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Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium Opens Today — See It!

Posted by infinitygoods on November 16, 2007

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We had the chance to see a screening of this magical movie a few months ago when it was still a work in progress, and were bewitched by its wholesome entertainment with super acting, an empowering message of hope and its unpretentiousness despite special effects.

It could have been easy to bury the story or the very interesting characters with all the fancy, flashy special effects a la Star Wars. They did not throw in violence or sex or bad language to earn themselves a PG or better yet a PG-13 rating.

This movie is rated G, yet adults will enjoy it just as much as children because it is multilayered. On the surface, it’s about an old man (Academy and Golden Globe Awards Winner Dustin Hoffman) who turns over his toy store to his manager (Golden Globe Winner Natalie Portman — Padmé Amidala of Star Wars). If you look a little deeper, it’s also about friendships (also with Golden Globe Winner Jason Bateman of “Arrested Development” and introducing a talented 9-year old Zach Mills), living your dreams and finding the power or magic inside each of us. And if you look deeper yet, you’ll have a hard time finding a better treatment on the topic of death.

It’s about death, but it won’t make the bereaved cry. It won’t scare young children because it’s really about LIVING! The topic is that well-handled.

I wholeheartedly recommend this movie for the entire family from oldest to youngest. You’ll walk out of the theater with a smile on your face and a skip in your step.

You can view or download paper airplane directions from the official movie website. The PDF files are in the spirit of the movie. There are also educational materials at Walden Media.

Walden Media also made the movie adaptations of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” “Because of Winn-Dixie,” “Holes,” “Hoot,” and “How To Eat Fried Worms” — all winners in our family’s book. And be on the lookout for the upcoming (07/11/08) “Journey to the Center of the Earth 3-D” with Brendan Fraser of “George of the Jungle” and “Mummy” fame. We saw the work-in-progress screening of this one, too, and this new story using the classic as a backdrop gets our family’s three thumbs way up.

Walden Media‘s site offers downloadable Educator Guides, coloring sheets, contests and sweepstakes for all their movies and books.

  • Don’t know what NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo are? Read all about it here and here.
  • Want to know why I’m participating in both? Click here.
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Thursday Thirteen #6 — My Interests

Posted by infinitygoods on November 14, 2007

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I am sharing with you 13 topics which interest me and are important to me. They are in no particular order, because most of these would all tie with each other. These are topics
you see and which will recur on my blog. To see more participants in this carnival or for
details on how to join, visit Thursday Thirteen.

1. Computers/Internet/Blogs/Technology/Science
These sort of overlap in many ways. I’m forward thinking and I’ve been using computers
since before my teen years, back in the days when people were saying it was a waste of
time, and it wouldn’t last. Wait, aren’t a lot of people still saying that? Well 30+
years later, I’m still interested. I remember asking for a calculator as a Christmas gift
when I was in Kindergarten. The people selling them were flabbergasted that a child would want one and thought no child would ever need one. This “pocket” calculator, the smallest on the market at the time, was about the size of a small paperback!

2. Fine Art
I was an art history minor and an art minor. I seriously considered switching it to my
major, and often wonder if I didn’t make a mistake. I draw, paint, photograph, make
ceramics and do a lot of new media paintings — that’s every stroke hand-painted by me, but instead of using paint, I use computers. Museums and galleries recognize new media, but the average person out there still claims the computer makes the paintings. Not so! This would be the equivalent of saying oil paint and brushes are the artists making the artwork. Computers do not make art. Paint and brushes do not make art. The people, the artists make art, regardless of which tools they use.

3. History/Biographies/Autobiographies
As much as I like the future, I also like the past. We can learn from our past and our
past can help us understand our present. I’m very much interested in people and their
lives which is why I like history and also what leads me to the next item.

4. Psychology/Sociology
I’m interested in people and what makes them tick. I’m also interested in science, so
psychology helps me understand the individual and sociology helps me understand the groups and societies we live in. In college my sociology professor had wanted me to switch majors to either sociology (he hoped) or psychology (which he admitted was related and thought I would like too). I ended up with an additional certificate in psychology, but I never switched majors to either psychology or sociology.

