Monday, June 15, 2015

Week 1 of NFSC: Our body!

Last week was the first week of Nuffer Family Summer Camp (NFSC)!  It went so well!  ...but doesn't the first week always go well (ie; diets, working out, summer camps, etc.)?  Everyone is enthusiastic and energized!  We'll see how the next few weeks go now that the "new" has worn off.  But really, it was a great week!

First, we put together a skeleton puzzle!
It was really fun.  Maybe a little complicated.  But fun!
Austin named him Mr. Skeleton.  Very appropriate.


Then the boys visited our local fire station for this week's field trip because firemen help protect our bodies.  These men were WONDERFUL!  Just wonderful.  They were sweet, patient, very helpful, and ready to do whatever the boys wanted to do.  I was so impressed!
 For starters, our awesome firemen explained the difference between a fire truck and a fire engine (I didn't even know the difference) and then they showed them all the different parts of the two vehicles.



I took this picture because the boys were barely bigger than the wheels of the fire truck, and Jackson's over 4 ft!
Notice, they were a little annoyed I made them stop the tour so I could take a picture...


They also explained a lot of the equipment.
This fireman was showing them just how heavy their tools are, and explained leverage and pivots to them.  The boys were shocked how heavy everything was.



This part of the tour was the best and most important part to me.
One of the firemen dressed in full gear so the boys could see and hear what they sound and look like.  They explained that they like to do this because in a fire emergency small children often hide from them because they're afraid of their uniforms.  I had never thought of that before.  I'm so so grateful for this experience because, sure enough, Austin was terrified of the fireman fully dressed.  He showed Austin how he put on all his gear and how he takes it off, and that he's the same nice guy in and out of the suit, but Austin was never comfortable with him.  I hope Austin understands now that the fireman might look scary, but he's the good guy!



And the boys' favorite part- INSIDE the fire engine!


We had such a great time visiting the fire station!  It was a lot of fun! I cannot express just how wonderful these guys were to the boys.  Not only do they spend their days risking their lives to keep us safe, but they were truly the nicest guys I've met in a long time!
I'm so grateful for these wonderful men!


We did bring them a little treat with a thank you note, but it pales in comparison to their sacrifice (there were cookies, I swear).


Another day during our body week, the boys made these x-ray crafts.
I think they came out pretty good!


I didn't do this on purpose, but in honor of body week, the boys started their swim lessons (pictures to come) and they also started their "wee sports".  They just try out different sports to see if something comes naturally for them.
We're also considering karate for both boys.  They start some trial lessons this weekend.
You can almost see them out in the field playing...


Harrison was happy as can be hanging out in the grass with us.  Though all of my boys are a bit annoyed/scared of grass, Harrison was the bravest yet!


Later in the week, we played an animal movement game that got the boys up and moving their bodies.  It was a lot of fun!





Ok, I hope this works!  This video is soooooo so cute!
Harrison is bocking like a chicken with us.  While we were playing the animal game, Harrison started laughing hysterically at us when we pretended to be chicken, and then he started bocking too!

video

I'm excited for pirate week this week!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Nuffer Family Summer Camp!

It's time for summer camp!  I'm so excited this year for so many reasons-  For one, I'm not pregnant!  WOOHOO!  Two, I'm not in any classes this summer!  And third, I've made some changes to the summer camp that are going to make each week more fun and enjoyable for everyone.

The biggest change this year is that I'm nixing any kind of schedule.  Some days we just didn't get to whatever I had planned for that particular day, and I felt so guilty about it- like I failed at a camp that I created- that's crazy!  Ain't nobody got time to create senseless guilt!  So this year, every week will still have a theme (some old, some new), and each week we will have a field trip, a movie day, crafts, and experiments, but I'm not going to restrict myself to a certain day of specific activities.  Each week I'll have lots to do for that theme, more than enough activities for the week, so there will be plenty of choices and options for each day.  So, basically, I'm going to feel out each day because stuff (meaning: personalities and tantrums) happens.  We'll also participate in the library's reading challenge and go to story time when we can, I'll still try to get books that coordinate with each weeks theme, like I have before.

The boys are also enrolled in swim lessons and an "all-sports" type class to get some energy out every week.  To work their minds and keep academics fresh, I am enrolling them on ABCmouse.com.  It's cheap and it has tons of activities in all areas of study.  It only goes up to 2nd grade, so I'll have to figure out something different for Jackson next year, but it's great for this summer!

