Saturday, June 30, 2012

Kid Scavenger Hunt

Here's a new twist on scavenger hunting. The kids really enjoyed doing a movie/ book hunt. We didn't use this as a competition, but you certainly could. Before we left, we the adults, came up with an extensive list of books and movies. We tried to choose mostly books that have been made into movies.

Our list in no particular order:

Bridge to Terabithia
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Jumanji
Zathura
Night at the Museum
How to Eat Fried Worms
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
The Secret Garden
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Charlotte's Web
Stuart Little
Series of Unfortunate Events
Firehouse Dog
Super Mario Bros.
Chronicles of Narnia
Nim's Island
Inkheart
Tom Sawyer
City of Ember
Nancy Drew
Journey to the Center of the Earth


Once we were in the car driving away, we let the kids take turns choosing a movie/book from the list. They had to come up with something we could get to represent it. It could be purchased, or it could just be a free brochure, business card, or pamphlet. The place we went was totally up to them. The only thing we stipulated was that they had to choose completely different places, and they must give us a reason why they chose that item or place for that particular movie/book.

We set a time limit and took turns until time was up. In the end we drove around to many places I wouldn't have even thought to visit. It was a lot of fun to see what places and items the kids associated with the movies we've been watching, and the books we've been reading.

Here are a couple examples of what the kids chose:

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
(Bought at a drug store)


Firehouse Dog
(We visited a fire station.)


Nancy Drew
(Given to us at the police station.)


Chronicles of Narnia
(One of the local schools)


A Series of Unfortunate Events
(An eye doctor in the city)


The Secret Garden
(A flower shop)


Super Mario Bros.
(Purchased at a different grocery store)


Happy Hunting!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Kids Say the Darndest Things

I was on my way out the door to my book study I'm doing with some friends, when Zechariah stopped me.

"Mommy, I wanna go with you."

"Aww... honey, you can't. I'm going out for coffee with my friends." I figured this would settle things.

"We'll, I'm your friend, Mommy. Member?" He asked with a question, his eyes pleading with me to take him along.

What do you say to that?

I explained to him, "Tonight, Daddy really needs you to be his friend." That seemed to settle it for him. He was happy to stay home.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Batik

Last week was quite the adventure to say the least. On Monday we celebrated International Fest with the kids and decided to find an African craft. We chose to try doing Batik. This is a wax-resist dyeing technique. Similar to tie-dye, a favorite of our family. I think that's why we were excited about this project.

Our first attempt was done the traditional way with wax, lots of wax. So much wax, in fact, we didn't know what to do with it.

We slaved in the sun working on our project for several hours, delicately handing the wax being very careful not to burn ourselves. I thought the effect was beautiful! We were left with a one of a kind, burgundy sheet, a.k.a. our new tablecloth for picnics.



After the wax was applied, and the dye had soaked in and dried, it was time to remove the cans of wax. We literally filled two 10 oz. cans with wax that we painted on. This was no picnic. I tried EVERYTHING (iron, boiling water, etc.) to get the wax out of the tablecloth. I worked on it for two days! In the end we were left with a straight burgundy sheet with a thin coat of wax completely covering it. With great emotional difficulty, this "tablecloth" went into the trashcan.

Phase two... the next couple of days we tried again with a different technique. I'm not about to believe that I can't do something. I was determined to complete a work of art we could use on our picnics.

This time wax NEVER entered the equation. We used a glue paste, a more kid friendly, and Amanda friendly application process. I saw the suggestion of using blue gel glue, but found that to be too expensive for the area we wanted to work with. It's about $3 a bottle, and I'm fairly certain I would have needed at least 3 bottles.

batik recipe


The glue paste was made with a ratio of 1:1 of water and flour. I ended up using 1 ½ cup of water to 1 ½ cup of flour. Next time I will probably use the suggested 2 tsp. of Alum. I didn't have any on hand, and wasn't up for a trip to the grocery store. Alum is supposed to make the mixture more resistant to the paint.

