Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer Camp Settings

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Carbon was the lucky duck that got to spend three days with a bunch of other kids, a bunch of naturalists, and the beach. They counted crabs and clams, caught fish in nets, learned how to tie some knots, combed the beach identifying everything they could, and more. It was the first camp of the year - will the others be able to measure up?

And I love this about summer - the opportunities to try something different and have unique educational experiences like that.

Monday, June 27, 2011

DRE Fashion Dilemmas

My Sunday morning fashion challenge is to find a variety of outfits that can do all this:

1. Say "take me seriously, I am a professional"

2. Be both mature and young/approachable, formal yet friendly, never sexy but not frumpy either

3. Let me sit on the ground gracefully when I need to

4. Be something I could dive into an art project while wearing

5. Not kill my feet after the hours of walking hallways, moving furniture, and standing/dancing/jumping rope that I might end up doing on a Sunday morning

6. Generally match the culture of my congregation

Here are three recent looks that tried to do all that (my son took these pictures with my smart phone camera - they aren't glamor shots but they do show me at work)


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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Saturday Morning book post

Another week, another book post. I am in a spot where I don't have very many books to talk about myself, because I've picked up about five and read the first five pages but not decided which one I will actually read. And I'm still trying to finish up that Models of Religious Education text book. Hopefully soon I'll actually get going on a book that I can tell you all about!

For the kids, I got The Daring Book for Girls from the library. Carbon, based on his enjoyment of The Dangerous Book for Boys, was super excited and tried to get Hypatia interested. She was 100% not interested. But at least by just checking it out it showed Carbon that there could be exciting things out there for girls also.

Both kids are reading out loud to me now. Hypatia just decided she could read, and is working her way through the Bob Books Set One. With repetition and some help, she really can read them, and she is clearly going to be one of those kids who doesn't really use any method (no phonics for this child) but just somehow starts reading. She's determined and what ever help I do give her has to be really subtle so she still feels like she's doing it herself.

Carbon - my logical systems phonics boy, who stops and argues about spellings, hates silent k's, and would like to redesign the english language - is also reading out loud. He's graduated from those silly Bob Books to "real" books:



10 Apples Up on Top by Dr. Seuss

The great thing about this stage of reading is that our local library has a whole section of these easy readers, so he can choose his own books and there are lots of them. There are some book series that are really good - we all like Henry and Mudge, Nate the Great, Frog and Toad, and Amelia Bedelia. I look forward to finding some other good ones that are new to me.

Hypatia is picking them up too - she REALLY wants to be reading. After he reads a book, she takes it from him and carries it around the house, "reading" it by repeating what she just heard him read.

Our audiobook in the car this week is the fourth in the Percy Jackson series: The Battle of the Labyrinth. I think this series is actually getting better with each book, or possibly I just like all the characters more as they develop and have their adventures.

Well, that's about all the time I have for books today ... I've got to go tidy up and get ready to have a BBQ here today. :)


Friday, June 24, 2011

7 Ways to Take Care of Your Volunteers

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It's volunteer recruitment season for me, as I get the Teaching Teams and Assistants and then folks for special programs all lined up for Fall. When I first took on this job as DRE, this was the task that actually worried me the most - it looked so miserable to always be searching for volunteers and being told No.

But actually, I enjoy finding and working with volunteers, and I hope that it's working pretty well - I have a good retention rate of teachers coming back and I've got all my Teaching Teams staffed for next year already. Now Assistants - that will be my next push.

But here are 7 things I've learned so far about taking care of volunteers:

1. The Pitch. You have to pitch the job to them, and most people will wait to be invited. In our busy lives, it's important to be honest in your pitch. Exactly how much time, energy, and responsibility are we asking from them? How will they be supported and trained? How will it fit in their schedules? And WHY? Presumably, you enjoy working in the field you are recruiting volunteers for, so tell them why you do it - what are the joys, the rewards, but also the honest challenges of this work? Highlight the main job, but also talk about ancillary rewards, such as a feeling of belonging, contributing, making new friends, learning new things, etc.

2. Prepare Them. No one enjoys the feelings of panic, incompetence, or inadequacy that come from being thrown into a situation without enough preparation. On the other hand, people do enjoy a challenge, learning new skills, or developing their skills in new ways. People enjoy feeling needed. If the volunteer training, preparation, and support are good enough, the volunteers feel all the latter things and not the former. I'm still working on improving my teacher trainings and mid-year meetings, but other things are pairing new with experienced volunteers, clearly labeling where needed supplies are kept, and giving people enough time to adequately prepare for lesson plans.