5. Cross-stitching/Crafts
My grandmother taught me how to cross-stitch and I spent numerous hours watching her even before she taught me how to do it. I find it very relaxing and as I like art and to create, cross-stitching and other crafts are just related to that.

6. Reading/Writing/Journalism/News/Books
These are all intertwined. As a professional journalist, writing and reading are just my
life. I just could not live without reading. I have to learn at all times and reading is
the best way for me to do that. I have been wanting to write since early childhood. I
have attempted not to write for a living, but life was just too miserable without a pen in
my hand or a keyboard at my fingertips. I’m a published journalist, but I would love to be a published author using either my journalistic skills to write non-fiction or even writing a
novel. I’m one of the crazy participants in National Novel Writing Month. Any publishers
out there interested in my writing voice?

7. Religion/God
I believe in God and shout it from the rooftops, but won’t attempt to convert atheists as
belief needs to come from inside your heart and soul. I worked for my parish for several
years and wanted to work there until retirement, but an evil man came into our midst,
getting rid of staff and clergy, swiftly putting a financially viable parish in the red,
and destroying the work of the last 40+ years. Some will turn away from God because of
him, but the destruction he brings is not of God. Destruction can never be of God.

8. Education
I love to learn, my husband and I have both taught, and since we have a son, education is very important to us. He went to private schools for several years and while that was fine, we found something better through an excellent public school system with an independent study program. Forget all the stereotypes of homeschooling and of public school. That’s not what it is. It’s more a combination of when people had private tutors teach their children, the one-room schools and parents nurturing their own children. The program is what it is thanks to our son’s wonderful teachers, especially the founder, Resa Steindel Brown. If you want a glimpse at what it’s all about, read her fantastic book, The Call to Brilliance: A True Story to Inspire Parents and Educators. You can also read about his science teacher in my blog posts here and here.

9. Family
Family and extended family is extremely important to me. It is where we receive and give love and support. Here on Earth, not counting God in Heaven, it is the one most important thing and it just doesn’t get more basic than that.

10. Movies/Plays
I don’t watch much TV, but I love a good movie or play. While it can’t replace a good
book, it’s still a story, whether real or fictional, and I love to be entertained. I
prefer comedies, especially for movies, because I don’t know about your life, but my life
is enough of a drama as it is. I just don’t need other people’s too, especially the made-
up ones. I really like adventures too, because this way I can escape to some fabulous
world and live vicariously. I would like science fiction, but most don’t meet my quality
standards unfortunately.

11. Hiking/Walking/Swimming
I enjoy being in nature and these are the most fun forms of exercise for me. These are not boring to me. I enjoy the scenery. Running would be too fast and strenuous to enjoy the
scenery. These are also quiet and since I despise noise, anything with bouncing balls,
whistling referees or echoing gymnasiums just would not work for me.

12. Cooking/Gourmet Food/Reading Cookbooks
Yes, I read cookbooks. I actually read cookbooks more than I eat or cook. As a teen my
mom would tell me that I read cookbooks instead of eating. I also love to cook when I
don’t have a full-time job. If I’m working, then cooking is no longer a pleasure and
something that I do for the family that I love. It becomes a chore and a race to put
anything on a plate in front of starving eyes in less than half an hour from the time I run
through the front door. But when I am not working, I will use all my knowledge from
reading all these cookbooks and all my creativity and use cooking as another art-form. I
also like real food. I am against eating engineered chemicals, dyes, artificial products.
I like wild salmon, trout and other fish, I like real butter on all my foods and especially
my popcorn. And you really don’t want me to get started on cloned meat, or cloned
anything, because I’m really against that!

13.Travel
I don’t travel enough. I would love to travel 365 days a year, but that’s simply not
possible. I put roots down with a family and a house. Once upon a time I contemplated
becoming a foreign correspondent, a travel writer and even a pilot or a stewardess, just so
that I could travel, but I will just have to be satisfied with having been to Germany,
France, Switzerland, Italy, England, Washington, Oregon, California, Hawaii, Arizona,
Nevada, Georgia, … Oops, that sounds like another Thursday Thirteen! 😉

Just click on Mister Linky to add your Thursday 13 link and see the other participants who linked here. And please don’t forget to post a comment. Thanks!

