The Trash Squad

Recently we came up with an idea to go around our town and pick up trash. I know it doesn’t sound like the most amazingly fun thing to do, but actually it’s pretty cool.

Both of the kids really enjoy it, and like to see what they can find. We usually weigh our bags at the end and keep track of the biggest/heaviest/yuckiest items we find.

They created a Facebook page to keep track of what they have been doing and to hopefully encourage others to join in and pick up around their communities, as well as to not liter.

You can check out the Facebook page here with some photos of the kids. They were pretty excited the first time out and received a $2 donation from a random women driving by. She stopped and asked what we were doing, we told her picking up trash, and she said why, we said because we hate seeing the side of the road covered in garbage, then she handed the kids $2 and said thank you. It was sweet and they decided to get some ice cream after all their hard-work.

The kids came up with the name btw, we are working on getting some shirts made for them too.

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Time has flown by, and somehow I’ve completely neglected this blog…

It’s crazy to me that my last post was back in July and Thanksgiving is next week! Ahhh! What happened? I’m not sure, life I guess. I did think about sitting down and writing a post a few times; however, that proved to be easier ‘thought of’ than done.

Anyhow….

Homeschool is going fairly well. It has been somewhat of a roller coaster these last few months. We started off strong, like most homeschoolers, then sort of dwindled unexpectedly. Caden, my nephew, also stopped coming here about a month ago. His mom will be teaching him since she is able to stay at home now. It’s nice to be back to just two kids, but the kids miss playing with him. Luckily, he still goes on field trips with us.

I started a part-time job in August, so that has taken a small toll on our schooling. Mainly, we we actually get things done. It’s not bad, it’s just not consistent each day, so we just do things as we feel like it right now. Although, sometimes (most times) I leave the kids with a small list of things I would like them to accomplish while I’m at work it I have a long shift. It works nicely and gives them something to do other than resort back to their screens.

In September, I started a homeschool Facebook group for taking field trips and to take advantage of some awesome group discounts. We have had two trips so far and both turned out well. I encourage you to find a group of people you really like and plan things with them. I always wanted to do this, but never had the guts, this year changed when I really noticed my kids wanting that extra social interaction and to make some friends who weren’t related to them, so I put my shyness away and went with it. It’s been great for both of them and myself.

My guy also turned 9 in September and we celebrated with a party then a limo to laser tag with his friends.

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Our daughter turned 8, and we also had a party then a party bus to a local skating rink and ice cream. Both parties were a blast and so much fun. Not sure how we will top those in the coming years!

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I’ll be posting some of the trips we have gone on over the last few months in upcoming posts this week. Hopefully, I can start posting weekly again! Fingers crossed. There is something soothing about sitting down at the computer in the morning, alone, just typing away.

A neat site we just discovered: DIY Challenges for Kids

I stumbled across this awesome site this a few weeks ago (DIY.ORG) and the kids have really enjoyed using it so far.

Basically, you create a username and then you find challenges you would like to complete. Once you complete the challenge you post and photo or video, and receive this online badge once you get 3 in a certain category.

Turner’s username is BOYDITTMER and Lilly is GIRLDITTMER.

They have posted a few already. And also got their 12 year old cousin having fun with it also.

I’m mainly excited because I think it will open doors for them and get them interested in different hobbies. It’s aimed at kids 7 and up.

Check it out!

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Oh, they also offer camps, which is basically having a mentor guide you through challenges. Turner is interested in the Survival Camp, but we haven’t sign up for anything yet. Right now they are having fun on their own, so I don’t want to spend the extra money for the camps, which are around $40.

Lilly’s First YouTube Video

Lilly loves watching other girls her age on YouTube, especially makeup tutorials. Yesterday she asked if she could try making one, of course I replied excitedly, “Sure!”

We edited a few spots out she didn’t want, but she was pretty much in charge of the entire process. She is excited about how it turned out and to make more in the future (actually she wanted to do another one as soon as this one was finished, but I said, “One per day is good.”

Pink Lemonade anyone?

Our city has a HUGE garage sell every year. People come from all over and there are generally 300-400 sells. Yes, it’s crazy… they even close school for this. (It’s on a Friday and Saturday).

Anyway, my daughter wanted to sell pink lemonade, so she made her sign while her dad made the lemonade.

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She did really well, and sold out, but hey it was only a quarter a cup. She kept the dollar bills to save for a doll she is wanting and put the change ($4 I think) in one of those children hospital drop off boxes (for some reason, she has an obsession over those).

