Monthly Archives: June 2012

Whip Up guest post….

Hello readers! If you didn’t get a chance already, catch me over at Whip Up this weekend. Kathreen has a lovely series on creativity going right now,  and I was lucky enough to be invited to participate. It’s been a very inspiring month, so check it out!

I’d also like to say a big welcome to any new friends stopping by! Nice to have you as a guest!

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A little something…..

I have finally come up with a summer calendar that actually works for us! (Pics of that to some soon….). Thursday I have designated as “project day.” While we will  be doing lots of “projects” this summer, I wanted to set aside some time each week to try something that might take up the entire afternoon. So yesterday we tackled our first project! Using Issue Seven of Alphabet Glue as inspiration, we made mini books and pouches to go with them.

To make the books, we cut paper to three inch squares using an exacto knife and my cutting mat. The boys made covers for each book, and then we sewed them together on the sewing machine. (I use a regular size 90 needle for that, then keep it separate marked “paper” for use again.) Once the binding is sewn on, we cuts strips of duct tape from the super cool duct tape sheets we found at JoAnns last week. Place the tape over the sewn binding and suddenly you have some very official looking little books!*

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(Yes, the title of this book is indeed “Dead Knight.” Can’t wait to see the story of that one!)

Next, we hit the sewing machine. I wanted to keep this very simple, so we basically sewed together two rectangles, added a velcro closure inside and sewed on some twill tape for a handle. We marked their names on the handles in permanent marker as to not mix up.

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Next, it was writing time! Knittykid says we should make a hundred books. Math Boy outright refused to join us, saying he absolutely hated making books and preferred to stay up in his room reading what is apparently a hilarious kids’ series called Nathan Abercrombie, Accidental Zombie. I’m trying to find projects everyone loves, but with a 3, 6, and 9 year old that’s just not always gonna happen. Next week we need to find something goopy and scientific, I think!

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What big kids’ project have you done lately?

*Loving the shots of my very ugly dining room table? The downside is, it’s butt ugly. The upside is that the boys can do whatever they want on it, and I could care less if it gets covered in glitter and glue. Hmmm….that might actually be an improvement!

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Summer’s here….

And we’re off! What a start to the summer. We’ve already crammed in a night of camping, a lot of gardening, and I’m starting to uncover the floors in all the boys’ bedrooms. (Seriously, the floors were just GONE and a piles of toys and laundry in their place). We always have this rough transition when I’m still teaching and The Skeptic has a massive amount of very large shows to put together. So May turns into “trash the house and eat junk” month and then I spend June getting us back to normal.

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So what’s happening? We had a great Father’s Day in which I reminded myself that I can’t do everything, gave up on making a gift and took the boys to Target to buy a belt. We did use very fun form “All About My Dad” from All for the Boys to fill out, and the boys also used some old artwork to wrap the belt. The funniest  was that they decided Dad is 6 feet, 21 inches tall. And The Skeptic is really only 5’8″.
The rest of his gift was a day to work on and FINISH a project. He designed and built two trellises for our hops vines. They still need to be put in the ground, which is why this one looks way to tall yet, but you get the idea.
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We also have early morning art projects….(much to my chagrin, as helping with this at 6:30 was not my favorite way to wake up)

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Lastly, today’s excitement is a rain garden installation! We received a grant from Metro Blooms, which mean the plants and installation are FREE. Love free plants and the folks who plant them. This is the current site, plants to be put in later today.

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Camp Mom

I packed up my classroom today for summer break, and wow did that feel nice! This has by far been my most challenging year yet. I’ll be glad to have those 2.5 days a week back to myself for awhile. Thanks to all of you for your good advice after my last post. I took it all to heart.

It did dawn on me yesterday, the other thing that has made this year such a tough one. The boys are in such different developmental stages right now. Math Boy is growing fast. School projects, homework, friendships, hard questions….there is a lot on the mind of a nine year old boy who doesn’t even seem to fall asleep anymore before 9:30, no matter how early he is in bed. Then there is Spinner, right in the middle of that 3 year old must-unroll-toiletpaper-draw-on-mom’s sewing-machine phase. He doesn’t want to sleep at all. Then poor Knittykid, right in the middle. A big kid? A little kid? Changes by the minute. It was easier when Spinner was still a baby because they were all still little then. But now….a lot going on at once, no wonder I’m tired!!

I’m excited that summer is here. I’m excited to reset this household. To have a relaxing summer of Camp Mom again. Swim lessons, VBS, playing at the park, hiking, picnics, and some fun activities to keep us busy at home. I decided last summer that I wasn’t going to over-schedule our summer, and I loved the freedom that went with it. With this many kids, it’s too easy to get sucked into the constant hauling of people around the city, and I hate that. Maybe if everyone could go to one place it might be different, but between the cost of so many camps and the driving/biking, I’d rather figure it out for myself!

What will us busy? These are my favorites for this summer:

Action Pack The smart idea of Kathreen at Whip-Up. The boys are excited with every new issue!

Alphabet Glue  I just discovered this, and I have to say how excited I am. My boys love books, so this is great!

Kiwi Crate  It’s mail. And I don’t have to make a trip to JoAnn’s. Everyone is happy!

Summer Camp Adventure Club  Just found this today. Not sure if we’ll do the whole summer or just a month. We have a lot of other fun things to do, but this also seems too cool to pass up.

And of course, paint. Lots and lots of paint.

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How will you spend your summer? Do you have little ones to keep busy or do you get some down time?

We will also be heading out to the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming for our first real family vacation in years and to celebrate a dear friends wedding. Any travel tips?

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