Saturday, June 30, 2012

Our Menu

I really have nothing extra to add this week - we've worked to stay cool and, other than Thursday, did pretty good at that.  This next week is also supposed to be hot - I think you'll notice our menu kinda shows that too!

Saturday - Burgers and Corn on the Cob (Yep, Burgers once a week!)

Sunday - Probably KFC - I have a concert and my husband has to work; we'll walk in the door about the same time and then I have to run the babysitter to church . . the easiest thing is to grab dinner out.

Monday - Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos, Rice, Chips and Cheese

Tuesday - Chicken Fried Chicken, Bob Evans Mashed Potatoes (easy peasy - you buy them in the store all made and they are REAL and GOOD!), and green beans

Wednesday - It's the Fourth!!!  Pork Chops on the Grill, Baked Beans, Outback Salad, garlic biscuits and then Strawberry Shortcake for Dessert

Thursday - Pork Roast in the Crock pot with potatoes and carrots cooked right with it.

Friday - Sloppy Joe Trianges and Hashbrown casserole.

Several of these recipes are new but make use of things I have in the freezer.  I hope they all taste good.  Also, it is possible that on Tuesday, we are going to feed the kids something they love like Mac and Cheese and we'll order out - kinda a date night with dinner and the watching our local fireworks outside in our front lawn :-)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Food Friday . . Ummm. . Oops!

Of all weeks not to have a recipe - the week of the commenting challenge!  Normally, on Fridays, I post a recipe.  Whether it be something new I've tried or an old family favorite that I remember to take photos of . . I always have something!  Well, it's been a little warm in these here parts so we are eating a lot of hot dogs, burgers on the grill, Little Ceasers . . .you get the idea. 

If you are visiting - check out the tab near the top of the blog for all of the recipes I've posted (or at least most of them . . I "may" be just a little behind on linking a few up!). 

I actually really enjoy cooking on normal days - baking, trying new recipes, experimenting with new flavors - but my kitchen is hotter than anything right now so my daily goal is to not turn the oven on.  I'm doing a lot of Crock Pot Meals (or sides like baked potatoes or sweet potatoes cooked in the crock pot- yum!) and we are using the grill a lot too.  I also have a basic rule of thumb - if the temps hit above 90, we grab something out (or, like last night, the boys eat hot dogs cooked by dad since mom (also known as "me") had to head out for a hair appointment. 

Here's hoping for some new recipes in the weeks to come - I need to get busy cooking some fun things and taking photos!

Stay cool!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Commenting Challenge Topics

Welcome to those of you stopping by from Jennas Journey for her third annual Blog Commenting Challenge.  Some of my regular readers might wonder why this is so much fun . . .well there is really one reason.  If you write a blog, you love to get comments.  It just makes you feel good.  So during this week, it is not only fun to find new blogs to read it also so much fun to have extra comments showing up!

On Tuesday, Jenna's topic was to share why we started our blog.  In July, 2010 I came across a blog called The Sullengers - it had hit facebook because they little 2 year old daughter was fighting for her life after a near drowning incident.  As I saw photos of that little girl laying in a hospital bed, it broke my heart because she reminded me so much of my own little 2 year old boy at the time.  I was beyond heardbroken for the family when I logged in one day to find that little Preslee had passed away.  After realizing how much Ashely's blog had touched me I realized that maybe I had something that would impact someone else.  I did a lot of thining about the title of my blog and, after being asked what I did for a living by someone and having no answer other than "Ummm . .I don't work" . . "The Unworking Mom" was born.  The topics of my blog change - I enjoy sharing things we do as a family, Craft ideas that I find AND actually complete, recipes, homeschool ideas and books that I'm reading.  Writing a blog is sometihng I really enjoy for me personally - it is my "adult conversation" some days in the midst of toddler fun!

