Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Happy July 4th!

July 4th is the time of year where everyone in the United States celebrates our Independence. We became our own nation on July 4th, 1776. We celebrate by having cookouts and gatherings with family and friends. The center of these gatherings are food and fireworks.

Fireworks is a touchy subject because there are many people (kids and adults) and animals who are sensitive to loud noises. Fireworks bothers these people and animals with noise sensitivity.

*An idea was shared with me to make fireworks in a jar and it is made with a few simple ingredients: vegetable oil, water, and food coloring.

A few of our boys are sensitive to loud noises, but they do like fireworks, just not the noise. I thought this would be perfect for my boys so that they could still experience fireworks, but a quieter version of them. Not only is it a quieter version, but it is also a science lesson as well. How science plays into it, is that the food coloring dissolves in water but not in the oil. The oil will float on top of the water. After a little bit, the color will fall from the top and it will create firework effect.

 Items Needed:
-An empty glass jar (or empty glass jars if you want to do more than one jar)
-Small bowl(s)
-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil for each small bowl(s) 
-Food coloring (any color)

Fill the jar(s) 3/4 of the way with warm water. Then put 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in the small bowl (or each bowl if you are doing more than one). Put food coloring drops in the vegetable oil. You can do one color or different colors. We did different colors. Then pour the oil and food coloring mixture slowly into the glass jar and watch as the food coloring drops to the bottom to make fireworks in a jar.

The kids did their fireworks in a jar last night since we will be going to a family gathering tonight. I had them make theirs one at a time. I let them stir the food coloring into the oil themselves. I assisted with pouring the oil and food coloring mixture into the water. Here are some pictures so you can see for yourself how fun this was for our kids.
Logan stirring his food coloring and oil mixture.
Landon was excited.
It really is so cool and beautiful how it works.
Liam enjoyed this very much.
Lucas was excited as well.
So pretty!
Again, I really love this because it is a quieter version of fireworks. I think this can be enjoyed by all ages. I am 31 and really thought it was cool to see fireworks in a jar. It is so pretty how the colors mix and fall to create the firework effect. Let me know if you will try this, not just for July 4th, but for any day.

Hope everyone has a wonderful July 4th! Happy birthday to the United States of America!

Happy July 4th from our kids!
My favorite Bible verse that is shared for July 4th.

*The idea shared in this post is not my own. It was shared with me and can be found on Pinterest or Google.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Into Summer

Summer is a favorite season for many people. It stays lighter out longer, the weather is gorgeous, it is swimming season, there are cookouts, and of course there is no school. Our oldest got out of school for the summer on June 4. Our preschoolers got out on June 21. We are definitely into summer.I love having this time with our kids, especially our three kids that have been in school all year. I have a lot of things planned so they have a fun summer, but also so they still learn even though they aren't in school. For our family of 7, we need structure and a schedule to keep our house running smoothly.I made a summer schedule with some times in the day where there will be fun and learning going on. I think our kids are just as excited as I am.

If you are a parent and at a loss on ideas of things to do for the summer with your kids, I hope this helps. I used to work at the YMCA during summer breaks and the YMCA plans theme based weeks for each week of the summer. My idea for what I'm doing with our kids this summer, came from that. This week was Beach Week. Some of the other weeks I have planned are Patriotic Week (everything will be based around July 4th), Nature and Science Week, Outer Space Week, and Animal Week. I know it probably seems like a lot for me to do with 5 kids. I want to make sure our older three kids who are in school continue to learn so they are ready and possibly ahead for next school year.

This past week as I mentioned was Beach Week. I taught our kids things about the beach, the ocean, ocean animals, and things about summer in general. Our kids definitely had fun learning about all of those things. I squeezed in time to go outside and a trip to our local park. This week was the first week that we did a theme week because my preschoolers only got out of school last week and my oldest had a few days where he went to an art camp.

The crafts we did this week to go with our theme were an ocean scene with fish, and a painted beach ball. What I liked about these crafts was that they were age appropriate from our two year old to our seven year old. It gave our older 2 kids a chance to practice their hand writing and to learn how to spell new words. It helped our younger 2 boys to learn colors, numbers, and shapes.

For the ocean scene you will need:
-Blue construction paper
-Blue crayons
-White paper
-Any color paint
-Fish shape template
-Black marker

How we created the ocean scene:
I had our kids paint the white paper any color and all colors that they wanted to. While the paint dried, they colored the blue construction paper with a blue crayon to really give it an ocean look. Once the paint dried on the white paper, I assisted our kids in cutting out fish shapes. We glued the fish to the colored construction paper. I let our older 2 kids write fish and ocean on their papers.

