Tuesday, March 31, 2009

從美國看台灣 Watching Taiwan television shows from the States

Ever since I discovered that I can watch Taiwanese shows on Youtube, my own spectrum of entertainment has expanded even more. I am partial to talk shows and variety shows that involve lots of talking, especially talking about current entertainment gossip and political events. My favorite show is News Wa Wa Wah! ETTV America used to broadcast it on our local television channel, but since January 2008, they have not aired it citing copyright issues. I think it was more a political decision than anything else (that was right before the
Presidential election). In any case, the program was sorely missed by myself and many of my friends. ETTV used to air News Wa Wa Wah at 10pm and it was the perfect time to watch this show because my kids would be asleep and I can relax and unwind by watching this show. With its cancellation, my daily routine was a bit off-kiltered, that is until I discovered that some kind soul had uploaded News Wa Wa Wah on Youtube.

There are other Taiwanese variety/talk show that I enjoy. As my TV watching time is limited, I have began to watch less American and Korean shows, so I can watch more Taiwanese shows. Whenever I read about a show on the Taiwanese newspapers, I would search for it on Youtube. More than half of the time, the show would be uploaded already. I will provide a list of the shows and its Youtube links below.

Happy watching!

Youtube link of Taiwanese shows (remember to use the Playlist function so you can watch a show continuously as most episodes are divided up into many segments. Just click on "Play all"):


在美國住久了, 對臺灣的很多時事都很陌生。不過偶爾看看台灣的電視節目還蠻有趣的。在 2008 年之前,東森北美台在每晚十點就會播出新聞挖挖哇。那個時段很受我們這些熟媽的歡迎, 最主要是因為晚上十點時, 小孩子都入睡了, 熟媽們可以趁看新聞挖挖哇的時間來放心情。在睡覺前可以輕鬆開而笑實在是件不錯的事情。在東森北美台取消新聞挖挖哇的出之後, 還真的亂了我們這群熟媽的生活步調。有一陣子我還覺得有點失落感。直到有一天我發現有人把所有我愛看的台灣節目PO 到 Youtube上。現在的生活真的活得蠻充實的。生活忙碌, 但是我知道在夜深人靜時, 我還有好多好看的節目在等著我去看。對於一位從小就愛看電視的我, 這真是一項福旨。在此介紹給大家收看。

Monday, March 30, 2009

簡單的義大利麵 Tomato Basil Pasta

This is my daughter's favorite pasta dish. It's simple to make and it's particularly good during the summer months because of the fresh ingredients available.

(Cook Time: 10 min., Yield: 6 to 8 servings)


1 pound farfalle/bow-tie pasta OR any pasta
1 lb. cherry tomatoes, cut in half OR 4 plum tomatoes, cut into 1 inch dice
8 basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons salt (add more salt if needed)
Fresh basil leaves, for garnish

1. In a large pasta bowl, combine halved cherry tomatoes (squeeze the tomatoes with a spoon), basil, olive oil, and salt.

2. Fill a large pot 3/4 of the way with water and place over high heat. Add plenty of salt and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook 8 to 10 minutes (or according to package directions), until al dente.

3. Spoon the pasta out of the pot with slotted spoon and put the pasta on top of the tomato mixture. Toss well and garnish with fresh basil leaves.

我女兒很喜歡吃這道菜。基本上喜歡吃番茄的人也應該會喜歡這道菜的。 我是從 Food TV 學到這道菜的,好像是 Jamie Oliver 的食譜。 可是不知道怎麼回事,我在網路上卻找不到他原版的食譜,所以我就憑記憶,用我的方法把 烹調方式記錄起來。通常我都會從 Trdaer Joe's 買這道菜需要的食材, 像是 olive oil (橄欖油), basil (新鮮的九層塔), cherry tomatoes (櫻桃小蕃茄) 及 bow-tie pasta (蝶形領結義大利麵)。 除了橄欖油以外,全部食材加起來不會超過七元。 買不到櫻桃小蕃茄的話,用普通蕃茄也可以,只要蕃茄的水份多就行了。

(烹飪時間: 10 分鐘, 六到八人份)

1 磅 蝶形領結義大利麵 或 任何義大利麵
1 磅 櫻桃小蕃茄 (切半) 或 4 顆 大粒蕃茄 (切成一寸丁塊。)
8 片新鮮的九層塔,(切細絲)
1/4 杯 橄欖油
2 茶匙 鹽 (不夠鹹再加鹽)

1. 在大碗中加入櫻桃小蕃茄, 新鮮的細絲九層塔, 橄欖油及鹽。用湯匙把櫻桃小蕃茄的湯汁給壓出來。
2. 燒開水, 用包裝上說明的煮麵方法把蝶形領結義大利麵煮熟。
3. 直接把煮好的義大利麵放在(1)料上, 然後再把麵和湯汁攪拌均勻即可。
4. 把切碎的九層塔灑在麵上做裝飾。

Sunday, March 29, 2009

購買小孩滑雪用的眼鏡 Shopping for Children's Ski Goggles

We are taking the kids skiing over the spring break. I called a friend last week and asked whether she had any old ski pants that her kids had outgrown. I was lucky to outfit both kids with hand-me-down ski pants. I bought ski gloves for them last year at Costco. Since the kids can rent ski equipments and helmets at the ski school, the only things left to buy are ski goggles and socks. I have already asked our family ski expert, my sister, for some advise on how to shop for ski goggles and socks. She gave me some links for me to check them out before we head out to the stores. So we did our homework before we went shopping. What we didn't count on was that the store wouldn't have the merchandise we wanted.

We walked into REI and the whole first floor was filled with camping-related things. We went to the second floor hoping to find some ski stuff, but we didn't see anything related to snow. My husband went up to a REI staff and was told that the store shipped all their ski stuff back to their warehouse, but we can still buy ski stuff on-line. That was unfortunate and a total waste of time. We had to give another store a try. We went to Sports Chalet. They did have snow equipments on display--lots of skis, snow boards, socks, goggles, helmets, etc... We found everything but nothing in children's sizes. So again, we went to speak to a staff. The guy told us that they sold out of children's ski goggles a long time ago, usually right after Christmas. Another waste of an hour. We should have just done the shopping on-line, instead of wasting gas, driving around town looking for ski stuff.

Although we didn't accomplish the task we set out to do today, I did discover something. I had no idea that with a down turn in our economy, sporting goods stores are still doing brisk business.

