Thursday, March 27, 2008

Origami Day

Crafts and projects of all kinds are much enjoyed in our house... Today, I introduced the kids to origami by making the easiest thing I could imagine... a frog. All you need is a 3x5 card and a kid (or more) who is bored :D I'm also posting directions to make paper roses, because I think they're neat. Probably too difficult for little kidlets, but wanted to post something difficult too. You can click on links in the individual instructions to see very detailed images of each step of both projects, which should make them easier to complete. Enjoy!

My bored kids ;)

S and J trying to fold their frogs... I pretty much had to do S's for her, but J did a few of the folds quite on his own (which suprised me for some reason)

Any time markers are out in our house it's cause for celebration - I tend to be stingy with them, S is messy (click the picture to see the blue marker stains on the front of her shirt). But what two-year-old isn't? I should lower my standards... or apron them or something. hehe

My finished froggie. It's supposed to be a red-eyed tree frog, but instead it just looks creepy.
Posted by Picasa

Jumping Frog

From , the How To manual you can edit!
Origami Jumping Frog
(click this link to see the original article, complete with pictures to help explain in more thorough detail)

Origami can be a fun activity for people of all ages. This easy-to-make jumping frog can be made in about three minutes and can provide hours of entertainment. The sturdiness of the index card makes the frog jump higher and last longer than if you make an origami jumping frog from regular paper. With a few friends and a few more frogs, you can play games like seeing whose frog can jump the farthest or race frogs seeing who can reach the finish line first.


  1. Place a 3" by 5" index card on the table in a portrait orientation (long sides to the left and right).
  2. Fold the top-right corner of the card diagonally (down and left) until the top of the card meets the left side. The result will look like the figure.
  3. Unfold the card.
  4. Fold the top-left corner of the card diagonally (down and right) until the top of the card meets the right side.
  5. Unfold the card. This will result in an X-shape on the upper portion of the card as shown in the figure.
  6. Grasp the right and left edges of the card between your thumb and forefinger at the midpoint of the triangles and fold the two sides inward (your thumbs will touch).
  7. As the top portion of the card folds inward, press it the rest of the way down. The card should resemble a house (see figure).
  8. Grasp the right corner of the resulting triangle and fold the "wing"upward to the top corner of the triangle.
  9. Fold the left "wing" upward to the top corner of the triangle as well.
  10. Fold the right edge of the "house" into the middle so that the right edge meets the vertical center line.
  11. Fold the left edge of the "house" into the middle so that the left edge meets the vertical center line.
  12. Fold the bottom of the card up to meet the top and then back again to meet the new fold at the bottom.
  13. Turn the frog over; it should open up a bit.
  14. Using the tip of your index finger, press the "butt" of the frog down slightly and release; the frog will jump.


  • After completing a fold, run your thumbnail across the fold while pressing firmly to ensure it is crisp and flat.
  • Larger card stock can be used to make a larger frog. However, if the proportions are not 3:5 trim it down using scissors or a paper cutter.
  • Green card stock will make a more realistic-looking frog.
  • Markers can be used to decorate your frog.


  • Scissors and paper cutters can be dangerous. Keep fingers and clothing away from cutting parts. Parental supervision is advised.

Things You'll Need

  • One 3" by 5" index card.

Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world's largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Make an Origami Jumping Frog from an Index Card. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Paper Rose

From , the How To manual you can edit!
How to Fold a Paper Rose (click this link to see the original article, complete with pictures to help explain in more thorough detail)

The simple art of origami may be regarded as pure personal enjoyment, but some may say there are deeper meanings to the art. Since the paper rose signifies everlasting beauty, it can be given to a significant other to impress them or win them over. The following instructions are for an origami rose designed by Toshikazu Kawasaki.


