Summer, Beach & Mermaids

So my mother-in-law asked me to print her a copy of the picture above in as an 8" by 10". I did, but it got me thinking about beach frames. So while at Michaels the other day I picked up two inexpensive frames on clearance. I knew I would cover them with shells and such so I didn't worry about their colors. I also bought some more shells and sea glass. Then I saw the Mermaid Contest over at Taming the Goblin.

Over the weekend, we made the frames. We decided to start by covering the frames with sand. We had some from last year's fairy garden. So our first step is to spread some glue on the frames. Hazel loved doing this!

Then we did our best to cover them with sand.
At this point we should have let the glue dry, but I had an anxious three-year-old helping me so we went ahead. She could not wait to start gluing on the shells, rocks and sea glass. (Sorry the picture came out a bit blurry.)

Then we let the glue dry for a few days (and it still wasn't completely dry--guess I globbed it on a bit much). By the way we used craft glue. I called my mother who just made one of those shell wreaths to see what she used and she used a hot glue gun, but didn't recommend it with Hazel helping. She thought craft glue would work fine and it did.
Mermaid Taking a Nap Framed

While it was drying I looked for pictures of mermaids. I found several at Graphics Fairy, but they were more vintage and not as kind looking as I hoped for. I did a search and came across Deviant Art. My favorite there is Mermaid Taking a Nap. Of the four I showed to Hazel, her favorite is one I found on Graphics Hunt. There are so many out there and I tried to look for friendly and not too sexy ones.
Hazel's Favorite Framed
Then I hung them in the family room to get some pictures. After that I put Hazel's favorite in her room and I changed the picture in my favorite to the beach picture. After all this is what I bought the frames for.
I do think we are going to use some of the wooden frames I bought ages ago to make some more shell frames for our mermaid pictures and for her beach picture as gifts.

So how do you like our mermaid inspired craft? I'm off to enter it in Taming the Goblin's Contest.

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Happy Family Times--Family Game Time

Did you do something fun with your family this week? Kelly at Happy Whimsical Hearts and I are hosting a link party to share them. Scroll down to share with us!! And make sure you visit Kelly to see what fabulous thing her family is up to this week!

Family Game Time was the motto of our weekend. Hazel has been a bit sick so we needed to take it easy. She wanted to play everyone of her games this weekend (both days). We played seven games many times this weekend! 
Candy Land
 The first game we ever got her was Candy Land (well actually we have a Memory Game but we didn't play it this weekend).  Candy Land is great at practicing colors and teaching them how to take turns and follow the path. (We often have difficulties with which way to go on the board.) She loved playing it when she was younger, but she didn't really get it. Now she gets it a bit better.

 We also bought her Chutes & Ladders around the same time, but I put it away since I knew she wasn't ready for this one. This one involves counting. You could also easily do some addition and subtraction problems while playing since the board is numbered 1-100 for each square.
 This next game I first learned about from I Can Teach My Child. After reading this lovely post, I put several of these games on my wish list and finally bought Hi-Ho-Cherry-O for Hazel. She loves it! We have modified it a bit and play the version where we work together. The goal, in our modified version, is to pick all the fruit before time runs out. The time is based on how you spin. If you get the bird on the spinner you have to pick a piece of puzzle. If the puzzle gets completed before all the fruit is picked you do not win. We work together and do not keep track of which fruit is whose. She loves to play it. The highest you have to count up to is five in this game. (NOTE: I recently saw this game at Ocean State Job Lot so if you want it and have one near you check it out before buying it elsewhere!!)
 The same day Hi-Ho-Cherry-O arrived from Amazon, we had bought Count Your Chickens! at Drumlin Farm. This is another cooperative game. There is only one playing piece--Mother Hen. Your job is to get all the chicks back to the chicken coop before Mother Hen gets there. You get a chick for each square you move and there are some special ones where you get plus one to the number you moved. However on the spinner is a fox. If you get the fox you have to take one chick out of the chicken coop. Again Hazel loves this game! In it you work on counting. The most we have had to count up to I think is twelve. She is definitely better at counting out things. Before she would just say the numbers all together and not count each individual item.
 This game we bought at a discount store. (I think it was Christmas Tree Shops.) It is put out by Cranium and is called Duck, Duck, 1-2-3. The object of this game is for each player to move around the board picking up their matching ducklings which fit (somewhat) into the parent duck's back and then get to the center for the duck party. There is no winner. The game is over when all the ducks are at the party. We got it of course for Hazel's love of ducks! Needless to say she loves it because of the ducks. She is always deciding which color is the mother duck and which is the father duck.
At one of the discount stores (Ocean State Job Lot, I think), we picked up a set of Disney Princess dominoes. They did not have any without characters or I would have gotten them, but these also do not have dots or numbers on them so I think it is a bit easier for the first domino game. She loves it. We have not made a domino train to knock down yet, but will.
We got this one with the dominoes. It is called the Birthday Party Game. Since we celebrate someone's birthday just about every day in my house (often my third but sometimes it is Ducky's), I thought this might be good. You spin a spinner and have to get the invitation first. Then you spin to get all the party supplies: dessert, hat, gift, drink, favor, and noisemaker. The first person to get all of his/her wins. We of course usually play until everyone has all of their supplies since Hazel doesn't like there to be a winner.