我們春假要帶小孩子去滑雪。上星期我已經把小孩子的滑雪褲搞定。我打了通電話問朋友看她有沒有她小孩子不能穿的滑雪褲。她的小女兒比我女兒大一歲, 所以我這幾年來一直都很樂意接收她女兒不能穿的衣服。滑雪夾克本來就有了。滑雪用的手套去年在 Costco 就買到了。 只剩下滑雪用的眼鏡及襪子還沒買, 其它滑雪用的東西可以用租的。我妹常帶她的小孩去滑雪, 所以她這方面經驗豐富。我問她小孩滑雪用的眼鏡及襪子要買那一種比較好,她也給了我有少這方面的資訊,所以我去買東西之前是有準備的。結果沒想到今天去了兩家店都沒有在賣小孩子用的滑雪用品。

第一家店REI是連滑雪的用品都沒在賣了。店員說要上REI家的網站才買得到滑雪用品。第二家店 Sports Chalet 只有在賣大人用的滑雪用品。找不到小孩子用的滑雪用品。店員說很多小孩子用的滑雪用品在聖誕節之後不久就賣完了。看樣子得上網路買或上山再買小孩子需要的滑雪眼鏡及襪子。

今天是浪費了不少時間逛運動休閒用品店。雖然沒買到我們想買的東西, 但是我悟到一件事--就是原來在景氣不好的時候, 運動休閒用品店的生意可真好!

Friday, March 27, 2009

TGIF! 終於是星期五!

I stayed up most of the night yesterday because I had to wake up my husband at 4am so he can edit my daughter's video that she filmed with her brother the night before. I was afraid I would overslept, so I ended up staying up all night. We couldn't find the connector that will allow us to download video from our video camera to the computer so we were not able to edit my daughter's 2-minute video commercial of the cereal she made for her Fairy Tale project. We all know we shouldn't leave things to the last minute because whatever can go wrong will. My husband will probably go to Fry's on Saturday to get that connector so we can edit the cereal video over the weekend. I ended up going to bed at 5:30am and whole day today I was tired.

My daughter happily brought her newly-created cereal (and the cereal box) to school so she can share the cereal with her friends. She had a substitute teacher today, so no one got to do their fairy tale presentation today. We are going to teach her how to edit a video on Sunday because on Saturday, she's going to an overnight campout organized by an upper grade Girl Scout Troop in our school district.

Since I was so tired all morning, I didn't want to drive around too much. I decided to wait after all their lessons are done in the afternoon before going shopping again. By then, my husband would be home and he can do all the driving. My daughter has her Hip Hop dance class at 4:45pm and my son has his violin class at 5pm. My husband usually picks up my daughter after her dance class at 5:45pm and I would stay with my son until he finishes his violin lesson. Today, our plans was to meet back at home and then go together to shop for my daughter's camping things.

There were several things on my daughter's camping packing list that we didn't have at home. She had to get a mesh bag (a bit like a laundry bag) to function as a dunk bag for her mess kit. She has plastic plate, bowl, fork, spoon, and knife, but she doesn't have a plastic cup with a lid. So before dinner, we all went to Target first and found a Coleman's Dunk Mesh Bag. On the shelf, it said $2.49, but when I was paying, the register said $4.49! That's too expensive for a mesh bag. I decided to go to the Dollar Tree because I know they have laundry bags for $1. Then we went to Marukai's M store to find a plastic cup with a lid and handle. I did find a pink one for $1.68 and it's actually made in Japan. But the lid has a strong plastic small, I hope it'll go away after I wash it.

Before I dropped everyone at the Korean BBQ (where we went for dinner), I had to make a pit stop at a market and bought a potato and an onion. My daughter will need them for the
Friendship Soup that she and her friends will make at the camp tomorrow. My final stop was the Dollar Tree. My goal was to find a mess dunk bag for $1. I saw several laundry bags for $1, but they were either too big or has a zipper. I looked around and saw these tidy totes that were the perfect size and it came in 4 bags per pack. I couldn't believe my luck. I am not sure if it'll stand the test of soaking in water, but even if it doesn't fare well in water, I think it'll survive my daughter's camping trip. I think this is a great deal, compared to Coleman's Dunk Mesh Bag! After I paid for it, I quickly went back to the Korean BBQ restaurant to join the family dinner with my in-laws. Although there were 2 more things on the camping list (a bungee cord and a Thermarest) that we didn't buy, but my in-law have them, so we can pick them up later at my in-law's house. I can finally relax and enjoy my dinner.

明天我女兒又要去露營。是高年級的女童子軍主辦的活動。雖然只有一天一夜,需要帶去的東西還真不少。我和我老公是住休閒度假旅館型的夫妻, 根本對露營是一竅不通的, 所以我家也不可能有任何露營要用的東西。但是就算我不喜歡露營, 我也要我的小孩子有瞭解露營的機會。參加美國童子軍就有這種機會, 因為露營是美國童子軍的重要活動之一, 也是美國人旅遊的方式的一種。在美國生活就要會露營, 因為這種休閒方法可以讓小孩看到更多的大自然景觀, 讓他們更能體會到環境保育的重要了。

昨晚沒睡好,所以我一整天的精神都不好,也更懶的出門買女兒露營需要的東西。後來決定等小孩上完舞蹈課及小提琴課, 全家再一起去辦採購, 順便去吃韓國烤肉。女兒需要的東西還蠻多的:

1. Mesh bag 網狀袋子, 可放碗盤, 方便洗滌 (洗衣袋也可)
2. 有蓋子和有手把的塑膠杯子
3. 一個洋蔥或一個馬鈴薯
4. Bungee cord 彈性繩索。
5. Thermarest 露營用的薄床墊。

家裏的洗衣袋太大了, 所以得去買一個小一點的袋子。我們先去Target, 但是看到露營專用的袋子竟然要 $4.49! 當下就決定要去 Dollar Tree 走一趟, 因為我知道 Dollar Tree 有賣洗衣袋。在去Dollar Tree之前, 我先去 Marukai M Store 買了一個有蓋子和有手把的粉紅色塑膠杯 (日本製但是 塑膠味很重)。然後再去韓國超市買了一個洋蔥和一個馬鈴薯 (剛好都在同一條街上)。最後再把老公、小孩放下車, 讓他們先去餐廳佔位子。我自己再去 Dollar Tree. 到了Dollar Tree, 我只看到比較大的洗衣袋,找不到剛好大小的。正要離開時, 看到旁邊架子上有個綠色的網狀袋子, 四個一包! 總共一元! 太棒了, 尺寸又剛好。買完後我趕到餐廳跟小姑一家會合吃韓國烤肉。小姑說她家有彈性繩索及做瑜珈用的薄墊, 所以就不用再去買了, 飯後去她家拿就是了。我終於可以放下心, 好好的吃一頓飯。

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

女兒的閱讀報告 (1) My daughter's book report on fairy tales

We had a 2-week notice to do this book report. But of course my daughter didn't start writing this report until last Sunday. So we have exactly 2 more days to finish this book report/project as it's due on Friday (if you count today as a day). The title of this project is "A New Cereal on the Shelf". I am dumbfounded that this is a 4th grade project. My daughter and I brain-stormed for a couple of days to figure out what kind of cereal she wants to create and ideas for the cereal box. I suppose my daughter can make it as easy or as complicated as she wanted to. But being her mom, I had to make a special trip to Michael's just to buy the supplies she needed to do this project. I will post a photo of her final product when she is done with the project.

