DAY 9: A Project

I had this pair of jeans

that were too short on Jasmin.  They fit her in the waist, but are way too short to wear. And I had this shirt.  It was an old shirt of Savannah’s that I really loved.  I saved it for Jasmin.  And yesterday I found it sitting in a bin in a closet and thought, hey…I could use that shirt to fix up these pants so Jasmin can still wear them.  Here is the shirt.

Cute, right?  And the thing I love most is the crocheted border and the cute little flowers.  So I cut them off and made these adorable shorts.

Now Jazzy has a new pair of shorts to wear this summer and aren’t they so cute?  I even had a couple of flowers left and sewed them on the back pocket.

Day 7 & 8: No News is Good News?

I was hoping I would have something important to blog about.  It’s just not coming to me.  The last 2 days have not been real eventful.  The kids have been having a great time at Kidz Kamp.   It’s been nice having a quiet house for a good chunk of the day.  Jasmin is really fun when it’s just me and her.  Monday, we hung out and I cleaned during her nap.  Today we actually dropped her off at the babysitters and Sam and I went out for our anniversary (which was Saturday).  We went to Gaucho…it was a delicious lunch.  We didn’t eat anything the rest of the day…except till about a half hour ago when I made an egg sandwich.  By the time we got home, it was just about time to go get the kids from Kidz Kamp, so I didn’t get much done today except some laundry and the dishes.  We’ve been making plans for this weekend and thinking about getting ready for Family Camp. I am so excited about that.  We missed it last year.  So…anyway, not much news to tell, maybe tomorrow will be different.

DAY 6: Ready For it To End

Not much went on here today.  We got up and went to church this morning.  Apparently the service was a funeral??? but I didn’t get to hear it. I might listen to it from the website, because now I am curious to know what it was about.  I worked in the 2 and 3 yr old nursery this morning.  It was fun I guess.  I kind of like seeing how Jasmin interacts with other kids her age.

We had hot dogs for lunch.  I took the kids over to a friend’s house to play this afternoon.  It rained most of the afternoon. Sam, Jasmin and I took a nap.  We made the kids do their homework when they got home, ordered pizza and I think we sent them to bed after that.  It was not really a fun day.  The kids had fun with their friends.  It was not fun to me.

I am in a yucky mood.  I am feeling discouraged and like giving up on trying to do whatever it is I am trying to do. I wanted every day this summer to be an adventure.  I have tried to make a schedule, which has been a challenge to try to keep.  I have created a chore system which we did nothing with for the entire weekend! We bought workbooks for the kids to help them to review what they learned last year and get ready for the fall…and we are already behind.  More than all that…I want to make memories with my kids.  I have a lot of ideas I want to try…but everything is such a challenge.  There is always at least one kid who doesn’t want to do it, they are constantly fighting…or else they are pushing each others’ buttons on purpose.  It’s so mean. Why do kids have to be like that? I know they are still getting used to being around each other 24/7, but I am so frustrated that I apparently don’t know how to deal with them and help them to get along with each other.  And on top of all that…my house is in worse shape than it is when I am working.  Life is just not easy today.  So I am glad that today is almost over.  Maybe tomorrow I can have a better attitude and make it a better day.

DAY 5: Breakfast On The Farm

The other day when we went to the library, I found out about this Breakfast on the Farm event.  I thought it would be fun, so I invited my friend, Stacey and her son, Evan (whom Jasmin really likes) to go along. Then I told my sister and so she brought her kids too.  I had no idea it would be such a huge event!  They had SO many volunteers and it seemed to me that farms from all over the county participated in it and they had a ton of sponsors.  When we arrived, they shuttled us from the parking field on a hay wagon to the huge pole barn where they had tables and chairs.  We had a “breakfast” of breakfast pizza and sausage, apple and milk or juice.

After that, we went on the tour of 15 stations around the farm where we could learn about all kinds of things that happen there.  We had to wear special booties on our shoes!  They were pretty funny looking.  One of the first places we visited we found out about what kind of food they feed the cows.  The farm was a dairy farm, so we also got to see the cows getting milked – with machines.  We also got some ice cream, which was a welcome treat after standing in lines in the sun for almost an hour!  Needless to say – I have a nice farmers “tan” from the farm!  Luckily Cyndi had just enough sunscreen for the kids.  Jasmin was having a hard time by the time we got to the station where the ice cream was.  She was so tired.  Her ice cream was melting everywhere, so I tried to fix up her cone and she threw a huge fit.  Cyndi finally picked her up and held her and helped her eat her cone, and she was practically falling asleep!  So cute!