3. Set realistic expectations. Volunteers are not supermen or women. I don't expect them to prep all the materials for their lessons - for most people that would become too much of a time burden. Be real about what you are asking of them. If any job becomes too large, recruit more volunteers to cover it and break it up into smaller chunks.

4. Let them bring themselves to the task. I would find it stifling and boring if I could only do what others told me to do in a classroom, and many volunteers feel the same way. If they want to change up a lesson plan and do something else, that's fine with me. (I do ask that they email me so I know ahead of time and prep materials accordingly.) It's also nice to leave some aspects of a job open to the volunteers choice. For instance, a lesson could be begun with a song, some yoga, a drama game, or silent meditation, depending on the volunteer teacher's speciality.

5. Have clear schedules and send reminders. Once again, people have busy full lives. If you want them to take some time out of them for your program, make the calendar clear and send them a reminder a few days before hand each time they are on the schedule.

6. Be Nice. Ok - maybe I should have put this as Number One, and it can't be overstated. Who wants to volunteer for or with someone who isn't nice? There is normal nice, and then there are extra nice touches. If someone has just slept (or not) on the floor of your church in order to chaperone a youth overnight, and you are going to be waking them up in the morning, it's a lot nicer to wake them up with a hot cup of coffee in your hands. :)

7. And finally, Recognize them as often as you can. Put their names on paper stars on your bulletin board. Write a newsletter article praising your fabulous volunteers. Send them holiday cards, and birthday cards if you can. Have them stand before the larger organization or public acknowledgment. Throw a volunteer appreciation party - which also helps build community among volunteers so it's a double duty event. Give them small gifts. Send thank you notes (I aim for three thank you notes a week).

And that is my recipe for happy volunteers and well-staffed programs. What am I missing? What's in your recipe? What do you appreciate when you volunteer somewhere? What makes you less inclined to volunteer?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

In your own backyard

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For nature study today, I decided to stick close to home and spend some quality time in our own backyard. As the kids sketched and explored their favorite tree, I had some time to work on taming the jungle that I would like to be my vegetable garden. (Sigh. This cool and wet year is seriously messing with my garden.)


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I love folding "school", "home", and "life" together and living in wholeness.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Finally, summer

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Summer has finally officially begun, and there are so many things I hope to do! But experience has taught me that if I don't plan it and put it on the calendar, time goes by and by the end of the summer I just feel bummed that nothing ever managed to happen.

This morning I sat down with the kids and started a list. They, charmingly, had few wishes, but we did make a pretty decent list. A bit of it:

The Zoo
Camping
Hiking
The Movies
spend the night at the cabin
a museum
paint the ceilings (my idea, obviously)

What's on your list for the summer?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Graduates

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My little brother has just graduated from college, with an engineering major and a math minor. Another homeschool success story. He's a special case, too, because he almost qualifies as a homeschool drop out - basically he was one of those teens who just wouldn't cooperate with plans to school, and the struggle between him and my mom ended with him just quitting homeschooling when he was 17. She refused to issue him a high school diploma (in our state parents can issue legal diplomas to homeschooled students), so he went off and took the GED.

He worked at the Post Office for awhile, he went to bartending school but never worked as a bartender, and he was a stay-at-home dad for his step-son for a little while. Then he decided to go to college, in his late twenties, and went into the Engineering Transfer program at the local community college. Admission wasn't a problem, even though he had a GED and no SAT scores. He did well at the community college - well enough that a professor recommended him for a job at a aerospace company.

So, already working as a junior engineer at an aerospace company, his employer now paid his college tuition. He finished the last two years at the university, working a full 40 hours a week and going to school full time at the same time - but having it all 100% (books too) paid for by his employer.

I think it goes to show that sometimes going to college a little bit later, when you are more mature and ready for it, can be a great idea. So he's thirty now, with a degree, a good job, and more free time than he's had in those grueling years - he says he plans to catch up on home improvement and yard projects. :)

I hope this is reassuring to anyone homeschooling high school and worrying about what might happen next.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Afternoon off

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Today's fortune from my lunch out during my "afternoon off". Mary Poppins got an afternoon off each week, and I think moms should get one too if they possibly can. I wasn't quite sure what I would do with myself for four hours, but I had it scheduled for the sitter to come, so I was just going to have to find something to do.