To make it easier to apply, I put it in an empty ketchup bottle I had purchased at Wal-Mart. It came in a set of two for $2. I think in the end, it was actually more difficult for their kid hands. A paint brush would have done the trick nicely.


We worked on our project outside. I didn't want a big mess to clean up. Under our sheet, I put a $1 plastic tablecloth. After we applied all our art, I let the glue paste dry for the rest of that day, and even overnight. The glue seems to dry to the touch very quickly, but it also cracked and easily peeled off the sheet. The parts I left alone and didn't touch overnight didn't peel off as much the next day. I think the key is NOT touching it. I also believe the alum might have helped for this. (I don't know that for a fact though since I've never used it.)



I really wanted to keep it simple and use Rit dye, however since the glue comes off with water, it would have defeated the entire purpose. We watered down acrylic paint, and very carefully painted our cloth. The ratio for that was ¼ cup of water to 1 tablespoon of paint. I was worried the sheet was going to come out really crisp, but it feels exactly as it should. The colors of the paint aren't as crisp and bright since we watered it down, but I think they are still very beautiful.



Next time, I might try doing two sheets at once. Instead of using a cheap plastic table cloth, I might put another sheet to soak up the paint. I loved how it looked. The way the watered down paint had soaked into the under cloth was simply beautiful to me. You can get two different finished products for the time of one!


Here's a few of our finished squares.

I really liked how the finished product turned out. Next time I might try on a smaller scale using the gel glue to see if I get brighter white lines. I do still really like the look that we achieved even if you can't clearly see the design. It's much more subtle, but very artistic. I think the kids were really proud of the different designs we came up with.

homemade batik
Together it made a one-of-a-kind work of art!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Billboards

A word from Gabriel...

You want to be a great billboard, not a bad billboard
Basically humans are like a billboard.

Mrs. Heil, my teacher, tells us to be good to show other kids how to be good. So that makes us like a billboard, like other people are reading it.


setting an example other kids can follow 1 Timothy 4:12
You want to be a great billboard, not a bad billboard.

It’s like setting an example for other kids. Maybe grownups too.

1 Timothy 4:12 says, "Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity."


(All of this is a message that Gabe wanted me to share for him. It was even his idea for the pictures. All I did was snap the photos.)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

Don't you love to celebrate the lives of those closest to you? I will take any excuse to show honor and bestow love upon my family. They all mean so much to me!

I have a wonderful father to call my own. He is a man of God full of integrity, perseverance, and worthy to be loved.

I have a brother who sets an example of what it means to be a great dad. He puts his daughter's needs above his own, and has a servant's heart.

My husband has loved my children and earned their respect.

Ariel says, "I think he's very smart and he always plays games with me."

Gabriel says, "He's a great father to have because he protects us."

Zechariah says, "He lets me watch him play games with lava. He cooks us pizza. He lets us buy chocolate pop tarts."

This year for Father's day we had a special day set aside for Titus the week before. We spent all day in the kitchen preparing a 5-course dinner for him. He loves food, so we figured this was a perfect gift!

Dad you're the captain. You keep our boat afloat

We put all our heads together and named our restaurant, "The Captain." Our motto was, "You keep our family boat afloat!" The kids enjoyed coming up with things to fit our theme.

We had a menu sitting at Titus' seat so he could anticipate all the tasty delights we were serving.

the captain menu
Tuna Boats
We made a tuna salad with cucumbers, stuffed it into some small red, orange, and yellow sweet peppers that we cut in half for the boat, and we added a pita bread sail.

tuna fish pita bread boats in orange peppers
The entertainment for the evening was a trip to our basement to watch an original play written and performed by Gabriel & Ariel using our Shadow Puppet Theater.

