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JUMP: Summer 2011 Playlist

4 Aug

I have very fond memories of summers as a teenager – laying out at the lake, slicked up with baby oil for the optimum tan, lemon juice in my hair to try to encouraged sun-kissed highlights in my brunette permed hair, Poison blasting from the boombox.  Now that I’m an adult, some things have changed – I no longer have the time to dedicate to the pursuit of the perfect tan, baby oil has been replaced with SPF one million, and I finally have the streaky hair I always desired thanks to my hair stylist (who does not use lemon juice).  But the one thing that has not changed is that I still love to hear music blasting through the summer air, even when it no longer pours out of a boombox.

This mix is perfect for the summertime – for both kids and adults.  It is guaranteed to enhance your tan, make you jump the wake just a bit higher, and will totally streak your hair. [Note: it will do none of those things]

Big Awesome Bonus: Martin wrote the poem on the cover of this playlist.  I said, “It’s terrific.”  He answered, “It’s just what I do, mom.”  He was talking about the activities, but I meant the attitude. 

Printable CD Cover (designed for slim jewel cases): JUMP Summer 2011 Printable Playlist

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Shelf Markers

28 Jun

We’ve been very lucky over the years to amass quite a collection of books.  It seems like everywhere we turn, there are stacks and piles on counters, in bags, and next to beds.  After collecting books from all kinds of places and attempting to organize them on shelves, it occurred to me just how many books have been going unread.  Books that used to be old favorites have been replaced by new ones, some that we’ve read a few times were set aside in favor of books from the library.  And while I’m not too particular about WHAT the kids are reading, and am mostly just glad that they ARE reading, I felt like we’ve been neglecting a pretty good collection. 

“Bet you couldn’t read every book on these shelves this summer,” I said.

“Bet I could,” answered Sophie.

And that bet turned into our own summer reading program – Shelf Markers. 

We made a deal – read an entire shelf of books, and I’ll pay $10.00.  They could organize the books in any way they wanted, as long as all the books in our collection were placed on one of three shelves.  After much discussion, they settled on placing the longest books all on one shelf, and split the rest of the books so that there would be subjects of interest to both kids on each of the two remaining shelves.  They determined the best strategy would be to try to fully complete one shelf at a time in order to maximize the payout. 

To track our progress, we made Shelf Markers.  As each book is finished, it is placed to the left of the Shelf Marker and the name of the book is written on the back.  This allows us to get a quick visual for how far we’ve come, and the names on the back eliminate the temptation to try to trick me into thinking we’ve read more than we actually have.

The kids and I all take turns reading the books, mostly depending on how tired we are.  So far, we’re only issuing credit for those books we’re reading aloud, but that could change as the summer progresses.  I’m all about following the rules, even when they are self-imposed and new ones are created frequently.

An artistic note: we made our Shelf Markers using manilla folders, crayons, pencils, and markers.  We chose to make them into the shape of arms because we wanted them to be long enough to stand out past the books on the shelves, and once we got started, they just looked armlike, so we added hands.  I’m sure lots of great art is created that way.

Kid Sports Cards

15 Jun

In the evenings, I try to stay off of the computer, but sometimes I just need to get a few things done.  This was the case last night, and in an effort to find a task that would keep the kids busy and happy while in my office we created Kid Sports Cards.   Designed to be just like a baseball or football trading card, these little cards fit inside a plastic sleeve.  And here’s where the busy part comes in – it takes a lot of careful cutting to cut out Kid Sports Cards then patience to stuff them into the plastic sleeves.

How To:
1. Using a graphics program, remove the background from the photo. 
2. Standard card size is 2.5 w x 3.5 h.  Setup a file using these dimensions, then added the cutout image of the person. 
3. Add a background with a gradient or pattern and let the kids choose their own background colors.
4. Lastly, add text with their names and a bit of text they can write themselves (guess which part that is).
5. Create a sheet with six cards on each, and print enough sheets to keep them busy while they cut and stuff the cards into little plastic sleeves.

Alternate How To (for Susan):
1. Send me a photo of your boys and I’ll send you printable sheets.