Simply Summers

Simplified Chaos


It’s Been a While…

I know, it’s been a while since I’ve posted.  As is usually the fact of my life, what I decided and planned to do gets railroaded and doesn’t work out so I create a bigger, better plan and this time, I’m going to stick with it.  I have decided that rather than start a new school year in April, I would wait until September and start fresh with our K4 curriculum from Confessions of a Homeschooler.  While I am sort of using her lesson plan that comes with the curriculum, I am supplementing with some other curriculum and lessons I have come across.  So I am sitting down and planning each week out adding in the other curriculum and things I have come across.  I am even planning out our arts and crafts for each day and science experiments for each week.

Over the summer I am going to do some preschool/kindergarten themes I had saved prior to getting the K4 curriculum and never used.  So we are just going to have fun during the summer, do a few themed lessons, do some arts and crafts and lots of playing!!

So on to what we have been doing…..

We have been working some puzzles:







Cheyenne has never been a puzzle girl.  She has never liked puzzles even as a baby and toddler, she never expressed interest in them, gravitated towards them or even wanted to participate when I would get them out and do them with her.  But since I have packed away all of her baby puzzles and bought her some big girl puzzles over the last year, she still hasn’t really seemed interested.  So the other day, I showed her where I had put her puzzles in her closet on a shelf where she could get them whenever she wanted.  In the past, I had to keep them put up or all the pieces would be scattered all over the room or better yet, the entire house.  😦

So when I got a couple of puzzles out the other day for her, we sat and put one together and then she got a little more interested but I guess needs more work to get better at them.  Since she wasn’t that interested, I never pushed them on her, but wanted to reintroduce them to her and see if it sparks an interest.  Since that day, she has asked me to do puzzles again yesterday and today.  I’m hoping she will be a puzzle lover like her Mommy.  I remember as a kid and teenager, we would go to the Hallmark store at least once a month and get Springbok puzzles and we would sit and work the puzzles as a family in the evenings.  Some took no time at all and other took longer.  Believe it or not, those very puzzles are still all together, each one laid out on newspaper, brushed with puzzle glue and stacked on top of each other under our living room couch where they have been since we put them together and each one we completed would get added to the top of the stack.  I was thinking about that the other day and how much I would love to pull those out and see what condition they are in.  It’s been like 20 years or more, people, so there’s no telling.  But I remember one that was some teddy bears doing ballet and I thought that one would be cute to frame and put in Cheyenne’s room.  I would love to take some of them apart and do them again.  (I’ll just have to take pictures before I disassemble them since the boxes are long gone)

Anyway, what a fun trip down memory lane there, but we’ve been up to more than just reminiscing….

We also did a cute craft over a couple of days.  I bought a little simple wood frame and some wood letters at Wal-Mart last week and I decided we would do this as we had a lot of rain over a couple of days and then one (hopefully) last visit from Old Man Winter.  This is Texas ya’ll….winter should be long over by now.

I am running low on paint and didn’t see a color I really liked that would match her décor in her room, which is lime green and hot pink, so I went in and got the paint that I used to paint her entertainment center in her room.  So she painted the frame lime green and the letters hot pink.  Then I had a brilliant idea that I thought would be really cute…putting hot pink polka dots all around the frame.  Cheyenne did help, but I did most of the dots, but the rest of this craft, she did all by herself.  I think it turned out pretty cute!!

Painting a picture frame for her room





Such a silly little girl. She went in the other room and came back in the den looking like this.  I couldn’t resist snapping a picture!

We also spent some time outside after the rain stopped and it warmed up a little.  Did I mention that Cheyenne has seemed to grow super muscles lately??  All of a sudden lately, she is doing things that she’s never done before, using her muscles to swing between the couch and coffee table, hanging and pulling herself up on everything using her own strength.  We were outside in the front yard and Cheyenne called me and when I turned around this is what I saw….