Here are the instructions given to the students in order for them to complete the fairy tales book report/project.

A New Cereal on the Shelf
If you could invent a cereal based on the fictional book you read, what would it be? After you think of a name and shape for your cereal, you'll design a cereal box for it.

Empty cereal Box, white or light-colored paper, scissors, markers or crayons, construction paper, glue tape.


1. Find a fairy tale book that interest you and is at an appropriate reading level for you. The book must be approved by your teacher.

2. Think about what you will name your cereal. Choose a name that sounds enticing and that relates to the story in some way. Then choose a shape for the cereal, as well as colors and ingredients that also relate to the book. For example, for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, you might invent a cereal called Wizard Wands, a toasted oat cereal in the shape of a miniature lightning bolts.

3. Cover an empty cereal box with white or light-colored paper. Or you might want to write and draw on appropriate-sized sheets of paper and then glue them onto the box. Write a rough draft and draw sketches before moving on to your final copy. Here are the guidelines for each side of the box:

Front: Write the name of your cereal and draw a picture to go with it. You might draw characters or other pictures to help sell your products. Make your cereal box look appealing and fun. Look at actual cereal boxes for ideas.
Back: Design a game that is based on the story. It can be a puzzle, a word game, or any other fun activity that might be found on the back of a cereal box. Make sure it includes information from the book.
Right Side: Under the heading "Ingredients," list the main characters and write a sentence about each one. Then describe the setting (place and time).
Left Side: Write a summary of the book. Describe the main conflict and the resolution. Minimum and Maximum 20 sentences, either typed OR written in cursive or printing.
Top: Write the title and the author of the book and your name.

4. Plan a 2-minute commercial for your cereal, and present it to the class.

That last one is a doozie. It's not enough trying to invent a cereal from scratch AND creating a box for the cereal, the kids need to plan a 2-minute video?! Doesn't the teacher know most TV commercials are only 30 seconds?! I don't know how my daughter can get all that done in 1 day, on top of her other regular homework. My daughter wants to film a video of her brother and herself doing the commercial. Once the commercial is filmed, her daddy would have to transfer the video to the computer and copy it onto a DVD. It sounds easy enough except that the last time my husband did that was at least 5 years ago. Good luck to all involved!!!

What ever happened to the good ol' fashion book report?!


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

兒子的鞋子 My son's shoes

My son was in need of a pair of shoes. His old pair had holes on the side and his new pair is 2 sizes too big. I finally went out and earnestly looked for a new pair of shoes for him. I started at Payless Shoesource and bought a pair of brown shoes on clearance for $9.99. I had a feeling that he may not like it, but I bought it anyway because it was the only pair of boys' shoes on clearance that was his size at the store. Of course, when I showed the shoes to him after school, he took one look and shook his head and said, "Mom, it's brown!" I felt a little discouraged, so the search continued. In the afternoon, I had a chance to go to Target. I had to run some errands for my mom and she was able to watch the kids for me so I can leave the house without them.

As soon as I got to Target, I went to the shoes department. I was looking for boys' shoes on clearance. I found these Garren shoes at 50% off for $12.48 each. It was more than the $10 that I had wanted to pay, but since it was 50% off (and I have a feeling that my son would like them), I went ahead and bought them. I wasn't sure what my son's shoe size was and I didn't want to take the chance of not getting the right size, so I bought a pair of size 13.5 and a pair of size 1. As soon as my son saw the shoes, he said "COOL"! He put them on immediately and ran down the hall to prove to me that they fit. He was wearing the size 13.5. Now I'm left with the dilemma of whether to return that size 1 pair. Should I save them for my son?!

兒子最常穿的那雙鞋在下雨時就不能穿了, 因為鞋邊磨出了個缝 。只要是沒下雨,兒子繼續穿他的破鞋。一個月前在Payless 買了一雙 $9.99 全黑的新鞋給兒子。穿了一陣子之後, 他才告訴我說那雙鞋太大了! 真是煩死人, 又要開始找鞋子了。雖然一直都在找他能穿的鞋子,但是沒減價的我還是買不下去。今天早上有個空檔,我決定把兒子的鞋子搞定! 我先去 Payless (http://www.payless.com/) 找鞋。這星期Payless 沒減價, 但是我還是找到一雙咖啡色的男童鞋,才$9.99 ,有減價。在十元以下的童鞋我都能接受, 所以就買了。只是無法確定兒子會不會喜歡。

一下課回到家我就把新鞋拿給兒子看。他看了一眼就跑掉了。基本上他不喜歡咖啡色的鞋子。他連試穿都懶得穿。我只好繼續再找兒子能穿的鞋子。下午我剛好要幫我媽去買點東西,她明天一早就要回温哥華了。她說她能幫我看小孩, 好讓我快去快回。我介著這個機會去了趟 Target。一進 Target 就往鞋區走。我想看看有沒有被削價銷售的男童鞋, 果然有一款式正在削價削到五折 ($12.48)。雖然比我十元以下的預算還多出一點, 我還是買了,而且買了兩雙: 一雙 size 13.5 另一雙 size 1。好在兒子一看到這雙鞋,說了一聲“酷!”, 就馬上穿上新鞋跑來跑去, 想證明這雙鞋是他的尺寸, 不準備讓我把這雙鞋給還掉。這下子好了, 我兒子能穿的那雙是size 13.5, 所以我正在發愁, 不知道應不應該把那雙size 1 的鞋子給還掉?!

反正我終於可以鬆一口氣了, 不用再為一雙鞋而煩惱了!

Monday, March 23, 2009

蔥爆牛肉 What to do with leftover BBQ steak?

My husband barbecues steaks quite often. The whole family (in-laws) gets together once a week at the house and we would barbecue up a storm. Unless the grocery stores (Albertson's, Ralph's, and/or Von's) have steaks on sale that particular week, we would just buy our steaks at Costco. One of the disadvantages of shopping at Costco is that you would need to buy the steaks in bulk. It's not usually that we would end up barbecue-ing 8-10 pieces of big steaks at one sitting. I like ribeye steaks and others like New York steaks, either way it's super tasty when the steaks are barbecued. My husband would cut off the excess fat on the ribeye (to avoid fire flareups) and just simply salt and pepper the steaks prior to grilling.

As most families, we have leftover steaks after a big meal. Instead of microwaving the steaks (and thus toughing it), I cut them up into strips and stir-fry them with garlic and green onions. We like our steaks medium rare, so there are still some red in the meat when I cut them into strips, which are perfect for stir-frying.

