Simply Summers

Simplified Chaos


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Big Changes are Coming!!

Well, the holidays are all over and it is time to resume normal activity. Is there such a thing? I don’t think so…chaos is our normal.

I have to say since Cheyenne started going to Mother’s Day Out, it has been more difficult to keep our schedule of preschool and have been a little lax about it. With the new year, one of my goals is to get my butt in gear and do this.

I have been using the Letter of the Week curriculum from Confessions of a Homeschooler and I thought it was great! I loved all of the fun pages for each letter and the activites that can go along with them. I have since come to discover that it is not challenging enough for Cheyenne. Cheyenne has already mastered the majority of the preschool skills. Before the age of 3 she already could sing the alphabet, recognize letters (upper and lower case) and tell me what sounds each letter made. She could also count to 20 and knew her colors and shapes all by or right around her 3rd birthday. She is now asking me quite often what letter words start with and she will sound it out and tell me. Her vocabulary is amazing and she is wanting to write all the time.

So taking all of that into account, I have made the decision to start Kindergarten work with her. When I look at the Kindergarten lessons, they seem more on her level and I think she will be more interested because she won’t get bored with stuff she already knows. There will be lots of review for things she knows, but I think she will enjoy being able to do things that she is ready to do and wanting to do. I will still be incorporating some of the preschool work into our lessons because some of the preschool pages she really liked, so I will be adding those in. I purchased the K-4 Curriculum from Confessions of a Homeschooler and I am so excited to get started next week. I have been spending this week printing, laminating, cutting, printing and laminating some more.

I also came across the You Can Read! program at 1+1+1=1 and purchased that to incorporate into our lessons as Cheyenne is so interested in spelling and writing right now. It is a wonderful program and is created for children who are showing reading readiness signs at a younger age (approx. 3-5). There are 4 words in each unit and there are 18 units. It looks like it will be a lot of fun with many different activities for each set of words that help with reading.

I have also purchased the Road Trip USA Geography and History Curriculum from Confessions of a Homeschooler. I love this curriculum! It covers 5 regions, including all 50 states, state symbols, U.S. Presidents, famous people, landmarks, historical events, and more. It is designed for K-4th grade which I love because I can use only what I think Cheyenne is capable of understanding at this age, but can continue using it for a few years and expanding each year to cover more details and history.

I have been reading, following blogs, and being quite overwhelmed for quite a while and was beginning to wonder if I was ever going to make it in the homeschool world. I have prayed for the answers, the wisdom and the ability to make this work for our family. I believe He is in the process of answering my prayers. For some reason today, while Cheyenne was in Mother’s Day Out and I could actually think, things just clicked. I figured out an organization system (more on that later), which I have really been struggling with lately since I don’t have a dedicated school room, and I got a clear picture in my mind of how this was going to go. I have moved all of our school stuff into the living room and put a bookshelf in there to keep our stuff on. So I printed, I laminated, I printed some more, I cut some stuff, I laminated some more. I feel so much better now and I don’t feel as overwhelmed. I have some great curricula that I am looking forward to starting and working them all together.

Asign


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Cheyenne’s First Ranger Game!!

Yesterday morning, I won 4 tickets to last night’s Texas Rangers game!!  I LOVE the Texas Rangers and have to admit, baseball is my all-time favorite sport.  If I have to choose between baseball and football, baseball wins out every time!!  I took my friend Vanessa, my dad and Cheyenne got to go to her first Rangers game!!  We had such a great time and she was so well behaved.  She held Grandpa’s hand when we were walking around and she sat in her seat and watched the game pretty much the whole time!

It was such a fun experience and it was so neat to see Cheyenne have such a great time!

Yeah, we had to get a foam finger!!

There’s our Rangers…

One of Cheyenne’s favorite players…David Murphy!!

We hit the 3 million fan mark last night!!

Another of Cheyenne’s favorite players…Nelly Cruz!!

Of course we had to get some cotton candy…..

She even shared her cotton candy with Grandpa!

Cheyenne and Grandpa at the Ranger game!!

She had such a great time!!  I just love this little Ranger dress that Grandpa got her for her birthday!  She’s so adorable in it!!

She didn’t want to leave!

She saw this big pig and wanted me to take her picture.  She thought it was so neat and wanted to get on it, but I had to tell her that you can’t get on it.  😦

She even got a certificate for attending her first Ranger game!!

We had such a great time and Cheyenne got to stay up extremely late for this special occasion and surprisingly, she stayed awake on the 45 minute drive home.

