Caterpillar Puzzle

Recently, Aiden has been playing with this caterpillar puzzle from Leap Frog given to him by his Aunt Heather.  It is helping him to learn his numbers.

We first put the puzzle in order.  I ask Aiden to find a number, and then he or I put it in the correct spot.  {He attempts to place the puzzle piece correctly.  If it doesn’t immediately go where it should he asks me to place it.  We’re working on this…}

After the numbers are in order {or whenever Aiden feels like it}, he places the words into the puzzle.  I read a word to him and he finds the corresponding number.  More often, he matches the colors to find the correct placement.

We also count the critters that are on each of the pieces.

Come back tomorrow to see how we made our own version of the puzzle!

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A Tour

I wanted to give you a tour of my blog to give you a better picture of what I blog about and to showcase some of my older posts you might not have read yet.  This is especially useful if you are viewing the mobile version of my site or if you seeing my posts in a reader.

If you are viewing the full version of the site, you’ll notice the menus under the header.  (In the mobile version, you should find those at the very bottom.)

Adventures with Aiden:  Here’s where I blog about all things toddler.  You can find indoor activities, nature adventures, reading and learning time, and Saturday Morning science.  Do you need a fun way to practice learning colors with your little one?  Try creating a rainbow out of your toys.

Creative Attempts:  Don’t you just love this title?  You’ll find my crafting and design adventures along with toddler art and family recipes.  Have you seen the heart-shaped cheese crackers yet?  I’ve placed the printables I’ve created in the this section, too.

Trisha’s Thoughts:  In this section, I blog a lot about my faith.  You’ll also find a section I call parenting choices – it’s about decisions we make as parents.  There’s randomness in my thoughts section as well.

Next, you have to check out my right sidebar.  {You’ll have to go to the full site to do this.}

At the top you’ll find all the ways you can contact me.

Then, you find a search box and a list of my recent posts.  Would you like to have Clarion Wren sent to your e-mail?  Sign up in the box on the right.  You can also follow me on Bloglovin and Pinterest or Google+ my page.

Next, you’ll find my awesome sponsors.
PawTrackers Boot Wraps is my sister-in-laws brainchild.  They are super cool.  Why buy several pairs of boots when you can just wrap them to change their look?
I swap buttons with Small Bird Studios and The Williams Post.  You should really check them out.  Interested in swapping or sponsoring – let me know!

Scroll down and you can find some of my most popular posts and my archives.
No Bake Lasagna {uses the best marinara or meat sauce ever}.
Need some ideas to beat the rainy day {or stuck inside winter} blues.
Have you read the Focus on Reading Series my friend, Rachel {a speech-language pathologist} wrote.  Rachel shared strategies for reading to our young children.  I added a list of books for each reading stage and a DIY picture book idea.

Last fun tidbit:  Did you know that I have CommentLuv enabled on Clarion Wren?  That means when you post a comment, you have the option of adding a link to one of your recent posts.  I love to check out what other people are writing.

What are some of your favorites posts {of mine or yours}?
Is there anything about Clarion Wren I should change?

Thanks for taking the tour!
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A Blogging Party!

To start the first month of 2012 off right, Casey, Danielle, &  Alycia decided to throw a Photobucket

Everyone that wanted to participate got paired up.  My partner is Kristan Lynn from adelynSTONE.  Have you met her yet?  She’s pretty awesome.

This showed up in my mailbox.

Don’t you just love the packaging?

She has a line of greeting cards.  So, of course, she sent me some!

My favorite is the dandelion happy thoughts.  I have a thing for dandelions these day.

Kristan also has some pretty neat business cards.  She shares in this post how to put the QR code on your business cards.

Here’s a close up of the packaging.  Kristan loves to crochet.  Isn’t it pretty paired with some ribbon and string?

And then I actually opened the package and see what I found?

A super awesome book!!  It is full of ideas on how to turn junk into perfect pieces for your home.  And did you notice the packaging?  She used a paper bag.  I heart this so much!  If we could teach everyone to reduce, reuse, and recycle, the world would be a better place. Kristan has other ideas for your brown paper bags as well.