To top it all off, we made Titus some homemade oatmeal crème pie cookies, his favorite.

homemade oatmeal creme pie cookies

"A righteous man who walks in his integrity— How blessed are his sons (and daughter) after him." Proverbs 20:7 (NASB)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Am I Tattling?

It has come to my attention that I am a whiner. Some of you might not find this too surprising. How has this fact missed my attention until now you might be wondering? I've always known it. God has just brought it to my attention, again.

I'm doing a book study with friends, and one of the first questions we had to answer was "What is God telling you to do? Are you doubting Him in it? If so, why?"

God is always talking to me about something. Sometimes it stays the same; sometimes it gets tweaked a little. And then there are times where it's totally new to me.

Right now, it's my prayer life. I am guilty of whining and tattling to God.

Nothing annoys me more than whiny kids who tattle to me. I don't mind being informed about something if there is a real need, but I don't just want to hear complaints. Negativity can be extremely draining. If my kids have something they need me to do, I would rather they just ask for it. I don't need to know a long play by play story of exactly what this friend or that friend did to them. I want to know what they did and what they're going to do about it.

They must use an "I" statement. "I got my feelings hurt. I'm going to ask them to stop. I'm going to go talk to them about it." If there is nothing for me to do in the situation, and it's just been brought to my attention so they can feel better because they told someone what the other person did to them, it's wrong. Tattling is gossip. If this problem they're sharing has nothing to do with me, I'm not the one they need to be talking to.

tattling is gossip

It's also not our place to judge others and carry out a vengeance for the wrongs that others have committed against us. We need to trust God for His justice. It is not our job to even the score.

The Message Bible says in Romans 12:19, "Don't hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you've got it in you, get along with everybody. Don't insist on getting even; that's not for you to do. "I'll do the judging," says God. "I'll take care of it." (This is a perfect verse to have your child memorize.)

I am that child. I whine to God about things, and sadly I have become the queen tattler. "But God, why did they have to do that? They hurt me! It's not fair! Don't they realize what they're doing? When are they going to change?" This is much different from using "I" statements. "I'm feeling hurt, God. I'm upset. I need help. "

Tattling is very self-focused. It's not about helping them; it's about getting some kind of pleasure for you. When you just want someone to be punished for what they did to you, it's wrong. I've tried to teach my kids that tattling is the same thing as gossip. There is no reason for them to be sharing such information with me. When you have a problem with somebody, you must go to that person, not another individual. That is gossip.

"Don't spread gossip and rumors. Don't just stand by when your neighbor's life is in danger. I am God." Leviticus 19:16.

Don't even listen to it. Proverbs 18:8 says, "Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy; do you really want junk like that in your belly?"

"For their tongues shoot lies like poisoned arrows.
They speak friendly words to their neighbors
While scheming in their heart to kill them.
Should I not punish them for this?” says the Lord."
Jeremiah 9:8-9

I have been guilty of gossiping to God. Instead of getting on my knees before Him, asking and pleading with Him for help for my friends, I've whined and told stories trying to put others in a bad light. I haven't had their best interest at heart. I've just told God about it to make myself feel better.

I always felt that as long as I wasn't tattling (gossiping) to another person, it was okay. But God has been revealing to me the power of my mind. Even gossiping to God about it is wrong. I need to be crying out to God for help for them. Not tattling on them to God. Because, duh, He already knows. He doesn't need me to whine and complain about it.

"A good (wo)man brings good things out of the good stored up in (her) heart, and an evil (wo)man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in (her) heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of." Luke 6:45

My heart desperately cries out for good. I am always in a battle with my mind and my mouth. I must not give in to what comes so naturally. I must be merciful.

Today in my Bible reading, I'm in the book of James, chapter 2. The Message says in verse 13, "For if you refuse to act kindly, you can hardly expect to be treated kindly. Kind mercy wins over harsh judgment every time."

So in response to my question at the very beginning, God is telling me to simply ask. I must stop whining and tattling to Him about every little thing. I need to question my thoughts and motives and make sure that I have the best interest of others at heart.

