Monday, March 17, 2014

There's No Place Like Home

Well, it's official, everyone is back in the Hills!  And I'll echo the sentiment that Dorothy Gale has in "The Wizard of Oz" that there's really no place like home.  After the roller coaster ride of the past couple of weekends I'm looking forward to things settling down.  Funn that I should think of "The Wizard of Oz" (or is it) as it just so happens to be the backdrop for this week's state - Kansas!

I was blown away doing my research about how hard it was for me to narrow down what to actually share with the kiddos about Kansas.  Of course, we had to touch on the bird, the tree, and the flower, but the "Famous For" section of our wall filled up so fast!  My first thoughts were full of sunflowers, tornadoes and "The Wizard of Oz" but it turns out that doesn't even scratch the surface.

I found that Kansas produces one-fifth of the country's wheat. In fact, there are only seven COUNTRIES in the world that produce more wheat than Kansas does.  Commonly known for just that reason as the "Breadbasket of the World", Kansas also produces a large amount of cattle (second only to Texas) and about 40% of the commercial airlines for the country.  Mining, oil drilling and telecommunications (Sprint is headquartered there) are also important Kansas industries.

And the people who hail from Kansas - from politicians like Dwight Eisenhower and Bob Dole, to entertainers such as Emmett Kelly and Charlie Parker, sports figures like Barry Sanders and Gayle Sayers, writers like William Inge, and even Amelia Earhart!

The great state has also provided inspiration for not only L. Frank Baum's "Wizard of Oz" but Laura Ingalls Wilder's  "Little House on the Prairie" is based on life on the Kansas prairie and the longest running Western "Gunsmoke" was set in Dodge City.  It's also the birthplace of both Pizza Hut and White Castle (oh I can hardly wait to introduce you to the culinary fare that will be being sampled at the Gatchel's this week!)

And this isn't even the tip of the iceberg!  After we did the traditional St. Patrick's corned beef and cabbage, I had so much fun putting up the Kansas wall for the kiddos tonight.  The are of course most taken with Oz, but Noah showed a good deal of interest in Amelia Earhart and Mikayla of course, can't get enough of the cowboys (she is still talking about Billy the Kid from last week and how he shouldn't have done bad things and had a wanted poster).  I have a feeling it's going to be a good week!  So stick around and see what we come up with.

I'd of course be remiss to mention that in the midst of all our Kansas excitement today (because of course, Farmington Public Schools has it out for all the parents and there was no school today and there's a half day this Friday) we had our resident Leprechaun, Louis, visit us yet again.  You'll have to check out the pictures below to see that havoc he caused around here today.

I'm in Noah's class for awhile in the morning (and Grant is going at recess to read to Noah's class, so cool!) but I think the highlight of tomorrow is going to be our mail from Kansas.  Our friends from Florida, Justin and Alesha moved a year or so after we did with their beautiful two girls to Kansas.  Another one of my "mom-spirations" for how amazing she is, I was thrilled when Alesha said she'd help us out with Kansas.  The box arrived today and I can't wait to share it with the kiddos tomorrow.  So until then...

Kansas Fun Fact of the Day: Kansas produced a record 492.2 million bushels of wheat in 1997, enough to make 35.9 billion loaves of bread.

Louis got to their breakfast by turning the milk green and putting green whipped cream and sprinkles on their waffles

He left them both necklaces with a piece of gold on them

Then he left them clues for a scavenger hunt.  Last year he left pieces of gold hidden throughout the house, but in his note he explained there was a bit of a gold shortage this year (ALL OVER FARMINGTON and parts of Illinois, lemme tell ya!) and so instead he was leaving them a 'taste of the rainbow'

Found it!

It was Noah's job (per Louis' instructions) to read all the clues

They were on a roll

Found it!

Screwy leprechaun got to their lunch as well - green mac and cheese and green pudding!

They decided they'd had enough and set out to build a trap for them (I promise they came up with this ALL on their own and did all their own construction)

This was the rainbow path for him to follow to the trap

A welcome mat and instructions - the dog is a puppy he might think is cute that he wants to pet

He is then to enter the trap. I will decipher Noah writing to say the yellow note says "Knock over the stick" and the pink one says "Surprise for you"

That darn leprechaun got away, though!

Fortunately a really neat package arrived that I knew would lessen the leprechaun blow

Discovering Louis tricked them again

Kinda bummed

Until they found...

Cinderella's autograph!

And Flat Noah!

And Flat Mikayla! (Corinne, you are wonderful!)

Everyone's Irish at the Gatchel's tonight - Corned Beef, Cabbage, Potatoes and Carrots with some Irish Soda Farls

The Kansas Wall is up!

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