Friday, April 30, 2010

Round 2 Game 1: Pens v Habs

The Canadiens pulled off an improbable upset. They were the last placed team that qualified for the playoffs. Yet the #8 Habs held off the #1 Caps and circumvented their own elimination not once, not twice, but 3 games in a row. That's impressive. But it's not the whole story...

The Canadiens won the series in large part because the Capitals failed. Miserably. All of them are guilty of playing without heart, none more so than their captain. There were two factors: 1. The Caps felt they had this one locked, and 2. they did not put forth the effort that is typical of a team united in a mission for glory. And so the Canadiens caught them with their pants down and ended their season.

But the Habs will find that the Penguins are a much different team than the Capitals.

Our #4 Penguins are the defending Stanley Cup champions. As such, the Boys already know what it takes to make it through all the way to a victorious end. And we know they are more than capable of doing it.

GO PENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Apostrophe: Poems of Address

I’ve done a number of posts for Wild Rose Reader about mask poems—which I love to write. My elementary school students enjoyed writing them too. My students also enjoyed writing poems of address in which they’d speak to the sun or moon or a planet…to a tree…or to different kinds of animals.

For the last Poetry Friday of National Poetry Month, I’d thought I’d turn to my attention to apostrophe—or poems of address.

Following is a poem of address that I wrote a couple of years ago for my unpublished collection entitled Docile Fossil—which contains poems about extinct animals, fossils, the La Brea Tar Pits, and dinosaur dung. In How Come? I’m talking to a woolly mammoth in hopes of finding out how the huge prehistoric mammal became extinct.

How Come?

Woolly mammoth,
Prehistoric pachyderm,
What did you in,
You hairy hulk?
A teeny tiny
Deadly germ?
A minuscule bacterium?

Elephant is still extant…
Hippo, rhino, tiny ant,
Kinkajou and caribou…
Gnat and gnu are living, too.

How come YOU
And mastodon
Are D-E-A-D
Dead and gone?

And here’s a poem of address in which I talk to a honeybee:

busying yourself
in a bright pink peony,
save a sip of nectar
for me.

I originally wrote the following poem, Talking to Giraffe, as a point-of-view/mask poem. I kept tinkering with it—but it didn’t work no matter how much I tweaked it. So, this week, I tried rewriting it as a poem of address. I think the poem's more successful with my speaking to the giraffe rather than my speaking in the voice of the giraffe.
Talking to Giraffe
You are taller than tall.
You’re the tallest of all
The creatures that live on the land.

You can nibble the leaves
From the tip-tops of trees.
Don’t you think being tallest is grand?

Why, your head is so high
That it touches the sky.
You can wink at the birds as they go flying by.

You can you nuzzle the clouds,
Drink the first drops of rain.
You must have a great view from your lofty domain.

Do you like being tall…
The tallest of all
The creatures that live on the land?

With your head at that height
The whole world is in sight!
You MUST think being tallest is grand!

Here’s my Things to Do If You Are a Pencil list poem rewritten as a poem of address:

You’re looking sharp
in your slick yellow suit
and your pink top hat!
Get ready to rock and roll and write.
Get into the groove.
Listen for the right rhythm.
Then tap your toes on the tabletop
and dance a poem
across the page.

More Poems of Address
Hey You!: Poems to Skyscrapers, Mosquitoes, and Other Fun Things, selected by Paul B. Janeczko and illustrated by Robert Rayesky, is a wonderful anthology of poems of address.

Browse inside Hey You! and read the following poems of address:
Invocation by George Ella Lyon
A Mote of Dust by X. J. Kennedy
Sneakers by Joan Bransfield Graham

Monday Poetry Stretch - Apostrophe at The Miss Rumphius Effect

Poetry Stretch Results - Apostrophe at The Miss Rumphius Effect

Old Man Ocean by Russell Hoban

Dinosaur Bone by Alice Schertle

Skyscraper by Dennis Lee


At Blue Rose Girls, I have a Favorite Poem Project video of Theodore Roethke's The Sloth. The poem is recited by a fifth grader named Katherine Mechling.
The Poetry Friday Roundup is at Great Kids Books.

