New School Year

Micah started school almost one month ago.  We’re slowly getting into our daily and weekly rhythms.  Micah is in the first grade.  He has the same teacher and classmates as last year.  Since everyone already knows each other, “they can get straight to business,” as his teacher likes to say.  =)  Micah is in his third year at Awana and also has weekly rehearsals for “A Year With Frog and Toad.”

While Micah is in school, Bekah and I are enjoying MOPS (5th year) and attending women’s bible study (6-1/2 years with the same group).  We fill our other mornings with library storytimes, play dates, classes at Sulphur Creek Nature, toddler ramble at the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center, and volunteering once a month at MOPS in Alameda.  We’re keeping busy!  😉

Here’s my first grader on his first day of school.1243563_10151869663647008_186638673_o

Micah got a scooter for his 6th birthday from friends.  He’s been riding it to/from school…and absolutely LOVES it!IMG_6561IMG_6562IMG_6563

Here’s to another great year!

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Papa Murphy’s Mini Murph Pizza Night

The kids got a lot of great prizes from participating in the library summer reading programs this year.  One of the prizes, from the San Leandro Library, was vouchers for free Mini Murph Make ‘N’ Bake Pizza Kits from Papa Murphy’s.  We also got the same vouchers from the San Lorenzo/Alameda County Summer Reading Program.  Each kit comes with mini dough, pizza sauce, whole milk mozzarella and your choice of pepperoni or cheese topping.  We always choose the kit with Pepperoni.  =)  I think the kits normally cost around $5.

The kids always have fun making their own pizzas, so we went to Papa Murphy’s in San Leandro to redeem our vouchers.  Two kids = two kits + throw in some home grown purple beans = dinner for a family of four!

Micah and Bekah with their pizza boxesIMG_0828

Spreading the sauce around.  Each kit also comes with a Mini Murph tattoo.  Bekah has one on her left arm.IMG_0830

Next up!  Cheese!IMG_0831

All finished with their pizzas.IMG_0832

I added mushrooms to Bekah’s pizza, because I love mushrooms and we had them in the fridge already.  I also love that you can bake the pizzas on their bake n serve trays.  It makes things simple and easy to clean up!  I forgot to take a picture of the pizzas after they came out of the oven.  They were really good and we had enough left over for Micah’s school lunch the next day.

We might have to make this a monthly activity for the family.  =)

Tommy Nelson Twitter Party

I recently joined the world of Twitter.  I’m slowly getting the hang of things and when I say “slowly,” I really mean slowly.  I’m hoping that my use of Twitter will improve and my tweets become more interesting.  =)  You can check out my twitter profile and follow me here.

I joined in on my very first Twitter party yesterday evening.  It was the Tommy Nelson Twitter Party hosted by (@TheSamiCone@MyFourMonkeys & @PenningtonPoint), along with @ThomasNelson & @TommyNelson.reading081-300x300

Our discussion included tweets about summer reading, what we do/ tips to  encourage our kids to read during the summer, books they enjoy reading, and whether or not we reward our kids’ summer reading.  They also gave away four Tommy Nelson books during the party.

The tweets were fast and I really had to concentrate or I would miss something.  Great ideas, tips, and encouraging words were traded back and forth.  I encourage summer reading for my kids by signing them up for our local libraries summer reading programs. Even my almost 2 year old can sign up for the pre-reader programs.  The kids’ incentive to read or be read to earns them prizes, like free books, passes to the zoo and other local museums, vouchers for free ice cream and pizza, and entry to a carnival hosted by the library. Barnes and Noble and Pottery Barn Kids also have summer reading challenges that the kids can be a part of.

One of the things that came out of this party was an idea to do a book swap with friends or with my Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) group.  We can bring books that we no longer read and swap them for books that other moms bring.  It’s a nice, free way to get “new” books.  I hope we can make it happen this year.  =)

Remember when I said they gave away books during the twitter party?  Well..I won one of them!  I will be receiving “No Place Like Holmes” by Jason Lethcoe.

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I plan to give this book to our godson (age 8).  I think he might enjoy reading something like this.

Thanks @TheSamiCone@MyFourMonkeys@PenningtonPoint & @TommyNelson for hosting a very fun and informative twitter party!

How do you encourage summer reading for your kids?  Please share your tips and your kids’ favorite books!

