Wednesday, May 30, 2012


They’re here! They’re here!

Krumbs and I made a FABULOUS find today and you will NEVER BELIEVE IT!  There is a new contest called the Afterschool Awards and you can win money for college by sharing your afterschool activities!  We have all the info and the website below:

Who: The Afterschool Awards were created by a bunch of companies (Izod, JC Penney and NOW That’s What I Call Music to help encourage kids to participate in afterschool stuff.

What: Kids log on to the website and share what they do after school.   They can enter in up to four categories, Arts and Music, Community Service, Science and Sports and may win up to $10,000 dollars for college!!!!!!!

When: Kids can enter between now and June 25 and then voting happens July 4th-August 15.  Winners will be announced on a live webcast on August 17th.

Where: You can enter by clicking here: AFTERSCHOOL AWARDS. Once you log onto the website you can read entries from other kids and vote for your favorites, learn more about the contest, or even log on to watch the awards show on August 17th.

I can’t decide whether to enter and talk about horseback riding, softball, or singing because I do all those things afterschool.  Hey!  I can enter for softball and singing or horseback riding and singing since I can enter once in the “sports category” and once in the “arts and music category”.  I think it’ll be softball and singing!  What afterschool activities do you do?  (Krumbs is a little upset…I had to tell him chipmunk chasing is really not considered a sport!)

Good Luck Everyone!  We’re going to the site now to read more about the AFTERSCHOOL AWARDS!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hot Dogs+Lemonade+Parade=Memorial Day

Happy Tuesday!

Wasn’t it fantastic to have a three day weekend?  Krumbs and I had so much fun this Memorial Day.  We played softball, took part in a car wash, hung out with friends and, best of all, watched the Memorial Day Parade!

Softball was awesome, as always.  We played three games this weekend…and we won!  I have to admit, I did not hit well this weekend—a couple of pop-ups, a ground out to first, and even a strike out!  I hate it when I’m just “off” and things just don’t seem to be working.  Lucky for me, I’m part of a team and everyone else WAS hitting and we won.  It’s so cool that I have the kind of team where every person supports every other person so when one person’s having a bad day everyone else picks up the slack.  Krumbs says that’s what teamwork is all about and I agree! (He is SUCH an amazing dog.)

It was such a hot and humid weekend that we were thrilled when our neighbors asked us to wash their cars.  We joined up with three friends and had so much fun.  It was just slippery, soapy, silly, wonderful wet and completely fabulous fun!  Have you ever washed a car?  It is a lot of fun and it helps the owner of the car too!

Well, the biggest news was the parade.  We sat around eating hot dogs, sipping lemonade and watching the parade.  There were marching bands, firemen, policemen, fancy old cars and most important of all, groups of soldiers who have protected our country all over the world.  Krumbs and I did some extra, extra loud cheering when the soldiers marched by us.  I think everyone cheered louder for the soldiers and I really believe they deserved it!

Have you checked out the article on the Café called, “Hot Dog!” by K.J. Bain?  It tells the history of the hot dog and since Krumbs and I ate about a dozen this weekend, we wanted to know all about them!  Did you know over 1 BILLION hot dogs are eaten every year?!??!  This article was full of fun facts about one of the best foods in the world…at least in my opinion!

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Results Are In!!!!!!!

Good Morning Everyone!

"...Ladies and gentlemen, after nationwide polling, the results are in!  Your next American Idol is….”  Of course I’m talking about American Idol and the big winner this year, Phillip Phillips!  I love the idea of American Idol.  I love the idea that anyone from anywhere in the United States can become a singing star.  I love to sing and I admit it….my super secret dream is to be on American Idol someday.

Krumbs loves to watch Idol too, but he watches it a little differently than I do.  See, when Krumbs likes a singer…he HOWLS along with them.  I’m sure I don’t even have to tell you how crazy that makes my parents (not to mention the neighbors).  Usually we give Krumbs lots of reminders to keep quiet but when the results were announced this week, we were all hooting and hollering—it was fantastic!!

