Friday, August 29, 2014

Lunches - First Week of 3rd Grade

Wow, a new school year is already underway. Boogs is now in 3rd grade. I asked him if he wanted me to continue making his lunches for school based on books that we have read together. He told me he definitely wanted to keep having themed lunches. After his first day of school, he said, "Momma, I think it will be fine to keep having my themed lunches this year. No one made fun of me for having a special lunch." It made me sad that he was worried about it. He really likes his story themed lunches and missed them over the summer. Boogs lunches are usually packed in ELBs or Laptop Lunchboxes.

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
You can find out about this first day of school lunch HERE.

Mo's Mustache by Ben Clanton
I saw this book at the library and had to check it out if only to share it with Erin from Feeling A Little Lunchy. Erin is obsessed with all things related to the mustache. This is a cute little book about Mo and his fake mustache. He proudly wears his mustache until all the other monsters copy him. He takes off the mustache and starts wearing a scarf, the other monsters also start wearing scarves. Mo gets upset until the other monsters explain that they admire his sense of style. Boogs and I spent a little bit of time drawing monsters with their own unique sense of style.

In the ELB lunchbox: ham, egg, & cheese on an English muffin with cheese Mo on top, MO spelled with red pepper, blueberry monster, and broccoli monster. There was also some yogurt that is not pictured.

More Parts by Tedd Arnold
This is the second of three Parts books by Tedd Arnold. We also read Even More Parts this week. Boogs laughed at the funny illustrations in the book. The boy in the book takes the meaning of commonly used idioms literally. He starts freaking out and imagining what it would be like if these sayings were true - broke your heart, give me a hand, crack you up, hold your tongue, and lost your mind. Boogs and I spent a bit of time trying to figure out what pictures we would draw for other common idioms.

In the ELB lunchbox: almond butter & jelly boy losing his fruit chew mind, broken heart Babybel cheese, give me a hand marshmallow, hold your tongue plum slices, stretch your arms Chex Mix, raisins, and salad.

The House Takes A Vacation by Jacqueline Davies
This house decides to take a holiday when its owners leave for a vacation. Various parts of the house tell where they would like to go. Everyone agreed it would be nice to see the sea. The house journey's to the coast, watches the water, goes surfing, and then disaster strikes. Luckily, the house was able to make it home before its owners did. Boogs and I discussed where our house might like to go on holiday. He thought it would like to go to an amusement park but would be unhappy when it would not fit on the rides.

In the ELB lunchbox: grilled ham & cheese sandwich, hot marshmallow sun, Goldfish crackers swimming in the sea, blueberry water with raspberries streaks of sunset, and carrot beach on top of  hummus sand.

I asked Boogs this morning if he would like a DIY Lunchable. He thought that was a great idea as long as he could have more story themed lunches next week. In the ELB lunchbox: yogurt, salami, cheese, pumpkin seeds, crackers, celery with cream cheese, strawberries, and cantaloupe.

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, August 26, 2014

First Day of 3rd Grade

We had a much better start to school this year. Boogs was not very excited about going back to school but he said he had a pretty good first day. I was happy to hear that. He told me all about the book his teacher started reading to them - a biography of Roald Dahl. Everything else that happened at school today was "fine".

We continued our first day of school traditions this year with a picture by the front door before school, a special lunch, and an after school trip to the book store.

I can't believe how big Boogs is getting. I have no idea how 8 years have passed by so quickly.

On the first day of kindergarten I made Boogs a lunch based on The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn. That lunch was the start of all of Boogs' school day lunches being inspired by books. I have made a new Kissing Hand lunch on the first day of school since kindergarten. This book is about a little raccoon who is scared to go to his first day of school. His mother gently places a kiss on his hand to remind him that she loves him even when she is not with him. Here is this year's lunch:
In the Laptop Lunchbox: yogurt, homemade zucchini muffin, almond butter & jelly mini sandwich shaped like "I love you" in sign language, boiled egg Chester raccoon, 3rd written on a marshmallow, strawberry & cantaloupe hearts, and salad with radish & carrot mini hearts.

Previous Kissing Hand lunches, you can click them to see their original posts:

Boogs was happy to continue our tradition of picking out a new book on the first day of school. This year he chose a Captain Underpants book. He smiled when he picked it up and said, "I don't think you will like my book choice but can I get it anyway?" He read the first two chapters in the car on the way home from the book store.
Here is hoping 3rd Grade will be a positive experience for Boogs.

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, August 21, 2014

Summer Fun

We went to the pool almost every day during the past week. Boogs really liked the pool with the obstacle course. This year, he is big enough to easily make it across.
We went and saw hundreds of Mexican Free Tail Bats fly out from under a bridge.

