Tag Archives: summer

Chillin’ in the Pool (quite literally)

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Chillin’ in the Pool (quite literally)

We had a pool put in a few months ago, but we made the kids wait until the water was somewhat warm (73 degrees yesterday) before we would allow them to swim at all.  It is still too chilly for me (74 degrees), but I did put my feet in today.  

They are enjoying the pool already even though I catch them with chattering teeth from time to time.  The sun helped keep them warm yesterday while I sat in the shade under an umbrella.  Today’s cloud cover is keeping all of us cooler. 

They lined up on the side so they could all jump in together.  They get along so much better in the pool than anywhere else.  That could just be because it’s new, but I hope it continues through the summer.  

We didn’t realize we were down to three pair of goggles, so the kids shared today.  We probably need to buy a few new toys too, although it’s nice not to have too many to pick up.  This pink Puddle Jumper belonged to Big Sister years ago, but the girls love it because it’s pink.  As long as it keeps them afloat, I don’t care which one they wear.  The twins have swimming lessons later this month, so I’m hoping they will be able to swim without the floats all summer.  

Water, Water Everywhere

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Water, Water Everywhere

The weather the past couple of weeks has been very hot and dry, so we have been playing frequently in water to keep cool. Last Monday, we went to a children’s garden with some friends, and all of the kids had a great time playing in the water. Naturally, Little Sister was more cautious, but she jumped right in after her more adventurous twin. You can see Big Sister in the background, but Big Brother was running and jumping with his friends–too busy for photos but great for entertaining the girls! The little boy was no one we knew, but he made the water spray all over the girls, and Sissy tried and tried to do the same but wasn’t quite tall enough.
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The big kids have had swimming lessons last week and this week and have made a lot of progress. I got my hair cut on Thursday right before their lesson and snapped a photo while they were swimming to send to my husband, mom, and sister. It’s so much more stylish than the ponytail I’ve been sporting every day since the weather heated up.

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On Friday, we went swimming with some friends at their neighborhood pool. Sissy and Little Sister had their floaties on and were walking around in the water on the wide, top step while I was putting Big Sister’s hair in a ponytail, and the next thing I knew, Sissy just stepped right off into the pool and starting splashing around in the water. The nice thing about the Puddle Jumper life jacket is that it positions them correctly for swimming, and Sissy started kicking her legs and using her arms to swim. I was amazed. Again, Little Sister was more cautious and sat on the top step for awhile, but she did get in the pool now and then. I also snapped a photo of Big Sister and her friend, but once again, Big Brother was too busy with his friends.

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As if I didn’t have enough to do already, I started another garden on one side of our backyard for vining plants like cantaloupe, watermelon, pumpkins, and fall/winter squash. I planted all the seeds about four weeks ago, and God sent rain four days in a row that week! Our sprinkler system doesn’t extend that far, so I’ve been hand watering it every other day, and the babies often come with me. Saturday morning, I went ahead and put their swimsuits on because they usually get soaked. I saved and rinsed some milk jugs for them to help me water, but they usually just pour it out on the grass or on their own feet. They lost interest in helping me and walked over to our vegetable garden. Sissy brought me a tomato she had picked. At least this one was ripe! I bought some 18″ wooden stakes at Home Depot and used a Sharpie to label them and create simple row markers.

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We went over to the vegetable garden next so I could pull some weeds in the beds. I filled the water table for the girls to play in while I worked. The garden is shaded by the house in the morning, so it’s a great place for them to play. Sissy started helping me pull weeds and wanted to throw them over the fence into the pasture like I was doing, so she climbed to the top and then fussed because she couldn’t get down. After the third time, I realized what she was doing and told her to put the weeds through the fence like she was doing the week before.

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We have picked a few zucchini squash and over a dozen tomatoes already. The grasshoppers are eating our corn, but I think we will have plenty.

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There is finally rain on our forecast this week, so maybe we will really have water everywhere. We sure need it. Hope you are staying cool this summer!