Since the results were announced, I’ve spent a lot of time learning about professional singers.  I figure if winning American Idol doesn’t pan out for me, I’ll need a back-up plan.  Krumbs and I checked out Job-a-Palooza on the Café and we found a profile by Karen Leet about “Singer/Songwriters”.  I didn’t know there are so many different options for singers—wedding singers, children’s birthday parties, record contracts, nightclubs.  Cool stuff!  I also had to check out the profile of KellyClarkson again.  She is one of the biggest American Idol successes and it’s nice to know she started out as just a regular kid.  Regular kids can do great things…maybe Idol is in my future after all!

Have a great weekend and check back soon!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

This Week I'm a "People Watcher"

Good Morning Everyone.

Have you ever had a week when everything goes wrong?  My week has kind of gone like this: I get up late, miss the bus, forget assignments and, worst of all, spend recess alone because my friends seem too busy with each other to spend time with me.  That’s the story of my life this week and it’s not such a great story.

Thank goodness for good books and my trusty friend, Krumbs.  During recess, my book is my best friend and at home, I have Krumbs.  I admit school has been a little lonely this week, but I’ve found myself doing an awful lot of people watching. 

Body Language is a way of communicating through actions, gestures and body movements, instead of through words.  I’m amazed by the things I’ve learned about people while sitting on a bench at recess.  I know, for instance, that the girl who says she didn’t tell her friend’s secret is probably lying.  How do I know?  Well, when she talked about it her voice got higher, she kept rubbing her eyes and she couldn’t keep her feet still.  According to “You Don’t Say” by Julie Musil, these are all signs that someone is lying.

There are other handy tricks too.  Have you noticed the kids who know the answer in class are usually the ones sitting straight, raising their hands and making eye contact, while the ones who don’t are usually scrunched down, staring at the desk and trying to disappear into thin air?  It’s body language, pure and simple!  The article had lots of information about those nonverbal cues and I’m learning every one. 

Having all this new information is kind of cool and I’m thinking maybe today, I’ll share it with some of my friends at recess.  I bet they’ll be as fascinated as I am and maybe then we can all “people watch” together!  Check out the Café and read “You Don’t Say” by Julie Musil and maybe you can be a “people-watcher” too.

Have a great week and check back soon!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Miserable Mishaps and Mortifying Moments

Good Morning Everyone!

Wow!  We had a hot, happy, sunny weekend filled with the things we love--softball, friends, chipmunk chasing and pogo sticking.  It felt SOOOOOOO good to have the sun shining.  We also tried to sneak over to check on our baby birds but we still couldn't get near the nest.  The adult birds are still sending  "stay away" messages...through diving missions aimed at our heads!  I guess we'll stay away a while longer.  What did you do this weekend?  Did you find any nest building birds, chipmunks to be chased or soaring softballs that needed catching?

When we hit the Cafe this weekend, we found a new fiction piece called "The Peanut Butter Poet" by Catherine May Webb.  I loved this story because it reminded me of a time in writing class when my heart was in my throat so high I thought I'd choke!  We had turned in our writing assignments through the computer and a teacher's aide printed them out for the teacher.  The next day, my essay exactly matched the essay of another kid in the class.  It could have been scary, but it turned out okay because the teacher's aide had printed out two copies by mistake and put my name on one copy and the other kid's name on the other copy. We went back into the computer, found my real essay and my school reputation was SAVED!  "The Peanut Butter Poet's" story doesn't end so easily and hers is definitely not a little mix-up.  It is such a crazy cool story because it deals with something near and dear to our hearts-the "bad" guys getting caught and the "good" guys winning.  Check it out!!!!

Have you ever had a school mix-up or disaster that threatened your reputation?  How about an embarrassing moment in school?  If you're interested in reading more mortifying minutes, check out "Embarrassing Moments" at the Cafe.  It is a section filled with reader's awkward, but hilarious situations.  And while you're there, put up one of your own mortifying moments.  We'd love to read them.

