Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A--mazing Amazon Deal! Over 100 Batteries for 10 bucks or Less!

By using the promo code for ReStock, $10 off any three qualifying items you can really save by stocking up on batteries.  

I purchased 2 AA packs (96 batteries) and 1 AAA pack (36 batteries) for a total of $10.89 and free shipping after using the $10 off promo code   6EFUJ3X7  from Restock It. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Homeschool Art: The Melted Crayon Project

You know the project.  Odds are if you are on Pintrest, you have it pinned to a board.  Lately, its been circling the blogosphere.  We finally had the chance to do it.  And while its "fun" there is also a lot of learning that can take place during this activity.  Teachable moments include:

Start to finish it took a little more than an hour.  The supplies for each child cost us $3 at Michael's.  Here's how to do it:

Supplies:  One box of 60 Crayons, One canvas (14x10 approx), hot glue gun, hair dryer

Step One:  Take small sections of crayons and put them into color order.  Add small sections of crayons to the color-ordered group. 

Step Two:  Hot glue crayons onto canvas.

Step Three:  Experiment with hairdryer at different heights, distances, and speeds to achieve the type of melting that your child wants most.  Experiment with layering by heating and cooling newly melted wax. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Homeschool Tech Activity: EASY Stop Motion Videos and a Challenge Activity

I am always looking for new ways to make homeschooling fun and hip, and I try to tie in the kids interests into things we learn about whenever possible.  They love learning and I want that to continue.  That's the basic principal behind my homeschooling mantra.

My masters degree is in Instructional Technology- essentially how to incorporate technology into instruction; to use technology to engage learners, building on the STEM skills they will need.  That's what I have been doing all while in my cozy pajamas using the gifts the kids got for Christmas. And I thank Steve Jobs everyday for making that oh-so-easy.

One of my Masters classes was on making movies.  Although only 10 years ago, we used big bulky video camera, edited in iMovie-like software (for hours) and came up with a half-way decent result.  When we repeated that lesson back into the classroom it was successful but so time consuming.

Flash forward 10 years to a couple of homeschoolers, an iPod touch and the internet:  the possibilities are endless and SIMPLE!

Here's what you will need:
iPod touch/ iPhone/ iPad (needs the camera feature)
iTimeLapse Pro it'll cost you a whopping $1.99
your choice of subject matter

You can do so much with this!  My 8 year old, with minimal help took his kit of Legos: Rockefeller Center and built it using the manual picture mode (taking a picture after every step of lego building) and really, other than the music selection, the app did the rest!

Here's his video:

I'd like to do a carnival of sorts.  A chance for others to learn about this app and share some of our results using a similar set of subject objects.

TASK:   Using the following items, create your own stop action movie and have it shared here in 1 week!  I think it'll be very cool to see how many different versions we can come up with using similar props.  Let's start out very simple since many of you may not be familiar with any of this application.

  • iTimeLapse Pro 
  • Paper City Paris on madebyjoel.com (this will be our "common thread" in all of our videos-- its doesn't  matter how you use it just so long as its there somehow)

Once you have made your video post it to YouTube.com and email us the link and we will post our results!  Can't wait to see what turns up!  Get all videos in by January 21!!  Email the link of your video to jenaferlm at hotmail dot com  (if you can't get it loaded up to YouTube just email us the video!) When you send us the link or video let us know what name you would like displayed with your video (no need for real names- if you want to be private and internet-safety-minded!  AND if you have a blog and want it linked add that too!)

Happy movie making!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Ultimate “Stay-cation”: Lyme's Disease

In this tough economy, may people are turning away from vacations and doing stay-cations instead. I would like to offer you the ultimate in the Stay-cation Experience: Lymes Disease. I know, you think I am crazy—but hear me out. You will find yourself hunting down a Lyme carrying tick before you finish reading this blog post.

Lets compare vacation experiences with Lymes Disease and see how they shape up.