Stir-fry Beef with Green Onions (Scallions)
1 large piece of BBQ steak (about 8 oz.)
6 sticks of green onions/scallions (add more if you like green onions)
2 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of oil
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of soy sauce (or to taste)
1 tablespoon of rice wine/vodka/cognac (optional, but do not add red or white wines instead if you don't have the right alcohol)
1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
1/2 teaspoon of sesame seed oil (optional)

1. Halve the green onions along its length, then cut them up into 2-inch segments.
2. Crush and dice garlic.
3. Cut up the steaks into 2-inch strips (1/4" x 1/4" x 2")
4. Heat the oil in high heat. Once the pan is hot, put in garlic. Stir-fry and before the garlic pieces turn brown (try not to burn the garlic), put in the green onions, stir-fry, then ADD salt.
5. Stir-fry until the green onions wilt, then ADD beef strips, stir-fry a bit, then ADD soy sauce and wine. Stir-fry some more and ADD sugar. ADD sesame seed oil when the color of beef turns from red (remember it was a medium rare steak) to brown. Stir-fry one more minute until most liquids evaporate and serve. It's perfect on steamed rice.

Ribeye Steak

我們大概每星期天都會跟公婆及小姑一家一起吃飯。最簡單的方式就是在家裏烤肉(BBQ)。我們通常都到 Costco 買牛, 除非剛好那星期超巿有牛排在減價。我愛吃 ribeye steak ,可是也有家人喜歡 New York steak。在 Costco 買牛有個 缺點, 就是一次要買很多片牛(八到十片), 所以常常飯後 剩下很多片烤好的牛。我老公很會烤牛。他都會先把多餘的肥肉除去, 免得在烤肉時, 火焰會因為肥肉過多而突然燃燒起來。我不喜歡我的肉片烤得太熟,肉要帶點紅才會嫩 (大約五分熟), 要不然烤過頭的肉都會變得太硬。要烤牛之前,我們在牛的雙面都灑上鹽巴及胡。因此烤出來的牛真的是片片鮮美! 可是我今天要講的是吃剩的牛排要如何處理? 我會把它拿來做蔥爆牛肉。


一片烤過的牛排 (大概 10 oz 左右)
1/2 茶匙 (teaspoon) 鹽
一湯匙米酒 (沒有米酒可用 Cognac 或 Vodka 代替, 但不要加白酒或紅酒,因為那樣菜會有酸味)。
1/2 茶匙 (teaspoon) 糖
麻油少許 (大概 1/2 茶匙 teaspoon)

1. 蒜頭拍扁,去薄膜。
2. 蔥去頭去尾洗淨,蔥斜切粗絲。
3. 牛肉逆紋切條。
4. 把沙拉油加入鍋內,爆香蒜頭,大火爆炒幾下,再放入蔥絲一樣大火爆炒,加鹽巴。
5. 再炒一下, 加入切好的牛肉絲。再炒一下, 加入醬油、米酒 、糖及麻油。
6. 快炒之後, 水份也減少了, 肉絲也從紅肉(記得我們的牛排都是烤五分熟的)變熟了, 馬上裝盤盛起。記住蔥絲不能炒太久,不然會變軟就不清脆了。

Sunday, March 22, 2009

到女童子軍團的攤位賣餅乾 Booth Sale of Girl Scout Cookies

Today was our Girl Scout Troop's second (and final) Cookies Booth Sale in front of a grocery store. Last week, we went to Ralph's. This week, we were assigned to go to Bristol Farm. Although it was sunny, it was still very windy and cold. My daughter was wearing 4 layers of clothing (turtle neck, t-shirt, sweater, and a heavy hoodie) and she was still cold. Luckily we didn't have many cookies to sell as our Troop ordered cookies conservatively for our booth sale. I brought from home the 11 boxes I still had left, hoping to sell them at the booth. When we got there, the Troop only had 3 flavors of cookies left--Thin Mints, Tagalongs, and the Sugar-Free Chocolate Chips. I added a box of Dulce de Leche and 4 boxes of Samoas to the mix. We quickly sold those. Around 4:30, we had 2 boxes of Tagalongs left on the table and everyone just decided to call it the day. There wasn't a lot of foot traffic at Bristol Farm, not sure if it was the windy weather. Last week at Ralph's, we sold 57 boxes of cookies. I think we sold less than 20 boxes today. I guess location mattered. The girls had a lot of fun selling the cookies together, despite the cold and windy condition.

今天又輪到我女兒到她的女童子軍團的攤位賣餅乾。上星期天已經到過 Ralph's 擺攤位賣餅乾了。這星期我們到了Bristol Farm 擺餅乾攤位。可能是因為到 Bristol Farm 買菜的人少,再加上又冷、風又大的天氣,今天的賣氣不佳。不過一群小女生在一起不管在做什麼都可以玩得很開心。我和女兒大概三點到場,一直賣到剩下兩盒餅乾才跟其他媽媽決定不要再賣了。實在是在外面站得太冷了,大概四點半就收攤了。今年賣女童子軍餅乾的活動就到此為止,要再等到明年二月才又會開始此活動。 ()


THIN MINTS (Top-Selling Girl Scout Cookies)

Thin, mint-flavored chocolate wafers dipped in a chocolate coating.

Also known as Caramel deLites: Vanilla cookies coated in caramel, sprinkled with toasted coconut and laced with chocolate swirls.

Also known as Peanut Butter Patties: Crispy vanilla cookies layered with peanut butter and covered with a chocolate coating.

Also known as Peanut Butter Sandwiches: Peanut butter filling sandwiched between crunchy oatmeal cookies.

Also known as Shortbread: A traditional shortbread cookie made in the shape of the Girl Scout trefoil logo.
傳統的酥油餅乾。餅乾上面印著女童子軍的 "Trefoil" 標誌


Cinnamon sandwich cookies with lemon creme filling.


Introduced in 2009, these are Latin caramel cookies.


Introduced in 2008, they are small sugar-free cookies.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

洛杉磯芭蕾舞團 Going to the ballet

My husband got 4 complimentary tickets to the Los Angeles Ballet yesterday afternoon. Because it was such a short notice, I was reluctant to take the kids to a ballet that would last two and a half hours. I warned my husband that our 7-year old son may not be able to sit through the entire show, but my husband insisted that it will be a good experience for the kids. My daughter had quit ballet classes several times over the years. She has decided to pick it up again because her Jazz dance teacher told her to take ballet to improve on her basic dance movements.