It was wonderful. While the kids were happily taken care of by a babysitter (who took them by bike to a neighborhood park where some of their friends were having a meet-up), I went and walked around the lake at a pace my kids can't match. Then I went mattress shopping, and I found one I like. Next time I have $900 to spare, we'll be sleeping on a cloud. :)

And then I still had time to go check out the cool local consignment shop, where I found a pair of completely unworn Dansko sandals for a great price. I love shopping at that consignment store, which is fun and inviting and has great prices ... but it's not as much fun with kids in tow!

I still had time to go out to a late lunch, where I got the very appropriate fortune. And then I drove to the home improvement store, browsed the garden center, and bought a new grill to replace the one I lost a few weeks ago. I got home just about as the kids were returning on their bikes.

What should I do next week? Massage? Go study in a coffee shop? The gym?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Saturday Morning book post

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This week we've read a few good books about ancient Egypt:

Tutankhamun by Demi. I love Demi's style of illustrating, and this one told the story of the whole monotheistic worship of Aten and then the power struggles following that, and the death of the child king, in a very engaging way. Definitely a "living book" rather than a text book.

How the Sphinx Got to the Museum. A silly picture book about how an artifact gets to a museum, and all the people involved along the way.

An Egyptian Tomb: The Tomb of Nebamun. I remember studying these paintings in Art History in college, and this juvenile book was at least as interesting as that was - maybe more. It does a good job of illustrating how the pictures fit together, and the symbolism in the paintings. The kids enjoyed it and asked a lot of questions.

Ancient Egypt by Miranda Smith. This is just a basic non-fiction book, but the illustrations are in a sort of computer-generated style with lots and lots of detail, and the kids enjoyed looking at all of those.

In the car we are listening to The 39 Clues: The Black Circle (Book 5). We've enjoyed the other books, but each has a different author and there is an uneven quality to the series because of that. I don't really like this one much, and my husband can't stop rolling his eyes if he's in the car while it's on, but the kids are invested in the series and like it.


Friday, June 17, 2011

It's like an episode of hoarders ...

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Well, not really. Actually, I've never seen an episode of hoarders, so I can't say with any authority at all!

This week, besides starting homeschooling with the kids, I also had the big project at work of cleaning up and sorting all the Stuff. Being a DRE requires some diverse skill-sets (cooking for large groups on a small budget, public speaking, staying awake all night with teens, putting on good parties, quieting crying babies, supervising teen childcare workers, writing curricula, etc), but one of the biggies is Managing Supplies. There's the materials lists for all the upcoming lessons, and bizarre shopping lists. For instance, I once had to make an emergency Saturday night shopping trip when I realized the lesson plan called for 6 CUPS - yes, CUPS - of cinnamon.

There is also the donation management. Folks donate all sorts of stuff to me - and I'm glad they do! It's lovely to get a box of craft items or a pile of scrapbook paper. But unless I am going to use it right away, I have to store it. And then I have to remember I have it when there is a chance to use it.

There's been a whole year of me shopping, folks donating, classes using, and people moving - STUFF. So this week I cleaned out EVERY CLOSET. EVERY CABINET. EVERY BOX. And then I put it all down in my office! Ack - at that point I was ready to just throw my hands up in the air and give up. But now it's all better. With just one trash bag thrown out and two boxes taken to the Goodwill, all is now sorted, labeled (I bought myself a new label maker, which made this whole chore more fun), and put back away. I know what I have, I know where it is, and I'm ready for next year's classes to call for whatever they call for in their materials lists.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Day 3 of Homeschooling: Nature Study

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Our third day of being back into homeschooling, and it was Nature Study day. I loaded the back pack up with field guides, sketch books, and crayons and we headed into the woods in our neighborhood. The kids each sketched something, debated the differences between bracken ferns and sword ferns, and, according to Hypatia "felt nature becoming part of me".

Day 2 of Homeschooling: Science

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Day 2 of our new homeschool was Science Lab day. This is the part the kids are the most excited about - science is super fun! Science is something you DO, not a bunch of facts to learn, so this is a hands on activity for us. My method is simple:

  • The kids are going to keep lab notebooks. Each week they write the date, and their Question. We sit and discuss the questions, and think of how to do an experiment for that question. They need a materials list, and if I have the materials at home then they can start right away.
  • They write the Procedure in their notebooks, describing what they did.
  • They play with science stuff to their hearts content.
  • Then they write the Results in their notebook.

I will take dictation and do the writing for them if needed. Otherwise, I'm standing by as Safety and Ethics Officer. Safety means that I say, No you cannot use an open flame right now. Ethics means I say, No you cannot see what happens if you put a bug in vinegar.


