Summer Family Adventures:Week 2

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Summer Family Adventures

Week 2

Looking for a way to organize your summer goals, check out our Summer Family Adventures.  Each day, during the the week, we have an academic goal, life skill or sports activity.  Weekends are reserved for a fun family adventure and chosen from our families Summer Bucket List. For a review of our week 1 adventures, click on this link

Here are our week 2 goals:

Monday: Life-Skill Preparing and Packing for a trip – Our kids will learn why lists are important as they sketch their own and help us pack for the move. Family Trip Packing List

Tuesday: Exploring Science Discover a local beach and learn about the creatures who call that habitat home.

Wednesday: Music Break– Practice on the ukulele and guitars, begin to learn the basics of reading music.

Thursday: Sports Day This summer the two younger kids are enjoying a few summer gymnastic lessons while the oldest loves her martial arts.

Friday: Cooking with Math. Measuring out Trail Mix for our Road Trip.

Family Adventure

Road Trip

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On the road again!! Our family is traveling to see family this week and meet the newest family member a sweet little boy.  The kids are sure excited to have some cousin playtime and we can’t wait to see my brother and sister-in-law!

Family Adventure #1

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Family Adventure #1

Blueberry Farm 

Nestled against the backdrop of rural Florida, Baker is home to numerous fruit farms. Strawberry season has just ended it’s spring fling. Now, juicy blueberries and plump blackberries are making their debut. What’s better then a bowl full of juicy berries, a warm blueberry pie or a decadent berry loaded muffin? So, for our first family adventure, we traveled to an Organic U-Pick Blueberry Farm.  Hosted by a lovely local couple, this hidden gem is worth the short drive.

We drove up to their home and then knocked on their front door to announce we had arrived. They loaned us buckets for berries, gave us quick instructions and we headed off on our adventure.  Thankfully we were there by 9:00am because when the sun starts cooking and the humidity gets heavy in Florida, the kids (and parents) wilt fast.  Our kids held on for a little bit looking for the largest and juiciest berries.  Then as they scampered off to play in the shade, my husband and I continued to fill our pails.

Berries were plentiful, large and sun-kissed. We quickly filled our buckets. After about half an hour, we had picked 6 pounds of berries from only a couple of bushes. We headed back to their house, paid $1.50 (cash only) per pound and received a bonus gift; a page of their favorite recipes.  Keep track of your visits – each trip you receive a new selection of delicious blueberry recipes to try.  What’s more fun thn a trip to the berry farm where you are treated like family?  We will be back! Now for some blueberry pie!

For current information, such as inclement weather at The U-Pick blueberry farm, check out their Facebook Page.

What to Bring:
  • Sunscreen
  • Bugspray
  • Cash or Check
  • Strap or sling for the bucket (frees up both hands for berry picking)
Family Rating for the U-Pick Blueberry Farm
  • My eight year old’s review, “Great trip, we picked some blueberries as blue as the sky!”
  • My six year old’s review, “Fun trip, berries are fun being picked off a bush, except watch out for spiders and wasps”.
  • My three year old’s review, “Good trip, blueberries were delicious”.

Summer Family Adventures

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Summer Family Adventures

June 2017

Looking for a way to organize your summer goals, check out our Summer Family Adventures.  Each day, during the the week, we have an academic goal, life skill or sports activity.  Weekends are reserved for a fun family adventure and chosen from our families Summer Bucket List.

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Here is our family "Bucket List" for the summer

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Summer Goals:

Each month we will have a different themed adventure map illustrated by my husband. Weekly projects will be outlined on the map and detailed on the blog  This month, he crated a silly snake that will later be used for a fun game board.

This week's daily challenge

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Daily we ask the kids to:

Week 1 Adventures

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Monday: Science Experiment- make parchment paper. Click this link to see a video of how we created our paper.  It was a quick, easy and fun craft that took no more then 15 minuets.

Tuesday: Writing- from yesterday’s paper making the kids created stories and scrolls.

Wednesday: Art Class– a local artist and friend hosts an class for kids Wednesday and Thursday mornings.  We are headed over to the Chill in the morning , where she’s teaching, to paint.