April 29, 2010: And the Winner Is...

Amy Ludwig Vanderwater is the winner of Every Second Something Happens: Poems for the Mind and Seasons—with poems selected by Christine San Jose and Bill Johnson and illustrations by Melanie Hall.
Congratulations, Amy! Email me your address so I can send you your poetry prize.

Win a Poetry Book!
Every week during April, I’ve been giving away a children’s poetry book at Wild Rose Reader. If you leave a comment at one of my poetry posts during the final two days of NaPoMo (April 29-30), I’ll enter your name in the drawing to win a copy of Stampede!: Poems to Celebrate the Wild Side of School. The book was written by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Steven Salerno. (Note: If you leave comments at two of my poetry posts, I'll enter your name twice...and so on.)

Book Giveaway Schedule
Final Days of National Poetry Month: April 29-30 (Winner announced on May 1st)

Sidney Crosby = Hart Trophy 2010 Nominee! and: Did Ovechkin Deserve to be Nominated?

It's official! Siddo's a candidate for this season's Most Valuable Player!!!

I say this as unbiasedly as I possibly can: I simply do not understand why Alexander Ovechkin is a candidate. To answer this question, we first need to define the criteria for winning the award. The NHL gives the Hart Memorial Trophy to the "player adjudged most valuable to his team". (Note - votes are due the day the playoffs begin, so the post-season has nothing to do with the nominations and votes.) Okay, I can see two of the three nominees fitting the profile:
  • Siddo earned his nomination for scoring the most goals this season. With a final tally of 51 goals, he bested his previous NHL high total by 12 goals.

  • Congratulations, Kid. You've earned it. :)

  • Henrik Sedin received his first MVP nomination by scoring the most points this season. His points total (112) gives him Vancouver's team record for most total points in a season.
I think this is the right one... ;)

But someone needs to explain what it is exactly that the Professional Hockey Writers' Association thought A-hOle™ deserved a nomination. He came in second (tied with Siddo) and third in points and goal totals respectively, but more importantly, the Caps did just fine without him when he was out for 10 games with an injury and two suspensions. That doesn't exactly make the case for his being the most important player to his team this season.

Well, I think we all KNOW he's not getting nominated for the Conn Smythe. :P

Who should have been nominated in A-hOle™'s place? The one man whom I cannot fathom missing a nod in this category this season: Ryan Miller, goaltender for the Buffalo Sabres. His 0.929 save percentage this season came in second to Tuukka Rask's 0.931. (For comparison, if you think Flower is good, he only had a 0.905 and came in 35 of 47.) Miller was the only reason Buffalo won the division. I'd go so far to say that without him, they would've been last in the Eastern Conference. I had him pegged to take the Hart home a while ago, so imagine my surprise that he didn't even get nominated!

Good ... but not good enough?

One problem is that the MVP award tends to go only to forwards. Defenders and goaltenders contribute just as much to their teams yet they are not often nominated and rarely win. Since 1923, only 12 defenders and 7 goaltenders have taken home the Hart. Maybe it's time to reword the criteria for winning the Hart Trophy to give it to "the forward adjudged most valuable to his team". The other problem is, when it comes right down to it, it's a popularity contest, and this year, Ryan Miller didn't get asked to the dance. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this - leave your comments in The Friends' Zone.

Tomorrow. Round 2 begins. The Stanley Cup is our target. The Canadiens are standing in the way. It's time to take out the Habs.

GO PENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh! I do NOT want you to miss this: Tracee Hamilton of the Washington Post asks, "Can you be the best hockey player in the world if your team underachieves to such a degree?" in Capitals Undone by Ovechkin’s Failing on

Blue Moons Studios {GIVEAWAY}

As you've probably seen in some of the party posts I've featured this month, you can really go crazy throwing your little one's birthday bash.  From construction parties featuring real equipment to full on circus tents (you'll see that post tomorrow!), the sky's the limit these days.  But sometimes, simple makes the biggest statement.

