Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Summer Fun List– Update 1

So I took our Summer Fun List and added a few things (yes that was sarcasm).  I know we wont complete all of the list but I wanted a long list of ideas.  Things we never get to during other parts of the year!  I am going to try and update the list every Wednesday with pictures of the things we have completed!



56. Have a fun “You finished Kindergarten Date”: we played putt putt with our friends and had ice cream for our You Finished Kindergarten Date!  I didn’t get any pictures while we were out and about. But here is Sammy’s I finished Kindergarten picture:

2013-05-17 12.06.36

68. Play Putt Putt – Our end of the year fun

97. Read library books on a blanket in the backyard – We had some company while we read stories

2013-05-17 11.48.27

99. Make a Flat Sammy for our friends to take on their trip – I don’t have a picture of the finished project but here is Sammy’s picture we used to make the Flat Sammy

2013-05-22 11.04.35

113. Go on a field trip to hear from a bee keeper – ok I might have added this since we went yesterday *winks* (you can see Sammy right next to the hive checking out the queen bee and the larvae with the redskins hat on).

2013-05-28 10.30.03

Our List:

  1. Make 10 new Popsicles
  2. Sidewalk chalk paint
  3. Camping
  4. Make dinner over the fire pit in the backyard
  5. Squirt gun target practice
  6. Water balloon fight – We will have to recruit some friends or Daddy for this since I’m allergic to latex
  7. Ice excavating
  8. Water balloon piƱatas
  9. Big Bubbles
  10. Fly a kite
  11. Make fruit kebabs
  12. Make moon sand
  13. Watch fireworks
  14. 10 trips to the lake
  15. Backyard swim party with friends (little pool)
  16. Swim the full length of the pool (Sammy)
  17. Float on back for 1 minute (Sammy)
  18. Jump off of the diving board (Sammy)
  19. Picnic at 3 different parks
  20. Pick strawberries
  21. Make sun tea
  22. Library reading program
  23. Barnes and Noble reading program
  24. Vacation Bible School
  25. Go see Monsters University
  26. Go see Planes
  27. Go see $1 movie
  28. Ride on the tube at the lake
  29. Go to a lawn party
  30. Ride a train
  31. Go get ice cream cones
  32. Picnic in the backyard and read books under the tree
  33. Feed the ducks
  34. Learn to ride bike without training wheels
  35. Eat each meal outside in one day
  36. Do 10 new art projects (color on hot rocks with crayons, paint rocks, Craft stick bracelets, marble paint, Crayola color fillz project, and more to come)  (We completed 1 of 10.  When we have completed them all we will move it to the completed section)2013-05-26 16.55.34
  37. Read 10 chapter books aloud
  38. Raise ladybugs
  39. Take Yoshi and Peach to the lake to swim
  40. Read all of picture books (put them into a digital library and purge the ones we don’t love)
  41. Try 5 new smoothie recipes
  42. Learn to swing by yourself
  43. Do 10 science experiments
  44. Make an emergency preparedness kit
  45. Grow vegetables in our root viewer
  46. Memorize our address (Sammy)
  47. Make friendship bracelets to give to our friends before they leave for 10 months
  48. Find and paint walking sticks
  49. Go to the library story time 5 times
  50. Go fishing
  51. Go to the safari park
  52. Make Root Beer Floats
  53. Catch fireflies
  54. Build an outside fort
  55. Go geocaching (at least once)
  56. Have a fun “You finished Kindergarten Date”
  57. Lemonade stand during our neighborhood yard sale
  58. Go to a concert
  59. A screen-free week
  60. Plant a small herb garden
  61. Make a scavenger hunt for friends
  62. Complete some Lego challenges
  63. Go to the twilight hours at the waterpark
  64. Go to a splash pad with cousins (which ones want to join us)
  65. Build a new sandbox
  66. Build a sandcastle in the new sandbox
  67. Go on a road trip (Chicago to visit friends and family maybe?)
  68. Play Putt Putt
  69. Go Kayaking
  70. Watch a sunrise
  71. Watch a sunset
  72. Go to a Zoo
  73. Popcorn movie marathon on a rainy day
  74. Make a boat and sail it
  75. Play every board game we own at least once (get rid of any we don’t like or Sammy has out grown)
  76. Go to a baseball game
  77. Make a bleach t-shirt
  78. Paint with water on the sidewalk
  79. Make sock puppets
  80. Make a treasure map of buried treasure in the sandbox
  81. Make bathtub paint
  82. Make homemade watercolors
  83. Make different paper airplanes and see which one is the best
  84. Borrow a Grandma’s food dehydrator and make fruit leather
  85. Make an underground fire pit
  86. Make homemade pool toys
  87. Make homemade puffy paint art
  88. Read 200 books from the library with a  quick review (I will post the list and link to it here)
  89. Make a stop animation film (very short)
  90. Create bookmarks
  91. Surprise Tim with a date night
  92. Play in the sprinkler
  93. Go to the beach
  94. Watch a parade
  95. Go bowling  at least 5 times
  96. Have a sleepover
  97. Read library books on a blanket in the backyard
  98. Build 10 things out of the Lego Ideas book
  99. Make a Flat Sammy for our friends to take on their trip
  100. Play with our Mentos powered car
  101. Drive Pop Pop’s boat
  102. Go to homeschool park days
  103. Have a water game day
  104. Have a PJ day!
  105. Make a new type of play dough
  106. Go for a hike
  107. Organize the garage
  108. Have a small yard sale
  109. Clean up the backyard and finish landscaping
  110. Make lint fire starters for the fire pit
  111. Make a toy zip line
  112. Make a hand painted pottery gift (at you made it)
  113. Go on a field trip to hear from a bee keeper
  114. Try out for the swim team (you have to be able to swim 1 lap unassisted to make the team)
  115. Plan out our first grade homeschool year