The little girls loved the cows and wanted to pet them.  These cows however were not used to so many people and wouldn’t let you get near them.  It was fun to watch them.  The boys just wanted out of the cow barn because of the smell.The other thing the kids enjoyed most about the farm was climbing up on the farm equipment.  I thought it was great that they had all this equipment opened up so the kids could go up and explore.  We left with all kinds of free goodies.  The kids had fun.  It was definitely an adventure and it was totally FREE!  You can’t beat that!

We came home and crashed, then got up and went over to Archer’s pool for an evening swim.  The water felt awesome and it was a perfect end to the day.  

DAY 4: the LEGO party

Yesterday, we spent most of the day preparing for Max’s birthday party.  My main focus in the morning was getting the cake done.  Then we had to

go and run some errands while it cooled. When we got back I started working on frosting the cake.  I think it turned out pretty cool.  The frosting part was a challenge for me, but then I’m no cake decorator and definitely need improvement in spreading frosting.  It took a long time to frost the cake.  But I was glad when I was done, and everyone seemed to love it…even Sam.

The party was fun, but I was glad it was over. ( I didn’t blog yesterday because I was so exhausted – so I am writing two posts tonight).  The boys built some great LEGO containers for the silverware and crayons and filled all the loot bags.  I was grateful for their help with that and they did a good job.  Savannah helped me clean and set stuff up for the party after she got home.

When the guests arrived, we had LEGO coloring sheets for the kids to color, bubbles to blow and a variety of LEGO pieces so they could build something.  They came up with some pretty neat creations.  I tried to do a couple of organized games, but they wanted to play on the trampoline and the girls all had their American Girl dolls…so the games did not go over so well.

It was a great party with a fun theme.  Max had a great 8th birthday and we were so thankful for everyone that could join and celebrate with us.

DAY 3: Dr. Ellis, LEGOs and a Hershey Bar

This morning we made a trip to see Dr. Ellis.  It turns out that Jasmin has hand, foot & mouth disease.  Great.  We have a birthday party at our house tomorrow.  I am so crossing my fingers that she will not be contagious still.  She’s gone 24 hrs. without a fever, but her rash is worse today…pretty much covering her whole body.  She was less clingy today, but way more high maintenance.  I was glad when it was time to get her in bed.

Max is celebrating his 8th birthday tomorrow.  We got him a Star Wars LEGO watch, a barrel of monkeys (simple gift, but I know he’ll love it!), a really cute Toy Story 3 shirt from WalMart for 5.00 and a Indiana Jones LEGO case for his DS.  His grandpa got him a DS 2 Christmases ago.  Last summer he lost it.  We had it with us at one of the fairs.  And then we couldn’t find it anywhere.  We looked everywhere a thousand times, I swear.  We assumed that it had been left outside the camper and someone stole it.  Then a few weeks ago, I was cleaning out my Suburban and low and behold…I found that silly DS.  After he had already received another one from grandpa last Christmas.  So now we have an extra.  But they are both black – well the last one is cobalt and black.  It’s just a hard color to see.  I am sure that is one reason why we never saw it all that time!  Anyway.  I am hoping that a colored DS case (which is also a hard case) will protect it better and keep it more visible.

Max is really excited about his party.  He could hardly sleep tonight.  In fact, when I got home from the store…at 11:30, Karson and Max were still awake.  Those little stinkers.  Max wanted to have his DS in bed so they could watch a movie.  We let them do it sometimes and they are usually out in like 10 minutes anyway.  I told them before I left that if I got home and they were still awake, he’d lose his DS tomorrow.  I am just hoping that they aren’t horrible tomorrow because of their lack of sleep.  I really should have been a little firmer about their bed time though, so if they are, I guess I kind of deserve that.