I sure hope we get another opportunity to go to another Ranger game, if not before the end of this season, we will definitely go again next season!! Cheyenne had a blast and thought it was so neat to see her favorite Rangers in person down on the field.  Next time, we’ll have to go on autograph night or get there during batting practice so we can get some autographs and see the players up close!!


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Notice anything different??

Welcome to SimplySummers, formerly Life With the Summers!  I have moved over to WordPress from Blogger and have revamped my blog and I’m going to be taking it in another direction and adding more to it.  Cheyenne turned 3 in June and is learning and absorbing information like a sponge.   Now that she is getting older, we are doing more fun things, and I want to share them with you.

First I have to give props and a huge thank you to my awesome friend and graphic designer Vanessa for helping me revamp my blog and creating the beautiful design and special touches that I think turned out great!  Check her out at http://vgraydallas.wix.com/vgdesigns.

I am going to start preschool at home with Cheyenne on Tuesday and plan to share our preschool journey with all of you.  I also want to share all of our other adventures with you such as playdates, arts and crafts, the occasional recipe and anything else that I find interesting enough to share. I hope you will follow me along in my new endeavor and enjoy the ride!

Make sure you enter your e-mail in the box to the right to subscribe so you don’t miss out on any of our journey.

Here’s a sneak peek at our preschool corner:

…and Cheyenne standing beside her Days of the Week and Weather charts which is part of the Letter of the Week curriculum that we will be using from Confessions of a Homeschooler. I’ll talk more about that next week.  She loves doing her charts!

…and our school shelves.  I’m sure more stuff will be added over time.

Stay tuned as we begin our journey next week.  We are so excited to share it with you!


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Mother’s Day 2012

Well, Mother’s Day came and went without a lot of fanfare, but I had a good day with my kiddos.  Devon came over for the weekend to celebrate Mother’s Day with me and we had fun! 

Grandpa went and got breakfast from McDonalds, because really, McDonalds has awesome breakfast!   Not very good for you, but hey, it’s Mother’s Day…let’s be crazy!  Have you tried their Bacon, Egg and Cheese McGriddles? Well, you haven’t lived until you have!!  They are awesome!!  Instead of biscuit, they use pancakes as the “bun” and it is delicious!! 

Then my kids gave me a beautiful card that they both signed and a cool glass ball like the ones I used to collect before I lost my entire collection last time I moved.  I had about 20 or 25 of them and had been collecting them for years, so now it’s time to start a new collection. 

How cute….

Then since it was such beautiful weather, we went outside to play for a while and I brought out a new bubble set that I had gotten on clearance after Easter (although it has nothing to do with Easter) for about $3.  I had gotten it and was holding it for Cheyenne’s birthday, but I have so many other things stuffed away for her birthday that I figured I’d give her the bubble set since she LOVES blowing bubbles so much. 

I love this thing because you just pour the bubbles in the bucket, put the lid on and stick the wands in the slots and take them out and blow bubbles.  No carrying a bottle around to get spilled…believe me, we’ve lost so much bubble solution due to little hands tipping the bottle over or accidentally knocking it over as it sits on the ground.  This doesn’t spill!! 

Anyway…lots of bubble fun ensued!!

This bubble solution and these wands make TONS of bubbles!!

And some VERY big bubbles!!

All in all, we had a good day and as usual, I was the one taking the pictures, and I didn’t get anyone to take a picture of me and my kids on Mother’s Day.  Oh well, maybe one day I’ll get a picture of me with my kids. 

I hope everyone else had a great Mother’s Day too!! 


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14 Years Old ?? Already??

I can’t believe it’s been 14 years since my little man was born.  He’s growing so fast and will be all grown up before I know it. 

We had a little celebration the weekend after his birthday when he came over to visit and we had a good time.

There was a little swimming:

There was a little cake:

of course I forgot to take the picture before I cut into it

There were some presents:

Then there was the sweetest goodbye the next day when it was time for Devon to go back home:

It was a great weekend and I just can’t believe how time flies! 


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What a Week!!

We had an awesome Easter, despite the crazy week leading up to it.  Cheyenne came down sick Tuesday evening with a 103.5* fever that came out of nowhere.  I ended up taking her to the emergency room Tuesday evening and pretty much learned nothing….except that she didn’t have strep, her chest x-ray was clear and her urine test was clear.  So the doctor said she probably had a virus that would just have to run it’s course.  She had no other symptoms, just the fever. 

Her fever was better for the next couple of days, staying under 101* and she was feeling and acting very normal and active.  So Friday morning, Cheyenne wanted to paint, so I set her up to paint a cool Easter egg craft and she loved it and it turned out so cute!!