  • Don’t know what NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo are? Read all about it here and here.
  • Want to know why I’m participating in both? Click here.

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Holiday Shopping List

Posted by infinitygoods on November 12, 2007

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Here are my picks for a 21st Century Holiday Shopping List, and you can shop right here from the Internet and not have to fight for a parking spot at the mall. Just click on the links to see more and to purchase.

Music Downloads The teens and music lovers will enjoy Amazon’s new music downloads for their iPods, MP3 players, cell phones and other musical gadgets. Starting at only 89 to 99 cents per download, it’s in anybody’s price range and can be given even to paperboys (do they still exist??), teen gardeners, babysitters and others you want to recognize with a gift but don’t want to spend a fortune on. Your own kids will love a more generous download amount, and you will love this clutter-free gift which won’t be sitting around your home gathering dust.

Video Downloads Forget driving to the video store or messing with mail order video memberships. Now you can download your videos straight from your computer. Video downloads can be either rented or purchased from Amazon, a trusted Internet source for years, not a new fly-by-night company you’ve never heard of before.

Planet Earth – The Complete BBC Series is “a tour de force … a masterpiece,” wrote the New York Times. Using revolutionary new filming techniques, with a budget of more than $25 million, “Planet Earth” is the epic story of life on Earth as you’ve never seen it before. The Chicago Times praised it as “an absolutely extraordinary achievement.” Five years in the making, using 40 cameramen spanning 200 locations, this 11-part series is hailed as the ultimate portrait of our planet. It also features a 150-minute documentary about our future. “Simply radiant” said Entertainment Weekly and “breathtaking” according to Time Magazine.

The Bible Experience: Old Testament (Inspired By) You can no longer say the Bible is boring or that you don’t have the time. Now you can be entertained during your long commute by an unprecedented cast of more than 400 actors, musicians and clergy, including Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett, Bishop T.D. Jakes, LL Cool J, Forest Whittaker, etc. in this dramatic audio recording of the Bible. Even the youngest child can “read” the Bible by listening to the Old Testament, the New Testament or the Complete Bible and the whole family can gather around, too. This audio Bible is from Zondervan, the world’s leading Bible publisher.

LEGO Mindstorms NXT This is much more than a toy, it is science lessons in a box and was recommended to our son by his science teacher, a research scientist who participates each year in the DARPA Urban Challenge with Autonomous Robot Cars. Mindstorms is exciting for children and teens (adults too) and will nurture their curiosity. Parents will love that it’s not some mindless, brain-rotting toy. If you missed the posts about the Urban Challenge, you can click here and here to learn about the cars that drive themselves and will be picking up our groceries in the very near future.

iRobot 560 Roomba Vacuuming Robot, Black and Silver The Jetsons have finally arrived. This round vacuum may not look like a robot, but it will automatically vacuum your home, spend extra time in the dirtiest spots and return to one of its two battery chargers to ready itself for the next clean up and you won’t have to lift a finger. Spend the extra time laughing with your children, cozying up with your spouse or pampering yourself.

This great carnival of shopping list ideas was thought of by Chili at Don’t Try It, where the rest of the participants are listed.

For more on holiday shopping, check out my post about Black Friday Sales, Deals and Savings and visit our store on November 23, 2007 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST.

  • Don’t know what NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo are? Read all about it here and here.
  • Want to know why I’m participating in both? Click here.

Posted in America, blog, blogging, Blogroll, book, books, Britain, British, Car, cars, celebrities, Christianity, Christmas, Classical Music, consumers, culture, Earth, education, Faith, Family, God, government agencies, Holidays, Home, homeschool, homeschooling, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, Judaism, life, Media, Music, NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo, National Blog Post Month, National Novel Writing Month, nature, News, novel, novel in 30 days, Opera, Photojournalism, Pop Music, reading, religion, science, Science Experiments, Scientists, Shopping, spirituality, technology, Toys, U.S., Uncategorized, USA, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Tell Your Car to Pick Up the Milk

Posted by infinitygoods on November 5, 2007

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And DARPA’s Urban Challenge Event autonomous robot car winners are:

  1. Tartan Racing — Carnegie Mellon and General Motors with “Boss,” a Chevy Tahoe taking the $2 million first prize;
  2. Stanford Racing Team — Stanford University with “Junior,” a VW Passat gets the $1 million second prize;
  3. Victor Tango Team — Virginia Tech with “Odin,” a Ford Escape Hybrid claims third prize of $500, 000.