So Max’s party is a LEGO party.  I have about 4 or 5 games and we will have cake and ice cream & presents.  The boys are doing the loot bags and today Max made a container to hold forks and spoons out of LEGOs.  Tomorrow we are going to make a table covering by printing DUPLO blocks on white roll paper.  I think it will look pretty cool.  We are also going to make the cake.  I am going attempt to make a LEGO cake like the one in the picture…and I am going to call Meijer bakery and see if they will sell me some red and blue frosting.  Plus we are going to see if we can buy some lego candy for the loot bags at Cracker Barrel. I love doing parties…but I wish I wasn’t on a limited budget. I could have made this a really cool party with more money and a little more time.  But I am sure it will be fun, and Max will love it.

Oh…and I have to tell you the best story of the day.  Tonight Sam and I took the kids to KFC. We drove two vehicles because we split up afterwards.  I had to shop for the party, he had stuff to get for this weekend at Menards.  He took the boys and I took Jasmin.  My gas was really low, (and I don’t trust my gas gauge lately) so my first stop was Meijer gas station. I had to go inside to pay for my gas and brought Jasmin in with me.  As soon as we walk in & she sees all the candy displayed at 2 yr. old level, she starts in with “starvin’ mom” and repeats it twenty times because she thinks her mom can’t hear her…and remember we had JUST eaten dinner.  So this guy in front of me is watching her, thinking she’s cute or something, and asks what her name is.  So I tell him…then cringe as I think about how creepy it is that this stranger is now calling my daughter by her name and asking her what she wants.  Seriously, mister, she’s two.  She wants everything she sees! And then I politely say, “please don’t buy her anything, sir, she just ate.” He totally ignores me and purchases a Hershey chocolate bar and hands it to her, then walks out the door.  I am in complete shock, trying to comprehend how anyone could ever think it would be a nice thing to buy a 2 yr. old child a full size chocolate bar on a hot summer day when her mother nicely asked him not to. So I grab the candy bar, she fusses for a second and then completely forgets about it by the time I have her buckled in her car seat.  She did, being the polite child I raised her to be, remember to thank him as we walked by him to our car.  I was looking in my rear view mirror all the way home, checking to be sure he wasn’t following me.  That was just a crazy, weird experience, I tell you. Oh, and just in case you are wondering about the candy bar…I gave it to Sam.  I am not going to let my 2 yr. old eat an entire chocolate bar.

DAY 2 – NOT an adventure!

Actually today wasn’t that horrible…we had plans, though, and had to change them. Jasmin woke up this morning with a fever, a rash and was cranky and clingy all day. I’m not sure what she has, but now her eyes hurt, her nose and eyes are watering and she is complaining of a tummy ache.
Poor kid.

We were going to go swimming at Archer’s new pool today…but the thunderstorms this morning pretty much nixed that from the plan.  We had a birthday party this afternoon, but I am not going to take Jasmin to a birthday party with a bunch of little kids in her condition.  So we just dropped off the present, delivered a package to the post office for Dad, and I signed up the kids for Kidz Kamp at Trinity Wesleyan Church.

So next week, I get 3 days with just me and Jazzy from 8:45-3:30!!! Awesome.  It’s a great program, too!  The kids went last year and totally loved it. We almost didn’t get them in.  We weren’t going to because it costs 115.00 for our 3 kids, but then decided we could – and they were pretty much full by the time I called, but they put our name on a list, and today I got a call back, saying they could go! Yes! Karson isn’t too excited.  We are pretty much making him go.  But I know he will have a good time.  He just is really uncomfortable in new situations when he is by himself.  The good thing is that Max will be in 2 of his classes with him.

So other than that…we’ve done very little today.  Got in a nap, did a bunch of laundry and right now I should be cooking dinner…but it’s so hot. I really don’t want to!  It hasn’t been much of adventure today at all.  We’ve played a lot of Strawberry Shortcake and Barbie movies today.  The boys are very glad that the recent selection is Toy Story.  But it’s pretty much all that Jasmin wants to do, and I don’t blame her.  I hope she feels better tomorrow.

