Thursday, October 30, 2008

Studying for a report..

Mini-Me is studying to find information for her first ever report.
The curriculum only gave her a photo-copied encyclopedia page. Granted, it's all about teaching her the basics of research and information gathering. I don't have a problem with that.

She has a problem with it.
She doesn't have enough information to use her own words to write the report.
She keeps asking me, "Mom, what about plagiarism?"

The curriculum mentioned it, not I.
She learned about it on Arthur, not from me.
I sighed.

I explained that I wasn't really concerned about it because of the information given to her with the curriculum. I told her that she'd be adding words and thoughts as she wrote the final report to go from one point to another.

But as we talked - she wanted to know more about her subject. More than just a photocopied encyclopedia page can tell her.

The subject is George Washington Carver. He is one of my favorite people to read about. There's a Mott Media book about him, that I thought I owned, but I don't (but will). I wanted her to hear about the scientist that had a relationship with the God who created the peanut and sweet potato.

I had to trust the library to give me something.

I searched via the internet and found a couple. One is written kind of in prose for easy reading. One is a graphic novel kind of thing. Our librarian with a really cool name, showed me three more in our local library (usually our little city library doesn't have much of what I want.)

She's enjoying the books and I'm thrilled. Quite by accident, we discovered a treasure.

"Mom!! Listen this: 'Moses and Mary Carver taught George and his brother Jim to read and write at home.'" (I'm paraphrasing.)

She beamed at me. "He was home-schooled, just like me."

I restrained from happy dancing. It was hard.
One thing about it, she'll never look at a peanut the same again.
And I'm quite okay with that.
Excuse me while I happy dance.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


We have developed a few incentives here in the Laundry Pile quite by accident.

When Mini-Me was a little, little kid, she wanted a Pogo-stick. I told her she could have one when she turned 5. Thinking she'd forget. I forgot that she had the memory of an elephant - she got a pogo stick when she turned 5.

I accidentally developed the watch plan. When you could tell time to the quarter hour, I'd buy you an analog wrist watch. So far, Mini-me and G-man both have wrist watches. G-man absolutely LOVES his. Mini-Me remembers sometimes to wear hers - but she loves having one, nonetheless.

I just developed the gum-chewing incentive. When you turn 5 (J-man) you can have chewing gum. I made that one up just on Thursday.

Then on Friday, I think, I discovered another incentive. It's interesting what the kids actually come up with for their own incentives.

You see, we have Zoo Tycoon. We have the complete collection where you can add a Marina and Dinosaurs in addition to the regular zoo type of critters. Well, G-man has been wanting to play and wanting to play - but he had to develop better reading skills. He thinks he's developed enough and asked to play. So I consented.

Merrily, he started in on becoming a zoo tycoon.

Well, this got J-man very interested. (We've watch some little rascals movies lately - I'm impressed by how much my J-man looks like Spanky. I may have to change his blog name. I digress.)


See, J-man .. I mean Spanky, thinks he can do anything that G-man can do. He came hop/skipping into the room..

"Mom! Mom! Can I play zoo tycoon??!?!"

"Well, bubby, you need to be able to read to play the game."

"I want to do school work."

Gotta love a good incentive.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The writing on the hand....

Just for you Linda, Jane and Toby --

I just love you guys. I tried to recreate...

When you don't have post-it notes available, what's a better thing to post a note on but your hand?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Geography Fun...

Maybe the bears in a previous post were bent on world domination, inspired by our geography game. We were studying the North American region of the world. The game, as suggested by My Father's World, said to have circles for each country.

I made cards - we're to look at the card and guess where the country was by putting a marker on the circle for that country. Let me just say, Mini-Me caught on really fast.

The first time they used whatever counting things we could find. I realized that the countries needed some sort of color to differentiate and help distinguish the countries from each other.

