Flat Stanley Goes to a Lightning Game

Hi kids! Me again, Flat Stanley. I’ve taken over Auntie Lynn’s blog again to tell you all about my amazing day in Tampa with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Let’s start with the biggest news of all. Today, i met Steven Stamkos. He’s one of the best players in the entire NHL and he’s only 22 years old. He’s my new buddy. We got to hang out all morning at practice and it was so much fun to meet him and the rest of the team.

Today, The Tampa Bay Lightning played a home game. The game was a complete sell out. In fact, they’ve sold out all their hockey games so far this year. They have the most amazing fans and such great community support.

A sell out means no one could even BUY a ticket for the game tonight so I was SOOOO lucky to know Auntie Lynn. She snuck me into the game in her purse. It’s a good thing I’m flat so I could fit in with no problem.

First thing I had to do was learn the team mantra. Auntie Lynn made me repeat the mantra 27 times which is ALOT of times. The mantra is:

Choose Everyday! Get Worse, Stay the Same or Get Better

I don’t know about you but, I choose to get better.

Next, I had to get checked out by the Team Doctor.  I was nervous I wouldn’t pass the physical since I had really been exercising or eating alot of vegetables lately but I passed.

Barely though.

He made me eat a plate of spinach immediately after the exam and told me I really needed to start eating vegetables at least 3 times a day. Then he made me lift up the Stanley Cup 41 times. The Stanley Cup is the award for the best hockey team in the whole wide world. The Lightning won it in 2004 and are hopeful to win it again really soon. It’s really HEAVY and it took all my muscles to lift it up that many times.  It’s especially hard when you are flat like me. I learned today that whether you are an athlete or not, exercise and proper nutrition are very important to your success so you can grow up big & strong.

Finally it was time for the game. I was so excited I could barely stand it.

I saw ice for the 1st time ever and got to sit right on the players bench. Next, Auntie Lynn had me sit on a puck and she pretended like she was going to send me flying across the ice but she didn’t. Whew! I was nervous for a second there.

I got her back though b/c when she wasn’t looking I jumped on the equipment managers back and played hide and seek. It took her a whole hour to find me.

One of my highlights of the night was playing the HUGE hockey pipe organ. It’s so BIG and I got to sit right up there with the organist and play all these great hockey songs. It was so much fun.

My favorite part of the game was the tesla coils. They look like real lightning and light up everytime someone on the Lightning team makes a goal. They are so cool. I also really liked all the dancing. We danced the whole game.

Auntie Lynn told me that when Kaleigh was just a little girl she came to a game one time and just danced and danced and danced right in the middle of the aisle. Auntie Lynn said Kaleigh is a really good dancer. All i know is when I make it back to Raffles Grade 3C, I think we should have a dance party.

Anyway, I’ve had a long day. On game day’s Auntie Lynn works from 8 in the morning until 11pm at night so we are exhausted. Can’t wait to see what tommorrow brings.

Later –

Flat Stanley


Flat Stanley Visits Tampa (all the way from Dubai)

Here is a picture of  my sweet niece & nephew Kaleigh & Noah Wittenburg. It was taken the last time they visited Florida. I cried and cried when they left b/c i miss them so. They live in Dubai now and although they love it there, I miss them terribly and want them to move back!

Kaleigh sent me her friend Flat Stanley all the way from Dubai. It was a LONG trip for him. More than a month of travel time just to make it to the USA. I was so excited to get mail from Kaleigh and her class at Raffles school.

The rest of this post is written by Flat Stanley himself about his visit to Tampa specifically for the Raffles South Campus, Grade 3C class so enjoy! And next time you visit Flat Stanley bring Kaleigh & Noah with you!

Love – Auntie Lynn

Whew, I made it. It’s a long way from Dubai to Tampa, FL but I finally got here. After all that travel, I was starving so first thing Auntie Lynn did was feed me. Then, I decided to rest. It’s beautiful here in Tampa Bay and the weather is great so I decided to chill out by the pool. Since I don’t know how to swim, Auntie Lynn’s dog Koiya kept an eye on me so I wouldn’t drown. When I finally got inside, I was so tired I laid right down on the other dog Simba and took another nap. See the photo to the right. Auntie Lynn told me that one time Kaleigh’s brother Noah was so tired he laid down on Simba & took a nap too so I was right at home.

