Thursday, May 31, 2012

Ways to Enjoy Your Kids This Summer

So, school it out(for most. We're still working on finishing up Math), and with that comes the dreaded question from your kiddos, "What are we going to do today???" With any luck you'll already know the answer, but if you are looking for some things to do maybe this fun list can help you look like a rock star mom(or dad).
  • Read
    • Ask your kids some things they're interested in. After you have a few things search the topics at your local library. Most libraries have online card catalogs. Our local library will let you pick your books online, place them on hold, and THEY will pull them and put them on a hold shelf for you. All you have to do is go pick them up! Such a help for busy parents! The library is your BEST friend. You read books FOR FREE!
    • Want to take reading to the next level? Read short excerpts from books and have your kids recite back to you
    • Find fun places to read. Grab an old blanket and throw it out on your front yard, sit under an umbrella table on your patio, read at the pool, read at the park, read on the trampoline. There are so many ways to enjoy a good book. My kids love to read under a tent too. We'll put a blanket over the office table and wallah, a table tent reading nook.
  • Bath time
    • Daytime baths are fun. Add bubbles and the kids will play in there until they're nice and pruney.
    • Bring in kitchen stuff. My kids LOVE to play with colander. Let them "cook" a fancy meal. Follow the bath up with a REAL lunch.
    • Throw in light sticks for an extra fun bath. We've done this a few times. We can only do it at night because we have a sky light in the bathroom, but it's SO much fun and gives the kids something to do after bath too.
    • Get bath tints! They aren't expensive and will tint the water for bath time fun.
  • Cook
    • Make homemade Popsicles! They are SO so easy to make. You can use Applesauce, yogurt, fresh fruit...the list goes on and on. You can either pick up an inexpensive mold from just about anywhere, or you can use an ice tray. Be sure you let them freeze up nicely before you try to pop them out or you'll have a mess!
    • Make no-bake goods. Rice Krispy Treats and no-bake oatmeal cookies are just the beginning of the ideas for fun "cooking" with kids.
    • Let kids make their own pita pizza's. They'll love this simple lunch. We make dessert ones too. Don't want to pay extra for pita's just use tortillas.
    • Let them get in on snack time prep. There are so many CUTE snack ideas here.
  • Free Outings
    • Call your local fire department and set up a time to see the fire station. Be ready to be flexible because the station can't shut down for you, but they are always so nice to us and always have fun goodies for the kids. Be sure to take some sort of thank you gift(a drawing or a batch of cookies works great!).
    • Go to the library. Most of the time they have summer reading club. They usually have fun concerts and activities too. Stop by and see what they have to offer. You'll likely be surprised!
    • Set up play dates with friends. Kids playing with other kids is ALWAYS a hit. Pick one day of the week and let that be play date day. Mix it up and make it fun.
    • Do crafts with recycled materials. You'll be surprised what kids can come up with if you give them an empty paper towel roll. You don't have to buy expensive pre-made crafts to have fun. Keep it simple and let THEM be creative.
    • SPLASH PARKS!! Those two simple words will become your best friends! Seriously, find out if your town has a splash park. We have TWO within 30 minutes. They are FREE and FUN! I like to follow up any HOT activity with Sonic happy hour. You can get a kids-sized slush for .50 or so. SO. MUCH. FUN!
So, I hope you are encouraged to go enjoy your kids. Remember, this is your life. Soak it up!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Little Bit of This and That

She's so glad to have a "real" prince. She's showing him how to "pwop-uh-lee" dance.

Look at this beautiful nest with egg. I think it's probably a bad egg, because we have small blue birds in our backyard now with a momma, and there were egg shells all over the ground under this. Olivia actually held one of the little birds yesterday. I hope it's OK. It was one of the highlights of her little life because she loves animals so much, but I talked with her about how we shouldn't handle wild animals afterwards. It was big enough to hop out of her hands and fly onto the fence.

