Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bento Bloggers & Friends Patriotic Hop

July is a time for celebration! My husband is Canadian and I am American. July 1st is Canada Day. July 4th is Independence Day in the United States. Two great reasons to celebrate. Boogs is already excited and hopeful about this year's fireworks. Last year, Texas was too hot, too dry, and too stricken with wild fires to have any. We are keeping our fingers crossed this year, so far it is looking good for fireworks.

Bento Bloggers & Friends are linking together for these July celebrations by having a  Patriotic Bento Blog Hop. Be sure to click the link at the end of this post to hop over to Dina's blog to see another patriotic bento lunch. (All hop links should be live by 10a.m. on June 29th.)

Katie Woo: Red, White, and Blue and Katie Woo! by Fran Manushkin
Katie's favorite holiday is the 4th of July. She is excited about the parade, backyard party, and fireworks. The day does not go as Katie has planned. A dog ate the hot dog buns, her friend JoJo gets a stomach ache, and then it rains. Luckily, the rain stopped in time for Katie's favorite part of the day, the fireworks.
In the lunchbox: U.S. flag made out hotdogs, cheese, & white candy stars, hotdog & cheese skewer, salad, half of a banana (under tart), and a fruit tart made with blueberries & raspberries.
A closer look.
Boogs and I have read the following two books every year since he was two-years-old. The Star-Spangled Banner by Scholastic has beautiful pictures for each line of the song. Fireworks by Mara Conlon tells the story of a little sister's first time watching fireworks on the 4th of July. Boogs enjoys these books every year.

Next up on the Bento Blogger & Friends Patriotic Hop is Dina from What the Girls Are Having
Click HERE to go to Dina's Bento.
Check out the wonderful sites I link to on my sidebar! If you want to see more book inspired lunches, click on the "lunches" label at the end of this post. To see the previous Bento Bloggers & Friends hops click on the "hop" label.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hodge Podge of the Past Week

Boogs is spending the week with my parents and a few of his cousins. I am enjoying a bit of kid-free time. I have to admit that the house is WAY TOO QUIET! I miss my little side-kick. Here a few pictures of what we were up to during the past week or so.
Lunch at Chuy's.
(This was lunch and the leftovers were part of dinner.)

Swim Meet. Boogs is in the last lane looking the wrong direction.

I love watching the 6 and under kids dive in. It looks like
 Boogs is walking on water in the last lane.

Grating zucchini.
Boogs likes to help out in the kitchen.

Cracking eggs w/o getting eggshells in the bowl!

Zucchini Tots Yum!

Boogs' morning work this day was to find 10 things around
the house to measure in inches.

Swimming with friends.

Swimming with more friends.

Celebrating my 42nd b-day a little early before Boogs left for
Nonnie and Poppa's house for the week.

Wahoo! A new Mac Mini is coming my way.
This picture is awkward looking because my
husband told me to move the card into the light.
We also went to swim team practice four times last week. It rained too much one day to swim. Boogs had Spanish class twice last week. We had friends over for playdates at our house. We are certainly enjoying our summer.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Lunches June 18th - 22nd

Boogs' lunches are inspired by the books we read at bedtime the previous evening. Each night, Boogs reads one book to me and I read two books to him. I usually post his lunches once a week. Click on the "lunches" label at the end of this post to see lunches from previous weeks.

Pokemon: The Johto Journeys Go West, Young Ash adapted by Tracey West
Boogs is a huge Pokemon fan, mostly because his older cousin thinks Pokemon is cool. This is the kind of book that makes me anxious for Boogs to start reading on his own. :-) Boogs was very excited about this lunch. He can't wait for me to make more Pokemon character lunches. In the ELB lunchbox: cheese Pikachu on top of almond butter & jelly sandwich, mango, broccoli, and carrots in the shape of a P for Pikachu. 

Why The Chicken Crossed The Road by David Macaulay
A chicken crossing the road causes the cows to stampede over an ancient bridge which collapses on a train, which causes a thief to escape, which cause more and more events to happen. It is a wild and zany sequence of events that eventually leads back to the reason why the chicken crossed the road. Circular stories are so much fun. When we got to the end of the book, Boogs insisted that we read all the way through again. He then said, "I think this book could go on forever." Boogs favorite event in the story occurred when "the Anderson twins turned to science and substantially enlarged the bathroom." Their science experiment blew up and knocked out the back wall of their bathroom. In the ELB lunchbox: (it is obvious by looking at this lunch that I desperately need to go to the grocery store for fresh fruits & veggies) pb&j chicken sandwich, pb&j train (which the cows crashed into) sandwich, cheese stick dinosaur bone, fruit roll-up with the assistant rug salesman's pretzel legs sticking out, okra chips, pumpkin seeds, dried mango, and dried figs.