Summer Vacation Day 1 * Geocaching

So our new chore sticks are working pretty well.  Savannah did great today and did every job she has sticks for and earned 1.30!  Max had a hard day.  He didn’t get much and Karson…still working on how to motivate him to care about doing jobs.  Money doesn’t really work for that kid.  I chose three things I want them to get done everyday…clean their room, have a good attitude and read.  Those sticks have stars.  If they don’t have those sticks turned over when we pay them at the end of the day, they actually have to pay me a dime, per stick.  I’m not quite sure about paying my kids to have a good attitude.  Something about that doesn’t seem quite right, but I’m thinking it’s worth more than just a dime to me to have them have a good attitude for the whole day.  Also, I should say:  this system isn’t set in stone.  Very likely there will be some adjustments, I am sure.  But it’s somewhere to start…and it’s working so far.

This morning after breakfast…which we all ate together (except Sam – he was in the shower), we came up with our schedule.  For our exercising activity, I thought we would go geocaching.  I found one close to our house within walking distance.  So we had a snack and set off on our adventure.  The kids weren’t totally sure what it was all about, I think.  We did one as a family in the fall…but we didn’t leave anything (or take anything from the cache).  So before we left we scouted around our house to find a small treasure we could leave in the container.  It was a miniature monkey in a tree – an antique.  I also told the kids that they all needed to find one treasure from our walk and that the object we take out of the container was to stay in a family collection (hopefully eliminating fighting about who claims it).  So we walked.  We were almost there when the boys started to complain.  Then seeing our destination across the street was enough to keep them going.  They were kind of afraid to walk into the cemetery.  I assured them it was fine.  Reminded them to respect the gravesites.  They were really good about it.  They asked a lot of questions about the gravestones, and I showed them how you could tell what war they served in.  It was a beautiful setting and very peaceful.  I’ve been there to draw before.  It took us just a few minutes to find the geocache.  We backtracked a little.  But Savannah found it.  She’s really good about looking everywhere.  I signed the log book and we all decided that the army guy would be a good treasure to take away, since it was where all these “real army guys” were buried.

And the treasures we brought home from our walk…me: a stone from Mt. Evergreen Cemetery, Savannah: a tiny stone, Max: a lucky penny, Karson: a feather, Jasmin: a shrek baby.

Ok.  I knew I’d have to tell you more about the Shrek baby Jasmin found.  I don’t even know what possessed me to pick it up, but I did, and as soon as Jasmin saw it, she loved it.  She held it in her arms all the way home.  I think it might be one of the Shrek babies from the 2nd Shrek movie.  Maybe it had a diaper on at one time.  But the back (butt) seam was ripped out, the eyes were partly rubbed off, and who knows where it had been…oh yeah, and it was missing a lot of stuffing!  So we brought it home, threw it in the washing machine, stuffed it and sewed it up, and fixed up the eyes.  It doesn’t look brand new.  But at least now I am comfortable with letting Jasmin carry it around.  I think she really likes it because we just saw the movie the other day.  I am going to make some clothes for it though.  We added a little length to the eyelashes with a sharpie, so we named it Felicia.  Savannah and I were thinking a little tutu would look really cute.

First Day of Summer

Ok…this may be the actual first day of summer…according to the calendar. But I am going to claim tomorrow, June 22 as our first day of Summer. True, my kids actually started their summer vacation on June 3. But I still had to go and clean up my art room today.  Our school didn’t get out until last Tuesday, I worked on records all day on Wednesday and Thursday and Friday, spent all my time cleaning up my Kindergarten room.  It was a lot of work.  I had some help from my kids and my sister.  I am very glad it is done.  I just need to clean up my porch now…because that is where I temporarily stacked everything I brought home.  It’s one of my goals.

Speaking of goals…I really want to get organized this summer.  I want to be consistent with making motivating the kids to do their chores.  I found a new idea from Mummy Crafts that we are trying with a little twist.  So tonight we made up our chore sticks.  The kids got busy doing chores.  At first a little reluctantly, but they loved the immediate gratification of being able to turn over their stick when it was completed.  Tomorrow we will implement the mandatory chores.  More on that tomorrow.

I also want to start a schedule with the kids, which includes time for school work, journals, play, snack, exercise, craft time.  It might be a little ambitious…but it’s good to be ambitious, isn’t it.  Better than not caring and wasting all of our 62 days of summer vacation.

So, onto day 1!  Hope it’s a great day!  I have some things to get ready.

Yeah! for Summer vacation! (It’s what I love most about being a teacher.)