Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Five Favorite Family Time Ideas

With our busy work schedule, scouts and soccer family time sometimes slips through the cracks. When we can slow down, we make the most of it. Here is how we squeeze it in.

Take a Hike: My son loves nature and being out in it. Even a walk around our property can be a learning experience. You can learn about nature in your own back yard. Find interesting plants or bugs and photograph them with your camera or phone. When you go back inside, use a search engine to try to identify what you have found. Let your child guess what the plant or bug is and do an image search to see if they are right.

Happy Song Time: On long car rides (or short ones that might seem long to your child) break out those silly songs you may have learned at camp as a kid! Take turns teaching each other new songs...I have learned some new ones myself!

Building bridges: My son loves Lego's and always wants us to build with him. I am no brick master, so building can be quite embarrassing to me! Everyone writes random objects on slips of paper and drop them into a hat. Choose one person to pick from the hat. The first person to build the object on the paper wins and gets to choose the next challenge.

Now you're cooking: Get in the kitchen with your kids...even the most simple recipes can teach a child the beauty of teamwork. Something as simple as a box cake can seem like a massive project to a child. Have Mom measure, Dad pour and the kids stir and mix. Shh..don't tell them, but math can be taught while having this fun too!

Movie Night: This might seem like a no- brainer, but sometimes the simplest things go forgotten. Let the kids pick out the movie, help them pop the popcorn and snuggle up together for a fun, but sometimes forgotten favorite past time.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and LEGO
blogging program, making me eligible to get a prize pack. For more
information on how you can participate,
click here.

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11,2001...how I remember.....

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day

I work nights, so I was asleep. I was pregnant and very worn out and tired. I was sleeping when I heard a banging on my bedroom window. I then heard my husband go to the door. I think I fell back asleep for a minute and then heard a booming voice. It was my husband. "Jen! Wake up! There are planes crashing everywhere...the Twin Towers...GONE! Part of the Pentagon GONE! "

I remember my response. "I just got to sleep, so unless work is gone, I still have to go there tonight!" As I gathered my thoughts and tried to wake up, it hit me. I started to panic. "Oh my God! Where is Aunt Corinne? Is she up there? Did she fly today?" My aunt, at the time, was a flight attendant. Thank God she was safe on the ground that fateful day. Looking back, I am shocked at my reaction that day, but up until that very moment, life was normal. It was a (somewhat) normal reaction of a very tired pregnant woman carrying out a very normal daily routine. That was just seconds before my life and my country as I knew it was changed forever.

Did you stand there in shock at the site of
That black smoke rising against that blue sky
Did you shout out in anger
In fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry

I remember being glued to the television. I watched as very scared people covered in the dust and rubble of the World Trade Center ran for their lives. I remember seeing crowds of people running. They didn't know who or exactly what they were running from, but they were running to save themselves. I remember crying for those people.

Did you weep for the children
Who lost their dear loved ones
And pray for the ones who don't know
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below

I remember the lump in my throat. As I watch the re-broadcast today, that lump is still there. The tears still well up and I still get chills as I listen to the events unfold again.I remember seeing people carrying pictures of their loved ones and showing them to who ever would look at them. They couldn't find their loved ones, they didn't know if they were safe or if they were trapped in what remained of the towers. I remember the media saying that people were jumping from the towers. I remember the story of Todd Beamer and the rest of the heroes of Flight 93. Could you imagine calling your spouse to say a painful final goodbye? I remember saying a prayer. And another. And another.

Did you burst out in pride
For the red white and blue

The heroes who died just doing what they do

Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself to what really matters

Almost immediately, more flags were flown. Everything that could be draped in red, white and blue was covered with our country's colors. No matter which city you were in, people were wearing the letters NYFD to honor the Fire Departments of New York. Those departments lost so many great men and women that day, just doing what they do.

But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith hope and love are some good things he gave us
And the greatest is love

So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13)

Eight years ago, I didn't talk to God as much as I do today. I didn't talk to Him on a daily basis, but I talked to him a million times that day. I know Jesus much better these days, and I talk to God on a daily, sometimes hourly basis!


You say you will never forget where you were when
you heard the news On September 11, 2001.
Neither will I.

I was on the 110th floor in a smoke filled room
with a man who called his wife to say 'Good-Bye.' I
held his fingers steady as he dialed. I gave him the
peace to say, 'Honey, I am not going to make it, but it
is OK..I am ready to go.'

I was with his wife when he called as she fed
breakfast to their children. I held her up as she
tried to understand his words and as she realized
he wasn't coming home that night.

I was in the stairwell of the 23rd floor when a
woman cried out to Me for help. 'I have been
knocking on the door of your heart for 50 years!' I said.
'Of course I will show you the way home - only
believe in Me now.'

I was at the base of the building with the Priest
ministering to the injured and devastated souls.
I took him home to tend to his Flock in Heaven. He
heard my voice and answered.

I was on all four of those planes, in every seat,
with every prayer. I was with the crew as they
were overtaken. I was in the very hearts of the
believers there, comforting and assuring them that their
faith has saved them.