Thursday: Sports Day This summer the two younger kids are enjoying a few summer gymnastic lessons while the oldest loves her martial arts.  Today is also the oldest birthday!

Friday: Cooking with Math. We will be baking a cake for her birthday party with the kids help.  However if you are looking for a terrific resource projects with easy steps for grades pk-2, check out “On My Own: Art, Cooking & Life Skills“. We will be using this resource throughout the summer.

Family Adventure

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Blueberries and blackberries are ready to be picked.  We hope to fill a couple buckets of fresh fruit.  We may also make a quick stop at the local beach to enjoy the beach, before we move.

 

2nd Top 10 to Try in Kaua’i

2nd Top 10 to Try in Kaua’i

~as recommended by a 5 year old Keiki

Traveling with young kids to Kaua’i?  My three children have chosen their top 10 favorite things to do on the island. Yesterday I posted our 7 year old’s top ten.

Today our TOP 10 is courtesy of our 5 year old girl, L.

  1. Snow Cones & Lilikoi Pie – My little sweetie loves her snow cones and pie.  What makes Hawaii’s snow cones extra special? The layers of course. Decadent flavors of ice cream in a bed of sweetened shaved ice makes for a delicious and refreshing treat.  L’s favorite flavor is mango to match her favorite color orange.   Normally not a pie or cake girl, my girl fell in love with the sweet, tangy flavor of Lilikoi Cheesecake Pie from The RIght Slice

2. Swinging Bridge- tucked away in the artistic town of Hanapepe, is a swinging bridge that terrified  the kids at first then thrilled so much they had to cross again.  L’s little mantra as she walked and balanced across the bridge, “No Fear, L, No Fear, You got This”. What made this town extra special was the connection to the Disney movie Lilo and Stitch.

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3. Chickens roam free on the island of Kaua’i much to the delight of my  young three.  One of L’s most treasured souvenirs is a small chicken adorned with a Lei who is now nicknamed HeiHei from Disney’s Moana.

4. Tree Tunnel– at the start of hwy 520 just off of hwy 50 headed south west from Lihu’e towards Po’ipu is a tunnel of trees that L loved so much she begged for a video.

5.Hawaiian village of Kamokila– exploring the past through a reconstructed Hawaiian village.  5 year old L.loved feeding the chickens and exploring the town.

6.Allerton Gardens : The various gardens, flowers and magnificent Moreton Bay Fig Trees, featured in  Jurassic Park, along with it’s rich history and gorgeous views is tour that L. enjoyed (especially climbing among the roots of the Bay Fig Trees) .

7.Poipu Beach– with a secluded area for kids to play in calm waters and a larger area for adults to experience snorkeling, this beach is a favorite for my little travelers.

8.Kauai Luau: Dancing along with the beautiful dresses was why L voted this among her top 10.  Plus, we each received a Lai which made the experience even more magical for her.

9. Lava Lava Beach Club a spur of the moment decision made for a wonderful moment as we found this charming restaurant on the beach. We played games, relaxed on cozy couches with a spectacular view of the ocean and enjoyed a delicious lunch.

10. Spouting Horn located next to Allerton Gardens, is the Spouting Horn.  Water spout and sprayed from a hold in the rocks which reminded L of a while’s blowhole.  She was so excited to see the water shoot up.  Go early and they have venders with local crafts set up.

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Her #1 Favorite Activity:

Eating Snowcones

Top 10 to Try in Kaua’i

Top 10 to Try in Kaua’i

~as recommended by a 7 year old Keiki

Traveling with young kids to Kaua’i?  My three children have chosen their top 10 favorite things to do on the island. Our first TOP 10 is created by my 7 year old girl, S.

  1.  Pulka Dogs – Hawaiian Style Hotdogs.  While she went with just ketchup on hers, I personally recommend the pineapple relish with Lilikoi’s Hawaiian mustard. Talk about an explosion of flavor, this small “hot-dog stand” is a royal treat. img_3943
  2. Poipu Beach– with a secluded area for kids to play in calm waters and a larger area for adults to experience snorkeling, this beach is a favorite for travelers.

