Kids Book Corner

  • Goose Girl
  • Mrs. Frisby and The Rats of NIMH
  • Peter and The Shadow Thieves
  • Peter and The Star Catchers
  • Simon Bloom, The Gravity Keeper
  • Stella Brite and The Dark Matter Myster
  • The Island of The Blue Dolphins
  • The Phantom Toll Booth
  • The School Library Journal
  • The Sisters Grimm
  • Tuck Everlasting


Thursday, January 31, 2008

Do They Have Decorating Personal Trainers?

If they don't already Eve is up for the task. The minute I brought her home from pre-school, yesterday, she was saying, "It's time to finish the cake." Repeated for 10 minutes until I gave in and pulled everything out and iced away.

For you cake afficionados I realize that there are several errors on the finished task, but half the battle is to know what needs to be fixed. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it!).

::::::::::::::::::::::Make Him Laugh:::::::

Here is the first layout I've finished as a guest C.T. for SCARLETHEELSmedia:

Text: Noah used the old "pull your left leg over your shoulder trick" to get Spencer to laugh.
Then, Noah used the "make silly noises trick".


Darcy Baldwin: DJB Kira at The Digichick
SCARLETHEELSmedia: Word It: Friendship an Funky Playground exclusive
Graphical Papers and Painted Nature at Sweet Shoppe Designs
Shabby Miss Jenn: staples from Old Letters lil kit

:::::::::::::::::Copernicus' Secret

I, thoroughly, enjoyed reading this presentation of Copernicus' life by Jack Repcheck. The flow was even through the book and never had the "dull" stigma of history biographies. The snippets of first hand documents was enough to reflect the attitudes of the times about which he was writing. Copernicus was a Canon in the Catholic church and an astronomer. This combination of religion and science remains a volatile combination to this day. Copernicus did not have a problem marrying the two, so to speak, because he found God in the perfection of the mathematics and design.
"In the preface Copernicus boldly asserts his theory that the earth moves around the sun, but he also states that the fear of being "hooted off the stage drome me to almost abandon a work already undertaken"." p. 168 I really like how Repcheck summed up Copernicus, " all started with one obscure man who lived in a backwater place, worked by himself with primitive instruments and labored as few had before him with no direct gain. He was an original..." p 196.

::::::::::::::::::::::::My Next Book::::::::::

I love Paula Deens laugh and her personality!

Smiles, Y'ALL!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Slow Learner...

but a willing soul. I am just took my second Wilton Cake Art lesson last night. The instructor went over how to hold our hands at the right angle and apply the right amount of pressure to create different decorating effects. I was most fascinated with the piping gel. That is so wicked cool stuff! Here is my very flawed cake decorating, but it was FUN!

Eve is my biggest fan. The second I walked in the door she rushed down stairs to see what I had accomplished in class. She just ooohhhed and aaawwwed over how "beautiful" it was. She gave me a big hug and just kept smiling. My head didn't get any bigger, but my heart sure did!

::::::::::::::::::::::::On Target:::::::

Wiley Miller is often on target with his observations of the world. This latest cartoon is perfect for anyone who loves to digital scrapbook or anything with Photoshop:
I signed up to You may want to check it out and see if any of your favorites are there.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::Guest for the Month of February:::::

for SCARLETHEELSmedia. Her name is MiYon and she has a great attitude and such fun designs. She has some of her designs at The Sweet Shoppe. I'll be posting a layout tomorrow with her things. I've mostly been working on Shelene's Christmas present.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Steven Spielberg, Where Are You Hiding?

That is what Michael and I were thinking when Noah and Eve sat down to breakfast wearing their 3D glasses. At some point, they decided they wanted to watch "Shark Boy and Lava Girl" and I guess this was the pre-movie breakfast gala.

Life is really what happens when your busy making plans!

::::::::::::::::::President Hinkley::::::::::

passed away on Sunday evening with family by his side. He gave countless years of service to others. He was loved by a faithful wife and their marriage was one of devotion from both sides. A life well lived, indeed!

See Michael's thoughts on President Hinkley's passing here.

