Monday, June 29, 2009

High Temperatures

I looked at the month of June with some trepidation. How would we fill the time vacated by school and library and all our usual activities?

No problem.

Our new YMCA membership keeps us on the go with swim lessons and workouts for mommy--something to do nearly every weekday.

Then we caught The Virus.

Seems this nasty bug was going all around town. I was the first casualty. Then my DH. Then #1 son. Sore throat and a general achy feeling. I was down one weekend but nobody seemed to mind watching a little more TV and playing indoors. A few days respite then my son had it and ran a fever for many unnerving days.

By the end it all we had grown tired of endless viewings of "Go, Diego, Go!" The train set was getting a little boring (except for some excitement when an engine was hurled at my face by a bored 2-year-old). We hadn't been cooped up for that long since.....the last time someone ran a long fever.

Outside, we were having an unusually hot mid-June with a heat wave that took the breath out of even the most hardy Floridians. Cabin fever coupled with the threat of heat stroke while going out to get the morning paper. What fun!

We're all better now--and after a terrific week of Vacation Bible School--thankful to get back into our old routine.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Pro Tree Published

Exciting news in the household this week--my husband's iPhone/iTouch application was released for sale on Thursday at the Apple App Store.  For months we've been sharing time on the computer: some nights I write and edit my stuff, some nights he programs and edits his projects.

Finally, the fruit of his labors went to Apple and his app was approved.

It's called Pro Tree and it's a reaction time game that simulates the "Christmas Tree" that drag racers use at the start of a race. Racers want to hit the gas pedal at the same time as the lights go green. Leave the starting line too early and you get a red foul light. Leave too late and you get left behind.

Pro Tree measures reaction time using fingers instead of a gas pedal. So we've been tapping (or shaking) our iTouches, testing his game for months.  I finally got to where I could beat him--causing all manner of testosterone-fueled disbelief. (Due to 2 very active boys, I have a fast reaction time--and excellent peripheral vision.)

My contribution was to help write the description and directions, which I treated like a job. I researched drag racing competition rules and categories. I struggled with editing my husband's notes so that even a novice (me) could follow the directions. I tweaked the final product with a smattering of alliteration, deliberate hard consonants, and a touch of psychology. 

This was a fascinating process, frustrating for him at times, but I'm so proud of him for persevering.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

A Date with a Calendar

Now that school’s out, we don’t have the thrice weekly routine of getting ready and heading out to preschool. My boys are feeling a little lost.  Regular activities defined their days during the school year.  They felt secure knowing that Monday meant school and gymnastics and Wednesday meant library and church. Summer is a little more freewheeling and I’m not one for scheduling every minute of the day. So we needed something to help us keep track of our time.

Enter the kids’ calendar.

DLTK is a fantastic website, with printable coloring sheets and activities for young children, including some excellent Bible activities.  DLTK’s calendar page  allows us to customize a monthly calendar by theme and language. It’s simple. Choose the month, year, title image and click create.   We’re using the summer calendar theme and selected a sand castle for June.

Each morning we look at the calendar and place a sticker in the square for the day.  We talk about the name of the month, the day of the week and what we’re going to do.  I added in our regular weekly activities with color-coded symbols (cross for church, wavy blue line for swim).  We’re using our calendar to count down to much anticipated events like Vacation Bible School and family vacation.

As a bonus, we’re reviewing math skills by counting to 30 (or 31) and repeating the names of the days of the week. By the end of August, we’ll all be ready for preschool to begin again.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Like Hot Fudge on a Cool Day

And I thought yesterday couldn't get any better. 

I got to exercise.  My children calmly entertained themselves and let me get a little housework done. And we visited the most delightful playground I've ever seen. (Honestly, it would take days to go on all the slides and climbers, not to mention the new "splash pad" with motion-activated water jets. I love this town.)

To top it all off--Pat, from Pat's Porch--gave me the "Your Blog is Fabulous" award.  Many thanks, Pat.

What a wonderful way to kick off the summer!