Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Ten on Tuesday - Summer Plans and more.

Spring is weird, I spend a lot of time preparing for summer so I'm starting this list with musing about our summer plans--- partially so I have them in one place and also to give you a list of camps/things you all might be interested in too.

1.  Today, I signed the big kids up for 2 sessions of swimming lessons.  Each session is two weeks long (4 days per week).  Right now this all seems like a good idea. I suspect getting us all out the door by 8:20 in swimming gear 16 days this summer may not seem so brilliant later.  These are their first out door lessons and are at Pelican Bay in Edmond.  You can read more here: http://edmondok.com/index.aspx?NID=405

2.  B is going to science camp at the Oklahoma Science Museum for the first time this summer.  They are one week, all day camps for students entering grades 1-6.  You can read more about them here: http://www.sciencemuseumok.org/summer_camps.html

3.  B & M are going to only one week of Zoo Camp this year.  They have gone to many more than this in the past, but as we'll have a babysitter here most of the summer it is less necessary to have camp as childcare (and also a bit less money to spend on camps!) They are going to one of the later camps in the summer entitled "How to Train Your Dragon" --- so that should be helpful, right? http://www.okczooed.com/camps1

4.  M is also going to two days of dance camp.  I showed her the cool list of summer dance camps from Dance Unlimited (Thanks to Janna for the recommendation!).  She chose to attend Frozen (obviously) and Princess Sophia camps. There are several other options as well.  I cannot fathom why she did not choose the Fairytale Tea Party class and am half tempted to register her anyway.... http://www.danceunlimitedpac.com/du-class-schedule-summer-2013/

5. Myriad Garden -- Ladybug release day-- June 12.  Last year, M and I went to the ladybug release event and had a fabulous time.  She even got her picture in the paper!  The sad part was that we could only stay a little while because I had to go to work.  This year, it is on E's birthday AND I took the day off work so we can all enjoy to our hearts' content! http://oklahomacitybotanicalgardens.com/events/bug-out-lady-bug-release-and-insect-adventure/

6.  The Myriad Gardens is also doing a Secret Garden set up in the Children's Garden in May and some accompanying events like an English Tea (which M and I are attending with my mom and maybe others??).  The Secret Garden event is free to members and I am VERY excited.  Want to join us? http://oklahomacitybotanicalgardens.com/events/the-secret-garden-2014-05-17/

7. We are also, of course, doing Farm Camp at the farm in May.  I have even taken off work so E and I can participate for the first time together.  It should be awesome? If you have a little one that would like to join in a bit of Farm Camp let us know.  The current dates are May 28-30th!

8. Other ideas - B also wants to go to soccer camp and art camp.  So far, I haven't found ones that match our schedules without being overwhelming, but we shall see.  I would LOVE to get him in art camp and develop that interest a bit more.  M is too young for some art camps, but would love to go too.  B thinks he wants to play baseball.... I am stalling.

9.  At Home: We plan to relax at home, watch movies, play video games, make crafts and art, exercise, go to the farm, zoo, science museum, myriad gardens, and swimming as much as makes sense.  We want to work on riding bikes and doing a bit of home school as the kids and I both bizarrely love it.  Brent has IRSP for June so it will be imperative to work on preserving my sanity during this time, but the babysitter should help.

10.  Of course we are also teaching a class at Savory Spice Shop on May 25th at 4pm on cooking with kids.  Want to come? Call the shop at 405-525-9119 to reserve your spot.  Beyond that, I want to cook more with the kids, work on being patient, and teach them more about the joy that is being creative and enjoying healthy food as a family!

What does your summer look like? What should we add?

I feel like I need to do a quick few points about the last week as well so I don't forget:

1) We had Easter with the Rouses. It was fun, easy, and relaxing.  The kids loved playing together in the huge back yard.

2). B had two soccer games (Friday & Saturday).  The Dragonflies played well and seem to be improving, but were still outmatched.

3) E is talking in more complete sentences.  His favorite is: "Look at this." Which he says as he examines something and tries to figure out how it works.

4) Lady M is making big progress on reading, thanks to work at MDO these days.  We're hoping to work on it more over the summer.

5) I made this Bee Sting Cake by Smitten Kitchen--- there were quite a few steps, but it was delicious so I hope to make it again this week.  http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2013/04/bee-sting-cake/

6) Everyone in our family loves "tuna cookies." These are really tuna patties---I think E thinks they are actually cookies.  Our recipe is: 1 large can of tuna (or three regular size ones), 3 eggs, 1 c. oatmeal, 3/4 tsp medium yellow curry powder, 1/2 tsp. toasted white onion powder, 1/2 tsp granulated garlic, 1 T. lemon juice, 1/2 tsp kosher salt.  Mix, form into small patties, and cook in hot oil.  Flip after a couple minutes and cook on the other side.  Simple, and strangely popular.