I made sure we left the house early enough so we'll have time before the show to get something to eat. We had to drive over an hour to Glendale, which is northeast of Pasadena. I was surprised with the new-ness of downtown Glendale. Looks like business is booming in Glendale. We drove down Brand Blvd. to get to the Alex Theatre. The block near the Alex Theatre had that old Broadway feel, but minus the hoards of people that are ever-present in the real Broadway. We picked up our tickets at 7 pm and walked down the street to get a bite to eat at a sushi place about a block down the road. Both kids were dressed up because I told them people usually dress up to go see ballet. I didn't know what to expect and how the kids would react to this show. The kids were excited nevertheless because it was something they haven't done before. We got back to the theater at 7:30 pm and promptly found our seats which were center orchestra. We had great seats!

This show was broken up into 3 acts: The Prodigal Son, a ballet choreographed by George Balanchine in 1929; World Premiere, a jazzy, 50s-ish tribute to Ballet with songs by Eartha Kitt and Ella Fitzgerald; and a modern interpretation of Igor Stravinsky's Violin Concerto choreographed by George Balanchine. My son really enjoyed the first act while my daughter enjoyed the second act. Both kids were really bored by the third act. My son actually fell asleep during the third act. It wasn't surprising since it was already 9:30pm when he fell asleep. I was glad that the show had two intermissions. I had packed some snacks and juice for the kids so they can eat something during the intermissions. The kids and I survived the long, and late show.

I was pleased that this ballet gave my children another aspect of ballet that they don't normally see. They are used to the classical ballet--Swan Lake and Nutcracker. Now they see how ballet can be applied to different music and thus modernizing it.

My own ballet senses were shocked during the first act because there were more than 10 male ballet dancers and only 1 ballerina on stage. Whereas in majority of classical ballet, we see more ballerinas than male ballet dancers. I can imagine the whole program must be extremely avant-garde for 1929 when Balanchine choreographed it. In any case, it's still amazing to see the amount of physical strength needed to do a ballet program well. At least my son now sees that ballet is not just for girls.

昨天下午公司有人送給我老公四張洛杉磯芭蕾舞團的票。我本來懶得去,最主要是因為戲院在Glendale, 從我家開車到那裏至少要一個小時。再加上表演時間是兩個半小時,我覺得小孩子一定會不耐煩或者是太累。反正不管怎樣,小孩子肯定會鬧,所以就不想去。後來老公說那票不能退了, 所以只好硬著頭皮,帶著兩個小孩,全家一起去看芭蕾舞。


Friday, March 20, 2009

言論自由 Making fun of classmates and teachers=suspension?!

I heard a story today from a friend who told me about something that happened at her son's elementary school. Apparently 2 girls were suspended for uploading videos which made fun of 3 of her classmates and teachers onto Youtube. Needless to say I was shocked and amazed! First of all, how can grade 4 kids know how to produce a skit making fun of someone, videotape it, and post the videos on Youtube. Secondly, what happened to the freedom of speech?! Thirdly, does making fun of people constitute a school suspension?

As we all know, kids make fun of each other all the time--sometimes the comments are hurtful (bullying) and sometimes less sinister; and yet, I haven't heard of anyone getting suspended for making fun of their friends. Now I have, with this case. The principal of that school also gave a speech to fourth graders about the dangers of internet and how predators are everywhere on the internet and that kids should be careful. What the principal said is very true, but it really doesn't explain why their peers would get suspended for posting a video on Youtube.

I am guessing that there must be a rule in that school's by-laws which prohibited bullying (or lack of respect), otherwise, the principal really don't have any grounds to suspend any student, especially when the right to the freedom of speech is so valued in the United States. However, if I am the parents of those students targeted as the butt of their jokes, then I may not have been so lenient on the 2 students who have been suspended.

It's obvious that the kids involved in this "prank" didn't try to hide their "actions" by using pseudonyms when they posted the videos on Youtube. They just did it without realizing that what they did would warrant a school suspension. These are regular kids, just like my kids. They are not even precocious. I do think the kids need to be held responsible for their hurtful actions, but I also think school suspension is a rather harsh punishment. In any case, I'm sure the kids have learned their lesson, but most likely not the kind of lesson we want them to learn. I'm sure they will learn to disguise themselves better the next time they want to make fun of someone else, especially on-line.

今天下午一位朋友來電聊了一下大家的近況也順便聊了小孩子。她告訴我一件讓我蠻震驚的事。她說她兒子班上(國小四年級)有兩位同學被停學,因為這兩位同學自拍了四個短片然後 po 到 Youtube 上給同學們觀賞。當然不是每位同學都看了這些短片,只是有同學在討論這些影片時被老師聽到。那老師立既上網點閱。不看還好,這一看就不得了。這兩位同學 po 的短片都在取笑別人。有三位同學及數名老師都是片中被取笑的對相。校長知道後,確認了這兩名同學的參與,當天就請這兩位同學回家,然後再下了停學的指示。


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Trip to Walmart

I went to Walmart today right before lunch to return the sleeping bag and a baseball helmet that I bought a few weeks ago. I had known that the line up at the Customer Service Counter might be long because I have seen it before, but I didn't expect to line up for 35 minutes just to return things. There were 3 girls working at the counter and they weren't in a rush to move the line along. Granted, they weren't just doing simple returns because one can also do check-cashing and money wiring at the same Customer Service Counter. Still, 35 minutes to wait to return something! That's unheard of on a regular business day. Seriously, it's not like Walmart prices are so much lower than other retail stores that I should even shop there. Anyways, I'm just a little peeved by my Walmart's shopping experience, so I need to vent a bit.

快中午時我去了趟 Walmart。最主要是想把數週前買的睡袋及棒球頭盔給還掉。剛好我爸也想要到Walmart 買他在加拿大使用過的Walmart牌去頭皮洗髮精,所以我就介這機會去了趟Walmart 。其實去之前我就想有可能排隊還東西時會排很久 (因為以前常常看到別人在排隊),只是沒想到我竟然也排了三十五分鐘才把東西還掉!! 真的是浪費時間,況且Walmart 離我家至少有半個小時的車程,所以下次沒事還是不要去Walmart, 因為Walmart 的整個血拼環境真的很差,價錢普通。雖然東西不算太貴,但是也沒有便宜到哪裏去。我看我還是乖乖的繼續到 Target 買東西,至少省油錢!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

嬌生的沐浴用品竟然驗出有致癌物質?! Johnson and Johnson Baby Shampoo is carcinogenic?!

It was very shocking to hear that many top-selling children’s bath products were found to be contaminated with the cancer-causing chemicals formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane. This news was released to the media by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetic (CSC) in their March 2009 report, "No More Toxic Tub." http://www.safecosmetics.org/article.php?id=414

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics commissioned an independent laboratory to test 48 products for 1,4-dioxane and 28 of those products were also tested for formaldehyde. The lab found that 61% of all the products tested contained both formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, 82% of those tested contained formaldehyde at levels ranging from 54 to 610 parts per million (ppm) and 67% of those tested contained 1,4-dioxane at levels ranging from 0.27 to 35 ppm.

