Friday, May 31, 2013

Summer "I'm Bored" Jar

This is our Summer "I'm Bored" jar.  Everyone has seen these floating all over Pinterest.  I thought I would make one for my 11 year old daughter, Elyse.  Elyse enjoys being active and crafty and always wants to know what the plans are for the day.

Since Ryan and Jake are perfectly content playing cars all day, the sticks in this jar were made especially for Elyse with things I thought she would enjoy.

In addition to this jar, I have also made 5 "Family Date" envelopes for things a little more fun and that require us to get out of the house.  I'll post those as soon as we start opening.  I had originally made 6 because Elyse wanted to come out for 6-7 weeks but had to eliminate the 6th date and combine the activities elsewhere since she is only out here for 5 weeks this summer.

Elyse may choose one stick per day and we will do the activity in the stick.  If any materials are needed for the activity, they have already been purchased.

1. Water Paint
2. Bake Brownies
3. Root beer Floats
4. Bake Cupcakes
5. Make Homemade Lipgloss
6. DIY Canvases
7. Sidewalk Paint
8. Shower Liner Village Mat
9. Design new hairstyles and take funny pictures of them all.
10. Hoola Hoop Contest in Wii Fit
11. Go the the Library
12. Water Balloon Fight
13. Go to the Splash pad
14. Picnic at the Park
15. Perform a Dance (make one up to a song)
16. Make Rice Krispy Treats
17. Wash the Cars
18. Play 3 Different Board Games
19. Complete a Puzzle
20. Make Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches
21. Make Homemade Bookmarks
22. Make a T-shirt with Puffy Paint
23. DDR on Wii
24. Decorate Driveway with Sidewalk Chalk

There are 24 sticks and 5 family date envelopes.  Plus in June is Ryan's 3rd birthday/Father's Day, Ryan's birthday party, and we're also going camping. So that takes care of at least one activity for the 34 days Elyse will be here.

The calendar in my phone is filled with all the story times and free kids events.  Ryan has gym class on Tuesday nights, sports class on Saturday mornings, and we have a pool right down the street to go swimming any day we want.

Happy Summer to meee!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Summer- 6 Days In

Last year I made my summer post right on time, this year I'm 6 days late!  Last Wednesday, at 11:30am, Summer finally began.  Well, I guess it was a little later since I had to wait for parents to pick up their kids for about 20 minutes.  Then I stayed in my classroom until around 2 or so to make sure I could check everything off of the "Check Out Procedures."  & I did.  I didn't want to come in the next day or even the next week to get things done, so I stayed a few hours later to get everything done, and then I turned in my checklist and my keys and walked out the school door.  A door I won't have to walk back into for 9 more weeks!
The last two summers, I worked.  Two summers ago I worked part time at the Summer Camp at my school and last year I did tutoring.  Last year I worked 132 hours over the summer and made a few thousand dollars extra, but this year.. I won't make any extra besides what I already get paid.. But I'll get an extra 132 hours with the three best things in the world, Elyse, Ryan, and Jake.  Sometimes, or allthetimes, making memories and spending time with what matters most is a bazillion times better than making some extra money.
I have been SO, SO excited about spending everyday at home this summer.  My summer calendar is already filled with all sorts of fun/free things to do with the kids!
Day 1.  I had signed up the kids for a Color Me Mine event (FREE!!) with the kids club at our local mall.  I was going to be watching a little girl who lives by me and who also was in my class two years ago.  I took her and the boys to paint some pottery and we met one of my friends there who was also with her two year old.  Ryan had a good time making a coffee mug for Daddy.  I need to go pick it up, we'll see how it turned out.
We also went to the library where Ryan got to check out some books.  Curious George, of course.  Ryan loves checking out his books all by himself (with a little help from Mommy.)  We have read these books over and over.  I'm glad he has the patience to sit on my lap and read story after story with me!

Day 2.  We made today a zoo day!  At the beginning of the year I bought a family zoo pass.  We've already used it about 5-6 times, and it's already paid for itself.  Our zoo is pretty small, but it's perfect for a 2 year old who loves to be independant and run around by himself.


Today was also mine and Tim's 5 year anniversary- which deserves it's own post!  We celebrated with Papa Murphy's pizza, cookies, and the two perfect little babies we made along the way.

Day 3.   We spent our day lazying around at home!  Jake was sooo cute on our walk tonight.  He kept looking back at momma and smiling.  He makes my heart so full!

Day 4.  Church!  I didn't take any pictures today.  Ryan LOVES church!  I am so glad because he spent the first few weeks crying when we dropped him off and now he walks right in, happily.
Day 5.  The kids woke up early and I wanted to take them for a walk before it got too warm out during the day.  We brought along pancakes and milk.

When Tim was working, we spent some time outside in the water table.  First time using the water table this year.  I tried my best to clean it all out, only to have Jake & Ryan throw in lots of dirt and water.  They got pretty messy and I had to give them a bath and put Jakey down for a nap afterwards.  During naptime, I cleaned the bathrooms and swept and mopped the house.

