Wednesday, July 27, 2011

One summer, when C was about 7 or 8 years old, we suffered through the “I’m bored” issues.  At the time, R was too young to play with and most of her friends were gone for their vacations so that left me to entertain her and I often ran out of ideas.  While browsing the internet I found an idea for a chore jar to get kids to help out around the house with various tasks so that they don’t get stuck doing the same old thing every time.  I thought what a great idea but let’s make an activity jar so when C gets bored, we can simply pull out an activity idea and do that.
C and I found a container and she decorated it while giving me activity ideas.  I also found some other ideas on the internet.  We created a list using a different colored paper for the outdoor activities so that we knew if it was raining not to choose that color.    Then we simply printed, cut, and folded the ideas and placed them in the jar.  This really worked well for us so I thought I’d pass it along.
Some of the activities were craft ideas, writing prompts, baking ideas, places to go (ie. Library, swimming, park, etc.), sports play (ie. Soccer, basketball, etc.), imagination play (ie. Marching band, stuffie parade, doctor’s office, puppet show, etc.), read a book, explore a different country, play a board/card game, scavenger hunt, build a fort, make a paper airplane, try yoga, water gun target practice, hopscotch, backyard safari, make slime, bird watching, fly a kite, and so many more activities.
When we sat down and brainstormed activities, we were shocked and impressed with the number of great ideas we had.  We’ve kept the activity jar and we still use it.  Every now and then I look over the activities and update some of them.  Now R & C can both use the activities and when I hear those words, “I’m bored.”  I simply point to the jar and know that there is bound to be at least one activity to catch their interest...and if not, threatening extra chores always seems to inspire an activity idea.  I know, I'm evil. Muahahahaha.
Take Care,
D

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I have been hearing from many different sources that children lose a large percentage of what they’ve learned over the past school year during the summer months.  I am concerned about this as both my children have made great progress this school year and I really don’t want them to lose that.  I am not a homeschooler, nor do I have any education to support teaching children but I need to do something.  I have been quite active in R’s Kindergarten class so I am confident that I could support his learning through the summer and have developed a plan to do so.  I am not looking to teach him anything new, simply re-enforce what he’s learned and maintain that level.  My plan thus far is as follows:
Every Day:  Bedtime story read to R, Journal Writing, and Physical Activity (gross motor work)
Monday:  Language Arts – Have R read a book at or below his level then do activities that lend themselves to that book.  Social Studies – discover a new country, learn one word from their language, review an interesting building, discuss an interesting custom and review their location on the globe, comparing it to where we live.
Tuesday:  Math – Do a page from a math workbook or flashcards and play a math game.  French – sing a French song, play a French game, or watch a French DVD.
Wednesday:  Language Arts – Have R read a book at or below his level, then do activities that lend themselves to that book.  Science:  Conducting experiments and reviewing science in our daily life.
Thursday:  Math – Do a page from a math workbook or flashcards and play a math game.  French – sing a French song, play a French game, or watch a French DVD.
I don’t want to overdo the lessons and jam-pack our days because then I won’t stick to the plan.  I think I can do this and still get my work and errands around the house done.  Mostly, I’m hoping it will be enough to maintain his level of education.
Now C is another matter completely.  Going into the ninth grade, I’m not as aware of what she is learning.   At this point in her life, parents are often the enemy and when I ask anything about school, she immediately treats it as an attack. This means discussions often turned into arguments and we find out very little of what she’s doing.  I am planning to review her report card comments from her teachers to see where they feel she needs work since we mostly focused on where she exceled at the end of the year.  Another obstacle is that she is gone for the month of July.  Any ideas?
Take Care,
D

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The Not-So-Secret Confessions of a First Time Mom         

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2" hits the theatres this weekend.  I LOVE Harry Potter.  I have read all the books and own all the movies on DVD.  I will be in line this weekend to see the film.  What better way to celebrate the release of the final film than to indulge in some amazing treats from the film, books, or some inspired treats.  There are many places on the web to find these treats.  One of my fellow bloggers posted some recipes as well, check them out at this link...
DAT's so Cute: Harry Potter inspired Recipes: "I am a huge fan of Harry Potter, I love the books, and am so excited for the movie. It will be sad to see it all come to an end. This week..."

