Wednesday, April 30, 2014

It's Zoo-pendous!


Thank you for visiting me during the A to Z Challenge! I hope you'll join me throughout the month of April. I'll be exploring animal crafts with Sassy Pants for each letter of the alphabet. Not only that, but I'll be sharing with you some interesting facts about each animal. (Just to showcase what a nerdy homeschooling mama I am. LOL)

Z is for Zoo

Any study of animals would be incomplete without a trip to the zoo. I absolutely LOVE going to our local zoo. Well, it's not exactly local, but it's only about an hour away. Today, I'm going to subject you to some of my favorite photos from the zoo.













One of the best features of the zoo we frequent is the ropes course. Last year, we went to the zoo for The Boy's birthday and he got to try it out.



What is unique about your local zoo?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Yakkity Yak


Thank you for visiting me during the A to Z Challenge! I hope you'll join me throughout the month of April. I'll be exploring animal crafts with Sassy Pants for each letter of the alphabet. Not only that, but I'll be sharing with you some interesting facts about each animal. (Just to showcase what a nerdy homeschooling mama I am. LOL)

Y is for Yak

Have you ever seen a yak? Other than pictures, I haven't. I think I'd like them a lot, though. They seem very furry; in fact, they remind me of Snuffleupagus, my favorite character on Sesame Street.

Here are some interesting facts about yaks:
  • Yaks live in high elevations in Tibet and parts of China. They can live at high altitudes because of a large lung capacity, allowing them to inhale lots of oxygen.
  • Yaks like cold baths. Yaks have been seen in lakes and rivers in temperatures down to -40 degrees F.
  • Yak cheese is healthy for us.
  • Lamps in Tibetan monasteries are fueled by yak butter.
  • The only natural predator of a wild yak is a Tibetan wolf.

Yarn Yak
Supplies:
Coloring page of a yak
Yarn
Glue
Scissors

Cut yarn into 2" lengths. Glue on yak page.



Monday, April 28, 2014

X-citing Weekend

I had every intention of doing a cute craft for x-ray fish, until over the weekend. You see, The Boy had a very eXciting weekend, and I can't help but shamelessly brag on him.

The Boy has played soccer since he was 3 years old. Four years ago, he tried out for the local travel team. He's played travel soccer ever since. Eight seasons of traveling all over this region of South Carolina, we've seen some good seasons, some great seasons, and some not-so-great seasons. This past fall, his team won all but 1 game and ended the season in 1st place, but the fall season doesn't count for anything at his age group. The spring is the important season because the spring season standings determine which teams play in the state championship tournament. This spring, they also won all but one game, again ending the season in 1st place.

This past weekend was the state championship tournament. Saturday, his team won both games, and Sunday morning they won their 3rd qualifying game to make it to the championship game. They had to play the only team that beat them during the season, and the tournament was being played at the home fields of the other team. The Boy's team pulled out a 1-0 victory, winning their first ever state title.


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Wonder What Happened

Wow! I completely missed the W posting day. Did you wonder what happened to me?

Like I mentioned in my V post, being the testing coordinator completely kicked my tushie last week. My W post was going to be about whales, but I didn't do a craft OR look up fun facts. Shame on me!

Also, I can't guarantee that my X post will be animal OR craft related. I actually DO have something in mind for that post tomorrow though. :)

Friday, April 25, 2014

Impact - Review and Giveaway

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. 
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.


You don't have to be the CEO of a major corporation to be a leader. I believe that everyone is a leader is some aspect. I'll talk more about how important the book Impact: Great Leadership Changes Everything is for moms in just a minute. First let me tell you a little about the book and author.

About Impact: Great Leadership Changes Everything
For more than 25 years, organizational psychologist and management consultant Dr. Tim Irwin has worked with thousands of leaders in well-known global companies. He knows most leaders work for recognition and advancement and they want more challenge and responsibility. He’s also found this to be true: Most of us want to make a positive difference through our work and to have our lives count for something more than simply making a living. We want to make an impact.

About the Author - Tim Irwin, Ph.D.
Dr. Tim Irwin, the author of the New York Times best-selling book Impact: Great Leadership Changes Everything, has been a confidante to thousands of global leaders. He is a favorite guest of Hugh Hewitt and is being featured on a number of Christian radio programs. Irwin sees one central issue anytime a leader “derails”—he believes they have a defect in their “core”, which Irwin says goes beyond the overused term “character”. His new book, Impact, addresses this and gives actionable ways leaders can protect themselves, and better serve their organizations—especially crucial for those of us who serve in ministry and are walking a Christian walk.

My thoughts about Impact: Great Leadership Changes Everything
Like I said earlier, I believe everyone is a leader in some aspect. While reading this book, I found so many things that I can easily apply in my life. As a homeschooling mom, I definitely hold a leadership role throughout the day. If I am not an effective leader, the small people won't follow - by not being obedient, by not doing their best on their schoolwork, etc. 

