Friday, January 13, 2012

Where in the World is Timbuktu?

Picture nine uniform clad students, grades 4-8, prepped and ready for a competition. Words of encouragement and praise could not quell the nerves and butterflies emanating from their beings. These eager students were those I had the privilege of spending the better part of the past two months helping to prepare for the school competition of the National Geography Bee.

What a thrill to sit and watch these kids answer questions that pertained to not only United States geography, but to world geography, physical geography, and cultural geography. The months of practice were evident as many students answered the questions confidently and without hesitation. These students were so dedicated that giving up Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings did not seem to cramp their style too much. The exposure to map reading and critical thinking skills facilitated by the parent volunteer (State Department Employee) were priceless.

OK, back to the competition...
During the first seven rounds, each participant was given one question per round. The four students with the highest number of correct answers from those seven rounds then proceeded to the preliminary round. The next few rounds were then battled out until two students remained. Those two students then proceeded onto the Championship round. The two final participants were then asked the same question and asked to to write down their answers. They then had to present the answer in written format as well as orally confirm what was written.

So, the final question....

"Timbuktu, a center of caravan trade for almost a thousand years, is located north of the Niger River in which landlocked country?"

And the winner is...

Timbuktu is located in Mali. So PROUD of our girl!

As for the next step, Big Sister will have to take a proctored written test to submit to the National Geographic Bee Society. If she does well and qualifies, she will then be asked to participate in the State Geography Bee. Guess that atlas will not be shelved anytime soon!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Addictive or Addicting?

With the arrival of some really cool iGadgets, there has been an inordiante amount of time spent playing "Words with Friends" and "Angry Birds" in the Moloko household. These two games have been heavily promoted by the media, friends and family. I have become a HUGE fan of "Words with Friends." This online Scrabble game that lexiphiles alike compete to "out word"one another is so much fun. I am hooked and have found the mental exercise enjoyable!

My dilemma is whether to describe my new passion as addictive or addicting? I have often contemplated the usage of these words. Is playing the game addictive or addicting? So, I finally took the time to determine what is the correct term.

Just in case you were wondering...
addictive - is an adjective
1. Causing or tending to cause addiction: an addictive substance.
2. Characterized by or susceptible to addiction: an addictive personality.
addicting - is a transitive verb form of addict
1. To occupy (oneself) with or involve (oneself) in something habitually or compulsively: This video game is addicting.The terms being defined, it is a grammar point, and which term you use depends on your sentence structure. This video game is addicting. This is an addictive video game.

It would appear that my passion is addicting!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Back to Blogging in 2012!!

It seems that I have taken a bit of a hiatus. Rather than blogging the past six months, I have used the excuse of being "too busy" to take a few minutes here and there to capture the life of the Moloko Five. With the dawning of the New Year, I have decided to rekindle my relationship with the Blog and document 2012 with anecdotes and musings.
Thought it would be fitting to post the last "family" photo of 2011!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Amusing Statements

With school ending this past week, I am finding myself sorting through the kids homework, journals, and classwork. I typically sort graded assignments and papers every quarter and then in June go through and whittle the papers to just a few. Those that represent their accomplishments, growth, and personality I keep. This afternoon, I had a delightful time reading over the Little Dudes work. Here are a few items I thought were just precious:

Religion Question re: Noah's Ark
What was it like on the ark with all those animals?

"There was animal breth!" (Little Dude M)

"I think it was no fun their!" (Little Dude B)

If I was President?
"If I was Pressident, I would lead the Union side threw the Silver War. I would shoot guns."
(Classwork assignment for President's Day...Little Dude M had just been to the Fredericksburg Battlefield)

If I was an animal?
If I was an animal, I would be a little turtle, a snappy turtle. And, if I went to turtle school and I had homework, I would snap my homework into little bits. (Little Dude B)

Little Dude B's Story
Once upon a time, there were alien's in space. One day in space, the alien General said "I want to go to earth" and his alien troopers said "You are crazy!" "Why can't we get ice cream?" Well, the Alien General said "If you want ice cream, We have to attack cows!" The alien troopers said Cows do not lay ice cream, they lay baby's!"

(I seriously wonder about the theme...aliens attacking cows?)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day

No better way to commemorate the Memorial Day holiday than a visit to Arlington National Cemetery. It was a memorable experience not only for me, but for the munchkins. Witnessing families celebrating the lives of their loved ones was heartbreaking. Our plan was to visit the grave site of a fellow Marine Hubby had served with in Okinawa and the grave site of an Army Colonel we had never met but have heard so much about. It was the Father of a classmate of Big Sister. We located the grave sites, paid our respects, and respectfully nodded to those mourning around us. It was a somber experience; yet, I felt honored to walk among the fallen who so bravely fought.

To further celebrate the day, we headed to the Washington Nationals Stadium to watch Hubby's beloved Phillies play the Nationals.

It was the first Big League game for the munchkins and they enjoyed themselves!

Best possible outcome...PHILLIES WIN!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Southern Charm

Twenty four years ago, my parents graciously agreed to indulge my wish to visit several colleges so as to see where I wanted to spend my undergraduate years. Upon arriving in Columbia, SC to tour the University of South Carolina, I was greeted by Palmetto Palm trees lining the streets of Columbia as well as the campus. I was immediately smitten and declared "this is it!" This was all it took to convince me....
Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to join three of my college roomies for a weekend of fun, reminiscing, and relaxation. We spent four days on Kiawah Island, South Carolina enjoying the weather and the company. It was the first time in 17 years we had all been together. I was a bit apprehensive at the idea of being reunited after such a long time, but figured the sun and sand would bridge any gap. Oddly enough, within minutes of reuniting, the familiarity, mannerisms, and roles resumed.

Heading out celebratory dinner at the Sanctuary Hotel on Kiawah Island.

Much different than our $3 pitcher days at Carolina!

Most of our time spent was lounging on the beach witnessing this view.

The high point of the weekend for me was walking around in Charleston. This is truly one of my most favorite cities. The history, architecture, and southern charm have such an appeal. I have such fond memories of this town and those precious years living in South Carolina. I managed to capture a few of my favorite things.

Rainbow Row

Cooper River Bridge

The essence of Charleston

Battery Park...LOVE this LAMPOST!

Friday, May 27, 2011

"Atta Girl"

Did you practice your clarinet yet today? Typical question most afternoons coming from this nagging Mom! Big Sister, usually without complaint, will pull out her beloved instrument and play from a very limited repertoire. As the months have passed, she has become a bit adventurous and works ahead in her book or will ask me to print off music from the web. She has perfected "Ode to Joy!"

Just this past week, she had her first band concert. She did well and was most excited that she did not "SQUEAK!" Not bad for meeting once a week from a traveling director! Here is a brief snipit of one of the songs.

Big Sister is just under the left elbow of the Director.

During the concert, the Director presented a few awards from to some of the advanced band members who had participated in a few band competitions this past year. He had two extra awards to present as well. A "Most Improved Musician" award for beginning band and another for advanced band.

I had just put my camera away, so, I was unable to catch the HUGE grin on Big Sister's face when her name was announced. It was a thrill to see her excitement and I truly could not have been any prouder of her achievement over the past 8 months.

Happy Gal!