Friday, June 29, 2012

Getting Opie

We love animals.  We have a lot of them.  Two turtles, three dogs, fish, sea monkeys (if they count as pets) Frogs.  We have had guni pigs and rabbits.  But currently dont have them.  The boys really wanted a puppy.  My husband and I were considering getting them one for this coming Christmas.  The only problem is we really belive in adopting animals.  Our two older dogs are full blood bassett hounds adopted from Dakota Rescue;  And shelters are over run with full blooded dogs of every kind.  You wait a few years and you can find what ever kind of dog you want in a shelter and usually its NOT because something is wrong with the dog, its USUALLY because something is wrong with the HUMAN.  Divorce, new baby, moving, money problems, death in the family, and the list goes on and on.  Both Duke and Rex were 7 years old, house broken and they are really great dogs.

Okay - so the problem, we like the disposition of Bassetts and  really did not want a 1/2 breed, because you know the momma is a bassett but when she is in a shelter you dont know what the daddy is.  And we really wanted to be sure that the breed would be a match with our family.  The it happened

 Some one tied up a full blooded mommy and daddy bassett out side of a vet in dallas.  Then the momma had babies 5 days later.  And Opie was born.  We were lucky enough to be selected by Collin County Humain Society
 We totally caught the boys off guard.  They did not know what to say.  They just kept saying "Its not Christmas, its not Christmas"
 They were so shocked, it took them a good 10 minuets to react at all
 If you did not know you would think they wernt excited
 But they were (see how confused he looks here? LOL
 Thanking me for the puppy
 Ah now its hit him! "Thanks for the puppy mom!" tackle
 Cute baby
 Cute puppy
So my suggestion is to friend some no kill shelters in your area on Facebook, try and get some recomendations and make sure they are a good shelter.  Then dont rush, read about the dogs they have if you see some you like go meet them, they will post the new ones on their fb feeds.  And things like this happen more than you would think.  In the 3 years I have been adopting dogs I have seen 4 to 5 half breeds of puppys pop up and then here recently two litters of full bread bassetts popped up.  Unfortuantly one litter did not make it.  But you never know what you are going to find.  Who would have ever thought that this beautiful bassett puppy could have been adopted?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Secret Agent Man

My step dad picked the boys up a top secret spy kit at the dollar store.  It was super cool for a dollar.  I told my husband it was like a history lesson and a spy kit all in one.  It started with the film camera included in the kit.

"Mom what is film?"

ha ha ha ha!  I guess next your going to ask me what Atari is?

I tried to explaine what it was, then I just said "Its a play camera, stick it in your dress up clothes."  Do they even make film anymore?

So onto our spy activites.  They teach you how to look around a corner, with out being seen.
As you can see above it had a lot of stuff.  Most of it is old school spy things.  So in the even of a black out my kids will know what to do and all the new fangled high tech spies will be out of business. 
Thats right, move over spy kids, the Murdocks are here.

First they teach your kiddos the ever handy inconspicous camera in a paper bag trick.  Because no one would notice that.

They made their own secret agent phones out of juice boxes

Mapped our location

We made secret idenites, which is also a lot like teaching your kid to make a fake ID.  I laughed about this to myself and wondered what I will say when they are 18 and get busted for having an ID that says they are 21.  Oh well we will cross that bridge when we get to it.

 It was so funny. 
me -  "What is your spy name?"
Eli - "Volta"
Me - "Okay, what does Volta do?"
Eli - " He is a Ninja"
Me - "and how old is he?"
Eli - 12

I tried to explaine that spys and ninjas dont tell people thats what they are.  They say they are plumbers or house wifes.  And their secret identy is ninja.

Secret notes with white crayon

finger printing with pencile led

a code wheel

Morse Code

Then we did these secret notes.  I wrote it using the code thing on the left

The Noah decoded it

His face when he read it

Ha! Ha!  We had fun learning how to be spies!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Side of the road chair

I was driving to meet my friend at Chic-fli-a when I saw this chair on the side of the road.  So I had to stop and get it.  I always dream about buying a rocking chair from Crackerbarrel.  But I never have.  I first looked it over and made sure it was sturdy.  It was.

It had a few spots where the paint was worn

 You can see the wooden pegs sliding out.  I hit those with a hammer and tightned it back up

More close ups of areas needing paint (Opie wanted to be in the picture)

You get the idea, it needed to be painted, but overall was in good shape

I grabbed some spray paint at the store
(I decided to keep it black, it goes well with my house)

And whalla!  A wonderful rocking chair for some front portch sitting.
Not quite as nice as crackerbarrels chairs....but close

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Door Art

At Christmas we made these doors.

