1John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Just Enough

When the sun comes out and it gets hot, I like to have a hose ready to mist the kids.  They play really hard- always running.  The best way to cool them off in a pinch is a mist from the hose.  Of course, they all have cups of water outside as well.  Hydration is key!  I'm laughing at myself right now because what we think is hot is actually only 70 degrees.  I was sweaty.  
"Who's hot?"  They usually all come running.  It's not hot enough for full blown sprinkler running.  Nobody has a bathing suit on.  The mist is just enough.
When I look at this photo, I can hear the screams and celebratory laughing that was going on.  It is so refreshing to feel the mist.  They usually end up soaked.
Off they go!  They are ready to play hard again!
My back is a little better this morning.  I can now stand up straight- just enough to function without it hurting.  Thanks for the prayers!  
♥♥♥Happy Wednesday that is my Friday!♥♥♥

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


We took an impromptu trip down to the park yesterday!   It's so great that our relaxed summer schedule allows us to just do whatever we feel like doing.  It was really warm early in the morning.  The rain is returning today, and the forecast says for the next 5 days, too. :( 
He looks like he is hanging onto some bars, but he isn't. 
Going to the park is all fun and games for the kids, but it is work for me. :)  These guys all know that they cannot leave the bark on the playground unless I am with them.   It makes things easier, but my job is usually to help the kids on and off of the swings and push them.  I am their swing slave.  I also must "Look at me!" when they are climbing, jumping, swinging, running fast--just about everything. :)  These kids love the park.  I love that it is so close that we don't have to drive, as we can no longer all fit in the van.
I had a go on the swings and noticed way over on the lake there were some small ducks that we should go see.   Maybe the swing is how I "tweaked" my back?  Yesterday I was walking crooked and it's worse this morning.  Crooked Nicole.  Movie day!
This mama had 3 babes with her.  She was dunking her head, and the babies would follow.
See?  Their little tail feathers would shake and the kids were laughing.  
These duckies only had a little bit of yellow fuzz left on their small heads.  They must be teenage ducks.
"Bye, ducks!"
The kids enjoyed running back to the park without me.  They felt freedom!  We noted that the trees are all dressed in summer leaves.  We wanted to go visit the giant tree, but ran out of time.  Maybe today?
Please pray that this wierd back thing will straighten out for me before our trip.  It might be my sciatic nerve.
♥♥♥Happy Crooked Tuesday!♥♥♥

Monday, June 23, 2014

Family Time

In a house filled with children, it has become increasingly important to me to find the time and make the extra effort when it comes to spending quality time with my own children.  We hopped over to Yakima over the weekend for a family reunion.  Adams extended family has held it yearly, and this was our first time attending.  I did a terrible job taking photos of everyone and all of the fun activities that were available.  It was really great to get away with my own babies!
There was some lounging.
For the most part- we were all pretty active!  There were several bouncy houses for the kids to play on.  Our boys enjoyed this water slide.
We were just watching the kids slide and crash into the pool at the bottom of it.  Entertaining!
It wasn't really hot- just right. :)  Aiden played in the water until his lips were blue in the early evening.
I always love to see the different terrain. 
The hill was covered in burnt brush left over from a recent wild fire.  What you can't see is a river that flows at the bottom of the hill, or the train tracks that are relatively close.
The grass was full of rattle snakes!
My favorite part was playing game after game of volleyball with my kids.  It's so great that they are old enough to join in.  I paid for it though- I have a monster bruise on my wrist from hitting the ball wrong.  (Over and over..LOL) 
Our time with our kids living at home is so short.  I am loving the simple times together lately- even if it's just having popcorn and watching tv together or a planned outing on the weekends.  Or baking "broccoli", which is the code word for "cookies" when I share them with just my own kids during business hours.  They are sure getting good at hiding their broccoli consumption from everyone else.  Sometimes it's the little things that mean the most to me!
♥♥♥Happy Monday!♥♥♥

