This is a guest post by Nicholas Efran. Key: ☆=1 star ⭐︎=1/2 star The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo This is a book about a mouse who gets sent to the dungeon for being different. He is in love with the princess in the castle he lives in. Then he discovers that a … Continue reading Book Reviews by a 10-and-11/12-year-old
My son Nicholas is in fifth grade. He and his friends Emma and Sadie have been running a recycling program at their school since third grade. Each year they have to make arrangements with the principal so that their recycling bins will be left alone by custodial staff and they have permission to go around … Continue reading Pen and Marker Recycling: Starting Year 3!
This is a story I've told my son Nicholas many times. It's entertaining for him, but it's also a story that really gets him thinking about right and wrong, temptation and resistance, punishment and forgiveness, what those kids who get into trouble all the time might be thinking, and many other interesting issues. It's inspired … Continue reading That Time I Caused Trouble in Sunday School
When I was born, my mother quit her paying job so she could be home with me. When my kids were born, I took 12 weeks off and then returned to my job. It's my father, not my mother, who has been my role model for balancing parenthood with employment.
This is a guest post by Nicholas Efran. His book reviews are a lot more succinct than his mom's! If you want to know more about the books, you can ask Nicholas in the comments. key:⭐️=1 star 🌜=1half star 😥=so sad 😠=makes me so mad 👎=thumbs down 🆒=cool book 💯=100 Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library … Continue reading 10 Book Reviews by a 10-Year-Old
Welcome to the April 2015 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Family History This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared stories, lore, and wisdom about family history. Please read to the end to find a list of … Continue reading Seder and Holy Week: Family Traditions, Old and New
Lent is about half over. If you're fasting from meat during Lent, and you normally eat a lot of meat, by now you're probably getting kind of bored with fish sticks and macaroni-and-cheese. Time to try something new! I've posted this recipe before, explaining how this delicious complete meal can be adjusted to work with … Continue reading Lemon Creamy Salmon photo tutorial!
Welcome to the March 2015 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Day in the Life This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have given us a special glimpse into their everyday. *** There are three main things I do … Continue reading A Day as Mama and Data Manager
I've only read two books to myself in the past month, but I've been reading to both of my kids, too, and looking at some floor-plan books, so here are two book reviews in each category. Books I read to myself: The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards begins during a snowstorm in 1964, when … Continue reading What I Read Recently: Adult, Tween, Baby, and Architecture Books
Welcome to the February 2015 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Do It Yourself This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants are teaching us how to make something useful or try something new. *** By the time my first … Continue reading How to Get Kids to Behave in Church
I wrote Great Chapter Books for Kids when Nicholas was four years old, thinking I'd add to it later or make it the first post in a series...and I keep meaning to get around to it...but meanwhile, I'm going to use the Quick Lit Linkup as motivation to write about what I've read to Nicholas, … Continue reading Books I’ve Been Sharing with My 10-Year-Old
Ah, December, the month when the days are getting shorter and shortest as we try to pack in shopping, parties, preparations for hospitality or travel, and tranquil spiritual contemplation along with all our usual activities! It makes a kid who persistently wants attention all the more annoying. The December my son Nicholas turned two, I … Continue reading The Nutcracker: music for the imagination
I love drawing floor plans--even though I failed to become an architect--so I looked forward to illustrating my article about how we rearranged our home to make space for our new baby Lydia. I thought this also would be a great opportunity to learn to use TouchDraw, a drafting app I'd bought for my iPad … Continue reading My 9-Year-Old Architect
It's back-to-school season! If your child brings a lunch to school, now is the time to think about how to pack that lunch. If you bring your lunch to work, this is a great time of year to rethink what you're packing, too. Choosing the right lunch-packing habits can make a big difference in how … Continue reading 5 Tips for Green Lunch Packing
Our nine-year-old Nicholas has been interested in home decorating since he was about four years old. I often get frustrated with his desire to set up things that are merely decorative, have no useful purpose, and just get in my way! I am even more irritated when he wants to buy things just for decorating. … Continue reading Centerpiece
This is a guest post by Nicholas Efran, nine-year-old son of 'Becca and Daniel. He wrote this article for the June 2014 issue of the Colfax Communicator, his school's newsletter. (Mr. Sikorski is the principal.) We hope it inspires other kids to start recycling things that are getting thrown away in their schools! Three third-graders … Continue reading Recycling Used-Up Pens and Markers
Welcome to the June 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Kids and Animals This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared stories and wisdom about kids and animals. *** When my cousin Samantha was three years old … Continue reading Vegetarianism and Animal Rights: Explaining to Children
We aren't sports fans in our family. Exercise is good, but we're not much interested in playing sports and even less interested in watching sports. But we live in Pittsburgh, a city with three professional sports teams that are a major focus of the local culture. We can't help noticing when one of the teams … Continue reading Saving Money on Sports Fan Gear
When my parents visited us the Christmas before last, my mother made her grandmother's traditional animal cookies: a buttery dough that you roll out and cut with cookie cutters (they don't have to be animal shapes, of course) and bake and frost. The recipe makes a huge batch, so she divided it and froze two … Continue reading How to use long-frozen cookie dough
I'm not using the term "pesco-vegetarian" in the title like I have for many of my other multi-week meal plans because I think "meatless" is the more common word people are searching for in Lent. My family eats no meat at home except occasional fish--which does not count as "meat" in many fasting plans, for … Continue reading Four Weeks of Mostly Meatless Dinners (February)