Monday, June 18, 2012

Summer Fun Schedule

I have a lot to catch up from the past 2 months, including the recent birth of our baby girl on May 15th.  However, before I do I want to share with you a fun way to spend your summer vacation with your kids.  I was recently looking on pinterest for fun things to do with the kids.  There are hundreds of ideas and so little time to do them in. I was trying to think how we could implement these ideas into our summer.  I am hoping to have our summer be fun, educational, simplified, and relaxing.  I came upon to summer schedules that can help with this.  However, I am not going to force myself to stick with this schedule 100%.  A brand new baby, and three other siblings definately alter schedules all the time. But with these fun schedules it gives us something to build upon this summer. 

Make it Monday: This can be anything from building with the Kinex and Legos, Craft projects, Baking, you name it. 

Take a Trip Tuesday: There are lots of fun places to visit where we live, whether it be somewhere outdoors, or just a walk to the park.  You can visit the library, a museum, the pool, or  grandma's house. The kids are always asking me if we can have a bike ride.  I think there will be lots of these (whether permitting) this summer.
Time to Read Tuesday:  This was another great idea.  I really am hoping that Lil' E can continue to practice his reading this summer in a fun way.  This would be a great time to take a weekly trip to the library to choose books to read during the week. 

Wet Wednesday: Around here this is subject to change all the time.  Obviously if it is great weather on Monday and the kids want to go out and run in the sprikler they can.  If you live somewhere where the weather is always sunny you could easily make this a set day.  You could take a trip to the pool, get the sprinkers out, or have a water fight.
What's Cooking Wednesday:  This is more realistic for us.  Lil' E and Razy love to help me when I am in the kitchen and they are always asking if they can help.  Whether you choose to make cookies or have the kids help with a dinner or lunch menu they would have a blast doing it. 

Thinking Thursday:  I really like this idea.  Lil' E was really into science this year and I found some fun experiments to do with the kids.  Thinking thursday would be a great day to do those.  You could also use this day to learn a new skill or learn about something you have been interested. 
Be Thoughtful Thursday:  I also really liked this one too.  Today could be used as a day to get to know your neighbors by taking them a goody that you made on Wednesday.  Or maybe write a letter to a friend or teacher.  There are endless things to on thoughtful thursday.  Today could be used to focus on service and kindness.

Friend Friday: The kids love playdates and after talking with JBody we have decided that we would much rather have friends come over to our house than have our kids go to friends houses.  This way we can control what they are learning and taking in.  Yes this potentially means 3 more kids every friday, but sometimes it is easier to get it all done in one day and use the rest of the week to focus on family time.  Besides have you noticed that sometimes it is easier to have extra kids at your house because they are the ones entertaining you kids instead of you?

Now that I have put up our not so much set in stone schedule, let me also tell you what the kids need to do to earn these fun outings and activities...Bedrooms and small chores need to be done before hand. Yep that is all I have asked from the kids.  So as long as they get up and make their beds, and make sure their playroom is clean they are good to go.  They do have other small chores to do throughout the week, but those are on a need to do bases when mommy asks. 

I have also set up a system for them to earn tokens that can be redeemed for Kinect and TV time.  Every day the kids have a list of things to do each day.  If they chose to do them they get a token and those tokens can be used to go for tv time and kinect.  This list includes:

Reading: Atleast 20 minutes.  If they choose longer they can have more tokens.  Reading can be done alone, or with a sibling.  Asking mommy or daddy to read to you also counts.

Writing: Every day I would like the kids to write in their summer journal.  For the little ones this could mean drawing a picture and dictating to me what it is they drew.  They can write about whatever they want. 

Physical: They can do this alone or with their siblings.  They can ride their bikes, or take a walk, play tag, or just play outside. 

Practice: This is a time to practice a skill that they would like to.  This could be reading, baseball, riding a bike, music, ect.  Any goal that they have chosen. 

Home: If they would like to earn extra tokens they can ask me for a chore that needs to be accomplished.  The skies the limit on mommys choosing.

They can earn extra tokens for doing extra time in each of these areas or by taking time to help eachother out.  I am hoping this not only helps our summer run smoothly, but that the kids will get along with eachother and learn a little extra something before school starts again. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Today's Easter Message
The Lamb of God
There are three parts to this video. 