Stella Star of the Sea by Marie-Louise Gay
Details for this lunch can be found on my Summer Themed Bento Blog Hop Post
Bento of the Week Winner

Even Monsters Need Haircuts by Matthew McElligott
Boogs is absolutely OBSESSED with Halloween. He has loved all things Halloween since he was a 1 1/2 years old. We read Halloween books all year long. This past Halloween Boogs dressed as Frankenstein and the year before that he was a vampire. He loved this book and asked if we could re-check it at the library "so we can read it over and over again", which we have. In the story, a little boy sneaks out at midnight to go to his father's barbershop and give monsters haircuts. There is not a lot of text, but the pictures are full of monster details. When Vlad the vampire gets his hair cut, you cannot see his reflection in the mirror. When the boy is braiding Medusa's snake hair, he wears a blindfold and turns his head away so he won't be turned to stone. The boy plugs the cord of his electric shaver into Frankenstein's bolt for electricity. Instead of hair tonic, the monsters use rotting tonic. This is a book I am going to have to purchase for Boogs.  We had friends over for lunch today, so I made extra lunches.
Pb&j bat/skull sandwiches, yogurt raisins, crackers, carrots, grapes and honeydew melon.
Frankenstein turkey & cheese on spinach tortilla,  zucchini tot, dried mango Medusa with honeydew melon snake hair, and blueberries. 
Dracula 2010
Frankenstein 2011
Boogs will be spending all of next week at his grandparent's house. I don't think I will be making story themed lunches for myself. Although... I just finished reading Echo in the Bone

Be sure to check out the wonderful sites I link to on my sidebar! If you want to see more book inspired lunches, click on the "lunches" label at the end of this post. I would love for you to leave a comment to let me know you stopped by. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Summer Themed Bento Blog Hop

Bento Bloggers & Friends are celebrating the first day of Summer with another themed blog hop. I am excited to see the variety of lunches these talented bento makers are  creating about Summer. Be sure to click below the summer photo at the end of this post to see the bento Sarah has created at Bentoriffic. You can then follow the summer photo through twenty Bento Bloggers & Friends Summer Bento Blog Hop posts. I am putting my post up a little bit early. All of the Summer Bento Blog Hop posts should be live by 10 a.m. on June 20th.

I always use our bedtime stories as inspiration for Boogs' lunches. 

Stella Star Of The Sea by Marie-Louise Gay
This book is about Stella and her little brother, Sam. Stella has been to the sea and knows all about it. Sam has never been to the sea and is very nervous about getting into the water. Sam asks many, many questions and Stella comes up with answers to all of them. Our favorite question was, "Where do starfish come from?" Stella answered, "Starfish are shooting stars that fell in love with the sea." Sam eventually overcomes his fear and plunges into the water. The illustrations in this book are detailed and playful. Boogs enjoyed searching through the pictures and pointing out silly things like a crab chasing a dog, two ducks who look like they might try on a pair of swimming fins, and the dog wearing a swim ring. This book makes me want to take a trip to the beach, hunt for shells, dig in the sand, and swim in the sea. Boogs has never seen an ocean. Hopefully, that will change this summer.
In the ELB lunchbox today: blueberry ocean, spinach seaweed, fruit leather starfish, cucumber dolphins, Goldfish crackers, dried papaya seahorse, ham shells, half Babybel cheese Stella with carrot hair, and half Babybel cheese Sam with apple hair.

I am re-posting our Sam and the Firefly lunch here because fireflies always remind me of long ago summer nights with my siblings. 
Sam and the Firefly by P.D. Eastman 
I loved reading this book when I was Boogs' age. He liked it, too.  Boogs asked me to include Firefly Gus and the scene in the book where Gus causes a bunch of cars to crash into each other. Then Boogs ran around yelling, "I am a firefly! Look at all of the words I am writing with my light. G-o go f-a-s-t fast!" In the lunchbox: Pb&j Gus the Firefly with a dried apricot light, Babybel full moon, Sam owl pick in a blueberry night sky, banged-up car boiled egg, green beans and carrots.

Click here to go to Bentoriffic's summer bento, the next stop on the hop!

Bento of the Week Winner

Check out the wonderful sites I link to on my sidebar! If you want to see more book inspired lunches, click on the "lunches" label at the end of this post. To see the previous Bento Bloggers & Friends hops click on the "hop" label.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day 2012

Boogs was excited about Father's Day. Last week we went shopping, made some things, and wrapped a couple of present. Boogs loves shopping for the perfect gift for his Daddy. Of course, that gift always happens to be something that Boogs wants to work on WITH Daddy. This year Boogs picked out a Tabletop Catapult. It looks like a pretty neat kit.

I helped Boogs make a card using a photo idea we saw on Pinterest. Unfortunately, the pin does not lead back to an original source for the idea. This is our version:

Boogs was deciding what should be opened first.

Tabletop Catapult 

Every Father's Day, Boogs chooses a picture book about Fathers.

We trace his hand in the book and record the year.

We started doing this when he was 2-years-old.

