Friday, June 29, 2012

Tips for Summer Studies

It is said that, on the average, during summer break, kids loose about 30% of what they learn through out the school year. That sounds like an awful lot but "they" should know. On Sun Kissed Boy #1, that's about what all he has in his long term memory from the school year! At any rate, these are some of tips to keep their little minds sharp during the summer.

Make books available.

During Christmastime, I fill my little childhood wagon with Christmas themed books. I realized that the boys were more apt to grab a book at any time of the day (instead of just before bed time) since they were more visible. Instead of keeping the books in the armoire, I took some out and filled up the wagon once again.    

Use computers for more than just YouTube.

This is a computer generation. There's no fighting that. But instead of having the boys only play games or see Annoying Orange's latest escapade, I found some educational websites and apps for them to play. Some of their favorites are (cost is subscription-based) and the Starfall app ($2.99). 


From nail polishes to sandwich pieces. Coffee scoops to laundry socks. Seashells to baby duckies. Batteries to bubbles. Anything!

Write on more than just paper.

Encourage writing in any way, shape, or form. Even in foggy mirrors are fun and cheap. Also, try putting a thin layer of rice or sand on a cookie sheet, or the like, and have little ones write letters using their finger.

Help one another.

Studying is always funner with a buddy or a sibling. I asked Sun Kissed Boy #2 to help #3 do an online activity. #2 feels like a "big boy" helping his littlest brother and in doing so, he goes over material he needs to keep in mind for First Grade.

Kids are also sometimes more eager to learn from one another than they are from us grown ups.

Know your limitations.

You might have noticed by now that these are all good tips particularly geared towards small children. I know I don't have the patience to go over things with my 5th grader. Therefore, I hired a tutor. She is saving my (and #1's) sanity. The down side to this is that tutors can be pricey. During the summer we give our pocketbook a break by having the tutor come once a week instead of four. Even if it's only once a week, it's better than nothing at all.  

Make it fun.

Whatever you decide to do, try to make it entertaining! Finding stick letters is something we started during the school year. It's a free way to keep the kids remembering the alphabet. It's an enjoyable activity, plus it gets kids outside in nature.

Do you have any tips to add? What things have you tried to keep your little geniuses' minds working? 

Pin It

Monday, June 25, 2012

Pregnancy Photos: Randy & Christina

There are very few photos to be found of me carrying my little ones in the belly. Not because I avoided the camera, I just never took the time to have any nice pictures taken. This I regret. When my friend, Christina, asked if I could take some pictures of her, her boyfriend, and her ever-growing belly, I couldn't wait to get started.

Not only did it rain quite a bit over the weekend, we were also under a tornado watch on Sunday. This made our intentions of going to the beach for a photo shoot a wash out. But we managed to get some pretty pictures in my house and front yard.

Baby Greyson is due to arrive some time late August.

Some of my favorites are the "outtakes". These are some taken "in between poses".

I can't wait until little Greyson makes his presence so I can capture his sweetness too!

Thank you, Christina and Randy, for letting me document part of this special time.
Pin It

Thursday, June 21, 2012

My Littlest Love

When I was doing the photo shoot of the living room, this was my favorite photograph. I like the stripes of the blanket with the number five that signifies the number of people in our family. I love that the little chairs are peaking through. I'm crazy about the pictures of the boys on the window frame. I like colors and the graphics of the Ice Water bottle on the coffee table.    

However, as it happens a lot with my photos, what I like even more is what's going on while I'm shooting the pictures. SKB #3 hid behind the love seat. Waiting patiently, having a conversation with me.

He came running into the room and said, "Mom, I'm just going to hide here so I'm out of your picture. OK?" As I snapped away, he talked from behind the love seat. "Mom, do you know that I'm a secret agent?" "Mom, is Batman for real?"  "Mom, can we read books when you're done with your pictures?"

He's inquisitive and imaginative. His many questions make me smile. His questions are a reminder of how he's growing up, even though it seems like time is standing still. He's my little guy that somehow manages to take up such a big part of my heart.   
Pin It

Monday, June 18, 2012

Tangerine, White & Blue Summer Living Room

During the summer, I knew I'd be changing the white covers of the living room couch. With school being out, the kids are around the house longer and the living room gets a lot of traffic. I prefer a darker cover for the sofa to avoid spending my summer doing even more laundry. The rest of the changes I made to the room are just because I enjoy redoing rooms time and time again. :)

The oars came via craigslist a while back. I think it's taken me over a year to hang them up.

The striped blanket is my version of an IKEA hack. I used fabric paint for the number 5 on their Eivor throw.

When decorating from treasures of the sea, I prefer to use things I collected myself. The sand I bagged-up in Fort Myers Beach last year and the shells were gathered by the boys and I at a local beach. The ombre surfboard was painted by my mother-in-law. As much as I would have liked to have made the driftwood seahorse, it came from Homegoods.

As I mentioned, we hang out in this room quite a bit. The little chairs around the coffee table just beg for little ones to turn it into an art or play table in seconds. The little chairs got a tangerine makeover. 

Speaking of tangerine, the corner round table got a splash of it too. I even dipped the legs. I figured by the time the dipping trend dies down, I will have probably repainted it twice.

On the fireplace mantel is an old desk drawer. I painted the inside of it, displayed my favorite family picture, more Ft. Myers Beach sea treasures, and a Sol beer bottle. Sol is Spanish for sun. Perfect for a summer vignette. 

I am still searching for the "right" chair at the "right" price for this spot. My neighbors, Karen and Alanna, were kind enough to let me use their chair for this post.

Now that that room's done, I can re-do another one. Or hang out in the pool with the boys. I like that idea much better! ;)

Linking to:
   Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special  

Pin It

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Stuck in Stage 2

I have a way of starting several projects at once. It will usually be because I am trying to avoid some other tedious task. But it does have it's advantages. Sun Kissed Boy #1's room has been rearranged.
The living room's summer look is almost done.
If you've been following me on Facebook, this post is a bit repetitive and you know that the Stage 2 that I refer to on the title of this post is cleaning and painting my pantry. The most dreaded task that I've been putting off is what I've named Operation Pantry Clean-up. 
Stage 2 is completed but that's where the progress came to a halt. That's what my kitchen table looks like. I thought I would empty out the pantry, clean it, and put the food back. But projects have a way of snowballing. I will finish the pantry today. Unless, I get sidetracked with....     

Pin It

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I've Been Gone a While. How About a Little Randomness?

The problem with getting very little sleep every night is that your body gets use to only resting for those few hours. So on the night I decided to go to sleep early and catch up my tired body, it's still accustomed to only getting five hours of shut eye. Hence I sit, after being asleep since 10:30, in a dark family room at 3:40 am typing up a post.

This is an extremely random post. Think of it as a window into what goes through my mind as I lay awake in bed. Don't worry, it's not scary. Just scattered. As most of my thoughts are. 

Sun Kissed Boys #1 played the 3 of Diamonds in the elementary school production of Alice in Wonderland Jr. 

I am working on "summerizing" the living room. Here's a sneak peak. However, right now, it looks like the storm before the calm.

I take a lot of pictures with my iPhone. A LOT!

These two snugly friends have brought the two youngest Sun Kissed Boys lots of entertainment.

I wonder what the weather will be like tomorrow? Not thunder storms, I hope.

My alarm should be going off in about 30 minutes. Looks like my coffee pot will be cranking out lots of fake energy for me tomorrow later today. 

Enjoy your day everyone!

Pin It