Monday, July 15, 2013

Busy busy busy

I don't have children of my own (at least not of the human variety) but the arrival of my nieces for the summer gives me a glimpse of what it would be like each year. The two girls have been visiting for 4 years now and each year gets better and better as they get used to spending time away from home, we get used to entertaining them, and they get older and more mature. This year has been very different however. My other brother (I have two) moved to the area last fall and so now we have his two boys in the mix. The youngest is 4 so he is still attending daycare since most of the activities two 9 year-olds and an 11 year-old are interested in aren't appropriate for him. So that leaves me with a 9 year old boy, 9 year old girl (they were born 4 days apart), and an 11 year-old girl to entertain and manage. I feel like we started all over behavior-wise. Everything was great for a day or two, then the girls started to resent their cousin "taking over" their vacation. This is their tradition, and they are not happy about sharing it. Especially not with a boy. Nevermind the fact that the boys never came to stay with grandma and grandpa for the summer like they've done so many times. This is obviously an injustice! Hopefully things will calm down soon. Because we still have three weeks left to go!

Anyways... My tactic for keeping the peace is to keep everyone busy. And where better to keep 3 school-age kiddos busy than the public library. I've mentioned a time or two how great my public library system is and that you can't beat the FREE summer programs they present. The girls have been going to these events for years now so they know what to expect and are always asking me when the next library day is going to be. My nephew was a little more hesitant to spend his summer at the library. He had to be taken against his will a few times. But each time he would mumble and grumble while we waited for the program to begin and then end up having a blast! He even told his mom one day "the library is a marvelous place!" It does my heart good to hear it. Since I haven't managed to make anything for this Monday I figured I would show you what makes the library a "marvelous" place!

First up - Fencing demo and lesson from Have Blade Will Travel

Did you know that reading to animals helps struggling readers to stay calm and feel more confident? That's why many libraries have programs where children can read to therapy dogs. A photographer from a local newspaper was there the day we did this and a picture of my nephew was on the front page!
Ritz asks if he can turn the page! 

Very engaged in the story 

 "I hope this book has a happy ending."

"You're a great storyteller Connor."

"Thanks for reading to me!"

 What's Next? Charlie the Noise Guy
This is a kid's comedian who tells funny stories using some really great noises. The girls asked if we could go to the store and buy whoopee cushions after this...

Paper Airplane make and take

The theme of the summer reading program at the library this year is called "Dig into Reading," so many of the programs are related to dirt, gardens, outdoors, etc. We had a great time painting these plaster gnomes. Click the link above for a tutorial.

 Gnome on Hawaiian vacay


It's hard to see from the photos but we used white puffy paint to make the beards look fluffy.

Last but not least - Who doesn't love Cow Appreciation Day at Chik-fil-a?
Obviously this was not an event at the public library, but we spend a lot of time planning and creating our costumes for this event each summer. I think this year we had the best cow costumes!

 Grandpa and grandkids

The whole herd. We were the MOOlers. Alex (the oldest grandkid) said "people probably think our masks are store-bought because they look so professional but we can prove they're not since they are all different." We are professional looking cows. Take that.


  1. What great programs from your library! Looks like so much fun! AND I agree...very professional cows. :-)

    Craft of Teaching

  2. Love those cow masks. How nice to have so many great events at your library. Ours is pretty good, but nothing like that with the fencing! We go to mother goose story time every week, though.

    Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late
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  3. I love flamingoes! I tried to name my blog with the word flamingo, but blogger said the domain name was taken. I ended up using watermelons instead. I do love your blog - you've done a great job with it - love the design, too!
    susan k.

  4. I'm so glad I found your blog, fellow 2nd grade VA blogger! I am your newest follower and would love for you to follow me too!
    My school implemented the "Reading with the Dogs" program last year and it was a total success. We had Corgis.
    Happy Summer!
    Whole Brain Teaching in the Ladybug Club