Sunday, April 27, 2014

What We've Been Up To

The month of April has simply flown by! Boogs has been busy this month with turning 8, Easter at Nonnie's house, swim team, soccer, Math Pentathlon, Lego Bricks class, playdates, cooking, visiting parks, playing video games, and just hanging out at home.

We almost missed our family Easter get together. SOMEONE forgot to tell me that the family gathering was taking place on Saturday, not Sunday. Boogs, Daddy, and I went out to brunch with friends on Saturday and then started taking care of some errands. My sister called about 1:30 and asked where we were. What? Apparently, everyone was waiting to eat until we arrived. Oops! We told them to go ahead and eat. It was almost 2:30 by the time we made it. At least Boogs did not miss the Easter egg hunt. I did not have a chance to get my camera before driving to Nonnie's house. My phone pics did not turn out well.

Eight egg hunters raced to find eggs in Nonnie's backyard and in the greenbelt area directly behind the house. Each egg contains 25 cents and a few special ones have $1. The kids have never complained about not getting candy in their eggs.
Boogs had to work to get down the high eggs in a couple of trees.
Only Easter eggs were found in the woods, no snakes. Yay!
My brother made 3 dozen cascarones (confetti eggs) this year and filled them with confetti and glitter. I HATE when he puts glitter in them. I took pictures from the protection of the living room.
 Everyone was covered in glitter.
 I stole this picture from my niece. Boogs loves this part of our Easter family get togethers!
Boogs got a little bit of help from Daddy for better aim.
Counting the egg money is always fun! Boogs collected $9.75 this year. Wahoo!
After the hunt, we spent a few hours visiting, eating lots of junk, playing games, and trying to pick glitter off each other. I think Boogs still had a few pieces of glitter stuck to his scalp for at least three days.

Boogs made up his own game in the backyard. He took an ice chest, bucket, foam roller, and his bike helmet to make a crash dummy. He then used his bat to see how far he could make the crash dummy fly. I played too and it was fun.
My husband called a lawn service to come an aerate our lawn. Before they came, we had to mark the sprinkler heads so they would not be damaged. My husband decided to turn the sprinkler marking into a fun job for Boogs. Boogs had to go around putting flags by the sprinkler heads while they were spraying.
He got soaked but had fun with this chore.
Boogs used his Christmas, birthday, and chore money to buy a 3DS. He has been very happy with his purchase. (Daddy approved it.)
Boogs and Daddy worked together to finish Lego Mindstorm Robotics R3PTAR.
The R3PTAR is like a King Cobra snake. You can program it or use a remote control to make it slither around. I has a sensor in its head that causes it to strike when something is in front of its face. It is really cool! 

This weekend we are working on Boogs' Science Share Project. I better go see how he is doing with it.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Lunches April 21st - 25th

Boogs' lunches are usually inspired by the books we read together. Story time is part of our daily bedtime routine. Boogs reads to me and then I read 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. We like to pack our lunches in ELBs and Laptop Lunchboxes.

I only made three lunches this week. Boogs missed school on Wednesday and wanted to get the cafeteria pizza on Friday.

Crabby Lunch
Boogs QUEST class is studying sea creatures for their independent study projects. I thought it would be fun to make a sea creature lunch. Boogs is researching sting rays for his presentation. I will most likely make him a sting ray lunch the day it is his turn to present.

In the ELB lunchbox: ham & cheese crab sandwich with Nutella eyes, CRAB Cheez-its, fish crackers, yogurt raisin seashells, mango coral, broccoli sea anemone, carrot orange finger sponges, spinach kelp, and yogurt.