And, of course, this is not going to be their only science each week. This is just the Lab (Questioning and Testing). We also are going to do Nature Study (Observation Skills), and there will be unit studies on scientific topics (Research).

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day One of Homeschooling

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Our first day back into homeschooling went very well.

6am I get up and do my yoga, make coffee, chat with my husband before he leaves for work, and write a blog post.

7:30 I get the kids up, and they come to the table for "Breakfast School". Watermelon and cereal, plus Math U See, Bob Books, and Explode the Code. A quick break for chores, then we move to the sofa and I read them Tutankhamun by Demi (loved it).

9:00 More chores for me, while the kids went out in the backyard and played for a bit.

10:00 We arrive at a park for our summer play group. Friends arrive and everyone has someone to play with or talk to.

12:30 We grabbed some lunch at an independent burger place.

1:00 We get to church for my office hours. The kids were very busy the whole time playing with each other (toys in my office, toys in the church play yard, toys in the nursery). They also watched a deer munching down on the landscaping in front of the church, up real close through my office window. It was about 4 feet away from us. Meanwhile, I got needed emails and notes done, then tackled end-of-year cleaning in the Youth Room.

4:00 I stopped at the office store on my way home, grabbing a label maker (I am going to organize the heck out of the church school supplies tomorrow).

4:30 Home, snacks, playing out in the back yard - all great until Carbon got hurt falling off our swing.

5:30 The TV came on to comfort the hurt boy, and I retired to my room to study my Models of Religious Education.

It was our first day with no school and with the beginnings of our new routines, and I'm really happy with how it went.

Alternative Learning Experiences

Alternative Learning Experiences, or ALES, are a program in our state that allows the school districts to put together an alternative program that could support a lot of "off-site" learning. These could serve homeschoolers, or others who need a lot of flexibility, while at the same time drawing on public school funding to support the program.

We have a program in town that does this for homeschoolers, and yesterday I went to the information meeting to see if it might be useful for us. A few things really jumped out at me:

1. They are held "accountable", so there is a big emphasis on learning plans, seat hours, allocations, etc.

2. The curriculum resource center, where you can check out curriculum to use, sounds awesome.

3. Working with a teacher-consultant, you come up with a learning plan and then you are required to have "face-to-face contact" weekly with that teacher and your kids, and it seemed also a once a month progress meeting.

4. The classes offered at the school do seem to include a few cool things, but most of what we would want to take is also available from places like the community center.

5. They will be requiring annual testing of the kids.

6. The classrooms all look very standard school - fixed desks, etc.

Although I can see the benefits to some folks in a program like this, and I can also see the need for accountability when it might look like they are "handing out money to homeschoolers", my gut reaction at the meeting was that this was a lot of bother to go to for an allocation of $300 a year and access to a few classes. For me, that allocation money just isn't going to make that much of a difference, I don't feel the need for a teacher-consultant to help me make a plan, and although I don't mind record-keeping, the extra meetings and so forth could add a burden to my busy schedule.

For the kids, they do want to spend time with other kids, but they weren't excited by the atmosphere of school there. There are other ways for us to find community for them. And Carbon has a very real concern, about jumping from a place where it has been totally accepted to not read yet, to a place where that is going to be a problem for him. (More about his reading later.) He also got very nervous as soon as the annual test was brought up, and test-anxiety is exactly what we want to avoid.

So we decided not to use this resource, and keep going it on our own. It's nice that it's there for folks, but it's just not for us right now.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Last Day of School

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Friday felt like the end of school, with a school picnic day at a local park with a beach. There was a graduation cake for the one graduating senior, and there were posters with all the students' pictures that kids were having each other sign. We gave cards to the staff. Carbon and some other students built this dam in a little stream on the beach.

But today is actually the last day of school - I think they are mostly just cleaning up the school space. They will likely not be returning to that building next year, but moving on to another that will fit them better. We will not be returning at all - and that is bittersweet. Carbon has learned a lot there, and the democratic format has been good for him. We'll miss the community, he'll miss his friends.

I will not miss packing a lunch for him every morning. When I packed the lunch today, I was thinking "this is the LAST lunch in this box". I won't miss having to get up and drive him to school on Mondays, my day off. I plan on not doing homeschool on Mondays, and making it a real rest day. That will be nice.

Endings are hard, and they are sad. But they make room for new beginnings.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Hair and Makeup

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We had quite the event this weekend, with "Photo Day" on Friday at the dance studio, then "Dress Rehearsal" on Saturday, and then the Recital today. It was at noon, so I had to get a substitute and take half a morning off work - a big deal for me. But Hypatia was happy with her ballet experience, with feeling beautiful and "like a princess", and with getting flowers after her performance.