Here's what one looked like after I colored the countries:
I thought it would be fun to use M&M's as markers for the countries - because then we could clean up the game by eating our markers.
But knowing how much the kids wiggle - and how easy it is for M&M's to be scattered - I used magnets and a cookie sheet. This is my game 'piece' - and what it looked like without colors.
It was a fun way to learn the smaller countries of Central America.

Mini-Me won the game, by one marker.

We all won in the end, because we all ate M&M's.

Geography rocks.


Sunday, we tried something new. We tried to make sopapillas to go with dinner. It was an interesting concept. I took on the project, as the Professor was making his own nachos variation. I looked up some recipes on line and barged right in.

I mixed up the dough - and had two batches. The second batch actually worked better than the first. Rolled out the dough - it was much like dumplings. :-) Fried Dumplings. We needed enough to go around - so I cut them into squares.

Aren't they pretty? I know, not really, they're just dough.

In my reading on the subject of sopapillas, I found someone's wisdom that said to make sure the oil was HOT enough...otherwise you're just boiling the little dumplin's in oil. Since we tend to be a bit ren. faire - ish, that brought a giggle to me.

Dumpling invaders!! Drop the Hot oil on 'em!!

I was really glad the little kids were asleep.

They are supposed to drop to the bottom:
And then pop back up. I loved this part. It was just fun. That was the other thing I read, you had to have enough oil for them to bob to the bottom and pop back up.

I realize I'm easily amused. I can't help it - it was fun.
The recipes I found on-line mentioned nothing of the cinnamon and sugar that made these fried bread thingys into sweet stuff -- so apparently sopapillas are fried bread and essentially, I made cinnamon toast.

After they puff up, which doesn't take long bobbing in that hot oil, I scooped them out and dumped them in a cake pan with cinnamon/sugar mix (that the Professor mixed up for me.)

Then we have this final product. They were quite the hit - even without honey.

I was really glad I tried this with the Professor around. I would not have tried this experiment with the little kids around.

It was good for the day though.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Massing on the border?

I never know what I'll find sitting on the table. Hmm...sometimes I forget what's on the table, but that's another post for another time...

I'm not sure if this is good or not:
They look like they're getting ready to stage a great undertaking. A raid on the Skittles factory, perhaps?

They're not too far from Strawberry Shortcake...maybe they're after her recipes. I've heard they're 'berry' good.

I'm rather wondering, if a plastic bear attacks you, how would you fight them off? Then I remember, I've got Jman and his plastic bottles. :-)

My new bracelet...

This is what I bought at the fun night that Mini-me and I had.
J-man was not doomed. He's quite fine. He's lovely in fact.

The Blue one is new, it's the one I knew I had to have.
The silver one was a gift from my hubby a Christmas or two ago.
I am now not without either one.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Not exactly gentle persuasion...

The other night, I took Mini-Me with me to a launching of a business. A friend makes jewelry and we were going to have a party and celebrate her going into business.


J-man saw us getting ready and found out where we were going and told us that he wanted to go, too.

He was sure of it.

We pointed out that there would be jewelry. Women. and no kids to play with.

He was just certain he had to go. Not certain enough to stop playing Lego Star Wars - he wanted to finish the level.

Really, you don't want to go. It's girly.

No -- he intoned -- I'll be doomed if I don't go.

I admit it.

I laughed.

He still didn't go.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Some Things Work - Some things DON'T

I don't know what's going with Bloglines. I realized that not all of my friends posts are coming through my Bloglines subscriptions....and it's driving me to distraction.

I spent part of yesterday's down time working on putting the blogs I read and follow into Google Reader. I'm not used to Google Reader, and don't find it as user friendly as Bloglines - but at least it's got all the blogs showing up!! Now to scroll through them to find the NEW stuff that I haven't read and making it think I read the old stuff - which I did when it was new.


This is sad. I agree with you.

I've been in a sinus haze though, so I'm allowed.
Today I have antibiotics. Tomorrow should be hazeless.

I haven't had as much time to blog and read blogs - but, by golly, when the time comes, I want to be able to at least READ what you say.