Yesterday our homeschool group held the National Geographic Bee. The feast of the Epiphany seemed a rather appropriate day to consider places near and far away. There were seven contestants from 4th through 8th grade. They zipped through the first seven rounds and we narrowed the field to 5 contestants for the final round. It only took five or six questions before the field was narrowed down to two for the championship round. The two who went "head-to-head" were Gus and his new 8th grade friend who loves geography and will be joining The Map Guys geography blog (by the way, if you drop by soon, Gus has an "Independence Quiz" which he put together himself). Anyway, the other fellow came out on top after three questions, so Gus very graciously accepted 2nd place. I was delighted to see happy faces and good attitudes all around. The most delightful part, to me, was seeing the look of surprise on contestants' faces when they got an answer right that they didn't expect!
I took down the Library Tree on Friday. There were only five ornaments left at the end, so I think we sold about 50 books (I'll have to dig out my lists to get an exact number)! How exciting! The librarians all seem very pleased with the whole thing. By the way, I know I "technically" took it down a little early, but I had sickness, travel and too many weekend plans looming before me (and I thought it was pretty good to keep the tree up until the 5th at a public library!). We keep our own tree up for a very long time at home - through all three January birthdays at the very least and we keep our Nativity Set out even longer. So I felt just a little bit sheepish when one of the library patrons scolded me for not keeping it up until the Epiphany!
When I took down the (artificial) tree at the Library, I noticed that the base of the tree was cracked - though not yet completely broken - so I ran by Target on the way home from yesterday's Geography Bee to see if I could find a new one on after-Christmas clearance. 90% off is about as good as it gets! A nice 7 foot tree with a metal base was only $10! Hurray!