Sunday, September 28, 2008

SUPERSTAR's First Official Date

Last night was one of those very cool mom moments.

A few weeks ago SUPERSTAR announced that he intended to go to his school's homecoming dance. He told me who he wanted to ask. I'd not heard him mention her name before and wondered, of the other girls I'd heard him talk about, why this one. So I asked a few questions; "Is she nice? Is she cute? Is she smart? Is she fun? Does she play sports?(important to him) To each of these questions he answered affirmatively.

He toyed with several different ideas to use to ask her to the dance. You know, all the creative silly things teens do. I offered up my own suggestions-to which his response was a polite "you're so lame" (not really but he didn't like my suggestions). He found several ideas on the web. As DARLING HUSBAND and I were looking over his shoulder I saw one that was SO DANG cute and romantic. He was ready to dismiss it out of hand until DAD suggested that his MOM knew a bit about what girls like.

The idea involved going to her house, leaving a note on the door step and a trail of rose petals leading around to the side of the house. The note would tell her to follow the trail of petals. SUPERSTAR would be standing around the corner of the house with a dozen roses and would ask her to go to homecoming with him.

I have rose bushes in my yard that are about ready to be put to bed for the season so he stripped all the petal from them for the trail of petals, bought the other roses. As he was getting ready to go over he called to make sure she was home. She was celebrating her birthday with some girlfriends at a restaurant. So he decided to take the roses to the restaurant and have them delivered by the waiter with a poem asking her to the dance instead. There was much excited screaming and commotion when the waiter delivered the flowers AND more commotion, screamin, and hugging when SUPERSTAR walked to the table after the delivery.

I got to meet her a few days later. Because she attends another high school SUPERSTAR had to take a form for her high school administrator to sign indicating that she was eligible to attend the school dances. She was everything he'd told me she was, cute, nice, fun, sporty, smart. I had to admit that I was impressed.

'Cause SUPERSTAR won't have his driver license until January (if he finishes his eagle by then) I got to drive him to go pick her up, take pictures, drop them off with the group and pick them up after the dance. What a great opportunity to watch my son play gentleman. So Cool!

Here's a picture of the group they went with.

Here's the limo they got to ride in to PF Changs and the Dance. I couldn't get the whole thing in one shot (holy moly)
Posted by Picasa

Here's the two of them....Isn't she just the cutest thing?

Posted by Picasa

VERY, Very, very cool mom moment!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Seasons Continued

Imagine that I've handed you a flat board. Grab it with both hands and hold it up in front of you (so the flat part is exactly vertical (up and down)). Now I've got a big fire hose and I'm about to spray that board. Ready? SPRAY!!!!!

What is your experience? Are you feeling the pressure of the water against that board? Are you able to resist the intense force that is now bearing down on you? How's that feeling?

OK the water is off now. You can recover and grab a towel to dry yourself a bit, if you want.

Round two. Hold that board again but this time tilt it up just a bit. Ready?


How is this time different from last time? Are you feeling the SAME pressure against the board? Is it easier to resist the force? What has happened to the intensity?

OK water off. Use the towel again if you need to.

Round three. Yes, you have to do it again. This time tilt the board even more, almost horizontal but not quite. Ready?


Now how is it to hold on the that board? What's the pressure intensity this time? How much easier is it to resist the force?

OK water off. No, you don't have to do it anymore. You can go change into dry clothes if you want to. I'll wait here till you get back. No really, take your time. I'm not going anywhere.









I see you did your hair too. Looking good!
Glad your back.

So if your experience with the board was what I anticipated it would be you'll have noticed that when the water came at the board straight on, the pressure and intensity was HUGE. The more you tilted the board, the less direct and greater the angle that the water hit the board, the less pressure and intensity you felt. Right? Right!

The same is true of the suns rays. If those rays hit the surface of the earth directly (straight on), the intensity of the suns rays will be great. If those rays hit the surface of the earth at a less direct angel the intensity of the suns rays will seem to be less powerful.

The more direct the sun's rays hit the earth the hotter that area of the earth will get - Summer.
The less direct the sun's rays hit the the earth the cooler (less heat) that area of the earth will get - Winter.

The earth takes 365 days to orbit the sun. Because of the tilt of the earth's axis, half of that 365 days the northern hemisphere will be tilted toward the sun and will experience more intense sun rays and it will be summer. The southern hemisphere will be tilted away from the sun. The angel the sun's rays hit the southern hemisphere will be more pronounced and therefore less intense causing less heat and winter weather.