After my heart went back down into my chest, I snapped this picture quickly before letting her know that that was extremely dangerous and urged her to carefully get down.  Especially since this tree’s roots come up above the ground and are very large.  She had completely used her arm strength to pull herself up there and stand up.  I was shocked.  She has tried for a while to climb up there, but hadn’t been able to do it.  I am constantly amazed by this little girl!  🙂




St. Patrick’s Day Man

We made a fun craft the other day, and I never got it posted….surprise!  Being as it is St. Patrick’s Day, I figured I better get it posted for those of you that want a last-minute St. Patrick’s Day craft because aren’t you all like me and wait until the last minute??


We had fun with this one….once I got everything ready.  I made the mistake of telling Cheyenne we were going to do a craft, then had to get everything ready while she was wanting to do her craft.  Why I didn’t get everything cut out and ready ahead of time, I will never know.  Hindsight is 20/20 and next time I will know…..

Anyway, I gathered our supplies:

You will need:

green construction paper

white construction paper

2 googly eyes



black marker

large and small shamrock templates

I would highly suggest getting everything cut out ahead of time unless you have an older child that can cut the shamrocks easily.

Then take your white paper and cut 4 strips about an inch wide and fold each of those accordion-style.


After this point, I pretty much let Cheyenne do the rest by herself.  I have been guilty in the past of almost doing it all for her or correcting what she has done to make it perfect, but I am having to just let go and let her create the way she sees it.  I do still help with the glue so that one project doesn’t use an entire bottle of glue.  She did a great job on this one!!

She drew the mouth on her shamrock man and glued the eyes on first.


Then she glued the accordion-style arms and legs on and attached the small shamrocks for hands and feet.


She was pretty excited about her Shamrock Man and couldn’t wait to show it to Nana and Grandpa!


This was a pretty fun and easy craft that I felt comfortable letting her take the lead and create, except for the glue, and we had a lot of  fun.  We haven’t done it yet, but we are going to punch a hole in the top of his head and use some string to hang him up for decoration.

He will make a lovely birthday decoration as well, since today is my mother’s birthday.  Cheyenne made Nana a birthday card, which I will share tomorrow.  We will be celebrating her birthday today and going out to dinner tonight and Cheyenne wants to go to Monster Yogurt (our favorite frozen yogurt place) for Nana’s birthday dessert!

So we have a fun filled day and evening ahead of us!!

I hope you all have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day!!





Linking up with:

123Homeschool4Me Link Up                             Show & Share Saturday                     Link & Learn         PastedGraphic-1


Valentine’s Day Heart Craft

With Valentine’s Day coming up, we decided to get started and get some Valentine’s crafts done.  One day last week, I let Cheyenne do some shaving cream painting. I chose some Valentine colors (red, pink, white and purple) and let her just do a whole piece of paper and then we could decide what we wanted to do with it.


100_6240                     100_6246

Of course once she was done she had to play in the shaving cream!!  That’s the most fun part, right??


Then after a couple of days, I decided we should go ahead and do something with it before Valentine’s Day comes and goes.

I got some of Cheyenne’s Valentine’s cookie cutters and traced around them and cut out some different sized hearts.

100_6260                      100_6266

Then I cut a big heart out of red construction paper and let Cheyenne glue the marbled hearts on the big red heart.  100_6269

Then a really adorable idea came to me and so we did another fun craft and I like this one much better.

I cut out another red heart our of construction paper and let Cheyenne glue one of the marbled hearts in the middle.


I came across some Valentine’s conversation heart stickers that I bought last year and never used, so we got those out and Cheyenne outlined the center heart with those.



I think it turned out pretty cute and Cheyenne was so proud of it, she had to make sure to show it to Nana and Grandpa!!

I hope you all are having fun with your Valentine’s Day crafts!!


Linking up at:

               Sunday Showcase    TGIFLinkyParty-1              Link & Learn               Kinder & Prekinder Nook                          comeplayatkidsco-op-e1356053618414                                 AOD-Finished-Friday-button                      HeartsforHomeButton125_zpsa08638de


Snowflake Painting

We did a fun craft over the weekend that we did once before back at Easter time.  I have seen several resist painting posts on Pinterest and it reminded me how much Cheyenne enjoyed it.  She could paint the whole page, yet when we take the tape off, there is a cool picture or pattern left behind!  I was so excited to set this up and let her do it that I didn’t get any pics of the actual process.  😦

