Friday, August 31, 2012

That Pig is Not Pink!

We were lucky enough to be invited over to a friends house for a Bar-B-Que the other day. Weren't we surprised when we got there and discovered they had a pet potbelly pig named Charlotte. She is only 5 months old! Little Mister would toss her an apple slice and say, "There pig"! He wouldn't get too close but kept wanting to go back out and see her! I also answered tons of questions, like: what do pigs eat? where do pigs sleep? does she swim in that pool? what is that noise? where is all her hair? It turned into a teachable moment for him and me. I had to come home and look up some facts about pigs!
When it was time to eat, I had to ask our hosts . . .  Is that Pork Ribs on the grill?

Of course we had to come home and do some "piggy thing", as I was told! Too funny! We had a fun day with good food and friends and a meeting a pig named Charlotte!

Random Piggy Facts:
* A pig will live an average of 12 -18 years, estimates range up to more than 20 years.
*Although often called miniature pot bellied pigs, the term miniature is relative - they are smaller than most pigs kept for food production, but they still usually weigh 125 pounds or more when fully grown.
* Pigs are very intelligent. This is usually a positive trait, and in fact pot bellied pigs are quite trainable, much the same as a dog (i.e. can be house trained, leash trained, and will learn a few tricks).
* Original specimens brought to the United States in the 1980s were black. Now several varieties are available including grey, white, tan and red. Spotting (or ”pinto”) seems to be a preferred variation to many owners.
* Temperament of your pet pot-bellied pig will vary. Males tend to be more aggressive and ”pigheaded” as they mature, especially if they are not neutered. Females can become territorial when they are pregnant. Most pigs will go through ”teenage” years as they mature. This stage is when they test their boundaries and see where they can put YOU in their pecking order. It is up to the owner to ensure that the pig learns its rightful place in the ”herd.” The owner should make the pig ”earn” his food and treats, thus enforcing the fact that the owner is the ”alpha.” During this phase the pig may develop ”selective” hearing and ignore commands from owners. It is up to the owner to consistently and uniformly enforce each action of the pig. If left uncorrected the pig may become unruly and this is, unfortunately, the time when most pigs are abandoned to shelters and rescues. It’s not the pigs fault; it is the lack of education on the owner’s part. Please be sure you are prepared for the responsibility of pet ownership before you purchase your pet. His life depends on you.

Featured at Lessons Learnt Journal

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Boy and A Hurricane

Well, we are still getting torrential downpours from this horribly SLOW moving hurricane! However, we are some of the more lucky ones. We lost Little Mister's water-wall and had some slight damage to our kitchen. I just wish the rain would stop! Flooding continues and I pray for those who are suffering!

My family rode out the storm at my mom's house. She is disabled so, it was easier for us to pack and go to her than to move all her needs and supplies to our house. Now, imagine 4 people in a small apartment, stuck inside for 2 whole days with no power!!! Augh! Little Mister was bouncing off the walls (along with Big Mister...)!

On the first morning, we tried to spend as much time as possible outside between bouts of rain. This, of course, did not last long before the bands actually started to move in. We made the most of the time we had and Little Mister played hard! My goal was to try and wear him out so he would sleep through the worst part of the storm. We kept him moving with a bag, a frog and snowballs!

My Mom's tiny living room after 2 days stuck inside!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pokeweed and Pine Needles

This is something I used to do when I was a little girl. My Granny had pokeweeds in the woody areas behind her house. Their red and purple beauty just seemed to beckon us! Of course, my cousin and I didn't use paper to paint with these juicy, splendid things. We freely smeared them on trees and the back of an old tool shed! It was great fun until we came inside with our hands (and most of our arms and clothes) all stained a beautiful, velvety color! My Granny didn't really think that it was as great as my cousin and I did. Oh well, it left stains on our clothes and wonderful memories of childhood in our hearts!

As Little Mister and I walked around in the woody area beside our house today, we found loads of pokeberry bushes! I picked a bag full while he found the perfect pine needle branch!
There's some berries

Hurry Mommy, Let's Paint

Please use caution and supervise your child well if you paint with Pokeweed berries!!!

Interesting Facts about Pokeweed:
* U.S. Constitution was written in Pokeweed ink.
* American Indians used pokeweed ink to decorate their horses.
* The pokeweeds, also known as poke, pokebush, pokeberry, pokeroot, polk salad, polk sallet, inkberry or ombĂș, comprise the genus Phytolacca, perennial plants native to North America, South America, East Asia and New Zealand. Pokeweed contains phytolaccatoxin and phytolaccigenin, which are poisonous to mammals. However, the berries are eaten by birds, which are not affected by the toxin because the small seeds with incredibly hard outer shells remain intact in the digestive system and are eliminated whole.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Gone Felt Fishin'

I've never tried to fry Felt Fish but, they sure are good while learning to count to five. They also served as a good color review. All in honor of National Catfish Month.