My birthday breakfast. Manly knows me well. Ha! I will forever love Cap'n Crunch, Spaghettios, Little Debbie Brownies, and Doritos. I don't care if they're bad for me. They're SO good.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Because Sometimes You Just Need To Laugh

My sweet Addi had such a supportive attitude at swim lessons. She never once complained that she wasn't swimming or that it was 147 degrees in their. She just smiled, chatted with others, got her hair braided by other moms, and cheered on her sisters. When the girls jumped off the diving board she'd ask to go over by it so they could hear her cheer. Here she is with Lulu's goggles. Ha!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Blue Eyed Beauty

Genetics are a strange thing. When two people who come from different families get married and start having kids you just never never know what the offspring will look like and be like.
My Addi is a great example of this. Manly and I are both brown eyed. I have very dark hair, while Manly sports a carrot top. When we started having kids I just KNEW we would have all red headed babies. That just hasn't been the case. So far we have every shade of hair from brown to white, and one green eyed girl, two brown eyed kids, one grey eyed girl and...Addi.
Addi has the most beautiful blue eyes. Both of our mother's have blue eyes, so I guess that's where it comes from. Her hair has also ALWAYS been blonde. I'd NEVER seen a blonde haired baby before in my life, but Addi came out with bleach blonde hair! The nurses went on and on about how crazy it was!
This picture was taken the day she was born. I know she looks likes she's a couple months old!
Is she not the cutest stinkin' baby you've ever seen! This child came out ready to party! 

I was so worried she'd outgrow her pretty blue eyes. Most babies are born with blueish eyes, but they change as they get older. Since Scotty and I were both so brown eyed I just knew Addi's would change. Well, they didn't and she's still out little feisty blue eye, blonde haired beauty. This girl is a diva through and through. She wants to look "fancy" everywhere she goes. She's usually wearing a dress and sparkle shoes. Sometimes I try to fight the fashion battle, but most of the time I just look for sparkle shoes in all different colors on sale so that she'll have several pairs to match her clothes instead of wearing the RED ones all the time. Ha!

Addi wanted to wear this dress on Sunday and wanted her doll to wear the matching one. She asked me to fix her hair AND her dolls hair "ess-act-ly the same!" I already have 6 heads of hair to fix, but decided that one more wouldn't hurt(Don't read into that statement. I'm NOT pregnant-for the 100th time). They looked SO cute. This is post church, post lunch, and post hairbows falling out.
What you can't see is that they were both wearing red shoes too. Of course Addi's were sparkly.

Sweet silly little thing. She is also TINY. None of my other kids were ever small like she is either.

These next two pictures were so cool to me! I was outside playing with the kids and was taking pictures of them when somehow I caught a FLY in motion in front of my camera. Isn't that weird!?

See those blue eyes. Whoa! So blessed by this little beauty. It's exciting as I watch her bloom into the little lady God wants her to be. Love you, Addi.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Workin' at the CARWASH!

Manly got the wild idea to let the kids help him wash the cars on Sunday. We usually pay for drive-thru carwashes because, lets face it we just don't have the time or energy to do it ourselves and only run the cars through every few months or so. Just not that important...Anyway, he decided he was going to wash both cars and that he was going to recruit the help of the kids and would go ahead and set up some fun splash zones for them too. Here are some pictures I snapped while the "fun" was happening. I stayed out there on my beach towel(inside the garage) for a while, but hot weather and splashy kids are just not my cup of tea. One thing is for sure, though, the kids LOVED it and memories were made. Good job, Manly...
Daddy gettin' this party started.

Bubby picked out his own garb. He LOVES hats.

All the kids in on the action. I love Mia's face in this one.
I'm pretty sure she's thinking she could do a better job.

Addi getting the "wooof."

Daddy making things more fun for the babies by adding more water to the turtle. We only use the turtle for water instead of as a sand box because I am anti-sand!

Love this one of sweet Mia.

KK really got into helping clean the TOP of the car.

Addi in the sprinkler. For some reason they always back into them. Yikes!

LOVE this one. Look that their faces!

Addi is looking at herself in the mirror. Ha! She's such a diva!

My sweet Lulu doing her best to get the perfect amount of soap.

Another KK shot. That girl has such a beautiful smile.
Mia using her rag to wipe her face. GAG!

Mia finds the soap bucket. She actually gasped when she looked inside.

Bubby's Diego underoos peeping out.

Olivia resorts to washing the sidewalk.

