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Nerd Family Things: February 2008

Nerd Family Things

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Location: Fresno, California, United States

A homeschooling, conservative nerdy mom of 4!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Who put the B in the Ballyhoo?

The kids and I read this interesting book this week. NerdBug picked this out at the library a couple of weeks ago and I wasn't real sure. It wasn't questionable but I was didn't think it would hold all 3 kids attention. Boy, was I wrong! They all loved it. It is a colorful book filled with actual posters from the circus. It follows the alphabet with different adjectives describing the different acts. I was prepared to edit on the fly because we all know that the circus can be a bit questionable but, I didn't need to. It was all quite tasteful and interesting. The kids were so intrigued they have talked about the cool and weird things they saw. I would recommend this book for all ages. The 2, 4 and 6 year olds all give it a thumbs up!

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Frugal Homeschooler: Grammar Exercises

Thanks to Kate over at ITTIB for finding this great site for grammar exercises. It seems to have everything from punctuation to using like and as. You can even check you answers as you go. It would be great for adults and kids. In addition to the exercises, How to Improve Your Writing seems to have a lot of great grammar and writing information.

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Saks Dakota Hobo Bag Giveaway

5 Minutes for Mom is hosting a giveaway for this very fancy handbag. While I can't see myself ever spending $159 for a purse, I would love to carry a free one!

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Got old computers?

What happens when you are done with your Nerd Things? We all (ok, the nerdy of us) have old unused computers that we don't really know what to do with. We don't want to throw them out because they are of some use but not really to us. Well now there is an option. Costco has paired with GreenSight to give us an option (for Costco members). Basically you go to the site and input the details about your computer. Then it gives you a "trade in value" and if you accept the value you proceed. Then they give you a free, prepaid shipping label to send the equipment to them. Then you get a Costco Cash card for the "trade in value". GreenSight salvages any parts that can be used and then works with others to dispose of the remains without using a landfill. I think that is a win, win!

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Gravity is a Mystery

I was picking up some books at the library a couple of weeks ago and Gravity Is a Mystery grabbed my attention. This isn't a planned area of study for the NerdBug but hey, I love science and it looked fun. Now I am in love;). This book has the perfect balance of child friendly wording, illustrations and touching on actual full concepts. For example it gave the actual formula for Universal Gravitation, the actual explanation of the formula and then had a child like explanation. The more advanced explanation is separate from the "book" so you can avoid it if you would like. The illustrations are colorful and helpful to concept understanding. What is really cool is that Branley has written a variety of other books. So he may become the NerdFamily's favorite author!

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Sunday, February 17, 2008


I have one word for Joss Whedon....Tease! He goes and creates this great comic book and it is just an 8 chapter stand alone. Well, they made a Firefly movie based on the ground swell so maybe we can get him to write more of this great comic book.

So what is so great about this graphic novel? It is well written and extremely well developed for only 8 chapters. Moline and Owens created breath taking art that truly brings to life Melaka Fray, our newest vampire slayer. Now, while I am a huge fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer you needn't have previous slayer knowledge. According to the forward, that is why the plot is set so far in the future. Whedon does a great job of explaining what the slayer is without insulting existing Buffy fans and also not creating a separate, contradictory concept. I am a novice to the comic book world and I adored it. Whereas NerdDad is an old hand at comic books and he felt it was surprisingly good. This would be a great gift for a Joss Whedon fan!

PS This is not for young kids. If you wouldn't let your kids watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer, don't let them read this.

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Contest Time at Blogging with Cents

Blogging with Cents is doing a give away of Fruitful Time Task Manager. It is a uber-to do list software. Hopefully I will win and become wonderfully organized!


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Secrets of the Stars

Ever wonder how the stars keep everything in place? Well this is one of their greatest secrets. I finally broke down and bought some when I was pregnant with my last child. I had some very cute tops but I don't know what the designers thought when they made these neck lines. They must figure if you are pregnant you must be a loose woman because that is how you got into this;). Now that I have had the baby I am still using it. It is a nice thing to use so you don't have to wear a tank, fear slight slippage of the neckline, or (the one I know we all have done) use safety pins to make sure there isn't gapping. I have put it from shirt to bra and shirt to skin. It works great both ways. It comes in individual strip that you can cut or use the way they come (a couple of inches long). Now I have no idea why I waited to very long. I will never have to safety pin again!


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A New Find

Ok, I love this lotion. I got it a Costco a couple of weeks ago (for a better deal than Amazon) but I was sad to see that they don't plan on reordering it. Now for those of you who don't know me really well, I don't use lotion very often. I find it annoying because first you have to stop and put it on but then it is greasy and then nothing at all. This one is different. When you first put it on it is a little greasy but after 15 minutes (probably less) it isn't greasy but your hands are really soft. I even wash my hands. I had let my hands get so bad this winter that you could see the white of dry skin. I tried this at a demo and when I woke up the next morning you could see a difference. So go get moisturized!


Sunday, February 3, 2008

Frugal Homeschooler: Pancake Studies

For those of you who don't know Tuesday February 5, 2008 is Pancake Day. Diane Flynn Keith explains it well:
Pancake Day is also known as "Shrove Tuesday" among Roman Catholics, Episcopalians and other faiths. The origin of the name "Shrove" comes from the old English verb "to shrive" which means to absolve people of their sins. It is common for priests to hear people's confessions on Shrove Tuesday which is the day before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday. Lent is the 40 days of penance, prayer, and fasting that precedes Easter. Traditionally, people abstained from eating eggs and fats during Lent, and pancakes were the perfect way of using up those ingredients before Lent began. Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday is also known as "Mardi Gras" which is French for "Fat Tuesday."
So on to the curriculum!
PBS Parents have a pancake activity for little ones that teaches shapes. Then Diane Flynn Keith over at Universal Preschool has put together a great line up with books to get from the library (or buy if you must;), pancake recipes from around the world and free printables.

Onto a bit for those out of the preschool age. For fun and logic development there is a Flipping Pancake exercise over at Cut the Knot. Then the Straight Dope Mailbag discusses why pancakes and puddles are round. Then it is time for a science activity over at Hotchalk. You can make a Metamorphic Rock Pancake and discuss geology. They even provide a little questionnaire to help direrct you and review. It is rated 2nd grade- 5th grade but I can see us doing this with our 1st grader.

If you actually want to make pancakes, go over to my food blog and use my Almond Buttermilk Pancakes!

Have a great Pancake Day and remember learning doesn't have to be expensive!

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