::::::::::::::::::Princess Academy

We just finished this book by Shannon Hale. This time it was Rachel perched by my shoulder to keep whispering insistently, "Keep reading!" We finished the last three chapters Sunday evening. The book is about Miri Larendaughter and the people of Mount Eskel. They are quarriers of Linder and use quarry speech to communicate over the loud sounds of their trade. Miri is to delicate to help in the quarry and doesn't feel she fits in with her people. She has burgeoning feelings for her best friend, Peder. One day the king's messenger arrives with the news that the future princess to the prince of Danland will be chosen from one of the girls from Mount Eskel and a Princess Academy will be instituted to prepare all of the eligible girls.
The theme of finding your place never gets old because it is a different story for everyone and what makes it comfortable to read is that there is a common thread woven through each of us to find our place. There is underlying jealousy and mistrust among the girls that keeps them from getting to safety during a later situation in the story. The suspenseful ending chapters and the resolution to the story is satisfying. A wonderful read!

:::::::::::::::::::Our Next Book::::::::

is also a Shannon Hale book titled, Goose Girl

Anidori -Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kilendree spent the first years of her life listening to her aunt's incredible stories, and learning the language of the birds. Little knowing how valuable her aunt's strange knowledge would prove to be when she grew older. From the Grimm's fairy tale of the princess who became a goose girl before she could become a queen, Shannon Hale has woven an incredible, original and magical tale of a girl who must understand her own incredible talents before she can overcome those who wish her harm.

::::::::::::::::::::Math Night::::::::::

Michael took Noah, Eve and Aaron to the school for math night. Noah held a passport that recieved stamps for each completed activity. I thought it was cool that Eve and Aaron wanted to go with Noah. Rachel wasn't interested, so she stayed home and read a book. I was busy trying to create Wilton icing for my class tonight. Yikes! What a mess.

I need to go feed Eve and Aaron! Smiles!

Friday, January 25, 2008

"I Don't Believe In Ghosts...

...I don't believe in monsters. I believe in ponies!", proclaimed Eve after a triumphant and uneventful trip to the bathroom. Potty safety is always important, but obviously is a big psychological barrier for 5 year-olds who think their are things lurking up the stairs. I don't know how ponies are helpful, but in Eve's mind they are some kind of patronus.

::::::::::::::::::A Little Fun With Elvis, or::::

Elvis is in the building! This one is for my mom...who loves Elvis. She took me to an Elvis concert for my birthday. He died shortly after...I had nothing to do with it! I didn't enjoy the concert and my mom regrets taking me instead of her neighbor, Donna.

This is created from a freebie at Christina Renee's blog called Authentic Artistry
I thought it would be fun to play along with the challenge at Christina Renee's blog.
Velvet Elvis paintings are not just for the Ramada Inn Showrooms they have gone digital.

Credits: Christina Renee: Art Gallery I and II freebies
Paintings from the internet

::::::::::::::::::::::::Spiral Frog Download of the Week::::::

"Work That" by Mary J. Blige

I liked the song, so I looked up the lyrics: Work your thing out
Work your thing out
Work your thing out
Work your thing out

Theres so many-a girls
I hear you been running
From the beautiful queen
That you could be becoming
You can look at my palm
And see the storm coming
Read the book of my life
And see I've overcome it
Just because the length of your hair ain't long
And they often criticize you for your skin tone
Wanna hold your head high
Cause you're a pretty woman
Get your runway stride home
And keep going
Girl live ya life

I just wanna be myself
Don't sweat girl be yourself
Follow me
Follow me
Follow me
Girl be yourself
That's why I be myself
And I'm gonna love it

Let em get mad
They gonna hate anyway
Don't you get that?
Doesn't matter if you're going on with their plan
They'll never be happy
Cause they're not happy with themselves

Na na work what you got
I'm talking bout things that I know
Na na work what you got
It's okay show yourself some love
Na na work what you got
Don't worry bout who's saying what
It's gonna be fine
Work what you got

Feelin great because the light's on me
Celebrating the things that everyone told me
Would never happen but God has put his hands on me
And aint a man alive could ever take it from me
Working with what I got I gotta keep on
Taking care of myself I wanna live long
Aint never ashamed what life did to me
[Work That lyrics on]

Wasn't afraid to change cause it was good for me
I wanna...

