Monday, March 31, 2014

Booking It March 2014

I am linking up with Life as Mom and her peeps for March Booking It. I am once again on a non-ficition kick.  Here is what I read in March.

Home is a Roof over a Pig by Aminta Arrington is a book I picked up while browsing at the library.  It tells of an American's Family's Journey in China. Aminta I found out hometown is the nearby town of Lynden WA.  Aminta and her husband went to China to teach English at the University Level. They also went to connect their adopted Chinese daughter to her culture.  This was a interesting look at Chinese culture and what these American's felt as they integrated into China.  Throughout Aminta connects you with the Chinese characters and their meanings. Aminta also discusses in depth the conversations she had with her Chinese students.  How they had trouble understanding the concept of self or having opinions of their own.  Self is second to the Chinese.  She discusses an incident where she saw a church protesting. She asked her student why they could protest that but not the other things the government imposed on them.  She asked the student won't there will be repercussions and profoundly the student said "Well, I guess it's because we are God's children that we feel we don't have to be afraid." Amnita also talks a great deal about how her students are obsessed with the test they take to get into the university. This seem to topically key into the discussion of the Common Core and the drill and kill mentality.

Along the same topic of how the Chinese think differently  a friend posted an article about why Chinese parents and kids don't say, " I love you."

Lastly in my Library browsing I picked up Hidden Cities - A Memoir of Urban Exploration by Moses Gates. This is a book about urban exploring.  It about those who ignore the trespassing signs and go into catacombs in France, climbing bridges, and running the subway tunnels looking for secret abandoned locations.  I don't do any of these things myself but I do like reading about their adventures. Along the same lines, I enjoyed the T.V. series called Off Limits especially season 1 and I guess Moses consulted on that.  I think Moses made it pretty clear at all the locations they were clearly trespassing. He makes no bones about that. They however didn't deface or destroy any of the locations they went throughout the book except erasing a Nazi swastika in Russia.  Moses was arrested several times and admits that the current political environment we live in it probably not a good idea to do or go some of the places that he went. All in all it was great way to hear about the secret corners of the world's great cities especially what lies beneath and above.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Glowing Monkey

I was reading over some work my oldest brought home.  Yes, I read over my Son's work even though he a sophomore in High School.  This made me chuckle.  So I had to share. I highlighted the parts that cracked me up.

Question : How Do New Species Form? (State your opinion about the theory of evolution. Support your opinion with scientific facts)

I believe that evolution does exist and we still can create new species. My evidence, is the glowing green monkey (look it up). The glowing green monkey was a lab experiment involving inserting the fluorescent genes of a jelly fish into a monkey embryo. The result was a monkey that glows fluorescent green (I'm not kidding about this). By inserting genes of animal into other animal embryos, we can create new species. This makes most mythical creatures possible. This could make even dinos possible!

Teacher's response: Do you think genetic manipulation is = to evolution?

FYI : Glowing Monkey Linky

I love how he wanted to inform the teacher and how he worked the whole response basically into to stuff he is interested in. AND that he didn't even really answer the question.  This post really needs a picture.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Things I Learned in March

1. Street Lights with icicles can look strangely like Sombrero's . My husband pointed this out. 

2. Organizing is ALOT like cleaning.  Wait it is cleaning. I took the 4 week organize your home with Money Saving Mom.  This made me realize that I need to stay on top of these cleaning chores a lot better.

3. I feel like I haven't been much of a friend to anyone. I am an introvert.  It is hard for me to give my inner voices a chance to come out and speak.  I hold all my friends dear.  If I haven't said how much I appreciate you , I say it now, " I appreciate your friendship and grace you to extend to me."

4. This quote was from the Series Scandal and I like it.  Scandal is my secret indulgence. The quote has been rattling in my brain. I am glad a local blogger shared so I guess I am re -with sharing it.

“If there are no white hats, if everyone is evil, if the deck is always stacked, if everyone I love is a monster, if no one is worth saving, what is the point?”
... “There is, incidentally, a point.  If there are no more white hats, if the deck is always stacked and if everyone you love is a monster, there is in fact someone worth saving.”
“Everyone!  Everyone is worth saving.  Even the monsters, even the demons.  Everyone is worth saving.  In the face of darkness, you drag everyone into the light.  That is the point.  At least I’d like to think that is the point. Of you.”
I am linking up Chatting With the Sky.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Almost Wordless Wednesday

Geocaching Trackable at Peace Arch
Charlie and Tigger
Peace Arch State Park
Another Sunrise
Jelly Jar Meets Rock Geocache
Sign with hint for our St Patty Gold Hunt
No one really appreciated my hint but they ate the chocolate gold

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Organize Your Home Week 3

Once again I am joining Money Saving Mom and her 4 Week Challenge "To A More Organized Home. " I am keeping a running journal of the week. This is week 3

Monday - Top of The Morning

It was St Patty's Day.  My silverware drawer was clean so I did the 15 minute tidy which cleared away most of the hurricane/typhoon of the weekend business.

