Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Worship Album - Release 2010

Our first worship album is COMPLETED, and will be available on www.CDbaby.com by March 20, 2010.  It's mastered, licensed, and printed!  You can listen to a CD preview here.  For all you who know our church, Ekklesia, it will be available there as well, probably sometime in April.  Here's a sneak peak at the Cover.

Color Spot Incentives

Use these color spots on student's desks or in a folder.  Color in a spot (or use stickers) for exceptional work or behavior.  When kids fill up their whole sheet, you can reward them in whatever way you like.  (Hang it on the wall, free assignment, eraser...etc)

Classroom Incentive Cash

Just insert your face (or whatever object/animal you like) in the space provided, and you've got your very own classroom cash.  Let kids purchase items from a school store, or do an auction.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Moon Phases

I had the pleasure of teaching a 6th grade science class in Tennessee a unit on Space.  Here's a project we did for the moon phases.  Take every opportunity to let your students work together, and do hands on projects.  They almost all aced the moon phases part of the test.

Photo Painting

If you get your hands on a Michael's 40% off coupon, get a light projector.  They are so much fun.  Mine was regularly like $60, but I got it for $30 (on a rare 50% coupon week).
You can print off clip-art online like this one and project it onto a canvas.  All you have to do then is trace it either with paints on a brush, or those cool paint pens!

Save Water Poster Phrases

If you're like me, it's hard to remember to do little things to save money on your water or heating bill.  I wrote some really stupid phrases and printed them out on little posters that I put around the house (by the sink, washer, dishwasher soap...etc)


Marisa's Symphony

I finished my symphony!  Scott had it mastered, and it's posted on YouTube if you want to listen.

Key-chain Pick Holder

Okay, coolest craft ever!  Make a key-chain that can hold your guitar picks.
Use this template to cut out your fabric.  I used special scissors to get the jagged edge.  You can either hand-sew, or use a machine. 

Materials needed:
  • thread, needle (or a sewing machine)
  • material
  • 1 snap (there should be 4 pieces total)
  • pliers (or a snap press)
  • an eyelet
Before folding your material and sew around the complete edge.  Affix the 2 snap sides at this time using either the pliers or snap press.  Then fold the end where the picks will hide and sew the sides shut.  Affix your eyelet using either the pliers or snap press.  Put in your picks, and you're done!

Isaiah Journal

Last year a friend of mine, Caley Peterson, and I decided to do a study through Isaiah.  It was amazing.  We made ourselves some journals and broke Isaiah up into about 100 days (which is exactly how many pages our journals had).  We asked every question we could think of and didn't rest until we understood the answer to every question we had.  Wow, are there some amazing prophesies about Christ in that book.  Learning the history was so powerful to me that now during sermons, I feel I have a way better grasp on Old and New Testament significances.  Here's the journal cover I made if anyone else wants to use it.  (I just used Modge Podge to paint it onto the blank journal cover).

Painting your Kid's Room

I love to decorate!  A few years ago I painted a room at my mom's house to be the kid's room.  I borrowed an overhead and printed out a large silhouette of a skyline.  After painting the main part of the wall yellow, I projected the skyline on it and painted it black with chalkboard paint.  Then, I added the pink sun which was also on the overhead I printed out.  It's so great, because my niece can draw right on the wall with chalk.

Last year I decorated my own daughter's bedroom.  People were puzzled when I told them I was painting the walls gray, but I think it's important to consider a muted background at times, so when you add the accents, they really pop.  I was doing accents using black and white Fleurde-lis patterns and very light pinks, as well as earthy greens. Also, the two-tones walls helps to break it up and help a small room feel taller.