I just wanna be myself
Don't sweat girl be yourself
Follow me
Follow me
Follow me
Girl be yourself
That's why I be myself
And I'm gonna love it

Let em get mad
They gonna hate anyway
Don't you get that?
Doesn't matter if you're going on with their plan
They'll never be happy
Cause they're not happy with themselves

Na na work what you got
I'm talking bout things that I know
Na na work what you got
It's okay show yourself some love
Na na work what you got
Don't worry bout who's saying what
It's gonna be fine
Work what you got

Work that
Work that
Work that
Girl don't hold back
You just be yourself

Na na work what you got
I'm talking bout things that I know
Na na work what you got
It's okay show yourself some love
Na na work what you got
Don't worry bout who's saying what
It's gonna be fine
Work what you got

Work that
Work that
Work that
Girl don't hold back
You just be yourself

Work that thing out
Work that thing out
Work what you got

::::::::::::::::::::Recommendation Friday::::::::::::

These are the best paper towels. I have been buying these for a couple of years now. I can clean up with one towel what takes most towels 3 to 5 sheets of other brands. I thought it was pretty cool that my cake decorating instructor told our class that other decorators swear by Viva for helping them smooth out the frosting on their cakes. They take a brand new roll of Viva and put it in a ziploc to keep lint off, then when their cake frosting has crusted a bit they put the paper towel on the cake. Then, they use the heat of their hand to smooth the cake and since their is no design on the Viva it's perfect for the task.
As my favorite science guru, Bill Nye, says: "Now YOU know!"

:::::::::::::::::::Health update:::::::

My throat is feeling better. Michael hopes to get a good night sleep some time early next week. It appears my snoring, tossing and turning has been a bit of a problem for him, as well.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Feeling Puny

Howdy folks! I am feeling a bit under the weather today. My tonsils are swollen, but I don't have a fever, so who knows what I'm harboring.


was a busy one. The sister missionaries from our church came over for dinner. We prepared breakfast for dinner. We had bacon, french toast and scrambled eggs. The sisters were adventurous and poured Pomegranate 7Up into their orange juice. The kids were their usually rowdy selves. At one point, we got on the subject of animals who run in front of cars like opossums and deer. This sequed into Noah wanting to tell the missionaries one of his favorite jokes which starts out like this: What is the difference between beer nuts and deer nuts? At this point Michael and I frantically call him off before he can give the punch line. The sister missionaries just looked at me and laughed because I couldn't stop laughing and had turned beet red. So, the kids started telling more benign jokes. Rachel new several blonde jokes and their were a couple from the show The Vicar of Dibley that the kids could share.

:::::::::::::::::::::::Wilton Cake Art I:::::::

I ran off to take my first cake decorating class and got there with 5 minutes to spare. We learned about the recipes and uses for the different consistencies of icing and some basic frosting methods. My homework assignment is to bake a cake and have it frosted and ready for decorating next week.

:::::::::::::::::::::::Court of Honor::::::::

Aaron and Michael have a Court of Honor tonight for Scouts. Michael took the day off because he has been run ragged at work and home for a couple of weeks and needed to slow down. Unfortunately, he has to run to Lawrenceville to pick up the badges because the person that said they could pick them up Sunday has a meeting downtown and can't make it out there. Typical.

:::::::::::::::::::::::Weekend Update:::::::::::::::

I almost forgot to talk about our fun trip to Shakespeare's Tavern. The night was frigid, but it was just fine inside the tavern. We had balcony seats, which was great to see all parts of the stage at once. The play for the evening was "Twelfth Night". The actors did a marvelous job. Michael and I took his mom and my mother to see the play. The music for the play was just perfect, too. We ate at the tavern and the food was rather tasty. I had the sheperd's pie, Michael had the Hearty Lentil soup, Sydney had the Cornish Pasty and my mom opted for the Salmon and Leek pie. YUM! During intermission Michael had a apple crisp with vanilla ice cream. So, we were well fed and the play was awesome. When we left the downtown Atlanta night scene was just getting started and the some homeless people were outside the door.