Spot the Plot: A Riddle Book of Book Riddles by J. Patrick Lewis
The librarian at my elementary school had this book in her "read to classes" basket. It looked like fun but I had to wait until she was finished with it before I could bring it home to Boogs. This book contains 13 rhyming riddles about familiar children's book plots. It was interesting that our latest trip to our public library, the children's section had a contest to see if you could name 12 book characters by their shadow outlines. Two of the outlines were from the same books that two of the riddles came from. Boogs was able to guess all of the shadows except for Madeline and he was able to guess all of these plot riddles except for Madeline. He knows his story character outlines and plots. The riddle he liked best in this book was the shortest one: "Good wood makes fake bad lad. Toy boy cries, lies. Nose grows." The illustrations are cute and give visual clues to the identity of the books. I drew characters from the stories mentioned in the book on some of the items of food in Boogs' lunch.

In the ELB lunchbox: salami, red/white ski hat carved on Babybel cheese, kiwi with pig pick, carrrots for the bunny with hummus, and pb&j mini sandwiches with drawings - moon, spiderweb, dog in basket, and bunny.

Snoopy and the Red Baron by Charles M. Schulz
Boogs likes Snoopy, Woodstock, and all of the Peanuts characters. This week he asked me to search Netflix for Peanuts cartoons. There weren't any but I did find this Snoopy book at the library. Snoopy hops on top of his doghouse and pretends it is his World War I Sopwith Camel airplane. The Sopwith Camel is a single seat British Fighter Biplane (yes, we did have to look it up). Snoopy tries his best to destroy the Red Baron's plane, but he keeps getting shot down. We watched THIS video of Snoopy in action on Youtube.

In the ELB lunchbox: Zbar tree trunk with okra leaves, Babybel moon, cheese Snoopy, almond butter & jelly doghouse/plane, WWI cut in radish slices on top of spinach & broccoli, and SNOOPY letter picks in mango.
This post is linked to:
Fun Food Friday

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.  

Friday, April 18, 2014

Lunches April 14th - 18th

Boogs' lunches are usually inspired by the books we read together. Story time is part of our daily bedtime routine. Boogs reads to me and then I read 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. We like to pack our lunches in ELBs and Laptop Lunchboxes.

Marley and the Great Easter Egg Hunt by John Grogan

Boogs really likes Marley stories. In the story, Marley and his family attend the town Easter Egg Hunt. The Mayor tells the crowd there will be a huge special egg, whoever finds it will be declared the winner of the Easter Egg Hunt. Marley tries his hardest to find eggs but each time he almost has one, a child comes by and snatches it up. Marley decides to look in more unusual places for eggs like the market, bakery, and the party supply store. Yikes, Marley leaves a wake of destruction in his path. He gets covered with streamers, confetti, yolks, and frosting. Marley looks like a giant Easter egg. Boogs really thought this story was cute.

In the ELB lunchbox: almond butter & jelly Marley wrapped in streamers, boiled Easter egg, cheese eggs hidden in okra chips, kiwi egg, and salad with hidden tomato and carrot eggs.

 Fifi the Ferocious by Lucas Miller
Lucas Miller was a guest storyteller at Boogs' school this week. According to the kids, he was hilarious! After school, Boogs asked if we could go to our local library to see if he could find Fifi the Ferocious to share with me. Fifi is a cute little poodle who decides she is a ferocious hunter ready to attack her prey. When the door is accidentally left open, Fifi makes her move. Unfortunately, Fifi is not as ferocious as she thinks she is. Poor Fifi breaks some of her teeth when she tries to bite a turtle shell. Later she tries to attack a skunk and a porcupine. Things do not go well for Fifi and she soon returns home.

In the Laptop Lunchbox: pb&j Fifi with Chex Mix stick porcupine quills in her face, Chex Mix, cheese turtle, grapes, blackberries, and salad.

Spring Lunch

In the ELB lunchbox: carrots, hummus, orange, Zbar, GF pretzels, Babybel cheese, okra chips, and salami.

