It's been forever since we checked in here - and I missed writing, but at the same time, we just had the most chilled out summer ever. School starts in a week so I feel like we kind of have to get our last licks in now before we have to sort all the school supplies and try on uniforms and eat breakfast before 10am.
What does a chilled out summer look like with four kids?
We ate a truckload of ice cream.
And then we swam again.
We went food shopping once in a long while and along the way, we learned that it's way more cost effective to buy one or two (or three) containers of ice cream that will last us a long time than it is to go to the ice cream store. Also, if you already have the ice cream in the house, you don't have to get dressed.
We did a few art projects here and there and we kept art journals where, in theory, we were going to complete a 30-day art challenge. We made it to day 10 - and that's pretty much because it rained 10 times. But the kids really enjoyed it so we can continue art journaling during the school year.
We also kept Israel journals.
What's an Israel journal?
It's a notebook about all the different things we learned about the State of Israel this summer. We looked at maps and plotted cities, we learned many Hebrew words, we took a look at shekels and the money system and we printed pictures of all of our family members who live there and we figured how to spell all their names in Hebrew. We talked about the flag and the blue and white colors and the beit hamikdash and tisha b'av. We learned that there is a president and a prime minister and members of parliament and that there are many different parties - and they're not the birthday kind of party. And we drew pictures of the kotel and soldiers and sent letters and pictures to soldiers in Israel.
And the weird part - this was all planned out before any rockets were shot at Israel, before there was a war in Gaza. Months ago, I decided to faux-homeschool a unit on Israel this summer because I feel like I grew in an environment of zionism and my kids are not. And I dont think it's necessarily a reflection of their school - although a little bit it is - but moreso, that when we were young, there was a rally for everything. We were forever going into the city (that's NYC...) with signs and t-shirts, all ready to cheer for whatever speaker was speaking to the crowd. And until this recent Gaza problem in Israel, rallies have been almost non-existent for the past few years and so I have not had the opportunity to take my kids with their homemade signs and faded t-shirts into the city to show support for their country. And that's what I want them to feel - that Israel is not any just any place, but their country. I want them to know that we are guests here in America and that the end-goal is to be a part of our country, even though that country is quite far away right now.
So I guess we did a little bit more than eat ice cream and swim. But really not much more. I'm sad summer is pretty much over.
Seriously, I cannot wait for next summer.
I decided I wanted to make these little ninja guys the other day, so on our way back from food shopping, we stopped into Michael's for a few things, one of them being pipe cleaners. However, because I am me, and I left my list in the car, I got everything but the pipe cleaners - plus many things that we didn't need. In my defense, there was a 70% off clearance section of kid craft stuff. Still, the pipe cleaners were kind of necessary.
Lucky for me, I was able to dig some out of a box that we had not yet unpacked since moving eleven months (yikes!) ago.
The link above can explain how to make them way better than I ever could, but we persevered and we read the instructions on the tiny screen of my phone and we made them, these little ninjas, and some ninja-ettes too. We also may need reading glasses now from squinting at the phone, but that's a whole other blog post.
They were very cute and very doable for a seven-year-old, with mommy's help.
She's cute, no?
I think the most exciting part for the kids was when I let them use a sharpie (!) to draw the faces on the heads. Who knew a sharpie could generate such excitement?!
It's Pizza Day, but only for pretend. Really, we had tuna and corn for lunch. But after lunch and after swimming, we broke out the colored paper, markers, scissors, glue and cardboard cereal boxes from the recycling bin.
We cut pizza shaped triangles from the cardboard and mushrooms, onions, brocolli, spinach, tomatoes, french fries and lots of shredded cheese - cheddar and mozarella. We're fancy like that.
And they glued and glued and glued and came up with the funniest pizzas.
And now they're playing pizza store in the playroom.
One is the chef, one is the waiter and one is still in the kitchen opening his own fleishig restaurant, with chicken covered pizza, hamburgers and hotdogs and chicken nuggest. He's opening his restaurant in the dining room; keeping things kosher and everything. All they need are customers.
Sometimes it's hard to get them started, but once they get going, I can step away and read a few pages of my book. I have to hurry though, the library books are due tomorrow.
And lest you think I created this magic myself, I did not. Pinterest did. I love you Pinterest.
We've been Camp Mommy-ing for a couple of weeks now.
We have done this before and I have always found it very enjoyable and yet very challenging. This time, however, we've thrown a pool into the mix. A real-honest-to-goodness-not-a-baby-pool. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's not a real pool by any stretch of the imagination - it's one of those hard sided pools from Walmart but I'm in love.
We swim every single day. And putting on bathing suits and suntan lotion are totally activities unto themselves. Plus there's the pre-swim snack and post-swim snack and the pre-swim bathroom break. Getting out of the pool is a whole other activity, with all the drying off and putting on warm sweatpants because the air conditioning is on. It's like six activities in one, which, really, you just can't beat that. I mean, that's a half a day right there.
