Lumber in my Minivan: What we’ve been up to!

We meant to post some really neat things this week- we really did. But life has been crazy lately with work, school and dance, and we also were hit with a stomach virus.

Everything seems to be back to normal and we have some really neat things to share with you this week. Just as things are starting to return to normal in our house, we have decided to update you on some recent happenings in our humble abode.

We are in the midst of competition season and the girls are on their way to their first dance competition of the year!
We recently bought four little bantam chicks and the girls are enjoying raising them.

Our littlest lumber is headed to kindergarten this fall! She recently went to her kindergarten registration and her screening.

So many plants are currently coming up in our greenhouse and we are so excited!

Join us later this week for some chicken projects and some garden goodness! Have a wonderful week!

Four amazing books about Women’s History to read to your children

March is Women’s History Month. There are many amazing children’s books available about fantastic females who have contributed to history in some way. As a mother of little girls, it’s important to me to make sure they know about women who have made significant accomplishments throughout history. It’s important to empower our girls and teach them that there are no limits to what they can accomplish. Please comment below if you have any other great books you’d like to share!

Women can be anything and do anything! We love this book, because it features female scientists, female astronauts, and even politicians. Plus. it’s written for a younger audience, so it’s appropriate for my five year old.

This is a slightly “older” version of the “Dream Big, Little One” book. From Marian Anderson to Katherine Johnson, this book talks about extraordinary women around the world. My oldest child has learned so much about women she’d never even heard of (and so have I).

I have wanted to read I am Malala with my daughter so bad, but at age 10, I wasn’t sure she was quite ready for the young reader’s edition. This book is for a slightly younger crowd and is much more age appropriate for her.

How about a women’s history coloring book? I have recently ordered this and can’t wait to share it with my girls.

What are your favorite books about women’s history to read with your children?

Easy Spring Kids’ Crafts: “feet birds”

Quarantine isn’t as strict these days as it has been, but most of us are still spending more time at home where we are safest. Staying at home can mean it’s a lot harder to entertain the littles, so throughout March and April, I’ll be sharing a few spring kids’ crafts with you.

I know you must be wondering: what is a foot bird anyway? It’s exactly what it sounds like.

Paint the bottom of your child’s foot with your choice of washable paint. Then, simply freehand a roundish belly at the arch of the foot. Add little feet, an eye and a beak. You can add a little crest to the top of the bird’s head if you want.

These feet birds make a cute keepsake so you can remember when your littles were small, or you can give them to the grandparents.

…or frame them and decorate with them every spring.

Have a wonderful week! We will show you a great reuse and repurpose idea on Wednesday.

How to fill your kids’ love tank (on Valentines and every day)

These times are difficult, and if you’re like me, you are struggling to balance work, home, and all of the different things you are currently worried about. Sometimes, even when I believe my children know I love them, I don’t always do enough to fill their love tank. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, but why do we tend to focus heavily on showing love on Valentine’s Day, rather than all year long?

The best thing we can give anyone is our time- and today I’d like to share some simple, fun and easy ways to fill your child’s love tank all year long.

1. Spend time with them

family making breakfast in the kitchen
Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com

Kids won’t care if you spend a lot of money. I always thought we had to buy something or pay for an experience for the kids to be happy. My kids are perfectly happy to play with us in the backyard or help cook dinner. Ask your kid what they enjoy doing the most with you and go from there.

2. Listen to them…actually listen

photo of woman and girl talking while lying on bed
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

Sometimes, in the age of devices and screens, good conversation falls by the wayside. I try to have at least one good conversation a day with my kids- ask them about their day, what they think about a song playing on the radio, or something. Kids have lots of interesting things to say and sometimes they just want to know someone cares about what they have to say.

3. Snuggle

focused students doing homework at home
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Snuggling doesn’t have to be just snuggling. Snuggle up together with a good book or while watching a movie. Kids feel safe and loved when they’re near you.

4. Let them make a decision

calm stylish kid recreating in green garden
Photo by Allan Mas on Pexels.com

You don’t have to let them make a major decision- it can be something simple, like “What are we doing today?” or “What would you like for dinner?” Kids feel important when you let them choose.

Lastly, I try to get one good hug in with my kids and husband every day. It helps us connect to one another and feel loved. What are some ways you fill your kids’ love tank on a regular basis?

DIY: A Swing Set Made for A Princess

How a few hours on a Saturday can lead to hours of fun

We have an aging redwood playset that my kids have had since my nine year old was two and a half. It’s been a lot of fun, but it is badly aged, and both kids are too big for it. I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on a new swingset, since both kids will likely age out of it in the not-too-distant future. But with Covid still on the rise, and the parks being too risky, we decided to DIY a simple yet sturdy swingset they would enjoy.

First, we bought four treated lumber 4X4x8 posts, a treated lumber 2x6x10 board and one treated lumber 4x6x10 post. We also bought metal swing set hardware from Amazon.

We started by inserting the 4X6 posts into the brackets to create both A-frames.

Repeat on both sides and then insert the 4X6x12 to make the top of the swing set. When all of your boards are inserted into the brackets, stand it up (with help- don’t do this alone) and tighten the bolts with an impact driver.
Then, make sure the ground under your swing set is completely level. If it isn’t, move it around to where you want it.
Cut your 2×6 in half and use wood screws to attach it to the 4×4 posts. This will stabilize it and create your A-frame.
Double check your lag screws and make sure everything is tightened down.
Install your swing hanging brackets. We used six of these and we measured before drilling.
Then, hang your swings and you are done! We reused the swings and trapeze bar from our old playset.

Looks like the tiny Lumbers approve!