Monthly Archives: December 2013

Lady Bird Johnson’s birthday

flower - Stuart SeegerToday is Lady Bird Johnson’s birthday

Lady Bird Johnson was the wife of Lyndon Johnson who was president of the United States in the 1960s. She worked hard to protect natural habitats and especially wild flowers. She helped to create the Wildflower Center in Texas.

Photo: Stuart Seeger

Wright brother’s first flight

Orville and Wilbur flew their plane for 12 seconds in 1903. Make paper airplanes with the children and see if they can fly that long!

If you’ve forgotten how to make a paper plane, click here and you’ll find 10 great paper plane designs with how-to video tutorials


Making paper planes

Make a paper plane that can actually fly with these easy instructions. This traditional paper-plane design is a simple paper craft for kids that will then lead to another fun activity for kids: flying a paper aeroplane.

What you need:

  • 1 x A4 sheet of paper


  1. Fold the paper along the width and then unfold it to create a crease.
  2. On one side of the paper, fold each corner in towards the center, to the point where the inside edges are even with the center-line crease.
  3. Starting at the very tip of the point, fold the paper over on each side so the inside edges line up with the center crease.
  4. Turn the paper airplane over and fold it in half along the center-line.
  5. Fold the first wing with the line of the fold running nearly parallel to the center-line of the plane.
  6. Fold the second wing the same as you did the first.

The plane is now ready to fly!


Snowflakes –winter officially begins on the 21st but in some parts of the United States it has already snowed. Did you know that each snowflake is unique?

Make snowflakes with your host children:

Step 1

Step 1 IllustrationStart with an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper. Fold one corner of the piece of paper down. Cut off the bottom portion to make a triangle.

Step 2

Step 2 IllustrationTemporarily bring the two corners of the base of the triangle together to find the center point of the longest side. Make a small crease at the center point.

Step 3

Step 3 IllustrationWe’re now going to use the center point identified in Step 2 to divide the triangle into three equal parts. Fold the right corner in at a 60° angle. (Use a protractor to help you.) Then fold the left corner in back at a 60° angle.

Step 4

Step 4 IllustrationYour paper should look like the illustration at right. Now fold the paper in half as shown.

Step 5

Step 5 IllustrationCut off the upper portion along the horizontal line.

Step 6

Step 6 IllustrationThis triangle will be 1/12th of your snowflake. Use a pencil to draw a design on the triangle. The unopened side will be the backbone of the snowflake. Do not draw any lines that cut through the triangle.

Step 7

Step 7 IllustrationUse a pair of scissors to carefully cut away the unwanted area.

Step 8

Step 8 IllustrationCarefully unfold your snowflake and flatten it out with your fingers. Voilà!

Now experiment with different designs and see what you come up with. One of the joys of cutting paper snowflakes is that you never know for sure what the snowflake will look like when you open it up!

Healthy eating

Is your house filled with treats, and goodies that are tempting you?  It is the season, and you are here for a cultural exchange, so try some of the traditional sweets your host family is offering, but it is a good idea to downsize your portions – how much you eat is as important as what you eat.


Guidelines for Eating Smart

  • Eat breakfast – it’s the best way to start the day.
  • Drink water – 4 glasses or more a day, more when it is hot or when you are active.
  • Downsize your portions – how much you eat is as important as what you eat.
  • Snacking – most packaged snacks are high in calories and low in nutrition. Skip the cookies and the chips and snack instead on whole fruits, nuts, popcorn (without the butter), carrots or non-fat yoghurt.
  • Fiber – foods rich in fiber are filling and give you energy. These foods include bran cereal, fresh and dried fruit, broccoli, asparagus, peas, corn, cabbage, brussels sprouts, whole grain breads, brown rice and lentils.
  • Lean protein – whether or not you eat meat, you need protein. Best sources include skinless chicken or turkey breast, fish and shellfish, egg whites, lowfat milk and cheese, kidney beans, chick peas, tofu and other soy products.
  • Variety – try to eat fruits and vegetables of many different colors. This will help you get many vitamins and other nutrients important to your health.
  • Stop eating before you are full – you’ll feel better.

If you want to lose weight, here are some ideas to help you do that:

Crash diets or quick weight-loss schemes are not a good long-term solution.
Have patience in losing a half-pound to one pound per week.
Always drink plenty of water or other fluids.
Never skip meals in an effort to lose weight.
Get up and go, increase your physical activity.
Eat a variety of foods.

Credits: The International Food Information Council Foundation and

NOVA – Registration for Spring

click here for the Spring 2014 Catalog

click here for the Spring 2014 Catalog

Here is the catalog for the spring courses at Northern VA Community College. This is all campuses – be sure to look for the one that is closest to you.

Registration begins December 4th.
Reminder: you need 80 hours, which equals to 8 CEUs, or 6 credits throughout the year.