Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I'm in 6th grade (again)!

I have this reoccurring nightmare. I'm in high school, only I'm 30-something years old (roughly the age I am today) and all the other students are 16 and 17. Apparently, in my dream I've been held back...a lot! Maybe I keep having this dream because I feel like I didn't finish school as strongly as I should have. After going onto college and achieving the status of "Dean's List" quarter after quarter, I learn the most important thing ever taught to me in my education...I do have the potential and if I put my mind to it, I can finish strong. But that's not why I'm doing 6th grade again, of course. Knowing this gives me a heads up on how to approach the education of my children. I'm in the business of learning how they learn. It is fun to relive my school years and relearn all that stuff again, but the real reason is because I have to know exactly what my children are learning. In order to be an effective teacher, I have to know how questions are posed and how the content of the lessons is delivered. I can quickly see where my children will soar though the lessons and where they will struggle. Plus, I think my daughter thinks it's pretty cool to ask, "Mommy, did you do your school work today?" Thankfully, my grades are much better this time around!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Whatever happened to "shop till I drop"?

The other night I was shopping for my son. He desperately needed pants that fit since all of his looked like high waters. In fact, he was beginning to look like (dare I say it) a little nerd. I was afraid that if I did not get this task done quickly I would be late to pick up the girls from church. So there I was, (at Walmart, I'm afraid - 3 year old boys could care less where there clothes come from) practically throwing clothes in the cart as fast as I could. I also knew his attention span for such tasks was quite short. He was more interested in climbing the display shelves.

After this speed-shopping job was over, I starting thinking what ever happened to the days when I liked to shop? I remember as a kid getting up on Saturdays and dressing in a really cute outfit and heading to the mall with my mom. We would make a day of it; meeting friends, going out to lunch, spending HOURS inside a dressing room. These days, I can't even fathom it. Even my girls don't seem to have the patience for it. They would rather be playing hide and seek in the racks than browsing through them. Truth be told, I can't remember the last time I truly went shopping at the mall. I think it was back in 2005. At any rate, I guess we just have a different set of priorities these days. At least I know that when my children turn 18, their primary goal will probably NOT be applying for a Nordstrom charge card.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Bird Suet Cakes

This is a fun activity that any age will enjoy. It combines several subjects:
- Math (Measurements)
- Science (Nature and Wildlife)
- Bible (God's Creation)

It's definitely one for wintertime, as the cakes will melt in the sun. Birds will love them, so have fun with it!

Recipe by Alberta Morgan
15 min | 15 min prep
SERVES 8 , 8 cakes

1 lb lard (no substitutes)
2 cups chunky peanut butter (cheapest is fine)
2 cups cornmeal
2 cups flour (any kind)
2 cups oatmeal (any kind)
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups bird seed
1 cup dried fruits (optional)

Melt lard and peanut butter, in microwave oven about 3 minutes, stirring each minute; then add in all other ingredients and mix together.

Scrape into flat pan (913), cool in refrigerator until hard.

Cut to desired size and wrap in plastic wrap or foil.

Refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.

Place in small mesh bag (old produce bags work) and hang where birds can reach. You can also purchase inexpensive suet cake cages from retail stores.

Watch that other critters cannot get to it.