SciGirls Encourages Girls (and boys) in STEM



SciGirls is a GREAT show for kids target ages 8-12  (but my 7 year old loves it!) it encourages kids curiosity with all things STEM. Each episode features a different group of tween girls that put science and engineering to work by creating and exploring.  Your kids will see scientific and math principles applied to real-life scenarios. I also love that the show displays teamwork and conflict resolution.

They have a fantastic website filled with games, videos and projects submitted by kids. The viewing schedule times are a little difficult for us but you can watch the entire episodes through the PBS website and YouTube.

SciGirls Website



The following is from PBSkids SciGirls website:

Tips for Encouraging Girls in STEM

How can you help?

Supporting girls in basic ways offers a great foundation for their science success:

  • Encourage Questions

    Encourage girls’ natural curiosity about the world. Scientists are professional question askers. Let her know that it’s perfectly acceptable to not have all the answers, and encourage her to explore and discover!

  • Offer a STEM-friendly Home

    Science happens everywhere. Gardening, auto mechanics, construction, cooking and plumbing all use STEM skills. Encourage safe experimentation and discovery in the kitchen and backyard, where she can practice predicting, measuring, observing and analyzing. Offer basic supplies, Internet access, a library card and a space where she can get a little messy.

  • Provide School Smarts

    With the growing importance of science and technological literacy, it is important to strengthen girls’ engagement, interest and confidence in middle school. Once in high school, girls will make choices that will either open or close doors to continued STEM studies and eventual careers in the field. Help them make educational choices and see the connections between science and math classes and future career options. Start early!

  • Help Girls Access Opportunities

    Great science learning happens outside the classroom as well. In addition to programs such as SciGirls, learning opportunities for kids can be found at science museums, zoos, scouting organizations and STEM clubs during afterschool hours, weekends and summer breaks. These programs often provide girls with introductions to working female mentors, who can help girls navigate the course of becoming a scientist.

  • Talk the Talk

    Talk to girls in your life about math and science. Ask them about what they are learning in school. Encourage them to share their struggles and their successes!






You Say Potato I Say Potahto



Either way you prefer to say it didn’t seem to matter to the kids at the garden yesterday.

Our class harvested the potatoes they planted in January. They absolutely loved it! It is so exciting to see kids excited about gardening.

They learned the entire process by doing. Our kids now know how to plant and grow potatoes but the most obvious reward for them was digging those beauties out of the ground.

No one cared about getting dirty or that their classmate just tossed dirt on them, they just keep digging. Every time one of them would find a potato we would hear the joyous sounds of a child  yelling “I found one”!

Everyone went home with potatoes. My daughters were both so anxious to prepare and eat their potatoes for dinner. I originally choose to volunteer in the garden not only because I love to garden but also because this the one spot at school that I could bring my little one along with me. They both had a great time digging into the earth to gather potatoes. I was thinking of finding another way of volunteering at school next year but all of this enthusiasm might have just sealed the deal for  my commitment in the garden for next year.




Mini Horse Camp




Let me be clear, not mini horse’s but a mini version of a horse camp. My Brownies voted on using a portion of the money earned through cookie sales  they earned to ride horses. With that in mind, safety first. So I found the Carol Fallon Riding Center (part of Sycamore Trails Stables) located in San Juan Capistrano.

I found a council’s own try-it so they could earn a badge during this experience. Carol worked with me to provide my Brownie’s with a Mini Horse Camp that fulfilled all but one step of the badge.  They learned about safety (safety first),  how to care for the horse’s, how to groom them, equipment needed and tacking up.

For the Grand finale, they learned how to get on a horse and went for a short ride. This was a great introduction to horses. This is just one more example of the wonderful opportunities they get through Girl Scouts. All of my Brownies , except one, groomed and rode the horses. Their faces were gleaming with pride. Hopefully, this a memory they will never forget.




Take Action Project and the Ronald McDonald House




My troop is finishing up their Brownie Quest Journey. They decided to make their community aware of the on going needs of the Ronald McDonald House as in for their Take Action Project.

