Sunday, March 31, 2013

Egg Planting!!!!

Today is Easter, and it's Spring. So here's a fun spring project that I found a few weeks ago when researching activities for the SKIES program's class titled "Spring Planting". Unfortunately, I do not have the original website that I found this on, so if you recognize it from your blog, let me know so I can hyperlink you!

When cooking eggs, carefully crack and save lower two-thirds of shell intact. Wash and then draw mouth, eyes and nose with a felt tip pen. Fill shells with potting soil. Sprinkle grass seed on surface (ryegrass works well) and gently press seeds into soil. Water gently, put egg shells in egg carton and cover with lid. Keep soil moist but not soggy. The sprouts become "egghead hair" and can be clipped with scissors to keep short or go for the shaggy look.


Another way to do this is to dip pine cones in water (don't soak them), and then roll in potting soil in which has been mixed some grass seed. Roll the pine cones in the soil-seed mixture. Place in egg cartons to help them stay upright. Soon the grass will sprout and the entire cone will have "green hair." Kids can clip it or leave it shaggy, as with the eggheads.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Final Puppets! (Finally)

As promised, here are the puppet ideas for you to take, and run with. These are great for children to make, and at the very end there is even a puppet theatre you can make out of those tri-fold posterboards (the ones you use for science fair projects).
Go forth and have fun!

Many thanks to the following sources:
E-how Facts: Puppet Use in Preschool
Dr. Jean Role of Puppets in Education
Learning Toys: Benefits of Puppet Play
Danielle's Place

Saturday, March 23, 2013


I'm breaking one of my own rules here, and giving you a location that I will be at. But this is sort of a big deal. So, here's a picture for ya all to look at. Those of you who know what's been going on in my life will know what this means. For the rest of you, well, just ponder on it I guess. ;)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Puppets Part B

This is the second part of a four part Puppets in Preschool Series. The first one can be found here: Puppets Part A
Ways to Use Puppets in the Classroom:
  • Have the Puppet read books

  • Puppet leads songs and dances

  • The puppet can facilitate group time about subjects such as feelings (for a formal curriculum on this, check out the  Second Step Program , which utilizes a Puppy and Snail puppet as well as posters, songs, and stories all about feelings)

  • The puppet helps gauge where a group is on a subject: i.e. The puppet counts but forgets a number, does the group of children know the puppet forgot? Can they correct the puppet? Also good for use with the alphabet.

  • The puppet can help teach concepts such as counting or sorting.

  • The puppet can teach about diversity. The puppet can facilitate the discussion of what is the ‘same’ and ‘different’ about traditions. (i.e. a lot of traditions center around food, but the food differs from family to family and culture to culture) The puppet can also talk about race with children by pointing out/asking about what is the same/different (we all have eyes, noses, hands, etc. But some people have brown eyes, some have blue eyes, some are white, black, Asian, etc. Even though there are differences there are far more similarities, etc.)

  •  ETC ETC ETC: Basically the puppet can do anything in a classroom. If there is a subject you are less comfortable teaching or discussing, have the puppet do it, if the children are having a hard time with a concept, the puppet can help, etc.

For those of you who use the Creative Curriculum/ Teaching Strategies Gold, the next puppet post will be a list of the Objectives that can be reached through the use of puppets in the classroom.

After that, Puppet ideas to make ( a photo filled post!)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

So, I got on Facebook and saw a link to my favorite Kid History Snippets, and it hit 1 million views this week! Go them!
You should go watch their videos on Youtube, here's the link to my favorite one, to get you started:

Kid History: Math Class

(Story of my life, this one.)

Puppets Part A

While I was at the Child Development Center here, I was asked to do some research on using puppets in the Preschool classroom for an upcoming training session to be presented by the trainer there.
Here are some of the things I found out:

  •  Puppets are Multisensory: they allow children to learn through watching, hearing, and feeling/manipulation. This is great for different types of learners in your classroom. (You know those wiggle bugs? They’re kinesthetic learners, they need to move in order to absorb information.)

  •  Puppets provide children with an opportunity to have their voice heard. Those who don’t often speak up in class may have very vocal puppets, a puppet can create a safe barrier for them. A child can use the puppet as a way to soften rejection, voice opinions they otherwise worry may be ridiculed, or release emotions that they have been taught are ‘inappropriate’.

  •  Puppets enhance socio-dramatic play (pretend play, like ‘house’) and imagination.

  • They can help children make connections with other children. The back and forth of discussion with a puppet may feel more safe for a child than that of child to child, or child to adult, interaction.

  •  Puppets can help develop conversation skills such as voice modulation and taking turns listening and speaking.

  •  Dependent on the type of puppet, it can help fine or gross motor skill development.

So there’s a brief shake-down of why puppets are good in a classroom.

