Week 11 Round-up

This Tree Counts! (Alison Formento)
Piggy Monday (Suzanne Bloom)
Hugo & Miles in I've Painted Everything! (Scott Magoon)
Jungle Song (Miriam Moss)
The Church Cat Abroad (Graham Oakley)
Brontorina (James Howe)
Bye-Bye, Baby (Richard Morris)
Country Fair (Elisha Cooper)
Gym Shorts: Doubles Troubles (Betty Hicks)
Gym Shorts: Track Attack (Betty Hicks)
Owen Foote, Frontiersman (Stephanie Greene)
Ramona the Brave (Beverly Cleary)
Ramona and Her Father (Beverly Cleary)

-end-of-summer slackers did no FIND this week

-day at the lake with the Geibs
-ice cream safari visit - Gille's
-date day with Jack
-sleepover at Grandma's (girls)
-meet the teacher night
-date day with Grandma (Jack)
-ice cream safari visit - Niemans's
-library visit
-weekend trip to Aunt Betsy & Uncle Neil's house

-end-of-summer slackers did no MAKE this week

-I'm counting our whole weekend away as an explore because we explored a lot of things...fishing, swimming, star-watching, mythbusting

-no formal help but Jack helped me a lot with my volunteer stuff ("I'm helping my school!")

{And we're done!}

Our Weekend Fun

We had such a great weekend! I'm exhausted, the house is trashed, and we have a busy week ahead, but...this was the perfect get-away from it all on the last weekend before school! No phones or internet, but lots of sun and family! And laughing...lots of laughing with my silly nephews (and my own crazy bunch)!

Wrapping up Summer

This is normally the time of week where I post the weekly wrap-up, but this is our last week (seriously?) so we get a couple bonus days! We were supposed to be packing this morning for a family weekend away, but Momma didn't quite have it in her. So instead we went to the library and then we went to have an ice cream treat (before lunch! and yes, I was inspired by Robyn's ice cream for dinner invitation last night). SO yummy!!!

And the best part was that our little low key end-of-summer celebration was just what we all needed. The kids both shared licks with Olivia, they smiled, we laughed & talked...it was lots of fun! As we headed home, I thanked the kids for doing a great job this summer and told them how much fun I've had with them. To which Jack replied, "Thank YOU Mom for all the fun experiences." Kind of makes all the crazy worth it, huh?

Hope everyone enjoys an awesome end-of-summer weekend! We're off to fish and swim and make smores and see my baby nephew (who lives much too far away)!

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

{photo & info courtesy of the Crafts DEPT}

Remember when I thought I made up a cool new word? Apparently, not so much! The book looks pretty cool!

Jack and Mommy's Day of Fun

So the past couple weeks have been tough...for Jack and for mom and dad! He just hasn't been himself. Instead of my usual sweet, caring boy we've had a boy prone to anger, sass talk, disrespect, etc. After a meltdown of epic proportions this past weekend while visiting someone else's home (ugly is an understatement), we decided this was not just a "ready to go back-to-school" problem, this was an actual problem! After many talks (and many possessions heading to timeout) we felt like things were getting better, but...

We have had a "date day" on the calendar for some time. Jack didn't know about it, and we thought about canceling it, but then thought that maybe it would help? In the end, I'm so glad we did it. I'm not delusional enough to think this is the cure to our recent troubles, but I did see my kiddo again and we had a great time! It was very weird to have an "only child" for the day though. In some ways it was so much easier (like when we got ice cream cones in the car), but I sure missed those girls of mine (Jack did too. It was so sweet to see him pick out things for them while we were shopping or smile when he heard a little girl talking because he thought she sounded like one of his sisters). So, here is our date day in phone photos...

Trying on one of the 5000 pairs of new shoes he got yesterday (because although I bought him bigger shoes in April, he grew another size since then!).

Arriving home & carrying in some of his loot!

Out to dinner with Mom & Dad alone! I seriously do not remember the last time it was just the 3 of us. I said last night that I think the last time it happened we may have been talking about our upcoming trip to Guatemala!

Brewers game...he was just a little excited!!!

The boys having a blast (I was ready to go home by this point, but hung in there for the team).

Waiting for the shuttle bus back to our car...and still wide awake at 10:30pm!

I hope the girls had fun hanging with Grandma! It is certainly quiet here this morning. But, I am off to pick them up and leave Jack for a date day with Grandma. Then it's off to meet the teacher tonight. I can't believe summer is coming to a close, but I am glad we are filling it's final days with happy memories!

I just can't quit you...

During a recent search for a new copy of my beloved planner, I realized how truly rigid I am with certain things (and yes, I do realize that most of you just fell off your chairs laughing at that "duh!" statement). For some things in my life there are options, but for some there are just no substitutes...I can't live without them! So today I thought I'd share (with no explanations...which is harder than it sounds) the things I just can't quit! {click photos for shopping links}

I didn't think I should include some things (you know like my favorite undies), but this is my must-have daily list. What are your must haves?