On Wednesday, the topic was our media useage - I am only on facebook.  I don't tweet or do any other social networking.  Personally, I enjoy facebook a lot - it keeps me connected to family and friends and I love just reading what people are up to.  I'm also an big fan of Amazon because I love to find free books for my Kindle.  And yes, I greatly enjoy Pinterest.  I tend to be a fast pinner, meaning I just pin ideas that catch my eye, and then I go back later and look at things - sometimes deleting them because they aren't good for various reasons. 

Normally on Thursdays I post about the books I've read in the last week or that I am currently reading but . . .I figured I would answer a couple of these questions today instead.  Next week I plan to get back to my normal Book post :-)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Date - Doing what we Love Best.

If you are visiting from Jenna's Journey Comment Challenge - Welcome!

I've mentioned on a few posts that my kids have been gone - they are actually returning today after being with Papa and Nana since Friday.  Here's my advice - if you have someone who can take your kids for overnight or for a week, do it :-)  It's so refreshing to get that break and it is good for the kids too!

When we planned this kid get-away, we planned it purposefully around a weekend that my husband had off so that we could spend some time just the two of us and actually get some stuff done. 

To begin with, my mom so graciously came over on Friday and stayed all day even though she was taking the boys home.  Why?  Because I had already been planning to go scrapbooking all day when we made these plans so she was going to watch the boys and the munchkin for me, like she usually does.  She stuck around all day and headed home once Darryl got home from work :-)  I enjoyed a fantastic day with friends and got through Easter 2012 (If you remember, I'm working to stay current so being caught up through Easter is a big deal!!)  Darryl got to enjoy a quiet night at home. Alone.  No kids, no wife.  That is a true rare deal for him and I think he enjoyed it :-)

We decided that we would take Saturday out to just get away and that is what we did.  One of the things we did pre-kids was take off for the day and just drive - stopping along the way to do fun things and always (or so it seemed) ending up at Lake Michigan for the sunset. 
 The very first thing we wanted to do was . . .clean the truck :-)  We washed it and vacuumed it out so that we weren't driving around with 3 month old cheerios rolling around at our feet HA! 

From there, we headed to lunch at a place called Grand Woods Lounge in downtown Grand Rapids.  Darryl had heard some great things about it and really wanted to try it out.  Now, recently, we have gone several places looking for the perfect burger and have been highly disappointed.  We both ordered burgers (each a different one) and let me tell you - when we want burgers THIS is where we will go!  Thankfully it was a beautiful day because they have a huge outdoor area (that is covered) that we really enjoyed - the indoor area is very "lounge/bar" like so it isn't some place we would go when it was super busy but for an early lunch it was perfect. 

 If you know my husband at all, you know that he loves Grand Rapids history AND Coffee.  We killed two birds with one stone :-)  First, we drove around as we headed towards Grand Rapids Coffee Roasters as he was looking for the path of the old Street Cars.  He has done tones of research and knew where the bridges were and the basic path that he wanted to follow.  He loved it (I loved just riding around with the sunroof open HA).  We ended up at this awesome coffee place which on the 5th floor of an old furniture warehouse.  The Business is open to the public on Saturdays from 10-3 for free coffee tasting and you can get a coffee roasting lesson to boot!  If you so choose, you can even have him roast beans for you right then and there while you wait.  Darryl loved it.  I got a bonus while there because, you see, I'm not a fan of just "coffee" so I was wandering around when I noticed this guy taking some cool photos so I asked him about a technique he was using.  Come to find out this guy is a professional photographer and used to do the late night scene chasing after celebrities and the such.  He got burnt out on that lifestyle and now does nature photos - specifically lightning.  In 20 minutes he gave me about 3000 tips and ideas  - no joke, I wish I could have spent a day with him because he was such a good teacher and his speciality is low lighting/night time stuff . .plus he even gave us some cute ideas to try with the kids.  He gave me his e-mail and said to contact him with any questions or if I want some ideas on some fun shots. 

