Thursday, June 25, 2015

Book Review: Laugh Out Loud Pocket Doodles books

This post is a different sort of book review than I've done in the past, but I was excited to see what these books were like and give them a try.

Laugh-Out-Loud Pocket Doodles for Boys by Rob Elliott and Laugh-Out-Loud Pocket Doodles for Girls by Rob Elliott are unique combinations of kid humor and doodling.  Each joke includes the beginnings of an illustration that the reader can finish or embellish to fit the joke or just make it crazy.  The books targets ages 9-12 so my 4, 5, and 6 year olds couldn't do them by themselves but they sure had fun paging through them and trying a few out.  I think a 7 or 8 year old though could easily enjoy these books though too.

The day the books came in the mail, the kids sat down with me and we read through some of the jokes.  As expected some went right over their heads but others had them laughing.  Since there was only one "boy" book to preview and BOTH boys wanted to try the joke/doodle with a Star Wars reference that they spotted, we ended up copying a few of the pages when we sat down to try some of the doodles.

Here's a few of our initial favorites.  The center one with the Darth Vader joke is the boys' favorite (Q: "What do you get when you cross an elephant with Darth Vader?" A: "An ele-vader")
doodle jokes for kids

I think that we'll keep these books in our camper for the summer as something we can do together during those rainy times when we are all stuck inside.  Because the books themselves are small, they would also fit well in a large purse, backpack or glove box to have on hand when a restaurant wait is long or other times where its nice to have something for kids to do that isn't electronic.

I look forward to getting these books out a few more times to see what other jokes and doodles the kids are drawn to.  As our oldest continues to improve his reading skills, it won't be long before he'll be able to read these to his brother and sister - making it possible entertainment for car trips too.

These books could be a great gift for a kid in your life that enjoys drawing or loves telling jokes.  And I imagine once they are filled with your child's (or children's) doodles, a book like this would make a unique way to capture their sense of humor and drawing style to pull out when they are older.

A fun way to doodle and laugh together here on the gravelly road.

* I was given a free copy of each book to try in exchange for a review.  All opinions and words are my own.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Father's Day Cards

We are celebrating Father's Day all weekend by camping in our new-to-us camper.  Hopefully I can share some pics etc next week but wanted to share the fun cards the kids painted for their grandpas.

kid made father's day cards

I found the free template here and then the kids used water colors to decorate the shirts, ties and bow ties.  It would also be cute to use solid color printing paper and add detail with crayons and markers.

I think they turned out great and the kids were very excited to send them to our grandpas with love from the Gravelly Road.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Another garden season begins

Its June and garden season is in full swing here on the gravelly road... just haven't had much time to post about it.

The kids and I planted some seeds indoors back in April which did quite well in our big bay window. Cucumbers, 2 kinds of squash, zucchini, watermelon (none germinated), and cantaloupe. They were pretty excited when the seedlings started to appear.

cucumber seedling

When it warmed up outside, I noticed that I had some lettuce coming up in our un-tilled garden that must have gone to seed last year.  So the kids helped me dig it up and transplant it to a pot.  Then the boys dug in the garden for worms... because DIRT.

Near the end of May we tilled the garden, transplanted our seedlings from inside, and planted the rest of our seeds and plants we purchased.  We also planted a few herbs in my pallet herb garden on the patio.  The kids helped with most of the planting, not sure they will enjoy the weeding as much :)

family gardening

So in addition to our seedlings we planted: tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, pumpkin, potatoes, snap peas, beans, more lettuce, carrots and additional zucchini and squash.  A few seedlings we transplanted have died and so far our beans, carrots and lettuce are doing poorly -- only a few plants coming up.  The tiny pumpkin plants my husband bought are huge, zucchini and cucumbers look great and the first batch of snap peas have started climbing the fence. (We plant snap peas in two groups, two weeks apart so we can enjoy them longer). This is our first year trying potatoes so we'll see how it goes.

I'm hoping to post pictures and updates on our garden again this year as things grow, at the very least so I have a record to look back to next year.

So begins another season of gardening on our gravelly road.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Weekend Away and Fun Milestones

We just returned from a long weekend away at a cabin with family, as we do most summers.  Besides our family of five, my parents, my sister and her husband were also there.  My grandparents even made the drive for a day to visit a bit.

The kids had a great time with so much to do - playgrounds, a zip line, playing in the sand, riding bikes and scooters, backyard baseball, the onsite waterpark, and even some special activities planned by Grandma.  The adults had fun too of course.  It was great to reconnect, spend time together, be outdoors, etc.  I also appreciated the fact that with extra adults around there were a few more hands to help throughout the day.  My husband and I even got to take a quick trip to the local winery, just the two of us, which is a big deal.

On Saturday, our oldest told Dad he was ready to try to learn to ride his bike without training wheels and off they went to practice (he specifically requested no audience until he was ready).  With just a little practice in the big parking lot, he had it mastered.  So proud.

What I didn't expect is that the next day, little brother asked for his training wheels off too.  And sure enough in not long at all he had his new two-wheel bike figured out.

So now we have two boys without training wheels, enjoying the fact that they can ride pretty much all over the gravel driveway and yard at our home on the gravelly road.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Last Day of School

The countdowns had been going on a for a while and the last day finally arrived. I was amazed at how much fun and activity was filled into the last few weeks -- programs, field trips, a carnival, bingo, family day, and so much more between the 3 kids.

Each kiddo in the house had a different "last day" so we celebrated the last day of school with our ice cream tradition 3 times!  Our kindergartner was the last to have his last day, so we went out for ice cream cones together after we picked him up from school yesterday.

All 3 kids had a great years at school and were blessed by wonderful teachers and many new friends. Each changed so much - especially considering our 2 preschoolers joined their classes in February.  Amazing really. I wish I could post the other last day pics but alas there are rules to be followed...  

Here is our kindergartner's last pic, with him holding a picture of his first day of kindergarten. Its hard to believe he's a first grader now!

So let the summer fun commence here on the Gravelly Road.
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