Check back soon!


Friday, May 18, 2012

We're Under Attack!

Good Morning!  Guess what?  The alien baby is still living across the street but now we have new babies on the way.  Yep, new babies are on the way and they are not alien babies. (Sorry Mom.  No more alien baby talk-I'll try to remember.)

I guess I should explain...yesterday we went out to the bus stop as usual, but the experience was very unusualAs soon as we walked to the really tall hedges at the end of our driveway, we heard loud chirping-almost screeching.  We looked around, but didn't see anything.  Then, faster than you can say "We're under attack!"...we were under attack!  Brown birds flew out of the bushes and flew at our heads.  I couldn't believe it and Krumbs was dumbfounded.  The birds didn't actually hit us but the screeching and dive bombing certainly made us move to the other side of the driveway! Check out the drawing below:

As it turns out, that is exactly what the birds wanted.  A pair of birds (and no, I don't know what kind of birds) had spent the day and probably part of the night building a nest and maybe even laying eggs.  The screeching and dive bombing were a way for the parents to protect their nest and their eggs.  We decided to heed the birds' warning and stay away from the hedge.  Krumbs says we will need to stay away until the babies hatch and then the adult birds will leave us alone.  Who knew?  We're going to have babies!!!

We were fascinated by the idea of having animal babies right outside our door and we wanted to know more!  We, of course, visited the Cafe where we found a fab new article about animal parents and how they protect (or don't protect) their babies.  The article is called "A Bunch of Babies" by Amy Sentner and it is filled with amazing facts that we loved. (One fascinating fact?!?  Strawberry Dart Frogs hide each of their tadpoles in drops of water on plants.  The water drops hide the tadpoles and keeps them safe from predators.  Check out the article for more fascinating facts.)

Have a great weekend and check back soon for an update on our new babies.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Really Rainy Wednesday

Good Morning!

Ugh!  It's a really rainy Wednesday morning and I just didn't want to climb out of bed.  It was one of those mornings--you know the kind...when you're warm and toasty, deep in the middle of a really cool dream of taking over the school lunchroom and serving hot fudge sundaes for free all day long.  Just as the kids get ready to crown you "Cafeteria Queen" and offer their undivided loyalty, a sound breaks through.  BEEP!  BEEP! BEEEEEEEP!  BEEP!  Yep, the alarm jolts you awake and suddenly you're in bed.  Your crown has turned into a mixed up mess of knotty hair, the chanting kids have been replaced by your mom telling you you're really late and warm and toasty covers are replaced by cold air and the slap of bare feet on freezing cold tile floors--Ugh!  That's when you know it's a really rainy Wednesday morning.

Krumbs and I hate really rainy days because we'll be stuck inside all afternoon.  Oh well, we'll have the chance to visit the Cafe and see what's new.  Last night we found out some really neat information about one of the most popular stars in the history of basketball, Michael Jordan.  Did you know Michael was cut from the varsity basketball team in high school?  It's true and even we couldn't believe it.  We read about it in  "I Hate Sports" by Karen Holt. It is a great article about giving sports and sports' teams a second chance if things don't go well the first time around...and it had some great news about Michael Jordan, too! 

I think we'll also play some games.  A Cafe favorite for me is House of Chocolate in the Cafe Game Room...really, anything chocolate works for me, especially on a really rainy Wednesday.  Do you have a favorite online game?  What do you like to do on a really rainy Wednesday?  Krumbs and I would love to know!

Enjoy your day and check back again later!

Monday, May 14, 2012

There's an Alien Baby Next Door!

Happy Monday!

How was your weekend?  I played (and Krumbs watched) two softball games this weekend.  We won one and tied one—not so bad, right?  I smashed one to left and it bounced off the fence (so COOL!).  I love when I do that!  Krumbs was jumping around in circles, he was so excited.  Krumbs thinks we would have won that last game if the umpires didn’t call it because there wasn’t enough light to keep playing.  I think he might be right.

