Friday, August 31, 2012

Apple Picking Coloring Page & Contest

Finally got the chance to go apple picking yesterday! We picked some Gala apples which had just ripened and were super crunchy and sweet. There were however quite a bit of fruit flies this year so we didn't stay too long, just picked and left. Here are some pictures from our trip.

Can you find E1?

Talking of apple picking, our mascot Bumble also went apple picking this week!

Yes, it is that time again--free coloring page download and contest! We had such great submits for our Strawberry Picking coloring page contest, and are really looking forward to more great submits this time around. Don't forget to tell your friends with kids about this, they won't want to miss it! A great way to share it would be to pin this picture on your Pinterest board.

If you missed the last contest, go here to see all the previous submits, they are amazing!

Today's downloadable page is here (just click on the picture):

Contest Rules:

Contest Start Date:   8/31/2012  
Contest End Date:    9/12/2012

1) Only 1 entry per child. "Like" our FB page and post your child's colored masterpiece on our page with first name/initials (whatever you are comfortable with) and their age. You can either scan or take a picture of the colored paged to post on our page.
2) Entries posted by someone who has not liked our page will be disqualified.
3) Get your friends to "Like" our page and vote by liking your child's masterpiece. The page with the most "Like"s wins. If there is a tie then winner will be chosen based on our discretion.
4) Only residents of 48 states in the continental US are eligible.
5) Prize depending on gender: Girls will get a hair clip from BOJ and boys will get a pin from BOJ.
6) Winner will be announced 1 day after the contest end date on our FB page.
7) The winning coloring sheet will also be posted on our blog, 2 days after the contest end date.
8) For privacy reasons, we ask that the winner send BOJ a private message on our FB page so that we can connect with you and get the prize mailed out in a timely manner.
9) We want as many children to have a chance to win our coloring page contests; so we reserve the right to limit the amount of times a child can win consecutively.

In case you missed it, here is the free coloring page download link again: Apple Picking

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Back To School Sale Ends Labor Day!

Have you checked out our "Honeycomb Store" lately? 
Our Back To School Sale ends on Labor Day at 11:59pm! 
Use code "bts2012" to get 15% off now, don't wait!

The Giving Tree

Here’s a craft I created and want to share with you.
Since my kids enjoy the The Giving Tree, By Shel Silverstein so much I decided to make something that would make it more interactive for them as we read the story.

  • Paper towel roll
  • Empty tissue box or small box
  • Small cup (Ex: bathroom paper cup)
  • Heavy cardstock paper  (I used bristol board)
  • Green construction paper (optional)
  • Brown & green paint
  • Markers and/or crayons
  • Velcro or double stick tape 

I drew the tree, branches and apples and had the kids color.
Click to download the TREE and the BRANCHES & APPLES
Stick velcro on the back of the branches and apples.

This way you can remove each piece as the tree gives to the boy. Ideally I would laminate each piece. But since I don’t have a laminating machine I used bristol board.

Paint the paper towel roll and cup to make the tree trunk and stump. 
When paint is dry cut a small slit at the top of the roll. 

Paint or glue green construction paper on tissue box.

Attach paper roll on small cup. Insert trunk into the tissue box.
Attach tree onto the slits on the paper towel roll. 
small cup as tree stump
Now you have The Giving Tree!
This kept the kids TV free and now we have a more interactive story time.
What are some crafts you enjoy making with your kids? 
Do you have any fun book related crafts to share? 
I would love to hear your ideas.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

DIY Applesauce

Talking about apple picking yesterday reminds me of what I did with some of the apples that we picked last year.  Since we had picked quite a lot of apples during last years trip, I decided I would make some applesauce with some of them.

Before being married and having kids I was never much of a cook. But since having kids I have been more interested in cooking and how to make many things myself simply because I want my children to have a good start in their lives and part of that is eating healthy and non-processed foods. I'm not a total health nut but I try to buy organic items that we can afford and to make my own food as much as possible.

One of the things my children ate quite a bit of especially when they were beginning eaters was apple sauce. I try to limit sweets in our household as much as possible, so I really wanted to feed them apple sauce that was unsweetened and organic. I decided to search online on how to make my own applesauce since I figured it couldn't be that difficult and was probably cheaper.

