Saturday, June 29, 2013

Clock Cues

Yesterday I mentioned making clock cues for my daughter. This is to help with building time recognition skills and ease up constant requests for snack at the same time.  While it isn't a full itinerary, our schedule does vary depending on summer camp, special events, and school.  I'm not making a pool time cue that I'll take down in two months.

I could have laminated these blank, then used sharpee to fill in the times and activities so that I could magic eraser that and change it as need, but I think in the beginning it is important to only have a few so that we aren't overwhelming her.  So far, she has been absolutely thrilled to find when her clock matches an activity to be able to tell what happens next.  It's also exciting for me to hear her full of excitement to announce it's time for something instead of constantly requesting that we do it.  Happiness for everyone!

We also looked through magazines for pictures to help represent each activity to  better illustrate what each time is as she is still in the pre-reading stage.  It would have been faster to have printed pictures of her doing each activity but I'm out of black ink and don't want to buy more just yet.  Poor excuse but she's not judging me.  So far we have found pictures for everything except bath and bed, but I'm sure a magazine might come in soon to provide that.  Or I'll buy ink and replace all of the pictures with her. 

Also helps that she has a loft bed so that she can be face-to-face with the clock instead of looking up to a wall clock.  She's never paid much attention to the clock before now but now we have to come look at it every second (because it has a second hand and "mommy come see it moved!").  
Our little girl has become obsessed with the clock now.  Stayed up a couple hours late, occasionally running out of her room to tell us what the clock was doing.  I added minute dots to also aid in correlating what the minute hand of the clock was reading to better help establish that.  Hurray for telling time! 

International Mud Day!

Happy International Mud Day!  For anyone looking for some good activities to celebrate, Growing A Jeweled Rose has a long list of ideas.
We've had a fun Mud Day so far.  Our lunch of beef tips and mashed potatoes looked like a mud plate which gave my daughter a case of the giggles.  After lunch, we began our mud play.

Where's the mud?  Being cleaned off.  Our outdoor sensory table had been taken over by mud and leaves so we cleaned it all up.  We got wet.  We got covered in soap.  And then we stopped because GAH! mosquitoes.  

Now I'm off to make clock cues for my daughter because, while we keep a consistent routine, she understands what happens next but we're working on the wait in between. For example, lunch is over and snack will happen at 2 but she'll ask for snack twenty minutes after lunch. I think at the age of 5 we can start building these time recognitions and letting her help to keep routine.  

Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday Field Trips

Fridays are always a fun day to me.  During the school year, I like to make them into dress up days as a kind of celebration for making it through the week.  For example: Huzzah!  It's Friday and we learned all about woodsy animals!  Teddy Bear Picnic to celebrate!
It's the exciting things such as that which makes teaching pre-kindergarten such a joy.  Pre-k is so important in building a positive foundation for lifelong learning, so Fun Fridays are part of that process.
Now we're in summer, home all day.  Are you really exercising your fun as much as you should be?  Some of you might be, running off on vacations.  Some of you might be living in your pajamas for five days before you even think about getting cleaned up to visit the grocery store.
I've arranged for tours of local businesses for my daughter, myself, and our friends to go through.  We have so far been through a fire station, police station, and a local Children's Museum.  I did open this event to other parents in the Middle Georgia area through another Facebook group.  Why not share in the fun of touring local places with other people that did not leave town for summer?
But oh, what about behavioral concerns?  People I don't know coming in with children acting a hot mess, doesn't that reflect on me?  Yes.  Yes it does.  I am the contact person for these businesses.  One child climbing the furniture does not simply represent his mother (not that that has happened, knock on wood) but also represents me when I look to schedule another field trip with said business again.  While I have not had to require gathering signatures on a behavior contract, I have sent out behavioral guidelines.  I am so excited to actually utilize the behavioral guidelines during the school year for field trips!
                                                           download available here

These behavioral guidelines could be printed, laminated, and turned into activities before going on the field trip.  Cut and laminate enough and you could quietly tuck a broken rule into the name badge of a student that has been acting up to quietly bring them back into appropriate behaviors.  Hopefully you don't catch too many children not having fun!
But that's not all they can be used for, use your imagination and utilize them in your classroom however you deem appropriate.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Unexpected P Day

So last night I noticed that I had unexpectedly planned for a letter P day today.  We were going to a Puppet show then eating Pizza for lunch.  I don't like to only do a little, so our whole day we're looking for more ways to involve the letter P.  So first thing before breakfast, we Painted our nails in a Pink and Purple Pattern in our Pajamas!

