Summer is coming!

The temps are warming up around here and I am already thinking summer...in every way! School is coming to a close (this week for EJ actually) and even though I have been in flip flops for months, I am really starting to think about summer clothes & accessories. I think you can have more fun with bright colors and not feel so stuck with what you buy because summer stuff is much more affordable!

Anyway...I saw a watch on a blog and decided I had to have it as a gift for my friend Tracie. Perfect fun summer watch for her! But the person who posted it bought it at an airport and the pic she put up didn't allow me to see the brand name. I shot her an email asking for more info, but of course in the meantime, got antsy & started searching for other options. I ended up finding 5 I liked and then couldn't decide which I liked more. It was one of those times where I had a clear favorite but couldn't decide for sure because I had stared at them for too long! Ugh! So I sent an email to Nellie & Matt to help me pick and they agreed with my choice too (of course Matt's response came in after the watch was at our house...he's a little busy these days), so I ordered it!

The next morning I received a response from my email (to the blogger who posted the original watch) with the brand name...and a link to where I could purchase it! Well, guess who decided she just had to have that one for herself?

{yes, I know this doesn't exactly show the watch, but look at that face!}

Nope, not EJ (she's just likes to be my model)...ME of course!

{here's a better look}

But guess what? This version was SUPER affordable! So...I got 3 of them! One for me, one for Nellie (she always responds to my crazy email surveys & I love her for it), and one for one of you!!!


So, how can you win? Remember our 55 days of summer from last year? Well, as I said, we have just a few weeks before school is over & we start the summer fun! I'm reworking how we manage our summer projects this year (an already tight schedule is forcing my hand) and we have a list of favorites from last summer that we would love to repeat, but we would love some fresh ideas too! So, leave a comment with a new project idea, field trip, adventure or link to something cool you've seen...anything you think we might enjoy.


Time to start thinking and get commenting my friends! Jack & EJ are choosing the winner next Monday...their favorite idea wins!

{I will be keeping the identities of those who enter a secret from the kids...only the links & ideas will be shared. If a boy wins, I will sub a suitable gift card & let the kids pick a second winner for the watch}
Leslie said...

Oh . . . you can just send the watch my way, because I've got the PERFECT thing! ;-) I found these and thought even MY big kids would enjoy doing projects with them. The link is to the product AND some lesson plans for them: http://www.teachersource.com/LightAndColor/Ultraviolet/UltravioletDetectingBeads.aspx (They're super affordable, too!)

Can't wait to see what you do this year!!

Michelle Smiles said...

Wow - looking back at your 55 days of summer makes me feel like a slacker! Such great ideas. I've decided to make Wednesdays field trip day...I'm just trying to fill in exactly what those field trips will be beyond the obvious zoo, park, picnic things. We have a couple of plantations that might be worth exploring and some farmers markets we might visit...coming up with things that won't cost an arm and a leg every week is a challenge.

Jackie G said...

ok, i will have to comment twice because i totally noticed you wearing the watch this morning and was about to say how cool it was and must have gotten distracted with another thought (or child!) I am going to think HARD!! 'cause I want to win it, it's rockin'!

Karri said...

CUUUUTE!!
My kids loooove making ice cream in a ziplock bag!
http://homeparents.about.com/od/recipesandcrafts/r/zip_icecream.htm
Sendik's sells ice cream salt on their back wall by the choco & nuts, as well.

Otherwise, my kids got a kick out of these flutes!
http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/2010/05/paper-roll-flutes.html

Christine Jacobs said...

My husband and I just yesterday took the kids down to the Riverwalk in Milwaukee. Parked at the Wisconsin Public Market parking lot (free for customers), and walked from the Third Ward to downtown and back. The kids loved the boats, seagulls, geese and ducks, and of course, the bronze Fonz. At the end, we got ice cream at the Market and sat on outside tables. Keep in mind - it was 10 degrees cooler there than here in Oak Creek, so definitely good on a hot day.

My watch just broke yesterday said...

There is a Conference for Consulting Actuaries. That could be a couple days of fun with the kids. Otherwise, some other “cheap” possibilities:

- Urban Ecology Center (where did I come up with that idea?)
- Swimming at Hoyt when it opens or at Bradford on a nice day
- House of Harley to look at all the cool motorcycles. Best part is its free
- Flying a kite
- First Stage performance
- Movie in the park downtown. Or movie outside in the back yard.
- Elegant Farmer – do they have anything going on the summer?

Beki - TheRustedChain said...

My goodness that is so cute!

My kids' summer break started today. YAY!

Sheri said...

How about a super fun playmate with Ella and Sophie? (probably not worthy of the official list, though). :-)

We like to head to the lakefront for a picnic and kite flying on a hot day. It's always cooler and windy, perfect for kite flying.

Leslie said...

Okay, I have another idea -- can I share, or is that cheating!? :-)

You guys could make your own envelopes from old magazine pages, maps, outdated calendars, junk mail, phone book pages, etc.

Here's a super easy tutorial: http://www.recycleworks.org/kids/art.html or you could use a template: http://www.replayground.com/pages/portfolio/re-magenv.asp (Or you can make your own template by disassembling an envelope you already have.

Then you can use some construction paper to make notecards and have a letter-writing afternoon!

Karri said...

