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Sunday, July 26, 2015

We're going camping now...

Our theme music for the week...
Do you know Psalty? This has always been one of my favs!
Not necessarily super camping related but we made these paper plate frisbees. Top pics are the internet example and bottom pics are our versions:

Then I made a campsite lunch. Ham and cheese tent sandwich, triscuit cucumber trees, triscuit ground and carrot campfire

Then I figured we needed to have roasted hotdogs for dinner, that seemed like a must for the theme and was super easy and convenient since we had VBS this week.
Wed morning our craft was making a sock fishing game. Tutorial found here.
How we did it: We bought a dowel for less than $2 and a pack of 10 magnets for less than $2 at the hardware store.  We cut the dowel into thirds, covered it with duct tape and attached yarn. At the end of the yarn I tied a metal hook (although washers would work great as well.) Then happy to find a use for some of those abandoned unmatched socks we took 10 socks, put a magnet in the bottom, stuffed them with newspaper and tied it off with yarn.  Then the game. We put all the fish on the table and see who can catch the most fish without only using your pole, no helping with your hands! It was fun! We played it a bunch. 

I found this fun game called creature charades online.  It was so much fun! We laughed so hard at our attempts to act out these animal antics.  What a fun game.  I want to play this again sometime!

Thursday's lunch had grape-pretzel-cheese fires.  Looks just like a campfire doesn't it!?   The Pinterest version was much better than mine but hey, cut me slack, I did this while holding a sleeping newborn! (He does not approve of being set down very often!)

For snack we had trail mix.  Now for years Meijers Cranberry Rush trail mix has been one of my favorite snacks ever. While purchasing it at the store I discovered a new gem: Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter mix, it is AMAZING!! (Hence the nearly empty bag!) It has toffee covered peanuts in it for heavens sake! Yummy! Thank you Meijers!

This campfire dish is a favorite of mine! And so easy! Loaded Potato King Chicken
Into crockpot: 1 large family pack of boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs.  Add 1 can chicken broth, 1 can cream of chicken soup, 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/2 chopped onion, 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese.  Cook on high for 4 hours.  Bake large baking potatoes (on campfire or in microwave!) Ladle chicken mixture over potato and top with dollop of sour cream and sprinkle of shredded cheese. Seriously this meal is SO yummy!
Friday morning we did a paper plate bear craft.  I seriously can't believe how many crafts you can make with paper plates!
Then for an afternoon treat I made bear claw cookies, ummm divine! You make them with brownie mix and add 4 peanuts and a peanut butter cup! We also watched the yogi bear movie to complete the theme.

Then we packed A LOT into the theme that night.  Craig got out of work early and was able to help set up for a full night of activities. For dinner we had a campfire and made pizza pies.  Super yummy!

Make sure to take time telling camp fire stories and singing songs around the fire.  Then we had the kids get the rest of their energy out catching fireflies

And playing flashlight tag...

Then into the tent:
A game of shadow puppets:

And a movie with popcorn and candy. We were supposed to do smores but we had such a lot loaded into the night and were going for a less sticky treat. 

It was such a hot muggy night, bless them all four lasted the night in the tent!
Saturday afternoon Craig took the two oldest to a nearby lake for fishing.  However he took no pictures.  Can't really fault him, the man did sleep in a tent in sweltering heat with three girls and then took them fishing the next day in similar heat.  But photographing it for the love of the blog wasn't his top priority so I will add a few throwback fishing pics:
About an hour ago my six year old accused me of "never doing any work" because I am "always just holding a baby".  Huh? Looking back over the week that really makes me cringe. Maybe someday I will refresh her memory with these blog entries.  You know when she is home with her own houseful of several busy kids who whine and bicker and complain of boredom over the summer.  I'll say hey honey look what I did for you one summer, cause you know, I'm so lazy and everything... Hard waiting 20+ years for vindication...Anyways to end on a high note...
Finally our newest fruit of the spirit is Kindness so we read the story of the Good Samaritan and watched a veggietale and discussed how we can show kindness to someone by doing something extra special this week. 
Finally because what is the fun of having a cute new baby and not including a picture of him in each blog post so here you go, isn't he adorable, he looks ready to camp in his Hawaiian shirt doesn't he? Love him.

Speaking of camp, next week my Grace is gone at camp! I am panicking. How will I survive without her help!? How will I make it through the week not worrying about how she is doing!? Meanwhile back home our theme will be animals! Should be a ferocious and wildly good time!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Music and Art Week

My girls said early on that they were most excited about music and art week because they love music and art! I hope I didn't disappoint too much because it seemed kind of lame in terms of our sensational summer!

We made suncatchers with coffee filters, it's a very easy craft, color them with markers and then paint them with water. 