 The final game to share is another one I learned about at I Can Teach My Child! I happened to see Zingo at Michaels and was able to use my 40% off coupon to buy it. Hazel loves it. It is a matching game. We play a modified version since she is not quick enough yet to beat us. We help her notice if her board has one. She loves moving the zing piece as well as matching and picking out the card, etc. We all seem to enjoy this one very much.
Now it is your turn to share how your family has spent some quality time lately.

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Ok, now for our PARTY!! Please share your FUN Family Times!!

Multicultural Monday: Learning about Kenya

Another part of learning acceptance of differences is understanding them. As such it is important to look at other cultures. In doing so you will find the similarities and differences between yourself and them and understand the people in the culture a bit better. Today we are looking at Kenya. Why Kenya, you may ask. Well, Hazel received a wonderful postcard from Kenya about a month ago.
Postcard from Kenya for Hazel
 Hazel and the children of Andrea of Ziezo Designs and Ziezo Kenya have been exchanging postcards so we could learn about another part of the world. I discovered Ziezo through Sharing Saturday (which is still open if you would like to share with us your child-oriented craft or activity). Looking through her wonderful blog, I discovered her children go to a Waldorf School and I thought it would be neat for Hazel to learn a bit about Kenya from other Waldorf students. So we added her second pen pal (her first being from Australia--Kelly's from Happy Whimsical Hearts son). (On a side note if you are interested in having your child exchange postcards with Hazel, please drop me an email.)
Kenya's Flag: Source
Map of Kenya: Source

For the flag and map as well as some more information I went to, the official page of the Kenyan Government. Kenya is 224,080 square miles which is just a bit smaller than the state of Texas. The official language of Kenya is English. The population is about 39 million (as of August 2010) and is very diverse. The majority of the population is Christian. They also have very different climates within the country although the equator passes through just about the center of Kenya.

Our first activity came from this book on Food and Festivals of Kenya by Wambui Kairi. We made kaimati, a small doughnut coated with sugar or coconut. They are eaten in Mombasa at a party at the Makadara Muslim Grounds to celebrate Id-ul-Fitr, the end of Ramadan. Ramadan is a month where Muslims fast during daylight hours. Therefore this festival is at night so it is dark.

To make kaimati we took one cup lukewarm milk (ok I microwaved it since didn't realize it needed to be lukewarm until we needed it), one teaspoon dried yeast and a pinch of sugar and put them all in a bowl and let it sit for 10 minutes. I should add that our dough did not really rise so I think this may have been due to the wrong temperature for the milk and another little mistake we made.
Next Hazel beat an egg and added it to the yeast mixture. Hazel was a bit sloppy in her mixing and spilled a bit of the liquid (this was another minor mistake).

Then we mixed together 1 cup of flour and a teaspoon of salt (ok this is our second mistake. It was suppose to be 3 and 3/4 cups of flour!) Then we added the liquid and realized our mistake and added more flour. Then you get to mix with your hands and kneed a bit.
After adding the flour I found the mixture to be too dry (and would not mix in), so I added some more milk. It still was dry, but at least it was all mixed. Then you let it rise for two hours. (I went to church while it was rising.) Then you deep-fry it in oil by dropping spoonfuls into the oil. I used  canola oil in my large saute pan and ours was so dry I formed balls and dropped them in. When they came out you rolled them in sugar or grated coconut. I gave Steve the job of rolling. He actually liked them in both, but the coconut I bought was not fine enough for this.
Even with our mistakes, they were quite tasty. However I think I would try one of the recipes I found on line the next time. From Food Buzz. From the blog Kenyan Food. From Susan Kamau's Kenyan Kitchen (this one is most similar to the recipe I followed, but adds cardamom). I should add that we did go through the book and read the pages about Kenya's people and food and looked at all the different pictures throughout it. Hazel enjoyed this as well. (We did this during the ten minutes of letting the yeast turn frothy.)
Next we took a craft from Around-the-World Art & Activities by Judy Press. I was actually hoping to get two crafts from this book in today, but it didn't happen. Hazel was a bit tired and cranky between being sick and getting up early. We did however talk about the second craft which was to make zebras out of envelopes. I told her how Kenya was one of the places zebras live.