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

From Four to Fifteen

Tim’s little sister turned 15 last month (yes I told you I was behind)!  We had her favorite dinner and dessert.  Then it was time to open presents.  We were giving her a hard time for texting before opening her presents.. Here is the look we got:


To think back to when Tim and I started dating she was 4 years old and now she is 15!  I am so thankful to have been a part of her childhood and watching her grow into a young woman! 

Tim’s sister in Atlanta went in on a gift with us.. and I think we got a hit:


A nook simple touch!  I have seen her with this everyday since she got it!  So glad we found something she liked:


She got some really cool fits this year.  But she was also super excited about these new shoes as well (from Tim’s sisters):


Happy 15th Birthday Nicia.. I can’t believe Tim will be teaching you to drive in 5 months!! (Everyone in Virginia consider this your warning!!)  All jokes aside I am sure you will do great! Love you!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Under the Big Top


Cole Bros. Circus

Alternative title: Why Sammy Now Wants to be a Human Cannon Ball!

The circus was in town and we got tickets to the show the night before his birthday!  We surprised Sammy on the way:

Cole Bros. Circus

Sammy loves all thing animals but got really into the different acts.  This was his second time at the circus but the first one in a tent! It was also a different circus company and I loved the different acts! 

All ready with snow cones and popcorn:

Cole Bros. Circus

The tiger tamer was amazing:

Cole Bros. Circus

Watching the doggies perform was one of Sammy’s favorites:

Cole Bros. Circus

The youngest performing elephant was adorable! His act was basically like his play time and was super cool to see:

Cole Bros. Circus

These guys were totally impressive.. the did a backward summersault on that high wire:

Cole Bros. Circus

Yea.. enough said:

Cole Bros. Circus

Elephants are so majestic!  You could also get a ride on their backs before the circus started.  Sammy was not all about that though!

Cole Bros. Circus

But the hands down favorite act was the guy getting shot out of a cannon!  Sammy now wants to do this when he grows up! 