  1. Obtain some colorful, square paper (see "Things You'll Need").
  2. Face the colorful side of the paper up towards you.
  3. Fold the square in half so that the decorated side of the paper is folded inside. Open up the paper, turn it over, and draw a black line along the crease of the back side. (The colorful side will be the color of your rose, and that is why lines are drawn on the back (plain) side, so that they will not be seen).
  4. Fold the lower and upper half in half again, so that the square is equally divided into four parts. Color these creases.
  5. Rotate the paper and repeat the last two steps, so that now you have 16 little squares.
  6. Fold the paper diagonally both ways. You should have two lines dividing the paper diagonally, giving you four triangles. This is shown with red lines.
  7. Fold the paper in half.
  8. Fold the lower half up one third.
  9. Open up the paper and rotate it 90 degrees. Repeat the last two steps. This is shown with green lines.
  10. With each corner, fold black and red lines upwards (valley folds) and green lines inwards (mountain folds).
  11. Press down on the horizontal and vertical parts counter-clockwise gently, leaving the middle standing out.
  12. Press down on the four corners of the center part and it should turn into a tiny flat square.
  13. Turn the paper around so that the colorful side faces up.
  14. Use labels. To make it easier to understand, label the four parts, then lift up the fourth (lower right) square and rotate it 90 degrees, counterclockwise, to the left vertical border of square two.
  15. Make sure the two borders align exactly.
  16. Rotate around to each square and repeat the last two steps with all four squares.
  17. Round up all four sides, and now you have the basic shape of the rose in your hand.
  18. Flip the rose upside down. Now you are looking into the inside of the rose.
  19. Fold down the petals one by one.
  20. Once you reach the last petal, tuck it under the gap beneath the previous petal.
  21. Turn it over. Now you have a pretty rose. You can add a stem for it, using wire and a few pieces of leaves with green paper. Now you are done!


  • To make it look more realistic, use a thin round pen as a curling tool to curl up the four petals. alternatively you could use a chopstick or if you have one you could use a knitting needle for a tighter curl.
  • Consider using recycled paper; it's better for the environment.

Things You'll Need

  • You can use any square piece of paper to fold this rose, although it will be easier if you use one that you can distinguish the front and back side of the paper clearly.
  • The type of paper used in this demonstration has two sides. The colorful side is the front side of the paper.
  • The side with only one color is the back side of the paper.

Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world's largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Fold a Paper Rose. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Part 1

We had a very fun, impromptu Easter celebration at my hubby's Mom and Dad's house last Saturday - we drove down to pick up MY Mom to bring her up to our house to spend a week with us before Easter, and we spent part of the day having supper and playing around before coming back up.

The kids each got an Easter bag filled with all kinds of fun goodies - each received Crayola Color Wonder Soft Sticks and some coloring pages to go with them, a book with a sweet and simple discussion about what Easter is really about, some jellybeans (each color with a Christian meaning), a pen with a plush lamb topper and a cute spiral notebook to go with it.

We spent the next week talking about what Easter means and watched the Veggie Tales Easter Carol a few times, it's pretty sill but does such a great job at sharing the real message with little kids.

There are more pictures to follow from Easter Sunday, and as always - you can click the little pictures to make them larger.
Posted by Picasa

Easter Part 2

We felt very blessed to have family come visit us for Easter this year! This was the first holiday that my hubby and I have entertained guests, and it was so much fun to be able to prepare a meal for our loved ones.

We attended church at Faith Reformed Church and it was a really nice service, presented in a unique way that was refreshing and interesting. This church is set up differently than any other place we've been, there's a main sanctuary (the one we went on Sunday) where the Pastor preaches in person, and there are also satellite churches where his message is broadcast onto a large screen via projector, but each satellite has it's own unique worship service (one is traditional, another is contemporary, etc). This next week we plan to check out the contemporary service.

Our supper was awesome - we had a relish tray (prepared by my cousin Nat - olives, two kinds of pickles, crackers, cheese and later refilled with strawberries and powdered sugar and sliced green pepper) Virginia Smoked Ham (which my Mom glazed with Coke, honey dijon mustard, and brown sugar - YUM), my own secret versions of green bean casserole and cheesy potatoes (or wedding potatoes, depending on who you're talking to), crescent rolls, and Heath Trifle (my Grandma's recipe, made by my Aunt G) for dessert. I think we all ate too much, and I still have left overs in the fridge!

