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You have to!! Because Jesus said!! Out of the mouths of babes…

As an Educational Consultant for Usborne Books – I get to do LOTS of fun things with kids.  In fact, that is one of the reasons I became a part of the company 2 years ago.  I started college thinking I wanted to be a teacher – however – being a “teacher” in Texas isn’t all it is cracked up to be…  In my opinion, teachers in Texas do not have the ability to teach children the way that they need to be taught.  There are so many rules and regulations that as a parent it is often hard for me to help my children with their homework because it has to be done a specific way.  That doesn’t make sense to me…but I digress.  I could go on for hours and hours about that.

The point is that with Usborne, I get to go into schools, preschools, daycares, libraries and community centers and hang out with the coolest kids!!  They are always saying the funniest things that make me smile, make me laugh and always make my day.

Today I spent the day with over 50 kids ages 3 and up.  I read them the story of ‘Jonathan James and the Whatif Monster’, which is one of my absolute favorites.  The message it carries is one every child (and adult!) should hear and believe.

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After the book reading I sat with each child and painted their face with something unique to their personality.  I spent the day painting smiley faced suns, flowers, butterflies, heart shaped ladybugs, snakes and Hello Kitty.  One little boy asked me to paint the yellow bird from Angry Birds!  I told him I had never done that one, but that I would try.  When I was finished I took a pic and showed him and he LOVED it…although I thought I had done a terrible job!  All of the kids told them how much they liked it and it made me so happy to know I put that smile on his face…and the angry bird… 😉

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Another little boy sat down (after I had just finished a dinosaur on another little boys face) and asked if I could do a dinosaur for him.  I told him I could and showed him the picture of the one I had just done.  He said, “Well actually, my favorite dinosaur is the Brachiosaurus.”  I laughed and told him I wasn’t sure I could quite do that specific dinosaur justice.  He then spent a solid minute explaining to me what it looked like.  I finally got it across that it wasn’t an option.  Then he says, “Well, actually my favorite animal that is alive in the world we live in today is…is….is…the giant gorilla.  Can you paint the giant gorilla on my face?”  The only thing I could think to say while trying not to laugh was, “I’m not sure it would fit on your face.”  I tried to explain that since there were so many kids and only one of me that to make it fair to each of his friends that he would need to pick something from the list.  He finally picked the snake.  My example picture is a little green snake with brown triangle spots and a black tongue and eyes.  As I dipped my brush in the green paint he says, “Well actually, snakes are my very favorite animal in the world and I especially like the poison ones.  The ones in Texas aren’t poisonous and can’t bite you, but I like the ones that can.  Can you paint a really poisonous snake?”  This one scared me because I felt the need to explain to him the truth about Texas snakes!!  However, I wound up doing a green snake with black and red triangles and a red tongue.  This seemed to make him happy…finally.

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After I painted their faces I stamped their little hands with our Usborne signature mascot – the duck!  They all loved that and a few even walked away saying quack quack. 🙂

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The last class of the day was the school aged kids.  These are kids ages 5 and up that are in public school but are out for Summer vacation.  Because this room was more advanced, they had pop music playing on the radio while the kids were playing in various centers waiting on their turn to have their face painted.  There was this one little boy that really just made my whole day.  After listening to the local pop station, the teacher put in a Michael Jackson CD.  I wouldn’t have thought these kids knew who he was, much less enjoy his music.  This one little boy just absolutely made my day.  He stood in front of the stereo and danced to every single MJ song.  When I say he danced I mean he literally danced the dances MJ did in his videos for each song.  He had to have been about 7 years old and was just awesome.  He even did the crotch grab, which was funny, cute and awkward all at the same time.  I wasn’t quite sure how to feel about it, but his talent kept me entertained and in awe for sure.

I was finishing up my last face of the day (another Hello Kitty) when they started setting up for lunch.  Little Michael Jackson Jr. began to help set out the plastic ware and plates.  Just as I finished my last duck stamp and began to clean up my paint area, he walked up to the teacher as she was about to start dishing out food and said, “You have to serve me first, it says so in the Bible.”  I couldn’t help but come to a complete stop and watch the scene play out.  The teacher didn’t even know what to say and just looked at him, completely speechless.  He realized she was not on the same page as him so he continued, “The Bible says that the last person to get served should be the first person to get served and I got my plate after everyone else, so you have to give me food before anyone else.”  Now the teacher had caught up and without missing a beat says, “Didn’t you get a spoon before anyone else?”

The whole exchange just made me laugh and think about what his home life is like.  I envisioned his Sunday mornings started with Bible Study, then Church Service, followed by lunch and an afternoon of Michael Jackson dance moves training.  It’s so interesting to think about what types of lifestyles each child has.

I am lucky that the future I have planned for myself includes a company that puts me in front of children like this everyday.  The daycare was so impressed they decided they’d like for me to come back (possibly quarterly) and do book fairs for them that often as well. 🙂  I can’t wait until I get to go back.

