Monday, September 10, 2012

Sundae Party!

We finally finished the last thing on our summer fun list, and can you believe I completely forgot to take pictures until everyone had left and all the fun was over. This is a picture of the kids standing in front of the aftermath. 

My Grandmother is a natural entertainer.  I, unfortunately did not get those genes.  The details of having people over really stresses me out for some reason.  Not just one or two couples, but anytime there's more than that I lose sleep over it.  I have to say though, an Ice Cream Sundae Party is definitely the way to go if you want to have people over without all the stress.  All we had to do was provide ice cream, cones, and paper goods.  The guests brought their favorite toppings, and we were all set.  It's that simple - easy peasy! (I did buy a few basic toppings in case nobody brought the ones I wanted.)  We had tons of fun, and I was actually able to just sit back and enjoy my company instead of spending all my time in the kitchen.  We really hope to make this an annual end of summer event at our house! 

Well, thanks for following along with us through the events of our summer.  Stay tuned for our Fall Fun List, and I hope to have a few preschool related posts coming up soon as well.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Almost Finished!

I can't believe we're down to the last thing on our Summer Fun List! While summer vacation may be over, it is still technically the summer season, so we've still got time to squeeze that last thing in.  Before I get to what we haven't done yet, here's a few pictures of what we did check off the list over the last few weeks.

We also did a family talent show.  I know nothing about putting together and editing videos. You can be thankful for my lack of knowledge in this area as it spared you from the worst talent show in the history of mankind. Oh, don't get me wrong, we had fun and I laughed (a lot). In fact, most of the video you couldn't hear because I was laughing so hard the entire time.  To sum it all up though, Patty did "gymnastics", Petie karate chopped things, Peanut danced, and so did Penny (all decked out in a bumblebee costume).  The professor juggled and I, the uber talented of the group threw grapes in the air and caught them in my mouth. I know, it's a shame I couldn't figure out that video thingy.

 We also made postcards.  Don't tell the kids, but even though we made them weeks ago, I haven't actually sent them out yet.  I'm good at the planning, not so good at the follow through.

We also had on our Summer Fun List to bake cookies for someone.  I didn't have anyone in particular in mind for this, and it was nearing the end of the summer when an opportunity came up for us to get this one done. My kids really enjoy doing things for others, and I'm glad they didn't just look at this as something to check off the list, but as a way they could bless someone.

And that's it! Only one thing left on the list.  I could probably get away with leaving it at that and most of you would be none the wiser, but since there's probably someone out there keeping track ready to point out the few things I missed, let me explain.

-Camping: We had this planned; it rained.  Technically we had done it at the beginning of the summer for Petie's birthday anyway, so we just went back and counted that.
-Spend A Rainy Day in PJ's: The kids had me take this down. Believe it or not, they weren't the least bit interested in doing this.
-Take a Hike: We're actually just moving this one to our Fall Fun List, so technically, while we didn't complete it, we're just moving it. :)
-Go to a Movie: This one's getting moved to a Winter List.
-Donation Day: We did this, no pictures, no story, just that.  We picked things, we donated them. End of story.

So, there you have it, 27 (give or take a few) super fun activities for you to do with your family.  We've had a blast checking these off, and it really made the summer go by quickly without too many "I'm bored" kind of days.  Item 28 - Ice Cream Sundae Party is scheduled for this Saturday and it's the one I am most looking forward to! Stay tuned for our final installment of the Summer Fun List posts.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Summer Fun Successes....and Failures

     We've actually gotten quite a few things done on our Summer Fun List over the last few weeks, I'm just not very good at getting blog posts written.   Because of that fact, this is going to be one jam packed post. I'll try to keep it relatively short, but I still have to put up lots of pictures for my mom :)
     First, I'll start with what didn't go right, and progress to our huge successes.  The first thing that was an utter failure was something I thought would be relatively easy - a huge indoor fort. I think what went wrong with this was the "huge" part.  I really took that word and ran with it.  The problem was, it got too big and unwieldy.  I was getting very frustrated and it didn't help that the kids kept telling me, "Maybe we should just wait till Daddy gets home." Needless to say, I tore the whole thing down and we never really attempted it again.  I'm still crossing it off the list. (No picture for obvious reasons.)
   Our second failure was this idea I've seen floating all over pinterest to make a Giant Squishy Water Bag.  If you want to see what it's supposed to look like, you can go here and follow her instructions to make your own.  The reason ours was a failure had nothing to do with the construction of the thing itself, more the fact that we don't have a spot in our yard flat enough.  We taped the whole thing up as instructed, but as soon as we got a good bit of water in it, the whole thing started rolling and sliding down our slight slope.  There it got wedged under our chain link fence and ripped numerous holes in the bag.  The kids were so bummed that it didn't work, so I cut the whole thing open, laid it flat and turned it into a giant slip & slide.  They still had fun and that's really all that matters.