We had a relaxing family day. We went out for brunch. Then the three of us hopped on scooters and rode around our neighborhood for about an hour. It was so hot that we had to spend the next couple of hours at the neighborhood pool cooling off. Boogs loves his Daddy very much!

UPDATE: I found the original shadow picture here.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Lunches June 11th - 15th

Boogs' lunches are inspired by the books we read at bedtime the previous evening. Each night, Boogs reads one book to me and I read two books to him. I usually post his lunches once a week. Click on the "lunches" label at the end of this post to see lunches from previous weeks.

Alphabeasts by Wallace Edwards
This book has vibrant and detailed pictures of animals in different rooms of an old Victorian house. It was a winner of the Canadian Governor General's Literary Award. The animal matched the letter pictured on its page, but none of the other things on the page did. Boogs thought the pictures were interesting. He said, "The drawings of the animals are really neat to look at but I don't think this is a very good alphabet book." He mentioned liking one of our favorite alphabet books, Alphabetter, much more than this one. In the ELB lunchbox: I tried to make an alligator almond butter & jelly sandwich sitting on a fruit leather chair, cheese and cucumber A B C, cherries, salad, and yogurt.

Two Cool Cows by Toby Speed
This book plays off of the Hey Diddle Diddle Poem. It tells of the cows' journey to the moon and back. Boogs really enjoyed this book. There are lots of fun rhyming words and phrases that Boogs liked to repeat. In the lunchbox: pb&j cows with Nutella spots, Babybel full moon, candy star sprinkles, "wickedy thickety woods" broccoli, rolled up salami blanket for a picnic on the moon, raisins, and applesauce.

All the Places to Love by Patricia Maclachlan
We love to re-read this book again and again. The pictures are amazing. Boogs and I have often focused on one page and discussed what it reminds of from our own lives. This picture of the boy jumping from rock to rock across the river reminds me of spending time at my grandparents house when I was growing up. Boogs and I talked about the first time he went fishing with his daddy while we were camping along the St. Lawrence River. I have to include a picture of his first catch and his Halloween fishing costume. In the ELB lunchbox: Zbar river rocks, boiled egg fish, cheesestick fishing pole with fruit leather line, Goldfish cracker in yogurt pond, and summer berries.

2-years-old, 2008
First catch
Boogs wanted to be a fisherman
for Halloween 2008.

500 Things You Should Know About Animals by Miles Kelly 
 Boogs loves to learn facts about animals. We usually keep this book in daddy's car for Boogs to read while we are driving around. Boogs brought it inside so we could read the section on sharks at bedtime. This books has facts about many different kinds of animals, quizzes in various sections, and small art projects to go with certain animals. Boogs is going to make the Megalodon (extinct shark) mouth craft this week. In the ELB lunchbox: garlic toast shark chomping on lasagna "chum", some sharks camouflage into rocks (broccoli) and seaweed (spinach), blueberry ocean, and yogurt.

Sloths/Perezosos by Julie Guidone
Boogs wanted another fact lunch today. Last night we read about sloths in English and in Spanish. Boogs is fascinated with the fact that sloths spend most of their lives upside down. Unfortunately, Boogs pretended to be a sloth until he went to bed. It took him FOREVER to brush his teeth as slow as a sloth while turning his head upside down. Silly boy! In the ELB lunchbox: Ham & cheese sloth sandwich hanging out in pretzel tree branches. Sloths are slow because their diet of leaves (spinach) does not give them much energy. Dried papaya  sharp claw for holding onto tree branches and for protections against enemies. Sloths are good swimmers so I made a marshmallow sloth swimming in (blueberries) water. Tomatoes and yogurt complete this lunch. Boogs said it was "awesome". Hopefully, he will not eat it as slow as a sloth.

Be sure to check out the wonderful sites I link to on my sidebar! If you want to see more book inspired lunches, click on the "lunches" label at the end of this post. I would love for you to leave me a comment to let me know you stopped by. 

Inspired by Family

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Off To A Great Start

June is almost halfway over. I am afraid if I blink, summer will be gone and it will be time for 1st grade. We have been keeping busy while still experiencing the long, slow, relaxing days of summer.

Each morning, we begin the day with a little bit of brain work, calendar time, poem/rhyme memorization, and reading. Fun In First's blog shared a cute summer activity calendar with daily skills review for each weekday until school starts back up in August. Boogs likes to work on it. There have been mornings when I have walked into his room and he has already begun that day's work.

Boogs is an early riser. He usually wakes up between 5:45 a.m. and 6:15 a.m. So, sometimes we take advantage of our early mornings to go on sunrise walks.

Boogs is really enjoying swim team practices and meets.

We have been working on a few science experiments - growing crystals, rocket blast, goop, volcano.

 We have also had time to enjoy playdates with friends at area parks and pools. I think we are going to have a backyard campout soon. Boogs has been sleeping in a sleeping bag on the floor of his room this week. Maybe that is a really BIG hint for me that Boogs is ready to go camping.