That is how I came across this wonderful step by step tutorial on how to make your own applesauce from

How To Make Applesauce

I am totally a visual person so I really appreciate the step by step pictures used to show the process. And even though the recipe calls for sugar it definitely doesn't need it so I make mine with just apples and water since my kids don't like the taste of cinnamon.

It is pretty amazing how many apples it takes to make one jar of applesauce. I've never actually done a cost breakdown so I'm not really sure if it is indeed cheaper to make your own organic non-sweetened applesauce, but I do like the fact that I know exactly what is in the applesauce my kids are eating.

What are some of the things you like to make yourself instead of buy from the store?


Monday, August 27, 2012

Fruit Picking With Quad E

Earlier this month I had shared our strawberry picking adventure. But that was only the beginning of our fruit picking fun this summer. For some reason we have done a whole lot of fruit picking this summer.

First there was the strawberries, followed by cherries, peaches, and nectarines. In the next few weeks, we will probably go back and pick some apples before fruit picking season official ends.

Cherries are another of triple E's favorite fruits and it was something that neither my husband nor I had picked before so we were excited to try it. Turns out they are really difficult to pick. The trees are pretty high and require a ladder to really get up there to pick some good ones. Highland Orchard's website had recommended a step ladder so we had only brought some chairs with us thinking they would do the trick, but turns out they didn't help too much! It took a long time to pick a good amount of fruit, partly also because the kids were eating as we were picking! Later on, my mom who has been staying with us helping with E4, discovered another part of the cherry orchard that had some smaller trees bearing different kind of cherries that were much easier to pick, so we scurried on over there to fill up our tray. The kids had a great time in the week or so after we went picking eating all the cherries, but this is definitely a fruit that I will leave to the experts next time and just buy from the store.
Peaches and nectarines grow on rather similar small trees and they were much easier to pick. The key is to not only look at the color of the cheek but the small area close to the stem to see if it is yellow or red before picking. The kids really enjoy seeing how fruits grow and of course eating the fruits right after they are picked.

Another reason they really enjoy fruit picking at Highland Orchards is because there are some goats on the premises that E2 and E3 like to pet and feed whenever we are there.

Really hoping we will get a chance to go back to pick some apples before the end of the season. In the meantime, here are some pictures from last years apple picking trip.

Does your family like to go fruit picking? What are your favorites?


Friday, August 24, 2012

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Introducing our new beach inspired hair clip

Meet Superstar Starfish!

Be sure to buzz by the honeycomb store and take advantage of our Back To School Sale! 
Save 15% off all products. Use code "bts2012"
Don't wait this offer expires on 9/3/2012.

Let us know what you think.
We love to hear from you.

Thanks for buzzing by!
Eva and Zi

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Getting ready for the beach!

Before kids my husband & I would make a yearly beach trip to either Ocean City Maryland or Virginia Beach. But with the little ones it’s hard to make that long drive every year. Since we were in Williamsburg for a week, we decided to make a day trip to Virginia Beach. H was super excited since she has been asking to go to the beach all summer. And this would be N’s first beach experience!


They had a blast playing in the waves and looking for seashells. N was fearless of the water and kept pulling me to go deeper. He laughed hysterically as the waves pulled back in and tickled his feet. Once a wave splashed his face he grimaced, stuck out his tongue and said “bleeech!”  I wished I had the camera with me to capture the face he made. However, this did not deter him from going in again but he made sure to tell me that he didn’t want to taste the yucky water.  It was the perfect beach day! We’ll be sure to go again next summer.

Here’s a little craft we did to get us in the beach mode.  H decided she wanted to make a starfish with some paint swatches I had.  We took a red swatch to make the starfish, blue for the ocean and yellow for the beach. Add some stickers and you’ve got a beach postcard.

A warm sea breeze, the salty sea air, and sounds of the ocean… I love the beach!!! 

Be sure to come back tomorrow to see a new beach inspired design available in our honeycomb store!
What’s your favorite vacation spot?


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Vacation in Williamsburg, Virginia.

This was the first time where we had my parents and sister on vacation with us. Unfortunately my brother wasn’t able to come. We had one packed minivan!
Since this was one of our longest car rides I wasn’t sure how long it would take before the kids got antsy. If they survived the 22 hr flight to Malaysia they can do the 6 hr. drive up to Virginia, right?