The other half of the 365 days the southern hemisphere will be tilted toward the sun and will experience more intense sun rays and more heat. It will be summer there while the northern hemisphere being tilted away will have less intense sun rays, less heat and winter.

It is the intensity of the sun's rays as a result of the angle they hit the earth and not the distance those rays travel that causes the wonderful seasons we experience.

Didn't God design a wonderful planet for his children. Truly God designed so that men (and women) might have joy, even in the changing of the seasons.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Several Harvard Graduates had the misconception that the seasons were caused by the distance the earth is from the sun.

This misconception can occur as a result of several things. Let me just suggest two.
1)Some text books show pictures of the earth's orbit in drawings like the one below. Pictures like this are showing a three dimensional orbit in two dimensions. Students look at pictures like this and assume that when the earth is at either end of the picture it means that the earth is further from the sun and colder as opposed to when the earth is in the more center points of the picture when they assume the earth is closer to the sun and therefor warmer.

A better and more accurate picture of the orbit of the earth would be this one.
Students are told that the earth's orbit is elliptical (which is true) but in reality the earth's orbit is so close to circular, with the sun so close to center that there is not enough difference in distance from the sun to cause the regular temperature variations from summer to winter.

2) As second misconception occurs when the teacher explains that seasons are a result of the tilt in the earths axis. (Which is true but not in the way students assume) Teachers explain that the area of the earth that is tilted toward the sun is warmer and the area tilted away from the sun is cooler. True, but this leaves students again thinking about distance in this way: Tilted toward the sun is closer and warmer, tilted away is further and colder. (Wrong!) I've already explained that the earth in its rotation around the sun does not get close enough or far away enough to cause seasons so it is not reasonable to believe that the minor difference in distance from north pole to south pole would cause the temperature variations of the seasons.

So what is it? You ask....

Because this is my favorite I'm going to let you think about it for a bit.

You only have to wait till tomorrow. Then I'll post what I hope will clarify God's wonderful design for the beauty of seasonal differences.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Phases of the Moon

Several Harvard graduates had the misconception that the phases of the moon are caused by the Earth's shadow. If this is what you may have thought let me give you some information that will allow you to say proudly, "I am smarter than a Harvard graduate!"

When the Earth's shadow is cast upon the moon it is called a Lunar Eclipse. In order for a lunar eclipse to occur the Earth, Sun and Moon must line up. The Sun, Moon and Earth have to line up in the same plane. Because the Moon's orbit is inclined 5 degrees to the Earth's, it spends most of its time below or above the plane of the Earth. Lunar eclipses do not occur that frequently. Lunar eclipses come in clusters. There can be two or three during a period of a year or a year and a half, followed by a lull of two or three years before another round begins. The phases of the moon are pretty regular and we get the length of our months as a result of this cycle. So we can see that many more moon cycles occur than do eclipses.

The phases of the moon are a result of the direction of the sun in relation to the view we (on the earth) have of the moon.

Consider an artist (Earth) sketching a ball (moon). If the light source (sun) is directly behind the artist (Earth), the entire surface of the ball (moon) will be drawn in light tones.

If the light source (sun) is to the right of the ball (moon) the right half of the ball (moon) will be shaded in light tones and the left half of the ball (moon) will be shaded in darker tones.

If the light (sun) is slightly to the right and behind the ball (moon) only a very small crescent of the ball (moon) will appear light and the rest will be shaded dark.
If the light (sun) is directly behind the ball (moon) the surface facing the artist (Earth) will be dark.

The same applies if the sun is to the left of the moon.

It takes the moon about thirty days to orbit the Earth (i.e. one month). As the moon orbits the earth the sun shines on the moon from different angles. The sun shines on the surface of the moon that faces it. On the earth we only see that portion shine that is in our direct view. Sometimes that is the entire lit surface (Full Moon) and sometimes only part of the lit surface (Half, crescent new, etc.)

I hope that clarifies your understanding of the phases of the moon.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Battery, Bulb, Wire

Here is the first answer to the questions below.

YES, it is possible to light a bulb with a battery and a wire.

Several of the Harvard Graduates attempted to light the bulb by holding one end of the wire to the battery and the other end to the bulb.

This does NOT result in lighting the bulb.

In order to cause the electricity from the battery to light the bulb you must close the circuit. You must create a loop from one end of the source (battery) to the other end of the source. This will allow the electricity from the battery to flow through the wire. When you then make contact with the bulb to the wire it will light.

