Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Another Wacky Wednesday at our House!

What is that? a cocoon?

a giant muticolored slug?

No its a... Langford boy idea of a great time on a hot day under some taped up sheets.

It's air conditioned, being filled like a balloon, powered by two fans and lighted with a lamp for late night reading. It's great together time and that makes memories.
Yes, at 17 and 15 there still is a lot of boy in them and that's ok!

Living a Lifestyle of Learning daily

Summer Reading for Preschoolers

This post is probably the third
in a series of Summer reading posts that I am preparing right now.
Sorry, they may appear to be out of order right now but in the end
they may make sense.
I have made up a list of some of some really good living books for
preschoolers. They are predominately picture books, or books
that engage the eye for the youngster while Mom reads the story.
This helps to teach the child listening and observation skills and
the ability to sit still for longer periods of time, not to mention
vocabulary and language development.

I always recommend reading to your child while he is still in the womb,
a short way of saying, "start as early as you can." Do not worry about
comprehension, or "reading over their heads." They are getting it and
especially as your child gets older you will hear him using vocabulary
that you know he got from some of your read alouds and it is used correctly!

A few years ago I tested Jonathan (now 18) on some grammar usage and
he scored 100% easily and I have never taught him any grammar at all.
Do not under estimate the example set by correct and repeated usage. I
also have been quite lax (a confession) on teaching writing skills
to my boys, and yet, Graydon(15) has a fantastic blog! What a great
writer he is.
Reading aloud is probably the single greatest thing you can do for
your child's education! Start early and keep going until they are
well into their teenage years! I am still reading aloud subject
matter that I know my sons will probably not tackle on their own
but I do want to introduce them to and whet their appetite. It is
so easy with read alouds.

In the list below I have attached links to the titles to help you
visually find these books any time you are out at book sales or
garage sales but unfortunately, many pages on Amazon do not even
have pictures but I attached the link anyway just so you can get
a feel for the book and perhaps it recall to your memory and you
will be able to find it anyway. I do believe in building you own
personal library so borrow them from the library if you must the
first time but for sure as you can see your child enjoying them, order
or locate a copy for his own to cherish over the years.

And above all, do not do what I saw one young mom do, discard those
precious books when they are below your child's reading level. They
are cherished friends to your child's heart! Keep them for as long
as he/she wants them. Maybe, they might want to pass them on to their

Here are some of my favorites for the preschool age:

Blueberries for Sal, by Robert McCloskey

Make Way for Ducklings (Viking Kestrel Picture Books)

The Complete Adventures of Curious George

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by
Virginia Lee Burton

The Runaway Bunny, by Margaret Wise Brown

Ox-Cart Man, by Donald Hall

Corduroy, by Don Freeman

Cowboy Small (Lois Lenski Books) by Lois Lenski

The Biggest Bear, by Lynd Ward

A Is for AnnabelleIs for Annabelle, by Tasha Tudor

Thy Friend, Obadiah (Picture Puffins), by Brenton Turkle

Stone Soup (Stories to Go!), by Marcia Brown

Beatrix Potter The Complete Tales, by Beatrix Potter


The Story about Ping (Reading Railroad Books), by Marjorie Flack

The Little Engine That Could: The Complete, Original Edition (A Platt & Munk Classic), by Watty Piper

Andy and the Lion (Picture Puffins), by James Daugherty

They Were Strong and Good, by Robert Lawson

Madeline, Reissue of 1939 edition, by Ludwig Bemelmans

Madeline's Rescue, by Ludwig Bemelmans

Paddle-to-the-Sea (Sandpiper Books), by Holling C. Holling

Abraham Lincoln, by Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire

1 Is One, by Tasha Tudor

The baby house, by Norma Simon

A APPLE PIE, by Kate Greenaway

500 Words to Grow On, by Harry McNaught

Wild Horses of the Red Desert, by Glen Rounds

Lentil (Picture Puffins), by Robert McCloskey

Cecily G. and the 9 Monkeys (Curious George)by H.A. Rey

The Abc Bunny (Fesler-Lampert Minnesota Heritage Book Series), by Wanda Gag

Wheel on the Chimney, by Margaret Wise Brown

Small Rain: Verses from the Bible, by Elizabeth Orton Jones

Tootle, by Gertrude Crampton

Hansel and Gretel, by Eloise Wilkin

The Steadfast Tin Soldier, by Robert M. Quackenbush

BUSY DAY BUSY PEOPLE by Tibor Gergely (A Random House BEST BOOK CLUB EVER Selected Edition Softcover), by Tibor Gergely

