Tuesday, July 14, 2009

How Has Your Summer Been?

My summer has gone well. Summer is always busy on a ranch and this year is no exception. We have to feed the baby calves, brand and then make sure the fences are not broken. The kids always enjoy riding the 4-wheelers and doing the chores. We have two baby calves we need to feed with bottles, bulls to feed and cows. I used to have to deal with the horses too, but my dad finally let them out. It was not easy to let the milk cow, because the horses wanted out. When I have a lot more time on the computer I will tell you more about the fun of doing chores and life on the ranch.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Writing Prompt- Where Would You like to Go?

Where would you like to go most in the world?

I really think that I would like to go to the Australia/New Zealand area most in the world. The reason that I would like to go to that area is that in New Zealand they filmed Lord of the Rings and I have seen the area on TV. and it just looks so beautiful. It looks so open and wild. Kind of like it is one of the last places on the earth. I know there are towns there, but I have not really seen what they look like. Some day I should do some research on it to learn all there is to learn about it.

I would like to go to Australia, because I have read books about it. I read a book by Bill Bryson and it just seemed like there was such a wide variety of things there. Some of the historic aborigine sites would be nice to see too. There was a Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson movie that was supposed to take place in Sydney and it looked like a very fascinating place. The opera house especially would be something interesting to see.

I am not sure what else to say about these areas. I just know that this is an area of the world that I find very interesting. I know that it would be very educational. That is really all that I have to say right now about the places that I would like to go. I really wish there was something more I could say about this entry. I would just really to see areas different to what I have known all my life.

The different culture is important as well. It is really nice to learn about places different from the United States. I really don’t want to learn how they feel about the United States, but I would like to see how they live.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Writing Prompt- Sitting in a cafe and I am given a note

Sitting in a café. I am given a note: “It’s in your best interest to meet me at 7 p.m. tonight alone, at Pine and 4th.”

“I need to give this to you,” stated this short, bald man as he walked by my table in the café.

He walked out of sight as I just sat there staring at him. I didn’t know what to think. While I was sitting there thinking a few ideas came to me: I had a secret admirer, one of my enemies decided that now was the time for revenge, or maybe my latest boyfriend had a surprise planned for me. I thought of mulling the ideas over, but the note was just too tempting I had to open it.

As I unfolded the note, I keenly observed that the edges of the paper were torn and there were fingerprint smudges. I became unsure if any of my ideas were right, except for the one about my enemies. Written in pen it read, “It’s in your best interest to meet me at 7 p.m. tonight alone at Pine and 4th.” I studied the penmanship, trying to remember what everybody’s looked like. I had no idea who it belonged to.

I wasn’t sure what I should do. Should I make some calls and see if I could figure out who it was or should I just go on blind faith. I decided that I would go the rest of the morning finishing my latte and business downtown and decide my course of action early afternoon.

I spent the morning going to the library and the accountant, before I ate lunch at Lucky Charley’s. I was eating my avocado, bean sprout and bacon sandwich when I thought I would flip a coin, which would chose the plans for the evening.

Heads I would go and tails I would stay home reading the latest book I checked out of the library. It was tails. I was glad. I wanted to stay home and read The Mystery of the Paper.

Stay tuned for more.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Writing Prompts- Family Trips

Do you ever take trips with you family? When I was still living at home my family used take a trip either to Wisconsin or Idaho almost every summer. Here is an outline from a trip we took to Wisconsin. Are there any specific details you would add?

Describe what you remember the most from our drive to Wisconsin.

The parts that I remember the most were all of the rain and lighting in Wyoming and South Dakota and the trees along the Mississippi River.

I was driving when we went through all of the bad weather. It was some of the worst rain that I had ever seen. If it was a snow storm it would have been a very bad blizzard. There was one time when I would have pulled off to the side of the road, but by the time I did it was getting better.

There was a really nice thunder cloud too. It had so much lightning in it. It was happening all of the time. I was very glad that I was not there.

The other part that I really liked was along the Mississippi River. It was very different than that near Dubuque, Iowa. These bluffs are much higher and there were a lot of trees. The river there is a lot bigger too. It is very pretty. I notice that Wisconsin has more trees than a lot of other states. I personally like being able to see things other than trees. They make me feel closed in. I like being able to see.

I would really enjoy reading about a family trip you have taken. Where did you go?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Carnival of Education- May 13, 2009

Welcome to the May 13, 2009 edition of carnival of education!!! There sure were a lot of submissions this time. I really enjoyed reading all of them. I hope all of you enjoy reading them as much as I have. Please remember to comment and socially bookmark, so that more people can enjoy this carnival.

Larry Ferlazzo presents What Do You Do On The Last Day Of Class? Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... posted at Larry Ferlazzo's Websites Of The Day For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL.

Mathew Needleman presents 10 Myths of Writer’s Workshop: Part 1 of 4 posted at Open Court Resources.com Blog.

Michaele Sommerville presents Kindergarten's 3 R's: Respect, Resources and Rants: *~OTHER~* Classroom Essentials posted at Kindergarten's 3 R's: Respect, Resources, & Rants.

Mrs D. presents In Moderation posted at Footsteps of Aristotle, saying, "Notes on an aspect of testing in Queensland, Australia"

michael mazenko presents NAEP and Comparing Schools posted at A Teacher's View.

lorri giovinco-harte presents Helping children to cope with a world entrenched in fear posted at New York City Education Examiner, saying, "Although adults may take fear inducing media headlines for granted, we may not always realize the level of fear that children experience or how the fear becomes a part of their decision making."

Javanx3d presents Make the Pareto Principle Work for You! posted at Making Money Freelance Writing, saying, "Thanks for considering!

Erika Collin presents 100 Amazing How-To Sites to Teach Yourself Anything posted at Rated Colleges.

Matthew Ladner presents “Forward” our Motto? « Jay P. Greene’s Blog posted at Jay P. Greene's Blog.

Pat presents The Best Teaching Method posted at Successful Teaching.

Miss Dennis presents Back to this Blog's Roots! posted at Your Mama's Mad Tedious: Diary of a Special Ed Teacher.

oldandrew presents You Know it’s Time to Quit Teaching When… « Scenes From The Battleground posted at Scenes From The Battleground, saying, "British blog about teaching in tough schools"

Dana presents Globalization and the Future of Education posted at Investoralist, saying, "Globalization means that we will have to prepare for a slew of new demands of value-adding work, our education system will have to adjust accordingly."

Nancy Flanagan presents Truth, Consequences and National Standards posted at Teacher in a Strange Land, saying, "Who will be the big beneficiaries of national standards?"

Alvaro Fernandez presents 10% Students may have working memory problems: Why does it matter? posted at SharpBrains, saying, "Working memory is our ability to store and manipulate information for a brief time. In screening of over 3000 school-aged students in mainstream schools, 1 in 10 was identified as having working memory difficulties. Why does this matter?"

Sarah Ebner, School Gate presents Should children's books be more multicultural? posted at School Gate - Times Online - WBLG, saying, "I have had loads of comments on this on the blog, but wonder if it's a British issue? What do others think?"

Clix presents You know it's REALLY bad when... posted at Epic Adventures Are Often Uncomfortable, saying, "It's never too early to start stressing about next year!"

Denise presents Quilt: What Can You Do with This? posted at Let's play math!, saying, "How could you use this image as a springboard to doing math? What questions would you ask? What concepts would you try to get across? What would you follow it with? Please comment!"

Corey Bunje Bower presents Sunday Commentary: Sale on Snake Oil at the BrooksStore posted at Thoughts on Education Policy, saying, "The Promise Academies located in the Harlem Children's Zone have obtained some promising results. But David Brooks' interpretation of these results is incredibly irresponsible. Here's why."

siobhan curious presents semester dénouement posted at Siobhan Curious, saying, "Thanks for hosting!"

Kathleen Kennedy Manzo presents National Institute for Literacy to Get Ax posted at Curriculum Matters.

