Monday, June 20, 2016

Nature week and weather week

First two weeks down and we're still going strong!

Week 1:  Nature week

First thing we did for nature week was to plant a garden.
Austin planted daisies and beans, and Jackson planted mixed flowers and eggplant.
Our little garden is growing like crazy!  I should have snagged a picture, but I will post picture in a future blog.  The only thing not growing yet is the eggplant and some parsley that I planted.  We're still hoping they're just late bloomers. -HA!  See what I did there??

Next, we went on a scavenger hunt!
We found things in nature and the boys learned that nature isn't just in the woods or fields, but that nature is all around us- even in our neighborhood!  That thought had never occured to them.
They took pictures of everything they found with their Ipads.

We also took a little field trip to the Lubbock Lake Landmark.
Honestly, it was a lot more fun than I remember.  They had a little booklet that led the boys on a scavenger hunt around the indoor museum and around the outside exhibits of extinct creatures that used to roam this area.  Jackson loved being outside and going on a hike through the wild flowers, and Austin loved the scavenger hunt inside.

Above, the big boys are checking out an old bear that used to roam this area.
Below, Austin is reading about some of the wild flowers on our hike.

It was a little bright outside...
And hot.

The wildflowers were beautiful, and the natural landscape really impressed the boys.  It was hard for them to imagine Lubbock before people settled it.

Week 2:  Weather

Weather is one of Jackson's favorite camp topics, and mine too!
The first activity we did was an experiment about the water cycle.
This little experiment was GREAT!  It's still hanging on our back door because the boys love to check it to see where their bag is in the water cycle several times a day.
Originally, I made a little picture with water cycle vocabulary on a sandwich bag, and then I filled them with hot water.  I cloud forms quickly, so the boys learned about evaporation on condesation within a few minutes.  Then the evaporated water gets too heavy and it rains.  So fun!
Harrison also loves to check on the water cycle bags all day.  Every morning he runs to the back door asking, "Open, peas?!"  He's adorable!

Hahaha!  I just noticed I spelled "precipitation" wrong on one of the bags.  Oops...

Next, we made a little water cycle art.
The sun is on top, then clouds, then strips of evaporation (white drops going up) and precipitation (blue drops falling down) into a body of water.
They turned out pretty good!  Although, Jackson didn't want any help and got super frustrated with the evaporation/precipitation strips.  Most days he's great without a nap, but other days he needs a little extra rest. But don't we all...

Looking back, this pretty much turned into a water cycle week.  Austin finally understands the concept though because of these little water cycle bracelets.  It's hard to see their pony bead bracelets, but the green beads represent the land where water begins, clear represents evaporation, white represents clouds, blue represents rain, and yellow represents the sun which makes the cycle possible.  This was by far the boys' favorite activity!

Harrison LOVED stinging the beads on the pipe cleaner!

He's so dang cute!
He made his own bracelet-

We also made  a sun print.
The boys made pictures with construction paper and pennies and they're out in the sun baking as I type this up.  Yeah... we got a little behind last week because we had so much going on with daddy leaving town, his birthday, and Father's Day.  I need a vacation from my weekend!
Poor Jackson's picture (purple paper) keeps getting blown by the wind.  I figured the pennies would weigh it down enough, but not so much...  It's being held down by rocks now and his pennies are random now.  Oh well, it'll still work.

Now, if you've made it this far you get a treat!
Here are some random adorable pictures of the boys!

I don't know what it is about pictures of my boys holding hands and walking together, but I can't get enough of them.  It makes my heart so full!

Harrison trying on some glasses.
Look at that face.  Just melt your heart adorable!

Wow, I just realized that these pictures are basically a Walmart ad.  I don't even like Walmart!  We just happen to have a new Walmart in town and we were checking it out with grandma.
We are not Walmart endorsers.

And one last picture of Harrison playing being "sick".
He makes himself a little bed and tells me, "I sick", and then pours on his best sickly face.
Don't you just feel terrible for the little sicky boy?

Friday, June 3, 2016

Nuffer Family Summer Camp 2016!

It got down to the wire, but I'm getting the NFSC up and running just in time to get started on Moday!

This year we will do some of the same things as years past.  Each week we will visit the library and get books that fit the theme, we'll have a weekly field trip, and we'll do whatever activity feels good for that day.  We'll also have a movie day that goes along with the weekly theme every Friday.  Now, for the changes because, you know, we're evolving.  First, I'll put a link to my Pinterest board that corresponds to each week's theme, so I don't have to type everything out with individual links like before.  Second, I'm adding a science experiment to each week.  If you're following along with us, the science experiment can be found in the Pinterest board link that I provide under "Activities".  And third, I'm adding a new theme this year.  Instead of a "Pirates" week, we're having a week of "Cooking School".  The big boys have really showed a interest in cooking, so might as well teach them a thing or two in the kitchen.  The best part of this year's camp is that Jim gets to participate more!  His schedule works out a little better to be more involved.  We love daddy!

