Thursday, 31 May 2012

100 Ways to spend the summer, frugal style!

I have been so rubbish at updating our blog, sorry for that.
We have had many ups and some crazy down's over the past few months.

At the moment I am trying to make plans for the summer!
Yep, it is not far away now, we are at the half term point which means its only a handful of weeks before the summer is here!!

(Little miss paddling pool tent making)

So what do you do to keep six kids happy during the summer?
Given that there are six of them, it has to be frugal too!
Hopefully with some research 
I will be better prepared than ever before!
Given that children slip in regards to education over the summer months 
we will be encouraging educational activities too.

 (littler miss Getting ready for a BBQ)

So far my ideas are as follows:

(Some of these our our family traditions to do over the summer)

(Littler miss and Daddy fruit picking)
  1. Play at the park....maybe tour the local and not so local parks.
  2. Baking - maybe a nice service project?
  3. Readathon, I have a selection of books for each of the children and I will be giving them a folder so they can write a book report.
  4. Water painting in the garden
  5. A trip to the beach
  6. BBQ! Lots of them!!
  7. Outdoor cinema night - white sheet and the projector!
  8. Camp out
  9. Dance in the is England after all!
  10. Teddy bears picnic (even the older ones love these!)
  11. Random acts of kindness..... could be easily Incorporated several times over the summer.
  12. Library reading scheme - the library does this each year with a different theme and free rewards.
  13. Explore the outdoors - take a closer look at where you live, you might be surprised what you find.
  14. Nature walk - take a I spy list to check off
  15. Hike - England has soooo many wonderful opportunities for hiking!
  16. Sensory play - fill boxes with all different items to describe and feel
  17. More sensory play - try foods a selection of foods you have never had before. Maybe explore exotic fruits and vegetables. 
  18. Ready Steady Cook
  19. Climb trees
  20. Go fishing
  21. Lots of bike rides!
  22. No tea Tea party
  23. Messy photo shoot
  24. Watch the stars - let them have a stay up late night and play garden games until the stars come out.
  25. cloud watch, add in some I spy cloud watching fun to make it last longer.
  26. Build a paddling pool tent
  27. Kite flying
  28. Feeding ducks
  29. Making paper boats boats and racing them.
  30. Blowing bubbles and counting how many we can pop
  31. Fruit picking (one of our favs!)
  32. Make jams with the picked fruit (be careful, very hot!)
  33. Make yummy jellies with fruit picked.
  34. Make smoothies with the fruit picked
  35. Paddling pool fun, add the bath toys to make it last longer.
  36. Water balloon fight
  37. Fossil hunt, there is a fab beach in south shields in Lincolnshire that has LOADS!
  38. Become paleontologist for a day - bury some dinosaurs in soil in a box and let them search for them. Even better set dinosaurs in plaster of paris and let them dip and scrape them out!
  39. Make a play
  40. Build a tent in the house..... another rainy day one!
  41. Make pasta bracelets.... macaroni is brilliant for this.
  42. Have a family Olympics - add up scores as you go and have an awards ceremony.
  43. Have a murder mystery day (more for older kids)
  44. Play old fashioned board games
  45. Film night
  46. Family sleepover - all pile into the living room or Mum and Dad's bed and stay up all night (or as long as you can) and have a mid - night feast!
  47. Have a daily workout together
  48. Do yoga in the evening to calm everyone down after fun filled days!
  49. Make salt dough and design sculptures
  50. Paint canvases
  51. Write to Grandparents
  52. Write to missionaries or friends living away from home
  53. Write a story
  54. Create a funny family story taking it in turns to write the next line.
  55. Have an un-birthday party
  56. Visit elderly neighbours
  57. Surprise someone with treats on their doorstep, homemade makes it even better
  58. Make treats to leave on a doorstep to surprise someone!
  59. Make puppets
  60. Have a puppet show
  61. Take a drive to the hills and camp outside
  62. Write and deliver Sweet nothing notes
  63. Make a wind chime
  64. Decorate the play house
  65. Write a script
  66. Act out and film your script
  67. Go for a walk
  68. Have a homemade spa day
  69. Visit a museum
  70. Sand castle competition
  71. Set up a weather station
  72. Research a country and cook food from that country and try out some of their traditions
  73. Car boot sale - good chance for a clear out
  74. Spend car boot sale money on a trip out, maybe to the zoo or a farm...
  75. Silly photoshoot
  76.    Paint pictures
  77. Have a garden camp out party, sleeping bags, marshmallows, hot chocolate and maybe even a testimony meeting!
  78. Get together with friends for a picnic/ BBQ
  79. Make dream catchers
  80. Dictionary look up - give the kids a list of words and a dictionary
  81. Atlas exploring - Give the children a letter and ask them to find as many countries and cities with that later as they can
  82. Horrible histories - Give the children a period in history and ask them to put together a presentation board all about what crazy things happened during that time.
  83. Pick an artist and create your own work in their style....Jackson Pollock is always a hit!
  84. Become Wordsworth, write your own poems 
  85. Have a talent night, maybe toward the end of the summer so the children can show off the wonderful things they have been doing over the summer.
  86. Super bubbly car wash
  87. Make a wormery
  88.  Hunt bugs and identify them
  89. Grow Sunflowers, competition to see who's grows the biggest
  90. Have plant growing experiments... see if talking to plants really makes them grow faster or add food to some but not too others etc
  91. Make a family flag
  92. Make a family summer cookbook, create your own recipes and try them out
  93. Make sweets
  94. Learn skipping games
  95. Play hide and seek..... even Mum and Dad!
  96. Have story time!
  97. Have a random crafts morning - just provide materials and let them do as they please.
  98. Take fire men a treat
  99. Write thank you letters to your bishop, neighbours, family members or anyone who has touched your family in a wonderful way this year.
  100. Make sure you take the time to enjoy the memories you are making and journal them!