No plans to do ballet again next year, so this may have been our only brush with stage lights. Although Carbon was interested while watching the recital, and he may want to take tap dance next year.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Saturday Book Post

This week feels as though it has had less time in it for reading, but Hypatia has discovered a new way to multitask - she wants me to come into the bathroom while she's taking her bubble bath and sit on the toilet and read to her. She splashes about and listens.

I've started reading a new chapter book to her, Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat, and she is loving the book. This is truly the first book without illustrations that she has wanted to have read to her, and the subject matter and writing are not "fairy tale style" if you know what I mean by that, so I think this book marks a new chapter for our read alouds (pardon the pun). So far I really like this book also, and would recommend it. There is Emmy, a girl who can't seem to be good enough to earn anyone's love or attention, and the classroom Rat, who for some reason Emmy can hear talking .... and what is Emmy's nanny doing with all these "herbal concoctions"?

We haven't had any time for picture books or other reading this week!

But Carbon is on to book 2 of The Warriors series: Fire and Ice. Now Firepaw has become Fireheart ("paw" names mean the cat is an apprentice warrior, and "heart" means a full warrior in the clan), but there is still trouble to sort out and adventures to be had.

I am still working on Models of Religious Education, but I'm also reading Good Enough is the New Perfect. The authors, two mothers of young children, interviewed hundreds of other mothers about work/life balance, and wrote this book about how our worst enemy may actually be our own drive to be perfect at Everything At Once, All the Time.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Leggings!

Here is something Terribly Serious for us to debate: should women wear leggings to stand up in front of their church?

Last weekend I stood up as part of the worship service at my church - something I do quite often as a lay leader and DRE. Here is a tiny clip I took from a video, just so you can see my "look".




The full effect was very close to this look by movie actress Liv Tyler (I flatter myself that I looked at least this good).

But I was wearing leggings, and in a recent post on "Beauty Tips for Ministers", this is a big No No.

Fellow DRE, Chalice Spark, wrote a follow-up post about the different fashion standards on the two coasts - a serious factor here. I am a West Coast DRE, serving in a small liberal city, and most of the congregation wears jeans, or even spandex bike outfits to church on Sundays. Our minister plays it safe and wears the same all-black collared suit every Sunday.

And the debate continues! (We must be in a slow news cycle, UU blogging-wise). Strange Attractor has weighed in as well. From Alaska, she still says NO on the leggings.

I quite liked my outfit last Sunday, and thought it was fitting for a day with a high of 60 degrees and participating in the Coming of Age and Youth services. Of course, lay leaders aren't held to quite the strict standards the ministers are - and thank goodness.

It makes me worry about what I'll wear next Sunday!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Carbon's thoughts on the death penalty

Last night Carbon asked me if our country had sentenced anyone to death "in this century". He was working on building his new lego set, the Queen Anne's Revenge, and I think it was pirates that triggered his thoughts to the death penalty. Or maybe it was the fact that my grandmother brought up Osama Bin Laden's death during her visit - something I hadn't talked to the kids about yet so we had to have a whole discussion to explain it and answer their questions about it.

But either way, I had to tell him that, yes, we still do that. He was shocked, and told me he thought that was wrong. I agreed with him - I also think it's wrong and that justice is not served by killing anyone. But then he said, "well, why don't you do something about it then?"

My first gut reflex was to say "there's nothing we can do", but apathy is a learned response to finding that your voice isn't heard over time - it took me time to learn that response and I would like for my children to not hear that from me.

So I suggested we write a letter. And this is what he wrote:


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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

a long awaited package arrives ...

The boy saved his allowance and all his birthday money, so he would be able to buy "one of the big lego sets". Once he had the money in hand, he chose the new Pirates of the Caribbean set "The Queen Anne's Revenge". It's been a long wait from ordering it until the box arrived ... and yesterday it finally was on the porch. Anticipation and a sweet reward.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

more pictures of preschool graduation

Just because I find this so darn cute ....

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Monday, June 6, 2011

A year of preschool comes to an end

First Day of Preschool

The first day of school


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The last day of school. It was a good year, overall. And she's grown so much!

