Thursday, May 28, 2015

DIY Mason Jar Night Light {with Water Beads!}


We love DIY projects in our home and the kids are no exception.  They decided to make their own night light using a mason jar, submersible lights, and water beads.  They turned out really cool!

We bought a small pack of 4 submersible lights in the floral department at Michael's craft store.  We also bought 2 packages of their Ashland water beads (purple and clear).  But the kids wanted more colors so we went to Hobby Lobby and bought their DecoBeads water beads.


The water beads start out as little bitty hard pellets.  Be careful if you pour them out.  These suckers can really roll....right off the table and all over the floor!


You soak the water beads in water and they will grow as they absorb the water.  In just an hour or so they had grown about 3 times their size and were starting to get squishy.  The kids loved just running their hands through the beads in the water.  It is a fun sensory experience for their sense of touch.


I did not like the Ashland purple beads because a lot of the color bled off into the water which means that the color will stain hands and anything the water touches!  This didn't happen with any of the other beads (see the blue ones in the picture).


We had lots of different colors of water beads soaking.  They were fun to play with as they grew in size.


The clear water beads were especially neat because sometimes they seemed to completely disappear in the water.  But Rachel loved putting her hands down in them to watch the neat effect it made on her hands.


Once the beads stopped growing in size, the kids started making their night lights.  They put some beads in a mason jar and added the submersible lights.


Once the jars were filled, they put the lids on them and took them to their rooms.  They are not very bright but they add a beautiful glow to their rooms at night.



Thursday, May 21, 2015

Sandy Lake Homeschool Day

Sandy Lake Amusement Park is an old-fashioned park like Fun Fair Park in Baton Rouge where I grew up.  As a matter of fact they have many of the same rides that I grew up on!

I did not ride the Pretzel ride until our first time at Sandy Lake though.  It looked like a fun house to me so I went with Rachel who was then maybe 3 years old.  It was not a fun house.  It was a bumpy ride through a musty old building in the complete darkness.  Not fun for a little 3 year old.  Ever since then, Rachel has given me a hard time about how scary the Pretzel ride was for her.  Mama fail!

But this year she said she wanted to ride it again to conquer her fears.  I was excited that she was challenging herself but I just really didn't like the ride so I was disappointed that I had to ride it again.  But it was the very first thing we did when we got there. 

Rachel posed this Before picture of herself as she used to be so scared of the Pretzel ride.


But then she wanted me to take an After picture showing how spunky she was for doing the ride and how it wasn't scary to her at all.


Nicholas was off with friends to ride some of the bigger rides while Rachel and I rode the carousel several times in a row. 


We found Nicholas riding the spinning swings.  I love his smile!


Rachel and I headed back over to find more rides for her.  She hopped into this boat ride and was excited that she had it all to herself.  But another little girl wanted to ride the boats and there were no other seats available so Rachel let her ride along with her.  They talked most of the time with each other except when each of us moms called to them trying to get their picture together.


She is a little big for this flying fish ride but she thought they were so cute that she just had to take it for one spin.


My favorite ride from my childhood - the Paratrooper!  This ride was at Fun Fair Park and I just loved it.  Nicholas rode it several times by himself and I somehow convinced Rachel to ride it with me...I had to because I couldn't ride it myself and leave her standing around on the ground alone.  She rode it with me and did great!


Next we hit the paddle boats.  It's a bit of a workout because my kids like to go fast and it only runs on peddle power.  Nicholas and I paddled with the two sets of peddles while Rachel had it easy just riding along between us.


They came up with imaginary stories about us being superheroes trying to catch bad guys as we zipped around the little pond.  I love hearing their creativity come to life!


It was a very overcast day so I packed some disposable rain ponchos for us, just in case.  Well two drops of water fell from the sky and Rachel just couldn't wait to put her poncho on.  Silly girl!


She rode the pony around the track for a while but she seemed a little scared of it.  I'm not sure why because she has ridden ponies like this many times in the past.  Nicholas didn't like seeing the ponies tied up and being forced to walk around in a tight circle all day.


We took the train ride around the park before heading home.  It was another fun visit to Sandy Lake Amusement Park!


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Happy Birthday Nicholas! {Party at Urban Air!}

Nicholas wanted to celebrate his 11th birthday at Urban Air Trampoline Park in Southlake.  It's a fun place with wall-to-wall trampolines, a foam pit, and a brand new Warrior Obstacle Course.  The kids wanted to try the obstacle course first!


Rachel insisted on wearing her red velvet Christmas dress to the party because she wanted to dress up for Nicholas' party.  It may have hindered a little on the obstacle course but it certainly didn't stop her.


Here's my boy doing a flip on the trampolines.  My heart skips a beat!


We told Rachel she could wear the party dress but pointed out that there would be lots of jumping around and she really should wear pants instead.  So what did she do?  She put pants on underneath her party dress!  But soon she realized that the dress was too much of a hinderance and fortunately Mommy had planned on that and had a change of clothes for her.


Nicholas loves trampolines!  He had so much fun!


There is even a Dodgeball court where teams face each other and throw balls trying to get the other team "out".   Nicholas enjoyed running across the center aisle teasing the other team to knock him out.


As much fun as he was having, there were several times that I caught Nicholas just sitting still for a few minutes.  I checked with him and he said his asthma made it hard to breathe if he bounced around too much.  That made me sad to see that he couldn't do everything he wanted to do because of a medical problem.


Everyone had worked up a good sweat so we took a break for cake!


Nicholas designed the cake himself and we had a Casa Linda Bakery make it for us.  He gave them a picture of what he wanted it to look like - sand with some greenery and rocks.  Then we found the little fighting guys to stick on it.  He said it is the best cake he's ever had!


Make a wish!  I personally wish for this young man to grow to be healthy and strong, to keep Jesus in his heart, find his passion in life, and fall in love with a Christ-loving girl.


There were lots of presents to open...


He loves everything Pokemon, Minecraft, and Halo Mega Blocks.


Back to the trampolines and dodgeball!


Rachel didn't really follow the rules of dodgeball but she had a lot of fun running all around the court!

Everyone had a great time and no one got hurt!  Happy Birthday sweet Nicholas!