We're gearing up for Noah's GOLF birthday party this week. It's a perfect theme for him considering how much he LOVES golf and that he is turning "FORE!" (4 years old - I can't believe it...)
When I found this cake on Family Fun - he thought it was "so cool!" I'm substituting the coconut with dark green sprinkles (I'm the only coconut fan in the house), and I'm going to try using a blue fruit roll up for the water. I even went and got the Wilton leaf green food coloring so the icing is a truer green. Now, I've just got to get some green gumdrops for the trees, and I should be good to go. Here's hoping it turns out to be up to PAR.
We're also attempting to construct a mini-golf course in the front yard (love those Family Fun ideas!). Pat and Noah are always hitting golf balls out there so Noah will be in high heaven once we put up the flags and Daddy mows out a few greens. We're even going to stick a plastic baby pool out there as a water hazard! Noah keeps asking me when we are going to fill it up. He can't wait!
The kids are going to decorate golf balls too so they'll be able to tell which one belongs to them out on the "course". Noah's been walking around with one of the flag sticks (pins) we made yesterday. I bought nine dowel rods, but two already bit the dust so I finally finagled that one away from him and put the remaining seven pins/flags on the top shelf of my closet for safe-keeping.
If we had a mini-golf course near us, there would have been much less prep for this party, but it's actually been fun putting this stuff together with the kids - and after our last mini-golf experience, I'd rather make our own makeshift course in the front yard any day.
Abby and Noah started swimming lessons this week. The very first day, the instructors lined them up to jump off the diving board. Yikes! I figured that's what I get for being late to swim lesson sign up. All the level ones were filled so thought we'd try the level two class. I was a little nervous about it.
"Keep your mouth closed. Plug your nose," I reminded Abby. I told the teacher that it was Abby's first time, but you wouldn't have known it. She walked right on out there and took the plunge! She was so proud of herself and thought it was the coolest thing ever.
Noah, on the other hand, would have nothing to do with it. "NO WAY!!!" he said (which was fine with me. He's still getting the hang of holding his breath.)
I wish I would have had my camera that first day - darn it. But I took this video the second day. Abby was fearless! Noah? Not so much....
Yesterday (the third class), Abby was FIRST in line - GO ABBY!!!
Noah was still pretty hesitant, but I thought I'd try to at least get him to stand on the diving board. It took a little coaxing from the instructors, but he finally climbed up there! So cute. I'm really not ready for him to jump off yet. It's crazy how young they have the kiddos do this. I found out that they even have them jump off in the level one class.
So, yeah...we'll be working on holding our breath longer and remembering to keep our mouth closed under the water at the pool this weekend, and maybe, he (and I) will be ready to take the plunge next week.
...I can't believe the kids didn't have nightmares.
Have you ever seen a putt-putt golf course like this? Uh, yeah...I was a little freaked. It was more like one of those creepy state fair haunted houses than a putt-putt place. I was surprised Abby and Noah wanted to play all 18 holes. I was ready to go after I saw this...
Um...does that mural of the kids swimming remind anyone else of that underwater scene in the movie - What Lies Beneath?
And then this giant farm animal was around the corner...
Yeah...no wonder they were giving away coupons for 50% off.
This past week, the kids and I went on a road trip with my dad to visit my grandma. The kids were beside themselves with excitement that "Papa" was coming to visit and that we'd get to eat breakfast at "Old McDonald's" every morning with my grandma. We had lots of fun, and the timing worked out well to be able to spend Father's Day with my dad too. We got back last night (after ten hours on the road) so I was scrambling a bit to get things ready for this morning... Biscuits and gravy (yes, I made the gravy from scratch and it actually turned out - amazing!), bacon, mini blueberry muffins, cantaloupe, and I even fried an egg for Pat without breaking it - that's a first for me.
I figured it's one day out of the year so I went all out with the artery-clogging cuisine. (I wasn't thinking about all that Mickey D's we had earlier this week - oops!)
Tomorrow, it's back to frozen waffles or cereal - thank goodness.
Last Friday, Noah got to go play nine holes with Dad on the "BIG golf course" (as he calls it) for the very first time. Oh, how he (and Daddy) have been anticipating this day... Tee behind his ear, golf shirt, and khaki shorts - just like Dad.
Somewhere along the way, Noah decided to take off his sandals. The bottom of his feet were completely green when he got home.
A quick peek of Noah in action -
I've never known a kid to love golf as much as Noah does. (I wonder where he gets that from.) For the life of me, I can' t figure out the last thing he says on that little clip, but "cause I LOVE IT!" is loud and clear.