Sarah Robbins presents Why a Gifted Class? posted at Parenting Gifted Kids, saying, "This article makes a compelling case for a self-contained gifted program."

Mister Teacher presents That is highly illogical, captain posted at Learn Me Good.

SwitchedOnMom presents MCPS Middle School "Reform" and GT Instruction posted at The "More" Child.

teachin' presents It's all about the relationships. posted at I'm a Dreamer.

Sarah Scrafford presents 10 Hot Celebrities Who Got their MBA or Business Degree posted at MBA Info.

Sarah Scrafford presents 100 Open Courses on Computer Information Systems and Security posted at Computer Colleges.

Sarah Scrafford presents 100 Incredibly Inspiring Blog Posts for Educators posted at Learn-gasm.

Darren presents Distance Learning posted at Right on the Left Coast: Views From a Conservative Teacher.

Mary Ann Zehr presents Resource: A Portal for State Documents on ELLs posted at Learning the Language.

Liam Goldrick presents Stimulus Watch: Front-Loading and Favoritism posted at The Education Optimists.

Joanne Jacobs presents PE effect is zero, researchers say posted at Joanne Jacobs.

Mike Holden presents Meet some of our teachers posted at DoE- Dave on Ed.

NYC Educator presents Beware of Charter Moguls Bearing Pizza posted at NYC Educator, saying, "Thanks for hosting!"

Mark Stock presents Setting cut scores on the SLLA posted at HOPE Foundation.

woodlassnyc presents A taste of ARIS posted at Under Assault: Teaching in NYC.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of education using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Father, We Thank Thee by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Since it is spring in my little part of the world, I wanted to share this poem with you as I can't get National Poetry Month out of my head. As I read it to my children, it seemed to fit so well.

Father, We Thank Thee
By Ralph Waldo Emerson

For flowers that bloom about our feet,
Father, we thank Thee.
For tender grass so fresh, so sweet,
Father, we thank Thee.
For the song of bird and hum of bee,
For all things fair we hear or see,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee.

For blue of stream and blue of sky,
Father, we thank Thee.
For pleasant shade of branches high,
Father, we thank Thee.
For fragrant air and cooling breeze,
For beauty of the blooming trees,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee.

For this new morning with its light,
Father, we thank Thee.
For rest and shelter of the night,
Father, we thank Thee
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

How to write- An "I Wish" poem (part 2)

On March 3rd, I decided to write an "I wish" poem. I have had two comments, where the comments thought this poem was too much like a list. I am offering a challenge to you to write one and leave it in the comment section. I will write a special post that has all of your poems. I am really looking forward to reading your poems.

I wish this computer hadn't frozen.
I wish I could get the USB ports to work.
I wish this computer had more memory.
I wish my husband was here.
I wish technology wasn't so fickle.
I wish I could fix this.
I wish we could figure out the problem.
I wish...

I chose to write a how-to write a poem yesterday, because I was having a lot of problems with my computer. An "I wish" is a poem has eight to ten lines and each line begins with "I wish". This was a fun poem to write and I hope you have fun writing one too.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Five Top Tools for Writers

I just got done reading a wonderful blog about the five top tools for writers. The World in the Satin Handbag listed different ways to use dictionaries, online market databases, social and critique services, note-taking software and the Internet. Please go and read the rest of the information and learn and much as I did.

Friday, May 1, 2009

National Poetry Month- William Shakespeare

I hope everyone enjoyed National Poetry Month. I found this poem and I thought it was a perfect ending to National Poetry Month and the first day of May.

When Daffodils Begin to Peer
By William Shakespeare
When daffodils begin to peer, --
With hey! The doxy over the dale, --
Why, then comes in the sweet o’ the year;
For the red blood reigns in the winter’s pale.

The white sheet bleaching on the hedge, --
With hey! the sweet birds, O, how they sing! --
Doth set my pugging tooth on edge;
For a quart of ale is a dish for a king.

The lark, that tirra-lirra chants, --
With hey! with hey! the thrush and the jay, --
Are summer songs for me and for my aunts,
While we lie tumbling in the hay.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

National Poetry Month- Thomas Wyatt and Adrienne Rich

National Poetry Month is almost over. There is only ONE more day! Here are some poems and if there are any poems that you would like, there could be a poem party tomorrow.

Thomas Wyatt
What Should I Say

What should I say,
Since faith is dead,
And truth away
From you is fled?
Should I be led
With doubleness?
Nay, nay, mistress!

I promised you,
And you promised me,
To be as true
As I would be.
But since I see
Your double heart,
Farewell my part!

Though for to take
It is not my mind,
But to forsake
I am not blind
And as I find,
So will I trust:
Farewell, unjust!

Can ye say nay?
But you said
That I alway
Should be obeyed?
And thus betrayed
Or that I wist--
Farewell, unkissed.

Adrienne Rich
Aunt Jennifer's Tigers

Aunt Jennifer's tigers prance across a screen,
Bright topaz denizens of a world of green.
They do not fear the men beneath the tree;
They pace in sleek chivalric certainty.
Aunt Jennifer's fingers fluttering through her wool
Find even the ivory needle hard to pull.
The massive weight of Uncle's wedding band
Sits heavily upon Aunt Jennifer's hand.
When Aunt is dead, her terrified hands will lie
Still ringed with ordeals she was mastered by.
The tigers in the panel that she made
Will go on prancing, proud and unafraid.

Anonymous Lyric
Now Go’th Sun Under Wood
Nou goth sonne under wode-
Me reweth, Marie, thi faire rode
Nou goth sonne under tre-
Me reweth, Marie, thi sone and the.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

National Poetry Month- Children's poems

I hope everyone is has been enjoying National Poetry Month. I thought everyone would enjoy some poems for children.

At the Seaside
By Robert Louis Stevenson
When I was down beside the sea
A wooden spade they gave to me
To dig the sandy shore.
My holes were empty like a cup,
In every hole the sea came up,
Till it could come no more

The Field Mouse
By Cecil Frances Alexander
Where the acorn tumbles down,
Where the ash tree sheds its berry,
With your fur so soft and brown,
With your eye so round and merry,
Scarcely moving the long grass,
Fieldmouse, I can see you pass.
Little thing, in what dark den,
Lie you all the winter sleeping?
Till warm weather comes again,
Then once more I see you peeping
Round about the tall tree roots,
Nibbling at their fallen fruits.
Fieldmouse, fieldmouse, do not go,
Where the farmer stacks his treasure,
Find the nut that falls below,
Eat the acorn at your pleasure,
But you must not steal the grain
He has stacked with so much pain.
Make your hole where mosses spring,
Underneath the tall oak's shadow,
Pretty, quiet harmless thing,
Play about the sunny meadow.
Keep away from corn and house,
None will harm you, little mouse.

There was a Little Girl
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
There was a little girl
Who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good
She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad she was horrid.

I hope you enjoyed these poems. Do you have any favorites?

Monday, April 27, 2009

National Poetry Month- Sir Walter Ralegh

I hope everyone has been reading and writing a lot of poems during National Poetry Month. Today I am going to feature Sir Walter Ralegh (Raleigh).

I am sure that many of you know that Sir Walter Ralegh tried and failed to establish two colonies on Roanoke Island in America, but he was also a poet. And on a side note he also introduced the potato to Ireland and tobacco to Europe. He lived from 1552-1618 when he was at Whitehall for treachery. Enjoy these two poems.

[On the Life of Man]
What is our life? a play of passion;
Our mirth the music of division;
Our mothers’ wombs the tiring-houses be
Where we are dressed for this short comedy.
Heaven the judicious sharp spectator is,
That sits and marks still who doth act amiss;
Our graves that hide us from the searching sun
Are like drawn curtains when the play is done.
Thus march we, playing, to our latest rest,
Only we die in earnest-that’s no jest.