I was in Texas , Virginia , California , Michigan , Afghanistan
I was standing next to you when you heard the terrible news.
Did you sense Me?

I want you to know that I saw every face. I knew
every name - though not all know Me. Some met Me
for the first time on the 86th floor.

Some sought Me with their last breath.
Some couldn't hear Me calling to them through the
smoke and flames; 'Come to Me... this way... take
my hand.' Some chose, for the final time, to ignore Me.
But, I was there.

I did not place you in the Tower that day. You
may not know why, but I do.. However, if you were
there in that explosive moment in time, would you have
reached for Me?

Sept. 11, 2001, was not the end of the journey
for you . But someday your journey will end. And I
will be there for you as well. Seek Me now while I may
be found. Then, at any moment, you know you are
'ready to go.'

I will be in the stairwell of your final moments.


Always remember September 11, 2001. Never forget the pain, the sadness or the anger. More importantly never forget those who gave their lives trying to save another. Please pray for the families of these fallen heroes, and for the families of the brave men and women who still defend our freedom eight years later.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tuesday's Talent

Today's talent is really a work in progress. My son got a book at the school library today that teaches you how to draw dogs. (Draw 50 Dogs)This is his second attempt at a Lab. Although he is not completely happy with the way it looks, I told him it will get better each time he tries.

I don't know about you, but I think she looks pretty great!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tuesday's Talent

Well it looks like my little guy has pizza on the brain! Last Tuesday he drew Pizza Pete. This week, meet Pizza Bot.

Pizza Bot is equipped with several arms for all of your pizza making needs. He has one for cutting, one for sprinkling cheese, one for pouring sauce, one for holding it steady, one for taking it out of the oven, one for boxing it up, one for putting pepperoni on and even one for tossing it around to entertain the people. As you can see, inside his chest is the oven where his warm heart cooks your pizza. He has eyes like a bug so he can see all of his arms at once so he can see what he is doing. To deliver it to the customers that are in the store, he takes all of his arms, grabs a pizza in each hand then his arms start spinning around and he starts flying like a helicopter and then he lets go of the pizzas and the customers catch them.

Monday, August 31, 2009

School Days

It's that time of year again. There is excitement in the air. Soon it will be time to meet that big yellow bus at the end of the driveway and send my little fellow off to school again.

We are all ready! New clothes are washed and put away, the new shoes are broken in and the backpack and lunch box are all ready to go!

Just look at these cute little stickers I won over at A Simple Kinda Life! Angie is a friend of mine from way back in Jr. High! Check her out, she is always reviewing and giving things away! These little cuties are PakNaks. They are rubbery little stickers for all of your stuff! They are held on with Velcro so you can change them around if you would like!

I always say I am going to be more organized than the year before, so here is this year's idea.
A lunch packing station. I have it stocked with a sandwich holder, small containers, two different size lunch baggies, spoons and forks. Everything I need all in one spot!

I even have started some little surprises to tuck into the lunchbox. I just took some index cards and jotted down some jokes on them.

I wrote the answer on the bottom part, folded it and sealed it with a sticker.

I have enough done so far for the first two weeks of school. This month I'll do jokes, maybe next month will be strange space facts (he has been into space lately) and keep changing with the months to come.

I also have a great dry erase calender on the wall for all of our events. It is in a central location between the kitchen and living room for easy visibility. Hubby has it all filled out, so it has too much personal info to post a picture, but you get the drift!

I think we are all ready! How about you? What do you do to keep it all together? I would love to hear your ideas...I could use all the help I can get!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tuesday's Talent

Today's talent is from my son.

Meet Pizza Pete. He's a Pizza Joe's delivery pizza. When someone takes a bite out of him, that part just grows right back. That makes him a super pizza. And that pizza van in the background isn't just a pizza van. It's a flying pizza van. And when his pizza van breaks down he uses his string cheese powers to get where he's going. That's his story.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesday's Talent

The first talent today was a total surprise! I opened my e-mail to find this tasty little treat!

This is the dancing cupcake from Miss M. I love this cupcake and all of her sassy dance moves! The sprinkles are the best...so colorful! Look at the cute little picture she drew of herself (she really is that cute in person, too!) You know what Miss M? You're my favorite little sprinkle!

The next drawing is not as cute, but the artist sure is...it is from my own little cupcake! Here we have Alien Man
Alien Man is a villain and enemy of the Super League of Weirdos. He fell to Earth inside a cardboard box. His favorite food is cardboard. He was so hungry, on his way to Earth he ate his cardboard box! His favorite drink is dirty dish water. His favorite thing to do is eat. He is also a space pirate. He tries to defeat the Super League of Weirdos by trying to eat them. He thinks people taste like cardboard. His least favorite food is chicken. One day when he was flying his space boat, he came upon Creature Man. Creature Man fighted him and that's how he got his peg leg. One day when he was flying his space boat, he came upon Toilet Man. Toilet Man flushed him down and that's how he got his eye patch.

Thanks for the talent kiddos! I can't wait to see what you come up with next week!