Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Memorizing Multiplication Facts

My youngest (Jared, 9) has been having a little bit of trouble memorizing all of his math facts.  We've tried regular flash cards and drills.  Then I tried cards with the answers to give him the answer to memorize.  Nothing has completely worked.  He has a lot of them memorized- but not all and has been getting more and more frustrated with himself :( We got to the point where I didn't want to go forward in his math studies until we have them down.

So, I stumbled upon an idea by Diane Craft here.  They are called "Right Brain Multiplication Cards". 
They take the left brain data and imbed it into the right brain picture. She says, "the velcro that puts things into the right brain is color, picture, humor and emotion."  I decided to make some of my own.

Each fact will have a story to go with it.  So for 7 X 12 I made up- A rocket (7) went around the earth 12 times and used up 84 gallons of fuel (probably makes no sense- but oh well!).  Or, 7 X 9- A rocket (7) hit a meteor (9) and blew into 63 pieces.  You keep the problem covered up and reveal each part as you say it. 

So far he has them all memorized and I made them yesterday.  He looked at them two times!

...I'm off to make the 8's!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What's Cookin!

As I type I'm sinking my teeth into a hearty and fully satisfying meal that happens to be organic~whole~vegetarian! So I decided to share a few recipes that I've been making over the past few days.

Vegetarian Chili & Salad

Drizzle about 2-3 tbsp of olive oil in a pot.  Add 3 cloves of minced garlic, half a large diced onion, half a diced green bell pepper and a diced fresh jalepeno.  Saute together until soft.  Add 2 cans organic tomato sauce, 1 can of organic diced tomatoes, chopped yellow squash, chopped zucchini, 1 can organic red kidney beans, 1 can of organic northern beans.  Add spices: 2 tbsp cumin, 1/2 tbsp garlic powder, 1 tbsp. chili powder, 1/2 tbsp of paprika, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/4-1/2 tsp. sea salt.  Simmer for 15-20 minutes. 

My salad had romaine & spinach leaves, carrots, tomatoes, chick peas, kidney beans, fresh parsley, and fresh cilantro.  I used Organicville's olive oil & balsamic vinaigrette.  Yum!

Spinach Tomato Basil Pasta

Cook whole wheat pasta as directed.  Saute 2-3 cloves minced garlic and chopped red onions in about 4-5 tbsp of olive oil.  Add fresh diced tomatoes, salt, pepper & oregano.  Add fresh spinach and fresh chopped basil for the last 2 minutes or until wilted. Toss together with cooked pasta.  Add salt & pepper if needed.

Spaghetti with Steamed Squash & Zucchini

Saute 2-3 cloves of garlic in olive oil (I pretty much do this with everything!!! Ha.)  Add 2 cans of organic tomato sauce, 1 can of diced tomatoes, and spices: garlic powder, oregano, parsley, onion powder, salt & pepper.  Simmer together for 15-20 minutes.

Black Bean Tacos w/ Homemade Guacamole & Salsa

Put corn tortilla in skillet.  Smear generous portion of organic canned refried black beans on top.  Heat through (be careful not to burn tortillas).  Remove from skillet and top with fresh tomatoes, lettuce, salsa & fresh guacamole.


Put whole avacado into food processor.  Add fresh cilantro, red onion, 1 clove minced garlic, a drizzle of rice milk, 2 tbsp fresh salsa, a big squirt of fresh lime. Blend together until the right consistency.  Add more rice milk if needed.

Vegetable Soup

When I made this soup I basically took all the veggies I had leftover in my fridge.  I didn't really measure- so I'm guessing on the measurements.

Saute 3 cloves of fresh minced garlic in olive oil in a pot for 1-2 minutes.  Add organic vegetable broth (1 box) and 3-4 cups of water.  Add vegeatbles: zucchini, squash, red onion, carrots, celery.  Add 1 cup of barley and 1 can of diced tomatoes.  Add herbs/spices: lots of sea salt & pepper, 1 tsp sage, 1 tsp garlic powder. Simmer until vegeatble are soft.  Add chopped kale and chopped fresh basil & parsley in last few minutes.  Add more salt & pepper if needed.

Enjoy! :-)

Friday, January 14, 2011

First Sewing Projects

Today we finally got around to doing a couple of sewing projects.  For the first "quarter" of the year Jenna had been doing cooking- which is her new hobby.  She LOVES to cook.  So, now I'd like to have her try sewing.

She decided on a reversible zebra & black tote bag.  She did a fabulous job, especially considering it was her first real sewing project.  I am so proud!  We were inspired to make a bag after visiting with her Gigi (Great Grandma).  She gave Jenna a simple little tote bag and suggested she use it as a pattern to make one herself.  Great idea, Grandma!

Once the bag was completed she decided to add on a "J' to the plain black side (that part is hot glued...shhhh).  We found detailed instructions for making the bag here since she wanted it to be reversible.  This site is full of fun craft ideas! 

Then Jared made a pillow case with these fabrics:

Here's his finished project:

Today was a fun Friday.  I hope to do more projects like these at the end of the week.  Next on our list is to do some fun science experiments :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Fun Duct Tape Creations

There is a whole world that exists beyond ours. Have you discovered it? 

It's the world of duct tape.

Jenna has just begun delving into the seemingly never ending list of possiblities for creations. 

Her first project: Wallets

I even made one myself.  It's addciting!

You can get the different colors at the craft store or Walmart and let your imagination run wild.  If you google how to make them you will find scads of videos with instructions for wallets and other projects.