Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My baby can read!

I'm writing this today as a Mommy of a first and third grader but I can remember being a Mommy of a 1 year old and a 3 year old.  Actually, I have forgotten a lot as I was very sleep deprived during that time and my brain cells were stolen by my little men.  That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

Anyway, the one thing that I do remember doing with my kids in between diapers, naps, cleaning, cooking and drinking LOADS of coffee is reading to my boys.  We read every night, every day....all the time.  Books were toys, books were for comfort, books were for the car, books were for the potty (I know, I know), books were for anytime.  I bought new books, used books, old books, not-so-great books, classics and any books that I could get my hands on.  Santa, the Easter Bunny, Grandma and Nana all brought books and we gave lots of books as presents.  And the library was our friend!  The librarians know my kids.  They are like old friends to them.  Did you know the library is FREE, too?!  You know I love that!

What I am getting at is that we used books as a fun thing and even though I don't read nearly as much as I should or would like, my kids sure do.  I'm not bragging (maybe I am) but my third grader reads at a 7th grade level and my first grader reads at a 5th grade level.  I'm a mommy that questions the choices I have made in regards to my children and wonder daily if they will be in therapy later in life because of some of those choices.  But, I actually took a deep breath yesterday after a meeting with one of my son's teachers and for just a second was proud of myself (and my boy, too!) and the gift of reading that I have given to my children.   Believe me when I say that this does NOT mean that my children won't still be in therapy discussing their mother later in life! 

A couple moms have asked me about my kids reading ability and what did I do to get them to this.  I never used flash cards or the videos "Your Baby Can Read".  I read to my children and went to the library every week to take out ALL the books they wanted or for storytime.  I made books accessible to them and I made books a fun thing and a bedtime ritual and never a punishment.  Now that they aren't babies being read to anymore, I help them find books that they love to read and about topics that interest them.  That's it. 

Ok, just wanted to share this one piece of advice to those of you with little ones or big ones.  It's not too late to develop a love for reading.  That's all I got.  I can't advise you on anything else as my boys are still "gentlemen in training" and so not perfect!  Neither am I so I guess that's where they get it from!  : )  Now, back to life and mom guilt and questioning EVERYTHING else that I do with my children.  Maybe I should go to therapy!

Anyway, go read!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Don't miss the last night of the Lake Mary Ghost Tour!

A bunch of us headed out last night to our back yard of Lake Mary for a reasonably priced ($14 for a family of four) Ghost Tour put on by the Lake Mary Historical Museum.  It was dark, there were ghosts and even a cookie at the end! 

The Ghost Tour was a tour of the downtown area of Lake Mary, near City Hall, to the cemetary and back.  It consisted of walking to different ghost stations with a tour and sometimes getting a little spooked.  Ok, the adults weren't spooked but the kids were.  Anyway, at each station you were told different stories about people who were from Lake Mary and their lives and how they became ghosts.  There was one station about zombies that had nothing to do with Lake Mary or ghosts but the boys loved it. 

This tour is appropriate for ages 7 and up.  I heard a rumor that it made a couple young 6 year olds from another group cry so if you child is extremly sensitive about scary things then you might want to pass.  The area that caused the tears was the police station and without giving anything away, it's the part of the tour where you go inside the station where things might "happen" while you are there.   Even though this made a few little ones cry, this was definitely a favorite part of the tour for our group, aside from the zombies!  >: o

The ghost tour is only happening one more night, October 23 so get on the phone and call or shoot an email to make reservations now.

Here is the information that I received from the Lake Mary Museum. 

"The Lake Mary Historical Museum’s Annual Ghost Walk is filling up fast!  Make your reservation soon, so you don’t miss your chance to meet some of Lake Mary’s ghosts!  Tours leave the museum every 10 minutes beginning at 7PM for a trip to the cemetery and back.  The Ghost Walk is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 16 and Saturday, Oct. 23 only.  Closed to shoes are strongly recommended
The cost is only $5 for adults and $2 for children under 18.  To make your reservation or for more information, call 407-585-1481 or email  The museum is located at 158 N. Country Club Rd in Lake Mary."

Friday, October 14, 2011

My baby is nine years old....don't let him hear that I called him my baby!

So, my first born turned 9 and I am shocked and stunned and amazed. 

Everyone always says "they grow up so quick", "before you know it they are off to college" and things like that.  I would always look at my little babies and try and understand but time always seemed to go slowly as I watched each milestone, sitting up, crawling, walking, etc.  Now, I have a 9 year old little man who wants to be treated like the big kid that he is.  It's hard.  Extra hard when you show up at school to surprise him with a special lunch with his Mom and he walks toward you with a look of horror on his face.  WHAT happened to my little baby who wouldn't leave my side and told me that "I never want a wife when I get older, just you mommy!!!"?  Ok, so I am getting over it slowly that he is growing up.  I will be ok.  This is what they are supposed to do.  This is what all that hard work is for.  One day they grow up and feel good about going out on their own.  They are supposed to get older, independent and closer to you in height.  It's ok.  I'm ok.  I will be ok.