I have also just ordered in the Official Harry Potter Cookbook.  It won’t be here in time for this weekend but I plan on hosting a huge bash when this movie comes out on DVD.
From the Publisher
Bangers and mash with Harry, Ron, and Hermione in the Hogwarts dining hall. A proper cuppa tea and rock cakes in Hagrid''s hut.Cauldron cakes and pumpkin juice on the Hogwarts Express.With this cookbook, dining a la Hogwarts is as easy as Banoffi Pie! With more than 150 easy-to-make recipes, tips, and techniques, you can indulge in spellbindingly delicious meals drawn straight from the pages of your favorite Potter stories, such as:Treacle Tart--Harry''s favorite dessertMolly''s Meat Pies--Mrs …+ read moreBangers and mash with Harry, Ron, and Hermione in the Hogwarts dining hall.
A proper cuppa tea and rock cakes in Hagrid''s hut.
Cauldron cakes and pumpkin juice on the Hogwarts Express.
With this cookbook, dining a la Hogwarts is as easy as Banoffi Pie! With more than 150 easy-to-make recipes, tips, and techniques, you can indulge in spellbindingly delicious meals drawn straight from the pages of your favorite Potter stories, such as:
·    Treacle Tart--Harry's favorite dessert
·    Molly’s Meat Pies--Mrs. Weasley's classic dish
·    Kreacher's French Onion Soup
·    Pumpkin Pasties--a staple on the Hogwarts Express cart
With a dash of magic and a drop of creativity, you''ll conjure up the entrees, desserts, snacks, and drinks you need to transform ordinary Muggle meals into magickal culinary masterpieces, sure make even Mrs. Weasley proud!


Take Care,
D

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I usually write what I’ve been working on or feeling at a particular time.  Well, this I’ve been feeling for a while and will now share it with you.  C’s been gone since the beginning of July.  She is out of town spending some time with her mother’s side of the family.  Although she’s my step-daughter, she’s been a part of my life for ten years and I think of her as my own.  Her mother is still a part of her life and I know I couldn’t (wouldn’t dream of) replacing her mother but circumstances have C living with us full time and seeing her mother 2 or 3 times per year.  With that amount of time and how wonderful of a kid C is, I love her as though she was my own and treat her as such.
Each year C goes to spend an extended visit with her mother and her mother’s family during the month of July.  This year, she’s gone for the entire month of July and I miss her.  We have been texting with each other while she’s been gone and she seems to be having a great time.  For this I am grateful and remind myself that she needs this but I still miss her and am counting down the days until I see her again.
Take Care,
D

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I must admit, I am a fair weather camper.  I really dislike camping in the rain.  This weekend, it poured.  Despite the weather, we actually had a good time. 
We did a little ATV riding during the sunny breaks the first day to collect some fallen wood for our portable campfire, played in the mud, and watched an amazing thunderstorm that evening.  The second day it poured, all day.  We slept in then went out to cook brunch and play in the rain a little more.  Some friends came out to visit for a while so the kids played together while we, adults, sat under the awning and enjoyed some great campfire coffee. 
After our guests left, R and I went into the RV to play cards and a few board games.   He definately had some sillies and wouldn't show his face for a photo. 
Hubby was enjoying some quiet time outside tending the fire.  When the fire was ready, Hubby cooked supper over the fire while R & I prepared the sides in the RV.  The generator was started and we enjoyed a movie over supper. 
Afterwards I cleaned up while Hubby packed up the outdoor stuff since we knew we would leave after we woke the next day.  I then spent some quiet time reading while Hubby and R played cars.  Next thing we knew it was bedtime.  In the morning, we slept in again then readied the RV for travel.  What a great relaxing weekend.
Hope you had a chance to relax this weekend too.
Take Care,
D

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           The Not-So-Secret Confessions of a First Time Mom

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

As I was perusing the internet the other day, I happened upon an article about moms and their needs.  It originally was intended for Mother’s Day and National Women’s Health Week but I think we, Moms, need reminders not to forget about our own needs.
Moving Mom to the Front of the Line HealthyWomen by guest blogger Stacy DeBroff, founder and CEO of Mom Central Consulting
Somewhere between pouring cereal, packing lunches, running carpool, scheduling play dates, juggling meetings and conference calls, cleaning up after the dog, shopping for science fair supplies, driving the in-laws to the doctor, picking up groceries, throwing the lasagna in the oven, waiting for soccer practice to end, and listening to our partners' latest work woes, most moms realize that something has to give.

Take Care,
D

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Sunday, July 3, 2011


R LOVES the Scaredy Squirrel series of books from Melanie Watt.  And now there’s a TV series which we PVR for him to watch.  The books are about a squirrel who, you guessed it, is scared of everything.  He tends to stay in his tree a lot but occasionally ventures out into the “unknown”.  We recently purchased “Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach” where Scaredy gives his step-by-step guide to creating his own "safe" beach. 
R decided today would be a great day to create our own beach in the back yard like Scaredy did.  So we created our beach, then re-read the book and invited Scaredy (the puppet) to our beach.  We had a great time!
Take Care,
D

Blog HopsCheck out these blog hops by clicking on the button then following the rules to find some great blogs.  Don’t forget to leave comments wherever you hop so participants can hop by your site.  Thanks for hopping by!
           The Not-So-Secret Confessions of a First Time Mom

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