[Sir Walter Ralegh to His Son]
Three things there be that prosper up apace
And flourish, whilst they grow asunder far,
But on a day, they meet all in one place,
And when they meet, they one another mar;
And they be these: the wood, the weed, the wag.
The wood is that which makes the gallow tree;
The weed is that which strings the hangman’s bag;
The wag, my pretty knave, betokeneth thee.
Mark well, dear boy, whilst these assemble not,
Green springs the tree, hemp grows, the wag is wild,
But when they meet, it makes the timber rot;
It frets the halter, and it chokes the child.
Then bless thee, and beware, and let us pray
We part not with thee at this meeting day.

Monday, April 20, 2009

National Poetry Month- autobiographical poem

Today in honor of National Poetry Month I am going to do an autobiographical poem base on the form below, by pretending that I am someone else. I will be skipping line 11.

Line 1: My name
Line 2: 3 personal characteristics or physical traits
Line 3: Brother or sister of or son/daughter of or husband/wife of
Line 4: I love 3 people, things, ideas
Line 5: I feels 1 emotion about 1 thing
Line 6: I need 3 things
Line 7: I share these 3 things
Line 8: I fear these three things
Line 9: I would like to see 1 place, or person
Line 10: I dream about 1 item or idea
Line 11: A student in my school or teacher's name
Line 12: My nickname or my first name

Woman, gullible, clothed
Wife of Adam
I love God, Adam and free will
I feel sad about eating the fruit
I need God, my husband, my food
I share consequences, a rib and Love
I fear God, pain and loss
I would like to see my grandchildren
I dream about the Garden of Eden

I hope you enjoyed learning about an autobiographical poem during National Poetry Month.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Writing with a Theme- Loyalty

Once upon a time in Pleasant Town, there was a boy who was new to the baseball team. This was his first time being on a team, so he did not know it was important to always support his team in all that they do.

One Saturday after practice the whole team decided to go to the matinee. It was only $.25 after all. The new boy decided he was going to sit by some boys from another school and not his team; this boy was about to get a lesson in loyalty.
The new boy was soon teased by the boys for wearing glasses and being new in town. The biggest boy threatened the boy and said," I will see you outside after the show,'' the new boy did not say anything, but he just looked straight ant the screen. He was wishing he had stayed with the team. The team knew about the threats, because the fight news was being whispered throughout the theatre. The new boy did not know what to do. He knew he could leave them, stay in the theatre or simply face the bully at the end of the show. He thought he would just walk out at the end and see what happened.

He did not enjoy the show and was glad to get out of there. To his surprise his whole baseball team was there waiting for him the bully decided it was too much to go up against a whole baseball team, so he left. The new boy learned that loyalty no matter how new could always surround you.

Friday, April 17, 2009

What is a Color Poem?

As National Poetry Month continues, we learn about a new type of poem. A color poem is about a single color by using analogies, similes or list nouns about that color. When writing a color poem the author can also use the five senses. Below is a poem I have written using the five senses.

Blue is all

Blue is a Rocky Mountain Bluebird in flight.
Blue is the sound a sunny day makes.
Blue smells like a blueberry.
Blue tastes like Blue Moon ice cream.
Blue feels like a hammock ready to swing in during the summer.
Blue is the color of love in my husband’s eyes.
Blue is a blue merle collie barking on a foggy spring morning.
Blue feels snug like my jeans.
Blue is the lid of peanut butter for the kids’ breakfast.
Blue is a pen I like to write with.
Blue is a robin’s eggs and the promise of new life.
Blue rose bushes are the promise of summer to come.
Blue is the passion when giving and receiving a blue diamond.
Blue is the ocean as big as God’s love.
Blue is the lonesome sound of a steam engine
Blue is the bluebells, delicate as life itself.
Blue tastes like mint, my toothpaste when I go to bed.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What is a Cinquain

In honor of National Poetry Month I am going to describe and show examples of different poetry. Today the form featured is cinquain.

In the early 1900’s Adelaide Crapsy read different tanka and haiku and so influenced she developed her own poetic system she called a cinquain. These poems consisted of twenty-two syllables distributed as 2, 4, 6, 8,2 in five lines.

The most famous of her cinquains from her book The Complete Poems is:
These be
Three silent things:
The falling snow... the hour
Before the dawn... the mouth of one
Just dead.

The cinquain I am doing today has this form:
Cinquains have five lines
Line 1: Title (noun) - 1 word
Line 2: Description - 2 words
Line 3: Action - 3 words
Line 4: Feeling (phrase) - 4 words
Line 5: Title (synonym for the title) - 1 word

Good, helpful
Plays with kids
Calm, loves his children

If you want to create a cinquain tale on line click here.
If you want to a cinquain activity for you or your students click here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Writing Prompt- using Serendipitous Setting Descriptions

Pick an adjective, place and phrase from http://writingfix.com/right_brain/Serendipitous_Setting1.htm SerendipitousSetting Descriptions

I picked dangerous, fountain, and on a miniature train set.

One day I was working on my miniature train set when I noticed the fountain was working. This was not the first time I had seen the fountain by itself so I wasn't too worried.

I continued working on my new two-story depot. I was really excited about my new depot. My best friend had made it for me and had given it to me on my birthday. It was a replication of my favorite depot in Mashy, Michigan. I was so impressed with the job that Timmy had done. I compared the pictures that I had with the depot and there was nothing missing, I could not believe Timmy had been able to put in all of the details.

What was this? My fountain, which usually just ran water, was now running purple water and was shooting sparks. That was really strange. I was not sure what to think. I had never seen that before, was something strange going to happen or did I need to return the fountain to the store?

I decided to leave the depot where it was and run the trains. I had three trains, so I wanted to see what would happen to the fountain if I stopped the trains at the depots and also at the fountain. I started running the trains, one at a time and slowly at first. As far as I could tell the fountain had not changed yet. It was still running purple water and shooting black sparks out of the top. I decided to stop my smallest train at my oldest depot. It was a replica of an old West depot. I stopped my middle-sized train at my Scottish depot. As far as I could tell the fountain was still behaving as before. Actually it seemed to be a little happier. It was still purple, but it had stopped shooting the black sparks.

I was ready for my last train. This train engine was my pride and joy. It was a silver and black steam engine and that looked like the Orient Express. Now that I think about it, it was after I had gotten this engine the fountain started to behave strangely. I just had to drive my engine past the fountain and to my new Mashy depot. I wasn't sure what I was going to do if my fountain turned dangerous, Well, nothing happened when I drove next to the fountain and stopped for about five minutes, actually the fountain water got lighter.

I took this as a good sign. I decided to move on to Mashy Depot. You will never believe what happened next. The fountain was so upset that the black sparks turned red and caught the nearby bushes on fire. The water turned black and went everywhere. Fortunately it put the fire out, I sure did not know what I was going to do about the fountain. I decided to take it off the train table for a couple of days to see if it could start acting rationally. Please stay tuned to see if I got rid of the fountain or Mashy Depot

Monday, April 13, 2009

What is Education, Part 2

The word “education” means different things to different people. I decided to look in different dictionaries to see how the definition of education has changed. I was hoping to get more feedback from the first post about the definitions, but the response was minimal.
Following are two of the definitions I have chosen to show you:

In Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary of the English Language says;
“EDUCA'TION, n. [L. educatio.] The bringing up, as of a child, instruction; formation of manners. Education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties.”

In today’s Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary it says;
Education Pronunciation:\e-jə-kā-shən\ Function: noun Date:1531
1 a: the action or process of educating or of being educated ; also : a stage of such a process b: the knowledge and development resulting from an educational process 2: the field of study that deals mainly with methods of teaching and learning in schools — ed·u·ca·tion·al\-shnəl, -shə-nəl\ adjective ed·u·ca·tion·al·ly \-ē\ adverb

Random Thoughts of a Librarian-in-Training said, “‘educate’ comes from the Latin ex + ducere, meaning literally “to lead away” indicating that the process is one designed to take somebody from their previous activities and instill them in new, better pursuits.
The main difference which I see is that the first definition is trying to tell people how they should educate children whereas the second is simply doing the job of a dictionary and explaining what education is. Perhaps more light might be shed on the subject by Merriam-Webster’s definition of “educating” or of being “educated” as the definition hinges on the definitions of these two words.”

