Thursday, June 25, 2015

SeaWorld AdventureCon15

Guess what?  I am headed to AdventureCon again this year and I am so excited!  This will be my third year to attend (my first year as a Wildside Ambassador).  Three years ago I attended by myself and I was blown away by the information and content as well as the friendliness of the attendees, wildsiders, and the park itself.  And every year, it just gets better.  Last year, David and the kids came up for one day and met me at various times throughout the conference.  This year, we will be doing the entire conference as a family and I cannot wait.  The speakers look amazing and there is so much to learn.  So join me in my #AdventureCon15 adventures as I have fun and take my blog to the next level.

You can follow along our adventures on facebook, twitter, instagram, etc. by looking for the hashtag #AdventureCon15.

Oh, and we are really hoping to see the baby beluga whale that was born just last week.  Enjoy the video below.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Cow Appreciation Day Prep

If you know me then you definitely know what Cow Appreciation Day is!!  This year it falls on Tuesday, July 14th.  I thought with just a few weeks to go I would give you some simple costume ideas that we have done over the years.  It is really fun to see my cows grow up!

1.  Look and see what materials you have on hand.  Good things to start with are basic black or white apparel such as shirts, pants, shorts, dresses, etc.  I also always look to see if I have anything that is already cow print.  And I love using markers and felt.  You can purchase black and white felt fairly cheap and it works extremely well.

2.  After gathering what you have at home, start thinking of how you can put it together to make an outfit for Cow Appreciation Day.  Our family likes to dress head to hoof to get a free meal!

3.  We have several cow costumes that we use every year.  My Mom found a body size cow costume for me one year after Halloween 90% off - that is a great time to stock up on actual costumes and accessories but I love making costumes as well.

Ideas from Our Past

Here is a younger A and B dressed up!  

Having fun!

B is wearing our baby cow outfit, which we use for all our younger children.  A is dressed in black pants, a white shirt and a cow print bandanna around her neck and hair tie to pull it all together.

Here we are in the front yard.

I too have a bandanna.  This year I used a little face make-up and made black spots on our face.  Remember, you can also use brown.  Not all cows are black and white!

Here you see D in the same baby cow costume with B and C.

A at Chick-fil-A.

This year the older kids wore jeans and white/gray shirts that we already had on hand.  I used a black sharpie and make spots on the girls shirts and I made black felt spots for C's shirt.  We also used a little black face make-up for spots.

I put a white base on my face this year to have the make-up stand out even more.

Then I made some felt signs.  I used a white piece of felt, a little string/rope and a black and red sharpie - really simple yet effective.

Here are my signs!  They just give an outfit that extra oomph!

All ready to go!

Baby E is wearing the baby cow costume and D is sporting another one that we bought.  This year A and B are wearing black pants with white spray paint spots and black shirts with homemade white felt cow spot hearts.  C is wearing cow print chaps, black shirt with our homemade sign and his cowboy hat to tie it all together.

Another photo of them at Chick-fil-A.

 Baby E

All of us at Chick-fil-A

 Here we are with the older girls wearing white shirts with black felt spots and our homemade signs.

 With the sign

 This is what it looks like the night before Cow Appreciation Day in our house, Cow Eve.

Here you can see D is wearing a checkered black and white dress.  You really can tie in what you have.

We used headbands this year to make cow ears, and white visors with black sharpie spots added.  I also put together a few cowbells.  The older girls are wearing cow print felt spots.

Lots of fun

I haven't quite decided how our cow attire will be finalized this year but I know it will be good.  Stay tuned for more as we get closer to the day!  And I would love to hear your ideas.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Father's Day Rocks

Our Fun Father's Day Craft

Father's Day is just a week away now, do you have special plans?  The kids and I have been making "Message Rocks" for David and we have been having a great time.  I love that you can use whatever rocks you have outside or you can go on a rock hunt together to find special rocks.  You can make this project extremely simple or as elaborate as you would like.  The concept is simple.  Find rocks and paint them for your Dad.  You can do fun designs or fun messages or both!  You could also write scripture on them.  This is an easy craft that doesn't take a lot of time but it is super fun and the outcome is awesome.  Check out our rocks above and below.

 The girls painting, they are a little sweaty from rock collecting

E went to work with her design.

