Friday, July 29, 2011

Checking Things Off.....

School is literally weeks away, so we have been trying to check more & more things off of our summer fun list. The only problem is that this excessive heat is not cooperating with us!! One of the things that the kids wanted to do was look for frogs and turtles in the creek by my parent's house. They have been down to the creek several times this summer, but since there isn't a whole lot of water in the creek, they haven't found any. Plus, I think they forgot that was one of the things they wanted to do when they went down there. (They were more interested in looking for rocks & having Granddad teach them how to skip the rocks the last time they were down there.) But we did find this little guy in our own backyard!

So, I talked the kids into letting me check it off. They did go down to the creek (lots) and they did find a turtle (just not in the creek).
Another thing we got to check off was taking a nature walk:

No, I don't normally dress my children up to take a nature walks. They were having their picture taken, in a nature setting, so we decided to do two things at once. I'm efficient that way. ;0)

They did get to walk down some fun trails with Aunt Amy, and they saw little creeks, lots of plants and trees, and lots of insects. Then, when we were almost back to the car, we saw a deer!!

I have closer pictures of the deer, but they are all blurry for some reason. :0( The deer just stood there while we looked at it and took pictures. The kids weren't exactly quiet either....

They wanted to make their walk last longer, but it was still over 100 degrees, and it was 8:00 at night! We told them we would come back when it was cooler.

We have also checked off go to the drive-in. We technically went to the drive-in already. We went right before we wrote the list, but the kids wanted to go see Mr. Popper's Penguins at the drive-in. Well, we didn't get to it before it left the main theatres. Luckily, we have The Palace theatre, where they play movies no longer in the main theatres, and it's way cheaper!! So, yesterday, we went to see Mr. Popper's Penguins in the theatre instead of the drive-in, and the kids agreed that we could check off the drive-in too. Yeah!

We still have a few more things to check off of our list. Some of them might have to wait until after school starts, or not get done at all this summer. Things like go fishing (it is way too hot to sit there in one spot and fish) and go to World's of Fun (we may change this to the State Fair and go in September). But, we will try to get as much checked off as possible. Even if we don't get it all done, we have had a lot of fun this summer!!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tea Party

Two of my nieces wanted to have a tea party. So, their mom (my sister Mary) being the nice mom that she is, invited Lily, Zach, Riley, and their other cousin, Ares to join them (and their little brother) in a tea party. Since most of the kids don't like hot tea, she had iced tea. (Which was perfect since it has been SO hot!!) She had peach, raspberry, and regular tea.
Lily was super excited to go to the tea party. She got her Pinkalicious dress, and some fancy socks and shoes on before we left. Then she got a crown when she got there. It even matched her dress!! How did they know she loves pink?!?! ;0)

The boys were super excited about going too.......because they knew there would be food. :0) They also happen to love flavored tea. They got to wear knight helmets!

Mary had prepared all sorts of yummy treats!!

All of the princesses and knights:

Here was my plate:

I had to sample some of know, to be polite and all....

Thanks Mary for a great tea party!!! The kids all had a lot of fun and everything was yummy!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Cake Pops!

Number 17 on our summer fun list was cooking projects. My favorite so far has been cake pops! They were time consuming and really messy, but they were fun to do with the kids and they were able to do almost all of it by themselves.
These are the things we needed:

Cake mix, melting chocolate, frosting, sprinkles, and lollipop sticks.
We started out by making the cake:

When it was baked and cooled completely, I divided it up into 3 bowls and each kids got to crumble up their cake.

Then we added frosting to each bowl and mixed it in:

We put all of the cake/frosting mixture into one bowl and put it in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

What did we do with the extra frosting?

Someone helped get rid of it. ;0)
When the cake was cold, they rolled it into balls.

This was a little messy. =)

We put the balls into cupcake pans lined with baking cups. (that way when we added the melting chocolate it wasn't as messy to clean up.) Then we dipped the lollipop sticks into the melting chocolate and stuck them into the balls.

We put them into the fridge to set the sticks.

When they were set, we put them into the melting chocolate and rolled them in sprinkles!

Don't they look yummy!!

Zach decided he wanted to try a different kind of chocolate:

It was yummy too!

The kids' verdict?


The only problem we had was that the kids made their balls too big. Some of them fell apart when we were trying to add the chocolate and sprinkles. I think they got tired of making the balls, and they just got bigger & bigger until they were out of cake. =) But they were still good and they didn't mind eating "broken" ones.
While I am blogging about things we have checked off of our list, I keep forgetting to blog about number 23: summer reading club. We finished it several weeks ago, and the kids got their prizes from the library; new books!!!

Zach read all of his books on his own (of course) and Riley read almost all of his books on his own. Yeah!! All three kids liked getting to pick out new books as their prize for being good readers!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer Olympics

My sister Dianna had a great idea for the kids this summer: The 2011 Summer Olympics!! She worked really hard to get this all together & the kids had a lot of fun!! She even had medals for the kids when they finished each event:

It was held at Grammy & Granddad Ramsey's house since they have the most room outside. When we got there, Cody helped pin on every one's Olympic number.

Lindsey helped paint the kids' faces with Olympic symbols!!

There were torches, the Olympic rings, "war" paint, and USA!

Most of my parent's grandkids. (The younger ones anyway.)

Dianna was the master of ceremonies. She got things done with her mega-phone!

The first event was the 50 yard dash. (A little shorter for the smaller ones.)

Lily, Camden, Ares, and Johnny ran fast!

I love the look of fierce competitiveness on Camden's face!

After the race they got their medals from Grammy!

The second heat was Kael, Alyssa, and Riley.

Look how hard they are trying!!

Last but not least were the oldest kids; Cody, Cooper, Carson, Zach, and Taby.

Since it was super hot, it was time for a water break!

The next event was the egg race. These brave 3 & 4 year olds carried real eggs and raced to the finish line!

They all started off really slow, then decided they could walk fast/run.

It was fun watching them!
Next was the Olympic ring toss!

We took a break from the events and took pictures as Olympic medal winners!!

Thanks Amy for drawing this cool picture board!

The next event was one of my favorites to watch; potato sack races. Since you can't find potato sacks anymore, my mom sewed some up for us!

Taking a break from the heat, we went inside and played a mystery game. Each child was blind folded and they had to guess what was in the bowls in front of them!

The three-legged race was next!! This was my other favorite event. It was so funny to watch them try to run tied to another person!

Popsicle break!

The long jump was after that. The older boys did really well in this event.

The little kids didn't quite get the concept, but they tried their hardest anyway!

And were cute while doing it!

The last event was the obstacle course.

They had to run around trees, go down slides, jump over tubs, go under boards, spin around a bat, and go down a slip in slide!

Then it was time for the Grand Finale!! It was a surprise for the kids.

Silly String!!!!

After that, the adults all went inside in the air conditioning (and Grammy made lunch for all of us, THANKS!!). But the kids all stayed outside & cooled off in the slip and slide!

But the fun didn't end there. Everyone got treat bags too!!

Thank you SO much Dianna (and everyone else who made/bought things)!!!! It was such a fun day for everyone. My kids can't wait until there's a Summer Olympics 2012!!

You want to do this again....right Dianna??? =)