2013 Summer Bucket List… 50 things to do while the sun shines

2013 Summer Bucket List THL

Although its only mid-May, it sure feels like summer is already in full swing!  With temps hovering in the mid-eighties and ball season going strong there is no doubt about it… summer is here.

This summer I am going to try to be a little more intentional about doing really fun (not necessarily super expensive) activities with the kids. Last year it seems like it was nearly August before we really got away to go do anything.  This morning I happened across The Happy Family Movements Summer Bucket List Challenge.  It reminded me the the best place to start was…. with a plan.  So the kids and I sat down today and made a list of all the things we would like to do this summer.  Most of their ideas made the list as well as a few of my own.

We plan on doing some schooling this summer but most of it will be fairly unstructured.  The summer schedule seems to be filling up so quickly with 4-H activities, Vacation Bible School, summer camps, art classes and ball games that I want to make sure we take time to simply enjoy the season and enjoy each others company. I know if we have a list, the kids especially, will be diligent about reminding me of all the things we said we were going to do.  Sometimes it takes a little prodding for them to remind me that they will only be small for a short time and that I need to put down the laundry and the dishes, pour a glass of lemonade and have some fun!   What about you?  Do you have plans for summer yet?

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The Great Fall Decluttering Event..Too much stuff!

Over the past few weeks as the kids have started spending more time in the house, it seems that it is absolutely impossible to keep things picked up.  I’ve have sorted, organized, reorganized and sorted again.  I have decided we just have too much “Stuff”!  I began purging this week. This is not an easy task because I hate to get rid of things.  Even things that have worn out the current use. I always have some idea how I can recreate and reuse them.  The problem is that I never have time to recreate them. Its really not just the kids stuff, its all of us.  Although for now, Ill leave hubby’s things alone.   But other than that, I am forcing myself to be ruthless!
I had originally planned on doing the great toy sort during nap time but I think Ill “man up” and do it with the kids.  I know it will be a good teaching moment. (or hour as the case may be)  It will also save me from explaining where their things went, when and if they would ever notice things missing.
I am using a combination of Ebay, Craigslist, Goodwill ..and yes even the trash to move some of this Stuff out.  I know that when my house is a cluttered mess so is my mind so I am looking forward to having things back in order.  (It always gets worse before it gets better)
Im planning to put back part of the proceeds from the Great Decluttering Event to help pay for Christmas. I actually started Christmas shopping a few weeks ago because I ran across a great deal at Toys-r-us.  I need to put together my Christmas planner so I have a master list to work from. I think Ill tuck a picture of the chaos in my planner as a reminder of the fact that we have so much “stuff.”  I know I need to keep this in mind when planning for the kids.  I always get out of control buying things for them at Christmas.  I really need to not do that this year!
I do love to use Organized Christmas to help keep my Christmas craziness in order.  More on this later, for now I have more clutter to attack!

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Im excited just thinking about starting Christmas planning! 
(Yes I know its October. I cant help it.)

Family Day out..Ohio Bird Santuary and Carrousel Park

Saturday we took the day “off” and headed out for a day of family fun.  In the business of life I know we tend to forget to occasionally put aside the to do list and take the time to just enjoy one another’s company.  This weekend was the first weekend hubby hasn’t had to work either Saturday or Sunday so we decided we would take Saturday off from doing our weekend chores and head out for a day relaxation. I packed a picnic lunch and off we went.
First we visited the Ohio Bird Sanctuary in Mansfield, which is only about 30 minutes from us.  We had never been there and it was just wonderful. They had many birds but also nature trails, a butterfly garden and a songbird aviary.  The girls had so much fun letting the birds eat while sitting on their hands.  Even mom and dad got in on the fun. We had a wonderful picnic in the shade before heading to our next stop.

 
After our visit to the Bird Sanctuary we went to visit Carrousel Park which is in downtown Mansfield.  The girls had a great time riding the carrousel.   I have always loved carrousel’s, I’m thinking we may have to have an upcoming birthday party there. We have so many great things to do right in our backyard if we just take the time to go and enjoy them.   All in all ..  A Wonderful Day!
 

Color Cubes

Its been a fairly warm summer here in Ohio and since we decided not to put the pool up this year we have been having all kinds of other fun water related activities outside in the yard. I dont remember where I saw this idea last year but the girls had so much fun mixing the colors and watching the ice cubes melt. Not only was it fun to cool off in the little splash pool but we also talked about primary and secondary colors..so they learned something too! The girls fingers were a little stained when they were done but if you ask me a small price to pay for an hour of giggles.