Have you experienced a child doing or saying something hilarious (or in some cases embarrassing to you but funny to someone else)?  I would love to hear your stories below!!

As a final note I’ll leave you with a short (very embarrassing) story from when my Mini Me was 3.  It was mid October and we still had no idea what she was going to be for Halloween.  I was doing a little late night grocery shopping and thought I’d flip through the costume rack while I had the time.  The only people on the isle were me, my daughter and another woman.  Now the size or race of a person would NEVER make it in my blog unless it was relevant to the story – and this is totally relevant.  The other woman was an older, black woman that was fairly heavyset.  She was on one side of the isle and we were on the other – baskets side by side.  I kept pulling things from the rack and showing them to the Mini Me: “How about a fairy? A princess? A witch? A pumpkin fairy princess?”  She just kept shaking her head no and was becoming increasingly more irritated.  As I was about to give up, I sighed rather heavily and said, “Ok then, if you don’t want to be any of these costumes what do you want to be?”  I suppose she was irritated because I didn’t already I know what she wanted to be.  So she responds with a very exasperated and very loud comment, “I WANNA BE A TITTY!  A BIG BLACK TITTY!” Oh. My. Goodness.  I am a redhead so when I blush its pretty obvious.  I went red from head to toe and turned to apologize and that poor woman was about to pee herself because she was laughing so hard.  Thank goodness she had a sense of humor – I was mortified!  Now every Halloween the Mini Me waits until we are in the middle of Walmart and with an evil little grin says, “Hey mom, know what I want to be for Halloween this year?” :o)

 

 

 

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Geocaching Adventures 7.12.14

Hey there! I headed to downtown Fort Worth today to do some research for my new blog project at the Central Library. While I was out and about I decided to check out what local GC’s were around.

**WARNING-SPOILERS** – If you geocache (in the DFW area especially) be warned: This post does show pictures and give specific tips that will pinpoint some geocaches.  Please do not use this blog as a way to find the cache’s.  The point is to showcase our geocaching journey and to grow the desire in others.

First I came across #GC46Y3F: What a “birdseye” view.

Whovian101 (AKA – the MiniMe) was with me last time we tried to find this one. Unfortunately, we were in the wrong corner of the building.  I followed the clues and looked at old pics to find my error and made my way right to the cache.

This is the view I should have been looking for and finally found.

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Here is the cache:  The hint said it would be hanging upside down – so I was looking for a cord or rope of somesort…. Nope.  I soon figured it out though. 🙂

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I found a really cool geocoin:  I love geocoins and trackables. I love the idea of sending something on a journey and being a part of it’s stop in my corner of the world. This one has a patriotic meaning to it which is always kind of cool.  The Mister served in the Navy for 8 years so I love finding stuff that has to do with the military – especially the Navy.

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Swag:
There were several cute little pieces and had Whovian101 been with me she might have wanted a thing or two.  Since it was just me I chose the foreign currency for #OJATW (you can click that hashtag and follow our awesome project!!  It will open in a new window and then you’ll need to log into your Facebook account to see it – but it’s totally worth it. 🙂 ) and the geocoin to pass along. I left some kid friendly swag and a quarter. If I am correct about the value of the currency it is worth about $.16 American cents right now so the quarter did trump the value – but certainly not the coolness factor.

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I signed the log and took a pic of the bottom of the container so I could remember where to pick up some for my own caches.  This one was from Ikea…good to know!

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Then it was over to another is been eyeing: GC1KR38 Masonic Temple

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Mostly just a log but there was room for a few tiny kid friendly trinkets.  According to the past comments and logs this one has disappeared a few times.  My guess is because it is right next to an apartment complex and any muggle (especially the young ones) would be curious if they found someone lifting that skirt.

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Then I hopped a few blocks over (after maneuvering through the one way streets – which are a real pain in the rear.  They honestly don’t make sense to me!  Why not make them ALL two way streets and then no one is confused!!) and found GC4PDRV Lucky Clover.

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Fun find.  It was a clever container and a cute little hide.  They guys that work nearby are friendly and as you can see from my log, get very excited when someone finds it.  Hopefully, this cache has instilled an interest in some of them and they can start geocaching with their families and friends.

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Took my little monkey traveler to visit this one.  He was too big to leave in the cache. Still looking for a home big enough (and worthy enough) to send him on his journey.

Then I figured I would grab one more. Checked the logs. It was just found yesterday – which is generally a good sign!  Phone led me to GZ in a parking lot.  Just a few feet away was a tree with a perfect little hiding place in the trunk.  From all of the posts left before I am pretty certain this is supposed to be the site.  Unfortunately, there was nothing there.  I looked around and there were other places a GC could be, but none that really fit the past logs.  My guess is someone saw the person putting it back and then came and took it.  That stinks. 😦  I squeezed my phone into the hole and took a pic with my flash just to make sure I wasn’t missing anything and this is all the picture shows…. 😦 Bummer.