Michael and I want to bring Aaron and Rachel back to the tavern to see "A Midsummer's Night Dream". We thought it would be fun to have Michael's family and my mom to return during the holidays at the end of the year to see "A Christmas Carol". We will have to see if any of them are interested.

I'm going to go take a lie down and read.


Sunday, January 20, 2008

I'm Snow Happy!

It snowed, again! It is also gone just as quickly, but the kids had fun. Here is one layout I got finished! I'll post credits later.


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Three Day Weekend

Here are a couple of layouts I completed using Shabby Miss Jenn's new Valentine inspired designs:

This is my sweet little nephew, Spencer. His personality and beautiful eyes just get you every time!
Shabby Miss Jenn: Love Shack, Frantically Folded (Trashed), staples from Old Letters Lil Kit
Jen Caputo: Torn paper template

This is my daughter, Evey, and she can turn it on or turn it off upon her whim.

Shabby Miss Jenn: Love Shack, Brackets Bright, Signature Alpha Uppercase, Signature Alpha lowercase
Darcy Baldwin: DJB MANDY

:::::::::::::::::::::::Three Day Weekend:::::::

Means visiting cousins and grandparents, so we will be running around later this afternoon. This weekend we are going to see Twelfth Night at Shakespeare's Tavern. It should be a lot of fun!

Later, gators!

Friday, January 18, 2008

What is Made from 100% Girl Scouts?

If you answered Girl Scout cookies you are correct. I got Rachel to smile for this shot by making her say, "SAMOAS!" What an instant response of joy with visions of caramel, chocolate and coconut!

Please let me know if you Georgia folks would like any!

credits: Sausan Designs: My Little Heart collection
Darcy Baldwin: DJB PASTOR DAVE at The Digichick
Sande Krieger: Borderlines
Miscellanous font: Another Typewriter

Here is a Girl Scout cookie quiz from the AJC
:::::::::::::::::::::"Is That a Euphemism?::::
That is an oft heard question in our house. We have taught our kids the correct terms for things, but the kids hear parts of the body called other things by family and friends so they started to try to figure out as many euphemisms as they could. They realized the process is endless and here is an Indexed Card as evidence of that:

::::::::::::::::::::Recommendation Friday:::::::

Jessica Hagy has completed a book of her hilarious graphs called Indexed. It's for sale for $8.80 at Amazon and they are taking pre-orders.

I would like this idea to become a weekly thing, but we shall see.

I have layouts to post later, but Shabby Miss Jenn wants us to wait a tad bit more.

I hope your weekend is fantastic! Michael and Aaron are running off to hike and camp. They were going to go to Blood Mountain, but changed their mind due to the recent hiker murder. Michael decided to hike there with the kids another time.


Thursday, January 17, 2008 Georgia...Yes,

it can happen! Rachel came home and said, "Mom, doesn't snow make you giggle?" She had just gotten home from her retainer appointment and had stopped to catch snowflakes on her tongue. The other kids just watched from the windows content to be warm. Unfortunately, most of the snow melted by morning, but we got some more needed rain. So positive news all around.

:::::::::::::::::Thumb Update::::::

Noah's thumb infection appears to be responding well to the sulfa medication and the topical ointment. He informs me that the medicine, "...isn't that bad!" He informed me last night when it was time to take his medicine, "Let's just get this over with!" I really appreciate not having to beg him to take it or chase him around the house and having to hold him down. How, strangly, refreshing!

::::::::::::::::I'm Taller Than You Are!:

The elements in this collection, My Little Heart, were a gift for gallery comments at Sausan Designs. What a fun task because the kit is so whimsical and happy. I loved looking at all the different perspectives with the design.

Additional credits: Darcy Baldwin: DJB Writes A Lot at The Digichick
Emily Merritt: Word Toppers dates

:::::::::::::::::::::::Ramen Noodles:::::::::::

My kids love to eat Ramen noodles. Their favorites are the Maruchan brand "Roasted Chicken" and when they want to go a little wild they combine it with a "Chili" flavored Ramen. I know, we live on the edge. This allows me to spend a little bit for these delicious little things:

I LURVE me some chocolate covered marshmallows!

