Family Friday

Last Friday was the first day of no school for the summer. Kalissa, my daughter, had worked the night shift so her kids, Carver, Gannon, and Anders were hanging with me for the day.

I needed to go to town and pick up medicine either Friday or Saturday. Part of me wanted to wait until Saturday so I could go with no kids along…part of me wanted to do it Friday so I could have Saturday free to sew or garden.

I ended up calling and talking to my daughter Kelli and she said she was thinking of taking her kids to the Fish Hatchery. Hmm. I told her lets have a cousin’s day and I’d meet her at the Fish Hatchery in an hour.

The Fish Hatchery is in Decorah. We typically try to go once or twice over the summer and let the kids feed the fish. The Hatchery is operated through the DNR. They raise fish there and those fish are later used to stock area ponds and streams. The kids love feeding the fish.

The hitch is that we have to pay 25 cents for fish food to feed them. I had Carver and Gannon go through my change and pull out quarters. Gannon loves anything involving sorting so he loved this. The boys each got a baggie of quarters and off we went.

We were able to meet Kelli there. She had her kids, Eli, Emmett, and Georgia. We got them to all pose together for a picture.

I was a little worried when we pulled in because there were two school buses there. Many of the schools have field trips here.

Luckily they were all eating lunch so it wasn’t busy at all.

Kelli was smart and brought baggies for the fish food. The kids throw the food in and the fish all dash to the surface to try to get some food. The kids really enjoy it.

Some of the pools aren’t very tall so we really had to keep an eye on Emmett and Eli.

Thankfully I had the stroller for Anders.

Kelli was #1 mom and packed a picnic lunch for us all. The kids were a little disappointed because there isn’t a playground there. I really wish there was.

We didn’t plan a long day there. In fact, we were there for only about an hour or so and that was about perfect for these little attention plans.

From there it was errand time…off to Walmart…the thrift store and the frame shop. I picked up my Come to the Garden piece. I’m so excited to show it to you… but I don’t have pictures taken yet.

I spoiled them and took the boys to the ice cream shop. If you’re ever in Decorah, Iowa, the Sugar Bowl is a must-stop ice cream shop!! They have the best hard ice cream and the owners are awesome!!

Then we headed home. We did stop at the automatic car wash. I’d have sworn I took the boys to Disney Land. They squealed and had the best time at the car wash. It was fun.

When we got home I told Carver to get the book we bought at the thrift store. It’s a chapter book. Carver is a great reader. He did some testing that suggested he reads at the fifth-grade level. He just finished Kindergarten but he’s having a bit of trouble transitioning from picture books to chapter books. He doesn’t have confidence or an attention span though. So we got a chapter book and plan to read it together. I read one page and he reads the next page.

He did great with that.

I’m a bit of a mean grandma and make him do school stuff over the summer. We’re pulling out the flashcards the next day he’s at my house.

We had a great day…Kalissa came to pick up the boys and caught us reading.

I can’t believe how good the boys were. I’ll be honest. I was dreading summer a bit because the boys can be a bit much from time to time…and…they always say, “I’m bored.” If they are as good as they were this day, it’s going to be a fun summer.

19 thoughts on “Family Friday”

  1. Polly Currier

    Too funny about the car wash.
    I had a low tolerance for the “I’m bored” routine when my kids were about Carver’s age. I made a list on poster board of all the things they could possibly do. My daughter(37) still talks about how much she loved looking at that list. Think it reset their minds about the many things they could do.

  2. My kids loved going through the car wash at that age too. You have such cute grandkids! And the fish hatchery does sound like a fun place for those little ones.

  3. Judith Fairchild

    That reads like you had a great day out with your local half dozen grands. I like going fish hatcheries and eating outside. So glad you all had fun. Can hardly wait to see your finished piece.

