Archive for October, 2007

Usborne Benefit Eshow

My dear friend Jennifer, from Magnum Opus, is hosting an Usborne Eshow to benefit a local shelter in her hometown. Any free books that she earns as a result of this eshow will be donated. If you use this unique link

and order any books for yourself from Usborne, you will be working to support a very good cause.

Please share this link with your friends and family and on your blogs, if you will.

If you have any questions about any of the books, please feel free to drop me a line at tappclan at hotmail dot com and I would love to help! We have a great lineup of Usborne book testers that range in age from 2 to almost 14 years. There are many many books that have been given 2 thumbs up from this great group. They will also be at your disposal for any independent reviews, should you need any!

This is from Jennifer:

“I’m hosting from today through next Tuesday. My reason for holding the show is so that the hostess benefits can be used to donate books to the local shelter here in town. The thought of children without their own home spending uncertain times with high quality books is very important to me; all of God’s children deserve the best. So if you’ve been thinking about what books you need, now is a great time and it comes with a great cause. You can shop and order at this link

It’s also a great time to shop for next quarter/semester/ or year (for those of you who are mega planners! : ) and also for really great Christmas presents. Not to mention St. Nicholas day, baptism gifts, little advent gifties, books for your parish crying room or Adoration Chapel (to keep littles happy and quiet) and really for anyone who reads, or wants to learn how.

Please (!) share the link with anyone and everyone. I’m hoping and praying that this is the “show to end all shows” so that we can shower these children with some really great books and shelter them in knowledge and love.”

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Playing with Math

I often use the Miquon Math program to supplement what we are learning.   I came across this blog that gives some hints and tips for using it more easily.  This blog also has some other links and hints for playing with other math concepts.  I think I will be spending some time here today… HTH!

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How about a food challenge?

I am trying to be ultra-thrifty with food, not sacrificing quality, taste or my pocketbook.

Does anyone feel up to sharing creativity?

The situation:

  •     you have 45 minutes until your soup is done bubbling on the stove.
  • you want to make something bread-like to go with dinner
  • you don’t have butter

you do have:

  • flour(wheat but tastes and cooks like white)
  • cornmeal
  • lots of eggs
  • regular baking stuff…salt, baking powder etc
  • raw honey
  • cranberry sauce
  • oranges
  • milk
  • olive oil, palm oil, and coconut oil

What would YOU attempt to make to go with your soup that would make your family feel warm and fuzzy inside?  hmm?

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So, here I am…TRYING to be holy.

I was trying extra hard to be supportive of my
hard-working husband..you know smile and all..make
nice lunches for him…get up with him when he asks in
the morning…cheerfully…ick. My dh whose salary
was cut and took a second job that enables me to visit
with him for about a hour a day before we go to
sleep…and enables me to have the fun job of doing
everything without him…and still being nice about

I am making extra-nutritious meals with less.

I have bills piled up …dental mostly…that want

I am trying with all my heart never to charge another
thing again, if I can help it.

I am doing great losing weight. The wheat sensitivity
seems to be key for me. Being thinner does help me in
being more virtuous, isn’t that funny?

Both of my ds are very wheat-sensitive and are losing
weight and de-toxing..one from mercury…so that means
them being grouchy, confused, tired and irrational at
times…so I need to be calm, patient and smiley even
though I am rather a chameleon and it would be much
EASIER to be in a bad mood instead of a good one.
Regular feeding, lots fresh air and plenty of water
and rest are priority for them even if I would rather
take a nap then go to the park.

My house has 5 unfinished projects…some from 2 years
ago, with no real idea when anyone will not be working
to work on that.

And I have been cheerful…and prayerful..you know, for the most part…


Yesterday, the Good Shepherd statue lost a hand and a
ram got knocked off the base. I was reading a
religious read-alout with my oldests twin dds. The
toddler decided that the mantle shelf was worth
exploring. I felt weird, kinda guilty feeling even
though I didn’t do it, but thought, at least I can
glue that guy’s paws down and no one would
tell…sorry, the ram, not Jesus. His HAND I will
attempt to glue on, once I find out the correct glue
to use for the job.

My “rescued” angel that I found at a country
store…on the third floor in a corner with a tag that
said “as is” because it was decapitated and glued back
on but still looked great…all 24″ of it. My ds
dropped it and broke off a beautiful wing this
morning. I thought it would be fine standing in the
corner under the crucifix on the wall….

I got a phone call. A medical item that we FAILED to
return we are still being charged for….and they
didn’t charge us until now? 7 month later…oh Lord,
I forgot. Looks like we owe them about a grand and
they want to know why I refuse to charge the full
amount on it today…yikes!

We will never win. LOL…not without lots more prayer and sacrifice.