Busy times

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Wow! A lot has happened this summer. I know I originally promised to post at least once a week, and I have failed to do so since we moved into our new house. We were without Internet for over a week when we first moved in, but I can only blame busy-ness beyond that. I’m planning to post a few times this week to catch up on all that has happened. First, I must share some wonderful news. My babies, who are already six months old, are wearing purple here in honor of their new cousin who was born yesterday.
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Grammy and PaPa held my babies so I could hold my new niece. She is just beautiful.

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Here’s a close up of our little cousin–in purple of course. My sister’s favorite color has been purple for as long as I can remember, and now she finally has a baby girl, so naturally the baby’s room has been tastefully decorated in shades of purple, and I’m sure she will have a plethora of purple clothing. We will definitely pass these onesies down to her in a few months.

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Welcome to the family, sweet baby! We are so glad you are here.

Summer boredom & other stuff

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How much TV do you allow your children to watch each day? During the last month or two of my pregnancy and then after the babies were born, my older two children watched more TV than I care to admit. We have begun limiting them (again) to about an hour a day, but with the heat of summer approaching, I’m afraid my kids will spend more time in the house and I will gradually begin to allow more and more TV time. My son asked me so many times yesterday morning if he could watch TV that I made a new rule that there will be no TV until after 9:00 am. Your children may not even be up at that time, but mine are usually up before 7:00 am, so they’ve already had breakfast, completed their morning duties, and become bored by 8:00. LOL.

We have just started a new responsibility/allowance system that I read about here. The children have morning responsibilities, reading, cleaning, and practice to complete each day in order to earn their allowance each week. Since we only started a few days ago, I can’t tell you that it will be what we use forever, but the kids have been more responsible and complaining less. They are eager to check off their responsibilities on their chart each day. With this new system, we are currently requiring each child to read for 15 minutes each day and practice something (drawing, extra reading, writing, puzzles, math games, flash cards, etc.) for 15 minutes each day. I plan to increase the amount of time required for reading and practice as they grow accustomed to this new plan. The reason I mention all of this in this post is to share one way we are trying to combat summer boredom. What are some ways you keep your kids busy during the summer?

I LOVE to read, and I want my children to enjoy reading as well. We are learning about Japan, China, and India this week, so I checked out about 25 children’s books from our local library on these countries. Our son, who is an independent reader, has been enjoying some of these books during his reading time, our daughter enjoys looking at the pictures and “reading” to herself, and I have been reading them to the kids as well. Sunday afternoon, we just sat on the couch and read books for about 45 minutes. I think they enjoyed the “mommy time” as much as anything. One infant requires a lot of a mommy’s time and attention. Sadly, two infants don’t leave much of mommy for the older ones. This is something else I need to focus on this summer, which is another reason we are doing our own summer camps. I’m hoping all of this will help with their behavior as well, which has been atrocious.

Please leave me comments about TV time, summer activities, etc. I’m willing to try just about anything.

Art camp

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Our older two children (7 and 4 1/2 years old) wanted to do every camp they heard about this summer. With us moving this month and having two babies in tow, the thought of carting the older two around and waiting while they do camp did not sound appealing to me. I figured if I did similar activities with the kids at home, we could save some money and create some fun memories as a family. The kids were excited about doing summer “camps” at home, but they did ask if they could invite their friends, and I agreed to one friend for each child each week. My awesome mother-in-law agreed to come over and care for the babies for a couple of hours each day (three days a week) to allow me to do the activities with the older two.

I came across Thriving Family’s 2013 Summer Activity Calendar here. The short devotionals focus on a different continent each week in June and July, and I thought it would be great to have our summer camp activities focus on the same area of the world each of those weeks. This first week of June focused on Oceania. We started with art camp this week and painted similar to the way New Zealanders paint on barkcloth, made beaded jewelry like women in Papua New Guinea, and created mosaics like an artist and her children in Australia. Today we learned about ancient Aboriginal rock art in Kakadu National Park in Australia, and the kids painted on the pretend walls (brown craft paper taped to cardboard boxes) of our pretend cave/shelter (under the kitchen table and bar). It was fun, and we all learned a little more about Australia.

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