Weekend shenanigans 

This weekend we had milkshakes after the “should have known this was coming” meltdown by J when A got a new bike:

The boys set ground rules for a game of tag (that were all immediately broken):

Oh and A got a new bike (he outgrew his old bike):

We had our first spring popsicles:

And we watched Born in China (the new Disney documentary) on a rainy Sunday afternoon:

This was the best picture I could get. Seriously, these boys! 

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Prepping for summer

I know it’s not even May yet, but with the end of the school year barreling toward us, I’m already sketching out a plan for the boys to avoid the “summer slump”. Otherwise known as the “I’m bored!” portion of the year. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fine with them being bored, in fact there’s great learning and creativity that can result from boredom. However, I also have a plan of some ideas to help stretch those summer days. 

The first thing I already have in my mind is our library’s summer reading program. The boys love reading anyway, this just gives them a fun way to record their reading and will include a weekly library trip. Even if they are beyond story time (insert my crying face here), they still love searching for books. I have the Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales series, Audubon, on the Wings of the World, The Chronicles of Narnia series, and The Wolf Wilder for A. And for J we are working through BOB books, Narwhal and Jellyfish, and the Ordinary People Change the World series. 

Second up is journaling. We are taking several trips this summer, and the boys have a few day camps and swim lessons lined up, and A mentioned wanting to take something to write in for our trips. I thought, what a cool idea for both boys. An unlined journal allows them space to draw pictures, write stories, or include any stickers or momentos. Especially for A, who right now wants to be a writer, chronicling different events helps him think of story ideas for later on.

Rainy/way too hot afternoon activity. We watched Planet Earth II this Spring and immediately upon finishing it, A said, “so there was a Planet Earth I? We need to watch that!” This show captures the boys’ attention almost more than Pokémon and Octonauts. Almost.

Play on your own items. In general, if the boys get to the point they are too loud, fighting too much, or in general bugging each other, I employ the Mom standard “go play on your own”. For A this typically means reading a book. For J, it’s pulling out all of his craft supplies to create, color, and make cards. A new set of easel paper, stamps like these, and more glue sticks are definitely on my list to buy before summer begins.

Snack math time. I don’t even know how A remembers all these things, but he mentioned needing division and multiplication flash cards to work on his skills (his words). Every summer since A started kindergarten, we would do math snack time in the mornings, where the boys would have a snack and I’d go through math flash cards with A. This year J will join in with word family tiles.

Board games. Both collaborative board games like our current favorite, Dinosaur Escape and competitive, like Clue, Jr.:

I like having both collaborative and competitive on hand, because it’s nice to play sometimes without the five year old meltdown when J loses. And now that I’ve got a summer list for the boys started, I’m going to go finish my nightly, end of the semester grading! 

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Bright eggs

I’m not going to lie, especially this year, the Easter bunny is a hard sell. A said “so a bunny…who only has paws, is carrying eggs with candy into the house?” and J said “how does the bunny know we’re home? How does he get in the house?” So….next year I may need to revisit the whole bunny discussion. For now, I’ll just plan to do what I did this year, which is re-focus on how Easter is about Jesus and we celebrate to celebrate Jesus, just like Christmas.

So when we were dying eggs, J said “well I hope both the Easter bunny and Jesus appreciate our color choices.” Ha! Appreciate, indeed.

We go really old school for our eggs, some food coloring, vinegar, and hot water. And like magic they were brightly colored!

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Easter Baskets

Here’s a little glimpse of the boys Easter baskets this year:

The boys LOVE Tsum Tsums right now, so I watched for a sale, and then bought them a stack for their buckets.

Here’s a breakdown of what each bucket has:

Each boy got two books, a little Melissa & Doug paint item, sunnies, pajamas, and Tsum Tsums.

And for filling their eggs this year:

The boys aren’t big on candy right now so we are dividing their eggs by color and then filling them with a few small toys. We’ve got a big week of Easter activities ahead of us!

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Hey batter, batter!

J had his first T-Ball game of the season! He LOVES T-Ball. I hope he continues to improve and progress because with his energy level (HIGH) he really needs sports to channel all that energy constructively.

He’s also a big rule follower with his coaches. We told him to walk up to bat (the kid before him and had batted and ran), but he said no because the coach hadn’t told him to walk up to the tee yet. Look at this stance! He’s ready! Good swing!  The main thing he’s working on is hitting and then immediately running. He was shocked (as many of the kiddos on his team were) when he hit it and just kind of stood there for a couple of seconds. So we are working on, hit and run!

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Things J does…

Eats ice cream popsicles like a boss…

Inspects caterpillars at school…

Pretends to be a caterpillar before breakfast…

J is naturally a funny kid, and he’s at the age where if he realizes you think it’s funny he really hams it up!

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Smoothie madness

Over Spring Break the boys and I made a smoothie. Then they asked for one the next day. And the next day. And then we were headed to the store to buy kefir, and frozen fruit, nuts, and such. Most of my ideas come from Weelicious’ awesome chart.

And I’ve found that I can put in pretty much any kind of tasty goodness in a smoothie and they’ll drink up!

Our favorite combinations right now are:

Oranges-Peaches-Hemp Seed-Vanilla Honey Kefir-Walnut-Unsweetned Coconut Milk

Raspberries-Blueberries-Strawberries-Vanilla Honey Kefir-Unsweetened Cocoa Powder-Chia Seeds-Unsweetned Coconut Milk

Peaches-Flax Seed-Cashews-Strawberry Honey Kefir-Milk

I’m planning on expanding their palate by adding veggies and other yogurt flavors soon!

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Garden continued…

While it’s incredibly windy here, it’s warm again which means the boys and I are out gardening. After making a morning run to Lowe’s:

We headed home, unloaded our groceries, and loaded up our garden supplies in our wagon to head to the back yard…

After standing around watching me try to begin to elevate the back of the edge of the flower bed the boys decided they should take pictures of me working.

And various poses of them helping me plant…

They did a pretty good job! And now our flower bed is a little fuller:

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