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Thursday, December 31, 2009

A New Year Some New Things!

Obviously tomorrow is 2010, and a new shiny year. I have been thinking, and have made some changes, all good I hope. 2009 was good for this blog. I now get a steady 30% of my visitors from search engines, compared to 15% last year. I have been using Adgitize, Entrecard, Twitter, Project Wonderful, and for a while Social Spark all in various ways to drive traffic, and earn a little extra cash. I love Project Wonderful, and while I will not be doing away with it, I will be deactivating boxes, that have made no money. Some people got free advertising, for a very long time, and never paid a dime. Sorry, that has to stop. Adgitize I also like, you can make about twenty cents a day, give or take a few, and payout is 10 dollars, not too bad. I will stick with that one too. Entrecard, of course I will not leave there, it is a must for now. I also started our Blogging For Fun group, which in my mind has been a huge success, and I thank all my member who make it such a great group. Social Spark I am done with, I just don't care for it anymore. There was another paid post site I checked out, but I didn't last there either. Sorry, but I will not do a paid post for 50 cents. Through the year I have had several people contact me privately to purchase ads on my sites. Some I put towards donations for my feed the hungry program, and some were just advertising. Plus I got to do the Sylvan workbook post twice, and that was awesome. So, I decided to make it so anyone can purchase an ad, or review on this website. I will review just about anything, please note however if it is for a product you want me to say is an awesome product, I really need a sample to try it first. I also will be making this blog available to advertise on. You can purchase a text link, 125 widget, or a banner ad. The prices are listed in the drop down box, on the Paypal button. I do not know how to do html code, so be sure to supply it if it is needed. My jewelry and gems blog will also be doing paid reviews as well, so be sure to keep that in mind for all my crafting, and jewelry friends. I think my prices are reasonable, 5 dollars for a review, and you can ask me to tweek it if needed. I can only do one a week, to keep in line with Google rules, and not lose my page ranks. I hope this will be a successful venture.

We are half way through the school year, and I always evaluate our curriculum, and what we need to change, or add. This year we are right on track, and everything is going smooth. I don't see a need to change anything at this point. Our playgroup has been a huge success, and I am so happy I decided to do it. If you live in the Gilchrist County Florida area, and you homeschool, or just want an easy going playgroup, you can contact me at melissaruede@yahoo.com to see about joining.

My page rank went up to three, from two, and from one to two, on my jewelry blog. I was very excited about that, but now I need to figure out how to better optimize to get it up at least one more point in 2010. I met all my goals for both blogs, for 2009, and am looking forward to an awesome blogging year for 2010. Be sure to stick around, I try to keep it fun.

Tomorrow be sure to check for some neat things about New Years. Have a great New Years Eve, everyone!! See you in 2010 LOL.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Medieval Fair Is Coming

Yay, we are going to this, this year. I did not know about it before now. If you need something fun, and educational to do in the Gainesville area, check out the Medieval Fair. School day is February 5th, and admission is half price on that day. Be sure to get your application in for school day, by January 15, 2010. For full details, and links go to their website, here.

Join us on You Tubeand Facebook

INTRODUCTION

The Alachua County Fairgrounds is transformed into a bustling medieval marketplace for the 24th Annual Hoggetowne Medieval Faire. Come be swept away by medieval magic as troupes of actors, street performers and musicians journey back to the days of yore on January 30-31 & February 5-7, 2010 . Revel in the sights and sounds of one of North Central Florida’s premier events.

Join the crowd and cheer for your favorite contender as mounted knight’s joust in full plate armor on the tournament field. Applaud street performers who dance, juggle and jest for your amusement. Listen to minstrels playing period music and enjoy continuous live entertainment on eight stages. Browse through the bustling medieval marketplace for that perfect gift or trinket.

Watch and enjoy as Robin Hood and his Merry Men battle the forces of evil in a strategic living chess match, or test your own skills in games of chance, strength and skill. Watch and learn as more than 160 artisans demonstrate their skills in blacksmithing, weaving, leatherworking, woodcarving, pottery and much more. Indulge in a feast fit for a king in our food court, where you can find sweet potato fries, bloomin onions and our famous giant turkey legs.

The Faire is the perfect place to bring even the youngest members of the kingdom. Children delight in visiting the royal pavilion, where they will become lords and ladies of the court of Hoggetowne. Indulge not only your children, but also yourself with rides on a camel, pony or even an elephant. Human-powered push rides further add to the authentic medieval fun.

Faire hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays & Sundays and 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday. Ad-mission is $14 for adults, $7 for children ages 5-17 and free for children under 5. On Friday, February 5th tickets are half price.

Meet this year’s Hoggetowne Characters at the Thieves’ Guilde’s Website, the Greenwood Morris Dancers and the Maypole, Birds of Prey, Society for Creative Anachronism, and the jousters.



Pets are not allowed inside the Faire.

There will be no wheelchairs available for rental.

Due to limited parking on site a shuttle bus service will be provided at no cost every 15-20 minutes from off site parking. Follow the signs to additional parking.

Join us on You Tubeand Facebook


* Introduction
* Festival Information
* Merchant Application
* Volunteer Program
* School Day Program
* School Art & Essay Contest
* Directions & Hotel Sponsors
* Faire Sponsors
* Photo Gallery
* Email Us

Faire Hours:
Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 30-31
& Feb. 6-7, 2010 from 10-6
Friday, February 5 from 9:30-3

Admission:
$14 for adults — $7 for ages 5-17
Friday admission is half price and discounted prices for school groups

Advance ticket sales at local Gator Domino's Pizza locations.

Location:
Alachua County Fairgrounds
2900 NE 39th Ave, 32609
Next to the Gainesville Regional Airport on SR 222

Directions:
From I-75 northern most Gainesville exit - Exit 390. Head East, follow signs to Gainesville Regional Airport. The fairgrounds are located on the left, right before the airport.

Contact Information:
City of Gainesville
Hoggetowne Medieval Faire
Sta. 30, PO Box 490
Gainesville, FL 32602
Phone: (352) 393-8536
Fax: (352) 334-2249
piperlr@cityofgainesville.org

Produced By:
The City of Gainesville
Division of Cultural Affairs
Linda Piper, Events Coordinator





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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

OMG Kind Of Day!


