May 31, 2012

Ready for Summer

Do You Pin?

Are you on Pinterest? Are you one of the millions of others that spend 10, 15, 30, 60, 240, or a gazillion minutes pinning, repinning, planning your meals, redecorating your house, or just awing at what other people can do? Well I am!

I found Pinterest about a year ago when we were redoing Hotrod's room. From there I fell down the rabbit hole into a never ending journey of pinning. I have hundreds of people that "follow" my boards and I follow lots of others, but here recently I have re-evaluated my pinning.

When I started pinning I found I pinned everything even remotely interesting, crafts, food, sayings, how to climb Mount Everest, sure I might do that some day, sure...not. So I have started cleaning up my boards and checking out websites before I pin most things. I no longer pin or follow craft boards, just being real, I am not a craft person. I also don't pin if the link is to a tumblr site, they are just to hard to find the original post. If I find a pin I like and it just takes me to a picture I use this technique to locate the original post and then pin from there.

I now only pin thing I really think I will do or use. And I am going through my current pins and culling out the unrealistic ones. Also, my other issue with pinning is not having feed back from others who might have tried it and if it worked or not. Yes, I know I could go to the original post and see if there are any comments but when you are sitting in the grocery store parking lot and seeing what recipe you want to make, reading a list of comments just isn't realistic.

So am going to try and do two things to hopefully help others. One, I am going to start posting here in the blog what I have tried and wether it worked or not and two, adding a comment to my pin in Pinterest. I know this won't help others that have already repinned but maybe it will help future pinners.

So here is my first review: Plain Chicken's Bacon Ranch Potato Salad.

This image is from the Plain Chicken website!

 I found this post right before Memorial Day and for a recipe it fit 2 criteria, easy and few ingredients. So I tried out this last night to go with pulled pork sandwiches and coleslaw. It was a hit! Even left overs were good! So if you are looking for a good, easy, different potato salad head over to Plain Chicken and check it out!

May 25, 2012

Nana Camp 2.0

My partner in crime when I was still working had this great thing she did during the summers with her grandchildren. They would come over in the morning and would work on "school stuff" and play (swim) all afternoon. This way their parents didn't pay for day care or camps, Nana got to spend time with her grandkids and the kids got the benefit of not having brain drain during the summer. A win/win/win situation.

Now fast forward 5 years and I have now implemented some of the thing I learned from the one summer I helped out with Nana Camp.

Since this was our first full week without school we have tried to get a routine going so that Hotrod can continue with his learning and still have fun. Below are some of the fun things we did this week.

We began practicing Dolch sight words that he will need to know for Kindergarden. I got these great cards from this web site, laminated them and we practice a couple of times a day. As he masters a word I add another.

We have started individual and guided reading a couple of times a day. Here is the book that works on the short 'a' sound. He can now reading it entirely on his own. 

Here is the sensory box I made and talk about here and here. This has been great in two ways, one, he loves the tactile feeling of the beans and two, it helps him work on muscles that he needs for writing.

 Here he is practicing his writing 

Here are some numbers and shapes and I know he is 5 and some think he should be farther along in his writing but from where we were 3 months a go this is a big deal. 

He wanted to draw a machine for everyone to see!

Not everything was "work" we had an outing yesterday to Home Depot, one of his favorite spots to go. Here he is testing out drills. We learned the physics of the battery pack of the cordless drill being heavier and you need to adjust the way you hold it so as to not drop it on the floor. We also had a math lesson in spacing when we planted our flower bed that I posted about here.

 And by today (Friday) he was so worn out that he slept until 8 A.M. a rarity in this house. And as you can see his bed didn't get made until after his nap. Also he was so wiped out he didn't even want to go outside and play, which he has been doing for 1-2 hours every day too.

So these are just some of our fun Camp 2.0 projects for this week. Hope everyone has a great summer!

May 24, 2012

Planting for the Texas Summer

After the last 3 summers of trying to fight the Texas heat and the deer for my vegetable garden I gave up! This year Hotrod and I planted a low growing perennial that survived last summer's oven and spreads quickly to cover our large flower bed. What is this miracle plant you ask, it's a Mexican Petunia. We have blue, pink and White in the mix. I can't wait till they bloom!

Here is the proud Gardner!

Sensory Box Activity 2

Practicing our paleontology skills

May 23, 2012

Sensory Box

What do you do when you have a child who is a sensory seeker? A child for whom every time you picked him up from school all he talked about was the sand or water table. And now that school is out and you can't afford a fancy sand or water table like they have a preschool. You create your own sensory box for inside play.

Here is my first of what I hope to be several sensory boxes. This one is a 16 QT tote or what some stores call a sweater tote that I found at Dollar General for $3 and a 8lb of pinto beans for $8 from Walmart. I wanted to buy the beans in bulk from my local farmer's market but they have been out for several weeks. We already had all the construction toys and extras.

Today was the first day of use and he is already enthralled and didn't want to stop to take his nap. So here is to fun sensory play on days that we can't get outside.

May 21, 2012

Boys and Dirt

While we were outside playing today Hotrod decided it would be fun to get his hands all wet then shove them in a pile of dirt. And he did this over and over and over again. He loved every minute!

Water Play and a Boy

Water play and fishing take on a whole new meaning when you have a boy and his construction toys.