Our theme this week was Games! The Els are ages 3, 4 (almost 5), 6 1/2 and 8. Between the six of us, we have 4 that are mature enough to sit through family game night and enjoy it. I won’t tell you which four. 🙂 Seriously, even the two youngest enjoyed most of our games. Here are a few highlights from our week:
We had a couple of gift cards to Toys R Us, which is why we headed there to pick out some new games for the week.
We decided on kid-friendly scrabble, StarWars R2-D2 Trouble, a couple of new family Wii games, a 500 piece puzzle and Classic Monopoly. We already had a set of dominoes.
First up, Monopoly! This was fun. We played in teams. Me & T vs. Dad & Leeland vs. Bakri & Maddux
Next up…Scrabble! This worked really well with our readers and Trinity had a great time finding letters and trying to put words together. Some of my favorites “jeepers, pew, ew, sliders, elf and brat!”
We started our 500 piece puzzle on day one and kept it out ALL WEEK. This was a huge challenge for El Momma. I’m not sure I would do this again. But, perhaps the end product is worth it. The Els were certainly excited when we finished it together!
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!
Summer Week 2:
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.
We started summer. We continued a tradition from last summer- theme weeks and we started a new tradition- summer jobs.
there are 4.
one for each El.
Line leader- to keep them from fighting when they are getting out of the car
Kitchen helper- helping El Momma in the kitchen
Tablesetter- sets the table at every meal
Bathroom monitor- main job is to help with teeth brushing, putting toothpaste on each tooth brush and calling kids in when ready
Pictured are the jobs on the wall posted below our family mission which I love so very much… starting with “we love God and each other! We follow family rules. We’re a happy family. We stay healthy. We don’t fight. We vacation together every year”
When thinking about Theme Weeks this year, I had my ideas…
Mine basically involved cleaning and organizing. So, we compromised and came up with themes that made El Momma and the Els happy. First up, Arts and Crafts week!
Four canvases in solid colors, four paints, one paint brush and four handprints.
The end result now hanging in our den. Makes me happy. Thankful for theme week 1: Arts and Crafts week. Up next, weather week!