Then I decided to look up the words educating and educated. I have put those definitions below; they are from the Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary.

Educate Pronunciation: \ˈe-jə-ˌkāt\ Function: verb Inflected Form(s): ed·u·cat·ed; ed·u·cat·ing Etymology: Middle English, to rear, from Latin educatus, past participle of educare to rear, educate, from educere to lead forth — more at educe
Date: 15th century transitive verb
1 a: to provide schooling for b: to train by formal instruction and supervised practice especially in a skill, trade, or profession2 a: to develop mentally, morally, or aesthetically especially by instruction b: to provide with information : inform 3: to persuade or condition to feel, believe, or act in a desired way intransitive verb: to educate a person or thing

Educated Function: adjective Date: 1588
1: having an education ; especially : having an education beyond the average 2 a: giving evidence of training or practice : skilled b: befitting one that is educated c: based on some knowledge of fact
— ed·u·cat·ed·ness noun

I think the definition of education from Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary encompasses more types of learning and is a little more religious. The Miriam-Webster online dictionary is very general and scientific and it should have included the definitions of educating and educated in with the definition of education. I agree with all that Random Thoughts of a Librarian-in-Training has to say. That leaves me to ask you. What kind of definition do you like, the kind that tells people how to educate or the one that is as basic as it can get?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A poem in Honor of National Poetry Month and Easter

Palm Sunday
It was a great day today
bluebirds and robins singing, clear sky.
It shows Easter is near.
Oh for that day,
Kenwood Park Presbyterian Church bells ringing
and from inside, sounds of rejoicing.
I love that holy day,
when Jesus died for my sins
and arose into heaven to be with the Father.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

National Poetry Month

Did you know April was National Poetry Month? National Poetry Month was founded in 1996 by the Academy of American poets and has been celebrated annually. It has been celebrated in Canada since 1999. Let's celebrate this month.

  • Poetry comes from the Greek word, poiesis.
  • The oldest surviving poem is the Epic of Gilgamesh.
  • American poet Emily Dickinson only published seven poems while alive.
  • William Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets and two narrative poems.
  • John Keats was not popular while he lived. Now he is considered one of the best poets of the English Romantic movement.
  • The Academy of American Poetry has a list of 30 ways to celebrate National Poetry Month. Please visit their website, www.poets.org for more information.
  • Nostradamus wrote his prophecies in quatrains.
  • Writer's Digest is having a poetry contest and has a special blog for National Poetry Month. Please go to here to learn more.

I hope you have enjoyed learning more about National Poetry month. I would enjoy hearing some of your poetry.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Carnival of Family Life!!!

Welcome to this week's Carnival of Family Life!!! I have enjoyed reading your posts. As you read the posts, please comment and socially bookmark to show the blog owners we appreciate their hard work. Thank you for reading. Enjoy!!

Family Cooking & Recipes

Missy presents Tea Party posted at The Pink Pistachio.

Cyndi Lavin presents Low country shrimp and black-eyed peas posted at Real Food Fast!. Cyndi is "obsessed with low country recipes lately" and presents her current favorite.

Annette Berlin presents Baked Potatoes With Spinach And Cheese Sauce posted at Craft Stew. "From start to finish, delicious baked potatoes with spinach and cheese sauce takes 15 minutes," according to Annette, "if you have a large and robust microwave."

Family Crafts & Activities

GrrlScientist presents Let's Give Three Bronx Cheers for Bumblebees! posted at Living the Scientific Life, filled with pictures and reference tools, is a discussion of the natural history and economic importance of Bombus species -- the bumblebees -- and what you can do to help them live in your garden.

Lori DiPatri presents Wednesday...Pizza Night posted at Where in the world is....Deerwood Drive.

Renae presents A Simple Way to Store and Preserve Children's Art posted at Life Nurturing Education.

Stephanie presents Natural Dye for Eggs posted at Make It From Scratch, demonstrating a fun and natural way to dye Easter eggs.

Chief Family Officer presents What do you put in an inexpensive Easter basket besides candy? posted at Chief Family Officer. Readers need to provide suggestions for how to fill up an Easter basket without including any candy at all.

Scott Allen presents Change It – A Social Media Meme for a Better World posted at Scott "Social Media" Allen. "When I accessed my 14-year-old son's MySpace photo gallery, you'll never guess what I found," Scott writes.

Family Finance

Finance Tips 101 presents Tips On How To Apply For A Scholarship posted at .

James presents Five Things to Do Once You are Out of Debt Fine-Tuned Finances posted at Fine-Tuned Finances.

Jim presents » Top 5 Online Banks: Savings or Checking Accounts posted at Bargaineering.

RateNerd presents How To Protect Children From Identity Theft posted at Rate Nerd. "They can’t vote, drink or apply for credit cards. Yet every year nearly a half-million children have their identity stolen and used by an adult," RateNerd explains. "Often, the criminal and victim are members of the same family."

DR presents 10 Tips to Declutter Your Finances posted at The Dough Roller, a discussion of Leo Babauta's new book and “the fine art of limiting yourself to the essential . . . in business and in life.”

Silicon Valley Blogger presents Debt Elimination Tips: How To Reduce Debt With These Dos and Don'ts posted at The Digerati Life.

Super Saver presents Claiming a Parent as a Dependent on a Tax Return posted at My Wealth Builder.

The Smarter Wallet presents Job Hunting Tips: How To Deal With Losing Your Job posted at The Smarter Wallet. Every day, American families are being impacted by job losses, so these tips are timely, as well as useful.

Family Health and Wellness

Cyndi presents Another Simple Way to Release Stress Now posted at Evolution, explaining a step-by-step method to improve mood and decrease negative side affects.

Greg presents Emergency Food Storage Can Keep Your Family Safe during Crisis posted at DfendYourself. Emergency food storage is the first step in preparing for a calamity.

Kakie presents Nature Deficit Disorder: Leave No Child Inside posted at Bur Bur & Friends: Community Park. "Lack of unstructured outdoor play may have profound effects on the future of our kids," opines Kakie.

Aparna presents Medicinal value of Gooseberry (Amla) posted at Beauty & Personality Grooming. Amla has the highest quantity of vitamin C in natural form -- much more than oranges. Vitamin C, an anti-oxidant, lowers the risk of mouth, throat, stomach and cervical cancer, and fortifies the immune system.

Family Humor

Madeleine Begun Kane presents Does Your Guilt Spring Eternal? posted at Mad Kane's Humor Blog.

Gal Josefsberg presents Good Neighbors posted at Gal Josefsberg, a tale about "two angry cats, one scared squirrel, and why my neighbors and I stopped talking."

Parenting Tips & Advice

Tracey presents 10 Ways to Entertain a Sick Child posted at Homemaker Barbi.

David McSweeney presents A Male Perspective: Becoming A Father posted at Girlz Night Magazine.

Jim presents Cell Phone Tracking For Teens posted at GPS Cell Phone Tracking. According to Jim, "Leveraging your teen's cell phone to ensure that they drive safely is a low cost option for parents."

Jeannie Anderson presents The Word Doesn't Change the Kid: Autism 101 posted at The Adventures of Mr. Busypants. Jeannie is a part-time college-level writing instructor/freelance editor who writes about her 6-year-old son with autism, and his little sister who is almost two years old.

Chris Channing presents A Guide To Computer Parental Controls posted at LearnStuff. "Parental control software has a simple purpose: keep one’s child safe from all the harm that the Internet may bring," writes Chris.

