Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Greetings all you blog visitors, Lisa is away at Girls' Camp this week. Since I am taking over the responsibilities for our house this week, it is only fair that I also take over the blogging duties!

I feel like she eased me into this, perhaps lulling me in nice and easy. Monday I just picked up the duties after work. Tuesday I took over at lunch. Today we're all in, and for the most part it's been great!

With Lisa's assistance I planned meals for the week. I wasn't about to do that all on my own, otherwise I'm sure the kids would have starved. After getting a good idea about what they'd eat we put together the shopping list and off we went shopping. Olivia was kind enough to help and after a trip to Costco and Walmart (2 hrs) proclaimed that it's fun to go shopping with dad. I suspect the only reason she thought that is because she got to pick out a cereal for the week (Honey Bunches of Oats) and some ice cream (orange/berry sherbet).


When I got home we had to get started right away with making dinner. Coleman made it clear that he didn't want to help make dinner since it's something he doesn't like. We had a brief lesson about how you still need to learn to cook, even if it's something you don't like. He wasn't sure he agreed, but in his infinite wisdom decided he would help like dad wanted :)

Our meal for Monday night was Creole Franks (affectionately known in the Harper home as Hot Dog Creole. This was something that I grew up liking quite a bit and was at the top of my list for things to make for dinner. Lisa will tolerate this meal occasionally, but it doesn't get made too often unless I make it.

I've always liked cooking, and have made it one of my goals to have them help with all the cooking this week. I think it's a great practical way to teach mathematics (fractions and measurements) and following directions (and testing patience -- mostly mine). They've been awesome helpers and it's been fun.

We had a short Family Home Evening lesson about tithing (even though Coleman thought we didn't have to have FHE since mom wasn't home) and then we went on a walk/bike ride. This was probably Sophia's favorite activity of the evening.

About half way through the walk it started to sprinkle on us, but we made it home without too much excitement.

We had our ice cream for desert, Coleman had his favorite (mint chocolate chip), and Olivia her sherbet, and Sophia some of both. Sophia ate both of the two small scoops I got for her, and then got down from the table and walked around to each table spot and opened her mouth until someone gave her some more ice cream.

After finishing the evening with a little Dr. Who (BBC version on Netflix), it was time to call it a day and everyone was off to bed.


Tuesday certainly proved to be a bit more challenging of a day. I took half of the day off from work only to come home and find out that we have some weird issue with water and the carpet in the basement. When we had our basement finished the closet for the water heater/furnace might have been made too small since the edge of the carpet comes really close to the drain. For whatever reason a good area of carpet pad and carpet are quite wet. I pulled up the edges of both to try to get them to dry out, but I'm still not sure what to do long term.

Another thing I wanted to do this week is to include some activities that would challenge their brains. For Tuesday I came up with the idea that I wanted to teach them the basics of computer programming. I remembered doing stuff with Logo (turtle draw) when I was younger, and thought that might be a good start.

For those unfamiliar with Logo, you create drawings by writing a program of how you want the turtle to move (when it moves, it draws). The simple commands consist of telling it to move forward, turn, and change colors. We talked about angles, and how many degrees in a circle, and went through a couple of brief examples. I found "Logo Draw" for the iPad and they took turns trying to draw something.

Coleman first thought he wanted to do a lightning bolt, but I encouraged him to try doing a square with different colors on each side and here is his final result.

Olivia started out on a rather ambitious task of writing out Family Matters, but after getting stuck on the A thought this was good:

Our activity got interrupted by quite a downpour! Olivia and Sophia went outside to play in the rain (and got soaked).

I had to cancel soccer (again) because of the thunder. I think this is the third or fourth time this summer where we've had thunder right around when we were supposed to practice. Each time it seems the weather totally blows over 30-45 mins later and we could have practiced anyway, but I certainly wouldn't want to be out on a soccer field if lightning does come through the area!

Dinner tonight consisted of chicken quesadillas for Liv and I, and regular quesadillas for Coleman and Sophia. My favorite way to do chicken for these is to cut it into pieces and cook it in a little olive oil and crushed red pepper. Once browned add about a cup of salsa to let it simmer in until the tortillas are ready.

It's also customary for us to have frozen raspberry lemonades with this meal. I use half a can of pink lemonade, 2 cups of ice, a few scoops of vanilla ice cream (3-4), 10-12 frozen raspberries, and water for consistency. Tasty summer drink!

We all worked on dishes together, got ready for bed, and enjoyed 101 ways to leave a game show before calling it a night.

Since Sophia just woke up from her nap, I'll have to continue with Wednesday's activities another time.

Do any of you know what Logo is?
Have you found fun ways to teach your kids during the summer?
Do you want a frozen raspberry lemonade as much as I do right now? :)


Ria's Random Thoughts said...

Wow Ryan you deserve an award or something for dad of the year. I remember Pete taking care of the kids while I was gone and it pales in comparison. It probably pales in comparison of how well I do too. Well done!

swankypup said...

I don't know "Logo," but is it something like "Lego?" I remember you liked those as a kid too! I remember a summer reading chart you kids helped me design. It was a big "map" we put up on the dining room wall, and you got to move your marker one space for every 10 pages you read. About every 20 spaces, you got a "special challenge" and "prize;" like one challenge was reading a page upside down, one was drawing a picture about your book, etc. Do you remember that? And...have you had the Frozen Strawberry Lemonade at McDunnald's? It's veryyyyyy good! (Your recipe sounds pretty awesome tho! I'll have to try it sometime!)

RyanH said...

@Ria - Thanks we had a blast. But as I mention in Part Two, there's no way I could keep up that pace for any amount of consistency :) I can handle a day or two at a time! :)

@Swankypup - I do remember the big map, don't remember much about what was on it, but I remember making it! And I'll have to give McDonald's a try one of these days.

Lisa R.D. said...

...and now we can see why the kids keep offering a spa day for me (or any other way to get me out of the house so Ry can be in charge again!!!). So grateful that Ryan was able to have so much fun with the kiddos.