Archive | October 2012

Senseless Sensibilities… a Book Review

This regency romance by K.L. O’Keefe was a bit of a difficult read for me, I must admit. The female main characters are a mother (recently widowed but married to a much older man in a loveless marriage) and her daughter (an absolutely spoiled beauty). Add in the new Lord (inherited the manor and title) and his valet (an impoverished one handed ex army, not quite noble). 

Enter the complexities of being a widow, of being a spoiled daughter who simply wants to be married and cossetted and wishes to keep the estate and its riches in her own pocket. This is where I had a harder time with the story… I found Evangeline just that step too far over the selfish spoiled child in the beginning, her mother making next to no effort to reign her in while bemoaning that somehow this beloved daughter is such a shallow character suddenly? I love the valet with his missing hand and his wit covering his own embarrassment and frustration. The Lord himself is interesting with his frank understanding of his own lust and interest in the women, BUT I find him almost too much. 

There is a definite sexual element and the side characters (all men) are of varying temperaments. There is the question of worth in a rather (at least perceived) shallow society where money and birth are rated so high. The conundrum of being a widow and dependent on the new Lord… love as something of worth or something you let go of to make the level of society you wish to reach… 

So in retrospect there are some added elements to what starts off as simply a regency romance. BUT for me this was a difficult read. There is great aspects but I had a hard time warming to all the characters. Definitely worth a read though! 

Senseless Sensibilities

The Predecessor of the Stegosaurus…

The Huayangosaurus (wah-Yong-o-Saw-rus)! A native of China, this is one of the most important dinosaurs found there. What Emanuel found the most interesting was the fact that they HAVE found the skulls of this dinosaur. So we KNOW that they had 14 teeth in the front (7 on each side) that are NOT there in the more recent Stegosaurus! This plant eater also differed from the Stegosaurus with its front legs being 3/4 longer than the back ones. The plates on its back morph in shape more to spikes by the time you get to its tail. 

We were not able to find a really educational video for this dinosaur BUT we have an animation that is rather interesting.

And a robotic display from another museum. 

We did find some excellent links to share though. But I WILL start with the iffy print out. While the dinosaur on the Education.com site was rather cute, and the spelling of the name correct and the info under it the image itself was off… the legs were short in the front, the plates are a single row AND do not alter to spikes towards the tail. I am still going to link it but Emanuel did alter it to make it closer to the real one! You can find it HERE.

We used the smaller proportion image on the Dino Directory as our other colouring page. Much more anatomically correct. Their site also had some great details and a terrific drawing of what it is thought this dinosaur looked like. You can find that HERE. The Age of Dinosaurs has a great bit on the relationship between Huayangosaurus and the Stegosaurus which you can read HERE. Palaeocritti has a great organized chart and a terrific picture of our dinosaur HERE. Animal has a great write up on their site HERE. There is a short blurb with some links you can click about items of interest HERE on Dinosaurs Wikia. About.com has their section on this Chinese dinosaur HERE. Don’t forget Kidsdinos and their charts and map HERE. For the more technical article go to Wiki of course right HERE.

Creative colouring

Gotta Love Family

October 26-27

I am living a life in fast forward some days… and when you sleep in due to a scratchy throat it feels even faster! Add to that TWO interviews for Ken at two different companies and you have a half day of running solo. Good practice for when he is employed again (God willing hopefully VERY soon).

Showing off some Alumni pride

Anyway… even with a late start we managed to do our every day stuff and then move onto TWO chapters of our book with mini pictures and one sentence summaries and then HALLOWEEN COLOURING! Gotta get in the spooky and silly pictures in spades. You can find some terrific printouts on the Activity Village site right HERE.

Our monsters in the fridge

Halloween stories in a tent (Zander)

As is our pattern in regards to our dinosaurs Friday was NOT a new dinosaur day. Instead Emanuel drew his FAVOURITE so far – the Plesiosaur. 

Well done Emanuel!

Echo has become quite the little techno whiz. She knows how to turn off Baba’s Kindle and play a drawing app as well as watch the fishies. She knows where ALL the electronics are hiding and is very happy playing with them

Hard at work

Saturday was a double whammy for activity. We started at Toys ‘r Us for their special free Lego activity. The kids got to QUICKLY make a castle out of the new Legos and then were each given a little package that has a Lego skeleton, bats, spider, web, etc. They had a VERY limited quantity and even with getting there early we were like 6th in line. So no Lego for Echo but 4 very happy big kids! 

Creating

Some of the freebies

Ken had dropped us off at the store and then ran to get gas so he was VERY surprised that we were able to get through the line and the activity so quickly, even before he got back! But they were PACKED so we rushed.

Zander’s castle

Trinity’s (with Mommy’s help)

Gavin’s

Emanuel’s (using one of his brother’s bases to add to)

After all that excitement it was  time for even MORE with a first for our family – a birthday party for our nephew Zachary. Our first cousin birthday here in the states. There was our family and the cousins from my sister-in-law Faith’s family. As usually ours is the largest. BUT beyond our niece Gabriella we have the only girls!

Baba and his girls

Apparently Zachary is a HUGE Angry Birds fan… cake, decorations, the goodie bags… all according to theme.

CAKE

Note the decoration theme

There was toys in the basement, playing in the backyard and of course cake and ice cream in the dining room. The kids had a blast.

Playing games

All of Gabriella and Zachary’s cousins (both sides)