For some this can be hard to get through.  I know that it has always been one that has brought tears to my eyes as I watch.  To see the pain, mocking, and cruelty the Savior went through on my behalf. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Week Long Easter

Today's Easter Message
He Lives

I love hearing the testimonies of our latterday apostles.  As the kids sat and listened I was impressed that even my four year old recognized each one the spoke.  This truely has been an awesome week.  We were able to start it off with General Conference and then end with Easter. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Week Long Easter

Today's Easter Message
Sunday Will Come

What a wonderful reminder to us all that although we may be in sorrow and pain in our lives right now, Sunday will come.  Christ will return and we will be free of all our pain, lonliness, and sorrow.  He overcame death to make this possible. 

Day 4- Project Pinterest

Today was a fun and busy day.  I will be honest, we didn't actually get to do a project today.  However, I am posting one that we did about 2 weeks ago.  No worries, I am hoping to post two tomorrow.  Lil' E feels kind of jipped that we didn't do a project eventhough, we went to the park, went to the beach, went to get icecream, went swimming, and went to baseball practice today.  So before I post pictures of our day I will share you with our project.

Today's Project Pinterest
Homemade Icecream
You will need
2 cups heavy cream
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2tsp mint extract
mini chocolate chips

Add your heavy cream to bowl and whip.
Whip until stiff peaks form.

In another bow add can of sweetened condensed milk, extract, and chocolate chips. I added food coloring for the added effect of mint icrecream. Mix all these together.

Fold your heavy cream into your milk mixture.

Place into a container

Freeze for 6 hours or until set.

This icecream is really yummy and so easy to make.  I love that you don't need ice or salt either. 
Don't like mint? Try other add ins. 

You could add anything to your sweetened condensed milk to create your own flavors.
We also made smore icecream by adding 3 TB butter, crushed chocolate covered graham crackers, mini marshmellows, chopped hershey's chocolate.  Once we started placing it into the container we added swirls of hot fudge then froze.  MMM! 

What flavor would you create?

Our Fun Filled Day!
We started our day with cleaning.  Fun no, necessary yes.  This spring break I have not only been trying to do fun things each day, but get at least 2 loads of laundry done, and clean 2 rooms in the house (clean clean, not just surface clean).  We finished our chores, packed a lunch and waited for Mema to arrive.  Then we loaded the kids into the car and headed out.

We went to Chetzamoka Park.  The kids got a kick out of the fact that their daddy used to work there before he left for college.  They really enjoyed playing on the monkey bars. 

This is fun!

Look what I can do!

Okay wait, I need some help!


Trying to get a picture with the kids is so hard.  Razy is in that "I need to be silly posing stage."  They all have their forced smiles.  I am just thankful for professionals who know what they are doing and have captured great photos of the kids, because it can be so hard.

They do love their Mema.  They love going places with her and they were happy to find out that she would be joining us. 

After the park we headed down to the beach.  Mema likes to look for sea glass and the kids tried finding some for her.  No luck.  They did find lots of shells and rocks. 

We continued our adventure into town to visit the local icecream shop (no photos).  We each got a cone and then checked out all the gourmet candies.  Mema treated the kids to some jelly bellies.  They took their time selecting which flavors they wanted.  However, once getting into the car, Razy exclaims "I didn't want jelly beans" Icecrem and then jelly beans,? I think it was too much for her in such a little time. 

Next we met up with our cousins and enjoyed some swimming time.  They love the indoor pool because we can go during anytime of weather.  Our favorite is when we visit in the winter and go sledding and then swimming.  We couldn't stay all day and had to head home to get Lil' E to baseball practice.  It was cold, but fun to watch him crush those baseballs out in the outfield.  He gets so excited when he does. 

Well that was our fun day.  What did you do today?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Week Long Easter

Today's Easter Message
An Apostle's Easter Thoughts on Christ

I have really enjoyed these short Mormon Messages.  They have been a wonderful way to teach our children more about Easter.  On Monday when we did the Easter Ressurection Egg lesson, the kids each sat and listened to each scripture and then saw a small visual.  However, tonight as the kids watched the short video, you could see the wheels turning and their understanding growing.  JBody and I were talking about how much their little minds take in and actually understand.  As we watched they would point things out and make comments.  I am so thankful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I am thankful for My Savior.  Through his darkest hour he suffered for me, so that I might not have to suffer.  I am thankful for my children and their learning minds.  Their sweet and simple testimonies strengthen mine.  I am thankful for this Easter week, this Holy week, to remind me of the love my Savior has for me.

