Sunday, October 26, 2014

Let's Create!

No Art, No PE, No Music! That's the state of schools all across the country! Its horrible. Study after study state that kids developing brains NEED these things. But what do we do, raise class size, mandate Common Core, stress out teachers. At my school, Ericson Elementary, teachers get 1 hour of prep time per WEEK!!! Who can prep with that??? The kids get 1 hour of music OR PE per WEEK! Or maybe a little more if the teacher has time to throw in a song or two. Maybe some coloring.

That's why I am happy to come in and do this special art project for Mr. Barham's class. He is one of Cara's former teachers and tries his best to keep keep the kids well rounded and fits in the arts.

Check it out!

(please don't share. It has privacy settings)

The kids worked together to figure out patterns and symmetry. If they did not do the math correctly and take the right amount of beads on their first time at the bead table, they had to bargain, trade or reconsider their pattern.

I taught a few to work with the pliers and they were able to help me out turning the ends of the spokes. At the end of the day, 3 kids sorted all the leftover beads into the proper containers.

There was NO whining, complaining or putdowns!

It is what it is...

Friday, October 24, 2014


Tip of the day: Don't look at catalogs that have absolutely nothing you can afford. Toss them right into the recycle bin.

Sundance, I'm talkin' to you! ( Here's the blah blah if you care to read it. I'm not even sure why I get this catalog.

Nonetheless, it arrives on a regular basis along with its additional jewelry and home furnishing supplements. Let's take a closer look.

Lovely tall, thin woman on the front pulling off a look I would love to wear if I were 5'10 and lived in a snowy, wintry place where I could travel in my present filled, fur lined sleigh. No slushy road carpool for me. No schlepping out to start the mini van 20 minutes before I leave. Wait! That's why I'm payin the Sunshine Tax. But still...its nice to think about wearing these clothes cause they are totally my style. Can't you just imagine me pulling up this Christmas in my sweater coat, jeans, boot toppers and mittens. Look out NJ here I come!

If you can afford them, I guess you can afford a present filled, fur lined sleigh.

And the jewelry! Seriously for a necklace? or a bracelet??? Not made from gold and not a diamond in sight.

It is good for inspiration. I can make most things for 1/3 the price*. Let me know if you want Sundance copy.

It is what it is...

*I fully support an artist getting a fair price based on time, talent, materials but overpriced, luxury, name dropping stuff is not ok on my blog.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

They Can Read

Not to brag, well, yea, kind of bragging but I can cause it's my blog.

My kids are smart. And they can read. According to multiple standardized tests they both have been scoring in the post high school range in reading since 5th grade. Smart, right? That's what it says on the tests.

At the Harvest Festival Craft Show on Saturday, I bought these desert  mixes. The samples tasted Yummo! They are properly labeled. Look at the picture. You can plainly see I bought apple crisp, peach cobbler and lemon bars. The back has the baking directions.

The packages are on the table.

Both kids at separate times hold up each package.
 Kid: Mom, what is this?
Me: Seriously?
Kid: What is it?
Me: Read the label, smart kid.
Kid: Yea, but what is it?
Me: It says right there. Read it! You passed the test! I know you can read!!!!!

Repeat 5 more times. Word for word. Exactly. Once for each package. 3 times per kid.

It is what it is...

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Let's all think back to English Class. I know, its been a while for most of us, but try to remember.
Pre- a prefix meaning "before"

We are quite familiar with "pre" here at the MacNaughtons. Mostly as in the weekday Thursday being "pre"Friday. It's Colin's way of making it through the week since Friday is his favorite day.

Today we are talking about "pre"fishing.*
*disclaimer-all definitions and explanations come to me via my husband and fisherman, Scott MacNaughton. As there has been a lot of pre-fishing going on the last 2 weeks, it will be recalled to the best of my ability.

Pre-fishing - all activity related to a fishing trip done before the fishing trip.

Pre-fishing begins 1-2 weeks before the actual trip.

