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Thursday, March 25, 2010

50 States Postcard Exchange - COMPLETE!!!

WHOO-HOO!

WE ARE DONE! FINISHED! COMPLETE! PAU! OWARI! FINITO!

YES! You read that right! We have collected postcards from all 50 states (well, 49 - we didn't ask for one from our home state), Washington D.C. as well as one from Italy! In all we have collected 80 postcards! The last few postcards were tough....but lo and behold friends and even complete strangers came to our rescue. THANK YOU!

Another person would like to thank you as well:

video

She's normally not so shy....and she doesn't really talk in monotone..... :)

I'm still in a bit of disbelief that we attempted this project and completed it! The whole process took about six months and most of the soliciting of postcards was done online via Blogger, Facebook and my mom's groups. I would encourage anyone who is thinking about doing something similar to GO FOR IT! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

There are so many people to thank! If you sent us a postcard (or two or three) or asked your friends and family to help, we thank you!!!

By the way - if you sent us a postcard (and included your return address) but have yet to receive a postcard from us please let me know. You can leave a comment here or send me an email at SHARKritzler@aol.com . While I tried to stay on top of what was received, sent, uploaded, etc. there were still moments in time were things got a little hectic. We certainly don't want to overlook anyone that helped us with this GINORMOUS project!
Oklahoma & South Dakota - we recently received yours and a return one is on the way!

So what's next? Well, Kailani said she now wants to collect one from all the countries of the world! *Sigh* I think we'll put that idea on the back burner for now!

Thanks again! :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Letter B....

Two weeks ago the Honolulu Mommies started a series of play dates called, "ABC & Me." The intention of these play dates is to introduce a letter of the alphabet to our preschool kids (ages 1-4ish) via crafts, games, story time, etc. This is something I've been wanting to do with Momo but have kept it on the backburner for awhile now. I jumped at the opportunity to participate.

At our first get together we started with the obvious, letter "A." It was fun and the kids really enjoyed it. I went ahead and volunteered to do "B." Scary. It's been awhile since I did any kind of teaching but everything went fine. (And when I did start to stress I just reminded myself that these were preschoolers - they are truly not going to notice if I make a mistake or forget something!)

After a quick review of "A" I introduced "B" and it's sound. I brought a box full of items that start with the letter "B" such as a bunny, basket, ball, bubbles, blanket, etc. and then read (actually had my 7-year old helper read) "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do You See." After each "....what do you see?" the kids repeated the line. It was really cute. We then followed up with a related craft.

I had already made some bears on craft sticks so all the kids had to do was repeat what I said and then glue/stick the corresponding item onto the bear. Such as:

"Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see.....":
  • I see a bow stuck on me...
  • I see a band-aid on my knee...
  • I see buttons stuck on me....
  • I see a butterfly flying next to me....
  • and then finally, I see the letter "B" on me....

Momo hard at work. (Thanks to Stephanie for the picture!)

No...the pictures is not backwards. The "B" is. ;)

The end result was really cute! I have to thank Katie from Katie's Nesting Spot for the great idea! Can't wait to see what "C" Brings!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sunday, March 21, 2010

King's Hawaiian Bread - Mini Turkey & Cheese Sandwiches


Growing up as a military brat I spent a majority of my childhood living in Japan. My father was in the Air Force and at times had to go TDY (temporary duty assignment) back to the United States. On occasion I remember him bringing back King's Hawaiian Sweetbread - you know, the kind in the round pan? We wouldn't even cut slices - we'd just tear off big hunks of bread and eat it.

Now I have kids of my own and guess what? Surprise, surprise....they love King's Hawaiian bread as well. It's a toss-up though, between the original sweet bread and the savory butter! The rolls are the perfect size for mini sandwiches!

One of my favorite sandwiches to make for potlucks is mini turkey and cheese sandwiches with a poppy seed topping. The recipe can be found via AllRecipes - but I'll post it here as well. The original recipe calls for chopped ham but I substitute chopped turkey. I also always use King's Hawaiian bread - "Savory Butter". Here's the recipe:

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp dried minced onions
2 Tbsp prepared mustard
2 Tbsp poppy seeds
1/2 cup butter, melted
24 dinner rolls - I prefer 2 packages of King's Hawaiian savory butter
1/2 lb chopped turkey
1/2 lb thinly sliced Swiss cheese (I use 1/2 slice of Swiss cheese per sandwich)

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a small mixing bowl combine onion flakes, mustard, poppy seeds and butter.
  3. Split each dinner roll. Make a sandwich of the ham and cheese and the dinner rolls. Arrange the sandwiches on a baking sheet. Drizzle the poppy seed mixture over the sandwiches.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese has melted. Serve warm. (They reheat well - that is IF you have any leftovers!)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Best Way to Get Your Kid's Attention.....

Is to sit comfortably on the couch. At least that's what a local newscaster said recently.