I started out making a snowflake with blue painter’s tape cut in half (because I didn’t have any masking tape).  Then I mixed up some different shades of blue paint for Cheyenne to paint different parts of the paper or use the darker colors for effect, but they all ended up getting pretty much mixed together and there isn’t much color difference.  Once the paint dried, I took the tape off, with Cheyenne watching eagerly, and revealed the beautiful snowflake.  Cheyenne thought it was so cool.  I am going to laminate these and start an art notebook, since I have a huge stack of artwork from home and Mother’s Day Out just sitting around.  I am going to select some of the favorites and take pictures of some of the larger ones and laminate and create an art portfolio.  I will post more on that later, once I get it going.  🙂

Here is the finished snowflake!!  We will be doing more of these because Cheyenne loves to paint and loves to see the picture/design once the tape is taken off and is now old enough to think it’s neat and want to do more!


I hope you all had a wonderful weekend with your little ones as well and got to have some fun!


Linking up with:

Link & Learn                    Sunday Showcase                         Tuesday Tots Linky Button                                     comeplayatkidsco-op-e1356053618414                          TGIFLinkyParty-1


Break Time

We are going to be taking a break from Preschool until after the first of the year. We had a housesitting job for 3 weeks and when we got home, Cheyenne came down with a nasty cold. Once we got home, we started decorating for Christmas so now it is next to impossible to move all of the school stuff into the living room, which will be our new school room. We are also going to be making a trip down to Austin to see my sister, brother-in-law and nieces for Christmas. Cheyenne is super excited to go see her cousins and I’m pretty excited myself. We only get to see them a few times a year, like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and all of the kids’ birthdays, so we love it when we get to go down there and visit for a while.

So unfortunately, we are having to take a break and will resume after the first of the year once the holiday is over and I can get everything moved and set up in the living room. But until then, I am hoping to do some fun Christmas crafts!!

Here is one we did yesterday and was quite fun. I got the idea from Pinterest, where I get most of my ideas. We made Christmas Fingerprint Lights and I think it turned out pretty cute!


I was going to use stamp pads so it wouldn’t be quite so thick, but unfortunately our inkpads were a bit dried out and we couldn’t get a good fingerprint, so guess what just got added to our Christmas list?  😉


White paper (I took a regular sheet of white construction paper and cut it in half)

Different colors of paint (or stamp pads if you have them)

Black marker

Green or red construction paper to mount on if desired

I just got some paint and rather than just squirting it on to a plate, I actually got a paintbrush and painted a thin amount on the plate and kind of used that as an inkpad.  It worked out okay and looks cute!  I drew the “cord” first and then helped Cheyenne put her fingerprint lights along the cord.  Then I drew the light bases and mounted it on green paper so it wouldn’t look too plain.  I think it turned out pretty cute and when Grandpa got home last night, she was so excited to show him her artwork!!

Hopefully we’ll get around to some more Christmas projects and I can’t wait until after the first of the year to get everything moved and set up to start preschool again!!



Shaving Cream Painting Placemat

Today I had the brilliant idea to combine a couple of different crafts that I have seen floating around on Pinterest and modify them a bit.  I have seen Shaving Cream Painting all over the internet and have been hesitant to try it, not because I am a neat freak, if you know me, you know that is not true, but because it seems like such a big mess and can get all over the place.  Well, I put my fears aside today and decided to let Cheyenne try it.

I have also seen placemats made from contact paper and leaves or whatever between the two sheets of contact paper.

I decided I was going to combine the two and voila….Shaving cream painting placemats!!

I got all of our supplies out:

All you need is a can of shaving cream, paint (we used red, yellow an orange), a large baking sheet or container (not pictured), paper or pictures, straight edged instrument (we used a ruler)

I had printed off some templates of different shaped leaves earlier in the day.

I covered the baking sheet in shaving cream and dripped the paint all over the surface of it.

Then I took a paintbrush and just lightly swirled the colors around in the shaving cream, but not too much or the colors will start to blend and you won’t get the marbled look.

Then we laid our paper on the shaving cream and gently pressed down and sort of rubbed around the paper with our hands.