I found this fun idea on Pinterest. Check out our Pinterest "Clever ideas" board.
I decided to modify it and create my own road trip kit. Now that H is learning to tell time this would be a perfect opportunity to teach her more and have fun while we’re at it! And N could also learn his numbers. I made a clock with moveable hands to keep track of time. When it matched up with the digital clock in our car that meant it would be time for a treat! I also included activity sheets and a scavenger hunt.

Success! This kept them entertained the entire time, especially when we got stuck in traffic.

There weren’t too many kid friendly activities for H&N’s age at Colonial Williamsburg so we decided to get the Discovery pass to Busch Gardens and Water Country USA. There was plenty to do and see there. We went to Water Country USA for one day and spent the rest of the time at Busch Gardens. The best time to go is later in the day when it’s cooler and less people.

Here are some highlights:
The Ladybug ride in the Land of Dragons. I lost count how many times H&N rode it. N liked it so much he was talking in his sleep “Mommy I want to ride the ladybug!”

Sesame Street Forest of Fun. We were lucky enough to catch the Sunny Days Celebration on our last day and meet all the characters. There were high fives and hugs all around.

Watching the performance Entwined: Tales of Good and Grimm, an enchanted time for everyone. Afterwards N was excited to meet and take pictures with the characters. H not so much since the witch in the show scared her.
From L to R: Bittersweet Witch, N, Hansel & Gretel
And last but not least Illuminights
We watched a performance in Oktoberfest and the kids learned the chicken dance. To end the night a spectacular fireworks display. It was literally right over our heads. The best view ever!

Our trip to Williamsburg was so much fun!
What do you do to make long trips fun for the kids?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my!

H has been obsessed with the Wizard of Oz ever since we borrowed the movie from the library. I remember when they would air it every year as a TV special and I recorded it on our VCR, remember those?

H saw the movie on the shelf and asked me what it was about. To my surprise she was interested in a non-animated movie.  She enjoyed every minute of it and asked questions throughout the entire movie. Since then we have been role-playing and singing songs to Oz and back.
This gave me a fun and simple craft idea to do with H while N was napping. Wizard of Oz puppets!

Here’s what you’ll need:
  • Paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Glue
  • Wooden craft sticks
  • Wooden craft shapes 

We made Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion & the Wicked Witch of the West.
H has so much fun playing with them.

What’s your all time favorite movie?
Do you have one that your kids love to watch over and over?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Strawberry Picking Coloring Pages

So happy to share with you the Strawberry Picking Coloring Pages that we received on our Facebook page!
All the submits were really creative and we hope to see more next month when we hold this contest again.

And of course our winning page from Jocelyn:

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Our First Coloring Contest Winner Is...

3 year old Jocelyn!

Congratulations Jocelyn! You were truly creative and did an amazing job! 

Good job to all our other budding artists that submitted their coloring pages, you added color to our FB page and made it so much more joyful!

Check back tomorrow to see the winning page and also all the other wonderful submits.

Backpack for E1

Back when E1 was about to go off to preschool for 2 year olds, I had decided I would make him a backpack. I didn't want to spend the money buying one because all he really needed the backpack for was to bring home the drawings/crafts that he was making in school and the occasional paper correspondence from his teacher.  I didn't think that warranted buying a new backpack.

So I went to JoAnn Fabrics (not the best place to get fabrics, but is the only place close to where I live to buy fabric) and picked up the following:

Navy Blue broadcloth (1/4yd @ $3.99/yd) = $0.99
Mint Green 1/2" wide seam binding (2 packs @ $1.99/pack) = $3.98

Total = $4.97

I decided to make a backpack that was basically a rectangle with a flap closure that could accommodate an 8 1/2" x 11" folder which E1's teachers would be sending things back in. Then the mint green seam binding would add a nice contrast detail to the backpack. I added some black velcro for the closure which I had lying around so that was free.

I made a quick pattern and sewed up the backpack in an afternoon. I was pretty happy with the end result since it cost under $5 to make and apparently E1 was happy with it too-giving it a nice big thumbs up when he tried it on!

This year E1 is going back to school and he will be able to use this backpack again.  We probably will have to buy him an actual backpack when he goes to kindergarten next year but getting two years out of this little home made backpack is a pretty good deal in my book.

Have you or will you be making anything for your children for back to school?  We would love to hear from you!


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Back To School Products

Check out our Pinterest boards for back to school products and outfits that we like!

