Category Archives: Just For Fun

Summer To Do List 2013

Summer to do list 2013

School’s out for summer!

That’s what Warren’s school played over the P.A. system as the kids ran out of their classrooms on the last day of school. Summer vacation has officially started here and true to Pacific Northwest form it is raining. A ton.

But that didn’t stop us from compiling our annual Summer Fun List. We scaled it way back this year. We didn’t even get to half of our activities last time thanks to our great big move to Seattle.

This summer, I want the kids to come up with their own adventures. Our neighborhood is crawling with kids and nothing says summer vacation like endless afternoons of making up games, riding bikes, climbing trees, and spontaneous water fights.

So, we’ll get to these items when we can. Or maybe not. It’s just nice to have options, especially as we wait for the weather to improve. Everyone knows the season doesn’t officially begin here until July 5th.

In the meantime, we’ll continue to pass out Otter Pops to the neighborhood kids and pretend that it’s over 60 degrees as we wear our shorts and flip flops.

Enjoy the summer!

P.S. You can download a blank version of this list here.

Jake’s Dubsteps

Although we don’t allow our children to spend time mindlessly perusing the internet (that’s our hobby), there have been a few viral videos we’ve exposed them to recently. One internet phenomenon has kept us in awe of his dance moves. In case you don’t scour Google+ as much as Colin does and have missed it, this dubstep version of “Pumped Up Kicks” is pretty incredible (despite the dark lyrics). The kids stand raptly watching and then start grooving.

Especially Jake.

We all like to rock out when a good tune comes on but Jake feels the music in his bones. He is ready to dance anytime, anywhere.

So when this recognized song starting playing on the radio, he let loose with his new-found moves.

Jake’s Dubsteps from Jeannie @ Live. Laugh. Learn on Vimeo.

Not bad for a 2.5 year-old.


Indoor Activities

I know I vowed to stay current on this blog, so please ignore the fact that I have yet to post about Christmas, Colin’s birthday, or Valentine’s Day.

Instead, I give you images of my kids. I hope that makes up for the 3 month loss.

Warren has been on mid-winter break this week. And despite the amazingly mild season, with more sunny days, and less precipitation than I feared, today was cold, wet, and dreary. So what better time than now to try some Pinterest ideas for indoor play?

Behold the “Ninja training course” that lasted all of about 2 minutes once Jake and Joe came upstairs.

Spy training

Warren designed and taped it up using string he then recycled into a number of different macabre props.


Then I thought I’d take advantage of the great light that (thankfully) comes through even on cloudy days and take some portrait shots. But for every sweet (albeit blurry) picture I’d get…



I’d get about twenty more like this…




At least they were having fun.


First Snow

Little snowman

The kids and I were excited to wake up to snow falling on the second to last day before Christmas vacation. It didn’t really matter to them that the accumulation didn’t even reach one inch. It was fresh, white, and cold and something they’d never seen in their backyard before.

Some were skeptical of the conditions at first.

Is it worth it?

Brave Joey faced the bitter cold of 32 degrees fahrenheit alone, until the others risked the elements.

Snow Joe

Warren’s school was delayed starting by two whole hours. I second-guessed myself and the information I’d received about late start days and started worrying that he was missing something as they played past our normal leaving time. But after checking around and settling my novice understanding, I let them go to town on all that white stuff before it melted away.


Despite the light dusting, Warren was still able to make a snowman complete with carrot nose and peppercorn mouth.


Welcome snow! Will you grace us with your presence any more before the season is over?


Glorious, glorious apricots!

One of my absolute favorite aspects of living in California is the glorious produce we grow here. I’ve mentioned my love of strawberries. Lemons, oranges, and avocados are just a few of the others that make me happy. Apricots which, in turn, become apricot jam just seal the deal.

So when our friends bought a house in town with a yard overflowing with fresh fruit and graciously asked if we wanted to glean some of the apricots that were bursting from their trees, we rushed over to collect.

I found a recipe for apricot jam that I must say was a little slice of heaven. Oh, sweet fruity perfection! I could gobble the entire batch down myself, but I did try and share.

Summertime is wonderful anyway, but tasty fruit like this just take it to a whole new level.

Thanks, Annie and Alex, for sharing your bounty with us!

Summer To Do List 2012

100 items for Summer 2012. This list is ambitious, I know. I was perfectly fine stopping at 70 but Warren insisted we keep going. Some of the ideas are a bit of a stretch, but I’m not going to argue with “sleep in” and “do nothing” if that makes them happy. Many of them we got straight off my “Ideas for Kids” Pinterest board I’ve been collecting for months.

We’ve taped this list to the kitchen pantry door. So far, we’ve already checked off two items. I imagine we’ll get through about half but at least we’ll have plenty of options.

I decided to follow a sort of schedule for the week, so that we can maximize some of these ideas. It’s not hard and fast, but it will make sure that we don’t get stuck in a rut. You can find the printable here, but the gist is this:

Monday – make something
Tuesday – time to read
Wednesday – what’s cooking
Thursday – be thoughtful (service projects)
Friday – somewhere fun

I still want them to have plenty of time to play and just be kids enjoying the freedoms of summer, but this way we can take advantage of the all that the season has to offer.


What are your plans for summer?

UPDATE: I’ve added a printable blank version of our Summer Fun List 2012 that you can download here, in case you needed something to get you started. Enjoy!

What I Found When I Came Out of the Shower No. 4

The Conga? The Love Train?

Whatever you call it, it was cute and safe and non-destructive.

Note: Though not staged, this is false advertising since Colin was home at the time (he’s the photographer here) and no actual risk was involved in me hopping in the shower.

What I Found When I Came Out of the Shower No. 3

Jake and Joey are into everything these days. EVERYTHING. But I still need to shower before noon so I have to take the risk. All dangerous things locked up, I feel it’s mostly safe to hop in as quickly as possible (which is a big deal for this gal who loves to take long showers).

This morning the boys took the entire contents of the bottom drawer

and put them all in the sink.

If only they were able to reverse this process with the dishes completely clean.

Octopus in the Backyard

Having a real backyard with real grass was worth the jump in rent we had to pay when we moved into this house. The big kids are finally at the age where they can spend long amounts of time on their own outside. Sometimes Jake and Joe can even join them. And sometimes we make it a family affair, especially when a good game is involved.

Warren came home from school wanting to play “Octopus,” where someone stands near the middle and reaches out with long “tentacles” to grab the runners. Colin joined in and even played with a handicap by holding Maddie for half the time. Jake and Joe participated by rearranging the cones on the grass.

It morphed into more of a giant chase around the yard, but everyone was happy, so never mind the rules.

I love afternoons in the backyard.