We watched a musical, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang while we crafted, this family loves a good musical. 

We picked up their dance recital dvd this week and since have watched and danced to it about a million times. 

We were planning to make homemade instruments this week but we have quite a stock pile of instruments at our house so we kept them out all week for any jam sessions that were needed. 

The girls did our wii Disney karoke game and played wii Just dance with their cousins which made for lots of giggles and laughs as always. 

We pulled out an old standby and did playdough this week. 


Grace practiced her piano this week, she can play Old MacDonald and Ode to Joy (Beginners edition of course) so she gets very proud that she can play something we can recognize and sing along to.  We went for a walk one night and discussed how God is the best artist of all and I saw this moth and thought it was just one of a million examples of God's artistry.

We turned OFF the tv more this week and turned ON the music, especially my summer playlist that is full of lots of fun songs to sing along to like motown and beach boys etc.

My husband even got in on the art this week by working on his big project of painting the shelves he built in the nursery (hoping to do the big nursery reveal very soon!!!)

So overall it was a little underwhelming week I think, the baby and I are still trying to navigate our way through some difficulties. 

I had some help from my sister who took the girls for a full two days which was such a gift.  (What is better than sisters like that!!?)  I didn't really have recipes planned for music and art week and as always didn't quite get to all the crafts and activities but we still explored our artsy side a bit. 

Next week is camping theme.  To make up for the fact that we aren't going camping this summer, we are going to try to have some camping fun right at home.  Can't wait!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Wacky Wet and Wild Week!

This was a kind of low key week for me because I had helpers to implement the fun activities which is necessary when you are stuck inside trying to establish a routine with a new baby! He looks like a handful doesn't he?

He actually is still in that doesn't want to be set down stage so that does make productivity difficult! And tomorrow I'm on my own, oh my!

Was fun with sprinklers day!
The girls rode their scooters through the sprinklers:

They also put the sprinkler under the trampoline and jumped and had a great time!

While mom and dad took baby to the Dr they made Bubble Snakes with their Grandma and Grandpa.  We used this tutorial here.  The girls thought this was super fun.  We didn't get pictures of ours though, we didn't do animals just used fun duct tape.

That night we made something cute for our drinks, perler bead drink covers with straw holes to look like fruit slices.  We made a watermelon, apple and kiwi. I think they are cute!

Grandma took them out to paint the sidewalk with water,  the designs dry and disappear and you make more.  Easy peasy. This is a good activity for the toddler age set especially, no mess!

Wednesday night they took a bath with glow sticks! This was a big hit!

Then before bed we played my childhood favorite game: Pillow monster! You could just have a regular old pillow fight but pillow monster is a little more organized.  The key is to stopping before someone gets hurt!

Thursday morning Jack had his first sponge bath followed by his first real bath later in the week, we figured he needed to get in on the wet and wild action too!

Also that morning we made sponge balls.  I had planned on having them use these for washing the car as well as the fun activity that night but they didn't get around to washing the car!

But they came in handy that night when we had a water balloon/water gun fight with a whole mess of neighbor kids.  Craig tried desperately to get the balloons filled faster than they could throw them and pop them.  In the end just dumping the buckets of the water was the best defense.  

When you are two in the middle of a water fight with big kids you retreat to Mom and say "Up Momma!!!"
In the end is was Craig vs the only boy neighbor participating!
Then this weekend they had a three pool days in a row! Fri, Sat and Sun, including getting new swimsuits from Grandma. We painted our nails with glow in the dark nailpolish also.

My Mom and sister built the kids an awesome poolside fort for snacks and getting out of the sun in between bouts of swimming!  There was probably a disturbing unsupervised amount of candy consumption occurring inside the tent!
This is how Jack rolls at a pool party.

Finally I made a cake with pop rocks.  It was supposed to be firecracker cake for patriotic week but since we didn't get to it until this week we used a variety of colors instead of just red and blue.  Here is the pic and link of recipe.

We did get another firework show on Saturday night viewable from our upstairs window. 

I did make one more recipe that was supposed to have been from last week too, that was my Stars and Stripes Quinoa recipe here.  I love this recipe.

But mostly I didn't have to cook this week, I had meals brought from church friends and my Mother-in-law cooking while visiting.  It was lovely.  I'm telling you this next week is going to be rough!

For our family devotions the fruit of the spirit we discussed this week was Patience.  We sang our patience song.  We discussed how it is so important to be patient with each other because God is patient with us.  We highlighted Ephesians 4:1-3 as a family and discussed how being patient with each other is important to keeping unity in the spirit.

This coming week is music and art week.  And it's mostly me on my own...with four kids! Wish me luck!