The list of the products tested were well-known brands such as Johnson and Johnson (J&J), Aveeno, Baby Magic, Pampers, and Huggies. (See http://www.safecosmetics.org/article.php?id=426 for a complete list of the products CSC tested). The most recognizable baby product in the mix is Johnson and Johnson's Baby Shampoo. Although I never liked J&J's Baby Shampoo because of its claim "no more tears" which inevitable caused me eye irritation, we do use J&J's Head to Toe Baby Wash. In fact, we have been using it since my daughter was born, almost 9.5 years ago. It was surprisingly one of the few soaps that did not cause her sensitive skin to itch. We have been using this product because it worked for her, but we are not too sure what to do now.

Although CSC may have good intentions when they put out this report, they failed to address whether ALL Johnson & Johnson products contain formaldehyde and/or 1,4-dioxane. CSC puts this ball straight back in J&J's court. Now, it's up to J&J to come up with proof showing which of their products are free from these carcinogenic chemicals.

Another issue CSC failed to address is the fact that the existence of formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane is a well-known fact and many people in the baby toiletry industry know about these substances already. So what CSC said is not news. J&J has yet to release a statement regarding this matter. Interestingly, these carcinogenic substances are not included as the baby product's ingredients because they are the by-products of some of the chemicals added to baby products. No one has addressed the long term effects of kids using products laden with formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane.

It is frustrating to try to figure this one out on your own--do you let your children use the products in question or not? On one hand, you have a proven product that works for your child, on the other hand, is it safe? Will it cause harm to your child?

嬌生這件事情也讓我很煩腦,最主要是我們家的9歲女兒有過敏性皮膚(Atopic dermatitis ),所以我給她用過很多種 lotion 及shampoos,也淘汰了很多品牌,最後我選用了她沒有過敏反應的籃罐裝 Aveeno lotion (menthol) 及 Johnson's Head To Toe Body Wash。 其實任何市面上賣的乳液及洗髮精都可能有被加入防腐劑,因為東西放久了就一定會壞掉,何況是放在浴室裏的東西。這些產品如果要有更長的 shelf life,那麼防腐劑也一定會有加入在產品裏頭。那份CSC報告只有測試了四十八種產品,但是造成無數家長的恐慌,實在是不應該。更糟糕的是嬌生根本沒有出面解釋這份報告及保證其公司產品的安全性,讓使用嬌生產品的消費者不知所措!

不管怎樣,再還未找到更合適我家女兒的沐浴乳及洗髮精之前,我們還會繼續使用Johnson's Head to Toe Body Wash,反正已經用了九年多,就辜且繼續相信嬌生。

Monday, March 9, 2009

今天晚上要吃什麼呢? What's for dinner?

I went to Trader Joe's again this morning for my cup of coffee. I love shopping at Trader Joe's first thing in the morning simply because there aren't many shoppers there at that hour. I ran out of hash brown yesterday, so I needed to do a Trader Joe's run today. While I was there, I found a brand new product. It's a chocolate ice cream cake for $7.99. I haven't tried it yet, but I will definitely get it for my husband's birthday next week. We have already bought most of our birthday cakes at Trader Joe's because it's inexpensive, it's the right size, and it's yummy!

I also got some steamed clams and tri-color egg pasta. I haven't decided what to serve for dinner yet. It's either steamed clams with tricolor pasta OR fettuccine Alfredo with chicken. I am leaning towards the latter since my son doesn't like clams and I don't feel like making a separate dinner just for him. It's very easy to make chicken fettuccine Alfredo.

Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
1. Prepare a package of frozen fettuccine Alfredo (Trader Joe's, $3.99) according to direction.
2. Add Tyson's grilled chicken stripes (Sam's Club, 32oz., $9.88) that have been heated in the microwave into the fettuccine Alfredo.
3. Mix and serve.
4. OPTIONAL: You can add heated broccoli (Trader Joe's, $1.99) into the mix if you want to add some color to the chicken fettuccine Alfredo.

NOTE: I usually cook extra fettuccine (or other pasta) on the side because Trader Joe's fettuccine Alfredo always have more sauce leftover, so by adding the extra fettuccine, the extra sauce won't go to waste.

The greatest part about this meal is that it usually takes less than 10 minutes to prepare and cook AND it costs less than $10 to feed a family of 4.

今天一早我又去了趟 Trader Joe's。 昨天兒子還要再吃炸洋芋塊 (hash brown) 時,我發現冰庫裏己經沒有存貨了。一到 Trader Joe's 我就發現 Trader Joe's 又推出新的產品--巧克力冰淇淋蛋糕 (chocolate ice cream cake)! 才 $7.99! 下星期是老公的生日,剛好可以把這巧克力冰淇淋蛋糕買回家試一試。

我一直覺得有了小孩子以後最困難的一件事就是要找時間煮好吃又有營養的晚餐。我的老公是個老饕,可是有小孩之後,我們去餐廳吃飯的機會就減少很多。好在我家老公不挑食,我煮什麼,他就吃什麼。所以我會盡量找一些餐廳點得到的名菜來煮給老公吃(也順便訓練二個小孩吃一些新的菜餚)。 在 Trader Joe's 就可以找到一些世界名菜餚。通常是冷凍食品,所以煮起來又快又方便。

今天晚上想煮的菜是雞片奶油乳酪義大利寬麵 (chicken fettuccine Alfredo)。在台灣,有人把 Fettuccine Alfredo 翻譯成"阿爾費雷多寬麵條"。 這道菜非常營養,給小孩子吃很好。 我知道 Costco 也有在賣 chicken fettuccine Alfredo,不過必需要花半小時在烤箱裏烤。況且量太大了,二餐也吃不完,所以我都到 Trader Joe's 買冷凍的 fettuccine Alfredo,再加入自己的料,又方便又實惠。從頭到尾只要花十分鐘的時間煮這道料理。

雞片奶油乳酪義大利寬麵 (Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo)

1. 依照包裝上的指示把冷凍的“奶油乳酪義大利寬麵"(fettuccine Alfredo)煮好。 (Trader Joe's, 一包四人份 $3.99).
2. 加入微波溫熱後的雞肉條塊一起煮。 Tyson's grilled chicken strips (Sam's Club, 32oz., $9.88)
3. 可以加入一些微波溫熱後的花椰菜 (Trader Joe's, 一包免洗有機 Broccoli $1.99)

註: 我通常會另外煮一些義大利寬麵,因為 Trader Joe's 買的冷凍“奶油乳酪義大利寬麵"(fettuccine Alfredo)煮好後會殘留很多醬汁,所以多加一點麵下去,才不會覺得醬汁太多、太水。

Saturday, March 7, 2009

少了一個小孩! Missing my daughter!

