Thursday, April 26, 2012

Lessons for Our Boys -

This is a re-post from an incredible blog called, Not Just Cute.

Lessons for Our Boys

As a mother of three boys (with a fourth coming soon) I spend a lot of time thinking about boys in society and society’s messages to boys. There are a lot of mixed messages out there. It’s caused me to spend some time thinking about what I want to make sure my boys — and all boys — are taught.

Before I jump in, here are a few clarifications.
First, I agree that these are lessons girls should learn as well. I point them out as lessons for boys because they counter the strong and misleading messages that are targeting boys specifically. Secondly, I do have concerns about what some call the feminization of boys, or what might be call the demonization of boys.
Boys and girls are not the same, science bears that out. Too often, the differences between boys and girls end up with boys being placed in a deficit model. They don’t play like girls, they don’t move like girls, they don’t talk like girls, ergo there is something wrong with boys. This isn’t what I’m writing about. I’m not calling for boys to be less like boys or for masculine traits to become synonymous with various types of disorders and labels. I do want my boys to be men. What I take issue with are the messages the media and much of society put out to inaccurately communicate to our boys what it means to be a man.
So here are the lessons I believe we need to teach our boys, before other voices teach them otherwise:

What it really means to be brave.

Being brave means taking risks. Unfortunately, too many voices today tell boys that the risks they need to take involve harmful, unnecessary risks. Substance abuse, vandalizing– how brave to be undeterred by consequence, right?
Our boys need to know great role models of bravery. People who were brave enough to take a risk for a noble cause. Each of my sons has a historical figure associated with his name. These are some of the brave men, the risk-takers, I want my boys to know and to emulate. People like Winston Churchill, Thurgood Marshall, and Abraham Lincoln who were brave enough to stand up for something, for someone, though it meant risking everything.
Our boys need to know that bravery often means standing up for and doing what’s right, even when you may have to stand alone.

What it really means to be strong.

One of my sons once asked what I could think of that was the most powerful. My answer: Love. He thought for a moment and rephrased his question. “Well, what’s the most powerful thing that can destroy things.” My answer: Hate. It was all on the fly, but we ended up having a great discussion (which happened to involve a lot of Harry Potter themes….)
I can appreciate physical strength and power as much as anyone else, but I want our boys to know that real strength is driven by love.
Too many messages tell our boys that love — or really any emotion — is weakness. We need to teach our boys that true power and strength is in sincere love.

What it really means to be a leader.

Whether it’s in sitcoms, playground banter, or political discourse, there is a pervasive message that you get ahead by putting others down. I want my boys to know that you don’t elevate yourself by pushing others beneath you. Rather, true leaders lift others up to where they are. Real leaders serve, inspire, and leave everything and everyone around them better.

You’ll be a man, my son.

Somewhere in my college years I stumbled upon the poem If by Rudyard Kipling. I loved it. But now that I’m a mother of boys I love it even more. It sums up all the lessons I would hope for our boys to learn, and does it more eloquently than I could hope to do on my own.
IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Free Comic Book Day - May 5, 2012

FCBD LogoEvery year the first weekend in May is Free Comic Book Day.  Comic book stores all around the country have a selection of special comics for FREE just for the asking. 

As a teacher, I am always interested in ways to get kids reading.  Comic books have increased reading fluency for millions of boys and girls over the years.

When you stop at one of the local shops, ask if you can take an extra book to donate to your child's classroom! 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Day Out In The Sun

I went out and about today.  So did everyone else, it seems!

What a busy Saturday around town.  Such a beautiful day!

We made a few fun stops today.

Pine State Biscuits  is a tasty breakfast and lunch spot on Belmont, with another location on Alberta.  The Belmont store is small, only 4 tables and 4 stools. We took our food to go, because there wasn't any place to sit. It's very busy on a nice Saturday morning, but the long wait is worth it.   I wouldn't recommend bringing the kids if they can't wait long.  The food is fantastic.  I was with a group of 5 and we all loved our food.   It's southern style, with AMAZING biscuits as the base of most breakfast and lunch dishes. 

3640 SE Belmont Street(503) 236-3346 Open 7 days a week, 7am - 2pm
2204 NE Alberta(503) 477-6605 Open 7 days a week, 7am - 2pm
Fri/Sat late night 6pm - 1am!!

Unique Flea
A little Flea Market on 6th and Belmont.  It's just one street of outdoor vendors.  It's mostly vintage collectibles.  Some nice items and tasty donuts.  They run every third Saturday through October.  Some good deals, but mostly Antique Shop prices.

Webfooters Post Card Club
We stopped by the Web Footers Post Card Club sale at the Kliever Armory.  Post Card collecting is a fun little hobby.  It's great for kids because it is inexpensive, small, and easy to display.  When you go on little trips, let the kids pick up a couple of post cards.  They can also practice their writing by thinking of their favorite part of the activity and writing it on the back of the cards. 

$1 cup of Swedish Meatballs, YUM! 