 (Littler miss and Little mister with Mummy on a bike trek)

 Well I hope this gives you some ideas, if you have any I could use I would love to know about them!

We hope you enjoy your summer planning,
and even more your summer!

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Even the happiest family has a little tattle!

There is one thing that is for sure when you have more than one child 
and that is tattle will occur!

I don't know about you but having six children myself 
I have more than enough tattle tailing flying about to drive the calmest person to distraction!
So I got to thinking and decided to make some member complaint forms.
Granted this does not help with the little ones 
but works a treat for the older children.


Here is

When they have filled out the form they place it in a box 
ready for Mum and Dad to deal with 
in a calm and timely manner.

Hope it helps your family!!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Thanksgiving traditions!

We love Thanksgiving in our house.
It is such a fun time of year,
It is a good chance to let each other know how thankful we are for each other.
But it is also the day we put up our Christmas decorations.

This year we decided we wanted to put up a real tree...
So we searched the net for somewhere to buy our tree,
but then the answer to where to get it from came on the back of a car park ticket!
Samuel noticed the ticket had an advert for Christmas trees.

This place was frankly AMAZING!
The children had a fabulous time.

When we went in we were welcomed by the Head Elf,
Who was very Jolly and kind and helpful.
All the children received a Lolly to start of the fun
while the adults discussed the boring stuff.

Then it was time to go off to the tractor!

As I am sure you can tell the children did not need telling twice!

 They thought all their Christmases had come at once...
but they had seen nothing yet!

Before leaving for the field they each received a quiz 
(cost was £1.50 per child - includes gift),
Clues were hidden all around the farm for the children to find.

They rather enjoyed this bit,
I afraid there were many shouts for joy as they found Elves
dotted around the plantation.

Not all of them from the children....

Liliana had fun running through the trees.

Finding unlikely friends along the way!

And some very exciting friends too!

The Santa was cleverly shhh'ing the children so as to 
not ruin the big surprise ahead.
(we didn't tell the children about the gifts!)
They loved the gifts!

Even Oliver... 
though his mittens made it hard to enjoy them too much....


Ok, so with all the hunting fun we almost forgot why we were there in the first place.
To find a tree!
We had many, many to choose from...
Once we got it down to two we had a family vote
and this is the one we chose!

Our tree!!!
So we tagged it and then went to tell the staff which we wanted.
Immediately they jumped on their Quad bike with a trailer and went to cut it down!
Talk about service!!

and while we waited for the tractor to come back we were able to
warm our toes and fingers on the fire.

Within a matter of minutes we watched our tree being taken off 
to the shop area to be netted.
(and then even carried to our car!)

Yay! Our tree!!
Then the Tractor came...

Micah loved watching the tractor!
Their was only one problem...

Our tree seemed to be home to a giant family of Lady birds!!