Back To School Products
Back To School Outfits

Also, today is the last day for you to submit your kids' coloring pages to our FB page and get your friends to "Like" us and "Like" your submit for a chance to win a BOJ product. So what are you waiting for...go and submit those pages!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

E1, E2, E3 goes off to school!

In about 2 weeks, E1 will be going back to school. He will be attending the preschool that is organized by the church we attend. He had gone there when he was 2 but we decided to take a break from school for financial reasons when he was 3 and now am sending him back at 4. We want to give him a year of getting used to school before he starts kindergarten.

In another month or so, E2 and E3 will also be starting in a preschool of sorts. The one they are attending is organized by a local high school's childhood development program and is free, which is a great price for us! This will be the first time they will be attending any sort of school setting other than Sunday School.

Lately we have been prepping them to get ready for school. Getting back packs for the girls, telling E1 his teacher's name, trying to get them used to the concept and generally excited about school.  But of course I know that no matter how much prepping we do, there will be hesitation and most likely some tears in the beginning. I am absolutely not looking forward to the tears!  It is SO hard to walk away when they get so upset during the first couple of drop offs. But I know they will grow to love their classes and teachers and before I know it, they will actually enjoy going to school.

What do you do in your house to get the kids ready for school? Would love to hear some different approaches and ideas!


Monday, August 13, 2012

Coloring Page Contest Ends Wednesday 8/15!

We are starting to have a little colorful competition buzzing over on our Facebook page! Make sure you get your submits in by this Wednesday, 8/15, and share with all your friends to get them to "Like" your submit for a chance to win a BOJ product!

Link to our FB page is below:
BOJ Facebook Page

Link for the coloring page can be found here:
Strawberry Picking

So very excited about this contest!

H's first day of school

My little girl is all grown up! I can’t believe it, where did the time go? She was just a little newborn in my arms?!  H will be starting preschool in a couple of weeks!
It’s a big step for her, learning to be independent and not having Mommy around all the time. I’m preparing myself for some tearful goodbyes. I’m not sure who is more anxious mommy or H? I know she’ll love it once she makes friends and probably won’t want to leave.

I’m also wondering how N will react. I wouldn’t be surprised if he wanted to stay at school when I drop H off. But I’m sure he’ll enjoy the “Mommy and me time”. It definitely will be nice to have more quality time with him.

So with the big day we need some milestone pictures. I found a cute idea on Pinterest about taking a picture on the first and last day of school to see how they’ve grown over the school year.  Check out our BOJ's "Cute Photos" Pinterest board for the pin. A good friend of mine has religiously taken her son’s “first day of school” pictures and he’s a sophomore in high school now. How sweet is that?

Did your parents ever take pictures of you on your first day of school?
Do you have any memorable first day of school stories to share?

Wishing you a great school year!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Special day with E2

I had taken a Christian parenting class earlier in the summer and was really inspired to be a better parent that not only changes/corrects a child's actions but also their hearts.  One of the topics that the class touched on was building strong relationships with our children and knowing their love languages. (The seminar was based on Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller's book and seminar series- Parenting is Heart Work; it's a great book with a lot of practical applications that I would recommend to all parents out there.)

While reviewing this topic with my husband, we realized that since we had 4 kids in about 4 years time, we never really got to spend too much one on one time with our kids, save maybe E1 since he had about 14 months as an only child before E2 and E3 joined us. Because of this, we felt that we didn't have a close enough relationship with each child as we would have liked. We want to have such close relationships with our children so that when they are older they will want to come home during the holidays, not out of obligation but because of the deep relationship we have built with them.

So in order to cultivate such deep relationships with our children we realized that we needed to allot times where we can spend with them one on one. We decided that each week we would set aside time where we would take one child out for some special one on one time.  It would be their special day. We printed out calenders and listed out when it would be each child's special day, right now it is just for E1, E2, E3, as E4 is still so young and gets plenty of one on one time from nursing and such. We decided to start special days with E2 since based on her personality we felt that we "knew" her the least.  So the rotation was E2, E3, and then E1.

With the calenders in hand, we explained this "special day" thing to triple E.   During the first special day for E2, it was actually a little difficult for E1 who is a little older and felt some jealousy that he didn't get to go out.  But we explained to him over and over again that he would get his turn and it started to get a little easier for him to accept.

