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Lian's Summer of Fun

Friday, August 31, 2012

Pizza and Bread Sticks

Welcome to Food Fun Friday. This week instead of mini pizzas I made a crust pizza. It was a lot more work but it was a lot more fun and I really like the way it tastes. The dough was so squishy, I really enjoyed kneading it.

To make this pizza we used:
2 boxes of Jiffy pizza crust mix
1 sm jar of spaghetti sauce
Shredded cheese
Pizza toppings
Cooking Oil
Parmesan shake cheese

We made the dough using the directions on the back of the box and then topped with sauce, cheese and veggies like we do on our mini pizzas. Before we put the dough in the pizza pan we took 1/3  of it aside. When the pizza dough was pre-baking we made the part we put aside into bread sticks by hand. We topped those with shake cheese just before we baked them with the pizza.

I really want to make this again. It was so delicious!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

We Give Books: One Cool Friend

Hello Everyone. I hope you had a great week. Last week I sent an email to the author of the book I reviewed and she sent me one back. That was so great. No one ever sends me a reply except to tell me they don't send replies.

I had so much fun with this week's review. The main character of the story I read, likes to dress really nice. I like that. I would wear my suit every day if Mom would let me. I wish I had lots of them to wear.

I read One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo. It was a terrific book about a boy who is  different from other kids. He dresses and thinks different and doesn't like to be around a lot of people. We could be best friends. His dad takes him to the aquarium and he finds penguins that he thinks are a lot like he is, so he asks his dad if can take one home. His dad thinks he means a plushie toy. Elliot and his new friend have fun. They eat pizza and go skating and visit the library. The end was the best. I won't tell you how it ends but I really thought something else would happen. 

 I visited the author's website and she had so much really great information on it. Not just about her books but also about her and not just about her books but lots of other children's books too. I want to read some more of her books. I wonder if I will find more people in her books like me except I would never take a penguin home it would not be happy.

My final book count for the summer is up to 33.  My goal was to only read 15 books over the summer. I am so excited. That is way more than last summer. You can read about the campaign I am reading for right now here @ There are over 2,500 people reading for Reading Partners now. and we have read over 10,000 books together.  We still need a lot more to make our goal though.

Open Invitation To All Connections Academy Students

 This summer I started a group at the site FreeRice.Com

This website works with  the United Nations World Food Program to donate food to families in need all over the world. What makes this site special is that we get to practice our education skills while we help people who need it. They ask you questions from all kinds of categories and for right answers they donate rice.

My group is called Connections Kid and in a couple of weeks we have earned more than 12,000 grains of rice. That is more than 1200 correct questions! Our goal is at least one day of rice for at least one person per day. It is about 19,000 grains of rice per day, but we need lots of help for that.  I am inviting any Connections Academy Student, Teacher, Learning Coach or family member to join our team and show that we can give to the community. You can learn about how FreeRice.Com works here, And you can learn about our group here, You don't need to apply to join up.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

We Give Books: Chico the Brave

Hello Everyone! I am sorry I am late with this. There is a lot of summer things to do and not a lot of summer left to them. I read a bunch of books this week and it was hard to pick one to talk about. Mom says that I always find a way to do non fiction, so I chose this book. I don't think it's true but it would be so cool if it was.

This book is called Chico the Brave and I really liked it. Chico is a chick who was born afraid of everything, even his own shadow. He ends up saving his town and he gets really brave. I think just because he discovered that he "can" do it. I really loved the great illustrations. The colors are neat shades and really bright. I think that little kids, like maybe first graders, would really enjoy this story, especially if they own chickens.

I did a Google search on the author Dave Horowitz and I found out that he has a really neat website with great stuff on a bunch of his books. The best part of it though is the Zoo page. He has really terrific art there. I really like his art.

My book count for the summer is up to 28.  You can read about the campaign I am reading for right now here @ There are over 2,000 people reading for Reading Partners now. and we have read over 8,000 books together. That is so terrific, over 8,000 books given for reading tutors to use to help kids read. We still need a lot more to make our goal though.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

We Give Books: Miss Rumphius

It is time for my Sunday book review. This week I read Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney. I read this for school last year and I liked it, but I didn't pay too much attention to it. I just wanted to get the assignment over with. I really don't like language arts lessons, even when they have cool library books instead of just text books.

