Saturday, July 27, 2013

Seventh Week Of Summer

Our entire week was unplanned. I think this is the first time that's happened all summer. After our busy sixth week of summer, I wanted a laze-around-the-house (and get some chores done) kind of Monday. Boogs decided that staying home would be a perfect time to try out this:

After a few runs, he put a step stool near the bottom of the stairs and told me he was charging 1 penny to see his "death defying show". He guaranteed, "For just a penny, you could have the best seat in the house."

On Wednesday, a friend invited us to join them at a nearby skate park. Boogs took his scooter and had a blast.

Boogs is responsible for fixing dinner for the family one night a week. He has to look through cookbooks to find a recipe, help put the ingredients needed on the grocery list, help grocery shop, and then cook the food (with help). This week he chose Deceptively Delicious's Aloha Chicken Kebobs, salad, berries, and Blueberry Lemon Muffins for dessert. Yum!

A library book inspired us to seek out some sculptures so we went exploring at the Umlauf Sculpture Garden. You can read about our adventure here.

There was a HUGE thunderstorm Friday night. The rumble of the thunder made all of the windows in our house rattle. The storm lasted less than an hour, but it dumped a ton of rain in the area. On Saturday morning, we took a lovely family walk to a nearby park and then discovered exactly how much mud the rain had caused.
The mud was so thick that Boogs' boots kept getting stuck. Daddy "helped out" Boogs by spreading mud on his face. Yuck!
Boogs thought it was fun to see exactly how dirty he could get. He even poured mud into his rain boots.
We did not run into any of our neighbors on the walk home. Boogs had to go straight to the backyard to be hosed off before he was allowed in the house.

This post is linked to the Country Kids for Coombe Mill weekly outdoor linky party.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Umlauf Sculpture Garden

Boogs picked out a book at the library this week called The Naked Lady by Ian Wallace. It tells the story of a sculptor who moves in next door to Tom and his parents. Tom takes a "welcome neighbor" raspberry pie next door and sees a statue in the middle of a field. He gasped, "She's naked." The owner of the property informs Tom that she is not naked, she is nude. She is a piece of art. The artist has many other sculptures on his property of fruits, vegetables, and animals. The artist becomes a close friend to the family. Tom is so inspired by the artist's work that he eventually grows up to be an artist, too. The author, Ian Wallace, stated that this is his own story. He expressed his art by becoming an illustrator for children's books.

This book inspired me to take Boogs to a sculpture garden in our community. I made Boogs a story themed lunch for our adventure.  In his Laptop lunchbox: cheese statue on almond butter & jelly sandwich, berries for the berry pie they shared, taffy for sculpting and a salad with dressing.

Charles Umlauf was an artist, sculptor and teacher. He taught at the University of Texas in Austin for 40 years. In 1985, he donated his home, studio and 168 of his art pieces to the city of Austin. This was later turned into the Umlauf Sculpture Garden.

Boogs really enjoyed our exploration of Umlauf's work. I created a 12 picture scavenger sheet to take with us. Boogs searched for each of the statues, located their name and what material they were made of. Umlauf used bronze, cast stone, aluminum, African mohogany, stoneware, plaster, redwood, terra cotta, hydrastone, alabaster, marble, and Texas limestone. He sculpted animals, families, religious figures, mythological figures, and nudes. Umlauf Sculpture Garden is a small but wonderful place to explore. Even on a hot Texas afternoon, there was plenty of shade.

 Icarus was Boogs' favorite sculpture in the garden.
Boogs was very intrigued by the size of The Diver because he was exactly the same size as Boogs and he appeared to like swimming! Boogs decided that The Diver must also be 7-years-old.
 Same size feet.
 Same arm length.
Boogs noticed that The Poetess had bigger hands and smaller feet than I do. He said, "I think if she stood up she would fall right over because she is top heavy."

After we explored the entire grounds, I asked Boogs to choose his favorite sculpture to sketch. He chose Icarus. It was so sweet to watch him find the perfect shady spot to make his own art.
I asked Boogs to write a few sentences about why he picked Icarus as his favorite sculpture.