Whatever you decide to do, be yourself & go for it.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Cholestasis of Pregnancy

Okay, so during this pregnancy (which is my second), I've been experiencing some serious itching.  I'm so itchy that I don't sleep at night.  Cortizone cream only helps a little, and I can't even begin to get all the spots.  I'd have to cover my entire body.  But mostly my legs and arms, feet and hands, and belly itch.  My doctor was concerned of possible Cholestasis, so she had me tested.  Cholestasis is a specific liver condition in which the normal flow of bile is impaired in a woman's body resulting in itching.  I looked it up online, and it's not good if you have it.  It can cause still birth.  1 to 2 women out of 1000 get Cholestasis.  My results came back negative though, so I'm relieved in that.  However, my doctor is still concerned as my itching has not gone away.  Apparently some doctors don't know much about this disease and will ignore your itching symptoms.  I was lucky enough to have a doctor who is familiar with it.  She had to look up a bizarre code to get the lab test done, and then it had to be sent far away...took 2 weeks to get the results back.  That was a long 2 weeks.  Anyway, for more information, go to www.itchymoms.com.

Baby Weights and Car Seats

Here is some helpful data in knowing when you'll need to switch your kids to different car seats:

  • Rear-facing infant seat: Infants should ride in rear-facing child safety seats until they have reached 1 year of age and 20 lbs.
  • Forward facing convertible seat: Children about 20-40 lbs. and 1-4 years of age can ride in forward-facing or forward-facing convertible seats.
  • High-backed booster seat (belt-positioning booster seat): Children too tall for a forward-facing convertible seat (ears line up with the back of the convertible seat) can use a high-backed booster seat.
  • Booster seat: Children about 40-80 lbs. and 4 years and older also should use a high-backed booster seat. 
  • Seat belt: When children can manage (without slouching) to sit with their feet on the floor of the vehicle, their back straight against the back seat cushion, and knees over the edge of the seat (usually at about 80 pounds and 57" tall), they can use a seat belt. 
Average baby weight charts from 0-36 months, so you can plan when you'll need that next car-seat.  (There are height ones as well at www.kidsgrowth.com)

Making a Board Book

Okay, so to my disappointment and astonishment, there is nowhere in the United States, online or in town, to affordably print your own board book.  Apparently board books are all printed in China, and you have to want millions of copies to make it worth it.  Smaller print shops either don't have the technology to print/bind such a book, or they will do it for a hefty price.  There are websites however that will sell you blank board books.  The only problem is, the books have a set number of pages.

I decided I would get the materials to make my own.  I set to work drawing and scanning onto Photoshop my pages, so that I could size them correctly, and print them off on the sticker paper.
Here's my book cover and pages.

Materials needed:
  • Large piece of heavy book board (UofO Bookstore carries it)
  • Exacto Knife, Ruler, and Scoring Tool
  • Craft glue (get the good stuff...it's important)
  • Sticker paper for your computer printer
  • Laminating sheets (either self adhesive or to use in a laminator)
  • Computer with scanner (preferably some image editing software)
Cut your board into pieces that are as wide as 2 pages.  You will score these in the middle and fold them in half.  When you've made enough for all your pages, put them together and measure the spine.  For the cover and back, add on an the additional amount you measured for your spine.  Each page will be glued to the next page, so in essence, each page will be double the thickness of the board you purchased.  Print your images on the sticker paper.  Laminate them.  Peel away the sticker backing and stick them to your board pages.  I recommend doing this after you've assembled and glued your book together.  Happy board book making!

Animal Slideshow for the Kids

My daughter loves animals.  She is one and a half, and is learning to say their names and sounds.  One day she was wanting to sit on my lap as I worked on the computer.  I thought it would be fun to look up some animal pictures for her and she loved it.  So, that inspired a project.  We sat there and did google image searches for every kind of animal we could think of.  (Note:  If you go to "advanced image search", under "size", put in that you only want images that are larger than 640x480).  When we were finished, I put her down for her nap, and opened all the pictures up in my favorite photo program, Picasa.  You can download Picasa for free if you have a PC, or a Mac with an Intel processor.  Older Macs won't support it.  In Picasa, I added text to each photo, telling what the animal was.  So now, I have a folder with all these pictures of labeled animals.  All I have to do is click "slideshow" (on Windows 7) at the top of the folder, and it plays right through them.  Here's a screen-shot of the folder of animals I created.
Emma will sit there and watch it with me dozens of times in a row.  I say the animal as they go by.  She's already learned to say, Cheetahs, Hyena, Fish, Wolf, Cow, Puppy, Cat, Owl, Eagle, Mice, Moose, Fox, and more.  Some of them aren't exactly right, but she's trying, and it's so fun to listen to her learn.

