Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Summertime BINGO!!

My goal is to keep my kids minds going during the summer.  I have quiet a few things on my bucket list to check off, however on the days that we are home, I want them to keep them busy.  To help with the boredom...I created a little summertime BINGO game that the kids will be playing.

They each have a personalized BINGO card.  I based their tasks on their ability levels, so it varies depending on the child.  Jocelyn is going to be 7 and Katelyn 5.  Easton is 3.  Weston is just along for the ride...and will be the designated mess maker:)

They will have 25 tasks to complete during the summer.  Each time the complete a task, they will get a sticker to cover up that completed task.  Once they reach a BINGO, they get a prize ticket.  They can redeem this ticket when we are at the grocery store.  These prizes are sugar based and items that we never buy unless it is a really, really special occasion like a friend spending the night or something.

The big prize will be rewarded when they complete all 25 tasks.  That will be going on a date with a parent...without a sibling.

The kids are all really excited about this game...can't wait to see the progress they have made by the end of the summer!

Feel free to steal the idea!  

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

It's that time of year again!!!

One of my favorite times of year has come and gone!  Strawberry season!  We waited patiently all week to go the patch to do some picking.  The kids were getting a bit impatient (and so was I), but the crop is pretty bad this year due to cold temps at the wrong time.  The first day the patch reopened, the kids and I got up early and made it to the patch...we were the first ones there besides one guy.  Our friends started showing up during the next hour...and by the time we left the patch was crowded.   All in all, it was a WONDERFUL morning and we picked 4 buckets full of strawberries!                                                                                                                              

You can tell he spent a good chunk of his time eating strawberries...he did pick a whole bucket full though!

We cored and froze right around a million of the strawberries....the kids love having frozen fruits in their oatmeal.
I was dreading coring all of the strawberries....but both of the girls were HUGE helps this year!

We made yogurt/strawberry popsicles
and strawberry shortcakes!!  YUM!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Seriously? What was I afraid of?

For a little more than 6 years now, I have been afraid to take my kids on a hike through Pioneer's Park.  We go to the park quiet a bit....we drive by the trails all of the time.  I love hiking.  I know my older kids do as well.  My hang up was that I have always had a little one in a stroller.  I didn't feel that my strollers could easily navigate an unknown hike by myself.  I wasn't sure of the terrain and I was just unsure in general.  So I found a steal of a deal on a jogging stroller on I finally felt confident of tackling the trails...and I am sooooo glad that I did.  We all can't wait to go back.  There were so many hidden treasures along the hike...and I believe there are more that we still need to are a few pictures from our hike! 

We saw quiet a few bullfrogs...these were HUGE...around the size of the kids heads!

He would have rather been out of the stroller...containment is the best for all of us!
Excited to be sooo tall!
There were several caged birds along the is a bald eagle in the background!
He was smiling...but then decided to eat mud....lovely....and this is why he stays in a stroller for the most part.
The kids were excited to dig for a treasure...Jocelyn worked so hard only to discover her treasure was a piece of wood!
He was screaming with excitement!
Hiking along!
This was the 2nd nature center...who would have guessed??!!  Craziness!
Weston checking out the little rugrat...can't remember what kind of animal was in the cage.
The kids doing a little water flow activity
The whole group by one of the ponds

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A little day trip to Adventureland!

This past Saturday we took a little day trip to Adventureland Theme Park in Des Moines, IA.  I haven't been to the park in a very, very, very long time, so I wasn't quiet sure what to expect.  I also wasn't thrilled to take Weston.  I just thought he wouldn't enjoy the place and would just have to sit in his stroller the entire time...boy was I wrong.  This theme park is very family oriented.  Weston was able to go on quiet a few rides...even a few scarier ones like the tea cups....all the kids had such a good time!  We now know that our kids are not prone to motion sickness...I was surprised at how many fast (grown-up) rides the three older ones went on.   Highly recommend going if you have younger kids! Here are a few pictures from our day! 

Wes got a little sweet.

afterwards we met up with an old friend and her family at Bass Pro Shops and ate dinner.  We got to meet her two little girls for the first time.  Fun!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Update on my mom!

Sorry it has been a while since I have updated everyone on how my mom is doing.  I guess no news is good news?  Well yesterday she got some good news and some bad news.

Good news....She met with her eye specialist yesterday and he said that he has noticed an improvement in her both eye's peripheral vision...this means that new brain connections are being made!!

Bad news...I guess I didn't know she had a pinhole of vision in both eyes.  I have been confused this entire time.  Last year, before the stroke, she had met with a retina specialist and found out that she had a pucker in her right eye....which could some day turn into a detached retina .  At that time her Dr. advised her to just wait it out, because the surgery to repair can be risky.  The eye specialist from yesterday told my mom that fluid from the pucker is now covering the pin hole vision in her right eye.  So now she is just down to direct pinhole vision in her left eye. many eyes to keep track of!  Anyways, she is meeting with her retina specialist tomorrow morning...and might have to have surgery...but is not sure what he will say. 
Her insurance with her school district ends at the end of this if she does have surgery time is ticking. 

Please pray brain connections keep being made.  Pray that her blood pressure can remain under control.  Pray that she can enjoy the summer RV'ing with my dad...and maybe grandkids.  Pray for patience for my dad as he takes my mom to all of her appointments. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

If I can do it...anyone can!

School is out and I am busy trying to get a few little things done before Summer gets into full swing.  There are so many fun outdoor things that I like to do with my kids during the summer, so I knew I had to get the ball rolling on a few personal items.  So during naptime on the last day of school I started with this:

a boring wall.  This is our extra bedroom down in our basement.  Next year it will be filled with school materials and we will do a majority of our school down there.   Jocelyn will be on the computer for a few things next year, so I didn't want her to be completely by herself.  Plus the toys in the toy room are driving me BONKERS.  So this boring wall.  I found several examples online of square patterns, different squares & rectangles combined, circles.  I like the square idea, but that would require a lot of measuring and I was not up for that.  I then just started using my laser level and started taping away.  I started with a few random vertical lines.

I then made a few random horizontal lines to form the rectangles and squares.

I put a little piece of tape in the middle of each shape and labeled it with a paint color.  I didn't want to have any of the same colors touching each other.
During naptime on the second day, I painted the first coat and then another coat after the kids went to bed for the night.
 One little tip I learned from Pinterest...line the roller trays with foil...wonderful....I have clean trays ready for another 

I pulled the tape up the next morning and whoola!!

Can you just say I was extremely pleased with the results.  I pretty much fail at any household type project....especially painting this is one for the books:)