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Flat Stanley 40th Anniversary Edition

For this week’s unplug your kids challenge (Flat) we read the book Flat Stanley and created a “Flat Jaylene”. For those of you who might not be familiar with the story, Stanley gets flattened during the night and has all sorts of adventures being flat, including being mailed to California to visit some friends. Children all over the world read the book, and then create flat versions of themselves to mail to friends. We’ve hosted a couple of flat sweethearts. And we found a friend in California who is willing to host a flat Jaylene. So here she is, in all her sparkly glory:
Flat Jaylene 002

Please excuse the bad photo, I took it tonight, after spending all day in bed sick.  Thankfully we only had a little “seepage” from the typhoon.  Usually we get flooded. I most certainly wouldn’t have been able to handle that today.  As it was, I would crawl out of bed periodically and watch my hubby teach the kids the “Old Skool” way to celebrate Typhoon days… computer games and instant noodles.  My daughter plays Mario Brothers better than I ever did. Sigh… 😉

If anyone else is willing to host Flat Jaylene, let us know!

We’re a bit early posting this but there’s a typhoon coming and I’m worried that I’ll be spending Monday mopping up flood waters.

Jaylene and I had a bunch of fun in the kitchen creating more muffin tin Monday madness! We had made cupcakes on Saturday so we of course wanted to include one. Then we brainstormed other ways we could have sprinkles on the rest of the cups. This is what we came up with:

cupcakes 004

Top Left: Cupcake
Top Middle: Bread Cupcake (Stacked bread circles), sprinkled with tahinni and raisins
Top Right: Apple Cupcake (half an apple, de-cored, and iced with peanut butter), sprinkled with cheerios
Bottom Left: Yogurt sprinkled with cashews
Bottom Middle: Nectarines sprinkled with sugar flowers (Jaylene doesn’t like this kind of fruit, so the flowers were a bribe)
Bottom Right: Trail mix, to replace the other sprinkles once they’ve been consumed

I think Jaylene liked it, every bit was gone!
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And a glimpse into my kitchen. I have about a foot square amount of countertop, as seen in the following picture.
What you see is what I have. The right side is cut off just where the sink begins. Apparently I also have a robot in my kitchen, can you see his reflection? Tell me, why doesn’t he do the dishes?  Oh, the insane amount of eggs belongs to my mother-in-law.  She’s filled all the egg cups in the fridge, so she usually stores that basket in my little oven.  I guess she likes eggs.

Anyway, I realized in the midst of making the cupcakes that I had no place to let them cool. I improvised and used the tops of our rice cooker and Jayden’s bottle sterilizer.

cupcakes 002

The fridge, which is next to the bottle sterilizer, is directly across from our gas burners (which you saw in the above picture) so you have an idea of the length of my kitchen now. The little convection oven that I baked the cupcakes in fits in the space under the rice cooker.  That’s directly across from the sink.  I blame my lack of skills in the kitchen entirely on my kitchen.  Although, truth be told, it doesn’t prevent my mother-in-law from whipping up tasty, though mostly egg-based, meals.

We definitely need to come up with a more catchy name. “Stitch and Bitch” is much more young and fun sounding, but not all of us (me!) are knitters.

A somewhat planned but still impromptu meet up was held at my house. We made accordion scrapbooks. Super fun, super easy and a great first scrapbook project. I donated supplies in return for a picture with the end result.

Here’s Chieni’s, she also finished up an adorable knitted dress for her daughter.

And Annie’s with her cute son.
Annie and Jojo

And mine, which is a thank you for some yummy Cheerios a fellow parent pager donated to Jayden, way back in April!
Accordion Book 1

Any suggestions on what the next group project should be?  Or a name that represents how cute and fun we are?

Well, as I knew I’d be going back to work this Friday, I thought I’d use an idea for the Book Experience challenge that we’ve done for awhile using some goodies the Canadian grandparents sent over. (They also sent a CD showing them singing the song, what a fantastic idea!) I only had a half day, so the afternoon was spent singing, reading, and playing 5 Green and Speckled frogs (our version is by Priscilla Burris).

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I love how the grandparents personalized their greeting by putting a picture of themselves in. A great idea when giving a book.
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First Jayden looked at the pictures by himself. This helps him be more attentive during the reading.
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Then Jaylene read the story to him, and Jayden and I acted it out with the rubber frogs (which have a tendancy of ending up in our kitchen next to the fridge which scares Ahma when she’s emptying out the bag of veggies she brought in from her garden which makes Jaylene giggle).
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That’s all I had planned to do, but then I had an idea for a game.
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We stamped up some cards using froggie stamps and divided them between us (we had 23 each, a totally random number). Then we rolled two different colored dice. If the orange die was even, then we put the corresponding yellow die number of frog cards into the pool. For example in the photo above I would get to put 5 frog cards in the pool. However, if the orange die was an odd number instead, I would have to take 5 frog cards out of the pool and add them to my hand. The object of the game is to get all your frogs into the pool.

