Sunday, August 31, 2008

A new favorite

The Gingergold

Mine were actually much greener with a gold and red blush, but this was the image that I was allowed to use. I'll have to take a picture of the next batch since I've already eaten them all. :^)

Courtesy of New York Apple Association
© New York Apple Association

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


We use a lot of natural supplements around here, mostly for managing Brian's fibromyalgia. One of our favorite supplements is Fibromalic. The 180 capsule bottle is about $35 at our local health food store. I found it at iHerb for about $21. That's a deal even after shipping!

So I got an e-mail from them yesterday, advertising a $.99 shipping special throught the end of the month. So I ordered Fibromalic. a probiotic (Brian's on an antibiotic to get rid of that ten day illness he's just recovered from), and some gluten free brownies.

They gave me a code. LIC847. If you are a first time customer, and you go there and order something, put in my referral code, and you'll get $5 off. I get 3% of your order total in rewards credit. And if you order by the end of the month, you can also get $.99 shipping and I'll get a 10% credit.

So if you use supplements or order gluten free or other health foods, check out iHerb and see if you can strike a deal in the next few days.

Petition on behalf of Chinese pastor

"Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body."
~ Hebrews 13:3, ESV

From Voice of the Martyrs:

"On August 6, just two days before the Olympics began, Pastor Zhang "Bike" Mingxuan was arrested, along with his wife and a coworker. In response to these arrests, The Voice of the Martyrs and China Aid Association have launched a petition drive to free these three Christians and to let the Chinese government know that the world is aware that these Christians are being detained.

Pastor Bike, as he is affectionately known, is considered to be one of the most outspoken evangelists in China. He is a bold believer willing to cross borders, hand out Christian literature and Bibles, share Christ with those under age 18 and lead thousands to Christ. All these actions are considered "illegal," in communist China. Earlier this year, Pastor Bike pleaded with VOM staff and China Aid Association to create the China Prayer Bands so that Christians in the free world could know more about persecution of Christians in China."
Sign the Petition to Free Pastor Bike

This takes just the length of time it takes you to click and type your name and address.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

New 50 States Project

A while back, Family Fun (I think) wrote about a project where a neighborhood of kids set out to collect a postcard from each of the fifty states by summer's end.

I thought, why not?

So I enlisted my facebook friends, and have yet to beg by e-mail and we already have pledges from VA, NC, AK!, HI!, TN, MI, AL, and FL! How cool is that?!


Have I told you about Currclick before? If not, then you should go check it out now. All kinds of downloadable curriculum awaits. And the best part? When you create an account for free, you get their weekly e-letter that always includes a free product to download each week. From a book on pioneer projects to beautiful copywork pages to an Egyptian mummy lapbook - I've gotten lots of cool stuff - all free! Ethan using a once-free set of copywork pages from them for his copywork right now. They have great quotes and charming old-fashioned illustrations.

On to the real discovery.

Browsing around Currclick this afternoon, I ran across a free sample for online Kidswonder magazine. The September 2008 issue is their first issue and it's pretty good. At first I began to reject it based on rather lame graphics, but the 110 page issue improved as I went along. It has a fantastic 5 lesson unit study on leaves at the end. I'm thinking a themed "Leaf Day" might be happening at my house. It also has great apple activities. So check it out. And if you like it, you can, it seems, pay a $10 one-time fee by Paypal or credit card which will then allow you to receive a code for each upcoming issue (forever?).

Either way, the free issue will be fun.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Shape names

I purposefully cut the girls' sandwiches in two different directions giving Rose a triangle half and a rectangle half. I forget about things like this with my number three child. We've talked about shapes before, but not frequently enough. I wondered if she knew them. I pointed to the rectangle, "What shape is this, Rosie?" "A door,"she replied. "Yep," I agreed, "and a door is a rectangle. Can you say that?" Then, pointing to the triangle, I ask, "and what shape is this?" "A roof." Touche.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

