Thursday, July 29, 2010

Summer Fun Ideas

It's almost August! Ahhh! Where has the summer gone???

I know that it is a little bit late for this tip, but I thought that I would share anyway. If nothing else, you could file it away for next summer. :)

In June, I made a "Summer Fun Ideas" jar. I had bookmarked TONS of boredom busters that I found online and cut out lots of activities from Family Fun magazine. I complied them all into a list and printed them off. Then I cut them out and folded them up. I
put them into a jar that I bought at Walmart and decorated with scrapbook paper.

Clayton has LOVES his summer fun jar. Whenever the
re is a lull in the day, he brings in to me and asks if we can do an activity. It has been a lifesaver (er, uh... sanity saver!). He said the other day, "I can't wait to see what is in my "Fall Fun" jar. Ha ha! Silly boy...

Our Jar

Here are the activities in our jar:
  • Read A Book
  • Do 25 Jumping Jacks
  • Make Cookies with Mom
  • Play with Sidewalk Chalk
  • Make Popcorn and Watch a Movie
  • Make a Rock Creature with Paint and Glue
  • Blow “The Unpoppable Bubble” (Family Fun Magazine)
  • Make a Craft with Mom
  • Draw a Picture
  • Write a Letter to a Grandparent
  • Run through the Sprinklers
  • Play Hide & Seek
  • Play a Board Game
  • Color in a Coloring Book
  • Look at an Old Family Album
  • Decorate an Old T-shirt
  • Make a Sock Puppet
  • Interview a Family Member
  • Make a list of your favorite things
  • Play a Wii Game
  • Eat a popsicle
  • Do a kind deed
  • Play Hopscotch
  • Play Frisbee
  • Find 5 facts about the President
  • Learn a Magic Trick
  • Build a “Mighty Fortress” Psalm 18:2 (Mustard Seeds Blog)
  • Practice Writing Letters in Sugar on a Cookie Sheet
  • Make a Finger Painting
  • Mark everywhere that you have visited on a US Map
  • Potato Stamping
  • String Together a Noodle or Cereal Necklace
  • Fingerpaint using Shaving Cream on the Picnic Table
  • Make Playdough
  • Make Gak
  • Make a Collage from Magazine Pictures of Words you can Read
  • Take a Bubble Bath in Mommy’s Tub
  • Make Your Own Bath Paints (The Idea Room)
  • Make Scratch Art (Color a picture with crayons, paint over it with black acrylic, after it dries, etch a picture)
  • Make a Corn Syrup Painting
  • Make “Marbled Paper” – Shaving Cream & Food Coloring (Family Fun Magazine)
  • Standing in the Exact Same Place on the Driveway, Trace your Shadow every Hour
  • Make Your Own Phone Book with Notecards and Digital Pictures of Family & Friends
  • Make Homemade Ice Cream (Ziploc Bag Method)
  • Make A Shape Lunch (Everything is a Circle, Triangle, Square, Cylinder, Cube, etc.)
  • Make Sidewalk Chalk (The Idea Room)
  • Go to the Library and Check out a Book
  • Make a “Foamerator” – Family Fun Magazine
  • Make a Paper Mache Mask
  • Make a Spring Snow Globe (Colored Water, Baby Oil, Sand, Shells in a Recycled Bottle) Family Fun Magazine Thanks, Leigh Ann for that idea!
  • Make a Marshmallow Gun (The Idea Room)
  • Make a “Foam Flyer” (Family Fun Magazine)
  • Make a Boomerang (Family Fun Magazine)
  • Make Sidewalk Paint (Family Fun Magazine)
  • Go on a Bug Hunt and dress up in safari gear
  • See how far you can throw and/or kick a ball and measure
  • Look through your scrapbooks.
  • Finger Paint with Pudding
  • Put paint drops on paper plates and blow with straws
  • Make secret messages with white crayons, then use watercolors to decode it.
  • Make paper airplanes and fly them from the top of the banister
  • Write a story then illustrate it.
  • Make rainbow pudding pops. (Secrets of a Super Mommy)
  • Make homemade slushies/slurpees. (The Idea Room)
  • Make homemade puffy paint.
  • Make Solar S'mores (Family Fun)

  • Go on a nature walk and make a nature bracelet (Place a strip of masking tape (sticky side out) around their wrist, so they can stick flowers or leaves to it.) - From Angie's blog
I tried to limit the activities to things that we could do at home (in case Drew was napping) and with ingredients that I keep on hand.