The Houdini Box by Brian Selznick
Victor is amazed by Houdini's magic tricks. He constantly tries to copy some of these tricks and often gets trapped inside trunks and closets, bumps into walls, and tries to hold his breath for long periods of time in the bathtub. Victor is able to meet Houdini in person and tell him about his love of magic. Houdini gives Victor his address and tells Victor to stop by and discuss magic with him. Victor arrives at Houdini's house on the day Houdini has died. Houdini's wife gives Victor a box with the initials EW on it. She tells Victor it has belonged to Houdini for years. Victor does not believe this was Houdini's box because of those initials. He disappointedly puts the box away and does not think of it for years. When Victor is an adult with children of his own he rediscovers his love of magic. After the story, Selznick has several pages of biographical information about Houdini.

In the ELB lunchbox: ham & cheese locked box sandwich, EW marshmallow, cheese lock, blueberries water for Houdini's water escapes, and salad.

Quick Colorful lunch
In the ELB lunchbox: ham, Zbar, veggies chips, pistachios, salad, strawberries, grapes, blackberries, 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. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

This Week's Lunch Round-Up

Boogs' lunches are usually inspired by the books we read together. Story time is part of our daily bedtime routine. Boogs reads to me and then I read 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. We like to pack our lunches in ELBs and Laptop Lunchboxes.  

 Birthday lunch
Boogs and I read a bunch of birthday themed stories last week. I forgot to post this lunch from last Friday.

In the Laptop Lunchbox: Nutella & jam sandwich with Nutella & radish decorations, 8 yogurt raisins, 8 raspberries with chocolate chips, 8 Goldfish crackers, 8 pistachios, salad with 8 radish stars, and 8 pieces of kiwi.

The Three Ninja Pigs by Corey Rosen Schwartz
This story is based on the Three Little Pigs. It has a great message - hard work pays off. The three little pigs are worried about the wolf. Each pigs takes lessons in a different style of marital arts. The first little pig only took one lesson then he decided it was too much work. He was unable to fight off the wolf and keep the wolf from blowing down his house of straw. The second pig took lessons for two weeks. He also was unable to fight off the wolf to save his house. The third little pig worked very diligently at her lessons and was able to save her house from the wolf.  Boogs liked this book. He took a three month karate class a couple of years ago. This book made him want to try it again. We will see. 

In the Laptop Lunchbox: Nutella pig sandwich, almond butter & jelly pig sandwich with fruit leather ninja mask, little candy pig,  kiwi with KIYA letter picks, and salad.

500 Things You Should Know About Animals by Miles Kelly Publishing Ltd.
We usually like to keep this book in the car so Boogs can browse through it on long rides. Today's lunch was inspired by the pages about turtles and tortoises. I think it is really important to provide a mix of fiction and non-fiction books for beginning readers.  In the ELB lunchbox: broccoli, raspberries, blueberries, Chex Mix, ham & cheese turtle sandwich, spinach tortellini.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
I remember reading and loving this book when I was a child. I found a copy of the book on cd at our library. Boogs and I listened to it over a couple of weeks while driving around. Boogs had a lot to say about the disagreeable Mary Lennox and the way she treated people at the beginning of this story. He was outraged that Mary was so incredibly spoiled. We had many great discussions about Mary Lennox, why she acted the way she did, and how she changed over time both physically and emotionally. Mary's disagreeable nature is far out shined by her cousin Colin, who mistakenly believes he will soon die. Mary and Colin end up bonding over the secret garden. They help each other become better as they help bring the secret garden back to life.

In the ELB lunchbox: pb&j flower sandwich, small ham & cheese flower sandwich, Chex Mix "dirt and dried grasses", strawberry & blackberry blooms, and salad with carrot and radish flowers.

Skylanders Magna Charge
Boogs had a Skylander themed 8th birthday party. Magna Charge was one of the Skylander characters he received for his birthday. I made him this lunch to go with the Skylanders theme. In the ELB: Magna Charge drawn on cheese on top of a ham sandwich, radish Magna Charge letters, spinach, dried apricot, raisins, and salad.