This time, on We Give Books, I read about the author and why she wrote the story and it made the book really really interesting. It is based on a real person. After we read the book, mom and I did some research. We found some great articles about Mrs. Cooney and her story. She did a lot of the things that she wrote about. If you are interested in learning more you could try to google "Miss Rumphius" or you could look at these links. The first one shows a photo of her real house and it looks so much like the drawing in the book. I really like true stories so much better.

The Road to Miss Rumphius' House 

In the Footsteps of 'Miss Rumphius', an Inspiration to Solo Women Travelers

I especially liked the illustrations Mrs. Cooney made. They were really detailed and so pretty. I also really liked the idea of making the world more beautiful. I would really like to do that.

My book count for the summer is up to 22.  You can read about the campaign I am reading for right now here @ It seems to me to be great thing. There are already over 1500 hundred people signed up to read for it, and they all read almost two thousand books last week. We still have a long way to go meet our goal.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Solar Powered S'mores

For Food Fun Friday, we brought out the solar oven again (Solar Powered Stars). This time we made s'mores with white and dark chocolate. It was a really hot day so they didn't have cook very long. The s'mores tasted so good but they were really sticky. 

I was really thinking that the temperature in the box would get very high since last time it was 121°. It didn't get very hot at all. I think maybe because last time the crayons cooked for 20 or 30 minutes and this time it was just a few minutes. 

I was thinking of doing the solar oven for my science fair project next year  if my teacher will give me permission to sign up for it. I need to have fewer variables. How hot it is outside might matter as much as how long when measuring the temperatures in the box.

I can't wait to use my oven again. I still want to make nachos and a quesadilla and also, maybe hot dogs.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Recycling Crayons

Take a Look Back Tuesday

Last month I made crayon stars in my solar oven. It was super fun. I always have a lot of crayons around because I do a lot of art. I have recycled the broken bits into cool shapes. They make great new crayons, and gifts too. 

It is easy to remold crayons. You need:
Broken crayons
Teflon candy forms or ice cube trays (we get ours at the dollar store)
An oven

You can easily peel the labels from crayons by soaking them in water for five or ten minutes. You don't want to leave washable crayons soaking much longer than though. Next, cut the crayons into small pieces. The smaller the pieces the smoother/faster the crayons will melt. I like bigger pieces to make art with. It is best to separate the colors as you cut them, but you can mix them any way you want to in the forms. I really love how the colors mix when they melt.

Fill the forms with your crayon bits. Then you can melt them in the oven. We use the warm setting for ten to twenty minutes depending on how much we want them to melt. The longer you leave it in, the more mixed the colors will be. When I make art I don't let them melt all the way so that the colors and bits can all be seen. You can put them put them in the freezer for fifteen minutes and the crayons will pop out easily. 

When I make Christmas ornaments, I add beads and a metal hook to them just before I put them in the freezer.

You can melt the crayons in the sun, oven or microwave. You just need to test to see how long you need for each way.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Mars Curiosity

I spent the night with my mom watching the Mars Rover land. It was so cool. NASA has so many cool websites and programs to play with. We had two screens set up. One was watching the mission control ( and the other was tracking it in Eyes on the solar system ( That is the neatest web page ever. You can look at planets and moons from any angle. That would have been fun even if Curiosity wasn't landing. I am going to use it a lot. I know everyone acted like they were nervous about the landing but I knew it would go okay. Those guys at JPL really know their stuff. 

 I had a great watch party. The video above is just quick highlights. I made a much longer video to keep for myself since I don't think people would want to watch me watching my computer. 

The best part of the night was seeing the first pictures come in. Mom says when she was my age that never could have happened. I think that by the time people get to Mars there won't even be a time lag so we could email Mars in real time.
It was so cool seeing my favorite engineer so happy that his project worked. When I was almost five, I designed a Mars Rover. It was just made out of my toys. It was my first Lian's science show and it is what inspired my blog. It would be so terrific if I got to work on a Mars project someday at JPL.

You can keep track of Curiosity in a lot of places. Here are some of them:

Sunday, August 5, 2012

We Give Books: Shark Attack

It is time for my weekly book review

This week I read a book called Shark Attack by DK Publishing. It was a really great book that taught me lots about sharks. I was really surprised to learn that there are more than 350 kinds of sharks but only 30 of those have ever attacked people. Sharks seems so scary. It is sad that they are becoming endangered because of overfishing. There were so many facts that the book was really fun to read. 

My book count for the summer is up to 21. I think that is more books than I have ever read, plus that is 21 books that they are going to give.  You can read about the Campaign I am reading for right now, here

What People Are Reading This Week