Then Friday afternoon, the hospital called and said there was some bacteria growth on her urine culture and she needed to be seen that day to get started on antibiotics.  So I took her back to the emergency room that afternoon and the doctor (the same one from Tuesday) came in and said the bacteria growth wasn’t enough to warrant antibiotics.  But he did do another strep test, which was negative and another urine test, which was clear.  This time, he also drew some blood and although I don’t know what he was testing for, her bloodwork came back normal as well, so again, I was told it was probably just a virus that would have to run it’s course. 

She seemed to be better and wasn’t running any fever Saturday morning and I thought to myself, “Finally, maybe it’s clearing up and she’s getting better.”  That morning, we did yet another Easter craft that I saw on Pinterest and Cheyenne loved getting to paint with marshmallows. 

Her fever did come back that afternoon, but wasn’t too bad.  That evening, after I made dinner, we got out the egg dyes and set out to dye some Easter eggs, which used to be one of my favorite things when I was a kid.  I love the smell of the vinegar and it brought back some good memories. 

This was Cheyenne’s first year dyeing Easter eggs and while she thought it was pretty cool and wanted to do it all at first, dyeing Easter eggs does require a little patience and waiting for just the right shade of color before you can turn or move the eggs.  She quickly lost interest and if she couldn’t do something right that second, she didn’t want to do it at all.  We got all the eggs dyed and then it was time for bed. 

Then Sunday morning happened. 

She woke up sometime in the middle of the night, early morning, while it was still dark.  She was coughing, stuffy, snotty and told me she needed to blow her nose.  So she blew her nose and got in bed with me and went back to sleep…for a little while.  Then the sun began to come up and if that child sees any light, it’s time to get up, despite the time (7:15 on Easter morning).  So we finally got up and Cheyenne ran in to wake up Nana so she could see what the Easter Bunny brought Cheyenne. 

She was so excited to see her Easter basket and as usual the Easter Bunny went a little overboard…I’ll have to have a talk with him.  😉 

She hunted Easter eggs in the den, then we ventured outside to hunt for some more.  Cheyenne was so excited to see that the “Magic Jellybeans” she threw out the night before had grown into suckers in the yard. 

We came back in and she proceeded to eat too much Easter candy, which is pretty much an Easter tradition and she did eat a boiled Easter egg or two. 

Later that morning, I decided it would be fun for me and Cheyenne to make some Easter cupcakes together. 

So we started making cupcakes, and then were suprised by a visit from Grammy and Pop so Cheyenne had to stop and go visit and be a little performer.  Of course, this was her naptime, but I decided to let her stay up so she could visit, and that may have been a mistake, because she started going downhill fast, looking very sick and very tired.  While I hadn’t taken her temp, she seemed to be running a little fever.  Once I got the cupcakes in the oven, I came in to visit with my grandparents and Cheyenne climbed up in my lap and just fell asleep on my shoulder.  Poor baby girl, was just so tired from all the activity and being sick, she just couldn’t stay awake any longer.  So I took her back to her bed to let her get about an hour nap, since it was so late, I didn’t want her to sleep too long. 

Then I finished the cupcakes and frosted them.  Believe it or not, I made cupcakes from scratch and I even made the buttercream frosting from scratch, no packages or mixes of any kind.  I was so proud of myself and I think they turned out really cute and they actually taste good!!

I had decided I was going to attempt to make Easter dinner, which I have never done before. I had picked up a ham and wanted to make a nice Easter dinner.  I have to admit, I did cheat and buy a small boneless ham, because, just for the 4 of us, we didn’t need a 9 pound bone-in ham.  As it is, with the small 5 pound ham, we still have half of it leftover. 

I made a brown sugar glaze to pour over it the last 20 minutes of cooking and then I made some asparagus and glazed carrots.  Even though I love asparagus, I was not impressed with the recipe I made…too much lemon.  But the carrots were awesome and the ham was delicious!!

So all in all, even though it started out kind of rough, we had a great week and lots of fun! Cheyenne had a great Easter and was worn out and ready for bed that evening!

I hope everyone else had a great Easter too!!


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It’s Finally Kite Flying Season!!

I am so glad that Spring is finally here!  I love Spring and, minus the allergies that often plague me, this is my favorite time of year.  I love the weather being perfect outside…warm enough to wear shorts, but not so hot yet that walking outside, you feel you need a shower…and an inhaler.  Cheyenne loves to play outside and would do it all day long if I would let her. 

