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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Happy Belated to My Grumpy Beloved

We celebrated this hunk’s birthday this past weekend and it only proved my scientific theory that men do get better looking as they get older and that’s why women are moody. *eye roll* We took Chris bowling all afternoon because it was raining and because he is a closet bowler. He loves to bowl – always has. And he’s cute while he does it, so I don’t usually mind. I was kind of bummed because I’m not a GREAT bowler. Actually, I’m really, really awful. And this time, I was…

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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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Sushi, Scavenger Hunts, and Summer Night Shenanigans

This past holiday weekend, Chris was itching for a project.  Originally, I suggested that we paint the kitchen.  This, of course, led to an entire kitchen renovation, which is still ongoing.  More on that good time later… But Saturday night, we needed to make a trip to the hardware store to pick up one little thing for the kitchen project, so we decided to grab dinner at our favorite sushi place first and make a night of it.   We’ve taken the kids here before and they love the chicken teriyaki…

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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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Makin’ Waves and Catchin’ Rays

Our last day in the Keys we rented a pontoon boat for the day. We rented ours from Pontoon George and I have mixed reviews about it. I mean, technically it was a boat that floated. It wasn’t anything fancy or even completely dependable… but it did the job of getting us around the islands. So, if price is your concern, go with Pontoon George – $300 for a full day rental for 7-10 people, and that’s the cheapest deal we found. But if we had to do it again,…

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Snorkeling in John Pennekamp State Park

Hands down, my favorite day in our Keys vacation was the day we went snorkeling. It was so neat to see the kids experience something so new and adventurous. I was a little worried about how they would do, but I was so happy to see them push themselves outside of their (and my own!) comfort zone to try something new. We booked a snorkeling tour through John Pennekamp State Park. It was about $30 a person for a two and a half hour snorkeling tour and it was worth…

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Visiting Key West and Bahai Honda State Park

Our second day in the Keys we headed down to Key West.  We stayed in Key Largo, so a trip down to the very end of the Keys was going to take us a little over two hours by car.  We decided to break up the trip by spending the morning at Bahai Honda State Park. Bahai Honda Beach is one of the ten most beautiful beaches in North America, according to several different polls and it really didn’t disappoint.  It is located on a little peninsula that sticks out…

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Day One: Exploring John Pennekamp State Park

One of my favorite parts of our vacation in the Keys was our time spent in John Pennekamp State Park.  Our rental house was right across Rt. 1 from the entrance to the park, so it was really accessible to us. On the morning of our first full day in Key Largo, we explored a few tourist shops along Rt. 1.  The giant lobster caught our attention first… as giant lobsters are prone to do, I suspect.  We stopped only to take a picture with this big fella, but ended…

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