We brought along some taffy to use to make our own sculptures inspired by Umlauf's work. Boogs thought is was fun to sculpt with taffy. Especially since he was able to eat his creation. Here is my taffy sculpture of The Poetess.
Boogs told me he didn't think I would like his choice for his taffy sculpture inspiration. He asked, "Can I try to do a sculpture of the Reclining Nude? It is not because she is naked, she is nude like the book said, not naked. I just find that sculpture really interesting."

We had a fun afternoon together.

I linked this post to:
Highhill Education
Crafts a la mode
After School Linky
Lunchbox Dad: Throwback Thursday link up 
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

A Mom With a Lesson Plan

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 or go to My Story Themed Lunches board on Pinterest. I would love for you to leave a comment to let me know you stopped by.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Sixth Week of Summer

Boogs went to Keep Austin Smart 4 Day Science Camp this week. This is the third year that he has attended this camp and says he wants to go back again next year. This year's topics included: Science of Water, Symphony of Sounds, Rainbow Science, and Spineless Animal Wonders. He even came home with a new pet - a mealworm. Yay???

Fiesta Texas

On Friday, my husband took the day off of work to take a family trip to Fiesta Texas. We spent nine hours at the park. Boogs enjoyed the water park area the best. He said his favorite ride was the Texas Tornado. I left my camera at home and only took a few pics with my husband's phone.

On Saturday, we saw Despicable Me 2 at the movie theater. It was adorable.

On Sunday, we packed a picnic to take to Blanco State Park. The park is a little over an hour drive from our house. It has a shady hiking trail and great swimming spots along the river.

As soon as we hit the hiking trail, Boogs took control of Daddy's phone to find a Geocache. The geocache was well hidden. Boogs picked a treasure from the box, left a treasure, and signed the log.

We enjoyed hiking through the trees. Boogs spotted this little green snake on a shoulder level branch right next to him on the path. The snake was beautiful. We admired it from a distance. Luckily, that was the only snake we found during our hike.

At the end of the hiking trail, we broke through the trees onto a road. My husband looked at his geocache app and saw that there was another geocache within a mile of where we were. The app led us down the road to Blanco Cemetery. We looked at many of the headstones while finding the hidden geocache. The oldest grave marker we found was for someone who was born in 1793. The geocache was hidden in the hollow of a large tree. Boogs was a little worried that some of the spirits might follow us home from the cemetery.

We hiked back to the park, had a picnic lunch, then jumped in the river to cool off.
 Boogs and his daddy spent almost two hours doing this

 They were both tired and ready to go home.

Summer is passing by so quickly. We are trying to enjoy every minute of it!

This post is linked to
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Lunches July 15th - 18th

Boogs was at Science Camp this week so I had to pack a lunch four days in a row. Whew, I think I am a little out of practice. Boogs had a mix of story themed lunches and regular bento-ish lunches. His story themed lunches are inspired by books that we have read together at bedtime.

Mudball by Matt Taveres
Andy Oyler was the shortest baseball player in the league and he is in a batting slump. His slump turns around during a rainy baseball game where he hits his one and only home run.  The ball was not hit far but it was lost in the mud. By the time the other team found the ball, Andy has already made it home. Boogs liked this story. He said he would not like to play in a rainstorm because it might lightning. In the ELB lunchbox: pb&j sandwich with cheese letters, yogurt, marshmallow with the letter M for Minneapolis Millers, salad, and applesauce with a baseball on top.