I learned a lot about Kristan from this fun exchange.
I really like her blog.  It is one of my daily reads.

Kristan loves her kids.  It is obvious they are her top priority.

She loves bold colors.
Take a look at her outfit posts.
You’ll see what I mean.
I like what she wears although I don’t think I could pull off some of them.
She always looks great.

Kristan is an avid crafter.
Her blog is full of DIY ideas.

I really enjoyed getting to know Ms. Kristan Lynn through all this.
I think my favorite thing she shared about herself is the one word that describes herself.
Interested.
She loves to learn.
I find that pretty awesome. {Am I biased as a teacher? Maybe a little…}

Kristan is really sweet.
When she moves to Florida, I hope she moves near me.
Or at least close enough to visit and meet in person.
Until then, I’ll just have to follow her blog {and Twitter}.

Thanks for reading!
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Sponsor Spotlight: Imprintalish

Meet Lish from Imprintalish!

My name is Lish and I am the one and only behind Imprintalish. I created my blog in order to capture the small moments in life that might otherwise fly by. That was over two years ago and while I still stay true to why I started Imprintalish, my blog has grown tremendously since then and become more of a lifestyle blog with a focus on raising my two little munchkins! I love showcasing beautiful finds and inspiring photos, crafts, tutorials and everything in between! My Etsy shop specializes in Custom Digital Photocards and Photography Prints and was inspired by my love of blogging and photography. I hope you come on over and say hi, cause I love making new friends!

Blog & Etsy

Here’s a preview of some of my favorite prints from Imprintalish!

First, here’s one of Lish’s brand new prints – Snow Droplets on Grass. Isn’t it gorgeous? I love the unique perspective.

Source: Imprintalish

This is another new photograph from Imprintalish – Snow Covered Pine Branch.  I think the green is so vibrant.

Source: Imprintalish

And how about this one – Dandelion Wisps Blowing in the Breeze?  I am currently in love with dandelions prints and stencils…so of course, I heart this.

Source: Imprintalish

I’m all about the color in photographs.  Lish does an amazing job capturing the colors – like the Cherry Blossom Trees and the Macro Blueberry Bush – beautiful color!

Source: etsy.com

Clicking on any of the photographs above will take you straight to the Imprintalish Etsy shop.  Go grab one today!

Imprintalish also designs custom photo cards.  Think of Lish the next time you need some!

Have a beautiful day!
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Kenyan Tea Recipe & Gift Idea

When we were in Kenya, we had tea every day.  At VBS with the children, the milk and sugar was already added.  Everywhere else, we had to add it.  There are many different ways to make tea in Kenya.  We asked some locals to teach us how to make tea their way.  Here’s what they taught us:

Ingredients (per serving):
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of milk
1 tea bag (use Kenyan black tea – I’ve found that English Breakfast tea works well)
sugar to taste (I suggest sugar in the raw for a more authentic Kenyan tea.)

Directions:

  1.  Boil water.  Use a tea kettle if possible.  If not, be sure to remove water from heat as soon as it barely boils.
  2. While water is heating, heat the milk.  You can microwave it for 30 seconds to 1 minute or you can gently heat it on the stove.  You want the milk to be hot enough to steep the tea, but do not let it boil.  Try for around 200°F.
  3. Add a tea bag to your cup.
  4. Pour the warmed milk over the tea bag and allow it to steep for 3-5 minutes.
  5. Add the water.  Remove tea bag.
  6. Add sugar to taste.  Try 2 teaspoons of sugar and go from there.

Tea Sampler Gift Idea

Choose a jar. {I used a jelly jar.} Remove the label.  Soak in hot water to loosen the glue.  Scrub with hot water and soap.  Use nail polish remover (acetone or non-acetone varieties work) to remove the rest of the glue.  You could also use Goo Gone or something similar.