It is an OMG kind of day. OMG, or my gosh, can be something exciting, good, bad or all of any other combinations. So why is today an OMG day? I will tell you why.


1- My husband won the Superbowl for our Fantasy Football league OMG! He has not won the Superbowl since 1992, his very first year doing it OMG! I made it to the playoffs, but like a dummy I benched someone I should have played. Oh well next year.

2- It is almost 2010 OMG!!!!!

3- I will be starting something new for my jewelry blog, and it will entail one piece of jewelry being given away every single month OMG!!! Be sure to watch for it at http://www.melissasjewelryandgems.blogspot.com It will be started January 2nd. I hope it will help drive traffic, sales, and become a great business kind of model.

4- It was only 25 degrees here at my house in the Sunshine State OMG, and yes Anne I am freezing so don't laugh!!!!

5- Did you hear about the coach from Texas Tech that made one of his players stay locked in a closet for 3 hours, after suffering a concussion OMG!!! Maybe it should go under Oh My How Dumb, and Cruel. The boys father was a well known ESPN reporter, duh come on OMG!!!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Introduction To Fractions, and Ramdom Thoughts

Today I am in a random kind of mood. So I thought I would share a few things on my mind.

1- I have posted before about having health care for everyone. It was passed in the Senate, and House, and now they need to combine them both. Great, right? Well no not really. How is it even legal that Nebraska senator gets to sell his vote, for no increases in Medicaid costs forever? That doesn't sound anything at all like what Governor Blago, from Illinois did, and got himself impeached. Why would anyone just go along, if you could get this kind of bribery? Lets face it that is what it is.

2- Did you know that the Little People Association of America, states that any adult 4 feet 10 inches and under is considered a dwarf? That would make me only 1 and a half inches out of dwarf range. Wow, I knew I was short, but I didn't know how short!

3- My pool has a huge, unrepairable hole in it. Great, that means the money I wanted for a new floor, gets to go for a new pool. You really almost have to have a pool here in Florida, unless you never want to go outside in June, July, and August.

Below is a video on the introduction to fractions. There is another one in my archives. We are moving into some harder fractions when school starts again, so we will be using it.




Sunday, December 27, 2009

Neopets Puzzle Adventure, and Science Papa

One thing I do like about the Wii, is that the games are more family oriented, and some are even educational. Night at the Museum is by far the most popular, of the ones we got for Christmas, but Science Papa, and Neopets Puzzles are right up there. The latter of the two are educational games. The Science game lets them be the scientist, and do the experiments. It teaches chemistry, among other things. The Neopets game is more of a critical thinking type game, and requires thinking skills to complete the games. I forgot to mention Caitlin got Build a Bear Workshop for the Wii, and she loves it.




Saturday, December 26, 2009

Now I Rest!!

Well not really LOL, but at least I can get back to a more normal routine. I love Christmas, but I can not lie, I am glad when it is over. It is a lot of work. We had a wonderful day, despite waking up to tornado watches, and warnings. Thank goodness we just got a little wind, and rain. My mom got here bright, and early, and was actually her first year getting here to see the kids open Santa gifts. I got a new computer mouse. It is really cool, it glows, changes colors, and has a real beetle in it. Only problem is it is much different than my other one, and it is taking me some time to get used to it, and it clicks louder. I know, trust me, my husband says I am crazy, because only I would notice that. Oh well. I have tons of things to catch up on, and I hope you all had wonderful Christmas.



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Weekend Comments
2.0 Myspace Layouts

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Nativity Story For Kids

Tomorrow is Christmas so I thought I would share these cute videos from Stories of the Bible, the Nativity. Enjoy, and may all my readers have a wonderful, and blessed Christmas.





Wednesday, December 23, 2009

How The Grinch Stole Christmas

Enjoy the cute video below from How the Grinch Stole Christmas set to Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Heathen Mom Is Giving Away A Zhu Zhu Pet

Are you searching for a Zhu Zhu Pet? Then go to Heathen Mom's Blog, and enter her giveaway to get one. Hurry it ends today, so if you need one, quick go enter.

Supply and Demand, Merry Christmas DJ

Yesterday DJ and Craig, headed to Tampa, for Monday Night Raw. If you don't know what that is, it is WWE wrestling event. This was DJ's first time at a live, and large event, and also his first time sleeping over night in a hotel, or at least that he remembers. They had such a good time, and they came home today. It was their Christmas gift, and he said it was way better than getting a video game, or toys. I am so glad they had a good time.


Several people have emailed me because the Supply and Demand link in my archives, is no longer available, and did I know of any others. So I found two new ones. These are both from Lesson Snips, and their site is free, offering hundreds of lessons to choose from. I use them all the time, and for all subjects. Their grade range is from kindergarten to about 5th grade. Click here, and here, to get the lessons. I hope these are helpful.












Monday, December 21, 2009

The History Of Christmas

A quick note before I start. If you still have been unable to get a Zhu Zhu pet hamster, at a reasonable price, my local Walmart notified me this morning that they have them in, and will be selling about 90 a day. Toys R Us also states they will have them available for purchase. So if you need one check the websites, or call your local Walmart to see if they have them. I did get mine, the other day, so I am set. I must thank my local Chiefland Walmart, and their managers for sticking with me, and keeping me updated. They never forgot me, and I so appreciate that.




One of my favorite websites, History.com has sent me an email about their History of Christmas series. I will be using this after the break, for teaching the History of Christmas. They have a whole section on the traditions of Christmas, and how they started. They also have info in Hanukkah and Kwanza, to make for a complete lesson. Be sure to check it out, and save it to your favorites. The video below is just one of the videos, they have offered. Go here to see all the wonderful options, you can use to make a complete lesson plan about Christmas.



