keep away from raccoons and critters.)
Venison chili--tip: make the spice mix at home and put in a plastic baggie. M!
And thank you to Doug at Showdog who named my latest Showdog litter--the girls were named Tipitina and Tchoupitoula. The boy is Dr. Longhair. Names inspired by a New Orleans juke joint.


Couldn't Wait till Sunday

Here is the next book for Absinthe Chatter. Ask for it for Mother's Day, drop by the library,--I got it at Barnes and Noble (buy 2 get 1 free). These lines on the back hooked me:

"If you have to send a group of people to a newly discovered planet to contact a totally unknown species, whom would you choose? How about four Jesuit priests, a young astronomer, a physician, her engineer husband, and a child prostitute turned computer expert?"

I'm in. Come with me.



I'm not a feminist, but...
I appreciate the right to help choose my government representatives. I enjoy the option of wearing pants or shorts if I want. I'm pleased that I was allowed to learn to read and write. It can be very convenient to control how many babies I want to have. It's awfully useful to be able to open a bank account and own property in my name. I like knowing that my husband or boyfriend cannot legally beat me.

A feminist is a person who answers "yes" to the question, "Are women human?" Feminism is not about whether women are better than, worse than or identical with men. . . It's about justice, fairness, and access to the broad range of human experience. It's about women consulting their own well-being and being judged as individuals rather than as members of a class with one personality, one social function, one road to happiness. It's about women having intrinsic value as persons rather than contingent value as a means to an end for others: fetuses, children, the "family," men. (Katha Pollitt).

The Other F-word

Suffragists struggling to be allowed to have full voice in the government that represented them. LDS people tout that Utah's women were allowed to vote early. But remember, it was mainly to lobby for the right to continue the practice of polygamy which to the rest of the nation was considered one of the horns of barbarism (the other being slavery).
Gloria Steinem-social activist. Her mother was left to support the family by herself when her husband (good Jewish father) had to leave home to find work. That experience of watching her mother suffer and struggle was a catalyst to a life-long pursuit so that women and men could be equal partners in life. I am not happy she had an abortion but I can respect her for the many great things she said and thought.

Judith Plaskow--Jewish feminist theologian and personal hero.

I was alarmed when I heard at my place of Sunday worship that the Lord "knew" women would need educations and good jobs in this day and age so that's why we have them. I believe truth and every good thing comes from God but let's not forget the women that were laughed at, thrown out, ignored, patronized, infantilized, not to mention jailed, beaten and treated as social pariahs to make sure that we had educations and good jobs. Always remember that feminism began as an economic movement before it transformed into an identity movement. This post is dedicated to humans everywhere who wish to be seen as whole individuals:
Consider this article dated 11/20/07
Take a feminist out to dinner.
That's the advice of a social psychologist who concludes in a new study that feminists make better partners and have stronger romantic relationships.
Laurie Rudman of Rutgers University had found in earlier research that negative stereotypes of feminists - that they're unattractive, man-hating lesbians, in a nutshell - cause young adults to distance themselves from the "F-word" and tone down their demands for equality.
A majority of college-age respondents agreed with such statements as "Most men would probably not want to date a feminist" and "Romance depends, in part, on men being allowed to be in charge."
This was alarming to Rudman, who is old enough to remember the heyday of the women's rights movement in the 1970s. Continued efforts to achieve gender equality could be seriously hurt, she reasoned, if women (and men) think it comes at the expense of love.
So, with the help of graduate student Julie Phelan, she set about trying to determine if there was any truth to the notion that feminists are more likely than traditional women to have crummy relationships.
The results, appearing in the online edition of the peer-reviewed journal Sex Roles, show that for both women and men there was a benefit to having a feminist partner. Feminist women were also more likely than others to be in a romantic relationship.
"If you're a woman paired with a male feminist," said Rudman, "you have a healthier relationship across the board" - better in terms of relationship quality, equality, stability and sexual satisfaction.
"And men paired with female feminists have greater sexual satisfaction and greater relationship stability," she said. "So, (there were) higher scores on two of the four dimensions, with no difference on the other two."
There you have it: Feminists are sexy.

Copycat Penne Rustica

What to fix with the watermelon I got today? I found a copycat recipe for Macaroni Grill's Penne Rustica at The Secret Recipe Blog. I changed some things around and came up with this.

Gratinata Sauce:
1 tsp butter
2 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 marsala wine
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
4 C half and half

Saute butter, garlic, and rosemary till garlic begins to brown. Add marsala and then reduce by a third. Add remaining ingreds and reduce by half of original volume. Set aside.

