Saturday, September 15, 2012

Farm Review Game

Gooood late late late Saturday night readers!

I am not normally up this late on a Saturday, it's just so embarrassing and rude to be falling asleep in church on Sunday morning, but I'm wide awake and just itching to write a teacher's post!

My preschool curriculum uses a barn theme throughout the entire year. We have several characters who help us learn our shapes, colors, numbers, etc...and every Friday I have a review game for the kids. For the past few weeks, we've played girls vs. boys and used little marks on the white board to keep track of points. 

Well...little creative me thought that each team should have a mascot and a more interactive way of keeping score.

Here's what I came up with.

The boys have Stewy the steer and the girls have Chloe the cow. 

At the beginning of the review game neither of the animals have spots. The spots are earned by the team members with correct answers, participation, and good attitudes. The spots are stuck on with sticky tack and I place the animals low enough on the board so the kids can easily reach the "points". 

The cow and steer end up looking something like this near the end of the review game. The winners get to go to their tables first so the loss isn't terribly detrimental for second place. 

I free handed both the cow and the steer and colored them in with wooden colored pencils. They were sent off for lamination so I can keep them for years. 

(tip. never use wax crayons when coloring a lamination project. The machine WILL melt the crayons and your ruin your visuals!)

Each one is about 18 inches tall and they serve as farm decorations Monday through Thursday. 

So there's my idea, and it's totally up for grabs! I just ask you to please link back to this page if you decide to share this game on your own social network/blog. 

Have a great night!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Book Review: Hunger Games Trilogy


This post may get very long and half of you will probably disagree with me. 
But that's ok because this is my slice of the internet and you are as free to express your opinion as I am to express mine. 

So I was a little late on jumping onto the Hunger Games bandwagon. I first heard about the books while at college. I saw several of my friends reading the same thing until I asked about it. I became very curious the more and more I heard about the plot from my friends so I finally bought myself a copy of book one.
I read it in two days.

The basic plot is this. There is a capitol that has divided it's districts into 12 separate communities. Each community manufactures something totally different and specialize in their product. District 12 manufactures coal for example. None of the districts can communicate with each other.

A long, long time ago there was an uprising of the districts and they tried to overthrow the capitol. The capitol was stronger than the primitive districts and won the war. As punishment, once a year there is a reaping in each district but the capitol (of course). Each district must give up one boy and one girl to the games. 

The games are a inhumane survivor like game-show thing. The 24 children must battle each other in an arena until only one child remains alive. Yes, children are given real weapons and forced to kill each other in front of the eyes of the capitol and 12 districts. The last child standing is crowned victor and given riches and food for the rest of his or her life. 

I say children because even though the heroin of the book is 14-16 ish years old, she's still a child in our culture. You're not an adult until 18 or 21. Even at 22, I still have some maturing to do. 

Anyways, throughout the book, children are being killed by each other left and right and although this book is full of suspense and action...I kept asking myself "When is Katniss going to stop this madness!?"
I kept on reading and turning the page just knowing that Katniss, the heroine, would bring all of the violence to an end and bring peace to the world.

But she didn't. In fact, she kills some kids herself. Yes, you can say it was in self defense. But I just wish that the author would have made her triumph over the capitol by overthrowing the games altogether. 

Throughout the entire series, the author places the young Katniss and her young companions in very hard situations placing too much weight on split second decisions. Katniss has too much weight on her shoulders, in my opinion, and I don't think that kids should be reading about other kids killing each other because "that's just the way things are" or "you have to kill to survive". 

War is horrible thing were humans kills other humans. Why do we have to have children running around with swords and knives trying to slit each other's throats? 

Remember way back in history class when you learned about the Children's Crusade?
The children went off to war and were either killed or sold into slavery. 

Why do we need a book glorifying children bearing shields and armor?

I read the entire series, hoping and waiting for Katniss and her companions to take over the capitol and change things for the better. Get rid of the games! Stop the killing! Make everything better again.

But she didn't. In fact. At the end of the the 3rd book, Katniss actually agrees to continue the Hunger Games but forcing the capitol's children to fight one another. She actually wishes the same horrible and sickening fate on her enemies children that they had forced onto her. 