Sunday, December 20, 2009

Get A Message From Santa In Your Email

My husband found this site, and it is pretty fun. He made a message from Santa for each of us. Of course I am the only one who ended up on the naughty list. You can watch my message by clicking the link, you will get a good chuckle. Then click the second link, to make, and send one of your own. Kids, and adults alike, will love this. Have fun!

http://portablenorthpole.tv/watch/cbd153b271c6bb816775609321f28f09




http://portablenorthpole.tv

Saturday, December 19, 2009

O Holy Night By Josh Groban

Keeping with the Christmas theme, one of my all time favorite Christmas songs O Holy Night, sung by a man with a most amazing voice. Every time I hear this particular rendition it brings tears to my eyes. If you have never heard the pleasure of Josh Groban singing, be sure to watch the video, and mostly listen. Have a great Saturday, everyone!




Friday, December 18, 2009

Fun Friday The Letter K: Kids and Kyanite



Today is Friday, and that means it is Fun Friday time. We at our Blogging For Fun group, are working on an A-Z meme, and we are up to the letter K. Of course I had to include kids in there. What would discussion about the letter K be without kids? Caitlin did not really care to sit still, so it was hard to get one, that was not a little blurry.

Some of you read my jewelry blog as well, and know that I collect gemstones, and make jewelry. The piece shown is mine, but I did not make it. Kyanite is a gemstone that must be set with great care, as it is extremely easy to crack, and break. I have never been brave enough to try, and set one myself. A loose Kyanite gemstone, in good quality, is expensive, and not worth the risk. Besides I loved this ring. Kyanite can range from a blueberry blue color, to a purplish blue color, and sometimes with light blue streaks, usually found in the cabachon form. This is the only piece of Kyanite I own, so it is very special to me. It is in silver, and is surrounded by brown, and white zircon, which of course makes it more affordable than using diamonds. Kyanite can look like Tanzanite, Iolite, and top color blue Sapphire. It is very often included, and finding clean gemstones can take a long time. It has a hardness ranging from 4-7 depending on the way it has been cut, and faceted. Great care must be taken when wearing it, as it is prone to dings, and chips. Earrings, and pendants are more recommended than a ring, for this reason, especially in pricier pieces. It is actually one of the more rare, and exotic gemstones in the market today. The finest faceted Kyanite, comes from Nepal.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Success At Last!

You will all be proud to know, that I persisted, and I got a Zhu Zhu hamster, finally!!!! I spent a good part of last night, bidding on Ebay, on Zhu Zhu pets. My goal was to get a hamster below 20 dollars, including the shipping fee. I did it! I got Chunk, the white hamster, for 18.50, that included shipping. So I actually only spend $8.50 more than if I got it at my local retail store. I don't know if everyone is done buying them or the recall scare, scared everyone away, but they were selling above 50 dollars just two weeks ago. Now I can rest.

Today we are doing Davey Crockett part two, because DJ did not retain much of what he learned. You can view the video in my archives, and we will be doing computer research as well. This is our last full day of lessons, until after the new year, so you will have to suffer through whatever I feel like sharing those days LOL. DJ is starting more complicated fractions, at the beginning of next year, so I am sharing a starter video about fractions.

Lesson Plans For 12/17/09:

DJ:
How to Draw a Christmas tree: video posted yesterday
Social Studies: Davey Crockett part two
Health: Benefits of exercise, worksheet, and discussion
Math: Subtraction, Fractions, Division
Language Arts: Writing to give instructions, proofreading, suffixes, pictures tell a story
Sign Language: Alphabet
Cursive Writing
Reading Comprehension with worksheet

Caitlin:
Connect the dots, alphabet
Reading: HOP The Fog
Site Words
Math: Addition to ten with coins
Computer work
Printing Practice

Caitlin will be moving on to her second set of site words, and number word association next semester.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Who Doesn't Love Free Stuff?


If you said me, then I would have to say I do not believe you LOL. I know I love free stuff, or cheap stuff, or just stuff. Small town mommy is having a giveaway, and it is a good one. But before I tell you about that, I must insist on boring you with my 5 yr old daughters letter to Santa. She made her brother write it because she didn't want Santa to have to try and read her messy handwriting. She is lucky he is a nice brother. Too bad for him, she asked for a new one. If you get a kick out of kids, you will certainly enjoy it. If you do not like children, then I don't know why you are reading a post on a homeschool blog. I am after all not homeschooling my dogs. Yes, I actually made her limit her list to ten things, since she really insists she is getting everything. I also asked if she was sure she wanted, a baby brother, and sister, since she was using up two items? She said yes. Too bad Santa does not deliver children, whew thank goodness!!!

Now on to the good stuff. Anne over at Small Town Mommy, has decided she likes BJ's wholesale so much, that she is giving away a two month membership, and a 25 dollar gift card. I like Anne, she is sarcastic, and that is just my kind of humor. If you decide to enter her giveaway, read the directions carefully. I did mention she was funny, right? If you are not good at reading directions, like me obviously, you will miss the comment section. Skim reading is great, but not so much when you are entering a giveaway as cool as this. So, go on over to Small Town Mommy, and get your entry in, before it is too late. I actually did not see when it ends, and I read it twice, so don't mess around, and put it off.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

How To Write In Cursive, How To Draw A Christmas Tree

Tomorrow is our playgroup Christmas party, so there will be no lessons tomorrow. Both kids will be helping to clean, and prepare for company. So I have added a couple of cool videos that you might find helpful. First, does your child need to learn cursive writing? Are they a visual learner. Then you need the short video below, that they can watch someone actually writing the alphabet in cursive. Also to continue with our art theme, learn to draw a Christmas Tree, using the video shown. DJ will be doing the art class on Thursday. This is our last full week of school, before the Christmas break.





Monday, December 14, 2009

How To Draw Elves, Wind Part 2

Tomorrow for Science class we are continuing our studies on wind. Below is part two of the wind video, from last week. There are two others posted as well. These are great for supplemental activities, with reading, or other lessons. I have found a bunch of great new websites, with educational activities for kids, and they will be posted soon, at the bottom of this blog under my favorite education sites. If your kids love to draw, try some of these wonderful free drawing videos. The one shown, is how to draw elves. DJ will be attempting it tomorrow.