I didn't have penne-so I used BIG rigatoni.

I didn't have marsala-so I used Claret from a local winery.
1 oz pancetta or bacon (I had bacon)
18 shrimp peeled and deveined
6 oz grilled chicken breast, sliced (I couldn't wait for chicken to thaw so I just used shrimp)
Gratinata sauce (above)
Cooked pasta for 4
2 tsp pimientos (I didn't have)
4 oz butter
1 tsp chopped shallots
pinch salt and pepper
1 C parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp paprika
6 sprigs of rosemary
Saute pancetta till it begins to brown. Add butter, shallots, and shrimp. Cook till shrimp are evenly pink but still translucent. Don't overcook. Add chicken, salt/pepper and mix. Add gratinata sauce and 1/2C parmesan cheese--simmer till sauce thickens.
Combine shrimp mixture with precooked pasta in casserole. Top with remaining cheese and pimientos--sprinkle with paprika. Bake 475 degrees F for 10-15 min. Remove and garnish with fresh rosemary.

'Twer so good. Even with all my subs and omissions, I was the spotlight star at dinner tonight. Soren wants it for his birthday now.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars (*****)
It tasted like the restaurant. Period.


Family Home Ready to Rumble

After memorizing the 13th article of faith and learning to be virtuous, enduring, and lovely. . .
We tried to kick eachother's tails in Wii boxing. . .
Ellery and Cyler won their respective heats and went head to head. . .

Controllers flying! Ellery hit herself (really)--so during the championship she was alternately crying and grunting with serious hutzpah. Injured and weary, she went on to defeat the old king.

Agh, I got hit! Ellery's warming up in the background with some handweights.

She knew she had to get back under control, so she plopped right down and did some breathing meditation. I fell out!!


Ch2 Skip a Few A Hundred

I scarfed this book down. It was so easy to read and I loved hearing her personal work situations. While I wonder if she realizes that fashion magazines generally are known to have deleterious effects on women's self-image, I am a fan of her practical advice, her initiative and her willingness to put something down on paper for others. Think of all the humans that have passed on without leaving something like this for others to talk about and learn from. Anyways, here are some nuggets from the rest of the book that I loved--you might pick out others.

Power=something you create for yourself, take your ego out of it, and If you can't join 'em, throw your own party!

Risk=The worst case scenario is rarely as bad as you think, Get used to needing change, rule-breaking is an underappreciated and underutilized skill.

People=Stir things up in a good way, trust and be a mentor, don't personalize that which is not personal ((HOW??--I want to know)), be generous with praise, manage by empathy.

Fear=Use fairy dust, and humor. Don't fear criticism and stand your ground when you have it to stand on. Don't wield fear as a weapon.
I would like to be adaptable to change, live a grudge free, 360degree life like she says is possible. I am glad she found love again and that she has children to pass her knowledge to--she is proof that a woman can have a rewarding personal and public life at the same time. Different than having it all at the same time--which she says is a phrase she hates because it implies that everyone wants the same things. Bravo for saying this, Ms. Black! And really, the things that work in one sphere, work in the other--I choose to not have borders between public and private anymore.

Black mentions taking the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test (a personality/aptitude test). Has anyone taken it? We should take it and see what we find out.

Spin Advice or Prayer

Here are some things I hear every week at spin class on Fridays with Rachelle. She emotionally rejuvenates me as she kicks my butt physically. I admit I have gotten emotional when trying to amp it up and she tells me (us) how wonderful we are. I am a sap, sorry, but in a way, Rachelle is one of my prophetesses. God bless her! I am so glad you're here. Let's get started. You ready? You ready?
You are awesome! The hardest part was getting here! You can do it!!!!! Go!!

Bring that energy up and out of you. Bring it out of the saddle! Hit! Hit! Hit! Look at you!!

You can do it! Feel your legs talking to you. This first part was all adrenaline. Now, only 5 more songs to go--now it's all heart!! You got it in you?? Let's Go!!

I love you guys! Ok go. That resistence feels great. Don't let 'em get ahead of you. Feel that rhythm. Feel that beat. Come on!!! You are doing fabulous!!

Dig down deep! It's there!! Go to that strength you have already in you. It's there--you have it! You have it! Bring it out! Let's go!!

Explode Up!! Don't think about it. Let it flow through you. 3 o'clock and 8 o'clock! Hit your points! Breathe into it. Come on, come on. Feel your power!

Oh, I am impressed. You did it today. Cheers! Hydrate! You earned it. You earned it.

I am so glad you were here today. It's an honor to do this with you.

I'm so glad you're here