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Archive for March, 2009

Continuing with our Alphabet Art book, we made the letter “E”, using cracked eggshells for decoration.



While Satori was busy cracking eggshells and gluing them to the E’s, Mama created a little chick made out of pom-poms. Look, the little guy just hatched!


Thought this was cute, earlier I was going to steam broccoli, but Satori wanted to eat the whole raw stalk like a tree. 🙂


We’ve never had a problem getting Satori to eat her veggies. Luckily, mom and dad are vegetarian.


As I was cleaning up, I found this little chimp frolicking around in some greens. Satori said he was sleeping in the jungle. Looks like he’s a happy and very full little chimp!


I admit I am not much of a cook. My failed cakes I blame on our high altitude (9000 ft). But I am going to try! With each FIAR rowing, we’ll make a related food item. This week is Frosty Snowballs dessert for Katy and the Big Snow rowing.


Frosty Snowballs

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • Edible sparkles or colored sugar


  1. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the granulated sugar; beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in water and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour and the chopped pecans.
  2. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  3. Bake in a 325 degree F oven 20 minutes or until bottoms are light brown. Cool completely.
  4. Place 1/3 cup powdered sugar in a bowl. Gently roll and shake cooled cookies until covered in snow. Sprinkle with colored sparkles or sugar.

Various sized "snowballs" entering oven

Various sized "snowballs" entering oven

Here’s Chef Satori licking her hands of yummy powdered sugar after rolling the snowballs in “snow”! We sure wish Daddy was here to help us eat these!


We’ve extended our Katy rowing a few more days to study compasses and blizzards and finish our Katy and the Big Snow lapbook.

Thanks to Hands of a Child, we had a few Compass lapbook entries to add. After working with all the paper plates earlier, I decided to make a compass for Satori, using of course, a paper plate as the compass. Satori then wrote in the letters for directions. She knew where to put “N” for north, and knew the rest of the letters, but not where to put them, so mama had to help. We colored one end of a stick red to point to North. I manually drilled a whole in the center of the stick, and then using a little brad, pinned it to the middle of our compass. (A cardstock compass needle would be an easy option.) Now, Satori can spin the compass dial and point it to North herself!


Then I attempted to explain blizzards. I told her about the “Storm of the Century” (the March 1993 one) in which I went to Florida via bus for spring break, but got stuck in that scary blizzard. We talked about the Schoolchildren Blizzard in 1888 (tomorrow we will read a book on this).

Another creative inspiration hit me.

Vehicles Stuck in Snow

  • Construction paper of different colors, including black
  • Circle paper puncher (or cut out circles yourself)
  • Ziplock bag
  • “Snow” – white sand, white glitter

We took a scrap of black construction paper and had Satori paper-punch round circles out. I then cut out vehicle shapes and had Satori glue her black tires on them. Here we made a fire engine, ambulance, and sports car. Satori placed them in our zip bag.


I happened to have some sparkly white sand handy, so we filled the bag with the sand. I then taped it shut.

Satori got a kick out of trying to “plow” out the vehicles in the snow!


We’re almost finished with our Katy and the Big Snow lapbook. Tomorrow we’ll wrap it all up and start our next FIAR rowing!

Katy and the Big Snow Lapbook

Katy and the Big Snow Lapbook

The week before I started this blog, Satori and I were making alphabet letters with the help of this book:

Alphabet Art - With A to Z Animal Art

Alphabet Art - With A to Z Animal Art

You make the capital and lowercase letter of the alphabet, along with an animal art. Very cute, but we stopped only after “B”, as by then I discovered Five in a Row. Well, the past week Satori has been begging to start this up again, so tonight we did “C”, animal “C”, and “D”.

You use paper plates for the letters…


It didn’t turn out as colorful as expected with the black crayon overlay (so we did blue on our second attempt), but here’s our toothpick-carved, “Colorful Crayons”!