Youth at the front of church

Yesterday my church held its Coming of Age and Youth Services, both youth-centered and at least partially youth led and planned. As one of the folks responsible for logistics, planning, and leading, it was a bit nerve-wracking to have a service with that many moving parts - the more chances for something to go wrong, of course. But, with the exception of my forgetting to put hymnals up in the choir section where the youth sat and some bumping about of chairs and musical instruments as they struggled to set up different arrangements in our cramped little sanctuary, minus those things it went really well.

Each of the coming of age youth gave lovely speeches about the state of their beliefs so far, and each was different and unique - just like the kids themselves. Geometric proofs, Dr. Seuss, and the Tao were all held up as central to someone's thinking.

And then the youth service highlighted the talents and faith of our high school youth. I loved the process of picking music with them - we ended up with some hymns, some spirituals, some Beatles, and some U2. And the two high school seniors who are Bridging this year each gave lovely, self-confident speeches about what it has meant to them to be a UU youth.

I was so proud of them all, and so happy to see them up front of the congregation.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Saturday Morning book post

Many bloggers do a Saturday Morning Book Post, which is actually a good idea because Saturday morning is a quiet time around here, usually. So maybe I'll try to start a new routine with my book postings. Maybe. I've jumped on many blogging band-wagons over the years, and then drifted back to a "post whenever I feel like it" format over and over again.

But here's today's book post:

Hypatia has really enjoyed the picture book Ponyella this week, which is a retelling of the Cinderella story but with ponies and it's the young princess who is searching for that one perfect pony. We also finished reading Flat Stanley's World Wide Adventures: The Great Egyptian Grave Robbery, which I thought was light on Egyptian content but she enjoyed quite a bit. I think the Magic Treehouse books do a better job sticking core knowledge into a storyline, but there's no reason we can't read both.

At the local bookstore I found a used copy of The Complete Flower Fairies Collection by Cicely Mary Barker, so we've also been reading a few flower fairy poems a day. I love how well the flowers are illustrated, so the kids and I can also work on our ability to identify flowers.

After seeing it on another blog, I checked out The Bumper Book of Nature, which I thought would be fun but so far has not interested either child much. I'll keep strewing it in their path and hope they pick it up. We also got The Dangerous Book for Boys, and that has been a big hit with Carbon. I tried it for him a year or so ago and he had no interest, but now he's at just the right developmental point for all the projects and little fun entries. The informational entries (the 7 Modern Wonders of the World, Great Battles of History, stuff like that) remind me of how much fun I used to have just reading the encyclopedia. Modern online encyclopedias don't have that same browsing potential, to just flip through until a picture catches your eye.

He is also in love with the Warriors series, and we just finished reading the first book, Into the Wild. He bought the second book with his own money - a sure sign of love since we are normally a library family.

In the car we're listening to The Dark is Rising. It's a book with long and sometimes confusing story arcs, so I don't find it ideal for short car trips around town, but we're making do.

For my own reading, I just devoured a silly fluffy escapist book which I'm almost too embarrassed to link to, but I will anyway. (Eat, Prey, Love) A little escapism is fun and a nice break from Big Thoughts. I also quickly read another self-help book, Live More, Want Less. And I am studiously beginning my studies for my religious educators credential, with Models of Religious Education. I've made it through the Historical Prototype so far and am now reading about the Classical Liberal Model. Fun stuff. :)

In non-book media, we finally saw the latest Harry Potter movie on DVD, so now Carbon is drawing the symbol of the Deathly Hallows on everything.

Have a great Saturday!

Friday, June 3, 2011

It's sink or swim, but I've got a sinking feeling ....

Here are just a few of the things weighing me down right now (like - TODAY):

  • My sister coming to spend the night at our house and take the SAT's tomorrow morning.
  • Carbon's last baseball practice tonight and game tomorrow - a game we'll miss ...
  • because ... my cousin who lives in town is getting married tomorrow
  • ... so there is family coming to town from all over ....
  • ... and I need to skip the rehearsals at work for the two youth services on Sunday ...
  • ... which are scheduled at the same time as a recital in the sanctuary, because I forgot to check on that calendar when I was helping the minister schedule the rehearsals with everyone (he forgot to check too, but it still sucks) ....
  • ... my in-laws are headed out of town today and I said I would dog-sit for them ...
  • ... so they just let me know I need to get the dog before 2:30 today ...
  • ... and my house is never going to be clean enough for me to be comfortable having my grandmother over ...
  • ... oh, yeah, I need to get some cakes for the reception after the youth services on Sunday ...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Some hair clip fun

DSCF4670

Hat tip to Wee Wonderfuls, which inspired me to bring home the hot glue gun from work and have a hair clip craft night with Hypatia.