Hi friends, oh boy it's been hot. Like over 100 hot, every day. My creativity had a bit of a heat stroke. My air conditioned living room lulled me inside. I read an entire book. Actually I read two. The boys watched more movies than usual. Practically every time the boys asked for otter pops I said yes. Gina's favorite word is popsicle, and she looks so darn cute whenever she asks I can't bear to tell her no (I'm in trouble, aren't I?).

So I fell off the 100 Days of Summer bandwagon. Maybe it'll just be 80 days. Or 50...

We went outside to check the mail and burned our feet on the pavement. We watered the garden. (Ok, Luke watered the garden and I paid him 25 cents a day.) I picked peaches. We checked up on our pumpkins, which are growing quite nicely. We checked on our puppies, which are also growing quite nicely. I pushed Gina on the swing and the boys played on the hammock. And then we went back inside and rewarded ourselves for bearing the heat with, you guessed it, a popsicle.

If it cooled down below the temperature of hades in the evening, Nate played soccer with the boys while I cleaned up dinner dishes. And such has been our life the last week or two.

You might have noticed a tree house post that went out a week ago, but if you tried to read it, it didn't load. Well, I tried to do a tree house "highlights" post and I even made a little video, but apparently when you tried to load 50 pictures and a video, WordPress gets mad at you. Ha! So I deleted the entire post. I'll redo it later, along with a few other little projects we've done. (So if you notice a few rapid fire OutsideKid posts, that's why!)

Thanks for following along this summer, and for your comments. They really do brighten my day! I hope you all have had more outside fun success this week than I have.


July 1, 2014
DAY 30

So going to the movies is definitely not "outside kid" ish, but I think we can make an exception when it's 106 degrees outside! We've gone swimming 3 times this week to try and survive the heat, so I figured it was time for a special outing to the movies.

We practically never go to the movies. When Nathanael and I were dating, we loved to go to this cheapie theater in Dallas. It was a little outside of town, the floors were sticky, and the neighborhood was really sketchy, but hey, we were together. But 3 kids and 7 years later, we are not movie goers anymore!

Samuel has never seen a movie in a theater, so what better than Regal Cinemas Summer Movies.




They show different kid's movies Tuesday and Wednesday mornings at 10 am, and only cost $1. So I told the boys we were going to go and we pulled in just a few minutes before 10. Turns out most of California knew about this deal, and apparently the Lego Movie is pretty good. After waiting in line for 20 minutes, we were told it was sold out. Bummer! I think I was more disappointed than the boys. So, we'll probably go to another one later in the summer, but Lego Movie got great reviews. (Do you know about rotten tomatoes? I check all my movies out here before I watch them. Saves me from a lot of duds.)

Anyway, yet another flop on my 100 Days of Summer! But you can still check it out and go. It's a lot more special than staying home and watching TV, and can be good quality time with your children.


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June 29, 2013
DAY 29

Hi Friends, today we are making play dough! I can't believe I've never made it before, it's so simple, and I think it turns out just as good if not better than the store bought kind. You will definitely want to try this with your kids!

homemade play dough1

There are lots of different recipes on the internet. I went with one that didn't require standing over the stove. My kids love to help me bake and of course love to do crafts, but I get super nervous (especially with Gina) around stove tops, so until they are older that is off limits. So, I was happy to find a recipe here that only required boiling water. I used my tea kettle (though you could also microwave it), measured it in a pyrex measuring cup, poured it into the bowl,  then let the kids do the rest of the mixing at the table. Here's what you need:

  • 1 Cup boiling water
  • 1 Cup flour
  • 1/2 Cup salt
  • 2 TBL vegetable oil
  • 1 TBL cream of tartar
  • Food Coloring
  • Measuring cups, mixing bowl and spoon

DSCF1745We just mixed all of the ingredients together in the order listed. Add more flour or water as necessary until you get the desired consistency. We added a little extra flour.


It should look like a firm paste:

DSCF1752Next, we divided up the dough into balls, poked a hole in the dough, and the kids got to add whatever colors they wanted. We are pretty good at this point at color mixing, but if you need a refresher, blue+yellow=green; red+blue=purple; red+yellow=orange. A box of basic food coloring worked well for us, though other recipes call for gel food coloring.

DSCF1757 DSCF1764 DSCF1771We had a friend visiting, so she and Luke made the "all colors" color :) but we were able to make a nice rainbow assortment, and they turned out bright with a wonderful soft play doughy feel!

DSCF1775 DSCF1778 DSCF1779 DSCF1780Next it was time to break out all the play dough toys!

DSCF1781Gina is finally old enough to really play with play dough (instead of just eat it) and she and Sammy were great little play mates and had fun together.

DSCF1785 DSCF1786 DSCF1787So that's it! Easy, right? I love it when my kids are able to participate in making something really cool, and before their little eyes, what started as a few pantry ingredients is now something bright and fun for them to play with. Give it a try!

June  26, 2014
DAY 28

Several years ago, one of my dear friends Tina gave the boys the book Best Friends for Frances (the original version, not the "I Can Read" abridged version). It's a delightfully written book about a spunky little badger named Frances, her friend Albert, and Frances' sister Gloria, who pack a hamper full food and enjoy a day of fun and games.

Well, Samuel must have been thinking of the "hamper" of yummy food, because he has been asking me to serve his lunch in our green insulated bag. This afternoon I thought I'd do it up right, Frances style, with lots of goodies: peanut butter and honey sandwich, salami slices, fresh cherries, a rolled up flour tortilla, string cheeses, potato chips, fruit snacks, and popsicles, served of course with scissors for snipping, napkins and a tablecloth. Here's the bounty:

IMG_3878I sent the boys outside to play while I prepared it; this is Luke's excited face when I brought out the bag:

IMG_3879Off to find a picnic spot:

IMG_3880I was hoping they'd go up to the tree house or find somewhere special, but they went to our old picnic table.

IMG_3881(Notice the tablecloth on the ground, I guess that's how much little boys care about tablecloths!)

I came out to check on them a few minutes later (laid out the tablecloth!) and turns out there was a bag of water balloons in the top part of the bag. I could claim my mommy genius here, but I had no idea they were there. The boys didn't waste much time, scarfed down the rest of their lunch and the next hour was spent filling up balloons, with me pushing Gina on her swing and pausing every minute to tie a balloon.

IMG_3882 IMG_3883 IMG_3884 IMG_3885Ok, so that was our little project this afternoon. We actually did another project later, which was supposed to be our planned 100 Days of Summer activity, and it, er, well, it was a total flop! I've actually had several projects that have been flops lately. Argh! I haven't posted about them because my hope is that things on this blog are things you could actually replicate with your own kids or grandkids. And sometimes I think that I'll go back and redo the project and figure out how to make it work. But, this isn't a "pretty project" blog (though I love those!), this is a blog about real life and real kids, and most kids just aren't that enthused to redo a project that wasn't any fun or didn't do what it was supposed to do.

So, dear reader! What do you want? Do you want to see my posts about stuff that doesn't work out? I could save them all for the end and have Flop Week. Ha! I'll let you think on that and leave you with this unrelated but totally adorable picture of Gina and Piper (who is doing well by the way with her 8 adorable puppies!).

IMG_3869Until next time!