::::::::::::::::::::::::Mystery Reader::::::::

Aaron got to be the Mystery Reader for Eve's pre-k class today. He read Fox in Socks. By the time it got to the tweedle beetle battle he was getting a tongue cramp, which was pretty funny. Eve was so proud of having her brother read that she kept wanting to hug him...he was so embarrassed.

::::::::::::::::::::::::Copernicus' Secret:::::::

This book is fascinating. I also like learning about Regiomontanus.

::::::::::::::::::::::::Activity Day Girls:::::::::

At church my new calling is to be a leader for the Activity Day Girls. There are already 2 leaders, so I help with what ever they need. The girls are really a fabulous bunch. Last night we created a mock runway for the girls to walk down. They were asked to wear their favorite modest outfit and tell why they felt it was modest. The girls loved struting down the catwalk we created using white Christmas lights after they came out from behind a white bed sheet where they created a silhoutte from a yard light. Then we separated them into 3 groups and let them discuss ways to be modest in dress and be good examples to their friends. The girls were thrilled to run out and play in the first snow of the year...and maybe the only snow of the year here in Georgia.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Noah 9...

that is what you get when Ben 10's #1 fan gets a nasty infection on his thumb.

Last week during sacrament meeting I noticed Noah's cuticle was pink a puffy. I asked him to remind me to look at when we got home from church. He forgot. I forgot. BAD THING! So, sacrament meeting rolled around again Sunday and I looked at Noah's hand. CRIMINEA (sp?)and YIKES! It was a hot pink, swollen, oozing mess! Why hasn't he said anything? Well, you just have to know Noah the Stoic and shirker of things painful. Michael and I let our friend, Paola, know that we were taking Noah home during Sunday School to clean and treat the thumb.
The first course of action was to numb the skin, so Michael could check out the damage. Our neighbor, Kristen, is also an EMT and suggested keeping Anbesol in the first aid kit to be used as a topical anesthetic. Michael, then, wiped off the Anbesol and used the twizzers to clean off the dead skin and crusty stuff. Then he squeezed out a lot of infection while Noah screamed and cried, while I held him and cried. Michael then put some tincture of Benzoin on the thumb. Noah told him to hurry up because he was missing Sunday School and he wanted to get back right away.

We watched it for a day and it looked like it might get better with just a bit of antibotic cream and changes of band-aids. I decided to check on him during his lunch period at school to determine if I needed to call the doctor. The finger looked worse so I called and made an appointment while I was at the school for 2:30pm. When I went back to school to pick him up after retrieving Eve from preschool the school nurse came up to me to thank me for a fleece blanket I made her two years ago. She had gotten very sick right after I gave it to her and she said she cuddled in the blanket for warmth every day she was out sick. She told me she also cuddles in it for a nap, most days, after school. Boy, that made my heart warm. She takes care of kids when I'm not there, so I'm glad I can return some measure of comfort to her!

Noah saw the nurse practioner and she said that he had a bacterial infection and prescribed bactrim (sp), or rather, the generic sulfatrim. He will take 14ml twice a day for 10 days. She said they are using this medication as a first line of drug because of the antibiotic resistant MRSA. If his thumb doesn't show improvement in 2 days we go back for another drug they have found useful against MRSA resistant strains.

Last night, while playing the Simpson version of Clue Noah was wondering what would happen if his thumb didn't get better. Michael told him we would get it cut off and replace it with a bionic thumb (while he was doing the Bionic Man theme song). Then, Michael did this slow motion thumb wrestling with his "Bionic" thumb and told Noah that with a Bionic thumb he could challenge everyone and win. Noah LOVED this idea.

::::::::::::::::::::Double 0 Noah::::::::

On the way to the doctor's appointment Noah was wondering what it would be like to have a car with a harpoon gun. He theorized that if you shot a harpoon gun at a truck going the opposite way would rip the door right off. I suppose that would be true...STRANGE, but true! I told him that Granny Sue would love him to design and build her just such an equipped vehicle because she hates traffic.