Why is the cost of living so high? Why is it that one person, working hard and bringing home a half way decent salary can’t
provide for his family. I long for a simpler life in
the country. I am not afraid of hard work. I long
for the good kind of tired, a quiet private place, a
great parish and somewhere where it gets dark at
night…but I digress…

I tell you, I quit. I am going to play with the kids
today. They made a play restaurant in the basement
and I know they used nails to hang up the
signs…gulp…(it is an unfinished basement so
maybe..it isn’t too bad?) I am going to make cookies
with no butter (I will have to use oil…ran
out..won’t get more until tomorrow) then I think we
will read all the library books under a tent which
also happens to be our dining room table…aka a
blanket over the thing… all 56 of the books we got
out last week. If you are looking for me, I will be
hiding under there. AFTER I say my rosary, of course.

I got to pray a novena to St. Michael. TRYing to be
good invites trouble. I need someone strong to cover
me. Arg..I forgot to pray my rosary

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I was playing letter games with my Sunshine Boy (4yo ds) this afternoon. I noticed that he was struggling to write his letters today in a booklet we created. He has the general idea, but his motor skills just aren’t there yet and I observed that he hesitates to recall how the letter is properly made..ie where it starts and what direction to go in….

I invited him to work with the sandpaper letters, but as I did so, I thought that he was really looking for something more creative. As I guessed, he declined using them.

So I sent one of my dds in search of a big box. Taking a quick survey of what was around me so that I would not lose my audience, I then whipped out the rod track for the wooden Cuisenaire Rods(ruler no where to be found, of course ;o) and I drew large penmanship lines across the box so that they wrapped completely around it on the standing faces. I then took a colored pencil and wrote the whole alphabet in large letters on those lines being careful not to run out of box before I ran out of alphabet. I then took one of my favorite educational items which my ds calls a “spooker” (meaning anything that has the ability to poke) (of course you and I would call it a golf tee) and I “spooked” (poked) each letter making them bumpy. I made a bigger poke where the letter started and all he had to do from there was to follow the dotted line. Dot-to-dots being his favorite pastime as of late, this was definitely “him”.

I then pulled out some of the Moncurebooks (that he loves so much) from the shelf and read several of them with him. These books are special. There is a book for every letter of the alphabet (except the last 3 letters which are in the same volume). In each book, the main character is always “little (letter of the book)”. This character has a box and decides to fill it with items that start with that letter. Instead of saying, “little i has a box….”, I would say, “little iuh has a box…”, making the story more phonetic. I would even ask him what little iuh’s (speaking the short vowel sound of i) OTHER name was. Of course, he knew that! It was (the long vowel sound) I!

And so we played. We played a listening game where we listened to ourselves saying each word, carefully trying to determine where we could hear the letter we were seeking (such as the letter i) in the beginning, the middle and the end of words. If my son missed one, I would say that I tricked him and he would erupt in fits of giggles. We felt where the sound was made in our mouths so we could “feel” it better when it would show up in the words we spoke.

Later, I handed him this box that I made. I said to him “How old are you?” He giggled”Oh, you know! FOUR!” And I then instructed him to find four objects in the room and place them in the box for our game. Most of them were train related…LOL

He brought the box back to me and I told him to choose an object, hold it up and say its name. Next, I told him to listen to the first sound he heard and feel how that sound was made in his mouth. I then told him that listening and feeling would lead him to the two clues he needed to find the correct mystery letter of the sound at the beginning of each word. When he discovered the mystery letter he was to point to it on the box and trace it with his first two fingers saying the sound as he did so.

Worked like a charm. Even my 2.5yo dd played. Developmentally she was not ready to determine first sounds. She is in the stage where she is identifying objects. She thinks it is funny when I point to the first letter in her name and tell her it is the first letter of her name. She laughs and says, that not me! Smart kid.

There is much fruit to be had in desperation. Desperation, however fleeting, was the mother of invention of a mysterious box that held the keys to learning today. I made my own”manipulatives” that were custom made to suit my young audience. It fed my “inner mommy” with warm and fuzzy feelings, so to speak. (Translation = it was a fun creative outlet.)

If you will pardon the pun….Sometimes…you just HAVE to think Out of the Box!

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Welcome to my new home!

I am so not used to posting here. It is kinda different from typepad. If anyone could offer any hints or tips for making things work smoothly here, please let me know. I would love to have links to Amazon like I did before for recommendations and such…any idea if that can be done here?

Thank you for visiting today!

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Schedule Management

Our Montessori-ish work schedule for the little ones runs for almost 3 hours.  If there are engaging activities on hand they tend to keep at it for THAT long!  The things that sabotage this are the interruptions.  I am seeing the reoccurring theme of NO INTERRUPTIONS over and over again in my reading.  I know there are some interruptions that cannot be avoided.  I know that some can be helped like the outside interruptions of the phone, the doorbell ringing and "unexpected visitors" certainly can be curtailed.  I think I will be keeping a running list of things that knock us off our stride and try to re work things from there…

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