We ate cereal for breakfast, but it was in a Pink bowl.  Then we got dressed in Pink and Purple shirts respectively and Put on Pants to go to the Post office!  We returned home to be horrible unProductive for a while (but that's what Pinterest is for, right?).  Then we were off to the puppet show!

The Public library hosted an amazing Puppet show about Jack and the beanstalk.  The Person Puppeteering also Produces his own Puppets.  After the show finished, we made our way to Pizza Hut to use our free Personal Pan Pizza coupon.  We ordered a Pepperoni with a Pink lemonade.  
Now we are Preparing to Play in the Pool.  It's been a Pleasant day Provided to us by the letter "P"

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Oh vaguebookers, I just don't know what about you guys anymore.  I'm not sure which is more infuriating; the ones who respond to everyone's concern with "OMG Chill out everyone" as if they can't understand why what they wrote would worry anyone or the ones who NEVER respond to let you know.

So what is vaguebooking?  According to urban dictionaryIntentional or unintentional vague or ambiguous facebook status message, which people have no clue as to what the heck you are talking about.  But isn't that what the Internet is for?  Disagree.  That's what a diary or post for personal view only is for. Write an angry letter and don't really mail it is for that.  On a social network, you're demonstrating your communication abilities with others.  Unless you don't mind drama and disputes, then be as vague as you want so you can post more vague status updates probably about communication issues that are probably your fault.
I won't lie, I posted a vague status before.  I also promptly deleted it after regaining my sanity.  I actually started speaking to some people about the things that were bothering me instead of vaguely throwing words into the world and hoping the right people saw it to make changes.  Also, some people are never going to change even after you approach them with your issue. Then that leaves you to decide to drop them from your life or keep them and accept them as they are.  
Some people I have dropped from my life.  Not simply because they vaguebooked of course.  Except one gal.  She was the kind that everything was doom and gloom.  She fished for those comments of people telling her "you just don't know how beautiful you truly are."  I was never really her friend just an acquaintance but when she dragged her fishing line into the sunshine of one of my best friend's status, well that was an open declaration of war in my book. 

So let's move on from my own Facebook transgressions to a quick rundown of the different types of vague status updates.  We have six types of vague status updates; no follow up, feed my need, the boy who cried wolf, the incomplete announcement, the raven, and the joker.  
The No Follow Up
The no follow up is the person who never responds to comments made on the status, messages in concern, or even refuses to answer the phone. Sometimes the status isn't even vague, sometimes their status updates are requests for things, like a ride for example.  You never know if they got someone to watch their cats when they went out of town.  You never know if you should bring over your lawn mower that you had offered.  Even mutual friends and the poster's family members don't know what happened.  Eventually, you stop offering assistance.
Feed My Need
Some people utilize vague status updates for attention.  Their status updates are mostly putting themselves down.  "Why do I even try anymore?" for example.  Unlike the last vaguebookers, these people do respond to pleasurable comments.  Any comments that this poster does not view as favorable are either met with attacks from her enablers or deleted.  Closely resembling this Facebook user are the selfies who post not one but two or more pictures of themself taken by themself in a single day.  Both users just want people to feed them with positive comments about them.
The Boy Who Cried Wolf
The boy-who-cried-wolf updater updates their profile frequently with vague status updates.  What makes them unique is how they always respond to the chorus of concern with "why is everyone asking what's wrong?"  They are difficult to tell if they are seeking attention or seriously don't understand why what they've said would lead anyone to be concerned. Eventually people stop being concerned at all with that person's updates, even the updates that are actually true.  
The Incomplete Announcement
The incomplete announcement takes various forms.  It could be good news, bad news, or nothing at all.  Chances are, you'll never know.  This person does respond to comments, calls, or messages with the response of "I don't want to talk about it" or "I'll tell you after I talk to so-and-so first."  The second response is just a dodgy version of the first.  This kind of material is better suited for either a private conversation or a diary entry.
The Raven
Then there is the raven.  The raven is easy to spot in how they are repeating the words of someone else.  Not to be confused with the parrot, who posts lyrics and quotes simply because they find them uplifting and enjoyable.  The raven uses lyrics or quotes to passive aggressively attack an unidentified recipient.  Even words that could be uplifting sound bleak and dreary coming from The Raven.
The Joker
Finally, we have the joker.  The joker just wants to watch the world burn.  They make aggressive posts half poking into touchy subjects.  After that, they simply sit back and watch the chaos take over.  Sometimes, the joker posts backfire making the joker hear something that completely renders their initial post invalid.  This results in a complete deletion of the status entirely.  