I have my own ideas about how to get annoying drivers out of my way. I think really hard things like, "Don't you need to turn right here and get bread?" "Don't you need to stop for gas?" "Pull in right here and go to the bathroom?" "TURN NOW!" I have found that I am 100% ineffective.

::::::::::::::::::::Givin' Out Some PROPS:::::

I really enjoy reading my husband's blog, Free Philosophical Discussions .

::::::::::::::::Working on layouts...

I'm creating a Shutterfly album for my sister-in-law for her Christmas gift. We set down and selected photos and she looked at some of my digital supplies and let me know what style she liked. So, now I'm working on the album of her wonderful family.


Friday, January 11, 2008

Things That Interest Me...

and I wanted to share them with you:

:::::::::::::::::::Don't Mess With Mother Nature::::::::::

Michael heard this story on NPR and related it to me.
Elephants vs. Ants vs. Tree Absolutely fascinating!

:::::::::::::::::::Weird & Cool:::::::::

Human hair mulch.

I heard this story "Who Is Singing", while driving to my mom's house a couple of weeks ago and I teared up...not great while driving. This story of an orphaned Irish girl who later hears a traditional Irish song that she never remembers hearing before singing in her head.

::::::::::::::::::B Flat::::::::

Stuff you may not have known about B Flat...I know I didn't!

The world is complex and fascinating!


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Reality Is Unscripted:

Eve won a gingerbread tea towel with a bag of cookie mix during the White Elephant gift exchange at my mom's house. Michael agreed to help her make the cookies when he got home from Scouts. She held him to his promise. They started to get the stuff together to mix them up and at the same time I opened the refrigerator and noticed that the hamburger meat was still frozen and laying on the shelf. I was surprised to see it there because I thought Michael had used it to make the Mabu Tofu. He had not realized it was there and had grabbed another package from the freezer. Eve inquired,"Why was mom asking about meat?" To whit Michael replied, "Because we are making MEAT cookies!" Then these crazy photos were taken for posterity:

Darcy Baldwin: What's In Your Wallet fonts at The Digichick
Kay Miller: Barnyard Dance
Kate Hadfield: Doodled Black Alpha, Dinsaur Doodle, Knotted stitches,
Tiff and Kates: Wordy-Bits Dates
Tiff Brady: elements from Exotic Adventure collab kit with Christina Renee
Erica Hite: Dear Diary
Miscellaneous font: Another Typewriter
Shabby Miss Jenn: staple from Old Letters Little Kit
Nancy Comelab: cluster frames (modified)
Emily Merritt: Word Topper dates
Misty Mareda: Stitched frame

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

What Do You Sing At Dinner Time?

Our kids broke into this Spongebob and Plankton diddy:

They broke into an encore performance immediately. Luckily, no one choked on their food. The kids ate spaghetti with what Aaron calls crazy noodles (angel hair, elpow and capatavvi), while Michael and I ate pulled pork sandwiches with a mustard based sauce.
btw...Eve was eating dinner at the time.

::::::::::::::Working on Layouts...forthcoming...

Later, gators!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

"I'm Never Going To Eat Again...

and I MEAN IT!", yelled Eve Taylor as she ran to her room, yesterday, during an early morning tantrum. This sent Aaron and me into peals of laughter, which made Eve even angrier. Aaron, eventually, coaxed Eve back downstairs to finish eating her waffles. Her little tirade started because I gave Aaron a second waffle before giving her the second waffle. He was finished with his first one and she was not, but in her mind it was still treason.

:::::::::::::::Gingerbread Girl:::::::::

Darcy Baldwin: DJB AndreaB, DJB SusanB1 at The Digichick
Shabby Miss Jenn: Cherrywood Farm, Uncle Patrick's Banquet, Trimmin' The Tree, Old Letters lil kit
Gina Cabrera: Kraft paper from Simply Irresistable
Michelle Coleman: Good Karma freebie
Amanda Rockwell: All Screwed Up
Emily Merritt: Wordtopper (modified)

::::::::::::::::Peter and The Secret of Rundoon

The kids and I thoroughly enjoyed this installment of stories about Peter Pan as imagined by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. The mulitple sub-stories that culminate in the end are exciting. The irrepressible Tinker Bell adds such spark and sass to the book that the kids laugh every time Peter "mis-translates" her chimes. The relationship between Smee and Shining Pearl is endearing. Noah, literally, leapt to his feet when it came to the part of the clock, Hook and Mister Grin because he had figured out what was about to happen. Great writing, again!

