Monday was the girls last pottery class, and Three and Four spent that time at the park with Ms. Linda (the childcare lady at the community center.) Two didn't attend the last pottery class because of a mystery rash (we're thinking Fifth's disease, but possibly just poison oak. *shrug*) One and Two have spent the week with their dad...which is a blessing and a curse. I miss them, of course, but I don't miss the fighting and constant bickering. Monday evening, my mother-in-law made an impromptu stop over on her way back home from a trip up north. The boys were so happy to see her!
Tuesday morning we spent with Grandma, since she was leaving in the afternoon. The morning consisted of doughnuts, and thrift store shopping. :)
Wednesday morning was spent with friends I hadn't seen in awhile for some backyard play. The boys played in the wading pool, with water guns and on the slip-n-slide. It was a blast! They came home worn out. I like it.
Thursday we were spending the day at home, so I decided to do something fun for the boys from my "Summer Fun" collection. I taped paper streamers back and forth across our hallway for "spy training." My boys like all things better if they think they are "training." Jedi training, ninja training...spy training! They absolutely LOVED this activity. They played for a long time, just going back and forth, coming up with new ways to navigate the maze. It was fun to watch. They didn't want me to take it down, so our hallway was blocked for several hours. Three was impressed with mom and dad's spy skills, too, since we had to navigate the "lasers" as well. Three has already asked if I can do this for them again. :) A neighbor came to play for awhile, and then Three went to his house and played in the slip-n-slide for awhile, and he later joined The Punk, Three and Four at the pool with his dad.
Today, Three and I ran to the store for some supplies. For today, we NEEDED paintbrushes. I had told them we would make some sidewalk paint, but all our brushes are small. We made a trip to the dollar store, and I got a 4 pack of good sized brushes for $1. We mixed up the paint, and had a great time painting.
While we were there, I picked up some supplies for other things: Sponge balls. "Moon Sand." Fly Swatters to use to paint. Glow sticks for a glowing bath, AND maybe some glowing bubbles (they are usually asleep before it's dark...but maybe on the 4th of July.
Tomorrow we will be shopping for new bunk beds for the boys. Yay!!
Neither is very complicated, honestly. Even the laziest of housewives could pull this together. I mean, I am doing it after all. ;)
(Also, I'm feeling WAY less lazy lately. I think this is a combination of exercise, eating better, sleeping more--Four has FINALLY slept through the night, every night for the last week!--and taking my vitamins--mostly Bcomplex. Whatever it is, I'm loving feeling energetic.)
I mentioned yesterday that I'm working on our scheduling. We're not taking a summer break because we take a day here and a day there, and a week here and there all year long. Also, after any length of time without some sort of intellectual stimuli my children become beasts (more-so than usual.) It is just all around better for our family to keep at it. I haven't revamped our schedule in awhile, but I've been recently giving it some thought.
Schedules don't work for every family, but for me, it really does help keep me focused on tasks that need to get done! And, there are always tasks I need to get done. :)
Basically, the method I use is that I list out everything I NEED to get done in a day: laundry, cleaning, school with the kids, exercise, shower, cooking, playing with the boys...etc. And, then I throw in the things I WANT to do: projects, planning, etc.
Then, I break the day down into intervals...and write in what I should do when. I'm not militant about following it, and of course sometimes I get way way way off. But, it's easy to just jump back in where the schedule says I should be.
For the next two months I'll be wrapping up "Pre-K" with Three. I went through all my materials yesterday afternoon...ok, not ALL my materials, but what I had here in the cubby. :) I separated it by things I want to finish in Pre-K, and the things that are the making of a Kindergarten curriculum. I'm so pleased with myself. I'm a very goal-oriented person. I also tossed a ton of stuff that I've been holding on to for YEARS, some of it was 2nd and 3rd grade stuff that I've been keeping around since One and Two used it. I read something on an organizational blog about moving out the clutter to allow room for the really important things. I wish I had taken a before picture of the cubbies, so that I could compare. I'm very pleased and The Punk even commented on how good the room looked (and c'mon now, most men just don't notice that sort of thing.)
In the beginning of my schedule making (back when I was pregnant with Four,) I used the Managers of Their Homes book that I borrowed from a friend. Now, I still use it for inspiration, and see it as a rough guide. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes control, and who can see it as a guide and an inspiration....do not read this book and allow it to make you feel defeated or 'less than' because of how much OTHER people are doing. Be you. Do you. And do it well.