I hope that helps beat the end of summer boredom blues. As Leah says, "Us Mamas gotta stick together!" :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Carpenter Costumes - the Next Generation

This morning, while I was getting ready, Clayton was "babysitting" Drew in the playroom. As I was putting on my makeup, they came downstairs. I could hear Clayton saying, "Come on, Drew, go show Mama." This is what Drew had on....

Drew's first dress up experience. :)

He was loving his hat. He said, "hat, hat" about a dozen times while patting his head. It was pretty cute.

Next up was the Buzz costume.

He wasn't as crazy about that one...

I have a feeling that our closet full of costumes will get a lot of use over the next couple of years. :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

T Minus 1 Month

At the risk of exposing my inner dorky side, I have a confession to make.

I have an unhealthy love for office supplies. Seriously. It's ridiculous. I distinctly remember back to school shopping as a child and being positively giddy at the thought of new notebooks, pencils, and crayons. Brand new crayons... that's greatness in a box.

As you can imagine, I was pleased as punch to take my eldest man-child for his first ever school supply shopping trip. I realized on Sunday that we have a little less than a month before Clayton starts Kindergarten. Oh my...

I printed off his supply list, and we made a family trip to Walmart so that we could all bear witness to this epic rite of passage. Ha ha!

And, I brought my camera to properly document the experience. Oh, yes I did!

Can we have a moment of silence for the first ever back to school box of crayons?

No, Irish Spring was not on the supply list. ;)

I loved checking each item off of the list one by one. I feel like there is still soooo much to do before August 23rd. It will be here before I know it!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


We have been dog sitting for Teener the Weiner Dog for the past few days. The boys have loved having her!

I was cleaning up the breakfast dishes yesterday morning while the boys played with Teener in the living room. Clayton ran into the kitchen and said, "Mommy, Mommy, come quick! You have to see this!"

This is what I saw when I rounded the corner.

When questioned about how Drew got in that teeny tiny crate, Clayton responded with, "I just said, 'Drew go in Teener's bed and held the door open.'"

I'm not sure that I believe that story... I have a feeling that there was more pushing and shoving involved than just gentle coaxing. Ha ha! Drew seemed to think it was pretty funny, though.

Brothers, you gotta love 'em. ;)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Big Kid Summer Fun Week!

Wade's precious mom likes to have "Grammy Camp" with each of her grandkids over the summer. It's a really sweet idea! She likes to have each of the kids alone for a week so that she & Papaw can have individual time with them. I think that is so neat!

Last year, Drew was still a little nursling, so he didn't get to go to Grammy Camp. This year, though, he got his first turn! He had a blast being the only one! He became quite proficient at saying, "golf cart." (Marsha & Terry have 2 golf carts, and going for rides is always a highlight of the trip for our kids.) When Drew got home, there were several times where he went to the garage door and said, "golf cart?" So sorry, little man - no golf carts here in the big city. Ha ha!

I have to say, I was a bit reluctant about my baby being away for 4 days. I missed that little booger bad! However, Clayton and I stayed super busy while Baby Brother was away. It was really fun to do "big kid" things with Clayton. He named our week "Big Kid Summer Fun Week." It was cute to see him so excited about a week with just his Mama. :)

We crammed a lot of fun into our 4 days! On Monday we went to see Toy Story 3 in 3D. Clayton has been dying to see it, but I was too nervous to take Drew to a full priced movie.