Yesterday, we were scheduled to go to a playdate at a friend’s house, but since the weather has been so pretty, she suggested we move it to the park by her house.  She brought some kites and bubbles and we had a great time just playing in the huge field. 

While the weather wasn’t 100% cooperative, it was cloudy, but nice, and the wind wasn’t really steady or strong enough to fly kites, there were some times there was a nice wind blowing and the girls got to fly kites for a little bit.  This was Cheyenne’s first time flying a kite and she loved it!!  She’d get the kite and take off running and if there was enough wind, it would fly behind her. 

Then we went for a walk across the big field and looked at the pretty flowers.  There were some Indian Paintbrushes and some Bluebonnets and the girls had a great time walking around looking at them.  Of course, being 2, they don’t know not to pick the wildflowers, so we ended up with a couple of souveniers to bring home. 

Then the sun started coming out and warming up, so we packed it up and headed home since we had dressed for cooler, cloudy weather, it was getting warm. 

This is such a cute picture of the girls that were there!!  They are all growing so fast!

Every once in a while, I get a picture of Cheyenne that I just love…this is it!!

We had such a good time and I will definitely have to get Cheyenne a kite because she had so much fun and kept telling me she wanted a kite.  We’ll definitely have to fly kites again when there is a little more wind, but she had a blast!!


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Rock Star Playdate

Cheyenne loves music and loves to dance so when I saw one of her favorite friends was having a Rock Star Playdate, we just had to attend.  There were instruments, sunglasses, headbands, and other fun things that all rock stars must have.  Cheyenne was in Heaven…guitars, a drum, a tambourine, even a rain stick and she discovered the harmonica and now needs one to add to her instrument collection at home.  She loved the harmonica, well, she loved everything and would play the instruments and jam out and dance around and it was so cute!! 

There was also a balloon drop at this club.  There were some balloons laying around and the girls had so much fun playing with the balloons and swatting them around the room and sitting on them. 

Dancing and making music is hard work, so our little musicians had a pudding cup and got back to it.  Cheyenne ate her first hard boiled egg during one of their breaks and she loved it!!  Now I have to boil some eggs!  I’m glad she decided she liked it all of a sudden right here at Easter time!!  Yay!! 

Cheyenne had a blast with her best friends, Penny & Catalina and Mommy got to visit too!!

I love this picture of her…so adorable!  My little rock star!!


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Planting Flowers!

Yesterday, we had a fun playdate and were grateful for the beautiful weather after the cloudy, cold, rainy weekend we had.  It was so pretty out and Cheyenne and I hosted a playdate at a park/playground for some play time and to plant flowers. 

I provided a pot, soil, and flower for each kiddo attending and then also took paint, markers and chalk so they could decorate their pots before planting their flower. 

Unfortunately, a lot of people cancelled so there was only one other mom and kiddo there, but that was fine, because we hadn’t seen them in a while.  Cheyenne and Vienna played on the playground for a while and then we convinced them to come over to the table and plant their flowers. 

They decorated their pots and it was fun watching them just freely paint their pots.  Then they planted their flower and once that was done, the interest was gone.

Then it was time to play on the playground some more before going home for naptime!

We had such a good time and we were so happy to see Vienna and her mommy, Rebecca!  


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Johnny Appleseed Playdate

Today is Johnny Appleseed Day and we went to a playdate to celebrate!

The girls watched a short Johnny Appleseed video and then it was time for our craft.  They painted apple trees using popsicle sticks for the trunk and painting the leaves with apple halves and then used a cork to make apples on the tree. 

It was so fun and it was exciting to see Cheyenne actually do a craft all by herself and I didn’t have to help her at all.  I did fill in a couple of spots, but I love that this was a craft that she could do and I didn’t have to end up sitting down and doing it for her. 

Then they sat down for an apple snack with applesauce, apple slices, and apple mini muffins.  Apparently Cheyenne loves apple muffins.  I was not sure she would eat them since she tends to dislike trying new things, but she ate them up!!  Looks like I’ll have to make some for her to have here at home! 

After snack time, it was, of course, play time!  These girls love to play together and they played while us moms got to sit and visit. 

Penny would lay on the couch and Cheyenne would get on the table next to the couch and jump on Penny and tickle her.  The first time I saw her do it, I jumped up and ran over there afraid she was going to hurt Penny.  Penny was laughing so hard and Cheyenne was tickling her saying “Tickle tickle tickle”  It was adorable. 

Here is her finished apple tree and I must say she did a pretty good job all by herself!!

Cheyenne loves her friends and her playdates and I am so happy we are part of such a great group!!  Happy Johnny Appleseed Day!!