Then Jaylene had a great idea to turn the frog cards into the fishing game we’d played at a birthday party recently.
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We put in 3 pairs of cards with paper clips on them and then raced to fish them out with a rod with a magnet at the end. The person with the most pairs was the “winner”.

Then we thought of one last activity…
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Simply tossing the cards into the pool and keeping a tally to see who could get the most in. Jaylene beat me, but only by one point.

And this picture is for Sara, because she hasn’t posted a comment on my blog in ages.
frogs 007

I hosted the latest Mom’s Craft session earlier this week and I’ll show you what we made later. Too busy right now getting ready to head back to work *tomorrow* and getting Jayden ready for his big transition to daycare. But I wanted to show you what one of the moms (Thanks **Annie**!) brought…

Star cookies

Aren’t they adorable? Jaylene’s been munching on them like crazy. Jayden likes them too, although he enjoys smashing them to pieces while they’re still in the bag more. We’ve put them out of his reach! I kinda feel like the star in the top right corner at the moment, hopefully things will smooth down soon.  Which star describes your mood?

The theme for this week’s Unplug your Kids’ challenge was Glass. We did lots of things throughout the week, including washing windows (ha!) and using glass marbles as part of a treasure hunt/fishing game. We also made suncatchers, which Jaylene insisted be in the form of her new heros, the SuperTwins.  An illustration from the book was copied and then colored in with Amos Glass Deco pens.  Now it looks like she’s flying over the fields outside our home.


There was also a trip to the Tittot Glass Museum to see how they blow glass into bowls, vases and art sculptures.

Blowing Glass

I’ve tried to embed some videos, but if they don’t show up, I’ve added a Flickr link to each one. Warning, the furnaces have a nasty buzz to them, so you might want to turn down/off your sound before you watch.

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3

Does anyone know how to properly embed Flickr videos?

When I first saw the Muffin Tin Monday Challenge, I thought to myself that it would be fun to participate this summer. Well, this is my last Monday before I go back to work and we finally got a submission together. It was a big hit and I have a feeling we’ll be doing muffin tin weekends quite frequently. Well, as best we can, considering we don’t have a muffin tin!

This week they had a theme of Rainbow, so we decided to make a rainbow dipping tray.


Red: Salsa
Orange: Cheese (because I ended up not cooking the squash in time)
Yellow: Pureed Pears
Green: Avacado (which Jaylene pointed out seems more yellowish)
Blue: Blueberry Yogurt (which seems more purplish)
Purple: Grape Yogurt (which apparently is white, so we added raisins)
Dipping Goodies: Vegetable Bread sticks, corn tortilla chips, Japanese Baby cookies

Those lil cookies are adorable, here’s an attempt at a close up, can you see his tongue sticking out?

Check out Sycamore Stirrings for the Monday Muffin tins official list. They all look so yummy.

Jaylene and I have started a new project where she plans to read 100 books in the upcoming school year. Yeah, we started a bit early but I head back to the classroom on Friday and it fit into our discussion at the time. I’m a bit worried that she’ll finish 100 books before she even sets foot in her grade one classroom, lol.  The prize will be a book that I was given by my first grade teacher for accomplishing the same feat.  I’ll be annotating our selections HERE if you’re interested in following along.

Supertwins and Tooth Trouble

Have you heard of the Supertwins series? Jaylene and I just discovered it. I bought a couple of the readers at the rummage sale as I’m always on the lookout for things to feed her superhero interest and help downplay the princess obsession. Jaylene has fallen in absolute love with the 2 books we have and has read them at least once a day since we read them on Friday. She even used them as inspiration for this week’s unplugged challenge (which we’ll share once Mr. Linky goes up). We tried to find some more copies at Page One on Saturday but with no luck. We’ll have to check out Cherry Hill Bookstore, as that’s who had the sale originally.

Ribbon and Sticker card

Click on image for a larger view.

I’ve been trying to use what I have on crafty projects. I tend to hoard goodies because they’re so hard to come across here (these stickers are from the Netherlands I believe), but now I’m trying to make sure I actually use things. Especially since I read on Unclutterer that you should never have more than one year’s worth of supplies for an intense hobby — and less than that if you can manage.

How do you manage the clutter of your hobby of choice? Any tips for me?

I miss this view…


That’s what we saw outside our window from our upgraded room (took four different rooms to find one without an odor, but once we did, well, it was nice!) Most of our minivacation involved swimming and eating.

At one point, Jayden was faced with a dilemna…

2 Bottles

Milk or water? Hmmmm

Bottoms Up

Both! Bottoms Up!

Problem Solver

What do you think, is he an astute problem solver or a chronic party animal?

Tidbits of my life


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July 2008
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