Our summer in a (very long post) nutshell

After we got back from our cruise, we did laundry for about a week, enjoyed waking up late and swimming all day.  The following week the kids were already getting a little bored with doing the same thing everyday, so we decided to come up with a summertime routine.  I have no problem spending every summer day at home, doing nothing, but I realize my kids need something to look forward to (and incentive to get their chores done). The kids came up with different "themes" for each day (Saturday was usually kept free, so we could do things with daddy, and Sunday, of course, was church): Craft day, Adventure Day, Stay-home day, Hike day, Park day.  It was a great excuse for me to get out of the house, find different and fun things for us to do.  We really had a great summer!
These are the collages I posted on Instagram, but I have more pictures from each week below. 
Week 1: Craft day: 4th of July art banner
Park day: Maidu park
Adventure day: Library
Stay-home day: lots of swimming
Hike day: Avery pond
I had a ripped bed sheet that I was going to throw away, so we decided to use it for some art.

 Avery pond hike.  It was easy getting there, about 1.5 miles (in the shade), but after we played in the lake and headed back, I missed one of the turn offs and we ended up hiking about 3 miles back (no shade).  Grant was not happy about 2 miles into the hike back.  He was crying and whining for the last mile.  Noah was a trooper and tried to pump him up and help him the last little ways.  It might have been a little ambitious to do by myself, but we survived and as time went on we forgot and tried another hike. :)

 Week 2: Craft day:painted wood trinkets the kids picked out from Hobby Lobby
Park day: Eldorado Hills splash park
Adventure day:blueberry picking
Stay-home day: swimming and reading
Hike day:Linda creek

Week 3: Craft day: decorated bikes for the 4th of July parade
Park day: Crestmont park
Adventure day: $1 movie - Rise of the Guardians
Stay-home day: lots of swimming parties and BBQ's
Hike day: went to the lake one night and hiked along one of the shores
 4th of July ward primary parade and breakfast.
First year we all stayed up for the big fireworks.

Week 3: Craft day:  Our library did a stuffed animal sleep over and took pictures of all the animals doing funny things at the library.  The next day they got the pictures and a little book to decorate.
Park day: Orangevale Community Park
Adventure day: strawberry picking and lunch at the farm
Stay-home day: swimming and worked in the garden
Hike day: Not really a hike, but lots of walking at Six Flags

 About 9 months ago we started this chore chart, and it's still going great.  The kids have to do their morning and night chores without being asked, and they get 4 silver coins (2 for morning and 2 for night).  They can earn extra coins by doing other things like vacuuming, dusting, garbages, etc.  Each chore is worth a certain amount of coins.  For every 5 silver coins they get, they get 1 gold coin.  The gold coins is what 'buys' them things (10=movie, 4=ice cream, 2=15 minutes past bedtime, etc.).  This is how Grant got to 'buy' his ax on our cruise.  It's been interesting to see how each of them spend their coins.  Grant earns a gold coin and immediately wants to know what he can get.  Noah just keeps saving for something big.  Ava has to have a goal to look forward to, or she doesn't really care to earn anything.  Noah is currently trying to earn 50 gold coins so he can go to the Science museum in San Fransisco.  
Our first big goal was 30 coins to go to Six Flags this summer.  Noah earned it easily, but Ava and Grant were busy doing LOTS of chores a few days before, in order to have enough to go. :)  It's been a great way to teach them about 'money', saving and teaching them about need vs. wants.  It's come in handy many times when they want me to buy them something at the store.  I just ask if they have enough coins to buy it (1 gold coin = 75cents-$1).  If they don't, they know they can't get it, and if they do most of the time, by the time we are done shopping, they realize they don't want to spend their coins on that particular item.  
The other thing I love about this is that I don't have to tell them what to do in the mornings and at night.  They just have to look at the chart and mark it off as they do it (I laminated it and keep a dry-erase marker in the cupboard next to the chart.  At night I hand out coins and erase the marks). 
As you can see, they all earned 30 coins, so we went to Six Flags in July.
 I was surprised that it wasn't really crowded.  We walked on all the rides, which makes it so much nicer.

 They turned the dolphin show into a cirque du soleil type show.

 During the seal show, Noah got to go up and pet the seals.
Week 4: Craft day:  Birthday cards to cousin Charlotte
Park day: Johnson-Springview park, Rocklin
Adventure day:playing with friends at the park and lunch at Chick-fil-a
Stay-home day: swimming and lots of bread making (I did a wheat and bread making class for relief society)
Hike day: Hidden Falls 
 Grant sweats only on his nose, and obviously he had dirty hands to wipe off the beads of sweat. :)

 This was probably our favorite hike of the summer.  It was kind of long (4 miles), and per tradition the way back was the worst, but getting to the little pools was worth it.  The kids swam, explored and played in all the little pools for a couple hours. 