With my children, I am always happy to help them out when they simply ask. I'm going to try the same approach with God.

Am I simply asking God for help? Or am I tattling?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Kids Say the Darndest Things

Recently we were visiting the fabric store waiting in a long line to pay. I was sewing Zech a dinosaur blanket, and this was the second store we had been to. We found an awesome red scaly fabric at the first store, but they didn't have enough. They sent me to the fabric store that was across town. We finally had our fabric and Zechariah was getting impatient. Very loudly, for all to hear, he says, “Mom, let’s just steal it this time.”

This, of course, brought the attention of everyone. Embarrassed, I replied back loudly, “NO. We’re not gonna steal it. We don’t do that.” I nervously laughed. To be honest this isn't the first time I've been embarrassed over his desire to steal.

He said it again, even more loudly, “Mommy, I don’t want to wait this time. Let’s just steal my dinosaur blanket!

dinosaur rag blanket


I don't steal, and I certainly have never taught my son to steal. At this time I was starting to get looks from everyone around me. For some reason this was one of those times where they believe the kid, over the mom. I felt like I was losing an impossible battle for my reputation. No matter how many times I refuted him, everyone seemed to doubt me. I could tell they thought I had taught my son to steal, and he was ratting me out. Until the bitter end, he argued back at me, telling all that we were thieves.

No matter how bad it looks, don't be quick to pass judgment on a fellow parent. You just never know...

Monday, June 11, 2012

Stop!

I recently found this creative new way to have a nag free day with my children. It was in the Family Fun magazine. I am always up for new ideas in discipline and reward systems. We had our first time trying it out. Success!

During the summer I get to grocery shop with all three of my children. This can be a challenge. In order to make things go smoothly, I use an incentive. If everyone cooperates and we get done in a timely manner I take the kids to a movie.

Here's the new fun part. I gave the kids $10 for food from the concessions. Normally I tell the kids we aren't buying. It's too expensive, and you don't get much for your money. This time I figured $10 wasn't going to break the bank, and they could do with it what they wished.

stop! Day of no whining from kids
The catch is I can take away money from them. I wanted a day free of hearing my voice. Sometimes I get really tired of it. I feel like I'm constantly nagging my children, telling them, "No, don't do that. Stop fighting. Don't touch that. Stop asking for things." I'm sure as much as I'm tired of saying it; my kids are tired of hearing it.

I told the kids as long as I didn't have to open my mouth today and discipline them, the money was all theirs. As soon as I heard fighting, or if I saw disobedience, we would take away a dollar. They had to work together as a team. If one team member lost a dollar, the rest had to graciously accept the punishment. If I heard any name calling, or yelling between children, another dollar would be lost.

I had them keep track of the money. I printed off a simple chart for the kids to use. It had a big STOP sign to remind them to STOP and think first. At the bottom I had individual dollars listed. Every time someone got in trouble, they had to mark off the dollar.

This worked like magic. My kids were so well behaved at the store, and there was almost no fighting at all. They were very respectful of each other, and they helped me out so much. It was like I had little angels walking around with me, not something I normally would claim. Almost every dollar was taken away for lack of obedience in Zechariah. I can handle that. It's the constant bickering and badgering that gets on my nerves. I also despise going to the store with my children when they turn into little greedy monsters. This solved it. They knew the rules ahead of time and they stuck with it. The money was too important to them. They felt like we were rich.

By the time we made it to the movie theater, four dollars was left. There isn't much in the concessions for four dollars, and I was amazed that my children took it so well. I think a day of being positive kept them from being too discouraged. They simply chose a tub of cotton candy and quietly shared it during the movie. I was impressed! I am certain to use this idea again. It worked like magic!


STOP and think before you act! That goes for me too. I'm reading a book about motherhood right now, and in it there was a phrase that really stood out to me. "One of the biggest things a mother transfers to her children is her feelings. Children respond more to your joy, love, anxieties and fears than your words."