In short, vaguebooking is not a healthy practice.  If you can't appropriately communicate with others using the Internet, when you have all of the time you please to look at and review what you say, how can you be expected to handle real world communication?

If I missed any, that probably means I have not spotted them on my Facebook. 
Also check out this awesome article for a well-written letter to vaguebookers.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

MGA Con Meeting

So today I attended my very first convention meeting!  EXCITED!  So instead of just informally promoting the local convention, I am part of the convention team working to build a wonderful convention in Middle Georgia to be enjoyed by anyone and everyone.  I am thrilled for this experience.  With how much promoting that I did for the local convention in February of this year, I know many of my friends actually believed that I was officially involved.  To be officially involved, on board, and part of the team has me absolutely thrilled.

If you're interested for more information about the convention, you can visit the facebook page or the convention website (still in process).
I think with all of the hard work and support from everyone on board and everyone that wishes success upon events such as this in the Middle Georgia area that no one should leave feeling any level of disappointment.  Everyone should feel excited for this, regardless if you are a convention goer or not.  Events such as this are wonderful for the community, economy, and so much more.  I know the February convention was short and small, which is opposite of the vision that we carry for this convention.  If anyone is interested in assisting in whatever way that they can to make this convention purely awesome; you can call, e-mail, or visit Heroes and Villains for more information.  Success comes from effort, any and all effort is appreciate as we reach towards success with this convention.
You don't have to attend meetings to offer assistance to the convention.  Call, email, or visit Heroes and Villains and let them know what you can do to aid the convention.  Want to volunteer a few hours?  Let us know.  Know an artist that would like to set up a table?  Let us know.  Know a vendor that would like to set up booth?  Let us know.  Want to be a booth babe?  Let us know.  Have a cousin that does voice acting for a popular Nickelodeon cartoon?  I'm looking at you, V.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Happy Midsummer!

Okay, so yesterday was kind of a big deal thing because -WOO-HOO - I completed my bachelor's program through Kendall College.  Some awesome people noticed and celebrated, some people questioned if it was real, and some people continued on with their lives unaware.  That's cool.  
I'm the kind of person that enjoys celebrating.  Rejoice, sing, praise, and go on.  I want to surprise my grandmother by seeing her in my old cap and gown.  I'm not walking for this diploma, but she has been asking me for months now about doing it.  I think it's a nifty way to announce it to her.  Maybe not everyone would agree.  

Look at that, no current courses and no future courses.  It was a long road, starting one class at a time then moving up to two and finally climbing to three to finish up with four courses in a single semester. 
Am I having a party?  No one I'm aware of is throwing me one.  
Do I want a graduation gift?  I'd love to get into a house.  This 1050 square feet has been outgrown for quite some time now.  
Thank you everyone who congratulated me yesterday.  People like you are what helped me push through it all. Thank you all for your constant love and support.  
Now on to the next step!

Thursday, June 20, 2013


So today I volunteered my morning to assist with the Houston County bookmobile alongside our awesome media specialist, her daughter, and Ceecee.