Countdown to School

I originally saw this idea here and changed it a bit to create a help project for our quickly winding down summer. We created Countdown to JK (junior kindergarten) boxes for some pint-sized friends of ours in the neighborhood...12 mini prizes to help count down the final 12 days until the first day of school!

We started by saving quite a few egg cartons. Take the top off of each one and also remove any flaps. (Oh and be sure to tell Dad that the bowl full of eggs in the fridge are not hard-boiled!)

Then fill each space with a small toy or treat. Ours were filled from a grab bag of mini toys from OTC as well as a mini candy bar and a quarter to round things out.

The original instructions called for shaving down the dividers (evening out the entire top) and then adding a tissue paper cover over the entire carton before adding your circles. However, we were using too big of items to make this work. So instead, I cut larger circles of tissue and covered the entire circle (this worked better over some items than others...we had some big swag in there).

I tried to cut the second color of circles even larger (which helped) and overlapping the two papers made a difference too, but in some cases I did end up doing a little patch work. Luckily tissue paper and white glue make a very forgiving combination!

While the glue dried, I created little notes for each carton. We did two color schemes as I find the pink vs. blue debate rages with the 4-year-old set!

When they were dry we packaged them up with a little baker's twine and Jack did doorstep deliveries. We had one casualty due to the evening rain, but other than that, I think they were well-received. Hope everyone is enjoying their countdown to the big day (9 days left)!

Week 10 Round-up

Hooray for Reading Day! (Margery Cuyler)
I Can Be an Oceanographer (Paul P. Sipiera)
Uh-oh! (Rachel Isadora)
Sergio Saves the Game! (Edel Rodriguez)
Olivia Forms a Band (Ian Falconer)
Pecorino's First Concert (Alan Madison)
Senses in the City (Shelley Rotner)
Paulie Pastrami Achieves World Peace (James Proimos)
What's Your Sound Hound the Hound? (Mo Willems)
Dinosaur Bob (William Joyce)
Ramona the Pest (Beverly Cleary)

-end-of-summer slackers did no FIND this week

-camping party at Auntie Tracie's (rained out on the camping part, but lots of fun!)
-toured Metlife blimp
-birthday parties for Jack & EJ (different parties, same weekend)

-family backyard movie party

-Cool Waters with friends
-library visit
-visit from Stephanie & Noah
-tball team ice cream get-together
-zoo day with Grandma & Auntie Judy

-swimming day at Auntie Tracie's
-dinner out with Grandma

-no formal MAKE this week...lots of organizing/house projects & resting when we could!

-end-of-summer slackers did no EXPLORE this week

-welcome to school countdown kits for some JK friends

What to do on a Thursday?

We might be taking this "cram all the fun we can into the last days of summer" thing too seriously! Today we are tired, we are lazy and the mom of this group can't make a decision to save her life. So we could either...

Stay home, do a craft, walk to the library, watch tv, maybe get ice cream, nap


Head out and hang with our friends (good for both kids & adults), swim, eat lunch, get off nap schedule

We chose swimming (and continuing the cycle of tired) and let's be honest, if we're going to be exhausted, might as well have a great time doing it, right?

But first...we need to birthday bomb a newly 6-year-old friend! Ding Dong!

Blimp Exploration

Did you know that you can tour a blimp? We didn't until our awesome friend Wendy set up a tour for us this past weekend. The MetLife blimp is one of about eight blimps in the country (they actually have two of the eight) and is on the smaller side for a blimp (which was shocking to me as this thing was huge!). How do I know all this? Because our new friend, and Snoopy Two pilot, Charlie told us all about it and answered our many questions too. It was really an interesting (and free) outing and I recommend it highly if the blimp is ever in your area. If you'd like to learn more about the blimps, schedule a tour or even request that the blimp flies over your event, just click here.

In the meantime, you can take a virtual mini-tour through our photos. Hopefully they will give you a sense of the scale of the blimp.

We truly had total access which meant I didn't think our kids were ever going to get out of the cockpit!

The man standing outside the blimp was holding it somewhat steady. They tether the blimp at the front but it can circle 360 degrees around that post.

EJ sandwiched in with the camera equipment. The blimp was heading out that afternoon to get some shots of the PGA Championship. EJ spent the afternoon waving to the blimp on tv and saying "Hi Charlie!"

The best part of the tour was spending a fun morning with our dear friends Wendy and Elizabeth! EJ even talked Elizabeth into carrying her around for quite awhile! (shocking right?) Thanks again for this amazing opportunity!

{image courtesy of Wendy, taken by Charlie}