We made Masai "Beaded" Necklaces out of paper plates. This is a very easy craft. you cut a hole in the center of the plate trying to leave a wide brim. Then you are suppose to use the back of a paintbrush to make different color dots all over it. We did this in our family room so we used crayons on one and her dot markers on another. Hazel even let me get some pictures of her with them on. She hates when I take her picture unless I say it is for one of her grandparents.

The book did a nice job of saying the Masai men and women wear this very beautiful but very heavy jewelry. It also shows that the Masai live in Kenya and North central Tanzania. For more information about the Masai people please visit The Masai of Kenya site. To see pictures of these beautiful necklaces visit the Maasai Art and Beads Association site.

The final piece of information I will share with you today from Kenya comes from Hands Around the World by Susan Milord. This book has a different activity for each of the 365 days of the year to learn about different cultures. On January 14th it discusses the different customs in naming babies. Among some Kenyan groups a firstborn daughter is always named after her father's mother. A second daughter would be named after her mother's mother. I just found that interesting. It discusses many different cultures traditions. Most of it is for older children and this was the only mention of Kenya in the book, but definitely an interesting book.

What do you do to teach your child about different cultures and to be more accepting of diversity?

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Owl Graduation Gift

There is still plenty of time to share at Sharing Saturday! Please stop by and check out all the wonderful ideas already shared and share your child-oriented crafts and/or activities. I am also collecting ideas for teacher gift ideas. Please stop by the link party to share any and all that you have!

Special Announcement: 

I'm so excited to be a part of this. Fifteen + wonderful bloggers/blogs are getting together to host a Virtual Summer Book Club. Each month an author will be chosen and all you have to do to participate is read one book by the author and do a craft tied to the book. Then come back here the third Monday of the month and link your post about it to our link party. The author for June is Mo Willems. (I know we are having trouble choosing just one book!)

Now back to our normal post...
Today we were suppose to go to a graduation party for the main person who runs the nursery at my church. She and her sister also babysit for us, and often Hazel is one of the only children in the nursery at church so she loves getting the attention of the high school girls. Since we went to the doctor yesterday and found out Hazel does have a bug that is going around and is still contagious we did not get to go to the party. However, we do have a gift for her. While on Pinterest, I saw something that was an owl and it said "Owl miss you." (The pin came from Lisa Storms Blog.)It hit me that we would do something owl related and make a card from Hazel with that on it. I thought of making one of the toilet paper roll owls and filling it with candy hugs and kisses (like this one on Clean & Sensible), but wanted to do something more.

I went looking for a good owl pattern or picture that I could make a pattern from and somehow came to We All Sew and this pattern by Ashley Johnston. Now that said, I found this pattern through another blogger, but for some reason I did not save the link and cannot find it again. She had made a smaller version of Ashley Johnston's pattern. I saved the pattern but it does not have a source on it. If you are the blogger, please let me know! I did add buttons to the inner eyes as well and made the front a pocket. figuring it might be a good place for a college student to hide something she doesn't want anyone else to find.

Next we made a card. I used Printshop and made this. I had Hazel color the front. Here is the card in pdf form in case you would like to use it (I changed the fonts a bit, but it is basically the same). Sorry the front of it is so blurry. You can see it a bit better in the next picture. I also picked up an owl necklace at one of the craft stores for $1 and helped Hazel make it. We punched a hole in the card an attached it.
I will bring it to church tomorrow to give to her since we couldn't go to the party. Today it poured so I was kind of happy to have a stay-at-home day. How was your Saturday?

This is where I link up...

Sharing Saturday #22

What amazing ideas were shared last week. Once again I had a hard time choosing only a few to feature! If you have not had a chance to check them out, please go visit and leave some comments!

Come join the Summer Virtual Book Club for Kids.  I have joined 15+ other blogs/bloggers to start a summer virtual book club for our kids. Each month a different author will be featured and to join all you have to do is read a book to your child or have your child read a book by this author. Do an activity inspired by the book and then come share that activity here on June 18th! The June author is Mo Willems. Will you join us in reading one of his amazing books this month? I know I went to our local library today and with the help of our amazing children's librarian checked out six Mo Willems books and have several more on hold. The children's librarian loves his books and had so many suggestions for me and Hazel.

Ok, back to Sharing Saturday...

Most Clicked:
We had a tie for the most clicked.

A Few of My Favorites:

From Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational: Ruler of the Ruler (Ok, I'm showing my math geekiness here, but how fun!!)

From Babylandia:): Crazy Bridge (Love this balance game that you can play with things you have in your house!)

If you were featured here, please feel free to get a Featured button here and display it with pride on your blog! Please visit my co-host, Mama Mia's Heart2Heart to see her features!

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 Now for This Week's Party
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All right everyone...This is a PARTY!! Have Fun!!