Monday, October 14, 2013

Columbus Day: Exploring The Historical Significance

     It seems that in the USA one of the most controversial holidays is Columbus Day. I personally think it is important to study (not glorify) as many aspects of history as we can. This is why I choose to teach the facts (as best we know them) about individuals such as Christopher Columbus. 

     As best I can tell, Columbus was a driven, intelligent and cruel man. Yet, he did make a significant contribution to the world. His voyages laid the ground work for what is now the Americas. Of course, indigenous peoples lived here long before 1492 when Columbus sailed the ocean blue. He was not the first to sail across the Atlantic, and it seems he did not know he "discovered" a New World when he died. 

    On this Columbus Day we are concentrating on studying who this historical figure was, why his contributions were significant, how he made his voyages, what animals he may have come across, and what we can learn from his actions both positive and negative. Since my little man is in kindergarten we are keeping the learning fun and entertaining while still making note of the negatives, such as slavery and unnecessary deaths. Throughout this week we will learn about Columbus and related topics through books, science experiments, writing assignments, educational videos, etc. Here is a glimpse at what we have and will be doing. 

Young Christopher Columbus is a great First-Start Biography from Scholastic. It offers a quick look into the explorer's early life and is a great way to introduce the idea of biographies to young children. 

Animals Christopher Columbus Saw By Sandra Markle offers readers a chance to explore the wildlife Columbus and his crew may have seen during their journeys.  Some of the animals may surprise you. Have you ever heard of Shipworms?

Follow the Dream by Peter Sis is a simple and beautifully illustrated book about the early life and first transatlantic voyage of Columbus concluding at the point he first reached the New World.
Although not necessarily a good read-aloud book for small children, The Nina, The Pinta, and The Santa Maria by Dennis Brindell Fradin might be a good choice for the older set. It offers an in depth look at the famous ships, Columbus and the not-so-good aspects of the story. I found multiple excepts to read with Bry and many illustrations he enjoyed.
     In addition to these interesting books, Bry and I will be adding Columbus' 1492 discovery to our on going time line, discussing boats and experimenting with sink vs. float, and talking about the influences of these explorers and others. This will be a perfect introduction to Marco Polo and the role he played in history. Keep an eye out for our review of the Marco Polo Man & Myth exhibit now on display at Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta, Ga. 


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Try Something New: A Product Review Of Woolite Everyday

     As a mother I am constantly learning something new. At times it is a creative, kid-friendly recipe, perhaps an explanation of some scientific phenomena, or even something simple like a better way to accomplish a housekeeping task. Recently I had the opportunity to try a new-to-me laundry product through a "Sample & Share" from (Look for more about CrowdTap soon). This particular sample was of Woolite Everyday.

     You may know Woolite as the "delicates" brand, but they are quickly expanding into the everyday laundry market. I have found Woolite Everyday to be a great alternative to my regular brand. In fact, I liked the results of using my free sample so much that I went out and bought a bottle. To date I have done only a handful of everyday loads with this detergent and I can tell you the clothes come out clean, soft, and with just a hint of a very simple, fresh scent. 

     The Woolite brand website claims, "Woolite® Everyday gives all your clothes the right balance of cleaning and caring. It doesn't contain harsh ingredients, so it won't cause stretching, shrinking or fading. With Woolite® Everyday, you can keep all your clothes looking like new!" I haven't used this particular product long enough to validate this claim, but I do like the results I am seeing so far.

Part of the great "Sample & Share" pack I received from

     What I can tell you for sure is that you should definitely consider trying Woolite (again if it has been awhile). As I mentioned before I received my free sample through I was also part of another Woolite sampling a few months ago through the same program that allowed me to try Woolite Darks. Now that stuff will totally change the way you look at your laundry. After the first wash using the Darks formula I was hooked! I saw such a noticeable difference in my dark clothes. Many of the pieces looked and felt better than brand new. The detergent seemed to erase the look of fading. In fact I liked the product so much it is now all I use for my dark clothes. I will admit Woolite is a bit more pricey than other brands, but if it keeps clothes looking better longer it is worth the extra cost in my opinion. 

     Do you have a product you love? Please feel free to share it with me in the comments below. I love learning about new things, and I am always open to suggestions. 

                                                   I Wish You Happy Laundry Days!!! 

Although I received free samples of Woolite Everyday for myself and a few friends through, this review was written by choice. All opinions are my own and no other compensation was received. I just like sharing the great products and services I am lucky enough to come across. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Outdoor Adventures: Making Memories & Learning Too!

        Well hello again! It's been awhile, hasn't it? We've been rather busy at the LML home and I bet you have as well. Bug is growing every day (seriously, this kid can grow!!!) and he seems to enjoy learning more and more. He often surprises me with what he accomplishes, but then I think, "Of course he can do that! I just have to remember to give him the chance."

        Now that Spring has officially arrived in the Southeast US, we are taking advantage of the beautiful weather at every opportunity. Bug is especially enjoying outside play time with daddy. Here are a few of my favorite moments via photos. I try to remember to enjoy each special moment as it occurs, but I can say with near certainty that I will love looking back on these images with Bug when he is much older. But for now I wish this growing up thing would just slow down already!

One of my favorite parts of Spring: Cherry Blossom  Trees.

Zoo Atlanta with daddy.

Bug and his buddy at a Braves Game.

Playground fun!

Taking a walk around the lake.

One of the many wonders we see during our walks.

This play date we hosted got an extra jolt from the Jet Packs one of the moms made.
The kids had a BLAST flying through the yard!

        As you can see, we are having a great time getting outside, exploring our environment, and making memories! As each day passes I am reminded how quickly kids grow. I hope you make the time to get out and explore with your loved ones. And remember, there is a learning opportunity everywhere you go. 

                                                           Happy Spring!!!