We also went to see our neighbor’s new baby.  The baby was born a week ago and she is so tiny. They asked if I wanted to hold her, but I said no. My parents kept saying the baby looked just like her mom, but Krumbs and I think all newborn babies look like little aliens.  Seriously, they’re all red and scrunched up and they’re tiny but their eyes look so big and old and wise.  Anyway, Mom said it was very smart not to share my alien theory with our neighbors.  She didn’t think any parent would want to hear that their child looks like an alien.  (I’m glad I didn’t share my thoughts that time, but you can see the alien-I mean, baby, in the picture I drew.  You can decide for yourself!)

Well, thinking about the alien baby brought us to the Café to find out what makes us look the way we do.  (And, according to my mom, to find out what makes us think the crazy things we think…she still isn’t over the alien baby comments!)  Krumbs and I found a great article about DNA that explains how and why we are the way we are.  The article is called “Hurray for DNA” and it’s by Karen McKenany-Phillips.  We learned that DNA is like a secret code that controls how you look and act.  It was very interesting, indeed. 

I shared the article with mom and explained that she could now blame my alien thoughts on DNA!

Have a great day and check back soon!

Friday, May 11, 2012

"The Creator's Game"-North America's Oldest Sport

Good Morning Everyone!

Krumbs and I woke up and found wild turkeys in our yard again today!  I think they may be nesting somewhere in our yard or in the woods.  Maybe one day soon, we’ll wake up to baby turkeys—how amazing would that be?

I’m a little tired this morning.  Last night we spent the evening watching North America’s oldest sport.  Can you guess the sport that was played by Native Americans long before Columbus discovered America?  Krumbs and I learned all about it at the Café.  We read the article, “The Need for Speed” by Gail Greenberg, and we learned all about the game whose nickname is “The Creator’s Game”. 

Check out this sport for boys or girls and then let us know…what’s your favorite sport?   We'll be spending our weekend playing and watching our favorite sports--softball and baseball.  We'll also play a few rounds of  Krumbs favorite unofficial sport-chipmunk chasing!  

Hope your weekend is fabulous.  Have fun and check back soon!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

We're In the 15%...How About You?

Good Morning Everyone!

Krumbs and I made a FABULOUSLY exciting discovery today!  Before I get into my news…let me tell you the back story—the things that led up to my discovery.  Krumbs and I were hanging out at the Café last night and we stumbled onto this really cool article about “lefties”—people who use their left hand to perform tasks like holding a spoon or pencil, throwing a ball or buckling their seat belts.  The article, “Left Can Be Right, Too” by Carina DeSwardt, has some really interesting facts about left handed people.  (For instance, we learned only 15% of people are left handed and that if one of your parents is a lefty, you have a 25% chance of being a lefty too.)

Well, the article really got me thinking…are dogs left handed or right handed?  We did a little Internet research and we found a study by a team of scientists from Queens University in Belfast that explored “handedness” in cats and dogs.  The researchers found that cats and dogs do have a hand preference, but which paw is preferred depends on whether the animal is a boy or a girl-AAACK!!!  Male dogs are left-handed and female dogs are right handed.  Can you believe it?  Krumbs is a lefty just like me!  How about you?  Are you one of  the 15% of lefties or one of the 85% of righties?

How’s that for some fabulous facts first thing in the morning?  Have a great day and check back soon!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Super Duper Snoopers and the Mystery of the Gob! Gob!

Happy Monday!

Krumbs and I woke up to a brilliant mystery this morning.  Walking past the front window, I heard Gob! Gob! Gob! coming from the yard outside.   I couldn’t imagine what it might be….what would make a whole string of quiet, calm sounds, over and over?  (I didn't know what it was, but it could sure keep a beat!)  Krumbs and I were intrigued-the Super Duper Snoopers were on the case!

