History 15–Part 2


Esther and I are averaging doing our history reading three or four times a week. This book, Unwrapping the Pharoahs, is full of interesting little tidbits from Egyptian history. For my notes from the first seven chapters, go here.

Chapter 8 relates the story of Dynasty 5. The Pharoahs in this dynasty built pyramids of piles of rubble, covered with nice stones. After people later pilfered the facing stones, all that was left was rubble! Unas, the last king of the 5th Dynasty, was the first to have writing in his tomb. I had to laugh at a couple of sentences in this chapter. “Mummification sure does nothing for the beautiful looks of a princess, but then beauty was  not the object of mummification. And, “Blue stars adorn the roof of his (Unas’s) burial chamber, presumably to give the dead king the impression that he was under the night sky.”

Chapter 9 begins with the first king of Dynasty 6. He was the son of the last king of Dynasty 5—why did they consider it a separate dynasty? He seems to have been murdered by his bodyguard, as reported by Manetho 1500 years later (3rd century B. C.). Dynasties 5 and 6 were very rich. Many reliefs are on their mastaba walls. The last ruler of Dynasty 6 was a woman whose husband/brother, a Pharoah, was murdered. She avenged his death by killing all those responsible, then killed herself. Egypt was thrown into chaos as a result. Manetho says, “The 7th Dynasty consisted of 70 kings of Memphis who reigned for 70 days.”

Chapter 10 discusses dates in Egyptian history. Dating events is very difficult. We don’t know how many dynasties were contemporary with each other. The traditional chronology was created as if each dynasty ruled separately, but even Eusebius (a Christian history in the 3rd or 4th century AD) said, “several Egyptian kings ruled at the same time.” Traditionally, Hittite chronology is determined by coordinating it with Egyptian records. That puts the Hittite empire as being overrun by peoples from the sea in the 12th century B. C. However, the Assyrian records are different. In the 9th century, Shalmaneser III fought the Hittites, and in the 8th century, Sennacherib fought the Hittites. 2 Kings 7:6 seems to indicate that the Hittites were more feared than the Egyptians. If Egyptian dates are reduced, that will make Hittite dates line up with Assyrian and Hebrew records.

Chapter 11 mentions that Sesostris I, in Dynasty 12, had a vizier, or prime minister, named Mentuhotep, who appears to have had the powers that were given to the Biblical Joseph. A canal was dug, during Dynasty 12, from the Nile to the Faiyyum Oasis. It is still called Joseph’s Canal. Pyramids were now made of sun-dried bricks.

Chapter 12 mentions that many Asiatic slaves were in Egypt during the 12th Dynasty. Sesostris III bragged about his cruelty. Was he one of the Pharoahs of the Oppresion? His successor, Amenemhet III, had no sons. His daughter Sobekneferu ruled after his death for 4 years and had no heir. Was she the one who adopted Moses? Amenemhet III had 2 pyramids built for himself, one of sun-dried bricks held together with straw.

In Chapter 13, Neferhotep I, in the 13th Dynasty, seems to have been the last king before the Asiatic slaves disappeared from a large settlement called Kahun. Kahun was abandoned suddenly, with many personal items left behind. In the floors of the houses are many boxes containing the bones of babies under three months old, with sometimes several babies in each box. Neferhotep’s mummy has never been found, and though we know he had a  son, that son did not succeed him. This lines up with the 10th plague, of the firstborn sons being killed, and with Pharoah drowning in the Red Sea. The Hyksos invaded Egypt soon after—were they the Amalekites? The Amalekites attacked Israel soon after the Exodus; they could have learned from captured Israelites about the demise of the Egyptian army. Manetho says that the Hyksos occupied Egypt “without a battle.” Where was the well-trained Egyptian army? At the bottom of the Red Sea!

Chapter 14 continues the story of the Hyksos. They ruled Egypt for a few hundred years; the 13th-17th Dynasties were local Egyptian or Hyksos rulers. Seqenenre, a ruler in the south, was sent a delegation from the Hyksos king, Apophis. The complaint? The hippopotami in Seqenenre’s new canal kept Apophis awake from 497 miles away! Soon after this, Egypt began a war of liberation against the Hyksos, and they soon disappear from history. King Saul was reigning about this time, so if the Hyksos were, indeed, the Amalekites, it makes sense. They were annihilated. Amenhotep I, the first ruler in the 18th Dynasty, immediately after the Hyksos were driven out, was the first to abandon burial in pyramids and build his tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

Posted in Activities at Home | Leave a comment

The Last July 2016 Pictures

My sister made this dress and sent it with Esther and Mr. Handyman when they were in America last year. It finally fits her—but now I need to let the hem out! She’s growing fast.02-09-IMG_0205

Mr. Intellectual has been making kites lately. He’s frustrated, though, because either we have no wind, or we have too much wind to fly it.