Ta DA!

I'll post answers to the other two questions soon.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Do You Know?

I'm back in school getting a second degree. My first degree was in Social Work and now I'm studying Elementary Education. (I'm 'bout dying to teach 4th-7th grade) Next semester I begin the student teaching aspect of this degree but right now I am SOOO wanting to be done. I'm in classes with lots of young people and I feel REALLY OLD! But I so want to teach that I'm willing to be the "old fart" woman who throws off the curve in these college classes. Oh well, too bad for them. They have skinny, cute little bodies I don't feel so bad exercising my mighty brain in their presence.

In my science methods class we've been talking about misconceptions that students bring with them and some of the things, as a teacher, we can do to present good information.

We watched a film of Harvard Graduates (in their caps and gowns on graduation day). The film crew stopped several students and asked them these questions. Many of them responded with incorrect answers.

So I'm going to ask you a some of the questions. I'll post the answers in a few days.

1. When you look at the moon, why do you sometimes see a crescent, half, or full moon? What causes the moon to change phases?

2. Why do we have seasons? (winter, summer, spring, fall)

3. Can you light a bulb with a battery and a wire? How?

Monday, September 15, 2008

My Secret Garden/Lot

I've been attending classes at the local university. I don't know what parking is like for most colleges or universities but here it is down-right ridiculous. If you don't purchase an outrageously priced parking pass you must arrive before 6:00am to find an available side street on which to park. 6:00am does not work for me in any way shape or form. I'm truly not a morning person. To touch the 5:00am hour signals the beginning of a no-good, rotten day. So I avoid any possibility of being awake at such an ungodly hour. Parking on the street is out.

The second possibility is to pay (every ding-dong day) for a meter or for garage parking. $2 per hour. Again not for me. That adds up to a ridiculous sum at the end of each year. More than the ridiculously priced parking pass.

The third possibility is to pay for a reserved spot. These spots are pretty dang close to everything but are three times the price of the ridiculously priced pass I end up purchasing. Therefore, I consider them ultra-ridiculously priced. NO Thank you!

The pass I opt for is a general parking permit. Still boucoup bucks but it allows me to sleep though the 5:00am hour and to better enjoy my days. The problem with this pass, as I have found through the semesters at school, is that nearly every other student thinks along the same lines that I do. Hence, everyone and their dog has a general parking pass and there are about 2 parking spaces for every 10,000 students. Also the general lots are "miles" from anywhere. (Not really miles but you get the idea)
In semesters past I have circled and circled the lots waiting with the other 10,000 student cars for someone to pull out of a space, then scramble around to it only to be foiled by a preppy 20 something, skinny butt, freshman whose tanned legs are just stepping out of the car which has pulled into the space I have been hovering over. DRAT!

This semester I have located a "secret" general permit lot. It is never full. Hardly even 1/3 full at any time. It is actually closer to the campus than most general lots. It has remained a "secret" because it is across TWO very crazy, busy roads. I suspect most students don't consider it because they assume they'll have to "Jay Walk" and risk their necks daily to cross those roads or walk, and walk and walk to cross at the crazy busy intersections.

BUT guess what I've discovered? There is a wonderful tunnel, next to the river that goes UNDER these roads.

This is what I walk by every day.

Instead of this.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I've not posted much in the last few weeks and I thought I'd just offer a bit of an explination (breif, shallow and little info as possible).

Life has its way of knocking us around a bit. I'm getting my share of knocks.

In the last couple of weeks my marriage has gotten its share of hits. We are working through several legal issues that he's created and he's dealing with the consequenses. Which really means that we all deal with the consequenses. In a hearing not long ago the prosecuting attorney made some very cruel, exaggerated and misleading statements to the judge about me in an effort to inflict additional penalties on my husband. (I guesss that as far as she's concerned the fact that I didn't leave him when he broke the law is justification to think that I am as guilty as he is and should be publicly humiliated and suffer for his crimes as well) Hindsight is 20/20 but I wish I'd have stood - stood in a show of defiance.

We've discovered that a good friend who works for us has been stealing from our company. We are uncertain how much he has taken but that is also heart wrenching.

Last week I started classes at the local university (12 credits)

It's all a bit overwhelming.

My blog friend Becky receintly created a post where she ended with the quote "God doesn't put you in the wrong place to serve Him." So I press forward doing what I believe He expects from me and serving where I am put.