Navigating the bike trail

Same creek, same trail, what’s new?

All the boys biked the trail!

I ran behind so that I could stop with J when he paused to look at sticks, butterflies, and bunnies:

We only went as far as the creek because that’s about J’s limit (plus it was fairly hot even though there was shade):

The boys did great! And after we had lunch and immediately headed to the pool to cool off:


Hurray for summer!

 

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Current favorite views

Our library book stack:

Every year my sister makes these pickles:

 

A is obsessed with these, and he doesn’t even like pickles. He’s eating them faster than I am!

Fine motor skills:

Summer goal accomplished:

Which is after we eat we rinse our items and put them in the dishwasher. And put trash items in the trash.

The flowers on my work campus are in full bloom and gorgeous:

 

And this line of wear on B’s hat that J wore:

Melts my heart!

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Bricks, big and small

We built houses with big bricks this week:

And created games with small bricks (Legos):

That we played together:

And now that we’ve reached the official mid-summer, it’s too hot to go out midday, I picked up this set on a Target run:

For the boys to work on together:

Collaborative group work at its finest.

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Butterflies & bugs

With a little bit of cooler weather (and as a compromise to them not having to wear hats and sunglasses in addition to their sunblock), the boys and I hung out under the shade of our umbrella (which is red and gives off a glow of them having been in the sun when they have not, ha!) and drew with chalk and searched for bugs after lunch on Sunday.

And we also secured the truck of any spiders:

All clear!

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Story time & book finds

For the first four years of both the boys’ lives, story time at the library was a constant. A branch of our library has an awesome story time and we never missed a week. So I was not surprised at all when the boys and I ventured into the library last week and it was packed out for story time with our favorite librarian who still remembers both boys (and their names). At first, J said he didn’t want to join in on story time and just wanted to pick out books. However, as we were picking books, he got a little chair and scooted closer to the circle and sat there smiling. Then when they were done and started the craft he immediately said “I want to do the craft, too!” So craft he did:

J loved it! And we got a stack of new books to read including:

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Red, white, & blue stars

This is a beyond simple craft, perfect to do during one of the hit or miss showers today or tomorrow! We gathered plain craft glue, glitter, and chipboard stars from Hobby Lobby.

Then we painted our stars with glue:

Applied glitter:

And then let the stars sit and dry:

Then I shook off the excess glitter (and poured it back in the jars to save for another project):

Then we set them up to display with our other Fourth of July decorations! So fun and simple!

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Running and riding

Temperatures are back to normal June now, but we had several days of super low humidity and cooler temps. We headed out to enjoy being out and not boiling hot at 3 p.m. . I ran down to the track near our house, and B met me there with the boys and their bikes. While I waited for them, I realized I need better running shoes:

Mine are decent, but I need some better cushion I think. I’m currently¬†searching for new ones, but it’s been put on the back burner because the boys all needed new shoes, as theirs have holes in them. How do kids wear through shoes so quickly??

B and the boys showed up a few minutes after I got there, and I ran a few laps while they rode their bikes:

The boys ride pretty fast now, I’m going to have to get a bike as well to keep up with them. J is begging us to take off his training wheels, so we may test that out later this summer!

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Driveway painting activity

As the boys are getting older they are playing more on their own, creating their own games and adventures. We don’t do summer activities quite as much as we used to, but when we do I look for ones that the boys are able to do a majority of the steps, as they get bored quickly if it takes awhile to set-up. They also tend to like ones that involve either painting or cooking. A chalk paint activity fits into the create and paint category.

The boys started out by scooping the cornstarch and water into muffin cups and then adding food coloring to each:

Then they mixed up the colors (green was a favorite, ha!):

Then they started painting:

J created this sweet cross:

And when they got bored I dumped everything out and they painted with that:

And then they were done and off to ride bikes after we cleaned up! An activity that was more time doing than setting up was perfect for a summer morning!

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Pool essentials

The past two years the boys have done swim team, but with our schedule this summer we decided to pass on that and instead we got a pool membership and I signed the boys up for two weeks of refresher swim lessons at my work. Between our pool and my sister’s we’ve spent quite a few days at the pool:

Snacking…Floating…

Catching rings…

And taking a break from the big pool for the baby pool…

All of this pool time means I have a bag permanently packed for summer with essentials. Here are my favorites:

My s’well bottle is my favorite. It keeps water super cold and I typically bring it so the boys can drink out of it too.

Bumble and Bumble hairdresser’s oil for J’s blonde hair and my color treated hair. It seals in the cuticle so your hair doesn’t get brittle from the sun (or green in J’s case).

Coppertone Sport 70. This is not my everyday favorite (the boys either, they say it smells), but it’s thick and stays on, so it’s necessary for the pool.

Sugar lip balm. It has SPF, it now comes in all sorts of colors, and I wear it everyday in the summer when I don’t have to put on lipstick for work.

Supergoop setting powder with SPF. This is genius to use if I have put on make-up to touch up my SPF, especially on my nose which typically gets burnt if I don’t keep spf touched up.

Book to read while I watch the kids play.

Snacks. My kids require snacks.

Hat. I used to never wear hats, but I had several times where I burned my part, despite putting sunblock on, so I now almost always wear a hat.

Pool toys. But not an enormous raft. Those were banned after our pool after someone apparently brought one strapped to the top of their SUV. And it was bigger than the SUV. Ha!

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Current favorite views

The shine of new herbs, ready to plant:

A jar of drying paintbrushes ready for their next artistic adventure:

The view from our front porch right after it rains:

A circle of friends (who have know each other since they were babies) playing Uno:

J’s hair, unbrushed:

My favorite summer meal, simple and delicious:

A’s freckles, each one absolute perfection:

And a surprise treat from B:

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