Soooo, without further ado...

Week 1, June 6-10, Earth and Nature:
Field trip:  Lubbock Lake Landmark
Movie:  The Lorax
Experiment(s):  create a garden, color changing daisies, and/or sandwich bag compost

Week 2, June 13-17, Weather:
Field trip:  The Windmill Museum
Movie:  Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
Experiment(s):  water cycle experiment and/or make an anemometer

Week 3, June 20-24, Animals:
Field trip:  Critter Fest at the Science Spectrum
Movie:  any of the Madagascars
Experiment(s):  How do fish breathe, mini ecosystem, blubber/cold water animals, and/or beak adaption experiment

Critter Fest 2015
Week 4, June 27-July 1, It's A Small World:
Field trip:  Texas Tech Museum
Movie:  Rio or Rio 2
Experiment(s):  we'll experiment with other cultures' traditions and food

Week 5, July 4-8, America, The Beautiful:
Field trip:  Watch some fireworks!
Movie:  Wreck It Ralph (arcades are pretty American, right??)
Experiment(s):  not sure...  So if anyone has any ideas...

Week 6, July 11-15, Space:
Field trip:  The TTU Planetarium to see Saturn, Ring World
Movie:  Escape From Planet Earth or Home
Experiment(s):  why is the sky blue, DIY constellations and/or view constellations outside of town

Week 7, July 18-22, The Human Body:
Field trip:  Tour an ambulance
Movie:  Tangled (she uses her senses) or Hotel Transylvania (bones guy)
Experiment(s):  flashlight through fingers, and/or exercise and graph pulse

Week 8, July 25-29, Cooking School:
Field trip:  Visit a new restaurant? 
Movie:  Ratatouille
Experiment(s):  We'll be experimenting in the kitchen all week
Activities: + basic foods like scrambled eggs, cookies, toast, grilled cheese, etc.

Week 9, August 1-5, The Ocean:
Field trip:  The Science Spectrum (bottom floor) OR go see Finding Dory
Movie:  Finding Nemo
Experiment(s):  what dissolves in water and/or reversing water pollution

Week 10, August 8-10, Planes:
Field trip:  The Silent Wings Museum
Movie:  Planes
Experiment(s):  paper airplanes (specifically thrust, drag, lift, and gravity)

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

BIG weekend!

School just finished and the boys first weekend of summer break was a big one!
First, the big boys and daddy went on a father/son camping trip with the church, and then, it was Memorial Day and a sleepover at grandma's!

The boys have never been camping before.  The father/son camping trips with our ward have been rained out the last few years, and since I don't like to pretend I'm homeless we have never done a family camping trip.  The first weekend of the father/son camping trip was rained out, so they rescheduled for last weekend.  The big boys were stoked!  Especially Jackson!  It was hard on him when it was rained out a couple weeks ago. 
But it was finally time for the BIG DAY!
The car was loaded up, but they had to make a quick stop for a few items.  THEN, it was time to head out to the bishop's house the camp ground.
They made it! Jim got the tent set up.
Now, it was time to party in the wild outdoors!
First, a little football-

And a hayride!
And some time by the fire, eating smores and doing man stuff.

They were night owls!
The only other time they stayed up passed midnight was last New Years Eve!
And since they stayed up so late, they slept in.  Something else that NEVER happens...

But the lazy bugs finally woke up!

Just in time for some morning football.
They had a blast!  And I'm glad they got some man time with dad.
Back at home, I had some mommy and me time with Harrison.
We got to eat out.  YUM!
And snuggle in the blankets while we watched Daniel Tiger.  Doesn't get much better than that!
Harrison had the best time throwing a tantrum (or two or ten).
This tantrum was brought to you by the blanket touching his rocking horse...

But the next morning we got to go to the store without the brah-brahs!
He was excited!
It was a fun night for everyone.
When the boys got home on Saturday, Harrison had to go to urgent care because he had another ear infection.  Thanks for the help, tubes...  Austin allergies went haywire after the campout because daddy may or may not have forgotten to give him allergy medicine before they left.  It took 3 days for his allergies to calm down.  And Jackson had a fever, for not apparent reason at all.  When my boys party, they party!
By Monday everyone was feeling better (except Austin) so we headed out to the Lubbock War Memorial for Memorial Day.  We explained to the boys what Memorial Day was and what each brick meant at the memorial. 
 Of all the boys, Jackson was really taken by all the bricks and all the names of former (and current) service men and women.

Reading and thinking about the names we found.

Jackson reading one of the walls that honor the men and women.
How many Nuffer men can you spot in this picture??
(hint: they're all there)
Where's Harrison??
It was a beautiful day and I think the boys took in more than I expected.
I'm so grateful for all the family and friends and strangers that have fought (and died) for my freedoms.  What a beautiful country we have been blessed with!