We must be very careful with our feelings and how we show them to our children. I know when I'm feeling frustrated, it seems like my children get frustrated too. When I'm having a bad day, it seems like they also have a bad day. But if I'm feeling peaceful, and happy, that shows up in my children as well.

I found that I wanted them to get all their money; they were working so hard for it. It gave me more reason to be patient in my speech. I believe it gave my children peace. I didn't overreact as much. I thought before I spoke, and I weighed my words. I found myself asking multiple times, "Does this really warrant a correction from me?" Sometimes I expect too much out of my kids, and I don't allow them to be kids. I want them to be little duplicates of me. But honestly, how boring would life be if that was true? All of us in our individuality add so much spice to life.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Peregrine Falcons

Last week I was privileged to be present at one of my daughter's dreams being fulfilled. This was one of those days where you are overwhelmed by God's love and so happy to be alive. There are many days where I feel God's blessings, but certain days stand out above all the rest. Last Wednesday was definitely one of them.

If you haven't gathered from other posts I've written, my daughter is a bird lover. Since her 5th birthday I can remember seeing her love for the winged creatures. I don't know where this love came from as I am pretty shy of birds. This is probably funny since we have a pet parakeet. Valentine, our bird, belongs to Ariel. She feeds her, plays with her, and recently has even started cleaning for her.

I know that someday when my daughter has grown into an adult she will have some connection with birds. Right now her biggest desire is to grow up to be a Falconer. She is obsessed with peregrine falcons. There is a book series called My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. I believe this is where her love of the falcons has come from; however, we still don't know where the love of birds came in at.

This past summer we visited the World Bird Sanctuary in St. Louis, MO, another day for the history books where it concerns my daughter. She was in heaven getting to see a real, live, peregrine falcon for the first time. I was so proud of her that day. We talked with one of the ladies who works with the birds and she tried to tell my daughter some new facts. Ariel knew everything. There was no question that she couldn't answer. The lady finally gave up and said, "I think you know as much as I do about these birds. When you finish school, you come back and see us and we'll give you a job here."

Since 2007, the top of Westar Energy has been home to a family of peregrine falcons. On May 6th & 7th of this year, two new little baby boy chicks were hatched. My daughter couldn't have been happier.

The principal, Mrs. Hedstrom, at my daughter's school is a very attentive woman. She knew my daughter's favorite bird was the peregrine falcons. Initially, Mrs. Hedstrom talked to her daughter, who works at Westar, and tried to get Ariel a chance to see the parent birds atop the Westar building. Visitors are not allowed; even employees are not allowed to go up top. With the new birds coming soon, it was promised that Ariel would be allowed to attend the banding of the birds. Talk about excitement in our household! This event was not open to the public, but we got special permission to attend.

We got to witness a little miracle in our family.

mir·a·cle [mir-uh-kuhl] noun
1. an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause.
2. such an effect or event manifesting or considered as a work of God.
3. a wonder; marvel.

We rode the elevator up 12 floors, climbed up a very steep stairwell (so steep you have to come back down backwards like you would a ladder), and we walked onto the roof of the Westar building to see two beautiful, vocal, baby boy, peregrine falcon chicks.


If you aren't familiar with these falcons, I will give you a little background I learned from Ariel. By the 1960's the falcons were on the verge of extinction because of a pesticide DDT. Bugs would eat the plants which had the DDT on it, then small birds would eat the bugs, and eventually the falcons would eat the small birds. This caused their egg shells to be too thin, and they would crack before they were ready to be hatched. To stop this "falconers" began capturing adult falcons and their eggs to help them hatch in a controlled environment. After the baby birds learned to fly and were hacked (hacking is a falcon term for the technique of getting the falcon ready for hunting on their own), they would be released into the wild.