Tuesday - I need a "Good Job" sticker

The oven was yuck.  Oh it was so yuck.  I even pulled out the drawer and did underneath the oven. Remind me never to buy black appliances either.  I think they show everything.

We were talking at bible study last week how when we complete an assignment how we need a good job sticker.  This job today I earned a sticker for sure.

WednesdayI have Shrubbery

It is not everyday you wash your fake ivy and put it in the dish dryer.  The easy part was washing the decor up on top. I learned a very important lesson today as I cleaned the top of my cupboards as I was perched up on the top of the ladder scrubbing and scraping the yuck off the top.

LINE the top of your cupboards with wax paper or placemats.  JUST DO IT!   This would of easily cut this job in half or pretty much made this a 20 minute job. Instead this dragged on for about 2 hours.

The sad thing is I actually found an abandoned 409 spray bottle and rag up there.  I said this time enough is enough and after cleaning and I put wax paper down.  This seasoned homemaker can learn new tricks.

Friday - Ah Friday at last and the Dreaded full email box

This was pretty easy day and also my short day of the week as my son always has early release Fridays.  It took me about 30 minute to unclog my inbox.  There is some more work to be done there but I managed to unsubscribe to a bunch of junk email.  IT felt fabulous.

Saturday, March 22, 2014


*** I wrote this at the end of  February. I saw a review of Zumba on another Blog, Home Stories A to Z so I thought it was time to post my own little review.

The past couple of months, I have been giving Zumba a try.  I really like it.  NO I am not a dancer or fitness nut.  It is definitely outside of my comfort zone.  Being on the bigger size, it is not easy to walk into a fitness class. It wasn't for my friend Mrs Epi the first time I would of turned around and ran all the way home. It reminds me of the diagram below.

I am out of shape and out of step.  I don't bounce or glide or turn but I have been doing Zumba for January and February.  Sometimes I even have flow. It feels good. Right now, this is where the magic is happening for me.  Welcome to my evolution.

I love this post from Teacher Tom - About Not Falling Down and how adults make this fitness thing less fun or something like that.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Charlie's Fox
We spent Tuesday morning drawing foxes.  The idea came from Cassie Stephens blog.  I truly enjoy her outfits as well.  I wish I was as bold as her. The actual instructions for the fox are from Art Projects for Kids. IF you draw foxes, know it will lead to rousing renditions of "What does the Fox Say".

Happy First Day of Spring

Monday, March 17, 2014

Leprechaun Journal Prompts

We have been doing some extra before school writing at our house.  This story is about a leprechaun and what he found at the end of the rainbow by Charlie.

Goldie set off from his home to find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! So he traveled through the autumn, winter and spring forest but finally he reached the rainbow forest... but unexpectedly he found a pot gold inside an out house...  a century later he tried again and all as the same when returned but this time he had to use the out house.

My sister's explanation of my son's story.
LOL…ohh No …I guess no one ever said exactly what kind of pot of gold it was….mystery solved! Squatting on the golden pot!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Spring Linky Love

Yes, our brand new police station was broken into a while back.  Well, the lobby was broken into.  The guy doing the vandalism claims he was wasted when he did the crime. Really?  I couldn't tell. (sarcasm)

Lego Photojournalist

Novel Approach to Preventing Bullying

Got a Middle School Reader - The Big Bad Middle School Literature List

10 Reasons Why I Will Continue to Give My Kids Handheld Devices

Saturday, March 15, 2014

My Day has Gone to Pot

I woke up yesterday morning to this. I believe my cats created this disaster.  They must of known I bought a giant bag of potting soil. This is the third potting accident of the week.

The first incident I just walked by my aloe plant and it toppled over.  I  repotted and once again it fell over. It was in a lightweight plastic pot and became too top heavy I believe. 

I am a little tired of dirt in my house.
A picture of the smaller plant
I actually trimmed this one back

Organize Your Home Week 2

I am linking up with Money Saving Mom and 4 Week Organizing Your Home Challenge. Here is a running journal of how it is going on the challenge.  Welcome to my disaster waiting to happen.

Monday - Totally Distracted

I set my timer for the 15 tidy and got distracted.  I even forgot why I had set it.  The good news is that I did sweep and put away some stuff.  I think day light savings time is dragging me down.

I failed at getting to clean out the car.

Here are my goals for the week
1. Walk at least 8,000 steps daily up a 1,000 steps from last week
2. 3 Blog Posts
3. Spring/Winter Sow some plants
4. work on yard clean up
5. finish book
6. keep up on Bible Study Homework

Tuesday - Got Dirt

The 15 minute vacuum job went well.  I got all of our main area swept and vacuumed with about 30 seconds to spare but who was watching the clock.

The baseboard project started off well.  It is surprising how banged up white baseboards get.  I was shocked how dirty the boards were.

I got half way through wiping the baseboards downstairs when disaster struck.  I had re potted this aloe and my pot was not heavy enough This particular aloe is very top heavy and spilled dirt EVERYWHERE.  So I abandoned the baseboard project. I really had dirt and LOTS of  IT.

Literally the good news of the day was I made it to Bible Study with most of my homework completed. 