     Now, on to our successes.  We made two different flavors of Kool-aid slurpees using the instructions found at My World Made By Hand.  These were so easy to make and turned out great.  Honestly, I haven't actually bought a slurpee anywhere lately, so I don't really know how they compare, but I thought they were delicious!  We also made a copycat recipe for Sonic's Cherry Limeades that I found on Pinterest, and while I thought they were good, I still prefer the ones from Sonic.

      Another fun success - Living Room Sleepover.  Complete with a movie and Marshmallow Popcorn - so yummy! I could not stop eating this stuff!  You can find the recipe at The Craft Patch. (FYI: I've made this recipe twice now, once with store brand marshmallows, and once with name brand, and the name brand version was much less sticky.)

    Painting T-shirts was an activity we were all looking forward to.  It took me a while to gather all the supplies though, and in the end, I think this was probably one of our most expensive activities this summer. If I had already owned fabric paint or freezer paper it would have been much less, but I had to buy everything for this project.  I followed the tutorial at I Am Momma Hear Me Roar for the freezer paper stenciling and they turned out great!  I did find that painting a darker paint on a lighter shirt worked much better than trying to use white paint on a darker shirt.  Those just took too many coats and ended up bleeding a little under the stencil.

     We had a rare rain shower one afternoon last week that wasn't accompanied by thunder, so we were able to cross Play in the Rain off our list.

      And finally, our biggest success had to be the Gigantic Bubbles. I don't know why, but I was a little skeptical about this one.  I shouldn't have been though because they turned out AWESOME! I followed the tutorial at Tatertots & Jello for the bubbles and wands, but I only made about half her recipe of bubbles and that was plenty.  If you're looking for something fun to do with your kids, they will most definitely love this activity! At least mine did :)

     Well, that's what we've been up to.  We still have 11 things left on our list and school is fast approaching.  Enjoy those last few weeks before school starts and I hope your all busy making summer memories of your own.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

We've Been Busy...Having Fun!

     More progress has been made on our Summer Fun List! First off, I found a basic recipe in a magazine for funnel cakes, but this recipe is almost identical to the one I used. I can't believe how incredibly easy they are to make, and SO DELICIOUS!!  My kids actually said they were better than the ones at the fair :)

     Since we didn't get enough of a sugar high from the funnel cakes, we also made S'More Cones last week. (Not the same day - that would be insane!)  We used waffle cones, stuffed them with mini marshmallows, chocolate chunks, sprinkles, white chocolate chips, and mini peanut butter cups. You can really put anything in there you want, that's the beauty of these!  Then we wrapped the whole thing in foil and put them in a 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes.  We would have done these on the grill or over the fire pit, but it was storming outside the day we made them.  They still turned out AMAZING and were so much less messy than s'mores.  We will definitely be making these again soon.

     After all that sugar, we needed an activity to get us out and moving.  Unfortunately, it was raining that day, so we chose bowling off our list.  We signed our kids up for the Kid's Bowl Free program at our local bowling alley, and the professor and I purchased the parent pass when it was offered at a 20% discount. This was a really fun activity for all of us, but by the end of the second game Peanut was getting a little tired of bowling.  The rest of us took turns finishing out her game and of course, she beat us all.

     Another activity we completed on our list was feeding some ducks. When we first got out at the lake all that was around were these nasty, mean geese.  Then, from way across the lake we saw all these ducks jump into the water and start making their way across to us.  Once the ducks got over to us, the kids had fun feeding them bread while I tried to distract the geese.  The geese were so mean and aggressive, hissing at us and getting a little too close for comfort when they wanted more bread.  When we were all out of bread, I told the kids to make a run for it to the van.  I was seriously afraid of being attacked by these hissing geese.  We made it safely to the van with no injuries, but needless to say, feeding ducks is no longer an activity I think of as fun (at least not when there are geese around).

     We were also able to check off Make Slime, but I forgot to get a picture of it.  We used this recipe for our slime and it turned out great.  
     We also checked off Watch Movies All Day. This was meant to be done on a rainy day, but we had a string of days in the high 90's, so after a few days of the kids playing outside in the heat, I thought they needed a break and so I allowed them to watch movies instead.  As I sit here looking at my board with 18 more things on it I'm beginning to think I may have been a little ambitious when I made our list. We may not get them all done, but we're sure having fun trying :)

Monday, July 2, 2012

New Parks and Trying to Stay Cool

     A friend was just telling me about a great new park that was put in recently in our area.  We haven't had a chance to go yet, so when I saw "Discover a new park" on our Summer Fun List this morning, I decided to load the kids up and head to the new park before the day got too hot.  I love to see great new playgrounds go in that actually look like traditional playgrounds. For some odd reason, so many of the parks around here look more like art installations than playgrounds, and kids have no idea how to play on the weird equipment.  We all had a great time, and we get to check another fun thing off our list!