The use of DDT was banned in the US in 1972. During that time there were 40 known pairs of falcons living in the Midwest. There are current records with the Midwest Peregrine Falcon Restoration project for 2077 peregrine nestings. 85% of the young that fledge their nests are banded each year. It has been almost 13 years since the peregrine falcons have been taken off of the endangered species list.


It was such a privilege to be present at the banding of these beautiful birds. Before they banded the birds, they took blood samples. Jacquelyn Fallon, a representative of the Midwest Peregrine Society, flew in from Minnesota, to help with the banding of these birds. When they prepared for the blood sample, Jacquelyn asked for a volunteer. My daughter was chosen to help, much to her excitement. Ariel got to hold the sample tube, and after the blood was dropped in, she had to rotate it back and forth 5 or 6 times to get it properly mixed together with a solution that was inside the tube.


The way you tell the difference between female and male birds is the size of their legs. The females are 50 percent larger in size. Both birds that we saw banded turned out to be boys. We were shown the size difference for the female's leg band, and we definitely had some little baby boys. The bands did leave a little room for growth, however the birds were 3 weeks old, and practically full grown. They just needed to get all their feathers.

You can watch the birds too by going to their webcam. Since our live visit, we have already spent long periods of time watching the baby birds in their nest. It's Ariel's new favorite website.

Westar held a contest for the naming of the new baby birds. The contest closed June 1st, the day after the birds were banded. Westar is going to narrow the names down to 5, and then will poll the public to get the final two names. In order to enter the contest you had to write, in 100 words or less, the chosen names for each falcon chick, your location, and why you think that is the best name.

Here is Ariel's entry, "I got to see the chicks get banded. I was the kid who helped draw blood. I think Frightful is a good name. I got it from the My Side of the Mountain series. She was a very intelligent falcon. I liked the book because it shows the life cycle. It's a boy name also. She was raised in captivity most of her life. But then she was able to migrate and started to become more wild. I think it's a good name because even though the chick saw a lot of people in their lives so far, they'll still survive in the wild."

This was a day that Ariel will probably remember for the rest of her life. My daughter was positively glowing. You can see a short one minute video that aired on the news if you visit WIBW's website here. We all felt like celebrities, and have since had many of our friends mention that they saw us on the news. I must say after it was all said and done, I'm so glad I fixed my hair that day. I had no idea when we went that it would be a media event.

My final picture is of the mommy bird as she circled above our heads. She put up quite a noisy sight as some humans were taking her babies out of the nest. Can you imagine how you would feel if someone came in and tried to remove your kids from your home? You would probably be yelling a little too!

Ariel said the birds can dive at 200 mph which is how they hunt for food. This was making Ariel a little nervous as we were standing on top of the Westar building and people were messing with the baby chicks. This time the birds of prey were fortunately all squawk, and no fight.

langston hughes

“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing. Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?

“Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

“And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need."
Luke 12:23-30

*Update* Saturday morning, June 2nd, one of the baby chicks fell to his death. Very sad news. Westar is looking into making changes to the nesting box to try to prevent this from happening again.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Dinosaurs in Elementary School

It's story time with Gabe, my eight year old son. He wants to be an author when he grows up. I think he's well on his way now! As always with Gabriel's stories, if you like what you read, please give him a click on the title. He is constantly requesting to hear how many times his stories have been read.

Dinosaurs in Elementary school book
Chapter 1
Library Time!
One day there was a boy who went to school. It was Thursday. They went to library. When the teacher dismissed us, I ran and grabbed Inkspell. The teacher said, “You can’t read that. Get a smaller book.” So I went to get a research book. I saw spiders and birds. Then I saw a research book about dinosaurs. I reached for it and checked it out and read it. Then it was time to go home. I put the book with the T-Rex on the cover on my desk and went home.

