Thursday, June 27, 2013

Baseball Days

Landon had his last day of baseball today - It's been a fun way to spend a few evening each week for the beginning of our summer. Landon had fun playing and Ellie and Owen had a great time running around with each other and with friends.  Just a nice calm time and some beautiful Logan evenings.  I'm excited for Ellie and Landon to both try out soccer this Fall. :)

School Time

Landon hard at work w/ Ed Emberly pics
I think that I can officially say that our 'school time' so far has been a great success. Even in our 4th week now, we had this conversation yesterday - 
me "guys, I think we need to just do short school time today so you'll still have a time for a movie before we go to the library activity..."
ellie and landon "No!!!!"
(Anything that wins over movie time must be super great!)

I did a lot of planning and thinking about what themes/topics/units we'd cover for school time this summer... but then summer came and I ended up putting most of my plans aside. Here's what we've ended up doing: 

I made a book for Landon and Ellie that we use each day to practice penmanship (a letter each day) and drawing (something that starts with that letter - I'm learning along with the kids :)   Along with these, we're reviewing/remembering all of the letters in Portuguese and learning them in sign language. Then we do some sort of fun or learning activity. 

So we review our letters and whatever else we've been working on during our activity time, then do penmanship practice (good for both Landon and Ellie), drawing, and then some kind of fun activity. It's usually an hour or so and fits in perfectly after quiet time (while Owen naps, Ellie and Landon have quiet play time on their own and I get things done and make quick plans for whatever activity we'll do that day for afternoon school time)  Owen usually wakes up from his nap as we're finishing.  An upstairs clean sweep earns the kids movie time after school time and then we're at 4:00 when Jordan is 'home from work' :)

Some of our activities are based on reading or math practice, others are just for fun (making ice cream in bags, learning about measurements and then making chocolate cookies, 4th of July bead necklaces/bracelets...) We've also done a little bit of piano intro and some arts and crafts kinds of things.

It's been such a fun part of our summer break. And since it's pretty low-key, it's something I can keep up with and jump back into between all of our summer busy-ness.

Hooray for happy school time days!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Special Breakfast Tuesdays

Special Breakfast Tuesday/ Summertime 
I can't remember how it started, but somehow about a year ago  we started a 'Special Breakfast Tuesday' tradition that has happily stuck. Every other day is oatmeal/cheerios or similar, but Tuesday's the kids love pancakes or waffles or something more interesting than oatmeal. :) With all of our chair and counter stools otherwise occupied as 'building materials',  we've been enjoying some great picnic breakfasts out in the backyard (and lunches depending on when the secret hide-out/fort dismantling happens).

(Notice Jordan's 'summer office' in the background!)

Summer Break Week 1

A new fort for each new day...

I had great plans for summer break, which were mostly in my head and waiting to be worked out in detail before Monday morning of summer break arrived. Unfortunately for my planning-plans, I got sick with a cold that mostly wiped me out so summer break began in survival mode :)

But wonderfully so!

I don't know when I've felt so grateful to have been sick as Friday afternoon looking back at our first week of summer break and what a sweet, happy week it was. The kids built forts every morning (see above) and managed to clean them all up each afternoon after a 'school time' session with Ellie and Landon while Owen napped. And we just stumbled upon a great little routine that I think is going to take us happily through the summer much better than any I could have carefully planned and scheduled.

Landon especially took over the play-time-leader role so well -- what happiness to see him 'gathering the troops' with a song of "Freedom! Freedom! I am free!" -- Owen's cue to jump in line with Landon and Ellie and march to the next destination for exploration or adventure Landon-style. With the kids doing so well (amazingly!!!) playing together in free time, plus the daily summertime to-do's w/ school time, baseball, scouts, 'super-helper jobs'... and some busy travel time ahead -- we're set for some happy days I think.

More to come on school time and our routines :)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Saturday afternoon in pictures

Playing ball

Happy watering/water shooting Landon

About her first bike riding day -- "This is the best day ever!!"
Hard worker

A bike-riding girl

From Ellie on her first bike riding adventure:

"This is so fun! This is the most fun thing in the whole world! When I try to think about what things are fun, my brain just says 'ride my bike!' lots of times!"

Later on an uphill stretch, when I checked in to see how she was doing with 'how are your legs feeling on this hill Ellie?'

"Proud!! And they're getting a lot of exercise and they're getting so strong!"