Monday, August 31, 2009

School is in session

Sorry I haven't posted in awhile, but last week was a week of transition. My older son started 2nd grade and my little ones went to their preschool open house and will start Pre-K 4 this week. So far, 2nd grade has been great; Jack got in the car on the first day of school and said, "2nd grade is great and it is great to get back to work." Let's hope he has this attitude all year!

With school starting back I have been really trying to be organized and prepared for the day to lessen my and the boys' stress. I have been prepping dinner early in the day so I don't have to do much in the afternoon during homework time. Also, I have been laying out everyone's clothes and anything needed for the next day like backpacks and lunchboxes in the evening.

Hopefully, I can keep up this routine and stay organized this school year.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Library Storytimes

We had not been to our local library storytime in a few weeks and since I am really starting to work with Alex and Luke on reading skills I thought it would be a great activity to do today.
We went to Preschool storytime which is for 4 and 5 year olds and it is every Tuesday at 10 am. Today the songs and stories were about spiders and snakes and the boys came home with a rattlesnake coloring sheet which they thought was very cool.
I posted in my links section the link to look up the current library storytime schedule.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Explorations V Birthday

Explorations V Birthday
Saturday, Aug. 29, 2009
10 am until 3 pm

18th Birthday X-travaganza

Come trek the learning trail and party with hands on birthday party activities.

Also, check out for a children's museum in your area.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Some of our favorite kid friendly websites

Today after running some errands, we came home and had "computer time." My older son has loved being on the computer since he was around 2 years old, but my younger boys are just getting the "computer bug".'
Some of the boys favorite websites to play on are:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fun Meals for kids

My boys like do it yourself meals and lately they have been eating salad great so tonight I made a salad bar for them. We had romaine lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, onion, bell pepper, cheese, boiled egg, imitation crab, cold pasta, different dressings and crackers and I let them fill their bowls any way they wanted. I think it is a great way to get some healthy food into them.
Another great fix your own meal is pizzas. They love it when I put out different toppings and get individual sized pizza crusts and let them pile them high.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Lake Eva Park Aquatics Center

The boys and I went to a new water park today. The Lake Eva Park Aquatics Center in Haines City opened earlier this summer, but this is the first time we have had the opportunity to drive over and check it out. It was about a 40 min. drive but well worth it. Also, the admission price was awesome at only $3 per person.

"The Haines City Aquatic Center, which opened on Memorial Day, includes a 25-meter competition pool, children's activity pool, splash pad area with water toys, a 20-foot water slide, pavilion and concession area. The expansion also includes new tennis and basketball courts, two playgrounds with cushion cork-like base making falls from equipment easier to take, a huge sandbox, a banquet facility for special events (that can be rented by the public) and a band shell."
(above info. from the Lakeland Ledger's website)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Movie Helping Websites

My family loves to watch movies together but sometimes my husband and I are surprised by movies that we haven't viewed previously. We have actually had to turn a movie off and disappointed our boys because we didn't realize it had some "bad" words, scary scenes or just things we don't want our boys to be exposed to at their specific ages.
I found the following movie monitoring websites in a magazine article:

These websites give reviews for parents to decide if the content is OK for their child before viewing the movie.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ethnic grocery stores

Today we went to stock up on our sushi supplies at a neighborhood Oriental market. My boys think it is neat to go into "different" grocery stores. It is fun to explore with all your senses in these kind of stores. When we first walk in the boys say it smells funny but then get used to it and find it interesting to pick up different spices and smell them. We looked at all the strange things in the freezer like squid, octupus, eel and more! We also checked out the HUGE bags of sushi rice and the different chopsticks, skewers and other Japanese cooking utensils.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Weekend time

This weekend I actually got some time without my boys. I stayed the weekend at the beach with my Mother in law and 4 sisters in law. It was a very nice time catching up and getting to know each other better. It was fun actually being an outsider and listening to them talk about all their childhood memories. I sure hope my boys have great memories of their childhood and love getting together with their families when they grow up!!

While I was gone, my husband continued with my "thrifty" entertainment for the boys. On Saturday, he took them to Lowes to make "powerboats" at the Build and grow clinic, then played outside in the blowup kiddie pool in the backyard followed by Kids eat free night at Denny's for dinner. I was so proud of him! He did great with the boys while I had some free time.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Another free weekend event

Free Family Back to school Event at Michaels.
Saturday, August 15, 10 am until 1pm.

Decorate a Pencil Box

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Motivating our children to read.

Here some fun ways to motivate your school aged child to read:
  1. Read in different places like outside on a picnic blanket, under the dining table, in a makeshift fort built out of pillows and blankets, by the pool, in a treehouse....
  2. Have them read out loud to the family pet, to an elderly relative or neighbor or to a younger sibling
  3. Do a book swap with friends to find new books to read.
  4. Give them challenges to read so many books and then get a reward when they reach the goal.
  5. And of course, visit your local library to find new books!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Local Weekend Happenings

Here are some Free local weekend happenings:
  • Saturday, August 8th Polk Museum of Art will sponsor a free art activity for children and families @ 10:15 am.
  • The Mulberry Library will be celebrating its 60th birthday, Saturday, August 8th at 10am. There will be activities for all ages, including a bounce house, cake and fun.
  • Meet the amazing "Coraline" Saturday at 2 pm @ the Winter Haven library.
  • Lowes Build and Grow workshop is this Saturday at 10 am, Here is the link to register at your local Lowes;

Another activity for a nominal charge is "Yoga for Kids" at the Lake Wales library. Saturdays in August at 2 pm, $5 per class, pre-register (863)678-4004, ext. 0.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Vacation Bible School and Zoo Memberships

Today my boys started another Vacation Bible School. This is the 2nd one they have done this summer and they love it. I just wanted to remind you all to check the churches in your community for Vacation Bible school programs. I have noticed that even though the summer is almost over that there are still programs going on. These VBS programs tend to be relatively cheap or free, the one they are doing this week was $5 for each child for the whole week. I have noticed that some churches do morning programs and some do evening programs and even include dinner for the children or the whole family.

This weekend we traveled to visit some friends and while we were there we went to their local zoo. I just wanted to suggest zoos as a great family outing, it isn't cheap, but with the purchase of a family pass it makes it reasonable. Also, most zoos honor passes from other zoos around the country so if you are traveling it might be something to do in a new place.
Here is a link to a listing of zoos in the USA to find your closest zoo; .