For the summer I thought this would be a good hands on activity for them and I would give them full creative range & less guidance than I did with the Christmas doors.  So I covered their doors with white paper and made a border.  ( I asked what color border they wanted & let them attach it with tape)

 Very simple border cut from construction paper
 Very simple border cut from construction paper

This is an ongoing project, when they get bored I ask them to go work on their doors. They color, on them, glue shapes & stickers.  Its been a fun little filler project.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Magic Monarch

We have spent a lot of time this summer learning about Monach butterflys.  It all started with my mother getting a milkweed plant.  Then we went over to her house and watched the caterpillers eat every leaf on the plant.  Some ran out of leafs before they were fat enough to cooon.  This made my mom sad, so she went out and bought another milkweek plant.

(coocoon in red)
My mother set up an aquairum in her house and she brings the caterpillers in when they are ready to spin their coocons & then the boys set them free.

 Just hatched & drying his wings

 Eli setting him free

 Proud boys

The beautiful Monarch butterfly

  After watching them a while you can predect when they are ready to spin.  So after several phone calls about the poor caterpillars and how they were running out of food, I asked her to buy me some seeds.

 I used milk jugs as my pots and poked holes at the bottom

 The boys helped me fill each container with potting soil

 Opie is always there to give a helping paw

Then we waited until they got bigger.

Here is the problem with Milkweed & Monarchs.  Milkweed is all a Monarch catepiller will eat.  So a Monarch butterfly lays eggs on a plant, the eggs hatch and each caterpiller needs 20 leafs to make it to maturity and cocoon.  Well, you run out of leafs before that happens.  Thus creating my mothers problem of feeling like she needs a never ending supply of milk week.

But it is a fun cycle to watch and learn about
This book gives you tons of information & is a good read for learning about the life cycle of the monarch

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Block Party

My son Eli wants to get this stuffed animal making kit that he saw at Walmart.  I did not really look at it closely, but he thinks it comes with 15 stuffed animals and stuffing, I really doubt that it does.  Its only $10.00.  Anyways he told his dad last night that he was going to buy this thing and make 100's of stuffed animals.  He has big dreams of this kit and apparently becoming a stuffed animal maker. 

Eli approached me this afternoon and said "Mom can we have a block party?  You can dress up like Cinderella and make balloon animals, I will set up a stuffed animal making station, and Noah will be dressed up in a costume"  My first thought was to say no, then I said "A block party sounds fun, I will help you plan it"  I figured a good oppurtiunity had just presented its self to teach them about doing for others, and being a good host.  So we picked a date.  And then we got to party planning

Me - "Okay I will get out the snow cone machine and the cotton candy machine, and the chocolate fountian.   We can serve hot dogs, chips and fruit.  I can ask gramps to make balloon animals, I can face paint, and Eli you can have your stuffed animal making corner.  Does all this sound good?"

Eli - Yes

Noah - What about the costumes?  I thought we were all wearing costumes?  I really want to dress like a modern warfare person.

Me - Ah yes, no costumes at this block party.  It will be to hot.  BUT you guys can help me print out the flyers & pass them out in a few days. Okay?

We printed up these invites and the kids colored the "Block Party" part.  Then they passed them out.  I had a feeling that not everyone got one they re-passed them out the Friday before.  I figure no one is going to re arrange their schedule to come, so if they can come the Friday before they will come.

The day of the party came and the kids helped me set up the food.
We had our chocolate fountian & fruit, our cotton candy machine & our snow cone machine.  We also served hot dogs and chips

I am always suprised how much fruit gets eaten when you put it on a stick.  I made this cute flag, then I also had three bowls of blue berries and two bowls of strawberries that got eaten as well (I guess chocolate helps too)

The moonwalk arrived & I have to give Moonwalk Mania a plug.  First of all she is the lowest price I have EVER paid for a moon walk rental & the best service.  They are super clean, Robin is super nice and she went ahead and left it over night to give the kids more time to play.  It was really sweet of her.  You can connect with her on facebook here

Then the ice cream truck showed up.  I hate the ice cream truck.  I always tell the kids for the price you pay for one popsical I can get you a gallon of blue bell.  Oh well they saw us out side and hung out on the street for twenty min (no lie) until they decided no one was buying ice cream today & left.

 Hanging out in the shade with our Micah boy

The kids got hot so we pulled out the awesome squirt guns from the dollar store & the kiddy pool.  I said "dont shoot the moonwalk or the grown ups"  and they had a great time

Eating food


I think the party was a sucess!  We got to know some neighbors better, the kids learned about all the hard work that goes into a party before the fun starts and everyone had a good time.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Family Work day

We received a gental reminder from our home owners assoication about our tree limbs.  So we got out to do some yard work.
 My husband cut down the limbs
 The boys stacked these for fire wood, we also saved a few pieces to play with
 Eli stacking
 Noah helping daddy tie up the bundles.  Learning to help, picth in with yard work, tie knots. This reminded me of helping my dad with yard work.  We would turn around and someone would be in a tree, or off to get water.  It made me laugh.  Because I used to do the same thing.
 Learning how to work the leaf blower

Hey!  Blowing dirt is fun. Noah got a turn too.  It was fun family work day!