By TheAngelForever | June 5, 2013
June is a special month for magical Walt Disney World memories in my life. TechyDad and I were married in June twelve years ago. Not only did we have a Mickey and Minnie Mouse on our bridal table, we went to Walt Disney World for our honeymoon. For over a week, I introduced TechyDad to the wonder of Walt Disney World since he had never been before. We went on several behind the scene tours, ate amazing meals, and explored Animal Kingdom for the first time as a married couple. So I take you back to some photos of our honeymoon. I do wish we had more photos of us, but sadly it was before PhotoPass.
Be sure to stop by Focused on the Magic by clicking on the button above to join in the Disney magic this week.
By TheAngelForever | June 4, 2013
As a child, I loved going to the library with my neighborhood friends to take out books to read. This was the time when I could read what I wanted, when I wanted, and relax. There was a summer reading program, but to say that it has grown up over the years would be an understatement. Last year, the New York State Libraries told elementary aged children to Dream Big. This year, the theme is Dig into Reading and we saw a preview of this at the Book Festival that we went to in April.
Like last year, Summer Reading NYS has made a new video to share the new theme.
I know that the boys and I will be spending a lot of time reading and going to different events at various local libraries. We have come to really enjoy these special times together each summer.
To get more information about the program, head to the Summer Reading at New York Libraries page to catch all of the latest news and locate your library. If you are not in New York State, look around your community to see if your libraries participate in something. My guess is they exist and would be something worth investigating.
Do you or your children participate in a summer reading program? I would love to know about your experience. As always, Tuesday Tales is all about sharing our love of books. Please let me know what you have read recently. Be sure to link up to your book posts in the comments below. Include something you read on your own, with a child, or someone else.
By TheAngelForever | June 3, 2013
It should not be a surprise that I love to knit, crochet, and craft in general. I have all of my life really and it appears that my youngest kiddo is the same. If given an option of playing a board game or making a craft, JSL would likely select the craft ninety percent of the time.
When we asked JSL if he wanted to have a birthday party and invite some of his friends from school he said yes. Then, we had to brainstorm about places to have the party. One weekend afternoon, we happened to be at Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts store picking up some fabric. They had some tables set up in front for classes. I happened to ask if they did birthday parties. Yes, they did and I was told to call back Monday to talk with the person that coordinates them to get more information and availability.
This is not a sponsored post, we paid for the party completely on our own. I am sharing this to let others know about the wonderful experience we had. To make a long story short, we booked a party at our local Jo-Ann store and it was on June 1. When I booked it, Alex wanted to know what my son liked. I noted he wanted to do something with pirates (again) and that he loves to paint. As I sat in the party room talking about the event, she quickly came up with two crafts for the kindergarten set to make during the two hour party. I would simply need to tell her final numbers closer to the party, bring any decorations, and bake cupcakes and not decorate them. Another fun item, they gave me free postcard invitations to hand out to the kids.
We arrived for the party and the first craft was already set up. Each spot at the table had a small wooden treasure chest waiting for the kids to paint. While everything was getting set up, I worked on the snack/goodie table making the theme pretty obvious. As soon as the kids arrived, Alex and another woman (also named Alex) got started giving the kids directions and putting paint onto their paper plates to begin.
TechyDad and I were beyond impressed with the variety of paints. If a color was running out, they got more and made sure the kids were happy. The two women were beyond patient with the kids and always helped them when they asked for something. When JSL wanted to write something on top of his treasure chest, Alex got a permanent marker and helped him to write on it where the paint dried.
While the treasure chests were drying, it was time to make some jewels and doubloons to put inside them. The kids would be using Crayola Model Magic. To make it sparkle and look more like pearls, gold, emeralds, sapphires, and rubies – Alex had the kids mix in some glitter. This worked beautifully. The kids worked for quite some time making their items to take home.
Next, it was time to create some cupcake memories. Each of the kids was given a cupcake that needed to be decorated. They were allowed to ask for any color frosting that was available. They had a lot of colors in regular frosting, plus a bunch of fun glitter gels. Then once the kids had put on their frosting and gels, they were able to pile on some fun sprinkle varieties.