And all this leads me to my special day with E2. I decided that I would take her to Barnes and Noble's children's section so we could read some books and then get some special treats at their Starbucks' cafe.  Being that we almost never bring E2 & E3 out by themselves, E2 was a little curious as to why E1 and E3 weren't there with us.  So I explained to her that this was her special time with mommy. I could tell she was really excited about this, since she kept walking around B&N saying "E2's special day! E2's special day!"

We spent about 30mins reading through some books in the kid's section and then went to the cafe to get a hot chocolate and a big chocolate chip cookie. There wasn't any deep conversations since she is only 3 but it was really nice to be able to give her my full attention. And I hope when she gets older, these will be times that we can have some deeper conversations. After about an hour of being out, it was time to go home but of course she was reluctant to. I reassured her that there would be more special days to come and she finally got in her car seat and we headed home. Overall a really good start to building deeper relationships with our kids.

Do you have "special days" in your family? Please share your experience with us, we would love to hear from you?


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Book vs. E-reader

Going to the library is one of the favorite things my kids love to do. Our local library has an amazing children’s section, from computers to puzzles, activity pages to a dollhouse, a puppet area and the beloved wooden train track table. And of course a huge selection of great books!

One of my summer jobs as a teen was working in the local library. My favorite section to work in was the children’s section. I loved seeing the new books coming in every week. I’d flip through them and enjoy seeing a variety of illustrators. How fun would it be to write and illustrate a book?

I don’t know about you, but one of the things I love about reading is to be able to flip through the pages and enjoy that new book smell. I know these days people have their e-readers and downloads. 
It’s compact; you can store a number of books and have plenty of shelf space left at home. I love technology and new gadgets, however I don’t see myself buying one anytime soon. Call me old school but I still enjoy reading in print and turning pages, not swiping a screen. Illustrations look better to me on paper, it’s like art at my fingertips. So for now, I will continue to borrow and buy my kids good old books.

What do you prefer a book or e-reader?


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

E2 and E3's Birthday

Taking a break from books today, we want to celebrate E2 and E3's 3rd birthday! I say this all the time but I just have to say it again, "Time flies!"

So in the spirit of celebrating their birth, I wanted to share with you a shortened version of E2 and E3's birth story.  Warning: There are some rather graphic descriptions in this post, so if you are really squeamish about these things, please stop reading now!

This is the picture that changed our lives so drastically and initiated us into the world of multiples! When we went in to get my first sonogram, E1 was only about 8 months and my husband and I thought, "OK, we've done this before, it should be a walk in the park." Little did we know about 2 minutes into the appointment, the sonographer said, "Guess what, I have a surprise for you! You're having twins!" We were completely surprised since we would have never ever guessed we would be parents to twins!

We also found out that we were having identical twins since they shared a placenta and I would need to be monitored more closely and would be going in for sonograms and non-stress tests. It was quite a whirlwind pregnancy but I really enjoyed being able to see images of them throughout the pregnancy, since that usually doesn't happen with singleton pregnancies.

Now we knew that they would be arriving earlier and I most likely would not make it to 40 weeks. So when I started to feel contractions around 36 weeks and 6 days, I knew they were most likely the real deal and our little girls were ready to come into this earth. Good thing my mom had arrived a few weeks before, so we could leave E1 with her when it was time to go to the hospital. After feeling mild contractions almost all day, things started to get more intense during the evening, so I called my OB and he suggested that I didn't need to rush, take a shower, make sure everything was packed and then go to the hospital.

By the time we arrived at the hospital it was about 11pm. Since they didn't have the results of my Group B strep test, I had to be hooked up to antibiotics which would take a while to go into affect. So I opted to get an epidural and tried my best to get some rest. Both of the girls were head down so I had decided that I would try to deliver them natural if it was possible.