Choose a pretty piece of paper for the top.  You can use scraps of wrapping paper or scrapbook paper – whatever you like.  Mod podge the paper to the lid.  There’s a lot of tutorials on the web for this.  Here’s the one I used.

Source: designspongeonline.com via Trisha on Pinterest

Fill the jar with a variety of tea bags.

Tie a ribbon or piece of twine around the jar.

Write the recipe for Kenyan tea on a tag and tie it to the jar.

You now have a lovely little gift to give!

Tip Junkie handmade projects

taterots

One Artsy Mama
link party
whipper
Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special

Thanks for reading!

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Dress Up Fun

After Halloween is the perfect time to talk about playing dress up.  You can find costumes leftover from Halloween for a really good price.  They usually sell out after the price comes down the day after Halloween.  {Things to think about for next year.}

Aiden has so much fun dressing up in different costumes.  The ninja was this year’s costume.  The pumpkin was an after Halloween sale find.

The sword will be a fun prop long after he outgrows the costume.

The hat is too small, but Aiden likes to sit it atop his head anyway.

Aiden also loves playing with different hats (usually borrowed from Daddy).

This is a hat from my childhood. It’s one of Aiden’s favorites.

Of course, you can always add extra props to the costumes and hats.

Add a leftover bucket from Halloween and some leftover Easter eggs {what a combo!}, and you have a recipe for fun.

Don’t forget your trusty stead.

Fun with hats is not complete without a horse and a washcloth??

Aiden also enjoys borrowing other pieces of Daddy’s clothing and his shoes.  Although he tends to put the shoes on backwards (point in the wrong direction).

While you are out looking for leftover Halloween costumes, you can also stop by your local thrift store.  They’ll have items you can use for costumes as well.  Look for fun hats, animal ears, feather boas, and scarves to use as props.  Buy some button up shirts in a few sizes larger (or use some of your old clothes).  Let your imagination run wild.  You’ll have fun shopping for dress up clothes.  Your little one will have fun dressing up.

What tips or ideas do you have for playing dress up?

Goal for the Week: Fold the Laundry

Yes, I know what your thinking – your goal is to fold the laundry?  Well, it’s something I have been struggling with lately.  I really HATE to fold laundry.  Right now I have 4 full baskets of clean laundry.  I don’t mind washing it and drying it – that’s the easy part.  Folding laundry takes time.  Time I would rather spend doing something else.  I think part of my aversion also has to do with Aiden trying to help me fold the laundry.  He is a good helper with some things.  He loves to help empty the dishwasher – he puts away the silverware, stacks cups, and hands me other things to put away.  He is also a good helper when it comes to putting away groceries.  He takes things out of the bags and hands them to me, so I can put them away.  He is not, however, a good helper when it comes to folding laundry.  It’s not for lack of trying on his part.  He takes clothing out of the basket and hands it to me, but he does not wait for me to fold the item before he hands me something else.  I end up with a pile of clothes on my lap or on the floor.  Sometimes I get out 2 baskets – one full and one empty.  This helps a little.  He will place the clothing from one basket to another for a while.  Then, the clothes end up all over the place.  He also tries to help me place the clothing into my sorted piles.  He ends up knocking them over or unfolding them.  I am patient with him.  We say the names of the laundry items; we talk about their colors; we point out letters, numbers, shapes.  I try to give him tasks to do – fold up wash cloths.  He tries, but they just end up in a cute little pile.

This week it is my goal to fold the laundry (and to even let Aiden help).

Update on last week’s goal to keep the kitchen clean:
I met my goal.  {applause, please}  I kept the kitchen clean all week.  I did the dishes after every meal.  Even when I didn’t really feel like, I did it anyway.  It has now become part of my routine.  I like having my clean kitchen!

Your turn.  It’s time for you to set a goal.  What’s something that you want to work towards this week?  Start small.  Remember my first goal was to keep the kitchen clean – not the house.  The kitchen is the hardest room for me though and it bothers me the most when it is dirty.  So that’s where I started.  Little changes here and there to make a difference.  🙂