Christmas with the Duck Avenger!

Rapid updates to make up for the long absence. Don't forget to scroll down (or click here!) to see the classic stories that Blotling and Yoshi have translated, if you didn't see them yesterday! 

Ah, 'tis the season. Banker returns with with some new, beautiful re-edited versions PKNA #13 and #14. Those were the only issues of PKNA that nobody on this site ever touched, because they'd already been done over at an older site, years ago. There were some discrepancies, though. The Avenger is just called Paperinik, and the font has never looked quite right to me. So I think it's awesome to have a remake made.

So here, ladies and gentlemen, just in time for Christmas, is the new, Banker-ized version of the classic Christmas story:

And hey, the other one's topical too. At least it was yesterday when Banker first uploaded it, according to half the people I know on Facebook: It's about the end of the world.

PKNA#14 - Carpe Diem

Finally, there's good news for PiKappa fans from CERTAIN parts of the world at least: has apparently started to feature Superduck comics at least in Greece. For the Greek, you can check out this link:

That link probably won't work for anyone else (it doesn't in Denmark at least), but you can always give it a try (or try searching for 'Superduck' on Comixology) and let us know whether there's anything to be found. It's always interesting to try to figure out if there are other countries where it's available.

Merry Christmas!

Classic stories by Yoshi and Blotling

And finally an update on the main page! I am so sorry for my absence - and I especially apologize to Blotling, who finished second part of "The Salvation of the Duck Avenger" (now retitled "The Duck Avenger Strikes Back") a frickin' MONTH ago, but I've somehow overlooked it in the comics. And then real life and finals happened, and I've generally been a bit of a klutz.

In the meantime, Yoshi has finished another old-school Duck Avenger adventure: "The Duck Avenger versus The Contaminator". So if you haven't been checking the comments, here's some sweet new stuff for ya:

Big thanks to the translators. And again, I apologize profusely.

Oh. And hey. Merry Christmas!


So tired. Can't post. Except to post this, which is what I wake up to ( or should I say what wakes me up? ) every morning. Enjoy!

