Library love

Library loveOne of the branches of our local library is still one of my favorite places to visit. It’s a bit smaller than our main library, however, it’s going to get much bigger in the next few years. It’s where the boys have gone to story time, learned the love of checking out and returning books, and always know their favorite librarian will be there to check in on what’s new with them. On one particular visit, I was discussing with our librarian how A is looking for some new series of books to read. She of course had a few ideas….

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A’s favorite art supplies

A favorite art suppliesA is currently in the middle of writing and illustrating several items including his own book entitled “Allen visits the City”, Minecraft Supplement Manuals, and math and letter pages. He loves art and office supplies like J loves stuffed animals. Here are some of his very favorites:

Art SuppliesTarget’s Kid Made Modern has a unique line of papers, pencils, and crafting items. A really loves Mr. Sketch and Crayola’s metallic markers because they are bold and bright colors and they don’t fade easily. Most of his books have fancy edges and are stapled, so those are essentials of his book creating. I love his creativity and seriousness about both writing and illustrating!

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Disguise Turkey Tom

So I had planned this post when last week A had a school project to disguise a turkey picture. Little did I know the hilarious turn it would take…

And not just because J’s turkey was a punk rocker wearing a monocle:

Disguise Turkey TomAnd not just because A’s turkey was a “fine British gentleman headed out on the town”:

Disguise Turkey TomBut because unbeknownst to any of us, J saw where A placed his project and then slipped his own disguised turkey into A’s homework folder. So A arrived at school on Thursday with his math homework and an additional disguised turkey Tom. Apparently A and the kids at school thought it was HILARIOUS. Best J prank yet!

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We interrupt this broadcast…

for a J and Buzz Lightyear Christmas announcement…

Ready, Buzz?

PSAJ and Buzz want to remind you to fill a shoe box for Operation Christmas Child (drop offs are this week! You can locate various locations around your area by going online).

PSAWe picked out items for a box for a boy and items for a box for a girl. My favorite part of picking the items with the boys was picking out Hello Kitty socks (“We’ve got to get those, you love Hello Kitty” A said) and also that the boys picked out a race car for both boxes (“What if they play together?” A asked…”won’t they both want to race a car?”). True story, A.

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Storybook character day

This week is storybook character day at A’s school, and last year we just kind of threw together a “Luke Skywalker” homage, so this year I really wanted to step it up. A’s very favorite books right now are The Magic Tree House series, and his favorite book of the series is Night of the Ninjas (I think he has read it three times at least). I took that book cover as my jumping point and this is what I came up with:

Magic Tree House Storybook Character[1][2][3][4]

I think it turned out great:

Storybook Character Jack

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The week so far…

Our week has been filled with work, school, homework, and baseball practice. And with that jumbledness comes a hodgepodge post of the latest…

Starting with…you know you’re a Mom whose kid loves Minecraft when you are totally pumped to find this guy:

Minecraft Happyas the guy in the “random Minecraft hanger bags”. And you send your husband a text saying “oooohhhh snap!” and he responds with “sweeeeet!” Cause you get each other and why that’s a sound find. By the way, sitting on the floor of a Barnes and Noble trying to decipher if the bag I’m picking out is one A doesn’t have is not something I thought I’d ever be doing. It’s almost as fun as trying to figure out what Lego figure is in the Lego figure bags. One time we got THREE unicorns. Seriously. Now you understand my excitement.

This weekend A and I spent some time counting by 2s using mini M&Ms:

Counting by 2sA declared it “a delicious choice for math work!”

And after completely taking apart J’s room:

J's Room Re-doElmo looks panicked by the disorganization.

Calm down, Elmo. I finally got it put back together and re-did the wall by his bed:

J Room Re-doIf your thinking “oh how nice she lined up the peeps for the picture”, you’d be wrong. J did that. Yes, seriously. He even patted each one when they were done and said “now you’re nice and neat”. If only he’d use that commitment to orderliness in other aspects of his life. Like his shirt at dinner time.

On a side note, you’ll notice there is no headboard, and indeed I talked about getting a headboard a few weeks ago. While we were initially considering several different headboards (one was an inherited one and the other was the Pottery Barn one we were looking at), we decided to wait. Our inherited one was to small for the height of the bed, and I couldn’t decide if the Pottery Barn one would be too dark in his room. For all of our on-line shopping capabilities, I still have a need to actually go to the store to see stuff like that. And it’s not like he’s saying “hey, where’s my headboard?” HA!