 We hiked most of the way with a group of ladies with a few kids.  They played and explored with them for over an hour at the pools.  The ladies were so funny, they took my kids exploring with them, and I would help their kids across some rocks. 

 After our friends left, a couple with a dog came to play in the water.  My kids played fetch with this dog while the owners ate their lunch. 

 The kids found this sick bird (I think it's neck was broken) and the couldn't leave it alone.  I knew it was going to die, but I told the kids I was sure the mommy bird would come back for it.  They were all so concerned for it's safety. 
Week 5: Craft day:  knitting snakes and yard decorations
Park day: Kaesburg park
Adventure day:  Small land and lunch at IKEA
Stay-home day: I was sick (strep-throat, again!) for most of this week, so we stayed home watching movies and taking it easy
Hike day: Skipped because I was sick 
Week 6: Craft day:  watercolor pencil art (taught them the technique we learned on the cruise for transferring patterns to watercolor paper)
Park day: Roger Park
Adventure day: River cats game and fireworks
Stay-home day: friends over to swim
Hike day:skipped because it was over 100 all week
The kids told me what they wanted to paint, and I found a basic black and white image of their requested animal.  Here's the technique: after printing out the black and white image on regular paper, you scribble (go back and forth with your pencil covering the whole image) on the BACK of the regular paper.  Then, turn the regular paper over and place on top of watercolor paper.  Tape at edges to hold the papers still.  Then using your pencil, trace the black and white image outlines.  Take off the regular paper, and you will see the outline is now on the watercolor paper.  Then use a black marker and trace over the outline again to define the image.  Then color with watercolor pencils.  Finally, get a paint brush slightly wet and go over the colors and blend.  
The kids were so proud of their artwork - I didn't really help them either.  They are now hung at daddy's office. 

Noah's karate company got to perform at the opening ceremonies of the River Cats baseball game. 

Of course the food is one of the highlights at a baseball game.  Noah was bored after about the 4th inning.
Grant was in heaven the whole night. 

Uncle Eli was in town that weekend too, so he game along for the fun.  
Watching fireworks after the game.
Week 7: Craft day:  Painting and assembling bird feeder
Park day: Galleria Mall Park
Adventure day: Foresthill bridge and swimming in the American river
Stay-home day: Annual EQ party
Hike day: UC Davis Arberetum

My mom sent us this project. 

Every year Adam has a family elders quorum party at our house.  It usually brings quite a crowd.  His counselor is a big time BBQ smoker, so he and another friend, smoked brisket and pork for us (I think they said it was in the smoker for 12 hours).  It was incredible meat.

The kids were trying to see how many people they could get on the slide before falling in. I was just hoping the slide wouldn't topple over.

I found this slightly amusing.  A help box right before the bridge.  Not sure if someone in that state of mind is going to even notice a call box.  Hopefully I'm wrong, and it saves lives.
 After we walked across the bridge we drove a little ways to try and find a 'free' spot to enter the American river.  We watched all the whitewater rafters and kayakers coming down the river.  The water this far up the river is FREEZING, even in August.  The kids braved it and swam a little bit anyway.
Week 8: Craft day: Hypertufa pots
Park day:Diamond Oaks Park
Adventure day:Discovery and Science Museum and lunch with daddy
Stay-home day:water skiing (not really home) and lots of swimming
Hike day: getting a new fence at the house, so we had to stay home quite a few days this week while the workers were here
We tore down the fences by the pool equipment and between our neighbors house.  We hired someone to do the fence on this side of the yard, because our neighbors on this side are really busy and not big yard people (as you can see).

Our hypertufa pots.  The kids were so proud of them, and I think they're awesome.
Noah made this little pot that was only big enough for a small hole in the middle, so we put an airplant in it and it looks so cool.  He also added some jewels to his.
Noah made a bunch of balls (with a straw in the middle to make a hole) with the leftover mix, and I staked a metal tube in the ground for his 'rock garden'.  

That's the end of our "Weekly Summer Routine".  I will probably do this again next summer, because the kids and I had so much fun.  

Here are some more random pictures from our summer.

