Random Monday

In CategoryRandom Monday

• We do not celebrate Halloween in our house, but I still look forward to it every year because I can buy bags and bags of candy with impunity.

• I’ve been a little disappointed by the attitudes of the US hikers who were released from Iran last week. They seem rather ungracious. Aside from the fact that I personally think anyone who goes “hiking” on the Iran/Iraq border is a MORON, would it kill them to say Thank You to those who worked so hard to get them freed? (and no, I don’t think thanking Hugo Chavez is quite sufficient)

• I am up by FIVE games in our In-House Football Pool.

FIVE. Holla!

Jim’s whole problem is that he makes his picks emotionally. For example, he will NEVER pick against the Broncos. NEVER. Even though it is clear they will probably have a losing season. Also, he will NEVER pick the Raiders. NEVER. He hates the Raiders and has taught the kids to stomp their tiny feet when he cues, “what do we do to Raiders?”

I, on the other hand, make my picks based on how well I like the team outfits. Or whether the quarterback is in the tabloids and seems like a big jerk. Or how many players are convicted felons. One year I won by watching Regis and Kelly.

It’s very scientific.

However, the main thing is that I win. Sure, I hate football. But I shall continue to brag about it as long as I remain ahead.

• If there is anyone out there who gets the same guilty pleasure from watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey, I suggest reading Jay Mohr’s blog on Bravo.com. It is seriously hilarious. Seriously. I laugh out loud – literally! every time I read it.

• Happy Monday, y’all!

Travel Games

In CategoryAdventure, Navel Gazing

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been putting together some travel bags for the kids. I bought some cute backpacks during the back-to school sales and plan to fill them with games, puzzles, and anything else I can think of that’ll make them less insufferable while we drive.

I bought some activity books and ordered stuff that looks fun (Chicken ShuffleMagnetic Paper Dolls!)

I even came across some of those old-school mini pinball games like I used to play in the car when I was a kid (although Jim says the noise will drive me crazy).

I found lots of printables (Road Trip Bingo, an Alphabet Activity Sheet, even printable Battle Ship) which I laminated. I got dry-erase crayons for some of them and transparent counters for others – since Little still puts every. damn. thing. in her mouth, I had to look pretty hard to find chips larger than 3/4″ in diameter. I finally settled on these Overhead Color Tiles, which are square (non-esophagus shaped for the mother of the spider-snorting child!) and fairly large. I bought some clear velcro dots, which will hold the chips on the the games whilst we are driving.

I even made a game myself – after looking for a license plate printable and not finding exactly what I wanted, I decided I could make my own. I spent TWO HOURS on the internet looking for sample license plates for every state, only to discover that they were available all along in Microsoft Clip Art.

Anyway! After so much effort, I decided to make it available to print and save another poor idiot mom all that work.

Click on the pictures to get a printable .pdf of the License Plate Game Page 1 and License Plate Game Page 2.


If you came from Pinterest, pleast click the above links.

I was mortified to discover I had forgotten Nevada and had to correct it. The link below is not correct, but I didn’t want to delete it because I was not sure how that would affect pinners. You can also access all my printables on the Printable Travel Game Page in the sidebar.

We also like Slugbug Counting when we go anywhere – in fact, if I go anywhere alone, the kids order me to keep track of any slugbugs and report back to them. So I figured I’d make a printable chart to keep track of slugbug sightings.

Click on the picture to get a printable .pdf of the Slug Bug Graph.

And then I got a little carried away and made a couple more.

Click on the pictures to download printable .pdfs of the Construction Graph and the Things That Go Graph (that title is lame, I know).


I printed all the games and graphs on cardstock and laminated them.

For the License Plate Game, I stuck the loop side of the clear velcro dots in the middle of each picture and the hook side on the colored chips. The chips should stay put for a while so we can keep track over time.

For the graphing charts, I bought some dry-erase crayons and the kids can make an X or a checkmark or whatever in each square. I have even thought about printing out more graphs, but keeping them unlaminated, so we can write weekly totals in each column and end up with data to make even more graphs. We’ll see how into it they are, but I think graphing is cool. In fact, there’s a good chance I will make some more – maybe one for cows, ducks, and other animals.

Feel free to print out any of these graphs and take them along on your next road trip!

(most images courtesy of Microsoft Clip Art)

Random Monday, con’t

In CategoryRandom Monday

I was so distracted yesterday posting the picture of Timothy Olyphant, I completely forgot about some of the other stuff I meant to tell you.

• Firstly, Peter Gray, who writes the Freedom To Learn blog at Psychology Today, is conducting a survey about Unschoolers and how they DO things. I have been reading Peter Gray for some time, and believe him to have a genuine interest in and appreciation for homeschooling, and think he truly wants to understand more about unschooling. Pat Ferenga, noted unschool advocate and author of the Learning Without Schooling blog, is participating in the survey. So all you Unschoolers, Life Learners, Free-Range Learners, and Child Led Learners might consider putting your two cents in on the subject.

I would like to know more about unschooling also, as I vacillate wildly between the Child-Led and Classical schools of thought on practically a daily basis.

• We went to Sam’s this weekend for milk and a lunch comprised of free samples, and I saw some things that I just can’t NOT share.

A pallet of this, about which I will say nothing because, come ON people, the jokes are writing themselves in your heads RIGHT NOW –

And Grit Magazine, which I had to capture for one of my all-time favorite internet people ever, GRIT!

I find myself particularly intrigued by the DIY Chicken Plucker on Page 76.

• Oh look! Another picture of Timothy Olyphant!

Okay, Sweetie. I’m done now.

Random Monday – Now with More TeeVee!

In CategoryRandom Monday

After suffering through 3 stupid hours of stupid football yesterday, I sort of made Jim watch the Emmys with me.

We normally don’t watch award shows because a) he hates them, and b) all that self-congratulatory narcissism is kind of ridiculous. However, I love television and they were playing outside when it started so who was gonna stop me?

Riveting and Profound Thoughts

• That dress of Amy Poehler’s was the most hideous thing I have seen since Cee-Lo Green wore the giant bird outfit at the Grammys earlier this year. Observe:

It looks like it was made from recycled Jazzercise fabric à la Spandex Barbie –

 or stolen from someone who attends Star Trek conventions as Counselor Troi –

Amy Peohler will be on a Worst Dressed List somewhere next week, mark my words. 

• There was a teeny bit of an awkward moment in my house when I saw Timothy Olyphant on the screen and blurted out, “oooh, Hottie!” and then Jim was all, “excuse me?” and I was all, “look, it’s no secret around here how I feel about Timothy Olyphantastic.

And then I spent the rest of the evening pointing out how smokin’ Sophia Vergara was to make up for it. Because I am an Awesome Wife like that.

Hottie –

and Not Too Shabby, Either –

• We were saved from listening to the acceptance speeches by the kids, who kept manufacturing situations that required my attention. Like one time when Big was trying to get a Fisher-Price toy airplane to fly and he chucked it right into his sister’s eye. I totally paused the teevee to comfort/discipline the injured/offender. Because I am an Awesome Mom like that.

She settled down, but quickly revved back up when I wondered aloud if she would get a shiner. I fixed that by telling her how tough she’d look, which cheered her considerably. I’m a little concerned she kind of wants a black eye now.

Earlier, she stood at the top of the stairs, and announced she was Super! Little! and was going to fly down to me. I asked her to please not hurt herself, which prompted eye-rolling and an exasperated “Mommy, I said I was SUPER Little.” (unspoken: omfg mom, keep UP)

I love that girl, but I swear about 90% of ever-growing population of gray hairs on my head can be attributed to her.

• Happy Monday!