Cole Bros. Circus

The next day we had the privilege of going on a behind the scenes tour of the circus with some homeschool friends! Picture perfect day: 

Cole Bros. Circus

The tour was led by two clowns (literally) they were great and very informative:

Cole Bros. Circus

It was eating time for the elephants.. and check out how the baby was standing while eating.. seriously too cute:

Cole Bros. Circus

Sammy (on the right) loved checking out the tigers even if they were sleeping:

Cole Bros. Circus

The cook tent:

Cole Bros. Circus

Then the clowns put on a little show for everyone:

Cole Bros. Circus

It was such a fun experience and I am so glad we took the opportunity to go see the circus!

Thanks Cole Bros. Circus for the behind the scenes tour!! (This was not a sponsored post I just loved the experience and wanted to share it!)

Friday, May 24, 2013

More Birthday Fun!

I am so behind on posts that I am throwing the rest of Sammy’s birthday together on one post!  Be forewarned there are lots of pictures!

Opening presents after his party:


Sammy is so amazing!  He loves everything he gets and is genuinely happy with his presents.  He has intentionally played with each thing and we are working on typing (he is typing) some thank you emails to our friends and family (sorry it’s taking us so long)!

He also wanted me to take a picture of each of his gifts (don’t worry I didn’t post them all):


This was the year of the Legos and I just loved how much fun he is getting out of them.  If you need to buy for a lego lover and you don’t know what they have this book is awesome:


Sammy was also really into reading the cards this year and could read them all (yes there was some guessing on the names but he could usually figure out enough of the name to guess correctly)!!


My parents came to one of Sammy’s tball games just before his birthday.  After the game we went out for pizza and opened presents.  Unfortunately, my camera battery died and I only got a few pictures!  However, I got this one with my phone of the 3 of them: 2013-04-22 19.55.02

I love these creator sets were you can make 3 different things!  They are a huge hit in this house since he likes to take things back apart! We haven’t gotten into this big set yet but I think it will be a rainy day project this summer!


His current favorite though has to be the little sets that he can do 100% on his own:


So my my camera lense got bumped to manual focus in the car and I didn’t notice before I took a few of the following pictures! boo! But I couldn’t not share his birthday day celebration at his Aunt’s house:


Two of his aunts made over 200 mini cupcakes and iced them in various colors to look like Mario!  Sammy was totally in awe of this and I so wish my camera was in focus but it kinda helps to see Mario better:


Blowing out his candles:


His big gift from us.. or so he thought:


These have been a huge hit at our house:


We need to plant in this very very soon!  A root viewer planter from Grandma and Grandpa:


Sammy trying to figure out why we gave him a dog collar and a bunch of dog toys:


We did a skype session with Tim’s sister in Atlanta to reveal the present:


Seeing the puppy for the first time:


So excited that he gets to keep him:


Then this is how the night ended:


Happy sixth birthday Sammy!  Mommy and Daddy love you forever!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

How a New Homeschool Mom Prepares for Convention

This will be my third year attending the HEAV convention.  So I guess I am no longer a “new” homeschool mom, but I still remember preparing for my first two conventions and what worked and didn’t work for me.  I want to share a few tips and tricks I learned these last two years and send one lucky person to the convention (details below)!

How A New Homeschool Mom Prepares for Convention

Here are 10 quick tips that helped me to get the most out of my first two conventions:

1. Do your Homework – Look through all the things you have and get a general plan for your year.  Figure out what items you need and write a list.  On your list include the price you know you can get it for online (including shipping).  Look through the list of exhibitors and see if you can purchase anything while at convention.

2. Create a speaker schedule – Read through all of the speakers bios and topics for the convention.  Look at the schedule and figure out which sessions you would like to attend.

3. Wear comfy shoes – You will do LOTS of walking so wear some shoes that will allow you do that!  I usually wear my sneakers!  They are not the most fashionable, but my feet thank me later!

4. Walk through the Exhibit Hall once with out making a purchase – This was something I did quite by accident the first year I went to convention.  I walked into the Exhibit hall and was completely overwhelmed by all of the booths, people, and awesome things wanting my money!  I walked through and just looked at everything.  I didn’t really stop and touch anything or look through anything.  I just got the lay of the land and took it all in.  The next year I did the same thing.  This helped me to see all of the different venders that were there that I wasn’t familiar with.  This allowed me to buy a couple of things from places I would have missed since I didn’t know them by name and would have used my “fun” budget money up already.

