Category: Everything Else!

Mrs. B

By , October 4, 2013 6:47 pm

One of my earliest art memories is of Mrs. B who used to bring her lamb to school every spring for us to sketch … and take turns feeding with a baby bottle.  How cool is that when you are 5, 6, or 7 years old? Or any age for that matter.  If my college physics professor had brought a lamb to lectures I would have retained so much more information.  (Note to all teachers and professors:  Bring a lamb for greater long term retention.)

Mrs. B was my beloved art teacher in my early elementary years.  I vaguely recall that she was a very sweet, grandmotherly lady who we all loved.  She was not very tall and seemed rather elderly.  I think she had short, white hair. Maybe that’s why she seemed old, perhaps she was really 25 and prematurely grey?  I suspect not, but who knows?   It is so funny how childhood memories work.

She had a big, exciting cardboard box full of fat, paperless crayons clearly meant for little, imprecise hands.  Since they had no paper wrappings, the fat crayons had bits of all the other colors stuck to them.  Yellow, the lightest color, was particularly contaminated.  I was never quite sure how I felt about that…

We had no glue sticks back then and used to stick things with a thick white paste that smelled lovely (almost as good as fresh damp “ditto copies” smelled) or “rubber cement” that smelled nasty and rubbery and came in a glass jar that had a clever lid with a built-in brush.  The rubber cement was fun because of the cool design of the brush-lid.  Plus, you could apply it to a desk (naughty!!!), and when it was dry, you could roll it up and make a rubber ball with it.  Plus, the ball bounced really high!

A few kids in my class liked to eat the white paste.  Not me though, I swear! It’s probably a good thing that nobody ate the rubber cement.

Today I did one of my favorite Mrs. B projects with my little ones at school.  It is not original, but it is simple, and super fun when you are little.  It obviously made a big impression on me!

Thank you Mrs. B.  I think of you often and hope I will make as lasting an impression on my little ones that you made on me.  Without the lamb though…but I do have a few chickens.

PS.  This post started out as an intro to a much-loved Mrs.B project, however it turned into its own tribute to Mrs. B.  I will post the very simple project that inspired this memory in the next few days.

Bold and Positive Girl Shirts!

By , September 19, 2013 10:58 am

My 13 year old  daughter is not a “girly-girl.”  She does not like pink.  She does not like purple.  She does not like sparkles.  She even complains that the little cap sleeves on “girls’ shirts” are not as comfy as the “normal” sleeves on boys’ clothes.  My daughter reads a lot, runs cross-country, and is determined to get her private pilot’s license on her 17th birthday.  She is the perfect customer for Girls Will Be, a store for “girl clothes without the girly.”

Here you can find unique shirts in sizes 4 through 12 with positive messages.  No “Princess” or “Spoiled Brat.”  No images of boy pop bands, Angry Birds, or teenage TV “role model” actresses.  There is also a noticeable lack of glitter, sparkle, ruffles, and spandex.

My daughter chose an airplane shirt (the plane image is actually a flock of birds) and a bold but cute dog shirt. We have a “Bold Daring Fearless Adventurous” tee on pre-order!

If you visit, be sure to read the “About” page.  The store was recently founded by two sister moms (of “non-girly” girls) and their artistic brother who designs the shirts himself.  They write:  “We hope Girls Will Be helps empower young girls to be themselves and never feel like they need to conform to the increasingly narrow definition of “girl” reflected in far too many of the clothes (and other products) marketed to them.”

I also like that this cool family maintains a blog where they showcase clothing and accessories from other stores that meet their non-girly standards.

Fortunately for the Girls Will Be team, demand is high for their products (which are all made in the United States) and you might have to pre-order and wait a bit to get the shirt you want.  The wait is worth it though since the quality and comfort-level are excellent and, most importantly, my daughter loves her unique shirts and wears them often.

There is nothing wrong with being feminine, but it is important that girls have a clothing choice.  My daughter and I wish the Girls Will Be team lots of success in their very worthy enterprise!


A Gift of Time

By , September 5, 2013 12:34 pm

I have suddenly acquired some unexpected free time.  What a lovely gift!  I view this gift as a sign that I should not abandon Unplug Your Kids, but rather use this time to repair and resurrect it.  It is going to take a long time to track down photos and put them back on the blog, one by one, post by post, but I can do this.  I will do this!

A Sad Day

By , August 17, 2013 4:00 pm

All my photos on all of my posts are gone.  Irretrievable I believe.

I have not been to my blog for some time now but I have been missing it and decided to stop by.  A few months ago I had to change my blog email due to a hacker, and in so doing, Picasa seems to have deleted all the albums associated with the old email account.  That is six years of photos.  Hundreds of photos.  Thousands of hours of work, all gone.  I had been planning on bringing the blog back to life, but now without the photos, it is not the same. I think this means it is time to put Unplug Your Kids to bed and take it offline.  I guess I will sleep on it and decide what to do.

Feeling very sad right now.

Fall, First-Graders, and Fowl

By , October 15, 2012 10:35 am

Fall has arrived.  The leaves were lovely but most have now dropped. The air is cooler, and everywhere there is that wonderful fall aroma of roasting green chiles (one of my favorite sensory experiences here in the Southwestern United States).  My children are eagerly awaiting Halloween.  They are debating costume choices and strategically planning their trick-or-treat route.  My class just enjoyed a muddy, blustery trip to our local pumpkin farm and returned with many lovely round pumpkins


I have been missing the blog and hope to be back in a few months with some more frequent posts about some fun things I have discovered for my class and for home.  In the meantime I must content myself with this quick, little check-in.

At school this year,  I took advantage of an unexpected opportunity to move up to teaching the Lower Elementary Montessori class.  This older age group (7 to 9 year-olds) have such excitement and enthusiasm for learning. I enjoyed my little ones last year (3 to 6 year-olds), but this year I find I can go into more depth with the material and the children are of course more capable of independent work.  So far I am delighted with my new adventure!

At home we recently moved into a house on more land with a barn and no golf course behind us! That means no 4AM lawn mowers, no rude golfers searching the back yard for lost balls, and most importantly, no “homeowners’ association”  … which means we finally have some chickens!  Chickens are a new experience for us, but we just love our two very friendly and hilarious hens!  The fresh eggs are a nice gift also.

Once my Lower Elementary training course is over in February, I would really love to make more frequent appearances here.  I have found so many wonderful ideas and resources on the internet and via my coworkers, that I really would love to “pay it forward” and share them here for all to borrow.  Perhaps someone will stumble upon the very idea that they are looking for and will have a better day because of it!

~Happy Fall (or Spring, depending on where you live) to all!~



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