Ceecee is a nymph stage lubber grasshopper that my daughter and her friend found in her friend's backyard yesterday.  Ceecee has been moved from the bug jar to a terrarium of moist soil and rooted plants to feast upon.  I'm not sure how long we'll keep Ceecee because they recommend that grasshoppers have 10 gallon tanks and this tank is only a single gallon.
The children coming to the bookmobile were very intrigued by Ceecee.  They came to the bookmobile with the borrowed books of last week to check out new books to read.  The books for the bookmobile come from donated materials and are separated by reading level from pre-k to high school.  

If you'd like to donate books to the bookmobile, you may drop them off at Lindsey Elementary School and we will happily make them available to expand the reading opportunities for children in the Warner Robins area!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Working Out

I was never a big fan of working out when I was younger.  I don't think I really knew anyone who was.  We'd just run and play and that was cool with us.
Now I'm grown and everyone's working out in some way.  I've just got back into doing it after taking about a year break.  I was going to Curves and I enjoyed that.  Loop around the familiar equipment and get my monthly print out of my measurements.
Measurements are what I work out for.  I'm actually quite happy with my weight.  I have a good healthy number.  But these measurements, the toning, tightening the loose bits.  I love that.
Now I've started back on the workout thing with Edge.  Wasn't sure about it, still a bit nervous when I go in as I stop and read the instructions to every machine.  I'll become more familiar wit them in time, right now we're still in an awkward phase of getting to know one another.
My body is already showing positive change even though I've been going for a short bit of time.  I work out until parts of me become numb and then some.  The salty sweat trying to blind my eyes but don't let it stop you.
Only downside so far: I just want to sing and workout.  I still wear my headphones even if it puts me in danger of singing.
Going to the gym late Sunday with the goal of catching Devious Maids as I work out.  My body won't mind.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I Am Successful

Being successful is not the end destination, but the journey.  Some people might not agree.  Some people might find success measured by monetary strength or how high one is on the corporate ladder.  Those people will never see my success.

I can see my success in my students.  I can see my success in my daughter.  I can hear of my success from coworkers and colleagues.  I can hear of my success from my friends.  I can live my successes with my husband.

But you don't measure success like that and that's okay.  No one is asking you to change.  But also, no one is changing themselves for you.  Here I am, at another celebration of success with those that can see it.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day

What can I say about Father's Day that hasn't been said before?  I know so many examples of wonderful fathers in my life.  Fathers that protect, love, live, and laugh with their children.  Fathers that support, provide, and encourage their children.  Fathers that are part of the positives in their children's life instead of being a negative thought or impression.
My daughter is extraordinarily lucky to have such a father in her life.  Not just in her daddy, who wishes to protect from everything and give her the world all in one.  Not just in her grandpa, who loved her before he even met her.  Not just in her papa, who loves her more than she'll ever know.  But also in the male friends in our life.  The men that she can be around that love, support, and protect her as fathers do.  Being a fatherly influence by being positive male role models in my daughter's life.  Being an example of gentlemen and leading the example of how men should behave around my little princess.  
Maybe you don't have a child yourself and might not hear it from anyone else today, but to my daughter's extra daddies: Happy Father's Day to you!
 Thank you for being the kind of guys that children can admire and look up to.
(My thanks is not limited to only the men in this picture, but they are pretty awesome)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Last paper

Just got done writing my last paper for Kendall College.  Too excited and such to write a full entry.  Back to your regularly scheduled me tomorrow!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Out of Town

Did you miss me?  I took myself a little vacation to North Georgia with my aunt and daughter to see some interesting sites!  Day one took us to the Georgia Aquarium and The Varsity!

 My daughter fell in love with the beluga whale while I was caught off guard by the dolphin show involving singing and choreography!  Was not expecting that!  Though it did make it feel like I was at Disney. 
The next day, we really started north.. To Babyland General Hospital!

We watched three cabbage patch kids birthed from the cabbage patch.  My daughter even got to be the first one to hold one after they released it from the nursery room.  It was nifty, not my thing but I know someone who lives for it.  Plus, we had more traveling to do!  Upward and onward to the touristy fun town of Helen!

Really cute, glad to go and check it out.  Maybe next time we'll do the tubing or something (tubing not connected to the Bovarian-style architecture).  While they offered authentic dining options, the accuracy of the of the finished product could use some refining.  Still edible, but nothing like the real thing.  Now we didn't drive all the way up to come back the same day!  On to the LODGE!