That's what I love about the beautiful fabric buntings from Blue Moon Studios.  They may not be flashy but they pack a big punch.

They're double sided so you can display them anywhere and the fabric combinations are so fun!  I can see this one hanging above a vintage tea party.

And how perfect would this set of flags be for a circus or carnival themed celebration?

There's even something for pirate lovers.

What I really adore about these buntings is the fact that they can be used long after the party has ended.  You can hang them in a child's bedroom or playroom or pack them away until the next birthday comes along so you truly get some bang for your buck.  There aren't too many party products out there you can say that about. 

Blue Moon Studios will work with you to customize the perfect bunting for your bash and to enjoy long afterward.   So in this case, the sky's the limit in a more economical and eco-friendly way!

And here's something else that will be good for someone's pocketbook.  Blue Moon Studios has generously offered to give away any item in the store to a lucky AFOMFT reader!   To enter, visit Blue Moon Studios and post a comment here telling me which item you'll choose if you win.  For additional entries:
  • Subscribe to AFOMFT or let us know you are a subscriber
  • Become a fan of AFOMFT on Facebook --
  • Ask your friends to become a fan of AFOMFT on Facebook by sending them this link - - and post a comment here with the names of each one who does.  You'll earn one entry per new friend who becomes a fan and names will be cross-checked. 
  • Visit Blue Moon Studios and make the store a favorite.
  • Follow AFOMFT on Twitter (@AFOMFT or click the birdie icon on the sidebar) and tweet this post by clicking the graphic above or this giveaway:  It's PARTYPALOOZA @AFOMFT with a giveaway a day! Enter to win the product of your choice from Blue Moons Studios -
  • Click here to vote for AFOMFT on Top Baby Blogs and post a comment here that you did - Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs.  You can vote once per day per computer so if you vote every day or on different computers, be sure to post one comment for each one.
  • Grab our new button and put it on your blog or website and post a link here showing us.
  • Grab the PARTY PALOOZA button and put it on your blog or website and post a link here showing us.
  • Blog about AFOMFT, PARTY PALOOZA or this giveaway (worth 2 entries so please post two comments) and post a link to the post.
Please leave a separate comment for each entry (two if you've blogged about the giveaway) and make sure to include a link to your tweet, blog post, etc. This giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada and ends May 6th at 11:59 pm EST. The winner will be selected by and announced on AFOMFT on May 7th. If the winner doesn't contact AFOMFT within 48 hours, a new drawing will be held so be sure to check back to see if you've won!

Images: Blue Moon Studios

Weather Report: A Book Spine Poem

The Book Spine Poem that Mary Lee Hahn posted yesterday inspired me to create one myself.

A Book Spine Poem
Elaine Magliaro
Thanks for the inspiration, Mary Lee!

Fourth Week of National Poetry Month (April 22-28) in Review

Poetry Makers at the Miss Rumphius Effect
April 22—Ron Koertge
April 23—April Halprin Wayland
April 23—Michael J. Rosen
April 24—Hope Anita Smith
April 25—Carmen Bernier-Grand
April 26—Jenny Whitehead
April 27—Brod Bagert
April 28—Kalli Dakos

Thirty Poets Thirty Days at Gotta Book
April 22—Heidi Mordhorst—Smaller Than I Thought
April 23—Charles R. Smith, Jr.—I Speak
April 24—Georgia Heard—Ars Poetica
April 25—George Ella Lyon—Trying to Get Out of My Tree
April 26—Jacqueline Woodson—One of the Many Stories
April 27—Graham Denton—Sounds Delightful
April 28—Francisco X. Alaracon—Listen/Escucha

Poetry Tag at Poetry for Children
April 22—George Ella Lyon is IT
April 23—Marie Bradby is IT
April 24—Nikki Grimes is IT
April 25—Tracie Vaughn Zimmer is IT
April 26—Janet Wong is IT
April 27—Betsy Franco is IT
April 28—Bobbi Katz is IT

