Each Other – Civics Challenge

An interesting theory going around is that most American citizens would not pass the citizenship test. Now, both my sister and my boyfriend were naturalized, so this is something I hold near and dear to my heart. I’m hoping I can learn more so I can say ‘This American would pass a civics test!”. Also it’s still fourth of July week, so I felt this would be a perfect way to celebrate.

Beginner Level

Research and learn the answers to the following questions:

  • What is the supreme law of the land? – The Constitution
  • What does the Constitution do? – It establishes America’s national government and laws of the land, as well as guarantees it’s citizens certain basic rights.
  • The idea of self-government is in the first three words of the Constitution. What are they? – We the People
  • What do we call the first 10 amendments to the Constitution? – Bill of Rights
  • Name two rights or two freedoms listed in the First Amendment (five are possible). – Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion
  • What did the Declaration of Independence do? – Declares United States independent from Britain
  • Name two rights in the Declaration of Independence (three are possible). – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness
  • What is freedom of religion? – One of the freedoms protected in the bill of rights, but it means that Americans are free to choose their religion without fear of persecution from the government
  • What is the economic system in the United States? – Capitalism
  • What is the “rule of law”? – the restriction of the arbitrary exercise of power by subordinating it to well-defined and established laws
“We the People…”

I was very pleased that I knew most of these answers without research! Guess that semester of Government in High School paid off! On to the more challenging questions.

Intermediate Level

Research and learn the answers to the following questions:

  • Name the three branches of government. – Legislative, Judicial and Executive
  • What keeps one branch of government from becoming too powerful? – Checks and Balances system, i.e. president can veto laws, judicial branch can challenge and bring rulings on laws, Congress can pass with 2/3rds votes
  • Who is in charge of the executive branch? – The President of the United States
  • Who makes the federal laws? – United States Congress
  • What are the two parts of the U.S. Congress? – House of Representatives and US Senate
  • How many U.S. Senators are there? 100 Senators
  • Name one of your state’s U.S. Senators and one of your state’s U.S. Representatives. Nancy Pelosi, US Representative & Kamala Harris, Senator
  • What is the term of a U.S. Senator? 6 years
  • What is the term of a U.S. Representative? 2 years
  • What is the term of the President? 4 years
  • Who is the Commander in Chief of the military? The President
  • Who signs bills to become laws? The President
US Congress

Once again, I have to thank my 7th grade History teacher. I knew 90% of these with no research, I only had to look up my Senator and Representative since I’m new to the state.

Expert Level

Research and learn the answers to the following questions:

  • Who vetoes bills? The President
  • What does the judicial branch do? They verify that the laws passed are within the parameters of the Constitution
  • What is the highest court in the United States? The Supreme Court
  • How many justices are on the Supreme Court? 9
  • Who is the Chief Justice of the United States now? Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  • Under our Constitution, some powers belong solely to the federal government. Name two (four are possible). Regulate commerce with foreign countries, Coin money
  • Under our Constitution, some powers belong solely to the states. Name two (five are possible). Education of residents, ownership of property
  • Who is the Governor of your state now? Jerry Brown
  • What is the capital of your state? Sacramento
  • What are the two major political parties in the United States? Democratic and Republican
  • What is the name of the Speaker of the House of Representatives now? Paul Ryan
California Capital Building

Outpost – Rocks and Minerals

Growing up in the wilds of Ohio (?), I became rather interested in rock collecting due to a computer game that I had about science that discussed rocks and minerals. I had a collection of shiny rocks and minerals that we picked up from our travels, and I would love to start collecting them again, if only in a small capacity.


Beginner Level

Research the difference between rocks and minerals.

According to the United States Geological Survey,

“A mineral is a naturally occurring inorganic element or compound having an orderly internal structure and characteristic chemical composition, crystal form, and physical properties.

A rock is an aggregate of one or more minerals, or a body of undifferentiated mineral matter.”



Learn about the characteristics of minerals and identify the three types of rocks.

There are 5 characteristics of minerals. They are:

  • Solid
  • Formed by inorganic processes
  • Naturally occuring
  • Definite chemical composition
  • Definite crystalline structure

There are three types of rocks:

  • Igneous Rocks – solidify from molten rock
  • Sedimentary Rocks – these rocks are layered
  • Metamorphic Rocks – these form where sedimentary, igneous or preexisting metamorphic rocks are changed by heat pressure and/or chemically reactive waters.
  • (per American Museum of Natural History)

Research the ways rocks and minerals are used in our everyday life.