Okay, so I didn't get a picture of the lodge.  Enjoy this shed instead.  We did venture back to town in search of a pharmacy so that I could purchase Cepacol for my yucky throat (which we found the pharmacy when we left Helen.. thank you residents and GPS).  
But our time in the lodge left us all beautifully rested up for our hiking adventure to see the beautiful Anna Ruby Falls!

Only three miles away from the lodge(ish) and a 3/4 mile hike up (and back) was the magnificent Anna Ruby Falls!  There were many butterflies, flowers, rock formations, beaver lodges, and more to see on our hike.  And we all stayed super safe to return back to my aunt's house.
Where I taught the cat to paint with water colors. The End!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Prophetic Arts

So a while back, someone had asked me to paint a canvas piece for the pastor's birthday.  I had asked for what colors would be preferred for the base and she had requested that I take colors as I interpreted them from the holy scripture.  This is what I came up with:
I was going with the colors for purity, divine good, and the righteousness of god. I thought about red for our ever present sin for which Jesus died and such. Purple I associate too much with sinful pride but maybe that's me.  I like how the blue and yellow merged for a small amount of green for the natural beauty of the world.
So, the pastor got the end product yesterday and asked how I decided on the colors.  They told her that I had been tasked with interpreting the colors from the scripture and the pastor said that I must have a prophetic gift (thanks?).  

I'd love to feel flattered but I was FREAKING out about making this piece.  I messaged a good friend with excellent skills in artistic interpretation and double-checked my progress and decisions every step of the way before I ended up accidentally producing something that read "sin death famine" or something.

I'm very flattered by the compliment but I wanted nothing but this piece to right.  I'm kind of curious what all exactly demonstrated prophetic gift in my color choices but sometimes I think that it's better to not know. 


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Coffee and Canvas

So tonight I tried one of those canvas painting classes to see what it was all about.  I had some awesome people join me for the experience just in case it was horrible, we at least had each other.  Overall, I had a good time.  My friends made some beautiful pieces, and then there's mine:

I think that I have to admit, I prefer to paint a canvas of my own design than being told what to paint. I'm debating making some tweaks of printing some song lyrics over it.  Or I'll pull out my own canvas and start with a lyric base and go from there.  Definitely an improvement over the last painting I saw of mine that had flowers and a vase which I think I did in third grade.  My daughter loves it. Or in her words: "Is it a.. A ladybug?"
I love how she asked what it is as though my picture was unclear of what it could be.  
I think that this piece should go to my parents to partner with my last painting of flowers in a vase.  It feels right for them to be together like that. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Learning at Home

Learning happens on a daily basis in the home: Children learn as they cook; set the table; sort laundry; observe ants; watch birds; or take a walk in the backyard, neighborhood, or the park (Lind).  This does not mean that you actually have to sit down and create a lesson plan for the home environment.  Learning in the home environment can occur naturally if you know where to spot opportunities for learning.  Today, I will center on the concept of one-to-one correspondence, also known as bijection.  One-to-one correspondence is the ability to match numbers to objects or object to object (Rae). 
               One-to-one correspondence can be done through a variety of ways in the home environment.  One-to-one correspondence could be setting the dinner table for each family member.  Another activity is to placing one cupcake liner into each slot on the cupcake tray for baking.  Even counting each step as you walk from the kitchen to the living room is one-to-one correspondence.  There are games that enhance one-to-one correspondence such as HiHo Cherry-O, Cootie, and many others.  One-to-one correspondence can be taught through games and activities or through daily actions.   
               If you've got the time and supplies to create home lessons, go for it.  My friends and I prefer to have growing critters happen on the regular in our houses.  We get pretty into our growing critters, making contests out of who can grow a larger one and such.  Our contest started with one particular growing critter, Giant Crab.  Giant Crab first began his life in an empty cheese puff jar and met his end when we moved him into the bathtub for world domination.  My daughter took off one of his claws but it's all good!  The battle of Steve the Duck and Euclid the Turtle was born from the crab experience.  Who do you think won that one?