7. Brent is busy getting ready for the end of the year and the summer research program.  It is his busiest and highest stress portion of the year.  Meanwhile, I leave for DC in less than a month.  Just to make this all more complicated.

8. I am less and less sure that we're going to get a tree planted this year.  I am thinking of a prairie fire crabapple, but questioning if we really have the money to spend on this (see large amounts of camp/lessons expenses above.....)

9.  It snowed yesterday! And was 84 degrees the day before, with tornado warnings, and earthquakes.  It is a wild windy place here.

10. M & E are strangely in to playing with Mr. Potato Heads these days.  Fun, but random.  I'm going with it. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Ten on Thursday


Until my computer issues are resolved it is likely these posts will be on Thursday....

1. I am teaching a class on "Cooking with Kids" at Savory Spice Shop OKC on May 25th at 4pm.  M & B will be assisting me.  The class is open to 10 families and costs $20 per family.  You can read more about it here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1398281357116289/

2.  I have completed 19 consecutive days of exercising.  I would not say I am no longer sore as some part of me is achy most days, but nothing hurts too badly.  I ran 3.1 miles with Tracie on Monday and my knee is slightly worse for the wear, but mostly fine. 

3.  We are planning for kid Easter attire this week.  What I've learned so far is it is ummm 100x easier to pick out clothes for both boys than for their lovely sister.  The boys were consulted.  B wants to at least sort of match E.  Tops and bow ties were picked out in minutes.  We just need khakis.  Lady M shopped for an hour before finally agreeing to pick something so we could go pick up her brother.  The cardigan is too big, but part bribery as I let her have the too big cardigan if she would pick a dress that fit... 

4.  Lady M is learning to read.  We have worked on this for awhile a little bit here and there, but now they are working on it at MDO too and there seem to be substantial strides in understanding and speed happening!

5.  B learned how to whistle and tie his shoes this week.  The whistling is fairly non-stop now and annoying.  The shoe tying as out of necessity as his gym shoes were in Daddy's car when it was time for school on gym day.  We bought a new pair as not being prepared for school or missing exercise is not good, but this one required tying.  I learned I am not great at trying to explain three dimensional tasks (no shock, I promise I'm better at cooking). 
6.  This weekend we had an impromptu gathering of good friends.  The Wainrights, Korenaks, Kari, and Grammie and Granddaddy all came to the Dragonfly soccer game.  The sideline fun "might" have been more exciting than the game, but no children were lost (um, unlike the game). 

7.  Afterwards, Tracie, the Hoppers, and Palfreypeople joined my crew and the Wainrights for a fun afternoon of play and grilling at our house.  These people have long been our tribe and it had been way too long since we'd done this.  LOVED it.  Some of our crew was missing, partially due to VERY short notice of the event, but next time! (Although this short notice crowd was roughly 20 and about what our house comfortably holds).





8.  Lately we've been seeing a lot more of the Hoppers.  This is, in part, because our weekly meetups during these two ladies' gymnastics lessons give us time to plan.  The girls and their older brothers are totally loving the extra adventures together.  (And so are the grown-ups). 


9.  This guy had a slightly emo week again this week.  After the big party, he got a bit sick (too many cookies???) After that he has been just kind of whiny and his favorite teacher was out most of the week, which led to sad drop offs.  Today, Ms. Ashley was back and things in general seem to be improving.

10. What are you making for Easter dinner this year? Brent's family is having their celebrations this weekend and I plan to make Maple Braised Carrots and this Bee Sting Cake.  Any suggestions for the Blakley festivities next weekend? We plan to celebrate Mass with our Bison buddies and spend most of the weekend at the farm.  We are doing the Myriad Egg Hunt on Saturday morning though :)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Emergency Preparedness 2014

Back in 2012, I posted about our spring emergency preparedness plans.  It is time to update that with how it works now and encourage you all once again to make a plan before the spring storms arrive.  


Last spring, the tornadoes were intense and terrifying.  One family we are close to lost their home and another one of his businesses, while a third lost her car after safely coming through the storm hunkered down in a hospital cafeteria.  We always have taken the threats seriously, but we've also learned a bit about what is helpful following these experience of helping out after the storm. 

Several years ago we installed a garage storm shelter via Flatsafe.  We have sheltered in it a time or two and while it is a weird experience it is OK. We have registered with the City of Oklahoma City so they know to come find us, if need be.  Brent has finished his normal spring cleaning of the storm shelter so it is free of bugs and debris as that is really not necessary with all the other issues of storm days

Supplies now stored in a plastic tub in the shelter:


Supplies we plan to add:
  • List of emergency telephone numbers -- both family, friends, and government
  • Extra clothes-- It isn't realistic to add them to the box but we might bring some down with us. 
  • Cash
  • Soap - and maybe hand sanitizer

The problem is we have fairly limited space to add anything before it starts to reduce the number of people that can fit in the shelter.  We also are unsure what emergency might require us to shelter in place at our house for more than a day or two as our basic plan is to drive to the farm with whatever we can grab should a longer term emergency occur.  With that in mind, we keep fairly full pantries that we could pack up and take with us if we needed to evacuate.

