TOS Review: The Fascinating World of Insects DVD

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If you’re tired of trying to get the kids to study books, you’ll enjoy this review. BrainFood Learning has three great DVDs.

My boys couldn’t decide which DVD they wanted to request, and I couldn’t get them to agree on one, so we ended up drawing from a hat. We ended up with Fascinating World of Insects, and despite Jeffrey’s aversion to bugs, even he was drawn in as we watched the DVD.

 photo insects_front_500__981921320383955300400_zps866e5588.jpgInsects featured are: grasshopper, ladybug, rhino beetle, firefly, mosquito, honey bee, water strider, ant, praying mantis, dragonfly, and butterfly.

Each insect is shown in its natural habitat, and the DVD gives a few minutes of facts about the bug. I like that it was long enough to give us information, but not so long that the kids got bored. This video is appropriate for all ages, and even your little ones won’t be bored by excessive narration.

After each segment is a short pause to supply a definition for a word from the previous segment, such as metamorphosis or pollination.

Bennett says his favorite insect was the praying mantis, but for weeks, when we’d go to the pool, he’d see a bug, and exclaim, “It’s a water slider!” (No, that’s not a typo.) Jeffrey claims to not have a favorite (he really doesn’t like bugs), but we did learn some interesting facts, especially about fireflies.

You can watch the DVD all the way through, or select specific insects from the menu. (Doesn’t that sound icky? Selecting insects from a menu? Anyway….)

At the end of the DVD is a review quiz. BrainFood has also released a study guide to accompany each DVD.

Bennett is watching it again right now, and he asked me if we’ve ever seen a praying mantis. Then the narrator said that the praying mantis lives in Asia.
B: That’s why we haven’t seen one. They live in Asia.
Me: I think we may have seen one at the zoo.
B: No. They only live in Asia…. But I think I saw one once that walked from Asia to Georgia.
Ah, the fascinating mind of a five-year-old….

How to get it

Fascinating World of Insects DVD $14.99


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Book Review: Dog-Ma, The Zen of Slobber by Barbara Boswell Brunner

Dog-ma The Zen of Slobber Tour


Barbara’s vivid and dramatic stories, told with a wicked sense of humor, will make you laugh out loud. She definitely gets what living with rescued dogs (nine of them!) is all about.

When Barbara meets her future husband, Ray, it is love-and dog-at first sight. Over the course of thirty-two years, seventeen relocations and nine dogs, their mutual love of dogs guides them on their unconventional path. The love that Barbara and Ray get in return is literally lifesaving, with one dog attacking a lethal intruder and another discovering Barbara’s cancer. Her own survival story underscores the story of how her dogs become survivors themselves.

Each new dog adds its own dynamic to the family, sometimes upending it. From Turbo (whose Spock-like ears may have provided super powers), Barbara learns about the will to live; Lexington demonstrates incredible patience and an inexplicable love of golf; Madison teaches that laughter is truly the best medicine and that the whole “nine lives thing” is not reserved just for cats; Morgan should be sainted for tolerating Izzy, who is as cute as she is bad.

Barbara is certain that somewhere in doggie heaven there is a poster that says “If you are sick, injured or in need of really expensive medical care, FIND THESE HUMANS!” Continue reading

A Trip to the Zoo

I’m hopelessly behind. These pictures are from our zoo visit in Arkansas. Back in June.

Bennett woke up that morning and popped up. “We’re going to the loo!”

We picked a very hot day, so most of the poor animals were hiding. There was also some major construction going on, so a few of the animals weren’t on display. Including the “libra” and the “wino”. Yeah, zebra and rhino just isn’t as much fun. Continue reading

At Least He Didn’t Put Them in His Pockets

A few weeks ago, Jack asked me if he could plant flowers. Since we can’t seem to get around to planting any in the yard, when I ran across some little one-dollar kits at Target, I bought a few. They came with cute little terra-cotta pots, a little dirt pellet that expanded like you wouldn’t believe when it got wet (it was very cool!) and a packet of seeds. You can see what I’m talking about at I got Morning Glories, Forget-Me-Nots, tomatoes (Moneymaker breed if you’re interested), thyme, parsley (curl), and daisies. We quickly had to move the plants from the cute little pots to bigger pots on the back porch.

I had to move the morning glories pretty quickly to the ground. Those suckers grow fast! I guess I should mention that I’ve never been a plant person and I’ve never done more than help after someone else planted veggies in a garden.

I set the empty pot in the corner of the back porch/deck. It was kind of a holding pen for our little garden shovel and rake. Today, Jack and I went out to water the plants. Jack said something along the lines of, “There’s something in the pot!” At first glance, I thought it was a small snake. I wasn’t happy, but I’m proud to report I didn’t panic. Then I realized it was a lizard, or maybe a salamander. No, it was actually three of them! They were just in there hanging out. Jack had his little spray bottle that he uses to water the plants and he was spraying into the pot. I kept telling him to leave the lizards alone, but he is a little boy. I actually meant more of “quit aggravating the poor things”.

I took a picture with my cell phone, then came inside to load it on the computer. I went back out for something and Jack had removed everything from the pot except the lizards. I asked him why and he said it was so they couldn’t climb out. Since I could see them much better, I took another picture. After going back in, I heard a loud noise and saw Jack by the pot on the deck. I went out to see what he was doing to the poor creatures. He dumped them out of the pot. They didn’t have anything to eat in there. He also was upset that they left dirty footprints in the bottom of the pot. Of course, the footprints were because he had sprayed water into the pot. So much for the cool experiment of catching bugs and getting frustrated when the already-satiated reptiles ignored our offerings.

Then Jack came in and made me three lizards out of Silly Putty so I can remember our little visitors every time I see them. Then he asked me, “Do you love me really much now?” I told him, “I always love you really much.” He said, “Great! Thanks!” and ran off to watch Johnny Quest.