My 9 year-old daughter went to a horse camp this weekend. She went with her Junior Scout troop. It's the second time she has spent the night away from home. Two years ago, she did an over-night backyard camp with her Brownies troop girls. But she was only 5 minutes away from me. This time, she is in Bonsall, at least 2 hours away from our house. It's a strange feeling to have only one child in the house. Although I miss having my daughter around the house, I feel lighter. Instead of the responsibility of taking care of two kids, for today, I only have to worry about the immediate needs of one child.

I have been checking the weather channel since last week for the weather condition of Bonsall. I'm so glad that the rain forecasted for this weekend was not realized. I worry whether my daughter knows to put on an extra layer of clothing when the temperature drops at night. I worry about the dry, itchy condition of her face, especially around her eyes. I wonder whether she will put the cream that I had packed for her on her face. With all the wondering, I also know that this is a good experience for her. She won't have a mother hovering over her, making every decision for her. Whether good or bad, she will have to solve any problems that she encounters on her own.

早上起床後就覺得很輕鬆。今天我少了一個小孩。昨天我的女兒跟她的女童子軍隊去了 Bonsall (San Diego) 附近的一個馬術農場露營。 Bonsall 離我家有兩個小時的車程,所以還算蠻遠的。 我擔心她晚上冷的時候不會自己多加一件衣服。我擔心她皮膚乾的時候不會塗我幫她準備好的乳霜。再怎麼樣,遠水也救不了近火,所以只能期待她能展現她的應變能力,有辦法解決自己碰到的問題。不過我想我的擔心是多餘的。想一想,這趟露營活動也是女兒成長過程中必經的路。這就是住在美國的小孩,幸福、自由的地方。

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

什麼是女童子軍餅乾? Girl Scout Cookies

The Girl Scout Cookies are a familiar part of American culture. For more than 90 years, Girl Scouts, with the enthusiastic support of their families, have helped ensure the success of local Girl Scout Cookie activities. From its earliest beginnings to its current popularity, the sale of cookies has helped Girl Scout Brownies, Juniors, and Girl Scouts 11-17 have fun, develop valuable life skills, and make the world a better place by helping to support Girl Scouting in their communities. Girls are proud that their efforts provide resources for their local Girl Scout councils and for their own Girl Scout troops/groups.

Basically, Girl Scout cookies are cookies sold by Girl Scouts of America as a fundraiser for their local scout units. Each box of Girl Scout cookies is priced at $4 per box. $0.75 from each box of cookies sold by a Girl Scou will go back to the Troop that Girl Scout belongs to. Top-selling girls can earn prizes for their efforts. There are also unit incentives if the unit as a whole does well. In 2005, over 200 million boxes were sold.

For the last 2 years, as the parent of a Junior Scout, I accompanied my daughter when she went door-to-door selling Girl Scout cookies for her troop. This is the first year that she didn't sell door-to-door. She simply did not have the time to do it anymore. I ended up buying 20 boxes and supported her troop that way. I know it defeats the spirit of the Girl Scout cookies for me to buy the cookies, but she happened to have school projects due during the 3 weeks she was allowed to sell the Girl Scout cookies. It was simply too time-consuming for my daughter to sell Girl Scout cookies door-to-door this year.

First, she needs to pre-sell the cookies door-to-door. She has to ask the people who responded to the door whether they want any Girl Scout cookies, then she needs to take the orders down and make sure the Troop's cookie mom get the order and the money (Yes, the Troop collects the money from the girls/parents first so they can pay the Girl Scout organization when the cookie moms pick up the cookies). Then when the cookies arrive, she needs to deliver the cookies to the people on her order list and collects the money. In many incidences, she had to go back to the same address several times because people were not home for the delivery to be made.

I do think the experience of selling Girl Scout Cookies is a valuable one, especially for shy girls. At 6 years old, my daughter learned that selling door-to-door is not as easy as it looks, especially when the product she is selling is slightly more expensive than its counterparts at supermarkets. She had to learn about rejections and the joy of making a sale. It's very "real world".

Selling door-to-door presented a challenge for us as well weather-wise each year. Although the weather in southern California is better than most other states, early- to mid-February (when the cookies pre-sale takes place) is usually when our worst weather presents itself. I don't let my daughter out to do any door-to-door sales when it's raining outside. In our neighborhood, where the roads are windy and have no sidewalks, rain usually means poor visibility. It's just not safe for anyone to walk outside in the rain, let alone a small child selling cookies door-to-door, even if she's accompanied by her parent.
Although we didn't participate in the door-to-door selling of Girl Scout cookies this year, we will be at the Troop's cookies booth sale at 2 local grocery stores in March. That's when each Girl Scout Troop takes turns staking out in front of grocery stores, trying to get people who walk by to buy Girl Scout Cookies.

每年二月至三月是美國女童子軍賣餅乾的季節。所有的女童子軍會到自家附近去賣餅乾。在家長陪同下,小女童子軍必需要到陌生人家去按門鈴。當有人開門時,小女童子軍就要問開門的人要不要買“Girl Scout Cookies”。美國人很好,通常一半以上的人都會買。一盒女童子軍餅乾並不便宜。一盒要賣四元美金,但是買餅乾的人都知道這些餅乾錢是要用來贊助女童子軍的,所以一點都不吝嗇。但是賣女童子軍餅乾是一件很辛苦的事情。每個女童子軍得挨家挨戶地按門鈴詢問買餅乾的意願。確定要買之後,小女童子軍就要把買方的姓名、地址、電話抄下來方便一個月後交貨。回到家後,小女童子軍要算出每個餅乾口味賣出幾盒以及賣出的餅乾之總盒數。算好之後,把總盒數及支票(賣出的金額)交給負責餅乾業務的媽媽們,好讓她們有錢去女童子軍的餅乾總部提貨。收到餅乾之後,小女童子軍又得挨家挨戶地去送貨、要錢。我和我的女兒常常碰到買主剛好不在家而讓我們多跑好幾趟才如願交貨、收到錢。


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

女兒要去露營了! Going Camping!

My 9 year-old is going camping with her Junior Scout troop this weekend. It's not the first time she has gone camping, but it will be the first time she'll be away from me for 2 whole nights. The last time she spent the night away from me was at an overnight backyard campout at a friend's house 5 minutes from our house. She was 7 at the time. I wasn't as worried then because she was only a phone call (and a short car ride) away. This time, they are going all the way to Malibu to a horse camp called the Rawhide Ranch for 3 days and 2 nights.


It'll be a great experience for her learning about horses and not relying on her mom at all. She has to think for herself and make decisions on her own. That's part of growing up.

The weather forecast for this weekend is rain! It doesn't rain often in Los Angeles, so this should be interesting for the kids as well. I still have to buy a few more things for my daughter to pack for camp. Neither my husband nor I are outdoor/camping type of people, so I had to buy a sleeping bag for her specially for this camping trip.

