Catching Up

Life has gotten really busy lately. Even though I am in the midst of project as always, a lot has been left undone. The kids are growing fast and it seems that this just goes so quickly that if I  get too preoccupied with things that are fun but not as important, I feel I will be missing so much of these short, busy years with them. A lot has happened in The Family Fun Spot Family.
First, if you are reader of this blog you know that I blog a lot about my home country of Uruguay. Well, this past month I became a United States citizen. I used to have conflicting feelings about this because I used to think that I was sort of betraying my country for doing this. After some “emotional work,” I realized that those thoughts were not true. I will probably live here for the rest of my life, and even though it is true that I was not born here, my family was. My husband, our wedding, the kids…all american. So I call Uruguay my home country and the U.S.A my “adoptive” country that I love so much. I love everything about America and I am proud to be an american citizen. I just wanted to share this with you. If you are unaware of the naturalization process, it requires passing a government, history and civics test and doing an oath.

Me and the hubby in the oath ceremony
We celebrated important milestones in our family.
Our middle son turned 8! He got baptized and became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

(Got this free printable from Pinterest)
We had a luncheon at church with our friends. My son shared his baptism with another friend, a girl born only two weeks after him.

Cupcake toppers from Etsy (Tamy Ray Cards and Print)

We also had the Pinewood Derby. A little bittersweet since it was my oldest son’s last one and my younger son’s first one!
They got 2nd and 3rd place!
 My cute little princess had her dance recital
And many, many more things! We are also in the middle of planning our vacation. I am so excited about that! To top it off, we are switching the kids’ rooms so you know what that means…makeovers! Stay tuned for that. Each child will have his or her own bedroom. For now, feast you eyes upon the inspiration for the changes (and yes, they will not look EXACTLY like this but kind of similar (the thrifty way)
And for the boys something like this:
Stay tuned!

Feeling Sick

Hello my friends! Well, I have been feeling really sick…I do not know if it is food poisoning or some kind of “bug” but anyways, I have not posted anything since Wednesday. I was a couch potato for a couple of days, thank goodness I was not feeling like this when I went to work on Wednesday. Anyways, since we “keep it real” here at The Family Fun Spot, I want to share with you what happens when mama is sick. Enjoy!

Kitchen a mess, of course, Meals consist of leftovers, crackers, bread, crackers and crackers.

They do what they are not allowed to do…I think it is time to buy them a trampoline!

Toys not picked out and laundry not done.

Nobody cares if the shoes are all over the house…

And some lady cries for attention when I am even unable to pick her up…still have to do the effort of changing diapers and feeding her Gerber “Squeezables.”

Despite all this, life is beautiful! The mess means that my kids LIVE and that my house is well LIVED. And I also realized the importance of my calling as a mother and how much they NEED me. To nourish them spiritually, mentally and physically, to love them and to be a good influence. My sons even made a card saying “get well soon” because they miss me playing with them, reading to them or doing something fun together (like science experiments…)
Moms out there, you ROCK. You are IRREPLACEABLE. You are doing your best. You are loved.

Marshmallow Popppers

We have been having so much fun in the sun this year. It has been so hot and humid that the kids want to play in the pool and be creative with their “science projects.” They pretty much want to do and create something fun everyday. Last Tuesday, we created this poppers using what we had in hand. I have seen on Pinterest that some people use cotton balls to shoot and it is much smarter. My kids wanted to try it with marshmallows because I think it was an excuse to eat them!
This is what you need:

  • Cups
  • Marshmallows or cotton balls
  • Balloons
  • Scissors

It cannot be any simpler. First, put two to three cups together like shown in the picture. Cut it 2/3 of the way. If you do it with only one cup, it will not be strong enough to hold the balloon. Next, tie the balloon and cut in this manner.

Stretch the tied part of the balloon and put it into the opening of the cup (the stronger edge from which you would drink).

This is how it looks on the inside.

Next, put a marshmallow inside the “tied” opening of the balloon.