Poetry Potluck at Jama Rattigan’s Alphabet Soup
April 22—a word of caution from greg pincus
April 23—friday feast: douglas florian’s french boast
April 24—something sweet from laura purdie salas
April 26—sitting down with kelly fineman
April 27—the always beguiling tanita s. davis
April 28—cultivating beauty with andromeda jazmon

Haiga (Haiku & Photographs) at A Wrung Sponge
April 23—timeless things that last only a brief moment
April 24—Chive Bud Haiku
April 26—garden haiku
April 28—rain on new leaves haiku

Haiku at Liz in Ink
April 22—Haiku 22
April 26—Haiku 23
April 26—Haiku 24
April 26—Haiku 25
April 27—Haiku 26
April 27—Haiku 27

Mary Lee’s Original Poem-A-Day About Teaching Or Learning at A Year of Reading
April 22—Poem #22—Did Someone Say Only 30 More Days?
April 23—Poem #23—Where I’m From Poem (and Poetry Friday)
April 24—Poem #24—Coffee House Sonnet
April 25—Poem #25—A One-Word Poem
April 26—Poem #26—A Fib for Gregory K.
April 27—Poem #27—A Limerick for the Poem-A-Day Writers
April 28—Poem #28—Book Spine Poem

Wild Rose Reader
April 22—Third Week of National Poetry Month (April 15-21) in Review
April 23—More, More, More…Mask Poems!
April 24—Here & There: April 24, 2010
April 26—MUD: An Original Acrostic for Spring
April 27—UBIQUITOUS by Joyce Sidman & Beckie Prange: A Poetry Book Review
April 28—Spring Sings with Yellow: Two Original Poems

Other Bloggers Who Are Posting Original Poems during National Poetry Month
Susan Taylor Brown
Jone MacCulloch
Elizabeth Moore
April Halprin Wayland
Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Making Homemade Christian Bookmarks with encouraging Bible Verses : Another therapeutic Hobby

Dear Friends,

Thanks for stopping by.

♥ Thank God for seeing me through another busy and fruitful week! How times flies. It's Thursday again! :) I am reminded that it's good to share about God's goodness and mercies to me on Thankful Thursday :) I have been so blessed every since I joined Thankful Thursday as it helped me to count my blessings and be more thankful to God. I am also greatly encouraged by all the thankful posts that I read on your blogs. Thank God for His goodness and mercies to us daily! May we be always praising Him.

♥ I am thankful to God for a very encouraging sermon I heard in Church last Lord's day morning. My Pastor preached on the importance of Prayer Always in our daily Christian life and as walk with the Lord daily. I am reminded of the need to be praying always, not just during my devotional time or in church, but throughout the day as I seek the Lord's grace and strength to live for Him and in Him. It is a means of grace that God has provided for us to draw us closer to Him and receive grace and strength from Him.

♥ So I thank God for the privilege prayers in which we can fellowship with our Lord and enjoy His love and grace. We can casts all our anxieties upon Him and find peace and joy in Him, and direction in our Christian walk as He teaches us through His Words.

♥ I thank God for the joy of doing some simple Christian crafts to give to my friends. Last Thursday I shared about the joy of making simple Cross-stitch bookmarks with Bible verses for my friends. It is one of my therapeutic hobbies. Another therapeutic hobbies that I enjoy very much is making simple Christian homemade bookmarks with Bible verses. Below are some samples of bookmarks I made with regards to Prayers. The first two I made using pictures I have taken myself and the last two are just simple design from Microsoft PowerPoint or Open Office.

To download and make these simple Do-It-Yourself DIY Christian homemade bookmarks with Bible verses at home, just follow the instruction below. Feel free to download these Free Homemade Bookmarks for yourself or your friends. You can also make them and sell them :)

For more Free Homemade Bookmarks, visit the following websites:

To make the following Free Homemade Christian Bookmarks with encouraging Bible verses on prayer:

1) Download the picture
- Put your cursor on the picture
- Right Click your mouse
- Saved the .jpg picture into your computer

2) Insert this picture into a Word Processor (such as MicroSoft Word or OpenOffice).

3) Use a color printer to print.

4) Cut it and laminate it. The bookmark will be more lasting if you laminate it.