The Boy With a Drum, by Eloise Wilkin

Obadiah the Bold, by Brinton Turkle

White Snow, Bright Snow, by Alvin Tresselt

The Big Snow (Stories to Go!), by Berta and Elmer Hader

Dinosaurs: Those Terrible Lizards, by Duane T. Gish

Noah's Ark (Picture Yearling Book)">Noah's Ark, by Peter Spier

Scuffy the Tugboat (Little Golden Book & CD) , by Gertrude Crampton

The Little Red Caboose (Little Golden Book), by Marian Potter

Honey Bear, by Dixie Willson

Birds a Childs First Book About Our Most Familiar Birds, by Eloise Wilkin


Little Bear Boxed Set: Little Bear, Father Bear Comes Home, and Little Bear's Visit, by Else Holmelund Minarik

My Teddy Bear (Little Golden Books), by Eloise Wilkin

Animal Babies, by Harry McNaught

We Help Daddy (Little Golden Books), by Eloise Wilkin

PS, I have just spent 3 hours placing and correcting these links over and over again and so it seems, technology has overcome me again and they still, for the most part do not work. I will continue to see what is wrong and try, try, try to get them fixed, but in the meantime, please copy and paste the links that do not work into the Amazon browser and they should come up just fine. My apologies!

Living a Lifestyle of Learning daily

Natural beauty-skin deep! Part 1

I have been exploring some natural skins care products over the years looking, searching for something to replace just about everything in my makeup case over time. I am a confirmed label reader but as you might agree nobody can even pronounce the ingredient list on your average eyeshadow package let alone actually understand what most of the ingredients are. Not only are they too small to read(intentionally?) but the words are seemingly not even in English. They appear to be all words you should have learned in your high school chemistry class, but didn't. AND with the recent news over the very common use of lead in lipsticks, and quite a few other chemical hazards, I started tightening my intent on finding something better.
So, if you do what many do and turn to your local health food store for any product they have to offer you will need to get a second job to afford them. And the ingredients are still questionable. Just because you CAN pronounce some of them doesn't mean that they are good for you or your body in general. (arsenic is totally natural, is easy to pronounce but completely lethal)

Below is an article from Dr Mercola's newsletter listing some the shocking ingredients in some common skin care and make up products.

Grab the bottles of skin moisturizers you currently use. You might find that your personal care products contain one or probably more of many potentially dangerous ingredients. Here are a few of the most common suspicious ingredients:

Mineral Oil, Paraffin, and Petrolatum – Petroleum products that coat the skin like plastic, clogging pores and creating a build-up of toxins, which in turn accumulate and can lead to dermatological issues. Slows cellular development, which can cause you to show earlier signs of aging. Suspected cause of cancer. Disruptive of hormonal activity. By the way, when there’s an oil spill in the ocean, don’t they rush to clean it up – fast? Why put that stuff on your skin?

Parabens – Widely used as preservatives in the cosmetic industry (including moisturizers). An estimated 13,200 cosmetic and skin care products contain parabens. Studies implicate their connection with cancer. They have hormone-disrupting qualities – mimicking estrogen – and interfere with the body’s endocrine system.

Phenol carbolic acid– Found in many lotions and skin creams. Can cause circulatory collapse, paralysis, convulsions, coma and even death from respiratory failure.