Then I took the paper off and starting at one end, scraped the ruler across the paper to get all of the shaving cream off.  It left a beautiful marbled paper!  Doesn’t it look pretty??  🙂

I did notice that after the first page, the marbling effect went away and it was just mixed colors.  I didn’t have any more paint, as we used the last of it setting this up. Next time, I may have to try adding more paint between pages if we do more than one.

Then I decided to put my fears aside and let her play with the shaving cream since she had been wanting to touch it and play with it the whole time.

She had a blast!!


So while she was playing, I set the papers aside to dry.  After her nap, I cut the shapes out and then we made her placemat.

I didn’t get any pics of the actual making of the placemat, because I suddenly had a great idea to make a border and completely forgot to take pictures.

What we did was cut 2 sheets of wax paper to the size we wanted the placemat to be.  We plugged our iron in to heat up.  Then we placed the leaf shapes on one piece of wax paper and placed the second piece on top of it.  I decided to make a little border around it, so I cut some strips out of brown construction paper and had to do a little patching and gluing to make it the right size, but made a little brown border to go around the edge of the placemat.  Then I placed that on the bottom piece of wax paper and then placed the second piece on top.  Then I took the iron and ironed over the placemat very slowly to heat up the wax paper and let it fuse together.

While I did the ironing, Cheyenne went for a walk with my dad and collected some pecans, so she wasn’t around.  Make sure the ironing is a mom-only job!  Little ones can get burned so easily.  When Cheyenne came back from her walk, she was so pleased to see her placemat! She thought it was so cool and loved that she made it, except for the ironing.

My dad thought it was neat what we were going to do, so when he and Cheyenne went for their walk, they also collected some leaves and he made one with the leaves they collected!!  It turned out pretty cute too!

We are loving fall around here and today a cold front finally came through to give us more fall-like weather.  It has been in the mid to upper 80’s here in Texas, yes, even in November.  But today a cold front came through and it is in the 50s now!  I love fall, because I hate winter.  I am not a fan of cold.  I can handle upper 50s to about mid 80s so we have a very short time each year that I am completely happy! 🙂

I hope you all get a chance to try this!  Let me know how it goes for you.

Linking up with:



Pumpkin Pie Play Dough

I have to admit, fall is probably my favorite season…at least right now.  Spring and Fall are pretty much tied in my mind. I love them both equally…summer is too hot, especially here in Texas. Winter is too cold for my liking, even though it’s nothing compared to the winters up north. But I love fall and I’m so glad it is here!  We are finally starting to experience some fall-like temps after our almost 90* week last week. This week it is in the 70s and I love it!!

Now that it seems that fall may finally be here…better late than never….I decided we needed to make some Pumpkin Pie Play Dough.  I found this simple recipe at 2 Big 2 Little.

Here’s what you need:

1 cup flour
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup salt
2 tbsp cream of tartar
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 cup water
red and yellow food coloring (unless you can find orange…I couldn’t)

Once you have all of your ingredients ready, get a medium pot and add all ingredients except for the water and food coloring.  Add your food coloring to the water until you have the desired shade, but note it will be darker than what the water looks like.  Ours was a pretty orange and I was actually afraid it was going to be too bright orange, because I actually wanted a little darker, spicier look and luckily that’s exactly how it turned out.  Once you have colored your water, pour it into your pot and mix everything very well.

Stir over medium heat approximately 4-5 minutes, or until the dough forms a ball in the center of the pot.

Remove from the pot onto your counter or cutting board and let cool.  It will be very hot…believe me.  🙂

Once it is cool, knead it for a little bit until soft and smooth.  I probably kneaded longer than necessary because I love play dough and warm pumpkin pie scented play dough is just like a little slice of Heaven.  🙂

Of course, I couldn’t have all the fun. Cheyenne had to get in on the kneading fun because she loves to help!  I think she really just wanted me to leave it alone so she could play with it.  Then she took it in to her table and got some cookie cutters and went to town playing with her new play dough.

This was so fun!  Since the first time we made play dough, I have loved it!  Cheyenne loves to play with play dough and we love making it.  It lasts so much longer than store bought (as long as it is picked up) and is safer in the even a wee one decides to put it in their mouth, plus you can color and scent your play dough however you want.  There are so many ways to make, color, and scent play dough along with many additives that can be added and so many endless ways to play with it.  Can you tell we love play dough??