 For the beach ball craft you will need:
-A beach ball template
-Yellow construction paper

How we made the beach ball:
The kids painted their beach ball with their finger tips and did any color they wanted to. Once the paint dried, I assisted in cutting the beach ball out and we glued it to the yellow construction. Our older 2 kids wrote beach ball on their paper.

Here are some more pictures of this past week.

My oldest after art camp.
Painting their paper which we cut fish shapes from.
Water gun fighting.

Fun at the park.

Conversation for my readers, how is your summer going? If you have kids, do you plan to try these crafts? What fun things do you have planned for your summer? 

I hope everyone is having a great summer so far! Stay tuned for more posts about our summer and other things going on in our family. As always, keep up the faith, hope, and love. Thank you for reading! Please share my post if you like these crafts!   

Monday, June 4, 2018

First Weekend of June

As a blogger, sometimes I am at a loss on what to write about. I know what you are thinking, 'You have 5 kids, so shouldn't you always have ideas on what to write about?' Honestly, yes I should always have ideas. There are times I just don't and if you are a writer then you understand that sometimes you get a writer's block, so to speak. 

This weekend I got a great idea. I see a lot of bloggers write about highlights from their weekend or from their month. I decided I would do this twice a month. It is a fun way to document your weekend or month and dwell on the new memories that were made. I see why a lot of bloggers choose to write about their weekend or their month. You will always have those memories written to go back and read again. I am excited to have this idea!

This was the first weekend of June. I can't believe we are already in June. This year seems to be flying by. Saturday my husband had to work the afternoon/evening shift. He was home in the morning and made waffles for the kids. Our kids love when he makes waffles and pancakes. My husband is really good at cooking breakfast foods, so when he has a morning off he will cook a bigger breakfast than what we normally have. While our kids played I got some major cleaning done. I decided that during the summer months I would use Saturday to do major cleaning. I decided this because this way I can enjoy Monday through Friday with our kids while we do the summer activities we have planned. We will use Saturdays as a day to relax and be lazy. After my husband went to work our kids napped and then woke up and played some more. We have a large set of trains and train tracks and they played with trains all afternoon. I loved watching them use their imagination with the trains! 

Sunday we went to church as a family. I love Sundays because it is our family day. Occasionally my husband will have to work and yesterday was one of those days, but he was able to end up not going to work. We enjoyed having my husband home yesterday and that his work plans changed. After our kids woke up from their nap, we went on a family walk to our local park. It is in walking distance which we love. Our kids had fun playing and they definitely want to walk to the park a lot this summer! 

After the park we came home and I fixed dinner. I made a new dish that we have not had before. I made Big Mac in a Bowl. It is a McDonald's Big Mac in a bowl without the bun. However, it is homemade and a lot healthier! If you have not heard of it then you are in luck because I will share the recipe I followed. 

1lb. ground beef (Or you could use ground turkey.)
1/2 an onion chopped 
Shredded Lettuce (You can pick how much you want in your bowl.)
Shredded Cheese (You can pick how much you want or if you even want to use shredded cheese.)
Thousand Island Dressing (Use as little or as much as you want.)
Salt (To taste when browning the ground beef.)
Pepper (To taste when browning the ground beef.)
Garlic Powder (To taste when browning the ground beef.)
4-6 Dill Pickles Chopped (To put as a topping if you choose.)

I started by chopping the onion and then I browned the onion before adding the ground beef. I browned the ground beef and kept the onion in the pan to cook with the beef so the beef could get some flavor. I also added salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. While the beef was browning I chopped the dill pickles. Once the beef was browned, I drained the grease and prepared the bowls. I put the lettuce in first, then the ground beef/onion mix, then added cheese. I topped with thousand island dressing and chopped dill pickles. I made fries to go with this meal and they tasted much better than fast food fries from McDonald's.

My husband and I liked this dish and so did our kids. I will be making this again! Our weekend was amazing and I am always thankful for time with my husband and our kids! 

Today is Monday and the last day of school for my oldest son. I am looking forward to this first week of summer with my oldest. I have activities planned so we have a fun summer, but also so that he can still learn this summer. My two preschoolers are still in school until June 22 so they will join in on the fun and learning at the end of the month. 

Questions for my readers:
1. Did you all have a good weekend?
2. What did you think of the recipe I shared?
3 Do you plan to try the recipe?
4. Will you share this recipe with your friends?
5. What are your ideas for something I could write about?

Thank you for reading and always have faith, hope, and love!