 Once we left the Coffee place we drove back roads to the cemetery.  One of the things that we feel is important with our kids is to start teaching them about their heritage which includes family members who have passed on.  Obviously, we didn't have kids with us but we wanted to stop and visit Darryl's brothers grave site.  In the future we will take the boys - Nathan carries Darryl's brothers name as his middle name (Adam) - Darryl and Adam were 16 months apart and best friends all through their life.  It means alot to have two boys of our own so close together who are already best friends.  Ironically, my parents took my boys to visit my grandmas spot - which is something that we wanted them to do to.  We want them to know grandma too :-)  We also found Darryl's grandparents spot as well while visiting the cemetery. 
 When we left the cemetery we drove out on  one of our favorite roads (funny how you have favorites, huh?) and come upon the old Poor Farm in Ottawa County.  Again, my husband loves historical things like this and always tries to find old Poor Farms.  This one has been turned into a County Park just within the last few years and it is just a cool place to stop.  We didn't walk on any trails or anything - just read the signage they had posted this spring about the history of the place (which is really awesome) 

After leaving the park, we drove on towards the lake shore and had to decide where to eat.  Now originally we were going to go to a free Selah concert but we decided we really didn't want to be tied into that time frame and instead headed into North Muskegon to Bernie O's Pizza.  Several years ago when we camped - it rained the entire 2 1/2 days so we ended up finding this pizza place to eat dinner at and fell in love with it.  We were not disappointed when we ate there on Saturday - it was fantastic (and busy!!!).  Such good food :-) 

Naturally, from there, we drove to our favorite, secret beach (notice I'm not telling you were it is!!), got out our beach chairs and sat by the water for well over an hour.  The sand and the sound of the waves - there is nothing like it, anywhere.  I wish it hadn't been cloudy so we could have seen the sunset but it was still beautiful.  No trip to the beach is complete without a drive along the lake shore and, of course, stopping for ice cream. 

It was a great day - very relaxing and just a break from every day life at home and at work. 

We did work on Sunday, don't you worry :-)  We spent 3 hours cleaning out the garage and re-organizing it as we do once a year.  We also cleaned off all of the outdoor toys and rearranged a few things before being done for the day! We then treated our selves to some incredible smoothies from a local ice cream shop before relaxing for the rest of the day.  That night we enjoyed a HOT dinner (something we don't always get to do) of Steak on the grill, sweet potatoes (cooked in the crock pot!), asparagus and garlic bread. 

Nothing better than making great memories with the one you love!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Too Cute Not To Toot . .. . and a Commenting Challenge

Jenna's Journey is sponsoring her third annual blog commenting challenge.  This is my second year and I so enjoyed it last year - I found some new blogs to follow and, honestly, loved getting lots of comments :-)  The challenge actually started yesterday - I did link up my post but I did not make reference to it because . . well I kinda forgot about it until the last minute :-) 

Each day Jenna is posting a topic to blog about if we chose or we can link up our normal post :-)  Yesterday the topic was to share about ourselves so for those of you stopping by that are new I thought I would give a quick paragraph before doing my normal "Too Cute Not to Toot" post.

My name is Jackie and I am a stay-at-home mom to two little boys ages 2 1/2 and 3 1/2.  I also babysit for a friend so we have an almost 2 year old with us all day long too . . yes a boy :-)  Before staying home with my kids I was a business analyst for a bank among other things :-)  I also was a school teacher for 8 years too.  I am super happily married to my husband of almost 11 years and we live in West Michigan where we get to enjoy so many wonderful things including Lake Michigan - there is nothing like it!  We also are home to one dog and two cats who add to the chaos most days :-) 

Now, for some cute ideas - I like to search some of my favorites and find cute ideas I wish I had time to make and share them with you.  Every year I set a goal of making some of the things I find and . . well, I'm still trying :-)

I love holiday T-shirts for my kids and I wish I could make more of them . . .I love this idea for the 4th of July from Love and Laundry and, if it wasn't a week away, I might actually make them :-)

