Friday, July 1, 2011

Smart Summer Challenge: Week 1

My apologies if you find more enjoyment out of my crazy ramblings than my crafting/projects posts...this one is pretty much just to show off all the fun stuff we've been doing for the Smart Summer Challenge.  I've felt very scatterbrained lately and haven't even been able to pick up the clutter on the kitchen table...something I usually do every night after bedtime, if not a few times during the day or else it drives me crazy.  I'm not letting myself get too uptight about it and reminding myself that it's because we've been having so much summer fun!  Staying outside until JUST before dinner and being too pooped to want to do anything other than sit on my butt and drink a glass of wine or have a bowl if ice cream after the kids go to sleep.  This quote that my friend shared a while ago has been my mantra:  "A clean house is the sign of a wasted life."  No idea who said that, but I think it's one of those classic refrigerator magnet sayings...anyway, it's what I've been telling myself as to not get too annoyed with the summer clutter.

ANYWAY, the following is another good reason to not be too hard on myself about the messy house...we've been busy bees!

Monday we made our life sized paper "Zoe" doll which is still up and didn't fool Grandma and Peepaw quite like we'd hoped, but only because Zoe was too excited to see them to stay in her hiding spot.

Tuesday, we drew the floor plan for our apartment.  I drew it, but Zoe helped me figure out what to draw where and then she colored the stairs and drew in some of the furniture:
Wednesday, we listened to some music from South Africa and watched videos of some traditional dancing.  Our friends from Family Housing will be moving there at the end of the year, and one of our dear New York City friends, Tshidi is from there so Zoe wanted to learn a little more about it.  Zoe called Tshidi to ask if she could sing her favorite song from when she was Zoe's age...we are still playing phone tag though...

Later that day, Zoe had a good ol' mud party on our my opinion, it's practically a kid's responsibility to get as dirty as possible in the summertime, so when she asked if she could play with mud, I gladly got her all set up!

Then yesterday, we broke out the USA map puzzle that has been a favorite of Zoe's for a good year and a half.  She's gotten shockingly good at it, and so I decided I could start introducing the concept of North, South, East and West using the puzzle.  To be honest, I thought it would be over her head but she seemed to grasp it pretty well.  Even better, I've gotten better at putting the puzzle together myself.  One of the reasons I got it for her was so that I could practice too...don't know about you, but my geography skills are embarrassingly bad!

Finally, we had our friends Jessica, Sierra and Ainsley over later in the morning and for lunch.  I've been letting Zoe make our lunches for us lately and so we let all three little girls make their own yesterday.  Jessica and I sat with the baby in the living room while we decided to trust them in the kitchen.  They did an awesome job and were so proud of themselves.  Zoe and Sierra put their cheese and strawberries right into the pb&j sandwiches and thought it was a genius idea.  They both took one bite and said "I'm done! I'm full!".  Poor babies...didn't want to admit they didn't like their own creations!
The little girls wanted to open up their sandwiches to show off the filling for the picture
We have a little day trip planned today and we might make a "Story of Zoe" book if she feels like it.  She's LOVED tackling the challenges from the calendar so I'm sure we will...if it turns out to be fun, I'll share it in my next Smart Summer Challenge post....

Happy Summer!


  1. Looks like you had a full week of learning fun! The room map looks great and I especially love the mud! Kids need to get dirty, I agree! And that is so funny that they said they weren't hungry because they didn't want to eat their creations.

  2. Thanks Candace! I am just loving the challenge...especially since Zoe is really into it too of having projects and sharing ideas! I know, the poor things must have been so hungry but they just would NOT admit it! :-)

  3. What fabulous ideas! I love the map! I'll have to try that one with my girls.
    What a fun post! Thanks for sharing!
    (stopping by from weteach)

  4. Thanks, Callie! Thanks for stopping by--I checked out your blogs too--wonderful stuff!

  5. Popped in from WeTeach. I love the map!! I zipped around just enough to see the girls in their Easter dresses: glorious!

  6. Adorable Map! Thanks for linking up and sharing this with the Smart Summer Challenge!

    pink and green mama

  7. Thanks for all your comments, MaryLea! Really enjoying the challenge and so grateful you all thought of it!