Throughout the book, Dr. Irwin challenges the reader to look inside at his/her core - the feelings, thoughts, and beliefs that drive our actions. This isn't easy; according to Dr. Irwin, "Our culture makes it easy to operate at a surface level."(p.25) At the end of almost every chapter, there is a section labeled "Go Deeper" that contains checklists or questions to help the reader apply the principles in the chapter. There is also an online assessment you can take to help you measure and enhance your potential for living a life of impact.

Here is why I think this is such an important book for moms (and dads): Not only are we the leaders in our homes, but we are currently shaping the leaders of tomorrow. My job isn't just to survive 18 years with my children, only teaching them reading, writing, and arithmetic. My job is to prepare them to become competent, capable, and productive members of society. This isn't just a job for homeschooling parents, either; ALL parents have this responsibility. Dr. Irwin provides a wealth of knowledge about how to be a successful leader that we as parents should impart to our children. These are just a few things that got me thinking as I read this book:

  • "If we wish to lead skillfully, we must consider the forces that have made us who we are." (p.27) If we want our children to be skillful leaders one day, we have to remember that WE are part of those forces who are shaping them today.
  • "Areas of the brain responsible for planning, prioritizing, and controlling impulses are the last to mature." (p.68) This is so important to remember and I'm hoping that it will help me be more apt to extend grace when they do a poor job of controlling those impulses when they're young and also help guide them to do a better job as they grow older.
  • "Humility must be strong and all-encompassing to protect our personal core from the inevitable stressors in our lives." (p.79) Are we teaching our children to be humble? I see too many children who have no humility because society teaches us and our children to put themselves first instead of doing for others. 
You can learn more about Impact: Great Leadership Changes Everything by visiting the official website, liking on Facebook, or following on Twitter

Not only was I offered the opportunity to review this book, but I also get to offer a copy to one of my readers. You can have an opportunity to have an #Impact by entering the giveaway below for Impact: Great Leadership Changes Everything. (US and Canada only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Vulture


Thank you for visiting me during the A to Z Challenge! I hope you'll join me throughout the month of April. I'll be exploring animal crafts with Sassy Pants for each letter of the alphabet. Not only that, but I'll be sharing with you some interesting facts about each animal. (Just to showcase what a nerdy homeschooling mama I am. LOL)

V is for Vulture

We've had some vultures around here before. One was sitting in our front yard one day. Needless to say, I didn't go out there until well after it was gone.

Here are some interesting facts about vultures:
  • There is at least one type of vulture found on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. 
  • Vultures can find a dead animal from a mile or more away.
  • Vultures do not prey on healthy livestock.
  • Vultures urinate on their legs and feet to help cool off on hot days. It also helps kill parasites and bacteria they may have picked up from walking through carcasses. (This is pretty gross!)
  • Poisoning is the biggest threat to vultures.
I apologize but I do not have any pictures for this craft. I found the craft in the book Alphabet Art, but didn't have a chance to do it this week with Sassy. This week has been standardized testing for our homeschool group, and I am the testing coordinator. It's been a VERY long week, and trying to coordinate testing AND do crafts with Sassy proved to be difficult. Most days I just wanted to collapse in a heap after we got home from testing. I'll share the directions with you anyway, in case someone wants to try it. 

Supplies:
2 white paper plates (1 large, 1 small)
Toilet paper tube
Scissors
Stapler
Markers

To make the vulture's head, fold the small paper plate in half. Then cut in at the outside edge to make a beak. Use markers to draw eyes and nose. Draw claws on the toilet paper tube. To make the vulture's body, fold the large paper plate in half and staple it, leaving the top and bottom open. Slide the toilet paper tube into the bottom opening of the plate. Slide the small paper plate into the top opening for the head. Staple the head to the plate. Use markers to draw wings and feathers.



Thursday, April 24, 2014

Umbrella Bird


Thank you for visiting me during the A to Z Challenge! I hope you'll join me throughout the month of April. I'll be exploring animal crafts with Sassy Pants for each letter of the alphabet. Not only that, but I'll be sharing with you some interesting facts about each animal. (Just to showcase what a nerdy homeschooling mama I am. LOL)

U is for Umbrella Bird

There aren't many U animals, so I was grateful to find the umbrella bird. I haven't ever seen a real live umbrella bird so I was excited to learn more about them as I researched to find my interesting facts. 

Here are some interesting facts about umbrella birds:
  • The crest of the umbrella bird is made of iridescent black feathers.
  • Umbrella birds live in tropical rain forests.
  • The diet of the umbrella bird consists mainly of fruit, but they also eat insects and small vertebrates like lizards.
  • Male umbrella birds make a loud rumbling noise, which is said to sound like a hippopotamus. (That's a pretty loud noise for a bird.)
I found this craft at Learn Create Love. Sassy painted the bird and then assembled it.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Turtle Crossing


Thank you for visiting me during the A to Z Challenge! I hope you'll join me throughout the month of April. I'll be exploring animal crafts with Sassy Pants for each letter of the alphabet. Not only that, but I'll be sharing with you some interesting facts about each animal. (Just to showcase what a nerdy homeschooling mama I am. LOL)

T is for Turtle

I actually like turtles. They're slower than I am, and they don't have the potential to eat me or bite me with some sort of deadly venom.