Lesson Plans For 12/15/09:

DJ:
How to draw elves
Science: Wind, and make a wind sock
Math: Multiplication, division, addition, subtraction
Cursive Writing
Language Arts: Suffixes, writing opinions, fact and opinion
Sign Language: Alphabet

Caitlin:
Reading: HOP The Fog
Site Words
Math: Adding to ten using coins
Learning about graphs: Worksheet
Sign Language: Alphabet
Alphabet Book: Letter P
Printing Practice











Sunday, December 13, 2009

How To Draw Santa Claus

I do not usually do two posts in one day, but I completely forgot to post my lesson plans earlier. Tomorrow for art class DJ will be drawing Santa Claus. If you want to teach your child to draw, without the big expense, these videos are wonderful.

Lesson Plans For 12/14/09

DJ:
Sign Language: Alphabet there is a video in my archives
Art: Learn to draw Santa Claus
Writing: Read the short passage about wind, then write a story about wind.
Math: Multiplication, problem solving, and division
Language Arts: Writing a thank you letter, how to address an envelope, suffixes, fact and opinion
Cursive Writing
Help Caitlin write her letter to Santa
Crafts: Finish up handmade Christmas cards

Caitlin:
Reading: HOP The Fog
Site Words
Math: Adding to ten using coins
Arts and crafts: Bow tie wreath, color game
Beginning Sounds: Worksheet
Alphabet Book: Letter O
Printing Practice
Sign Language: Alphabet
Help DJ write her letter to Santa




How To Tie A Christmas Bow, Steps To Crumb Coat A Cake

Have you ever had an Aha moment? Well I did. We have our playgroup Christmas party this week, and my kids volunteered me to make a Santa cake. Now I don't mind, because I make the cakes much better than cookies. I have no idea why, but cookies are not my thing. I have made some fancy cakes in the past, but I always get the crumbs in the frosting. I thought refrigerating the cake would fix it, nope not so much. Well there is a whole process to icing your cake, that I did not know about. You should start with the crumb coating process. It is a funny name, and quite simple actually. You can watch the video below, to see this very important pre icing step.

The other video is to teach how to wrap a bow on a Christmas present. For my kids, I do not wrap real pretty, or with much fuss. The paper just gets ripped off, with no care to a fancy bow. However, if you give gifts to coworkers, or a gift exchange, you may want to make it a little more fancy than usual. The video will show you how to make your gifts extra special.






Saturday, December 12, 2009

Some Good Old Fasioned Christmas Fun

Last evening we went to go see the snow. While I think we were a little disappointed, it was just crushed ice on a big slide, and we thought we were going to be able to make snowballs, and snow angels. I mean tons of snow, as the newspaper said, is a lot of snow, but everyone had fun anyway. We saw some of our playgroup friends. I don't have permission to show their pictures publicly, so I will just be emailing them to them. Caitlin would not go down the slide, she just wanted to play in the snow. She wouldn't sit by Santa, or Mrs Santa either. We have no pictures of Caitlin with Santa, because she will not go near him LOL. DJ the ham of the year, will never say no to getting in a picture. We didn't win a bike, we didn't need one either, but we didn't spend any money either. The horse, and buggy ride was nice. By the time we left DJ, and Caitlin were cold, tired, and quite grumpy actually. I was ready to go home, and get in my nice warm bed. The Christmas tree pics, are our tree, of course, if you notice the lean, it is from my rather large puppy running into it. Tonight we are supposed to go to the drive thru Christmas lights, but it is warm now again today, and raining so I am unsure of that. I may just take the kids to get some Christmas gifts for Dad, and Nonie, watch some movies, and maybe the kids will paint. However you spend your Saturday, I hope it is wonderful!














Friday, December 11, 2009

Fun Friday The Letter J: Jingle Bells and Jasper

Today is Fun Friday, at our Blogging For Fun group, and that means we are continuing our A-Z meme. We are up to the letter J, and I am featuring Jingle Bells, and Jasper. First Jingle Bells, view the cute video below with the Looney Toons singing Jingle Bells. I had to add Jingle Bells to the mix, because one we have had some wacky weather, and it is actually cold enough to snow here in N Florida. Yesterday, and the day before, it was so hot my husband wanted the air on. Tonight our small town is having a town Christmas Party, and they are importing tons of snow, for the kids, and adults I suppose LOL. My kids are so excited that they are going to be able to play in snow. At least it won't melt, as fast as normal.

Then we have Jasper, which is a gemstone member of the Chalcedony family. Jasper is probably one of the more common gemstones found in the world. It is cut into cabachons, beads, or ornamental items. There is Picture Jasper, Ocean Jasper, Picasso Jasper, Brecciated Jasper, and that is just the few I can remember, there are so many more. The finest Picture Jasper will look like a picture. The one I have shown is a necklace I made using Picture Jasper. It is very earthy, and warm, one of my favorite creations. Picture Jasper can be very expensive, as can Ocean Jasper in their finer qualities. It has a hardness of 6 1/2 to 7, and is a great gemstone for every day wear. If you like unique jewelry, you never get two that look alike, at least it is very rare. Thereby you are insured a piece of jewelry like no other. Awesome!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Circulation For Kids, On The Zhu Zhu Pet Hunt Again!

I had posted videos on the heart, in an earlier post. You can find them in the archives. The Schoolhouse Rock video below, is geared more towards early learners, and much easier for them to follow, and a lot more fun. Today for Health we are focusing on the heart, and how exercise, and diet are important to heart health. You could have your child keep a chart of how much exercise they did, and what they ate, to evaluate this.

Well, yesterday it was announced on the news that there will be no Zhu Zhu pet recall, darn it, and so I am on the hunt again! Did I mention the darn it part? So last evening I am minding my own business, and the phone rings. It is Assistant Manager Gary, from my local Walmart. Yay my hamster is in! No mam your hamster is not in. Hmm then why would he be calling me. Did I complain again, maybe leave a nasty letter, and forget I did so? Nope, matter of fact I have not even been nagging my local Walmart about said hamster. Nope, matter of fact Assistant Manager Gary is just very kind, it turns out. He called to inform me that he was heading to the big city, in the next few days, and would be looking for said Zhu Zhu pet there. And if he found one, he would get me one. WOW I almost fell off my chair. Really, I asked? I was really stunned. He said yes, and I could simply buy it from him, of course I reminded him I do not intend to pay more than 9.99 he said he understood. I could not thank him enough. Of course there really is not much hope in getting too excited, because I have been calling all local stores within one hour driving distance, asking about said hamster, with no luck. But I am still hopeful to have this wonderful, robotic Zhu Zhu hamster, under my Christmas tree, with the wonderful accessory I already purchased. Yay! Wish me luck. I think I could write a book about this whole Zhu Zhu hamster ordeal LOL.





Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Do You Need Anger Management, Feeling Stressed?

Do you need anger management, maybe you are stressed to the max? Well then you need a Wii! No I am not kidding, you need a Wii!. My husband went and bought one, for Christmas, and had the kids unwrap it last night. Of course we had to try it. We only have the sport game that came with it. There is bowling, baseball, tennis, and of course the stress buster boxing. If you watch the video below, this lovely subdued couple is playing it sitting down. Well not my aggressive self, and my husband who does not like to lose. Oh no, we boxed like we were really fighting. Note kicking is not allowed, though I would not have had to kick, if he told me the proper way to use the controller LOL. My son wanted to box with me too, but I simply could not hit him, though he had no problem beating the snot out of me. You will work up an awesome sweat, and get out some aggression, and stress. My husband is says he is sore today. Note, I did not want the Wii, and am still brooding over it. Today for history class we are studying Davey Crockett. You can use the video below for supplemental info for your lessons. Tomorrow, just in time for getting the Wii, we are studying the cardiovascular system, with emphasis on exercise, and good eating habits.

Lesson Plans For 12/09/09:

DJ:
Social Studies: Davey Crockett
Cursive Writing
Sign Language: Alphabet
Math: Division, multiplication, problem solving, addition
Language Arts: Suffixes, fact and opinion, writing a paragraph
Spelling/Vocab: Write each word three times each

Caitlin:
Sign Language: Alphabet
Reading: HOP review, plus Biscuit book
Math: Addition to ten
Site Words
Social Studies: Davey Crockett
Shadow Match: Worksheet
Printing Practice




Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Wind and Weather

Today DJ is not feeling well, and will be reading the remaining 6 chapters of Little House on the Prairie with summaries, and will make up his other work, in the next few days. I will be posting the lesson plans as usual, and hopefully he will feel better tomorrow. Next week is our last full week of lessons, before the Christmas break. Today for Science the lesson plan includes wind. I have included a few videos below for how wind is made, and how we can use wind power for energy. I hope you can use them in your lessons. We are also Tivoing the new Animal Planet series, on dinosaurs, it is very cool. If you get Animal Planet check for it.

Lesson Plans For 12/08/09:

DJ:
Sign Language: Alphabet
Science: Wind power with experiment
Language Arts: Suffixes, fact and opinion, topic sentence
Spelling/Vocab: Use each word in a sentence
Math: Division, multiplication, subtraction
Cursive Writing

Caitlin:
Sign Language: Alphabet
Language Arts: Words that tell where
Science: Wind
Reading: HOP review of books already read
Math: Addition to 10
Tracing Practice
Site words










Monday, December 7, 2009

How To Make Snowflakes, Learn To Draw 3D Cylinders

Due to the holidays, and doing holiday related crafts, DJ has gotten behind on his drawing. Today he will be learning to draw 3D cylinders. I love these videos, because he can see the artist drawing in real life, rather than reading, and looking at a picture. Also, do you remember as a kid making paper snowflakes? I do, too bad I didn't remember how to do it. The video below reminded me, and will you too. We are making a bunch of these today as well. Have Fun! Be sure to stop by DJ's blog, and tell him about Christmas in your part of the world.


Lesson Plans For 12/07/09:

DJ:
Language Arts: Prefixes, suffixes
Reading: Read chapters 19, and 20 of Little House On the Prairie, with summaries
Sign Language: Alphabet
Math: Division
Art: Paper snowflakes, learn to draw 3D cylinders
Vocab/Spelling: Look up the definition for each word
Cursive Writing

Caitlin:
Art: Paper snowflakes
Reading: HOP review of books already read
Site Words
Number Identification: Worksheet
Math: Addition to 10
Printing Practice

Have a great Monday, everyone!








Sunday, December 6, 2009

Halting My Hunt For Zhu Zhu Pet Hamsters ? Recall To Come, Christmas Around The World

So my husband informed me this morning that the Zhu Zhu Pet hamsters, that I have been hunting for forever, are probably going to be recalled due to them being toxic. A consumer watch group did some testing, and found they have tin, and some cancer forming agent in them. They only tested the hamsters, to my knowledge. Unfortunately for all of us who purchased on Ebay, I don't think the recall will be honored with a refund. Don't quote me on that, but I don't see how it could be possible. Meaning everyone who spent 50 dollars, or more, on a toy hamster, will probably see no refund. I only got an accessory, and paid 30 bucks for it, so I will most likely be out that, but it was the original price, not an inflated price. For now I will have to watch, and see what happens, but as of right now I am halting my search for a Zhu Zhu pet hamster. In case you are wondering these are the results I found on CNN, when I looked for articles on this subject, read, and weep for yourself.
Showing top 5 web results for zhu zhu pets toxic
Dec 6, 2009 ... Are Zhu Zhu Pets Toxic? By Caitlin McDevitt. Posted Sunday, December 6, 2009 - 1
:38am. The Treasury Department's strategy to help struggling ...
Dec 5, 2009 ... Zhu Zhu Hamster Pets are selling out in stores all across the US during the 2009
Christmas toys shopping season, and questions are now being ...
Zhu Zhu Pets Toxic,Zhu Zhu Recall:Zhu Zhu pets was one of the favourite and a
must buy for all youngster during the Black Friday 2009 and the Cyber Monday ...
Dec 5, 2009 ... The Zhu Zhu pets, some of the most popular toys on the market for Christmas this
year, have been labled as toxic by the a consumer watchdog ...
Actually Zhu Zhu Pets is a trademark for a line of robotic hamsters that have
been called the next "must have" toy of the 2009 Christmas season. Zhu Z.
http://newsnidea.com/21807/zhu-zhu-pets-recall-zhu-zhu-pets-toxic-health-risk/



Now on to a nicer subject. If you go to DJ's writing blog, http://www.throughtheeyesofdj.blogspot.com there is a post about Christmas around the world. I am hoping people will leave comments telling him about how Christmas is celebrated, in their part of the world. Thanks in advance to any of you who participate.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

We Have A Winner!!