Travel. Many people enjoy traveling far distances and seeing new places. Well, with Lymes Disease, you most likely will not be able to find a specialist in your geographic area and will get to indulge in such travel.

Meet New People. Ah, meeting new people. Sometimes when one goes on vacation they make friends with others on vacation. With Lymes Disease, you too can meet new people. Most will have medical degrees of varying fields; oncology, infectious disease, internal medicine, surgeons, etc. You options of meeting these new people is truly limitless as few people will realize you actually have Lymes Disease and they will continually bounce you over to another specialist to meet.

Loose Your Inhibitions. Sometimes people on vacation can tend to act in a promiscuous fashion. You get to do that too with Lymes Disease! I promise you will not miss out! The people you met in #2 will feel you up, both over your clothes and under them. You will leave their offices feeling as violated and used as if you had a drunken escapade in a bar. Promise.

See New Sights. The Taj Mahal? The Eiffel Tower? They both have nothing on seeing the various CT scan machines, radiology suites, and other specialty suites your local hospitals offer. You may get to see Pet Scan machines too. Become overly familiar with the twisty winding hallways of your local hospital and even serve as a knowledgeable tour guide for those people on their first visit.

Gamble. The casinos in Vegas are too predictable if you ask me. You either win or loose. Red or Black. With Lymes, you and your family can place wagers on what levels your blood will come back as…is it an AutoImmune Disease? What exactly is your white blood cell count. The possibilities are endless.

Relax. A short nap on a hammock in Jamaica has nothing on the months of time you will spend lying on your couch because you are too weak and in too much pain to do much else.

Indulge in Reading. A good book you say? A scary tale at night? Well, the shelves and the internet are littered with reading material you can horrify yourself with as you try to figure out what exactly is wrong with you.

Introspection. Do you like to meditate and ponder the mysteries of life while you learn about yourself? How about trying to figure out if you are crazy, a hypochondriac, or just loosing your mind? You can do that daily with Lymes Disease. Promise.

Learn a New Language. Screw learning French while sitting in Paris. You will be speaking in medical terms that none of your friends will understand. Big words like: Borrelia burgdorferi, Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and Polymerase chain reaction.

Shopping. You don’t need to buy pretty little trinkets from Bermuda. You will get the chance to buy tons of vitamins and supplements which should all do one thing or another (or nothing at all). No boring haggling with local merchants in the Caribbean for their wares—You can compare the amounts of live cultures in the different types of probiotics as you make your purchases instead and ask the pharmacists never ending questions that they do not know the answers to.

See? Why deal with the TSA and the travel regulations when you could be having all this fun right from your home? Plus, vacations only last a week or so. Lymes Disease, well, who knows how long it will stay around but you can bet you’ll be measuring your time in months if not years. I think that trumps a mere seven days on the beach somewhere right?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Will You be Sending Your Puppy??

New Law Imposed Regarding Dogs

The Federal Government has imposed a new law that all dogs who are over the age of one year will now be engaged in the following federally funded program. The country feels that dogs need more care than most owners are willing or able to give them.

Starting tomorrow morning you dog will be picked up by Joe in a minivan at your house. Oh, you’ve never met Joe—that’s ok he is trustworthy, take our word for it. He will put your dog in the back of the van --and allow us to be upfront, there are restraints for their safety-- but unless your dog can get itself into the harness on its own, they wont be used. In the minivan there will be many other dogs of varying sizes. Joe’s attention will be on driving the van and won't really be able to monitor the dogs in the back. Hopefully there wont be any problems, but you know, dogs will be dogs.
After driving to our facility your dog will be placed into one of our special kennels with other dogs of the same hair color. We do not group dogs by breed or
size so your white toy poodle may be grouped with a white Akita or other large dog.