Pre fishing checklist:
Forget about how tired, sore and stinky you were after the last fishing trip and how you said you were never going on a 2 day trip again.
Check all fishing gear you MAY need.
Find stuff you forgot you had. Do a little happy dance.
Get reels restrung.
Buy new lures.
Drool over all the fancy and exciting gear you want to buy but either won't need or its too expensive.
Check with friends who are going to see what they are bringing.
Check with friends who are not going to let them know YOU ARE GOING FISHING!!!! Ask to borrow stuff from them.
Check fish reports (multiple times per day)
Check weather reports (multiple times per day)
Check ocean temperature and wave height reports ( multiple times per day)
Check all favorite fishing websites, groups, blogs, etc (also multiple times per day)
Pray to the fishing gods that the fish stay around or if they are not around, come back.
Check back with friends on all of the above.
Pack up gear and clothes
Check above.
Repack gear and clothes.
Justify cost of the trip by calculating the price per pound of the fish you will catch and will not have to buy. And mention how tasty freshly caught fish will be vs the frozen kind from the store.
Think about the awesome poke (raw fish prepared the Hawaiian way) your wife will make.
Buy snacks and drinks for the trip.
Check back with friends to see what they are bringing.
Confer with friends on what time you will get to the boat. Plan to go earlier to get the preferred bunk.
Dream about the wahoo you want to catch.
Talk about the wahoo you want to catch.
Go buy a new lure to catch the big wahoo.
Keep repeating until you...
Go fishing!

It is what it is...

Friday, October 17, 2014

Tackling The List

There are quite a few projects to be done around Casa MacNaughton. However, its been so stinkin' hot (100's in October???) and with my broken toe, The List has been getting longer. Yesterday was the day to get started.


And After!

It was only $100, 4 hours and 2 trips to Home Depot. Sorry Mr. Handyman, this chick can fix her own stuff.

What's up with the pricey light bulbs???? Over$10 per bulb! Yea, they say they are guaranteed for 10 years. Who is going to remember that and save receipts?
Into the binder it goes.

Next up? Replace the fabric on this retractable awning and paint that peeling trim!

It is what it is...

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Where The Hell is El Centro?

Well, its about 1/2 way between San Diego and Phoenix. Basically it is over the mountains and in the desert (or The Sand, as Colin calls it) That's where we had to travel Colin's game this weekend.

In general, any where I have to go in SD is 45 minutes or less. Growing up in rural NJ it was 45 minutes or more. Oh how we forget!

So we did like any spoiled family would do. Instead of getting up early and driving the 2 hours to El Centro, we booked a hotel, packed up the car and planned a party! 5 more of Colin's teammates thought this was an awesome idea as well.
Did I mention we only went 2 hours away for 1 night??? We NEED our supplies!

The boys played FIFA on Colin's PS4 and the parents bonded over booze in the lobby of the Fairfield Inn. A great time was had by all.

The game resulted in a 3-3 tie with Colin scoring 2 of the goals. That boy can play soccer!

As you know, Scott and I celebrated our 20th anniversary this week. Not on a fancy vacation but in the middle of The Sand in El Centro. We did get these 2 anniversary cards. One from my dad and one from his sister, Aunt Joan (aka AJ)

All I have to say is great minds think alike... well almost. One also contained a big, fat check! Thanks Dad!

It is what it is...

Thursday, October 9, 2014

What's The Magic Number?

20 years, it's a milestone and an accomplishment. Not everyone can make it to 20. I'll have to give credit to my parents Bobbi and Charles, Scott's parents, Lee and Phyllis and Aunt Pauline and Uncle Wally as awesome examples of what a lasting marriage looks like. There have been ups and downs, good times and not so good times but we have made it to 20!

Let's take a closer look at that weekend 20 years ago. October 6 - 8, 1994.

A pre wedding activity included the Old Town Trolly to introduce our guests to San Diego. Scott and I had been here for  3 years now. Take the Trolly tour or play golf. Those were the activities. Don't go to TJ (Tijauana, Mexico) Whoa to those who didn't follow instructions. Brett, you know who I am talking to. I'm sure Mexican jails have not changed much...

The rehearsal dinner was at the Pocher/MacNaughton favorite hotel, Quality Suites at the end of Mira Mesa Blvd.

The Santa Ana winds were a blown' and the temperature hit triple digits for the ceremony at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church.

Paula was the Maid of Honer and Sean was the best man.

We were represented by both sides of the family.

A pool party followed at the home of friend and fellow teacher Nancy Adams.

Scott sang Karaoke and we all danced. The only bad part was the karaoke host stole the basket with the wedding money. I hope that guy has bad karaoke karma....

Chad, who is now 21 was obsessed by cars even as a 1 year old. Jonathan and Quin were just newborns and Peggy announced that she was preggers with Kyle at the post-wedding brunch. She was so thoughtful and considerate of not stealing the spotlight!

We were younger, thinner with big hair. We are older, heavier with less hair - well not me or Paula...or Rich. But we are mostly together 20 years later! Well done Jedi!

This post is dedicated to those no longer with us: Bobbi, Lee, Madalyn, John and Uncle Wally. You are forever in our hearts.

It is what it is...