Monday, June 30, 2014


Our caterpillars sure did grow up fast! 
Truthfully, we ended up "rescuing" some larger ones from the parsley plant because the ones we had in our cage from eggs all died. 

This one just shed its skin and is eating it. 

The bigger they got, and the more they moved, the more interesting they became for the kids. 

I liked watching them at all hours too. 

Eventually, they wandered around the cage and found a place to hang. 

And form a chrysallis. 

I read that the green ones are more rare than the brown ones. Lucky for us, we ended up with one of each!

Nine days later, this guy came out of his green chrysallis. 

And flew away. See that tiny black speck on the cloud?

His former home, now an empty shell that resembled an alien space ship. 

The brown one is still in its chrysallis. We aren't sure if it's alive or dead, but we'll keep waiting for it to emerge. In the meantime...

Ellie spotted another mommy butterfly laying eggs on our parsley plant!

Here we go again!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Beach Week

This week was beach week... And the rainiest week so far this summer! But we didn't let that keep us from having fun with our beach and ocean-themed activities. 

Luckily, we were able to go to the beach before the rain came in. Monday was the only sunny day of the week, and the kids had a blast!

It was Anthony's first beach trip ever. He was a little scared of the waves, but he loved playing in the sand. 
There was also a ton of nasty seaweed on the sand and in the water, but that (for once) didn't stop the girls from getting in the water and having a great time. 
After we got home and rested from our fun in the sun, we made fish with perler beads (the jumbo ones that are easier for little fingers to use).

On Tuesday, we made crabs with seashells and pompoms. I had intended for the seashells to come from our beach trip, but there were none amidst the seaweed, so we had to buy a bag of shells at Hobby Lobby. We also made surfboards for our crabs (extra thick foamboard decorated with neon Sharpies), and then we took them surfing in the water table. 

We also used our seashells to decorate paper seahorses, and we made colorful sand art fish, which totally reminded me of my childhood. 
On Wednesday, we made mermaid key chains. I found the craft kit at Joann's, in their summer section. Ellie had to make a paper one with the extra stickers. I like hers a lot.

We made turtle-shaped, coconut scented soap with leftover soap-making stuff we had from a teacher gift we made many years ago... this was a last-minute addition to our plans, and now the girls wash their hands with turtles (and frogs) every day.

Then we played with water beads, which must have been their favorite activity. Water beads are so much fun and not that messy (although there are a lot of them out in my front yard grass right now), and they feel really cool. The girls played for hours with their mermaids and sharks while Anthony napped, then we took the balls back outside to let him play too after he woke up.

Of course we also read several of our beach and ocean-related books throughout the week.

On Thursday, we tried to make a bag jellyfish in a bottle. It didn't turn out as cool as the picture I saw on Pinterest. Boo.

But stickering an ocean scene (with awesome dollar-store stickers) was fun for all three munchkins.

The girls made sea-creature bead necklaces.

Then they decorated foam fish so we could go fishing for them in the water table.

This was a really fun activity! And super easy too. I used sticky foam board cut into the shapes of fish, stuck two pieces together with a paper clip in between, and let the kids decorate them with "fins" made from the scraps of foam board. Then we used dowels, fishing line, and magnets in the shape of a ring to make our fishing poles.

On Friday we went to the Downtown Aquarium, where we had an awesome time (and some great friends joined us too).

 This fish only had one eye, which made it a point of interest for the munchkins.

The best part was the sting ray tank. We spent over half an hour there, petting them, watching them swim, and getting splashed.

My normally squeamish girl really surprised me with her enthusiasm for petting the sting rays!

Lastly, we played with sand. First with some sand that I had Scotch-guarded, so it made really cool formations in the water when they poured it in. It was super messy after they stuck their hands in and started to play with it more, but thankfully, I could just hose down the porch like I usually do after messy play.

And they also made rainbow sand art bottles. They did really well with pouring into the funnel, and they had fun making their colorful creations!
Another craft that was a last-minute add-on was making foam leis. We already had this kit in the craft closet. I like having a well-stocked craft closet; it helps me fill in or add impromptu crafts when the planned ones don't work out or are finished too quickly.
And lastly, I love that Paul has tried to add to our theme weeks in his own way. First, he planned a Winter Olympics themed date night at the end of Winter Week, then this week, he got the girls beach towels while he was away on an overnight work trip. I love that he wants to participate as much as he can!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Wedding coloring book

Tomorrow we are going to the wedding of an old friend (who also happens to be Anthony's godfather!), and it's going to be a huge, awesome smorgasbord of Catholic families, with just as many kids as adults, and everything that one could expect from such an event... the beauty of a Catholic wedding, the joy of celebrating love, the fun of the party, the screaming and crying of young children that will echo through the church and remind the couple of their vow to welcome children with open hearts... oh yes, it will be amazing!
This will also be the first wedding our kids will be attending, so they're excited but not always super happy about sitting still in a church. So, since I'm me, I made them this coloring/activity book to keep them entertained AND to help them follow along with the wedding events.


I drew the pictures by hand and then scanned them... It's far from perfect, and I don't even have Photoshop to really make it something special, but it will do for tomorrow, and it was fun to make! If for some reason, you want to print your own copy, leave a comment with your e-mail address, and I will send you a PDF file with the booklet and printing instructions.

I'm looking forward to getting dressed up and having a good time tomorrow!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Father's Day

We got a little crafty for Father's day and made these adorable footprint racecars for Paul. 

He said he's going to hang them in his office. Awesome! 

And I used my Silhouette Cameo that I got for Mother's Day to make the little banner on his gift: 

The kids put their own touch on the giftwrap with stickers. I like it better that way. It has more character. 

As for the gift itself... It has to go back to the mall kiosk from whence it came. Don't buy remote controlled helicopters that you supposedly can control with your iPhone. The app you're supposed to use doesn't exist, and a certain little girl was very sad because the gift she picked out for her dad didn't work. 

At least the footprint cars are cute...