JuzaNobo presents Excessive Playing of PC Games: The Bad Effects posted at WrapT NoTES, offering tips to prevent your children from becoming addicted to computer games.

Dan presents How to Survive a Restaraunt with Your Kids posted at My Dad Blog, outlining some "unique approaches to surviving the dreaded 'out for dinner' experience with young children."

John presents All About Baby Thermometers posted at Modernparent.org.

Thanks for joining us for this edition of the Carnifal. Click here to submit a post for the Monday, April 13, 2009, Happy Easter Edition! Be sure to include both the permalink to and relevant information about your entry. Should you have questions, be sure to review the Carnival guidelines before submitting your post.

Would you like the Carnival to pay a visit to your site? Check out the hosting schedule, select a date, and then drop a line advising what week you would like to host.

I hope everybody enjoyed this Carnival of Family Life.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Hosting Carnival of Family Life

Tomorrow I am hosting the Carnival of Family life. Please join me. This is the first time I will be hosting this carnival. I am really looking forward to it. Enjoy!!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Visit the Just Write Blog Carnival!!

I enjoy reading and participating in the Just Write Blog Carnival. Missy does a wonderful job every week taking and including our submissions. Please click here to learn more about what other writers have to say.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

What is Education?

What is education? Education means different things to different people. Yesterday I hosted an education carnival. I enjoyed reading the different posts. Everybody sent in different educational posts. I decided to look in different dictionaries to see how the definition of education has changed.
Following are two of the definitions I have chosen to show you:

In Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary of the English Language says;
“EDUCA'TION, n. [L. educatio.] The bringing up, as of a child, instruction; formation of manners. Education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties.”

In today’s Miriam-Webster’s online dictionary it says;
ed·u·ca·tion Pronunciation:\e-jə-kā-shən\ Function: noun Date:1531
1 a: the action or process of educating or of being educated ; also : a stage of such a process b: the knowledge and development resulting from an educational process 2: the field of study that deals mainly with methods of teaching and learning in schools
— ed·u·ca·tion·al\-shnəl, -shə-nəl\ adjective
— ed·u·ca·tion·al·ly \-ē\ adverb

I am interested in learning what you think about these different definitions. Please leave your comments.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Carnival of Education- April 1, 2009

Welcome to the April 1, 2009 edition of carnival of education. Happy April Fool's Day!! I hope nobody has fooled you too badly. As always I am excited to host this carnival. There were many good entries and many different subjects. Thank you very much for helping me learn more about teaching techniques and how it is for you in the classroom. As I always say, "Your education never ends." Enjoy!!

soldave presents Model United Nations: a Teacher's Guide posted at Big in Japan, saying, "A teaching guide to teaching one of the most valuable and enjoyable high school courses there is: the Model United Nations"

Jim McGuire presents What Can Be Fixed posted at The Reading Workshop, saying, "Some things we control, others we don't. This post takes a look at both."

Nate Desmond presents 5 Ways to Waste Study Time posted at Debt-free Scholar.

Mathew Needleman presents Losing It (In the Classroom) posted at Open Court Resources.com Blog.

JC presents SJ lol’s “Computer science major is cool again” 6Bubbles - Grad School, Money, Life posted at 6Bubbles - Grad School, Money, Life.

John Holland presents Inside Pre-K posted at Inside Pre-K, saying, "I have been having a debate with myself recently. I have been thinking about the role and importance of time out in my classroom management. I have been asking myself some tough questions. Do I ask too much of my students by expecting them to keep their hands to themselves at four years old? Am I too harsh when a student has refused to participate in a classroom activity after repeated attempts to reengage and redirect their behavior? Are my circle times too long? What if we do alternating locomotive and non-locomotive activities? Am I using materials and activities that will engage them? Am I making it easier or harder for them to be successful?"

Jennifer in OR presents Expressive Social Studies posted at Diary of 1.

siobhan curious presents who says you have to go to college? posted at Siobhan Curious, saying, "Thanks for hosting!"

Larry Ferlazzo presents Relationship-Building, Merit Pay, & Testing posted at In Practice.

Larry Ferlazzo presents The Best Sites For Learning About Yosemite & Other U.S. National Parks Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... posted at Larry Ferlazzo's Websites Of The Day For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL.

Fiona Lohrenz presents Ideas For Day Care Activities And Games posted at Child Care Only.

Kim presents Book Review: Ocean Hide and Seek posted at Wild About Nature.

Pinyo presents Why A Financial Education Should Not Be Postponed posted at Moolanomy.

woodlassnyc presents Stumped posted at Under Assault: Teaching in NYC.

Bill Ferriter presents The Tempered Radical: Cell Phones ARE Disrupting the Learning Environment posted at The Tempered Radical, saying, "In this article, the Tempered Radical explores how cell phones have changed the way that he learns---and wonders why schools aren't doing more to introduce students to the same potential sitting in their pockets."

oldandrew presents What if Senior Managers Told the Truth? posted at Scenes From The Battleground, saying, "British blog about teaching in tough schools"

Nancy Muller presents Essential Gardening Books for Kids posted at Recession Depression Therapy, saying, "Now that Spring has Sprung, ship your students outside for a little fresh air learning. Grab some inspiration and dig in to your learning adventure."

Pat presents Do It Now or Else posted at Successful Teaching.

Denise presents How DO We Learn Math? posted at Let's play math!, saying, "To teach effectively, I need to understand how students learn. I can think of at least 3 ways that I have learned math — what about you?"

Myscha Theriault presents More Classroom Ideas for Old Fashioned Index Cards posted at Myscha Theriault, saying, "An article for classroom teaching on the cheap and easy."

Mary Ann Zehr presents ELLs on the Border Talk about Violence in Mexico posted at Learning the Language.

Mary Ann Zehr presents The Library of Congress Pushes Primary Sources posted at Curriculum Matters.

Walter Holland presents Wax Banks: Curricula: a short essay about education. posted at Wax Banks, saying, "A rather dark entry - but then times are dark. Enjoy!"

hall monitor presents Paddling in School Draws More Controversy posted at DetentionSlip.org, saying, "Should we use corporal punishment in schools? Most feel strongly one way or the other."

Mister Teacher presents America's Next Top Student posted at Learn Me Good.

Educatorblog presents Ways of the Teacher-Feminist: Text, schema, and stereotypes, oh my! posted at An (aspiring) Educator's Blog, saying, "How are you a teacher-feminist? Have you noticed the impact of gender, race, and other social schemata in your classroom?"

Super Saver presents Kindergarten Decision Dilemma posted at My Wealth Builder.

Joanne Jacobs presents When parents do the homework posted at Joanne Jacobs.

Chanman presents Reminder to teachers: Don't get sick posted at Buckhorn Road.

Darren presents Above The Law posted at Right on the Left Coast: Views From a Conservative Teacher, saying, "Changing grades given by a teacher? Not in California."

Mike Holden presents The Retention Myth posted at DoE- Dave on Ed.

Miss Profe presents Lost My Cool posted at Pensamientos, saying, "I hope this suits. Thank you for hosting. :)"

Mark Stock presents Are you trained or educated? posted at HOPE Foundation, saying, "The blog "What's Working in Schools" ponders the question, "Are you educated or are you trained?""

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of education using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What did Publius Syrus say about Education?

I am hosting the Carnival of Education tomorrow, so I wanted to give you a quote by Publius Syrus about education.

Publius Syrus said in 42 B.C., "It is only the ignorant who despise education."

On Thursday I am going to give you a short article of several definitions of education and what I think of the definitions.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Online Dictionaries

Have you ever needed a dictionary when you were working on the computer without a dictionary handy? Try one of these online dictionaries and you will get much more than if you were to pull a dictionary off the shelf.

My favorite site is the WordNet Vocabulary Helper because it has definitions, synonyms, hypernyms and no ads or other things to distract.

The Merriam Webster Dictionary has a word of the day, dictionary and thesaurus along with other changing information.

Dictionary.com is from ask.com and has fun and games and language resources.

