Sunday, April 21, 2013

Nerd Night!


Tonight was Nerd Night at Awanas! I pinned up the boys' pants so they were highwaters, and made sure they wore white socks with black shoes. Honey made them pocket protectors, and we slicked their hair down HARD with hair gel. A couple of cowlicks in the back, some goofy glasses, (my youngest had a pair that aren't in the photo) and they were set!

If we had bow ties and suspenders, it would have been perfect. But this was free, and they were still cuties dressed up like this.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Field Trip: Southeastern Raptor Center

We made a long road trip out of state the Southeastern Raptor Center today with our homeschool group.
 
We had a great time and learned a lot of good things:
 
Here is a Bald Eagle named Spirit:
 
Baby bald eagles are brown all over, and many people think they are actually golden eagles. However, golden eagles don't live in our area, so if we see one, it's actually a juvenile bald eagle. They start to get their white feathers after the second year.
 
 
Here is a Barn Owl:
 
Owls have huge eyes, they are so big even inside their skull that there is no room for muscles to move their eyeballs. So their eyes are always staring straight ahead, and they move their whole heads to look in different directions. They can move their heads about 270 degrees. If humans' eyes were as big as owl eyes, they'd be the size of softballs! Owls fly silently. They have frayed feathers at the edge of their wings that help to dissipate air and make them fly without noise. Their ears are set assymetrically on the sides of their skulls. (One ear sits high, the other sits low.) This helps their hearing. In fact, experiments have been done where scientists placed owls into 100% pitch black rooms and released a mouse. The owls always caught the mouse, 100% of the time, because they hunt mostly by sound, not by sight.
 
 
A golden eagle. This is actually the retired "War Eagle" for Auburn University. Her name is "Miss Tiger." She's over 30 years old!
 
 
The newest AU "War Eagle," named Nova:
 
 Mr. Rhett, our guide, told us that his leather glove is actually double-thickness, and the bird could still pierce through it if he wanted to. Eagles' talon strength is about 1,000 pounds per square inch! In fact, one of the workers at this raptor center got her hand really messed up by one of the eagles, even though she took all necessary precautions. The eagle injured about half the nerves in her hand and put her in physical therapy for six months!
 
 
A group photo with all the kids and Nova.
 
 
 
 
A screech owl named "Groucho."

This little guy is fully grown. (And like his name would show, he's a grumpy little guy.)
 
 
My two little guys trying to cool off in the shade. Who knew Auburn, Alabama could be so hot this time of year?!
 
 
Something important I learned today: Even if it's not technically "littering", we shouldn't throw compostable food waste (like apple cores) outside our car windows. The food waste along the side of the road attracts mice and rats, which raptors hunt for food. When a raptor sees its prey, it gets tunnel vision and focuses 100% on it. It tunes out other dangerous obstacles like cars or trucks, and getting hit by cars is how the majority of raptors get injured. So, if you are on a road trip, please don't throw even compostable food waste outside your window.
 
Another interesting fact I learned: If you see a juvenile raptor on the ground, not flying, just leave it alone. If it's fat, has vermin bones near it, and seems uninjured, it's probably okay. Baby raptors spend about three weeks on the ground before they are able to fly. The parents are up in the treetops nearby, protecting it. So unless the bird seems distressed, very thin, or injured, just leave it alone.
 
Something else: female raptors will lay unfertilized eggs, like chickens. In captivity though, caretakers now know not to remove the eggs, but to let the female sit on them for about a month or so, until she realizes they will not hatch. Then she will abandon them. Caretakers in the past would remove the eggs, but the females would lay more right away. They continued to do this, which actually killed the birds, because the energy they would expend to continually lay new eggs would be too much for them to bear. So now the females are allowed to lay on them.

Many thanks to the Raptor Center for showing our little group more than 20 owls, falcons, hawks, vultures, kites, and eagles. Thank you for even taking apart an owl pellet for our kiddoes to see!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Y Chromosome

I'm not even joking, I JUST heard Honey say this to my boys:

"Oh look, Delta Force is on TV. We've gotta watch this, it's important for your homeschool education...As soon as we see Chuck Norris kick someone in the face, we can change the channel."