Jim Dale does the audio version of the book. Michael and I keep joking about some of the characters by inserting Harry Potter references as Jim Dale reads. The kids think it's hilarious and do some themselves.

::::::::::::::::::::::::Mistakes Were Made (but not by me)

What a thought provoking book on so many levels. One of the topics brought up at the end of the book was the way mistakes are viewed in American and Japanese culture. Americans feel mistakes show that you are weak and stupid, while Japanese realize that mistakes are made, but figuring out how to get the answer is part of learning and getting the answer is ultimately very satisfying and rewarding. The authors state, "Most American school children, however, are denied the freedom to noodle around, experiment, and be wrong in ten ways, let alone ten thousand. The focus on constant testing, whcih grew out of the reasonable desire to measure and standardize children's accomplishments, has intensified their fear of failure.... When children or adults fear falure, they fear risk. They can't afford to be wrong." The authors explain that because Americans feel that certain abilities are innate and either can master something, or can't because of how they were born.
When Children are praised for their efforts, even when they don't get the answer right the first time, they perform better. "They are more likely to regard mistakes and criticism as useful information that will help them improve. In contrast, children praised for their natural ability learn to care more about how competent they look to others than about what they are actually learning". These findings were reported after 20 years of research by psychologist, Carol Dweck. These kids she found grow up to be the kind of adults who are afraid to make mistake or take responsibility. (p.234).

Carol Dweck has an approach that has changed childrens' behavior in a positive way with a simple intervention: "She teaches elementary-school children and college students alike that intelligence is not a fixed, inborn trait...but rater a skill...that can be honed by hard work.

"The moral of the story is easy to say, and difficult to execute. When you screw up, try saying this: 'I made a mistake. I need to understand what went wrong. I don't want to make the same mistake again.'"

What an eye-opening book and one I recommend for everyone.

::::::::::::::::::::::Recent downloads from Spiralfrog:::::::

The Georgia Peach album by Little Richard

::::::::::::::::::::::Cake Art:::::::::

I signed up for my Wilton Cake art class and will be starting in a couple of weeks...Thanks for the gift, MOM! I wish Michael could take the class with me, but he is watching the kids. I want to take all of the cake decorating classes and the marzipan class, eventually.


Thursday, January 03, 2008

MEAT Cookies!

...Now that is just NOT right! Eve won a gingerbread tea towel with a bag of cookie mix during the White Elephant gift exchange at my mom's house. Michael agreed to help her make the cookies when he got home from Scouts. She held him to his promise. They started to get the stuff together to mix them up and at the same time I opened the refrigerator and noticed that the hamburger meat was still frozen and laying on the shelf. I was surprised to see it there because I thought Michael had used it to make the Mabu Tofu. He had not realized it was there and had grabbed another package from the freezer. Eve inquired,"Why was mom asking about meat?" To whit Michael replied, "Because we are making MEAT cookies!" Then these crazy photos were taken for posterity:

Eve wearing Noah's crazy glasses.

Eve with the gingerbread boy cookie cutter and frozen ground beef!

Michael the goofy chef and Crazy Eve.

The glasses are gone, but she is still under the effects of the silliness.

Eve hard at work mixing her dough.

::::::::::::::::::::Today I Made This...::::::::::

a layout from our family reunion this Summer.

Darcy Baldwin: DJB Chere and DJB Connorbuck at The Digichick
Ida: Clustered doodle frames
Michelle Coleman: Color Me Happy Solids
Amanda Rockwell: Little Lauren Lalas
Christina Renee: Punch Alpha
Kate Hadfield: Pipecleaner Arrows, Doodled frame and arrow
Jenn Patrick: Backward Staples
Jackie Eckles: Journaling Freebie
Kim Christensen: Tag Alpha
Flergs: Glitter glue freebie

::::::::::::::::::The Kids Are Back In School::::::::

and seemed happy to!