The kids had fun coloring eggs with food coloring markers, and then got to open their Easter Baskets. They each got a cute coin bank, J got a frog that ribbets when you drop in a coin and S got an elephant that trumpets when you feed it coins. They each got a candy item, too - and some coins for their banks.

God Bless!
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Links We Like

I added a few links to my sidebar today to share with all of you - Sing, Spell, Read & Write (SSRW), Mark Kistler's Draw 3-D and Math Mammoth. I've been using SSRW for a little while now with J and he's been really taking off with reading - at the same time, S has been picking up a lot of I'm teaching and the other day I heard the two of them singing the alphabet together! She also is familiar with a lot of the letter sounds, and when we go through the chart of letters together she echoes the sounds (think "a, a, apple... b, b, ball..."). She surprised me the other day by counting to ten, and again tonight while playing hide & seek she did it with Daddy but instead of echoing the numbers he was saying it was Daddy who was echoing S! I'm pretty impressed with her lately - she's a bright one!

We've been using Mark Kistler's book, Imagination Station (which we loaned from the library and will most likely be purchasing at least one copy of) as part of our art lessons lately and it has really been a HUGE hit in our house. Not only are they learning how to draw, they are learning to be positive and self confident! We also watch Mark on PBS when we get the chance, but we often aren't home when he's on the air so we use his YouTube channel a lot - can't recommend it enough, especially for those of you who are convinced you can't draw (I know you're out there!)

I'm planning on purchasing the 1st Grade math from Math Mammoth for J soon, and I'm going to use it with a couple of books I just ordered from Family Math for Young Children, Comparisons and Family Math, Equals Series because I'm hoping to keep it interesting, both for his sake AND mine! :)

I ordered two other books with those Math books, Games for Writing and The Beginner's Bible, which J insists on carting around everywhere and "reads" CONSTANTLY: he love love loves the pictures and the stories are brief enough that he keeps asking me to keep reading and reading, this is such an awesome thing to hear, "Mommy, can we read my Bible now?" I plan to choose a story or two a week and really focus on it, maybe finding coloring pages or other crafts or some other information like maps or anything I can find... I'm excited to have a good jumping off point for our Bible lesson part of school. Even S will sit and listen to the stories, they're well written and are quite engaging. I can't wait until J can read through one on his own, it will be great to have him "teach" some of school to his Sis.

I know I generally don't get too wordy, but I guess I'm making up for it today! :D

Theatre Performance

Well, the kiddos had their last day of theatre for Winter Session on Tuesday, and the performance was so adorable. Here are some pictures for you to enjoy - Enjoy! :)

They did all their warm up exercises like pretending to be happy or sad, then they pretended to be having a picnic and they unpacked all the things from their 'heavy' baskets and tasted their PB&J and pretended it was sour (imagine all the cute "sour" faces!). Then they acted out "I'm Being Eaten by a Boa Constrictor" by Shel Silverstein using the parachute, when they say "Oh dread, it's eaten my head!" they all get under the parachute and giggle about the 'stinky snake belly' then "tickle" him to escape (which consists of pushing all over on the parachute so that it flutters all over the place, always a kid pleaser!).

Then they learned a new little thing on the spot (a little song that goes "I know a chicken/and she laid an egg/oh my goodness!/it was a shaky egg!" and then they drop a plastic Easter Egg with beans or something inside to 'lay' an egg, then pick it up and shake it fast or slow, depending on what the song said) so here's a video of that:

After that, we went up onto the "big stage" where Ms. Kat showed them all about the stage, the different parts, explained how the set was designed and how it was made... then they did a cute little play called The Big Bad Pig and the Little Wolves which Ms. Kat pretty much made up... basically, one little girl played the Pig and everyone else was a Wolf. The Set was a cardboard box, with each side representing a different kind of house: 1. Mac & Cheese, 2. Grass, 3. Rocks, 4. Flowers, which make the Pig become nice when she smells them and then they're all friends.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Here's a quick little video I put together when the kidlets were helping me fix supper one night. I think J has a knack for being cute, er... acting ;)

Friday, March 7, 2008

Cooking, Unmixed

Just a warning, this one is kind of long but too cute not to share!