     

  3. Hawaiian village of Kamokila– exploring the past through a reconstructed Hawaiian village.  7 year old S. was so captivated she decided this was her new home.

  4. Active Play- Learning about the island took a creative spin as the kids acted out becoming an island chief, created a boat and alligator from tree limbs that fell from the storm and practiced her Luau.

 

5. Poi- made from the stem of a taro plan, this traditional Hawaiian purple food, although bland in taste for me, was a favorite for my sweet girl.

6. Majestic Waves- along the coast of Princeville and Hanalei Bay . Stunning views, a picnic lunch by the seashore and giant waves made this venture a memorable day.

7. Lilikoi Cheesecake- For my birthday I choose a lilikoi cheesecake from The RIght Slice.  This adorable little shop with it’s decorated outdoor wall served the most delicious sweet and savory pies.  The lilikoi cheesecake quickly became a favorite dessert.

img_44368. Train Ride-through Kauai Plantation Railway, this little train took the us on an hour tour through their orchard, showing us many fruits that grow and are native to the Hawaiian Islands. We even stopped along the tour to feed the animals.

 

9. Coffee and Noni Farms- The Kaua’i Coffee Plantation was a delcious visit.  A quick self-guided tour and a taste of local coffee, little S. learned the basics of how coffee is created.

We had hoped to take a tour of the Noni Farm, however we ended up catching a bug.  Luckily we stopped by a farmers market where they had a booth.  She enjoyed tasting the  Noni Leather, which has a distinct flavor and smell. Although I had trouble choking it down, S begged for another piece.  She also purchased a small Noni Lotion that works wonders on bug bites and eczema.

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10. Shopping- What little kids doesn’t like to find treasures and goodies to take home as a souvenir. What did she choose?  A laminated placemat that featured a map of the island, a beautiful “Moana” Necklace, a small musical instrument and a few other small trinkets.

To read more travel ideas, check out my previous post on science fun.

 

Her #1 Favorite Activity:

Spending Time with Family

Ocean Analogies & Other Science Fun

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Florida: Peninsula :: Hawaii: Island

Living so close to the beach allows us to play with comparisons and analogies.  Over the last two weekends we have ventured out to our local beaches where my three babies quickly noticed the differences from Florida to Hawaii. Ask them which one they prefer and they will instantly say Hawaii but then just as quickly amend that our beaches are just as amazing.

White sandy beaches along the Emerald Coast allows for a stunning contrast and a  welcome escape.  While Hawaii has cove beaches and a peaceful landscape that evokes tranquility. Anyway you look at it, both are gorgeous landscapes that are enjoyed especially right now in winter.  Here are some of the comparisons the kids have made.

  • Destin, Florida: White Sands vs. Kauai, Hawaii: Brown Sands

  • Florida: Palm Trees vs .Hawaii: Coconut Palms

  • Florida: Seagulls vs. Hawaii: Macaws (in a local hotel)

  • Florida: Long Flowing Beach Grass vs. Hawaii: Lava Rocks

  • Florida: Long Stretches of Beaches vs. Hawaii: Rocky Cove Beaches

  • Florida: Dolphins vs. Hawaii: Whales

  • Florida: Cold water in winter vs. Hawaii: Warm water in winter

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During our most recent trip to Hawaii we looked at many different comparisons to give the kids a sense of wonder and amazement at the difference they find in the world around them.  One such science lesson had us exploring a pond verses ocean life.  As we researched the pond, we watched a variety of different animal and plant life.  We examined the size of ponds & lakes and compared them to oceans and then analyzed salt verses fresh water.

Near the  Opaeka’a Falls and down a steep road is the little reconstructed Hawaiian village of Kamokila.  This little gem was a favorite for our family.  Guided by Ilima, this lovely artist took us on a personal tour of the village, playing her ukulele as we walked and explored each hut.  Much history was learned as she entertained us with stories about island life.  While on our peaceful tour we discovered the joy of learning without walls by sampling food off the trees, playing games, learning about local history and past plant based medicine (this sure helped with the pesky mosquito bites). This little village gave us the perfect opportunity to compare and contrast historical lifestyle with current practices.

