Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Budget Friendly Summer Fun with the Kids

Enjoying an activity filled summer with the kids does not have to break the family budget. Here are five easy activities that offer both fun and educational opportunities that you can enjoy with your children:

  1. Weekly Themed Dinner Parties: As a family, choose an international country that you would like to learn more about. Visit the library to check our books about your country, be sure one of the books offers menu items that you can research and cook in your home. For an arts & crafts activity, have your children create a placemats and table decorations that represent the different symbols of your country. Together prepare a menu, shop for groceries and prepare a traditional meal or menu item for dinner. If everyone enjoys the activity, pick a new country each week for the remainder of your summer vacation.
  2. Go on a Nature Walk: Find a national park, local park or other outdoor area to visit as a family. Have your children gather different items that they find along their walk; glue the items to construction paper to create a collage. Nature walks offer a great opportunity for children to safely explore the world around them and learn more about nature.
  3. Bird Watching: Bird watching is a simple and enjoyable way to learn about the different birds that live in your neighborhood or surrounding area. Children are fascinated by birds, and learning the different breeds that live in your area is a great way to inspire a love of nature. Before you set out on your first bird watching expedition, be sure to visit your local library or book store to  gather bird identification books to help your child learn to recognize as many different birds as possible.
  4. Ice Cream Sundae Party: Purchase a variety of ice creams, sprinkles, flavored toppings, whip cream and maraschino cherries; allow your children to create their very own "dream sundae". Expect that this will be a very messy activity, so allow the children to build their creations outside where it is safe for things to get messy. Don't limit sugar intake, creative recipe construction or suggest any rules at all. On this day, just let the kids be kids. They will remember this for a long time and you just might have a "what I did last summer" classroom essay topic for one of the kids.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Well, I missed a day...could not be helped. Life got in the way and I went with the natural flow of the day rather than stress out about where I should be and what I should b doing. That is one of the lessons I am learning as I begin blogging, life happens and I cannot always get to my keyboard to write. So, today, to make up for it,  I will write two blog posts, if only to make myself feel better.

Today's quote is:

"We are always the same age inside."

I believe that each of us has an age in our lives where we felt really good about who we are, where we are in our lives and our overall appearance; it becomes our internal age. Mine was 40. I loved how I looked and how I felt at 40. I wasn't perfect, rather far from it.  I was raising two teenagers, ages 14 and 16, while simultaneously chasing a four and two year old around the house. They were rugged days of sleep deprivation, cooking ALL the time and too much laundry. I read only children's books, could never seem to use the bathroom alone and more often than not, I had one kid that needed something at every single hour of the day. Yet, that is somehow the time of my internal age. I am always surprised when I see myself in a window or mirror and realize I am still that age.

At 45, my appearance hasn't changed that much but I can see the accumulated years better these days. The crows feet around my eye, the laugh lines around my mouth, the thickening waste (no matter how much I diet and exercise, those two c-sections did long-term damage on my abdominals) but it is my neck that I dislike the most.

I have always taken great care with moisturizers to make sure that my face and neck would not wrinkle and yet, it has. All those cosmetic promises could hold back time but not erase it forever. I love that I am aging, because when you consider the alternative, frankly it is a little bleak. I never saw myself as a woman that would want plastic surgery or "a little bit of tucking" here and there; but times are changing. I don't think I will ever take any steps to "tight things up" but I have to admit, that I often find myself daydreaming about the skin in my youth and my "old neck" rather than the one I have now.

Yes. we are always the same age on the, if I could just convince the outside to believe the same way, then everything would be just grand.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Today I am going to ask for comments, impressions and shared thoughts; I am posting a quote and I would love to have feedback on what this quote means to you:

"What is life's heaviest burden? asked the child. "To have nothing to carry." answered the old man."  ~ anonymous

What are your feelings when you read this? Your impression? Your thoughts? Please share with me and anyone else that stops by...

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Posting a daily blog is going to be challenging; it is day 2 and I am already scrambling at the end of the evening to gather a post idea together. To say that my day began in the car at 7:40am and ended at 8:20pm is the truth. There is work, my volunteer responsibilities, boy scouts, children's sports, church youth group and then, finally, home at 8:20 to do homework. I do not have a fancy smart phone, so writing a blog post on the go isn't an option...YET. Which brings me to my thought for the day. My writing has to hold equal importance in my daily life, just like all the other responsibilities I am accountable for each day. That is why I have chosen a quote from Charles Buxton for today's post.:

"You will never "find" time for anything. If you want time you must make it."

This seems especially true, not only for myself but for all the other mothers and fathers that I know that try to "fit" writing into their daily schedule. As passionate as we feel about writing, there are so many other things that demand our attention. This month, join me as I make the commitment to find ... no, MAKE time to blog each day. This is the first step to insuring that writing becomes a daily commitment, just like exercise...okay. Perhaps that was a bad example, since I am still trying to figure out how to fit a daily run into my morning.

 No time like the present to "make" positive things happen in my daily life. See you at the keyboard, as I intend to make my writing a daily task ~

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Ready....Set....Go....Let the Blogging Begin

Today is the kick-off of the 2012 Blogathon; a writing challenge to all bloggers to post every day of the month. I am always so excited about the idea of blogging daily but once the month of May begins, I panic. I intend to prepare thirty posts before the first day and yet, again I have failed to do so. But I will persevere with my good intentions and hopefully fulfill my goal.

Today I am borrowing a quote I saw recently that I felt was the perfect introduction to the Blogathon, because with almost 200 blogs registered this year, that is a lot of reading and new ideas available to everyone. So, here is my thought for the day:

"Somewhere someone is looking for exactly what you have to offer"  ~ Louise L. Hay

I believe that this applies to everyone, no matter where they are in their life. Whether it be looking for a new job, a spouse, a friend or a new opportunity. The goal is to remain focused on your positive qualities and not worry about your own perceived weaknesses, as they may not be a "real" weakness at all.

Remember that in life, it is important to "stick your neck out" sometimes; take the risk and let nature take its course. If you are not willing to try something because you might fail....Haven't you really already failed yourself.

Just a thought. So, while I and about 199 other bloggers begin the journey of writing one post per day for the next month, I wish us all the best of luck and hopefully we will have a great deal of fun and growth along the way.

See ya at the finish line.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Badge!! 

Yes. I am going to try it again this year. God willing, I will succeed.