Life is sooooooooooooo busy as a working momma of THREE kids... but, life is also full of so many "little" things...you know, those simple pleasures that really bring so much joy... I'm mostly thinking of the dopey things that my kids say and do that make me laugh... but also the little adventures we have or the day trips that we do... you think you will remember them all, but those memories really do fade over time. I am hoping to sit down once a month (ideally, once a week, but being that I hardly manage one decent shower a week, we'll aim for once a month for now! LOL) to detail those quotable quotes or beautiful little actions (or those not so much) as well as our family activities. I hope you enjoy!! :)

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Summer Bucket List, Part I

Hoboken, baby! :)
Wahooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!  We made it through the school year.  One of the coolest things about being a teacher-mom is that I am almost as excited as the kids!! :)  I LOVE the relaxing days of summer.  It's great to have no where to go and nothing to do unless, of course, we want to!  But, alas, also as a teacher-mom, I know how important it is to keep those school skills fresh!  So, I have been hard at work disguising work... sometimes it is super easy... like today, when Patrick decided to open a restaurant... suddenly he is reading and writing (menus!) with no battle because he is highly motivated to open his "Perry Restaurant" with Ryan tailing right along (and the little Rose, as it seems to be standard in these posts, is sleeping!).  I am thinking about actually having them find some recipes... both boys are horribly picky eaters (one by nature and one by nurture...see if you can guess which is which!)!  Perhaps we shall find some simple recipes, and cook one or two each week and see if we can't broaden their horizons... stay tuned to see if we do!  Anyway, as I was saying, sometimes keeping disguising learning is easy, while others, I actually have to use my noggen...
Summer Bucket List... one of MY first days of summer (I presented at our annual Gifted Institute after school got out... didn't seem like a bad idea in January when I volunteered, but come first day of summer and I'm working... oh, well!).  We made a circle map of all of the things that we wanted to do this summer.  I even convinced Ryan to try his hand on writing, too... so incredibly excited by the progress he is making with reading and writing... he truly is a little sponge!  We completed our brainstorming list and have hung it on our family room wall so that we can check off our bucket list each time we do something from it... here is a sampling of what we've done so far...
Father's Day at Eisenhower Park

Uncle Matt builds a castle for K!
1.  Go to New York- DUH!!  Our summer kick off was a trip to New York.  My cousins' beautiful baby girl (whose daddy, my cousin, was one of FOUR boys!) was being baptized.  We had a great time catching up with his parents and his siblings who we don't get to see nearly as often as we like as they live up in Rhode Island and north...  And, of course, that meant getting to see New York Grandma and Grandpa as well as Uncle Matt.  The real treat was that it was Father's Day weekend so we actually got to spend Father's Day with NY Grandpa!  The boys are looking forward to their time up in NY later this summer... all by themselves with Grandma and Grandpa... a tradition that we started last summer (and one day Katy will get to participate in, too!).  And all three kids (maybe me... jury is still out) are headed up their next weekend with my parents' for my mom's family reunion.

2.  Playdate with Maddox and Dominic- Two checks so far!!  :) The boys got to go over to Maddox and Dominic's house and beat the heat in their super cool water slide inflatable pool!  Next up, we invited Maddox and Dominic to come to the local lake with us... of course, it was unseasonably cool that day (75 degrees... strong sun, but chilly wind... especially when you're wet!).  They all had a blast, though, in spite of the chill and were kicking and screaming when it was time to go!

3.  See Ms. McCullor- Several checks so far... Mommy's friend and Patrick's FAVORITE first grade teacher is looking to catch some rays before her wedding and mommy can always use a hand, especially at the lake (and when we brought Maddox and Dominic with us)... plus she is LOADS of fun and we just plain enjoy her company.  She has brought Ryan some handmade books (about things he LOVES and right on his level) as well as FISHING nets in the hopes that we can catch some lake fish.  We are thinking of doing some field trips later in the summer... stay tuned!

4.  Go to the lake - since our summer starts off quiet (and ends with a BANG!), we have gotten many checks by making several trips a week to Lake Montclair.  The kids (Katy, too!) LOVE the water.  Patrick and Ryan have already made insane gains in "swimming"... very comfortably floating and starting to dive under and kick.  We have LOVED the fishing nets that Ms. McCullor bought us.  We have tried (mommy and Ms. McCullor, too!) in vain to catch a blinkin' fish!  However, we met a cool middle school big boy, who would like to be a Marine Biologist one day, and he used one of our nets to catch over 10 fish... each time bringing them to our buckets of water.  Only problem?  Those slippery little suckers would hop right out and swim (the buckets were in the shore line) for their little lives!  When it was time to go, we only had one fish left and we gave him some freedom-- although the boys are now determined to get a pet fish... we're not too sure about that... we'll have to see... certainly more likely than a pet dog, but, honestly, that really isn't saying much! ;)

Mommy is no dummy...
Katy is quite impressed!
5.  Letting our imagination take us places-- although not on the bucket list, I think I'm going to have to add it.  As I was looking through the scores of pictures to include, I also found the car wash that we made as well as the magic show the boys put on... all sparked from simple, good old fashioned play time (kinda like the restaurant).  Who knows what they will come up with next... I LOVE to see and REALLY love as they get along the best when they are actively engaged in a self-driven project!! :)  Stay tuned for more adventures...

Adding the states alphabetically, day by day
Those are the highlights of our summer in June... the BIG item from the bucket list that is coming in July is VACATION WITH LIAM and GOING TO THE WATERPARK (for our annual trip to the Massanutten water park!).  I am MOST anxiously awaiting our road trip to Florida in early August where we will get to watch Uncle Chris fly in his helicopter from the air craft carrier that he has been on since last December as they get close enough to the Floriday coast! :) :) :)  On our way home, we are going to stop in Charleston, where I went to high school, and visit with my BFF from high school and her FOUR boys who happen to be in town visiting her parents that week.  Good times.  We are mapping our travels in the U.S. as well as VA on a map so that the boys are learning all about our country and our state in real time!  Ryan even drew his own replica of our big U.S. map the other day-- was super excited to see that!!

Hope this finds our faithful followers well and having a fun-filled, action-packed summer, too!!
Lots of love!
:) K, J, the Two Boys, and, of course, the Little Rose
'Nuf said...
P.S.  The picky eater, by nature, is Patrick... The one by nurture, who has to do EVERYTHING like his big brother, is Ryan... And, in case you were wondering, the little Rose is a ravenous little thing who is always ready, willing, and able to eat anything and everything that we put before her... we are hoping to continue that and see if we can't nurture Ryan the other way!! :)