YourDictionary.com is simple and can be followed on that new popular item, Twitter.

TheFreeDictionary.com is like some of the other sites but it has a fun hangman game and a spelling bee with different levels.

OnlineDictionary.com has definitions from the 1913 Webster dictionary and the WordNet Dictionary.

I hope you can find your favorite online dictionary. I know I did.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

How Long Should a Story be?

I am going to write a story, how long should it be? Of course a story is never done until you think it is, but here are some guidelines when submitting to editors.

Micro-fiction is up to 100 words.
- This story can be difficult to write, but have become more popular recently.
Flash Fiction is 100-1,000 words.
- This is a very short story used to fill one page of quick romance or humor. These stories can be easy to write and sell.
Short Story is 1,000-7,500 words.
- This version of the short story is usually found in anthology collections or periodicals.
Novelette is 7,500-20,000 words.
-The novelette can be difficult to sell to a publisher, because they are too long for a magazine and too short for a novel. Some people put several novelettes into a compilation novel.
-Novella is 20,000-50,000 words.
-The novella is good for electronic publishing. It has good length, because an online audience won’t want to sit and read a 100,000 word novel.
Novel is 50,000-110,000 words.
-The best length for a novel is 70-80,000 words.
Epics and Sequels are over 110,00 words.
-If a novel is going to be over 110,000 words it is probably best to lengthen it into a sequel or possibly into a trilogy.

Please remember that these guidelines are just estimates of how long a story should be. Check with the publisher’s guidelines.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Who is your hero?

Write a poem using color about your hero.

Silver is the color of a cowboy’s spurs.

Black is the color of his boots,
Silver is the color of a cowboy’s spurs.

Brown is the color of his chaps,
Black is the color of his boots,
Silver is the color of a cowboy’s spurs.

Blue is the color of his shirt,
Brown is the color of his chaps,
Black is the color of his boots,
Silver is the color of a cowboy’s spurs.

Dark brown is the color of his skin,
Blue is the color of his shirt,
Brown is the color of his chaps,
Black is the color of his boots,
Silver is the color of a cowboy’s spurs.

White is the color of his smile,
Dark brown is the color of his skin,
Blue is the color of his shirt,
Brown is the color of his chaps,
Black is the color of his boots,
Silver is the color of a cowboy’s spurs.

Black is the color of his hat,
White is the color of his smile,
Dark brown is the color of his skin,
Blue is the color of his shirt,
Brown is the color of his chaps,
Black is the color of his boots,
Silver is the color of a cowboy’s spurs.

The cowboy has always been one of my heroes.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What is Nonfiction?

Is it factual or imaginary? What is nonfiction? Nonfiction is factual. It is about real people, place and things.

When a person is writing nonfiction they can either report the facts with their personal opinions or not. It is difficult to completely eliminate ones opinions. The reader needs to be careful to keep this in mind when reading.

Types of nonfiction:

A Diary is a day-to-day record of a person’s activities and thoughts.

An Autobiography is a story of a person’s life. The writer wants to share his/her life events.

A Biography is a story of someone else’s life. The writer uses reports or first-hand knowledge of the person to write their story.

A Memoir is like an autobiography and is about the writer’s life and concentrates on one event.

What is nonfiction? It is factual and is about real people, places and things.

Monday, March 23, 2009

What am I doing?- Part 2

What am I doing? I know one person has figured out what we have been looking for, has anybody else? Read on and you can see if you had the right idea.

I knew, though, I would be able to find them. I had heard the direction the elk had gone crashing through the aspens and pines.

We got off the 4-wheelers and started to walk in the direction the elk had gone. First, we had to cross the fifty-feet beaver dam. Luckily it was August, so the water level had dropped due to evaporation and drainage. If it hadn’t, the crossing would have been impossible due to the large amount of water: we would have had to cross elsewhere.

As we made our way across the beaver dam the only sounds we could hear were the chirping of birds and the wind blowing through the trees. The logs were close enough together to walk on or there were dry spots. If there hadn’t been, we might have fallen into the stagnant water.

Soon we crept up the embankment. I turned to the others behind me, put my finger to my lips, and softly said, “Shhh.” Although we crept up the hill as quietly as we could, there was the sound of pine needles crunching under our feet. Soon I could hear the elk stamping and calling to each other. I waved with my hand to continue. We kept walking and soon I could see them.

I motioned to everybody to get behind a large granite rock so we could se them, but they couldn’t see us. I could see the excitement in everybody’s eyes. I thought that perhaps we could get a little bit closer to see them more clearly.

As we moved closer, the elk saw us and took off again. We must have walked another 100 feet and found a perfect spot to take some pictures. Johnna, Jessica, and Jon were stunned. They just knelt and looked at the elk over the edge of a lichen-covered rock, while I took the pictures.

This time the elk didn’t know we were behind the rock. The twenty cows and calves were majestic against the white-barked aspens, dark pine trees, bright green grass, and the gray granite rock in the clearing. They just called to one another and grazed. Some of the calves were nursing and others were playing. The calves butted one another and tried to be king of a small mound. This was the largest herd of elk I had seen up close. For me it was the most riveting wildlife experience ever. I could see in Jon, Jessica and Johnna’s eyes that this was an experience that would influence their wildlife watching for the rest of their lives.

Did anybody else know this is what I was doing? There is even more to this story. You will have to wait for another day.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

How do You Show You Spouse You Respect Them?

What do you do to respect your spouse? Today’s blog is going to be a little bit different. I need the help of the reader. I would like to know your opinions about respect and how you can verbally show a husband respect. I would also enjoy reading you opinions on what to say to others as well.

I have been married for a long time and I am just realizing what it really means to biblically show your husband respect. A woman is to show respect like the man is to show love. It is difficult to remember that a husband needs the respect more than he needs to be told, “I love you.” I know a wife can say I respect the job you do or I respect the way you listen to what I have to say. I am looking for something more extraordinary. Thank you for your time and effort.

Thank you for sharing with me how your respect your spouse.

Friday, March 20, 2009

What am I doing?

What do you think I could be doing? Could I be looking for elk, trying to surprise someone or are we spies? Tune in tomorrow to learn.

Now I had the chance to share my knowledge with three people who were anxious and uncertain as to what was going to happen next.

I said, “We’re going to have to be as quiet as possible and go very slowly. We do not want to scare them. I’ll make sure we are downwind from them, so they don’t smell us. If they smell us, they will run. Understand?”




Just Write Carnival

Welcome to the March 20, 2009 edition of just write. I hope this carnival finds all of you well and enjoying the new season.

Book Reviews

Keira presents Review: Instant Attraction by Jill Shalvis posted at Love Romance Passion.

GrrlScientist presents The Devil's Teeth: A True Story of Obsession and Survival Among America's Great White Sharks posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, "a review of the true outdoor adventure story by Susan Casey. This book is the personal chronicle of the author's determination to learn about Great White Sharks -- however, the author's selfishness and immaturity ultimately destroyed two scientific careers and valuable research."

Peter Jones presents Spark Your Teenager's Inner Strengths: Book Offers Tips, Resources, and the Latest Science posted at Great New Books that Are a Must Read.

Shiv Dravid presents A Thousand Splendid Suns posted at The Viewspaper » The Viewspaper, saying, "A Thousand Splendid Suns"

Thursday Bram presents Review: Pep Talks, Warnings & Screeds posted at thursdaybram.com.

Encouragement for Writers

steven germain presents One Page At A Time... posted at Rough Fractals, saying, "The act of writing, independent of the content, is a positive thing..."

Mark David Gerson presents The Voice of Your Muse: Feeling Rejected? Don't Be Dejected! posted at The Voice of Your Muse.