Colorful Crayons

Colorful Crayons

Next, we crafted up the animal using a variety of materials. Here’s “Carrie the Cat” made out of paper bags. The book called him Carlos, but Satori re-named her Carrie. She then spouted out a whole slew of “C” words – CAMERA, CARTOON… She really surprised me that she said all these C words, and didn’t even include a “K” word!

Carrie the Cat

Satori couldn’t wait for her new letter to hang on the wall.


You may recognize the short pencil we used for the “Dazzling Dots” D letters. We used its eraser and then dayglow poster paint to create our dazzling dots.

Dazzling Dots

Dazzling Dots

I just wanted to take a moment and talk about these just-for-preschooler crayons and pencils. Our Handwriting Without Tears (HWT) program encourages us to use very short crayons and pencils. This forces your child to grip the writing utensil closer to the tip for finer control, rather than grasping way down the pencil.  They market their own short crayons with two colors/points on each crayon, called the Pre-K FLIP Crayons. These develop hand coordination and fine motor skills by flipping the crayon. You can make your own shorties by breaking your existing crayons in half or saving the broken crayons.

HWT Pre-K FLIP Crayons

HWT Pre-K FLIP Crayons

How does Satori like them? She squealed with delight and proceeded to draw me a few pictures. She calls them her “baby crayons”. We got the FLIP Gift Set of 20 mini packs, so we can stash some in mom’s purse for coloring at restaurants, or giveaway as little gifts. (There are no options for buying single packs on the HWT site.)


Of course they also sell short 4″ golf pencils too, complete with eraser. The only negative about our purchase is they’ve catered it to classrooms, not individual familes. So I’m stuck with a big box of 144 pencils, and 20 sets of crayons.


Because I’m sure we’re not going to use 144 pencils, if anyone wants a set of FLIP crayons (5 crayons/10 colors) and 4 pencils, I’d be willing to send a package to anyone in the US for a dollar to cover shipping. I could spare 5 “packages”. Simply leave a comment saying you’re interested and I’ll send a $1 Paypal request. The first 2 who leave a comment and have our blog linked on their website will get a set for free! 🙂

A great time was had by all on Saturday for Kim and Ken’s Baby Shower. We loved the cool rocking horses, and try as I might to get TWO children on them at once, I had to settle for this one of Satori with Peyton playing with balloons in the background. 🙂


The kids had fun in the super cool playroom, complete with a box house. Although not shown, I admired all the artwork of the 2 boys of the house in this room. Gives me incentive to get more creative with our projects at home.


Shirts were ripping and babies were crying in the scuffle between Ken and Kevin!


(Actually it was all in fun, but don’t you love the background in the above picture?) Later that night, a herd of elk meandered right up to the neighboring houses!

And I managed to get the twins in on the action. 🙂


The food was delicious, thanks Christy! Satori as usual, always wanted to be right next to Peyton. Here she is being silly with her apple smiley.


I do hope my dreams of being a child photography do come true someday, I just could not resist following this baby around. Here Kim helped me coax a smile out of her!


Love this tender moment between dad and daughter.


Tearing myself away from the cuteness of baby pictures, here’s the reason for the celebration – the soon-to-arrive twin brothers of Ken and Kim! I hope they were needing baby boy clothes, because they’re going to need lots of wardrobe space for all the clothes now!


I tried to get a picture of the 2 girls jumping up and down ecstatically while shouting the baby’s name, but its hard to get a sharp picture of kids in action.  Also wanted to get some of the amazing artwork hanging on their wall. 😉


Thank you for the great party!


On March 18, President Obama received 34,000+ letters from children. The handwriting program we’re using – Handwriting Without Tears (HWT) asked kids to handwrite letters of advice to Obama with their “Mail to the Chief” program. I wish we’d known about it then, we would’ve sent our letter!

You just gotta read the following article. 🙂

HWT Letters to Obama

HWT Letters to Obama

Read more about it on the HWT website:

National Handwriting Day: Mail to the Chief Activity Across the Country

Handwriting Day Slideshow

Check out more media news, a video of the delivery, and advice that the children gave to the new President!