We counted the number of buttons and then "released" the fish in our pond. To play, for example, I would ask him to catch the green fish or find the fish with 3 buttons. We played over and over. Thank goodness it was a catch-and-release operation!

To make the fish, I cut 2 different patterns with paper. I traced them on the felt and cut out 2 pieces for each fish. I sewed the buttons on them and then sewed them together leaving a small gap near the mouth area. I inserted a small washed and sewed it into place. We then found a wooden spatula spoon that had a hole already on the end. I removed the rubber end and tied a thick string onto the "pole". I tied a button on the other end and hot glued on a magnet.

And of course, we had to fry some up in a pan! Remember, we live in the #1 state for catfish production! Over 80% of catfish in the USA come from the Hospitality State!

He's a Good Cook

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Go Away Isaac

OK... Please Go away Isaac! 
You are approaching our coast WAY to close to the 7th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina (Aug 29, 2005)!

I know they are not predicting Isaac as an extremely bad storm, only a Cat 2, but . . . on the anniversary of the worst storm ever . . .
No way!
Those of you in the cone, take a deep breath with me and lets focus.
 For the peace-of-mind of my son, I will remain calm!
Nerves are raw and stores are packed but, first things first, fill your gas tanks. Below is a "Be Prepared List" that I always use. Remember, take into consideration your families specific needs!
 Also, form some kind of plan with extended members of your family. After Katrina, it was days before we could contact family to check on them and let them know we were alright. Most of my family lives along the MS Gulf Coast so you can imagine our worry and frustration. 
For those of you that may wonder, Why all this stress and anxiety, check out the pictures below. This was my world after Katrina came for a visit in 2005.

Be Prepared List:
  • Flashlight with plenty of extra batteries
  • Battery-powered radio with extra batteries
  • First aid kit (bandages, aspirin, disinfectant swabs) 
  • Candles and matches 
  • Prescription medications (at least a 2 weeks supply) in their original bottle, plus copies of the prescriptions.
  • Water (at least one gallon per person per day is recommended; more is better)
  • Foods that do not require refrigeration or cooking
  • Coolers for food storage 
  • Charcoal to cook on the grill 
  • Items that infants and elderly household members may require
  • Change of clothes for each household member
  • Sleeping bag or bedroll and pillow for each household member
  • Checkbook, cash in large and small bills and credit cards
  • Cell phone charger and car charger if you have one
  • Charge your laptop computer batteries
  • Digital camera, camera with film or disposable camera for before/after pictures of property
  • Books, games, toys for children
  • Disposable plates and utensils
  • Manual can opener
  • Scissors and Tools
  • Toilet Paper
  • Insect repellent, sunscreen
  • Baby wipes and Anti-bacteria hand cleaner
Examples of non-perishable food:
  • Powdered milk or evaporated milk
  • Canned meats/fish
  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Jello and pudding cups
  • Canned soups
  • Dry fruit and nuts
  • Cereal Bars
  • Crackers
  • Kool-Aid packets
  • Peanut Butter
  • Bread
Important papers to take if you evacuate:
  • Driver's license or personal identification
  • Social Security card
  • Proof of residence (deed or lease)
  • Insurance policies
  • Birth and marriage certificates
  • Stocks, bonds, and other negotiable certificates
  • Wills, deeds, and copies of recent tax returns
  • PHOTO ALBUMS and keepsakes 
Bring things indoors. Lawn furniture, trash cans, children's toys, garden equipment, clotheslines, hanging plants, and any other objects that may fly around and damage property should be brought indoors.
Move valuables and breakable things away from windows.
Fill tubes, sinks and large vessels (like pots, buckets, etc.) with water to flush with.

A few days after Hurricane Katrina - MS Gulf Coast


Absorb Knowledge from God

Lord, I want to continue to grow in You and Your Word. I want to be wise and absorb the lessons you try to teach me! Help me to learn from my mistakes so I won't have to repeat them. I want to listen for your voice of guidance in all that I do!

Much like the celery uses what it has been given for continued growth, help me to make the most out of my situation (good or not so good) and TRUST you!