The A-B-C of A-M-Y .... Rehashed

I was doing a  little reading of my archives and it occurred to me just how much my life has changed since I first started this blog - so many things that I wrote about back in 2007 and 2008 really don't ring true anymore. So I decided that I might rehash a meme or two, with answers that are more 'me' now. Plus, a lot of you weren't readers back then so these memes will be kind of new to you anyway! You can find the 2008 version of the ' A B C ' meme here:
A. Attached or single?
Very much attached now - married, in fact, to Mick, my gorgeous hubby. I might be a bit attached to my kids too.
B. Best friend?
It wasn't along after I did the original meme that I had a falling out with my best friend at the time, so this is one answer that has definitely changed. I guess Mick would be my best friend now, or if we're talking about people I'm not married to I'd say K, a friend I met through mothers group.
C. Cake or pie?
This one is really hard. I like me some pie, I like me some cake, I'm just not sure these days which I like better. I think I'll go with pie.
D. Day of choice?
I like Fridays. Flynn is at daycare so I get a bit of time to myself, and then there is the promise of the weekend. I think that sometimes the weekend itself can be a bit of a letdown, but you don't know that on Friday - Friday always has that positive ' woo, its almost the weekend! ' vibe to it...
E. Essential item?
Leaving aside things like money or car keys, I'm still going to go with a pair of well fitting jeans. I live in them during the winter, and a pair of nice jeans with a white tank and gorgeous heels never fails to make me feel sexy.
F.. Favourite colour?
This one is easy ( if only because Flynn and I talk about it so much ) - its red!
G. Gummy bears or worms?
Gummy bears. Although I am partial to a sour worm or two, I prefer gummy bears, especially at the movies.
H. Hometown?
Dubbo, NSW. Also known affectionately as DubVegas ( you know, in that it is NOTHING like Las Vegas ). My family live here and we have an awesome zoo. Wana visit?
I. Indulgence?
Since having children my number one indulgence nis being able to sit by myself for am full hour and read a book, uninterrupted. Preferably in PJs and with a nice warm cup of chair latte to keep me company.
J. January or July?
Always January. Its summer, its my birthday and, quite frankly, the cold of July sucks big hairy ones.
K. Kids?
Two of - my son Flynn Charlie who turns 3 next week ( omg! ) and my daughter Tully Maree who is already 4 months old. Again - o.m.g.
L. Life isn't complete without?
My beautiful little family. Oh, and the interwebs. Major withdrawals if my internet ever goes down!
M. Marriage date?
Remember, remember the 5th of November.... The 5th of November 2011 that is.
N. Number of brothers and sisters?
Two brothers and one sister, all younger than me. I know I've mentioned it before but even though one of my brothers is deceased I still always count him. We've also told Flynn about his ' Uncle Eli ' and will take him to lay flowers on his grave on Xmas Eve.
O. Oranges or apples?
Apples to eat, orange juice to drink.
P. Phobias?
Clowns - I cannot believe I forgot to mention that in the 2008 meme! After being made to watch Stephen Kings ' It " when I was 7 I've always hated clowns. I'm really going to have to think hard about whether I ever take my kids to a circus....
Q. Quotes?
' it won't rain all the time ' - Eric Draven, " The Crow ". It was my favourite back then and is still so totally applicable now.
R. Reasons to smile?
My babies! And my husband! And when I',he made something cute and I dress Tully in it for the first time!
S. Season of choice?
Spring - it means the end of horrid old winter but its not stifling hot like summer. I like me a happy medium!
T. Tag five people?
No. You may tag yourself if you like though...
U. Unknown fact about me?
Mum... That I'm just a little but excited about going to Sydney for a few days after Christmas. I can't wait to see Flynns face when he goes on the ferry for the first time!
V. Vegetable?
Pumpkin - a really good piece of roast pumpkin is the bomb. Also, you can make it into pumpkin pie, which is dessert, and dessert is even more the bomb. Mmmm...
W. Worst habit?
Hands down its procrastination. Which is what I've started the cleaning schedule ( which is going great ) because I want to work on eliminating bad habits.
X. X-ray or ultrasound?
I've had both but I have to say I'd prefer to have an x-ray over an abdominal ultrasound. Holding in all that water is a right royal pain in the bladder!
Y. Your favourite food?
It really does depend on my mood. I mean one day I may be totally in live with a chicken dish, the next I'm salivating over cheesecake. I just cant choose a favourite and you can't make me!
Z. Zodiac sign?
Aquarius - not exactly to the letter but close enough

And there you be, the A-B-C of me. Possibly an introduction to anyone new around here, and hopefully a laugh for the rest of you!.

Dear Santa, I'd Really, Really Like...

Alright, so I'm a bit late to the party but the awesome-sauce Kylie from A Study In Contradictions has tagged me in the ' all I want for Christmas 'meme that being doing the rounds of the Australian blogosphere... So here I am, finally getting my list done for Santa!

1. An instant and non-evasive tummy tuck - yes I'm all for body loving and self-esteem and such, but if someone could just help me get rid of my post-baby pudding belly that would be awesome. Plus it would make my jeans just that more comfortable - bonus Chrissie present!
A little shack like this will do me just fine!

2. A 'forever home ' - I'm not going to be greedy and ask for a mansion or anything like that ( although hey, Universe, if you choose to smile on me then so be it ). I'd just like a beautiful family home where we can raise our kids comfortably. Preferably with four bedrooms, a big kitchen and a fairly modern bathroom. Oh and a big backyard where I can banish Flynn to when he needs to get out some energy and I need a break ....
Just for the record that's a gather and I can do those....

3. A complete working knowledge of how to sew clothes to fit myself - because I'm still pretty much a novice sewer and I don't technically know to accommodate my own bootylicious-ness. I got myself some curves and if I just knew how to drape/gather/tuck/dart to flatter the hourglass shape I'm currently rocking, I would spend all bloody day at my sewing machine. So many ideas and images of what I'd like to make, so many YouTube tutorials to watch before I know how to make them properly...

So hawt, but I bet so uncomfy...

4. Shoes, shoes, shoes, glorious shoes! - or, more specifically, insanely beautiful high heels that are actually comfortable for more than five minutes. Please.

5. Some kind of beam-me-up-Scotty, blink-and-your-there, teleportation type device - because it would make it sooooo much easier to put what little time off Mick does have to good use. That's not asking much right?

Moustache Be Gone!