Pull back from the “outside” tied part and…shoot!

Super fun. Sorry I could not get a good picture of the marshmallows flying. The kids were too fast for me!

And please excuse the mess…but we are creating memories!

Sharing the fun at:

Craft O Maniac–   The Naptime Review
Making Monday  Marvelous at C.R.A.F.T.,  What’s in the Gunny Sack Linky Party at The Gunny Sack     I Made the World Cuter Today at Making the World Cuter,  Motivate Me Monday at Keeping it Simple   More the Merrier Monday at DIY Home Sweet Home,  Insprire Me Monday at Singing Three Little Birds,  Calling All Crafters Monday at All Things Fee,  Monday Craft Party at Polly Want a Crafter  See Vanessa Craft

Summer Learning and Fun

My kids are really full of energy, and they feel that if they have “nothing to do” they get bored. As I mentioned before, we have a schedule that we follow, including 30 minutes or so for “school.” This is what we do:

They each got their summer practice books for the following year. My oldest got the third grade review and my youngest the Kindergarten review. I highly recommend the Kumon Books. They even come with a calendar and stickers to track progress and praise them for their hard work.

I also got these from the local Library. They have reading comprehension activities, and math facts and fun stuff. They also have games that you can play related to the story or theme. They actually love having school time, but we have to keep it short. It is summer break above all!

I love that one particular story taught them the importance of compassion. That afternoon they found a lost little bird in our front yard. And it actually matched our THEME FOR THE MONTH which is animals. We did not have any bird food, but they had a sweet idea:

Out of fireworks boxes, they built him a house! I thought it was so kind of them. And they also told me “mom, we’re recycling!”

They also volunteer to do chores around the house for extra money and to cook lunch. Mr. Lewis makes his famous quesadillas:

And they never stop creating using anything they can find. Here Red Ranger made a boat.
And above all, LOTS and LOTS of time spent OUTSIDE for water fun!

Let them get muddy and dirty!

Never stop creating and learning!

Summer Activities

My kids are so full of energy all the time that we have to be creative with them. In the summer they love to play outside, but they also have to have some kind of schedule. If the don’t, they get bored because there is nothing to follow and they feel there is nothing to do. So we created a Summer List and also a Summer Schedule.

This is our Summer List:
Water gun fight
Nerf fight
Make homemade ice cream
Camp in the backyard
Go to a Water Park
Go to Legoland
Go to the Zoo
Work in the house
Work to earn some money
Create our own holiday
Make a bird feeder
Chill and hang out lots and lots!!!

In the schedule I make sure there is enough play time. Usually they get up, have breakfast and we do a little bit of school (so they do not feel totally spaced out the first week of school). My oldest loves this.Then it is play time.Sometimes they play Wii (they are not allowed to play every day, and they Wii is actually a privilege, so it HAS TO BE EARNED depending on what the chore chart looks like!) or they play Legos, building forts, Hot Wheels, etc. Then at noon we have lunch and then it is “resting time,” consisting of a quiet movie or a good book, laying on the floor with their pillow pets. I sometimes read with them. After resting time it is play time again, and they usually play outside with the sprinklers and the slip n’ slide. We have dinner and then it is family time, we go for a walk, or do something in the house. After that it is shower time, reading scriptures and bed (we are bad at this one, sometimes bed time gets kind of late!)

I found out that my kids love to be organized and have something they can look at and know what they are supposed to do (that even includes a chore chart). So every month we do a theme of study (for school or reading time) that they pick out. June is History, so we have been going to the library and reading books about the history of the country. At the end of the month we will do a timetable and my oldest wants to do a presentation (to dad, I guess!) July is science and August is animals. They cannot stop learning. I tell them often how great is to be a child and create, imagine and explore.