Grandma R had invited us to a petting zoo near her house.  We met up with her and Kylie and the kids had fun in the petting zoo.  Ryan was walking around by himself, Kylie was picking up chickens, and Jakey was just standing there staring, like always.  He's so funny- when he wanted to touch an animal he stuck out his pointer finger and poked it a couple times.  I tried teaching him how to pet the animals, but he had more fun poking them. :)



Afterwards we went to Peter Piper Pizza for a couple hours and then raced home to catch "The Voice" at 7! 


Day 6.  This morning I took the kids to story time.  We read some books and sang songs and then made flowers out of tissue paper.  We made two.  I kept one in my purse on the way home and I let Ryan hold the other one in the backseat.  When we got home, the one that was in the backseat with Ryan was ripped into a bunch of tiny pieces.  I guess he thought tissue paper made better confetti instead of a flower.


The boys were helping Daddy decide what to eat for lunch.

Tonight, after dinner, was Ryan's first gym class of the season!  I took him last year and loved it so we signed him up again.  They took out these basketball hoops and a bunch of balls and Ryan played basketball for about 15 mintues.  Most of the kids stopped playing with it after a few minutes, not Ryan.  He loved it.  After each basket, he would look up at a teacher and hope they would clap for him or tell him good job.
What a great way to start off 2 months of summer :)

Citrus Lane- May 2013 Review

It's that time of the month again!!  Our Citrus Lane box arrived on Tuesday, the 21st.  This will be our 5th box.

For anyone who does not know, Citrus Lane is a subscription box service for babies/toddlers/kids from birth to age 5. Basically, you will receive a surprise box filled with 4-5 (mom approved, top of the line) items tailored to your little ones age.

You can get boxes on a month to month basis for $25/month.. or you can a 6 month subscription for $21 a month! When I signed up, I put in my little one's name, birthday, and gender to ensure that Ryan would receive a  box especially made for him.

Citrus Lane ships their boxes from California on the 15th of every month and arrive on your doorstep between the 17th and 22nd of every month. Did I mention that you also receive free shipping?!

Here we go!  Our box is for a 35m old boy.  I took pictures this month with my cell phone instead of my camera so the picture quality isn't as good.As always, Ryan was so excited to go to the mail with me and get his box all by himself. 


1. We All go Traveling By Book & CD Set from Barefoot Books ($9.99)
This book was PERFECT for Ryan.  He loves all things transportation, cars, buses, trains, airplanes and this book had it all!  We have already read this book multiple times.  It comes with a CD sing-a-long which Ryan also loves.  We also recieved a 20% off coupon code to use on their website.

Pizza Set from Green Toys- This toy was made especially for Citrus Lane Subscribers.  This is a 25 piece set, Green Toys has a 27 piece set for sale on their website retailing for $27.99.   The only differnce betweent his set and the one on the website is the one on the website comes with a pizza delivery box and a pizze cutter.   I'll just guess that this toy is around $25.  This toy has provided lots of entertainment for both Ryan & Jake.  Ryan makes momma pizza and we take turns eating it.  It also comes with a check box menu- which Ryan is too young for.  I took it away from him because I didn't want him ruining it but will save it for a later date.  This came with a 10% coupon code to use on their website.

3.  Happy Munchies Veggie & Fruit Crisps from Happy Family ($3.59)
We're always happy to receive snacks for the kids in our box.  Ryan's almost 3 and he still loves to eat toddler snacks.  They are perfect for on the go.  Banana, beets, and blueberries mixed together sounds pretty disgusting to me, but the kids loved them.  These crisps are brand new from Happy Family and are healthy, organic, and gluten free!  This came with a little brochure with two attached coupons to use in store.

4. Meyer Lemon Moravian Cookies from Salem Baking ($1.99)
This was the mom gift this month, and I'll admit that I don't like lemon flavoring anything so Ryan and Jake ate them as soon as we opened the box.  The Citrus Lane insert says, "The light, refreshing flavor of these cookies comes from Madagascar vanilla and cold-pressed Meyer lemon oil."

  Once again, Ryan loved all of his goodies.  Would you like to try out Citrus Lane? You can get your first box for only $15 by clicking the link Citrus Lane Sign up. You will get $10 off your first box and I will get $10 off my next order.

Do you already subscribe to Citrus Lane? Share your review link with me so I can read your review!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mother's Day

[Mother's Day Weekend]
My parents were going to be in Sierra Vista- about an hour away, for Mother's Day weekend.  My Aunt Betty & Uncle Bert & there 4 children (who live in Georgia) were going to be in Sierra Vista so my parents were going there for the weekend to spend some time with them.  Since that's pretty close to us- they invited us to come out on Saturday afternoon and stay the night.  I was excited about a mini getaway and to see some family.

