About five months ago I co-chaired the Gala fundraiser for our school. #horngala15 It was a huge success, a ton of work, but also incredibly rewarding. More about the top picture later…
So, at our school Gala, we auctioned off socials. Socials have a limited number of spots available at a set price. We have socials with teachers: bowling and pizza and we have socials that are just for parents: dinner and quiz night. And, we have socials that are organized by parents for kids. This was one of those. 104KRBE gave us an exclusive all access pass to their morning show for up to 10 kids. So, we arrived early this morning and were given a tour of the studio, a ton of juice and donuts and these kiddos got to say “hello” on the radio. It was super fun!
Trin was in dance camp all week. Today she had a recital. She had a blast!
All four of the kids were enrolled in at least one week of Power camp this summer. Today was the last day of power camp and it ended with a balloon release with messages of hope tied to them.
And this guy not feeling well. Unexplained fever and sadness. So, we picked him up from power camp a little early and headed to the doctor for a quick check before the weekend.
Finally, we ended the night with an amazing dinner with friends old and new. This was a celebration of the Gala we did in May to support our Little League. I definitely felt appreciated and loved. What a treat!
Delicious Cheese plate.
So, what’s the first pic about? That’s my friend, Tricia. She’s awesome. Seriously, she loves to photobomb pictures I’m in or pictures I am taking. This time she photobombed the cheese and I just had to share.
I can’t help but sing “in Sum-merrrrrr” ala Olaf from Frozen. If you haven’t seen the movie, then the songs are probably not stuck in your head or being sung over and over again by your housemates. Great songs, but any song can get annoying after the hundredth time you hear it being belted out by your five year old daughter. Gotta love “Sum-merrrrrr!”
So, we’re off and the first week of summer is already behind us. I counted and I believe we have 93 days of summer. Meaning, we only have 81 days left! Aack! We better get to livin…
The first weekend of summer was filled with birthday fun. First, the hubs grilled burgers and hotdogs at his parents’ home on his birthday.
We had cake, of course and the theme is one that will probably be with us all summer long: B-A-S-E-B-A-L-L! So long 38 and hello, 39. Happy happy birthday to Moustapha!
We decorated with Moustapha’s vintage pennants. Here’s his beautiful momma with one from 1984! “Mo-stapha!”
A little attention needed for our little guy and then…
Time for a song and cake!
We all put up our Longhorns and little Leeland sported his peace sign proudly.
With my dear parents and sister.
Moustapha’s sweet Aunt Mary Louise even joined in for the party. She was visiting from out of town!
Our newest family member was also part of the celebration. We love all of our nephews!
We’ve had cake, and now let’s have some chocolate fudgecicles. Why not!?
Me and the birthday boy!
With his proud daddy.
And, then…we celebrated another very special birthday. Our sweet niece, Grace shares a birthday with Moustapha. She turned 3. Isn’t she lovely?
After the birthday celebrations, we had an adventure of our own at the El House. One afternoon, I went in to our daughter’s room only to discover the noise of a small critter coming from the wall. Something was stuck and not happy about it. That night, the oldest boys slept in a different room (they share a wall with their sister) in sleeping bags on the floor and our two youngest also slept in different beds then their usual spots. All to get away from whatever was nervous and clawing at the wall. The next day, Moustapha cut a hole in the wall, only to discover this little face looking back at him. A baby raccoon. We called the Texas Wildlife Center. They believed that the mom might come back for the baby. So, we placed the baby in this little bin and the baby stayed there all night. By the next morning, Moustapha was really worried about the baby, so he took the baby raccoon – the kids named him Racky- to the Wildlife Center. They said he was dehydrated, but otherwise doing well. We are allowed to check on Racky’s progress twice over the next 6 months. We will try to be patient!
Throughout the week, Maddux played in a tournament on a 7U select league team. His team, The Bellaire Bombers, won every game and they won the entire tournament on Saturday. Moustapha, Bakri and I enjoyed cheering them on to victory. Did I mention that baseball is going to be a big theme this summer? This is part of the reason for that. It’s our first time having anyone play select league. It could get interesting!
Maddux, getting his team first place trophy!
And, brothers celebrating at dinner!
I think that about sums up the first week of summer. It was a fun doozy! We’ve already celebrated another birthday this week- my father-in-law and we have more coming this week. I can’t complain. Summer, baseball, birthdays, family, music…these are a few of my favorite things….