Day 3- Project Pinterest

Today's project made us all a little loopy.  You will see why once I tell you what we did.  The kids had alot of fun with this one and the nice thing about it was they were able to do a little on it and then take a break and come back to it. 
Today's Project Pinterest
Tie Dye with Sharpies
You will need:
Sharpies:  We omitted all the black, brown, and grey ones
Plastic Cup
Dropper (an old medicine dropper)
Rubbing Alcohol (90% or higher)
A prewashed light colored t shirt

Place your cup under your shirt and secure it with a rubberband.
Begin coloring on the shirt with your permanent marker.

The kids had fun drawing pictures. 
It really doesn't matter what they draw because the colors will all bleed together.

Using your eye dropper, fill it with rubbing alcohol and begin dropping drops onto the marker to begin the bleeding process. Allow it to sit and dry before moving onto the next drawing.  You can speed up the process by blowing on it or setting it outside to dry. 

We stopped to take a break and let all our circles dry. 
Once you are done you will want to put them in the dryer for 15 minutes to set the marker.  Do not put them in the dryer until they are COMPLETELY dry.  The alcohol is extremely flammable. Once you set the color you can wash them just like your other clothing.

And here are their masterpieces.

Can you say "CHEESE"?

Of course they have to ask me which on is my favorite.  And I was told I can not say them all.  I had to ignore that question becuase I knew it would start a fight.

We even had to make one for our new baby sister who will be arriving at the end of May!

Let me know if you make these and how they turn out.  I would love to see them.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Week Long Easter

Easter Message for the Day
His Sacred Name: An Easter Declaration
This is a short Momon Message about the Savior

I know that the Savior Lives.  He rose from the tomb and is Risen!  Because of his love and sacrifice we too will be resurrected and can one day return to live with Him in His Father's Kingdom.

Every year we really enjoy coloring eggs as a family.  We love using our chicken eggs becasue of their brown color.  They come out with an earthy look.  This year we tried something new.  Instead of buying an egg coloring kit, we used Kool-Aid.  We didn't get that stinky vinegar smell, instead it was fruity.  The colors of some came out extremely bright.

I let the kids pick their colors from the store.  Next time I would probably do the color choosing and use the ones that Jen Renee used.  The kids didn't really care what colors there were and they had alot of fun creating their own colors by mixing. 

To Make Your Own Kool-Eggs:
Kool-Aid packets
extra items for decorating (we used crayons and rubberbands)

Fill each cup with 2/3 cup water (warm or cold it really doesn't matter)
Put a whole package of kool aid into each cup and dissolve.
Let the coloring begin
dry eggs and store in refrigerator
The kids couldn't resist drinking the kool-aid.  No sugar added made for a very tart sip of kool-aid.  I thought that they would have belly aches for sure.

Another look at our master piece. 

***sorry the pictures aren't the best, my camera was out of battery and I had to use my phone.

Day 2- Project Pinterest

I was starting to think I made a mistake that we cancelled our "Stay"cation Destination after yesterday's weather.  However, this morning we were greeted with the pitter patter of rain drops on the roof.  The rain drops kept coming and coming.  After a trip to the store for the rest of our supplies for the week, we were ready to start our project.  Well I was.  The kids on the other hand had to re-earn the right to do their craft.  Luckily they did and we were ready for business.

Today's Project Pinterest
Homemade Bouncy Balls
You will need:
Borax (found in laundry section)
warm water
corn starch
glue (clear glue makes a see transparent ball and white glue makes an opaque ball)
2 plastic mixing cups
a stirring stick (plastic spoon)
food coloring (optional)

1. Label your two cups.  One with Borax and the other with Ball.

2. In your borax cup, add 2 TB warm water and 1/2 tsp of borax and dissolve.  Add food coloring.

3. In your Ball cup, add 1 TB glue.

4.  To your ball cup add 1 TB cornstarch and 1/2 tsp of borax mixture.  DO NOT STIR.
  Let it react for 10-15 seconds.

5.  Stir with your spoon.  When it becomes impossible to stir, take out and mold it in your hand.  It will be sticky at first, but as you knead it it will solidify.

6.  Keep rolling it in your hand until you have a sphere. 
7.  When you are done playing with them, store them in a plastic baggie.  They will only keep for a day or two before drying out. 
8.  Make sure you clean and wipe your work area thouroghly and have the kids wash their hands after making their balls. 