While he has a good point I think a better way to get your kid's attention is to get on the phone. Am I right or what? It seems like the minute I make or receive a phone call my kids have an emergency right at that exact moment in time. Granted, to them an emergency usually consists of wanting to eat or drink something (or to excitedly tell me that my favorite commercial is on tv!) To me an emergency is that someone is choking, bleeding, puking, not breathing or that something has caught on fire. Other than that it can wait until I get off the phone.

Well, I'm on the phone yesterday and my dear, sweet Kailani instinctively has an "emergency" and comes to me with it. Trying to be polite (I totally will acknowledge that) she mouths to me what she wants and adds some hand motions. I motioned back to her to write it down. This is what she can up with:


Please note the green crayon markings put on after the fact. Momo wanted some guava jelly too.

Love it. ;)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Honolulu Festival - A Cultural High!

When people ask what I love about Hawaii my answer is usually (not in any particular order):
  1. The beauty of the islands (you wouldn't believe the vibrant colors of the sky, ocean, trees, mountains, etc!)
  2. The weather
  3. The people
  4. The culture
  5. The food
  6. The music....
This past weekend included all of the above! We attended the Honolulu Friendship Festival which is a cultural event celebrating the friendship between the people of Hawaii and those of the Pacific Rim region including China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Australia, Samoa, Tahiti, Alaska and a few more. Can you say a cultural high?!?

I was totally feeling the love! Here are some pictures.....

The girls wore their "Happi" coats and participated in the "Electric Slide"...


One of my favorite performances by Kaze-Damari

The taiko drums were LOUD....Momo made use of the fans as ear plugs.

Festival equals cotton candy (on some wooden chopsticks, of course!)

The girls made a "hachimaki"...

They got dressed up in yukatas (summer kimonos)...

And they fished for water yo-yos...

On Sunday there was a huge parade down Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki. It lasted a good 2.5 hours or so!

Waiting patiently for the parade to begin.

BIG Dragon!

Flat Stanley came along with us. He wanted to dance with the beautiful ladies from Korea!


Countless number of hula dancers....mostly from Japan!

Carrying a beautiful mikoshi.....

Momo SQUEALED when she saw this pineapple mikoshi. Why?
Because SpongeBob lives in a pineapple (of course!)



More performers.....

The Hirosaki Neputa float all lit up....

The grand finale....and it was GRAND!

I definitely got me some culture! ;)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Flat Stanley

At the Beach.....

Flat Stanley - have you heard of him? If you are an elementary school teacher or parent of school age kids you probably have. If you haven't you eventually will!

Flat Stanley is based on a children's book by Jeff Brown. The story is about a young boy who becomes flattened when a bulletin board falls on top of him. Stanley makes the best of his new physique and travels the world via an envelope through the postal system. He has amazing adventures!

We are fortunate to have Stanley visiting us right now. We've been taking him with us wherever we go and have been taking pictures along the way. With spring break starting only hours from now we are looking forward to really treating Stanley to some fun in the sun before he has to return to Illinois!


Have you ever played host to Flat Stanley? Would love to hear some of the things you did with him! Leave me a comment!

For more information and/or if you want to participate in the Flat Stanley project click
here.

Playing some miniature golf....

Hanging out with some carnival animals (getting smothered by a monkey!)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

One. More. Postcard.

SOUTH DAKOTA!!!

Looking for a South Dakota postcard to complete our 50 States Postcard Exchange! Anyone?

In my last postcard update I mentioned that we needed four more postcards: Delaware, Mississippi, Oklahoma and South Dakota. Since then we have received all but South Dakota! Thank you so much to those of you that sent them in! We were also lucky to receive additional postcards from Indiana, Oregon, Nebraska and Arizona. If you provided your return address Kailani will be sending you a postcard in return (she is working on them as I write up this post!)

Just one more! Who can help?

Many many thanks again to those of you that have contributed to this project!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Etsy? Not Quite Yet......


Did I open my Etsy shop?

No. Not yet. Maybe not ever? I don't know. There is never enough time to do all the sewing I want to do....but I have been getting some sewing done.

Soon after Momo's birthday party ended I was given the opportunity to be a tester for a pattern designer. Since the pattern is now under going some modifications I can't really go into details about it but after it's debut I will post some pictures! The dress turned out really cute and it was such a great experience to be a part of the process!

Immediately after making the test dress I then began making the Mother's Little Helper Reversible Apron that I was giving away on my blog. I wasn't kidding when I said it would be hot off the machine! When that one was done I started on another - this time for my daughter's school for their Spring Fling celebration. Not sure if they will sell it at their Country Store or put it in the silent auction. Either way I'm happy that I was able to donate something (besides my time - wait a minute. Sewing DOES take time!)

I'm really happy with the way this one turned out - especially since I'm quite fond of the fabric!



(Slipping off her hips......)

And did you notice in the first picture - I managed to sew one of my labels into the pocket! I'm a little tickled about it!

Duty calls. Will update next about the postcard exchange!