I hope you get a chance to make this wonderful play dough.  My hands smelled so good after making this that I didn’t want to wash my hands.  But of course, I did.

Let me know if you make this and how your little ones like it!  Welcome fall!!  Better late than never….




Linking up with:



Paper Tube Turkey

I’ve seen so many cute crafts for Thanksgiving and today I decided to let Cheyenne make a Paper Tube Turkey after she got home from Mother’s Day Out.

I gathered all the supplies:  Paper plate, toilet paper tube, 2 googly eyes, paints (we used brown, orange, red and yellow), glue and scissors.

First, Cheyenne painted the tube brown for the body of her turkey.  I was pleasantly surprised by how well she did.  I was expecting paint all over the place and just patches of paint on the tube, but she did a great job all by herself.  I just had to smooth out a couple of spots where she got the paint a little thick.

Then we had to take a break because it was time for me to fix dinner and our turkey body needed to dry.

After our delicious dinner of Parmesan Crusted Tilapia, Parmesan Roasted Green Beans, and hushpuppies, we cleared the table and got back to work.

When we got back to work, I cut the paper plate in half and set out some red, yellow and orange paint.  She painted the paper plate a beautiful medley of red, yellow and orange.

I put two dots of glue on our dried turkey body and Cheyenne put the googly eyes on.

Then I put some glue on the back of the turkey body and down the center of the paper plate and Cheyenne glued the body to the feathers.  I think it turned out pretty cute and she is so proud of her turkey craft.  Cheyenne is really getting into crafts now and she is getting better at it and better at doing specific tasks for each project.

Let me know if you get a chance to do this cute craft and how your little one enjoyed it.

Linking up with:



Handprint Turkey

I was terrible last month and out of all the Fall and Halloween crafts I saw and wanted to do with Cheyenne, we only did a couple.  So I decided that this month, we are going to start early and do some throughout the month.  I LOVE handprint and footprint art because I think it’s a great way to remember how big your kids are at different stages and it’s something tangible that you can have and see.  With that being said, I decided to let Cheyenne do a handprint turkey yesterday.

I gathered the supplies needed:

white paper, colored construction paper, paints (we used brown, red, blue, orange, green and yellow), a googly eye and orange and red markers.

I painted the palm of her hand brown and each finger a different color, but didn’t get a picture of that as I was too busy trying to get her hand printed before the paint dried.

I glued a googly eye on the thumb and used the orange marker to draw a beak and some feet. I used the red marker to draw a wattle on our little turkey.

Then I cut down the white paper and mounted it on a piece of brown construction paper. I had to cut it kind of funny, because Cheyenne decided to paint on part of the white paper. She loves art and loves to draw and paint and does whenever she gets the chance.

Cheyenne had a great time doing this craft and she is so proud of her turkey.  I think it turned out pretty cute.

I hope you get a chance to make one with your little turkey.  I love comments so let me know what you think and if you get a chance to do this fun craft.

Linking up with:



Handprint Spider

With Halloween approaching quickly, we are starting to get in the Halloween spirit. We put some window clings on the front window and glass front door the other day which are supposed to glow in the dark, but I have yet to see any glowing.  But Cheyenne thinks they are neat, so that’s cool.  🙂

I’m wanting to do more Halloween crafts now that we are getting close and Cheyenne loves doing different crafts. Thanks to Pinterest, there are Halloween crafts galore to choose from!!   So today, we made a Handprint Spider.  All you need for this is a piece of paper, some black paint, a couple of googly eyes and some glue to glue on the eyes.

Cheyenne gets so excited about crafts that sometimes I have to just step back and let her do more herself.  This time, she wanted to paint her hands for the handprint spiders, so I hesitantly let her do it, almost hovering the whole time.  She did great and I just had to do a little touch up to get her hand completely covered.

 She painted one hand and made a handprint on the paper.

I put a dot of glue on the back of two googly eyes and Cheyenne put them on her spider ever so carefully and this is what she ended up with!

She did such a great job and had so much fun!!  Give it a try and let me know!!  I love comments!!

Linking up with: