Archive for the ‘Z’ Category

It was fun to celebrate O and Z week in the middle of the summer instead of at the end this year.  Maddie came home Sunday from an overnight with her cousins.  By early evening she was severely overtired and it wasn’t pretty. We started it off by taking out food from the Olive Garden and hitting the Oxboro Library to fill up on craft and fairy books. I finally paid our overdue fees.

On Tuesday we celebrated our niece and cousin Gabby’s fifth birthday at the Inflatible Party Zone: Pump it Up and got absolutely overheated. It was one of the hottest days of the year a with the lack of air conditioning in our car and lack of air in the jumping room, all the kids were drenched with sweat and had red little faces.

We were over our limit with craft camp this week and hit an all time record of 14 kids: Maddie, Grace, Ava, Charlie, Lana, Josie, Katie, Gabby, Kaya, Sophie, Bray, Jalen, Nia, Dialo. Thankfully I had a lot of great helpers and a even a parent around to keep me from being to overwelmed. I hope I didn’t overreact, but I decided that next week I’m going to break the one long session into two smaller sessions to see if we can continue to accommodate all the children who want to be involved without the house being overrun by children.

We were very fortunate to have two special guests attend craft camp this week. Our friend Aly just returned from a mission trip to Zambia and even had a bit of jet lagged because she just got home three days before from a 27 hour plane trip. She showed us a bunch of wonderful photos she had taken during her trip to Zambia.  Her mother Ann (who just returned from her own trip to  and from Orange and Ontario Counties in California with her other daughter Kaya) brought an absolutely HUGE book about animals from Africa.  We were also blessed to have Maddie’s classmate Kayla and her mother, Florence attend. Florence grew up in Zambia and moved to the United States 12 years ago.

The children celebrated Zambia and zebras by wearing black and white to the camp. Even Marlena, one of the mom’s wore her skirt with a zebra on it.  We made a few zebra crafts including this one where they made a zebra mask and a zebra collage  where they traced the foot to make it a zebra and their arm for the neck.  Many of the children gave their zebras darling little personality traits like eye lashes or a goatee. For additional zebra themed party ideas, this is a great website. Here are additional owl themed party ideas. We ran out of time to do the owl craft (because there are owls in Zambia!), so I sent all the materials home in a ziplock bag with the kids so they could do it with mom or dad.

With the large amount of children, it was difficult to have everyone crafting at the same time, so we set up an outstanding lemonade stand (that was Grace’s idea) and sold lemonade (as a makeup for last week when we got rained out for our L week).  The kids did a terrific job with sales and raised $13.00 to send to the Children’s Tumor Foundation.

Maddie kind of overdid the black and white theme and gathered up all the black and white toys in her room and displayed them on the piano. For a snack I gave the kids oranges and Oreos. The black and white fit the zebra theme perfectly and I even found a package of gluten-free/diary-free/tree nut and peanut-free Oreos for the kids with allergies. I had really wanted to make this owl cake but didn’t have the time or energy for it.

We enjoyed a hot Friday afternoon at the Como Zoo with our friend Zoe O. just like last year. We ate at the Zobota Cafe. The girls wanted to get their face painted and I said yes as long as they looked like zebras, so they said yes.

On Friday night I had a night out on the town with three friends from college. We had dinner at The French Meadow Cafe in Uptown.  Saturday night we enjoyed having the Ortiz family over for a wonderful barbequed steak and chicken dinner.

Last year we celebrated the letters O and Z by going to Osh Kosh (Maddie and Daddy that is), eating Oreos and Onion Rings, organizing the kitchen, and riding a zipline.

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Z is for Zipline

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We started our day at the Children’s Museum in St. Paul, then stopped for Happy Meals at the little skyway McDonald’s before we made it to our final destination for our Alphabet Summer at the Como Zoo. We had so much fun at the zoo on this super hot day.

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After enjoying some “W” time at the Children’s Museum’s Wizard of Oz exhibit, we had ordered a couple of Skyway Happy Meals and ate some lunch. Then we headed off to the Como Zoo to check out all the animals including the Butterfly House where a beautiful monarch tried to hitch a ride out of the contained area on Maddy’s back. Luckily, an inspector caught it.  We stopped at the Zobota Cafe for a couple of Icees to cool off, it was a really hot day. We finished the day off with with several rides at Como Town.  What a wonderful way to end our very first Alphabet Summer!

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