The warrior gene has run amok in my home...just sayin'.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Things I've Said to My Kids Part 2

Don't flush the toilet while your brother's still sitting on it. You know that wigs him out!

Quit giving your brother crazy eyes.

Don't throw the whale into the ceiling fan.

See what happened? That's why I said don't throw the whale into the ceiling fan!

I promise, the MGM Movie Lion will not eat you.

Ewww, what's that in your toy box?...It smells like an old pickle...Yuck, I don't remember the last time I gave you pickles.

How did a pumpkin end up inside my slipper?

Please don't stand on the dishwasher door!

I can't clean peanut butter out of the microphone.

Seriously though, why do you have dog food in your pocket?

I think it's great that you want to clean the whole world--you should start with your room first.

Don't put corn in your ears.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Agenda 21

I am ashamed to say that I had never heard of Agenda 21 until today.

I read this article: http://news.yahoo.com/glenn-beck-eviscerates-msnbc-promo-claiming-kids-belong-161614214.html and decided to do my own research into Agenda 21.

I am not a fan of Glenn Beck. I find him to be too doomsday for my taste. But after reading about Agenda 21, I am frightened.

Here is the full text of Agenda 21: Full Text of Agenda 21

It makes for interesting reading. Here is an excerpt from Chapter 25:

"It is imperative that youth from all parts of the world participate actively in all relevant levels of decision-making processes because it affects their lives today and has implications for their futures. In addition to their intellectual contribution and their ability to mobilize support, they bring unique perspectives that need to be taken into account. "

That sounds nice, doesn't it? But here's my take on it: I am the parent, the adult. I know what's best for my children. Yes, they may voice their opinion, but as the parent, the adult, I will have the ultimate say in what I deem to be their best interests. That's final.

Here's a bit of Chapter 32:

"A farmer-centred approach is the key to the attainment of sustainability in both developed and developing countries and many of the programme areas in Agenda 21 address this objective. A significant number of the rural population in developing countries depend primarily upon small-scale, subsistence-oriented agriculture based on family labour. However, they have limited access to resources, technology, alternative livelihood and means of production. As a result, they are engaged in the overexploitation of natural resources, including marginal lands. "

Here's how I'm interpreting this paragraph:  You rural farmers don't know what you're doing. We big-wig industrial farm corporations know what's best (GMOs, monoculture, pesticides, chemical fertilizers, etc.) so we'll "teach" you how to do it our way instead.

Chapter 33 says:

"For an evolving partnership among all countries of the world, including, in particular, between developed and developing countries, sustainable development strategies and enhanced and predictable levels of funding in support of longer term objectives are required. For that purpose, developing countries should articulate their own priority actions and needs for support and developed countries should commit themselves to addressing these priorities. In this respect, consultative groups and round tables and other nationally based mechanisms can play a facilitative role."

Say what? Is this saying that the first-world countries must give money to poorer countries? Don't misunderstand me, I am 100% behind helping those less fortunate. But to MANDATE it is not charity--it's global communism. It sounds like the poor countries are giving the rich countries a Christmas list that we must fill for them.

Chapter 27 deals with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as non-profit organizations (churches in America are non-profit organizations, so this chapter is relevant to them):

"Review levels of financial and administrative support for non-governmental organizations and the extent and effectiveness of their involvement in project and programme implementation, with a view to augmenting their role as social partners..."

Will the UN now be in charge of making sure that charity groups spend their money in accordance with Agenda 21? Whatever happened to the notion that church and state were separate? (Oh, my bad...they're only separate in the United States. Since we are eroding US sovereignty in favor of a one-world government, all bets are off...)
Y'all, this is scary stuff. Alabama has passed a law specifically prohibiting participation in Agenda 21. Maybe I'll move there.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Would You Care to Rephrase That?

My older boy was watching a cartoon with clams. He mentioned, "That clam right there is a girl."

I asked, "How can you tell?"

He answered, "Because she keeps opening her mouth."