A Simple Summer Craft: Book Chains

Last week on a rainy afternoon, I pulled out the ol’ craft supplies and gathered the children around to sing songs and make shit. Hahaha!  Just kidding. But we did make a cute little craft called a Book Chain.  I had the kids cut construction paper into strips. We measured out one-inch strips using a ruler.  You can do this for them, but I needed this particular craft to fill a good chunk of time while I got some chores done in the kitchen, so I made them cut the…

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Family Theme Nights

We try to have some kind of family-themed night just about every Friday in our house.  It’s a nice way to end the week and the kids really look forward to them.  They talk about them and plan them all week long.  After busy weeks (and lazy days during the summer), it’s nice to be able to connect with each other for a while as a whole family.  Usually, we have dinner at the kitchen table together and then we go down to the family room and let the games…

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A Different Kind of Summer

In the first few weeks of summer, I quickly realized that this summer would be… different.  For one thing, Bean and Gracie are starting to separate themselves from each other in some ways.  Not that they don’t still play together all the time or not get along anymore; they are still best buddies and, thankfully, get along really well.  But their ages and genders have just now started to separate them a little bit.  For example, I signed them both up for gymnastics camp for a week because they have…

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Raising Stubborn Children (named Gracie…)

My mom gave Chris and I the very best piece of parenting advice ever when the kids were about two and three years old.  She said that she and my dad spent a whole lot of time teaching and disciplining when Ginny and I were really young so that they could enjoy the time with us when we were a little older.  Chris and I took that advice straight to heart and it became our mantra through the really tough ages and stages of having two little kids.  We were…

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I Was Mean Girled by My Own Daughter

We are heading to the Keys for a week-long vacation soon, and so I loaded the kids up late last week to head over to Target for the dreaded bathing suit purchase.  Can we all agree that fitting rooms are the devil?  The lighting makes me look like an eskimo, the three-paneled circus mirrors make my stretch marks (which I still have, six years later, thankyouverymuch children…) look like deflated balloons, and the super thin partition walls make it easy for everyone to hear me crying.  The experience simply can’t be…

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Summer Schedules

A few years ago, I learned that the trick to enjoying my summer was to have a very loose, flexible daily schedule.  When I would wake up and just “see where the day took me,” it often didn’t take me anywhere.  The kids and I would stay in our jammies all day being lazy and driving each other crazy.  Don’t get me wrong.  We still have lazy days like that and they are awesome, but every day can’t be a jammie day.  And so I try to keep a general,…

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A Soggy, Slumber Party Birthday

This weekend, we celebrated Bean’s birthday with a few of his friends.  He invited five friends over on Saturday night for pizza, a movie, and spending the night (well, except for his longtime bestie, Layla, who is a girl, so we dropped her off at her house after the movie).  Their parents dropped them off at our house at 5:00 and we had pizza and birthday cake.  Then, we loaded the kids up in our cars and headed out in the rain to see the new “Captain Underpants” movie. It…

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Hello, Summer!

Today was the last day of school for our family.  Hallelujah!  I woke up super early just so I could have time to get these pictures taken, which involves scouring all my computer files to locate the little signs that I have used for the past few years.  Can you see the 2015-2016 year on them?  I tried to mark it out with a gray marker this morning because who has time for Photoshop (and also because I don’t know how to use Photoshop… Summer goal:  learn how to use…

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Double Trouble

The older kids get, the harder it is to keep a straight face when they are in trouble.  AmIright???? The other day, we were driving down the road and they were getting on my last nerve.  They had been in one of those playing hysterically moods where their “fun” can quickly become “murder charges” in the blink of an eye.  I had been getting onto them to leave each other alone, to settle down, to keep their hands to themselves…  Blah, blah, blah… Finally, I reached the last straw and…

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Lessons Learned on a Baseball Field

Last night we had Bean’s end of season baseball party.  We met with our team at a local sports bar and had dinner and a little awards ceremony.  It was a nice way to celebrate the end of a pretty challenging baseball season for our family. Chris and I made Bean play baseball this season.  He had played four other seasons before and loved them all, and somehow he got it in his head that he didn’t want to play again this season.  But he also didn’t really want to…

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