They boys were disappointed that the bats were flying away from us instead of towards us. I was not at all disappointed with the direction the bats chose.

Boogs went to a free trial class for Tang Soo Do. He really enjoyed it and has decided to attend classes. He said he will keep swimming, but only one day a week so he has time for Tang Soo Do.
This is our last week of summer. Boogs has crammed in a lot of time playing with friends this week. He also built a fort in his playroom. The fort was up for three days (I really needed my kitchen table chairs back so I made him take it down).
Apparently, the fort was the home of this strange little alien creature. Boogs' Halloween costume from last year still fits.

Boogs is very sad for summer to be over and not ready to see the new school year begin. We went to Open House at his school tonight to meet his new teacher. Boogs is happy about the teacher he will have for third grade, but he said he wished it were the last day of school so summer could start all over again.

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

Grandma Helmke

Four generations in 2006
February 2014
 Boogs with Grandma Helmke in February 2014
 Last visit with Grandma Helmke, July 2014
 Four generations in 2014
I am so glad Boogs and I had a chance to visit with Grandma while she was still smiling, active, and alert. Grandma Helmke died today at the age of 95. She will be missed.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Summer Is Almost Over

We have ten days until school begins. Boogs and I are finding fun activities to do before we are both stuck inside all day.

Last Friday, we went on a family trip to Fiesta Texas. We bought season passes at the beginning of the summer and this is only the second time we have been. The two hour drive to get there is a bit of a deterrent.
We had a great time. My husband and I were able to ride all of the big rollercoasters. Boogs stuck to the slower rides this time. We were surprised how uncrowded the park was, must have been the 100 degree heat. Boogs kept cool by making sure to get as wet as possible on the water rides. He is actually standing behind that wall of water in the lower right picture above. After several hours of rides, we put on swim suits and spent the rest of the day in the water park.

Boogs just finished up two weeks of diving class. This year he was not quite as brave at diving as he was last year, no forward somersaults off the diving board. I tried to encourage him to try a dive off the high dive instead of just jumping in. He told me he would do a dive if I would. Well... that put an end to that. Boogs has already told me he wants to return to diving class next summer. We spent a little bit of time at the park next to the pool after diving class. We also went swimming several times at various pools this week. Boogs loves being in the water.

Geocaching at Wilco Park 
Boogs and I met the Jboys and their mom at the park at 8 a.m. to try and find hidden treasure. The boys started out excited about finding a geocache but soon asked if they could just explore and play. We spent about three hours at Wilco Park before it became so hot we decided to head home to air conditioner.
 J4 wanted to keep up with the big boys.
 The geocache map led us off the trail.
 The clue was "cliffhanger".
 It was steep and slippery down the cliff side.
 Sliding was the best way to reach the bottom.
 The boys searched and searched but did not find the hidden geocache.
 I felt very lucky that the boys didn't find any snakes where they were exploring.
 But they did find lots of bones and a half decomposed animal. Ewww!
We only found one of the three geocaches we looked for, but the boys had a great time running around outside. Oh well, maybe we will have better luck next time. Right now we are heading out the door to go swimming (again).

This week was Shark Week on the Discovery Channel so Boogs helped me make a special shark breakfast. He ended up not wanting to eat it because of the ketchup "blood". We took some friends to Terra Toys toy store because they were supposed to have Shark Week activities. We must have gone at the wrong time because we didn't see any but we did have fun exploring the store. I bought the Fred Snack Attack cookie cutters to make this breakfast. It has surfer eggs, shark cheese, ham on toast surfboard, ketchup and a blueberry ocean.

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

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Shark Week

It is Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. Boogs has enjoyed watching shows about unusual sharks. He does not like watching shows about Great White Sharks and how they menace popular swimming beaches. In honor of Shark Week, I made Boogs a Shark Week breakfast.

In the Laptop lunchbox - double layer egg surfer wearing cheese swim trunks with half of his leg bitten off by a cheese shark, ketchup blood, ham surfboard on toast with shark bite, and blueberry ocean with alphabet picks.
I found this cute Fred Snack Attack! cookie cutter set at our local toy story and knew I had to get it for Shark Week.

Boogs was sort of "creeped out" by the ketchup blood on the surfer's leg and on the shark's teeth. He asked if we could use this cookie cutter set again to make sugar cookies without any fake blood on them.

Be sure to check out the wonderful sites I link to on my sidebar! This post is linked to Fun Food Friday. 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, August 9, 2014

Keeping Busy In the Heat

We have had an incredibly mild summer, only 3 days of 100 degree heat so far. We have been finding ways to keep busy and stay cool. Last week we went to the Austin Nature and Science Center. We picked a perfect day to go because the temperature only got up to 96.  Boogs always enjoys exploring the indoor part of the center and loves exploring the outside areas. He invited a friend, J, to join us.

