It might be time for a bigger bathtub :)

Our summer project

Our game room/bonus room has just been a catch all store all room. It was pretty crowded and didn't leave a lot of room for the kids and all their friends when they come over. It wasn't very comfortable to hang out in either. We were able to move a lot of the books out and make some changes. 
Here are the before pictures:

Now here are the after:
It suits our needs better now and it is a fun place to be. 


Canning, what is it good for?

Canning is so deceptive... you see the picture like this and think canning is a good thing. I wish I had taken pictures of my kitchen, laundry room, family room, etc. while I was trying to can. Then, the next time I walk into the neighborhood farmers market and see such beautiful cheap produce I will turn around and walk away instead of getting sucked into the idea of canning. I am glad I did it and glad it's done. I'll probably never let anyone use it. We'll just look at it and try to remember not to do it again.


Just say "YES"

Several months an old friend that I reconnected with on Facebook told me she often thought of me and my "just say yes" philosophy of parenting. I had to ask her what she was referring to because I had forgotten. So, she reminded me of something I had learned when I just had one or two kids and knew everything about parenting. (Man I miss knowing everything, it was the best).

The just say "YES" philosophy was to say yes as often as you possibly can, that way when you say no, kids know that you mean it. Your automatic response is "how can we make this work?" instead of  "no!"

I hate to admit it but my automatic response is often no. If I stop and really be present, in the moment with my kids and think about what they are saying, I can say yes more often. Especially to the younger kids who are just really asking for time with me. I will always have to say no to some things that don't meet our standards, but I was grateful for the reminder to try to say yes when I can.

One thing we are doing this summer to help me look for the positive and say "you did great" instead of "why didn't you" more often is tokens. I used a coupon and got nearly 200 tokens from Chuck E. Cheese (what does the E. stand for?) anyway, I am trying to look for the good and point it out with a token. The boys all have a jar and so far it's going well. I'm really trying to not take them away (I'll admit I took a couple away when there was a major punch fest going on). I want it to be a positive fun thing. The only downside is at the end of the summer we are going to have to spend a long time at Mr. Cheese's to use up all these tokens.



I wish I had paid more attention to all the grape vineyards when we lived in Fresno. The church even had vineyards for welfare (they were table grapes, not wine grapes... :) This year my two grapevines really took off (maybe the long spring?) and produced an amazing amount of grapes. This red bucket was filled to overflowing 3 times. They are very sweet and yummy. I think I was supposed to thin them or something though because some were big but many were small. Haley spent many hours taking them off the stems for me and we froze  the ones that didn't get eaten up. They are yummy right out of the freezer and I may try putting some in smoothies...we'll see. For now I am amazed at nature and God's creations.


Haley's room... with pictures added

Haley chose, edited and printed (all part of the plan... :) some pictures to add to her room. It really added a lot. It's fun to see her friends go into her room and look for themselves all over the walls. She did a great job!


Tyler "reading" his scriptures...

When Tyler was 4 we taught him to look for the all names of Jesus and Heavenly Father in his scriptures, and then mark them with a scripture marking pencil. I think it started as a way to get Tyler to be reverent during the Sacrament, but now he does it for most of Sacrament meeting. He also does it each day for "reading" his scriptures.  
His little red scriptures are turning into a real treasure. 
Hundreds of little markings on many, many pages. 



Before Trek...

She had a great "Ma and Pa" and really enjoyed it. 
What an amazing experience. I'm grateful she got to go. 
After Trek... :)


Our favorite book this summer

One of Tyler's "jobs" this summer is to read everyday. He just finished kindergarten and is just starting to be a pretty good reader. We've been reading this book each day and it has worked out great. I get to help him with a few words, the stories are short (it usually only takes 5 minutes or so) and pretty funny.


What do you do in the summertime?

Summer is in full swing at the Judd house. Swim team and sports camps, job charts, swimming and video games... My friend had this cute idea on her blog. You can get a free printable here. I just printed it off and stuck it on top of a frame (it had something else in it) with double stick tape. We are starting to cross some things off. It's fun to see what we've done and get some ideas for things to do. 

 My kids have been doing great at their job charts too. I feel better about them playing video games and watching movies if I know they have been productive and gotten all their jobs done. I decided to give them Saturday's off this summer, we work hard all week and then when Jeff is home we don't have to spend all morning getting everything done. It will be good to have a day off. I just printed off and laminated some blank charts from here

I also wanted my boys to work on learning to type this summer. Typing their reports are taking way too long.... I looked around for a long time and finally decided on Type to Learn 4 from Amazon (link below). It is working great. They take a pretest and it gears the lessons to their level -from Tyler (age 6) up to Dallin (age 13). They do a lesson a day. 

Well... so far so good. Wish us luck. Happy summertime :)