Cut the bottom of the stalk and place in a cup of food coloring. Wait for a day or two and watch how the dye is drawn up by the celery. If you slice the celery in half, you can actually see the tubes which carried the dye up the stalk. Science is so cool!

Consume the Word, eat a Bible Cookie! (HeeHee) We made these for Sunday School snacks.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Bears in A Cave

Count the Bears as they go in the cave: 1, 2, 3, 4, . . .
I'm glad these were cuddly, friendly bears because they didn't get to hibernate today. Instead, they spent their day moving in and out of their cave. I'd say this was a hit at my house!

First, we painted the inside of a clear plastic cup with gray paint. After it dried, I cut a "door" on the side and a hole on the top. Then, I rounded-up 10 different sized pom-pom's to be bears. Finally, let the bear counting begin!
* We counted as they went in the cave and sometimes we counted as they walked out the door.
* Several times only a few bears felt like moving around and they others napped.
* Remember, there are no rules! Let his imagination be the guide! Learning should be FUN!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Not-So-Fuzzy Handkerchiefs

The Summer Virtual Book Club for Kids picked Kevin Henkes for their August author. He has many wonderful books and we enjoyed so many!

  We chose the book titled Owen for our project. The story is about a young mouse who has a yellow fuzzy blanket he takes with him everywhere. He is soon to start school and his Mom and Dad don't want Owen taking the dirty, old blanket with him. After several failed attempts, mom mouse has a clever solution. She makes several handkerchiefs from the not-so-fuzzy blanket so Owen can have his beloved blanket with him always!

Inspired by the book, we let our imagination drive us in what we would do with Owen's handkerchiefs.
Little Mister, of course, made several hats. He also played with magic carpets, a bandana, an airplane, and a speeding mailman. He also discovered it makes for a great game of peek-a-boo!

How could I have forgotten the all-important cape

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

If it Rolls . . . It Can Paint

If it rolls . . . it can paint!
That was our motto today! We started out to just paint with some marbles. 

 We had so much fun that we started looking around for other round things to paint with. We found different size balls and other toys at first. Then he decided to use one of his snacks, grapes. This lead us to the kitchen where we found some more fun things. Little Mister pointed out to me the difference in size of our selected items because he sorted them. This got me to thinking. 
I divided our paper into 4 squares by gluing on some uncooked Fettuccine.
Then we used each square to paint our 4 kitchen items.
Grape Tomatoes 
Coriander (spice)
The 4 squares allowed us to compare the painted lines of our items.
We discussed how the bigger items made bigger lines with paint and the smallest items left behind small lines.
A fun and educational project!


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Kitchen Camp-Out

Tonight we had a camp-out in our kitchen!

As I've mentioned in previous posts, My Little Mister is fascinated with food on a stick! I am willing to try just about anything if he would only eat! So, we made a faux-fire and "roasted" smores on the kitchen counter. We then piled some pillows on the floor, turned the lights out (doused the fire), grabbed some flashlights and made some shadow puppets. Afterall, isn't that what you do on campouts? Best part, we didn't have to worry about mosquitoes or snakes!

Marshmallows on a stick, dipped in chocolate and rolled in graham cracker crumbs

Messy Mister

Monday, August 20, 2012

Fuzzy Science

What do you get when you mix, 
drops of brightly colored paint + a blob of baking soda + a squirt of vinegar  + a dash of inquisitive Little Mister?
Answer: A Really Cool Fuzzy Science Experiment!
We enjoyed it so much, we tried the "In-A-Bag" version!

Simple Explanation:
When baking soda and vinegar mix, it creates a chemical reaction. Gas is released which we see as bubbles.

What's really happening:
It is deceptively simple: what appears to be one reaction is actually two, happening in quick succession. This reaction is an example of a multistep reaction.
What actually happens is this: the acetic acid (that's what makes vinegar sour) reacts with sodium bicarbonate (a compound that's in baking soda) to form carbonic acid. It's really a double-replacement reaction. Carbonic acid is unstable, and it immediately falls apart into carbon dioxide and water (it's a decomposition reaction). The bubbles you see from the reaction come from the carbon dioxide escaping the solution that is left. Carbon dioxide is heavier than air, so, it flows almost like water when it overflows the container. It is a gas that you exhale (though in small amounts), because it is a product of the reactions that keep your body going. What's left is a dilute solution of sodium acetate in water.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Bacon and Eggs in a Bag with Joyful Noises on the Side

Psalm 100

100 Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.


Little Mister loves Sunday School. We wanted to do something special for his buddies and decided to take a fun "morning" snack!