Bookworm Fridays: The Door in the Wall

Door in the Wall @ Three Cornered Hug

As I understand it,  The Door in the Wall is one of those “love it or hate it” sort of things. I remember having to read this book as a young person, and at the time, I wasn’t completely sold on it. However, my education didn’t exactly provide me with a good grasp on History, which I feel is helpful to have when approaching this story. As an adult, I devoured this lovely read.

Set in the Middle Ages, this tale follows Robin, a noble’s young son who has lost use of his legs while his parents are away. The servants have succumb to the plague, and Robin is alone until he is taken in by a loving monk.

The Door in the Wall is very much about Robin’s personal triumphs as he learns to find the openings to pass through the difficult walls that life has erected in his path. It’s also useful for learning historical “lingo”, although some complain that the author presents a somewhat “romanticized” version of this time period.

This is recommended for grades 4-8 and while this group should be well able to handle the reading level and events, I’d say it would be more appreciated the the upper age limit and beyond–armed with a dictionary for a few of the older words.

It would be hard to imagine a library that doesn’t carry Marguerite De Angeli’s timeless tale, but just in case yours doesn’t, you can find it here.

Don’t Ever Use the Word “Gifted”

Gifted Children @ Three Cornered Hug

I’ve seen a lot of posts lately about gifted children. These have ranged from complaints that the public schools can’t handle them, to comments on how teachers think you’re saying your child is “better”, to parents who want people to wake up and realize that every child is gifted. While all of these have elements of truth to them, when I hear this word, I’ve a completely different thought. Grandma.

If you’ve read my blog regularly, you may know that my paternal grandmother was a retired teacher who fully supported my homeschooling endeavors. At an early age, she recognized that my son was extremely bright. And although we were both excited at the opportunities that homeschooling offers for such a child, she gave me one piece of advice that I’ll never forget: “Sarah, never use the word ‘gifted’ in front of him”.

I didn’t ask her what she meant, but have followed her directions to this day.

Now this is the place that I could go on forever with commentary about my thoughts on this subject, but I think I will leave you to ponder this statement, the ramifications of using such a word, or whether it matters at all…just as she allowed me to do.

Field Trip: Olympic Training Center in Colorado

Now that your kids are all pumped up about the Olympics, you might want to consider a trip to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. It’s definitely on our to-do list!

The tours are offered year round, Monday- Saturday, and best off all–they’re FREE! You may be fortunate enough to catch a peek at some athletes in action.

Check out the website to find out more!

 

Video

Free Printable Board Game

I’ve had the privilege of meeting some very extraordinary young men since we’ve moved here. Not only are they engineers, but together they’re the brains behind a new company, Boulder Board Games. While many other young people are spending their free time on facebook whapping each other with pretend pillows or buying imaginary cows on Farmville, these fellas have been using their spare time cooking up come fun of their own.

It’s my understanding that their first game, Thrive, was invented during a school break while they attended the University of Colorado. This game is available in .pdf form for print, and includes a manual. Thrive is a game involving Geopolitics and energy independence. Find it here.

Their most recent game, Raid, is full of pirate fun. The game is not only expandable, but can be tailored to your needs– you determine the length of play. You can see a sample of the game in the video below. This one will be up on Kickstarter in April to raise some funding to have the game produced.

It’s nice to see younger folks doing something with those great minds they’ve got. In addition, as avid game players my family is always looking for something new. Check out Boulder Board Games and show some support.

The “Special Sauce”

Grilled Burgers with Olive Mayo @ Three Cornered Hug

What you are about to read is a true story about a fable. Actually, Mr. Fables.

When we were living in the Grand Rapids area early in our marriage, we worked together next door to a restaurant called Mr. Fables. Along with some very yummy battered onion rings, our favorite was the Mr. Fabulous burger. What made this burger so fabulous was the olive mayo they topped it with. Yum…

We later moved out of the area, and eventually found out that Mr. Fables had gone out of business. Now, there seemed to be little chance of ever tasting that yummy goodness again. Or was there?

One day we thought, “How hard could it be to recreate?” and set out to satisfy our taste-buds. In no time at all, we had concocted what we called “The Special Sauce”. It was tasty, it was delectable, it was FABULOUS!

And now, I am going to share the very special, very secret recipe with you. Ready?

Olive Mayo @ Three Cornered HugStep 1. Mince olives (if you have some kind of chopper or processor this will go faster)
Step 2. Add mayo till it looks about like the picture above. I’d say the ratio may be just a bit more mayo than olives.

That’s it! It doesn’t seem like much, but if you like olives at all, you should definitely try it.

…I didn’t say it was good for you. 😉

You NEED this compass

You know those irritating compasses? The ones that are half eye-stabber, half pencil, and 100% irritating? The ones that somehow keep getting bigger as you use them, so instead of making a nice circle, you wind up with a drawing of a snail?

Well, leave your snails behind and get this great SAFE-T compass. While it’s not perfect, we’ve found it to be SOOOOOOOO much better than your average math tool. At this cheap price (just over a buck+shipping), you can’t lose!

Find it here.

SAFE-T Compass @ Three Corneered Hug