We all know Movember was last month right? If you hadn't seen it all over social media, the abundance of men with patchy, scraggly mo's should have been a dead giveaway. And one of those moustachioed men was my hubby:

Oh yea - total porn star/ Chopper Reid/ motorcycle cop from the Village People. Whatever kind of moustache you think it looks like, you can't deny my fella can grow himself a good mo! Truth be told it didn't bother me all that much, but I can't say I was sorry to see at it go at the end of the month. And the end of the month - of November that is - also happens to be Micks birthday.

With the princess on his birthday.

And what does every good wife make for their husband in his birthday? Yes, of course - a birthday cake. So what better way to celebrate both a birthday and the end to stubbly, itchy, pash-rash kisses? Why with a cake like this of course!

To be quite frank, a moustache made of chocolate cake and sprinkles is the only kind I want anywhere near my mouth anytime soon!

Wine O'Clock

I mentioned a few posts ago ( at least I think I did ) that because Tully is a predictable night time sleeper I'm able to indulge an alcholic beverage or two of an evening. Not every evening of course, but of a Friday and Saturday night I've been having a little 'adult time ' with my hubby, with a cold beverage and a good chat. As a young adult I was a vodka drinker, and at the moment I'm partial to a nice cold glass of cider, but I am trying to 'grow up ' and become a wine drinker. So when the good people at offered to let me sample some of their range.... Well, how was I going to pass that offer up?

Of course, because I know absolutely nothing about wine I needed some help - which is where Mick came in. I didn't help navigating the site because its pretty easy to use but he did help me choose the varieties of wine we should try and when it arrived he was quite happy to help me drink them!

                                    I love getting special parcels!

I'll just come right out and say it - I am so not a fan of red wine. At all. But I thought if I was going to give the sampling thing a real shot I may aswell try a red so we got a bottle of Pfeiffer Seriously Pink Topaque a go:

The bottle was really pretty but it just wasn't my thing thing. It was far too strong for my palate, though being a rose liquer wine it taste a bit better when I mixed it with some lemonade. Mick said it was smooth and sweet though so I'll take his word for it.The next night it was another rosé, this time Yering Station Village Pinot Noir Rosé. 

I liked this one better than the first, but still.... I don't think I'd drink it again. I'm just not a 'red' girl I guess. Luckily, we still have a bottle of white and a bottle of bubbles to go, and I'm definayely a fan of .... So thanks Wine Selectors!

A Christmas Present Just For Me

Just a quick post tonight because I wanted to share the little piece of pretty that arrived for me this week. This year I thought I had been a good enough girl to warrant buying myself a little Christmas gift - something cute, but inexpensive. I knew that I would like a piece of jewellery, something that I could wear everyday but I didn't have a lot of moolah to spend ( seems us mummies tend to spend on everyone else first, right? ). So when of the very talented mums in my Facebook mums group posted that she'd starting making hand stamped stainless still pendants I knew I'd found the gift for me:

Excuse the quality of the photos - I took them on the camera on my tablet,  which ain't so great - but there I be, tired but rocking my brand new necklace. Want a close up?

Remember how I said the pendants were hand stamped? Well mine is stamped with the names of my beautiful children, and overlaid with a star ( because that's what my Bambinos are, and where they came from ). I love it - its so me. Not overly fussy, just a bit different, and very much unique. I can guarantee it will be worn everyday and Flynn loves the fact I have his name on it ( although he doesn't want me to wear it to bed... ' Mum, it will choke you!' ). And, best part, it was very affordable and totally cute!

If you are interested you can find Katie and the rest of her work at her Leo Love Designs page on Facebook. Inspired by and named after her gorgeous bubba Leo, I'm sure you can find a great gift for yourself or someone special this Christmas!

Writers Workshop Lab and the Common Core

Last year, I had the opportunity to participate in a readers workshop lab (you can check out those posts for more info!). This year our district is focusing on boosting our writing and alignment to the CCSS. Today, we got together to unpack the new standards and look at our students' current narrative writing samples. Here are some of my "ah-ha" moments....

