Category Archives: Kids

Little Travelers

If you have talked to me for any length of time, the following subject usually comes up because it’s another one of my constant “going against the grain” soap boxes — MOVIES/TV.  Do y’all agree movies now aren’t like they use to be?? (or that’s what I always think until the other night when Goonies was on and I watched a little bit of it and remembered it was my favorite growing up and now I see it wasn’t that moral either.)

Anyway, the ratings just seem different.  G movies now seem PG.  And PG-13 seems R.  I’ve chalked a lot of it up to my new parent/adult perspective on things, but coupled with the fact that my kids seem really sensitive to scary loud things (wow that describes me)  I try to be careful and conservative.  There are a few sources I go to to find out whether a movie is good for our family or not.  I LOVE this website:

This is another one that’s good (lists appropriate ages for books as well):

I am constantly searching for videos, movies, dvd’s that are content approved, age appropriate and entertaining– tough combo.  We dont watch much TV because, so far, there’s been no need for exposure to unnecessary commercials and, well– all the other stuff….  I am, however, fully aware that this will change over time, as the kids get older, but for now my philosophy has been “you can always open the door wider but you can never close it once it’s open”  or something like that….

I am writing this entire post, mainly to tell to tell you about the following.  My kids were in a wedding a few years ago and after it was over the mother of the bride sent a DVD to us in the mail as a fun surprise for the kids.  I am attaching a link here so you can read about these adorable, educational, captivating, inspiring little movies.  We love them!  All the kids are mesmerised by them.


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First day of school (two weeks ago)

Well, we are finally to the point I have some time to sit at my computer for an update- not really but I’m carving it out anyway.  Using the word ‘settled’ would be slightly more definitive than I am ready to say but we are getting closer every day … and might I say truly loving it!

These are photos of the kids first day back to school. I’ll start there because I have in my mind to do a lengthy post of the entire process of traveling and moving, which might prove to be therapeutic for me and a bit of simple documentation, since I am pretty sure I have a built-in mechanism that is going to block it out forever just for the sheer preservation of my sanity and the extension of my life expectancy.

4th grader!  Wow- she has her own locker and dresses out for P.E.  I’ve told some of you this, but the other day she asked me if she was a “tween”.  I immediately googled the word to find her an answer and discovered that a “tween” is between the ages of 9-12 so it’s official– we have a tween!  A blurry tween– why cant I focus on the subject? ugh– might be the other three talking and goofing off behind me– who knows.

2nd grader!  If I could stop time she’d never be a tween.

Jr. Kinder.  Nothing to say here except– GOOF BALL- with a fetish for silly bands.

3 yr old – two days a week and melt in your mouth adorableness. Definitely misses his brother when he’s at school.  He’s not sure what to do home alone with me… and truth be told, I’m not sure what to do home alone with him.

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They Gawn

to summer camp that is.  Left the house at 7:30am – drove the girls to camp five hours away. Got there at 1:30, made up their bunks, watched the swim test and drove home again.  Boys are going to our neighborhood camp each day….. soooo can you see the smile on my face through your monitor?   I am trying to suppress it…..  but it keeps coming back….  My list of stuff to do is long and undistinguished.  I may just be silent the entire week too.  Ahhhhhhhhhh………..

The whole situation is such a bitter sweet.  Have you ever heard of that book called something like, “Why do you love them so much when they are asleep?”  That is not the accurate title but it’s what I always think of when they leave for any extended time.  The thought goes something like this:  I thought I wanted them to go, but now it’s so quiet and I’m not sure what to do with myself.  Why don’t I feel this way when they are here?  Then I try to recall the feeling later when I am with them again so I won’t forget how much I wanted to be with them when they were gone.  Does that even make sense?

I’m sure time will fly.  Saturday will be here before you know it because that’s how it goes.  When they are gone, a week flies by.  But a summer week home, why does that seem to drag?

There really is lots to say about the whole experience of driving and dropping off kids to camp.  Though as a camper, I must say, I NEVER thought about any of it.  Here are some observations:

1.  I am morally opposed to eating at a gas station for lunch (and dinner).

2. 11 hours is a really long time to drive in one day- for one week.  Hope it’s worth it.

3. The amount of preparation that goes into a kid being away for a week is obscene.  10 underwear.  10 socks.  Label everything.  And camp nowadays — well it ain’t like it used to be.  Now there are theme nights- each kid has to have a different costume each night!!  That is 10 costumes for me to come up with and basically I don’t want to do it.  I told myself not to stress about it- just keep it old school and find stuff out of the dress up box that fits with whatever the theme is.  But this year one night is a 20’s costume and oddly enough we didn’t have any flapper dresses laying around.  So  I bought flapper dresses from a costume store- now you know what they are going to be for Halloween.  I told the girls they would just have to forgive me because they were born to me at a time when I realized I have a difficult time buying costumes for camp when there are so many starving and homeless children in the world.   I know I’m a killjoy.

4. The other parents dropping off are as bewildered as you and thinking:  Did I forget anything they need?  I kinda want to hide in their gigantic duffle bag and stay  here.  It is really hot at camp-how did I do this?   Are they going to make friends?  Are they going to fit in?  Will they be home sick?  The college kids that run this place seem really young.  But I thought I was so old when I was that age, so I guess it’s ok.

Hoping this is blurry because I was zooming from about 100 yards away. More likely the reason is I am not a good photog.