First Week of School

We're rolling (somewhat) merrily along. We are mainly getting warmed up to the 3 Rs again and tackling the 50 states. Which has been very fun! From state websites to library books to youtube and national geographic videos, we've been exploring our United States. This has definitely been the fun part. I remember learning the states in third grade. We learned the names and the nicknames and we all loved learning each state's nickname. So for the Heart of Dixie we watched a video of scenic pictures, learned state symbols (I'm using this site for every state) and listened to the state song, then, of course, we ended with "Sweet Home Alabama". For the Last Frontier, we learned about the aurora borealis (and here), watched a Ntl Geographic video about Denali National Park, and Ethan read about Balto (again). And for the Grand Canyon state, we read a storybook history of the desert and founding of Phoenix, as well as a book and videos of the Grand Canyon. We also have workbooks from last year's Target dollar bins that have a half page of activities and info on each state, as well as placemat maps. I also have a Chick-Fil-A card game and cool board game. I think we're going to attempt to collect postcards from all fifty states - just tio make sure the overkill is complete.
I decided today to start a one-year Bible reading program with the kids. It said 15 minutes a day, but with our many questions and discussions, it took us 30. I like the check boxes and undated format. We just dove in.
Oh, and I got a kick out of this. The kids were filling out a first day "about me" page and Ethan listed "Starlight" by Muse as his new favorite song. It was my favorite song two weeks ago. I love being a good influence.
So have you started school yet? (I know some of you have) How's it going?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Twilight newsflash

Have you heard?! Thanks to the mysterious postponment of the newest Harry Potter movie, Summit films has moved the Twilight movie release date up to November 21! So you local girls revise your calendar - our midnight showing's moved up a few weeks. :^)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Olympics for Kids

  1. Read articles (Olympic-Medal-Winning Countries, Heading to Beijing, A Big Day for Gymnastics, etc.), tour China , and more at Time for Kids
  2. Make an Olympic torch , Olympic flags, or winner's medals at Kaboose
  3. Learning Pages has fun worksheets and activity sheets both here (from the Athens Olympics) and new ones here. Remember, you have to be a member to access these, but it's free - no strings attached.
  4. Find out All About the Olympic Games, do really cool Olympic printables, writing paper, and worksheets, All kinds of China activities , really cool Olympic ring cookies , cool crafts, including an Olympics window flag and Olive Leaf Crown and more at Activity
  5. Check out the Beijing 2008 educational kit.
  6. Scholastic has a great Olympics site originally developed for the Athens Olympics. It includes a cool online game, It's Greek to Me and a Global Trek to China.
  7. Associated Content has an good article, Parent's Guide: Watching the 2008 Summer Olympics with Kids.
  8. And Wikipedia has a great 2008 Summer Olympics page too.
  9. Teacher Vision has a cool slideshow of the Summer Olympic Game Events that includes the dates for each event, another fascinating slideshow Top 10 Olympic Controversies (about specific athletes), as well as lesson plans and other articles.

I may add more later, but since the right click on my mouse has frozen and I'm too dumb or lazy to cut and paste links any other way, this is all you're getting right now. :^)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

What's Rosie, I mean Ursula, been up to?

My child is obsessed with George of the Jungle. She has declared herself "Ursula". For those of you that have been blessed to miss the movie, Ursula is the girl George ends up marrying. So now you know that Rosie, I mean, Ursula has just gotten new church, I mean, wedding shoes, and had to come home and marry George. So these are her wedding portraits. She really likes marrying George - sometimes she has a few weddings in one day.
I got her a paperback chapter book of George of the Jungle for her birthday. It has movie pics inside. She brought it to me one day, saying, "Do you want to see George and me?" Then proceeded to show me a pic of George and Ursula in the movie, and say, "that is me, and that is George -he is my prince." George of the Jungle, you say, a prince? But that is Rosie's word for The One - you know, boyfriend, get the point. Brian is my prince. She informs me of this regularly, as if I didn't know. Anyway, back to the movie pics. She then points to Lyle, and says, "that is Lyle - he doesn't like George." "Why not?", I ask. "Because he wanted to marry me," she replies.
As we walked around downtown with my parents we sometimes had a hard time holding her hand. Because she was holding George's hand. Walking down the sidewalk with her little hand in a fist. We always know where Big George is. She keeps us informed. Often Little George and Little Ursula are around too, sometimes in the form of baby dolls, and sometimes as invisible as Big George.
When a stranger asks her name, she says, "I'm Ursula." I know they think I've got terrible taste in names. everyone automatically thinks "sea witch".
She told the cashier at Payless, "these are my wedding shoes." The cashier replied, "oh, are you going to be in a wedding?" She said, "Yes, I'm marrying George." The cashier didn't miss a beat, "Does George have a last name?" That momentarily stumped Rosie, so I replied, "Yes. 'Of the Jungle' "