Saturday, June 9, 2012

Transformers

I love my boys.
Here's why.

Tonight our power surged.  As you can imagine this causes a great deal of excitement by a 6 year old.  I open twitter on my phone a minute or two later and read that "Arcing Transformers have caused a power outage" in our subdivision.  

I decided to be a knower.

"Elijah remember when the lights went out?"  Silly question since he was still talking about it.
"Well that was caused by something caused an arcing transformer."

EYES HUGE, MOUTH DROPS OPEN.

Yes! I did it, I did it.  I impressed my son that I knew something.  (To fully appreciate this blog you should understand that he frequently tells me how I am 'not a knower' about various things.)

"MAMA, Who is Arching Transformer?"  

Being the 'not knower' I am... I didn't catch how odd this question was worded.

"That's a great question.  I'm not sure what an arching transformer is.  Let's look it up."
 
"Mama do you think the pictures of him stepping on it are already on You TUBE?"  said my little wired brained child that already understands social networks.  

Him stepping on it???  What in the world?

Then I tune into to what he is repeating over and over... ROBOTS IN DISGUISE.  


Yes, that's right.  My son is convinced that I just told him  Alien robots have just attacked our neighborhood.  
And he is elated.
Thankfully the youtube video cleared things up.
And the videos of the fiery transformers and exploding power-lines were almost as exciting as the notion of alien robots.

Almost. 

Ah, the joy of living with creative little guys.  

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Searching for the Mockingbird.


When he's upset
'Mama's Gonna Buy You A Mockingbird'
ALWAYS
without fail,
calms him down.

I sing it
out of tune
soft
quite
whispered promises
of answers.

So,
this'll be like that too.
It's just about searching.
Not giving up.
'Til you find the Mockingbird.

So
Hush
Little Joe
Don't Say A Word.
Together
We're gonna find that Mockingbird.

'And if that mockingbird don't sing...'
You know the rest.
We won't give up that easily.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Adventures of the Night Sky

Welcome, Blog Readers, Facebook Friends, Family, and All of the Above!

So, I came across this picture on Pinterest.  (I'll find the link and post it soon!)



If you look at the night sky in this amazing picture,  it almost looks like there's animals moving in the shadows.

Which got me thinking about the local planetarium
and a mini-unit we did last year at school on constellations.
Kids are sooo interested in constellations.

I was inspired to write this short story.
I'm trying to decide if I should play the "Query to Lit. Agent Game" again.
It's just that it can be such a deflating process.
So for now, I thought I'd share the opening here.
If you'd like to read the rest of the story, just let me know!





Adventures of the Night Sky

LUNATOWN PLANETARIUM
Today’s Constellations Exhibit:   Adventures of the Night Sky

“Miss Stella, all I ever see are just dots of light in the sky. Why do we wanna sit in some cold, pitch black room listening to that boring man in a crooked bow tie talk on and on about some pictures in the sky that ain’t even there? ”

Miss Stella keeps walking with her hand on my shoulder.  Leading me like some animal… like some dumb ‘ole bear I’m supposed to be finding up on the ceiling.

“They’re not even real stars.” I huff plopping into the squeaky chair next to her.

She still says nothing to me but gives me her, ‘You best stop talking Jamie,’ arched eyebrow.  Then smiles and pats my hand.

Every year we gotta go to this stinking Planetarium and the teachers make out like it's some exciting field trip. But it ain't...

“Welcome to Adventures of the Night Sky at Lunatown Planetarium. “ drones Mr. Crooked Bow Tie

Then he starts in telling us all his rules... like he always does.
I usually get in trouble for breaking some of his rules.
Last year it was # 1 the year before it was # 3 and # 5.  

# 1 No Eating
# 2 No Drinking
# 3 No Talking
# 4 No Phones
# 5 No Moving Seats
# 6 No Leaving for any reason short of bleeding or being on fire.

I’ve never heard that # 6 before.   What if I decide I need to use the bathroom Mr. Crooked Bow Tie?  I wonder if he’s got a rule for cleaning up this seat.
That makes me snicker.

“# 7 No laughing.”  He adds.

Miss Stella touches my arm.  I imagine she’s got that eyebrow up at me again.
I lean my head back and cross my arms. The torn leather bites into my leg.

“If you would all close your eyes and give them a minute to adjust.” Mr. Crooked Bow Tie instructs.

I keep mine open wide just outta spite and stick out my tongue.
Not like he’ll be able to see me anyway, it’s too dark.
The little kid behind me starts whimpering like a pup.