Several of the children went together to buy the game Settlers of Catan recently. We’ve been enjoying playing with it.


Mr. Sweetie took this picture of Mr. Imagination.


Little Miss is a bookworm!


Mr. Intellectual was given a glass prism recently. He’s been having fun making rainbows on sunny days.


I was reading to Mr. Imagination and Mr. Sweetie, and Little Miss decided she needed to be right in the middle!


Little Miss playing at church, in the foyer.


I sorted all the extra clothes recently. Mr. Diligence found this old shirt, which was his for a few years. He was thrilled to find an old favorite, and managed somehow to get it on! It was difficult to get off again.


Posted in Activities at Home | Tagged | Leave a comment

West Coast Trip

In the middle of July, we went to the West Coast for a few days. We had been invited to a concert put on by a community over there, so our first night we stayed at the community and attended the concert the next day. This was the view from our second-floor bedroom. It was a very frosty morning!09-16-IMG_0219

The main buildings of the community, from lower on the hill. Each of the three 3-story buildings houses a number of families; they all eat in the second building from the right.


We were given these two rooms, plus one more like this first one, to sleep in.


During the concert, we were seated at tables, and served a delicious dinner. This was my table setting.


This elaborate castle was set up in front of the door through which many of the performers entered.


This dinosaur was on the other side. The head moved by people inside the body pulling on ropes.


An orchestra played for awhile, and then various groups sang. After that there was  a series of musicals, plays performed with a lot of singing to tell the stories. It was an incredible show!


We spent the night with some new friends near the community. I was really impressed with the bunkbeds they had built for their children!


The next day, we went to Hokitika. We went to the glass-blowing studio. They weren’t blowing glass that day, but shaping kiwis out of molten glass. We also went to the Hokitika Museum, and to the National Kiwi Centre, where we watched giant eels and a kiwi being fed, and enjoyed looking at a lot of other fish.


We spent that night with some new friends near Hokitika. They have a guest room with an ensuite, where Gayle and I, and the two youngest, slept. Little Miss entertained herself in the sink while I brushed my hair!


We went home over Arthur’s Pass. It was snowing pretty hard as we went over the top, and a lot of snow was stuck to the camper. Mr. Imagination has been wanting very badly to make a snowman, so Gayle took the snow from the camper when we stopped at the information center, and made one. Unfortunately, Mr. Imagination wasn’t very impressed. He wanted a big one!


Little Miss tried very hard to be cheerful, even though she was getting pretty tired of traveling.


We went through Christchurch to Lyttleton Harbor before we went home. It was fun to see the places we had read about in the book The Runaway Settlers—a great story about pioneering in New Zealand.


Posted in Away From Home | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Last Pictures From June 2016

We are really enjoying our kitten. He isn’t as playful as he used to be, but still gets himself into funny places. He also sleeps in very strange positions.01-IMG_005808-IMG_0084

I got a book from the library about the Denniston Incline. One of my boys liked it so well he took pictures of most of the pages in it!


Mr. Inventor and Mr. Diligence go to the dump at the end of our road (a transfer station) every time they can. It’s only open for three hours, three days a week, one of which is Sunday and another of which is Tuesday, our day for going to Dead Boring! They go almost every Thursday, and the Tuesdays that we are home, to search for treasures. One week, they brought me this incubator! The thermostat didn’t work, so I bought one online last week, and plan to try hatching chicks. I’ve never done it before, but have wanted to.


The pot this kitten is sitting in is another dump treasure. Mr. Inventor found the skillet underneath it at the Kaikoura dump for less than a dollar. He has since cleaned it thoroughly with a wire brush and seasoned it, and I’m now using it in the kitchen. The pot is a little harder, and in worse shape, but he’s hoping to restore it as well.


Mr. Inventor made these two knives. He sold the bigger one.


The children playing at Dead Boring. There were a lot there that day!


Our Dead Boring group—even Esther was there that day!


Posted in Activities at Home | Leave a comment

June 2016 Pictures of Our Little People

My computer finally seems to be fixed. We had to send it back in to be worked on again in late June, and when we got it back and set up again, we ran into the same problem as before. I had to install updates one at a time, because it wasn’t handling more than that. Suddenly, the same problem appeared that we had before, with the computer demanding the product key for Windows 8. We uninstalled the update I had just installed, but nothing changed. I contacted the company—again. However, a day or so later, after a couple more restarts, the demand for that key disappeared! The computer is working perfectly again. What a relief. So, maybe I’ll get back to more regular posting…or maybe not. No promises. Anyway, here are pictures for Grandma of the two littlest during June.

