Thursday, August 23, 2012

Mixing up Stuff...

 Today we had our "Thursday" friends over to play.  To keep them busy I gave into Ethan's request for "ingredients"... he just loves mixing things up and trying different blends of stuff...
 It was a little different adding friends... the game changes with lots of kiddos... 
 And they don't always follow Ethan's rules... which provides PERFECT teachable moments!
 Today I gave them a little bit of cornmeal, coffee, popcorn seeds, dry rice... and of course flour... mixed together with lot of colored water it looks a whole lot like --------
well you know!  I almost lost my lunch several times!
 This little girl is a sweetheart... 
she'll reach up her arms and say "Hold Me!"  She loves to snuggle... and I love that!
 I still need to clean up from today... all the action ... left me pretty tired... so I'm sure the play dishes are rock hard... and in need of some serious scrubbing -- so maybe I'll muster up a tab bit more and get our yard clean... soon... maybe???
 It was a good day...
Lots of play and lots of sun...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Keeping up with Creative Kids...

Have you ever asked the question, "Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?" 
I wonder, do you "make" creative kids or are kids naturally creative?

 I don't want my kids to be bored or only interested in watching movies, but at times I've found keeping them busy is WORK.  Before I had kids, when I was an EXPERT at child rearing, I imagined that kids would just play... come up with stuff on their own and be creative... at least that is what I remember from my childhood.  My brothers and I were constantly coming up with stuff (good and bad)... BUT when I think back, we had a Mother that would point us in a direction or give us a good idea.  This is what I have to do with my kiddos, and thankfully after 4+ years of work I'm finding they are beginning to be creative on their own... (mainly Ethan)...
Building a doll house....
 This week, Ethan asked me if he could build something. I cleaned out the tool box and gave Ethan all the tools that "don't work" or ones we don't use.  I gave him nails and screws and all the scrap wood I could find... (we have plans to visit construction sites later this week to find extra scraps).  He spent the whole day building and scheming! He comes up with all sorts of grand ideas... grand ideas that are beyond his little body's ability!  I keep cheering him on and tell him to try again!
 Of course... Eden is always ready to "help"....
The kiddos are always wanting to do science projects... 
so I've been giving them little bowls of ingredients.
 Sugar, salt, baking soda, cornstarch, flour, sugar... and lots of colored water... and a bit of vinegar. It keeps them occupied for a bit... Ethan mixes and talks, talks and mixes... pours, talks, spills and talks some more!  Eden just follows his lead... most of the time.
 This morning we set up a "science lab"... 
 They worked away... 
 Ethan commentated the whole thing... sharing what he was doing, what the mixture was doing... as though it was his own cooking show!
 Amazing how much fun a little water and flour can be!
An activity like this doesn't take much thought or prep... but it creates an environment that facilitates play... and I like it when my kids are busy!
Our "pet" moth... beautiful little creature... never seen one quite like this before...
I don't know if my kids are naturally creative or if I'm "reaping what I sowed"... but I do believe our home is a creative atmosphere where they can have fun... if they are up to it! And this makes me happy, because that is something I have worked hard at creating!  

(But trust me... there are many times when I wonder if I've created creative monsters!!!!)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Blooms...

This week I woke up to find....
 my beautiful flowers in full bloom... I think their big faces brighten up my whole yard! 
I'm making plans to plant twice as many next summer!
 I've always loved sunflowers... they seem like such a happy flower...
 The weather has cooled off... and I've found the kiddos back in the sandbox... they abandoned it for awhile, but now they are making up for the lost time.  They have declared themselves the Back Yard Bug Killers!  Ethan says it is their job to exterminate anything that crawls... I'm not going to complain one little tiny bit!  "Kill on"... I encourage! 
This morning was my morning off...  Ethan said I was the best Mom in the whole world for letting him play at his friend's house... okay!  I'll take that! So while they were playing and thinking I was wonderful, a dear friend (from out of town) and I spent almost the whole time chatting away in a coffee shop.  I NEVER get enough time with her.  I'm still thinking through our conversations and realizing all the fragmented thoughts we never finished commenting on!  I miss her already... wish Washington wasn't so stinking far away!

While Eden was away she picked up the word "actually"... she uses it before every sentence and in between her words... it is "actually" quite adorable!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Lunch with Friends...

