THE NANA FILES (aka: Summer Fun: July Edition – Part 2)

After Papa Jack’s birthday celebration on Monday, some storms rolled into our area (see the first post Summer Fun: July Edition by clicking here).

We woke up Tuesday morning to more storms with no chance of them clearing any time soon.  Swimming was obviously out of the question for the day, soooo, I had to pull out THE NANA FILES (aka: Pinterest ideas) to keep the kids busy and occupied.

After a little breakfast and a few cartoon shows, I completed setting up for the first activity.  I had purchased some little packages to “Grow Your Own Crystals.”  Each grandchild stirred the granules in the warm water (with a little help from Nana) and then poured them over the stones we placed in the little container.

Jade went first and chose the pink crystals.

Jade went first and chose the pink crystals.

Next it was Kylee's turn.

Next it was Kylee’s turn.  She chose purple.

Last, but certainly not least, Jackson mixed up his granules.

Last, but certainly not least, Jackson mixed up his green granules.

This is what they looked like after we completed all the directions.







Now on to the next activity.

Did you know that baking soda and vinegar are interesting ingredients to play with?  When you put vinegar in baking soda, it results in a bubbling reaction.  Kids love to watch it bubble!  Add in a variety of food coloring and you can make designs and pictures.

I mixed up small cups of vinegar with food coloring.  Each grandchild had four cups with colored vinegar (red, blue, green, and yellow) and an eye dropper.  I also gave them a cup with water to “rinse out” their eye dropper.  I used tin foil cake pans (the cheapest ones worked just fine and clean-up was a snap: just throw them away!) and filled the bottom with baking soda about an inch deep.

Once I showed them how to drop the colored vinegar solution in the baking soda, they got really creative.  Needless to say, they were occupied for quite some time — almost TWO HOURS!  I had purchased the largest box of cheap baking soda I could find (it almost looked like a cereal box it was so big!), so when the kids covered up all their baking soda with colored vinegar, I just poured on more baking soda and they started designing again.  It was fun to watch them play with it.







Running out of places to “color.”

It's getting a little "soup-y."

It’s getting a little “soup-y.”

I’d say they had fun playing around with this!

After lunch I invoked the rainy day Nana option:  TAKE THE GRANDKIDS TO THE MOVIES!  We went to the theater in our small town and saw Turbo.  It was a cute movie about a snail who wants to go fast and race.  It kind of had a moral to the story:  You CAN do anything you want if you just work hard and put your mind to it.

“What was the best part of the movie?” you ask.  I’ll tell you:  THE POPCORN WAS FREE!  Yes, I said FREE!  At our local theater, if you bring your own bowl to the movie on Mondays or Tuesdays, you get popcorn free.  🙂

All in all, the stormy, rainy day turned out pretty fun!


Summer Fun: July Edition

A little over a week ago our second week of having the grandkids at our house began.  We met our daughter-in-law and grand kids in Springfield which is about the halfway point between our two homes.  We arrived home after eating supper “on the road” and got the kids settled in their rooms.  We went to church Sunday morning and out to eat lunch at Tios, a local Mexican restaurant, with our good friends Pam and Perry.  Then we headed home to — swim, of course!

Monday was my husband’s birthday.  As soon as he left for work that morning, we got busy making him some birthday cupcakes.  They were to be “Minion” cupcakes.  The grand kids and I had lot of fun decorating them.

Icing the cupcakes.

Icing the cupcakes.

Putting on the Twinkies to make the Minion.

Putting on the Twinkies to make the Minion.

Next we used icing to put on the eyes.

Next we used icing to put on the eyes.

Working on the details.

Working on the details.

Now the brown candy sprinkles for the hair.

Now the brown candy sprinkles for the hair.

Minion cupcakes!  I had to help with the black eyes, goggles, and mouth.

Minion cupcakes! I had to help with the black eyes, goggles, and mouth, however, they told me EXACTLY how to decorate them!

Originality abounded when decorating the faces.

Originality abounded when decorating the faces.

Each Minion had it's own individual character!

Each Minion had it’s own individual character!

Their Minion cupcakes turned out pretty cute.

Their Minion cupcakes turned out pretty cute.  Ooops!  Open your eyes, Jackson!  🙂

After we finished making the cupcakes, we had to hurry and change into our swim suits.  I had scheduled a former student of mine (Brooks), who is now a Junior in high school and a life guard and swim instructor, to come over and give a private swimming lesson to the two little ones.  They “swim,” so to speak, and do quite well in the pool, however, they have gotten to the point where they think they know how to swim and won’t listen to our instructions when we’re trying to help them improve their strokes.  I thought a young man like Brooks might be able to get them to listen and work on their strokes a little better than we could.  I was right.  He worked with each grandchild individually for 30 minutes while Jade, the oldest (who is a great swimmer!) and the other younger one and I swam on the other side of the pool.  He said the kids did great and I could tell an improvement.  It was well worth the money.  Now we had to hurry to get ready for our birthday lunch surprise because their Papa Jack would be home for lunch very soon.

My husband finally came home for lunch – LATE – and I was sure glad for once that he was late!  After we all ate, we brought in the Minions and had the celebration.  We sang “Happy Birthday” and ate our Minion cupcakes.  Then we gave Papa our birthday gifts.

"Happy Birthday to you!"

“Happy Birthday to you!”

I new Keurig coffee maker.

I gave him a  new Keurig coffee maker.

The GIANT birthday card from the grandkids.

The GIANT birthday card from the grandkids.

The grandkids got all the coffee accessories.

The grandkids got Papa all the coffee accessories.

After a stormy Monday night, we awoke to a very stormy Tuesday.  Without the option of swimming, I had to resort to The Nana Files (aka:  Pinterest!) for ideas of things to do to keep the grandkids busy.  Look for The Nana Files coming soon!

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