  4. My dd is in the same boat when it comes to I’m bored. She has a list and they can either do something from that list or go to the extra-chore chart. Guess which one they go to? LOL!
    I don’t know what it is about car washes – they either freak out or want to go again! :-D
    Looking forward to your finished piece.
    Love and prayers

  5. What a fun day for you, Kelli and the kids! It’s been such joy to see your grandkids grow and develop their little personalities! Carver, being the oldest in this group and one we see a lot of, has changed so much. His cool pose at the sign cracked me up. AND reading at fifth grade level- he’s handsome AND smart! Jo, you and his parents get kudos for reading to him and with him. Keep up the good work!

  6. What a fun day for y’all! My grandkids loved going thru the car wash too when they were that age. So fun making memories!

  7. You’re not a mean grandma! I always made my kids do school stuff during the summer. We would make it more fun stuff. Like for math, they would help me cook and measure ingredients or have a lemonade stand and they had to handle the money. We would also set a goal for the number of books to read over the summer. They could pick easy ones, but they also had to pick a more difficult one to read at the same time. They both still love to read! Keep up that teaching! I found when I didn’t do this, they forgot everything over the summer.
    We also had a fish hatchery that provided fish for the highland lakes in Texas. We would take a trip there and then make a t-shirt that they decorated to commemorate the trip. Or I would have them write a fish story. Always trying for learning opportunities and craft projects! You could let them pick out fabric that had fish on it and make a pillow or a quilt. I wasn’t a quilter at the time, or I would have done that.

  8. If you can find some Magic Treehouse books, the are great “transition to chapter books” books. My kids loved to read them (big print, many pictures) and I loved that each one was really a little history lesson, fun stuff. The Boxcar Children also falls in this category. We recently discovered The Beatenest Boy by Jesse Stewart. It is not very long and so perfect for taking turns reading with Grandma!

  9. What a fun day! You are so fortunate to have all that time with your grands. These are the days they won’t forget. You are not mean grandma, just make his learning fun like you always do.

  10. My son freaked out going through the car wash. I couldn’t drive through one with him in the car. I think he was about 5-6 at the time. I don’t recall when he finally out grew it. I had forgotten about it until you mentioned the car wash.
    My grandson has loved books since he was a toddler. He just finished kindergarten and does a fantastic job reading. I’m amazed by some of the words he can sound out. But than again his mouth is moving before his eyes open in the morning. He’s a sponge and quite literally absorbs everything.

  11. When my kids were young, if they said they were bored, I’d give them an unpleasant chore to do. Over time they came up with something to do rather than to say they were bored. Spurred the creativity and imaginations I knew they had within them.

  12. What a fun day for all of you! Your grand babies will have many happy memories. When my kids were “bored” my husband would tell them the garden needed weeding, and that usually cured their boredom! Carver’s reading is awesome. What a good example he is setting for his younger cousins.

  13. Betty Edwards

    I used to long for the summer vacation from school to begin. I just enjoyed having the kids home. Two girls and a boy, we did everything around ball practice after our son turned 5. We did crafts, swam, explored. We lived on a Cul-de-Sac and there were 17 kids on it. They were all the ages of mine except for 2 high schoolers! I always had to make our son eat breakfast, brush his teeth and off he went! There were three or four moms and we all watched them.

    So I do understand summer can be stressful some days but fun the other. I remember keeping two grand’s and the Harry Potter books were coming out. I read to them each day so Papa could rest! lol


  14. Pamela Dempsey

    Yes, I thought Carver looked so grown up and cool too! You have sweet grandkids and I enjoy reading about your family as much as the sewing

  15. It sounds like you had a lovely day with your grandchildren, Jo! I like the other comments suggesting to have a list of things children can choose from – or to give them a chore ha!

  16. Hey Jo,
    Have Carver read Captain underpants books. They are a transition books but have chapters and pictures. We would go to the library every Monday and check out a new batch of books during the summer. Fun memories.


  17. all these comments about the word bored are like a terrific trip down memory lane. One notoriously distracted friend came home from church with us and i overheard my children coaxing her to not say the word bored or they would all be at the ” chore board that cured boredom”. And the reading is such a gift that gets passed down through the generations.
    Trips to the library frequently come up in things my children pass on to their children memorywise. I just know that you are in for another terrific summer.
    PS This one is a readable one. I am happy to say. I have tried resending them to myself as that has been a remedy in some other instances.

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