We both loved it! However, I think that there should be a PSA about cleaning out your playroom before you see the movie. I don't know if Clayton will ever be able to part with another toy! He is convinced that they all have feelings.

I had heard that the end of the movie was sad. I was prepared when I got a little teary at the end. What I wasn't prepared for was Clayton's reaction. Y'all, he cried big huge crocodile tears! I thought that his nose was running, so I asked him if he needed a Kleenex. He started sobbing and saying, "I don't ever want to grow up and get rid of my toys!" That made me cry even harder. I reassured him that he didn't ever have to grow up! ;)

On Wednesday, we went the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. We have season passes to the museum and go pretty often (usually once a week or so), but we had never been to the Planetarium or the Omni. So... we saw Sharks at the Omni (Clayton's choice) and 2 of the Planetarium presentations.

On Thursday, we went to Going Bonkers with Leigh Ann, Makinley, Morgan, and the two little girls that Leigh Ann is watching this summer. Whoa, Nelly - my boy was in heaven! It was like a McDonald's play land on steriods! Huge, huge climbing structures every where. There were zip lines and huge slides. It was crazy! I wouldn't dare take Drew there right now. I would surely end up climbing through all of that craziness to fetch him. So, it was definitely a great big kid activity to check off of the list.

After Going Bonkers, we went back to Corey & Leigh Ann's to swim. Clayton and Morgan had fun playing "war" (aka rocking the tube back and forth trying to knock each other off). :)

On Friday, we met Grammy in Terrell to pick up Drew. On the way, we stopped by Kati & Gordon's house to meet Baby Hannah. What a sweetie she was!

Clayton was thrilled to spend a few minutes with one of his favorite people in the world, "Flash" Gordon. Clayton has called Kati's husband "Flash" since he was 3 and first got into superheroes. He thought that "Flash" was the real deal!

That concluded Big Kid Summer Fun Week! We had a ton of fun, but we sure were glad to see Baby Brother!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Grandparents are the Best!

We have spent the last two weekends making quick trips to visit each of our parents. We spent July 4th (and 5th) with Wade's parents, and then we went to Houston this past Saturday & Sunday to see my Mom & Dad. We crammed a whole lot of fun into each of those overnight visits!

I love watching my kids with their grandparents! Both of my grandfathers passed away before I was born, and my grandmothers went to Heaven when I was ages 4 & 13. So, I know all too well what a treasure grandparents are! I hold my few memories of my grandmothers close to my heart and will always wish that I had had just a little bit more time with them. I feel so blessed that my kids have 4 wonderful grandparents and 3 great grandparents (who are also amazing!). I will never stop telling them how lucky they are!

We celebrated the 4th in East Texas. Wade's parents live on the 18th hole of a golf course and it is so beautiful in their neck of the {Piney} woods. Wade (a.k.a. "fun Dad" - my nickname for him) stopped along the way and bought some smoke bombs, a cone fountain, and some HUGE sparklers. They were a big hit!

Drew spent some time swinging and rocking with his Grammie. :)

Wade & Papaw took Clayton out to practice with his new golf clubs. Male bonding at it's finest... ;)

This past weekend we went to Houston for my nephew, A's, birthday party. He turns 7 on the 20th. Becca & Jeff threw him a really fun Spiderman party. I got some really cute pictures of A, but I'm still not at liberty to post them. :( Hopefully, A & J's adoptions will be final in the fall and then I will have GOBS of pictures of their sweet faces to post. Thanks to everyone who has asked about them lately. You all are so sweet to care about our family! Their adoption has been a long process, but it seems that Becca & Jeff will be through all of the red tape in the next few months. Please keep them in your prayers!

My parents got a chance spend lots of time with the boys while we were there. Clayton & Drew just ate up all of the attention. :)

Drew & Gran

Papa D & Gran with Drew

Drew was a big fan of the birthday cake. Ha ha!