Congrats to Marcy, from The Frugal Kennedys, she is the winner of the Sylvan first grade workbook. Congrats Marcy, I hope you find it very useful. If for some reason I do not hear from Marcy in a few days, I will draw another name from the pumpkin. Have a great Saturday, everyone.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Fun Friday The Letter I: Amazing Igloos

Today is Friday, and that means Fun Friday, at our Blogging For Fun Group. Today is the letter I, and I am doing amazing Igloos. When we were kids, and lived where it actually snowed, we used to build snow forts, not fancy igloos. One year for Christmas, my sister, and I got this square plastic thing, that was called an Igloo Maker, or something like that. We had more fun with that plastic box, and our friends didn't complain either. It doesn't snow here in Florida, well at least I hope not. Though next Friday our small town is having it's second annual Christmas in downtown, and they are transporting in tons of snow, for the kids. My kids are not excited at all. Did you know there was an actual ice Igloo hotel? Yes, and it is very cool, watch the video below to see. Plus there is a video to learn how to build an igloo, so you and your kids can play in the snow. Have fun, share pics if you take any.






Thursday, December 3, 2009

Grrrr Yes I am Growling, and The Musculoskeletal System

Grrr, I am in a growling mood today. Why, you ask? Well I am irritated, and for two reasons.

1- Yesterday I made my daily online rounds of Toys R Us, Target, and Walmart, looking for a ZhuZhu pet hamster. Toys R Us actually had them in stock. So I quick put one in my cart, and clicked submit. Now since I have shopped there before I just needed to sign. It took a matter of seconds, only. But poof as soon as I hit submit, they were all gone again. Grr I am so irritated with these stupid hamsters, and my local Walmart who insists they still have not gotten them in. I still find that very hard to believe, and may have to write another complaint to corporate.

2- Tiger Woods, yes Tiger Woods. Why am I irritated at Tiger Woods. Well for one thing, I got his character school lesson plan, for my kids for next year. Do you really think I am going to use this, after he has cheated on his wife? No I will not. I am sorry, no I do not expect him, or anyone else to be perfect. However, just making a written statement on his website, that he is sorry for his transgressions, and he made a mistake does not cut it. Sleeping with other women, and it appears to actually be more than one, is not a mistake, it is disgusting, being a pig. A mistake is you bounced a check, cheating on your wife is deliberate, and something you wanted to do. People are saying they feel sorry for him. For what reason? Why don't you feel sorry for his wife, and kids, for his piggish ways? I am so tired of men who can not keep their personal parts where they belong. And no please don't leave me a message asking me if this is based on personal reasons. No my husband has never cheated on me, and I hope he never would. When you live in the public spot light, and all of us who make his endorsements possible, they owe all of us more of an explanation than a written statement on a website, that he probably did not even write. If you don't like being in the public spot light, then you should have been an accountant or something.

There, now that I got all that off my chest, if anyone is interested in the Tiger Woods character lessons, just contact me and I will gladly give them away. Tomorrow is test day, so no lesson plans to post. We had a beautiful day at the park today, and the kids are currently painting. Below are three cool videos on the musculoskeletal system, which was our Health topic for today. You still have time to get your entry in for the Sylvan 1st grade workbook. It ends Saturday morning, when I get home from work. I will try to remember to draw the name, before I head off to bed. The rules are at the top of this blog.






Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Susan B Anthony And Women's Rights, Native Americans

We have been studying Native Americans this year. Below are some videos that kids will enjoy to help cover the info they have learned. One of my favorite American's in history, is Susan B. Anthony. Without her women's rights may have never came to be, or came much later in history. I still think women are not necessarily treated as equals, but what a long way we have come. Below are two videos on Susan B. Anthony for you to use in your teachings. The one is a re-enactment of her famous speech on Women Suffrage. We are having a playdate at the park tomorrow, with our ever growing play group. Both DJ, and Caitlin did extra work, these past two days, to get everything done and not get behind. Because of that, tomorrow they will get to do painting of Christmas gifts, for family, and friends. My kids love to paint, and I love the mess they make when they paint LOL. They will be working on Christmas cards, and will still have Health class. I will be posting on DJ's blog, on Saturday, a request for all our international friends, and USA friends, to share with DJ their traditions, and customs for the Christmas season. Rochelle at Femme Power gave me the idea, when she left DJ a comment, on his blog about his Thanksgiving. Thanks Rochelle! I hope he will get a great response, and learn about Christmas around the world, in a fun, and easy way.













Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Pollination Video, and Video For Kindergarten Sight Words

Please don't forget to enter the contest to win the Sylvan first grade workbook. Details are at the top of the blog. You do not have to homeschool to win. Today for Science we are studying pollination. Below is a cool video, to supplement your reading material. If you have a child in kindergarten, and they are more of a visual learner, the video for the kindergarten sight words is great. Be sure to check out the sign language alphabet video, from yesterday too. Those of you who live near a Dollar Tree, they have some great educational posters right now. I got one for telling time, and addition, yesterday. Last year I got the US map, and the alphabet. The holidays are a great time to find great school items there.


Lesson Plans For 12/02/09:

DJ:
Social Studies: Susan B Anthony, and Native Americans
Math: Multiplication, division, subtraction
Sign Language: Alphabet
Language Arts: Suffixes, prefixes, graphic organizer
Spelling/Vocab: Write each word three times each
Cursive Writing

Caitlin:
Word Recognition: Worksheet
Maze worksheet
Reading: HOP Pop Fox
Printing Practice
Alphabet Book: Letter J
Math: Bigger vs Smaller
Site Words
Sign Language: Alphabet







Monday, November 30, 2009

The War On Christmas, The Alphabet In Sign Language

Are you tired of turkey yet? I am. I am looking for opinions today, because I am a curious kind of girl. I am looking for opinions on this whole War on Christmas deal. If you don't know what that is, it is something the media came up with to call when people don't say Merry Christmas, but instead Happy Holidays, or Seasons Greetings. Seems the media, and other groups are boycotting stores, and making a fuss, about not saying Merry Christmas. They claim it takes Christ out of Christmas. Hmm, I believe in God, and I do not find this to be true at all. How can saying Seasons Greetings, take Christ out of Christmas? If someone says Happy Holidays I just say, thank you and the same to you. The anger, and outrage it has brought about, surprises me to say the least. So I am wondering how many of you are really offended by this whole thing, and why? Don't worry I won't hold it against you, as long as you do the same for me. This is a free country, with free speech, and freedom of religion, that is why the Pilgrims came here.