Our Brownie’s reached out to the their family, friends and community to collect items for the Ronald McDonald House while raising awareness at the same time.

I wasn’t able to get a picture of all the donations but they did fantastic! We delivered our items and took a tour of the house. The house is walking distance to CHOC hospital in Orange, CA. It provides a warm and comfortable place to stay while their children are receiving care at the hospital.

Through donations, the house provides everything from food and lodging to clothing and toiletries. It has a total of twenty rooms and serves up to eighty people. It has a large living area, dinning area, office complete with computers and printers, toy/play room, a relaxation room and beautiful indoor and outdoor sitting areas.

The kitchen has everything you need to prepare a meal but volunteers provide and cook meals in the beautifully equipped kitchen at dinner time and breakfast on the weekends.

After our tour, our lovely little Brownie’s helped out yet again by cleaning up all of the dinning tables, chairs and high chairs in the dinning room.

I’m very proud of my Brownies and all their efforts for bringing awareness to such a worthy cause.


“Your never persuasive when your abrasive” Rick Warren


It’s amazing how whatever stays on your mind throughout the week is addressed at church. God’s funny that way.

This past week my mind keeps a going back to several moments when people around me have been less then kind. Actually, down right abrasive with no good reason.

Their behavior leaves me feeling baffled. You see it’s not just one person this week its a few. I can’t help but think that it must be so hard to carry the burden of being mean on purpose. To be unhappy on purpose requires so more much energy then just smiling.

When faced with these moments I need to remind myself not to let their actions ruffle my feathers. As always, God reminds me I need to extend grace to these people and be a better person.

So if for some reason you suddenly see me stand back, you just may be the person who’s being abrasive. Don’t worry, I’ll be praying for you.


Does Girl Scouts enrich your daughter’s life?

Yes! I can not say enough to describe the value of girls scouts. Above and beyond the leadership program it teaches girls to care for others, to be respectful and mindful of their actions. Girl Scouting teaches basic human values.
Sometimes I look around and am saddened by the lack of basic human values and priorities that some of our young people have. Then I step back into my Girl Scout world and am comforted by all the young ladies I seeing living the Girl Scout law. I see how these young girls are going to make a big difference one day and how girl scouting took a major part in that role.
I found this article today on Disney about the benefits of girl scouting. I can only hope that my daughter continues to realize the value of Girl Scouting to achieve her Gold Award.

The Benefits of Being a Girl Scout

How Your Daughter Can Make a Difference By Being a Girl Scout
Not all teenagers are content to rest on their laurels. In fact, there are 13 who haven’t. Out of a pool of 250 applicants – who already won a Girl Scout Gold Award, no less – they earned the honor of being one of the National Young Women of Distinction, a recognition offered each year to Gold Award winners who show extraordinary leadership.

The Girl Scout Gold Award is presented each year to the top 5 or 6 percent of Girl Scouts ages 14 to 18, so to be in an even more elite category is clearly impressive. “Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) and an external committee comprised of high-profile professional women selected [the honorees],” says Kathy Cloninger, CEO of GSUSA. “Each honoree has spent one to two years on a community service project that has far-reaching effects in her community and beyond.”

The 2007 National Young Women of Distinction were honored at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on June 12 during a celebration of the 95th anniversary year of Girl Scouting.

Two Shining Examples

Rebecca Schultz, 17, of Sunrise, Fla., is one of the Young Women of Distinction who will be at that ceremony. This high school student is seriously concerned with the deterioration of natural reefs along the coastal waterways. Under the direction of the Department of Environmental Resource Management, Schultz took action by constructing and deploying artificial reefs along the coast of Florida. Her awareness campaign includes an educational program for middle school and high school students.

Schultz says she had a lot of inspiration for her project, which started when she got her scuba certification and began going on many dives in the South Florida area. “It was then I noticed that many of the coral reefs were deteriorating,” she says. “I really wanted to do something about it.”

Schultz’s project has actually been taken up by the Marine Biology class at South Plantation High School. The middle schools will continue with the educational program as well as maintain the monitoring at the reef sites. This summer, Schultz will work with the teacher to help incorporate the project in her course. This fall, despite being at college, Schultz will be close enough to help with several of the outreach events.