This idea from While Wearing Heels  is so cute - a great puzzle for the kids on a camping trip (Ok maybe not or they might play with fire HA!)
I absolutely want this for my homeschool room - I just need to find  make the time to do it!  This idea comes from Almost Never Clever.
This is a great printable for this time of year - when I can get back into decorating for each holiday, I will frame this as part of that display :-)  Check it out from More Style than Cash.
I'm not sure about any of you, but we love to camp so I have been watching for various camping ideas.  Second Chance to Dream offers several ideas.  The first being some organization ideas which you can see by clicking on the link above.  The second idea is for Activities, and the third is for Desserts

This rug made by Life on Maple is so cute - she warns that it takes a long time so maybe this could be a winter project . . ..maybe :-)

That's all for this week.  Enjoy!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer Fun - Week 3

Welcome back to week 3 of our summer fun activities.  To check out the previous weeks activities just click HERE.

This week was a little more difficult because the heat changed some of our plans but I can honestly say we did something special every single day :-)

Monday:  I found this idea from AlphaMom on Pinterest and knew I wanted to try this idea.  So on Monday, I showed the boys how to color hard on Sandpaper and they created their colorful pictures.  Then I followed the super easy instructions for ironing onto the shirt.  This was so simple and it transferred without a problem.  I am THRILLED with their shirts (I wrote their names, and yes, the "N" in Nate is backwards - you have to write the names on the sandpaper backwards so they transfer correctly and I was sure I had them both right!).  This idea is going in my repeat file - I want to make these every summer and then save them to see how their drawings change :-)

Tuesday:  This was haircut day.  Now, my kids do just get a little snip and they are done - they become "rock stars".  Our stylist is fantastic - she treats them like little men just chattin' away and then lets them pick out the color of gel they want for their hair before styling it up in an awesome due.  The boys LOVE to go get haircuts all because of Kylie!

Wednesday:  So, this was supposed to be the first Library Activity but I made a decision to skip it.  I didn't really feel like loading three boys up in a hot truck on a 95+ degree day to go to some place that did not have a/c (our local armory).  Instead, we had a ton of fun in the pool (Oh, and the mud first thing in the morning!)  :-)

Thursday:  I thought I was going to have to say I skipped today but, the weather actually helped me out.  It started raining Thursday afternoon - the great soft, warm rain that kids love to play in so out they went and they had so much fun running in the rain :-) 

Friday:  The fun today?  Nana!  My mom came over to watch the kids while I went scrapbooking all day and, in the end, she took my boys home with her :-) 

Next week will be a short week since the kids won't be back until Wednesday but I will have activities planned for both Thursday and Friday :-)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Decluttering - Phase 3 . . a redo :-)

I have no photos and really, not much to post about but I didn't want to not post this week either.

I had grand plans when I wrote the post last week but, I took Monday-Wednesday off and spent Thursday trying to catch up on a few things.  Why did I take Monday-Wednesday off?  It was hot and humid.  Instead I played and had fun with the kids in the water and sat in front of the fan reading :-)

Now, though, my kids are at the grandparents house so I have a few days to get a lot done.  Here are my short goals:

1) The basement - this is top priority and I want it 100% done.  Without my kids here I can spend extra time down there and am pretty confident it will be done by Monday evening.

2) Cleaning - I've made a list, in order, of the rooms and what I want done.  There are some rooms that are harder to clean while the kids are here, like the dining room, because it is in use constantly.  I plan on having a very clean house by Tuesday Evening :-)

3) I also have some other paper projects/goals I want to get done this week too so I'm hoping to get some of those done while the kids are gone too! 

Sorry for the boring post :-)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Weekly Menu Plus

I don't really have a lot to add to this post this week other than it was one warm week!  We spent a lot of time playing in the water and just trying to have fun.  I figure the day is a success when my three year old says "Mom, today was a fun day, wasn't it?"