We created a plan for every day of the week:
Monday: Backyard adventures (they plan and explore in the backyard, usually involves having fun with water)
Tuesday: Pool Day
Wednesday: mom works
Thursday: Park day ( we go to a different playground/ parks a week)
Friday: Library day, pizza and movie night
Saturday: family fun
Sunday: Family time day
This does not mean that we spend the whole day doing this, just part of the morning/afternoon.

Here are some pictures of the fun times:

 With a friend:

And here are some more ideas:

  1. Create your own board game
  2. Make “move night” in the back yard
  3. Make slime
  4. Make pudding paint (pudding + food coloring)
  5. Make a garden
  6. Play charades
  7. Camp in the backyard
  8. Find constellations or look at the stars at night
  9. Go to a “field trip” to a factory, pizzeria, etc
  10. Let them be chefs and cook a new recipe (even if it is gross…)
  11. Make plastic bottles rockets
  12. Make a baking soda volcano 
  13. Go to a dollar movie
  14. do a Pinewood Derby with legos
  15. Make homemade ice cream
  16. Don’t forget the LIBRARY story time!
  17. Check your local home improvement store and see if they have kids projects on Saturdays!
  18. Make a kite and fly it in the park
  19. Plant a vegetable you have not eaten before
  20. Make lunch sack puppets
  21. Make your own bubble solution (recipe coming in future post!)
  22. Have a water gun fight
  23. Have an Olympics day in the back yard with different stations (baseball, soccer, etc) 
  24. Make a movie
  25. Go fishing
  26. Go on a hike
  27. Go on a bike hike
  28. Make a lemonade stand to raise money for charity
  29. Give them jobs to do and pay them some money so they learn how to save
  30. Once in a while, have a lazy day
  31. Make your own stuffed animal
  32. Using big boxes, let them build their own house and decorate it inside using pictures of magazines, crayons, etc
  33. Create a music band using home made instruments!
  34. Go on a picnic
  35. Make sculpts using home made clay (more to come in another post)
  36. Make jewelry using dry pasta
  37. Play with home made Moon Sand (Recipe to come)
  38. Make own caramel candy
  39. Have a international day and cook foods from another countries
  40. Have a party and let your guests bring non perishable items to donate to a local pantry
  41. Learn words in another language
  42. Have a pajama day
  43. Make a wind chime using soda pop lids
  44. Write a comic book
  45. Make your own crayons
  46. Do a Christmas in July and exchange gifts from the Goodwill
  47. Do something nice for somebody else. Example volunteer to clean grandma’s garage, etc
  48. Make no sew “reading blanket” 
  49. Enjoy the beach!!!
  50. Make boats out or left over containers: soda pop, water bottles, juice boxes, and have a race in the tub or inflatable pool
I hope you like these ideas. The most important thing really is not WHAT you do but that you SPEND QUALITY TIME with yous kids! It does not have to be extraordinary. They sure will enjoy just reading a good book or they having your attention while they play in the inflatable pool.
Stay tuned! I’ll be posting pictures and recipes of our “science projects”!!!!

Sharing at:
Tatertots and Jello  Craft O Maniac

All About Me Poster

My oldest son got this poster from his teacher to introduce himself to his class. It is called “Starring Me.” It is supposed to be like a movie about his life. We worked a lot together and he absolutely loves it. I think he was also proud of me for working hard in helping him. These are the moments that I absolutely treasure as a mother, and again I think of how blessed I am that I am here for this and I do not have to miss it.
Here is a picture of how it looked:

 We colored it with crayons and also used scrapbook paper.

 At least here I am in a picture!

 His place to visit…Uruguay! FYI that guy drinking mate there is Abu Luis.Notice the mustache!

 His favorite place is Home…

 I am glad that he has an amazing life!

 He is not sure what he wants to be when he grows up, but for now he says he’ll be a policeman!

 And more of his favorites…

 Food, ham and cheese pasta! I told you it was a favorite in our house!

 Here he is all done!

Note: the amazing pictures in the poster were taking by my friend Sarah at The Winthrop Chronicles. Check out her photography and blog it is beautiful!!!