Now I just have to get a picture of him with his little golf bag. I swear, it's the cutest thing I've ever seen.
One of my goals this summer is to have DEAR time each day to Drop Everything And Read with the kids. This was part of Abby's day during the school year, and one of my favorite times of the school day when I was a kid too ( - and when I was teaching). I've actually been working on compiling a list of picture books that have some of those Fishful Thinking key ingredients and a few activities from the website that go along with them so I thought I'd share -
*All By My Myself - Mercer Meyer - Empowerment (Mastery Moments)
*My Heart is Like a Zoo - Michael Hall - Emotional Awareness (Mood Music, Feeling Collages, Emotion Charades)
*The Pout-Pout Fish - Deborah Diesen - Resilience, Optimism (Bag it Up, Positive Habits)
*Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon - Patty Lovell - Resilience, Optimism, Empowerment (Bag it Up, What Would You Do, In Your Shoes, Silver Lining Game)
*Llama, Llama Mad at Mama - Anna Dewdney - Emotional Awareness, Resilience, Optimism (If You Feel It, Talk About It, Gift of Time, Mastery Moments)
*Alexander and The Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day - Judith Viorst - Emotional Awareness, Resilience (Shake of the Frustration Dance, What Would You Do?)
*The Berenstain Bears Think of Those in Need - Stan & Jan Berenstain - Optimism, Goal Setting/Hope (Finding Meaning, Inspire an Attitude of Gratitude)
Abby is now really into chapter books too - so I'm starting to compile a list of those as well. Right now we are reading Ramona the Pest. How I love Beverly Cleary!
And if any of you moms are looking for a great book to read on your own this summer, The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch would be a perfect Fishful Thinking Book Club selection. Inspired by his lecture at Carnegie Mellon - "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" - it's all about optimism, overcoming obstacles, achieving goals, seizing the moment, and inspiring others (including me) to do the same. I love his book dedication - "With thanks to my parents who allowed me to dream, and with hopes for the dreams my children will have."
The kids and I kicked off summer break last Friday with a trip to the local children's hospital to deliver the games, books, and puzzles that Abby recently collected at her "birthday picnic" instead of receiving gifts from her friends (- an idea that we got from a friend's b'day party a couple of years ago). We even got to take a tour with the foundation representative and the director of the pediatric floor so that Abby and Noah could see an unoccupied patient room, playrooms, and the patient playground area.
The Kids Cabin
(This was the only picture that Noah agreed to be in. He wasn't feeling too photogenic or cooperativethat day. )
This outdoor play area was funded by efforts of two middle schoolers who got others involved in collecting pocket change. How cool is that?
On the tour, I also noticed their bulletin board that said - Think Positive! The director, Melissa, then said, "optimism is very important to patient recovery and healing". It was a great opportunity to talk a little about Fishful Thinking too - since that's what it's all about - and she said that she may even feature it as a resource on the bulletin board next month. :)
It really was a cool experience. Abby was all smiles the entire time. The representative even told Abby that she is going to use this same idea for her daughter's upcoming 1st birthday party. It's awesome how things like this can catch on - just like we were inspired by Abby's friend.
Now I just have to make that Smilebox so the kids who came to the party can see all of their donations being delivered!
As much as Abby LOVED playing soccer this spring, I couldn't resist entering a picture in the Sport Princess photo contest... I took this at one of Abby's soccer games as she was "firing the cannon" - with a huge flower painted on the side of her face. It was painted on at school the day before, but she loved it so much that she insisted we couldn't wash it off and still wanted it on her face for her game the next morning. Definitely gives the picture that "Sport Princess" style! If only she had been wearing the pink soccer wristbands I got her for her birthday.
The first book in the "Sport Princess" children's book series is actually going to be about a soccer princess so it only makes sense to vote for Abby's picture - don't ya think? Here are the voting guidelines:
To vote, simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject title "Photo Contest" with the Alpha Letter of the photo you're voting for in the body of the email!Starting today, June 1st, through Thursday June 10th, the VOTING period opens. You - your family - your friends - are allowed ONE VOTE on ONE PHOTO per day! One vote per household per day - so rally up the troops to vote for your Sport Princess!
The first winner will be the princess with the most votes by Thursday June 10th 12pm PST.
Abby was pretty excited when I told her about the contest so if you have a sec, we'd really appreciate your vote! Her picture is Letter T. THANKS!!!
Click the fish and check out the new Goldfish Smiles site - all kinds of great ideas to create smiles and share special moments with your kiddos! (Have I mentioned how much I LOVE working with Goldfish?)