I hope all of you reading this post realize just how exciting this all is. Our 10-year-old son is quite excited that his very own science teacher competes in the Pentagon’s DARPA Challenge each year. This is the third challenge. Nobody won in 2004, and Stanford won the $2 million first prize last year.

Our son, who already wanted to be a scientist to follow in his Grandpa’s impressive footsteps, is even more energized now that he has seen and touched his teacher’s autonomous robotic car.

His teacher tells us that not only will these “auto-mobiles” be used for military purposes such as transport through danger zones (DARPA’s goal is by 2015), but much sooner than we think, we’ll be able to tell our cars to go pick up the milk for us at the grocery store. This is not science-fiction fantasies, it is our own near future.

Already car makers are fine-tuning driver assistance systems where the car is constantly monitoring the road for the driver, warning the driver of hazards and as soon as the driver touches the brakes, the car applies the brakes at just the necessary pressure.

We hope to get many more details at our son’s next science class, but in the meantime, you can watch the video and look at pictures on DARPA’s Web site.

All the science and technology media are writing about it too. You can check out WIRED and Popular Mechanics‘ numerous articles and blog posts on their Web sites.

And if you didn’t read my previous post on Oct. 26, 2007 about autonomous cars, be sure to check it out FIRST. It will give you all the basics to understand what it’s all about.

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  • Don’t know what NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo are? Read all about it here and here.
  • Want to know why I’m participating in both? Click here.

Posted in America, blog, blogging, Car, cars, culture, education, Family, government agencies, Home, homeschool, homeschooling, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, life, manufacturers, NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo, National Blog Post Month, National Novel Writing Month, News, novel, novel in 30 days, politics, science, Science Experiments, Scientists, technology, U.S., Uncategorized, USA, Website, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Daylight Saving Time: Don’t Blame it on Benjamin Franklin

Posted by infinitygoods on November 4, 2007

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Did you remember to change your clocks? If you are a U.S. resident in any state other than Arizona and Hawaii, it’s time to fall back 1 hour because of somebody’s stupid idea of daylight-saving time.

I already can hear some of you telling me it was Benjamin Franklin’s idea, one of our Founding Fathers and one of history’s greatest men.

And I answer, not true.

Ben Franklin wrote an anonymous spoof, a satire, a parody, a travesty for the entertainment of the editors of the Journal de Paris and mutual high-society, party-going Parisian friends in 1784.

He had them rolling on the floor laughing when he wrote things like Paris should put guards at every candle shop to prevent Parisians from buying too many candles.

“Let the same salutary operation of police be made use of, … that is, let guards be placed in the shops of the wax and tallow chandlers, and no family be permitted to be supplied with more than one pound of candles per week.”

Remember too that Paris is and was in those days too, the City of Lights. There are more lights in Paris on any given day than there are in most U.S. cities during the Christmas season.

They kept right on laughing when Franklin told them Paris should tax one gold Louis coin for each window blocking the sun’s light.

“Let a tax be laid of a louis per window, on every window that is provided with shutters to keep out the light of the sun.”

Their eyes must have teared up by so much laughter when the great scientist and inventor wrote that he had just discovered that the sun rose as early as 6 a.m. and not only does it rise that early, but it also gives off light that early. He even consulted his almanac to verify the truth of this concept. Of course you do remember that Franklin himself wrote that almanac under the pseudonym Richard Saunders (Poor Richard).

