"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." - Ronald Reagan

Monday, May 28, 2012

FHE: Don't Be An Angry Bird

We've had some issues with angry outbursts and temper tantrums lately. And it's not entirely blamed on the three-year-old, either. I found this idea through Pinterest (because I gave into peer-pressure). Originally designed by a mom in need of a relatable object lesson, it was perfect for my iPad-obsessed and frequently angry brood.

Opening Song: You Are My Sunshine
Opening Prayer: Baby


Lesson: Found here - with all the printouts you'll need here.

The originator of this idea, Keri at The Home Teacher, picked four of the most popular birds and gave them attributes of being angry.
Red Bird - Angry eyes (it's all in the eyebrows)
Yellow Bird (or Woodpecker) - Cutting words
White Bird (or Pelican) - Throwing things
Black Bird (or Bomber) - Body out of Control

We went through each bird, giving examples of the different angry attributes. At first, it was fun to make angry eyes, but then the kids starting realizing that their reactions weren't so fun for others involved. It's always a bonus when you see the light go on in their eyes when they make the connection.

But Keri doesn't leave us hanging with the negative! There's another page!

Next, she uses more birds from the game to give Cool Down Strategies. First, there's the Bird's Nest. This instructs the angry bird to go to their happy place, their bed or another special spot, where they can cool down. Next, is Balloon Breathing, or taking a few deep breaths. The Boomerang Bird helps the angry ones remember to think about how their actions might have an affect on others. Then there's the Mighty Eagle. That's an adult who can step in, if needed, to calm things down.

I used the printouts Keri provided. And after we had talked about each one, the two pages were taped next to the TV (sadly, the kids' focal point when in the living room) for easy referral when one of the Angry Birds shows up.

Closing Song: Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree
Closing Prayer: Boo

Treat: Another delicious treat found amongst the various pins and likes on Pinterest - Chocolate Chip Cookie Delight.

* All images from Google.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Books n' Bloggers Swap!

Hey, not being able to use my arm isn't going to stop me from missing out in a swap! And this one is hosted by two of my favorite bloggers, Beth from Living a Goddess Life and Miss Angie from My So-Called Chaos. And? The swap theme is BOOKS! Woot!





If you want to participate, you need to go to Miss Angie's post to get all the info and to sign up. And make sure you do it before May 26th! To give you an idea of what this fabulous swap is all about, here are the Three Books to send:

Book #1: A Book You Love
This is a book that you are particularly fond of.  Maybe it's your favorite, or your favorite lately, or just one you really think that everyone needs to read in order to survive this crazy little world.  Your choice-show them your tastes!

Book #2: A Book You Haven't Read
Maybe someone recommended this book to you, or you just saw it and though-that could be really good, but in any case you want to read it but haven't yet.  Create a potential shared favorite!

Book #3: A Book Your Partner Wants
This is where you're going to need to do a little research.  Follow up with your partner and find out what kind of books they like, check out their Amazon wishlist or Goodreads To Read list to see what they want to read but haven't yet!
*Books can be used, but must be in really good condition!

And these are the Requirements:
  • You must be an active blogger located in the United States.
  • You must be willing and able to follow the rules and participate.
  • You must not be a flaker.  (None of my readers are flakers, right?)

Why are you still reading this post! Go and sign up! (Maybe we can be partners!)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

One Less Smile

We suffered a death in the family. It happened two days after I left to have my bionic upgrade. We were on our way to dinner when I got the phone call.

Peanut died. He was Boo's hamster; her first love.

So I couldn't be there as she cried over the phone. I couldn't hold her as her heart broke. And I wasn't next to her when she asked me why it hurt so much.

I cried and I hurt with her. But I had seen it coming. Peanut hadn't been himself in weeks. He wasn't filling his wheel with food and bedding, only to make it sound like a rock grinder when he ran on it at night. He stopped waiting by the door of his cage when Boo was getting ready for bed. He didn't sniff and dart around when out of his cage, preferring instead to curl up in Boo's hand. And he wasn't biting the Boy any more. He just wasn't himself.