As far as pests go I am glad it was such sweet, harmless,
happily handled and happy to handle bugs!
Thank goodness it wasn't spiders!!
(The car is still full of them)

Ok, so here it is...
Our tree all decorated!

Very happy with it.
It is a Blue Spruce!

and here is an extra pic just for fun...

We had exactly the right amount of time before dinner was ready 
to decorate the tree.

After dinner we took some time aside to read our
'Because you're fabulous' jar notes!
I have to say, this is got to be up there with our favorite traditions.
I love my family and I love experiencing fun and wonderful things with them.
I am so thankful for my famly,
and for places like Fillingham Trees who help us develope Magical Memories
which will last our family a lifetime!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, 21 November 2011

Before I am 28 Bucket List...

My birthday is fast approaching,
I will be 28 in the end of January.
I have decided I am going to make a Bucket List each year.
Now deciding this in mid November makes it a little tricky....
However I have come up with 27 things 
(One for each of my ever growing years)
Which I would like to do before my Birthday,
and I think are possible to achieve.

So here it is....

My list  is as follows...
  1. Camp out in Winter
  2. Watch the Sun rise and set
  3. Dance barefoot in the rain
  4. Find a creative way to let someone know they are amazing
  5. Go Horse riding
  6. Go Ice skating
  7. Do something that terrifies me
  8. Get over my fear of going downstairs at night
  9. Read the Book of Mormon again
  10. Eat something I have never tried before
  11. Start a book for each of my children with letters from me to them
  12. Go to a Ballet in Christmas Eve
  13. Make Sushi
  14. Create my ideal reading space
  15. Read all remaining Jodi Picoult books
  16. Stay up all night talking to my best friend
  17. Laugh every day
  18. Stop being hard on myself
  19. Make sure the man I love knows I love him and is amazing
  20. Enter a Photography competition
  21. Learn a new song on the Flute
  22. Embrace something I find boring
  23. Go to the Temple for my Great Aunt
  24. Make a Family Bucket List
  25. Spend a whole day interrupted, reading
  26. Visit the Peak District
  27. Lay on the floor watching Snow fall.
I will try and blog how I get on....

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Sweet I love you (family or couples)

When the children went back to school
I wanted to let them know I love them.

So as I can't actually be there with them at school
I decided maybe a lunch box surprise was in order.
So I searched for ideas...
There are lots on the web,
But nothing that fit my children perfectly.
That is until I searched Ebay 
(I know ebay obsessed - But you can find just about anything there!)
And I came across some super cute lolly moulds.

All our children (well except Oliver) use the I love you sign language sign
We like to use it when we are not in a position to actually tell the person.
The children enjoy on a Sunday showing Daddy they love him
as he sits at the front every Sunday this can be difficult for them so they use the sign.

So this
was perfect for the job.
I did order it from a UK store but they don't seem to be offering it now.

A tasty way to let them now!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Explore the world of wet (Family)

Children develop and learn through exploration
And boy do they have fun exploring!

We sometimes forget,
when we are super busy with 
How much fun it is to play like a child....
with the children!!!!

This week maybe take a moment to explore the world through your children's eyes!

You could;
  • Paddle at the edge of a pond
  • Play with play dough
  • Make salt dough models
  • Play with your food!
  • Make art out of food
There are plenty more things you could do...
No doubt some of the above will appear in future posts!

Most importantly though...

Connect four (Couples)

This week for our date night we enjoyed a date in the garden.

It involved these above,
A bucket BBQ,
Some yummy drinks,
Some Marshmallows,
A blanket,
Some cushions,
A sprinkling of stars...
and lots of fun!

Once the children had gone to bed we got ready to go 'out' on our date.
We set up our connect four outside...

David prepared the BBQ
(Sitting it on a piece of wood as our grass is astrofelt!)
We prepared the refreshments 
and we were ready for our night 'out'.

Ours is a giant Connect four which can be found here;

Though a small version works just as well!

It can be soooo much fun,
Though if one of you is alot better at it than the other
Let them win every so often
(without being obvious about it!)

As the evening roles on your BBQ will burn down a little
Which makes it PERFECT for roasting marshmallows on!

This is where the blankets and pillows come in,
As the night draws in it will get chilly.
But rather than going in
wrap up warm and cuddle!

Once it is dark it is the perfect time to lay back on the pillows
and watch the stars!!!