First Day – 3rd Grade and 4th Grade

I can’t believe it’s the first day of school already! I blinked and summer was over. I think we did most of the things on our list, except camping. We just didn’t get around to that. We ended up going swimming more than I thought we would and hit up the park a few times a week. I took these photos the other day, while we were having a picnic at the park. I don’t know what they will wear for the first day of school, but I know it will involve a jacket since it’s supposed to be in the 60s.

First Day of School 2017

Avery is really excited about learning about science (especially dinosaurs) and getting lots of homework. (Ok, I made that last one up.)

Lauren is excited for recess, of course, so she can be on her beloved monkey bars. I’m hoping she gets some homework this year, too. It will be good for her.

Hannah doesn’t start until September 11th, so I’ll be sharing her photos (and a group shot!) next week!

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Biggest Sister, Littlest Sister

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Avery spent last week with Gramma at Bible School, so it was just these two home with me. They rarely get along, but without Avery, they have to find a way to play together (Thank you, Daniel Tiger, for all of your awesome songs…)

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It’s not very often Lauren gets to help Hannah with things, so she had fun actually playing the big sister role. Hannah couldn’t get up on a rock, so Lauren lifted her up. She couldn’t push the button on the fountain and drink at the same time, so Lauren helped out with that too.

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We got up early, had donuts from Cub and went to a park we rarely visit. It was empty, since it was 8am, so the kids had fun just running around and playing.

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And this shoveling contraption? Hannah couldn’t quite figure it out. So Lauren told her to sit on the seat with her and helped her shovel sand.

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It makes me happy to see them like this, even though as soon as they got in the car, they started fighting again. At least I know they love each other!

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Favorite Summer Netflix Picks

Favorite Summer Netflix Picks | Beth Hardinger Blog

Let’s face it – we can’t spend every single day at the park or the lake. We all need a break sometimes. Or it’s just way too hot and humid to be outside, or a summer storm rolls in. Whatever the reason, my kids and I have our go-to Netflix shows and movies to watch when we stay in.

Avery (8)

  • Dolphin Tale
  • Magic School Bus Series
  • Any Disney/Pixar Movie
  • Pete’s Dragon
  • Care Bears (that show has really changed since I watched it in the 80s!)

Lauren (10)

  • Sofia The First (she will be so excited when Elena of Avalor and Doc McStuffins come to Netflix!)
  • Tarzan (the good one, with Phil Collins and ‘N SYNC doing the music)
  • My Little Pony
  • Littlest Pet Shop

Hannah (3)

  • Moana
  • Zootopia
  • Hotel Transylvania 2
  • Anything her sisters are watching

The Mom (30-something)

  • Parenthood the series
  • Supernatural (currently working my through Season 1 again)
  • Parks & Rec – hands down my all-time favorite show
  • Grace & Frankie
  • Being Human (US version)

On My To-Watch List

  • The Originals – I have only seen the first season and I didn’t really pay attention
  • The Ranch
  • The Last Kingdom
  • Anne With An “E” – I’m having a really hard time with this one, because I LOVE the original so much

What do you like watching in the summer? Have any recommendations for us? 

Favorite Summer Netflix Picks | Beth Hardinger Blog

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Summer Book Club | Kids Edition

Summer Book Club | Beth Hardinger Blog

Samson The Piranha Who Went to Dinner | Beth Hardinger Blog

Summer Book Club | Kids Edition

This week, Avery chose a book about a piranha. Samson: The Piranha Who Went to Dinner by Tadgh Bentley. Avery’s almost 8, and enjoys chapter books (shorter ones – she hasn’t quite moved into Harry Potter territory yet), but this wasn’t a chapter book. I try to have them pick out their own books, for the most part, even if the books seem a little too easy – or a little too hard.

Samson is beautifully illustrated. He’s definitely the cutest piranha I’ve ever seen! Samson the “foodie” piranha loves to explore, unlike the other piranhas. He wanted more than just the same old thing, day after day, especially food. Samson learned that some new, fancy restaurants were opening nearby, so he ventured out to try them.

Summer Book Club | Beth Hardinger Blog

The best things about the book are the phrases the other fish say to Samson. A few of Avery’s favorites were: “Salty mother of mackerel!”, “Scaly Neptune’s crabcakes!”, and “For the love of smoky sea bass!”

Basically, the story is about always being yourself – being you is okay. Samson learns that if the world doesn’t have what you want – a fancy restaurant with yummy food – you do what you have to do to get what you want. You don’t have to hide what you are.