These are not like your typical bouncy balls.  They actually will bounce better on the carpet.  The kids had fun making them and playing with them eventhough they didn't get super high.  For a rainy day activity it was a success!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Week Long Easter: Easter Egg Lesson

Once again, we plan on focusing on the spiritual parts of Easter.  We did this last year and the kids really enjoyed it.  I don't mind them having fun with holidays.  Candy is fun, egg hunts are fun, and the Easter Bunny is fun.  However, more importantly Christ is the whole reason we celebrate Easter.  We want our children growing up understanding this.  Christmas and Easter both have such spiritual importance and we focus on it each year. This week I will share with you some of the things we do to reinforce the true meaning of Easter. 

You'll need 12 large Easter eggs labeled on the outside from 1-12 and put the following items inside:
#1 Sacrament cup (or a small cup)
#2 three dimes
#3 small rope or twine
#4 soap chip
#5 red cloth, thorns
#6 cross (use a toothpick) and one small nail
#7 dice
#8 sponge, stick
#9 rocks
#10 white linen cloth, round stone
#11 spices (bay leaf and clove)
#12 leave empty

Read each of the following scriptures as you open each egg:
#1 Matthew 26:39
#2 Matthew 26:14-15, thus fulfilling the prophecy in Zechariah 11:12-14
#3 Matthew 27:1-2
#4 Matthew 27:24-26
#5 Matthew 27:28-30
#6 Matthew 27:31-32, and he was crucified and nailed to a cross.
#7 Matthew 27:35-36
#8 Matthew 27:46, 48
#9 Matthew 27:50-51, 54
#10 Matthew 27:57-60
#11 Matthew 28:1 (bringing sweet spices to anoint Him) 2, and verse 5
#12 Matthew 28:6 "He is not here: for He is risen as He said."

Day 1- Project Pinterest 2012

As promised I am posting all the fun things we are doing for Spring Break.  This year instead of doing our annual "Stay"cation Destination, we are doing "Project Pinterest".  Every day this week the kids are choosing one of my pins from pinterest to complete.  This can be anything from a recipe, a craft, a game, etc.  They had lots of things to choose from, but I think that they are excited with what they choose. 

Today's Project
Marble Race Tracks
This was a very simple craft to pull together.

You will need:
1 foam pool noodle
exacto knife
tooth picks
glue dots

To Make:
1.  Cut your pool noodle in half length wise.
2.  Using toothpicks, glue dots, and paper, create your start and finish lines
3.  Race your marbles.

The kids had a lot of fun with these.  They got creative and connected the two tracks to make a longer one and raced about 15 marbles down it at once. 

We also pulled out the marble tube tracks.  Of course they asked me to help build it.  Man are these things tricky.  After I got the whole thing set up, I went to the kitchen to clean it.  When I came back they had taken alot of it apart and had constructed there own. 

The weather was actually really nice today.  This was completely unexpected.  Spring Break is usually really rainy and it was even forcasted as such for this week.  However, today the sun was shining and it was 61 degrees..."Hot weather" according to Lil' E.  We took a break and loaded into the car for a trip to the local creamery.  I needed to go there to get some cheese salt for a project we are doing later in the week and the kids wanted to see the baby cows.  They had alot of fun and didn't want to leave.

Meet Abigail.  She loved the kids.  She had fun sniffing them and licking Lil' E.  He thought he was the bravest because he let her do so. 

Doble enjoyed her too.  I was certain he wouldn't get as close as he did, but just like his big brother he wanted to pet the baby cows and get really close to them. 

Lil' E spotted this cutie.  His cute little heart on the top of his head was awesome.  I can't remember what his name was. 

Of course Razy kept her distance.  She thought the cows were cute, but she didn't want them near her.  Towards the end of the visit she got close enough to pet them as long as they kept their heads down. 

Abigail and Lil' E again.  He left with a slobbery shirt. 

In the big barn were some of the bigger cows. 

The baby cows were so curious.  There was one that was really interested in Lil' E's shoes.  I kept telling him that it wanted to untie his shoe.  Sure enough it pulled on his shoe and untied it. He thought it was quite silly. 

The Maternity Wing was full of the mama cows.   

Razy getting braver. 

These twins were funny.  The one kept sucking on his siblings ear. 

I would say that our first day of Spring Break was a success.  The weather cooperated.  The kids didn't ask to watch a bunch of tv.  In fact they only watched on episode while I was looking forward to their marble tube track.  We got to visit the creamery, which was an unexpected pleasure.  The day isn't over and they are still enjoying the weather.  It is 6:23pm and they are still playing hard outside on their playset.  Days like today actually make me look forward to summer.  Happy Spring everyone!