Before we headed out of town- we had a baseball game to go to on Friday night.  It was our first UofA baseball game and we were pretty excited.  When we got there we got nachos and hotdogs and watched the beginning of the game.  We had good seats, too.  However, the other team kept getting run after run while we were stuck on one run.  We ended up losing like 23-1, I think.  It was pretty awful!  The kids were troopers and did well the whole game.
The next afternoon we headed out to Tombstone to meet up with my parents.  We went to a couple of shows and walked around the small town.  We only had a few hours to spend there. 
We watched a pretty neat gun show and took some pictures with the guys- I can't get them to upload with good quality!  Oh well.
After leaving Tombstone we headed to Sierra Vista to get some dinner.  We were all so hungry so we went to Golden Corral- yuuum.  I love buffets.  Jake was in the middle of eating dinner and he threw up his food, so I took his plate away and my mom and I had to take him to the restroom to clean him up.  He had already thrown up earlier in Tombstone & I only brought him one extra outfit, which he had now thrown up on.  After we left the restaurant my parents went to Walmart to get Jake some pedialite and a new outfit.  He was spitting up and had awful diarrhea.  Poor guy.
Jake's first time at a hotel!
Later that night, we met up with my aunt, uncle, and cousins!  It was good to see them.  I hadn't seen them since the day I got married.  I like when Ryan and Jake get to meet new family members.  We were up pretty late that night and Jake didn't get a nap all day.
The next day we woke up bright and early to get some breakfast in the hotel lobby.  Jake was still spitting up his food.  I felt so sad for him because he loves to eat and he just wasn't having it.  After breakfast we packed up and headed home.
I came home to this :)
Happy Mother's Day to me!
There were rose petals on the floor leading to Jakey's room where there was a bouquet of tulips, Ryan had rose petels in his room too.  I went to get my camera to take a picture but Ryan had cleaned it all up by the time I got my camera.  He doesn't like messes- just like mommy.
My parents stayed for a few hours.  I laid Jake down for a nap around 2, maybe, I can't remember.  The poor guy slept the whole day until the next morning at 9, when I woke him up!
The past two Mother's Days we've had picnics.  I didn't want to go on a picnic with Jake being sick so Tim got us some burritos and we had a picnic in our living room and watched Gold Rush.
The next morning, I felt awful.  I went to work but left after 10 minutes.  I came home to wake Jake up since he had been sleeping for 19 hours.  This was the first time he was sick and I felt so sad.  Jake and I spent all morning laying on the couch and then spent the rest of the day sleeping.  This was the first time I've called into work sick in like 8 years.  I'm never sick!  I took three naps and Jakey laid in bed with me most of the day.  Thankfully, we went to sleep early and woke up Tuesday as good as new!
Happy Mother's Day to all the special moms in our lives!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Rest of Spring Break

Here I am backdating stuff again.  I wanted to talk about the rest of Spring Break (which was what? 5 weeks ago?)  Spring Break was so nice and LONG.  We had 11 days off of work.  Then I went to work on Wednesday (half day for 3 hours,) Thursday, and then I took off Friday because it was Elyse's last full day in town.
One of the things I love about our new church is their is a big playground where the kids can play!  We take them to play every Sunday after church and they love it!

This is the kids at the park down the street.  I was having a hard time letting them be little and poor sand all over themselves!  But I did it, and then brought them home to take baths.  It took forever to get all of the sand out of their hair and it made my bathtub so gross.

We also went to the library.  Did I already mention that Ryan now has his own library book and picks out his library books all by himself?  When did my baby get so big?!

We also took the kids to "Kids' Club" at the mall.  They made their own Easter puppets and had a little Easter egg hunt.

After the whole week off, Elyse came into town on Friday morning, March 29th.  I already blogged about her first three days here.

One of the days we ate lunch at Peter Piper.  This picture is pretty awful but I like it because it shows just how big they are.  Jake is getting so big.  Elyse took Ryan up the slide a bunch.  Which is nice because then I don't have to climb up there.

We did a little photoshoot with Elyse. 

I wanted to post this picture because I think it's funny.  My kids in the backseat!  Tim wants a new (bigger) car and personally, I like not having a car payment.  However, looking at how squished my kids are, I was leaning towards getting a new car.  We'll see.  I still want to wait two years.

We went swimming 4 different times.  Elyse always wanted to swim.  I'm looking forward to swimming a lot moer this summer.  Last year I had Ryan in swim lessons because we didn't really have access to a pool.  Now that we have a community pool I'm really hoping to teach him how to swim! He made a lot of progress last year in just a few weeks last summer and now that he's three I think I'll be able to get him swimming if I work with him enough.

Elyse's last day here, we had Kylie and we all decided to go bowling.  Tim's brother, Tom & his girlfriend, Caitlyn, and Tim's mom all came too.  It was a lot of fun.  I didn't know that Ryan was old enough to bowl!  He was so cute and he had so much fun.  His little bowling shoes were adorable.

Last stop of Elyse's visit was the swap meet.  She wanted to take mexican candy back to Chicago with her.


Our last morning was sad, as usual.  Elyse said to me "Don't you wish I could stay til Sunday afternoon?  That way I could be here an extra day and a half."  The good news is that she will be back at the beginning of June!  Only two months away from each other this time.

 Spring break was a million more memories to add to our book of life.