Here are some interesting facts about turtles:
  • Turtles have no teeth.
  • Even though they don't have vocal chords, they can make sounds.
  • Some turtles can live up to 150 years.
  • Some turtles can dive 3000 feet below the water's surface.
  • Airplanes in America collide with an average of 4 turtles a year on runways. 

Bottle Top Turtle
Supplies:
Bottle top
2 Q-tips
Popsicle stick
Marker
Card stock
Glue

Cut a circle the same size as the bottle top out of the card stock. Cut Q-tips and popsicle stick in half. Use glue to attach Q-tips for feet and popsicle stick for a head to card stock circle.

Use glue to attach circle to bottle top.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

S-s-snakes!


Thank you for visiting me during the A to Z Challenge! I hope you'll join me throughout the month of April. I'll be exploring animal crafts with Sassy Pants for each letter of the alphabet. Not only that, but I'll be sharing with you some interesting facts about each animal. (Just to showcase what a nerdy homeschooling mama I am. LOL)

S is for Snake

I hate snakes! We had one in our garage last year, and you can read about our uninvited guest

Here are some interesting facts about snakes:
  • There are around 3000 species of snake.
  • Snakes don't have eyelids.
  • Snakes have only one lung.
  • Snakes can't bite their food; they have to swallow it whole. They have special jaws that separate, allowing them to eat something 3 times the size of their head.
  • Snakes smell with their tongues.
  • Some sea snakes partially breathe through their skin, allowing them to stay underwater longer.
Cardboard Tube Snake
Supplies:
Paper towel tube
Toilet paper tube
Pipe cleaner
Tape
Crayons
Scissors

Color the tubes. Partially cut through the paper towel tube about every 2 inches for the snake's body. Cut away a rounded V from the toilet paper tube. Tape the pipe cleaner in the mouth for a tongue. Tape the 2 tubes together. Add eyes to the head.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Raccoons


Thank you for visiting me during the A to Z Challenge! I hope you'll join me throughout the month of April. I'll be exploring animal crafts with Sassy Pants for each letter of the alphabet. Not only that, but I'll be sharing with you some interesting facts about each animal. (Just to showcase what a nerdy homeschooling mama I am. LOL)

R is for Raccoon

I've never seen an actual raccoon - pictures or cartoons, but not a living, breathing raccoon. It's probably a good thing because they seem to be quite a nuisance.

Here are some interesting facts about raccoons:

  • Raccoons are very strong swimmers, but they do not have waterproof fur.
  • Raccoons are also very good climbers and are not afraid to drop from heights of 35 to 40 feet.
  • The hands of a raccoon are nimble enough to untie shoelaces, unlatch cages, and even take coins from a shirt pocket.
  • A raccoon's vocalizations include purrs, whistles, growls, hisses, screams, and whinnies.
  • Raccoons are carriers of many diseases, including raccoon roundworm which can cause death and blindness in humans.

Raccoon Mask
Supplies:
Paper plate
Black construction paper
Scissors
Crayons
Glue

Cut paper plate into a mask shape. Cut eye holes out of paper plate. Cut tear drop shapes out of black paper for raccoon eyes. Cut holes out of tear drops. Glue on paper plate. Color plate gray.

Cut triangles out of black paper for ears. Glue onto paper plate.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Quail


Thank you for visiting me during the A to Z Challenge! I hope you'll join me throughout the month of April. I'll be exploring animal crafts with Sassy Pants for each letter of the alphabet. Not only that, but I'll be sharing with you some interesting facts about each animal. (Just to showcase what a nerdy homeschooling mama I am. LOL)

Q is for Quail

Before preparing for this post, the only thing I knew about quail is that they are popular for hunting. I've never gone quail hunting, though. (Actually I've never gone hunting for anything - too afraid of guns.)

Here are some interesting facts about quail:
  • There are 15 different species of quail with each species found in a different part of the world.
  • Quail lay brightly colored eggs, which are considered a delicacy in parts of the world.
  • California quail enjoy community dust baths.
  • The crest or plume on a quail's head is sometimes called a topknot.
  • The Gorgeted Wood quail is on the verge of extinction.
(Disclaimer: I'm not sure this actually looks anything like a quail, but it will have to do.)
Paper Plate Quail
Supplies:
Paper plate
Card stock
Stapler
Markers or crayons

Fold paper plate in half. Cut into ridged edge for quail's beak.

Cut out two small rectangles from card stock. Fold in half long way, then cut a triangle notch at one end of each for feet.

Staple feet inside bottom edge of plate. Bend feet so quail can stand.

Use markers or crayons to decorate quail.


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