Coming soon: Ideas on how to use puppets in the classroom. And, some puppet ideas to make!

Facts: Puppets in Preschool
Role of Puppets in Education 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pet Peeve...

I recently attended a Sunday school class where the teacher kept grossly mispronouncing a word. It drove me nuts, but instead of ranting about it myself, I think I'll direct you to one of the blogs I follow, and find great entertainment in, Middle Aged Mormon Man. He has a whole series of these "Please Stop Saying That" posts, but this is the one I had the most recent encounter with.

Read it, do it.

pps. New post on the Internship page. Check it out. Then continue to check it out on a regular basis between now and the end of April. Cause that's when the internship ends...

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Another clue, but maybe not...

I started this month out with the good intentions of posting a picture each Monday, all along a common theme. Yes, it's a blatant copy of the 4pics1word app that I've developed an unhealthy attachment to,but, as you can see it's Tuesday and no picture was posted yesterday.
That's because life happens, and I was on a quick jaunt to the Rockies where there wasn't as much snow as I expected (thanks to everyone complaining on Facebook about all the snow. What are you guys whining about? Seriously!).
Then I discovered I don't even have a picture that would be a good clue, so instead here is a random picture, picked by me closing my eyes and clicking around for a moment:

Would you look at that! That might end up being a pretty decent clue in the end. But no one will know for sure until.... well I can't tell you that either...

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The First Step

I have a problem.
I knew it was a problem, but didn't really take issue with it until recently.
I don't know how to fix it. But I'm not sure it needs fixing.

You see, I have a fear (I guess that's how you would put it) of being bored or not having anything to do. When going somewhere I have a book and some knitting with me just in case. When it comes to traveling for an event such as a family party, I have multiple knitting projects, my little notebook, a book, and my Kindle. Enough stuff to keep a normal person entertained for weeks on end.
The problem? Well, I rarely use this stuff.
But if I don't have it with me, I get all antsy. Then there usually ends up a period of time where I really wish I had it with me because I could be knitting while we drive the half hour to the store.

So, while I don't plan on doing anything about this. I did realize I'm a little out of hand when last night, after confirming a last minute flight back home to Utah, I downloaded 5, yes 5, new books onto my Kindle.

But I have decided to leave the computer at home this trip. Maybe that's why I needed 5 new books. On top of the half dozen or so from previous trips that I still haven't read....

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Boundaries: A Follow up

As a follow up to my post  Boundaries, here is a quick, non-comprehensive guide on how to identify if you have crossed the boundary line, what not to do, etc. Again, if you are one of those people who feel that you 'never feel awkward' or 'don't ever feel uncomfortable', you need this more than most of us.

Basically some people are really good at making you comfortable and getting to know you, and some people cross a line the instant their mouth opens. For some odd reason, these line crossers are also completely ignorant of body language and verbal cues.

So, here’s a quick run-down of what I would call “Cues that You Have Crossed the Small Talk Line”

  • ·         The person gives short, one syllable answers

  • ·         The person avoids eye contact (yes, this one is culturally based, but where I'm from it's a dead giveaway that the person does not want to talk.)

  • ·         The person turns away from you after giving their one syllable, no eye contact answer

  • ·         The person takes longer than 15 seconds to acknowledge that you have asked them another question and then give you a one-syllable-no-eye-contact-over-the-shoulder-answer

  • ·         When you try to initiate conversation again they give you the OSNECOTSA then quickly excuse themselves, and make a beeline for an exit or person across the room

  • ·         The leave the room when you enter the room, they act like they don’t see you, they change direction when they realize they are headed in your general direction, etc.  on subsequent interactions

Small talk is something that is used to break the ice with people. It is not to dig deep into the person’s inner workings. You should not ask questions that could be considered too personal. Small talk is about superficial things such as:

  • ·         How do you know so-and-so? (Nice and open ended, plus it establishes a common ground. You are both at a party thrown by someone, so you somehow both know the person.)

  • ·         Your hair looks great. I’ve been looking for a good barber, where do you get your hair done? (The key to this is making it about you “I’ve been looking for a good barber”, otherwise you might come off as stalker material.)

And to help you out a bit more, here are some questions to NOT ask when you first meet a person, they are not appropriate small talk conversation starters. (Please note: every question in this list was asked to me or someone I know by someone who I/they just met):

  • ·         Where’s your husband? (Seriously, the first thing out of the person’s mouth after learning my name.)

  • ·         Are you single? (Another person in the same environment asked a more appropriate alternate to this question, “Is it just you?” Of course, this question came well into the conversation after they had established a level of comfort for both of us.  For those wondering how to answer this without giving away too much information, give some vague answer such as, “I came with so-and-so” or “Well, so-and-so is here too”. They get an answer, even if it’s not the one they were fishing for. Bonus points if the name you can give them is androgynous, like Taylor, Jordan, or Casey.)