My kids left yesterday to spend a few days at my parents house - a treat for both the kids and for me ;-)  So our menu has some things in it my husband love to eat . .. hot.  Hot food is a rarity when you spend the first 20 minutes of dinner blowing on plates and getting kids settled :-)

Saturday: My husband and I are taking this day to just hang out and plan to hit the road and do what we love to do - just drive.  Most likely we will be along the lakeshore and wondering through little towns just enjoying the day.

Sunday: Steaks, Sweet Potatoes, Asparagus and yeast rolls - YUM!

Monday: Chicken Parmesan on a bed of greens.  (This is a carry over from last week but it is something we really love)

Tuesday: Hamburgers and Daddy Fries.  (I have made it my goal to have burgers once a week - yes, I love them that much!!)

Wednesday: Cheese Tortillini and Garlic Bread

Thursday: Pork Chops on the grill, baked beans, and corn on the cob

Friday: Crispy Orange Beef, Rice, and Broccoli

Should be a great week :-)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Food Friday - Super Easy Chicken Tacos

Chicken Tacos
adapted from Confessions of a HomeSchooler

We really love tacos in this house but, honestly, were getting tired of the regular beef tacos so when I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it.  Throw in that it is a crock pot recipe and is EASY, well I jumped on board.  I followed the recipe almost to a tee - I only used 3 large chicken breasts and it gave us two full means AND THEN some.  My kids love this meal and so do we!!!

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 16 oz. jar of your favorite salsa
  • Crockpot/Slow Cooker
  • Tortillas & toppings of your choice  - we used cheese, lettuce, sour cream, chopped onion and, the second time I also made some lime-cilantro rice and that REALLY made these perfect. 
Place thawed chicken into your slow cooker, and cover with 1 whole jar of salsa. Cook on high for 4-6 hours, or low for 7-8. About 6 hours in, use a fork to shred chicken and stir it around to coat in the salsa. Keep on warm until you are ready to serve!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Of Hot Days and Dirty Pools

I saw the picture above on a friends facebook page and almost died laughing.  How true is that?  WHEW it has been hot here in Michigan the past two days - hitting the mid-to-upper 90's is just crazy.  I'm really truly not complaining - in all reality, we've had beautiful weather, and the humidity hasn't kicked in too badly but heat it heat, right? 

So, this year we bought a "Wal-mart" kiddie pool with a slide.  It's a decent size for a kiddie pool.  My kids love it.  The other day, I was walking through the store and thought to myself, "Maybe I should get some chlorine stuff for the pool so I don't have to emptied it all the time . . .it would be crystal clear all of the time."  Then I thought, "Well, I had better get a pool vacuum too so I can clean it".  Which reminded me that I didn't have a filter and I, yes, I actually wondered if they made pool filters for kiddie pools.  When I told this to my husband, he said "Are you serious?  It's a kiddie pool!" LOL  What?  I love my pool.  Yes, I sit in it and so does my husband.  On Tuesday night, all four of us were out there, crammed sitting in this 24 inch deep pool (if it is filled to the rim . .which it never is so more like 12 inch deep pool) - the boys thought it was the best thing ever.  Josh kept saying "Oh, this feels so good" LOL.  I will say it doesn't take long for the pool to get icky.  The boys were outside this morning and peeked out at them.  The top of the pool looked funny so I went out and noticed that we had captured a herd of flying ants in the pool.  Gross.  When I went back out, both the boys and the pool were black.  They played in the mud.  Gross.  I've learned to empty the pool :-) 

We are already talking about moving up in the world of pools next year.  If I had a pool I could actually lay in, the only summer clothes I would buy would be bathing suits and cover-ups.  (And 1 shirt and pair of shorts for going out in public).  Seriously - I'd live in that pool.  In all honesty, I have a healthy fear of water and kids - they don't mix well.  There is a reason I only put 12 inches of water in that pool.  There is also a reason we won't be upgrading to anything that is taller than the boys - the pool situation will grow with them.  We plan on buying true swimming life jackets for the boys this summer for when we go to hotel pools or the lake.  Nate has zero fear of water so he needs one without a doubt.  Josh loves water if he can stand up in it or if he can hang on for dear life to one of his parents - so he needs one to protect him from something he is afraid of.  There are too many sad stories of kids and water, that is for sure. 

