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.  =)

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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!

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.

Summer Reading Program 2012

I am excited for this year’s public libraries summer reading programs.  The San Leandro Library  program began on June 4 and the Alameda County, Oakland and Hayward Library programs begin on June 11.

Micah participated in the San Leandro, Alameda County, Oakland and Barnes & Nobles summer reading programs for the first time last year and it was a fun experience.  Each program has different requirements and prizes, plus they all give free books!  I think the Oakland Library and Barnes & Nobles have the easiest requirements.

Today, Micah and Rebekah signed up for the San Leandro program at Manor Branch Library.  

The theme this year is….

Here’s Micah with his booklet.  He has to read (or listen to) 10 books and write a book report (or draw pictures) for each book.  He will earn points for completed reports and can use the points to redeem prizes.

Micah wrote his name on this globe that he picked out and taped it on the wall along with all the other summer readers.

Rebekah signed up for the Little Dreamers Baby/Toddler program.  Participants who listen to at least 10 books by the end of the program (and record the books in their reading journal) will get a free board book, a free mini Murph Make ‘N’ Bake pizza kit from Papa Murphy’s, and an invitation to a special toddler concert in August.

When Micah completes the program, he will earn prizes and coupons for admission to places like the Oakland Zoo, Children’s Fairyland, Lawrence Hall of Science and the Chabot Space & Science Center, plus a free pizza kit and an invitation to the Summer Reading Program Carnival in August.

Needless to say, I think we will be doing A LOT of reading this summer!

Happy Reading!