JSL continues to talk about his party and already wants to plan for next year back at Jo-Ann. As a parent, I loved the ease of the planning and the interactive nature of everyone that works in our store. A huge thank you again to Alex and everyone else at our local store for making my son’s pirate dreams come true.
If you are interested in learning more about the Make it a Party at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store, you can check out the information here. As I noted earlier, we paid for our party and felt it was a wonderful deal. The link is to the information that I found when I decided to schedule our party.
By TheAngelForever | May 31, 2013
Visiting museums with my family is something I can vividly remember as a child. I can still recall the first time I went to a genuine science museum in Boston. The Museum of Science quickly became a favorite. I went there numerous times with school, Girl Scouts, my family, and then as a teacher.
My boys have been to a several science museums over the years. For some reason, we had never made it to what used to be called the Schenectady Museum and Planetarium. Over Memorial Day weekend, we fixed this and went to visit what is now called miSci, Museum of Innovation and Science, to check it out with Nana, Papa, Uncle I, Cousin S, and Cousin B.
I had not been to this museum in more years than I would like to admit. The minute we walked in, I knew it was something special. All four of the kids were immediately drawn to the different items on display. Watching my two boys, niece, and nephew explore was priceless. Although a lot may have been lost on my three year old nephew, he had a blast trying things and running from exhibit to exhibit. The two kindergarten kids, and especially my fourth grader, were actively engaged and learning as they explored.
We all spent a lot of time checking out Seeing which was a hands-on area from San Francisco’s Exploratorium. This was the last weekend of the exhibit that had an amazing array of optical illusions. As someone that loved to teach this in the classroom, it was fun to see how they shared different principals in a fun way for young learners.
There is a lot more that I want to share, but I will save that for another day. What I will mention is that we are now members of the Museum of Innovation and Science in Schenectady. We will be going back many more times over the next year as they add in new exhibits like Dinosaurs! (opens June 29) and Notion of Motion (opens June 15).
In addition to this, as a member of miSci, we have a reciprocal membership in participating Empire State Museums and free admission to several hundred participating museums and science centers with the ASTC Travel Passport Program. This will allow us to bring the boys to the Boston Museum of Science and other destinations this summer for small trips. If you live near one of the participating museums, I would love to know other locations that we need to pencil into our travels.
By TheAngelForever | May 30, 2013
For years, I have joked that my theme song should be Who Needs Sleep by Barenaked Ladies. I could go to sleep early, but the evening is often when I can get more writing done and spend time with TechyDad while the boys are sleeping. As I work on a more healthy lifestyle, I knew that better eating, exercise, and losing weight were not my only goals. Even when I sleep, I feel tired. Clearly, something is going on with my sleep patterns and I can not simply blame it on the little guy waking up with nightmares and invading our bed.
Disclosure: As a member of the Verizon Lifestyle Bloggers, I recently received an UP by Jawbone (link to information page). The UP allows me to track my activity, sleep, and other items with the app that go along with the device. There was no other compensation. I am a long time Verizon customer, and all opinions are my own.
Every morning, I simply plug my UP band into my smartphone (completely compatible with my RAZR HD) and allow it to synch up. I can check the battery life of the UP and make sure I do not need to take a short time to recharge it.
Once the band is finished, I can remove it from my phone and read up on my sleep patterns from the night and activity from the previous day. The following graph is based on 10,000 steps (about 5 miles) and 8 hours of sleep. Under the graph is a pop up message that you can also check for inspiration and information.
76% seems like I am doing pretty well in the sleep category. Of course, you can look closer at the sleep information provided by the UP. When you see this, especially several days of it, it helps to explain why I always feel like I need more coffee to stay awake.
If you are tired, you are less likely to make other healthy choices. When your body needs sleep, you need to give it sleep. I need sleep and thanks to the UP by Jawbone I am going to work toward this one step at a time so I can feel better. My goal is to no longer feel that this song is my theme:
How are your sleep patterns? Do you know how much sleep you are really getting each night? I know I was very surprised to see multiple wake ups and very little sleep sleep most of the time. With this information, I am ready to work on improving my sleep along with my general health.
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