Anyway, I really didn't have anything else to post about today - I kinda cleared my "schedule" the past few days and just hung out with the kids - not doing much of anything except reading and "swimming".  It is supposed to cool off, for which I am thankful :-)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Decluttering - Phase 2

So, I actually have some photos to show you!  I'll start with some  before photos of what will be the Toy Room. 
 Isn't that a great view?  That is what you saw when you looked down the stairs.  It's known as "the pile" and I hate it!!
 This is the view at the back end of the room.  That love seat hidden back there is going to actually replace my couch in my living room (My couch is on its last leg and needs to go!).

These last two photos show the other end of the room and the base of the stairs.  That desk is staying for now.  We plan on using to to hold a TV/DVD player and the games.  Eventually, some day, I'd like to get a flat screen to hang on the wall and get rid of the desk but for now, it is a useful piece of furniture. 

Are you ready for some after photos???  Here's my disclaimer.  This is real life - I went right from clean to unpacking and sorting bins from the other side of the basement AND to kids discovering the love seat - it's a great place to play.  So no, this isn't "done" but it is an improvement!
 Notice how you can see the floor?  The cedar chest is now sitting at the base of the steps (with kids clothes sorted out on it)
And, other than the cushions and blankets on the floor - this area is all clean!  Now, this area is becoming my sorting area as I work through the other side but once it is done, I will post real photos :-)

Now, on to the next phase - the laundry room and the pantry.  Now, I have a disclaimer - I only had three days to work in the basement this week.  (Monday it was so hot and humid I did "desk"work and we had a family day on Tuesday) With that in mind, I didn't get quite as far as I wanted to but the laundry room is clean! 
 Eventually, I have a photo idea I want to do on the walls - a way to display some favorite photos in a room I spend quite a bit of time in.
Excuse the shop vac - it travels with me as I clean downstairs :-)

There are few things left to do but it is one of those projects that includes three steps that need to happen at once.  1)Hang some more shelves in the pantry so I have room to store my jars/canning stuff 2)Move the bakers rack out of the water softener "room" 3)Move the chest freezer into the water softener "room".  WHEW!  It really isn't that bad; I just need my husband to put up those 2-3 shelves for me and I can do the rest.   Also, did you notice the big hole in the wall?  We had to do that in order to get the water softener in quite a few years ago.  Some day, I'll have my electrician move a big wire and we'll put a door in . . .but that is really on the bottom of the list :-)  On a different note - I also decuttered the bathroom this week.  That opened up some shelving which was nice.  Yes, I made another trip to Good Will!!

So what is on target for this upcoming week?

1)  The Bedrooms - I want to declutter what I can from the rooms.  I don't think there will be a lot but if I can clean out some older things/outgrown things that would be good.

2) The basement - Clothes Bins - I have several totes in the basement that house the kids clothes they have outgrown.  I have a friend who is adopting a boy from Ethiopia - she has three girls :-)  I offered her the clothes my kids have outgrown (and she said she wanted them!) so I need to get the bins sorted, pull out my favorites to keep, and pass them on to someone who can use them.  I will admit, it has taken me awhile to get to that point - baby clothes seem to bring back so many memories but then I realized that I have those same memories in photos so it's ok to let go of clothes that are just packed away anyway.  By cleaning out the bins, I will then have empty bins to use to start sorting the other things.  I also want to do something else I didn't get to last week and that is to get rid of the junk (large items) and also to take out big items that need to go to Good Will that are just sitting around.  That will open up lots more space.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Too Cute Not To Toot!