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All in all – 3 smilies and 1 sad face. Muggles suck.  However, there were a few fun finds and I got a few ideas about what I want to do with our first cache.  I want us to place our first cache before school starts this year in August – so we’ve been looking for the right container and the right place.

I’m off to go work on a painting for the Big Kid.  Hope you enjoyed my finds and I hope you’ll share this post with anyone that has children or an adventurous side of their own.  Geocaching rocks…just sayin. 😉

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Redhead Warning Label

Redhead Warning Label
Red headed women are not to be abused. Use with care as directed.
1. Staring directly into her eyes may cause overwhelming emotions.
2. Prolonged listening to her words may cause exposure to her heart.
3. Her talent is of artistic nature. Any denial is penalty under her law.
4. All parts of her life are hers to keep. Removal may cause bodily harm.
5. She’s better dirty. Do not rinse, lather or repeat unless she chooses.

Quotes About or By Redheads

•It’s not the hair that turns men on, it’s the spirit that redheads exude.”

•“I used to hate my red hair, but now I love the attention I get with it. I think that very smart, daring men love red hair, and I love that in a man.”

•”Redheads have been nicknamed demons by my associates and I think because of what they can do to the human heart. Best thing that’s hit the Earth, ever.”

•“Once in his life, every man is entitled to fall in love with a gorgeous redhead!”
-Lucille Ball

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Looky Looky!!

Look at what I just made!! 

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My first attempt at crocheting! I’ve knitted before (years ago when the Big Kid was brand new), but I’m really digging this crocheting thing!!

What is it you ask? Well, after another 8.2 billion hours of practice, this will be a dishcloth!  Then after I turn pro I want to make Little Man a teddy bear blanket. 🙂 Only time will tell!!

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Geo-caching?!

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Do any of you know what this means?  Well here is the dictionary’s definition:

ge·o·cach·ing

ˈjēōˌkaSHiNG/
noun
noun: geocaching
  1. 1.
    the recreational activity of hunting for and finding a hidden object by means of GPS coordinates posted on a website.

Here is the way the main geo-caching website explains it: “Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.”

And here is how I describe it: It is a big huge world wide Hide-and-Seek game, where people hide containers (that hold everything from a tiny piece of paper to lots of great prizes – also known as “swag”) all over the place.  You use GPS coordinates (and some times have to answer trivia questions, solve puzzles and do math) to find these treasure boxes.  Depending on which kind you find and what is inside – you make decisions and take certain steps to prepare the cache for the next person to find.

There are a lot of different levels to the game and lots of different rules – but here are the basics:

  1.  Find the cache.
  2. Open the cache and sign log.
  3. If you take any object from the cache to keep – you must put something of equal or greater value in its place.
  4. If the cache has a theme or special instructions – you must follow along – or leave it for someone else.
  5. Replace cache in the same (or better) condition that you found it – in exactly the same spot.
  6. Log your find online.
  7. Find the next cache.
  8. Share your love of geo-caching with like-minded friends and family!

You log all of your finds and look for new cache’s at www.geocaching.com.  You can sign up for your FREE membership there.  You can sign up for a Premium account which gets you perks like special cache’s that only Premium members get the location for!

The only things you need to geocache are a GPS enabled device (a smart phone works best IMO), always bring a pen (because some cache’s are too small to carry one) and if you plan on taking trinkets – bring things to replace your picks.

Cache’s are hidden EVERYWHERE!!  I can almost promise there is one near you!  They are hidden in trees, behind fence posts, under water – we even found one last week under the shell of an old car that an automotive shop is using for their business sign!  Cache’s shouldn’t be hidden on private property without the owners permission!!  However, I have come across a ton in really neat places where the property owner either gave permission or hid themselves!!

There are over a dozen different kinds of geocaches.  As we go along I’ll do a different post on them so you can get an idea and a good feel for them.  This post is just to give you an introduction to geocaching.  I will be posting articles with our finds and info on the sport/hobby as often as I can.

If you don’t think you are ready for your first geocache – you can read up on my blog for a few weeks until you are comfortable.  If you think you are ready now, I suggest you go to www.geocaching.com and read up on Geocaching 101 page, just to make sure you have the basics down.

Some of my followers are in Texas (I live here so most of my geocaching is done here.  However, when I travel I always hit the “Search for geocaches near me” button!!)  If I am going to post about a specific find – I will post the word *Spoiler* in the title.  Some people get really angry when they are reading about someone else’s geocaching experiences and they accidentally get clues as to where a specific cache is.  So if you are one of those type of people then I wouldn’t click on the ones that say *Spoiler*.

It is way past my bed time so I’m off to bed.  We have found 23 geocaches so far.  I will be blogging about each one eventually.  I’ll try to get a few in tomorrow.  Good night.  Good luck.  Happy caching. 😉

Catsiggy