Wednesday, May 30, 2007

You want games?

Family Fun has a list of 99 summer games and more!


Have you heard of this? Do any of you do it?

I recently read a magazine article (Nick Jr. or Family Fun probably) and it sounded very fun. I like hobbies with minimal expense that the whole family can enjoy and this seems to fit the bill. It seems that you create a rubber stamp for yourself or your family and have a journal for stamping in. People hide letterboxes with their stamp and journal in places like national and local parks and leave clues for finding it. When you find the box, you stamp their book with your stamp and your book with theirs and rehide it. It's modern day treasure hunting, and we've got several hidden near us!

Check out LetterboxingNorthAmerica for more information.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Summer Movies

Don't forget tot take advantage of the free summer movies offer by most large cinemas. It's a fun, cool (air-conditioned!), and usually FREE way to spend a summer morning and catch up on family movies you haven't seen or want to see again. We actually avoid renting new children's movies so that we can see them for free on the big screen first.

Here's the link for regal cinemas:

Home again, home again, jiggety jig!

Mother's Day at the Hershey Gardens

My mother and I

"the uncles", kids, and Pap (my Daddy)

Gramma, Rosie, Great-Gram (Anna), and Anna Kate

Wildwood Lake Sanctuary

The Walnut Street Bridge

The kids loved walking across this pedestrian bridge.

You can see the river through the grate under your feet.

Armed Forces Day at City Island


This blue 66 year old macaw did tricks for Anna Kate

and sat on her head. Her friend is 1 year old Skittles.

Hershey Chocolate Factory and Hersheypark

The kids enjoyed their traditional ride through Hershey's Chocolate World

and their first real trip to the park. Ethan rode four roller coasters.

Middletown Hummelstown Railroad

Throw in a minor fender bender, two very long car trips to and from and lots of great family fun and that about sums it up.

We had a great time at Pappy and Gramma's house!

Friday, May 11, 2007


Dear friends, I'm not sure that I'll have another chance to let you know that this week's absence is going to get worse. :^) The kids and I are headed to PA to stay with my parents until Memorial Day. They don't even have dial-up - I think I may go crazy!

I've been madly trying to catch up everything that hasn't gotten done the past few months and pack too. Please continue to remember Brian in your prayers; he's still in a lot of pain, but the supplements came in yesterday and will hopefully help. I hate leaving him to begin with, and even worse when he's not feeling well. He'll join us Memorial Day weekend, if he can. He's not concerned - he's actually making lists of books to read and movies to watch in all of his spare time!

My parents are heading down to get us today. Please pray for safe travelling in all directions. Love to you all!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Five things to do this weekend

  1. Attend a spring or strawberry festival. There are a few to choose from around here.
  2. Make these strawberry sparkles for a special treat.
  3. Paint a picture of a strawberry with strawberry scented paint.
  4. Plant a sunflower house
  5. Plan an end of school party.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Splashing in the Rain

All of the kids seem to be so much better that I might even pronounce them "well." Brian's the hold-out with still very much pain, and he's caught the kid's eye infection. But I got his antibiotic eye drops today and I've ordered one of the best arsenals I know of - Melaleuca's Vitality pack vitamins and their immunity booster, and more FibroMalic from iHerb. Hopefully we'll have them in by week's end and get back on track.

Due to the passed-around eye infections, I finally barred them from going outside for the past two days (mostly,at least) to get a break from the pollen, and they are driving me nuts with their energy. I was finally ready to take on the strawberry patch or park tomorrow, only to find rain in the forecast for the next few days. It's raining now, and I'm sure that the strawberry patch will be a mud hole, but I'm dying for fresh berries and time is running out. Then I read this article at So inspirational! The children love to run in the rain, their colds are cleared up, and the pollen will be washed away. I'm going to get out the rain coats and let them have fun and maybe if it's not raining all day, we'll pick strawberries in the mud too. -But only if I can figure out a way to keep my cleaned van clean.

Back to This was my first visit, but it looks like a wonderful site. The NWF tends to be a liberal organization, but their children's publications (Animal Baby, Your Big Backyard, Ranger Rick) are wonderful and this new site was launched for, in their own words:

"The National Wildlife Federation recommends that parents give their kids a "Green Hour" every day, a time for unstructured play and interaction with the natural world. This can take place in a garden, a backyard, the park down the street, or any place that provides safe and accessible green spaces where children can learn and play.

To give parents and caregivers the information, tools, and inspiration to get their kids -- and themselves -- outside, NWF has created GREENHOUR.ORG, a website rich in family-friendly content and which hosts a supportive virtual community where families can learn, explore, and share their outdoor experiences and backyard adventures. "

A card for you

There is an online card waiting for you at!

Visit the following web address within the next 30 days to view it!