Friday, April 20, 2012

This Weekend Sunnyside Swap and Spring Cleanup

Direct from their website......
Sunnyside Swap and Spring Cleanup « Sunnyside Family Swap Shop and Play Space

Useful Goods Exchange becomes Sunnyside Swap and Spring Cleanup

The annual Useful Goods Exchange held at Sunnyside Environmental School for it’s first four years and the long running Sunnyside Neighborhood Clean Up merged last year to become the Sunnyside Swap and Spring Clean Up. This combined effort to reduce, reuse and recycle will take place this Spring at Saint Stephens Catholic Church gym and parking lot Friday, April 20th – Sunday, April 22th 2012.
Hours and items accepted for this year’s event:
Drop off of useful goods begins on Friday 6-9pm through the main doors of the gym and continues on Saturday 9-4. If you drop off your useful goods on Friday you will receive free entry to the swap on Saturday.
Collection of bulky waste and recyclables takes place on Saturday 9-noon in the church parking lot.
Swapping happens all day on Saturday 9-4 in the gym. $2 admission donation per family.
Rummage Sale: All items not swapped on Saturday are part of the rummage sale on Sunday 10-1. All items in the rummage sale are free 12:30-1 on Sunday. Remaining items at the end of the rummage sale will be given to charities.
All money raised during the 2011 clean up was collected by the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association as a community fundraiser. Proceeds of the swap and rummage sale are held by the Sunnyside Swap Shop as a starter fund for next year’s event.

What to bring to the Swap (Friday drop off 6-9pm and Saturday drop and swap 9-4):
Any item that has useful good left in it is welcome at the exchange: clean clothing with out rips or tears, books, videos, DVDs, CD’s, furniture, dishes, craft supplies, gardening items, toys, working electronics, building supplies, etc.
Please no stained or torn clothing or hazardous chemicals.
What to bring to the Clean Up (Saturday 9-noon or until drop boxes are full):
Old home and lawn furniture beyond repair, broken up concrete (with or without rebar),wood, metal, cardboard, ewaste (non broken TV’s, computer monitors and towers), sheet rock, sod/dirt, hard plastics (such as old/damaged toys beyond safe use), yard debris (including stumps).
Cost to participate in the clean up: $6 a car, $10 SUV/wagon, $14 pickup/truck/van. If you are walking in or biking in with your clean up items, donate a smaller sum of your choice.
Volunteers will be directing traffic and helping to unload. They’ll be working hard to help make the drop off easy for you. Please listen carefully to their directions as they keep everyone safe and things running smoothly.
Tips for making the best of this event:
Leading up to the weekend:
Box and bag up any and all useful items that you would like out of your house and recirculating in community: clothes that no longer fit or suit, extra housewares, books, toys your kids have grown out of or grown tired of, spare furniture, usable construction materials, gardening supplies, etc. Read through the list of clean up items (above) and plan your transportation for Saturday morning – the earlier in the morning you plan to arrive with throw away and recyclables the better to assure there is room for your items in the drop boxes.
Friday 6-9pm – Drop off useful items in the gym to be set up for the Saturday Swap. Adult volunteers help our middle school managers and their crews create a department store in the gym for the big swap day on Saturday. Dropping off your items on Friday helps us have a great start on Saturday. Plus you get a free pass for Saturday as a thank you for bringing your items early.
Saturday Clean up 9-noon, All day swap 9-4. You can wait and bring in your useful items on Saturday any time between 9am and 4pm making a $2 donation when you come in. Come in the morning 9-noon (or until drop boxes are full) if you also have clean up items (see list and cost above). Add your own useful items to the departments (clothing, toys, furniture, books, household goods, renovation supplies) in the gym then shop for things you would like in return. All swapping is done on the honor system giving as much or more than you take in a way that feels fair to you. If you want to assure that you get fair value in return for the items you bring, you can shop first and swap second, taking out of the exchange the things that you want and returning by the close at 4pm with your items in trade.
Sunday – All day Rummage sale . Want more items than you have items to trade? Come in on Sunday to shop. Most items $1. Larger items priced to move. Last hour on Sunday, all items are free. Some of the clothes that remain at the end of Sunday will be made available to the homeless and near homeless through the Sunnyside Methodist Church building, delivered to Portland Public Schools clothing center and incorporated into the Swap Shop. Other items will be given to charitable organizations. If you have a favorite charity you like to provide with clothing or household goods, come gather what they may need the last half hour and at the end of the rummage sale.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Saving Money on Prom - From Bargain Babe Weekly