After her beautiful swirl pattern dried, I helped her add words to her rock with her direction.

I love the way it turned out.

We started with a black rock to spell out the word Dad.

 More color

Fun design

A made a #1

I love the finished rock.

D made the Rocks rock.  We  put it together to make the phrase Dad Rocks!

A made an eye and we made a heart and we can put them together to spell, I love Dad!

What do you think?  The kids and I had a lot of fun.  We are going to use these on Father's Day and hopefully we can make David smile.

Disclosure: I am proud to be a Family Christian Blogger and Affiliate.  I was provided with a Family Christian certificate to facilitate a post about a Father's Day craft.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, June 12, 2015

How to Fill A Shoebox For Operation Christmas Child with Family Christian & Giveaway

Disclosure: I am proud to be a Family Christian Blogger and Affiliate.  I was provided with a Family Christian certificate to facilitate a post about Operation Christmas Child.  All opinions expressed are my own.   
Operation Christmas Child Flyer

Have you ever filled a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child?  My children love it and David and I encourage giving as much as possible.  The above flyer explains the 6 main steps involved.  

1. Get a shoebox to pack for a girl or boy.
2. Select a "wow" toy such as a doll, soccer ball or stuffed animal.
3. Add other fun toys, hygiene items and school supplies.
4. Pray for the child that will receive the gift, include a personal note or photo.
5. Donate $7 for shipping costs.
6. Take your shoebox gift to a local drop-off location during National Collection Week (which is Nov 17-24).

My kiddos at our local Family Christian store

The kids and I headed to Family Christian to pick out some items for the shoe box we are currently working on.  I tend to shop for Christmas throughout the year.  This is also great to do with shoebox items.

Check out these hygiene kits-in-a-bottle!

These bottles are awesome.  They contain a comb, toothbrush, soap, washcloth and two tubes of toothpaste - not to mention the water bottle itself (which has a slot to include a personal photo or note).

My kids loved the stuffed animals.

 They chose the elephant.

Selection of stickers

B spent some time choosing the stickers.

We decided to pick stickers without words as the children may not be able to read English.  The kids thought these stickers were shiny and nice.

We also found this compact clip on light.  We thought it could be used as a small flashlight or clipped onto something for extra light.

We found these hair ties in the clearance section 50% off.  A and B love them!

Fun pencils

Our purchases

 At home, you can see we have a great start on our box thanks to Family Christian!

Guess What?  Family Christian is giving away 10 $10 Appreciation Certificates.  Awesome!!  Just enter the giveaway below and good luck.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

SeaWorld, Sea Lions, Such Fun
A few of the Wildside Bloggers!  Thanks to Noel Bracy for this photo.

A few weeks ago my friend and I had the privilege of attending a special, after hours event at SeaWorld San Antonio, a perk for being a SeaWorld Wildside Blogger.  We were able to get a sneak peak of the all new Sea Lion show, Sea Lion High.  We had so much fun!  We enjoyed so much delicious food, desserts and beverages, had our caricatures made, met and fed the sea lions and of course enjoyed the new show!  The new construction of Pacific Point Preserve is beautiful.  I love that you can see and interact with the sea lions more - and so do they!  If you haven't seen the show it is really fun and I would highly recommend it.

 Heading into the event.

 Pacific Point Preserve

The stars of the area, the sea lions!

 Check out this fruit sculptor, such talent!

 Caricature time

Finished - looks pretty good!

 I actually went home and put mine in a frame :).


More Food

Love that this photo captures the friendly staff.  Not only was the food absolutely delicious but the staff was all smiles.

The newly constructed Sea Lion show set.

President Dan Decker introducing the new show.

Science Class

Show Fun

The Principal

Sea Lion High is a super cute show.  Clyde and Seamore go back to high school in pursuit of their diplomas.  It seems that they have missed a few classes and may not graduate after all.  The animal behaviors are a treat to watch and the trainers do a great job keeping you engaged with fun audience interaction.  Will these two graduate?  Check out the show for yourself and let me know what you think!

Disclosure:  I am a SeaWorld Texas Wildside blogger.  I received complimentary passes for myself and family and have the opportunity to receive other perks throughout the year.  All opinions expressed here are my own.