We looked out the window, but all we saw was scattered bird seed under the bird feeder, some squirrels and a wily chipmunk trying to squeeze under our garage door.  Nothing unusual there, but we heard the sounds again—Gob! Gob! Gob!  We were not going to be scared off.  The Super Duper Snoopers were on the case!

We went through the house and out the side door.  Now we could sneak around the side of the house for some surprise snooping.  Slowly…slowly…slowly we crept to the corner of the house.  Grasping Krumbs collar, (He would keep me safe in an emergency, right?) I prepared to peek around the corner.  Krumbs pushed up next to me.  Together we carefully snuck a peek and there, standing right in front of us was…NOTHING!!!!!

Did the Super Duper Snoopers give up?  Did we walk away?  No way!  As fast as you can say “Super Duper Snoopers face a really big blooper”, we tiptoed across the front of the house and snuck around the other side.  That’s when we solved the “Mystery of the Gob! Gob!”…two wild turkeys stood staring at us from the safety of the trees!  Check out this cool pic by Steve Maslowski for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and you can see what Krumbs and I saw this morning:

So that’s how the Super Duper Snoopers solved the "Mystery of the Gob! Gob!" on a sleepy Monday morning.   Are you looking for another mystery?  Check out “TheWhispering” by Carol Waszek at the Café.  It’s a great mystery that happens inside the house!

Check back soon!

Friday, May 4, 2012

F.A.S. (Friendship Appreciation Strategies)

Good Morning Everyone!

After Krumbs pointed out my obsession with being perfect in school and ignoring the friends (like him) I have right in front of me, I decided to take some action.  I’ve tried really hard over the past few days to let Krumbs know how much I appreciate him and how happy I am that we’re friends.  Have you ever taken a friend for granted?  How about having a friend take you for granted? 

Some of my best FAS’s are right here…FAS’s are Friendship Appreciation Strategies:

·         Whipping up a batch of Homemade Dog Biscuits-a few minutes in the kitchen and Krumbs is a very happy dog!
·         Playing a bunch of new games together at the Café—Krumbs especially loved “Alien” and “Air Balloon Rally”.
·         Chipmunk Chasing—what can I say?  It is one thing Krumbs loves to do, any day, any time!

It’s really hard when you realize you haven’t treated a friend the way he or she deserves to be treated or that you’ve taken a friend for granted.  Krumbs has forgiven me and he’s the best dog ever—always there to play, cheer me up, or cuddle up and fall asleep.  Now, we’re really good! 

What do you do to let your friends know they’re important to you?  Krumbs and I would love to know!

Enjoy the weekend and check back soon!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Oops! Friendship Reality Check

Good Morning Everyone!

Monday I wrote about my "far away" friend Mark and how we spent an amazing day at his grandmother's house last Sunday.  Mark left his grandmother's house to fly back to his own house and boy, I miss having my best friend here!

We've been emailing back and forth and I've already sent him a letter...but it's just not the same as when you're in the same place hanging out together.  Have you ever had to be far away from your best friend?  It is just the worst feeling in the world!

Thank goodness school is keeping me busy!  I've had so much school work this week and since I like to get perfect grades, I've been pretty crazy about getting everything done in time.  So in between missing my best friend and writing and emailing him, I've studied and studied and studied.  Krumbs has felt lonely and left out.  He tried everything-- trying to tempt me with chipmunk chasing, new recipes (Strawberry Shortcut Cake) and softball, but I didn't stop for a second. 

Krumbs finally decided to do something drastic.  He brought me to the Cafe and shared "Robin's Reality Check" by Latanya West.  It's a story about a girl who is so obsessed with school and grades that she almost loses a good friend.  I think Krumbs was trying to tell me that I needed to spend some time with the friend I have right here (Krumbs!) instead of obsessing over the friend I don't have right here (Mark) and to stop worrying so much about everything, including schoolwork. 

Thank goodness for friends like Krumbs!  He's a perfect friend...right here at home! 

Check back soon!