At about 6am in the morning, my OB broke my water and I started to get really strong contractions and was ready to start pushing pretty quickly. I was rolled into an operating room (standard procedure for multiple births) and gave birth to E2 at 6:57am. But right after she came out, that was when everything went south. E3's cord was starting to come out and in medical terms that is called a prolapsed cord.  It is potentially very dangerous for the baby, so my OB pushed the cord back in and started to order everyone in the room to get ready for an emergency C-section.  My husband was quickly ushered out of the operating room. I was given more anesthetics and very quickly prepped for a C-section. My OB is usually very cool and calm, so seeing him on high alert actually got me a bit freaked out and I remember that everything seemed to happen in slow motion. I kept praying that God keep E3 safe and to give the doctors the wisdom they needed to make sure everything went smoothly. They poured some red antiseptic liquid on my belly and started to make the incision which resulted in quite a lot of red liquids dripping down from my belly which totally freaked my husband out and he thought at that moment he might lose his wife! After 11 minutes, E3 was born via C-section on 7:08am. At first she wasn't breathing and we were really worried. But the NICU doctors were working on her immediately and got her to start breathing very shortly after she was born. I only got to catch a quick glance of her from the corner of my eye and once she started breathing they rolled her off to the NICU.

They brought me E2 and ushered my husband back in, so I could bond with E2 while the anesthetics wore off. And then after about 1 1/2 hours I was wheeled into the NICU to meet E3. She was so small and had a few wires and tubes stuck in her, which was just heartbreaking! But the doctor reassured us that she was doing great and was a little fighter.

We ended up staying at the hospital for about 5 days, since E2 was dealing with some jaundice but after 5 days we were able to go home with both of our baby girls which was such a blessing! The doctors and nurses at Bryn Mawr Hospital were great and really helped make this difficult time much easier.

I'm happy to share that they have grown to be very adventurous and lively little girls despite this rather crazy start. So on this 3rd birthday of E2 and E3, I give my thanks to God for watching over them and me during this eventful birth and pray for many more years of joyful memories! Happy Birthday girls!


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Quad Es Top 5 Books

One of the things I am really happy about is that my kids love reading books. My husband and I grew up loving to read books and still do even though it is harder finding the time or energy to read these days. So we are both really happy that our kids enjoy books as much as we do. Today I'm going to share with you Quad Es Top 5 books, well it is more like E1, E2, E3's favorite books because we're not quite sure which books E4 likes yet. So in no particular order, here is the list:

1) Blue Hat Green Hat by Sandra Boynton
It was the most exciting for us as parents when E1 started to "read" this book by himself. He didn't really know how to read the words but he was able to recognize and say all the colors and articles of clothing.
2) Little White Fish by Guido Van Genechten
E1 received the book from 2 of my closest friends when he was born and all my children have really enjoyed it. It has really great illustrations which I really appreciate as a designer. The kids love it when I go through each page and ask if it is little white fish's mommy and they'll say together "No!" 
3) What Pet To Get? by Emma Dodd 
I've only recently brought this book out of our book vault since it is a nice paper book and the kids were big chewers as babies and would bite through many of their books so I didn't want this to be ruined. But now that they are older, they can actually handle paper books properly so it has been released from the vault. The kids are in a total animal loving phase, so they thoroughly enjoy going through all the different animals mentioned in the book. 
4) Millie In The Snow by Alexander Steffensmeier 
This is another book that has amazing illustrations! A lot of fun little details so you discover new things each time you read. The kids love the little adventure that Millie goes through to get home. 
5) Dinner At The Panda Palace by Stephanie Calmenson
I have read through this book so many times, that at one point I could literally recite all the words without even looking at the book much to my husband's amusement. I used this book as a way to teach the kids to count from 1 to 10 in both English and Mandarin Chinese. 

What was your favorite childhood book? We would love to hear from you!


Monday, August 6, 2012

H&N's Top 5 Books

Reading books is something we love to do every night before bed. There are certain books we reread that my kids memorized and “read” to each other. Our theme this week revolves around books and I wanted to share some of our favorites. These are not in any particular order.

H’s Top 5
  1. Pinkalicious, By Victoria Kann & Elizabeth Kann.
    I actually found this book at a yard sale right before it became a huge hit. H loves the Pinkalicious series but this is her all time favorite.
  2. The Giving Tree, By Shel Silverstein.
    A classic, one of my favorites as well.
  3. Big Pumpkin, By Erica Silverman.
    H found this book on display at Barnes & Noble during Halloween and loved the story. We read this all year round.
  4. Furious George Goes Bananas, By Michael Rex.
    A cute parody to the Curious George books, H thought this story was a riot. She had me read it several times the first day we bought it.
  5. The Amazing Adventures of Bumblebee Boy, By David Soman & Jacky Davis
    “Bum ba bum bumm!” H shouts.