We got our sign language book, and of course the alphabet is where you begin. I actually learned sign language many years ago, and find I have picked it up pretty quick. I will try to find videos to go with each section, so those of you who wish to learn, may as well.


Lesson Plans For 12/01/09:

DJ:
Science: Pollination, and Photosynthesis there is a video in the archives for Photosynthesis
Math: Multiplication, addition, subtraction, and division
Sign Language: The alphabet
Language Arts: Prefixes, suffixes, and sensory words
Spelling/Vocab: Use each word in a sentence
Cursive Writing

Caitlin:
Sequencing: Worksheet
Reading: HOP Pop Fox
Rhymes
Printing Practice
Alphabet Book: Letter I
Math: Bigger vs smaller
Site Words


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Calling Walmart, Target, Ebay Sellers, and Toys R US

OK I am getting creative now, in my desire to obtain one Zhu Zhu hamster, before Christmas at the asking price of 8 dollars. I am willing to offer anyone who can get me one, of the said hamsters, free advertising on all three of my blogs for infinity. I do not want to spend more than 8 dollars, I will pay with Paypal, I must have it before Christmas, and the advertising will start when the hamster arrives at my home. This blog is a page rank 3, my jewelry blog is a page rank 2, and my sons writing blog is a page rank 1. It can be banner, or text link, whichever you prefer. I will even post specials, or promos if you would like. I am getting desperate here. I am sure someone has an extra one of these hamsters lying around. If you are interested in this please contact me at darien04@gmail.com for more info.

Lesson Plans For 11/30/09:

DJ and Caitlin advent calendar craft, get it here.

DJ:
Reading: Read chapters 14, and 15 of Little House on the Prairie, with summaries
Arts and crafts: Advent calendar, see above
Writing: Write about your Thanksgiving
Spelling/Vocab: Look up the definition for each word
Language Arts: Suffixes, Prefixes
Math: Problem solving, subtracting zeros
Cursive Writing

Caitlin:
Reading: HOP Pop Fox
Beginning Sounds: Worksheet
Alphabet Book: Letter H finish
Printing Practice
Math: Large and small numbers worksheet
Site Words
Arts and Crafts: Advent calendar, see above for the link

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Top Entrecard Droppers For November

Please take a couple of minutes, and check out each of these awesome blogs. These are the top ten viewers of my blog, through Entrecard. Thank you to all of you who visit, and read my blog on a regular basis.

http://businessphereconsulting.com
http://akilakalum.blogspot.com/
http://bigdaddyrichard-swirlingthoughts.blogspot.com
http://all2read.blogspot.com
http://www.smalltownmommy.com
http://www.oneworld-realty.com
http://www.throughtheeyesofdj.blogspot.com
http://melissasjewelryandgems.blogspot.com/
http://www.buckrobin.com


For the second month in a row, http://www.smalltownmommy.com got me the best advertising clicks from her blog to mine, with 73 clicks.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Trans Siberian Orchestra My Favorite Christmas Music

First of all let me say, I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, we did. The one thing I am truly thankful for, is that it is only once a year. That is a lot of cooking, cleaning, and work for a few minutes of eating with family, and friends. I would think takeout would work just as well. The weather was marvelous, and we spent a lot of the day outside, sitting in the sun. Except for the men, who of course watched football. Now we move into my favorite time of the year, Christmas. I love all parts of Christmas. The hustle and bustle, the shopping, the religious meaning, as well as the secular meaning. I love the feeling Christmas gives me, and so many others as well. This year so many people are out of work, and will not be able to afford Christmas. Now I know Christmas is not really about Santa, and gifts, but the three Wise Men, did bring gifts to the baby Jesus. If you can give even a few dollars to your local charity to help a child get a gift, that would be awesome. There is also Shaq gives back for Toys for Tots, sponsored at Toys R Us, and in most retail stores. Every year we do the program for the Guardian Ad Lidem program here in Florida, for kids in the foster care system. I also donate to the food pantry, and Another Way, which is a program for battered women, and children. I am a huge Shaq fan. If you don't know who Shaq is, he is a basketball superstar, but he also is supportive of charities, and those in need. Many of you probably heard the awful story of the mother in NC who sold her five year old daughter into prostitution, and the man killed her. Shaq heard the story on the news, and has paid for the complete funeral for this poor child, that even her own mother would not protect. Thanks Shaq for helping this poor child, to rest in peace. I got a little off track there, sorry. I was supposed to be telling you about my all time favorite Christmas song band. The Trans Siberian Orchestra is amazing. If you have never heard their music, watch the video below. I think you will love it as much as I do. Have a great weekend, everyone.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

How To Set A Formal Dinner Table

Now, I am not this fancy, but my mother used to always follow these rules for setting a dinner table. My husband, and I are way less formal than any of this, but it is nice to know how to do it, should the President ever come visit. If you would like to learn how to set a formal dinner table, for your Thanksgiving meal, watch the video, and learn.



Monday, November 23, 2009

Some Of Natures Finest

Since I have no lesson plans to share this week, we are doing review, I want to share some of my favorite nature videos that have been saved to my Youtube account, for some time. I hope you enjoy them, as much as my kids, and I do.