5. Set and stick to your budget – There are so many wonderful companies out there.  They have some great curriculum, toys, games, books, etc. that are calling to you.  You, however, wont be able to use them all and your bank account needs to stay in the black!  Before you go to convention, set a budget for the things you must get, would like to get, and some “fun” money.  The “fun” money is for all of those cool homeschool extras that you know your kids will love.  Since you already did your homework, you know how much each thing will cost you if you buy it at home.  If you find a great deal on something you can return home under budget or move the allotted money to the “fun” category .. I usually go with the latter. *hi Tim!*

6. Talk to the speakers Don’t be shy!  Ask them questions during the Q&A part of their talk, or wait until their session is over and ask questions, or better yet find them in the exhibit hall and talk to them!  I have learned so many wonderful things from the various speakers I have talked with over the past two years.  I felt so much more prepared to start on this homeschool journey.

7. Bring something to take notes with – You will forget most of the things you heard in the session.  You don’t think you will but you will get a TON of information thrown at you while at convention and it is impossible to remember it all.  Whether you are a traditional pen and paper kind of note taker or a tablet/laptop note taker, take notes!  It usually takes me about a month to finish going through all of the things I learned in one weekend at convention.  This would not be possible without taking notes!

8. Check out the Used Curriculum Sale I have purchased some amazing resources at the used curriculum sale.  I have found several things on my “need to get” list and got them a lot cheaper than in the exhibit hall.  This allowed me to make several fun purchases that Sammy has really enjoyed!

9. Relax – Don’t let the convention weekend be stressful.  It is suppose to be a fun time to learn from different people and find curriculum that works great for you.  You don’t have to go to every single session or check out every single booth in the exhibit hall. 

10. Pray – Do this before you go, while you are there and after you leave.  Pray about your plan for next year.  Pray before you make any big purchases! Pray that you can use everything you learned and purchased to make your next year wonderful. 

Now for a Home Educators of Virginia Convention giveaway!

2013 Homeschool Convention

You have the chance to win  a Full Family Registration for the 2013 HEAV convention.  This includes workshops, used curriculum sale, exhibit hall, and tickets to the Duggar keynote session.  This is an $89 dollar value!!  Enter the giveaway using the widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Mario Party

Sammy wanted to have a Mario Party for his birthday this year and we were able to produce just that!  I kept things SUPER simple this year!  We had his party at the local children’s museum and it was wonderfully easy!  The extent of our Mario theme were are favors and cupcakes!  I cut out white circles and handwrote an M on them to look like the M on Mario’s hat.  Then I tapped them to red party favor bags from Dollar Tree.  Inside we had Mario fruit snacks (from Wal-Mart) and a K’NEX Mario figure (kinda like a Lego mini fig also from Walmart). 

Mario Party

Next I made a batch of vanilla cupcakes in white cupcake liners.  I was going to turn them into 1-up mushrooms from Mario.  This was super simple by drawing eyes on the liners with a sharpie (it surprisingly didn’t bleed through onto the cupcakes).  Next I dyed vanilla icing green to match the 1-ups from the game and iced the cupcakes.  Lastly, I took white chocolate chips and stuck them in the cupcakes upside down to make the white circles that are on the tops of the mushrooms.  Super simple and yet Sammy totally thought they looked like the mushrooms! 

Mario Party

The beautiful thing about having Sammy’s party at the museum was not having to plan any games or activities!  Everyone played in the museum while waiting for everyone to get there.


There are so many amazing things to do at this museum:


Next up it was off to the party room to make some gak!


All of the kids had so much fun making this and did an awesome job listening to the directions:


Singing Happy Birthday and eating cupcakes:


So glad we decided to have Sammy’s friend party at the museum and I really loved not having to clean up afterward!