Can’t even tell my eyes are open.
I give ‘em a blink just to be sure.
When I open my eyes I still see nothing.
I stretch my arm out a little bit just to be sure Miss Stella is still there.
But I keep stretching and stretching…
I feel nothing.

“Miss Stella” I call out.
She doesn’t answer.  She must have moved seats to be over by that whiney kid.


Mr. Crooked Bow Tie’s voice reminds me that there’s no talking.
Wonder if he knows Miss Stella’s broke one of his rules too?

“We will start our adventure in the night sky by exploring the 17 main stars that make up Pegasus, the beautiful winged horse constellation. It was one of the original...” he starts but then I can’t hear him. 


A strange, rhythmic woosh-woosh noise rings in my ears.

I still can’t see.   
Where are the bright yellow dots that are supposed to be on the dome above me?

But then...
I do see something.
It’s not yellow.
It’s white.
And it’s getting closer?

Mr. Crooked Bow Tie must be back there working on a computer showing off some new fancy trickery.

As the white thing gets closer I feel the rhythmic sound...
It’s a breeze on my face.
I close my eyes.
I feel warm breath.

I squeeze open one eye.
Warm Breath…
From two giant nostrils.
Inches from my face.
 
Mr. Crooked Bow Tie’s gonna have to get over rule # 6.
I’m outta here.
I try to stand.

There’s no ground under my feet.
It’s like trying to walk in a swimming pool.
My feet are kicking for the concrete below me that I can’t seem to find.

Before I can even squeak out a ‘HELP ME MISS STELLA’
I plop down on something firm and hairy.
I don’t dare to open my eyes yet
My stomach drops… I’m moving up.
Up.
Up.

I peek open my eyes.
I’m sitting on a horse.
A really big horse.
With really big wings.
I know from being on Papa’s farm that normal horses don’t got wings.

On instinct I reach out and grab around its neck.

“As we continue our adventure if you will look to your left you will find that 18 main stars create a giant fish known as Pisces.” Mr. Crooked Tie recites.

I look real quick over to my left.
Oh… My…. Stars.
I am flying by the biggest fish I’ve ever seen in my whole entire life.
Did he just flap his tail at me?

I dig my fingers deeper into the horse’s soft white hair
and press my face down closer to her neck.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Puzzle


Sometimes
It's funny
How life falls into place
The picture builds
As time passes
Choices are made
Steps are taken
Lives are framed

Before you ever see
The whole picture
Before you ever know
You're playing the game

More than coincidence
More than chance
More than fate
I must believe


Sunday, April 15, 2012

When I Get Big... I'm Going to Be a Paleontologist!

So, I've started writing these books for young children.  "When I Get Big..."   I want it to turn into a college and career readiness series for our future leaders... just something to peek their interest in different careers. There's not really anything out there like that right now and I would LOVE to have these books for my sons, niece, nephew.. anyone really. I've just finished a new book on paleontology and thought I'd share some of the super cute photos of two little paleontologists. Thanks to my nephew Biscuit AKA Caleb for being such a great model. And of course, thanks to my other little paleontologist Elijah.












Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Box: The Real Story

Our church made theses wonderful boxes to teach children about the passion/stations of the cross. The Easter bunny even looked through his box and left him a note about it.

The Easter Bunny Came!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Cake Batter Popcorn = Pinterest Success


This was a big hit at our house.  I'm taking it to a March Madness potluck at work tomorrow; hope the GRREC folks like it as much as the boys did.  

We actually popped popcorn on the stove for the first time EVER and Elijah loved it!  He really enjoyed watching each it pop.  The only thing I changed about the recipe is I only used 2-3 table spoons of veg. shortening.  I used more like 7 cups of popcorn because I used 5-6 cubes of white chocolate bark.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

More than one way to skin a cat.

Okay, so I know the title of this blog sounds disguisting.  But its something my family used to say.  It means more than one way of doing something.  (Although why you would ever need to skin a cat, much less need more than one way to do it... I have no idea.  Taxidermy?)

Anyway...

I've been thinking about engagement lately. Mainly because I have to present on this topic on Friday.  So here was my little experiment tonight.

Task 1:



Reflection:
It was okay.  Sorta fun because he got to work on the iPad.  He used his fingers and filled in the blanks.  I noticed that he stumbled over the signs plus and equals; so, I am not sure he has used them very much but he seems to understand the concept of what he's doing but not all of the language.  When I asked him to look back over his work and tell me what he learned he said I see a pattern its A, A, B, C.  2, 2, 5, 0.  So, he was starting to see that there was a pattern. Not exactly the connection I was look for but it shows some thinking.When I asked what he wondered at the end of this activity... He said he didn't wonder anything.  Hum...

