Summer Bucket List 2015

Since the summer of 2010 we've been putting together a family summer bucket list.  We've had a blast putting these lists together each year and coming up with fun activities to keep the kiddos entertained and happy during our hot Vegas summers.  A few things have become summer traditions such as going to Southern California in August, picnics up at Mount Charleston, and movie nights.  But, it's always fun to add a few new things to our lists each year.  In 2012 we started to get creative with displaying our list because it's important to see it and plan around it.  Otherwise, we tend to get busy with our regular routine and forget about all the fun plans we had for summer.  

We usually put our summer bucket list together around Memorial Day, but this year has been wonky with Jason's broken ankle and year round school for both kids! So, we waited until our kids went on their summer track brake to really focus on the fun summer activities for this year.  They'll be on summer track break for 3 weeks. Then they'll be back to finish off the school year for about a month, before having another 2 week break before the new school year begins again.  It can get confusing, but that's where a little preparation and being intentional about making the best of summer comes in handy!  We're determined to make the most of our time together as a family, be it summer or any other time of the year.  This year, I purchased this cute chalk banner at Target for displaying our list.  I got the kids to each write a few of our activities and then we hung it right over the kitchen window.  We'll definitely be seeing it constantly!  

Emeric Family Summer Bucket List 2015

  • End of Summer SoCal Beach Trip
  • Family Bike Ride (I plan to just run alongside them, since I don't know how to ride a bike.  They think they're going to teach me to ride.  We'll see what happens!)
  • Mystery Adventure
  • Bonfire 
  • Art Day
  • Sky Zone
  • Picnic at Mount Charleston
  • Make Ice Cream
  • Camping
  • Family Movie Night
  • Swimming 

Feel free to check out our 2012, 2013, and 2014 lists for more ideas for your own summer bucket list!  It's not too late to get started on having a super fun summer!  What kinds of fun activities, trips, or projects do you have planned for your family this summer? 

Rock the Tea | Fashion Show Party

My daughter loves to dress up and get fancy!  She's been asking for a fashion show party for awhile now, so I told her that if she worked hard and continued to do well in school (she's in kindergarten) she'd get her party.  Well, she certainly worked hard and we couldn't be more proud of her.  

I'm so happy to say that a few weeks ago, she had her Fashion Show Party at Rock the Tea.  Rock the Tea specializes in theme party for girls here in Las Vegas.  Their Rock Star party package was exactly what Elysse wanted and I didn't have to do a thing!  Her and her friends got a mini makeover including nails, makeup, and hair styling.  They got to choose a fun "rock star" outfit to strut down the runway for their fashion show.  Later, they enjoyed a light lunch.  Rock the Tea also has an option where they can also provide the food, but we opted to bring our own.  We brought in pizza, popcorn, chex mix, fruit kabobs, and cupcakes & brownie pops for dessert.  Afterwards, each girl got to choose a little purse and 2 items from a shelf of goodies.  They had lipgloss, rings, ring pops, 80s fishnet gloves, microphones, and such to choose from to tie in with the rocks star theme.

The staff was very attentive to the girls and did a great job with their hair!  I think they could have been just a bit more energetic, but they were friendly and polite the entire time.  They really made it easy for me to enjoy the party and not be stressed about anything.  I didn't have to worry about purchasing decorations, goodie bags, games, etc.  I especially loved that I didn't have to clean up a thing after it was done!  I highly recommend checking them out if you are in Las Vegas and want to plan a stress-free party for your little girl.


Raising Healthy Happy kids in Las Vegas | Let's Go! Fun Run

We've been living and raising our family in Las Vegas for 6 years already.  Last year I wrote how I l enjoy calling Las Vegas home.   Feel free to check out that post HERE!  Do I get weird looks when I tell people this? Absolutely.  And I always feel I have to defend Vegas.  One thing I hear a lot is how Vegas doesn't have a great public educational system.  If you look at the data, it's true, Nevada does not rank high in public education.  Does this change how I feel about raising my kiddos here? Not really, not right now.  I do wish kindergarten was full day, though!  Things might change as my kids grow up, but for now I like the elementary school they attend.  It's a four star school and my son is in the Gifted & Talented Program.  He's involved in a weekly morning art club, and he's in Instrument Ensemble, having music practice twice a week. He'll be participating in Battle of the Books (kinda like Jeopardy for Clark County schools based on 8 books they had to read and study).  He'll also be attending Astro Camp in May!  Their school principal and teachers communicate regularly with us, they put together fun activities throughout the year, and seem to really care about their students.  Staying involved with school activities has helped my son stay on top of his grades and reading and I'm sure it will be the same for my daughter too.  At least, I hope so ;)   

One such activity was the Let's Go! Fun Run!  For the past 3 years, the school has put together not only the traditional cookie dough selling fundraisers, but also a fun run.  I was so excited about it the first year and I'm so happy they have continued to have fun runs for the kids.  We're a pretty active family and anything that gets my kids out there and moving is a big plus!  With the Let's Go! Fun Run this year, they added the "color run" aspect to it, which made it especially fun for the kiddos.  I'd participated in the Color Run 5K a few years ago, so my kids knew what to expect, but the paperwork they sent home was very specific in explaining the color corn starch they used and even had an optional colorless fun run for those who didn't want to participate.  The fundraiser works by having the students ask donors to sponsor their run.  I really liked that this year there was no minimum donation required.  I think it made it easier for folks to donate what they were comfortable giving.  In the weeks leading to the race, they have The Go! Team visit the classrooms getting the students excited about fitness, healthy eating, and good manners.  

As a family, we "trained" for the fun run about 2 weeks before.  So, it really got them involved and having fun while running and exercising.  On the day of the run, I volunteered to serve the runners water and got to see my kiddos running and having fun.  It was a blast.  

My little Elysse insisted on fun knee high socks for the run.  She wanted to be like her mommy! Proud moment for me ;) 

Raising healthy, happy kids is a big priority for me as a parent and doing it in Las Vegas is no different than doing it most other places.  I also feel that it is my responsibility as a parent to take care of their educational needs too.  I'm not going to just have them in school and expect the teachers to do my job.  I expect my children to learn in school, yes, but it is my responsibility to teach them beyond the school system.  Children learn and thrive in a hands-on environment and I believe life-experiences and travels will do so much more for my kids in the long run than going to a top-notch school.  Don't get me wrong, would I want them to go to a top-notch school?  Absolutely!  But, I am also realistic and I intend on making the best of what we have and where we are.  I hope you do too!  Do you love or hate your child's school?  In your opinion, what makes the difference in public schools?  I'd love to hear your thoughts, especially if you're local to Las Vegas!