We also can not take into account the instinctual tendencies of your dog. All the hunting, show, sporting, and working dogs will all be in the same kennel and follow the same program. Some of our activities for enrichment will include fetching, searching, and obstacle course work. Your dog doesn’t like to do those things? Well, that is our program and we feel all dogs should excel in those areas. If your dog does not participate or achieve to our expectations we will set up a conference with you to see what you are doing at home that might be interfering with their success. If there is any repetitive barking or growling, we will call you to discuss this behavior. We will also isolate your dog if this behavior continues. Please be sure that it doesn't.

While we understand you may have taught your dog several command or even housebroken your dog on your own in the comfort of your home, we think doing this type of training in a group setting without differentiation is better.

Lunch will be comprised of 1 cup of kibble, regardless of the size or appetite of your dog. We will not feed wet canned food or any table food to dogs. If your dog is used to that kind of thing we advise you to get them used to our brand of kibble. There will be no second cups allowed for any dogs unless we have a written letter from your veterinarian stating that your dog requires more than one cup of kibble. We will charge you for additional kibble.

After lunch the dogs from all kennels will be intermingled for a period of time. At times, dogs will fight with each other. We think this is healthy socialization and both to be expected and a learning experience for them. This is the only time your dog will be allowed outside of the kennel during the day.

Dogs will be walked every two hours. We ask that your dog be held to this schedule. Frequent walks for the bathroom are highly discouraged as it will make all the other dogs want to go for a walk.

Joe will bring home your dog after 6 hours at our facility. We ask that at that time you prepare an obstacle course at your home and run your dog through it several times each evening. This kind of repetitive activity will reinforce the activities we do in the kennels.

Please don’t go for walks in the evening with your dog, visit dog parks or play any other tiring games as we need your dog to be well rested for the next day.

Oh and by the way, that pretty pink and shiny collar on your pup, well that isn’t allowed in our kennels. We fear it may encourage fighting among dogs. Please use only a blue or red collar.

I wouldn't send my dog, or my child for that matter. So to me homeschooling is the only thing that makes sense to us. Im sure I angered some people but really its just a comical view on what many people do everyday because they are expected to.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Earning Your Wings: The Rites to Being a Backyard Chicken Farmer

So my sister now officially thinks of herself as a backyard chicken farmer. As I told her this morning: not so fast. She has had three 8 week chicks for all of 48 hours.

I have created this list of the rites she must pass through before calling herself an official chicken farmer.

Feel free to add ones I may have left out as we educate our novice fellow chicken raiser. Tally your scores and find out if you are a true backyard chicken farmer.

Give yourself 1 point for each answer of "Oh yeah, I have done that" and no points for "Huh? Really?"

1. You must slide and nearly fall from stepping on chicken poop. Bonus point if you fall.

2. A chicken must poop ON you. Bonus point if it is on your skin instead of clothing.

3. You must find yourself having a serious conversation with a chicken with no other human present. Bonus point if a neighbor points this out to you days later.

4. You transition from wearing boots into the coop (and scrubbing them down after entering) to flip flops or better yet, barefeet.

5. You have heard your chickens snore and can fairly accurately replicate this sound to your friends while drinking. Bonus point if you were sober.

6. You have washed a chickens butt in your home. Bonus point if it was in your bathroom sink.

7. You have cooked food for your chickens before cooking for your family.

8. Your husband points out that the chickens are fed more regularly than he is.

9. You have pried a warm egg out of the nest while a ticked off broody hen sits atop it. Bonus point if she pecks your hand. 2 bonus points if she pecks your face.

10. You have brought out fresh water and feed in one of the following: a snow storm with 3 feet of snow on the ground, a torrential rainstorm leaving you stranded in the coop, or a severe thunder and lightning storm. Bonus point for doing it in all three.

0-5 points: Um, you clearly do not have chickens other than the nuggets in your freezer.

5-10 points: Maybe you have visited some one with chickens, or a farm but its doubtful they live in your backyard. If they do, you are clearly not the one who takes care of them.

10-12 points: You have backyard chickens but not for long enough.

13-15 points: You are a crazy rocking backyard chicken farmer!

16 or higher: You have some serious issues. Get some non-feathered friends and step AWAY from the coop.

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