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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Summer Essentials

My favorite thing about summer is being outside.  Whether it’s at the beach or just laying by our pool, summer sunshine is what I live for!  So you can imagine my extreme disappointment, frustration, anger, and overall general feeling of a dismal existence that I have right now because every day of my summer vacation so far has been RAINY!  Like, raging winds, torrential downpours, thunder, lighting and all that jazz. So today, in order to take my mind off yet another afternoon of doing absolutely nothing but smooshing my face…

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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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Prepare Yourselves for BIG CHANGES.

Big changes are happening right now in my life, guys.  BIG.  HUGE.  So big, in fact, that I haven’t shared them with you because I wasn’t quite sure how it would all work out.  But I think I’m ready to write about it. I’m switching to a digital calendar. I know!  Insane, right?!  You all know how much I loves me my Erin Condren planner.  I have used one for three years now, and I am in love.  Then, last year, some of the teachers on my hallway started getting…

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How to Pack for the Beach

We are beach regulars.  During the summer, I try to get out there with the kids about once a week.  Though, they are revolting this week and refuse to go.  What sticks in the mud.  Anyway, after a few summers of beaching it every week, I have become somewhat of a packing ninja. The first thing you have to do is realize that sand is going to get everywhere.  EVERYWHERE.  I used to hate the beach.  I grew up on the beach and still didn’t like it that much.  I much…

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Tips for Raising Children Who Love to Read

As a middle school language arts teacher, I see every day the difference between those kids who love to read and those who don’t.  When a child loves to read, school comes easier for them.  That doesn’t necessarily mean they are the smartest in the room, but their reasoning and processing skills are much quicker compared to a child who hardly ever picks up a book.  Reading is a complex process in the mind of a child.  Not only are they visually deciphering images, but they are reading words, comprehending what…

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Christmas Gifts 2014: Three Year Old Girl

My mother is notorious in our family for starting her Christmas shopping way too early.  She starts requesting Christmas lists in August and by October, she’s pretty much finished.  She spends November picking up some odds and ends, and then by December she is officially done.  The Nana Shop is closed.  And every year, we rag on her and rag on her and rag on her about how ridiculous she is being. And then I bought my first Christmas present this year back in August and I realized that thing…

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Things I Love Right Now

1.  Bean’s soccer games.  I love cheering for him on Saturdays at his soccer games.  It has been so fun to watch him grow and learn this season.  He doesn’t seem to have a competitive bone in his body right now, but he has so much fun out there!  This weekend, he was taking a throw in from the sidelines.  He took his time finding just the teammate he wanted to throw it to, getting himself all lined up and in good form, and then he raised the ball over…

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Sensory Boxes, Ages 2-5

A few weekends ago, we went to Atlanta for my nephew, Tillman’s, second birthday. I had been thinking about what to get Tillman for a few months. I knew he was at that funny age where sometimes store-bought toys are the LAST thing they want to play with, so I knew I wanted to get him something that wasn’t fairly traditional. Finally, one night I was pinning kids ideas on pinterest (my kids board is here), and I came across a bunch of sensory boxes and activities that my kids…

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Snack Happy

I don’t know about you guys, but my kids are SNACK HAPPY these days!  Goodness!  That’s all they ever want!  Snack, snack, snack!  If someone asks me for a snack one more time, I might explode! (And, yes, all of those exclamation points were necessary in that paragraph.) At the beginning of the summer, I could tell snacks were going to be an issue. To save myself the battle of “no, you can’t have ice cream at 10:00 in the morning for a snack,” I made a mom-approved snack box.…

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