The indoor part of the center has lots of hands-on activities. The boys spent about an hour observing bees, looking at slides thru a microscope, experimenting with magnetism & static electricity, learning about nanotechnology, and handling bones, skins, shells, and other objects of nature.
We went outside to see the rescued animals, walk the path around the pond, and play in the sand. There are dinosaur bones in the sand to excavate.
I asked Boogs to stand under the rib cage bones so I could compare it to a photo in the same spot from a previous visit. The photo on the right is from August 2012.
Whenever we go to the Nature Center, I pack a change of clothes. The water areas are too inviting for kids to stay dry. I made sure J brought an extra set of clothes, too. The boys tried "finger fishing". They lightly moved their pointer fingers on top of the water. Fish came up and nibbled their fingers. Boogs did not like it at all. J thought he would be able to catch a fish. J spent at least half an hour letting the fish nibble his fingers while he tried to catch them. Too bad the fish were too fast. Boogs spent a lot time building dams to direct the water flow. Eventually, J decided to help Boogs with the dams.
We went to the other side of a bridge and found the perfect spot for leaf races. Boogs moved a bunch of rocks around to perfect the water flow on the leaf race route. Playing in the water was a nice way to stay cool in the heat. I am so glad we had dry clothes. The boys were soaked by the time we left.

On Sunday, Boogs was invited to try out water polo.
The practice session was held at the Jamail Texas Swimming Center on UT campus. Boogs was the smallest kiddo in the water. It was a 12-year-old and under practice session. I was impressed with how well he could tread water and manage to throw the ball. He played goalie for a little bit of the game. Afterwards, I asked Boogs if he would like to start playing water polo on a team. He replied, "Water Polo is not the sport for me. People are allowed to just dunk you all the time. I got dunked three times and I did not like it." Boogs only weighs 50 pounds. I am sure some of the kids playing weighed twice that amount. Maybe he might want to try again when he is a bit older.

Boogs kept cool Monday through Thursday this week at Diving Camp. He loves being in the water so much I think he is part fish. On Friday, we spent the day at Fiesta Texas. Boogs loves their water park. We have about two weeks until school begins. I can't believe this summer is almost over.

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

Friday, August 1, 2014

Scavenger Hunt

My friend had to drop off her four boys for the day. I wanted to plan something to keep them busy, active, and working together for at least part of the 7 hours they were with me. So, I planned an outdoor scavenger hunt.

I found the decoder ring on, the link to it is near the bottom of the post where it says, "Print decoder ring here." I gave the boys clues to decode with letters, numbers, rearranged words, and picture clues. Each clue had a different kind of code to break. The clues were riddles for the boys to solve to find the correct location for the next clue.
As soon as I gave them their first clue, all of the boys sat down to try and figure it out.
Clue #1 (Look under the moving chair on the front porch.) led them outside to the front porch. J3 found it hidden under the rocking chair. As soon as they found clue #2, they got busy trying to decode it.
Clue #2 (Birds build nests in things like me.) had the boys searching the trees in the front yard. Unfortunately, J2 &J3 found an actual bird's nest in the wrong tree. They tried to pull the nest out of the tree to search for a clue. Boogs found the clue in the other tree.
Clue #3 (Go across the street where water can shoot out.) gave the boys a little bit of trouble. I took the first letter of each word and moved it to the end of the word. They figured out how to decode the message but it took an extra hint for them to figure out the next location. Some ideas they had to answer the clue: sprinkler head, rain gutter, hose, faucet. I had to keep them from rushing into our neighbor's yard. I gave them a hint, "Community helpers use these when they need water for their job." There was a mad rush to the fire hydrant when they figured out the hint. J3 got to the clue first.

Clue #4 stumped them. I do not draw well, but I thought they would be able to tell the arrow under the line meant "under" and the box of boxes drawing with the word "mail" in the center would lead them to the mailbox. I did not give them any hints and they eventually figured it out. J2 found the last clue under the mailbox.
Clue #5 led them to a stump down the block. When Boogs was younger, he and I used to pretend the stump was where some of the animals had tea when Santa returned to Narnia after the Witch's winter spell began to break. Boogs remembered the stump and led the boys down the sidewalk where he found the prize - a bag of Dum-Dums lollipops.

They had a good time on their scavenger hunt and enjoyed their sweet treat.

This post is linked to:
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
Don't forget to click over to my back-to-school giveaway. You have until August 10th to enter for a chance to win some great lunch making supplies.

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.