Extra dolls and stuffed animals?

My kids were begging to take dolls and teddy bears outside a few months ago. I don't like those things going outside because they come back in dirty or get left out there and get ruined. But they wanted to play with some of them outside.

I realized that I had some extras I was planning on getting rid of in the attic. We seem to always get so many for Christmas and birthdays and in between. I'm sure you all do the same thing, sorting through and taking out ones that are similar or not played with often. Well, now I let them take dolls and bears, and stuffed pillows like that outside. They pick them up and store them in a cloth laundry bag inside the playhouse on the deck. If they're dirty, I periodically wash them in hot water. If they're hopeless, I can throw them out without feeling badly, because they were headed out anyway.

Now the kids are happy to have dolls and animals to play with outside. And I'm happy that they're not ruining the toys that they sleep with at night.

Childhood games

This was inspired by one of Lindsey's readers asking for "thingless" games for her kids to play, but I'm expanding my list to include simple things that most people have, like chalk, a ball, or a tree. I'll keep adding to it from time to time. Add your favorites too.
  1. The Farmer in the Dell
  2. Freeze tag
  3. Pantomimes - my kids love to play this with us!
  4. Concentration - pat one leg, then the other, then snap each finger in a 1,2,3,4,rhythm. Then begin the game by assigning a number to each player. as the first person snaps she says her number (1), then another person's number (3) in her rhythym. Play continues without breaking the beat by missing your number or not saying someone else's. Whoever breaks the rhythm is out. Last kid snapping wins.
  5. Hand clapping games like "Oh Playmate, Come out and Play With Me" and "Hot Cross Buns" and "A Sailor Went to Sea, Sea, Sea"
  6. Kick the can
  7. Four square
  8. Jacks - we'd get brushburns on the side of our hands from playimg on the sidewalk
  9. Hopscotch
  10. Climbing trees
  11. Catching lightning bugs
  12. Blowing bubbles
  13. Ball tag

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


That's all, folks! School is officially out around here.

Crayola Outdoor Art Contest

Submit a photo of your child's outdoor art. Eight winners will be selected to win a set of Crayola Outdoor products. More details here.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

May Day

We had great fun delivering May baskets to our neighbors today. I had to drop off paperwork at the doctors for Brian's handicap sign, so we ducked into Walmart and picked up carnations. Dawn has this very simple idea of making paper doilies into cones sealed with a flower sticker, and so - finally - I got to make may baskets (sort of , at least). I've wanted to do this my whole life! I just think of it too late and never get the baskets made. This time, thanks to our killer frost earlier this month, I had a great basket idea, but no flowers! All that's blooming are about three jasmine blossoms, two wisteria on a new vine, and a few purple blossoms on some ivy-like plant that takes over the rosebed. And lots of white clover, of course. But the magnolia is budded and I saw one opening way at the top (my tree is huge, folks) the other day.

Totally tangent to the may day idea: I love this song - Buddy Jewel's "Sweet Southern Comfort". I had to get jasmine to go with my magnolia when I heard this song.

Misty sunrise in my hometown,
Rows of cotton bout knee high,
Mrs. Baker down the dirt road,
Still got clothes out on the line,

Erwin Nichols there with Judge Lee,
Playin checkers at the gin,
When I dream about the southland,
This is where it all begins

From Carolina down to Georgia,
Smell the jasmine and magnollia,
Sleepy Sweet home Alabama,
Roll tide roll,
Muddy water,Misssissippi,
Blessed Graceland whispers to me,
Carry on, Carry on,
Sweet Southern Comfort carry on,

Catchin catfish on the river,
Chasin fireflies by the creek,
Kissin Debbie Williams sister,
On the porch Homecommin week,

With rusty cars and weeping willows,
Keepin watch out in the yard,
Just a snapshot of downhome Dixie,
Could be anywhere you are,

In Carolina or in Georgia,
Open arms are waitin for ya,
Louisianna yellow rose of San Antone,
Arkansas, Mississippi,
Old man river whispers to me,
Carry on, Carry on,
Sweet Southern Comfort carry on,

As I sit here I'm surrounded,
By these priceless memories,
I don't have to think about it,
There's no place I'd rather be,

In Carolina or in Georgia,
Smell the jasmine and magnollia,
Sleepy Sweet home Alabama,
Roll tide roll,
Muddy water, Misssissippi,
Blessed Graceland whispers to me,
Carry on, Carry on,
Sweet Southern Comfort,
Carry on, Carry on,
Sweet Southern Comfort carry on

Anna Kate's Four Year Pictures

Last weekend, Anna Kate and I snuck out of the sick house and went to the art festival downtown to catch some ballet. We then enjoyed an ice cream cone and she was being so photogenic that I decided to try for some more formal shots.