Thursday, June 10, 2010

Summer Activities...

I've been trying to think of some fun activities to keep the kids busy this summer. I've been looking forward to trying Letterboxing (or check out this link). Whether we try one that is already hidden or "make our own" and let the kids find them, I think they will enjoy following the clues and find what is hidden. Heck I'm not above buying the cheap party favor animals, you know the bag of 6 or 12 little plastic themed animal packets and spreading them in the yard, the park and sending the kids on a hunt for the animals! =) Lately all Bella wants to do at daycare is look for bugs so I'm thinking a simple kids bug catcher might be in store for her!

Our local library has a great reading program. Every year they have a "theme" and then you sign up and read all summer (you choose whether you are tracking in 15min, 30min, or 60 minute increments) and you keep track of how much time you are reading, being read to, listening to audio storybooks, etc and then I believe it is for every hour you get a BOOK BUCK to be spent in their "store" (aka trinkets or used books) or they can be used for a raffle ticket for multiple different prizes. At 10 hours of reading you are rewarded with a new reading bag. Here is this years bag.
They are great quality bags and quite large. We are still using our bags from last summer for vacations, simple playing around the house and of course for trips back to the library!

I am hoping to talk with our local fire department about making a trip there or having them come the the house and get a group of people together for that. Kind of hope to work a whole safety them for a week or two. We have recently taught Bella our phone number so next we will work on our address and Ethan slips up a little still on that one (usually just the house number).

I would love to work with Bella a lot more on reading. She is getting really close to figuring it all out. I hope to work some on the sounding out and the Dolce sight words too. I found this great Kids Zone website that has multiple grades and options which works perfectly for both my kids.

Now of course we are still planning on hitting a few fun places too; like the park/carousel/water fountains, the local water park, play dates and just general fun stuff! Looking forward to a great summer....Only one more week of school.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Our typical Summer nights to come...

Tonight we had a beautiful evening. Mid 70's and sunny with a few clouds, with all the rain we have had lately it was a welcome evening. Something we all needed. I believe though it gave us a glimpse of what our evenings will be like this summer! Bella being a beautiful ballerina! Nevermind the dressed up baby doll, the string headband or the hair scrunchie bracelet! (Oh yeah she had on her pink ballerina skirt which I told her I could see her undies, so she left the room and I hear some commotion and she comes back asking, "How is this?" She had went in and took the skirt off her "jumbo Barbie" (which is as big as she is). LOL


and Boys shooting hoops. Ethan wakes up talking about "his team" and who will be on dad's team. He talks stats, he talks player names, he talks about anything having to do with basketball! Seriously he talks non stop about anything basketball. He does mostly shoot on the big hoop, but usually can't pass up "dunking" on the little hoop!

Before I go.... you can never have too many purses right? Okay you probably can that is why I am going to go through and clean out my old purses because check out the new purse I bought from a Miche party.

I am in love with the yellow color and it has great pockets inside and lots of room so I can still carry my camera with me! (A heads up...Miche consultants can set their own prices, so if you are interested I can hook you up with this consultant!)  

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Quick Weekend....

Don't the weekends always go too fast? This weekend was NO different! Saturday morning we hit the nursery and spent too much money for what we got (actually we spent quite a bit, but we got quite a few plants and it was worth it) and even though the kids were barely any help we got it all planted and now crossing our fingers that it all grows and fills out the areas they were planted in!

What you don't see is all of the vegatables we bought. Todd had already moved them to the backyard to start planting! =)

I am really loving the "orange" flowers we bought to plant in our concrete planters. This main/middle one also has a salmon geranium on either side of this orange one. I can't wait to see them all bloom together!

We dug up the "tall" flowers out of this bed, they were bee attracters and I love the hostas we have in the very front yard so last year we planted 3 in this side yard and now adding 3 more (a different color though) and then some ground cover. Now for the ground cover to "take over" the area and the hostas grow together with the other ones. =)

As much as it was a beautiful day out (read I got my first burn of the summer) the kids seriously walked around like they were bored and didn't know what to do. Ethan was tired (up at 6:45am) and thankfully Bella had slept all night in her own bed..........yeah for her!!! They just didn't know what to do with themselves...we got our stuff done and Ethan got a little basketball in.... (too bad it wasn't in better focus)

I would say let summer begin, but we woke up to a night full of rain on Sunday morning... I am ready for the sunshine! =)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Fun new finds...

I love reading other peoples' blogs and finding fun new things! First I will start off with my newest favorites: Knock Off Wood, what an amazing site! Ana is the "owner" of the site. She has posted tons of "plans/blueprints" on how to build soo many fabulous things from kids tables and chairs to family room tables, dining room tables, to beds! My I want to build list is very quickly growing! I have started my first project: kids picnic tables (for my moms for mothers' to finish them). I am making my MIL (mother in law) the toddler version and for my mom the bigger kids version! Here is a great example from another blog readers picture in the difference in the tables!