The Opposite by Tom MacRae
The Opposite was a fun book to read. Boogs and I read it together several times during the week we had it checked out from the library. The author, Tom MacRae, has written several episodes of Dr. Who. In the story, Nate wakes up one morning to see an Opposite creature standing on his ceiling. The Opposite makes everything happen exactly as it shouldn't - milk splashes up instead of pouring down on his cereal, paint went everywhere except onto the paper. What was Nate to do? Boogs figured out how to outsmart the Opposite just before we read Nate's solution in the story. You have to carefully word anything you say to be the opposite of what you want to happen. Using this technique, Nate was able to banish the Opposite. Boogs tried this technique on me to get me to change my mind about something. When it did not work, he laughed and said, "Curses to you reverse psychology, you have failed me!" Boogs makes me laugh all the time. In the ELB lunchbox: almond butter & jelly sandwich halves topped with a cheese Nate and a cheese Opposite creature, marshmallow showing the word UP with a down arrow, raisins, carrots with hummus, and blueberry & raspberry paint splatter.

DIY Lunchable
In the ELB lunchbox: Havarti and cheddar circles, ham circles, crackers, 1/2 of a Zbar, broccoli, tomatoes, and kiwi.

Just a lunch

In the ELB lunchbox: Goldfish crackers, yogurt covered pretzels, green bean & carrot chips, (messy) ham & cheese swirls, broccoli, orange pepper, raspberries, and blueberries.

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 or go to My Story Themed Lunches board on Pinterest. I would love for you to leave a comment to let me know you stopped by.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Homemade Pokemon Card

Boogs and his daddy made their own Pokemon card today using
The picture is of Boogs' pet hamster, Winter. He is calling this Pokemon "Wintachu". Boogs spent quite a while looking through his collection of real Pokemon cards to decide what kind of attacks Wintachu can do. Wintachu can attack by biting and dazzling.

Boogs asked me to put it up so Grandmaman could see it. Enjoy, GM!

Fifth Week Of Summer

This week we went camping - FOR REAL. Boogs was very excited about camping at a campground instead of under the dining room table or in the backyard. For the past several years, Daphne has invited us to join her Moms & Kids camping trip. This is the first year we have been able to go. We went to Colorado Bend State Park. Somehow I skipped over reading the very descriptive word primitive before the word camping on the park's website. Boogs and I had a wonderful time. He LOVED it. I took way too many pictures to post, so I will share some of my favorites. Daphne has 4 boys and Julie and L joined us for part of the campout.

Click on the picture collages to see them full screen.

The River Group Camping Area was gorgeous! Shortly after we arrived, all four tents were set up. The boys explored and played for a while before deciding to break out the Monopoly game. Luckily, most of the chewing gum came off of the board.

It was hot! The 100 degree heat and half mile walk to the swimming hole had us extremely thankful for the cool water. I had all six boys by myself at the swimming hole for about 45 minutes. Three of them were non-swimmers. That was a little nerve wracking but everyone was fine.

When we returned to camp, it was time to eat. In this first picture, Boogs, J1, J2, & J4 were shouting at the cliff by the river to hear the echo. Roasted hot dogs, fruit, veggies, and Campfire Cones (waffle cones, Rolos, and mini marshmallows) made a great dinner. The boys left the campfire to go sit on a tree branch to tell scary stories. The looked so cute all lined up in a row. Then the flashlights came out for flashlight tag, flashlight hide & seek, and flashlight under the chin scary stories. The four J boys and Boogs all piled into one tent to go to sleep. That did not last long.
Our campsite was finally quiet around 11:15 pm. Well, quiet except for the thieving raccoons prowling around. They made a bunch of noise, especially when they were fighting with each other. At one point during the night, there were ten large raccoons crawling all over the picnic tables. They managed to pry the lid off of Daphne's Rubbermaid food box. She ran out, scared them off, and then locked the box in the cab of her truck. I locked my food in my car before I went to bed and put my cooler in the tent with me. The other coolers had bungee cords holding on the lids. That kept the raccoons out of the coolers on the first night.

We decided to spend part of our day hiking to Gorman Falls. I walked ahead with the speedy boys in our group. The hike was much hotter and more challenging than we expected. There was not enough shade. It took us a couple of hours to hike to the falls and back. The falls were beautiful. Boogs was extremely disappointed that swimming was not allowed at the falls.

