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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Happy 8th Birthday, Bean!

Yesterday Bean Man turned 8 years old.  He was lucky this year and his birthday happened to fall on the first day of summer vacation, which was a coincidence that definitely needed to be celebrated.  So, our family spent the afternoon at Disney and Bean set our entire itinerary. He just finished reading the first book of the “Kingdom Keepers” series, which is an adventure series that takes place in the parks of Disney World.  The first book is set in the Magic Kingdom, so that’s where Bean wanted to…

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Another Attempt at Toy Organization

Over the years, I have tried to keep our toy storage organized and somewhat contained in our house.  I don’t want to be one of those houses that looks like a toy store… or, given the wear and tear around our house, a toy dump.  I don’t want toys all over.  I want to be able to sit down on my couch or have people into my home and not have us all swimming in toys the entire time. That’s not to say there aren’t points throughout any given day…

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Gracie’s First Sleepover!

Before today’s post, I just want to thank you for the incredible outpouring of encouragement and support for the student I wrote about last week.  While I appreciate every offer of assistance I received, I am not able to offer medical assistance to students.  I reported his skin condition to our school nurse and she will reach out to his parents and, if necessary, to the Department of Children and Families to see about getting him the treatment he needs.  Your kindness and generosity was inspiring to me at a time when…

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Hands-Off Imagination

This weekend while we were in Chris’s office, Bean and Gracie entertained themselves for hours.  I mean, HOURS.  We didn’t hear a peep out of them until we went hunting for them to see what they were up to. Chris and I talked on the way home about how awesome life with the kids has been lately because they are so self-sufficient. They are playing really great together, they are constantly creating or imagining something, and they really need very little from us. We thought back to when they were…

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Friendship Knows No Country

A little over a year ago, Gracie’s bestest little buddy in her daycare class moved back to Italy.  Her dad was here working for two years, but when his contract was up, they packed their family and sadly headed back to Rome.  Gracie was heartbroken.  We tried doing a few FaceTime sessions with the girls, but it was hard.  Sara was having a tough time adjusting to the language in Rome and Gracie was really missing her friend, so we stopped those.  But still, Sara’s mom and I stayed in…

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Extra-Curricu-Grrrrr’s

It’s that dreaded time of year when we all sign our kids up for extracurricular activities.  I’m a big fan of activities, as a whole.  I think they help build character in kids.  They teach them about being part of a team, about personal responsibility, about trying your best, about being a good sport, and all that other stuff that makes them well-rounded people. But, HOLY COW, is it a very expensive pain in the arse to get them all signed up! This year, both kids are going to be…

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Hashtag Squad Goals

My summer is quickly drawing to a close and I can feel it slipping away!  NOOOOOOO!!!!!  I have been back to work this week to work on getting the new year planned and on getting my classroom ready.  I’ll post pictures when it is finished.  It’s been nice to be back, but after two months of wearing pajamas and reading books all day, it’s exhausting to be productive for hours at a time! It has required happy hours with my sweetheart to help me survive. Last weekend, in one last…

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