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24 April 2010

All about the Children ..

Isn't it odd how sometimes every which way you turn the same things jumps out at you? This week is all about Children ..

It started with me watching (now don't laugh) the first 5 episodes of Jamie Olivers Food Revolution .. I know he's a weird one but so am I, and I think we're equally as passionate about good food!

Well for anyone who hasn't watched it he delves into American school lunches, and there is an amazing amount of behind the scenes insight that quite literally had me in tears .. My kid takes a (not so flash) Bento lunch to school each day, and asks for a similar plater of chopped up fruit/veg/meat & cheese every night for dinner - which he gets more often than not because why not?! It's quick, simple, healthy & delicious ..

Our school has a very productive organic garden that all the kids work in, and they're taught to prepare the harvest by inviting friends and family to 'shared lunches' each term .. So to see a classroom of 6yr olds who don't know a tomato from a potato, or a beetroot from celery is, well it's shocking to me! I told myself this could obviously be a one off, But to Then see the school system providing pizza for breakfast followed by nuggets and instant mashed potato for lunch, and the choice of only chocolate & strawberry milk - AND the Head Honchos claiming it's meeting healthy eating guidelines, Seriously? I honestly don't mean to offend anyone by writing this but SERIOUSLY?? I just don't see how they can get away with it as surely the parents know what they're being fed at school .. I remember when it was suggested our kids go to Macdonalds for lunch on an excursion over the hill once - the outrage was spectacular lol ..

Anyhoo that's one thing ..

The second was finding out someone I know just lost her baby .. Again I feel wow, stunned .. My heart is breaking right now as C was so far into the pregnancy that a delivery was necessary, and I can't even contemplate how devastating and traumatic that must be to go through .. She was supposed to call me during the holidays but didn't so I figured she was tired (it's not been an easy pregnancy by any means), and was just told about the turn of events by a third party, and that she is hiding in her bedroom .. I really don't know if I should phone and offer to have the other kids (who love me) stay for a while to give her a break, or maybe she'd want them close .. All I know for sure is that this family has had a rough couple of years, and now this to top it off is just so so sad :(

*For the record there are a few pregnant soapers at the moment but this is no-one anyone reading this will know ..

It kind of puts everything in perspective though, what with my being extra busy dealing with family court lawyers, child youth & family social workers, school teachers, and riding for the disabled these last few weeks .. My life literally revolves around kids and their individual special needs - and I wouldn't want it any other way!

I actually spent the day making Monster/Witch B Gone Bedroom Sprays in Monkey Farts, Blackberry Jam Cookie, and 'Crack the Whip' (Lush dupe that smells like a Liquorice All-Sorts Coconutty/Vanilla blend to me) .. The Jam Cookie by the way is sooo good that I've sprayed it on the curtain dividing my bedroom and the lounge so it sends out wafts of scent whenever I walk through!!

But what I really wanted to sign off with is a little game I created for my son's school .. I'm taking this year off to focus on my B&B but I used to go in two afternoons a week to help with maths and this was a hit with the kids and teacher alike :)

I had access to a printer one day so I used a grid to divide my page and added some simple maths questions
Printed out the page on heavy paper, wrote a number between 1 and 6 on the back, cut into cards and covered with sticky tape (protects from dirty/wet fingers) ..

The knife was just used to eliminate air bubbles around the card, and I gave them a tidy up trim after taking these pics
Now the idea is for the younger ones you lay the green side down, roll the die and pick up one of the matching numbered cards and do the maths to earn 1 token .. For the older kids you lay the cards problem side up and they have to find a card that equals the number that they rolled to earn the token ..
Oh, and I found these nifty trains in the classroom, so I used them for the boards each kid put their tokens on .. First one filled wins the game ..
We used little plastic bears I also found in the classroom for our tokens, and it was so cute how each one came up with a story about where their bears were headed - to the zoo, the beach, circus, grandmas etc :)

As I say they had fun playing, and didn't even know I was teaching them math!!


  1. I'm so sorry about your friend and her baby. How sad!

    Very cool math games. Math is so much fun!

  2. Hi - it's Tanya here (cannot log in to my google profile on this computer for some reason)....

    I am so very sorry to hear of your friend's loss Clear. Please call her as I am sure she will appreciate it, whether she accepts your offer of help or not.

    That kids' maths game seems like a simple and clever way of engaging their young minds. Good on you! :)

  3. Clear that's so sad about your friend and sometimes we don't really know what to say at times like this but sometimes just 'being there' is a great help....on a lighter note your maths idea is bloomin fantastic x

  4. I've been missing you and wondering what you've been up to. I was sure that you were just busy.

    I'm so sorry about your friend. :-( I agree to call and give her your love and support and also offer to help with the kids.

    You are such a good friend and anyone who knows you is blessed.

    Snazzy math game by the way!

  5. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend.

    I LOVE Jamie Oliver's new show! I grew up in Garland, TX and for lunch, pizza for breakfast...chicken nuggets...french fries EVERY DAY! Ice cream cone and cheetohs! Vending machines with cokes and candy bars (they have since been banned). I love what he is doing...I don't have kids yet but hopefully by the time I do- lunches will be better. This is something I really think about.