Sunday, March 29, 2009

Our new friend, Tad =)

Here's presenting to you, our new friend, Tad!

I was at the library a couple of weeks ago, and chanced upon a DVD - "Leapfrog : The letter factory". "Hmm ... darling son YW can learn something from this DVD" I thought. And he did! He learnt the sounds of all 26 letters after watching it once! We just love the songs and the story!

Ok, I have heard of Leapfrog products. I also know that the products are good. No, I do not buy these products, as they are too expensive.

I did a search on the internet, and realised that the DVDs were released in 2002. Quite a new product, especially the deluxe pack of 5 dvds released in 2006 (collection from 2002 - 2006). WOW! We went to the library website and reserved the other 4 DVDs!

The kids couldn't wait to watch it. The little one kept asking me "When are we getting the Words Factory?". Ha ha, he was really eager to watch it and learn something from it.

The Words Factory introduces the vowels and their sounds.
Vowels are like glue, they glue letters together and form words. Cool!

The Code Word Caper teaches the more complex stuff, like the silent E, sounding two vowels together and the blends.

I learnt from the DVD, that in the word CUTE, "E" is silent, and it forces the other vowel "U" to say it's other name .. which is letter "U" (not the phonics sound "U")!

I learnt that when two vowels are together, the second vowel is to keep quiet and let the first vowel say it's other name. Like "WAIT", you say letter "A" (not the phonics sound "A") and don't hear the "I" sound.

I learnt that "Y" likes to join the vowels at times, and let the vowels say it's other name (not the phonics sound). Like in the word "SAY" : Phonics sound "S", letter "A", silent "Y".

It's never to late to learn!
And I'm enjoying it!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Old Man "Winter" vs Lady "Spring"

This is not a picture taken in winter.
It is taken this evening. Yes, it's snowing again ... 

It is suppose to be Spring now, but Lady "Spring" is shy, and goes into hiding whenever Old Man "Winter" storms in .... 

I wonder if Sunny Boy "Summer" will stay long and brings with him plenty of sunshine, or will Old Lady "Autumn" moves in so quickly and scares Sunny Boy "Summer" away?

Will have to wait and see ... 

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Happy "Cow-One"!

I had the most wonderful birthday .. in the woods!

There was no need for me to cook dinner that night. We bought a roasted chicken from the supermarket, after getting the cake. All I need to do was to switch on the rice-cooker and blanch the spinach. 

I had a lovely cake, bought by hubby, chosen by darling sons. 
A chocolate cheesecake! Chocolate and cheese, my two favorite food!

I received three lovely cards, made by hubby dear and darling sons!

I also received a presents from the men in the house!
A notebook with the title "Recipe Book" from KW, a box of pink piglets paper clips from YW, and two strong magnets (a couple figure) for my fridge (my stuff on the fridge kept falling off each time I open the fridge door). 

What about the other cake in the photo? The one on the right?

Well, darlings sons were playing with our neighbour's daughter after school. They were so excited about buying a cake for me that they announced to the whole world "It's my Mom's birthday today!".

"We have to get you a present!" said the girl. 
So after our dinner, our neighbour and her kids came knocking on our door ... with a slice of home-baked cake and sang a birthday song for me!
I was so touched! 

Here's hugs and kisses for hubby dear and darling sons. 
Hugs for my neighbour and her kids, for taking the trouble in bringing over a slice of cake and a song ... I really appreciate it! 
I am grateful and thankful to have such wonderful neighbours =)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Picture Explanation

Darling son KW's friend was the student of the week.
When asked what the parents did at the session, he said "Volcanoes". 
About fluids flowing out of a hole in a volcano. 


Was it a messy demonstration? 
Was there a model volcano? 
Did they do an experiment with chemicals? 
We were really curious. 
Darling son tried to answer our many questions. 
In the end, we told him to explain using a diagram.
The above diagram was what he drew before he explained.

Do you understand the diagram?
Four legs to support the volcano model.
A straw (rectangle with strips in diagram) inserted to the base of the model.
A tube (rectangle under straw) attached to straw to hold the chemicals.
See the two arrows beside the tube?
That's the force you apply to squeeze the chemicals out of the tube, into the straw, and out of a hole in the volcano model. How about the up arrow at the opening of the volcano? 

Good diagram and good explanation from a 6 year old.
I am really pleased that he draw the arrows in, for the force to squeeze the fluid out of the tube. See the little man beside the volcano crying for HELP? Ha ha .... 

Sunday, March 22, 2009

More Doodling =)

The boys went home and continued with their doodling.
Do you know which one is done by the elder boy? 
Which one is done by the little one?