Other science activities that our kids enjoyed on the island:

Kauai Coffee Plantation: Excellent self-guided or docent lead tours

Kauai Plantation Railway: Tour lead by an adorable train through the orchard.

Allerton Gardens : Well worth the entry fee, this garden with it’s rich history and gorgeous views is a garden tour that even our youngest enjoyed.

Salt Pond: Although not currently opened, the children were able to see the salt beds and get an idea of how it was cultivated.

Waimea Canyon and Na Pali Coast  Stunning landscape, makes this day trip well worth the drive.  Someday it would be fun to take an arial tour or boat trip out of see the coast.  With our young children, it didn’t happen this time.  However, the views are not to be missed, from the lookouts.

Kauai Luau: My kids one request was to take their dad to a luau.  The dancing, artistry and food was a hit with the whole family.  Learning about traditions, comparing the food and making precious memories made the experience so worth while.

Many discovery are made when learning without walls. In the next couple posts, I will blog my kids 10 ten must see/do things around the island of Kaua’i.

Rainbows and Butterflies

Hawaii is stunning, with gorgeous cove like beaches and heavenly painted sunsets that begged to be watched, visiting the island of Kaua’i is comparable to entering a dreamland. Stunning views and a multitude of places to explore, the geography is a travelers paradise.  With many captivating memories imprinted into our family’s experiences, the two weeks were amazing.  However, not all of our trip was filled with rainbows and butterflies.  During these moments we tried to keep a positive attitude and roll with the tide.

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With a bad storm hammering much of the east coast, our connecting flights were tricky and our luggage was delayed by a few days. Upon reaching the island, we were utterly thankful to have arrived safe, sound and on the same day! Additionally, my husband traveled this leg with us and having an extra set of hands made an enormous difference. The stress evaporated making the traveling journey enjoyable. The first few days, frolicking around Kaua’i in winter travel clothes was a challenge. However, we were thankful to have a laundry machine and extra essential items brought by my parents and sister’s family. Ultimately, a quick shop for swimsuits for the kids and a summer dress for me, made the rest of the wait so much easier.

Normally a healthy eater, avoiding sugars and complex carbs, and addicted to my five days of workouts I unconsciously took a break during our two-week vacation. During our trip I overindulged with sweeties and enjoyed delicious dinners out (Who doesn’t love decadent macadamia-nut ice cream tucked inside a heap of mango flavored shaved ice). Moments of guilt plagued my conscience as I used swimming and basic hiking as my daily workouts. However, I could not seem to stop the sweet cravings and time away from my exercise.  Where as before I would allow my lapse to gnaw at me, this time I am not allowing myself to dwell.  Living in the moment and learning moderation is key as I move beyond the guilt.  Bouncing back to healthy eating and workouts came as we returned and wouldn’t you know, I feel more energized and empowered.

Our last couple days on the island, the dreaded stomach bug hit our family.   By this time, my husband and already left for home, everyone was sick and we were facing an overnight flight home.  All but one of my babies had their personal day of rest and I was dreading the upcoming trip, where I was sure my five-year old would come down with the flu. Three flights later and 11 hours in the air, my girl still didn’t show any signs of tummy trouble -and I watched her like a hawk.  Amazingly and ironic since she struggles with G.I. issues, she is the only one not to come down with the flu out of 15 people. We are immensely thankful to have made it home without her getting ill.

Are these the memories that I am going to let define a lovely family vacation?  No!! Memorable moments, yes, I can call them that but I have a choice now to turn them into fantastic self-growth lessons, learning opportunities and a chance to focus on all the amazing time we spent as a family. Looking back on the trip, we were able to see a great deal, spend much-needed time with each other and turn this vacation into a cherished memory. Within the next few blog posts I will explore some of our must see places on Kaua’i, discuss learning without walls, and share projects developed on the island.  There is so much to do and see in the paradise of Kaua’i Hawaii!

Finally, a shout out to my parents!  This trip would not have been possible with our my their support.  We are so very thankful for the gift of tickets, a place to stay, abundance of food and all your help with the kids (especially the  much-needed date night out)!  Thank you so much for all you do for us and our family!  You are both a blessing and an inspiration.