Blood Drive, Mission Peak & Summer Reading Program Kickoff Event

Happy First Day of June!

I can’t believe that in a short couple of weeks, Micah will no longer be in Kindergarten (sniff, sniff!).  The year has really gone by so fast.  We are looking forward to our fun summer plans but sad that the school year is coming to an end.  I will need to soak in as much as I can these next couple of weeks.

We had an eventful Saturday.  Jason had a guys day out and went hiking on Mission Peak Regional Preserve.  The view at the top is beautiful!  I’m glad he decided to bring the camera along.IMG_5816IMG_5817

Our church hosted a blood drive today.  After dropping the kids off at my parents’ house, I headed to Creekside to donate blood (my first time!).  I’ve had my blood drawn at the hospital numerous times (too many to count), so I figured this would be a similar experience.  Everything went well.  It was actually more painful when they pricked my finger to test my iron levels than when they inserted the needle into my arm.  =P

In the afternoon, I took the kids to the San Leandro Library Summer Reading Program Kickoff Event.  Their theme this year is “Reading Is So Delicious.”  There were a lot of activities; crafts, snacks, a music concert, etc.  We saw many friends from MOPS and a buddy from Micah’s school was there too.  We all had a good time!IMG_5852IMG_5836

One of the crafts was to make a pillow for your stuffed animal.  You could bring your stuffed animal to spend the night at the library.  Cute idea, but we didn’t bring ours.  I think Micah made his pillow for his turtle constellation night light.IMG_5837

We made these cute chef’s hats.  Very easy!  This is a fun and simple craft to do with the kids at home or if you’re having a kids cooking (birthday) party.IMG_5841IMG_5842

Decorating a gingerbread person.IMG_5851

Papa Murphy’s handed out samples of their pizzas.  IMG_5850

The summer reading program officially starts on Monday, but we got to sign up today.  The Alameda County Library Summer Reading Game begins on June 10th, the Hayward Library Summer Reading Challenge begins on June 15th, and the Oakland Library Summer Reading Game begins on June 15th.

Let the Games/Challenge/Program Begin!

Library Days: Toddler Storytime

I’ve been taking Bekah to the San Lorenzo Library Toddler Time for a few weeks and we love it!  This storytime is for kids ages 1 to 2 1/2 so it’s perfect for my 20 month old.

Each child gets a set of 3 board books to read along with the librarian.  In-between each story, we sing a song.  Afterward, toys are brought in and we play for another 15 minutes while the librarian gives each child a sticker.  It’s a very sweet time and I’m enjoying it with my baby girl.

Board books and Informational fliers – “Skills Your Baby Learns from Story Time”IMG_5360

Shiny stickerIMG_5359

Playtime and learning to shareIMG_5362

March is Art IS Education month and the Alameda County Libraries is hosting over 100 free events for youth and families.

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Summer Reading Program Carnival

Over the summer, the kids participated in a number of reading programs sponsored by our local public libraries.  Not only do these programs encourage reading, but they also offer some nice prizes (including free books!) for the kids who complete the reading.  The San Leandro library rewards its finishers with a carnival at the end of program.  I was out of town the day of the carnival, so Jason took the kids.  I had heard many good things about this carnival and was happy that Jason took pictures during the event.  The carnival was free, and included tickets for the kids to spend at the booths and for lunch.  They had booths for games, tattoos, balloon animals, and even one where you could fill up a small bag with rocks/gems.  This was was perfect for Micah, because he loves collecting rocks.  =)

Here are the photos from that day.

First Library Card

On Tuesday, we visited the Hayward Main Library for the first time.  While we were there, the kids and I signed up for library cards.

Micah signing his name on the back of his first library card.

Rebekah signed up for a card too.

They have storytime for preschoolers on Tuesdays at 11:30am.  We missed the stories but arrived in time to make a craft.

Decorating a shaker

When we signed up for the library card, they gave us each a coupon for a free book!  The book can be picked up at the Friends of the Library book sales, held on the second and fourth Saturday of each month at the Hayward Farmers Market.  We haven’t been to the Hayward FM in…years?  Perhaps we’ll stop by this Saturday.  🙂

Oh!…and the Hayward Public Library also has their own Summer Reading Program happening right now until August 4th.