“I looked at my watch, which goes very well, and found that it was but six o’clock; and still thinking it something extraordinary that the sun should rise so early, I looked into the almanac, where I found it to be the hour given for his rising on that day. I looked forward, too, and found he was to rise still earlier every day till towards the end of June; and that at no time in the year he retarded his rising so long as till eight o’clock. Your readers, who with me have never seen any signs of sunshine before noon, and seldom regard the astronomical part of the almanac, will be as much astonished as I was, when they hear of his rising so early; and especially when I assure them, that he gives light as soon as he rises. I am convinced of this. I am certain of my fact. One cannot be more certain of any fact. I saw it with my own eyes. And, having repeated this observation the three following mornings, I found always precisely the same result.”

The muscles in their faces must have ached from so much laughter and you can read for yourself the entire article in English if you still believe the hogwash we are fed by politicians each year.

Here’s the link, http://webexhibits.org/daylightsaving/franklin3.html

Ben Franklin was much too smart to seriously want the entire country and the world to go through the stupidity of changing clocks one hour twice a year.

Daylight Saving Time is a nuisance at best and a public danger since traffic accident rates rise sharply each time we are forced by governments to fiddle with our clocks.

Don’t blame Benjamin Franklin for Daylight Saving Time. He laughed at the idea.

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  • Don’t know what NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo are? Read all about it here and here.
  • Want to know why I’m participating in both? Click here.

Posted in America, American History, blog, blogging, culture, Early American History, Friendship, Home, homeschool, homeschooling, humor, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, Letter Writing, life, NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo, National Blog Post Month, National Novel Writing Month, News, politics, reading, U.S., Uncategorized, USA, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Starbucks Throws Children and Parents Into the Street

Posted by infinitygoods on November 3, 2007

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Starbucks strikes again. I keep hearing in the community, in the news, and on the Internet that Starbucks does not like children, and at least based on the experience we had a few days ago, I can say it’s absolutely true.

Our son’s teacher had prearranged with the local Starbucks manager in Oak Park, Calif., to have a small group of 6-10 homeschoolers accompanied by parents to journal for one hour. The thought was to have comfortable seating, pleasant music and, since the weather is getting chilly, perhaps even a cup of hot cocoa all while the children and parents wrote in their journals.

It seemed it would be a better experience than sitting in a school district classroom, which seems particularly uninviting to all of us who are so used to the pleasures and comfort of homeschooling.

We would have gained a clean, well-lighted place to write, and in exchange Starbucks would have gained some free community outreach in an affluent area which is extremely family oriented, all the while gaining some extra business at a time of day the manager had claimed was always slow.

Well, that was not to be.

Despite the prearrangement and the fact that several parents were already purchasing drinks and snacks, the manager asked the teacher to leave even before several of us had the chance to arrive, claiming there were too many patrons there that morning despite the seats still available both inside and on the patio.

Now, I ask you, since almost every single one of us had made a purchase, were we not patrons?

Mind you, we were not a group of screaming preschoolers or scary teen gang members. The three children who had already arrived were polite and quiet elementary school children who were accompanied by both a school district teacher, and one parent each.

Starbucks did not refuse to serve us. No, they gladly took our money. Starbucks refused to allow paying customers to sit down and sent children out into the cold!

When the teacher went to Starbucks to prearrange this, the manager had the choice to simply say no, or that she didn’t feel comfortable doing that, or that it was sometimes a busy time of day so it might not be comfortable for us, or any polite customer service excuse she wanted to give. But instead, she chose to tell the teacher yes, that it was a slow time of day and that it was “fine,” only to rudely go back on her word.

That’s not how to win repeat business or create community goodwill, Starbucks. That’s not only the perfect recipe for losing business today, but also for losing business tomorrow when those children become adults.

As you can see by this blog post, it’s also the perfect way to earn bad press for all the World Wide Web to read.

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  • Don’t know what NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo are? Read all about it here and here.
  • Want to know why I’m participating in both? Click here.

Posted in America, blog, blogging, Caring, consumers, culture, education, Family, Food, food products, greed, Home, homeschool, homeschooling, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, life, Music, U.S., USA, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

WFMW — Trading Card Storage

Posted by infinitygoods on October 30, 2007

Pokemon, Redemption, Magic, Yu-Gi-Oh, baseball cards, etc.; Kids have lots of trading cards these days. I found a great storage solution by using a clean, rectangular, 3 lbs. cardboard container of Philadelphia Cream Cheese.

