Wednesday, June 24, 2009

{Alphabet Ideas}

 I am not going to post every thing that we are doing for our Alphabet Summer, but here are a few thing we have done.  This might spark some ideas for you.

We kept the letter I just the same.  It is one of my kids favorites, so we did nothing different.  Here is a peak at the fun day we had:

Indoor Smores Smores

Indoor Smores, and Indoor Campout

I tried to let Isaac sleep with the kids, but that didn't work so well.  So after 1 1/2 hours of fighting with him, he went back to his crib.  How will I ever move him to a big boy bed?  That step is right around the corner.  I have a feeling I am in for sleepless nights, and struggles at nap time.

Indoor Campout copy

Tent 2  ...and for the letter P.... 

We Painted Pottery. 


We went to this neat little store.  The kids got to pick out something to paint, their color choice, and then paint it however they choose.  We left it there for about it week while they fired it.  Then... we gave them to Dad for Father's Day.  He loved it.

I hope this helps you find ways to incorporate learning into your summer.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Preparedness Blog

My mother in law sent me a link to this prepardeness blog a couple of months ago. I subscribe to the feed and read all the updates. The other day I ran across an entry that made me motivated in the food storage department all over again. I am pretty prepared, but there is always more that I can do. I felt myself hitting a wall with it all and not knowing what direction to go next. Sometimes I feel like I can't rotate the food fast enough, or since I've been pregnant, I've been so dang lazy that I "forget" to rotate all together. Other times I find myself staring at it all wondering how I'm going to get creative enough to come up with meals my family will eat. Am I the only one who has those sort of problems??? So, you have to check out this blog. It's called Prepared LDS Family. Subscribe to get the updates. You never know when you might run into some really helpful information. Here is the post that helped me with 90 menu ideas and kept me moving in the right direction. Remember, every little bit we do helps in the long run. Just take it a little step at a time, but stick with it and you'll see the rewards!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Articles of Faith Candy (not candy bar) Wrapper

I wanted to share the Candy wrapper (notice this is not a candy bar wrapper - it's for things like Gobstoppers, Runts, Nerds, etc) I made for the children in our ward who memorize The Articles of Faith.

So feel free to print, cut, wrap, and glue them to your own candy boxes. If you share this - please give credit where it is due. Fonts are Autumn Leaves HairBrained, Arial, and Arial Black. It is 5.85 x 10 inches and I used Adobe photoshop and Illustrator to design it.

We want to help the children in our ward memorize all 13 and they can earn a box of candy once a year when they pass them off. We are trying to have the children do this without competing with each other. Pass them off without other children around probably. But we want to give them an incentive. We have a struggling ward with wonderful people in it who just need a little boost. Life is, well, life.

Here is my example:

Monday, June 1, 2009

Summer is in Full Swing...

First I have to apologize for my lack of blogging here, but you should know that I have hardly blogged on my own.  I am almost 19 weeks pregnant, so..... well that explains it!!

It is official!! Today starts the first day of Summer

at the Swenson house.  I LOVE IT, I LOVE IT!!


I spent the majority of last week getting prepared for our summer festivities.  If you know me, you already know that I like to be prepared. 

The kids started asking me in February if we were going to do "Alphabet Summer" this year?  I replied, "Yes"; knowing full well that I had some preparation to do.

Last week, I organized all of our Art Stuff.  I made sure that each of the kids had their own basket. Each basket has a pad of paper, stickers, glue, scissors, markers, crayons.  I cleared off a spot in our pantry so it is easily assessable.  Well, it is easy for the older two to access.  I don't need the little guy coloring on my walls.  Isaac's basket is more age appropriate, and I get it up and down for him.  So far, they have followed the rules by using their own stuff, and putting it away when they are done.  I knew that would give them one project to entertain them for 15 minutes.  It actually entertains Isaac the longest.  That boy loves stickers.  (Pictures are to come... I am getting my new camera today!!  YEAH!!!)

I also organized our bookshelves, so that their books are put in places that they can find them.  Because all 3 of the kids are on different reading levels I made sure that they could find a book appropriate for them.  We will spend time reading** every day this summer. 

**Jex is already on a 2nd grade reading level.  I hope he continues.  Stella is well on her way to learn.  I hope mom can find some time to read as well.  As for Isaac, he loves to be read too.  It is most certainly his favorite time of day.

I also rearranged our breakfast nook. It is certainly not up to my design standards, but it works for our kids.  I added a table for them, and a desk so they can get to whatever they may need to get out their creativity. ( I promise I will share pictures soon.)

I also planned plenty of outdoor activities:

Sports Equipment Organized

Pool and Slip n Slide purchased

Bikes and Helmets ready

I then attacked the activities that we would do outside of our home:

Golf Camp

Swimming Lessons

Pool Pass

Season Passes to local Theme Park and Water Park

Season Passes to the Zoo

Then it was time for the summer schedule:  (here is an idea of what we will do)

Morning:  Wake Up, Breakfast, Morning Chores, Get Dressed, Free Play and outdoor activities(this gives me time to exercise, clean the house, and get myself ready)

Afternoon:  Lunch, 15 minute Reading time, Activity Time(Alphabet Summer or Science), Rest time or Movie time, Free Play

Evening:  Dinner, Clean up for the evening, Play outdoors or Family Walk, Baths and Bed.

MWF: Alphabet Summer Days, or Science Project

Tuesday: Library and Park-Playdate Day

Thursday: Outing Day (theme park, zoo, or pool)

The kids are also well aware that I clean on Monday mornings.  They are responsible to help with chores, and be patient until bathrooms are clean and floors are vacuumed and moped.

Okay, I know you all must be thinking to yourself... this is one structured lady.  BUT.... Believe me when I say that my kids really do better when we have a plan and they know what to expect.  It makes our summer go by so beautifully. 

Of course I throw in a day when we just mix it all up and do none of those things, but for the most part my kids love every second of it.  I also love spending time with them.  It goes so quickly.  This school year made me realize how fast it really does go.  Especially when your kids are in school for the majority of their time.  I am happy to fill up our days doing fun, creative things together.  I have also found it causes less fights and commotion.Summertime

(This was our pet for the day last week.) 

We found him in our back yard... such a summer thing. 

To quote a line from my favorite children's book...

"All the places to Love

by Patricia Maclachlan,

"Where else, does an old turtle crossing the path make all the difference in the world?"

So... What are you doing this summer? 

Do you plan a summer schedule? 

Are you a fly by the seat of your pants kind of gal? 

However you plan to spend your summer...