Chris Edgar presents Is There Such A Thing As "Boring" Work? posted at Purpose Power Coaching, saying, "We tend to see certain tasks we do in our work as inherently unpleasant. Doing your business’s taxes, cleaning your desk and drafting invoices are examples of work people usually see as, at best, necessary evils. But are those tasks awful, or do we simply experience them as awful? And, if so, can we experience them differently? I think the answer is yes. Let’s talk about how."

presents Blogging: Writers Block And Providing Value posted at Richard Shelmerdine - life views from a student of life.


Jon Chambers presents Demons (Poetry) posted at The Mind Of Jon.

Vanja Kovacic presents Bad Poetry Contests and Publishers posted at Creative Writing Guide, saying, "A list of poetry contests, agencies and publishers to avoid because they are scams."


Alison Storm presents Unintended Markets: When Your Book Impacts People You Never Expected Christian Publishing Tips posted at Christian Publishing Tips, saying, "Author Ann Velia explains how God had bigger plans for her book Unbelieving Husbands: The Neglected Harvest. I believe this would fit under the publishing or writing tips categories."

Short Stories

Greg Laden presents Greg Laden's Blog : The Lion, The Tent, and the Anthropologist posted at Greg Laden's Blog.

The Writing Life

Kathryn presents 10 Reasons Writers Should Keep Journals posted at Real Words, saying, "How a journal can really enhance a writer's life and work."

Cathy Bryant presents Writer Maladies posted at WordVessel, saying, "A humorous look at some fictional maladies that affect writers!"

Cathy Bryant presents Finding Balance in the Writing Life posted at WordVessel, saying, "It's easy to become so obsessed with the writing process, that we forget about the need for balance in our lives."

Writing Projects/Prompts

Amy Sue Nathan presents Five answers. Now, what was the question? posted at Amy Sue Nathan.

Writing Resources

Cathy Bryant presents WordVessel: Books About Creating Characters posted at WordVessel, saying, "This is a list of books about creating characters."

Writing Tips

Burak Bilgin presents A Simple Exercise for Writers: Twitter posted at Distiller's Corner, saying, "How can a website that allows you to write updates of only 140 characters help you, if you are aiming for writing full length books and articles?"

Kelly Tolman presents Writing Poetry for Beginners Darnuth Keep posted at Darnuth Keep.

MelMenzies presents Creative Writing Techniques: How To Write Good Dialogue :: Mel's Muse :: Mel Menzies posted at Mel Menzies Blog.

Cathy Bryant presents WordVessel: What I've Learned About Self-Editing, Part 1 posted at WordVessel, saying, "These are self-editing tips that I learned in the process of writing my first novel."

Kathryn presents Successful Freelance Writer » More Money with Freelance posted at The Peculiar Club, saying, "Just a few more ways to increase your income for freelance writing."

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of just write using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

How did You get to School?- Part 4

The rest of the ride was uneventful until we got to the infamous Breakneck Hill. Once Jack made it half way down the hill, he was going too fast for the road’s condition. He began to swerve back and forth in the middle of the road. He fought to keep control. He was lucky the road was no longer muddy. I was worried he was going to wreck. All of a sudden, as Jack was going up the next hill, a large blue truck came barreling over the hill on our side of the road. I was far enough behind Jack that I was able to get way off the road.

“Jack!” I yelled. “Watch out. There is a truck coming. Get out of the way.”

Jack looked up with fear in his face. I wasn’t sure what he was going to do. I saw the school’s driveway up ahead and hoped that he would make it to there in time. At least he had been riding as far to the left as he was able to. At the last minute he was able to turn into the driveway. My face showed my relief as I caught up to him.

“That was close, wasn’t it, Sue?”

"Yes, Jack it sure was close. I hope that doesn’t happen again. You did a great job, though. There are just some crazy drivers on the road.”

“I hope there aren’t any on the way home”

“I don’t think there will be. We will be leaving school before they are done hunting.”

“Thank goodness.”

“I see the teacher waiting for us. Let’s get over there so we aren’t late.”

was very glad that ride to school was over. I knew, though, that anything could happen on the way home.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

How did You get to School?- Part 3

It was an especially beautiful fall morning. The sky was clear, the temperature comfortable. Once we were half a mile from our house, we saw some antelope and mule deer. The yellow, red and orange leaves on the changing aspens were beautiful.

When we reached Boxelder Route, we knew we were going to have to watch for traffic. It was the beginning of antelope hunting season, so the road would be busy with the morning hunters. We rode on the shoulder where we would be farther away from traffic. The larger pieces of gravel made it harder to ride, but it was safer than being on the road.

Jack sometimes went down hills too fast and almost lost. I really didn’t want that to happen today, because of the extra traffic. We made it down and up the first hill with no problems. On the second hill, I was the one who began to swerve in the newly discovered mud. My heart was racing. I was swerving more and more as I gathered speed. Fortunately, by the time I made it down the hill I was beginning to gain control. As I zoomed up the next hill I finally began to slow down enough that I realized I had been so concerned with myself that I hadn’t been paying attention to Jack. I hoped he would not have my near catastrophe, since he was four years younger than I. Despite his outer toughness I knew that when he got hurt he was the biggest baby. I knew of several times when he had fainted when he nicked his hand. I anxiously watched as he safely maneuvered the same course.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

How did You get to School?- Part 2

I thought about my school as I started falling asleep. It was very unique. What made it unique was that it was a trailer house that used to be a bank. It had one big room, one small room, and a bathroom. The walls were painted yellow, the floors were orange carpet and the trim was brown. The curtains were a hideous orange and brown, but at least they matched the rest of the room. Another unique feature was that there were only five students and one teacher. We were in the first, third and fifth grades. My last thought before I fell asleep was how much I loved going there

Before we knew it, the sun was shining. It was time to get ready for school. We got out of bed, dressed and went into the dining room where Mom had French toast, fruit cocktail and orange juice waiting for us. We ate quickly, because we needed plenty of time to ride to school. It was a cool morning, so we picked up our sweatshirts on the way out the door. On the way to the shed to get our bikes, we put on our bulging backpacks filled with our schoolbooks and lunch.
It was a beautiful day for riding our bikes the three miles to the rural school. It was a mile from our house to the county road. The mini super-highway we were riding on was our recently upgraded two-track dirt road. It was nice to have a wide, smooth road: we could ride our bikes next to each other more easily.

It was much faster this time, because of the road improvements. The only steep section of our road was the draw, but this time Jack, age six, did not have to push his bike up the hill. I was glad, because it wastes time when you have to walk instead of ride. I could tell that Jack liked it, too, because he had a great big smile on his face.

Monday, March 16, 2009

How did You get to School?- Part 1

“Sue, can we take our bikes to school tomorrow?”

“I don’t know. I don’t want Mom to be as upset as she was last time. Maybe we should take the 4-wheeler. Do you remember what happened on Breakneck Hill?”

“I know. I almost had a terrible accident, but I’ll be more careful this time. Please, can we ride our bikes?”

“I don’t know.”

“Please, can we?”

“Okay, Jack. Let’s go to sleep now so we won’t wake up late.”

I thought about my school as I started falling asleep. It was very unique. What made it unique was that it was a trailer house that used to be a bank. It had one big room, one small room, and a bathroom. The walls were painted yellow, the floors were orange carpet and the trim was brown. The curtains were a hideous orange and brown, but at least they matched the rest of the room. Another unique feature was that there were only five students and one teacher. We were in the first, third and fifth grades. My last thought before I fell asleep was how much I loved going there

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A "Single Mom's" Day

A stay-at-home mom’s day with a husband in the military

I am currently a “single mom.” My husband, Jon, is serving in the Mideast. We have two children, Bridger (age two) and Christen (age two months), and live in a small midwestern town. This a journal entry from one of my typical days:

Christen slept soundly during the night. I just had to pop the pacifier into her mouth at 12:30 a.m., then she slept until 5:30 when I fed her. I like it when she wakes up at that time, because I can go back to sleep more easily. Bridger didn’t climb into my bed this morning nor did the dogs start barking to go outside, so I was able to sleep until 8:00.