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy New Year!

:::::::::::::::::New Year's Day Festivities:::::

My mom held her annual "eat at my place" party. Michael made sweet potatoe souffle and we brought some Pomegranate 7UP. We enjoyed such faire as greenbean casserole, corn pudding, collards and hoppin' John, turkey and ham.

The sad news of the day was from our friend, Kathy, who lives in Washington. Her companion, Bill, was killed when he went to the shed at the cabin they own and due to the weight of the snow the roof collapsed on him. Our hearts and prayers go out to her and their family!

:::::::::::::::Vacation Layout:::::::

Here are a couple of double page layouts of our stop in Pennsylvania:

We enjoyed the Amish buggy ride. Our buggy ride ended right before the storm we had been watching approach sent rain down in torrents. Then we ran into the restaurant called Plain and Fancy and head an Amish style meal. Rachel loved the honey butter and I loved the rolls.

Darcy Baldwin: DJB MICHAEL at the Digichick,
Nancy Comelab: Cluster Frames
Mary Fran: Fall papers and elements
Shabby Miss Jenn: Tree Trimmin' Party, Staple from Old Letters lil kit
Michelle Coleman: Emma's Sundress clear alpha, Hand Stamped Alpha
Kim Christensen: Tag Alpha
Catrine: Chalk Brushed Alpha
Jackie Eckles: Journaling Highlites

::::::::::::::::::::::This Is So True::::::::

:::::::::::::::::::::::Marshmallow War Casualties:::::::

Noah was out with Aaron and Aaron's friend Nick only a few minutes before they shot him in the eye. He insisted on going back out. I suggested that he protect his eyes with sunglasses. That lasted a couple of minutes. Then, he came back in crying and he thought it would be best if he wore his Darth Vader mask. That lasted another...WHOPPING two minutes when the proverbial Achilles heel of the mask idea. Noah had to tilt up the mask to shoot his marshmallow. THWAP! Shot in the face, again. Ah, the angst of being a kid trying to smack other kids with stuff. I think they are going by the old adage..."Do unto others before they do unto you".

::::::::::::::::::::::::Platinum Rule:::::::::

During a talk at Church, a sister spoke about the "Platinum Rule" in their house. Most of us are familiar with the "Golden Rule" of do unto others as you would have done to you. They took the rule up a notch by saying do unto others that they need done for them. Supplying what the person needs, and treating them with what they stand in need of is a very personal and added layers to an, already, good way to live our lives.

::::::::::::::::::::::::Mistakes Were Made::::::::

I'm almost finished reading the book and, as usual, have little strips of paper marking pages that I find interesting and wish to reference. Those little strips are between most every page. I resist the urge to grab a highlighter, as this is library property. The concept of an "Ethical Compass" was discussed with a pertinent example of Jeb Stuart Magruder, Richard Nixon's special assistant and was a key player in the plot to burglarize the DNC and conceal the the involvement of the White House. He explained how Liddy came to them with a wild and preposterous plan, which they quickly said no to and when he presented them with a much more scaled back plan the new idea seemed more rational and the group accepted the new idea. On p. 37 of the book he says, "Somewhere between my ambition and my ideals, I lost my ethical compass." as he stood at his sentencing. The authors of the book state concisely what happens that was learned by the Milgram experiment: "...shows us how ordinary people can end up doing immoral and harmful things through a chain reaction of behaviour and subsequent self-justification"..."You get him to take one step at a time, and self-justification will do the rest".

Another chapter deal with physcians accepting fees and incentives from drug companies and then low and behold the amount of a particula expensive drug is prescribed or a certain study fills up with the doctor's patients. This reminds me of an episode of the British show "My Hero" where the doctor hands out a new drug to his patients who are all eager to accept to try it when he says it will when a free trip...then he mutters he will be enjoying the trip to the Sechelles at the end of the month. My advice is to question and research the things your doctor says and the drugs you are taking.

I will go into more later.


*enjoy the pool membership

*learn to decorate kickin' cool cakes (thanks to my mom's gift to the Cake Art store)

*Continue to read


*take better photographs

*Keep my mind and ears open for more ways to improve myself and relationships