Sunday, November 22, 2009

Easy Thanksgiving Treats, 100 Books Every High School Child Should Read

Since we only have two days of school this week, we will be doing all review, of information already learned. We also have the History of Thanksgiving, from the History channel set to record tonight at 7. Be sure to Tivo it, if you want to use it for school. This link was sent to me by Amber. It is 100 books every high schooled child should read, and you can view it here. Thank you, Amber for the list. Below is three recipes for cute, yet simple Thanksgiving treats. Click the image to enlarge, and print the directions. I have been saving these to share, since last year. Let me know if you try any of them, and how simple they are. The little hats look simple enough, for even me. I can not do complicated baking so well.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Simple Saturday Maple Butter For Your Thanksgiving Turkey

This is probably the fastest, and shortest post I have ever done LOL. Please remember to enter the contest for a free Sylvan First Grade workbook. See the top of the blog for details. You do not have to homeschool to enter.

Last year I had a lot of people ask how we made the maple butter, that we put on our turkey. I do not think I ever posted it. It is so simple, and the flavor goes all the way through your turkey. You will love it.

You will need 4 sticks of butter, no margarine, it has to be butter. One bottle of pure maple syrup, about 7 dollars per bottle. Melt the butter, add the syrup, then bring it to a boil. Let it boil gently, until it reduces down 1/3 of what you began with. This takes approximately 45 minutes, to one hour. Be sure to watch it, and stir occasionally. Then remove it from the heat, let it cool slightly, put in a container, and refrigerate until needed. Let me know if you try it, and if you loved it.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fun Friday The Letter H: The Heart

Yes, it is Fun Friday again, and we are up to the letter H, in our A-Z meme. Being someone who homeschools, and a nurse, I thought a post on the heart would be fitting. The two videos below are great, so be sure to check them out. If you have a microscope, prick your finger, and put a drop on a bandaide, let it dry, and then place it under the microscope. It is amazing what you will see.

Your heart is about the size, of a closed fist. It has thick muscular walls, and is divided in two by the septum. There are four chambers, of the heart, two on each side. The upper chambers, called the atrium, receives blood coming in from the veins, or returning to the heart. While the lower chambers, called ventricles, push the blood out to the rest of the body through the Aorta. There are valves in the heart, to be sure your blood always travels in one direction, with no backwards flow. You can feel the blood pumping through your body, by feeling your pulse. The most popular pulse point, is located at the wrist. Place two, or three fingers, lightly on the thumb side of your hand, with your palm up, and you will feel your pulse. It feels like a tiny impulse on your finger tips.

Of course this is a very simplified version of the heart. It is actually a very complex, yet wonderful system, that keeps us all alive. Take care of your heart, and avoid stress, exercise if you can, watch cholesterol, and fat intake, and your heart will keep you healthy for a long time. If you have heart disease already, or someone in your family does, I highly recommend CPR for you and family members. CPR is simple to learn, and it can save the life of someone you love.




Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Senses Song, Crocs, Hamsters, and A Turkey Craft, Multiplying Two Numbers


Tomorrow is test day, so I get to post whatever I want today, and this is what I want to post. Click the image of the turkey, and your little ones can make this cute Turkey craft. I still have no hamster, and quite frankly Walmart is irritating me, again. It has been two weeks, Saturday, since this all began. I somehow doubt it takes two weeks to transport hamsters, that were due two Tuesdays ago. I call them every day, and every day they assure me, I will get mine.

On a better note, if you love Crocs, you know those overly ugly shoes, that are oh so comfortable, they are having a huge sale this week. Mostly sports logos Crocs, are marked down to 9.99, kids, and adults. I bought four pairs, as Christmas gifts. If you love them, or have someone in your family who does, do not miss the awesome sale at Crocs website.

Today for Health class we are finishing up the senses. I found this cute song, for kids to learn the senses, and another informational video, to help kids remember. These are geared more towards young learners. We are also just starting to learn multiplying two numbers. The short video below will show your learners, an easy way to remember how to do it. They also have a website, which is all video related learning, and if your child needs extra help in math, check it out. I thought it was kind of expensive, but I probably would not if I needed the tutoring help.





Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Colonial America, 13 Colonies

We had a lovely day, at the park, this morning. So I only have time for a quick post. Check out the videos below, covering Colonial America the 13 colonies.

Lesson Plans For 11/19/09:

DJ:
Health: The senses, smell, and taste
Language Arts: Prefixes, suffixes, abbreviations
Math: Division, multiplication, problem solving
Cursive Writings
Spelling/Vocab: Write each definition two times each

Caitlin:
Health: The senses
Reading: HOP Rag Gets Wet
Alphabet Book: Letter H
Site words
Math: Adding
Picture Word Identification: Worksheet






Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Learn To Draw A Turkey, Kindergarten Turkey Craft



Tomorrow we have a playdate at the park from 10-12 AM. We are still concentrating on Thanksgiving. Be sure to check out the video on how to draw a turkey. The kid in the video makes it look easy. DJ will be giving it a try tomorrow. Caitlin will do the turkey craft. Just click on the images to print them. Color the feathers, and turkey, then cut and paste them on. Voila lovely free decor. Ever wondered about the history of Thanksgiving? The History Channel is having a special episode on November 22nd at 7/6 central. Be sure to Tivo it. Here is the full explanation, with links for curriculum.

The History of Thanksgiving
Sunday, November 22nd at 7/6c

Turkey dinners, footballs and parades--these are the modern-day trappings of the holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November each year. But Thanksgiving is more than just a day of food and festivity. This documentary traces the history of Thanksgiving, from early festivals and rituals of thanks, through the establishment of the Thanksgiving holiday, to the feasts Americans celebrate today. The History of Thanksgiving explores different tales of the Thanksgiving holiday, examining how and why the story of the Pilgrims sharing bounty with Native Americans became the symbol of Thanksgiving. Using primary sources, expert historians and authentic reenactments, this program untangles Thanksgiving myths and recounts the story of how it became recognized as a federal holiday. Students will gain new historical insights into this popular holiday, and will have an opportunity to discuss its meaning and significance in our society today.

Curriculum Links:
The History of Thanksgiving would be useful for classes on American History, American Culture and Native American History. It is appropriate for elementary school, middle school and high school. It fulfills the following standards as outlined by the National Council for History Education: 1) Civilization, cultural diffusion and innovation, and 2) Patterns of social and political interaction.

More from History.com:
Visit the Thanksgiving website

What was on the menu on the first Thanksgiving? Find out.

Videos:
History of Thanksgiving

Discover the origins of the Turducken






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