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An Earnest Summer!

This summer is FLYING by!  Sorry the posts have been sparse – we are enjoying the weather and this hot season.  We have been keeping busy with our local zoo, libraries, bowling and even took in a movie.  I have to admit, with a school-ager it is tough to keep the interest, allow some boredom, all without allowing the craziness to take the days over.

This summer, we decided on a different approach.   Instead of trying to do BIG things like travel or get out everyday, we made a weekly schedule.  A schedule easy enough to change if necessary but also help with the dreaded summer “brain drain” (we have a great article on these tips coming up next week by one of our moms in the Earnest Mom Squad).  We decided weekends would still be the break so we assigned regular activities for the weekdays.  Mondays we have a fun class on self regulation and practicing hand writing, Tuesdays our local library has a free special event that we attend, Wednesdays are backyard days, Thursdays are baking afternoons and par kour classes in the evenings, and Fridays are science experiments day.

Tuesdays, our local libraries have been great.  We have seen magic shows, balloon shows, local baseball teams, the traveling zoo and bouncing play times.  All free and it is fun to get out and let the kids play in a new space with new activities each week.  Wednesday’s backyard day is literally time playing in the yard – nothing too special and sometimes we fill up the kiddie pool.  We usually get out everyday, at least the kids do but this is a special time where we all go out together and I may garden or rest my swelling feet and the earnest littles get to run and play to their hearts content.  All before rest time of course to help the nap process along.

On Thursdays when Earnest Babe takes her two hour nap, Earnest Boy gets up from his 20 minute rest and him and I bake together.  The first week was GREAT, we baked this Starbucks Copy Cat Banana Bread recipe (from myfrugaladeventures.com) with the bananas that my children will not eat once they have freckled, we substituted chocolate chips for the walnuts and enjoyed it for four or five days.  It was delicious.  The second Thursday, we tried our hand at strawberry jam with the strawberries we picked earlier that morning.  We made this recipe from www.intimateweddings.com.  The whole process took a lot longer than we had thought but the result was yummy plus it did not use pectin, only sugar and lemon juice.  The last two weeks we had family in from out of town so we did not bake but today we are back in the swing of things with Organic Chocolate Chip Cookies.  We are using the classic Nestle Tollhouse Recipe (not my french aunt’s recipe for you Friends fans out there) and using all organic ingredients.  The baking day was created at the request of Earnest Boy, I was surprised he was interested in cooking but he is home with me all summer and I love baking and cooking.

Our Science Fridays have been so much fun!!  Once again, we wait until Earnest Babe is napping so we can focus on the experiments at hand.  Now before you get to thinking this Earnest Mom has crazy organization skills and creativity to plan and execute educational science experiments, hold on.  We decided to purchase a monthly subscription for the summer to The Spangler Science Club.  They send you 1-10 experiments a month that are focused on STEM and growing the curiosities of 7-14 year-olds.  So far we have grown polymers, experimented with the grown polymers, grown crystals and currently we are on a polymer alligator growth watch.  This post is not sponsored, we just are loving the Spangler Science Subscription and feel that you get a lot of bang for your buck no matter the price level subscription that is chosen.

This summer, I feel as though I am not feeling pressure any day or week to keep kids entertained – they know what to expect each day and we get excited for every activity we do together.  All days, the activity is not a full day event so we are able to spend free time together and time that is scheduled.  I feel a lot less stressed!!! Any earnest followers have some fun activities planned for their little or big ones this summer to keep the boredom and/or summer crazies to a low?  Please share.

x. earnest mom.

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Making Memories.  Earnest thoughts on family traditions. 

Making Memories.  Earnest thoughts on family traditions. 

In the earnest household there are somethings that earnest dad and I do every year, that in turn will make memories with our earnest littles. After reading an article recently, I never realized the importance of these annual traditions. They are the very things that when our children are older, they will sit back and remember (warm and fuzzies included), and perhaps decide to carry on with their little ones. 

Every year on the first snowfall, the earnest household gets a warm batch of “First Snow Brownies.”  Six years ago, our first year as Mister and Misses, on the first day it snowed I surprised mister earnest with “First Snow Brownies.”  It was the first time I had ever made them – they are simple chocolate brownies, with a dusting of snow (powdered sugar), but the intent was just to have fun with something different. Well I made them on the first snow the next year, and the year after that…and now if you were to ask earnest boy what his favourtie kind of brownies are, he will say first snow brownies (most of the time at least – at 5 there’s one thing earnest boy is not, and that is predictable). 

At Christmas, earnest dad’s mom made a tradition of having a popular biscuit-in-a-can brand’s orange rolls for breakfast (well for snacking during the present opening). So every year now, when the whole earnest family wakes to a tree lit up bright, a cookie plate and milk glass emptied, and prezzies waiting to be opened – we all sit while the coffee percolates and the orange rolls rise in the oven and not one present is touched until everyone has their orange roll in hand. This tradition is one of my earnest favorites, I love that earnest dad has memories of it from his childhood and now our children will too. It’s as though there is a tangible memory out there that will forever link them through time – oh still my beating earnest heart, I got a bit weepy there.  I earnestly do admire that this tradition created so much joy in earnest dad’s life, that his hope is to share it with his earnest loves. 

There are so many ideas out there, customs or traditions or rituals (whatever you may call them) that you can start today (or this year if you have to wait for the first snow fall) and to that I say why not create some memories with your littles, they will be the ones they don’t forget!  If you need some inspiration or ideas, I’ve provided a link below to Parent Magazine’s article “14 Fun Family Traditions to Start Today.”   

Have fun earnest followers, enjoy making those memories and please comment below to share some traditions that your households enjoy  – even some you may be planning on starting. I’d love to hear them!

x

earnest mom

14 Fun Family Traditions to Start Today