 I call this the "Momma's Tired & Uninspired" lunch
Boogs asked for these items in his lunchbox today. I just threw them in and called it ready to throw in his backpack. In the ELB lunchbox: applesauce, carrots with hummus, potato chips, tomatoes, and a grilled cheese sandwich.

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.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Boogs 8th Birthday Skylanders Party

Boogs had a very busy birthday weekend.
His grandparents came down from Canada to help celebrate his 8th birthday. On April 5th, Boogs started his day with birthday balloons tied to his bedroom door. One of his classes at school had a field trip to the Austin Aquarium at 9 a.m., so we moved his birthday party to one in the afternoon. Grandmaman and Grandpapa took him to the Aquarium so I could stay home and get ready for the party. Boogs wore his homemade sting ray shirt to the Aquarium. Grandmaman said they had a good time. She even got to pet a bat ray.

Boogs was super excited for his friends to arrive for his Skylanders Party. Since it was Boogs' 8th birthday, he got to invite 8 friends over for a party. Details on the preparations for the party can be found HERE.

There were stations set up in the backyard with directions on the signs. You could earn a token for completing each station. By the end of the party you could have tokens for each of these sources: Tech, Life, Undead, Air, Earth, Fire, Magic, Water, and I made up a token for defeating the Kaos pinata.

Camo's Melon Smash: smash the melons to get a gumball Life source. Boogs liked this one. He said the melons were very easy to smash.

Prism Break's Puzzle Build: By the end of the party, this 150 piece Skylanders puzzle was complete. I was shocked that we did not lose any of the pieces in the grass.

3-In-A-Row: We played tic-tac-toe with the Skylanders characters I taped onto a Toss Across game.
Tree Rex's Plants: I think this was my favorite station to watch the kids complete. There were markers and paint pens for decorating small terra cotta pots. Most of the boys just wrote their name on their pots. The girls actually decorated them. Everyone seemed to like taking home the plant they potted.

Zap's Sharks Out Of Water: Boogs said this was his favorite station. There were two buckets about three feet apart. You had to use a straw, suck a little paper shark onto the end of the straw, and then transfer it to the other bucket. Look at how much Boogs' cheeks were sucked in trying to keep the fish on the end of his straw. I made sure all of the straws at the station were different colors so no one would use the same one.
Chompie Smash: I forgot about this station during the party. A few kids had already left when Boogs asked when we were going to do it. We tied a balloon around each kid's ankle. The object of the game was to smash each others balloons. Last person still wearing a balloon was the winner. This game got a little competitive.

Trigger Happy's Golden Can Shoot: This was a fun station!!! Use a foam water cannon to knock down a pyramid of cans. There were enough cans for three people to compete at once. Eventually, even the adults started playing at this station. My sister and I went a couple of rounds here. I did not get many pictures of the kids playing it because I was trying to keep the kids from shooting water at each other. It was kind of a chilly day.
Jet Vac's House of Air: The kids spent a lot of time in the bouncy house.

Spyro's Tail Pin: Each year, Boogs asks for some kind of Pin-the-Tail-on-the (_____) game. This year he wanted to pin a tail on the Spyro character. After the kids played, my teenage niece, her friend, and my mother took a turn.

Kaos Pinata: I was very happy with how this Kaos pinata turned out. When I was making it, I figured four layers of newspaper would be the right amount to make it strong enough for each kid to get a chance to hit it but not too strong for it to break. (The Frankenstein pinata I made a few years ago was so strong that my brother had to work really hard to smash it open after all the kids had a turn.)
Boogs hit it first. It had a gaping hole in the center of the face by the time all of the kids had taken a turn. Then, Boogs finished it off without a blind fold.

Hot Dog's Make A Wish: To earn a Fire Source token, you had to sing Happy Birthday to Boogs and watch him blow out the candle. I was really sad that I did not get a picture of him blowing out his candle.