I found a great sleeping bag on Amazon. It's the Coleman Kids Explorer Sleeping Bag. I tried looking for a sleeping bag at Walmart and Target (should have gone to Kmart as well) for a children's sleeping bag that is light and warm enough for 25F climate. I initially saw this sleeping bag on Walmart.com for $20 but the website said the sleeping bag wasn't available on-line, so I went to the store and this item wasn't even in their inventory system anymore. Someone at Walmart.com needs to work harder updating their on-line presentations. Amazon sells it for $32.99. It's a little pricey, but after reading the reviews by other customers, I went ahead and ordered it. I got it 2 days later and it's a great, light sleeping bag. My daughter is about 4"9' and the bag is just right for her in length and width. She absolutely loves it. I like the gray color because I know her brother will get to use it after she outgrows it.

For my daughter's camping trip, I still have to buy her an extra pair of jeans, a small bottle of insect repellent, sun screen, and Listerine (for her retainer). I guess it's time to go to Target.

這幾天很忙,最主要是上個 weekend 的課外活動特別多,所以平常留到 weekend 要做的事情都沒做。女兒的病才剛好,整個 weekend 都在看她努力的把功課補寫完畢。看著她一天天的長大、變成熟,這種滋味我還是第一次有所感受。她再八年就要上大學了。所以我也只剩下八年的時間跟她好好的相處,創造我們母女倆的美好回憶。我要我的小孩有個愉快的童年。算一算我女兒的童年也快過了。面對我們的是陌生的未來,尤其是如何去面對女兒青少年時期會帶給父母的挑戰。我想我們必需要用智慧、耐心、包容、及愛去面對這些挑戰。不過這話說起來簡單,做起來就難了。反正船到橋頭自然直,到時候再去煩腦,現在擔心這個也沒用。


Monday, March 2, 2009

Box Tops

My children's elementary school is constantly in need of money to supplement the lack of funding from the state. On top of straight cash donations to the school, the parents (and the PTA) from our school also do a lot of fundraising events throughout the school year. I help out when I can. My main contribution is doing the Box Tops at our school. I have been the Box Tops coordinator of our school for 4 years now. I have collected Box Tops before my children were school age. Since no one wanted to do the Box Tops after our last Box Tops coordinator moved on to the Middle School, I just took over the job.

The Box Tops program is very easy. There is a Box Tops on most of the General Mills, Kimberly Clark, and Hefty products. Just look for the Box Tops and clip them. Each Box Top is worth 10 cents. There is an expiration date on each Box Top, so the Box Tops need to be mailed to General Mills before the Box Tops expire. The role of the Box Top coordinator is to collect all the Box Tops submitted by the parents, teachers, and volunteers. Then I would sort (get rid of all expired Box Tops or Box Tops without a date), count, package, and mail the Box Tops to General Mills. Our last Box Tops check from General Mills was $1,747 and that's a staggering 17,470 Box Tops which I have counted and sorted!!!

For a list of participating Box Tops products, please go to:


Everyone should be collecting Box Tops. I think Ziploc bags and Kleenex are staples in every household. Huggies diapers and products also have Box Tops. Just look for the Box Tops on the packages of everything you buy, you'll be surprised with how many Box Tops you have in your house. Instead of throwing the Box Tops in the trash, bring the Box Tops you have collected to the schools in your neighborhood. Your school will really appreciate your Box Tops contributions. Be careful when you cut out the Box Tops. There is an expiration date on every Box Top. General Mills will not accept any expired Box Tops or Box Tops without a visible expiration date.

By the way, if you have collected Box Tops but you don't have a school to support, please send your Box Tops to our school:

Box Tops
Lunada Bay Elementary School
520 Paseo Lunado
Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274-4377

Please leave a contact address or email, you will get a thank-you note from our students. A million thank you from me and our students!

At our school, I don't push parents and teachers to buy Box Tops products. All I am asking is for the school supporters to look in their houses for these products. Everyone is often surprised with how many Box Tops they have in their houses. Whenever I visit my dentist's office, I would ask the office manager there for the Box Tops underneath the Kleenex boxes in the dentist's examination rooms.

Every cent counts.

因為加州政府一直削減補助教育及學校的預算,導致學校經費不足。雖然我的小孩所就讀的小學是公立小學,學校在每年開學時都要家長再捐錢。雖然沒有強制執行,家長多多少少都會再捐一點錢,不過還是會有人覺得不必要再捐錢給學校。所以學校的家長會(PTA)及校長就會想出一些募款的方法。 我們的校長很支持家長利用自己的時間幫助學校多掙一點錢。

我從我女兒還很小時就開始收集 Box Tops了。到了她上小學後我很自然的就做起他們學校的 Box Tops 連絡人。Box Tops 這個募款方案很簡單。它是美國最大的食品公司 General Mills 想出來的好點子。這公司把它一些產品的包裝加了個 Box Top。每個 Box Top值 US$0.10 (10 cents)。家長必需把每個 Box Top 從包裝上剪下來、收集、然後再交給學校的 Box Tops 連絡人。最後再由這位 Box Tops 連絡人將所有收集來 Box Tops 的算好、整理好、再寄去給 General Mills。三個月後, General Mills 就會寄一張支票給學校。學校要怎樣花這筆錢,General Mills 不會多加管制。以我們學校來講,這筆經費是由學校的學生會 (student council) 來決定用途。有一年,我們的學生會(student council)用了Box Tops 的錢買了一部 DVD Player 給每一班。我們學校有二十班,所以學生會就花了一千多塊買了二十台 DVD Players。

今年我們學校收集了17,470張 Box Tops。所以一月份 General Mills 寄了一張 US$1,747 的支票給我們學校。雖然 $1,747 離我想要的 $2,500 目標還差很多,我還是很高興能幫學校募到一千多元。

Box Tops 常常出現在 Cheerios 和其它 General Mill 的 Cereals 盒子上面。 Kleenex 衛生紙的盒子底及 Ziploc 的包裝都有 Box Tops。 就連 Huggies 尿布片的包裝都有 Box Tops。 這裏有所有 Box Tops 產品的目錄:


需要更多有關 Box Tops 的資訊? 請到 http://www.boxtops4education.com/AboutBoxTops/ 查看。

有一點要注意的事是每個 Box Top 都有一個時限(Expiration date)。當您在剪 Box Tops 時,千萬要小心,不要把那時限 (Expiration date) 剪掉。 General Mills 也不收過期的 Box Tops。

如果您也收集了一堆 Box Tops,但不知道可以給誰,因為 Box Tops 是有時限的,您不妨捐給我們學校。我們會非常的感謝您的。

請您把 Box Tops 寄到:

Box Tops
Lunada Bay Elementary School
520 Paseo Lunado
Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274-4377