Lind, K. K. (2005). Exploring science in early childhood education: A developmental approach (4th ed.). Clifton Park, NY: Delmar Cengage Learning.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Fun Phonemics at Home

There are tons of ways to supplement school learning at home, even as young as pre-kindergarten.  You can help children learn their lunch numbers by having them say it before sitting down to dinner.  There are lots of wonderful ideas throughout the Internet of moms sharing fun early learning activities.  I've spent the summer reviewing the phonemic ladder with my daughter.
Phonemic awareness is not equivalent to phonics. According to Wikipedia:
Phonemic awareness is a subset of phonological awareness in which listeners are able to hear, identify and manipulate phonemes, the smallest units of sound that can differentiate meaning. Separating the spoken word "cat" into three distinct phonemes, /k//æ/, and /t/, requires phonemic awareness.
The phonemic ladder is simple. Begin with listening skills.  If the child has not mastered listening, you cannot move further.  Listening can be taught with sound identification games and echo chants for example.  Once your child has demonstrated proficiency in this area, you are ready to move to rhyming.  Rhyming can be taught in singing nursery rhymes or playing rhyming games.  One activity that my daughter enjoys is feeding rhyming picture cards from a cookie tray to an old lady box that I created.  Her other fun is Slim Jim rhyming.  Whenever she wants a Slim Jim as her snack, she has to find something on the fridge that rhymes with a word that I call out.  This is why developing listening first is important. She has to listen not only to the word I say, but the sounds of other words to find a successful rhyme.  This idea could again be worked into anything around the house, not just Slim Jims.
We'll stop here on phonemics today and talk more about the next steps of the ladder another time.

Monday, June 3, 2013

You Can Be Anything

So last night, my daughter asked me if she could be a reindeer when she grows up.  I responded with the fairly common response of "you can be anything you want to be" which excited her to ask if she could be a doctor or a bunny.  Hey, the world needs those so why not try and be it if you want to be.
Then today hit and I read this which made me doubt my actions for a moment and then I realized, no.  If my daughter wants to be a reindeer, I'll let her try.  I'll let her imagine.  I'll let her believe in herself and in her own abilities.  She's five, who am I to tell her that she can't be a reindeer?  I don't know what the future holds, maybe she'll become a deer wrangler or something in Alaska.  Maybe she'll open up a transportation service under the company name of Reindeer Shuttles.
I'm all about raising her within the realms of reality, but how far can she really go without inspiration, imagination, and restraints?  If I were to tell her "no, you can't be a reindeer" then would she have made that next jump to doctor?  Maybe she won't grow up to be a doctor.  I don't know what she'll be in fifteen-twenty years, but if it's being a reindeer then good for her.  How many of us actually grew up to become what we wanted to when we were five?  I didn't even grow up to be what I thought I wanted to be fifteen years ago or I'd be working for the National Security Agency as depicted in Enemy of the State (starring Will Smith and Gene Hackman).
So cheers to being a reindeer when you grow up, or whatever your mind and abilities take you to.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Spiritual Sunday

So yesterday I got an itch in me to paint. I had no clue what exactly I wanted to paint, all I knew was that I wanted to.  My friend, Liz, gave me a canvas and I just sat there with it for a while and then decided to create this:

I have no clue where I'll put it or who it is for, but I am really happy with the outcome.  When I was thinking of this, I was really thinking about hands set before a keyboard.  Not just saying "the world is at your fingertips" in the sense of the Internet, but more the possibilities that are open to us because of the Internet.  
The Internet really does open the world to us.  We can research and learn, earn college degrees, meet friends, experience other cultures.  Though those last two I'd rather go through real life experiences than the Internet.  
But even without the Internet, the world is still at your fingertips.  It is always only as far as you are willing to reach.  Even if you have to stretch on the tips of your toes, you can reach.  How far are you willing to stretch, to work to reach the world you want to live in? 
Some people don't ever expect to stretch, to reach what they want by only their fingertips. Some just open their hands out and expect life to fall in to it.  Hm, maybe this is time to cut the blog short before I start ranting.

Too late?