N’s Top 5
  1. How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? By Jane Yolen & Mark Teague
    N loves this series but this is his favorite by far.
  2. Curious George Goes to the Ice Cream Shop, By Margret & H.A Rey
    Two of N’s favorites things… Curious George + ice cream. How can he not like this book.
  3. Dinosaurs Love Underpants, By Claire Freedman & Ben Cort
    A fun story about the extinction of dinosaurs and a little lead into introducing “big boy pants” for my boy.
  4. Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See? By Eric Carle.
    I love listening to N “read” this story to me.
  5. Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs, By Sandra Boynton
    N loves to narrate and change his voice according to the type of dinosaur. N bellows in a low voice, “Dinosaurs BIG” and squeaks, “Dinosaurs tiny”. We have such fun with this book!

Which books do your kids have memorized? What are some of his/her favorite book series?

Happy Reading!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Free Coloring Page Download & Contest!

We are really excited about today's post, read on and find out why!

About once a month on Bumble Of Joy we will be offering a free coloring page download to our readers. You can print out as many sheets of the coloring page as you would like for your kids to enjoy.

Going hand in hand with this free coloring page download, we will be holding a coloring contest for your kids. Contest rules will be listed out below. We cannot wait to see all the wonderful pages that will be submitted!

Today's downloadable page is Strawberry Picking, concluding our strawberry theme'd week.

Contest Rules:

Contest Start Date:   8/3/2012    
Contest End Date:    8/15/2012

1) Only 1 entry per child. "Like" our FB page and post your child's colored masterpiece on our page with first name/initials (whatever you are comfortable with) and their age. You can either scan or take a picture of the colored paged to post on our page.
2) Entries posted by someone who has not liked our page will be disqualified.
3) Get your friends to "Like" our page and vote by liking your child's masterpiece. The page with the most "Like"s wins. If there is a tie then winner will be chosen based on our discretion.
4) Only residents of 48 states in the continental US are eligible.
5) Prize depending on gender: Girls will get a hair clip from BOJ and boys will get a pin from BOJ.
6) Winner will be announced 1 day after the contest end date on our FB page.
7) The winning coloring sheet will also be posted on our blog, 2 days after the contest end date.
8) For privacy reasons, we ask that the winner send BOJ a private message on our FB page so that we can connect with you and get the prize mailed out in a timely manner.
9) We want as many children to have a chance to win our coloring page contests; so we reserve the right to limit the amount of times a child can win consecutively.

In case you missed it, here is the free coloring page download link again:
Strawberry Picking 

Felt Strawberries

One of the things that I enjoy the most since having kids is working on DIY projects for them. It all started when E1 was about 1 1/2 years old. Around that time, my husband and I picked up an amazing 3 piece play kitchen set from a consignment sale for about $15! It was a steal! We love consignment sales and yard sales but I'll talk more about that some other time.

Along with the kitchen there was the natural urge to want to get items to fill the kitchen with. I perused all the wonderful felt foods that were online and decided that since I had some sewing skills from my college fashion classes, I would attempt to make some myself.  

One of my favorite felt food projects is these fun and vibrant strawberries.

What really tied this project together and made it super cool for me was the green container that I found to put them in.  It was a Starbucks® cookie container that I had found lying around. When I saw it I immediately thought it would be the perfect container for the strawberries and was super excited.  I glued cream colored card stock over where the original label was and stamped on a fun brand name on it, "JZEEE Shop". JZEEE is an acronym for my family's names (this was before the fourth E came along).

Are you obsessed with play food like I am? Is there a certain one that you particularly like, whether made or bought?


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Strawberry Picking

During early June when "Pick Your Own" fruits season was just starting, our two families went to Highland Orchards in West Chester to pick strawberries. This was the first time for pretty much everyone, adults and children, so it was quite an exciting experience.

The bushes were nice and low for the children to get to which made picking super easy. And the strawberries were a beautiful red peeking out from under the green leaves, which were a visual treat!

The E children are big fruit lovers and strawberries are one of their favorites, so we picked a whole tray full.  Originally I was planning on trying my hand at making jam with some of the strawberries but the children ate their fill everyday and finished a whole tray in about a week's time. So canning my own jam will just have to wait.

Check out the Sassy Strawberry hair clip in the "honeycomb" which looks almost as juicy as the ones we picked back in June!

Have you picked any fruit this summer, what are your favorites?