Scotty washing the kid off.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Adventures of Faline

The following post may bore you to DEATH. If so, please come back on another day and I'm sure your socks will be sufficiently blown off(ha!). It's important for me to be able to freeze some moments in time so that I can look back on them and smile when I'm old and grey. AND, since blogger will still be around then(hear the sarcasm), I thought I'd freeze this story here.
My sweet sweet Livi is a giver. She loves to be able to share things with others and give presents to people. She has, for the last year or two been into writing things to give to others. I think it all started when we began using the A Reason For Handwriting and she was doing a give away page each week. Anyway, she's recently started writing short stories and sharing them with us. As she's done this I've encouraged her to someday write a book. Well, my Lulu, always the overachiever, decided the day was now and wrote a 5 chapter book. As she wrote it she had one thing in mind. WHO would she give it to! With Mother's Day around the corner, she decided one day that it was going to be Nana, so with her in mind she finished the story, bought a binder with her own money, and put it all together for her for Mother's Day. Such a sweet little thoughtful thing! SO, without further ado, I give you, "The Adventures of Faline"

This was the front cover.

The inside author's page

Not bad for a 7 year-old. Her sense of humor was so apparent in this story to me. I loved how she was dripping from the pages and that her story was so in line with things that she loves(animals and family). My favorite picture is the last one where Faline and Woody are in wedding garb! Hysterical!She's such a clever little sweet hearted baby. I wish she'd never grow up, BUT since she has to, I'm glad I'll be able to call her mine.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

21 Bullet Holes

Who doesn't love a bulleted post? What's that? You don't? Well, you'll want to skip past this little gem of a post, because today is brought to you by the bullet people. I haven't done a bulleted post in a while now, so you newbie readers might get a kick out of some of these new thoughts...
  • When I first started having kids I used to say I wouldn't know what to do with a school-aged kid. Now that I have one of those I feel the same way about high school kids...
  • I have baby fever. Go ahead and gawk if you want. I've never been one to do things like everyone else.
  • I don't like movies that are too true to life because they scare me. For instance, if there was a movie about a family that had 5 kids and one of the kids got beamed up by some hairy alien I'd be worried one of my kids was going to be beamed up by some hairy alien. It's true. Strange, but true.
  • I cry at dumb drama tv shows(including Survivor and Grey's). When Tarzan got to see his wife on the island I was bawling like a stinky baby!
  • I am an organizing FREAK, but my personal drawer in the bathroom is a mess. DON'T you DARE try to go and find it in my bathroom either. I know that's what you're thinking right now. DON'T
  • Now I'm worried someone is going to somehow find a reason to be in my bathroom and see my drawer, so I'm thinking about going to organize it now.
  • I still say "like." Seriously. Like, I say like, like, 457354 times a day. Like, I can't stop, and like I know, like, that, like, people stopped, like, saying it, like in, like 1999. It's painful. I wish I didn't do it, but especially when I'm nervous the likes come out.
  • I also talk more country when I'm nervous. Strange.
  • I like wearing jewelry, but don't every buy expensive stuff. I have some pearls and one pair of diamonds, but everything else comes from the dollar jewelry store. I can wear it once and one of the kids can pull it off and break it and I won't care. AND, I can buy LOTS of different colors!
  • I love Jimmy Fallon. I think he is HYSTERICAL. I think it's mostly because he reminds me of Manly. He'll tell a joke and laugh at it. Even if no one else is laughing. Funny stuff.....
  • I don't like wet things.
  • I don't like the sound of the ventahood or the bathroom vent. DRIVES. ME. CRAZY.
  • I love to sing. Love it. I sing in that shower,  sing around the house, sing at church. I'm usually singing in my head too, so don't interrupt.
  • I don't wash the sheets enough. I think it came from a time when I had to wash them every day because KK would pee on the bed at least twice a day. So glad that time has past. SO glad.
  • I can play the harmonica. I learned by a book my parents got me when I was about 12 in Mountain View. I'd just sit around playing it until I finally taught myself how to play. Now, when the kids have the musical instruments out I'll sneak one out and play and fascinate them! Fun times.
  • I dream of being in musicals again. I used to do some theatre stuff, but it's been years now since I've been on that sort of stage. Maybe someday that season will return.
  • I love Mia's current state. She will crawl up to someone(me, Manly, or Luce) and hold her hands out to be held. When you pick her up she'll snuggle her way up to your face and wrap her arms around you so tight. It reminds me of a koala. I've been calling her Koko recently because of it. We'll see if that name sticks.
  • Isaiah has been biting a lot lately. I know it's because it feels good to his teething gums, but still. It hurts. I WILL NOT bite him, so don't suggest it. Thanks.
  • My documents and pictures are all in tidy files on my computer. This makes it SO easy to find stuff on here. For me. Manly might not have the easiest time finding "That one thing, the one with the...thing." Oh silly silly man. Maybe you should look in the Manly doesn't have a clue file folder.=) Hey. I'm not a hater. I love that sweet darlin of a man.
  • Manly and I always have the same side of the bed to sleep on, but when he's not home and I'm resting I always sit on his side. Strange.
  • I LOVE fried rice, but it makes me sick.
That's it for now. Maybe I'll do this more often. I feel like I just had a session with Manly. Ha!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Smittle Summer Prep