I used ice cub trays and an egg keeper to make the ice cubes just because I thought it would be fun to have dfferent shapes. I put 3 drops of food coloring in each cube. As it ended up when I took the cubes out there was enough dye residue in the trays that when I filled them again there was plenty of color to make another tray.


Mowglis First Haircut

I finally got up the nerve to take Mowgli for his first haircut. Daddy had been mentioning that his little man was starting to look a little shaggy so I knew it was time. On Mowglis birthday (4/2) we took him for his first hair cut. With Aunt Stephanie’s wedding and Easter coming up all the kids got a turn in the chair at the salon. I had been putting it off since I knew Mowgli would go into the chair looking like my baby and come out looking like a little man… and that’s exactly what happened. He was really good and didnt really fuss at all, although he wanted to eat the comb. But he look so cute and now daddy’s happy too! (I do want to look into learning how to do basic kids haircuts. Im not quite ready to use the clippers with Mowgli just yet.)

Easter Fun 2011

Easter Fun!

We had a lovely Easter at home this year with the kids, my mom, dad grandma and sister. (Last year Jacob and I were still in the hospital as he was born on Good Friday) Megan was up well before dawn but the other 2 slept ion way past normal, just past 8:00. Finally we woke them up since I knew if we didnt get started we’d never make it to church in time. After we got home from church we had lunch at mom and dads them did the annual Easter Egg hunt in the Conservatory. It was a beautiful day to celebrate our risen Savior!

New Diapers

I have to share my first experience with All- in -One diapers. I used disposables with our older daughter, cloth diapers were barely a fleeting thought. I had several ill fated attempts with our younger daughter. However Mowgli on the other hand will be a year old in a few weeks and we are still using cloth diapers with him. Up until this point we have used prefolds with covers. We’ve used mostly the Bummi Super Whisper Wrap which have been really great. I was placing an order at http://www.cottonbabies.com/ – (gotta love free shipping ) for another bag of Rockin’Green when I decided to take a quick look at their clearance page. They had bumGenius 3.0 all-in-one diapers for $9.95! So I decided we’d try them. They are super cute and fit great so I think I am going to order a few more. I also got a bag of the new Funk Rock Ammonia Bouncer and am excited to see how it works. Heres Mowgli cruisin’ around the ottoman in one of his new diapers. So cute!

Winter Beauty

So it is cold and snowy outside but by Monday its forecasted to be 50 degrees and all the beautiful snow will melt into a wet, muddy mess. So here are a few winter pictures from the last few weeks. As beautiful as the sunset is over the snow covered landscape, I am kind of hoping this was our last major snow event of the winter. Sunshine actually took the sunset pictures while she was out doing her evening chores.

Spring is coming!

Its been better than 6 months since my last post on this blog but I’m going to see if I cant get motivated to make more time for it in the future. In many ways seeing my thoughts “on paper” is quite therapeutic. We have been busy as always. Rose turned 3 last week and we celebrated with mom and dad. Her favorite gift was no doubt her shopping cart. I think shes put miles on it in just one week.

I have been spending quite a bit of time helping mom in the greenhouse recently which has been nice considering the foot of snow on the ground outside. One day last week I worked in capris, a tank top and bare feet. It was 10 degrees outside but because we had a lot of sun, it was near 90 inside. We have lettuce, tomatoes and broccoli ready to be planted in the indoor gardens. I have been working on my outdoor gardening plans for this year. I didn’t get as much canned as I would have liked last fall so this year I am going to try to plant more tomatoes especially for canning. We are still waiting to hear if we got the grant for the high tunnel. If we did, that may change outdoor gardening plans a bit as well. Have to wait and see…one things for sure…Spring is coming!
I am only carrying 6 credit hours this quarter and the history class I’m taking has been a breeze. Although I have mixed feelings about that, the easy A certainly wont hurt my GPA. But I do like history and enjoy discussing it and would like to learn something for what its costing me.
Sunshine is doing well in school as usual. She has started asking about homeschooling again which is strange because she really doesn’t have much contact with homeschoolers. I have a cousin who home schools her girls but we don’t see them often. Homeschooling has been on my heart for quite awhile Im just not sure its right for our family (me or Sunshine) I am trying to be open to whatever happens. Maybe Im meant to support other HS families in our area in some way rather than to HS Sunshine. I picked up a few more books about homeschooling during my weekly library visit this week. I need to keep praying about this, I cant see the 2 of us being together 24 hrs a day being great for either one of us. We really are too much alike. Hmmm, I just dont know.