Sorry - back again. Is that cheating??
I found some stuff I had bookmarked!!

plantable paper
http://alphamom.com/family-fun/holidays/plantable-paper-for-earth-day/

mosaics (these are sea shell, but i thought we could use rocks and shell bits from bradford beach)
http://alphamom.com/family-fun/crafts/sea-shell-mosaics/

i came across this one when i was on that site, refreshing my memory about the other ones!.....

Cookie monster puppets w/ monster cookies (yum!)
http://alphamom.com/family-fun/crafts/cookie-monster-sock-puppets/

emilee rose said...

If you wanna get crafty, I remember my favorite summer crafting activity was making play dough or making window clings with colored elmer's glue. You might be able to die the glue with food coloring, because they don't seem to sell it the way I remember. But then you squirt it all over wax paper, let it dry (overnight) and then stick them to windows.

Sarah Way Quiroga said...

After peeling some fresh corn on the cob from a trip to the farmer's market, you can make corn husk dolls with the husks. I have directions here at home I can copy and send you. We're thinking of going to a local animal shelter and volunteering some time in the "cat room" socializing with the cats but there may be an age limit on that one. I didn't read through all of your 55 ideas, but planting zinnias is fun, they're easy growers and make lots of flowers. I love all your ideas and don't know how you did it (planning, purchasing supplies, etc), Heather. I am way impressed!

southern daze said...

Summer activities for kids is definitely not my forte but this idea just popped into my head so I thought I'd share...

If you have a farmer's market let Jack &/or EJ pick out a fruit or veggie that looks really good and then let them pick a recipe in which to use their pick. They could then help you prepare it & then explain to Matt what they did to make it (or something like that). While Olivia won't get to participate in this tradition until she gets older she'll get to reap the benefits of the yummy food her brother & sister make.

Jackie G said...

Hey, I have to take some of my ideas off my list now...darn it!!

Ok, not to be a blog hog, but I really want that watch so I've been making a list all week!! Here it goes:

-go mini golfing, we have a ton!
-Boerner Botanical Gardens (or the domes)
-Discovery World
-Rent a paddleboat down on the lakefront and take a little cruise
-instead of the local playground, try out new ones and take a picnic for fun...Miller Park's playground is a huge hit with my kids because of the atmosphere and you can "tailgate" for lunch!
-Stonefire pizza on a rainy day, there's tons of games to play!
-Take a tour of Sprecher Brewery and see how root beer is made...and maybe let them have a special treat of the sample at the end.
-Take a trolley ride downtown...stop somewhere along the way or just take a big loop around and point out the highlights
-Hit the batting cages
-Since ice cream is a fave, try out some different and historical places like Leon's custard on the southside. (by the way, it is YUMMY!)
-Go tour Mars Cheese Castle and consequently get some cheese
-Go to the drive in, or make one yourself
-Check out a "A" baseball game in Beloit or "AA" game in Appleton
-Tour Quality Candy and see how candy is made (and get a sample too, of course!)
-Visit the Humane Society to take a look at all the different animals they have for adoption. Use it as a time to talk about adoption and that pets are adopted too, but it's a little different (that's where Max came from!!) They have classes and such there too. Just try to resist those adorable faces staring at you which is definitely the hardest part! (I can't wait to do that with my kids, I've been wanting to forever!)
-Visit Apple Holler...they actually have activities all year round and feature a different fruit or veggie each month. They have a bounce house, train ride, pony rides and a few other activities for kids at minimal fees, plus you can sample some of their yummy treats too.
color, make a meal all that color, make a craft that color, read a book about that color etc
-Or do the same thing with a letter..
-Make a tie dye shirt or use fabric paint and paint a shirt.
-Do shaving cream painting...you can tint it and draw all kinds of things, just be sure to clear a large space!
-Have a pizza day! (breakfast pizza (yes, there's an actual thing), pizza bagels for lunch, pizza for dinner and don't forget dessert pizza!!)
-Designate each day of one week a certain color and dress in that
-Save cardboard boxes and consruct a house out of a few of them. let the kids color the rooms and maybe paint them too, make little furniture etc...(if you get a new appliance, those boxes are AWESOME!!)
-Do Kool Aid painting (can send you that link if you need it)
-Have a backwards day (wear clothes backwards, each breakfast for supper and supper for breakfast etc.)
-Have a sleepover :)
-Paint aprons for each of you and spend the afternoon baking each of their favorite cookies.
-have a career day at home. Let ej do one day and jack another and focus that day all on what that person would do if he/she was actually in that career. maybe visit someone in that career or check out a book from the library about it. have them dress up like they were that career as well.

Jackie G said...

Sorry...round 2...I guess I got a little carried away, wouldn't let me publish it all...

-Plant a mini garden, in a pot, or just let each kid pick one thing to plant so you can watch it grow and then use it to make something. They will be so proud. You don't have to do an entire garden. Strawberry plants would be fun...
-Collect old toys and clothes together and have a mini yard sale. Let the kids use the money to either donate (like you guys are so good at) or toward something they might be interested in saving for.
-Start a scrapbook on day 1 (can be super simple) of the activity, a pic and a comment from each child on a nice piece of cardstock, slide it into a scrapbook and by the end of summer you'll have great memories and a book to share!
-Save all your popsicle sticks (or buy some)and make picture frames and put pictures of you eating popsicles or other summer activities in them.
-Teach Olivia how to walk :)

I'm sure I will think of others but this has helped me put together some ideas as well, so thank you :) Sorry...didn't mean to be crazy blog commenter, just cheap and want to win something (because i never win anything!!!)

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