The box is sturdy and just the right size for filing the cards upright with just enough wiggle room for easy access yet not too much room so they won’t get damaged.

Let your children decorate the lid with stickers or a collage. They will be proud of their craft and it won’t look like a tacky cream cheese box. Soon other moms will ask you where you found this perfect box and they too will do the same for their children because everything on the market is either for small decks or the larger containers already come filled with cards.

It works for our family and our school friends.

For more tips, visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer for a list of this week’s participants.

If you’ve missed my previous tips, just click below.

Freezer Solution

Large desk calendar inside guest closet

Child’s haircut without tears

Homemade bread stuffing

plastic colander bath toy drainer/holder

reuse plastic grocery bags in the car

How to increase Web site traffic?

16 Blog/Web site tips

Toy storage

Posted in Cards, Children, culture, Family, Food, food products, Home, homeschool, homeschooling, Household Tip, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, life, Recycle, Reuse, Tips, Uncategorized, WFMW, works for me wednesday, Works For Me Wednesdays | 1 Comment »

Thursday 13 #3 — Halloween Costumes We Have Worn

Posted by infinitygoods on October 25, 2007

Thursday 13 Banner Pumpkin

With Halloween in less than a week, I am sharing with you 13 last-minute costumes we pulled out of our closets and toy box accessories for Halloweens past.

  1. Pirate (complete with tatoos using mommy’s makeup and also mommy’s costume jewelry)
  2. Farmer (think overalls, straw hat and a bit of straw in the mouth)
  3. Punk (jeans and LOTS of hair gel and makeup, add a few small hardware store chains to look tough)
  4. Angel (mommy’s white dress with Christmas garland for a halo. We used a garland with tiny golden stars. A trumpet, a paper scroll or silk lilies can complete the look.)
  5. Shepherd (daddy’s oversized shirts with a scarf for a belt and the baby blanket or any piece of cloth for the head and a stretchy headband to hold the headpiece in place.)
  6. (King) David (Basically the shepherd costume with a sling hanging from the belt) and
  7. Goliath (Daddy is the Goliath accessory. Cardboard armor spraypainted gold, and a broom handle with a foil point for a spear.)
  8. Harry Potter (mommy’s black, knee-length satin robe over child’s everyday school uniform, funny nose prop from a birthday party favor — just take off the nose and keep the round glasses, print out the Griffindor badge from the Internet, mommy’s makeup for the lightning scar.)
  9. Train Engineer (we happened to have an engineer hat from a birthday party favor, jean overalls, scarf around neck.)
  10. Knight (Mommy’s fancy black sparkly sweater became chain mail, black tights or sweats, toy sword, helmet and shield)
  11. King (use plastic or paper crown and parents’ fancy clothes. Adults knee-length will become child’s full-length. Make sure it’s not too long so that they don’t trip!)
  12. Caesar (Any white sheet or cloth. Small silk wreath on head. For humor add a Hawaiian shirt and a camera and suddenly Ceasar travelled through time and he’s on vacation)
  13. Doll/Clown (Mommy’s make up to the rescue once again!)

I hope that sparks some ideas for you. We haven’t found the need to buy those ultra expensive yet super cheaply made party store costumes yet. In the dark of All Hallows Eve we wish you will have a cackling good trick or treat time. Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha !!! …… (I sure hope you heard my attempt at humor with my laughing witch and my spookily haunting music in the background! 😉 )

Be sure to visit ThursdayThirteen.

Posted in America, Baby, blog, blogging, Children, culture, education, Family, Home, homeschooling, Household Tip, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, life, Thursday Thirteen | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

WFMW — Life-Saving Tip for Children in Cars

Posted by infinitygoods on October 23, 2007

Brand new mommies have lots of worries and concerns when their children are born. One of mine was that our son would remove his car seatbelt without my knowledge as soon as he was old enough to do so. Lots of children do.

I thought about what I could possibly do or say to keep him safe, and I remembered something my mom had once told me that my grandfather would do long before seat belts were even invented.