Knowing what was coming, I tried to prepare Boo. Mostly she didn't believe me but toward the end, she started to admit that something wasn't right. And? I picked out a burial plot in the back garden. As much as it would suck, I had a plan to ease the blow.

Using a stepping stone kit from a craft store, Boo designed a headstone, complete with lettering. She fussed and fretted over it, re-starting her design a few times before she settled on fitting tribute.

Because our back area is not fenced, the Man gave specific instructions on the burial. Snowman dug a hole that was just over a foot deep and lined it with cedar chips. Peanut was buried in a fancy box that was originally a gift box. More cedar chips and then the dirt packed back in. The finished headstone was placed on top.

Thank you, Peanut, for being such a great pet! You are already missed.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Teaser Tuesday: Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share a few “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I thought about teasing The Scorch Trials, which is book two in James Dashner's trilogy that I teased last week with book one, The Maze Runner. But I figured that if you haven't read the first one, then you might not be very interested in the second book. Instead, I give you a new book. Because I am generous like that.

Most people know him as Honest Abe, the 16th President of the United States. They know about the famous address at Gettysburg and about his career as a lawyer, or even that he lost his first election. But what they don't know is that his career was all a facade. Abraham Lincoln was a vampire hunter. I have to say, I learned way more about Mr. Lincoln than I ever did in school.

Here's the Teaser:
"I had expected to find the place plagued by a rash of disappearances or pestilence of some sort. However, the people seemed in excellent spirits, and their town in excellent health. I walked among them with my weapons hidden beneath my long coat (for it had occurred to me that the sight of a tall stranger with an ax might engender concern among the citizenry)."
- pg 108, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith

What are you reading?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Teaser Tuesday: The Maze Runner

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share a few “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I've been dying read read James Dashner's The Maze Runner trilogy. But…I am not a patient person so I intentionally waited until the entire series was out* before I let myself crack open the first book. Unfortunately, I neglected to allow an entire day to read the book. Ended up staying up later than I should (especially since I'm recovering from surgery). 

From the book description: When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls. Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

So imagine their surprise when the lift returns the very next day. And what is inside changes everything.


Here's the Teaser:
"A strong whiff of something burnt stung his nostrils: a sick mixture of overheated engines and charred flesh. He couldn't believe people could create something so horrible and send it after kids."
- pg. 127, The Maze Runner by James Dashner

What book are you reading?

* - Dang it! There's a prequel coming out! Aaaarrrrrgggggg!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Teaser Tuesday: Urban Shaman


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share a few “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


Do you have someone that whenever you read a good book, you immediately cal/text/stalk and tell them all about it? My sister and I are always doing that. Imagine my surprise when I called to report on a really great book only to discover that not only had she read it, but she had the entire series! So I told her that she'd better send them to me or I'd tell our mom that she wasn't sharing. The book is  Urban Shaman by C.E. Murphy. One of my favorite things about it? No corny love triangles or one of those "I hate you, so I won't sleep with you until Chapter 27" romances. The main character's side kick is a 73-year-old cab driver is closer to being described as "crotchety" as opposed to sexy.


Joanne Walker didn't want much out of life, just a steady job working on cars and a good cup of hot chocolate with mint and whipped cream. What she gets is a combination of her Cherokee and Celtic heritages that lend her the healing abilities of a Shaman. Just in time to become a target of the Wild Hunt and a ruthless killer. Her boss, the squad Captain, takes this moment to move her from her cushy spot in the police station's garage to walking the streets as a beat cop. As the Wild Hunt closes in.


Here's the Teaser:
'"And then you began to heal. Just like magic." 
"It was magic," I mumbled. 
"What?" Gary laughed again.'
- pg. 82, Urban Shaman by C.E. Murphy


What are you reading?

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