**I almost forgot my 30 days of Play challenge! Well, I didn't forget the challenge, I just almost forgot that I had said I would share what we did. Today, was simple again. The boys just wanted to play catch and monkey in the middle with a beach ball in the front yard. So, that's what we did. It was fun. I'm going to search through my "summer fun" board on Pinterest for something different for them to do tomorrow, but I make no guarantees that they won't choose catch again. :) Four threw in some shape fun-pointing out that he, The Punk and I formed a triangle for throwing, and when Three joined us we made a square. He asked if we could make a hexagon, but sadly, our other two 'corners' are spending a week with bio-dad.**
30 for 30 Challenge Funny enough, I have been working on my schedule and was including "PLAY WITH boys" on my schedule, because I'm so guilty of doing other things WHILE they play, but not really engaging in the play with them. I even spent 30 minutes outside with Three while Four is sleeping today and came in and wanted to look for something on Pinterest (time suck anyone?) and saw this pinned by someone else, and it fit so perfectly with what I'm working on. SOOOO, I decided it should be shared. I'll try to blog each day about what we did during our 30.
30 for 30 Challenge: Day 1. Three and I went outside and played Transformers, then we were playing ball (tossing a beach ball back and forth) when a Bunny showed up! He just came hopping into view, and didn't seem all that alarmed by our presence. I'm thinking this is someone's pet rabbit...because he let us get VERY close, and even let me feed him and Three and I both got to touch him. He hung around long enough for Four to get to see him, and attempt to feed him too! He spent some time in our neighbors garden as well. It was the highlight of our day.
For Sunday dinner this week, I made 3 things. I'm going to post a link to each one.
Summer Vegetable Casserole; This blog has the cost breakdown. For me, this casserole was nearly free since we got all the veggies from the garden (my next door neighbor has a small garden, but it still produces more veggies than just their family can eat!) I left out the tomato, because we don't have any ready from the garden yet, although, I can see why it needed it for the moisture. It was a tad dry, and the potato was slightly underdone...both would have been remedied by the added moisture of a tomato in there I think. I look forward to making it again in a month or so, when we have fresh tomatoes too! Overall: One and I were the only people in our house who ate this. The Punk, Two, and Three don't care for squash or zucchini, and I made it with a cheese that Four can't have... One and I both loved it though.
Pioneer Woman Green Beans are the very best green beans I've ever eaten. Tru dat. I made these back in January (with frozen green beans) when my MIL and SIL were here. The last night that SIL was here The Punk asked her to choose what she wanted for dinner....I had already made the green beans three days prior, but it was the ONE thing she REALLY wanted with dinner before she left. They are just that good. As I said, I've made them with frozen beans, they are way better with fresh, but you work with what you have, and they are still fantastic. I've never added the red pepper, and I've made it with both fresh onion, frozen chopped onion and dried onions. This is a FOUR star recipe in our house.
Grilled Island Chicken this was a first time recipe (as was the casserole) and it was simple to throw together. I let it marinate while we went to the pool. It was yummy, everyone ate it, and no-one complained. :)
Today, I'm going to do this "Dirty Thirty Workout" and an additional challenge that my birth board weigh loss group is doing. Recently, I've run into several people who I haven't seen in at least 3 months, and all of them have said things like "You look amazing." "You're really slimming down!" "What are you DOING to look like this?" It's a big confidence boost, but honestly, I'm really working hard at it. I'm proud of my body, and I feel sexy....for the first time in YEARS. You can do it, too. I promise.
Now, my phone just reminded me that Four has his 3yr well check and we need to leave in an hour....then we're going to head out to the farmers market because Three has been asking to go (it's mostly for the cookies...but he likes to pick out veggies too.) Have a great day!
I'm going to be honest (as is my nature) we've not done much this week. Monday being a holiday, we didn't have classes (the only activity we have that isn't breaking for the summer.) The pool opened over the weekend, and true to our summer routine, we've been everyday. "We" not including One and Two....I made a declaration at the beginning of May that they absolutely MUST memorize the multiplication tables, OR there would be no swimming for them. They apparently (and foolishly) thought this was a bluff. So, they've missed days of swimming, and it's been very difficult for this mama...but hey, you gotta stand your ground. Math is only getting harder...and knowing these by heart will REALLY help them. I've been saying this for YEARS and they just have chosen to not memorize them, just muddling through the math. I've over that. Yesterday, they both attempted to recite them for me, and I was proud of how much they were able to get (even though they have BARELY put any effort into studying them.) They still fell short.
Aside from swimming, we had our last preschool co-op for the year this week. It was bittersweet. I hope to see some of those families over the summer!
Today, I'm taking my mama to get a hair cut, she's been in bed for months, and hasn't had a haircut in even longer. Yay! I bet she'll feel so good afterwards-I usually do. I got my hair cut on Monday, and they were busy so I didn't ask them to wash it-big mistake. It didn't leave me with my usual improved mood from the experience, AND she cut my bangs too short. Oh well. It's just hair.
We may take the kids to an outdoor festival in the morning (and get cupcakes!) One is accompanying a friend to the mall. Ahh, teenagers.
Today is National Doughnut Day--Krispy Kreme is giving away a free doughnut today, and Dunkin Doughnuts is giving away a free doughnut with the purchase of a beverage. I've been working out really hard lately, and I'm swimming every day (blessed summer) so I think I may partake.