Whale Ears

A while back I added some whale inner ear bones to my fossil collection.  When I first tell people what they are, I get a lot of incredulous looks.  Whales don’t have ears, right?  Well, actually they do (although it’s all internal).  In fact they have a wonderful sense of hearing even though it differs a little from ours. Let me sidetrack for a moment and tell a quick story that happened last week.  Natalia, my middle child, was worried about going back to school after the holiday ...
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Looking for Gold

A while back my kids decided that they wanted to collect a coin from every country on the planet.  It seemed like a fun activity, especially because we could learn a little geography together.  We headed off to the local coin shop and each kid would pay a quarter to pick a world coin from a bucket.  We’d go home, figure out where the coin was from and put a little star on our map.  But after a few trips I realized that this would end up requiring a lot of time and money if we were actually g...
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My Dad Isn’t Chicxulub

If you dig deep enough anywhere on the planet you’ll eventually hit a thin layer of clay called the K-T boundary (a few pieces of which are shown the in the photo).  This band was laid down about 66 million years ago and marks the end of the Mesozoic Era.  It has been found at over 100 different locations on earth. So how did a layer of sediment end up covering the entire planet, including the oceans?  The answer is Chicxulub. You may not know the name, but Chicxulub had a huge impact ...
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My First Answered Prayer

It was 1959.  An eleven-year-old living in Northern California, I was the second oldest of six children in a religious family.  Although I was an obedient girl and said my prayers every night, all my needs seem to have been met by my parents, and as a result, I had not yet had any direct experience with answers to prayer.  Here is the story of the first recorded instance, told in the relevant excerpts from my diary at the time: March 10, 1959 We had a lesson in church about being mod...
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I Use the TV as a Babysitter

By Amy and Adena There. I said it. I said the thing that most mothers do every single day but that we're too afraid to admit. You can thank me later for taking one for the team, ladies. I stand before the jury and plead guilty on all counts of recklessly jeopardizing the lives of my children by exposing them to harmful radioactive rays. Not only that, but my crime goes beyond the lesser misdemeanor of doing so in the name of  housework or necessary tasks. No, I confess to the full felo...
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Lost and Found

The gears shrieked and the engine groaned as the U-Haul I was driving labored slowly up Parley’s Canyon, while other vehicles whizzed indignantly past.  Finally Liz, my 16-year-old daughter following me in the family car, couldn’t take the sluggish pace any longer.  Despite instructions to stay behind the truck, she pulled out into the left lane, stomped on the accelerator, and soon disappeared from sight. Three reluctant children and I were moving from California to South Dakota to begin...
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