Payson and Ember’s Book Reports

In Payson’s 5th grade curriculum he had a lot of formal writing assignments. It was a struggle all year. He loves a lot of subjects and of all my kids has the most interest in learning/researching for the sake of it, for the fun of it. He loves to write poems and stories and notes. But the one thing he despises is formal writing assignments!

All this to say, when he finished his language arts program for the year (early, ironically!) I assigned him daily fun assignments for language arts. We switched from the public school curriculum to the language arts program from the FREE website All In One Easy Peasy Homeschool.

Besides that I also bought a few writing downloads from Teachers Pay Teachers for him and Ember. This was one of those and one of their very favorites! It’s this caterpillar file folder book report. Both Payson and Ember loved putting it together. Ember spent so much time being meticulous with it. She takes her assignments very seriously and loves doing them. Payson normally doesn’t like book reports but this fun version kept him motivated and excited about reading and creating it.


Here are a few other pictures from that day. Lyla is still obsessed with kitties and puppies and bunnies and loves pretending to be a puppy when she eats.


Everett played a little Mario.


Time to go pick up Sierra from school!


By this time of the day Lyla had changed clothes into Everett’s shirt and also insisted on bringing her bouncy ball.


It was raining and this is Lyla’s expression when she caught sight of it!


Mother’s Day 2019!

I am so thankful to be a mother ♥

My kids made me all kinds of cards and pictures and handmade gifts this year, I felt so spoiled!

The first thing we did on Mother’s Day was a favorite pastime of ours… the movies!


Next we got ice cream, another favorite family activity 🙂


Lyla was intent on cleaning up the ground.


And then this happened:


Lyla Loves Animals!

I got some little toy animals for Lyla. I made sure to get large ones and small ones so she can play mama and baby which is her favorite way to play. All the kids love to join her and play with them, too. Often we bring out foam or felt and make little scenes for the animals. Like water and sand and grass areas.


Lyla Loves My Glasses!

Lyla is obessed with my glasses which she calls “eyes.” If I’m not wearing them she says concerned while pointing at my eyes, “Mom, oh no, you eyes! Where you eyes?”

And if she finds them on the counter she pulls up a chair to get them and wear them. And she pulls the handles way out to put them on and breaks them. Yep, she’s broken two or three pairs. It’s not my favorite spending $100-$150 every 4 months! I try to keep them in their case or out of her reach but she’s too creative for me. Next step: contacts. haha


We went to the store and our favorite brand of granola bars were $2 off a box!!! I’ve never seen them so cheap so I bought a LOT of them.


Also we’d bought supplies for lunches and brought Payson and Ember their lunches. These two wanted to hold them on the way into the school ♥


After dropping off the lunches Everett was trying to buckle himself and Lyla helped.


And I made yet another batch of peanut butter bars.


Teacher Appreciation Week

The parents of the students in my kids’ school put together a week of snacks and cards for the teachers for teacher appreciation week. We signed up for Wednesday and ran to the store after homeschooling that morning to pick out some things. The kids helped bring them in. They were excited to get their teachers snacks 🙂


Because we were supposed to drop off snacks 30 minutes before picking up Sierra we decided to wait again at the school. We played Mother May I and Simon Says again. haha


Lyla loves picking dandelions, playing with them, and giving them to me and her siblings ♥321efbblog340efbblog

Back at home we waited for our apartment maintenance manager to come by with the A/C repairmen. Turns out the repairmen couldn’t come so he brought some portable units instead. It had gotten up to 85 degress in our apartment and we were very grateful for the cool air!!



I snapped some pictures of our cute camping cot bunkbeds. Payson is often scared and asks to sleep in my room on the floor. Since it’s so often I bought these so that he (and Ember because if Payson leaves their room, she does!) can be off the ground and out of the way if I need to leave my room at night and don’t remember he’s there or don’t see him and step on him!


Plus they came with these book/cup holders!378efbblog379efbblog380efbblog382efbblog

Cool air!!! ♥396efbblog

Busy School Days – Sierra’s Presentation!

Sierra’s school is starting this new thing where the students do many projects/presentations instead of just random homework and written reports. They still do written reports but they have to memorize them and then present a poster board or slideshow or video or artwork to the class and a few times they invite parents and families! I adore this. Sierra adores this. I hope they do it next year, too!