Meanwhile, her brother tried to sell his Hot Wheels for a quarter a piece also… he sold a few this way, but I had another idea. I told him to put 5 cars in a baggie and sell them for $1. It worked like magic, he made $27 and still has so many cars you wouldn’t even know he got rid of that many. He bought a new video game and then saved the rest.

They had fun being entrepreneurs for the day! Great experience for them.

 

Halloween Countdown with Movies

Our kids are in 1st and 2nd grade and this year we decided to create our own Halloween countdown with movies and activities.

This covers 10 days out, I know it’s a little long, but you can always shorten it for your family.

 

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Movie and Activity List:

Day 1: The Nightmare Before Christmas  Activity: Making Ghosts! 

Day 2: Monster House  Activity: Popsicle Stick Haunted House

Day 3: The Corpse Bride   Activity: BOO sign

Day 4: Hotel Transylvania   Activity: Dancing Worms

Day 5: Coraline   Activity: Candy Corn Catapults!

Day 6: ParaNorman   Activity: Marshmallow Zombies

Day 7: Double Double Toll and Trouble   Activity: Halloween Pictionary (We created our own cards with only Halloween themed words)

Day 8: Frankenweenie  Activity: Carve Pumpkins!

Day 9: Casper   Activity: Make popcorn balls!  

Day 10: Hocus Pocus   Activity: Trick or Treating!

Just Keep Swimming

My daughter, Lilly, was 3 when she almost drowned. There were 3 adults and 5 kids swimming that day, all the kids had lifejackets on. It was an unground pool, going to 9 ft deep.

My daughter decided she wanted to get out and not swim anymore. So I took her lifejacket off.

I thought she was going to sit and get a snack, but then a few minutes later, someone said, “Where’s Lilly?”

We all started looking around and then my sister said something along the lines of, “Oh my gosh, she’s in the water!” She had spotted her in 6 feet of water, sinking lower and lower.

She swam over to her and grabbed her. I’m not sure how long she was really under, I think only a few seconds. She coughed up a little water, but seemed fine overall.

I was a mess and couldn’t believe I had let something like that happen when we were all right there. We took her to the hospital to make sure she didn’t have water in her lungs and was okay.

Thankfully, yes, she was fine, and is fine today. In fact, she LOVES swimming.

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My kids love to swim. We lived in Texas for a little over a year and during that time, our kids were 4 and 5. We lived in an apartment with an awesome pool and some neighbors (who actually taught my kids to swim).

They swim all the time now. They get compliments on their swimming, which is cool and all, but all that really matters is knowing they are safe.

I truly believe all kids should learn how to swim/tread water before they are 5.

There are too many sad stories that could be avoided if the kids could have at least kept themselves afloat for a few minutes until help arrived.

I encourage you all to get your kids swimming early. Swimming is so much fun, but it can also be a lifesaver.

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Capture the Flag Birthday Party – Nerf Style

My son turned 8 years old, and we decided on a Capture the Flag Birthday Party – Nerf Style. We thought it would be a ton of fun for both the kids and adults.

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We went simple for decorations and Red and Blue colors. I cut out triangles and used some cute, tiny clothespins to hang them up.

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Our table full of guns, ammo, safety glasses, and red/blue jerseys.

_JAS5097_JAS5094Our Teams:

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Let the games begin:

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Here is a shot of all the kids.

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We called the party a success.  Although, I forgot the forks for the cake!

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Neighbors on the Block

I just wanted to say we have some awesome neighbors!

10 years earlier:  We had bought our first house, not in the best neighborhood, but not in the worst either. We were only 20 years old and took what we could get. Anyways, I remember moving in and an elderly woman came and brought us a candle and welcomed us to the street. But that was about it. It was short-lived. We had our friendly waves and our 5 minute conversations a few times a year. But nothing further for the 5 years we lived there.

Present day: Before we moved in we actually talked to 3 of our ‘maybe soon-to-be neighbors’.  We thought they were nice and figured it would be a good place for the kids to grow up.

We were right.

It’s been 1 year since we moved to our current house. We have AWESOME neighbors.

We have 5 families of neighbors. We talk to all of them, but mainly 4. We have made really good friends since moving here. My son is best friends with one of the boys, and we even got him into BMX.  There is an older couple who seem to really like my kids and buys them stuff ALL THE TIME. Another younger couple, we are planning Mountain Biking trips with. Our kids all play together (although for some reason it’s always at our house). We even had smores in the front yard one night, and everyone stopped by.

Yes, we picked a pretty sweet spot to move to.

I write about our awesome neighbors because I wanted to encourage you to get out there and introduce yourselves. Find some common ground, and possibly make some new friends. Your next best friend might live right next door 🙂

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