Summer Geography Lesson

For Cub Scouts, my son needed to start a collection. We had been collecting state quarters on and off for a couple of weeks. We’d get a good collection going, then we’d lose some, and then we’d spend some, and then we had none. Go figure.So I came up with a fun way to collect the quarters and display them (that was part of the requirement).

(Please don’t pay attention to the markings made by the toddler). We just went to our local office store and had them print up an enlarged map that I found online. I had my coconut-son glue the pieces together on a foam core board.

So far we’ve collected about 23 state quarters since taking these pictures. Every time we find a state quarter, we just hot-glue the quarter onto it’s state. This was a good way to answer the question of whether or not we already had that state.

After my son showed his display to his den, we decided that this was going to be our summer geography lesson. What would you think of me if I told you that I might have more fun than the kids doing this projects.

To go along with the collection of the quarter, I put together a booklet that you can find here. Please note that the flag images I used in the booklet can be found here at Flags of the World. Their images are being used with permission. Every morning, my kids pick a state that we have the quarter for, and answer the questions about that state.  Our goal is to collect all 50 before the end of summer.

Organizing Chaos

When you are a busy mom of 5 and wife of 1, life gets crazy. Let’s be honest, it gets down right chaotic. Maybe I’m the only one with chaos in my life, and you all have this “life” thing down. If so, I welcome any feedback, advice, letters of sympathy, or comments. In the meantime, here’s what I’ve been trying to do with the chaos that I’ve been handed.

Behold, the binder! I haven’t prettied it up yet, but that’s last on the list. Rumor is, organized people have them, so I decided that I wanted in in that club. I found me binder and declared myself a member. I’m not sure if I’ve been let in the club yet. Here’s what I’ve done to try and qualify me.

I bought these tab dividers. I labelled all the aspects of my life that have take over. There is a lot in life. Hopefully I got the main ones.

One of the most important is “the calendar”. Many appointments are missed because it wasn’t written right away on the calendar. It’s important to write it down. If it’s not written down, it won’t get done. Simple as that.

My favorite thing about the dividers I bought is that they have these pockets that you can put things in. So for example, in my financial divider tab, I stick upcoming bills in there so that I’m not hunting for them in the never-ending piles on my desk. I also have a calendar for financial stuff. If I can see when the bills are due, I can keep track better and not be late. That’s the goal at least.

If any of you are like me, who want to be in that organized club, this is the first step . . . . or so I’ve heard . . . . . at least that’s what I think . . . . .  I could be wrong. Does it really matter?

I’ve decided to start my own “organized” club. So here’s MY first step. All are welcomed to join. It’s free. You just have to have a binder . . . . totally kidding. About the binder at least.

Science Project

It’s Science Project time around here. My son is doing his on the rate of germination. We initially thought of doing his garden square foot style. You know, where you build a huge planter box and divide it evenly into square feet for each plant. I clapped my hands and commanded my husband to build a planter box for this project.

He said no. Actually, he said he couldn’t because he didn’t have the right tools. I guess you need those to build something properly.

One night I was on Pinterest, and saw that someone had posted an idea for cinderblock gardens. Love it!!! Quick, easy and affordable! My three favorite words.

We ran over to our local Ace Hardware store, purchased some blocks and dirt. The main idea of my son’s Science Project is to see if the size of a seed affects it’s rate of germination. At first we were going to go with basil, until we poured out the bag. They are really tiny seeds in case you’re wondering. So he changed his mind and decided to go with beans.

He measured out each bean and sorted them into their size group.

Each cinderblock got a popscicle stick with their respective lengths noted.  Every morning and everning, my son would water the plants and record what he saw.

After 4 days, we started to see some action. Growth was manifesting itself.



Isn’t that just so easy! I’ve decided that I’m going to make an herb garden this way. It will help me to keep the basil  and the oregano out of each other’s way. As far as the results of the test. That’s for me to know and you to find out.

The Laundry Pile

You know you have one on your bed right now as we speak. Laundry is not one of my forte’s, but over time, I’ve learned to see that it’s not so bad. Growing up, I did the classic “put a red item into a load of whites”. Yes. Everything did end up pink. This was my senior year in high school. Because we lived on a tiny little island it was expected that when we go to college, it will be back in the U.S.A. Knowing that my time was drawing near to leave home and be on my own, my dad was worried. He was especially worried after seeing this laundry disaster. He said, “Malie. I’m worried. You can’t cook OR do laundry, and you’re going off to college soon. What are you going to do?” Being the genius teenager that I was, I just shrugged my shoulders. I wasn’t worried, I probably should have been though. And just in case you were wondering, I miraculously survived college without a single laundry disaster.

Over the years, I’ve discovered that my problem with laundry is not getting the clothes clean, it’s putting them away. Sometimes I get so crammed with time, and each kid has a hamper with dirty laundry up to the ceiling, that my usual goal is to just get it clean. So I do a bajillion loads of laundry in one day. By the end of the day, instead of folding the laundry, I just lay in it. Partly cause I’m tired, and partly because it’s warm and fuzzy. Having that pile tends to cause a lot of chaos, because no one knows where anything is. The “pile” would be there for weeks. After a while, I started throwing a big blanket over the whole thing (hoping it would go away).  I would do that every so often. One day when I did that, husband came home and said, “Oh. I see the couch is back.”

There is a point to this post. So, here’s how I solved my laundry pile problem. There are three hampers in my house that get filled with laundry.  I’ve assigned each hamper a day. Mine is Monday, the girls are Tuesday, and the boys Wednesday.  Each hamper will give me 1 to 2 loads to wash. As soon as they are done, they get folded and put away. The loads are smaller, and mentally, I can handle that. By Wednesday, all the laundry in my house is done.

The other thing that I do that helps, I never do the laundry unless I know I have time to put away.

Now, all this only works if you are consistent. With that said, I am really good at not being consistent, but I try. In fact, I’m consistent at trying to be consistent.

It’s not a miracle discovery, and many of you probably already do this or have better ideas (please share if you do). But just in case there are some of you out there drowning in your “pile” of laundry, here’s a rope.