  • ·         What are you most passionate about? (Yes, this one might be appropriate, but it really can put someone on the spot, and the person who asked it would not let it drop: ‘You don’t have any passions? Everyone has a passion, what is it for you?’  I also feel that passions are something extremely personal, and the point of small talk is to not get personal, it’s to break the ice.)

Some good resources:
The best part (for me at least) was the “Warnings”:  Do not force people into having small talk with you; some people are introverts, and everyone is social at certain times and with other people. Some may not care about the weather or where you get your shoes.
This goes over a lot of things about small talk, even giving examples of full small talk conversations, as well as examples of what you might say that isn’t appropriate with the appropriate alternate right there for you to see.

Sunday, March 3, 2013


As someone who loves finding my own personal fashion, op-shops, and making beautiful, comfortable clothes, I loved this TED talk.
I often get complimented on my favorite pair of cowboy boots. They are beat up red ones, from the 70's. They need to be re-soled, they're scuffed, they stand out. When complimented, the person often follows up with a wistful, "I could never wear something like that." I always tell them, "Sure you can. If you see it and love it, why not? The only thing stopping you is you."
Try it out. Buy that piece you don't think you have the guts to wear, that you don't think you could 'pull off'. At least give it a try before writing it off!

Go out and find something fun to wear!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

February Update (in March)

So here's a couple of pictures of items that have been added to the over all count. The first is a market bag made from one of the skeins of yarn I bought in Copenhagen almost three years ago. The second picture are items made for Swaps on Ravelry. So I had to wait to post the pictures. (There will be several of these types of items this year, I want to take part in 13 Swaps). It's a pair of legwarmers and a Ballband dishcloth, as found in Mason Dixon Knitting.
I also have several projects on the needles right now. I've completed two squares for my big blanket project, am halfway done with Little Sister's Dress, and have some socks and a hat that are sitting in the corner gathering dust. But I'm making progress. I really am.


*Tweet!* “Back off, Creep!”

When I mentioned on Facebook the other day that I seem to be running into a lot of people lately who have no concept of boundaries, a friend commented that I should carry a ref’s whistle around with me.

I just might have to do that.
I blame Facebook and Twitter. (Now before you jump all up in my face, I have an account on both of those networks. I like them. BUT) For some odd reason people have taken these lovely means of communication and taken them to the realm of TMI. (That means ‘too much information’ for those of you like me, who are a bit, um, behind on stuff like that.)

I’m not sure when or why people decided that sharing intimate details of your life was appropriate online. But they did, and in most cases people don’t care what you had for lunch, that you are bored at 1 am (when you should really be in bed), or that your job sucks. We don’t care. 

We don’t care online, and we don’t care offline. In fact, things being shared online that are TMI have somehow made the transition to real life. You meet a complete stranger and they start talking to you, telling you things you never wanted to know and asking you questions you never will answer. It makes for a whole lot of discomfort and awkward. (If you are currently thinking, “I never feel awkward” you are one of these people making the rest of us feel uncomfortable and awkward. Seek help before you cross paths with me.)

I’ve had people over the past two months ask me if I’m married, why I’m not married, do I have a boyfriend,  then leer creepily at me every time I happen to be in the same room, read my computer over my shoulder, comment to other people that I wear cowboy boots so I must hang out at the local bar, assume I’m something I’m not then try to use the apology to get a date, announce to a group that I'm actively online dating (as of right now this one is not true) and so on and so on. 

Basically, these people have taken the phenomenon of sharing TMI online and offline,  and asking me questions that would lead me to give them TMI. And I don’t do that. I know how stalkers operate thanks to a job at a Domestic Violence shelter. I know to listen to my gut feelings about people, thanks to Gavin DeBecker. And I carry pepper spray and know how to defend myself thanks to Lieutenant Hirschi at the USU RAD class. 

To put it bluntly, my personal life is none of your business, especially five seconds after I’ve met you. And yes, I did end up using some of the self-defense skills I learned in my RAD class on one of these people. In church. 
Back off creep.

(I have a feeling that if some people other than my 5 wonderful followers happens upon this post, I might experience some backlash. Yes, I have a blog where I talk about my life somewhat. But I give a whole lot of thought to what I share here. In fact, I have a specific time frame that I wait before posting things like where I travel, just to avoid things like creepy stalkers showing up places. I make sure to never mention specifically where I live, or use the real/full names of people in my posts. So, if you want to criticize me for sharing things via a blog, go ahead. But I’m not invading your private life asking you personal questions.)

(PS. To quote Middle-aged Mormon Man , I reserve the right to delete any comments that are negative or use language that is offensive. My blog, my rules.)