Here is a list of animals, in case you want to make your own:
*Aardvark * Anteater * Antelope * Armadillo * Baboon * Bat * Beaver * Beetle * Bear * Black Panther * Blue Bird * Buffalo * Bumblebee * Butterfly * Cat * Caterpillar * Cheetah * Chicken * Chimpanzee * Chipmunk * Cow * Crab * Cranes * Crocodile * Deer * Dog * Dolphin * Donkey * Dragonfly * Duck * Eagle * Eel * Elephant * Ferret * Fox * Frog * Gazelle * Gerbil * Giraffe * Goat * Goose * Gorilla * Hedgehog * Hippo * Horse Hummingbird * Hyena * Kangaroo * Kitten * Koala * Ladybug * Lemur * Leopard * Lion * Lizard * Llama * Mice * Mongoose * Monkey * Moose * Mongoose * Opossum * Orangutan * Ostrich * Otter * Owl * Panda * Parrot * Peacock * Pelican * Penguin * Pig * Polar Bear * Porcupine * Prairie Dog * Puffin * Puppy * Rabbit * Raccoon * Ram * Reindeer * Rhinocerous * Rooster * Salamander * Sea Lion * Shark * Sheep * Shrimp * Skunk * Sloth * Snail * Snake * Squirrel * Starfish * Swan * Tarantula * Tarsier * Tiger * Toucan * Turkey * Turtle * Walrus * Warthog * Whale * Wolf * Wombat * Zebra *

Why We Teach that Jesus Saves

"The Water Analogy" - by Marisa Frantz
(A fictional representation, from the perspective of the absurd)

There was a 6 year old boy in Ohio who survived after being under water for 67 minutes.  It was a miracle.  A possibility that no one accounted for.  Because of this, I have decided to focus most of my water safety education with my own children on the possibility of living under water for extended periods of time.  It will not be necessary for them to learn to swim.  In this way, they will grow up being well educated of all possibilities, and live fearless of the water.  Of course, I will let them know that I fully support them if they would like to learn to swim, as long as they know that it's not necessary for everyone. 

(Pause) - Now, let's think this through for a minute.  Who in their right mind would adhere to this nonsensical view?  But isn't that how some are viewing Christ's salvation to the unsaved?  Let me explain.

If God would save someone by faith and good works (an underwater miracle), never having truly known the Savior Jesus (Knowing how to swim), then let's re-frame everyone's ideas around this.  Don't bother teaching people Jesus is the only way, when there is a possibility their faith is enough.  Let people jump in the water of eternal life hoping on a miracle, rather than the Truth that's been given us in the Word of God.  If they want to evangelize (teach others to swim), and spread the news of Jesus, we fully support that too, as long as they know it is not necessary for everyone.

(Pause) - How absurd?!  My conclusion is this.  I will teach my children to swim because that is how they will be saved from death in the water.  I will tell people about Jesus, because this is how they will be saved from death in this life.  This is my priority...not a one in a million possibility.

Gardening in Oregon

When it comes to gardening, I'm not an expert by any means.  It's just something I always grew up watching my grandma do, and I find it a lot of fun.  :)  I haven't gotten too creative with my planting in the past.  My staples are green beans, snow peas, tomatoes, and cucumbers.  However, I have tried onions, radishes, green onions, garlic, corn, pumpkins, and herbs.  I have done it both ways as far as planting inside and just starting my seed or plants outside.  I started my peas and green beans from seed outside and they were really healthy.  I always use tomato plant starts just because you can find them so cheap around here.  I always have WAY too many tomatoes.

