3rd grade reading…

It seems as though many of the books we’ve purchased for Hallie over the years have little to no interest for Hunter. I get it. Most of them have female lead characters and even though he’d probably love the story he can’t get over the fact that there is a girl on the cover. Major turnoff.

So I’m on a mission to find books that Hunter will enjoy and start building a library that is suitable for our family of boys and soon to be readers. Here’s our 3rd grade summer wish list.

(Amazon aff. and links)

6th grade reading…

I feel like I’m always searching for books my kids will enjoy, especially now that we’re pushing summer reading. There are so many great books out there and yet, each kid likes something a little different. Luckily, our local library has a great online resource to check out kindle books so I was on the computer today trying to build a solid list, specifically for Hallie because she’s the one I struggle to find books for currently.

I follow a lady on instagram and she gives great recommendations, I found great luck with finding lists through pinterest and I came across a great website readbrightly.com all about kids reading and books. Here’s our library summer wishlist:

(Amazon links and aff.)

She started Goodbye Stranger today because it was available immediately as a kindle book at the library and we have a hold on a couple others. Fingers crossed they keep her engaged and interested.┬áHunter’s summer reading is next on my to-do list.

Halloween Scavenger Hunt

I work with 10 and 11 year old girls in our church – creating activities for them a couple times of month after school. Hallie is in the group so basically I get an excuse to spend time with her and her friends. This week we were playing Halloween games. A fan favorite in our house is always Halloween Bingo; a set I picked up a couple years back from Target for Hallie’s Halloween Carnival Birthday party.

The girls enjoyed it. It never gets old putting candy corn on the spaces or yelling out bingo and claiming your prize.

Halloween Bingo

After bingo, we went out on bikes for a Halloween scavenger hunt. I drove the neighborhood earlier in the day and made a note of the many decorations neighbors had put up. The girls then had to write the house number of where they found the decoration and they could only use a house number once. Originally, the girls were going to be on teams, but they decided it would be more fun to work as a group.

Halloween Scavenger Hunt

We drove up and down the neighborhood streets. Each time they found one, they’d squeal in excitement. They got most of them after one pass through. But there were a few they had to circle back to and even then, there was one decoration they rode by four times before realizing it – a bale of hay. I even explained at the beginning that bales of hay come in all sizes – but of course, the girls were looking for the large bales they’re used to sitting on, instead of the smaller ones used on porches as decor.

Scavenger hunts are pretty easy to organize and I was pleasantly surprised by how engaged they all were in finding everything. Its an activity we could duplicate with Christmas decorations. We finished the afternoon with caramel apples because nothing screams fall more than caramel apples!

Lego Super Bowl…

The kids were quietly playing this morning before heading to church and I could hear the Lego bucket being combed through. Shortly before it was time to leave, Hallie and Hunter walked into the kitchen carrying their Lego Super Bowl.

It had me laughing. Batman as the quarterback. The girl Lego Friends as cheerleaders. The guys on the bench, including the Joker, waiting their turn to go into the game. It was a work of art – I love the creativity of children!

Lego Super Bowl
Lego Super Bowl
Lego Super Bowl
Lego Super Bowl
Lego Super Bowl

Homemade Christmas Gifts 2015…

Here’s a round up of my homemade Christmas gifts this year for the kids.

Cannon – Noah’s Ark animals
This has been an idea a long time in the making and I’m only semi-disappointed with myself that I didn’t get the ark made in time. Another year…another homemade gift. This year, he got the animals; 12 sets, 24 in total. Based on a set by Holztiger – a company from Germany which I talked about here.
Homemade Gift: Wooden Noah's ark Set
Homemade Gift: Wooden Noah's ark Set
Homemade Gift: Wooden Noah's ark Set
My patio was a disaster for far too long. This was a labor of love and I was counting my lucky stars that I had all my fingers in tact when I finished. Scroll saws can be a little intimidating! They’re made of 1″ hard maple which was a little difficult to cut out but they’ll be much more durable than making them out of pine. I spent many weeks watching Survivor and painting all the animals with basic craft paint (all of which was left over from a homemade gift last year, the nativity puzzle). I finished them off with a couple layers of clear coat and called it good.
Homemade Gift: Wooden Noah's ark Set
Homemade Gift: Wooden Noah's ark Set
They turned out better than I expected and I’m pretty much in love with them. So is Cannon.
Homemade Gift: Wooden Noah's ark Set
Homemade Gift: Wooden Noah's ark Set


Bennett – Wooden Robots
I found these darling robots (Ollibots) at Caravanshoppe.com. These require absolutely no skills. I purchased the digital file which gave me the artwork (printed them at staples) and all the instructions as well as the part numbers to buy from an online hobby store for all the wood pieces (precut).
Homemade Gift: Wooden robots, Ollibots, from the Caravanshoppe.com
They suggested different options of attaching the pieces together – I went with low-profile industrial strength Velcro from Amazon and it’s worked like a dream.

Homemade Gift: Wooden robots, Ollibots, from the Caravanshoppe.com
Homemade Gift: Wooden robots, Ollibots, from the Caravanshoppe.com

You can mix and match to your heart’s content – and Bennett has!
Homemade Gift: Wooden robots, Ollibots, from the Caravanshoppe.com

Hunter – Lego Print
Check out Hunter’s Lego artwork gift on a previous post.
Homemade Christmas Gift; Lego Wall Art

Hallie – Fancy circle skirt
I’m realizing the older my kids get the more creative I have to get with their homemade gift. It’s much easier when they’re younger!

Hallie was in need of some skirts. Typically, I’m able to find something at a store that fits her just right but we’ve had some trouble lately. She getting taller and she has a fairly skinny waist. We couldn’t find a skirt long enough with a small enough waist. I turned to danamadeit.com and followed her circle skirt pattern. It was so easy, I made one for her to wear before Christmas and surprised her with another on Christmas morning. I’m tempted to make one in my size.

Homemade Gift: Girls circle skirt
Homemade Gift: Girls circle skirt
Homemade Gift: Girls circle skirt
I’m ready to start brainstorming this year’s gifts. (aside from Cannon’s ark which has already made the list!)

Check out more homemade gifts from previous years:
Homemade Gift Paper RollHomemade Gift: T-Shirt QuiltHomemade Gift: Wooden Nativity PuzzleHomemade Gift: Bean BagsHomemade Gift: Gospel ABC BookHomemade Gift: Canvas QuoteHomemade Gift: Wooden Super HeroesHomemade Gift: Kids Apron
Homemade Gift: Photo Book

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