Monday, November 15, 2010

Goals and Goal

I miss playing soccer. I found a league to join and a friend to do it with but I'm going to have to wait for a few months to see how life plays out. My goal though is to at least join a league by summer time. Until then I have to make do with inspirational videos like this...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Pencils Ticonderoga Style

I really love writing with the Ticonderoga Beginners pencils. They're fat, making them more comfortable to grip. Ticonderoga is a quality brand too. You can feel the difference when you right (Thanks Boo for the intro of those priceless tools to our family). Love it. I found some on Amazon. It's cheaper to buy in bulk and I'm a cheap person, so naturally I went the cheapskate route. Too often this cheapness costs me more than it's supposed to for a cheap person. I ended up paying 20 bucks and got a lifetime supply of these:

Actually, I got 6 boxes of 12 (72 total). I know, such a deal. That's only 27 cents per pencil. Don't be misled by the picture. They're fat, but not too fat like those cheapy ones from the dollar store. Here let me show you by comparison to a "regular" one:

Sorry the quality of photo is so poor. I'm still stuck using the camera on my cell phone. Pathetic, but it is what it is. Here's a picture of its pencil shaving, a beautiful flower:

followed by a close up:

Why oh why am I taking pictures and even writing a post like this? I'll tell you why. I love these pencils. Or is it because I'm avoiding grading tons of papers, specifically the six paragraph reports on the water cycle? I don't know. Actually, I do. Both reasons are valid and ya know what? As soon as I'm done with this post I'm gettin in my p.j.s and going to bed. I'm so tired. So so tired. Over and out.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


The word awesome is too overused for my liking, as are the words cute, good, and amazing. But that's beside the point of this post. The title of this youtube treasure is 5 Minutes of People Doing Awesome Things. My fave is the opening wheel chair scene. Can you do any of those cool tricks? When my brother Ry-guy was little he could stick 4 pieces of a diced peach up one nostril. I think that's the closest our family gets to doing "awesome" tricks. Hm. Do you have any cool tricks? I'd definitely love to see them. If you want, I'll even post them for you, maybe.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


This week in the subject of "reading" we are studying "The Gold Rush". It's some pretty good stuff. This morning I put a pertinent riddle on the board:

"How do you turn soup into gold?"

The students wrote their guesses on a little sheet and turned them in. They had to wait till the end of the day to hear their peers' guesses along with the correct answer. Here are some of the 4th grade guesses:

"by boiling it with a goldin coin"

"you boil it in extremly hot water"

"you boil the soup and it will be soft and yellow"

"you boil it and what and make it into a ball."

"put it in a fire"

"you need the soup to get hard then roll it up and wait till it Dries"

"you put yellow food coloren"

"Soup is gold by its color"

"You can't turn soup into gold."

"magic or something"

"I think you Put the gold in and the soup turns into gold."

"by a wizard or majic or just a put gold in soup"

"You freeze the soup"

"You can't it is in posible! There is no way you can"

"I dont know its kind of inpossible. But I would think that you would have the soup get stale and Put glitter on it and then make it doughy. Then smack on the ground. Dont as me why I wrote that. I was just guessing!"

Some smarty pants said "You exchange the letters with the letters in the word gold." Get it?

So you want to know the real answer? It's, "Put 24 carrots into it."
Hahaha! O.k. Not that funny but it added much needed pep for the day.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Those who scoff at children's literature lack a refined sense of literacy. True, there are garbage children's books; Just as true is the fact that there's the same amount, no, there's more of garbage adult literature.

I found this book awhile back.

Yep, it's a children's book of the most refined nature. I love the author. In the past, I'd foregone many opportunities to enjoy her books because the cover art typically had a lack of appeal, for my taste. You could say that I scoffed at them, possibly included judgments of "Looks like garbage". At any rate, I eventually ended up reading one of Baylor's (author) books and was dumb-struck-awed by the quality of writing. Baylor is an all-around first-rate writer and storyteller who doesn't even need illustrations for her work to reach the status of "perfection". For sure I'd buy her books without a single illustration. She's a master, a Yoda in her own right.

So, Thanksgiving season is happening at your household? This recently discovered Baylor book is so harmonious in timing for the festivities and good feelings. It couldn't be more perfect. I'm thinking you might like it (the book, but I'm sure you'll like the season with all its entrails too).

It all starts when a girl who is unsatisfied with her family's income and economic standing takes matters into her own hands. That sober girl sets her family down at the kitchen table to council her parents on the matter. And with that intro, here's a few excerpts to finish it off...

No wonder
I had to call this meeting
about money.

Can you believe
my father is
sitting here
looking me straight in the eye
and saying,
“But, Mountain Girl,
I though you knew
how rich we are.”

I say,
“We can’t get very far
in this discussion
if you won't even admit
that we’re poor.”

(Hey, it's me with another little two cents. From this point the mother talks about how rich they are in ways other then money. End two cents.)

But I say,
“Can’t you give me
one single number
to write down
on this paper?”

So we start with
twenty thousand dollars.

That’s how much
my father says
it’s worth to him
to work outdoors,
where he can see sky
all day and feel the wind
and smell rain
an hour before
it’s really raining.

So that makes
four million
and fifty-five thousand dollars.

my brother says
to put down
seven dollars more
for all the nights
we get to sleep
under the stars.

We all say
seven dollars
doesn't seem to be
We talk him into
making it
five thousand.

So there you have a brief, brief clipping of a delicious masterpiece. Isn't is so poetic? There's more in the story but I can't give it all away! Now, I don't think I can recommend it any more highly then I've been going on about, so I'll be signing off.

Thanksgiving, here we come...