Drumroll please...?!?
NFSC themes for 2015:

Week 1 (June 8-12), Our Body:
  1. Human Skeleton puzzle (I found a similar puzzle to this one at Sams or Costco)
  2. Skeleton/body worksheets
  3. Dental care activity 
  4. Play Just Dance or play with animal body movement cards to exercise our bodies!
  5. Community helpers (safety) worksheets and activities
  6. Visit a fire station of ambulance (safety)
  7. X-ray craft with q-tips
  8. Skeleton hand craft
  9. Play with My Incredible Body app (it's $4.99)
*Movies ideas:  Hotel Transylvania (because a main character is a skeleton) or Tangled (because she feels grass and nature for the first time- senses)
*Field trip:  Fire station or ambulance or the Science Spectrum for some fun body exhibits

Week 2 (June 15-19), Pirates, Arrrrrr!:
  1. Paper plate pirate craft
  2. Make pirate gear and play dress-up
  3. Have a picnic with pirate food
  4. Make a treasure chest (with popsicle sticks like this or paint one from Hobby Lobby)
  5. Have a scavenger hunt for above treasure chest with this map
  6. Make a pirate ship with marshmellows
  7. Make paper pirate puppets and put on a puppet show
*Movie ideas:  Lego Movie (Metal Beard, the pirate) or watch some Jake and the Neverland Pirates
*Field trip:  The castle park (Legacy Play village)- I don't know why, but it reminds me of pirate ships

Week 3 (June 22-26), Animals:

  1. Make an animal craft (I have TONS of animal crafts at home and several pinned on Pinterest)
  2. Make a bird's nest
  3. Make a glow bug or this glow bug
  4. Animal coloring pages
  5. Caterpillar metamorphosis activity
  6. Animal groupings
  7. Animal yoga
  8. Frog life cycle activity
  9. Animal charades
  10. Birds craft or this bird craft
  11. How-to draw animals
*Movie ideas:  Any of the Madagascar movies
*Field trip:  Critter Fest at the Science Spectrum or visit the Amarillo Zoo


Week 4 (June 29 - July 3), America, the beautiful!

  1. Paint fireworks with pipe cleaners
  2. Make 4th of July windsock
  3. Presidents worksheets
  4. Make flag craft
  5. Flag worksheet
  6. Make firework ring
  7. Make Statue of Liberty costume
  8. Patriotic necklace
*Movie ideas:  Wreck it Ralph (what's more American than an arcade??) or Netflix's Amazing America (storybook treasures)
*Field trip:  See a firework display


Week 5 (July 6-10), Flight:
  1. Make paper airplanes (I found a couple paper airplane books for the boys to make)
  2. Paper airplane flying school
  3. Clothespin and stick planes
  4. TP roll plane (different language, but I can copy the plane)
  5. Balloon rockets
  6. Paper and straw rocket
*Movie ideas:  Planes Fire and Rescue
*Field trip:  Silent Wings Museum

Week 6 (July 13-17), Space:
  1. Edible solar system
  2. Sidewalk chalk / hop scotch solar system
  3. Oreo moon phases
  4. Orbit lesson/craft
  5. Create your own constellations
  6. Flashlight constellations
  7. Color by number space picture
  8. Moon macaroni craft
  9. Space bingo
  10. Make the universe with contact and tissue papers (this is my own idea, just thought it'd be fun)
*Movie ideas:  Escape From Planet Earth or that new movie about the alien coming to Earth???
*Field trip:  the Science Spectrum or the planetarium show (on space)?

Week 7 (July 20-24), It's A Small World (culture week):

  1. Learn about the world on a map (I found a cheap laminated world map at Sam's/Costco)
  2. Talk and learn about different cultures (I'll choose different cultures and we'll talk about them)
  3. Try ^^ their food (we'll make food together of above cultures)
  4. Continent worksheets
  5. Map magnets puzzle
  6. Pictographs sentences
  7. Chinese alphabet, write our names
  8. Make African collar necklace
  9. Paper plate dream catchers
  10. Paper plate basket weaving
  11. Learn "hello" in different languages
*Movie ideas:  Rio or Rio 2
*Field trip:  TTU Museum

Week 8 (July 27-31), The Earth:
  1. Make bird feeders
  2. Go on a nature scavenger hunt or this hunt or this hunt
  3. Make at home recycling center (we don't have one since we moved)
  4. Plant a garden/plant using newspaper for seedlings
  5. Observe plastic baggie plant (just place seeds in a wet paper towel in a plastic baggie)
  6. Make an Earth with tissue paper
  7. Earth day worksheet
  8. Watch plant growing video
  9. Make your own chia pet
  10. Label plant parts activity
  11. Make nature sun catchers
*Movie ideas:  The Lorax or School House Rocks:  Earth (on Netflix)
*Field trip:  visit the Lubbock Lake Landmark