Little Miss asked for some yogurt in her bowl. Then, she stepped in it! What a terrible catastrophe!02-IMG_0059

Little Miss and Mr. Imagination reading stories together.


Mr. Imagination was pretending to be a gorilla.


Little Miss took ashes out of the coal range, and then tried to clean up her mess!


She’s all girl! She likes pretty dresses.


Looking at pictures with big sister.


Playing at Dead Boring (homeschool group).


Esther’s boss gave the little ones a toy lawn mower. Little Miss claims it for her own.


Helping Esther make snickerdoodles.22-IMG_016624-IMG_0190

Posted in Activities at Home | Tagged | Leave a comment

History 15—Part 1

Esther and I have started our own book club. We have quite a few books on ancient history, especially on parts of history that aren’t in most mainstream history books. We’ve both been wanting to read them but haven’t been getting around to it. So, last week, we started our own book club. So far, the two of us are the only members, but if you want to join you’re welcome—although I have no idea how we could include more people! We started with Unwrapping the Pharoahs, by John Ashton and David Down. Our goal is that every day Esther will spend 15 minutes (that’s where the “15” in the name of our book club comes from) reading the book and taking notes on what she finds interesting, and then I’ll read the same chapters she got through, take notes, and we’ll compare. We’ve managed to do it a few days, and gotten through seven chapters of this fascinating book!

Chapter 1 talks about the beginning of Egyptian history. Menes, the first king of the first dynasty, is identified by Josephus as being Mizraim, the grandson of Noah. Interestingly, the early kings of Egypt were buried with boats—was this in case of another Flood? Chapter 2 mentions that the earliest Egyptian burial practices were similar to those in Ur, in Mesopotamia, at the same time. Guess what! Civilization spread from Mesopotamia to Egypt!

Chapter 3 talks about some of the early pyramids. There is evidence that they were built by men excited about their work, rather than by slaves. Chapter 4 shows the three pyramids built by Seneferu. The first, Meidum, seems to have partially collapsed at some point. Whether this was during the building or some time after is unknown. His second one was the Bent Pyramid, which was started at a 52° angle. About halfway up, they switched to a 43° angle. No one knows why, but I found it very interesting that there are inscriptions indicating that possibly the lower half was built in only two years! He also built the Red Pyramid, which was at a 43° angle. Did he maybe keep going till he had a perfect pyramid?

In chapter 5, Abraham’s visit to Egypt during a famine is mentioned. Josephus tells that Abraham brought science and astronomy to Egypt from Mesopotamia. Is he the source of the incredible mathematical accuracy in the Great Pyramid? The Great Pyramid was built precisely aligned to the cardinal directions (north, south, east, and west), precisely level, and exactly square.

Chapter 6 discusses Kafre, the son of Khufu, who built the Great Pyramid. Khafre’s pyramid was steeper than his father’s, with a completely different layout. Another thing mentioned in this chapter was the methods used by “archeologists” in the 1700s and early 1800s. They were basically treasure hunters, using gunpowder to blow up anything they thought was in their way. Chapter 7 tells about the end of the 4th Dynasty, when the economy was apparently not so good anymore. Shepseskaf built a mastaba instead of a pyramid. The earliest pharoahs had built mastabas; these were more like the temples in Mesopotamia. They were several layers, one on top of another, each layer smaller so it went up in steps.

Posted in Activities at Home | 1 Comment

It’s a Bull!

The calf has arrived! As I said in yesterday’s post, our cow was looking very close to calving last evening. Mr. Handyman checked on her at 6:00 this morning, and nothing was happening, but I went out a few minutes before 8:00, to find her laying down. As I feared, she couldn’t get up. She has a history of milk fever, which is a sudden crash in calcium levels in the blood, so I knew what the problem was. Normally, this happens a day or two after calving, but this cow has gone down while she was in labor before. So, I called the vet as soon as they opened at 8:00, and he came out within half an hour. He gave her calcium intravenously, as well as a drench, and a few minutes later she was on her feet. We kept a very close eye on her all morning (one of the boys had trouble focusing on school—he’s still not done!), and at 1:00 the exciting news was shouted around the house that “something” could be seen. By about 1:45, we were excited to have witnessed the birth of a beautiful little bull calf. Both mother and baby seem to be doing well, although we need to continue giving her extra calcium for a few days as her body adjusts to producing milk again. We’ve named the baby Speckles.3-IMG_0337

Proud mama!2-IMG_03334-IMG_0339

I got this picture from the house of the children watching the birth while eating lunch!