This is from
This is a post by writer Yazmin Cruz.
Every time I look in my closet and see my burgundy gown collecting dust, I’m reminded of my prom. I don’t regret going, but I would have done some things differently to save money. I’m much more savvy now and below I share tips to save money on prom.
The ticket – I waited to the last minute to get tickets. Big mistake! I ended up paying a lot more. Many schools have early bird specials so take advantage of them!
prom3 225x300 How to save money on promThe dress – Every girl wants to look her best on prom night, but purchasing a gown to be worn once is wasteful. I’ve only worn the skirt of my dress one other time to a wedding. Instead, I could have invested in a cocktail dress to wear to other formal events when I went to college. A plus, short dresses are en vogue for prom!
Want to feel like a princess? Don’t purchase your pouf dress and opt to rent it instead. This will run you anywhere between $40-$150 depending on what you want. Some of the dresses are even knock offs of those worn by celebrities to big events.
The tux – Similar to a girl’s dress, a tux can be a big expense. Opt for buying a suit that you can wear to internship and job interviews. This will save you money in the end, if you don’t gain weigh. If you decide to rent the tux, make sure the fee includes all the accessories so you don’t end up paying more to get them.
Shoes – Comfort should be your goal. I remember many girls wearing sneakers to prom. It was genius and inexpensive! Don’t want to sport sneakers? Flats are another option or go for a pump that you can continue to use. It’s a bit easier for guys to save on shoes because they may already be in their closet.
Makeup & Hair – Forget about going to the salon and getting an up do. This can set you back $40- $60. Instead go for loose curls or a blowout – these styles are more modern and can easily be accomplished at home. Want to get your hair done? Head to your local beauty school and ask for prices. Beauty school’s usually charge less since a student will do your hair.
To cut cost on make up, you can do it at home. Another option is to schedule an appointment with a makeup artist at a department store and have them do your makeup for free. Some department store require you purchase items from them so make sure to ask if this is their policy and how much you have to spend. I had my makeup done and all I bought was the lip gloss to reapply through the night.
Corsage – Flowers can be expensive, but a simple boutonniere and corsage will be less expensive. Save money on flowers by comparing prices before making a purchase. Check at local mom and pop florists, and the flower district, if your city has one.
The limo – Skip the limo, unless you can get enough friends to pitch in to cover the cost. Consider a party bus for a group as it tends to be cheaper. Another option is driving to and from prom, but it’s safer to be chauffeured.
The photos – I have no idea where my prom photos are collecting dust. I do remember forking over my hard earned cash to pay for them. Instead of getting professional photos taken, carry a digital camera to snap shots through the night. You may also want to look around for semi-professionals (for example, photography students) who will charge less or do it for free!
If your teen is headed to prom, my best advice is to sit down and prepare a budget. Remind them that prom is not about who you go with or what you wear, it’s about having fun. (I feel old saying that, but it’s true!) Did I miss any other ways to cut costs on prom?

There is some great advice here, if you have kids going to prom this year.  Also think about dress buying.  You don't have to shop at the high end stores to get a great dress.  Places like Ross have some really cute dresses that are perfect for one time events and inexpensive ($20-$30).  Also think about Sears, JC Penny, etc.  Yes, these are lower end store that your teenage daughter might not want to buy from, but at least look at these place FIRST before going to Nordstorm, Macy's or a dress store.  If your kids are a little goofy, like my group of friends were, think about Goodwill or other thrift stores.  The dresses are usually terrible, but fun!  But then again, we saved lots of money on Prom, because we got all dressed up, and went bowling instead!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Lots of stuff still happening in April!

There are some great activities on the calendar for April.  The one most interesting to me is....

April 30
Financing Your Summer Vacation
Interested in planning a summer vacation but don’t think it’s in your budget? Traveling on a budget does not necessarily mean you have to sacrifice luxury (but it helps if you sacrifice some)! This smart savings program will provide travel advice, transportation suggestions, accommodation recommendations, budgeting information and other useful travel tips. Program presented by AAA and the Oregon Society of CPAs.
Midland Library
805 S.E. 122nd Avenue

Got to find ways to make that Va Cay cheaper! 
   Here's one...... Disneyland Tips

I have been doing some updating.  I'm starting to work on May and JUNE!!!!
Here comes summer!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Celebrate Earth Day by volunteering on April 21st 9-1pm

Volunteers are needed to SOLVE IT for Earth Day on Saturday, April 21st from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at more than 200 parks, waterways and neighborhoods throughout Oregon. Efforts will include planting trees, pulling invasive plants and removing trash that litters our gem of a state.

To sign up as an individual or group, go to, find a project near you (dates and times may vary), and click on "register." Then, show up at the time and location you have chosen wearing gloves, boots and a smile. You will be joining a force of more than 7,000 fellow Oregonians who are committed to keeping Oregon beautiful.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!!! Did you go to an Easter Egg Hunt?

I'd love comments about any Easter Egg Hunts that you went to.  Which were the best?  Did I miss one on the list?  (I'm sure I did!)

Share, share, share!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Drive In opens this weekend!

It's no surprise that I love movies and my fav is the 99W Drive In.

The Drive In opens this weekend with a great family Double Feature!

Hwy 99W W off the Springbrook Rd
Open Fri-Sat ONLY


Dr Seuss' THE LORAX (PG) 86 min

BIG MIRACLE (PG) 107 min
Follows first feature

If you go this weekend, don't forget the blankets!