Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Jackson's first day of kindergarten!!!

It's finally here, Jackson's first day of kindergarten!  It has been a good summer, but it was kind of rough too.  Jackson has had some behavioral issues because he needed more to do than mom's summer camp, so I was pretty stoked that it was time for school to start.  I knew the challenge, routine, and structure would be really good for Jackson.  I didn't think I would cry, but I did.  He gave me extra loves and hugs which is very unusual for him, but my slightly broken heart was very grateful for it.  Today was day 2 of kindergarten and he was really excited to get to school!

He woke up BEFORE 6am because he was so excited.
I was super excited for him.

Yes, I took a picture of his lunch on his first day of kindergarten.  
I think it would be cool to know what I ate for lunch that first day.

Classic first day picture.
He was to be at school so early that there wasn't enough light outside to take pictures like I planned.
So we improvised.  He even gave me a great smile, he was so excited!

And his silly smile face is back.

He's waiting patiently for his teacher to open the door so his first day of kindergarten can begin!

He survived!  His first day is over.
He said he had a great day!  His favorite part was PE and learning the days of the week.
(it was super busy, so this was the best shot we could get- his expression makes me laugh a little)

Easter in August

For one reason or another, I never did get pictures of the boys in their Easter outfits last spring.  Since they wore their Easter outfits last Sunday, I took advantage of the situation.  I don't know why my children don't like to take pictures (probably because I'm ALWAYS taking their picture), but they both refuse to smile nicely.  Ever.  Good thing they're adorable regardless.

Easter 2013
This was the best shot I got Sunday morning.  I do love pictures where Austin is looking up to his big brother.  He thinks Jackson is the coolest person he knows.

They look bored here-

Austin tried, but I caught him with his eyes closed.

"You got something right here, let me get it"

Austin's adorable, but Jackson looks intoxicated.

"Mom, pleeeeeease stop."

Last one...

Austin:  "Maybe if I stand really still they won't see me and she'll finally STOP!"

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

First Annual Nuffer Art Show

During our family summer camp this summer the boys created A LOT of art and I've displayed it on the wall as they've created.  I thought it would be cute to have a fancy-shmancy "art showing" before I took it all down.  We invited the grandparents, and I interviewed everyone about their favorite pieces.  I served some snacks hor d'oeuvores and we drank sparkling cider in some plastic very classy wine glasses.  It was a lot of fun and I hope it becomes a family tradition!

Here's the hor d'oeuvores and wine table

Jackson's masterpieces:  one of grandma's favorite art pieces was the rocket ship pictured here-

One of my favorite art piece:  the constellations, titled "Places"

Austin's masterpieces:  one of daddy's favorite works is the hippo pictured here in the bottom left corner-

Another of my favorites is the craters on the moon piece-

Here's their ocean art:  grandma also liked the jellyfish sun-catchers (Jackson's work is on top, Austin's is on bottom-- Please ignore our overgrown yard, we've actually had quite a bit of unexpected rain)-

Jackson's favorite piece was his sea turtle:

Austin said he liked his whole wall, so I think he just had a good summer of art fun!  
I liked his little octopus friend-

The boys thought it was pretty cool to use "fancy" cups.
Austin wouldn't put his down, it was really cute.  And no one spilled!  Success!

This really was a lot of fun and it was a chance for the boys to show off their creative work and talents.  What a fun way to finish off the summer!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Jackson's Star Wars Extravaganza!

My biggest baby boy turned 5!  And we celebrated with a Star Wars Extravaganza!  I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I must love my Jackson with every bit of my heart because I loath Star Wars, but if my baby wants a Star Wars party then we're going to Star Wars IT UP!  Actually, it was a really fun party to plan.  I used this blog for a lot of the ideas, and all the rest I came up with by myself.

First, we'll start with the invitations- I bought a pre-made, pre-packaged set of Star Wars invitations and Thank You cards, but after seeing some ideas on Pinterest, I threw out the run of the mill invitations (which I had already filled out and stamped) and made these invitations.  It was a good decision because these light sabor invitations came out soooo much cuter!  I really really love the way they turned out!

The unopened invite:  (pull the green tab)

And the opened invite:

We ended up having Jackson's birthday at the Legacy Play Village because we visited the park during one of our summer camp weeks and Jackson LOVED it!  He then requested that his birthday party be at the park because he had so much fun.  I thought it was a great idea as the park is free, and the pizza place we were originally going to have the party at was not so free.  Here's just one of the little gazebo's that we used.  Seriously, this place is huge and we had several to choose from.

In my mind the pillar decor was a lot prettier, but it was soooo windy that it just didn't look as nice and the stars wouldn't stay where I wanted them too, but you get the idea.

Here's some of the table decor.  The napkins and plasticware were made to look like light sabors and there were Darth Vader masks and Yoda party hats for the kids to wear.

Now, the good stuff- THE FOOD!

You'll notice that most of the food is in plastic baggies- yeah... that's because I forgot the plastic bowls at home.  No biggie, the food was still delicious even if it didn't look quite as nice as I wanted it to look.  
Crisis averted.