Chapter 2
Disaster Falls Over Elementary School
The next day we went to school. The lights were off, and I was late. So I walked home. The next day I was at school. I was going to the bathroom. Suddenly the roof was pulled off. A dinosaur was there. Chomp! “He almost ate me.” I said. “Ahhhh!” I made it out and on my way home the dinosaur was nipping at my butt. Then after a little while the dinosaur gave up and went back to the school.

big yellow t-Rex dinosaur
Chapter 3
Not One Boy, But the Whole School Knows About the Dinosaur
The next day I woke up peacefully in the morning, and I thought the dinosaur was a dream. So I ate breakfast and went to school. I did what I usually did. First they figured out who wanted hot or cold lunch. Then a spelling test. Then art. Then work papers. Then lunch. But when I went to recess the whole school saw a dinosaur.

spider-man in bed drawing
Chapter 4
Stay Still
Suddenly I remembered what was in the book. The book said if you stand still a T-Rex won’t see you. So I said, “Stay still everybody. Stay still.” Then the most scared kindergartener ran and screamed. Then the dinosaur started to charge. Everybody ran into the school. But I noticed it said, “Dinosaurs” at the top of the dinosaur's head. Then I started to run harder. But I ran all the way home.

Chapter 5
Thinking
When I was home I thought of what the dinosaur thing meant. I came up with all of the answers there are. I crossed out, “maybe it’s his name.” I crossed out, “maybe because he is a dinosaur.” And I crossed out, “maybe it’s his middle name.” I crossed out, “maybe it is his last name.” Then the only one left was “he came out of the research book.” Then I wrote the true answer on a piece of paper to remember what it was. So I was prepared to go to sleep. I dreamed of being a super hero for figuring it out. But I had a nightmare that the dinosaur would eat me.

Chapter 6
Explaining
The next morning started out with a loud RING. So I got up and got dressed and went to Billy’s house because all of my friends were there. I said, “Guys, I need to tell you why there is a dinosaur. I got a book from the library about dinosaurs. I also saw a dinosaur on the cover and I saw a thing that said “Dinosaurs” at the top of the dinosaur's head. I noticed that it came out of my research book. Do you believe me what I said?” All of the kids said, “Yes.” So we started planning.

Chapter 7
Planning
I went back to the house after dinner. All of the other kids did too. So I said, “I got a plan. We will read the dinosaur back in the book. So who will risk your life for this?” Billy raised his hand. I said, “Billy, you get to distract the dinosaur. Ellen and Jonathan, you tie up the dinosaur so it won’t get Billy and hold still while I read it back into the book. Joe and I will get the book. We will do this tomorrow.

Chapter 8
The Plan in Action
The next day I woke up and ran to the school yard. All the other people were there too. Billy ran to the dinosaur and stuck his tongue out and said, “nah nah nah nah nah dinosaurs are stupid, extinct animals.” The dinosaur chased Billy. Jonathan and Ellen ran to separate sides. Ellen threw the rope over the dinosaur. Jonathan caught it on the other side. Then Ellen and Jonathan tied up the dinosaur’s legs, and the dinosaur tripped. So me and Joe went to Mrs. Heil’s class and took the book and ran outside. I started to read. The dinosaur started fading into the book. So then Elementary school was safe again.



THE END

Friday, June 1, 2012

Kids Say the Darndest Things

As we were driving home from grocery shopping I noticed a young girl next to me slowing down and I couldn't figure out why since there was no stop signs or stop lights. While we passed her, I saw that she was texting and driving.


I am quite a safety freak when it comes to cars. I obey every rule, I keep my kids in car seats and booster seats much longer than the "legal age." I'm very careful. I wasn't very good at hiding my disgust from my children. I feel that texting while driving is extremely dangerous and I don't appreciate that they are endangering the lives around them. Nothing is that important.

Ariel asked me, "Isn't it illegal to text and drive at the same time."

"Yes. It is!" I replied.

My son who takes after me and tends to be a little overly critical and judgmental, says to me, "Let's turn her over to the police! Get her breastplate!"

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