The question that always remains though is what the heck to do the rest of the day?
I usually turn to my Camp Mommy Pinterest board to answer that question and today, we painted rocks. Pinterest offers many many ways to paint rocks, come involving googly eyes and sharpies and glue. This was not for me. We just painted rocks.
Collect rocks from the rock-filled front porch thing that's not really a porch. Yet. We're working on it.
Walk to the backyard and sit in the shade.
Paint the rocks while Mommy sits in an Adirondack chair, also, thankfully, in the shade.
The one tip I can give you would be to collect many many rocks. That way the painting can go on and on and on.
We each painted 18 rocks because the egg cartons we were using to collect our rocks had 18 sections. (We eat a lot of eggs). Also, the egg cartons are a great place to let your rocks dry.
We also each painted a very large flat rock; we have a lot of those sitting around the edge of our pond. Yeah, we have a pond. It was there when we moved in, it's full of fish and frogs and we have not filtered or fed said fish or frogs in the past 11 months and they seem to be doing just fine, so why mess with a good thing, you know?
Rock painting. So fun. We're definitely going to do this again.
It's just so so hot here in Florida - we barely use the backyard because it's sunny all day. That wasn't a complaint, we get to use the backyard all winter, it was more of a statement.
This morning, after Josh pulled his car out of the driveway and left for work, it realized that the section of driveway where he always parks is always shady. A nice spot for his car, an even better spot for the rest of us to hang out. A nice big, low hanging tree sits on that part of the driveway. And now I love that part of the driveway.
We set up on shop under the tree. We brought out drinks, cups, paper and paint, the picnic table and the easel and we were good. The kids painted for a good hour, I handed out new papers and drinks and we were all in the shade. We hung the pictures on the tree with masking tape to let them dry, although in this heat, I'm pretty sure they were dry before I got them on to the tree.
The only sad part was when they got bored of painting. I kept saying things like, you know you wanna paint another one, don't you? Don't you wanna make a picture to mail to someone? Anyone? Hey, let's sit sit here and watch the paintings dry! But they were having none of it.
So we went in the sprinkler instead. Not too bad of a day.
I'm so conflicted. On the one hand, I really miss blogging. On the other hand, I still feel like I shouldn't be sharing so much. Password protecting the blog was one option, but weebly now charges for that, so that's out.
I guess my options are starting a new password protected blog elsewhere or moving the whole Crumb Blog to another server (I don't even know what I'm saying) or, I'm not sure what other options I have. I would also very much like to print my blog as a book and weebly does not yet have that function so it's looking more and more like moving away from weebly is the best option. For now, blogging a little more quietly will be the way I choose to go. No more blog Facebook page, no more blog entries going out to a hundred subscribers. Just people I actually I know on that subscriber list, no strangers allowed.
But I don't have too much time to dwell on this these days because school is out and the kids are in (the house). Camp Mommy officially started on Monday but here's what's been going on since school ended.
We went downtown and parked for 50 cents an hour. I know! That wasn't the whole activity but it was enough for me! We actually went to the Main Library, the nicest library I have seen in my entire life. Except for the somewhat sketchy crowd that hangs out there, but it's downtown, I can't really expect better.
We arrived just in time for the Fizz, Boom, Bang! Science show, the pre-kickoff to the Summer Reading Program at the library. The show was, according to my kids, really very boring and the hoops one must jump through to win a reading prize at the end of the summer seem excessive but we did have lunch at the library, outside, in the atrium, which was quite beautiful and you know, it was lunch and my kids love (love) lunch.
They also pretended to read books in the children's section so I would take their picture.
Father's Day was somewhat uneventful but we like it that way. We swam, but not in our own pool but that's mostly because our house didnt come with one.
We did take a trip to Lowes so we could get all this:
My friends, what you see here are your Pinterest dollars at work:
Is it a car wash? A sprinkler? Who cares! The kids have been playing for hours.
Josh and the kids did an amazing job. I wasn't even home; I was at the dollar store getting pool noodles and sponges because what's a car wash without sponges and you know, styrafoam noodles?
Very wet fun was had by all.
Yesterday we tried a kiddie yoga class for the first time.
We arrived and the eye-rolling started from the two older ones. They didn't want to choose a mat, they didn't want to rub the peace stones or do anything bendy. Until they did. And all of a sudden, they loved it. They laughed, they smiled, they were a tree. And then, at the end, they lay so still, it was a wonder to behold. I've never seen my children, especially my number 2 child, be still.
We got back to the car and I asked who felt relaxed, who felt calm. They showed me small smiles, almost sheepish. They were so chilled out and because of that chillness, a whole conversation about trying something new and giving things a chance ensued. Maybe I need to give things a chance too, like blogging again. Maybe because we have come a decision about the issues I mentioned a month ago, and I feel a hundred times calmer and have placed it all in Hashem's hands, maybe I can try blogging again. Just more quietly.
I'll let you know.
Are you a Mom?
Of course you are,
your shirt is dirty :)