Sunday, January 29, 2012

I have my own website! Well, sort of. It's actually a Wordpress blog, but it's serving as my "official" author site. It's nothing fancy, but I think it's worth the big bucks I paid for the domain name ($25). Now I just have to publish a book and make at least $25.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Times Tables Strike Again

I'm often amazed at how some things change drastically over time while other things don't change one bit. Mason's struggle with the multiplication tables (third grade...ugghh) brings back memories of my own battle with the same thing. It didn't take me long to realize that the flash card method of memorization would mean months of dedicated "drill and kill" (fancy education terminology) on my part if I didn't find some other

Flashback to a third grade version of myself sitting in a wooden rocking chair, listening to multiplication songs through gigantic black headphones for hours on end. I hated those songs. But I do know my multiplication facts now (most of them) so I guess they helped.

I couldn't find the exact tapes I listened to as a child, so I had to find other methods of for Mason.

Timez Attack - A video game download complete with fantasy worlds and levels that have to be mastered before moving to a new one. It was really hard in the beginning because Mason couldn't type in the answers as fast as the game wanted him to. I had to sit with him sometimes and type in the answers as he dictated. I also had him write down some of the ones he just couldn't remember after millions of repetitions. Then he had his own cheat sheet to use on the "tests." Now he plays it 30 minutes a day on his own - it's been a lifesaver!

YouTube Videos - When he just couldn't remember several facts in a set, like those pesky 6s and 7s, I found annoying songs on YouTube for him to listen to several times in a row. He likes them about as well as I liked my tapes, but they do seem to help with retention...which is the goal afterall.

Monday, January 16, 2012

My Cornbread Recipe Creation

I'm so proud of myself! Jas wanted me to make cornbread for dinner - something I haven't made in years (if I've ever made it at all). I had cornmeal with a recipe on the package, but I didn't have baking powder - at 6:30 p.m. So I got creative and decided to try pancake mix in place of the flour, sugar, and baking powder the recipe called for. I added in everything else as directed, and voila! Seriously delicious cornbread!

Super Easy (probably not healthy) Cornbread

1 cup cornmeal (I used Bob's Red Mill medium grind)
1 cup buttermilk pancake mix
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter (softened)

Preheat oven to 425. Stir dry ingredients in a bowl. Add egg, milk, and butter. Beat until smooth, about one minute. Bake in a greased 8-inch square pan for 20-25 minutes. Serves nine.

The Family that Hunts Together...

Mason and Jas got up before dawn yesterday to go hunting with Jas's uncle, Rocky, and his cousin, Hunter. Yes, that's a dead duck Mason is holding. Jas has been trying to rope me into joining him in his new hobby/obsession, but he's seriously barking up the wrong tree. I don't like guns. I don't like being outside - especially in the cold. And I can't stand the sight of blood, guts, or dead animals. I am, however, looking forward to future hunting trips that involve all the boys in my family being gone for a few days at a time. I'm already planning the craft projects and girls night out activities I can do another three or four years. Something to look forward to.