Propylene glycol – Used as a moisturizer in cosmetics and as a carrier in fragrance oils. Shown to cause dermatitis, kidney or liver abnormalities, and may inhibit skin cell growth or cause skin irritation. Acrylamide– Found in many hand and face creams. Linked to mammary tumors in lab research. Sodium laurel or lauryl sulfate (SLS), also known as sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)– Found in car washes, engine degreasers, garage floor cleaners… and in over 90% of personal care products! SLS breaks down the skin’s moisture barrier, easily penetrates the skin, and allows other
chemicals to easily penetrate. Combined with other chemicals, SLS becomes a
nitrosamine”, a potent class of carcinogen. It can also cause hair loss. SLES
is sometimes disguised with the labeling “comes from coconut” or

Toluene – Poison! Danger! Harmful or fatal if swallowed! Harmful if inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Made from petroleum or coal tar, and found in most synthetic fragrances. Chronic exposure linked to anemia, lowered blood cell count, liver or kidney damage, and may affect a developing fetus. Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) contains toluene. Other names may include benzoic and benzyl. Dioxane– Found in compounds known as PEG, Polysorbates, Laureth, ethoxylated alcohols. Common in a wide range of personal care products. The compounds are usually contaminated with high concentrations of highly volatile 1,4

Dioxane, easily absorbed through the skin. Dioxane’s carcinogenicity was first reported in 1965 and later confirmed in studies including one from the National Cancer Institute in 1978. Nasal passages and liver are the most vulnerable. Dioxane is easily removed during the manufacturing process by “vacuum stripping”. Warning: It is a synthetic derivative of coconut. Watch for hidden language on labels, such as “comes from coconut”. So, do you want to put these chemicals on your skin? Hopefully not... You’d be better served by switching to skin care products made of plant names you recognize, can pronounce, and could even eat (if you had to).

So my path to more friendly products have taken me to some interesting finds. As usual the answer is usually in your cupboard (or fridge) and it is this time as well. To replace any skin cleansers, soap, antibacterial cleansers, use food grade almond oil. For many years, even into ancient times, oil was used as a cleanser and it really does help break down just about any dirt or skin debris from everyday wear and tear. You will find blackheads dissolve, skin sloughing will happen daily and moisturizing is built right in. Almond oil is filled with antibacterial properties and vitamin E, a skin supplement and supporter. You can find almond oil in just about any drug store in with some other natural products such as caster oil and witch hazel. You will probably have to ask the druggist where it is as they are usually way down on the bottom shelf hidden in some obscure isle. (not big money makers, obviously)

I use almond oil in the evening to remove old make-up and moisturize for the night, or better still might be my most recent try, raw coconut oil. You will need to protect your pillow case as it will lead some dark oil stains on anything it comes in contact with for the night. Coconut oil has wonderful anti bacterial/anti viral properties, is helpful both internal and externally against acne and yeast problems.

To remove mascara safely use caster oil.(if you use mascara at all) Caster oil is a safe thick oil that can be applied with a q-tip. Here's how I do it. I first lightly scoop warm water onto the closed eye to soften mascara then dip a Q-tip in the oil and apply right away. Both the water and the oil together does an excellent job.

In the morning apply almond oil again as a night time clean up and toxin removal and then the next step you will need to dampen down the oily look with a homemade powder mix. I tried every ground product in my cupboard (rice flour, millet flour unifine ground even) and found each of them too grainy. Then I read in "The Cure for All Cancers," the chapter on natural personal products.
Use cornstarch or arrow root powder and (what I had already tried)-beet root powder.
Ha, At least I was on the right track, but going the wrong way with which powder to use. It worked great! I had purchased beet root powder from Azure Standard several years ago and it has faded somewhat but provided enough color to help me experiment and take the stark whiteness of the corn starch.You don't have to worry about getting the right pink color either. The redishness of beets seems to work well to pinken the powder and that is really all you need for now.

Next, lipstick. I discovered that glycerin has multiple uses. I mixed my beetroot powder with food grade glycerin and painted it on and found it is not only delicious (which is actually a problem) but it also gave a really nice glossy look. You can adjust the tint by adding more or less color. This is so far an OK alternative for stick lipstick although it is a little impractical for everyday use. It is just so good and I kept tending to lick it off! Oh well, at least it was not harmful going down!

Newsflash- just in- check out my daughter-in-law's site for a post on sending a free container of mineral make up - all you have to do is pay the shipping of 5.00.
Check out this site for keying in the name of specific make up products to see their ingredients and safety levels. Shocking!

Living a Lifestyle of Learning daily