Wednesday - Easy Peasy

Got all the door knobs wiped.  I even wiped down the handles on the refrigerator. This was perhaps the easiest assignment. IT only took like 15 minutes.

Thursday - Side Tracked

I just didn't get anything done.  I lacked the will or something. I did buy dirt aka potting soil at Costco and a brand new pot .

Friday - My Day went to POT

I came downstairs to find broken pottery and dirt everywhere. My cats must of sensed a giant bag of dirt in the garage.  They managed to knock a plant over.  GOOD TIMES

I did get some of my light covers washed.  They were all disgusting. I got most of them downstairs. Should not be able to write in the dust.
The good news is I got my plants potted and some winter/spring sowing done.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Oh my, Lephrechauns!

We took a break from our morning grind to make some leprechauns.  Leprechaun instructions found at Art Projects for Kids.  I used the leprechaun name generator found here.  Chuck didn't want his to be called McWarty so he chose Goldie.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Organized Your Home - Week 1

I am joining the Organize your Home in 4 weeks at Money Saving Mom.  Assignments are given for each day.  I decided to keep a running journal entry for the last
week.  So here is a look back at the first week. IT is a scary look into my housekeeper brain.

Monday - Day 1  IT IS MONDAY - No description really needed

I managed to get all the assigned tasks completed.  I struggled with finding 7 items to donate. I did throw out and manage to recycle many things.

My goals for the week are as follows

1.  Blog -3 times
2.  Walk 7,000 steps a day.  I am working up to consistently walking 10,000. 
3. Clear Dining Room Table
4. Work on Project Life (Tuesday)

Tuesday - Day 2 - House work even poorly done is partly done?

I struggled today.  EVERYTHING took a lot longer.  I did 2 fifteen minute tidy up's in the kitchen.  I am a really messy cook.  I got really distracted by our water bottle collection which led me to throw away several.
Yuck - Look at that top shelf
 IT took me 50 minutes to clean the refrigerator.  About at the 30 minute mark, I wanted to quit.  I will be honest.  However, it looks wonderful.  I actually didn't throw out too much food. Is it strange I just want to stare into the fridge?

I did make it to bible study with my broccoli Salad - Wahoo to me.

Wednesday - Oh, I was up WAY to early!

Dropped Hubby at the airport before sunrise.  I am not a before 6am person.

I did a 15 minute tidy in my bedroom.  Found a couple of odd things.  Not sure why a plastic spoon and fork is in the bedroom. See pic below. I also remembered to water my house plants.

I cleaned out the freezer.  This was a mainly organizational activity as I had cleaned it out not to long ago.  I decided I needed to note in my planner in two weeks that I have extra spaghetti sauce so I pull it out and use it. I also discovered 4 things of chicken stock.  I need to use or toss.

Thursday - All this for 11 cents

 The longest project was moving the bed.  Cleaning out under my bed was challenge as it was difficult to move but persistent effort paid off.  It was not as bad as expected.  I did find 11 cents. I also dusted headboard and side tables.  It took about 50 minutes.

I did my 15 minute tidy in the downstairs half bath so it only took 10 minutes.

Friday - Rude Awakening

Well, my dog jumped on me this morning and licked me awake.  So not pleasant.  This has nothing to do with organizing my home.  I just don't seem as alert as I need to be.

I cleaned the couch.  It is amazing the crumbs under the cushions and I know I did it not too long ago.  I was pleased I have broken my youngest of stuffing his dirty socks in the cushions. Ugggh!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Happiness Is....

Sometimes Happiness is a Clean Shoe Caddy. I am in the mood to Spring Clean much to my children's horror.  It is rainy outside. This shoe caddy is one of my most favorite things my Hubby ever built. 

Anyone else in the mood to Spring Clean?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Project Life - Jan and Feb

Getting caught up never felt so good. I changed up how I did project life for 2014.  I am doing event layouts and a catch all page for the month.  Above is my catch all layout for January. 

Journaling - It was a great start to the year. We found all kinds of clever messages around the house.  We had several firsts. We had a first find (FTF) geocache and first fire of the year.

The layouts below are 2 events that we did.  The first was The Great Ball of Fire Geocaching Event that included a crazy hat competition.

We also had a chance to visit the Lemay America's Car Museum in Tacoma, WA.  They were having a special Volkswagen Exhibition.

Science Fair Project Complete

image found via pinterest
Well as several months of this project.  The Science Fair Project is complete and the board taken to school.  It has kinda been a monkey on our back but as of yesterday the project was turned in.

Charlie tested whether a tennis ball heated or frozen effects the balls bounce height.  It does.  The balls that are heated bounce slightly higher.  The balls that are cold actually bounce less .  Of course we tested room temperature balls to get a baseline.

He picked out the colors for his board.  It is a touch hard to look at. 

I think the real winner in all of this was Tigger , the dog, as he got 12 newish tennis balls. That is doggie heaven.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Read Across America Day

Today is Read Across America Day. My family is a family of readers. I thought it would be fun to show you what my family is reading.
Cody (15)