Sunday, August 9, 2015

And just like that - it was nearly done

    Where did Summer go? I swear the kids just came home from school on their last day - my goodness! These past few weeks have flown by.

   June was a busy month with TW's graduation from PreK, Bear's Third Birthday and the start of Liv's race season. We also were able to get in a bit of outside play time before the heat wave hit us. 

Shaving cream table play? You betcha!

    July didn't slow down at all - we had a family reunion that took us on a 13hr road trip with the kiddos to the beach, followed by more races for Liv and the start of T-ball season for TW. Also discovered Bear's passion for painting! 

One of Bear's earlier masterpieces

    August is still going strong with a few more races, art camp and the wrapping up Rec Track and T-ball. Oh! And the Hub's was offered another expansion on his territory for work so soon he'll be saying hello to Maine and New Hampshire! 
This girlie has track! 

    Aside from our weekly visits to the library, we have been spending more and more time outside hiking around our local parks on nature trails with the decline of crazy hot temps. I am genuinely surprised at how much the kids are enjoying just walking on the trails. I have also invested in some "cheapie" art kits that are light enough to pack three in a backpack so when we come to a point of interest we take a water/art break.

   The kids and I are still creating and taking on kitchen challenges - in fact today we'll be working on a crockpot meal so get prepared to rock that crock!! There's just something about having a little kitchen co-pilot or two that sends a gentle reminder to take things in the moment - especially when one co-pilot likes to try a little taste of every ingredient (that would be TW - lol). 

We tried our hand at "french toasting" some pecan rolls - yum!!

   On Friday the kids received their teacher assignments reminding us that in a few more weeks they will be returning to school - Liv is in second grade and TW will be starting up in Kindergarten. Bear will be attending a 3yr program at the PreK center twice a week - which will be a nice break for yours truly to come home....., and clean the house without kids around! 
Parenting life - gotta love it!!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Encourage Summer Reading

    My oldest daughter, Lulu, LOVES to read. She has always enjoyed being read to, was very eager to learn to read and continues to grow her reading skills. My son on the other hand is not as interested. He has expressed that he would like to read but doesn't really want to. 

  At his Kindergarten screening my son received a packet that encourages the students of the Elementary school he will be attending to read during the Summer. I LOVE this packet! It was a great boost for Summer reading when Lulu was starting. A perfect motivator for when that middle of the Summer wall starts to drag down momentum. 

   So whats in the packet??!!

   The first is a Reading Log - it has 50 spaces to write either the book or chapter title down. That paper goes to school with them on the first day that get collected for a chance to win a ride to school on a fire truck with one winner per grade. How cool is that??!! 

   A Barnes and Noble Reading log. A great reading motivator!! Once eight books are read and reviewed take this log to any Barnes & Noble to receive a free book from the selected list. Lulu loved this and last year chose Sideways Stories from Wayside School. You can learn more about that program here.

   Chuck E. Cheese's Reading Rewards Calendar. Read each day for two weeks, marking the calendar with a sticker or doodle then take to any location to earn 10 free tokens. More information can be found here

    An Applebee's Reading Log. Kids can earn a free Kid's meal after reading ten books. Valid at participating upstate NY and CT locations and is valid for children under 10 years of age. Download card and information here

   There are a few other pages in the packet that are tips on how to keep up with the Summer reading and encouraging your children to read. 

   Another program is discovered last Summer was the Pizza Hut Book It! Summer Reading Challenge. Between June 22 - August 15 kids can earn chances at winning Book It! prizes. Log on for details and to keep track!

  Check out your local libraries to see if they offer a reading incentive program as well! Our library has different prizes - mostly crappy plastic toys BUT the kids have a ball standing at that cardboard treasure chest for what feels like eons to pick out that one piece of plastic that looks the coolest.

   There are many more reading incentive programs! Lots of them out there! These are just the handful that I was able to find available to us in the Northeast. You just have to ask around, maybe perhaps ask a teacher if they know of any local programs. 

   We'll be starting off our reading with some Lyle the Crocodile - that is his new favorite character (sorry Skippy Jon Jones) 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Full Schedule

    Hello there!! It's been a while, I know but things have been filling up on our daily schedule. The Hub's had another territory expansion so he has been away on and off introducing himself to the new dealers. It's an exciting yet hectic time for our family. 

    TW was just screened for Kindergarten yesterday and today he took his PreK Graduation pictures! Lulu is doing great as she has been wrapping up her studies and even had her last spelling test of the first grade. Bear is just Bear and knows her birthday is in a few weeks. She'll be the big three!!

   I have been working on figuring out what I plan to do with all three kids home for the Summer vacation, while still trying to sort this house. I know we moved about two years ago but it still feels crazy messy in the basement. Then again we did move from a house that had a full basement to one that has half the basement size. Gotta love split level ranches! 

   Running season has also started for us - Lulu has done the Disney runs and just did one on Mother's Day. She missed her PB by 12 seconds. (I think it was a show at the end where we were all standing cheering her on) She still amazes me with her passion for running. 

   I'll start setting aside some time during our household quiet time to jot down a ditty or two on the blog here. Lots of fun activities and baking attempts are in cue for the Summer!! Maybe even a trip or two.

