Summer Break Sleep Overs

I have always wanted to be that home for kids, a place to be a “home away from home” so to speak for any and every child. One thing that is actually important to me is to be a part of the foster and adoption system some day and help kids who are a ward of the state or need a place to stay during the time their parents work to get in a better place, so it’s no wonder that my children love having their friends over here at my house. I make the home cozy for kids but we do have rules, boundaries and expectations; it’s not just a “kids run all” place either.

With that being said, my daughter wanted to have her bestie over for the first weekend after school ended and so I allowed that to happen with permission from her bestie’s parents. What better way to ring in the first weekend of Summer break than do have a fabulous sleep over weekend event?

Sleepver over fun for summer break in NH

We went for a swim and had a family fun BBQ at my Dad‘s with a day trip there. Livy, my sister, the three boys, my boyfriend, Dad and step Mom all had a blast. We played pretend volley ball with a blow up ball and pretend net. We ate good food. we laughed and just had such a fun day.  Sadly, one thing about having a home where you encourage people to be who they are and kids to be kids, is that occasionally the youngest will take full advantage of being a kid and do something like this …

Crazy Five year Old

Needless to say he lost all privileges to markers in the van for a long, long, long time after he arrived home looking like this. That is a mix of mud, chocolate ice cream and highlighter. On. His. Face.

Fire Pit Sleep Over NH

Later on that night we decided to start up the fire pit and had a lovely marshmallow roasting event where some had marshmallows and some had smores. Aj had hotdogs, because he doesn’t much care for roasted marshmallows nor smores.

Roasted Marshmallows

It was such a blast being able to have this celebration of a summer sleep over to start summer with a bang! I am glad to be able to enjoy this type of fun with little to no money spent, after all I am a simple person who doesn’t believe in spending a ton of money for fun!

 

 

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Our Trip to Hampton Beach State Park, New Hampshire

I haven’t been to the Hampton Beach State Park in New Hampshire since my teen years, and even then I don’t recall actually stopping, getting out and enjoying the place. Recently I decided that would be a fun day trip to do with the kids, what made the trip even more fun was that my daughter took along her bestie and we also brought my sister as well as my baby niece with us. There was my Town & Country packed full with five kids and two adults headed to make the over hour drive to Hampton Beach State Park.

Hampton Beach State Park New Hampshire Family Trip

After spending hours trying to find a parking spot near the Sand Sculptures and main beach area of Hampton Beach, we decided to drive further down and let the kids jump the waves, swim in the ocean and play in an area that didn’t have lifeguards but had open parking spaces. Sadly, I didn’t plan for parking meters appropriately so I only had enough quarters so we could swim at this end of Hampton Beach for about an hour and fifteen minutes. I feel that was really plenty of time, though, to be honest.

Hampton Beach State Park New Hampshire Family Trip 3

The four big kids had such a fun time out in the ocean, little man was dancing in the waves, Aj was smiling and laughing, the two big girls were floating around enjoying the cold water from the Atlantic Ocean. This was so worth it after our couple hour drive that it took us, then more hours trying to find parking. This view made that drive and time in the van well worth it.

Hampton Beach State Park New Hampshire Family Trip 2

I loved watching my oldest laugh and let loose in the ocean waves, she really is an over achiever during the school year, so I try to ensure she enjoys her Summer time during her childhood years! I love seeing the smile on Aj’s face here as the wave came rolling in crashing upon the kids.

Hampton Beach State Park New Hampshire Family Trip 4

After using up our meter pay, we hopped back into the van and got the kids all ready to travel back towards the main stretch of Hampton Beach State Park. After all, one of the things we really came to see was the huge sand sculptures from the competition that had just happened the week prior. Since it was later on in the day, we found a spot quickly and proceeded to head to the beach.

Hampton Beach State Park New Hampshire Family Trip 5

The sand sculptures were amazing, I must admit Olaf was my favorite. I just love Olaf from the movie Frozen. The kids loved how large the sculptures were and had a blast taking pictures and walking around looking at all of the scuptures

Hampton Beach State Park New Hampshire Family Trip  6

Next up, we had to feed the tribe, while I did bring some PB&J sandwiches and sis brought some snacks too, we still needed to feed the tribe something. I bought one large pizza from a place on the strip of Hampton Beach State Park and we all enjoyed one decent size of cheese pizza as well as some drinks. This is the crew sitting down to eat at one of the stage areas on the Hampton Beach Strip.

Blue Ocean Discovery Center Hampton Beach State Park NH

After lunch, we decided to head over to the Blue Ocean Discovery Center that is located at Hampton Beach State Park; they share with you information about the ocean animals and work to help keep our ocean animals safe. With their hands on touch tank, the kids had a blast! This place did cost $1 per person, except Livy my niece was free since she is under age 2.

Blue Ocean Discovery Center Hampton Beach State Park NH starfish

This was such fun, watching the kids hang onto starfish and crabs. I loved listening to the nice ladies who worked there explain things and my children watched, listening along learning so much from them.

This was certainly a great day trip, while we did learn a few things from the trip on how we can make another trip better, we all enjoyed ourselves fully. I think the kids didn’t end up asleep til closer to midnight that night, but to watch how happy they were and the fact that this was a first time experience of the ocean for my baby nice — made this day priceless!

Books to Teach Friendship to Your Young Child

Every young child needs to learn how to make friends. This is an important social skill that your child will use throughout his or her life, from making friends at school to developing relationships as an adult. At first, it seems easy for your child to make friends, but as they get older, they’ll start to notice that friendship isn’t just about playing with toys together. Give your child a head start in the friendship department by teaching about how to make and keep friends. Here are a few books you can use to help teach a lesson on friendship.

Books for Children That Each Friendship

“Image courtesy of AKARAKINGDOMS / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

Franklin’s New Friend ~Paulette Bourgeois

Franklin is a turtle that many young kids know and love. Although Franklin already has a group of friends he hangs out with, there’s a new “kid” in town that Franklin doesn’t know. At first, Franklin is afraid of this new friend, but after some time, he discovers that they have a lot in common! This story is great for teaching your young child how to make new friends, even if it’s a little scary at first.

Frog and Toad Are Friends ~Arnold Lobel

A lot of young adults have grown up reading about Frog and Toad. Despite its age, this timeless classic is still relevant today, teaching young children about the characteristics that make good friends. Have fun with your child reading the adventures of Frog and Toad. After reading the story, talk with your child about what Frog did for Toad and what Toad did for Frog. Use the book on friendship to teach your child that being a good friend also means giving, not just taking.

The Berenstain Bears and the Trouble with Friends ~Stan Berenstain

Sometimes friends are just plain trouble. Sister Bear finds this out for herself in this Berenstain Bears book. In this book, Sister Bear meets a new friend and they enjoy each other’s company. However after awhile, Sister Bear and her new friend start fighting. In order for these two friends to get along, they need to learn how to give in and not always be right. This is a great talking point for your young child because friendship is about giving and taking.

Just My Friend & Me ~Mercer Mayer

Little Critter is back and ready to make friends! In this story by Mercer Mayer, Little Critter has an afternoon play date with a friend. Instead of being fun, this play date has a few disasters. Despite the bad, these two characters remain friends. If you want to teach your young child about the difficulties of friendship, this is the book to read. This story helps your child understand that a friend can still be a friend after a fight.

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