 I was sharing with my friend, Bethany, that I have been exhausted a lot lately.  We've been laying low and bumming around our house... a lot.  I've canceled a lot of plans, and said no to almost everything.   Sooo she took it upon herself... to get me out of the house...

What a friend!
 The kids have been begging to go back to the water park... so we met there!
 It is cold and rainy outside today... so looking at these pictures REMINDS me that it 
WAS 94 degrees as the kiddos ran through the water...
 Bethany packed us a lunch... sandwiches, cut up fruit, quesadillas with BACON and avocado!
 It was a treat...
 Some other friends joined us too... Kasie and Katie and her kiddos.  
It was nice to chat and catch up!
 Eden brought me this pile of flowers... I love them!
 At 1:47 we crossed the street to the donut shop and got there right before it closed. 
 Ethan picked out a chocolate one!
Eden picked out a purple one!
I'm glad we got out of the house... I'm glad Bethany pushed me...

Hopefully soon I can catch up on sleep or find out what is going on with me!
We've got lots of living to do... so this exhaustion is getting old!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Lobster in Maine...

 Over the years I've made a list of things I wanna do in life... one of them was to eat lobster in Maine.  Not sure why or where this came from, but just something I've wanted to do.  This weekend we were invited to a birthday party... they had flown in fresh lobster from Maine....

I kinda think that counts...
 My kids have no idea how lucky they are...  They even got fun bibs!
Ethan was just thrilled he got to use "tools"... it was a fun party!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Rain Dance...

 Earlier this week, the sun was shining and I needed to get the kids out of the house!  
So we decided to do a bubble rain dance.
 I grabbed their strainers out of the bathtub (a must for all their bath toys... these strainers let the toys dry - while provided bath-time fun!)... and some soap from the kitchen...
 And thus began the rain bubble dance!
 The more you make it "rain" the more bubbles are made!
 A great remedy to turn those frowns upside down!
 This afternoon the real rain came....
 It has been so hot and humid this week... that I'm loving this change in weather!  Montana isn't normally humid... so when I felt like I was swimming in the pool while vacuuming I knew something was up!
 My kids thought getting to play with umbrellas... was the best part!
I thought the best part was that I don't need to water my garden!
*** a side note.... The next morning after our bubble rain dance.... the kids found a ton of wasps floating in our pool... Wonders!  Now every single time they fill up their pool - I'm gonna put a drop of soap in there... seems like I found my solution for getting rid of our wasp population! Nasty things -- I'm not a fan!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Bubbling Sidewalk Paint!

I have this neighbor... who I kinda met like 4 years ago through one of my students.  This student would go visit her sister in law and when she come back and go on and on about her trip... at one point she said we (her sister in law and I) could be good friends.  When she (the sister in law) moved close to us (seriously on the other side of the block), we started to hang out.  Our sons are very similar ... they play well together.  
 A few weeks ago we came up with this plan.  One week I would watch the kids and then the next week she would watch them.... giving us 3.5 hours to spend how ever we want every other week.  We both think we are in heaven!  This week it was my turn to watch the kiddos!
 Of course I came up with a plan... bubbling sidewalk paint... genius!  I viewed a few different recipes (here is my original inspiration) and finally made up a recipe on my own... equal parts flour, cornstarch and baking soda... add water until thin, but not too thin!  I went for a nice paint-like consistency.  Then I divided it up and added the color...  I found these condiment bottle for 95% off... and the squirt guns were 50% off... I filled the squirt guns with vinegar...
 The ketchup/mustard bottles worked perfect!
 The boys began to cover a spider...
and "the puddle" began to form....
 I let the kids pour, swirl... and drip...
 "The puddle" continued to grow....
 Then I gave them the squirt guns to shoot at the paint.  When the vinegar hit the paint it began to bubble... good old baking soda and vinegar fizz!
I thought the fizzy bubbles was the best part!  
How fun!
 When the squirt guns weren't working as quickly as they liked....
so they dumped the vinegar out onto the paint... how creative!
 Soon the play switched to cleaning the paint off the sidewalk...
 Our friend, Bethany was right in the middle of the play...
 These two little boys are creative and think outside of the box... I'm thankful they have each other... they both have that crazy engineering mind... 
 Eden wanted to be in the picture....
Think she wanted to show-off her fancy outfit!

We had a busy morning... BUT a good morning...
I'm already planning the 3.5 hours I get to myself next week!