My grandfather would tell his five children that if things became rowdy in the back seat, the car could not drive. At the first child’s misbehavior, he would pull the car over and the car would not drive until the children quieted down. After one or two trips to the side of the road, my grandfather quickly found himself with a carload of quiet, well-behaved children who were helping the car to drive.

I told our son the same thing, adding the fastened seatbelt clause. I started him from babyhood. He tested the theory a couple of times by acting up or complaining that the seatbelt was not comfortable, but the car immediately pulled to the side of the road and refused to start until all was quiet again. By the time he was old enough to understand that the seatbelt did not have any effect whatsoever on the car, he was fully trained and used to his seatbelt. As a matter of fact, by that time he had become quite vigilant about mandatory seatbelts for everyone at all times, commenting on people who do not wear their seatbelts.

I never was more thankful I had done that all these years than when my worry became a real life nightmare and perpetual agony for our son’s swim coach. While returning home from a camping trip with her 10 children, she had a car accident. The coach and nine of the children were wearing seatbelts and were not hurt. The youngest child, my son’s age, on his swim team and a schoolmate, had taken off her seatbelt, apparently to sleep more comfortably. She flew through the van’s windshield, spent a short time at the children’s hospital with severe brain damage and other injuries, and is now a little angel in heaven.

So please make sure your children are wearing their seatbelts. Be a good role model to them by wearing yours as well, and I hope that my tip will help you to keep children and future children safe. This tip really does work, so please for life’s sake, spread the word.

On a happier note, please visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer for a list of all the participants in this week’s Works For Me Wednesday meme.

If you missed my other WFMW tips, here they are:

Child’s haircut without tears

Homemade bread stuffing

plastic colander bath toy drainerholder

reuse plastic grocery bags in the car

How to increase Web site traffic?

16 Web site tips

Toy storage

And don’t forget to stop by Shannon’s Rocks in My Dryer for lots more tips from all the participants.

Posted in America, blog, blogging, Car, Caring, culture, education, Family, Home, homeschooling, Household Tip, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, law enforcement, life, Rocks In My Dryer, U.S., Uncategorized, USA, WFMW, works for me wednesday, Works For Me Wednesdays | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

NaNoWriMo — Ready, Set, Write a Novel in 30 Days

Posted by infinitygoods on October 19, 2007

As I was hopping from one blog to another yesterday, I discovered an 8-year-old phenomenon which has been sweeping the WWW community of writers and bloggers.

National Novel Writing Month is coming up in November. The point is not to write the greatest novel ever written or the next best-seller, but rather to find the dedication to write 50, 000 words in 30 days and to refrain our dreadful inner editors which cripple so many, even professional writers.

If you succeed in writing that novel, or should we really say that first draft, you get bragging rights. Winners receive a web icon and a certificate, but more importantly, they get the empowerment that comes with the accomplishment of such a challenge and the knowledge that they succeeded.

What started with 21 friends challenging themselves in 1999, with six of them finishing their 50,000-word novels, grew to 42, 000 participants in 2004 and 79, 813 participants last November. The number of winners was 12, 948 or about 16 percent of participants.

To help you succeed in your endeavor, Chris Baty, founder of NaNoWriMo, has written No Plot? No Problem!: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days (also available as The No Plot? No Problem! Novel-Writing Kit), and has grown his website into a nonprofit corporation, The Office of Letters and Light, with forums, FAQs, and 500 affiliated chapters around the world.

Baty is also reaching out to students with the Young Writers Program, where more than 300 schools participated last year. Students set their own goals, but the same principle of refraining their inner editor applies.

I’m considering joining this NaNoWriMo phenomenon. It would be an interesting experiment. Can a wife and mother with a blog and an on-line Amazon-affiliate store, write about 1,700 words a day when there’s also homeschooling and life playing interference?

I’ve written that many words a day, a lot more actually when I was a full-time journalist, but I didn’t have a child to babysit and homeschool in those days. And I’ve never attempted a novel before. What do you think? Is it even remotely possible without creating a novel orphan?

Maybe I should sign up our son, too. After all, he has been working on a novel since the age of 8. It’s about time he took the time to finish it, isn’t it?

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