The one with the colourful sun is by KW.
The one with two persons is by YW. 

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Doodle Fun =)

Mom's kitchen is usually closed on weekends. 
This is so as to give the men a break from eating Mom's food ... 
LOL ...  I see heads nodding ... and to give Mom a break from cooking. 

One of our regular lunch-out place : Noodles & Company.

We were there again this afternoon.
The kids were given some crayons, stickers, and plain paper. 
At the end of our meal, this was what we got from them ... YW's family portrait (with some help from Mom) and KW's Land & Sea drawing. Do you see a man with two orange eyes sticking his head from the funny vehicle in the centre of the page with the Land & Sea drawing?

It was great fun to eat noodles and doodle!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Spring Forward, Fall Backwards

Spring forward, Fall backwards? Yes, for daylight saving.

In Spring (March), we adjust the clock forward by an hour.
In Fall (September), we tune it back an hour.

But Spring is reluctant in the woods.
The weather in the woods goes on a roller-coaster ride in March, with Winter battling to stay, while Spring forces its way in. We had a couple of sunny days last week, with temperature above zero. It was a much welcomed change from the bitter cold in Dec/Jan. However, the weekend came with a heavy downpour in the morning, and snow in the afternoon. Dense fog embraced the start of the week, and temperature seemed to be dipping again.

Is Spring coming, or is it not?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

It's-A-Snap Cheesecake

An all-time favorite with everyone at home!
I like to snack on one whenever I'm hungry.
It's easy to make too, and make a good snack for the boys after school.

Base of Cheesecake :

1 packet Honey Grahams Crackers
1 stick Butter, Melted
1 tsp Cinnamon (Optional)

1. Put the packet of crackers into a ziploc bag.
2. Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible.
3. Lay the bag flat on the table, crushed the crackers using a rolling pin.
4. Pour the finely crushed crackers into a big bowl.
5. Stir the melted butter into the crushed crackers.
6. Press down on pan lined with aluminium foil (or use a springform pan).
7. Set in refrigerator for about 30 mins, till firm.

Cake Filling :

1 packet (8 0z) Cream Cheese, Softened
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
1 envelope Knox Unflavoured Gelatine
1 cup Boiling Water
1/2 cup Sugar
Zest of 1 lemon

1. Mix gelatine with the cup of boiling water.
2. Stir till gelatine completely dissolves.
3. Add sugar to gelatine solution. Stir till sugar completely dissolves.
4. Beat cream cheese and vanilla in a large bowl with mixer until smooth.
5. Add the lemon zest.
6. Slowly beat in gelatine mixture. Pour into prepared crust.
7. Refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours.
8. Sprinkle with chocolate rice before serving.

Would you like a slice of the cake?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Bacon Sushi

Whenever we eat out at Sushi Box, a Japanese restaurant near our apartment, we will order sushi for the boys. The boys love sushi! When the grains of rice stick to the fingers of the little one, he will lick them off! He will use his fingers to pick up the ingredients that fall out from the sushi. His favourite sushi? Philadelphia Sushi. It comprises salmon and Philadelphia cream cheese.

So whenever I need the boys to finish their meal quickly, or for a convenient fuss-free packed lunch, I will pack sushi for them. I had some baked bacon left over from packing the lunch boxes for hubby and elder boy. The little one is forever eating so slowly when he is at home. So I mix finely chopped broccoli into sushi rice, fry an omelette, and add the crispy baked bacon (done the day before) and roll them into a sushi!

The little one finished his sushi lunch in a flash, while his mummy beamed in the kitchen =)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A Toasty Cold Sunday

It's a bright sunny Sunday morning.
No school, no packing of lunch boxes.

Don't be deceived by the bright sunny morning ... it's freezing outside, with a temperature of -13 degrees Celsius! Since there's no need to rush the kids through breakfast, I took my time to prepare toast for them.

The kids love the gingerbread man.
I used the gingerbread man cookie cutter to cut out the shape from a slice of bread. It's a waste to throw away the sides, so I took care not to break the sides when I cut. The slice of bread, after removing the cut-out gingerbread man, looked like a frame. The little one asked for cut-out hearts instead.

  • Butter the slice of bread.
  • Place the cookie cutter in the centre of the slice of bread.
  • Press the piece of cut-out bread, and the remaining of the bread onto a plate of grated parmesan cheese. Shake off excess cheese.
  • Place the bread on a cookie sheet.
  • Bake in oven at 35oF. I used the top heating element in the oven to brown the cheese, so that the top and bottom of the bread is browned.

Warm, crispy bread on a sunny cold Sunday morning!

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