Here is what I have started soo far............Yes I know I need to get busy! If you can't tell that is the top of the picnic table (it is sitting on the saw horses).

Most of the plans have been taken directly from the Pottery Barn catalogs, West Elm, Land of Nod, and many other very popular magazines! My list of wants to build is very quickly growing!

While we recently redecorated Ethan's bedroom (just went looking for the post about Ethan's bedroom and it looks like I never posted it....look for that maybe tomorrow) Back to my point... we got Ethan's room all decorated, but I am still struggling with putting together Bella's room. I have lots of little things to be hung up or great ideas but haven't followed through with them! Here I talk about what I bought for Ethan's room and some of the stuff for Bella's room...but I found this great canvas and would love to hang it somewhere in her room. I really love the brown canvas they show, but the pink would match her room! Now to see if I can find a spot so I can purchase one (or make my own with my scrapbooking supplies). I would save a lot by making one myself!

I am super thankful that Ethan likes to dress up. I guess I can thank private school and their uniform policy. I mean when you have to wear a polo and "khaki's" everyday. He CHOOSES to wear ties to school all on his own or to church on Sundays. I found My Favorite Pal that sells matching ties for adults and kids (clear down to new babies!). This one is my favorite. I actually sent them an looks like the kids ties only come in the zipper ties and we have never had luck with them... I want a "real" tie in the kids sizes! Don't you love this one too? I look forward to getting an email back....cross your fingers for me! Won't daddy and son look fab in this tie?

With summer coming it also means lots of BBQ's. It means thinking of something to take along. My usual take along is brownie muffins (again will post soon on those!) I saw on someone's blog about this Picky Palate site and OMG do these not look delicious or what?
I seriously can't wait to try these and they sound super simple!!! If you try them before me you have to let me know what you thought!

Along with those summer bbq's comes trying to find new things that keep the kids busy. I recently took a walking/running class at a local running store and I heard one of the other ladies talking about Letterboxing. I actually forgot all about it until the other night on Facebook when a "friend" was asking about what to do over the holiday weekend and it came up again. I read up on it and it is a super family friendly activity and something that the kids can get really excited over. Matter of fact when I explained it to both of the kids, they were both very excited to go out and try it (granted for us basketball and princesses took over our weekend instead). I plan to try  it in the next couple of weekends though! Has anyone else tried it? I hope you check it out too, there are "letter boxes" everywhere and you can even make your own to "plant" around! HAVE FUN!

I have a couple more things to share, but I think this has got long enough... I will post them real soon!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Long Weekend

First off can you believe we had a nice long three day weekend and I didn't even take ONE picture! I haven't taken very many photos lately period and it has been kind of freeing lately ... Yes the camera still pretty much lives in my purse, but it is nice to not have it attached to my face! (But that means no pictures for this post) =(

We had a great relaxing weekend, nothing super fantastic, but lots of family time. Last week I had my bike tuned up (it had been since we bought our bikes back in 1996 so it was due) so we took a simple bike ride to the local grade school where we saw a fellow school family. I chatted with the mom for a few minutes while the kids played. Hubby came back over to where I was at and was smiling from ear to ear. It sounded like the other little boy (B) has Ethan if he had ever received a referral at school (a bad letter, you are in trouble letter) and Ethan said NO, I have only had one when I was born! (For those that don't know that is what it is called when we received his medical information and the first picture of him). It just made us smile. I'm sure the other boy was royally confused at what that meant!

Seriously all Ethan wanted to do all weekend was either play Wii NBA 2K10 (he is good; there is NO letting him win!) or outside shooting hoops in the driveway. Basketball is ALL he seems to be talking about these days! He talks about who and when they were drafted and I'm not talking about only current players he goes way back. A lot he has learned from the Wii (who says video games aren't educational), some from watching the games on TV and well he reads the back of old basketball figurines and well who knows where else! He is a walking bit of information. He wakes up talking about basketball and goes to sleep talking about basketball! Poor Bella she just ever so "patiently" waits her turn to play Wii or for Daddy's attention. It is a little hard but she has done great....

She is very excited for summer to be here, but is soo excited to start kindergarten in the fall! She is very excited about getting 3 recesses and taking her own lunch too. Just tonight she was saying how we haven't gotten her new backpack and lunch box. I tried to explain how we would do that shopping over the summer. We will see how excited she is when she has to get up EVERY morning and dress in her uniforms ... She will be one tired girl, I'm thinking she will be having a 7 o'clock bedtime! =)
I think we may even find out which kindergarten class she will be in next year. Hubby wants one teacher and I want the other one. I think she will end up with my choice, but I think in the end hubby will be pleased with that decision too (not like it is ours, the school is making it).

Maybe I will take a few pictures for tomorrow's post or find some that I haven't posted before! =)
Yeah tomorrow is already over the hump day! Gotta love 3 day weekends!