Rocks and minerals are used in many varieties of ways in our daily lives. I chose the top 5 ways that I found most interesting and had not heard of before.

  • Beryllium – used in the manufacturing of light, X-Ray tubes and by the nuclear industry
  • Gypsum – used in the manufacture of ‘sheetrock; or wallboard
  • Molybdenite – when alloyed with other metals, this improves hardness. Used principally in catalytic converters but also to make jewelry
  • Soda Ash – used to make glass containers
  • Vanadium – used in metal alloys for aerospace applications

Intermediate Level

Find a museum near you that has a rock, mineral, or gemstone display. See how many you can identify.


Expert Level

Become a rockhound! Collect at least 10 different rocks or minerals. Identify if each is either rock or mineral, and write your observations down.


Stitching and Crafting – Nellie Will-do Progress

Can we please talk about how excited your sister was when she saw this badge?

I am a little obsessed with latchhooking and it never gets the recognition it deserves. My mom bought me a simple one for Easter when I was twelve, and i’ve been hooked (haha puns) ever since.

I picked up the most difficult project I’ve ever attempted. It will definitely take me over 100 hours.

Beginner – 25 hours


This is my progress after 25 hours – approx. 30% done

Each Other – Reading ‘Riting and ‘Rythmatic

As stated in my previous post, I love to read. However I am very interested in this badge because it is more than just reading and will stretch me out of my comfort zone.


Beginner – Reading:

-Pick out three in three categories: fiction, non-fiction, and poetry & read them


Fiction – Ramona Blue

Non-Fiction – Tough Cookies  In Cold Blood

Poetry – The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One


Intermediate – Writing

-Write one short story of fiction, one persuasive essay, and one poem. Read them aloud to your friends or family, or share them on the Farmgirl Connection chatroom.

-Refresh (or learn for the first time) the rules of grammar: try reading Woe is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English by Patricia T. O’Conner, or Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss.

Expert – Arithmetic

-Refresh your math facts by helping a child with homework or playing math games on the computer. Up the ante by adding in algebra.

-Some fun books to try that are anything-but-dull-textbooks are the Life of Fred books by Stan Schmidt

Each Other – Bibliophile

I am a huge book nerd. So much so I even have my own book blog here! So I figured this badge would be a great starting place for me.


Sign Up for a library card – I did this when I moved to California last year

Start your TBR Pile – My TBR is actually 800 books deep. I am fairly active on goodreads, my username is Missaidan. You can find my TBR here.



Challenge your fellow bibliophile to a reading contest. – I actually am in a group For Love of a Book on Goodreads and Life & Lit on facebook, where I do monthly challenges. I am starting a challenge on my book blog at the beginning of July that is hosted by another blog. So I will count that for my challenge.

Join a book club – As previously stated I am an active member in the book groups above, which are like book clubs but way more active and fun.

TBR – Choose two books & read them

I’m Reading:




Ramona Blue – For Pride Month

Bone Gap – For a For the Love of a Book Challenge.



Have a party for the winner of the challenge – Since this is a virtual challenge, it would be very difficult to have a party, but the winner will be announced on the blog and celebrated there.

Start organizing your shelves – I will redo my shelves for this badge

Start a Little Free Library – I started a little free library at work, with donated books (mostly from me) but also from others. We have chairs nearby for people to read as well.


Each Other – Blogging

Today I got my Farmgirl welcome kit in the mail, and I am ready to start on my “adult Girl Scout” journey. I am starting this blog as part of my ‘Blogging’ merit badge, and I intend to use it to keep track of my badges and progress.

Beginner Blogging Badge:

Step 1 for the Blogging badge is to read ‘Blogging for Creatives’, which I have downloaded and will begin tonight.


Step 2 is to pick a topic you are passionate about. Well I’m extremely excited to begin my journey as a farmgirl sister, so I chose to write about that

Intermediate Blog Badge:

Step 1 is to start your blog. I am starting this blog for the purposes of this badge.

Step 2 is to Pick a name, Farmgirl Aidan, and to publish the first post, well here it is!

Expert Blog Badge:

Step 1 Publish at least 10 posts with photos.

Step 2 Create a network