Task 2:



Reflection:
He still enjoyed working with the ShowMe app.  At first Elijah took a deep breath when he saw the screen.  He went directly for 5 and 0.  While we had the screen paused he spent a lot of time trying different things on his fingers.  Soon realizing that it was easier just to use one hand... because it already showed that the answer was 5.  My earlier suspicions were confirmed while he was doing this tasks  that he didn't really understand what the + or = symbol meant (or at least its name) because I heard him mix up the terms, add, multiply, and equals as he was thinking aloud and deciding what to circle.  He had an ah-ah moment when he realized that he could add 1 to 2 + 2 because at first he just said, "I know I cannot do 2 + 2 because that only = 4.  I also wish I would have captured/recorded when he talked the number 9.  I wondered what he would do with that.  He put 9 fingers up and said, "Mom, that 9 will never work."
"Why?" I acted confused. He proceeded to explain to me and show on his fingers why 9 was more than 5.  This was interesting for me because it tells me his conceptual understanding of these basic numbers has improved this year.  It also tells me that his schema with looking at numbers (with this activity at least) is limited to addition.  I'd wondered if he would consider subtraction because I didn't tell him he had to add.  I think he just assumed it because of the previous task.  At the end when I asked what he learned he said he already knew about 5 and 0 but he didn't know about the 2 + 2 + 1.  He said that he wondered What would make 10.  After we stopped recording he said he wondered about 10 because he knew 5 + 5 = 10 but wondered now if more things made 10.  (He did however let me know that the Making 10 discussion could wait until tomorrow.)   I really wish I would have recorded the whole conversation so you could hear his think aloud. :-)


Task 3:



Reflection:
Now, he was pretty tired of math by this time.  I wonder what would have happened had I started here and worked the other way.  When I told him that we were going to do one more thing (for him to earn that quarter) he had a little bit of a whine.  Then I told him he was under the math curse. (We'd played this game after reading the book the other day.)  Now came his sneaky little smile.  "Mama, are you gonna ask me to find some math?"  Yes, I am baby.  Told him his tool was the iPad camera and he needed to find anything in the house that made five.  Armed with a camera (and after a few mischievous photos of the dog) he found this.  Jonah's Picture.  He said it was easy.  He looked at it and it was five.  When I asked him what the problem was to go along with it.  He said "Mom, there's no problem.  Its 5.  I look at it and I see 5 drawers."  I didn't argue with him if he said he saw it as a set of five who was I to argue.  But he kept talking about it.  "Its just five drawers. Five and nothing else.  Wait! Mom, nothing is 0."  So I asked if he could show me what he meant.  He said that bottom part looked like it could be a drawer but it wasn't so the dresser showed 5 + 0.  I think from here I would like to see him write it as 5 + 0 or 0 + 5.  I also think he's read to learn a bit more about number bonds.  I think those number bond bracelets would be a good place to go next.  He gets the zero property of addition and is ready to learn about the commutative.  I asked what he wondered now and he said, I wonder if its bedtime.  I'm getting tired.  So, I think it was his stoping point for the night.

*All three of these tasks used the "ShowMe" app.  It is free and has so many possibilities! :-)  Elijah wrote and illustrated his own bedtime story the other night.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day! (Remembering the reason for the season.)

Happy St. Patrick's Day Folks!  

Last Sunday for youth group we spent a bit of time talking about the reason for the season.  So often we only use that phrase for Christmas but it applies to so many of our holidays.   St. Patrick (like all Saints) has a very interesting story!  He used the shamrock to teach about the trinity.  Click Here To Learn More!  We spent a part of our day outside looking for shamrocks.  Picking two shamrocks one for ourself and another one to share the message with others.  



(Elijah was so proud to find a 4 leaf clover.)





Friday, March 9, 2012

Superhero Cooks

Last night my little super hero, who has taken to calling me Queen Minion, made me this beautiful snack. 


Such a good little cook.  But I also found this on my phone this morning...


video

Sweet Pea's Workout

Sweet Pea is doing a great job sitting up now! Yeah!!  Way to go sweet pea! :-)  His physical therapist says its time to start working on crawling.  So, she showed us this exercise.  


He puts his arms over the side of the couch and keeps his legs bent in the crawling position.  He thought it was pretty fun.  So, I thought I'd snap a few pictures.  



Hey Mom... Did you wanna take some pics of me??


Well, lets pose then.  
I am absolutely not kidding. He thrust his little body back and grabbed at the camera.


How could I not take a few photos with my sweet pea when he was posing. 

That little ham.  
:-)