♥ I thank God for my family, my church, my friends and everyone of you, my dear blogging friends, and for your prayers and encouragements. They mean a lot to me.You have made a great difference in my life by your friendship and encouragements. I thank God for every one of you. May God may your visit here a blessed one too!

Thank you for stopping by. Take care and have a blessed day!

Warm Regards,

I'm a Habs Fan Today!

Disclaimer: These positive vibes I'm sending out Canadiens are part of a one-day-only special. ;)

After being down in the series 3-1, #8 Montreal is facing #1 Washington in D.C. for a Game 7 match up that could literally go either way. The Canadiens were able to bounce back and tie the series because of the out-freaking-standing goaltending by Jaroslav Halak. In the last two potentially last games for his team, Halak blocked an incredible 90 of 92 shots on goal. That's unreal.

Here's hoping he can steal just one more game for the Habs. :)

In honor of the big Game 7, I thought I'd post the song that Habs fans chant for their team. (Yes, I know other teams play this song as well, but other teams play "Sweet Caroline" and "Don't Stop Believing" as well, yet they are most often associated with the Rangers and the Red Wings respectively. So there you go.) And since most people don't know the original artist of this song, I went with their version over the many videos of Habs fans chanting that I could have used.

Enjoy "OLÉ" by a punk band from New Jersey called The Bouncing Souls:

Fun fact: Every single playoff series A-hOle™ has participated in thus far has been forced to a Game 7. One team advances; one trades their sticks for clubs.

GO HABS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can You Dig It? {GIVEAWAY}

What kid isn't mesmerized by construction sites?  The crazy equipment, the big piles of dirt, the huge trucks.... It's all something they'd love to explore but are almost never allowed to.  And that's exactly why throwing a construction-themed birthday bash is so much fun!  Don't believe me?  Just take a look at these fabulous fetes.

First up is the amazing party Jessica of Juicy Bits threw for her son, Theo.  The invitation from Tiny Prints established the color scheme (brown, orange and yellow) and theme from the start.  I love the coordinating thank you notes and address labels!

The day of the party, a wooden sawhorse barricade in the driveway pointed guests to the celebration site.

Inside the house, balloons were anchored by traffic cones, and toy trucks, construction signs, nuts and bolts and food in tin buckets and bowls were displayed on the table.

And of course there were sweet treats, including cupcakes with construction-themed toppers....

And these terrific tool cookies Jessica made herself.

The deck, where the kids' table was located, was festooned with huge balloons anchored again by cones.

And each child's seat was designated by a personalized hard hat.

They were perfect for the crew to wear while playing in the sand table.

Other activities including coloring.

And a ride on this cool piece of equipment that a friend brought over as a surprise.

Guests left with goodie buckets that were displayed below this fantastic fabric banner Jessica made for the occasion.

The pails included a matchbox car, a sticker book and a construction puzzle.

Along with a dump truck cookie.

It's no wonder that Theo's birthday bash was one of the winners in the Most Adorable Kids Party of 2009 on Creative Hostess!  For more pictures and design details, visit Juicy Bits.

Creative Hostess recently featured another amazing construction celebration thrown by Christina for her son, Austin's first birthday.  She used the same invitations Jessica did and created matching signs to welcome guests.

The fun birthday banner from Earmark Gatherings featured pictures of the birthday boy's first year.

A huge dessert table included lots of yumminess, all in orange, yellow and brown.

And the cupcakes had toppers from Party Box Design, who designed a really fun logo for the bash.

Centerpieces were vases of flowers with construction hats and toy trucks.

Along with buckets of candy.

The construction crew played in a sand pit until the rain forced them inside.

But the goodie pails, topped with favor tags that matched the cupcake toppers, surely made up for it!

For more pictures and details, visit the Dann Family Chronicles.

A different Austin, this one the son of Heidi from Blue Eyed Blessings, had a construction celebration of his very own.  How cute are these invitations?

Cones and caution tape pointed arriving party goers in the right direction.

Toward the party area!

The food table was highlighted by a Yield sign.

And each worker got a "sack lunch."

