Building Rainbows

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Recycled Bird Feeder

We still have lots of birdseed left over after our bird watching themed weekend but no bird feeder to put it in. Using a half gallon milk jug or juice jug you can make a bird feeder. We used colorful paper, Popsicle sticks for the roof, little jewels and flowers for decor, and silk leaves. Lizzy helped as much as she could. Later we put the finished bird feeder out for the birds to enjoy.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Colonial Toys

I was contacted by Colonial Williamsburg to allow the use of the corn husk doll tutorial posted on my blog last November for their colonial toys lesson plan. The lesson plan on Colonial toys can be found online here and the accompanying PDF worksheet here. I have really enjoyed the free lesson plans available through Colonial Williamsburg's Teacher's Gazette which you can access online if you create a free account. This is a great free resource for any teachers or parent's who are homeschooling.  I'm honored they liked my corn husk doll tutorial enough to use in their Teacher Gazette.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Keeping Cool

As you can imagine the dessert is a hot place in the summer. I don't mind the heat if I'm in the water and Lizzy loves the water so I think we will be enjoying the summer mostly indoors or in a pool of some sort. Each town seems to have nice public aquatic facilities to enjoy. This Sunday we went to one in Chandler that was like a mini water park. It had a pool with diving board, water slides, lazy river, splash pads, and toddler pool and play ground in the water. It was only a dollar per family to get in! Lizzy had lots of fun. She enjoyed the spray area and the toddler pool the best. I only got a few pictures on Mike's phone of Lizzy at the water park. I think we will try the Gilbert aquatic center next and see what that's like. I also think I will start posting about local fun activities to do on a budget. Most of the places we take Lizzy are on free days, low cost, always free, using coupons, groupons, living social deals, and lately we have really enjoyed utilizing the Gilbert Library and their story time and summer programs. I will try to post about budget friendly family activities in and around Phoenix from time to time.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Summer Bucket List

I've been busy with my first week at my new job and the usual at home. Thankfully my new jobs is better than I even thought. I know I will really enjoying working and also the flexibility the job offers. All the stresses I had about going back to work are gone and I feel truly blessed to be doing something I enjoy while still spending lots of time with Lizzy. While thinking of fun stuff to do with Lizzy I came up with a summer bucket list of things to do this summer that will keep us cool and out of this hot Phoenix weather.

Stuffington Bear Tour

Visit Natural History Museum

Play with Water Balloons

Make Banana Splits at home

Make and Launch a rocket

Go to a Baseball Game

Go to the Aquarium

Fish in the Pool or bath tub

Make Sun Tea

Make a garden Stepping Stone

Eat and Plant a pineapple

Go Ice Skating

Go to a indoor bounce House

Go to the Movies

Bake Cookies in a solar oven outside

Make a homemade puppets and have a show

Paint with Ice cubes

Go to a waterpark

Make play dough and sensory bin summer themed

Organ stop

Go to an indoor amusement park

Paint pottery

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Bird Watching

Although we don't have a bird feeder we have quite of bit of feathered friends in our backyard. Lizzy really enjoys watching the birds and identifying their songs. I have enjoyed watching the birds, their behaviors and visiting patterns while sitting outside with Lizzy. We have a pair of doves that spend the whole day on the fence of the backyard. Mike even thought they were decorations! So because of our recent interest in birds I made a bird basket. The basket includes several bird guides for this area, a bird whistle, binoculars, bird seed, some materials to make a bird feeder, a wooden bird house for Lizzy to paint, and some materials for Lizzy to make some play binoculars. Gilbert, AZ has a riparian preserve that often has bird walks and bird watching tours because of the wide array of birds they have. Over 200 different birds have been spotted on this one preserve. We hope to learn more about birds then visit the riparian preserve to bird watch as a family. Today Lizzy had fun doing various bird related activities at home.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Home Management Binder

I've used binders for home organization for quite a while. I have/had a local restaurants/attractions binder, coupon binder, meal plan and recipes binder, home school binder (activities for Lizzy at home), and a cleaning and home tips binder. When I moved to Arizona and was staying home with Lizzy I found it very helpful to use some of these binders to stay organized with keeping a schedule with Lizzy, to do lists, meal planning, and cleaning schedules. Now that I will be working full time I starting thinking how stressful it can be to manage a household and work.

I compiled the most used parts of all my binders into one for Mike and I to use. Categories include daily routines, to do lists for the week, assigned cleaning schedules for Mike and I, activities to do with Lizzy (Summer bucket list), Calendar, Budget and envelope system, emergency information, birthdays and holiday planning, premade meal plans and shopping lists. Hopefully this will make things easier on both of us. I know it has been helpful for me to use.

 In the binder I also have pens, markers, calculator, scissors, a file for coupons, local magazines, and other misc things like shopper cards and grocery flyers we get in the mail.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Lizzy's 1st Scooter

Lizzy loves riding her scooter right now, even more than riding her trike!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Enchanted Island at Encanto Park

After visiting family nearby my dad look Lizzy to Encanto Park. They fed lots of ducks together, then went to the Enchanted Island which is a small amusement park with mostly kiddie rides. Although Lizzy was tired she had lots of fun relaxing on all the rides at the park. A nap on the ride home followed to recharge.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Adventures Out West Continued: Mt. Lemmon

Our next adventure was to Tucson, AZ. My father grew up in Tucson so he suggested we go there. We stopped and had lunch at eegees (a sandwich chain in Tucson known for their frozen drinks and subs), then stopped at my grandparent's resting place, and then headed up Mt. Lemmon to Summer Haven and Ski Valley. First we ate giant cookies at the Cookie Cabin in Summer Haven. Lizzy loved it!

Then we went into some shops in the area to stretch our legs and look around.
Finally we made it to Ski Valley where Mike and I rode the ski lift. We enjoyed the view, pine smell and cool weather. A change from summer Phoenix weather and dessert landscape.
A bear on the ski lift. Lizzy loved this.
Mt. Lemmon Observatory at the peak of the mountain.
Some of the tree damage from Aspen fire in 2003.

Despite my recent fear of mountains I'm glad and relieved that Mt. Lemmon was beautiful and not so scary. Who knows... maybe we'll even come skiing next winter.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Adventures Out West

My parents and Lizzy's Tita and Tito are visiting us in Phoenix. Tito (my father) grew up in Arizona and has taken us on quite a bit of different adventures throughout Arizona. Our first adventure was to a small town in Arizona named Claypool where his mother grew up part of her life. We stopped along the way to see several copper mines where my great grandfather worked.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Shortly after we moved into our home in Phoenix we planted some seeds. We planted a small vegetable garden with some broccoli, green bean, and squash seeds.So far the squash are the only survivors. In one of the empty pots we planted sunflower seeds. This is a picture of the seedlings when the sprouted and the after picture of their first bloom a day after Lizzy;s birthday. Lizzy helped in planting these seeds and waters them everyday. She loves checking on her plants every morning and caring for them. It's Lizzy's garden.