ANYWAY, so it was birthday party time last week.  I love parties and I can't have a small party.  BUT I have never had to plan a big "BIG kid" party.  It's a different type of party.  It should be "cool" and fun and ALWAYS something active.  Again, if you know me and my boys then you know it's always about GO GO GO.....and always "the more the merrier"!

So, my son wanted a pool party and wanted to invite everyone so we used our local pool and we did what he asked....pool party.  You don't have to do a lot for a pool party as the kids are swimming and having fun on their own so I didn't plan a lot of games.  I must interject here and say that my Mom is awesome at planning kids parties and kids games and knowing what kids like to do.  She gave that gift to me and I just realized it at this last party.  Thanks Mom! 

My Mommy doing what she loves...reading a book and sitting under her umbrella at the beach!
 Anyway, I had two organized games and even got to borrow the lifeguards bullhorn.  The first game was a boogie board relay race.  I had two teams and each team had about 6 two person racers.  The way it worked was two kids hung onto the board and kicked back and forth across the pool and the first team to have all their people race and back to the wall won.  I grouped the kids boys and girls so that there wasn't any "I like him", "I don't like her", "she's too slow", "he's too short", etc.  I think it worked out well and the kids really got into cheering their team on.  And the kids that weren't strong swimmers didn't have to feel uncomfortable about swimming because they had a teamate and they were hanging onto a board.  And I gave out prizes of water guns to the winning team.

The second game was a money dive.   My husband and I got about $30 in change, mostly pennnies but there was a little silver in there, too.  I spray painted 12 pennies in red paint and had "pool" related prizes for those 12 pennies.    We spread the money all over the shallow end and then gave the kids zip lock bags and let them lose.  It was lots of fun and the kids were allowed to keep the money they found.  We didn't have any injuries just one person who got out of the water crying so I guess it went well. 

I see Aggie from
Candy, Candy, Candy!
The last thing about the party that my son loved was the Candy Bar.  It was a bar set up with all his favorite candy.  Each child came up to the bar and filled their goody bags (chinese takout containers) with candy. 

In addition to the fun size candy bars, I made personalized candy bars with my son's pictures on them and some cute words.  They were so easy to make and everyone just loved them.....particulary my son. 
Who wouldn't want a candy bar that was named after you?  I made enough so each child could have one.  Here is the site to download the template.  Candy Bar Wrapper FREE Template  And I made sure the candy bar happened when it was time to go home so those sugar crazed kids went home to their parents!!!  : )

Anyway, my son said it was the best birthday ever and one of his classmates even told me that it was the "best day of their life".  Whoa.  Success!

I always prided myself on planning my little boys parties.  But I guess I can now say that I am good at planning big kids parties, too!  Happy Birthday to my lovey Christian!  Don't tell him I said that!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Student Daytime Shows

Have you ever been to the Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center

If not, you are missing out.  The WDPAC is located in downtown historic Sanford and literally in my backyard!    I first visited this theatre when my youngest was three.  I was looking for a show for Grandma and him to go to and stumbled upon their Student Daytime Program.  It was a play done by a traveling group and was a combination of a couple fairytales with a modern twist.  It was AWESOME and my normally loud and squirmy little boy was silent, aside from laughing, and glued to his seat.   There is plenty of interaction with the actors and the audience and being quiet is NOT a requirement.  They must know me and my boys!  Anyway, I didn't even know my son liked watching anything other than PBS.  He LOVED the show and we now make sure to hit ALL the local kids musicals and plays.  Of course, I see Broadway in his future.  Until then, we will continue to visit our local community theatre, particulary the WDPAC!

So, check out the two upcoming shows.  If you child is school age, feel free to share with his teacher as this makes a great field trip and close to home.  If they are preschool age, grab their little hands and come out to one of the productions.  I promise you won't be dissapointed (unless you forget to make reservations and they sell out!)  Each ticket is just $5! 

PS.  These shows sell out early and are first come, first serve. 

The Lady of Bullyburg

Thursday, November 3, 2011
10:00AM & 12:00PM

From the National Theatre in Washington, DC to hundreds of schools across America, our anti-bullying fairytale is back! Join Lady Kindness as she works to save her town from a visiting bully. With help from the audience and a friendly merchant, she discovers the strength within herself to stand up to the bully, learning a variety of useful tools in the process. This interactive production allows audience volunteers the opportunity to join Lady Kindness on stage and work with her to transform the bully into a friend! The perfect kick-off to the school year, this production includes themes of respect, compassion, kindness and responsibility! (Grades K-5)

Aesop’s Fables
Thursday, January 26, 2012
10:00AM & 12:00PM

These 2600-year-old gems have never been as entertaining as this! Join our Elizabethan actors as they stumble upon your assembled crowd and decide to put on a showcase of Aesop’s greatest hits! The result is a fast-paced, high-energy production that has left audiences shouting for more! From "The Fox and the Grapes" and "The Tortoise and the Hare" to "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" and "The Lion and the Mouse," these animal-filled adventures focus on honesty, compassion, hard work and kindness. (Grades K-5)

All Tickets ONLY $5.00

Call 407-321-8111 to reserve your seats today!