Heidi decorated the cupcakes by dying the frosting green, crumbling up Oreos for the dirt and then adding cones and trees she got from a cheap toy construction set.

And outside, there were four activity stations - Creating, which featured Play Doh; Building, where kids could use foam blocks to construct whatever they desired:

Digging, where they played in pea gravel and sand:

And Break Time, where they bounced in a bouncy house.  After that, the crew grabbed one of the goodie belts (just 77 cents each at Home Depot!):

Now at Alan's "work" party, there was no break time.  The active four year old loves to build so his mom. Nancy, from the fab blog CohabiTOT, "built" a birthday bash that I'm sure he'll never forget.

See all those cardboard houses back there?  That's what they looked like before Alan's construction crew got their hands on them.  First, they donned their personalized hard hats and grabbed a laminated ruler.

And then they got to work!

They painted.

And painted.

Until they created the ultimate party shack.

And then they ate cake.

Does it get any more fun than that?  I don't think so!  For more details, including Nancy's amazing party prep list, visit CohabiTOT. {All pictures by Dian Lofton}

The Smiths threw their son Wyatt a construction party too and the creative DIY details are incredible.  Check out the extension cord wreath on the front door!

There was a sign in table with a construction book where guests could write messages to the birthday boy.

The crew got personalized hard hats (love the titles on them!):

And tool belts.

And then they headed for the construction trailer.

Inside, the ping pong table was wrapped in houndstooth paper and covered in lots of treats.

Like wrecking balls:

Chocolate debris:

And paint cans filled with candy.

The bathroom was labeled appropriately.

And the kid's table featured traffic cone cups (I have to figure out how she made them!), along with a blueprint "tablecloth" the guests could color in.

Wyatt's grandmother made the phenomenal cake which trucks were already "digging" into.

And outside, the crew got to do some digging too.

They also did some nailing (using golf tees and spray painted Styrofoam "bricks"):

Some mugging:

And lots of painting!

Are you inspired to start constructing a party of your own now?  Well, here are some more ideas to add to your blueprints.

Family Fun has a whole slew of great building basics.  Instead of traditional invitations, why not create scrap wood invites instead?
You can buy wooden craft rectangles at any craft supply store and use a ballpoint pen or carpenters' pencil to add the details like the where (or "Construction Site") and the host (or "Site Boss").

Let the kids re-fuel from tool boxes filled with snacks.

Make a cone-struction Pinata where instead of whacking it with a stick, the kids pull caution tape until the candy falls. {get the how to here}

And let the crew compete in a demolition game where they knock down a tower box-by-box using a wrecking ball (aka a tennis ball painted black). {find the instructions here}

When it comes to the cake, what construction worker wouldn't love this Edible Excavator? {the recipe and details are here}

Are you less of a DIY-er and more of a shopper?  Then visit Dimpleprints for their Loads of Fun printable party package.  Just $10 gets you the PDF files for more than 20 different party supplies. 

Everything from water bottle labels to food signs are included.  Just look at what Dimpleprints customers have done with their printables!

Another great option is the Paper & Cake Under Construction printable party pack.  For $14, you'll get customizable PDF files for everything you need to print and cut your way to a builder's bash - invitations, thank you notes, a birthday banner, cupcake picks and so much more, like these yard posts:

Party hats:

Snack boxes and hamburger sleeves:

Cup wraps:

And a pin the nail on the hammer game:

Your party foreman will need something to wear, so why not visit AFOMFT fave Ashley Alexander Boutique for a personalized dump truck shirt?

And when it comes to favors, add the Dig It mini crayon rolls from My Sunshine Designs to the crew's tool belts.

I hope I've given you some great tools to build the perfect party.  Before you head off to start, though, be sure to visit the Goodies Page for great giveaways including one from My Sunshine Designs, who you read about in this post, as well as some terrific discounts!

Images: Juicy Bits, The Dann Family Chronicles, Blue Eyed Blessings, CohabiTOT, The Smith Team, Family Fun, Dimpleprints, Paper & Cake, Ashley Alexander Boutique & My Sunshine Designs