Next, it was time for Jackson to see his party!  Here he comes...

Look at this excited birthday boy!  Silly smile and all!

Here's some of our party guests.  There were lots of people to give Jackson some birthday love.

Maggie even dressed up for the party!  She was Princess Amidala.  She was adorable!

A family picture-  here's another shot of Jackson's "camera smile".  He's so cute!

The rest of the morning the kids just played in this ginormous park.  Here's the boys swinging with Grandma.  You can here me yelling in the back ground trying to figure out how to get to where the boys are- yeah, the park is that big.

I think he had a good day.  THANK YOU to everyone who came out to celebrate with Jackson, even those who couldn't be at the party but sent him lots of love from far away.  You all made his day really spectacular!

I forgot to add in the original post the take-home/thank you gifts.  Jim made pool noodle light sabors and each child also got a Star Wars goodie bag.  The light sabors were a big hit!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Nuffer Summer Camp- In Review

Yeah... I had big plans of blogging about each week of camp, but in reality, that was never going to happen.  Oh me and my optimistic and unrealistic ideas of time.  We ended up doing 2 or 3 things each week for camp, but it was still fun and I'm glad I had a plan.  I will definitely be doing the same thing next year, with a little more insight as to what works and what was a flop.  Here's a link to my original plans and themes.  Anyway, here's a quick review of our summer-

Space week
Already blogged and lots of fun!

Pirate week
I introduced the boys to Jake and the Neverland Pirates during pirate week and now it's a household regular.  Jackson LOVES Jake!  
We made a telescope, eye patch, and pirate hat.

We also made wax paper boats and played with them in the tub

We made some treasure chests

And we had a treasure hunt!  I made a map, filled their treasure chests and hid them where X marks the spot. 

Daddy helped them follow the map.  They searched for treasure in their pajamas, no big deal.

Castles and Dragons week:
So you might begin to notice a new trend, during week 3 I began to be much more lax about the whole camp thing, and this is when we just did whatever fit into the schedule and "feel" of the week.  
This week was mostly a castles week, but we did watch How To Train Your Dragon.  We also watched Tangled, and made lanterns similar to the lanterns in Tangled.

We visited Legacy Play Village and it's HUGE.  Part of the park is castle-ish.  It's enough of a castle for our purposes anyway.  The boys really liked this park.  Jackson even decided that this is where he wanted to have his birthday party.

Animals and Nature
This week we had Maggie over and she made some animal crafts with us.  I didn't get pictures, unfortunately.  Another day we watched Madagascar and made more crafts.  But the best part of this week was CRITTER FEST!!  Lubbock doesn't have a zoo, so the local kids museum brings in all kinds of animals once a year, and every year we attend, it's a tradition.

This lizard was more interested in the camera then all the people eyeing him.

Petting a baby duck.  Austin was quacking very loudly at him. 

At the reptile show with my favorite fellas!

Turtle time!  Austin loved this guy.

Not my favorite part of the fest and it wasn't theirs either because it was like pulling teeth to get them to touch the snake's tail.

Jackson's expensive spiderman face paint that only lasted about 20 minutes...

Spidey on a pony ride.

America, the beautiful!
It's the 4th of July!  We made watermelon sugar cookies, talked about freedom, played with sparklers and simple fireworks in the backyard.  The night of the 4th we had a picnic in the park and watched the city's firework show.  The boys had a great time!

We also attended story time at the library for the first time.  And they had a tribute to the USA as well, with books, a puppet show, songs, and a craft.  It was really neat!  We go every week now.

So the following week was Earth week, but...  I slacked... a lot.  And we ended up not doing much of anything for Earth week.  I even tried Earth week a second time and didn't get to it.  Sad.  Earth week was one of the weeks I was really excited about.  Oh well, there's always next summer.  So on to...

Ocean Wonders
We watched The Little Mermaid and made jellyfish sun catchers.

We also watched Nemo and made a lot more crafts, but I don't have pictures.  However, we will be having an art showing of their summer artwork next week and I'll blog about that WITH pictures!  ;)

Up in the Air Week!
I was a little worried about this week, but it turned out to be one of the most fun.

We made a couple plane crafts and this target game using $1 foam planes from Target.  This game was a huge hit!
Make a target with masking tape:

And, of course, you need to keep score.

It was so fun, it's still up in our house and the boys still play.

We played another game, balloon ping pong, with balloons and paper plate paddles like in this picture.
Jackson's still playing this game as well, but Austin just pops the balloons- which is kinda ironic because he's been so afraid of balloons until this summer, and it was the popping that scared him.  He's an odd duck.

We were supposed to have It's a Small World week this week to finish off Nuffer Family Summer Camp, but my boys pulled the biggest fits I've ever seen on Monday and they lost summer camp this week.  Oh well, less stress for me the week before Jackson's 5th birthday.  I can't wait until next year when we get to try everything all over again, but with NEW ideas and activities!