     We haven't been suffering the brutal heat lately that some of the country is feeling, but it is summer, and the temps have been climbing into the 90's around here - which is hot for us, especially for June.  In an attempt to stay cool, we chose some things off the Summer Fun List to help with that.  A few weeks ago we made popsicles, and also had a Sponge Bomb Water Fight.  Two more things to check off the list - only 24 more to go :)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Fire Museum

    We've had a whirlwind start to our summer this year.  We took off immediately to visit family down south and had a great, albeit hot, few weeks in South Carolina and Georgia.  I wasn't going to let those first weeks go by without trying to accomplish something off of our Summer Fun List, so when my mom suggested the Fire Museum one rainy day, I jumped at the chance to get the kids out of the house and cross Museum off our list.
North Charleston and American LaFrance Fire Museum

The museum had a surprisingly large variety of fire engines on display from years past, as well as helmets, equipment and other fire memorabilia.

     There was also a play structure for the kids to play on with a slide, fireman's pole, and fire truck ladder to climb.

     Interactive displays like this one where Peanut is trying to lift the weight of a firman's uniform and gear, made the museum a lot of fun for the kids.

I wasn't sure at first if this kind of thing would really entertain my kids, but it turned out to be a lot of fun!  The best part was, the kid's admission was FREE, and my mom and I only had to pay $7.00 each to get in. I'd definitely call this summer fun activity a winner for us.  Be sure to check it out if your ever in the Charleston, SC area.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Summer Fun!

Yay! School's out!! I'm pretty sure I'm more excited than the kids this year.  This has been one tough year for us and we could all use a fun, relaxing summer.  Last year we made our first Summer Fun List and had a great time doing as many things on the list as we could get to.  I've been collecting tons of fun ideas on Pinterest to add to this years list and we are really looking forward to getting started.  This is what we've come up with:

Feed Some Ducks
Make Funnel Cakes
Huge Indoor Fort
Living Room Sleepover
Play in the Rain
Paint T-Shirts
Go Bowling
Play Tennis
Make S'Mores Cones
Make Slime (recipes here or here)
Sponge Bomb Water Fight
Giant Squishy Water Bag
Make Popsicles
Ice Cream Sundae Party
Donation Day
Go to a Movie
Make Gigantic Bubbles
Take a Hike
Watch Movies all Day (on a rainy day)
Discover a New Park
Make and Send Postcards
Bake Cookies for Someone
Family Talent Show
Spend a Rainy Day in PJ's
Make Kool-aid Slurpees and Cherry Limeades
Go to a Museum

With a list this ambitions, I'd better go get started!  Do you make a summer fun list, or do you just "wing it?" Leave me a comment letting me know and stay tuned for updates on our progress.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

St. Patricks Day Decor

I finally got around to decorating for St. Patrick's Day, so I thought I'd share it. Most all of my decorations are ideas I found on Pinterest and made my own. (Have I mentioned yet that I LOVE Pinterest?!) First I started with the rainbow background. The professor cut down a 1x4 for me and I painted them to look like a rainbow. I wanted to put a pot of gold underneath it, but I couldn't find one I liked, and honestly I think it would have been too much. I got the idea for the rainbow HERE.

The candles are made from two different types of candle holders I found at the dollar store and glued together. Then I just stuck a candle in it, and filled it with split peas. Once again, found this idea via Pinterest from THIS SITE.

The pictures in the frames were free printables from HERE. The shamrocks I just cut from different patterned papers, glued them to dowels, and stuck them in a canning jar with more split peas in them. I got the inspiration from HERE, but tweaked the idea a bit.

This is the whole thing all pulled together. I added a few decorations from my local craft store to complete the look. I wonder if my pot on the right will be filled with gold once the Leprechauns visit us on St. Patrick's day?

Check out these and many other St. Patrick's Day ideas on my Pinterest Board.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Snow Days

I am from the south, born and raised. My kiddos on the other hand have all been born in the north. This is evident in the fact that they all feel right at home in the snow whereas their mama CAN. NOT. STAND. IT.!! Thankfully, we have had a really mild winter this year, and have seen very little of the white stuff. As soon as those flakes start falling from the sky though, my kids are begging me to let them go out in it and play. Here are a few pictures of the kids playing the last time it snowed. As you may be able to tell from the picture, we have a really great hill for sliding down. (Not that I would know from experience, but the video is proof enough for me.)

Peanut eating snow.

Patty sliding like a penguin.

Penny wishing she could be outside with the older kids.

Videos of Petie sledding down the hill.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Science Fair

This past Thursday night, both Petie and Patty were able to participate in the local homeschool science fair. Last year Patty was able to participate, but this was the first time for Petie. They both had a lot of fun choosing and doing their individual projects.

Petie's project was called "Bed of Nails". Sounds nice and dangerous doesn't it? Perfect project for a kindergarten boy :)
Patty started out doing an experiment called "Bad Cow", but after days of testing we realized the experiment wasn't working due to equipment malfunction. So, of course, three days before the science fair we had to start all over with a new project. Her new project was called "Oil Spill Cleanup: Does the type of water make a difference?" Her project was all about the speed at which oil separates out of salt water versus fresh water.
And...They both won "Most Creative Project" for their age group!! I was so proud and they were both really excited :)