Friday, June 20, 2014

Let Them Get Bored/Feeding An Army

It's interesting to me that yesterday I was talking about how I've been planning too much and there were several articles floating around the internet about letting the kids get bored.  It's pretty easy with a group of young kids (ages 3-6).  They have very active imaginations.  It's ok to let them get bored!  That's when their active imaginations take over. What drives me crazy, is that several of the articles showed photos of children causing mischief.  Come on.  Let them get bored, but not to the point of causing problems.  (There were kids rolling in the mud-- markers EVERYWHERE.)  Organize the boredness.  Am I a control freak or what?  The freedom in the photos was just the kids, using their imaginations and playing together.  No play suggestions from me. 
I used to try to have the kids put the blocks away before they got out something else.  I don't do that anymore unless there's no more walking room.  The more stuff there is, the more deeply the kids get involved with the scenarios they are creating. 
We just had free time until we went outside.  The sun arrived and it got up to around 70 degrees.
I can handle this kind of schedule.  It's sure been a fun week with my boys' friends coming and going.  The handsome hubby mentioned to me that he's never seen us so low on milk.  I feel like we are feeding an army!  It makes me so happy!  A mom told me yesterday, "I think kids just like coming over to your house." (Or something like that.)  I'm glad.
♥♥♥Happy Friday!♥♥♥

Thursday, June 19, 2014

It's Only Day Three

It's ONLY DAY THREE of summer vacation.  One of my children told me yesterday that she is ready to go back to school now.  The other two have been so busy with the coming and going of friends through out the day that they probably don't know what day it is.  Wait, I don't know what day it is.  (It's only Thursday?)  Having friends over is tricky when I am licensed for a certain number of kids at any given time.  I'm constantly adding and subtracting kids to make sure I'm in the clear.  I've got to stay consistently at ten kids or less.  I have been SO BUSY that I can't even believe it.  It's pretty awesome, but this isn't what I envisioned for summer break.  I thought things were supposed to ssslooooow down.  I think I may be over doing it on keeping the kids busy.  Have you ever done that?  Overplan the free time?  I'm guilty.  I need someone to call me and tell me to stop it.  I also need someone to come into my house and take away all of my baking supplies.  I said the "diet" word and now I'm consumed.  My goal is 5 stingy pounds. 
In the playroom I set up a baking station using real pans and some pom poms as food.
This stuff was all set out just for the morning.  Busy stuff to keep them busy, happy and engaged until we head outside.  I try not to torture my neighbors too early in the mornings.  In a pinch we will head out by 9:30 and stay out for 2 hours until lunch.  NO- it's not overkill.  They love it, but I get bored.  That's where a good book comes in.  Right now I'm working on the rest of the Harry Potter series.  I'm currently in the final quarter of The Order of The Phoenix, and loving every word.  If summer could actually arrive here in Western Washington, it might warm up enough in the mornings for us to jaunt to the park.  
They baked away.
The giant pom poms were great cupcakes.
Meanwhile, my daughter came up with this list for us to draw over the next 30 days.  I didn't do so bad on my first drawing, but I'm telling you- the rest all look really difficult for me.  Fun!
My beautiful daughter on the left and her beautiful friend on the right.  She wants to go back to school.  ALREADY.
♥♥♥Happy Thursday!♥♥♥

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Fold It Over

We had a really busy day yesterday.  Everyone was occupied, for every minute of the entire day.  That's 11 1/2 hours!   We painted somewhere in the middle of it all.  The idea was to paint half of the paper and fold it over to print it onto the other half.
They all got the idea pretty quickly!
Just paint on the bottom half...
Fold it over and press.
This one looked like a face.
 1960s ink blot psychiatry test? 
It was good, fast art.
♥♥♥Happy Wednesday!♥♥♥

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

More Suggested Play Ideas

Because of the rain, we are inside a bit more than I would like to be this time of year.  In place of group time, (unless we feel like having it) the kids get an extra half hour of play time in the mornings.  It is really helpful to place "suggestions" out for them to find.  This keeps them interested.  It can be boring if they see the same things every day.  I keep a large supply of things put away so that when we get them out, it's exciting!  This morning, I placed a game out. "Pop Up Pirate".  
Another suggestion waiting for them is pretend it is group time, and the kids are the teachers.  I got out a couple of things from my group time basket that they wouldn't normally have access to.  The furniture was rearranged so it would look "new".  
They know that the library bag means group time, so I'm hoping at some point someone will take on that role and it will create imaginative play. 
More suggestions. 
Yesterday we played dress up for a bit.  I am loving what these girls come up with for outfits.
Layering is "in" right now.
I can't pull of any hat whatsoever, but she sure can!
The boys built this thing out of straws and connectors. 
I think about how I'm going to solve the whole "I'm bored" thing.  My own kids know not to say it or I will find a chore.  I'm just looking forward to a lazy fun summer.  With sunshine, will somebody please make sure Washington gets the memo?☼
♥♥♥Happy Tuesday!♥♥♥