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Not So Old Fashioned Lemonade (Stand)

I find myself constantly on a soap box about ‘kids this day and age’.  And here’s why:

They are charging $.75 a cup for Chrystal Light!  (which can in no way be referring to P Diddy and his posse’s drink of choice I’m sure since that’s spelled Cristal– please notice the spelling on the poster board– which by the way probably cost more than their total profits and the words are written so small no passer by or walker by could read them) But talk about appreciating in value.  Man!

Come to think of it nothing for sale for kids can be bought for less than $.75 so I guess it makes sense.

You know I am loving the creativity of this set up.   Pink Ice bucket and all.  Mostly because it was all done by them.  They wouldn’t share with their dehydrated brothers for fear it would cut into their profits (and i’m here to tell you it would– we already know one pitcher of chrystal light serves five thirsty kids once).  Wouldn’t you know right after that the whole pitcher spilled– at least that’s what they told me so they could get a refill.  Maybe they drank it all since it was only 101 degrees out there….

So you wanna know what the one in orange is doing huh?  Well that’s his signature booty shake.  The one he did up and down the soccer field.


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Have you ever….

blown bubbles inside the house and let your kids jump around and try to pop them while trying not to get upset that the floor is getting sticky?  Let each kid have a hand at the blowing.  Maybe even let em stand on the counter so the bubbles come from up high.  Oh do try it….  or outside if you prefer.  But any way you do it bubbles are the bomb any time.  Waiting in long lines at theme parks, party favors, any summer day, at the pool, let your pets jump for them, birthday parties, camp care packages, set out a bucket and try to see how many you can get to land inside, weddings, picnics, turn on music and dance with the bubbles, the list is truly endless….

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Post Vacation Depression

That’s what we usually have.  But this time we’ve renamed it: Post Vacation Exhaustion.  This isn’t the first time we’ve had it.  One time I thought I was going to have to be admitted to the hospital to get IV fluids after a four day trip to Disney.  But what kind of phenomenon is it when you are done with 7 days of “relaxing by the pool” and you are more tired than when you left?  Is this because we are parents? Is this because I purchased the food, prepared, consumed and then cleaned 21 meals in a row (and you know that doesn’t include all the eating we did)?  Is it because the sun, swimming, jet skiing, tubing, knee boarding takes it all out of you?  For the life of me I cannot figure this out. But I do know that I played enough water squirter tag to last me a lifetime.

And another thing I know is that Post Vacation Exhaustion makes you crabby.  That’s probably not beginning to describe Big A and me as we were unloading the car and discussing what needed to be done around the house.  It got ugly….

Highlights of our week:

  • Boys vs. Girls jet ski races at dusk.  Do you know what it is like to get beat by your four year old son?  I had never gone over 25mph on a jet ski in my life but I wasn’t about to let that twerp win so I went 27.  Then 30.  Closed my eyes, 35 then 40!  Avery and Ally were screaming, “dont worry about us mom, just go.”  Ya- that’s easy to do.  All I can picture is us wiping out and one of the three of us never walking again, but no big deal.  We still lost.   Never do I want to see him on a motorcycle.  Big A was real good at modeling  sportsmanship since all night we heard bragging and ha-ha-ing. Nice.
  • Hot tub church.  Oh I’m serious.  This evolved from “home church” when we’ve all been sick and had to stay home on a Sunday morning.  We’ve had “car church”, “creek church”, and now “hot tub church”.  There is no telling where this could go….
  • Going to the local Super Wal-Mart.  Because that is a complete experience in and of itself.
  • Water squirter tag.
  • All five of us attempting to climb on Big A’s shoulders and dive off into the pool (though not at the same time- because that would put us in circus somewhere).
  • Preparing 18 pitchers of crystal light.  Come on that’s gotta be a world record.  What are we, the “Duggers”?  Next, I’ll be forwarding on a tater tot casserole recipe.

If you think I have pictures of any of these events you’d be wrong.  Mostly because I was always too hot, too tired, or too wet to drag my camera along.  But I do have a couple of randoms I can share….

I cannot resist this face.

Are those “spirit hands”?  Definitely required when catching a football.

This gesture has nothing to do with the way Big A is actually feeling….

I’ve never seen anyone try harder or have more fun in my life.


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Land Shark

That’s what this apparatus is called.  Another name for it:  “get your skin torn off by the asphalt”. We have two of them and no two toys in our house get more play.  So while you must buy a bottle of hydrogen peroxide and a box of band-aids to go with it, these have been real fun for us.  You can go up the cul-de-sac and down dozens of times a day, tie a rope to the front and have the neighborhood kid pull you on his ATV, go over the other neighborhood kid’s skateboard ramp at blazing speeds, or just slam into your sibling as hard as you can and see how far they will go.  Have I sold you on it yet?

Check out this gaggle of boys.  I am so glad I cannot hear what they are saying to my 3 and 4 year old.  But it does show that the land shark attracts a crowd…. (and yes mine is the one in pink.)

This is what Alan thinks he is getting for Christmas.  This is our neighbor’s ATV- he is six.  I dont think there is anything Alan talks about more- the neighbor kid and the ATV.  Now we are way past hydrogen peroxide and band-aids….  what’s a mom to do??  (If you can’t tell what the story is with these gloves, one is a ski glove and the other is a john deer kids gardening type glove– I laughed so hard I almost cried– they were trying to make it so legit.)

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