The calf’s father was a White Galloway bull belonging to a neighbor of ours. He looked a lot like this one.

Young White Galloway bull (Photo by Bridget Lowry)

Now, for the winners of my giveaway! Dianne was the only one who guessed the right day; she will receive a code for a free Kindle copy of Sweet on You, the first Meddlin’ Madeleine book, by Chautona Havig. Only Dianne and Dannielle guessed that the calf would be a bull, so Dannielle will get Ante Up!, the fourth Aggie’s Inheritance book, also by Chautona Havig. I’ll send you both your codes as soon as I have them. Enjoy!

Posted in Activities at Home | 1 Comment

One, Two, Three!

Little Miss is starting to talk quite a lot. She obviously hears a lot of counting, because she frequently says, “One, two, three!” Or, “Two, three, four, ten!” I went to the freezer at lunch time today to get something, and she came over, asking, “Want two-three-four!” She knows the blackberries are in that freezer, and she wanted some. I gave her a few. This afternoon, I was sitting at the computer doing something, and she started counting and then racing to the bedroom, then counting again and racing back. I was able to capture some of her game in a short video.

Posted in Activities at Home | Tagged , | Leave a comment

How Daily Plans Can Change Suddenly (and giveaway news)

First, before I show you how my evening changed suddenly and crazily a couple days ago, I’ll just say first that we still don’t have a calf. If you want to enter my giveaway by making a guess about the date of birth and gender of the calf, go here. If you’ve already entered and want to change your guess, please do. She is looking a lot closer, though—this is how she looked a couple of hours ago (it’s the 27th of July, here, by the way). I’m planning to check on her before I go to bed and again when I first get up in the morning. 3-IMG_0328

Now, back to Monday evening. I had finally gotten started sorting boy’s shirts! The last time I really worked on sorting children’s clothing was just before Little Miss was born, a year and a half ago. It was needing done! So, I had piles of shirts laying around the living room, as you can see here.2-IMG_0322

Then, Gayle arrived home from work, at about 4:45, with some chickens that a friend who is moving to Australia gave us. Included were three roosters, and she warned him that if they were put together there would be a cockfight. So, I decided that we should probably butcher them right away, and started water heating for the scalding. My boys asked if we could do a few roosters of our own that were ready, and the next thing I knew we were going to do a few old hens and a turkey, too! At that hour of the night, when I hadn’t even started cooking dinner yet! Yes, that’s the kind of craziness that happens here. Strike while the iron’s hot, though. Everyone worked with a will, and an hour and a half later I had this in the kitchen:1-IMG_0321

I hurriedly threw together some food for dinner, and got started washing and packaging birds while it cooked. By 8:00, I had this: 1-IMG_0330

Yum! I’m so thankful for children who help so well, and for good, clean, fresh meat. Esther was happy that she could change her birthday menu from steaks to roast turkey.

Posted in Activities at Home | Leave a comment

What Day Will it Happen? Contest!

We are eagerly anticipating fresh milk again soon. We’ve been drinking frozen milk since I dried off the cow about the first of June, but it isn’t the same. The cow has started to bag up now, though, so we’re getting excited about having a new calf on the place again–and did I mention, fresh milk? And cream? And butter? We ran out of the frozen butter today and have to use butter from the shop now.

Anyway, I’m having a contest! I have a free copy of each of Chautona Havig’s two most recent books, Sweet on You and Ante Up!, so they will be the prizes for this contest. To enter, please comment on this post or on my Facebook page (with the link for this post) with the day you think the calf will arrive and whether it will be a heifer calf or a bull calf. The cow is due on July 23, and these pictures show how she looks today. (No, it’s not twins; we saw the calf when we had the vet do a scan to confirm the pregnancy in November, and it was definitely just one calf–this cow simply gets huge!) I’ll give one of the books to the person who guesses closest to the right date (or draw from all the right guesses), and the other book to someone who guesses the right gender. The contest closes when the calf is born–sometime in the next two weeks! The book you get will be a Kindle book, but you do not have to have a Kindle to read it. If you have a tablet or a smart phone you can easily get a free app to read  Kindle books, or you can read them on your computer. So, make a guess and you may get to read a book by my favorite author!05-IMG_0292 06-IMG_0294

Posted in Activities at Home | 11 Comments