When asked what she learned from her experience, Schultz says, “I have learned many skills. Time management, money management, people skills, an ability to give proper directions for things that need to be done and the strength and motivation to get a project up and moving are a few of them. They’re all a part of leadership.”

Schultz hopes that other teens will learn about the importance of their waterway environments and how we affect them without really thinking about it. “As we become more aware of our environment, hopefully we will work to preserve it,” she says. “It is important for everyone to know that even as one person, we can make a difference.”

The project began as a relatively small idea, to help provide for a stable environment for corals and other marine life, to clean up and maybe establish a small artificial reef. As time went on, Schultz says it was clear that community awareness was even more important. The project grew as more people and organizations became aware. “My one small voice has become many – one reef ball has become several dozen,” she says. “I hope that by seeing what I have been able to accomplish, the project will also give teens a little encouragement to come up with their own ideas to help the environment. Be creative, be flexible, it can be done!”

Another of the 13 honorees is Elizabeth Okrutny, 18, of Tipp City, Ohio. Knowing that the hometown police department was too small to employ a sketch artist, Okrutny saw a need to produce composite computerized drawings with minimum effort. After presenting her initial findings to the chief of police, Okrutny implemented a software solution, along with a training and reference guide. The Tipp City Police Department was able to put her tools to work in order to apprehend criminals.

Okrutny’s choice of a career in forensics and facial reconstruction led her to contact the police department to learn about needs they had that could be served by a Gold Award project. “Upon learning about the value of composite sketches to investigators and the time and cost obstacles that keep this tool beyond the reach of many police departments, I knew I could apply my art and computer skills to develop a means to make the ability to produce composite drawings possible for any law enforcement agency,” she says.

A Girl Scout Gold Award project is required to include a plan for its continuation or maintenance after the project is completed. An animated self-study class, quick reference document and training instructions document that Oktrutny developed will allow training to continue. Electronic versions are also available for other agencies. The teaching elements have been made available to Okrutny’s university, and she’ll be using resources to teach facial compositing to gifted high school students this summer.

“From doing my project, I know that I can do the career I’ve chosen and that it’s the right choice for me,” Okrutny says. “By pursuing something you’re interested in, you can have an impact on those around you that you might not have thought about. Work on things that interest you, but look around every once in a while to see what it does to everybody else.”

“The 2007 National Young Women of Distinction epitomize Girl Scouting as the world’s best leadership experience for girls,” Cloninger says. “By discovering, connecting and taking action, these inspiring teenagers are defining what it means to be a female leader in today’s global society.”




Quinoa Chili


I haven’t made Quinoa Chile in a few months now but  seeing this recipe today reminded me of how well this went over in my house.

This recipe from sounds delicious. One of the many ways of working on refining my life is by eating foods that have value. I believe that God gave us everything we need to heal ourselves. It’s our job to put all these wonderful ingredients he gave us together to create something yummy. This recipe meets the mark all the way around.

Quinoa Chili


Nature in the Middle of the City.


 I have to tell everyone about a great spot here in Orange County, the Environmental Nature Center. It’s a hidden gem in the middle of a residential neighborhood. This place is absolutely free (great for freegan’s like me). From the outside you would not think it’s as big as it is. They have an outstanding Butterfly house that is open between May 4 and September 26 2014.


 This place is one of a our favorites. Inside their state of the art green building, they a have a nice little reading corner, an educational area, and a gift shop. Step outside and within a few steps your taking a stream side hike (that our 3 year can lead). Be sure to bring your lunch and something to drink. You can enjoy your lunch at one of the tables set up through the hiking trails.

They have Girl Scout and Boy Scout Badge programs available and they are very reasonable. There is such much learning to be done here. It’s big enough to give the kids a outdoor experience and small enough that they can enjoy themselves without getting tired and grumpy.  This is definitely one of my peaceful places and the girls love it.

1601 E.16th St. Newport Beach, CA 92663