I want children to have a heroin who would "turn the other cheek" and do good unto those who had wronged her. Instead, Katniss chooses to continue the violence and only change the face who suffers the pain. Real peace and happiness cannot come from revenge. 

In fact, happiness is the last thing Katniss experiences in the final chapters of the book. Besides the over-drawn-out love triangle that was FINALLY resolved, Katniss is thrown into a deep and serious depression. I literally sat on the couch and cried my eyes out when I read the last 3 chapters. I felt horribly dark inside and like there was no good in the world. I felt sad and moody the rest of the afternoon because of what I read in those last chapters. I never want to even think about them again.

Imagine what's going throw a girl's mind as she sits in the corner of her dark bedroom and cuts her wrists. That's what was going through the mind of our heroin and the poor reader stuck on those pages experiences the same emotions. 

My conclusion to the books

Hat's off to the author for the suspense and action. I know that it took a lot of time and effort to write the series...but I cannot and will not recommend this book for anyone. The end is too depressing and will only fuel the fire of the young readers already going through life's drama. Katniss had a chance to do the right thing in the end, but didn't. I was terribly disappointed and am now looking for another series to get the Hunger Games out of my system. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Overdue Honeymoon Pictures

I know. I know. I know... 

I took way too long to get these up, and I don't even have all of the good ones edited yet!
Wanna hear another confession? I don't even have all of my "thank you" cards sent out yet for wedding gifts. Don't get me wrong, they're all written out and in a nice pile by my bed. I just don't have all of the addresses yet.

My life is a constant work in progress. But isn't everyone's? 

So we are officially married! 
Hip hip hooray! Now where did we head off to you wonder? 
Well one of the cheesiest towns in all of the United States of America of course!

Branson MO

Our flights went well with NO DELAYS!!! And then our rental car received a free upgrade because were mentioned that we were on our honeymoon. Seemed like a super sweet deal until we got the bill at the end of the week with a bagillion hidden fee's. Thank's Enterprise for telling us that you were going to double our bill...not

Ok now onto happier topics!

We stayed at a very nice resort, thanks to my mother in law, and it was only 5 minutes away from town. 
We had our own little apt. with his and her sinks, full kitchen, living room, master bedroom, and a Jacuzzi!

Mike and I were right next to the resort pool and were also able to play scrabble outside on our deck. We went on a hike and took some of those sappy couple pictures.

That's all I've got time for today readers, but I promise to show you more of our honeymoon. 
I hope that you have a great Wednesday!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Granny Square Cowl DIY: Part one

Happy Monday morning dear readers!

I hope that you are enjoying your long weekend like I am. In fact, I'm probably still snuggling in bed right now (I'm writing this on Sunday afternoon to be posted tomorrow). Lucky me! 

So it's been a very long time since I've come up with a new do-it-yourself project and my fingers have just been itching for that crochet hook. 

This granny square cowl project was inspired by a photo I found on Esty several months ago. 
I heart the colors Meredith chose for this cowl, and I could totally use this color combo in an outfit this week...

So since I'm positive that none of you are interesting in what I'll be wearing tomorrow, let's get started with step one. 

First, you need to make a bunch of granny squares. When I say a bunch I mean 22 or so. If you don't know how to do that, you can look up lots of tutorials online or check out my own handy dandy video over here!
I made my first granny square "layer" with a mustard yellow yarn and my second and third "layer" with a deep turquoise. The squares cane be made with whatever size hook you want and with as many "layers" as you want. 

Step two is to crochet all of your 22 granny squares into a nice loooooong and skinny rectangle. And if you're wondering how long your anorexic rectangle should be...

Your next step will be to connect your row of granny squares together to make a giant loop. (btw...don't make fun of my hippo hips)

Make sure that you don't twist your row of granny squares before connecting the ends of your row. You'll end up with a Möbius strip. It's some weird geometric/math puzzle thingy that you don't want in your crocheting projects. 

Anyways, that's it for part one. Start on those granny squares and I should have you all set up with part two by the time you've completed these steps. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Grey can be an awesome color

Good afternoon readers,

I don't have much to say, but lots to show. 

Inspired yet?