Thursday, September 15, 2011
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
This past week I was participating in Freckles in April’s 21 day challenge. I wish I had known about it sooner because I would have loved to do all 21 days, but I only discovered it the last week of the challenge. Kayla picked my outfit as one of her favorites for the Sunday Shoe challenge. Check out all the featured looks here.
I should say she picked my shoes. I mean, come on, who doesn’t love these shoes. Adorable, right?! And get this, I found them at a thrift store for only $6! Awesome, right?!
If you’re interested check out the rest of my outfits from the challenge in my Flikr pool or check out everyone’s outfits in the group pool from the challenge. I loved my final outfit (check it out here) and it even earned me bonus points!
Monday, September 5, 2011
Today was SUPPOSE to be our first try at the library as a whole group. If all went well we would continue to go once a week the rest of the summer, more on that in a minute….
First, we made personalized bags for our library books. I found these waterproof canvas bags at our Dollar Tree. Great material, not-so-great print. Very 70’s hippie chick…
I had the great idea that we could paint over them, but I knew that regular acrylics wouldn’t cut it. So, I pulled out my latex paint samples. If you don’t have any, they are only like $2-$3 at Lowes. It’s a great excuse to try out all those funky colors you would NEVER paint your house. Or maybe you would, whatever floats your boat…
1. Mask off the section you want to paint with contact paper.
2. Paint in the area with your base color. Mine was white. Think of this like prepping a canvas. With the type of material these bags were made of, it was basically the same thing. I ended up having to do 2 coats to cover the flower prints. They probably could have used even one more coat. Allow to dry between coats. (Note to self: do NOT leave an open jar of latex paint sitting on your bedroom floor, where 2 year-old daughter will paint on your carpet and cutting mat. Yeah, should have seen that one coming…)
3. After the base coats were dry, I let the kids go at it. Some tried painting pictures with the available colors, others just went abstract.
4. Peel off the contact paper. We painted our names and a border in fabric paint. I also added one little shape in glow-in-the-dark paint on each bag, because my kids love a little glow-in-the-dark action. :)
(This picture is before I added a green border.)
5. Put them in the garage to dry so that no one touches them while the fabric paint dries.
6. Freak out when you see your 2 year-old daughter walking across the freshly painted bags, making names illegible, and tracking paint all over the bags and garage floor. Great, just great…
7. Take a deep breath and apologize to everyone especially the 2-year-old as everyone reassures you that it’s okay. It’s just paint and it’s not that bad.
I should have had a clue that this was just the beginning to our day’s troubles. Um, no…
The plan was to go to the post office to mail off our Flat Stanleys, after lunch, and then to the library. That was the plan…
Let’s just say all chaos broke loose when we entered the post office. One kid was like, “Wow, this is the post office?! Awesome! Let me run around in circles!” Another kid was like, “Let’s see how many things I can pull off shelves before my mom notices.” Another was like, “Listen to how loud I can yell to all the other kids!” Another was like “Let’s hide from mom and see if she freaks out because she thinks I’m lost, or worse, kidnapped!” The last child was like, “Let’s hang on these metal detector things until I set them off, and everyone in the post office is looking at me.” And I was JUST trying to print a postage label as quickly as humanly possible (while turning beat red with embarrassment). Needless to say, we did NOT go to the library….
Lesson learned, next time I WILL print postage online.
P.S. I promise the kids do NOT normally act like this and they DO listen to me (sometimes). I think it was just one of those days…
On Side Note: We had so much fun with this summer that the blog fell behind. So after much complaining from my mother (love you), I figured I better get us up to date. So be prepared for post overload…
Flat Stanley (7/12/11)
I have always loved the books about Flat Stanley. They are about a boy who is flattened in his sleep by a bulletin board and sent on multiple adventures through the mail. As a teacher, it’s an activity gold mine—perfect for teaching social studies and geography.
I had heard that there was an online exchange community where you could send your own Flat Stanley to a pen pal. I did a little research and found The Flat Stanley Project at FlatterWorld.com
Basically, you create a Flat Stanley or a flat version of yourself and send it to a pen pal. The pen pal takes your Flat Stanley on adventures around their area, taking pictures and writing about their experience and then send Stanley, photos and their letter back to you. FlatterWorld.com helps with a community board to set up international exchanges between parents, teachers, classes, and anyone who just wants to participate. I was able to find a librarian in New York (with a small group of kids) willing to exchange. I also found a ranch hand at a cowboy and scout ranch in New Mexico willing to let our Stanleys come visit her and her scout friends.
So I dug through my classroom library (currently in storage) and found my Flat Stanley picture book. Then, I went to FlatStanleyBooks.com, the official website for the Flat Stanley book series.
They have tons of Flat Stanley activities as well as a template to make your own Flat Stanley to make and send on adventures. We printed off our own and colored. We each made two: one to send to NY and one to send to NM.
We took pictures and wrote letters to introduce ourselves and Stanley to our new pen pals.
We had planned on making a trip to the post office that day but Bee was asleep. When a toddler is asleep, DON’T mess with the schedule! (Trust me, we’ve gone down THAT road before….) Instead, we printed off some of the Flat Stanley activities to work on until everyone decided they had better things to do. Oh well…
Check out both websites they are great resources. If your child is not really old enough to do a pen pal exchange (it was a stretch with our 4 and 5 year old), you can take Stanley on family adventures documenting the places you go and things you do over the summer. Plenty of fun all around. You could seriously take an entire week or more doing all kinds of Flat Stanley related activities. Like I said…Gold.Mine.