Starting Off Our Summer Break

Yesterday’s last day of school extravaganza went well. Despite my Mommy Nostalgia that my oldest boy grew so much in one school year, we really had a nice day.

The crafts for BigBrother’s teachers were finished and wrapped in time to be taken to school in the morning. I originally found the craft idea at Living Locurto which linked me to a post at Testosterone Times Three. I got the square shadowbox frames at Walmart ($8) and already had one pack of new crayons so I just grabbed one more pack of 24 count Crayola crayons ($1.31) and a bottle of craft glue ($1.30). I did all of the cutting myself with my big butcher knife. BigBrother helped me with some gluing after I figured out the template. I let them dry overnight. His teachers loved them and they are hanging them in the classroom. I’ll show them again because this Non-Crafty Mom feels pretty darn proud of herself.


When BigBrother got home from school, he got to open his presents. I normally do a puzzle and a book but had been wanting to do a game this year as they’re big into board games and the like this year. They’ve been playing Connect 4 at my mother-in-law’s house for the past few months and so I thought I’d grab it for our house seeing as how they love it. My last minute procrastination paid off as when I stopped to pick it up they had the Toy Story 3 version! Now, two weeks ago, they didn’t have that version in the store as I had price checked the game that week. If we had already owned Connect 4, I wouldn’t be buying a new favorite-movie themed one but seeing as how I was buying it anyway, I couldn’t resist! It was a big, big hit. His favorite game and Toy Story? Mommy win.



The book that he got was also of the Toy Story variety and I’ll have a rant about that tomorrow.

We also had rainbow tie-dye cupcakes to celebrate a year of fantastic learning and growth and a kick off to our Super Summer! Instead of making my normal rainbow cake, I decided to make some rainbow cupcakes. I also decided to go with pre-packaged cake mix again due to the last minute nature of everything. I separated the mix into five bowls and LittleBrother helped me color each bowl a different color: red, blue, yellow, green and violet. I put a spoonful of each color in the cupcake wrapper, leaving them uneven and kind of “messy” for my taste. Topped off with red, we put them in the oven. As per usual, I used Wilton icing dye to get the bright colors. Out of the oven they looked perfect.

Out of the Oven

And the boys loved them.

Messy Mouth

Cupcake Mustache

And I sacrificed not one but two in the name of art again.

Cupcake Bokeh

Wrapper Love

Basically, it was a great day for us. In fact, the boys had such a lovely day, despite the rain, that they went straight to sleep and started off our Super Summer on a fabulous note and slept clear until 7:40 this morning. I think that deserves celebration with another cupcake, don’t you agree?

Don’t forget to enter my Shirts That Go giveaway! It ends Tuesday!


Great Gift for Firefighters: Firefighter Monopoly

Monopoly Firefighters Edition I love board games. FireDad also loves board games. We’re kind of dorky awesome in that way. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you are probably familiar with the game Monopoly. You may also be aware that they’ve been releasing customized versions of the game for the past few years. We recently got our hands on the Firefighters Edition and, I must say, we’re ablaze with love for it. (Punny!)

FireDad and I sat down one Friday night to give it a go. It had been awhile so we familiarized ourselves with the rules. The customizations for the firefighter game were amusing to the both of us. Houses and hotels were fire stations and headquarters. We also had Flashover and Backdraft cards instead of Chance and Community Chest. A 9-1-1 tax, membership and union dues stood out as well. Places to be purchased were also fun fire related names like Probie Place and Fire Chief Avenue. Furthermore, the pieces to play with were fire specific: a boot, a fire engine, a flashlight, a helmet, a fire hydrant and a dalmatian. FireDad chose the truck while I went with the fire hydrant.

Our Pieces

We had a great time playing our first time through this edition of Monopoly. We laughed at some of the Backdraft and Flashover cards. In fact, one of my favorites was one that FireDad pulled. He still hasn’t earned his Stork Pin yet so he wasn’t equally as moved.


We had some good laughs over the course of our game, both fire related and simply at ourselves. In the end, FireDad ended up winning because he bought up some land that I kept landing on every single time. I’d challenge him to another match but I don’t think it was luck. He’s just good.

The question remains: would I recommend this as a gift for a firefighter? Maybe for Christmas, a birthday or a fire service anniversary? I would. Most definitely. It’s running right around $40, plus or minus shipping depending on which online retailer you use for your purchase. has it listed for $39.95 right now (12/7). That might seem steep for some but it’s one of those gifts that will get more use than, say, a firefighter figurine on a shelf. This is something that can be enjoyed by the firefighter and the entire fire family. Forty bucks for a lifetime of family togetherness and laughter seems like an alright price to me!

[Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this game from Gary at in exchange for a published review of the game and a link.]