How do we educate parents about the CCSS writing expectations?
-Show writing samples at Curriculum Night (just like we do for reading expectations).
-Standards are similar throughout grades, they "grow up" with each grade level adding more depth and scope (explain the over reaching goalsi
-Shared responsibility (every teacher is a writing teacher).
-Strong emphasis on opinion/ argument writing.
-This is not all-encompassing, there are only 10 standards (holes will need to in, based on teacher judgement). Some districts may add specific goals for each grade to address).
-Shared research and writing experiences (under the guidance of adults).
-Focus on the process, not just the content (stronger emphasis on revision).

Katie Wood Ray's book About the Authors is a GREAT resource to add to our Writers Workshop units that are given to us!
About the Authors: Writing Workshop with Our Youngest Writers
Find it on
What we can expect from First Graders for revision ...

Side note... Create this anchor charts together, using actual class writing, each year.
(charts are complements of Annmarie Johnson, Independent Consultant)

There are three types of writing in CCSS: opinion, informative/explanatory, and narratives.

In order to complete the above sort, we looked at the 5th grade standards in order to gain a broader perspective. For fun, we argued our opinions :). Those argument notes should fit into an opinion/narrative/explanatory column.

That was all before 10am!  Whew!

We then went to see my friend, Holly, teach her writers workshop for 1st graders....

She was thinking aloud.... not really a bad photo :)
Classroom observation (my quick notes)...
Mini-lesson: We can add precise words to our writing. (How To books) 12 minutes
-"Show me, don't tell me, what writers need"
-focus on planning (remember how we were planning...)
-defined plan for the day and defined "writerly words" as she taught
-mentor text
-whole group model of writing (as they learn the techniques)
-turn and talk
-connection to current work (link)
-students re-read what they wrote last session

Conferring with students: (individual conferences) 25 minutes
Reinforcing the set lesson reflecting the individual student's piece.
-reviews what student has been working on
-compliment to student
-jumps to the focus of the mini-lesson, "Where can we add precise words to you work?"
-student reads as teacher attempts to follow the how-to directions (finds vague areas together)
-student tries technique
-re-reads with the new words added in to piece

Actual student work
Share: brought closure to the original mini- lesson
-Students shared their work with a buddy (calling attention to the precise word that they added today).
-As a whole group, they added to their anchor chart on precise words.

Awesome Management....
-Holly takes a lap of the room in between each conference.
-Holly is a master at "starting slow in order to go fast". You can tell that her students are secure in the workshop model and the expectations. They get right to work and are on task ( as much as possible with first graders!). This is an ongoing area for me to be working on... My class tends to be a bit chatty this year!
-While all of this was going on, students were able to quietly reference the mentor texts that Holly had front loaded the unit with during an immersion stage.


We also spent a good amount of time analyzing writing samples from our students. We each brought our best sample, then a sample from a struggling student. We compiled the attributes of the best. This became our goal papers and an example of what is possible for our first graders right now in our process. Here is what we found....

This was our top selection from our group:

On the flip side, we went through the strugglers' samples and figured out what the conferring goals are going forward for that student.

The ultimate goal for all of these samples is to create a binder that we can use as mentors for our conferences. Like a published author, the students can see how REAL first graders can write. I'm thinking that at some point, I will have tabs so it can be referenced more easily.

Countdown to a Clean Christmas

So after finding some inspiring stuff whilst trawling Pinterest, and motivated by the wonderful mums on my Facebook mums group, I have decided December 2012 is the month where I finally get serious about this housewifey cleaning stuff. I make no secret of the fact that I'm a bit lazy when it comes to cleaning - I'm not a slob of course, just a bit of a procrastinator. I try to keep things relatively tidy ( or as tidy as you can get with a 3 yr old ) but the actual ' get down and scrub ' cleaning ? Soooo annoying!

However, I know it must be done. Truth be told I'd like to do it more often, not because I enjoy doing it but because I enjoy the way it makes me feel when my house looks neat and tidy. And, after many years spent living in my own home and having to clean up after myself, I've come to the conclusion that I work better when I have a list I can work from, and if I treat that list like I would a list of tasks at my paid job. So.... I've made myself a cleaning schedule.

Oh yes, a schedule. A roster, if you will. The idea is that if I can do 30 minutes of cleaning every weekday I can stay on top things. So rather than look at the mess and try and decide what to tackle first, I've scheduled a particular task for a particular day so that it becomes routine.

Don't they say that it takes 21 days to establish a new habit? Well, if that's true and I can stick to it I should be living a nice clean house by Christmas! Wish me luck!