Week 9 (August 3-7), The Ocean:
*Field trip:  the Science Spectrum's fish in the basement

Week 10 (August 10-14), Weather:
  1. Water cycle activity
  2. Rainbow craft
  3. Make a weather chart for the week (I just make a bar graph with the boys for the week)
  4. Weather experiment
  5. Make different clouds with cotton balls
  6. Make seasons trees
  7. Make rain sticks
  8. Sun prints experiment
  9. Cloud and rain craft
  10. Look at clouds with cloud-scope
*Movie ideas:  Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 1 or 2
*Field trip:  the Science Spectrum or the Windmill Museum

Monday, May 25, 2015

Catch-up!

Life got away with me again and A LOT has happened in the last month or two since Easter, so it's time to play Nuffer catch-up.

First up, a letter to daddy.
We played outside one day while waiting for Jim to get home and Jackson wanted to write a note to daddy that he'd see when he gets home.
It reads, "Dear Daddy, 'your' welcome home from work.  PS I love you!"
He's so cute!


Harrison learned a couple new tricks:
He learned to read:


And balance stuff on his head:


We're so proud!

This next story might not be for the faint of heart.
Monkey was tortured.
I'm not 100% sure why, but I'm sure he wouldn't tell some important and critical information that Jackson was trying to pry out of him.
Stay strong, Monkey!
First he was put in the gas chamber.  For hours.
Literally hours.


But apparently he didn't talk because later that day I found him like this:


Poor, Monkey.  He's so brave.

For awhile Jim was working weekends, so on Saturdays I took the boys out for a mommy/sons dates.
We went to the Science Spectrum together:


And we also went to the arboretum and walked around looking at the beautiful flowers.
They liked this more than I thought they would.


I love this picture!  It really shows their personalities.
Jackson is smiling perfectly, he's very type A.
Austin is "being burned by the sun". He can be a bit dramatic.  He's 4.  It goes with the territory.
And little Harrison is just along for the ride.  He's just happy to be with his brothers, even if it means being squeezed and smooshed.


When we pick up Jackson from school, Austin is such a fun helper!
This is how he spends most of time waiting.  Hangin' with Harrison.  Yes, Harrison is in that seat.
And yes, Austin's rockin pajamas at 3 in the afternoon.  Jealous?


And being cool with mom.
It's how we do.


Jim gave me flowers for no particular reason at all.
Just because he knows I love flowers.
These flowers were gorgeous!  The picture doesn't do them justice.


Then, our deep freeze broke, but to be fair, it was 15+ years old.  My grandpa bought it used and had it for a few years.  Then, he gave it to my mom who had it for over 10 years, and then we had it for a few years.  So it was time to buy a new one.  We got an upright! 
It's so pretty.


Our church time sucks, to put it plainly.  It's from 11;30-2:20, right at nap time.  Oy vay.
Harrison, like Jackson, does NOT like sleeping anywhere but his bed, but a couple of Sundays in a row he fell asleep with Jim.  Success!
And, of course, Jim had to pretend to be sleeping through church with him.
They're so cute in their matching pink.


This is just a random trip to Sam's, but they looked so cute dressed alike.
They got a lot of attention at the Sam's that day, but not much talk of Jackson and Austin being twins anymore.


Harrison taught himself how to make a big mess.
Awesome.


We took the boys to Chuck E Cheeses.
It was fun, but I didn't appreciate the parting gift, pink eye for the older boys...





Then it was free comic book day AND the strawberry festival held by the local farmers market.
So Jim took the older boys to get some free comics, while Harrison and I visited the festival.



He's a pretty cool dude, and he knows it!


And then he passed out on the way home.  I didn't want to wake him by opening his door, so I just snapped a picture from my view point.


The boys got A LOT of free comics this year.
Jackson reading them to Austin.  He's such a good big brother!


Then this happened.
Austin is known as "Captain Destructo" around the house because destroying things is kind of his thing.  Here he (with some help from Jackson) finally kicked our trim enough it fell off.  ;-/
At the doctor's office.  Sigh.


Then it was time for "May the 4th be with you".  The library through a Star Wars party and Jim took some time off work to take the boys.
Even Harrison went to the party!







Then it was Cinco De Mayo.
I'll be honest, the closest we get to celebrating Cinco De Mayo is eating tacos for dinner, but this year Jackson was in a special celebration dance at school.
He's taking Spanish and his teacher sent a note home requesting he participate.  Sure!  I thought it was all of the first graders, but no, he was only one of six!  His dance was so so cute.  Although, it might have hurt this mama's heart seeing him dance with a girl for the first time...