As mentioned, we have updated things in the box this year based on Brent's experiences in helping clean up/salvage in Moore last year.  His experience also, thankfully, was that there was lots of help, water, and food available and I hope that would be the case if we were in a disaster too. 

We (and Uncle Able) also practice with our kids getting in and out of the shelter as initially they found it kind of scary--- as did I, as it is a bit like being closed in a tomb in the ground.  E just tried it again for the first time and was hesitant to go in, but fine once he was inside playing. 

We have conversations with the kids about other possible emergencies now and then, including most recently fire safety.  We try to keep it easy, general, and not scary as they are still quite young. We are also trying to remind them that they need to help each other as they evacuate or head to the storm shelter.  The familiarization also includes going to things like touch a truck or community events where they see and can interact with police, EMTs, and firemen.  Happily, these folks also come visit their school.  

So, that's the situation now.  Any suggestions? Any good resources we should consider?  

Friday, April 4, 2014

Five on Friday

1.  Aurorea Synergy Yoga Mat:  I have been looking for a new yoga mat for quite awhile, but every time felt I lacked any real knowledge basis from which to pick one. When I spent some time with my long-time best friend Tracie this weekend she recommended this one.  I ordered it and tested it last night.  It is SO much better.  Who knew that investing in the proper equipment would be better than a cheap 10 year old mat from Target :)  It comes with the added bonus of not having to be embarrassed to carry my yoga mat out of the house.  So far my attempt to find a class at the Y or comotion that fits my schedule is going poorly though so it may remain at home with me.



2. I love maps and love Paris so I was very happy to see this map on minted this week.  (Art like this is 15% off through the 7th as part of a birthday sale.  I want to add a bit more art to our walls at some point, not just photographs, but haven't settled on which one(s) I might want.  (Mom, there are cool moon and constellation prints at minted too....just saying).

3. For the first time in forever... seriously we watch that Frozen a a lot and now exclusively in french... anyway, I LOVE these light switch covers and well as the cool outlets and basically everything at Adorne.  Replacing all of our outlets like this isn't in the budget at the moment, but how cool would it be to have night lights in the plate or pop out outlets or any of these cool new ideas? *(Design Mom probably explains this a lot better than I am so read her explanation here or watch the videos).

4. Whole-Grain Cinnamon Swirl Bread via The Smitten Kitchen -- In my current eating plan I'm not eating plain old random sandwich bread.  I'm really only eating bread if it is really good bread.  Like this.  I want to make this very very soon.  And it's whole grain so that is helpful, right?

5. Myriad Gardens Easter Egg Hunt -- You probably know I love all things Myriad Gardens by now, right? Well my most recent excitement is picturing the kids hunting Easter eggs there in a couple weeks.  You may not realize this, but we typically attend church in Bison for Easter, which means Easter Eve Mass --- so it is dark and while there is an Easter Egg hunt it s no good for pictures.  I know there will be school hunts and such too, but I won't be there and this sounds so lovely.  Join us?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Ten on Thursday?

All three kids in one picture !


1. Last week, Brent went to school with the littles for "Doughnuts with Dads Day."  They loved it.  They are doubly blessed because Granddaddy came to day two!


2.  I try to make sure we're outside a lot right now while the weather is nice.  Here they are having frozen play with ice on a warm day. (Just makes sense?)

 also, picnics!
4.  Here I am in my official soccer mom shirt.  (Brent has a Dad version).  B did a great job sticking with it and playing hard this week.  I love the Dragonflies. 

5.  We went to Open Streets OKC this weekend.  It was a street fair and family fun festival.  I think the focus was supposed to be on healthy lifestyles, but we mostly ate from food trucks and had awesome ice cream while strolling with our friends. 

6.  And we cleaned out the storm shelter, because it is spring in Oklahoma.  I will do a separate post soon on our preparations. 


7.  I went with B on his class' field trip to the Oklahoma Museum of Art. It was so beautiful.  His group did really well, but did make me pretty nervous in the exhibits full of incredible glass sculptures!



8.  Here are some quick looks at the home improvement projects I keep talking about.  They seem strangely hard to photograph.  Brent has been awesome with these. I know the end result is more important to me than it is to him, but we're getting there together. 

 9.  Lady M would live in this maxi dress from Old Navy if she could.  She has a white version too and prefers to wear them daily styled with different things underneath and on top.  I love every bit of it!


10.  Lady M and I joined a bunch of our friends in watching the Sooners win the MPSF Conference Championship for Men's Gymnastics.  They did an amazing job and we had a wonderful afternoon together!

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