Hope your summer is off to a great start too. The last few summers, we’ve had theme weeks at our house to give us purpose each week and to really help me stay organized and keep the Els active. Several of my friends shared this blog post from City Moms Blog with a bucket list of things to do with your kids this summer in Houston. Check it out here: http://citymomsblog.com/houston/summer-2014-bucket-list/ This is specific to Houston, but many of the activities would work in any town. I did have one child request the theme weeks again yesterday. I’m still contemplating that. I will update here if we decide to go that route or if we have our own bucket list this summer. I will definitely post our activities here. Keep busy, keep calm and keep cool!
This week’s theme was science! Luckily, my dear friend, Tracy was a science teacher and she offered to do Science week with us. We even had a few extra “campers” this week. It was really fun. She planned several experiments, we watched Sid the Science kid for downtime and the Els had a blast making things explode with their friends.
Shaking the ice cream!
Diet coke and mintos
Up it goes!
We even had extra helpers! We needed them with 9 kids!
El Momma, the amazing scientist- Tracy and our happy science campers!
Our youngest turned 3 this summer. One month before his birthday he asked (completely unprompted) for a Willy Wonka birthday party. It was a perfect idea, so we got to work. We asked our family to join us for the fun and even dress as characters from the book…anyone, but Willy Wonka. Leeland, our birthday boy, would be the only Willy Wonka.
Last year the Els had a performance week and did a song from Aladdin at a family Disney night at our church. This year, the kids picked out their characters and we spent the week rehearsing and preparing for them to perform a few songs from the Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory movie.
He already had a blue velvet jacket (hand-me-down originally purchased by his grandmother for his oldest brother) I found this hat on ebay. And ordered him a size small.
Pajamas, velvet jacket and top hat…normal for rehearsals!
Practicing for the big performance. Our stage.
Tickets…I purchased a set of Willy Wonka graphics from Etsy. Everything was customized.
The party table. Cake, candy, chocolate and more candy. We’ve never served so much sugar at a party!
Our handsome birthday boy. We found the vest material online. It is the same fabric print as the Gene Wilder vest. Our little Leeland, Willy Wonka was so very happy!
Last week, while the Nation celebrated our Freedom on the 4th of July, we prepared for a week long celebration with Water as our theme. The first objective of water week: learn to swim!
With a bird’s eye view
Swimmers must be hydrated and fed well. Here is a photo of us at lunch at the Kolache Factory.
For the 4th of July, we celebrated with family at the Els’ Aunt and Uncle’s pool party! The Els practiced swimming.
Ate yummy dinner by the pool!
Leeland even sported his Willy Wonka top hat in his swim trunks. Can you guess what next week’s theme is? (I’ll give you a hint, it’s performance, birthday and chocolate related)
After the family pool party, we headed home to watch the fireworks! Leeland asked nervously “Are they coming closer?”
Me and Miss T- July 4th 2013
And, for the weekend, we made a waterpark in the backyard…just dad and the water hose is pretty much all it takes!
After all of the water park fun in the backyard, we had a picnic. – Leeland
-Daddy and Trinity
-Maddux and Bakri
-El Momma and Trinity
Daddy’s hat on Trinity
Hope you are enjoying your summer. What do you do with your little ones to keep them cool, happy, occupied and engaged in the summer months? Comment below.
–El Momma is a blog chronicling the adventures of El Momma (singer/songwriter Rebekah Maddux El-Hakam), her husband and 4 children- the Els. To download a free 6 song sampler from Rebekah’s critically acclaimed debut album, Radiant You, visit www.noisetrade.com/rebekahme/radiant-you
Last year we went to the big recycling center in West U for Recycle week. This year we decided to do things a little differently. We have 2 bins of recycling that get picked up bi-weekly at our house. We are really good at recycling. However, we needed to go through clothes we can’t wear and have a few things fixed so we can reuse them. We also decided to stop (or at least cut down- I’m not sure how to stop because of bacon in the microwave) using paper towels. We are going to use cloth instead. I will let you know how that goes. We do throw a lot of paper towels away. So, hopefully not using paper towels will make a positive difference.
We took donations here. Clothes, toys, shoes, etc.
We filled the back of the truck with donations. Bakri and Maddux were excited.
We took special clothes to our baby niece (she’s 2) and ready for everything Trinity picked out for her!
We even took El Momma’s last year’s summer shoes to the Shoe Hospital for repair. I spent $12 on repairing them instead of $45+ on new ones. 🙂 Win Win!
We studied about weather. We learned about weather events and visited the Weather Museum right here in Houston. It’s basically an old house (very large house) that has been restored and is now the Weather Museum. It is small in comparison to other museums in the Museum District. However, for what we were looking for and need (simple, no line, interesting, fun and not crowded) it was perfect. The Els even did weather reports in front of a green screen. 2 blizzards and 1 hurricane. Leeland, our 2 year old was terrified of the tornado machine, which was harmless, but very loud. Other than that, weather week was a huge success.