The puppies stay in the garage. If they hear any noise in the morning, like Bridger wandering around, they bark and bark until somebody lets them outside. That is why it is best if everybody stays in bed, especially Bridger. The older dogs who stay in the house don’t bark in the morning, but they make up for it when the mailman comes, when there are squirrels in the yard or when they see other dogs outside.

I get up and let the dogs outside. So far, they’re quiet. Thank goodness, because someone in the neighborhood might call the police if the dogs’ barking bothers them. It already happened to our next-door neighbors and I don’t want it to happen to us.

I decide to check my e-mail until the dogs want to come back in. Jon finally had a chance to send a message. My mom sent a message telling me about going to visit Grandma and what my sisters have been doing in their spare time.

I had now better get off the Internet in case Jon is trying to call. I am very lucky, because he is able to call almost every day. I enjoy telling him how smart Bridger is and how much trouble he can get into. For example, last night while I was fixing popcorn Bridger decided to play with the baby powder. He poured it all over the side table, the floor and himself. I took the vacuum cleaner and cleaned everything, including him. I needed to vacuum anyway: the dogs shed all the time and dirt is brought in from the backyard.

I should call some of them inside, because Christen is crying and I don’t want them to bark while I am feeding her. Before she was born, I wondered what it would be like to take care of two young children with Jon overseas and no close friends. Two months have gone by since she was born and most days go extremely well, but it all depends on Bridger’s whining and the dogs’ barking.

Bridger finally wakes up at 9:15. I have a bowl of grapes and a cup of cereal waiting for him. He is always trying to act like a dog by lapping at his cereal and I thought it would be better if he could just “drink” his corn flakes. So far, it seems to have brightened his day. We’ll see what happens to his mood when we change his clothes and put his training pants on. I have been trying for several weeks to get him to use his little toilet, but he has had no luck. I think when he finally goes to the bathroom he will start to get the hang of it. We just have to wait and see. I need to ask other people how they potty trained their children.

Bridger and I are working in the basement cleaning up the piles that have been building up over the past six years when I hear the dogs barking. It must be the mailman. Wow, it’s 11:00: it must be a different mailman, because we usually get the mail by 10:00. Good, there are a couple of magazines and a card from a friend in Canada. I haven’t heard from her in a long time and I don’t have a current address for her. Since I now have her e-mail address, I will have to try to send her an e-mail today along with a couple of pictures of the kids.

After we look at the mail, we play with Christen for a while. Finally, it’s lunchtime. I am getting hungry. We’ll be having leftovers from last night. I do have to decide on a vegetable - green beans, I think. We have plenty of them in the freezer.

Before Christen was born, I went to the grocery store and stocked up on enough groceries and dog food to last for four months. But it seems that we always have to go to the store to buy perishables or food I forgot to buy. And each time we go I forget something. Last time, I forgot the sour cream and breast pads. I have to remember to write everything on the list and take a pen to check off each item.

After lunch while I am feeding Christen, we watch the video we made last summer of Jon reading to Bridger. Bridger really likes the video and he gets to know and remember his dad - and my two sisters, Johnna and Jessica in Wyoming who are also on the video. It is important that Bridger knows who Jon is, because I want Bridger to feel comfortable around Jon when he returns. Bridger does get to talk to him on the phone, which certainly helps.

I am so glad that today, after I am done feeding Christen, we don’t have to clean up after the dogs in the backyard. Instead, I can try to work on the latest letter to Jon. I try to write something daily and e-mail it at the end of the week as an attachment to one of his daily e-mails.
It can get old making sure the yard is cleaned on a weekly basis. This is one chore I will be glad to give back to Jon, because the dogs’ messes can be so ground into the grass that I scoop up clumps of grass along with the dirt. Between the dogs and me, the yard looks like a wasteland. I will also be glad to give him back his garbage duties. The garbage cans can be heavy and I get tired of hauling them out every week. I wish they had wheels. I did have a nice surprise last week: Bridger decided he would like to bring the garbage cans back into the garage. I only have to take them to the curb now!

I am finally getting a chance to write that letter to Jon, because Bridger is playing by himself and Christen is swinging. While I’m at the desk, I should check to make sure there aren’t any bills due soon. Jon had been in charge of the money since Bridger was born, but I took control when he left. It is fun to look at the account on the Internet to see how much Jon has charged at the base and what checks have cleared. It is more convenient than waiting for the statement at the end of the month to be sure the checkbook is balanced.

When I am done on the computer, I think we’ll go on our walk. It is fun to walk almost every day. The exercise gives me more energy and it makes Bridger happier. The day can be long when Bridger is cranky or disobedient. When that happens he gets to spend two minutes by himself on the kitchen floor. That usually turns his attitude around.

4:30 p.m., time to feed Christen again and to give Bridger his snack. Christen eats every four hours and is full after ten minutes, which is so nice. When Bridger was a baby, he nursed every three hours and wasn’t full until after 40 minutes. I can get so much more done if I don’t have to feed a baby that often and that long.

I like the time between 4:30 and 5:30, because that is when we watch some of Bridger’s favorite children’s programs and he may take a nap. If he doesn’t fall asleep, at least it does mean quiet time for all of us. I am very grateful to have Bridger to help and to talk to, but some experts say that it is best for the kids – and for parents – to take time for themselves. That works best for us with either a nap or the quiet time. Bridger does help me with the dishes, laundry, clearing the table and putting things in the garbage. He is a great help with Christen, too. He is very careful and loves holding her.

We forgot to practice his states during lunch. We will do it during supper. Bridger can point to and name fifteen of them on his U.S. placemat. We have also been working on the alphabet and counting to ten. We really need to work on colors: he is not learning them as well as the states or numbers. I need to pick up a preschool or kindergarten workbook for him so I can see what he knows and what he needs to learn.

I am glad I had a pre-made meal thawing for supper, because with Christen crying and Bridger getting into absolutely everything I never would have been able to cook anything. I hope the rest of the night will go a little more smoothly. I know I have to get the dishes done and vacuum. In the morning, I enjoy coming downstairs to a clean living room, so I vacuum and have Bridger pick up his toys before he goes to bed.

Disaster does strike after supper. I am running water in the sink for the dishes when the dogs start barking. I try to get them to come in, but only two come. I go outside to get the others and then I remember that the faucet is on. I try to get through the sliding glass door, but it has locked. I had learned after the first time I was locked out that it is important to always keep the side door to the garage unlocked to have a back-up entry into the house. I was fortunate that time that the sliding glass door was open. I hurry through the garage and get to the sink. I am lucky that water isn’t going all over the floor, but into the other basin instead. I turn the water off and go back to the garage to call the dogs inside. They come immediately, because the other dogs are back inside.

I am so glad that it is 8:15, Bridger’s bedtime. I want some time without hearing the word “Mom” every fifteen seconds. We go upstairs, brush our teeth and put pajamas on. I brush my teeth when he does, so that is one more thing done for the night. We finally finish, turn the jazz music on and give a kiss and hug good night. One in bed and one to go.

Christen eats quickly and soon her diaper is changed. She had one of her “super-messy” diapers earlier in the day, so I knew she wouldn’t have another one. I have been able to reach my goal of having them in bed by 9:00 for the third night in a row. I can look forward to the rest of the night to myself. Yes.

Oh, I forgot: I have to let the dogs outside one more time before I can go to bed. I look out the door to make sure no other dogs are out in the six-house radius. I have had enough of any dog barking for today. I am in luck: the other houses are dark, so there are no problems with barking. I put the puppies in their kennel in the garage and leave the adult dogs downstairs to discourage any would-be burglars. I put the baby gate up to keep the dogs from joining us in bed. I don’t like to be awakened more than necessary. I hope Christen won’t wake up until six and I can get a good night’s sleep. I am glad that this day has ended on a good note. I can say I enjoyed being a “single mom” today. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Oops, I forgot to vacuum.