After our hot day of hiking, the boys rode bikes, played ball, walked on stilts, played more Monopoly, read books, and enjoyed playing around our campsite before we headed back to the swimming hole to cool off in the evening.

Daphne had the perfect afternoon treat - making homemade ice cream in a baggie. It was fun watching the boys try to shake their baggies for a full ten minutes. Boogs and two others liked the ice cream. It did taste a tiny bit salty but that did not stop Boogs from slurping up every last drop.

At the campfire that night, I took my hair down from a clip and J4 gave me an odd look and asked, "What happened to your hair?" Yes, I looked beautiful after two days of heat, hiking, river water, sunscreen, bug spray, and no running water. That is what camping is all about. We really enjoyed the kids scary stories that night. Even the 2-year-old told one, "Once there was a girl... she a witch." When he paused, Daphne asked if that was the end of his story. He held up one little finger and very dramatically said, "Almost! Then the witch... ate all the apples. That's all." We managed to get the kids into the tents by 9:30. Unfortunately, the raccoons had them freaked out and unwilling to go to sleep. It was a long night.
When I woke up I discovered that those thieving raccoons figured out how to move the bungee cord to get the ice chest open. They ruined our planned pancake breakfast. The ice melted and the food got hot. We had to throw out sausage, buttermilk, eggs, and other things.

We had planned to go on one more hike before packing up camp but the raccoons' dent in our food supply had us packing up early to head to town to eat. All of the boys helped carry our stuff up the steep hill to load the cars. We had a quick brunch at Subway before heading home.

The first things we did when we got back home was wash the car and ourselves. I really missed running water and air conditioning. I am very glad that Boogs and I went on this little adventure. It truly was fun. 

Thanks Daphne for including us on the camping trip, having fun things for the kids to do, and for having such an amazingly pleasant and positive attitude!

This post is linked to Country Kids From Coombe Mill weekly outdoor link party.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Story Themed Lunch

During the school year, Boogs' lunches are based on the books we read at bedtime. We are still reading every night but I have not been making as many story themed lunches as I do during the school year. 

Yo, Hungry Wolf! A Nursery Rap by David Vozar
This is the story of the hungry wolf who tries to find something to eat while journeying through three classic tales - The Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, and The Boy Who Cried Wolf. The book is written entirely in rap. It begins, "This here's the tale of a wolf that was hungry - had a swollen stomach all hollow and spongy." Boogs liked this book as long as I read it calmly. When I read it while emphasizing the rhyming verse endings, he became a little annoyed with me. We read this book a second time during the middle of the day and he liked it much better. I think the first time I read it to him, I was too animated while reading it, he was tired, and wanted a quiet story before going to sleep. I thought it was a very clever retelling of these classic tales. I enjoyed the way the author played with words used to keep the rap rhyming - "celebratin'...beratin'...infiltratin', basketful of goodies...vines and woodies".

In the ELB lunchbox: pb&j wolf, YO cheese letters, three little yogurt pretzels, broccoli woods, and little red raspberries.

Most of our summer lunches have looked more like these:
This lunch contains: lettuce, tomatoes, ham, crackers, strawberries, and a cheesestick.

This lunch contains: salami, Chex Mix, tomatoes, blueberries, cheesestick, and broccoli (not pictured, in a separate container).

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 or go to My Story Themed Lunches board on Pinterest. I would love for you to leave a comment to let me know you stopped by.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

End-of -Season Swim Party

I think I might just miss getting up at 4:50 every Saturday morning for swim meets. Boogs felt the loss of his six-day-a-week swim schedule on Monday morning. He has been swimming six days a week since the beginning of May. The Typhoon wrap-up party was held at Veterans Memorial Pool last night. We played on the playground for a bit before heading into the pool area. They have two wonderful obstacle course playscapes.

 That platform is high! Boogs amazes me with his fearlessness.
 He made it all the way across this challenging course.
The pool party was a great way to end the season. Boogs was exhausted by the time we went home at 9 pm.

The 7/8yr boys getting their medals. Boogs is on the front row, right of center.
Summer sleep-ins can now begin!