Welcome back to a post I love :-)  Yes, I still love looking for ideas to make.  I sure do wish I could find the time to make more of the ideas but sometimes it is just the inspiration of seeing an idea that makes you do something else creative :-)

This first idea comes from Gluesticks.  I actually came across this idea a week ago and it has taken me all week to find it again!  You may remember that I did quiet bags for the kids when we went on vacation.  Well, this vacation binder takes it step further and I really love it.  We don't plan on another family vacation until next spring but I might start snagging some of these printables now.
One Hundred Dollars a Month shares a recipe for sidewalk paint.  I really want to do this with my kids this summer plus I need to pick up some more sidewalk chalk - both are great summer activities.

 I love this TV stand from Too Crafty for My Skirt and love even more that she shares her plans.
The bookshelf idea from One Dog Woof is super cute.  I think it would be cute in our homeschool room to hold books for the boys to read each week.
When I saw this post at Inspired by Family Magazine for this book, I feel in deep "like".  My husband loves to have tickle fights with the boys - I think I will be picking this book up ASAP for bedtime reading :-)
This travel pillow is extra cute from Entirely Emily.  I love her pattern but just to be able to sew together a simple pillow for the boys would be great.  I hate seeing their heads fall forward when they fall asleep in their car seats!

Here's another cute travel game that would fit in the binder I mentioned above or in a busy bag.  It comes from A Home Made.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Summer Fun - Week 2

Welcome back to week 2 of our summer fun activities (You can read about Week 1 Here). 

We had another successful week of fun little activies - some of them planned and one, not planned.

Monday - I decided to sign the boys up for the summer Library reading program this summer so we drove to the Library and, after signing up, I took the boys to the children's area so we could pick out some books.  The boys loved it - they looked at books and played games for close to an hour.  Here's a little funny story for you.  Our library is actually an old mansion - here's a photo of the outside for you - -
Isn't it awesome?  The children's area is on the second floor and I have never been up there before.  The librarian asked if I would prefer the elevator or the stairs.  I figures the stairs - no big deal since my kids do stairs all of the time.  Well, let me tell you, I almost had a panic attack about half way up those stairs and I don't even have a fear of heights!  It's a winding staircase so as you go up and the steps start to wind around, they get skinnier and skinnier on one end.  I seriously almost had to sit down on my hiney and slide back down HA!  My kids did fine.  Now, when we were done getting books, we took the "scary" elevator . . it's the kind with the accordion door on the inside.  Trust me, as slow and scary as that box was, the stairs were 700x's worse :-) 

Tuesday - This was our family day :-)  My husband had the day off so we took the boys to Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park.  This park opened last year and we had heard so many good things about it.  It did not disappoint!  You can get close to many animals, feed the birds and take a wagon ride out to see all of the other animals.  Here are a few photos from our day:

Wednesday:  My original idea was to make Moon Sand to play with but then I thought about it - the kids love playing in their sandbox so why would I want to "make" sand to play with inside?  Crazy me!  Instead we made Sprinkle Dipped Ice Cream Sandwiches.  Well, kinda.  I picked up the mini ice cream sandwiches and gave each of the boys a plate of sprinkles.  In stead of dipping their ice cream sandwich in the sprinkles, I ended up teaching them how to gather sprinkles on their tongues by licking their plates.  What?  It was fun :-)

Thursday:  This is the totally unplanned fun activity.  I've been cleaning up the basement to make one area the toy room.  The boys came downstairs with me to hang out while I cleaned and they discovered the love seat that is currently in the basement.  Well, they then spent all afternoon down there and had a blast being "allowed" to eat their snack on the "little couch".  I put away my plans for today and just let them play.

Friday:  We were going to do what I had planned for Thursday but Josh specifically asked to get his Fish game out that his Uncle Kel and Aunt Debby gave him.  Considering the fact that I was saving the Fishing Game for a rainy day activity anyway, I just used the game as our activity for the day. 

So once again, I chalk this week up as a total success.  Looking forward to next week :-)

Here is one last photo - do you know what those are?  Those are sunflowers!  Yep, they are popping up already.  (Excuse the weeds - not top on my priority list HA!)