You'll want to start some plants inside...like lettuces, onions, peppers, pumpkins, squash, watermelon, broccoli, cauliflower, and tomatoes.  (or you can just buy starts when it's time to plant them in the ground if you don't want to start from seed.)  If you're going to do seed starts inside, it's usually about 4-6 weeks before it's planting time that you want to start them inside.  Most root plants like potatoes or radishes start in March, and most melons start in May.  Most of the things I've planted, I started in May (except peas start in Feb)...but here's a chart to give some specifics on when to plant. Also, here is a great PDF link to Vegetable Gardening in Oregon.

Fish and Pregnancy

I love sushi!  My husband wanted to take me to Izumi for a Valentines weekend dinner and I was stoked.  I'm pregnant though and wanted to do a little research before we went, to make sure I didn't order anything harmful to my baby's health.  Mercury is what you want to avoid.
Highest Mercury
Grouper, Marlin, Orange roughy, Tilefish , Swordfish, Shark , Mackerel (king)
High Mercury
Bass saltwater, Croaker, Halibut, Tuna (canned, white albacore) See tuna chart below, Tuna (fresh bluefin, ahi), Sea trout, Bluefish, Lobster (American/Maine)
Lower Mercury
Carp, Mahi Mahi, Crab (dungeness), Snapper, Crab (blue), Herring, Crab (snow), Monkfish, Perch (freshwater), Skate, Cod, Tuna (canned, chunk light) , Tuna (fresh Pacific albacore)
Lowest Mercury
Anchovies, Calamari (squid), Caviar, Crab (king), Catfish, Whitefish, Scallops, Flounder, Herring, Lobster, Crawfish/crayfish, Salmon, Shrimp, Clams, Tilapia, Oysters, Sardines, Sturgeon, Trout (freshwater) 

Now, for the sushi lovers, one knows that their menus most likely will be in Japanese, so here's a list of terms that you may find helpful in your attempt to order wisely.

Ebi (shrimp) - Hamaguri (clam) - Hotategai (scallop) - Ika (squid) - Ikura (salmon roe) - Kaibashira (shellfish) - Kani (crab) - Masago (smelt egg) - Masu (trout) - Sake (salmon) - Tako (octopus) - Tsubugai (shellfish) - Unagi (freshwater eel) - Uni (sea urchin roe) 

Ahi (yellowfin tuna) - Buri & Hamachi (yellowtail) - Kajiki (swordfish) - Maguro, Meji, & Toro (bigeye, bluefin or yellowfin tuna) - Makjiki (blue marlin)- Saba (mackerel) - Shiro (albacore tuna) - Suzuki (sea bass)

For more info, go to www.nrdc.org

Organic Crib Mattresses

When I was pregnant with Emma, my aunt Louise graciously offered to purchase for us an organic crib mattress.  At the time, I didn't know what the big deal was, but knew it couldn't be bad.  Since then, I have come to realize the importance of having an organic crib mattress, and have decided to purchase another one for baby-on-the-way, Leah.  The biggest thing to think about is how often your baby is going to be laying on this mattress.  They do sleep a lot!  10-14 hours a day to be specific.  And they are inhaling whatever they lay on.  Regular mattresses are made with toxic chemicals such as phthalates, which studies over the past few years have shown to cause health defects.  Think of it like when we learned about lead paint.  Bad.  You want to make sure that you purchase a mattress that is certified under the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).  Just because a mattress says it's "green" or "eco-friendly" doesn't mean that it's truly organic.  The most confusing part of shopping is making sure you get a mattress that has an organic waterproofing.  Some mattresses will be organic everywhere except the outer waterproofing, which is the closest part to your baby's face.  Visit the Naturpedic website to learn more about organic mattresses.