I think Boogs had an excellent time at his 8th Birthday party.
We considered ourselves lucky on Sunday morning when it rained and thunder stormed. The storm cancelled our breakfast outing and Boogs' soccer game. Boogs ended his birthday weekend by going to his first hockey game with his dad and grandpapa. Boogs was worn out by the time his birthday weekend was over.

I sent Boogs to school with a lunch to match one of his new Skylanders Swap Force characters - Magna Charge
In the EasyLunchbox: Magna Charge drawn on Provolone cheese with food markers, Magna Charge letters spelled with radish, pb&j sandwich under cheese, dried apricots, raisins, salad with radish letters, and yogurt (not shown).

These are the blog posts that I used for Skylanders party ideas:

Be sure to check out the wonderful sites I link to on my sidebar!  I would love for you to leave a comment to let me know you stopped by.  

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

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Skylanders Party Prep

Boogs' asked for a Skylanders Party for his 8th birthday. Of course I said, "Why not? How much work could it be?" Well, my son likes to plan parties. He filled me in on what should happen at a Skylanders party to make it like the game. He said, "We need to have stations to get the sources. You know, like booths at a carnival." Yep, clear as mud. He also asked for a Kaos pinata. So, we looked at several blogs that had posted about Skylanders parties and got busy crafting!

Toss Across re-purposed into a Skylanders game. Boogs chose three characters for me to cut out and put on the Toss Across board. The kids had to throw bean bags and try to get three in a row.

We made cans for Trigger Happy's Golden can shoot. The spray paint would not stick to the cans so I had to glue paper on before I could paint them. My husband and father-in-law ended up painting yellow and then spraying on a coat of glitter finish. It made the streamer paper practically waterproof. The kids stacked the cans up into a pyramid then shot at the pyramid with foam water cannons. The kids each took home a water cannon as a party favor.

I was making the pinata while my husband was making breakfast. Pinatas are always more work than you think they will be. For Kaos, I used a punch balloon as my base, ripped up a bunch of newspapers, and put on four layers of newspaper with a mixture of flour and water. It took several days to finish with the newspaper because it took a long time for each layer to dry before I could add the next layer.

I looked everywhere for peach colored streamers for Kaos' face but could not find any. So, Kaos has a white face. The little green paper mache items are melons for Camo's Melon Smash. They have large gumballs inside them for leveling up. The melons had electrical tape stripes on them to help strengthen them a little and make it harder to smash.
The completed Kaos Pinata. Boogs was happy with the result.

Each birthday, I freezer stencil a shirt to match the theme of Boogs' parties. Sklanders' characters were too complicated for me to make. Luckily, I found this inexpensive Skylanders shirt and just added the number 8 to it.

I cheated this year and bought cupcakes from Sam's Club. The only cupcakes they had without pink ones in the set, were cupcakes with Batman rings on the top. I made double sided cupcake toppers using a Stampin' Up punch. I put a Skylanders Swap Force character on one side and a Skylanders Giants character on the other.
Boogs spent quite a while trying to decide which character he wanted on his cupcake. We had to squeeze it in beside his number 8 candle.

Boogs worked with me to figure out what kind of game booths he wanted.  We looked through a couple of other blogs for ideas. Then he helped me plan what to write for each booth's sign.
The day of the party there was a 30% chance of rain. I put the signs in sleeve protectors to keep the signs dry. Boogs thought it would be a good idea to receive a token/badge for each completed activity. I taped baggies of tokens to each sign for the kids to get themselves.

Here are pictures of the stations before the party started:

The kids could earn tokens for the air source by jumping in the bouncy house and for fire by singing happy birthday and watching Boogs blow out his candle.

We had a ton of fun planning for this party. Boogs was so excited for his friends to come over and play all of the stations with him.

You can click HERE to see a few pictures of the party.

These are the blog posts that I used for Skylanders party ideas:

Here are links to a few other fun parties Boogs has had in the past:

Minecraft Party

Bug Party
Lego Party

Be sure to check out the wonderful sites I link to on my sidebar!  I would love for you to leave a comment to let me know you stopped by.