1. Find some good strong, long sticks and paint them to be your official summer walking sticks. The more colors the better!
2. Dedicate a song to your kids on the radio.
3. Make today polka dot day. Wear polka dotted clothes. Draw polka dots on each other. Make polka dotted dinners (hint– peas in mashed potatoes work well, and ketchup makes great polka dots on anything!).
4. Plant sunflower seeds in the back yard. See if you can grow flowers taller than the kids– or you!
5. Design a family crest. Show the kids some examples of royal family crests and give them the task of agreeing on one for your family. Frame a copy on the wall.
6. Set a family fitness goal. Pick a number of hours of exercise for the family to log by the end of the summer and a great family prize (like a trip to a water park, horseback riding or a camping trip) if you meet it. Figure out a good goal (an average of an hour a day per person, 6 days a week for 10 weeks for a family of 4 would be 240 hours, for example) and be sure to list all sorts of healthy ways to exercise– swimming, playing tag, dancing, playing sports, volleyball, etc. Log your hours on the fridge and work together as a team to get healthy and make your goal.
7. Deconstruct some old costume jewelry and make sparkly suncatchers and decorations to hang in the windows.
8. Slip knock-knock jokes into the pockets of their clothes.
9. Make the fanciest cake you can together and decorate it lavishly.
10. Go looking for some new spring baby animals– to the park for baby ducks, to a farm for baby lambs or calves, or to a zoo if they have any new additions.
Have a magical week!
Magical Mama Kristie in Australia shared this sweet way to pass the time when you’re cooped up…
I had a suggestion for a rainy day thing to do – we did it today with my boys and watched old home videos – they were intrigued about themselves as babies…and felt very special being on tv! LOL!
It’s been a long time since we’ve gotten our old home movies out and it’s a great idea. Now if it would only rain….
Victoria has a new favorite web site and I wanted to let you all know about it because it seems like such a great resource for girls. I’ve known about New Moon for years and always meant to subscribe at some point, but with Victoria at such a tricky age right now I thought this would be a great time.
The magazine subscription now comes with a one year membership to the web site, and Victoria loves
it. She visits more than any other site, by far. She says she loves that she can post questions for older girls that she might be embarrassed to ask me, she loves all the ways she can use her creativity there and the sense of community is really special.
Girls can post artwork, share problems, decorate their "rooms," make their own artwork into "stickers" to leave for girls as a friendly hello, read advice, learn about everything from myths to wacky facts, share poetry, read book reviews, mentor younger girls and so much more.
I highly recommend it!
(Note: No kickbacks, bribes, fancy chocolates or promises of lifelong adoration were offered for me to post this post!) :)
I couldn’t just post about one daughter’s soccer results and not the other. :) Annalee had her soccer tournament today and also got a silver medal!
(Anna is the third girl on the bottom)
Her team was undefeated this season but the red Walnut Grove team was just unstoppable today! They won their first two games and then red team beat them. They worked their way back up and faced off with the red team again in the final game and it was very close (2 to 3) but victory went to Walnut Grove yet again (they took gold in Victoria’s age group against our town last night too).
Anna’s team (the white team) sure gave us some great entertainment though! Their second game of the day went into double overtime. They were still tied up and they went to a shoot out, where each team had 5 players kick towards the goal and whoever scored the most points won. The red team was ahead 2-0 and white came from behind. At the last kick white tied THAT up too! They went to sudden death. The red team missed their first kick. White’s little goalie said he wanted to try and that was allowed. He got it! White won! What a suspenseful game!
Anna’s soccer career has been quite an experience. She played one year when she was very young and it was very easy and then she quit the next year because it was too rough and scary. She was one of those kids who was afraid when the ball came at her. Last year she didn’t want to try out at all. This year she decided to give it a shot and she’s been getting right in the thick of things.
She even blocked the ball with quite a blow to the stomach today! She proudly told us afterwards about "taking one for the team." It knocked the wind out of her!
All season I have gotten a kick out of watching her because she is such a little butterfly of a girl. She flits all over. She does random dance moves when she’s bored. She chats with her teammates nearby when there’s no action (all with her eyes still on the ball). She bounces and spins and smiles. When there’s action she runs right up and gets in there, though, and she had some great kicks today.
I love this picture of Annalee because it sums up all the parts of her personality. She’s wearing her children’s theater T-shirt for the drama and love of acting. She’s got her ever-present camera in her hand for photos and movies. She’s wearing dangly dress-up earrings because she will always be the ultimate girlie-girl. And she’s got her beloved soccer ball, because she’s learned to love the game and that she’s pretty tough after all.
Got any ladybug lovers at your house? How about bug catchers? Photographers? Scientists? Kids with any of the above interests might want to take part in the Lost Ladybug Project.
Researchers at Cornell University are collecting photographs and data from helpers all over to try to find more information about our dwindling population of native 9 spotted ladybugs (and even more rare 2 spotted ladybugs).
They have all the information on their site about how to find them, collect them, photograph them, submit your data and return them to the wild. You can also get some nifty teaching materials, download a ladybug song (with lots of ladybug info!), see the map of where they’ve been found so far and lots more.
If fireflies are more your speed (and you just want to count them), check out Firefly Watch too, plus lots of other nature projects that could use your help.
Victoria had her soccer tournament tonight and I had to post a quick update.
The Pink Panthers won their first game and lost the second, by only one point, to the undefeated top rated team in the league. They took silver.
Victoria said several of her teammates congratulated her for some of her plays. Including the bully.
Later, she was sitting on the bench and the bully said something to her. She ignored him, as usual. He asked her, "What’s the matter, don’t you ever talk?" and she said in her best, loftiest voice, "I DO talk, I just choose not to talk to YOU."
She said the rest of the team burst out laughing. She couldn’t help smiling when she retold the story.
The coach told her she was his MVP and his favorite player.
She’s decided she wants to join the soccer camp that starts next week for her age bracket — even with the bully.
She told the coach that she wanted to play next year after all and he said he was planning on quitting, but if she comes back he’ll come back.
Talk about victories.
Tomorrow, Anna has her soccer tournament. She has loved it all along and her team is in first. She makes me smile when she’s on the field…
But it’s late and that’s another story.
…Try to catch a toad!
Here’s some tips here and here.
Don’t keep him! Thank him and let him go.
Better yet, make a toad house in your back yard and see if they’ll come to you!
Here’s tons more information on the perfect toad home.
Or go all out and make a toad village, like these folks!
Want to get to know your guests? More toad info here!
(Sorry, I couldn’t resist!)