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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Need a Distraction from the World?

Over Memorial Day weekend we tried to "unplug" from life. Getting back to basics is my focus for the summer. So I have a fun opportunity to share.

Why not focus on reading and your youngsters can earn a free book? Barnes and Noble has a fantastic reading program. You can find out more here. We've done this for a couple of years, and it gives me quality time to read to all my kids, and for them to practice reading out loud, fluency, expression and it can open their minds to new ideas.

Also check out World Book Web. You will need a user name, but if you live in my area, send me an email and I will get you one. If you aren't by me, you can email to find out how to get a password, or check with your local school to see if they are a member.

Also if you are close to the Salt Lake County libraries here's the link to their Summer Reading Program that starts June 2. Many other library systems sponsor reading programs so check with your local library to find out what they are offering this summer. SLCO Libraries are also offering story times, Science nights, Tarot Card readings, art displays and a writers workshop. They also have an adult book club and a Mother/Daughter or Mother/Son book club.

Happy Reading at the beach, in the mountains, at a park, on a car ride or in a plane. You can have an adventure this summer without even leaving the house.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorable Memorial Moments

We had a great time camping with our kids, playing our final season game of volleyball, playing Yahtzee and old school games, watching movies, making Smores, shopping and hanging out with family. It was a great long weekend and the perfect time to kick off the summer season.

Yep, we learned a lot and had a great time. Thanks Spikers! We'll be back next season!
 Who doesn't love a good potato sack race??

 Winner, winner!!

 A little chalk art contest, and marble shooters! Danni was our best sharp shooter today!

 Pin the tail on the kite. He and Sister Sue tied for first place.

 Bean bag toss, or keep the basket away from the baby. Both equally satisfying games.

 Three legged race, and EVERYONE played, but I wouldn't post proof of my race with Andy, cuz frankly it's not a picture I want circulated. Take my word for it, it was FUN and I laughed so hard we almost fell down.
 The precious medals were almost too much to part with. Jackson won silver, aka,
a quarter attached to a ribbon.
Syd won Gold! aka a gold dollar on a ribbon.
Abby won 3rd, which was a beautifully designed 10 pennied number. And everyone else got consolation candy. Not a bad weekend at all.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Summer time is here...

We have 7 days of school left. I am glad this year is coming to an end in many ways. Although I likely won't be getting dressed before 11 a.m. during the summer either. A few girlfriends of mine are on year-round school and are out for a few weeks right now. It's only been a few days and they are going crazy. I've experienced both year round and traditional. And while both have benefits, I am a traditionalist--at least when it comes to the school schedule.

How do you stay sane during this time? Remember you are making memories, and you want them to be good ones. Not ones of Mom pulling her hair out and throwing her hands up in desperation. I have to say my Mom gave us suggestions of how to bust our boredom and let us decide how to solve our problems. It's a lesson we all need to know...self sufficiency, independence and all. I really like my kids, and most days even like hanging out with them. So here's a few quick ideas to make FUN memories this year.

Make homemade Popsicles.
Random Box game- fill a box with random items and have the kids act out a story incorporating the items.
Balloon bust- with or without water pop balloons with your body.
Neighborhood Olympics- celebrate the London Olympics by creating your own courses and invite the neighbors over to play. Awards can be 'gold' medals (chocolate gold coins on a ribbon), silver could be Peppermint Patties on a ribbon; bronze maybe a couple of Rolos taped together. Sports could include 4 square, tic-tac-toe, jump rope, basketball or bean bag toss.
Picnic- take a trip to a new park in a nearby city and enjoy lunch. You could also take lunch to a relative. Check out local splash parks too.
Make jewelry- I know this sounds hard, but it's not. Many craft stores have easy to make necklaces, earrings, etc. and you can even find stuff for boys like leather key chains or bracelets or boondoggle (vinyl ribbon). These are inexpensive and easy. You can also use old, broken jewelry and remake it. I used beads off an old lamp to make a fabulous pair of "recycled" earrings this summer.
Have a parade- you don't need a holiday to decorate your bikes and go for a ride.
Graveyard Hunt- Before you freak out, this is for ancestral research. Find the location of a relatives' grave and take flowers to it. Many states have a burial website ( Record the information on the stone, take pictures and then you can always find out their stories through the LDS Family Search Program or other relatives.

Let the fun begin!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Knorr® Homestyle Stock

Knorr® Homestyle Stock: Thanks Knorr 4 my free sample. Check out celebrity Chef Marco Pierre White in our latest TV commercial.

I received a free sample of this courtesy of Smiley360. You should check out their site and join to get your own free samples of products. It's easy and fun and FREE.

Monday, May 14, 2012

I'm Back

Happy to report the fundraiser was a HUGE success. My auction made over $2,000--a record high. The overall event numbers are still being tallied, but with record ticket sales, I am sure we did well. Thanks to all of my friends and family members who donated, attended and helped our school. I am glad it's over for now anyway.

Back to reality now. We are down to the last 12 1/2 days of school. Seriously?!? Where did that go? I will be the first to say, BRING on SUMMER! Now if you've been reading this blog for even a short time, you know that I am organized. So, with 5 little ones to contend with here's my next project: Summer Fun.

Here's my top tips for a fun summer:
1. Keep a routine. It can be more laid back, but 3 square meals, a chore a day, a bit of education, a lot of fun, and Family time are key!
2. Keep on learning. There are a million websites to help kids keep all the stuff they've learned this year in their minds, so they don't completely go to mush during vacation. We will be visiting sites with times tables, long division and the library a lot.
3. Keep up good work. Last year we had a weekly service project. We did all but one week, and it made an impact. This year we are going for one big thing each month--a local food drive; collecting money for a great charity; or hygiene kits for Africa may be on our list of things to do. It's so important to pay it forward.

To keep boredom away I have Summer Fun Ideas from Studio 5 to keep us busy. Check it out.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Time Out

I am putting myself in "Time Out" for the next few weeks so I can finish my big fundraiser for my kids' school. Not to mention, I threw my back out, possibly while moving furniture--big furniture--up and down stairs, or more likely, by carrying my 2 year-old while wearing 3 inch heels. Jury's still out, but I did something.

I have no idea how we'll eat dinner this week, so I haven't even bothered putting a meal plan together this week. I've been walking around blindly--literally, I don't have any contacts left, so we are just muddling through until the Country Fair (the new swear word at our house) is over on May 11.

Want to see what I have been doing? Check out