Here she is setting up. The other kids were so, so interested in everything and so supportive and encouraging. And we were all proud of Sierra because not only is she a hard worker but she’s a self starter and very personally motivated. She’s just awesome and we adore her and loved being able to watch her in class ♥


Here is her poster board:


I wisely brought a whole bag of quiet snacks and activities for the little two and it took every last thing to keep them semi quiet during her presentation. Also Lyla was so tickled seeing Sierra get up there in front of everyone that she ran up and hugged Sierra. Sierra without skipping a beat picked her up and gave her a squeeze and set her back down. Lyla ran happily back to me and Sierra went on seamlessly with her presentation!


Sierra wasn’t the last presenter so while we waited for her school to get out (about 30 minutes) we played Simon Says and Mother May I outside the school.


There was a book fair and each kid got two books and a bookmark or pen. The book fair was buy a book and get one half off.


On the way to the van there was a puddle and Lyla loved that.


Because it was a crazy busy day and we were out of groceries we stopped at Panera Bread and I got a giant cup of ice to put my warm mio into.


Ember was enamored with her new books and read them all right away. She picked out cat books mostly 🙂


Stickers 🙂


Fun times.

In the morning I laminated some letter playmats for Everett to use playdoh with.


Payson needed a paper towel and when he ripped this one off he said, “Look mom, Nevada!” (He is obsessed with the United States… maps and facts)015efbblog

We did math but really the kids ended up playing with the manipulatives rather than doing much school work. haha024efbblog

After finishing our school work we headed to the park.056efbblog076efbblog

Since we don’t have a backyard I keep everything outside-related in the back of my van and we use it at local parks. Today we used chalk and played with our beach balls in the tennis courts.


I think these little kitties Sierra drew are just so adorable.091efbblog094efbblog097efbblog100efbblog109efbblog

We needed a few things at WalMart so we went there next. My kids are currently obsessed with Ugly Dolls even though we haven’t seen the movie yet. I think it came to the theaters the next day or two after this.


Lyla adores bouncy balls, beach balls, soccer balls, etc. LOVES. She always stops at every ball display in every store and insists on playing with them and begs and begs for me to buy them. We have many. haha


She also still loves baby dolls. They’ve always been a favorite toy of hers.


And playdoh is a frequent purchase.


Ember had tooth fairy money and wanted to pay for her items in the self checkout aisle.


This was Lyla’s first time putting coins in the charity thingy and she was highly amused. I ended up using all the coins in my wallet because they were all so cute putting them down the slides!


Our Super Fun Day!

First thing I made our usual for breakfast: scrambled eggs and toast. I drank a green juice while I cooked.


Lyla was in the bathroom with me while I got ready and so I did a little twist in her hair. To keep her entertained I let her watch toddler shows on my phone.


I didn’t take any more pictures until just before we left for the park. We go to the park to eat our lunch as often as possible. I got this cooler online for camping but we’ve used it for picnics instead so far and I LOVE it. It’s the perfect size for our family of 7. *all links in this post are affiliate links


Soooo, want to see how much easily fit in that cooler, with room to spare??


This was a “snack” type lunch, usually we have sandwiches and fresh fruit and veggies but this was a haven’t-gone-grocery-shopping lunch! haha

This day was the first day I tried out these collapsible cups I got for hiking, too! I needed to get stuff that saves space so I’m not carrying the biggest, heaviest load of supplies when we’re outdoors this summer. These worked great! Surprisingly my kids were obsessed with them, even Lyla! (link at end of the post)


I also got these caps for baby food pouches or applesauce pouches. Lyla has been liking applesauce lately but spills (purposefully) everywhere and these make that impossible!


If you haven’t heard, Costco has peeled hard boiled eggs that are amazing! I buy them all the time because they’re one of ALL of my kids favorite foods, but especially Lyla!


And then we have Everett with one of his favorite foods: lunch meat!


Sierra and then Payson:


There’s a water fountain at the park and the kids got their own refills the whole time we were there.


We prefer to sit at the picnic tables there but there was a huge family having a birthday party so we sat on the grass in the shade.


You know what’s fun? Pouring your juice into your cup.


My kids love Capri Sun.


So while we were eating Payson and some of the other kids were racing around the grass when Payson fell in a big muddy spot!


Payson got cleaned up as much as possible in the water fountain and then it was on to playing!


Look at this cute swing they have for parents swinging with babies or toddlers!! Ugh, I love it so freaking much!


Before getting in the car, snapped a couple pictures of the two “E” kids. haha


Speaking of the “E” kids, the bigger kids wanted to stay home while I ran to Target so it was just me and the younger three kids! We had a fun shopping trip and then these two got icees!


We love Target!


And then Ember let Lyla hold her icee and…