However, my biggest victory was that I was patching some spots and needed a quart of paint. I could remember every other paint color name in the house, but J’s room. Finally B said “hey maybe it’s on your blog”. And sure enough it was. Pretty sweet.

And finally I’ll leave you with this kid:

Silly ASometimes I sit at night hoping that one day, A will have a little more personality. HA! Silly boy!

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Lots of rocks

WSW: RocksMy nephew is fascinated by rocks & my sister had brought a kit of items to make pet rocks, so this Wacky Science Wednesday seemed like the perfect time to discuss rocks. We watched our standard Bill Nye episode (you can probably check it out from your local library…it’s Rocks and Minerals), and then spent the rest of the afternoon making pet rocks.

I had great plans to make a chart of the different types of rocks and the layers of the Earth, but we spent a lot of time on our pet rocks and it’s summer. Worksheets, be gone!

WSW: Pet rocksThe boys could hardly sit still from their excitement about making their pet rocks. We went from one a piece to each of them making four.

WSW: Pet RocksTo make the pet rocks you really only need simple supplies: rocks, glue, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, pom poms, feathers, and pipe cleaners. We painted ours as well, and I found that to get the paint to dry you need thin coats, and it will take about two-three hours (we painted them in the morning, then decorated them in the afternoon). It was a little messy, but worth it! Only one more Wacky Science Wednesday before the boys are back in school! I can hardly believe it!

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Bugs and Plumbing

WSW: BugsI almost had to call this the Wacky Science Wednesday that wasn’t, because as we were labeling our bugs (ladybug worksheet), a nice little old lady came to our front door to inform me that our yard was flooding. And by flooding I mean water was shooting out into the street from the main water line to our house. Amazingly, while I was turning off the water, calling B, my parents, and a plumber, the boys labeled their ladybugs! On their own! Amazing!

We watched our standard Bill Nye episode (You Tube bug video), and came away with the important information that 1) insects have six legs, 2) arachnids have eight legs, 3) bugs are gross. So, definitely important scientific learning.

Since several of the Wacky Science Wednesdays haven’t always had things for J to do, I decided to incorporate some reading into our WSW, and was inspired by this Momfessionals post (there are SO many ideas in this post, you could spread them out over days if you find your kids super inspired). I checked out Eric Carle’s The Grouchy Ladybug from the library, and the boys (ALL of them…I was impressed…remember I have a 9 year old nephew) loved it…although I had to warn my sister when she arrived that they ran around yelling “HEY YOU! WANT TO FIGHT?” for about fifteen minutes after reading it. Bet Eric Carle didn’t think about that reaction when he was penning that tale. We had a second talk about the trouble the ladybug got him (or her…it’s not really apparent) self into by yelling that throughout the book.

Then we made our own grouchy faces:

WSW: BugsSeriously my nephew J…cracked me up. “I only smile for pictures,” he said. HA!

And then we went to work making our paper plate lady bugs:

WSW: Bugs WSW: Bugs WSW: BugsI didn’t have metal brads, so I punched a hole through the two plates and connected them using a pipe cleaner. A little variation, but still cute!

WSW: BugsAnd you can see little grouchy faces when you lift up their elytra (that’s right, that’s what it’s called!):

WSW: BugsA WSW that almost wasn’t, but we managed to pull off through our main water line getting fixed. Success! We love bugs!


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Lego sculptures

On Tuesday the boys were spinning their wheels, I was out of activity ideas, and I decided that we needed an excursion before it got too hot to be outside. I threw together snacks, a thermos of water, and my camera in a backpack and we headed to go see the Lego sculptures at our local Botanical Gardens.

Lego Sculptures Lego Sculpture While we may have gotten turned around a bit without our expert navigator to help us (that would be B), the boys had a great time and we used up all our energy for the morning!Lego Sculptures Lego SculptureHere are the boys favorite sculptures from the day (a BUNNY!):

Lego SculpturesJames’ favorite was of course, the bunny, A loved the butterfly, and my favorite was the bison and calf in the middle of the wildflowers. A loved that each sculpture had a written description with it and the number of Legos it took to build it. He is currently at work putting together some re-creations of the things he saw. Morning mission accomplished! Now to find something to do after nap time…

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