Monday couldn’t come soon enough. First, I was told I had to drive into work. I think Auntie Lynn was lazy. Either that or she just likes to be driven around.  It was a little scary but with her help I drove without getting any tickets or any car crashes.

Next up, was a day at the office. Auntie Lynn works for a hockey team called the Tampa Bay Lightning. Working in sports is HARD work. Auntie Lynn runs a tight ship. I had to do hours and hours of work for her helping her market the Lightning.

Here’s a picture of me making all the marketing decisions. Auntie Lynn said she was going to the spa for the day and I should just do the best I could do. It was lightning and stormy all day in Tampa so I got inspired to make this commercial called Electricity while she was out.

After a few day’s of really hard work, I got introduced to my new friend, ThunderBug. He’s the official mascot of the Tampa Bay Lightning.One day we went to Metropolitan Ministries and helped out. Auntie Lynn said it’s very important to volunteer and to give back and that they do alot of that at work thanks to their amazing owner.

I had a blast with ThunderBug. He’s so funny even though he doesn’t speak English or a language that any human can understand. He’s also HUGE. He is one very BIG BUG as you can tell from our photo. He’s my new best friend in Tampa Bay.

You can learn more about ThunderBug by checking out his website. In fact, he even has a FREE Kid’s Club that anyone can join. Even kids all the way in Dubai. I signed up Kaleigh and Noah right away so they’ll be hearing from him soon.

That’s it for now kids, it’s been a very long few days. I have to go to bed early as tommorrow I’m going to my very first Lightning game. I’ll write more soon.

Later –

Flat Stanley

Lent – and Giving Up Vices

40 days ago i stopped biting my nails. I’ve been biting my nails since birth and just stopped cold turkey. I”m not even sure why I did it other than I wanted to see if I could.

See picture to the left. Not impressive if you don’t know me but if you do, you should be VERY proud of me. it’s a big deal. Just ask my parents!

Anyway, the point is I stopped doing something for 40 days and now, it’s not this pressing annoying habit thing i do anymore.

Which leads me to Lent. I’m a Christian but not Catholic so I’ve never really done the whole Lent thing. Not that I’m against sacrifice or anything it just wasnt’ something I do.

In fact, as i was having a discussion this week with friends about the whole concept, i did some light research (google, FB) on what it means. There were a million opinions but below is the meaning, i related to the most.

by Frederick Buechner~
In many cultures there is an ancient custom of giving a tenth of each year’s income to some holy use. For Christians, to observe the forty days of Lent is do the same thing with roughly a tenth of each year’s days. After being baptized by John in the river Jordan, Jesus went off alone into the wilderness where he spent forty days asking himself the question what it meant to be Jesus. During Lent, Christians are supposed to ask one way or another what it means to be themselves.

If you had to bet everything you have on whether there is a God or whether there isn’t, which side would get your money and why?

When you look at your face in the mirror, what do you see in it that you most like and what do you see in it that you most deplore?

If you had only one last message to leave to the handful of people who are most important to you, what would it be in twenty-five words or less?

Of all the things you have done in your life, which is the one you would most like to undo? Which is the one that makes you happiest to remember?

Is there any person in the world, or any cause, that, if circumstances called for it, you would be willing to die for? If this were the last day of your life, what would you do with it?

To hear yourself try to answer questions like these is to begin to hear something not only of who you are but of both what you are becoming and what you are failing to become. It can be a pretty depressing business all in all, but if sack-cloth and ashes are at the start of it, something like Easter may be at the end.

Source: Frederick Buechner , Whistling in the Dark: An ABC Theologized, pp.74-75.

So, my non-religious take on it is to try to make yourself a better version of you in the next 40 days. With that in mind, here’s what I’m doing.

1.Diet. I eat like crap so for the next 40 days, i’m giving up white flour and white sugar. Hopefully this leads to weight loss and healthier meals.

2. Exercise. For the next 40 days I will exercise 30 min/day (even if it’s just walking the dogs)

3. Mind. i’m going to journal for the next 40 days. Often, i get the most clarity when I write down what i’m thinking.

So, wish me luck! It worked with my nails so we’ll see how it goes. Happy Lent.