   What are you looking forward to doing this Summer with your kiddo(s)? 


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

(Almost) Back to Your Regular Scheduled Program

    Just popped on briefly to let ya'll know I'll be back in full gear soon. Big changes have been going on and we have been learning how to adjust to them. Good changes - just very influential. 

   How does your family handle big changes like a move? Or a change in job requirements? Upcoming school adventures? 


Monday, March 2, 2015

I Blew a Classroom Birthday Off

    I blew a classroom birthday party off but in my defense, this one was a total accident!!

   Last week our school district had February break. It was a week long break and part of it was enjoyed all the way down in Florida. My mum took Liv and I to Disney World so that they could run in the Princess 5K and also the Kid's Fun Run. They both did awesome and rocked it, despite the unseasonably chilly temps. 

   The Friday prior to the break the school district called in another snow day due to the negative wind chills. Neither one of my older kids were able to celebrate Valentines day at their schools. I wasn't terribly heart broken since I wouldn't have been able to attend either of them with the youngest kiddo. Last year when she was in Kindergarten it was so much easier, especially before the younger two were pulled out of daycare. 

   I'll never be a classroom parent. I don't have the availability it deserves to have. I wont have that time until Bear is in school. Forget having me on the PTO until then too. Classroom parties can be added there too, unless by some lucky chance the Hubs has an office day and can spare an hour or so watching the youngest kid(s). 

   Where am I going with this post? Well, its taking me some time to go through all my messages and get back into the swing of things from the week long break. I came across an email message from a classroom parent inviting Liv to her daughter's birthday party - that was yesterday. Uhg! My heart sank. I suck. 

   Not only did I not RSVP, I took away this moment from my daughter's childhood. She doesn't officially know that but I do and I feel like crap. 

   Truth be told, I don't mind classroom kid birthday parties. We've attended a tiny handful. Others we have not. One she got sick the morning of and since it was at a gymnastics place we decided it wasn't in her best interest to stay the entire time but she showed up with gift in hand for a little bit before she wanted to leave to lay down. 

   I wrote the mum an email back apologizing for the delay in my response and I hope that her daughter had had a wonderful day. Hopefully that will save some grace for us. I haven't had the privilege of going through a classroom invited birthday party yet and I'm not sure when I'm going to feel comfortable to do that. Having one or two kids isn't too bad to be able to plan something like that out but having three young kids makes even brushing my teeth incredibly trying and difficult. 

   Do you do classroom invited birthday parties? 
   Do you go to all the ones your child is invited to? Or just select ones? 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Up High Like a Bird

    Come the early alarm on Wednesday, I'll be making my way to the airport with my oldest in tow. She doesn't know where we will be going. She just knows we "may" be taking a little three generation trip, so long as my mum is "able to get off of work". Truth be told, she can and she is. 

    We'll be making our way to Florida. Sunny, warm Florida!! After today being in the negatives with the snow and icy cold winds, I would gladly take anything over 50 degrees so long as I didn't have to bundle up in three layers and look at grey, icky snow mounds. 

    My daughter is going to go BANANAS when she finds out we'll be at Disney World. She is all signed up to run her first 5K of 2015. She has been talking about saving up to go to Disney and what she remembers when we went three years ago. (Wow! That's so long ago. It's been too long!) 

    I can't wait to see her face and share in her excitement!!! 

    Have you ever planned a big surprise trip or event for your kiddo(s)? Did they just loose their minds? Do they still talk about it??! 

There she is three years ago getting her medal for the Kids Run.
This week, she'll score two! 

Monday, January 5, 2015

New Year = New Goals

    We're five days in the New Year - five days!! I hate the idea of resolutions and promises. I prefer more of an aim or goal, would even settle for a focus. 

    I made a focus for myself to take time once a month to do something just for me. That's a tall glass to drink when you're a mom of three young ones, or at least for me. It's hard to remember to take care of myself even if its just for a half hour. Given $20 and I'll go out and stretch that on items for the kids. We all do it as parents. But I'm going to start making it an aim to focus on me at least once a month.

   Something that Liv and I are going to start focusing on is paying it forward at least once a month. To a soon to be seven year old, asking her to do something out of the kindness of her heart and not expect anything in return is a hefty task to ask but I know she can do it. She's been showing signs of understanding things like that and now I want to see her in action. She'll be seven at the end of the month. 

   For Christmas she received a thread knitter that makes bracelets and it just so happens that two lovely ladies from my past are interested in one each. Liv and I were joking about possibly selling these bracelets to earn money to put towards her 5K and Mile run entry fees but this interest posed a perfect launch into our "PIF-ing" 

   As I write this post Liv is working on a note-card to enclose the bracelets in. She is telling them to enjoy their bracelets and have fun wearing them and to simply "Pay It Forward". I am beyond excited and thrilled that she is doing this. Maybe I'll have to see about selling these bracelets in a local craft show or online. They're super cute and the color combos are endless, which is half the fun!

   Have you made any focuses or aims for the New Year? 
   What do you hope to achieve? 
   Do you "Pay it Forward"? 

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