Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Alphabet Days

For the past six months, Sam and I have been doing something SO fun. I don't know if it would be fun for other people too, but I'll post the idea just in case. Here it is: Every weekend, we do something that starts with a different letter of the alphabet. In order. We take turns being in charge of what we do, and it can be small or big or whatever, but it has to be something we've planned specifically for this, not something we would have done anyway. (I think I got this idea from a book, but I can't remember where.) We've done some as dates, and some as whole-family activities, depending on what they are.

Anyway, we have absolutely LOVED it. Our kids are too little to really get into the alphabet thing, but they've had a great time doing the activities, and I imagine that with older kids it would be fun to let them be in charge of planning a letter too. It has really been fun to challenge ourselves a little and get outside the kinds of things we normally do.

Coincidentally, it takes exactly 6 months to get through the alphabet (26 letters, 52 weeks, see?), so this can keep you busy for a whole year if you go through twice, switching letters the second time.

Here are the things we've done. You'll see that some are really good and creative and some are just silly. But that's part of the fun of it. :)

A--Apple Fritters.

We just got them at the grocery store and had them for breakfast. Yum.
B--Ballet--Sam and I went to see Ballet West doing "Cinderella." I love ballet! (Good job, Sam.)

C--Create something together--we drew up a landscape plan for our future backyard. We talked about what kinds of things we'd want, and drew it out on graph paper, and Sam helped fill it in on the computer.

D--Daisies and delphiniums--Sam brought me a beautiful bouquet of these flowers. Not really an _activity_, but we were sick that weekend, and anyway, who could ever complain about getting flowers?

E--Elephant Emmys

--okay, this is a silly one. We each had to submit something (art, poetry, or whatever) on the subject of "Elephants with Eating Disorders" or "Elephants and the Environment." Then we had an awards ceremony. I must say that my poem on the subject was very raw and moving. I will refrain from posting it here, but above is Sam's contribution.

F--Arena Football--we went to a Utah Blaze game. Have you ever seen indoor football? It's really fast-paced and fun.

G--Gem and Mineral Show--This is a free yearly show in Spanish Fork. They have all kinds of rocks to look at (and buy). The boys _loved_ it.

H--Handles/hardware

--Yes, sometimes our activities were based on expediency. We went to IKEA to pick out hardware for our kitchen cupboards. A trip to IKEA is always kind of an adventure, though, right? We enjoy it. We also went to a play at the Hale Center Theater in the evening. (It was "She Loves Me." Have you seen it? One of my favorite musicals.)

I--Interior Design--Sam and I both kind of get into this kind of thing, so we just went to the library and checked out a bunch of interior design books and then read through them together, talking about what we liked and didn't like.

J--Junk--We went through the house, gathered up tons of stuff we don't need or use anymore, and took a huge load to D.I. Our ward was also having a swap meet, so some of the less awful stuff went to that.

K--Kiwi--We made fruit pizza with kiwis on top. Yum!

L--?--I'm terribly sorry, but I've forgotten what "L" was. Something fun, I'm sure. :) I was writing them down, but for some reason this week got skipped.

M--Moving--Well, this one was a cop-out. We just happened to be moving that weekend, so we called it "M" for moving and were too worn out to do anything else.

N--Nibbles--This was fun--we went to several different restaurants and just got an appetizer at each place. Our boys LOVED this. They are always begging to do it again.

O--Outdoors

--We had a nice, lazy Sunday picnic. Walked around the lake. Enjoyed the sunshine. It was wonderful.

P--Potstickers--There's a Chinese restaurant we found that has the BEST potstickers. (It's called David's Kitchen, up on 33rd South. Actually everything there is simply delicious.) "P" was a lovely excuse to go there.

Q--Quiz

--Sam and I wrote up quizzes for each other, on any subjects we could come up with. Some questions were hard, and some easy. But it was quite fun to test our knowledge. And for dinner Sunday, I made quiche.

R--Romantic ramen--Sam made Ramen noodles for our dinner. By candlelight. On the nice dishes. How romantic!! We also each were assigned to do a 5-minute oral report. Mine was on the Rorsharch ink-blot test and Sam's was on rugs. Very enlightening.

S--Stargazing, salt flats--This was a super fun one. After dinner, we drove way out west to the salt flats, laid our blankets out, and looked up at the stars while we talked and told stories and ate the cookies we'd made earlier. The stars are SO pretty out there, and we don't really see many stars here. So it was a great night. Another one that the boys really loved.

T--throw --we had another picnic at the park and then played all the throwing games we could think of. Football, frisbee, catch, etc.

U--Unlimited--we had lunch at a local pizza buffet. Our quantities were limited only by our appetites. (And those are big.)

V--Verse--we had to write bad poems. They were, indeed, very bad. I won't subject you to them.

W--Wall-E, Water day
--Friday night Sam and I went on a date to Wall-E (yes, the kids would have liked it, but I didn't want to hold a fussing baby and a squirmy two-year-old and end up going out and missing most of it), and then Saturday we spent all day doing water things: going to the swimming pool and the splash pool, walking by the lake, and paddling around in the inflatable raft we borrowed from my mom.

X--Xeriscaping--You know what this is, right? Water-conserving landscaping? We picked out some native plants that we like, and planned out our rock wall, etc.

Y--Yummy Yellow desserts
--we had a party with a few of our neighbors where we ate desserts that were yellow. They were quite delicious.

Z--Zoo
--well, what other option was there? I guess we'll have to think of something different for next time we do "Z"--but our boys love the zoo, of course, and it's nice to have a reason to go.

So, we're now starting on Round 2. Try it yourself if you want! It doesn't have to be stressful or anything, because you just tailor the activity to what you're in the mood for/feeling up to that week. We've had so much fun!

3 comments:

  1. I would love to do this! You guys are so creative! I'm afraid if we took this project on it would just get postponed weekend after weekend. But, maybe I should try it anyway and try to get through the alphabet in a year. Good idea.
    I LOVE YOUR BLOG! Why don't hundreds of people subscribe to this?

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  2. I love this idea. We're definitely going to have to adopt it one of these days. I especially love how everybody takes turns thinking of the ideas, because I feel like I'm always burned out trying to keep everybody happy and having fun.
    Thanks for the fun idea!!!

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  3. I'm floored by the awesomeness of this activity. You folks came up with some really great ideas. Loved this entire post.

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