I can't believe the school year is coming to and end and that it's almost summer! There's only one thing that can mean! End of the year projects, fun and easy half school days, and SWIM LESSONS!
Last year I asked around about swim lessons and was told by most to try one of the local colleges. After talking with them, we decided it was a good fit for our family, and Olivia took lessons there last summer. Within 5 minutes she was already doing much better than she'd EVER done with me, proving my theory that there are just some things I CAN NOT teach my kids. Swimming joins the list with piano and tree climbing. Ha! ANYWAY, this year was the first year that KK could take lessons there, so Monday BOTH of my big girls started lessons. They've done well so far this week. I'm excited to see what they are able to do by the end of next week! Here are a few pictures of my sweet girls.
They were SO excited to get to swim!

You can see the sweetness of my Lulu in this picture.

KK was giddy with excitement.

The littles haven't minded coming along and sitting to watch the big girls.
I usually bring them something they can hold in their hands to play with.

Daddy has even gotten to come a few times. Here he is with Mia(who doesn't look very happy.).

Little KK sitting by the pool waiting for her first time in the water.

You have NO idea how exciting it was to see her do this. We were REALLY worried with her sensory issues that she wouldn't be able to handle lessons, but wanted to at least give it a try. She had learned to float by herself on the SECOND day. SO so proud of KK.

We've also been tying up loose ends with school. These last few weeks we've been talking about Antarctica. As part of that they had to build an abstract(Scotty taught them about abstract art) sculpture using only white materials. This is what the kids came up with...
I know it looks like a pile of white junk, but it's art to them and still the "centerpiece" on our office table. Ha!

When you do a half day of school you have extra time to build really cool forts in the office. Eating UNDER the table is TONS more fun than eating ON the table. Isaiah looks just like me when I was a baby in this picture. And, by the way, my kids all have really pretty lips. This picture points that out.

Mia J-bird ate her lunch in the kitchen with the mommaship. She didn't seem to mind.

Last night we closed out the AWANA year with the awards night. This is a favorite among my kids. Scotty and I REALLY try to stress that these awards are among the best they can get, because they show that God's word is being learned and stored in their little hearts and heads. It was so cool to see a friend's son earn the HIGHEST award(The Timothy award)for completing every verse in the AWANA program. Seriously, what an amazing accomplishment! We love the AWANA program, and were so proud of our girls for starting out strong!
This was Addi's first time in Cubbies. She will be back in Cubbies next year. KK has actually been in AWANA's since 2, when she was a puggle. Now she's been through both cubbies years and will be a spark next year! Here is the group of cubbies from last night with Commander Keith.

Mrs. Brenda giving KK her award.

Mrs. Brenda giving Addi her award.

This is the only picture I was able to get of Lulu. She's the one turning to come back this direction. She has done really really well in AWANA's. Even though she had a late start at it this year, she'll move up to TNT next year having completed ALL THREE books from the sparks program and some extra materials too! She plans to finish it up throughout the summer. Such a great kid.

This picture cracks me up! This sums up the personalities of the girls so well. KK, the giddy show-off, Lulu the timid listener(being sure not to make any mistakes), and Addi, the one who could really care less about just about everything as long as she looks cute doing it!