Drew is a bruiser, for sure! He LOVES to wrestle in the floor. If you are laying in the floor, then he considers you fair game. He will just run up and tackle you out of nowhere. Well... my Dad got a taste of our little linebacker's rough housing ways. I'm pretty sure that being the father of 2 girls didn't prepare him for the tackling that he was in for!

We got in some swim time yesterday afternoon before we headed home. Wade "launched" Clayton and J about 146 times each. :) They both loved it! They made the funniest faces and poses as Wade tossed him in the water.

Drew was content just relaxing by the side. Next year, I have no doubt that he will be smack dab in the middle of the launching action. ;)

Thanks Marsha & Terry and Mom & Dad for loving on our kids! We are soooo thankful for all 4 of you!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Goin' to the chapel...

On Saturday, my sweet Katie got married! I was/am so excited for Katie & Wes and their new life together! I have blogged before about how much I adore Katie (see HERE or HERE). She really is such a sweetheart. She has definitely found her match in Wes, and I couldn't be happier for her!

Katie & Wes asked Clayton to be one of their ring bearers (they had 2 flower girls and 2 ring bearers). What an honor! He was very concerned about his role and constantly said he was "nervous" about the wedding. He wanted to know exactly when he was supposed to go down the aisle and how exactly he was supposed to ring his bell (the ring bearers had bells to ring instead of a pillow to carry). It was funny to see how much he has changed since May of 2007 when he was in Becca & Kelli's weddings. Back then he was just so stinkin' cute in his 2T tuxedo, but he didn't really grasp his role. He just knew that there would be a big party with all of his favorite people!

This time around, he wore a size 6 tuxedo and seemed much more serious about his job. He practiced over and over again how he would walk down the aisle. I thought that he would walk calmly down the aisle and ring his bell just like he did every time that we practiced. However, his "happy feet" took over and he sort of skipped/galloped down the aisle. Ha! Oh, well, he looked cute and rang his bell all the way down. That's the part that counts, right?

Katie with Clayton & Claire at the Rehearsal Dinner

Clayton took a liking to my friend Emily's little girl, Claire. He was very concerned about where Claire was at all times and danced with her through the whole reception. It was too cute to watch them!

Practicing his walk before the wedding.

One word - Stunning!!!

My little dapper darling. :)

Then (May 2007)...

& Now (July 2010).

Pronoucing Mr. & Mrs. Baker!!!

Grammie & Papaw gave Clayton a Fisher Price digital camera for his 3rd birthday (remember THIS post?). He still LOVES that camera. He grabbed it as we left the house to go to the wedding. We were in a hurry, so I didn't stop him. I figured that he would just leave it in the car. Oh, no, he brought it into the vineyard and snapped a gazillion pictures while we were there. He would pose people and tell them which way to tilt their head.

It's like he's been followed my the Mamarazzzi for his entire life! Ha ha!

Me & Hay

The photographer was changing lenses, so I snapped a quick pic of Clayton with the bride and groom while we were waiting. :)

I know that I am a bit biased (since I am friends with all of the children's mothers), but they were a pretty darn cute group of kiddos!

Me & My Hubs - It's hard to believe that we were in Katie & Wes's shoes 10 years ago!

My boy danced the night away with Miss Claire! He was twirling her around the dance floor like a pro. They had so much fun!

If they ever have So You Think You Can Dance the Kindergarten Edition, I know what couple would win the first season! ;)

L to R (top): Andrea, Cindy, Halie, Katie, Laura, Me
L to R (bottom): Emily & Traci

Katie & Wes did the dollar dance to score some honeymoon fun money. Wade gave Clayton some cash so that he could dance with the bride. He thought he was big stuff!

All of the guests lit sparklers to bid farewell to the bride & groom.

What a fun wedding! Clayton stayed up waaayyy past his bedtime that night. When we put him to bed, he said his bedtime prayers. He said, "Dear God, thank you for Ms. Katie & Mr. Wes. Thank you for helping them to have a good wedding. I hope that you help them have a great marriage! Amen."

I couldn't agree more!