This program is sponsored in part by Orange County Public Schools, Seminole County Public Schools
and United Arts of Central FL.
Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center
 201-203 S. Magnolia Ave, Sanford, FL

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bowling is old school fun!

Hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day.  I know I did spending the weekend with my best boys at my favorite beach, Clearwater Beach, Florida.  We spent our Sunday night swimming in the gulf watching the sunset.  Doesn't get any better than that!

So, back to bowling.... 

You say bowling is boring!

You say it's so old school!

It is old school...supposedly there is proof that bowling was invented in ancient Egypt.  Cool!  Anyway, bowling has been around forever but that is what makes it so endearing.  It always takes me back to when I was little.  Let's be honest.  Some of the bowling alleys out there haven't changed much since then!  Then you say bowling is boring.  It isn't!  I have never heard one of my boys say "I'm bored" while he were throwing a bowling ball and smashing down pins.  It's so much fun.  We always have a "ball".    Ha!  We have had bowling play dates, bowling birthday parties, fun bowling "Date Nights" and "nothing to do so let's bowl" days. My one friend has a "Annual Family Bowling Championship" each year over Fourth of July weekend.  I love that!  And in Florida when the weather is so unpredictable, the weather is one thing you don't have to worry about when you go bowling.  Bowling is great for all ages ( don't forget to put up those bumpers!) and skill level.  I don't know if I can say bowling is educational in anyway but it is a great family activity!

All summer long there was free bowling for my kids through Kids Bowl Free.  This was a national deal for kids where 2 games of bowiling and their shoe rental were free every day over the summer.  We went loads of times!  Thanks Kids Bowl Free!  Never really figured out who was sponsoring that or who was behind it.  They need better PR!  And we even ate the bowling alley french fries and nachos. Again, old school junk food is so not good for you but sometimes you just gotta do it.

Anyway, in this post I am giving a "shout out" to my local bowling alley, Sanford Airport Lanes, located at 190 East Airport Blvd,Sanford, FL , 407-324-2129  Sanford Bowling Alley.  This location is so easy to get to right off of 417.  It's an older bowling alley inside so it's got the old school feel for sure!

If you can't view this picture, click on the right side of this page to view a larger format!

There is a bunch of things going on at my local bowling alley.  My favorite is the Sunday $1 games.  My kids love Sundays and have had some great fun bowling on a Sunday morning.  Mom loves the low cost.!  When I was at the bowling alley a couple of weeks ago I noticed a coupon the was laying out on the counter.  The coupon was for a "Back to Bowling" event but at the bottom of the flyer there is a coupon for free games for up to four people!   It doesn't expire until December 31, 2011!
If you can't view this coupon,, click on the right side of this page to view a larger format! 

Print out these deals, grab the kids or grab your date and go spend a fun day/night out.If the Sanford Airport Lanes isn't local for you, call your local bowling alley and find out what their "deals" are for you.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Lowe's FREE Classes get an A+

I posted about Lowe's before but I had to re-post.  Consider this your "up-to-the-minute" report on today's Lowe's Build and Grow class.  My fabulous husband took the boys to the event this morning at Lowe's so I could catch up on my rest.  You know that we celebrated our anniversary last night!  I ended up not getting a swift kick in the butt as my gift even though I was pretty sure that was what was in store for me.  Instead I got a romantic dinner out and flowers.  Again, he is so fabulous for putting up with me for 11 years!

So back to the Lowe's event.  I just received pictures of the boys via phone from my hubby.  He said the event was well run and the kids had so much fun.  I have to say that I wasn't sure how good this event would be as we have never participated in any of the Lowe's kids program, only Home Depot.  Today's event started at 10 am and lasted about 45 minutes. The boys built school lockers and were even given locks with keys (their favorite part) for the lockers.  The lockers were wood kits that they "built" and then they could decorate them.  They used hammers and nails to assemble the lockers, no glue here!  Overall, the boys gave the event a "thumbs up"!

There are two future events scheduled at Lowe's.  The first class is on September 10th, at 10 am.  Kids will be building wooden police cars.  The second scheduled class is scheduled for September 24th, at 10 AM.  Your kids will be building wooden fire trucks.  If your kids are anything like mine, you need to sign up for both of these!  Classes do fill up, so register today

Click here to sign up!

Here are details of Lowe's Build & Grow classes:

Lowe's programs are reccommend for kids first grade through fifth grade. Lowe's projects are always made of wood. You MUST register online in order to sign up for the class. Don't wait as the classes do fill up! Also, the first 50 kids to register and be present at the store at 10am will receive a kit, aprons and goggles, in addition to all the materials to make their project.  AND it's FREE!

Remember that your child must be at least 5 years of age and accompanied by an adult who can assist with them with their project.