 Even Harrison enjoyed the show, but the clapping scared the poo out of him.


Also that week, it was Teacher Appreciation week.
Monday:


Tuesday:


Wednesday:


Thursday:
(an assortment of gourmet cookies)


And Friday:
I brought a few different types of muffins for the class with the note "Muffins better than a great teacher!"
I also took a picture of her with the class because she was sick on class picture day.  I'm going to give her an 8x10 copy in a big card or book the last day of school.


Around this same time, Jim started working in the evenings.  He gets out of work right as the boys are going to bed, 8pm.  The first night the boys somehow convinced me to let them stay up until Jim got home for some good night hugs from daddy.
I was swindled and hoodwinked!


I've talked a bit on the blog about how we read children's scripture stories in the evenings, and we discuss a different scripture every morning.  Well, I decided that the older boys were big enough to start reading the real Book of Mormon.  I bought them both cheap blue copies because I thought it might help keep Austin's attention and Jackson can join in reading.  It's a success!
Here they are their first night reading their big boy scriptures with a page to mark off each chapter as they read them.
I think after they read the whole book (it'll be awhile), I'll throw a big party.  It'll be fun!


The Science Spectrum had a pirate school night.  They had this comedian put on a show for the kids about pirate school.  The boys LOVED it!  Especially Jackson.  Austin's a bit leery of anything or anyone new, so he was a bit apprehensive, but he still had fun.
But before the show, we checked out the pirate exhibit.
All 3 boys especially liked dressing up like pirates:




Then, it was time to find seats for the show.  Harrison is patiently waiting:


The pirate came out for a little pre-show and greeted his "new students".
Austin was the first student he talked to, he wasn't to sure about the weird piratey dude...


He wouldn't even look at him.  He finally told the pirate his name, but he refused to look his direction.  It was hilarious!
Jackson was all into it though!


The show was a lot of fun and pretty entertaining too!
The pirate even called Jackson up on stage at the end.  Jackson was thrilled!
This Jackson up on stage having a sword fight with the pirate.


One night for FHE we made puppets and acted out puppet shows all about how to show respect.
I'm not sure anything sunk in, but they had fun.



Harrison has a full-blown obsession with our front window.  He spends most of his waking hours staring out at our neighbors.  Nosey lookey-lou!
Anyway, he learned how to play peek-a-boo with the curtains.  It's so cute!


Austin just being Austin.


Then it was time for Mother's Day!  My favorite part of Mother's Day is the homemade gifts from the boys.  Their either super sweet or just plain hilarious.
This year's was hilarious
First, Austin wrote about me:
"My mom is as pretty as 'my hair'"
"My mom is as nice as 'the moon'"
But this year's all-time favorite answer:
"My mom is as smart as 'dad'"
Wow.  That's all I can say.



Jackson made me a card with the dearest, sweetest, personal message:
"Happy Mother's Day.  Wishing you well!"
Bahahaha!


Apparently, Jackson wanted to give me some money from his money jar, but daddy told him that wasn't necessary, so he drew money for me.


And then the Plague 2015 hit our house...

It started with Austin and Bronchitis.  I didn't get any pictures of his suffering, unfortunately.
Then Harrison got a wicked awful virus that gave him a hugh fever for 5 days.  The worst part was that the fever made him so uncomfortable he just cried and whined all. day. long.
And he only wanted me.  I love that he's my biggest mama's boy, but it was a hard 5 days for me.  No breaks from a crying baby is a little rough, not to mention seeing your sweet baby in so much pain.
Not fun.
He's almost happy in this picture, but looks can be deceiving.


On Harrison's last night with a fever, I noticed that Jackson was whining and crying over nothing- which is not like him.  So I reluctantly checked his temperature and sure enough, he had a fever.  I was sure he just had Harrison's virus, but we took him to the doctor anyway because she had mentioned that Strep was everywhere in Lubbock.  Sure enough, he had Strep.
We were kind of relieved because Jackson takes Strep like a champ!  He's down for a couple days and then he's good.  But not this time.  We "think" he got Strep and while his immune system was compromised he got Harrison's death virus on top of it.  7 days of fever.  He was so sad.


But he survived just in time to go back to school for the last week of 1st grade!


And last, but not least, Harrison finally learned how to feed himself with a bottle.
You know... with only about 6 weeks to go of having a bottle.
But who cares.


That's a wrap!