Summer Book Club | Beth Hardinger Blog

I found a cute activity to do along with the book! We will be trying this soon! All three of my kids loved this book!

Summer Book Club | Beth Hardinger Blog

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Bigfoot Days

Bigfoot | Beth Hardinger Blog

Bigfoot is real. He’s out there, man. In Remer, Minnesota, to be specific. The founder of Remer spotted some tracks in the early 1900s, which he believed were made by Bigfoot. After that, there were several sightings all around the area for many years. You can read all about Remer’s Bigfoot history here. (Seriously. Go do that. It’s really interesting!)

There are several activities planned for Saturday, July 8 in Remer.

  • Breakfast will be pancakes from 8-11am
  • For all of you runners, there’s a Bigfoot 5k at 9:30 am
  • There will be a bouncy house and games for kids starting at 10 am
  • At 2:30 pm, the MN Bigfoot Research Team will be holding a Town Hall-type meeting, complete with storytelling
  • Don’t miss the Bigfoot BBQ contest at 3!
  • Kids Bigfoot Calling Contest starts at 4 pm
  • And for the grown ups, at 10 pm, there’s a Bigfoot Calling Contest for you!

At 12 pm, hundreds of ATV riders will be departing from Remer, on the 1st Annual Cancer Sucks ATV ride. As a cancer survivor (he completed 3 years of chemo for leukemia in January), my brother signed up and will ride for cancer awareness.

Here’s a shot of Bigfoot that I took last summer, near Thunder Lake 🙂

Home of Bigfoot Remer MN | Beth Hardinger Blog

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Day In The Life 2017

Day in the Life - Beth Hardinger Blog

This year, Ali Edwards chose June 20 for A Day In The Life. I am doing two days, since June 20, I won’t have my kids with me. I want to document both – what I do when my kids are with their dad, and when they are home with me. Next week, I will be sharing how I will be using the Project Life app and one of my favorite designer’s kits.
I created a free download of some photos you may want to include in your documenting. You can sign up to receive it here or by clicking the image below!

10 Must-Snap Photos | Beth Hardinger Blog

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Little Photographers

Little Photographers - Beth Hardinger Blog

Avery wanted to use my camera yesterday. I was a little nervous, but I think she did fine. She was able to get us in focus, using back-button focus (where you push a little button on the back of the camera to focus, then push the shutter to take the photo.)Beth Hardinger BlogBeth Hardinger BlogBeth Hardinger Blog

As much as I don’t like photos of myself, I know it’s not for me – it’s for me kids. Later on, they will care that I was in the photos with them – not just behind the camera.

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Lauren watched Avery, while Avery experimented with different angles and decided that she wanted to try. It took some practice to find the buttons and press them at the right times, but she did great! She took the photo below, using live view (seeing the scene on the LCD screen, not looking through the viewfinder.) I told her to push the button until the green box was on my face, and then take the photo. I think I’ll let the kids use my camera more often!

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Linking to Good, Random, Fun!


Also linking to Saturday Summer Sharefest.

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Steam Engine Park

My kids and I went on vacation this past weekend. We drive down to southern Minnesota, where I grew up. My kids got to sleep in my grandparents’ house, on the floor in the living room, just like I did countless times. We sat on the porch swing every night, until the mosquitoes made us go inside. They got to play in the same backyard as my sister, brother and I did when we were little. I’m getting a little emotional but I realize my grandparents won’t be around forever (the day before we began our trip, my grandpa was injured at work. He’s ok, but it really hits home that life is short!) I’m glad that I could take my kids to see my grandparents, and spend quality time with my family. 

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This park is relatively new. When we played at the Steam Engine Park as kids, all we had for fun was some old swings, really high monkey bars and a rickety bridge. 

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The kids had a great time playing in the rocks and climbing, but they had the most fun with the water. (My grandparents’ town has THE BEST water. I bring home gallons of tap water – it tastes so good!) 

(More to come from our weekend away!)

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Little Things Thursday

I used to participate in this weekly link-up several years ago. I miss blogging and I miss the friendships that were made blog-hopping and commenting on each other’s sites. I hope to get that back one day. This is the beginning. 

Little Things Thursday
I took the kids to see my parents and brother for Memorial Day weekend. We spent the majority of the time out by the campfire, even when it was sprinkling (it did storm once or twice, so we baked and watched movies). The kids absolutely love it there, and I do too, now that I don’t have anxiety and fear hanging over me (more on that some other day). 

As usual, I took way too many photos. Here’s just a few. 

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