Sorry, blurry picture (all of these pictures are from my phone).  We had a great garden this year.  We produced a ton, and the kids helped me quite a bit this year.  They love eating out of the garden.  
To be honest though, we are all pretty sick of tomatoes.  They are still producing, but no one really wants to even pick them anymore (mainly the cherry tomatoes). :)  A good problem to have, I guess. 
I went to a solar cooking festival in Sacramento, and go all excited about solar cooking. Yes, I'm a nerd. :)
A few days later I sold my double stroller, so I could buy this.  It works like a dream.  I'm amazed every time I cook in it how hot it can get.
More produce.  My mom gave me some lemon cucumber seeds to plant, and the kids have loved them.  They are a favorite for school snacks. 
Took out the OTHER fence too and replaced it.  Adam and Doug (our other neighbor with the amazing yard) built that one.  I guess I need to do a yard post soon, because it looks so different from even a few months ago.  Our trampoline is now on this side of the house.
Adam and I went on a date to the Placer County fair. 

I got this Makita dust buster for my birthday, and Grant and I love it.  He likes it almost as much as I do. :)
When Noah showed me his Lego creation, I had to take a picture.  He said it was the prophet speaking and the three other guys are cameramen. Ha. :)

I don't know why I took so many pictures of our veggies.  After picking them, I always thought they looked so colorful, so I snapped a picture.
7/11: Free Slurpee day
Went to the lake as often as possible, which is NEVER enough.  Noah's really strong with skiing and can cross both wakes.  Ava and Grant both pulled up this year, but fell after about 3 seconds.

Children's Museum
While I was at a meeting, Noah and Adam were working on back flips off the diving board.  Noah did one and actually hit his head on the underside of the diving board (I think after he rotated and on his way back up).  He swam to the side and told Adam he hit his head a little on that one, and was about to go try another one.  When he got out, Adam noticed the blood and had him get out until I got home.  Actually, Adam sent me a text and I knew he needed staples.  Adam said he didn't even cry when it happened, but when I told him he needed to get stitches, that's when he lost it.  
We went to instacare and they put on some numbing cream, and then stapled him up.  Took all of about 5 minutes. He did great. 
Grant is in Transitional Kindergarten this year, and loves it.
First day of school
Ava on her first day of school.  She has the same kindergarten teacher that Noah had.
Grant getting out of class for the first time.
First day of school treat.  They were so cute out there telling each other about their first day of school.  Too bad the novelty has worn off. :)

When Ava and Grant picked out their backpacks, they kept choosing the one that had the monogramming that they liked.  I tried to tell them to pick their favorite backpack, not the picture on the backpack, because the picture wouldn't be on there.  They seemed to understand, but when they got them in the mail they asked where the 'owl' or 'horse' was.
Anyway, I took them to JoAnn's and let them pick out an embellishment to sew onto their backpacks. 
Now they are cool. :)
Grant was the first chosen to bring home Hopper, their class mascot.  He got to take him wherever he wanted and read him stories.  Then he had to draw pictures and write in the journal of what they did together. He felt pretty special, and brought Hopper everywhere.
Floating down the American river with some friends.  I have more pictures, but they're on my water camera, so I'll have to post those later.
Noah's friend, Evan, built this cool go-cart and invited us to the park to test it out.  Noah crashed both times he tried it (the last time it broke on them), but he still thinks it's pretty awesome.
I found Ava devouring this roaster chicken like a vulture one night after dinner.   She loves her meat.
I put up some paneling in our mudroom and since I could close it off, I decided to spray it.  I looked very attractive all suited up to spray.  It turned out really nice. 
Such a nerd!  Smoothie and goggle face.
Reminds me of that scuba mask picture of my SIL, Emily.

Love the fun foam heads at Target.  Grant and I had fun trying some on. 

Wow, did you make it this far?!?!  I know I promise this every time I post, but I really want to try and be a little more current with blogging.  My SIL, Mary, is so good at posting things a day or two after they do them. It's nice to see what is currently going on in their lives, not what happened months before.  I won't promise anything, but I will try to do better.


The Yoder's Five said...

Looks like you had a great summer! you guys live in such a fun place. We used to go to Six Flags nearly every summer as a kid--I LOVE that place!

PS. Thanks for the tip on Jarolyn's preparedness website. I've used some of her stuff to get the RS presidency off my back. :) I have yet to reach your level of bread baking or solar oven cooking.

Mary said...

Wow! That was the monster of all blog posts! I can't believe you did all that in one summer. I like the idea of designating a theme per day to keep summer from getting too monotonous. Your kids should never complain of boredom.