Monday, January 31, 2011

Random thoughts of the day

"Sewer" is spelled the same way as "sewer" (as in "one who sews"). I'm not sure how I feel about that.
Double vision: The medical assistant who came to get me had the voice of a weathered seaman and the face of a Nordic princess.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Year of the Rabbit

Images from this EXCELLENT Chinese New Year educational resource
I’ve volunteered to put together a small Chinese New Year’s activity for Cooper’s Kindergarten class. The key word in the preceding sentence is “small.” (Unlike Valentine’s Day last year in which I made these little trinkets. I LOVED that craft, but there’s no way I can do anything along those lines this year, what with a writing deadline that falls in the same Valentine’s Day timeframe.)

Even though we won’t be making any detailed crafts (again, thank goodness!), I’m still excited about the event. Following is a quick list of what I have planned and information about each item, including links to resources on the web, when applicable. Although it's not as detailed as I'd like it to be, perhaps this information will be helpful to someone sometime. If not for Chinese New Year (which is this Thursday, February 3rd!), then perhaps as ideas for Easter activities.

Book - "My First Chinese New Year":
My First Chinese New Year follows a young girl and her family as they prepare for and celebrate Chinese New Year. 

Craft - Rabbit Tangrams: 

Tangram puzzles were invented in China! I was super-excited when I learned that. The image above is from the Family Fun web site which has a wealth of family crafting activities and instructions. I printed the templates on cardstock from the Family Fun web site (the template link is near the bottom of the instructions). The kids will cut them out and then glue their completed puzzles onto cardstock. Hmmmm. I just realized I used pastel colors because I was thinking of Easter. Gold, red, and black would have been better. Ah, well!

Gifts - Lucky money envelopes, rabbit and goldfish cheese crackers, scroll with each child's name in Chinese characters.
  • Lucky Money Envelopes. I will make these using a Sizzix mini-envelope template and put a quarter in each one. I was originally going to copy this pdf (, but I need a quicker method this week. I’ll most definitely use it next year though.
  • Rabbit & Goldfish cheese crackers. Annie’s organic cheese crackers are shaped as rabbits! I gasped when I passed them in Target’s crackers aisle. And then, of course, the standard goldfish crackers.
  • Print of each child’s name in Chinese. This site has 6,000 names “translated” into Chinese so it’s an excellent resource. I used it a few years ago for my oldest son’s Kindergarten class. I copied and pasted the Chinese name into a Word document with the English version underneath. I roll each one up and hold it closed with red ribbon.
For a TON of Chinese New Year for Kids information and resources visit I love, love, love that site. Wish I had time to explore it in more detail.

p.s. We are enjoying lovely Spring-like weather today. I’m having a very. difficult . time. concentrating on work. Which is perhaps why this blog entry came into being. Procrastination and all that…

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Unparallelled peace

The peace that fills me when hooping is unparalleled. Unparalleled, that is, until I watched this video of Beth Lavinder hooping. About 3 minutes into it, I suddenly realized that I had been lulled into a peaceful calmness by the beauty of her moves. Until that moment, it didn't occur to me that watching a master hooper could fill me with peace (joy, yes; excitement, yes; happiness, yes).